Journal Post for the week of September 6, 2010

SO WHAT’S HAPPENING ON THE FARM THIS WEEK?
Hello Everyone, Happy Labor Day! We hope you are enjoying some time off this week from school, work, or just a small piece fo time to relax and bask in this crisp cool air – bringing fall in. This cooler weather is a nice break for us and the crops – now we just need a little rain:) The heat did well by the watermelons and the nightshade family crops…we watered the lettuce and planted more seeds down for more fall greens and crops. We did loads of watering last week and have been working on canning lots of tomatoes and pickles. We have been having a little skunk attack for a few nights in arow with our pastured heritage birds – well we think it is a skunk could be a raccoon. I will spare the gory details. But they only take one at a time. With the help our neighbor Todd, we were able to sure up their fencing and put some very powerful “light up your pants” kind of electric around the birds – so far – two nights in a row – nothing is missing. We are hoping to start working on the hoophouse this week. Adam starts teaching at CCV this week on thursday afternoons. Fall is coming or is it here?

We are excited to see most of you at the PYO today – enjoy the hay wagon rides – Sadie loves them:) Since there hasn’t been much room for recipes lately I figured I would give you a bunch – especially around ground cherries and eggplant:) Oh and we are hoping to have a Hoe Down at the end of this month – stay tuned for more details next week or via email.

We are also still accepting monetary donations for a little season extension for the Round Barn – to give them another week or two of veggies. Just let us know..Hope you enjoy your transition into September.. Enjoy the veggies, and see you next week! Peace, Adam, Christine, Sadie, Eric, Emily, and Joe

CERTIFIED ORGANIC TRULY PASTURE-RANGED CAGE FREE CHICKENS FOR MEAT FOR SALE AND ORGANIC BEEF
We will have Certified Organic Pasture raised French Heritage Chickens for sale. They will be ready September 23. We are taking order now and expect to sell out quickly. They will be between 3.5lbs -6lbs each. We are taking deposits of $50. They will be $6.00lb and you can get them fresh or frozen – after September 25th they will all be frozen. Also, 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. If you are interested please let us know – we will have order forms soon. We will also have more info on grassfed certified organic beef shares available from Maplewood Organics in Highgate next week.

WHAT’S IN THE SHARE THIS WEEK: SLICING CUKES, SLICING HEIRLOOM TOMATOES, ROMA TOMATOES, JALAPENOS, GREEN AND RED LETTUCE, TOMATILLOS, BASIL, PYO GROUND CHERRIES, PYO SUNGOLD CHERRY TOMATOES, ITALIAN AND ORIENTAL EGGPLANT, WATERMELON!

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.

QUAKER ROAD RASPBERRIES ARE BACK! – A NOTE FROM MEG
Good greetings to some of our family and friends – Our fall raspberries are “in”! They are magnificent, quite large and firm in structure, and sweet and delicious. This year we have expanded our operation to include Pick Your Own, in addition to our picking and selling for the two local farmer’s markets. If you have any interest in picking, and would like to know if the berries are ready to be picked (they do not like to be wet when picked), then please call us at either 343-5497 or 343-5975. Please come and pick, or tell your friends about our berries. $3.50 a pint for the PYO berries.

RECIPES
About the Ground Cherry description and recipes from – www.harmonyvalleyfarm.com
Ground Cherries remind me of those glowing orange Chinese lanterns that appear in dried flower arrangements around Halloween. They are in the same family but ground cherries have a secret within-a small, sweet, fruit that is a revelation to the taste buds. Other members in the nightshade family ( ), include tomatillos and Cape gooseberries as well as the more familiar tomatoes, eggplant and peppers. The 3000 members of this family are distributed worldwide but originated and continue to be concentrated in tropical America. Ground cherries, tomatillos, and Cape gooseberries all share the genus ‘physalis’ which means bladder in Greek and accounts for the dried calyx that protects the fruit. There are over 100 species in this genus and several grow wild in the United States. American Indians used a relative of the ground cherry to make sauces.Today, tomatillos have reached new levels of popularity due to the increased interest in authentic Mexican cuisine. However, ground cherries are still very rare. This is unfortunate because they are fairly easy to grow and one plant can produceup to 300 fruits! They can bestored in a well-ventilated place with their calyx attached for up to 6 months with good results. With their calyx removed, they freeze well for year-round use. Ground cherries are also very versatile in the kitchen because they can be used in savory as well as sweet applications. Ground cherries can be included in fruit salads, quick bread or muffin recipes, dipped in chocolatefondue, dried like raisins, made into salsa verde, or simply used as a garnish for a plate of summer heirloom tomatoes. Just pull back the calyx and use it as a handle to pop the berry in your mouth!

How to store Ground Cherries
The papery calyx must be removed before use. If you find the berries inside to be a bit on the green side, leave in shallow container, uncovered for 1 – 5 days, in warm, dry place, to ripen. They can be stored in a well-ventilated, cool place with their calyx attached for up to 6 months with good results. With their calyx removed, they can be stored refrigerated for weeks. They freeze well for year-round use. To freeze, remove husk, rinse,
pat dry and freeze on cookie sheet in 1 layer. When frozen, loosen and store in ziplock, freezer weight bag. Frozen ground cherries can be used like fresh in any cooked application. Ground cherries can be dried.
Halve and place individually on drying rack until dry but not brittle. Store in air-tight container for up to 3 months.

GROUND CHERRY GAZPACHO

1 ½ c. husked ground cherries (about 3 pints)
enough water to cover
1 small white onion (cippolinis would work)
2 medium cucumbers
¾ tsp. green peppercorns
1 small bunch of cilantro, stems removed
¼ c. basil leaves, lightly packed
2 tbsp. lime juice
1 tsp. salt
small red cherry tomatoes, halved for garnish

Place the cleaned ground cherries in a sauce pan. Cover with water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until tender, about 10 minutes. Cool ground cherries. Peel and quarter the onion. Peel, seed and chunk the cucumbers. Combine onion, cucumber, green peppercorns, cilantro and basil in a blender or food processor. Puree until almost smooth. Add ground cherries with their liquid and the lime juice and salt. Puree. Chill until ready to serve. Adjust seasonings and garnish with tiny basil leaves and halved cherry tomatoes.

ALMOND AND GROUND CHERRY TORTE

2/3 c. unsalted butter
¾ c. granulated sugar
1 c. almonds, ground
1 c. flour
1 ½ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
1 egg
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 pint ground cherries

Sift flour baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg. Stir in the almonds and flour. The dough will be stiff. Spread half the batter into a greased and floured eight inch cake pan.
Cover with the fruit and dot with remaining dough, almost covering fruit. Bake for 45-50 minutes at 350 degrees. Serve dusted with powdered sugar.

Make an Eggplant Bruchetta – www.organicgardening.com
Slice eggplant in 1/2″ slices, brush with olive oil and put in a 375 oven for about 20-30 minutes. In the meantime, mix up chopped tomatoes, chopped fresh basil leaves and combine with feta cheese. Top the eggplant with this mixture and return to the oven for another 15-20 minutes until the cheese has melted.

Eggplant with Baked Pasta – www.earthbox.com

1 cup ricotta cheese beaten with 1 egg
3 cups marinara sauce
1 large eggplant
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 lb penne or ziti
1/3 cup basil
¾ cup parmesan
8 oz mozzarella, coarsely grated

Wash eggplant, peel if desired and cut crosswise into ½” thick slices. Preheat oven to 375. Place eggplant on baking sheet in one layer, brush both sides with olive oil and roast for 8-10 minutes or until tender .Warm the ricotta / egg mixture. Cook pasta, drain and immediately stir in ricotta / egg mixture and all but ½ cup tomato sauce.Spread a third of the pasta in the bottom of an oiled baking dish. Cover with half of the eggplant, a third of the parmesan and half the mozzarella. Scatter basil leaves on top. Spoon on another layer of pasta, the rest of the eggplant, a third more parmesan and rest of mozzarella. Spread on the remaining pasta, drizzle the top with the reserved tomato sauce and the remaining parmesan. Bake 30-35 minutes or until pasta is tender and cheese is melted.

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