VOLUME VI, JOURNAL XIV
SEPTEMBER 19, 2011
BLUE HERON FARM JOURNAL
SO WHAT’S HAPPENING ON THE FARM THIS WEEK?
Week 14- If there were such a thing as a foodie’s dream share – this would be the week – the only thing that would make it perfect would a watermelon or cucumber to add to it all. Sweet Corn – crunchy bursts of butter and sweetness leaking out the corners of your mouth, late summer sweetness and saltiness of those heirloom tomatoes, the super sweetness of sungolds and ground cherries that have been ripened in the warm glow of the sun all day – just in time for you to pick them. The Lettuce and arugula – so tender and sweet and the right amount of pepperiness. Drizzle some homemade maple balsamic vinaigrette with a dash of pureed raspberries. Banana Fingerling potatoes that are so buttery when you roast them in the oven, or sauté them in the pan with a little olive oil or toss them with onions and garlic and put them on the grill. Basil that makes every person smile when they smell it, touch it, eat it over tomatoes, over pasta, over eggs or just straight up. Spaghetti Squash with its taste of fall and coziness..The hot peppers that give that kick when you need it. And those sweet peppers, that Miss Sadie loves to snack on in the field, in the car, in the house, with a mouse.. 🙂 Okay I think I need to stop now – I think drool has hit my keyboard.
We picked over 300 ears of corn this morning – All for you. Don’t worry Thursday crew – you’ll get fresh corn too – yours will be picked Thursday morning. Did you know that sweet corn starts to lose it sweetness moments after it is picked..don’t worry it is still plenty sweet when you will get it. Did you know that you get one ear of corn per plant? How was it last week? Did you try it raw? We love it raw – we also like to soak it for a few minutes and then grill it with the husks on – just to carmelize some of those sugars – yum! (again the drool is starting…) You can also freeze the corn, blanch it, then cut the corn off and freeze it first on a cookie sheet, then put into quart size bags. Enjoy it all winter long. We are not bringing it to market – so eat up – this is for you. I am glad we waited to plant it – I am fine with sweet corn in September especially this year – because at least we have it. It may not be in the hey day of summer – those red and white checkered tablecloths with potato salad and sweet corn in July – but hey, I like it now with the leaves starting to turn and being able to enjoy it with my family and friends. Sweet corn is sweet corn – regardless if its ready in July or September. I am not in it to win the race to have the first sweet corn or the first red tomato – we are in it to feed us and you.
The rumors are true – we have discovered Late blight in the heirloom tomato field. This devastating disease is horrific – one day you have beautiful mouth watering tomatoes and the following day round brown poop spots on your tomato – you can not eat it, you can not can these tomatoes, it awful. It is sucha a waste. As I type this (while one is napping and the other nusing) the interns and Sophie are picking tomatoes that maybe able to be spared and ripen in the barn. After we pick the tomatoes, we will pull all the tomatoes up either burn them or tarp them to kill the spores. We still have potatoes in the field – yellow, kennebec, red and fingerling and we don’t want them to get it. Also, we want to save the peppers, eggplants, and hoophouse tomatoes. So there maybe green tomatoes in your share this week. Also we are sorry if one day your beautiful heirlooms are beauties and the next they are brown. That’s how this blight works – it may take a day or two to infect the tomato. But it could be worse. Its about 1000 feet of tomatoes at the end of September that needs to be pulled out – unlike 2 years ago when we got it – 1500 feet at the end of July – July 29th (day will live in Infamy) we hadn’t harvested one dang tomato and had to kill them all to save the pepper and potato crops.. We also could have lost them a few weeks ago during the tropical storm. Late blight cannot survive in our vermont soils as long as we have a cold winter – it can only live on live tissue – so we will have to be extra vigilant on volunteer potatoes next year – because potatoes are live tissues. Seeds are not until they germ. So volunteer renegade tomatoes will not spread it next year. We could have sprayed copper on our tomatoes – but seriously – I do not want my kids or your kids or you or me eating copper. Imagine hand washing over 600lbs of tomatoes every week? Making sure all that blue copper is out of the cracks and folds which make the heirloom tomato bodacious. We kept them weeded, grass trimmed, tied up (thanks Ashlyn) and loads of air circulating. We did want we could..so we will be barn ripening tomatoes and see how it goes..
On Friday night (Adam and I have the most romantic of date nights), we picked all of the winter squash. After all the rain – that field flooded and some of the squash – well most of the squash was sitting in mud and huge puddles – I have pics if you like to see. Anyways, in the share this week will be spaghetti squash – I would eat it this week and refrigerate just in case it doesn’t keep because of all the moisture it was sitting in. We have plenty of acorn and delicatas – the jury is still out on butternut and pie pumpkins. It does not look good for Carving pumpkins this year. 🙁 Sorry – the field flooded after 5 days of nonstop rain – and other fields drain into this one. After we own this land – we will be fixing the ditch system and tiling to help elevate future flooding. Don’t worry this is just field to field water – not sewer water or river water…
Folks have been asking about when we should have our shares until. Well this is week 14 so 4 more after this one – we will be going into October – with the last pickup being the Monday AFTER columbus day.
Tomorrow we go to the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board to ask for funds to conserve our farm. This is exciting and scary. We are hoping that you all could keep us in your thoughts on tuesday – while we present our farm (yours and ours) to this board to tell them what we are doing and what we hope to do with this land. Thanks to all who have written little notes. They mean a lot Your support means a lot too – we will send out an email to let you all know what happens.
Anyways.. Thanks for reading – see you all soon. 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, SWEET CORN, LETTUCE MIX, ARUGULA, Eggplant, sweet peppers, hot peppers, PYO Sungold Cherry Tomatoes, Spaghettri Squash, Heirloom TOMATOES, PYO Ground Cherries, Fingerling Potatoes, and a few other things – Best guess for the week.
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 this week are from http://mariquita.com/recipes/spaghetti.squash.html
What on earth do I do with Spaghetti Squash? You eat it 🙂
Cut squash in half lengthwise; remove seeds. Place squash cut sides up in a microwave dish with 1/4 cup water. Cover with plastic wrap and cook on high for 10 to 12 minutes, depending on size of squash. Add more cooking time if necessary. Let stand covered, for 5 minutes. With fork “comb” out the strands. Let it cool. ( Christine’s Note: You can also do it in the oven, prepare the same way but put tin foil or cover on it and cook for 15-20 minutes at 350.)
While the squash is cooking, boil the shrimp in lightly salted water. Drain and rinse in some cold water. Peel and butterfly them after they cooled. Add to Squash.
Chop the basil coarsely and add to squash. Mix until the shrimp and basil are evenly distributed.
Mix dressing into squash mixture right before serving. There is more dressing here and is needed for a 4 lb. squash. Mix in only as much dressing as needed to your desired taste. The remaining dressing can be used as a condiment for dipping meat, seafood, and vegetables or for drizzling on plain rice. The dressing will keep up to two weeks in the refrigerator.
Mix cooked spaghetti squash with a little egg and flour. Add fresh minced ginger, white pepper and sliced green onions (but no salt). Fry like a potato pancake and serve with soy sauce. Yum!
Cook Spaghetti Squash by cutting in half and cooking like a pumpkin or butternut squash in the oven until it can be easily pierced by a fork. Gently scoop out sqush ‘noodles’ and serve hot with red sauce or cooled like a noodle salad with your favorite dressing.
Saute garlic and butter until the garlic is soft. Cut the squash in half and steam the squash until tender. Then separate from the shell by running a fork along the length of the squash to get spaghetti-like strands. Add to the pan and toss to coat with butter and garlic. Add fresh diced tomatoes and torn fresh basil, cook for a minute or two and add salt and pepper to taste.