Journal Post for the week of August 30, 2010

Drawing by Roy Newton, in honor of our Italian Heirloom Eggplant – Listada da Gandia

VOLUME V, JOURNAL XII
AUGUST 30, 2010
BLUE HERON FARM JOURNAL
SO WHAT’S HAPPENING ON THE FARM THIS WEEK?
Hello Everyone 🙂 Is it really August 30th? Where has this summer gone? We are welcoming September with a mini heat wave…I hear 90’s this week for the first week of September – for kids going back to school this week – I hope there are fans in the classrooms. Speaking of classrooms – we make our first delivery to Grand Isle School tomorrow – heirloom tomatoes, carrots, cukes, zucchini, summer squash, and a few others…they plan on ordering from us once a week until we run out of produce. (Funny side note – Sadie just took out of the fridge a large bowl of goat cheese we made last week and is having a picnic in the living room – with her babies and a nice little conversation – thank goodness for vivid imaginations and free play, so this mama can write to all of you- okay back to the newsletter).

This week we have PYO Cherry tomatoes and ground cherries – there are many – we can give you a lift out into the field at pick up time or you can walk out there. Our last drop off to Food for thought was this past Sunday – we sold them at a discount 70 pints of sungolds and 60lbs of cucumbers. The FRESH screening last Tuesday had nearly 50 people in attendance and over $1,200 was raised for Food for Thought. Thanks to all those who came out to see it and enjoyed all the yummy food. We are hoping to show it again this winter as another fundraiser/awareness too. The movie made people question where is their food coming from and if it from VT how is their food treated – and to be activist for their food – to ask the farmers how they grow their food they are feeding to their families.

Also what ended last week was the Senior Farm Share with the Round Barn. We had money allocated for 14 people and $60 each. With the bounty of this year’s harvest the seniors were able to receive shelling peas, cucumbers, zucchini, summer squash, melons, tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, potatoes, green beans, lettuce, chard. Blue Heron Farm has already donated 2 extra weeks of veggies – just because Christine couldn’t help herself in sharing all the yumminess this year. We are looking for monetary donations if CSA/community members would like to contribute to help pay for additional weeks of produce for the Round Barn this year. $60 for 1 week would provide $5 worth of veggies for 14 seniors at the Round Barn. We would take whatever donations you would like to give. If you would like to make it tax deductible – let us know and we can work that out for you. We are trying to raise more money so they can continue to receive fresh veggies through the fall. Whatever you can give would be great!

Last Wednesday, we took delivery of our 30 X72 hoophouse!! Wowee!! Let the building begin. We are hoping to have greens in there until December or so…this is part of the USDA NRCS grant that we received earlier this summer. We are excited to build it. We need to build it, get it approved by our field agent then we get reimbursed for 90% of the cost of the hoophouse. This new hoophouse will go up behind our other ones, perpendicular so we can get the most winter sunlight for it. It is a passive solar hoophouse with the no heater or electricity in it. We will have some building days coming up and we will let you all know so if you would like to come out and help build you can.

The watermelon was a little teaser last week. Some were a pale pink and some were the bright pinkish red that we are all used to. We are not giving out watermelons this week in your share but probably next Monday on Labor Day (yes we have pickup on Labor Day) so the heat can sweeten and redden them up. And corn….ugh…so we picked about 3 dozen last week – and we are not getting enough to give to all of you or to sell. Sorry about that…mother nature wanted to grow us melons and watermelons this year and not the sweet corn. If we have the opportunity to buy in some organic sweet corn we will but many of our neighboring farmers our having similar issues….The winter Squash – Acorn, butternut, and delicata are sizing up nicely and the pie pumpkins – I think we will have a harvest of 300-400 just in pie pumpkins. We harvested nearly 300lbs of onions this past Friday and they are drying out – they are in your share this week. Yum…There are some good ingredients for salsa making this week – tomatillo salsa and tomato salsa or a mixture of both – Don’t be afraid of the tomatillos – if you have ever had green sauce or green salsa – that is what is in it – tomatillos.

So Adam and I were looking at the calendar and figuring out when the last pickup will be. The Last pickup will be the week of October 4th – with weeks 17 and 18 together with storage crops and fresh produce equivalent for two weeks of CSA shares. We figured the 4th would be good because the following Monday is Columbus day and many people go away for that weekend – including – hopefully – fingers crossed – these farmers. We are hoping to leave after pickup and delivery and go to Maine and camp at Hermit Island for a few days and bask in the Maine October air, ocean and seafood and be tourists and campers and players for a few days a family. This worked well for us last year and we find it is important for us to get a way just for a short time – to play, as a family – especially this year – before the little baby arrives at the end of November. And boy oh boy – or should I say girl oh girl – Sadie is the cutest running up and down the beach and playing in the sand at the beach right outside of our tent. Oh did I mention there is a harvest festival while we are there and lots of sheep farms. One sheep farm in particular, Romney Ridge Farm in Woolwich is what inspired me/us to get our yarn spun at Green Mountain Spinnery. We love the fall, when things naturally start to slow down and we can reflect on the year and enjoy it the cool, crisp air.

Okay – I think I should hit send/print now or there won’t be any room for recipes. Hope you enjoy your transition into September.. Enjoy the veggies, and see you next week! Peace, Adam, Christine, Sadie, Eric, Emily, and Joe

CERTIFIED ORGANIC TRULY PASTURE-RANGED CAGE FREE CHICKENS FOR MEAT FOR SALE
We will have Certified Organic Pasture raised French Heritage Chickens for sale. They will be ready September 23. We are taking order now and expect to sell out quickly. They will be between 3.5lbs -6lbs each. We are taking deposits of $50. They will be $6.00lb and you can get them fresh or frozen – after September 25th they will all be frozen. Also, Rob Rousseau in North Hero will have grass-fed beef for sale by the 1/4, 1/2 or whole – cut wrapped and frozen – available this fall. If you are interested please let us know – we will have order forms soon.

WHAT’S IN THE SHARE THIS WEEK: SLICING CUKES, SWEET RED PEPPERS, SLICING HEIRLOOM TOMATOES, ROMA TOMATOES, JALAPENOS, GREEN AND RED LETTUCE, GARLIC, ONIONS, TOMATILLOS, BASIL, PYO GROUND CHERRIES, PYO SUNGOLD CHERRY TOMATOES

Our blog is at: www.blueheronfarmvt.com – check us out and/or leave a comment or harmonyvt@yahoo.com/372-3420

Pictures of our farm can be seen and shared on the following website: http://blueheronfarmvt.shutterfly.com/

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. Or pullet sized eggs are $3.00 a dozen or 2 for $5.00.

QUAKER ROAD RASPBERRIES ARE BACK! – A NOTE FROM MEG
Good greetings to some of our family and friends – Our fall raspberries are “in”! They are magnificent, quite large and firm in structure, and sweet and delicious. This year we have expanded our operation to include Pick Your Own, in addition to our picking and selling for the two local farmer’s markets. If you have any interest in picking, and would like to know if the berries are ready to be picked (they do not like to be wet when picked), then please call us at either 343-5497 or 343-5975. Please come and pick, or tell your friends about our berries. $3.50 a pint for the PYO berries.
RECIPES
Preparing Tomatillos – www.twosmallfarms.com
Before using, peel off the husks and rinse to remove the sticky residue. Other than peeling off the husk, do not peel the green skin.Tomatillos are traditionally used in three ways — raw, boiled/blanched, or roasted/grilled:
Raw – Uncooked tomatillos add a fresh, tangy citrus-like flavor and are often used raw in Mexican table sauces. Finely dice or puree them. Blanching – Mellows the flavor. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the whole tomatillos (husks removed and rinsed) and boil for about 5 minutes, until soft. Drain and crush or puree as directed in a sauce recipe.Fire roasting – Leaving slightly blackened skins on enriches a sauce with a smoky, woodsy flavor. Can roast under the broiler, with a propane torch, or over an open flame such as a grill or a gas burner. Make sure the heat is quite hot, otherwise the tomatillos will turn mushy before being charred.
Dry roasting – Produces an earthy, nutty flavor. Place the tomatillos in a heavy skillet (preferably cast-iron). Turn heat to low. Roast for about 20 to 30 minutes, turning occasionally, letting each side take on a rich, burnished golden color before turning.Finally, tomatillos can be quite inconsistent in flavor, with some being intensely sour and others tasting mild and sweet. Some cooks use a pinch of sugar to balance the taste of very tart tomatillos. The recipes below are typical Mexican tomatillo recipes, but the lively flavors of this perky little fruit lend themselves well to rounds of experimentation, from stir-fries to soups to salad dressings. (from Kate’s Global Kitchen)
All about Tomatillos from Vegetables from Amaranth to Zucchini by Elizabeth Schneider. Basic use of tomatillos:Tomatillo is traditionally cooked, but the raw fruit, chopped or diced and used in moderation, adds freshness to vegetable salad, guacamole, and sandwich fillings.Storage: They should keep at least a week or three in the fridge.

All about Ground cherries
Ground Cherries were recorded as early as 1837 in Pennsylvania and even earlier by Native people. This outstanding Polish variety is prized for its clean flavor. Fruits are ½ to Âľ” in diameter and are encased in a papery husk that turns brown when the fruits ripen. Stores 3-4 weeks in the husk. Extremely productive plants have a sprawling habit and grow 18″ tall and 24″ wide. Excellent citrus flavor, can be used for preserves, pies, over ice cream or in fresh fruit salads. Starts fruiting by the end of July and continues until frost and a little beyond, extremely productive.
Tomatillo Salsa – twosmallfarms.com

2 pounds Fresh tomatillos
1 cup Onion — chopped
1 Or 2 hot peppers, cored Seeded and chopped. (you can also use dried chiles, leave seeds in either dried or fresh for more heat)
1 cup Fresh cilantro — minced
1/4 cup Fresh lime juice
1-2 cloves garlic
salt to taste

Remove husks from tomatillos, wash throughly, dry and halve or quarter. Combine tomatillos, onions, chiles, and garlic in a non-reactive pan. Over med-high heat bring to boil, stirring frequently. Reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for 20 mins. Cool a little or a lot then put into blender with cilantro and lime juice, blend away, salt to taste, and you have some GREAT salsa verde Mexicano.
Ground Cherry Pie – www.hubpages.com

2 ½ to 3 cups Ground Cherries Washed
2/3 cup Brown Sugar
1 heaping Tablespoon Flour
2 tablespoons Water
3 tablespoon Sugar
3 tablespoon Flour
2 ½ tablespoons Butter

Place ground cherries into an unbaked pie shell. Stir together the brown sugar and the 1 tablespoon of flour-put this evenly over the ground cherries and then sprinkle water-again evenly-over all. Stir together the 3 tablespoons sugar and the 3 tablespoons flour. Cut in the butter until it is crumbly-Place on top of pie. Bake in a preheated 425 degree oven for 15 minutes. Then turn down to 375 degrees and bake another 25 to 28 minutes.

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