Volume VII, JOURNAL V
July 2, 2012
Blue Heron Farm Journal
So what’s happening on the farm this week?
Okay before I forget and get on a roll writing wanted to let you know that you will have zucchini and summer squash - hopefully next pickup:) from the field - they were about 2 inches long this morning - so maybe Thursday's shares will have it. :) Oh and there are ripening cherry tomatoes the size of ping pong balls in the hoop house...soon oh so soon oh and there are flowers on the beans..Sadie wanted me to let you all know that her and Delia's tomatoes will be ready soon:)
So here on the farm we have Friday night pizza nights. Basically, whatever veggie is ready goes on the pizza. We started this tradition when we had Sadie - it was the one day of the week I knew what I was cooking. So it has become quite a feast and tradition. I have come to grilling them on our grill on hot nights. Well this Friday we had lobster on our garlic scape pesto pizza thanks to Annie's family who was visiting from Maine. Annie's father is a lobster fisherman and her mom is advocate for small scale fisherpeople:) Anyways..they showed us how to get all the meat out of lobster in an efficient way and told us all about lobstering and small scale fishing in Maine. You think about small scale farming and buying local - but in coastal areas - buying local and what at the farmers market includes fish, lobsters and more. Pretty cool to hang out with them. We have a lot in common - fisherpeople and farmers.
So we processed our french heritage meat birds on Thursday and on Friday more little chicks came in the mail on Friday. Yes in the mail, they are shipped when they are born and their yolk sack that they eat before they hatch keeps their bellies full during the ride here. The interns really enjoyed picking them up at the post office and then teaching them all how to drink - one by one dipping each beak twice to get water in them - all 175 of them. We are raising about 115 of them - friends came and picked up their little birds. They are adorable at this age. They are peeping, exploring, scratching and after a few minutes - pass out. When we first had chickens about 8 years ago - when I went into the spare bedroom (umm yes in the beginning they were in the house - now they are in the barn - this was before having barn) - they were all in a heap - all 30 of them - dear god I thought we killed them. But I called a dear friend in Alburgh and she said they look like that when they are sleeping - they look dead. I remember making a little chirping sound and they all woke up. And on Friday I passed that wisdom down to our interns.Veggies are growing and the weeds - well they are there and we are weeding when we can. If there are folks out there who like to pull weeds we would love to have you. This week a new veggie to us and you - we haven't grown it before is Kohlrabi. It looks like it comes from a distant planet. It is related to broccoli, kale, cabbages, turnips - the brassica family. Kohlrabi means german turnip. From the nytimes.com: "Inside its thick skin lies a crisp, juicy vegetable that I like equally raw or cooked. It’s a member of the brassica family, those nutrient-dense cabbages (as well as kales, brussels sprouts, broccoli and cauliflower) whose phytochemicals are highly regarded for their antioxidant properties.If you can get kohlrabi with the greens attached, cook them as you would turnip greens or kale. The greens are never quite as copious as the greens on a bunch of turnips, but they make a nice addition to most kohlrabi dishes. It’s important when you cook with kohlrabi to peel it thoroughly. Beneath the thick, hard skin is another fibrous layer, which should also be peeled away. The fibers will not soften when cooked, and they can get stuck in your throat. So peel once, then peel again until you reach the light layer of crisp flesh. Kohlrabi is an excellent source of potassium and a good source of vitamin C and fiber, and it’s low in calories. The purple variety that some farmers grow also contains anthocyanins, another phytonutrient with antioxidant potential. " (http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/03/09/discovering-kohlrabi-its-a-vegetable/). So since this is a new vegetable to us and to you we figured we would not bog you down with them this week - so Individual shares will get one and full will receive two. We have included some very yummy recipes for kohlrabi. You can also just eat it raw, peel back the purple skin and get to the crispy part. Enjoy let us know what you think:)
The sugar snap peas are amazing - more this week for all of you. The snow peas put on and then just quit - probably due to the heat. The potatoes are sizing up and the cabbages are too. I saw eggplants (baby) in the hoophouse and some peppers..oh its all coming...can't wait!
Have a great week- Peace, your farmers, Christine, Adam, Sadie and Delia, Jen, Mandy, Annie, Harley and Sophie
What’s in the share this week: Sugar Snap Peas, Lettuce Heads - Romaine, Green Leaf, Red Leaf or Butterhead, Fresh Garlic, cilantro, basil , kohlrabi, Heirloom Rainbow Chard and some other treats,
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.
1 pound kohlrabi, preferably with some greens attached
7 to 8 cups well-seasoned chicken or vegetable stock
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup minced onion
1 1/2 cups arborio rice
1 to 2 garlic cloves (to taste), minced
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1/2 cup dry white wine, like pinot grigio or sauvignon blanc
1/4 to 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (1 to 2 ounces)
2 to 3 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
1. Peel the kohlrabi, making sure to remove the fibrous layer just under the skin, and cut into 1/2-inch dice. If there are greens attached, wash, stem and blanch them for 1 minute in salted boiling water. Transfer to a bowl of cold water, drain, squeeze out water and chop coarsely. Set aside.
2. Put your stock or broth into a saucepan and bring it to a simmer over medium heat, with a ladle nearby or in the pot. Make sure that it is well seasoned. Turn the heat down to low.
3. Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a wide, heavy nonstick skillet or a wide, heavy saucepan. Add the onion and a pinch of salt, and cook gently until it is just tender, about 3 minutes. Do not brown. Add the diced kohlrabi and the garlic and cook, stirring, until the kohlrabi is crisp-tender, about 5 minutes.
4. Add the rice and stir until the grains separate and begin to crackle. Add the wine and stir until it has evaporated and been absorbed by the rice. Begin adding the simmering stock, a couple of ladlefuls (about 1/2 cup) at a time. The stock should just cover the rice, and should be bubbling, not too slowly but not too quickly. Cook, stirring often, until it is just about absorbed. Add another ladleful or two of the stock and continue to cook in this fashion, adding more stock and stirring when the rice is almost dry. You do not have to stir constantly, but stir often. After 15 minutes, stir in the greens from the kohlrabi. When the rice is just tender all the way through but still chewy, in 20 to 25 minutes, it is done. Taste now, add pepper and adjust salt.
5. Add another ladleful of stock to the rice. Stir in the Parmesan and the parsley and remove from the heat. The mixture should be creamy (add more stock if it isn’t). Serve right away in wide soup bowls or on plates, spreading the risotto in a thin layer rather than a mound. Yield: 4 to 6 servings. Advance preparation: You can begin up to several hours before serving. Proceed with the recipe and cook halfway through Step 4 — that is, for about 15 minutes. The rice should still be hard when you remove it from the heat, and there should not be any liquid in the pan. Spread it in an even layer in the pan and keep it away from the heat until you resume cooking. If the pan is not wide enough for you to spread the rice in a thin layer, then transfer it to a sheet pan. Fifteen minutes before serving, bring the remaining stock back to a simmer and reheat the rice. Resume cooking as instructed.
Kohlrabi Home Fries
Kohlrabi can be cut into thick sticks like home fries, browned in a small amount of oil, and seasoned with chili powder, curry powder, cumin or paprika. It’s a very satisfying and healthy fry.
1 1/2 to 2 pounds kohlrabi
1 tablespoon rice flour, chickpea flour or semolina (more as needed)
Salt to taste
2 to 4 tablespoons canola oil or grapeseed oil, as needed
Chili powder, ground cumin, curry powder or paprika to taste
1. Peel the kohlrabi and cut into thick sticks, about 1/3 to 1/2 inch wide and about 2 inches long.
2. Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a heavy skillet (cast iron is good). Meanwhile, place the flour in a large bowl, season with salt if desired and quickly toss the kohlrabi sticks in the flour so that they are lightly coated.
3. When the oil is rippling, carefully add the kohlrabi to the pan in batches so that the pan isn’t crowded. Cook on one side until browned, about 2 to 3 minutes. Then, using tongs, turn the pieces over to brown on the other side for another 2 to 3 minutes. The procedure should take only about 5 minutes if there is enough oil in the pan. Drain on paper towels, then sprinkle right away with the seasoning of your choice. Serve hot Yield: 4 to 6 servings. Advance preparation: You can cut up the kohlrabi several hours before frying. Keep in the refrigerator.
Vegetarian Spring Rolls With Shredded Kohlrabi By MARTHA ROSE SHULMAN
1 3/4 ounces thin rice sticks
6 ounces marinated tofu, cut in dominoes 1/2 inch wide by 1/4 inch thick
1 medium carrot, shredded
1/2 pound kohlrabi, peeled and shredded (make sure to remove fibrous layer just under the skin before shredding)
Salt to taste
1 tablespoon ginger, cut in julienne
1 tablespoon seasoned rice vinegar
1/4 cup roughly chopped cilantro, plus 14 sprigs
2 tablespoons slivered Thai basil or mint leaves, plus 7 to 14 leaves
7 8 1/2-inch rice flour spring roll wrappers
1. Place the rice sticks in a large bowl and cover with boiling water. Soak for 20 minutes, or until the noodles are pliable, and drain. Transfer the noodles to another bowl. Using kitchen scissors, cut the noodles in half, into roughly 6-inch lengths. Leave the warm water in the bowl for softening the wrappers.
2. Meanwhile, toss the shredded kohlrabi with salt to taste and let sit in a colander placed in the sink for 20 to 30 minutes. Squeeze out excess liquid and toss with the carrot, ginger, chopped cilantro and slivered Thai basil or mint.
3. One at a time, place a rice flour wrapper in the bowl of warm water until just softened. Remove from the water and drain briefly on a kitchen towel. Place the softened wrapper on your work surface and put a line of tofu slices in the middle of the wrapper, slightly nearer the edge closest to you, leaving a 1 1/2-inch margin on the sides. Place a small handful of noodles over the tofu, then place a handful of the shredded vegetable mixture over the noodles. Lay a couple of sprigs of cilantro and a Thai basil leaf or a couple of mint leaves on top. Fold the sides of the wrapper over the filling, then roll up tightly. Arrange on a plate and refrigerate until ready to serve.
Note: To make a quick dipping sauce, whisk together 1 to 2 tablespoons peanut butter with 1 tablespoon of the tofu marinade. Thin out as desired with more marinade or with water. Yield: 7 spring rolls (4 to 5 inches long).