Journal Post for the week of July 5, 2011

VOLUME VI, JOURNAL III
JULY 5, 2011
BLUE HERON FARM JOURNAL
SO WHAT’S HAPPENING ON THE FARM THIS WEEK?
Greetings from the farm! So here is Week 3. We have been busy. Actually, when have we not been busy – it feels like we are constantly running from one thing to another, but I think we are basically caught up. A funny thought this week, when we had been going through and looking at crops, words came out of my mouth: “Oh and by the 15th we will be planting for fall crops”. Really?! Our intern commented, didn’t we just finish planting spring/summer crops? Well yes, and we still are, and picking, and choosing what we will grow and how many rotations of things. We were hoping for two rounds of zucchini and cukes and a few other things – now just one beautiful one, with the weather and late start. Sweet corn transplants will be going in this weekend. Winter Squash and pumpkins all got planted in over the holiday. We will have fall shelling peas because the ones we seeded mid-may did not come up BUT we will have Sugar Snap Peas next Monday, and this Thursday for those who are Thursday deliveries (lucky ones:) ) It looks like we may have napa cabbage, bok choy, and possibly eggplants next week too. The tomatoes are getting big and should start turning any day now. We will be planting those sweet salad turnips and more radishes. Everything is growing and is looking amazing. If you would ever like a tour of it all please let us know – we’d gladly walk you around.

At the end of the week – Friday and Saturday we will be processing over 130 meat birds – if you would like one or 10 let us know and we will save them for you. Those who pre-ordered them – you will get them on Monday. Our new pullets are starting to lay, yummy smaller eggs – we will have them available at pickup for a reduced price of 3.00 dozen.

Today we had our Organic Certification visit with the Inspector from VOF. Everything went excellent. This particular inspector has been to our farm over the last 7 years 3 times and she is amazed with how much we have grown and how true and committed we are to organic farming for animals, poultry, pastures, and vegetables. New to our certification this year is our lamb, sheep and their wool. Our friends at Green Mountain Spinnery are excited to process the fleeces for us – they are certified organic processor. Our inspector was impressed with all of our record keeping, including a brilliant spreadsheet that had everything we picked last year (can we say over 3,000 lbs of heirloom field tomatoes) – It took 8 pages to print it out – but well worth it – a HUGE shout out to Fiona for putting all our chicken scratched notes into a spreadsheet form. We passed with flying colors. There will be a full report and you are welcome to see it when we get it, just ask us.

This week we are headed to a pasture management workshop down in North Middlesex with the interns. It should be great. Annie the cow and Texi are doing wonderful. Annie is producing 3-4 gals of milk a day. We have been working with Texi and handling him and taking him for walks to halter train him- which is an interesting feat – but it is getting better – Texi decided to get out of the barn last night and while I was straining milk – he ran around the house twice and then I ran after him. Thank goodness for electric fence – he is starting to get big enough so the single wire fence is getting him zapped when he touches it. It was kind of funny because Annie was trying to help me get him back into the barn with her low guttural mama sounds – and it worked.

This week Blue Heron Farm is on the Heart of the Islands Bike Tour. We are on the medium and long route. This bike tour is riding along the islands and stopping at farms for tours and such. Maybe some of them will want to process some chicken with us. 🙂 For more info on the bike tour visit www.vermontfarmtours.com

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. Also, I ahve noticed that up the street on the corner – the blueberry bird netting is up and the sign is out – so PYO blueberries should be soon too:) Oh heaven on this road, one end raspberries, we’re in the middle with veggies, chicken, eggs, lamb and milk and then the blueberries at the end of the road. Yum-O!

In this week’s share you have smaller bunches of Kale and Chard – we wanted to make sure everyone got some – don’t worry the bunches will get bigger. This is just a tender taste of what is to come. 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, Garlic Scapes or Garlic, Hungarian Hot Wax Peppers, Sweet Green Peppers, Heirloom Rainbow Chard, Red Russian Kale ! In the recipes – you can use kale and chard interchangeably. Note for Thursday folks – there maybe some sugar snap peas in your bags 🙂

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

Guadalajaran Swiss Chard Quesadillas (food.com)

2 tablespoons canola oil
1 small onions, chopped ( 3/4 C)
2 garlic cloves, minced ( 2 tsp)
1 hot pepper, minced
1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/8 teaspoon oregano
1/4 cup tequila (you can skip this just you broth or water)
12 ounces swiss chard, trimmed
8 (6 inch) corn tortillas
1 cup light monterey jack cheese, grated

Heat oil in pot over medium heat; add onion and saute 5 minutes, until golden. Stir in garlic, chile, cumin and oregano, and saute 2 minutes. Add tequila and simmer 1 minute, or until liquid has evaporated. Stir in chard; cover; reduce heat to medium low, and steam 5 minutes, or until chard wilts. Uncover, and cook 3 minutes or until liquid has evaporated.
Place 1 tortilla in skillet over medium heat. Sprinkle with 1/4 C cheese; top with chard mixture and second tortilla.
Cook 2 minutes per side, or until browned. Repeat with remaining ingredients.Slice into wedges and serve.

Swiss Chard & Goat Cheese Frittata (food.com)
“Serve this hot, warm, or at room temperature. Serve with slices of heirloom tomatoes. The amount of garlic can be decreased (or increased) according to tastes.”

8 large swiss chard leaves, with stems
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 medium red onions, peeled and thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
2 teaspoons fresh rosemary, minced
3 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
8 large eggs
fresh ground black pepper
4 ounces goat cheese, crumbled ( soft type)

Wash the Swiss chard; cut off stems, dice finely, and set aside. Chop the leaves. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a nonstick 9-inch skillet with an ovenproof handle. Add onion, ¼ teaspoon of salt, and rosemary. Sauté 10 minutes over medium heat, until the onions are very soft and just starting to brown. Stir in the Swiss chard leaves and the remaining ¼ teaspoon salt, and sauté 1 to 2 minutes, or until the greens are just wilted. Remove from heat, stir in garlic and Swiss chard stems, and set aside. Whisk eggs in a bowl. Add the Swiss chard mixture and goat cheese, and stir to combine.
Wash and dry the skillet and return to stove top. Preheat the broiler unit in the oven. Heat the remaining tablespoon oil in the skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil is very hot, pour in the vegetable-egg mixture and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the eggs are set on the bottom. Transfer the skillet to the preheated broiler and broil for about 3 minutes, or until the frittata is firm and golden on top.

Penne with Swiss Chard & Asiago Cheese
2 cups penne pasta
8 cups coarsely chopped swiss chard and kale
1 (19 ounce) cans cannellini beans or 1 (19 ounce) cans other white beans, drained
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup shredded asiago cheese
1 clove garlic, smashed
salt & freshly ground black pepper
In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook penne 8 to 10 minutes or until tender but firm. Add 8 cups coarsely chopped Swiss chard, cook 1 minute; drain well. In a large serving bowl, combine remaining ingredients. Add pasta mixture; toss well. Season to taste.

Roasted Kale Chips with Sea Salt and Vinegar – kalynskitchen.com

one small bunch of kale, about 6 oz.
1 T extra-virgin olive oil
1 T vinegar
sea salt to taste

Preheat oven to 300F/150C. Cut away inner ribs from each kale leaf and discard, then tear the kale leaves into same-size pieces. (I made my pieces about the size of a small potato chip.) Wash torn kale pieces and spin dry in a salad spinner or dry with paper towels until they’re very dry.Put kale pieces into a large Ziploc bag (or use a bowl if you don’t mind getting your hands oily.) Add half of the 1 T of olive oil, seal bag, and squeeze the bag so the oil gets distributed evenly on the kale pieces. Add the other half tablespoon of oil and squeeze the bag more, until all kale pieces are evenly coated with oil and slightly “massaged.” Open the Ziploc bag and sprinkle the 1 T sherry vinegar over the kale leaves, then seal bag and shake to spread the vinegar out over all the leaves.Arrange kale leaves in a single layer on a baking sheet, then roast until they are mostly crisp, about 35 minutes. I checked every 10 minutes or so and turned some pieces over. I also found I didn’t mind if there were a few softer parts on some of the kale leaves, I liked the combination of crisp and softer parts.
When chips are done to your liking, sprinkle with a generous amount of sea salt and eat immediately.

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