VOLUME VI, JOURNAL XV
SEPTEMBER 26, 2011
BLUE HERON FARM JOURNAL
SO WHAT’S HAPPENING ON THE FARM THIS WEEK?
Week 15- Thanks for all the well wishes and letters of support last week. We did receive VHCB funding for conserving the farm – only two more really big hurdles to go – local fundraising for the rest of the money needed to conserve the farm and for us to get a mortgage for the land. Thanks again – you are all so wonderful!
Three more pickups after this week. Yet to come – some sweet baby carrots, celery, chard, kale, haukerei turnips, a new round of baby lettuces and arugula, young tender green beans, more potatoes, winter squash and more – I think we will finish strong. And we will have more of the other veggies too. We will be pulling out the hoophouse tomatoes and peppers this week to make room for late/fall and winter crops. The tomatoes n the hoophouse are having trouble turning red – with the cooler night temperatures and a whole lot more moisture in the air. So we are going to pick them all and let them ripen in the barn. In that very large hoophouse we are going to try to grow chard, spinach, broccoli, kale, bok choy, and a few others and see how it goes..
We are putting fields to bed and getting ready for next year already. Trying to have some good days in a row so we can get the last bit of hay off the land for the sheep, cows and chickens for the winter. This is the last week of sweet corn – we picked the last of it last night (Sunday) – not sure if Thursday folks will get some (thats why you have been getting a bit extra each week of corn just in case this was going to happen). Sweet corn is best eaten within a day or so of eating – its the sweetest then. It still tastes fine after that – you just miss that candy like window – I think – but hey, I have cooked corn up that was a week old and it still was great! You will notice you have quite a bit of eggplant this week – the eggplants have put on a flush for us this week. So I will not ramble on too long – so I can put in lots of recipes for it. Please come and PYO ground cherries and sungolds – sungolds are definitely on their way out due to the cooler temps and longer amounts of dew on the plants. The ground cherries we should keep having to until frost or so..
THe green beans in your share this week were a bit of a surprise for us. We had already picked this planting twice maybe even three times and then cut them back and then – after all that sun and then rain and then a bit more sun – bam! we have some beans – some beans to tie us over until the fall beans come in. We will be moving to a younger planting of lettuce and arugula next week.
This is Adora’s last week with us. She’s been interning with us since the beginning of June. She’ll be leaving on Thursday. We have had a grand time with her and learned much from her and we wish her the best in her adventures that lie before her. Good Luck Adora in your travels.
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, CILANTRO, SWEET CORN, LETTUCE MIX, ARUGULA, Eggplant, sweet peppers, hot peppers, PYO Sungold Cherry Tomatoes, Green Onions, TOMATOES, PYO Ground Cherries, Green Beans, 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.
Eggplant Gratin “Almodrote de Berenjen” adapted from Joyce Goldstein’s Sephardic Flavors
Those of you who enjoy eggplant might want to check out Joyce Goldstein’s book Sephardic Flavors. It is a fascinating look at the foods and culture the Jews took with them into the Arab world when they were expelled from Spain by the Catholics in 1492. (http://mariquita.com/recipes/eggplant.html)
4 pounds largish eggplants 2 cloves garlic, minced 4 slices country bread, soaked in water, and squeezed dry, 4 eggs, 6 ounces fresh white cheese, crumbled (such as ricotta or feta) 1/2 pound gruyere or kashkaval cheese, grated 1/3 cup sunflower or olive oil 1 to 2 teaspoons salt black pepper to taste 3 Tablespoons freshly chopped parsley
Bake the whole eggplants on a baking sheet in a 400 degree oven for 30-45 minutes. You can also broil them for 20 minutes, turning often. Transfer to a colander. When cool enough to handle, strip away the skin and remove the large seed pockets. Place the pulp on a cutting board and chop coarsely. Return it to the colander and let drain for 10 to 20 minutes to release the bitter juices. You should have 2 to 2 ½ cups pulp. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Oil a 7 x 11 baking dish. Transfer the eggplant to a bowl and mash well with a fork. Add the bread, eggs, crumbled cheese, and all but 1/4 cup of the shredded cheese, and all but 2 Tablespoons of the oil. Salt and pepper to taste. Spread mixture in the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle evenly with the remaining 1/4 cup shredded cheese and the remaining oil over the top. Bake until golden and set, 30 to 40 minutes. Serve hot directly from the dish.
Princess Eggplant from Julia http://mariquita.com/recipes/eggplant.html
2 pounds smallish white or purple eggplants
3 tablespoons peanut or safflower oil
2-4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 bunch chard, washed and roughly chopped (it’s ok to leave water on the leaves)
1 bunch parsley or cilantro, chopped
sauce: Mix together with a bit of water:
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 Tablespoons rice vinegar
2 teaspoons sugar
1 Tablespoon soy sauce
Tablespoon dark sesame oil
1 Tablespoon black bean sauce
Cut the eggplants into large-ish bite-sized pieces. Cook them over high heat in the oil, after 2 minutes, add the garlic and stir often, until the eggplants are mostly cooked through. Add the chard and mix in until it’s wilted some, about 1 or 2 minutes.Add the sauce to the still-hot eggplant mixture. STIR in the parsley or cilantro just after removing from the heat, serve with rice.
Fragrant Broiled and Pureed Eggplant adapted from Vegetables from Amaranth to Zucchini by Elizabeth Schneider
This recipe suits any large eggplants – ones with a large proportion of flesh to skin. Season, broil until smoky and squishy, drain, and puree. Do not trim off the stems, which act as handles during preparation. Serve as a salad course, accompanied by olives, sliced tomatoes, and breadsticks or toasted pita triangles. Or thin puree slightly to offer as a dip with raw fennel and other vegetable strips. Allow to mellow overnight before serving. Mince feathery fennel tops to sprinkle over the dip.
3 large garlic cloves
1 teaspoon ground coriander
½ teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground anise, fennel or allspice
about 2 Tablespoons flavorful olive oil
2 or 3 eggplants of equal size (to total about 2.5 pounds)
1 teaspoon sugar
½ Tablespoon kosher salt
about 1/3 cup whole-milk yogurt or a smaller quantity of thick drained (‘Greek’) yogurt to taste
Black pepper or ground hot pepper to taste
Preheat broiler. Cut garlic into long slivers or slices. Combine in cup with coriander, cumin, anise, and 1/4 teaspoon oil; mix well. With knife tip, cut deep slits in eggplants. Holding slits open with knife, insert garlic. When garlic is used up, rub eggplants with any remaining spice mixture. Place eggplants in a baking pan as far from broiling element as possible. Broil, turning once, until skin wrinkles and blackens and eggplants collapse – about 20-30 minutes, depending upon size of eggplants and type of broiler. Remove from heat, cover, and let stand about 10 minutes. Holding stem of one still hot eggplant, gently remove skin with a small knife. Discard skin along with stems. Place flesh in a strainer to drain as you peel remaining eggplant (s). Combine eggplant flesh, sugar, and salt in food processor and pulse to barely mix. Pulsing, gradually add yogurt to taste, then add remaining oil. Do not puree until smooth – some texture is nice. Scrape into a bowl. Add pepper and adjust seasoning. Refrigerate overnight. Season before serving, preferably at room temperature.