Journal Post for the week of Ocotber 4, 2010

VOLUME V, JOURNAL XVII AND XVIII
OCTOBER 4, 2010 – LAST PICKUP
BLUE HERON FARM JOURNAL

SO WHAT’S HAPPENING ON THE FARM THIS WEEK?
Week 17 and 18: Hello Everyone, this week is the last pickup/drop off for the CSA for this season. This is a double week – 2 pickups in one with storage vegetables and fresh. The potatoes we picked fresh this morning – keep them dirty and put them in your crisper – they will last longer. Keep the winter squash in a coolish spot – not freezing and they will keep long into winter. Onions will keep well in your crisper drawer too – we had ours into May. You can also freeze the Kale, Onions, Green/Red Peppers – just chop them and put them in freezer bags – no need to blanch them. The herbs you can chop and out a little bit of water in them into ice cube trays and freeze them or you can dry them – hang them up or put them in your oven at 140 degrees for a few hours. Tomatoes also freeze well – you can puree them or put them in whole and then slip the skins off when they defrost. Frozen Kale is a great in soups, pasta sauce, omelets – really anything in the deep darkness of January…

This CSA season marks our 5th year with a CSA. We had nearly 50 families and 14 senior shares this season. With each season we learn more and more. With each season, we are excited that the food we grow for our own small family will be nourishing yours too. This 5th season has been quite the full and abundant year with most crops unlike last year – we are thankful for the hard work of our crew of interns and volunteer CSA members and mother nature for such a tremendous harvest year. There are still veggies in the field and the farmstand will be open at least until Christmas. We will be at winter farmers markets here in the Islands and possibly in the Burlington area. We hope you have enjoyed the bounty of this year. In the next few weeks, we will be sending you all via email and mail a survey to fill out – please fill it out and return it so we can use your feedback in planning for the 2011 season.

So with the last pickup comes the end of our internships here at the farm for the year. Eric and Emily are leaving tomorrow – they wanted to stay until the last pickup and see it through – like picking potatoes this morning in the very moist, cold clay soils and sinking in the mud while picking green beans and oh, one last time of gathering eggs and getting the sheep moved to a new pasture and many more endless chores that happen here at the farm. We are thankful for their time here and all that they have taught us. We think having interns helps us be better farmers, better stewards of this beautiful land that we are blessed to farm here on Quaker Road. A few things off of Eric’s list of things he has learned include tractor work, knitting, spinning, sheep wrangling, egg production, advocating for small farmers, educating people about local food, marketing, chicken raising from baby chick to processing them into food and much more. We have appreciated his steadfast work ethic and care he has for our farm and little Sadie, oh and of course his buddy Oscar, our cat. Eric also learned how to can and preserve his own food for the winter months – with a trunk is his apartment full of canned tomatoes, jellies, sauce, and pickles and his freezer full of fruit, veggies and chicken. One big thing, we heard him say, was how he now more aware and thinks about how is food is raised (which he did before coming here but now with a more hands on experience to back this awareness) – especially meat after helping with the processing of our chickens for meat. And now for Emily, Emily who has been here since May – during the heat wave tying up hoop house tomatoes and transplanting the millions of transplants we had that you are all eating from now. She was so patient with us in those early weeks – never having a farm intern before and how she helped figure out how to get the plastic to lay flat and tight – how many years have we had the mulch layer (5 yrs?!). Emily’s creative eye and hands have turned some of our chicken scratch handwritten posters and dull displays to displays that our vegetables feel proud to be in. Emily’s caring touch have nourished our greenhouse crops, Mr Pippin’s life, and her little rascal Sadie – to name a few. A few things that Emily has learned how to sell what she grows, has seen things she planted from seed, turn to fruit, harvest it, eat it, preserve it (so many canned yumminess in her and Joe’s apartment for the fall), and then pull out the crop residue – full cycle. And the countless stories she and Eric have read to Sadie…thank you.

We were very lucky to have 4 dynamic, caring, enthusiastic interns join our small family farm this season. You have set the bar high for interns to come and we wish you all good luck and prosperity in all that you will do. It has been an honor to be along with you all on your journey this summer – from understanding why organic eggs are $5 dozen, seeing seeds grow, the hard work and hard decisions that are made on a farm from sun up to sun down and why farmers do what they do. And of course how to potty train a squirelly two and half year old – Thanks.

We hope you have a great week, a great fall and winter -Enjoy the veggies, and see you soon! You can keep in touch through our blog www.blueheronfarmvt.com or email us. We will let you know when little baby arrives:)
Peace, Adam, Christine, Sadie, Eric and Emily
NOFA VERMONT’S SIXTEENTH ANNUAL SHARE THE HARVEST: OCTOBER 7TH, 2010!
The sixteenth annual Share the Harvest fundraiser will be held this Thursday, October 7 to benefit NOFA-VT’s Farm Share Program. The Farm Share program is a great way that limited-income Vermonters can afford to purchase CSA (community supported agriculture) shares of fresh produce from their local farmers. NOFA Vermont believes that all Vermonters should be able to eat local organic food, regardless of their income level, while also making sure farmers get a good wage for their hard work.
In 2010, the Farm Share Program served over 1,300 people statewide and 60 Vermont farms participated (including Blue Heron Farm – 4 local families). Demand for Farm Share Program support was more than NOFA-VT could financially accomplish and a waiting list was established. The Farm Share Program is funded by donations and by the annual Share the Harvest fundraiser.
On Thursday, October 7th, restaurants, coops, and food stores will participate in Share the Harvest by donating a portion of their day’s sales to the Farm Share Program. NOFA-VT thanks these participants and all of the people who will dine or shop at participating establishments on this date. If you are not able to participate on October 7th and would like to make a donation please go to nofavt.org for a coupon to make a straight donation or see a list of restaurants who are participating.Thank you for your support!
Local Grassfed Beef and Certified Organic Beef Shares
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. You Can call Rob at 372-4884 for more info. We also have info on grassfed certified organic beef shares available from Maplewood Organics in Highgate. Call Hannah or Eric at 868-5083 if you are interested or need more information- they also sell individual cuts of meat including hamburger..

WHAT’S IN THE SHARE THIS WEEK: CILANTRO OR PARSLEY, GREEN BEANS, ONIONS, RED POTATOES, SWEET RED PEPPERS, LETTUCE MIX, MUSTARD GREENS, ARUGULA, RED RUSSIAN KALE, 10LBS OF WINTER SQUASH DELICATA, BUTTERNUT, OR ACORN, PIE PUMPKINS, PYO GROUND CHERRIES, PYO SUNGOLD CHERRY TOMATOES, PYO TOMATILLOS, PYO FIELD TOMATOES AND A FEW OTHER THINGS…

Our blog is at: www.blueheronfarmvt.com – 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.
RECIPES
Following recipes are from: www.twosmallfarms.com
FINISHING TOUCHES FOR BEANSThe Victory Garden Cookbook by Marian Morash
After steaming or blanching, try one of these:
With Butter & Lemon Juice: toss beans with butter in a hot frying pan. Sprinkle with lemon juice, and season with salt & pepper.
With Onions: lightly brown chopped onions in butter, add beans, and toss until thoroughly coated in butter and onions.
With Oil and Garlic: Heat 2 tablespoons oil per pound of beans, add 1 clove finely shopped or pureed garlic, cook 30 seconds, add beans; toss until heated through. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
With Mushrooms: Saute 1/4 pound sliced mushrooms per pound of beans in butter until lightly browned. Add green beans and heat through.
Master Recipe for Boiled Green Beans from The Best Recipe by the editors of Cook’s Illustrated Magazine
We find that green beans respond better to boiling than to steaming. A pound of beans in a standard steamer will not cook evenly. Boiling is simpler – just add the beans and cook until tender – and permits the addition of salt during cooking. Unlike other vegetables, green beans do not become soggy when boiled, because their thick skins keep them crisp and firm. Leave beans whole when boiling; cut beans will become waterlogged. Boiled beans can be flavored with some butter or oil, dressed with a vinaigrette, or sauteed briefly in a flavorful fat. 1 pound green beans, ends snapped off, 1 teaspoon salt, Bring 2 ½ quarts of water to boil in a large saucepan. Add beans and salt and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Drain and season.

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