Journal Post for the week of July 11, 2011

VOLUME VI, JOURNAL IV
JULY 11, 2011
BLUE HERON FARM JOURNAL
SO WHAT’S HAPPENING ON THE FARM THIS WEEK?
Greetings from the farm! So here is Week 4. Three words for you – SUGAR SNAP PEAS! After crazy week it has been for our family, farm and community – we have for you the sweet candy of early summer – SUGAR SNAP PEAS. They are better than candy – you can eat the whole bag and not feel guilty – they are a protein (legume), sweet (like candy) and juicy (yum). With SSP, eat the whole thing – don’t just eat the inside – eat the whole thing – you can even eat the stem. Well maybe thats pushing it – and maybe I am just lazy so I eat the whole thing. Kids love them, Adults love them – I have never met anyone who doesn’t love these – oh and if you are one of those people, please don’t tell me – but pass these luscious peas on to someone who will take great pleasure from them. They are great right from the field, chilled, dipped into hummus, tossed at the very end of a stir fry, chopped and put in a salad or mixed into rice. Maybe I should try them with ice cream. Did you know that the SSP was “invented” in the 1960’s with the cross pollination of snow peas and english shelling peas. I am glad they came up with them. Sadie loves them and Delia likes hearing the crunch when she pierces one of them with her two little teeth. 🙂

Also in this week share is some Orient Express eggplants that we are growing in the hoophouse. Eggplants come on in flushes – so probably in another two weeks you will get more – we are growing threes kinds of eggplants in the front hoophouse – orients, listada de gandia – Italian heirloom, and Ping tung. Also new in the share this week is Napa Cabbage – we love this cabbage (hmmm…I love all my veggies – I hope they don’t know that I am professing my love to each of them – hope they don’t get jealous). It is big, juicy and you can eat it raw or cooked in a stir fry. Use the whole thing. Don’t worry about the little holes in them – the flea beetles like taking their nibble from them – but they don’t harm the taste. This cabbage grows fast – our other cabbages are just starting to ball up and we planted them the same time. We should have summer squash, zucchini and cukes in about 2 or so weeks. Tomatoes about the same time.
Bok Choy and Arugula next week.

We have Fresh, Certified Organic Pasture raised Heritage Chicken for sale. $6.00lb and they range between 3.5 – 5.25 lbs. We processed them on Friday. They are available at pickup. After Tuesday, they will be going in the freezer. Let us know if you are interested. We will have another batch – ready in the first or second week of August.

Thanks to everyone who came to help us out while Adam was gone. So many people came to help and support us. I felt truly overwhelmed with Adam’s absence but thankful at the same time with all our friends in our community to help process over 120 chickens, move 600 bales of hay while I put my babes to bed, clean up the barn yard, for building a barn for Annie, for washing eggs, for holding and playing with my babes while I had to work in the fields, for brining my diaper wipes because I ran out, for doing errands for me, for doing things without even being asked, for bringing me more ice for the chickens, for teaching our interns how to process chickens, for an ear to listen to me while I debriefed, for laughter, for pizza, for the ourpouring of love and support . We love living here and being part of this community. When I was filling Adam in about the last 5 days last night, he was so appreciative and he thought this kind of support is what farming communities are supposed to be like – like they were in years past – when we didn’t live in gated communities and people knew their neighbors. When the hay is ready it is ready – it can’t wait a day or two – and thats when you call everyone and their sister for help – and wow did you all come out – it a true honor to have this farm with all of you and to know that you are there to help move 600 bales on a warm friday evening. This is community. And you know what, if you ever need help, just call, we’ll be there too.

Food for Thought was this past weekend – where families can pick up healthy food for their families for breakfast and lunch. We were able to donate over 40 heads of yummy lettuce. And next week we will be giving them Sugar Snap Peas thanks to a generous community donor who gave us money to supply some fresh vegetables to the program.

Yesterday was the Blessing of the Animals, Adam was supposed to go and play guitar but …anyways Sadie and Delia and I went and Sadie brought her picture of Annie the cow. She told me that “I think Annie would make too much of a mess in the church so we should just take her picture.” Then we walked up to the crowd that were sitting under the old maples a the church and Sadie held her picture out for all to see – proud as proud can be. Cordelia greeted her – and Sadie said “This is my cow Annie and I brought her to get blessed – I only brought the picture because she wouldn’t fit in the Saturn.” My eyes watered with my smile because through all this chaos this week for us and our community – here is this little precious child – who loves life so much and all around her – is so incredibly amazing and thoughtful. We are blessed.

Thanks for being part of our farm and giving us all this lovin’. Peace, your farmers, Christine, Adam, Sadie and Delia

WHAT’S IN THE SHARE THIS WEEK: Green Leaf and Butterhead Lettuce Heads, Basil, Napa Cabbage, Heirloom Rainbow Chard, Red Russian Kale,Orient Express Eggplant, SUGAR SNAP PEASand maybe a few other things ! In the recipes – you can use kale and chard interchangeably.

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.

PICK YOUR OWN RASPBERRIES – right here on Quaker Rd – Our neighbors Meg and Jim now have their pick your own raspberry field open – please call them for hours. The raspberries are so yummy – Sadie needs to pick a few each night – to make sure they are still yummy. You can reach Meg at 343-5497. THE PICKING IS WONDERFUL! They are 3.50 pint for PYO. At the farmers market they sell for 4.00 1/2 pint. Also Meg has some of her delicious Raspberry Jam – made with just a touch of sugar and raspberries.

PICK YOUR OWN BLUBERRIES – right here on the corner of Quaker and Adam Schools Road – Kathy and Steve now have their blueberry patch open – usually Thursday through Saturday – its best to call them for times. Their number is 372-5656. If you get their answering machine just listen to the message it will tell you if they are open or not for the day.

Recipes
BASIL WALNUT VINAIGRETTE – this recipe was a big hit at the Wednesday Farmers Market with Matt from Wally’s Bagels and Emily from South Hero Land Trust

1 tsp.
20
1/2 tsp.
1/2 tsp.
2 tsp.
4 tbsp.
1/2 cup chopped garlic
basil leaves
salt
pepper
Dijon mustard
white wine vinegar
olive oil
Whirl together the above ingredients, and toss with lightly steamed green beans and/or cooked potatoes, or? Then toss with: chopped walnuts and 3 sliced scallions.

Kale or Chard Pesto – www.iheartkale.blogspot.com – as seen at the farmers market this past wednesday featuring our kale

1 bunch (4-5 cups) red Russian kale, stemmed and chopped
2 cloves garlic, peeled but left whole
1/4-1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
1/4 cup pine nuts or any kind of nuts or you can leave this out
1/2 teaspoon salt

Place kale and garlic in a strainer over the sink and pour about 5 cups of boiling water over: this will blanch any bitterness from the kale and mellow the raw garlic. Toast the pine nuts in a dry skillet until they are touched with golden brown. Combine small batches of kale, garlic, olive oil, parmesan cheese and pine nuts in a food processor and pulse well until you have a smooth paste. Stir your batches together and salt to taste. Toss with hot pasta, spread on crackers or bread, or use to top baked potatoes.

Light Ginger Citrus Napa Slaw – http://kblog.lunchboxbunch.com
vegan, serves 4

3-4 cups Napa Cabbage, chopped into thin 2 inch strips
1 small yellow bell pepper, diced
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 tsp olive oil
2 tsp black pepper
1/2 cup orange slices or mandarin segments
1 Tbsp lemon juice
3 Tbsp Vegenaise
1-2 Tbsp fresh ginger, grated
2 tsp agave syrup
1 tsp paprika
dash of salt as needed
optional add-in: 1/2 cup chopped flat parsley

Directions:
Add cabbage, bell pepper and citrus slices to large bowl. Add vinegar, oil, vegenaise and agave syrup. Toss well. Add in salt, pepper, ginger, paprika and lemon juice.Toss well again. Chill until ready to serve. A few hours in the fridge will assist in marinating the cabbage. *for a creamier slaw simply add more vegenaise. Serve as a side dish or salad. More optional add in ideas: cayenne, garlic, sliced almonds, pea shoots, sliced fennel, cold snow peas, bean sprouts, toasted sesame seeds.

Eggplant
The Oriental Eggplants can be eaten with the skins on, not saleted, just slice and put olive oil on it and grill or bread and fry, or put in stir fry, lasagha, eggplant parm, etc. It is a sweeter egg plant with a non-bitter skin.

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