Journal Post for the week of September 12, 2011

VOLUME VI, JOURNAL XIII
SEPTEMBER 12, 2011
BLUE HERON FARM JOURNAL
SO WHAT’S HAPPENING ON THE FARM THIS WEEK?
Week 13- Thanks for all the kind words from the last journal post. Sometimes it is just good to get all that worry and all out into the world – instead of bottled up in my head. My apologies for not posting last week – the kids had colds and teething and farming and all – there was literally no time to sit and write.- Christine

Resilient – Resilience – Resiliency – to bounce back

I feel that is where we are at. The veggies, the animals, our farm, us, Vermonters, Americans, the world – we are all in sort of a resiliency phase I feel. Recovering – trying to bounce back. As I walked the fields this week – I noticed that the chard and kale are coming back after being mowed down – being dormant for over a month- being beaten by the summer drought like conditions. I kicked some weeds around and I noticed that the chard was growing – putting on new leaves – nice tender young ones. If we pull some of the weeds away, side dress with some compost, there could be some really nice chard in a few weeks. This chard was transplanted in the beginning of June when that field finally dried out – it flourished until the sun was unrelenting and the bugs made holes. Now it is bouncing back. This chard is like life – you go through some hard stuff, take stock, and you bounce back – sometimes quickly sometimes slowly sometimes more thoughtfully – but we can bounce back – life is elastic – we don’t live in a vacuum.

I want to be that chard. that kale. that grass.

Folks tell me that this is one of the most challenging times in a young family’s life – balancing family, buying your first home/land, farm, work, life, relationship with your partner. I am thankful that we are not alone in this. When I ask folks who have children much older than ours – they smile and then become thoughtful – and I hear them say – I remember that time, you will survive and things will get better, they will get a bit easier. Thanks for those words. They mean a lot.

Adam and I are happy to share with you our first crop of sweet corn for the season. It is so sweet and buttery. Yummers! The interns seeded this corn into flats and then transplanted it out. Over 1000 plants. We fertilized with soy bean meal (for nitrogen – corn is a very heavy eater of nitrogen from the soil) and prayed that it would grow tall before tasseling out. We picked over 130 ears last night. Each plant has only one ear. Delia was on my back as I went through the tight rows, and picked into my skirt, feeling for the bulbous fat corn cobs. Sadie followed Adam and picked as much as she ate the raw corn. Delia even got in on the eating action. I think between all of us we ate a dozen ears just sitting there. Then we locked the corn up with electric line to hopefully keep rocky raccoon out of the corn. We are hoping to have corn this week and next for all of you. The sweet corn made it through the storm because it was tucked in by a northern hedgerow. If we hadn’t had planted it there – the corn would have been destroyed. Some stalks got bent from the storm but majority did well. We do not spray pesticides on our corn – so with that being said – you may find a stray corn worm – just cut that part away and eat it up.

A neighbor was telling us that many CSA farms around the state are done for the year due to Irene. We feel very blessed and lucky for the fortune of being flooded on the early part of this season and not this later part. So very blessed. Last Saturday – a week ago – we had a collection with the rest of the Champlain Islands Farmers Market and we were able to send $800 donated from the market, vendors and customers to the Vermont Farm Fund. We are still looking to do other things to help out. We will let you all know.

Also, we are not done, our CSA is still going – and we are hoping to go through the middle of October or so – mother nature willing. We still have fall potatoes, beans, shelling peas, turnips, kale, chard, spinach, winter squash and pumpkins to come and more. We like growing in the month of September – the soil is warm, the sun is kinder to our tender plants and our bodies, and the pests seem to go away- i.e. flea beetle – our arugula is out flying in the breeze – without row cover – with one or two flea beetles here or there.. potato bugs are already hibernating or moved on. What pest that likes this weather our plant diseases with the dew being heavier and the mornings being cooler. Anyways..
Have a great week! Thanks for listening and your support. Peace, your farmers, Christine, Adam, Sadie and Delia and our Interns Ashlynn and Adora
WHAT’S IN THE SHARE THIS WEEK: BASIL, GARLIC, SWEET CORN, LETTUCE MIX, ARUGULA, OKRA Eggplant, sweet peppers, hot peppers, Sungold Cherry Tomatoes, Heirloom TOMATOES, PYO Cherry tomatoes, PYO Ground Cherries, Cilantro,

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.

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.

Recipes

Sun dried (ahem) tomato candy

In our house, there is a favorite candy – tomato candy. We pick loads of sungold cherry tomatoes. Slice them in half and then put them in our dehydrator. About 145 degrees for about 12 hours – until they are completely dry. We then put them in a mason jar and put them either in the pantry or if I am not sure if they are completely dry in the fridge. We then use them in everything and anything – sometimes rehydrate them in some oil. Toss them with some pasta, put them on pizza with some soft annie cheese or goat cheese, put them in our basil pesto, or just eat them like..candy. Sadie loves them.
Slow Roasted Tomatoes – http://smittenkitchen.com/2008/08/slow-roasted-tomatoes/
Cherry, grape or small Roma tomatoes
Whole gloves of garlic, unpeeled
Olive oil
Herbs such as thyme or rosemary (optional)
Preheat oven to 225°F. Halve each cherry or grape tomato crosswise, or Roma tomato lengthwise and arrange on a parchment-lined baking sheet along with the cloves of garlic. Drizzle with olive oil, just enough to make the tomatoes glisten. Sprinkle herbs on, if you are using them, and salt and pepper, though go easily on these because the finished product will be so flavorful you’ll need very little to help it along.Bake the tomatoes in the oven for about three hours. You want the tomatoes to be shriveled and dry, but with a little juice left inside–this could take more or less time depending on the size of your tomatoes. Either use them right away or let them cool, cover them with some extra olive oil and keep them in the fridge for the best summer condiment, ever. And for snacking.
Pasta with roasted tomatoes – Candance Page – Burlington Free Press – September 11, 2011

http://www.burlingtonfreepress.com/article/20110911/GREEN01/109110312/-1/TOPICS0503/Localvore-Roasted-tomatoes-make-great-late-summer-treat

INGREDIENTS:
Sufficient small plum or cherry tomatoes, halved, to cover a large, rimmed cookie sheet
1/2 to 1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 to 1/3 cup olive oil
Garlic, to taste
1/3 cup fresh basil
3/4 to 1 pound pasta, ideally rombi but fusilli or penne certainly would work
Fresh Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cover cookie sheet with aluminum foil and cover it with tomatoes, cut side up. Sprinkle lightly with sugar. Roast tomatoes for 1 hour. They can be used as-is, or cooled and cut into smaller pieces. Slice garlic — up to 1 full head — thinly. Sautee garlic slowly in olive oil. Cook until the garlic is soft but do not allow it to brown. Cook the pasta. Reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking water and drain the pasta. In a large bowl, toss the pasta, pasta water, garlic/olive oil, basil and tomatoes. Divide among four pasta bowls and pass the Parmesan.

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