VOLUME VI, JOURNAL XVII
OCTOBER 10, 2011
BLUE HERON FARM JOURNAL
SO WHAT’S HAPPENING ON THE FARM THIS WEEK?
Just when we all thought that fall was really closing in on us, the sun came back out and warmed up the fields! This meant that the green beans, eggplant, and peppers all got a boost and are still producing wonderfully, and the soil has dried up enough to walk through the fields without sinking. Hopefully we’ll be able to hold on to this lovely warmth for a couple more weeks.
We were able to begin planting our winter greens in the tomato hoophouse this weekend. We have kale and pac choi, and soon the broccoli and cabbage will join them! The hoophouses mean that we can really extend our season, which is so important when you think about how short the Vermont growing season can be, especially this year. Our thoughts and best wishes go out to all the farmers in southern Vermont and the Intervale in Burlington who had to cut their season short due to floods and damaged produce. Despite all the complications of this summer, we are so proud to be able to see you through another two CSA weeks.
In other farm news, Texi the baby cow (who is really not much of a baby anymore) found his way into the barn with the little boy sheep on Sunday. It seems that he just wanted to play with some animals his own age, but the sheep weren’t exactly interested in playing “headbutt the new guy” as much as Texi was. Luckily Ashlyn got Texi back to his mom, and he was soon distracted by all the lush grass in the pasture. The sheep seem to have forgotten it ever happened.
Once again, many thanks to all of you who have continued to support Blue Heron Farm this year, whether through your CSA share, donations, or volunteer time. We couldn’t do it without you! The harvest always tastes sweetest when shared with those you love. We hope you can share this week’s bounty with your loved ones! Peace from your farmers, Adam, Christine, Sadie, Delia, Ashlyn and Sophie
WHAT’S IN THE SHARE THIS WEEK: LETTUCE MIX, ARUGULA, CHARD, POTATOES, TOMATOES, HOT PEPPERS, WINTER SQUASH, GREEN ONIONS, AND EGGPLANT. DON’T FORGET TO PICK UP A COUPLE BUNCHES OF CORNSTALKS TO DECORATE YOUR HOME FOR THE SEASON!
Yarn for Sale
Yarn is available in our natural color “Island Oatmeal.” Worsted Weight, double twist, soft, 220 yds, 4 ounces, Greenspun (no petroleum products used in cleaning the wool) by Green Mountain Spinnery here in Vermont. Yarn is in the farmstand. $17.00 skein. Also available: wool roving, white, brown, oatmeal – $9 for 4 ounces.
Lori’s Skillet Smashed Potatoes
(from 101 Cookbooks, a wonderful website to peruse when looking for seasonal ideas for your CSA produce! http://www.101cookbooks.com/archives/loris-skillet-smashed-potatoes-recipe.html)
one bag of small potatoes
salt & pepper
1 – 2 tablespoons olive oil
Start by placing the potatoes in a large saucepan. Add a teaspoon of salt and cover with water. Don’t peel the potatoes, because the skin helps keep the potatoes together. Bring the water to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat and cook at a low boil until they are tender enough to slide a knife in easily. It is important not to over-boil them, for golf ball size potatoes about 10 minutes or less. Drain the potatoes and refrigerate until you are ready to brown them in a large skillet.
Heat the olive in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Keep in mind it needs to be big enough to hold the potatoes, which double in size when they are smashed. Smash each potato with a masher or the bottom of a heavy glass. Season with salt and pepper and cook until crisp, and then turn and cook the other side. Sprinkle with chives, fresh herbs, whatever and serve.
Blue Heron Tip: Try adding some chopped hot peppers, onion and garlic to the pan before adding cooked potatoes. Chop up some arugula and green onions and add to the pan after everything is fully cooked. Top off with some Vermont cheddar and you’ve got the perfect meal for breakfast, lunch, or dinner!
Roasted Eggplant Soup
3 medium tomatoes, halved
about 1 1/2 pounds eggplant, halved lengthwise
1 small onion, halved
6 large garlic cloves, peeled
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh thyme/ 1 tsp dried
4 cups chicken stock or vegetable broth
1/4 cup heavy cream (optional)
3/4 cup (about 3 1/2 ounces) crumbled goat cheese
Preheat oven to 400°F. Arrange tomatoes, eggplant, onion and garlic on a large baking sheet, or two smaller ones if you, like me, have a tiny oven. Brush or drizzle vegetables with oil then roast them for 20 minutes, pausing only to remove the garlic cloves, and returning the pans to the oven for another 25 minutes, until the remaining vegetables are tender and brown in spots. Remove from oven and scoop eggplant from skin into a heavy, large saucepan or soup pot. Add the rest of the vegetables, the thyme and the chicken or vegetable stock and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cook until onion is very tender, about 45 minutes. Cool slightly.
Working in batches, puree soup in blender until it is as smooth as you’d like it to be. (Or, if you have an immersion blender, you can do this in the pot.) Back in the pot, add the cream and bring the soup back to a simmer. Season with salt and pepper. Serve in four bowls, sprinkled with goat cheese. Play around with spiciness if you want (try adding some Blue Heron Farm peppers!)