Journal Post for the week of August 9, 2010

VOLUME V, JOURNAL IX AUGUST 9, 2010
BLUE HERON FARM JOURNAL
SO WHAT’S HAPPENING ON THE FARM THIS WEEK?

We started picking melons today. They are sweet and juicy. The varieties are Sun Jewel – Yellow football like asian melons that you can eat right down to the skin – and the skin too if you like. I really like how these ones smell before you cut into them – they have a sweet mellow smell that is…wonderful. The other melon is a cantelope or musk melon either Athena or PMR Delicious or EarliQueen. These we pick when they fall off the vine and turning orange tan – their juice is so sweet as it runs down your cheeks. The watermelons still need a few more weeks – we had crows come and visit them and they tasted over 20 of them for us….grrrr…flash tape, pie plates and owls going up today in the watermelon field. I think Aimee’s pigs will be happy with the watermelons….The heirloom tomatoes – are in full force – we hope you enjoy them. Oh and the sungold cherry tomatoes – are so sweet. The eggplants are bigger now – and the Italian heirloom ones with purple and white streaks are so beautiful you just want to paint or photograph them…

Some folks have asked for a description of our peppers. We have two hot kinds – Hungarian Hot Wax and Jalapenos. Two sweet kind Carmen and Lipstick. Hungarian Hot Wax- Yellow hot pepper with 5 1/2″ x 1 1/2″ smooth, waxy fruits tapering to a point. Easy to stuff and to peel after roasting; thick-fleshed for frying. Its sunset-ripening peppers change from yellow to orange to red, and make the prettiest pickled peppers. Early and widely adapted. Definitely, but not overly, hot. Jalapeno- 2-2 1/2″ x 1″, sausage-shaped, blunt fruits mature early; dark green changing to red. Carmen – A beautiful new pepper of the Italian “bulls horn” (corno di toro) type from Johnny’s owners and plant breeders Janika Eckert and Rob Johnston. Carmen has a lovely sweet taste for salads and roasting, especially when partially or fully red-ripe. To be selected as a 2006 All-America Selections winner, Carmen was judged superior by official AAS judges across the U.S. and Canada. Tapered fruits avg. 6″ long x 2 1/2″ wide, 5 oz. (142 gm), and ripen from green to deep carmine red. Maturity is early on an upright, medium-size plant. Lipstick – Many consider Lipstick the most delicious sweet pepper. Heavy, attractive, dark green fruits are about 4″ long and taper to a blunt point. They ripen to a glossy, rich red. Thick, juicy, and sweet for salads and cooking, and perfect for roasting and salsa. Dependable, early, heavy yields.

There was a lot of building over the last few days. The interns – full credit goes to them – for gutting and retrofitting a 24 foot camper trailer from the seventies to make room for our little araucana chicks and the new Pennsylvania Pullets we got on Friday. With these two new flocks we have nearly 200 chickens about to lay eggs. Currently we are getting little pullet eggs from the araucanas…so very cute – light blue and green little eggs. When Sadie saw the new pullets (they are about 5 months old) she looked in their coop and said “Mama, I’m going to be their new mama – I’ll take good care of them.” Oh my what a cutie – she is the most caring little farmer I have ever met…

WHAT’S IN THE SHARE THIS WEEK: SLICING CUKES, GREEN BEANS, SWEET MELONS (SUN JEWEL OR CANTELOPES), ZUCCHINI, HOT PEPPERS, SUNGOLD CHERRY TOMATOES, SLICING HEIRLOOM TOMATOES,ORIENT OR LISTADA DA GANDIA EGGPLANT, RED POTATOES, PARSLEY.

Our blog is at: www.blueheronfarmvt.com – check us out and/or leave a comment

Pictures of our farm can be seen and shared on the following website: http://blueheronfarmvt.shutterfly.com/
From Fiona – one of our working members – On Monday we were chatting about photos. Seems that several people have been taking photos of the farm/farm stand/wonderful veggies etc. etc. People enjoy sharing their photos (its another good way to build community). So I agreed to set up a photo sharing site for the farm. Take a look and see what you think.

Island Blueberries is Open – This maybe the last week!
We are lucky on this little road of ours. Raspberries next door, veggies and eggs in the middle and blueberries up the street on the corner of Quaker and Adam School Road. Kathy and Steve have their blueberry field open usually Thursdays through Saturdays and sometimes other days of the week – 9-5. Call before you go to pick, 372-5656 for open details. PYO is 2.80lb- bring your own container or they have containers you can purchase there.

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
Cherry Tomato Salad – www.allrecipes.com

10 cherry, grape, or small heirloom
tomatoes (or mix thereof)
2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar 1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 pinch ground black pepper

Halve tomatoes and toss with oregano, oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper. Let sit for a minute or two to let flavors develop. Enjoy

Penne, Tomato, and Mozzarella Salad – www.allrecipes.com

1 (12 ounce) package penne pasta
1/4 cup olive oil
1 bunch green onions, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 cup quartered cherry tomatoes
salt and pepper to taste
5 ounces mozzarella cheese, diced
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
4 ounces fresh basil
12 large black olives, halved

Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water as directed on package, until just tender. Drain, and set aside.
Heat olive oil in a small saucepan. Add green onions and cook, stirring occasionally, 2 or 3 minutes. Stir in garlic, and cook for 2 minutes. Add pasta, tomatoes, salt, and pepper. Cook over low heat to warm through. Stir in mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. Coarsely tear basil leaves in halves or thirds; add to pasta with olives, and serve immediately.

Fresh Tomato Gazpacho – www.twosmallfarms.com
Julia’s note: I love cucumbers and red bell peppers in my gazpacho, if you prefer the bitter tang to a green bell pepper you can add that as a garnish or in the blender stage. Adapt this recipe to what’s in your garden/fridge. -julia

5 pounds ripe tomatoes, any color
1-2 cloves garlic
2 Tbs. lime juice
2 Tbs. olive oil
1 Tbs. white wine vinegar
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. dried or 1 TBS fresh oregano, chopped
6 green onions, thinly sliced
1 sweet bell pepper, red or yellow, finely chopped
1/4 c. finely chopped celery
1 cup finely chopped, seeded cucumber
1-2 jalapeno chilies, seeded and minced

Accompaniments: seeded, chopped red bell pepper, diced avocado, fresh chopped cilantro leaves, garlic croutons, thinly sliced radishes, thinly slivered cabbage, lime wedges, creme fraiche. Seed and finely chop 1 tomato; reserve. Coarsely chop remaining tomatoes. Combine these w/ garlic in a blender (you may need to do this in two batches)-process until smooth. Press through a sieve into large bowl; discard seeds. Whisk lime juice, oil, vinegar, salt and oregano into tomato mixture. Stir in reserved chopped tomato, green onions, red pepper, celery, cucumber and chilies. Refrigerate, covered, at least 4 or up to 24 hrs to blend flavors. At serving time: Stir soup well and ladle into chilled bowls. Pass accompaniments to be added according to individual taste.
CHICK-PEA, GARLIC, AND PARSLEY DIP Gourmet-July 1995

a 19-ounce can chick-peas, rinsed and drained (about 2 cups)
2 garlic cloves, chopped and mashed to a paste with 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup packed fresh parsley leaves, washed well and spun
1/4 cup water
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Accompaniment: toasted pita wedges or toasted French bread slices In a food processor blend all ingredients except oil until smooth. With motor running add oil in a slow stream. Season dip with salt. Serve dip with toasts. Makes about 2 cups.

Thoughtful Voyeur: Woman and Cantaloupe by Cindy Gregg (Courtesy – The Writers’ Almanac.)

Watch her select it
over sassier summer
fruits, carved offerings
of purple, yellow,
red in a supermarket
stunned with
fluorescent light.

Seeing her slice it open,
ponder how the melon
secrets its exquisite
pastel beneath a rough,
webby exterior, silent
protest to the showy
outer life of
its every former
neighbor – apple,
banana, strawberry, grape.
Later on, recall
the knife’s decisiveness,
the sudden exposure of
such a pleasing hue,
its juicy glisten
brightening, gladdening
her stark white kitchen
with a brief and mod

2 Responses to “Journal Post for the week of August 9, 2010”

  1. browndog August 10, 2010 at 1:55 pm #

    I really enjoyed getting many wonderful things from you at the Farmer’s Market again this year! The ground cherries were awesome! I look at you guys every summer and wonder how you do it and dream of a life like you live. I am sure you think I am saying this and I am crazy, but really….I am jealous! My crazy life back in Atlanta, GA gets a break every year when I visit South Hero, VT and smell clean air and enjoy the TRUE fruits of someone’s labor. I wish I could figure out a plan to make it work for us, so that my kids (ages 2 1/2 & 1 1/2) could grow up like Sadie is doing! Thanks for the wondeful inspiration and veggies! We will see you in 2011 at St Joe’s and St. Rose’s!!

  2. Blue Heron Farm August 24, 2010 at 2:39 am #

    Hi Browndog- Thanks so much for your comments:) It is quite encouraging to hear them when the season is hectic and there is so much to do. I (we) feel very blessed to be farming alongside our little girl and in a few months “little baby” (as Sadie calls the baby). This is beautiful country up here – and it is a very much a simpler life – a life free of the hustle and bustle of commercialism but instead hustle and bustle of chaotic farm life at times, and going with the rhythym of the season – almost buddha like in a way – living in the moment – even thought there is all this planning and worrying and figuring.,…..Hope you have time to enjoy a little garden space with your wee ones even if it just some patio buckets full of veggies and to stroll through the local farmers markets down there…georgia peaches are probably pass – maybe next year you can bring some of those peaches – and we can trade:) Look forward to seeing you and your family again – keep in touch:) Peace, Christine

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