Monday, June 18, 2012
Journal Post for Week of June 18, 2012
VOLUME VII, JOURNAL III JUNE 18, 2012 BLUE HERON FARM JOURNAL SO WHAT’S HAPPENING ON THE FARM THIS WEEK? So we dried off Annie this past weekend. Annie is our beautiful brown swiss jersey cow that has been providing us with her rich milk for the last year (one year, 2 weeks to be exact). Annie is due to have her calf at the end of August. You usually dry off a cow about two months or so before she gives birth so she can but all that energy into making that baby calf nice and strong. Their gestation is similar to humans. We are hoping for a girl (an eventual milking cow) but we will take what we get. For those who don't know - cows need to be bred and then give birth in order to get milk from them. We eventually would like to have a micro dairy of 3 or so milking cows. Right now, only Annie is bred and little miss Maggie is only 6 months old and then there is Texi (short for Texas) who is a steer(castrated male) who Annie had last June. Texi will eventually become food for us and a few other families. You can see Texi up at the farm eating grass and playing with folks who stop by. Texi can't be with Annie because he tries to nurse her. Now Texi, he's 1 which is really like the equivalent of being a tween in human years...imagine the site of texi trying to nurse annie...not good for either of them. So Annie and Maggie get to graze out together alongside the sheep and Texi gets to graze next to all of us working in the field. Anyways so Miss Annie, Adam calls her the Annie the Magic Cow, has provided milk, yogurt, cheese, manure which turns into compost, beef (her male offspring) and amazing company. When we first got Annie from Jonathan and Meg, I remember milking her and thinking of how rich I was now. Here is this amazing being that will provide so much food for my young family and friends by grazing our land. Very simple - the sun and the rain make the grass/hay and she does all of this food making for us. Amazing. So if you see Annie in the fields or in the barn yard chewing her cud - tell her hi and give her chin a rub - she is on a little vacation until her baby is born. When scouting in the fields this week, we have noticed that the fields are getting a little dry - working on getting water out to fields, the deer have found the head lettuce in the back field (time to cover it with remay at night), and we may have Leek Moths - which do a lot of damage to onions and garlic. Their pupae tunnel in and pupate and then work their way down to the bulbs...not sure what we are going to do about that yet. We are doing research and making phone calls. We'll keep you updated. Some good news while scouting was that the peas are coming in! Snow Peas first. Perfect for eating raw in salads or stir frying. Sugar Snap Peas probably at the end of the week. Snow peas are funny - they weigh nothing - and take a while to pick. Sugar snap peas are at least have some heft to them and you can fill a bin quicker and feel a bit more satisfied after your picking. :) Enjoy them all! ALso the basil is big enough to pick for you all - so here comes the basil too:) Oh and my ode to garlic scapes - these swirly twirly garlic smelling greens swirls are the false flowers to hardneck garlic. This green garlic is great chopped and stirfried, roasted with some olive oil or on the grill, and my favorite - a bunch of scapes (chopped coarsley) thrown into a blender or food processor with parmesean cheese and olive oil - Oh my - if you love garlic you will LOVE this. You can also freeze it. Aimee from Cochran Family Farm came last week to pickup and it was wonderful for her to meet all of you. She will be back again this week and she will have an order form for you all that I will email out so you can pre-order cuts if you like. She has bacon and ham now..yum. Our pastured, certified organic heritage chickens are almost ready. On June 28 and 29th we will be processing them. They will be $6.00lb finished weight and you can buy them fresh from the farm on 29th or 30th and probably frozen after that weekend. We like to sell the chickens fresh to folks so then they can cut them up and freeze them how you want them. The average weight is 4-6lbs. The meat is tender and many people have commented "wow! this actually tastes like chicken!" For those folks who have working shares, please get in touch with us to figure out a time that will work for you. Well - I should go - hope you are all having a great week! See you soon Peace, your farmers, Christine, Adam, Sadie and Delia, Jen, Mandy, Annie, Harley and Sophie WHAT’S IN THE SHARE THIS WEEK: SNOW PEAS, LUSCIOUS LETTUCE MIX, HEIRLOOM CHARD, GARLIC SCAPES, BASIL,CILANTRO, AND DILL, EGGS FOR SALE We have the pretty girls’ eggs for sale – these are free-range, certified organic chicken eggs that are brown, green and blue – with the brightest yellow/orange yolks you ever seen. The eggs are $5.00 a dozen. Recipes White Bean and Garlic Scapes Dip (nytimes.com) 1/3 cup sliced garlic scapes (3 to 4) 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice, more to taste 1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt, more to taste Ground black pepper to taste 1 can (15 ounces) cannellini beans, rinsed and drained 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, more for drizzling. In a food processor, process garlic scapes with lemon juice, salt and pepper until finely chopped. Add cannellini beans and process to a rough purée. With motor running, slowly drizzle olive oil through feed tube and process until fairly smooth. Pulse in 2 or 3 tablespoons water, or more, until mixture is the consistency of a dip. Add more salt, pepper and/or lemon juice, if desired. Spread out dip on a plate, drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with more salt. Yield: 1 1/2 cups. Orzo Pasta Risotto with Forest Mushrooms and Garlic Scapes Adapted by StarChefs.com 1 onion, small diced 3 Tablespoons olive oil, plus another 3 Tablespoons Salt and pepper 8 ounces chicken stock 1 pound orzo 1 portabello mushroom 3 shiitake mushrooms 3 garlic scapes 2 Tablespoons butter 3 Tablespoons heavy cream 3 Tablespoons truffle butter ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus shavings 3 ounces baby arugula (or chard) In a large pot over low heat, slowly cook the onion in 3 Tablespoons olive oil until it is translucent and tender. Season the onion with salt and pepper. In a separate saucepot bring the stock to a boil and keep hot. Add the orzo pasta to the onions and mix thoroughly. Gradually add the stock to the pasta and cover completely. Cook the pasta at a low simmer and stir carefully to avoid sticking. In a large sauté pan heat 3 Tablespoons olive oil and sear the mushrooms and garlic scapes until golden brown. Add the butter. Let the butter become golden brown, then strain the mushrooms and scapes and reserve. In a cold bowl, whisk the heavy cream until slightly thick. Cook the pasta until it is firm to the bite. Finish the pasta with truffle butter, Parmesan cheese, and the baby arugula. Add the heavy cream at the very end before serving. In a large bowl spoon the pasta into the center and place the mushrooms and scapes over the top. Shave a block of Parmesan cheese with a potato peeler to get thin shavings, and use them to garnish the dish. Roasted Chickpeas with Chard http://www.patentandthepantry.com/2009/09/27/roasted-chickpeas-with-chard/ For the chickpeas 1 19 oz. can chick peas, rinsed and drained ( I like using dried ones - equivalent of 1 cup of dried chickpeas overnight in water) 3 cloves garlic, peeled (or garlic scapes) 2 shallots, roughly chopped (or onions) 2 bay leaves 1/3 cup olive oil For the chard: 2 tablespoons olive oil 1 large bunch Swiss chard, center stems removed and chopped finely, and leaves coarsely torn 2 garlic cloves, crushed 1/2 cup vegetable, chicken or beef broth Preheat oven to 400. In a baking dish, combine chickpeas, garlic, shallots, bay leaves and oil. Roast for about 45 minutes, shaking the pan at least once (twice is probably even better) until everything is golden. Remove from oven and set aside.In a frying pan on the stove, add olive oil and heat until hot. Saute garlic for about 30 seconds until it is fragrant, add chard stems and saute for a minute or two until tender. Add chard and continue cooking until it has wilted — about five minutes. Pour over stock, cover and cook for another 10 minutes. Remove lid and drain excess liquid. Add chickpea mixture, season with salt and pepper and mix until heated through. Add a little more olive oil if desired. Simple Salad Dressing I mix up a jar of this a refill as needed - 1/2 c of maple syrup (or so), 1/2c of balsamic vinegar (or so) and 1/3c of olive oil (or so) and pepper (couple grinds from the pepper mill) - cover and shake great salad dressing or marinade.