Journal Post for week of June 23, 2012

Volume VII, JOURNAL V                                                                                            July 23, 2012

       Blue Heron Farm Journal
So what’s happening on the farm this week?
Hi Everyone – Week 7 – Oh my summer crops are here – tomatoes, eggplant, green beans, cukes, zucchini, summer squash, peppers = yum! We are hoping for some of those showers they are predicting for tonight.  I never have really seen it this dry before.  When we were pick beans today I stuck my finger in the ground and it when it like sand…I wish we could just have enough rain at night and then dry up during the day and then rain at night – for a few days in a row.. we have some irrigation through drip  lines and some over head but not the whole farm – there is a lot of hose moving and crops taking turns to get their gulp of water.
We have high tensile fence going up over at our home pasture to help with grazing the sheep, cows, and chickens.  This will make a permanent perimeter of fence that we can hook into to make smaller pastures for the animals to graze and then move on to another so the pasture is not worn out.  It should be finished up this week and then we will work on making smaller pastures inside the one big one.  It is amazing to see this go up – these large pieces of lumber getting pounded into the ground with a heavy duty pounder on the back of this farmer’s tractor and then to see the 5 lines (!) of fence go around almost the whole property.  This will keep our animals in and safe from other animals.  Four out of the 5 lines will be electric.  The lowest line is at 5 inches from the ground and will act as an aerial ground.  We are learning quite a bit about fence and electricity.
We found a watermelon a little bigger than Sadie’s head and many more little ones.  The melons are all on too thanks to all the pollinating bees around.  The potatoes we think we will dig them next week (yum).  Oh and I can’t believe I haven’t told you this yet – but we pick a first heirloom tomatoes from the field today!!!!!!!! Wahhooo!  We tested them out for you – and oh my are they sweet, salty, tasty, yummy…there will be a few of those in shares along with some of our yummy hoophouse tomatoes.  Oh and the green beans are quite tasty too..The broccoli and cauliflower we will be discing under becuase it has become bitter in the summer heat.  We will try again in the fall.  We have seeded in more cucumbers, squash, lettuce, sweet turnips, and other crops for harvesting in late august early September.  A volunteer crew from VYCC (that was staying in the area ) came by about 1.5 weeks ago and trimmed back the sumac that was encroaching the farm stand and potting shed.  They also helped weed potatoes and planted 300lbs of fall potatoes.  It’s amazing what a small army can do:)
So, there was no pick up last week so we took advantage of the amazing help we have here at the farm (Mandy, Harley, Annie and Sophie) and got to go for a few days to Cape Cod to celebrate nana’s birthday with her.  What an amazing gift/treat for us to all travel as one family and no one left behind.  It was great fun to play in the sand with our little ones, splash in the ocean, dig for clams, eat seafood,  swim, fly kites, ice cream on a walk…things we do not get to do too much of in the summer time because of the farm.    Then on Saturday, and another huge thanks to Mandy, Harley, Annie and Sophie who picked all the vegetables for it, got to celebrate the beautiful union of our two dear friends Jonathan and Meaghan. (these are the farmers we got Annie our cow from a 1.5 years ago).  What a beautiful wedding – our farm provided all the veggies for the wedding – 120 people and for their rehearsal dinner (chicken and veggies).  The food was amazingly prepared by another local farm.  What a festivus!   We were honored to be part of such a wonderful feast.  Sadie and Delia did lots of dancing and eating of pie:) Sadie was mesmerized by all the music (fiddles, banjos, guitars, bass, oh my!)
Hope the rain comes soon... Peace, your farmers, Christine, Adam, Sadie and Delia, Mandy, Annie, Harley and Sophie 
 What’s in the share this week:   Tomatoes!!, Green Beans, small cukes, garlic, green peppers, Basil, Hungarian Hot Wax Peppers,  Zucchini and Summer Squash  and a mystery box to choose from,
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. 
Our blog is at: www.blueheronfarmvt.com – check us out and/or leave a comment
Yarn for Sale
Yarn is available in our natural color "Island Oatmeal", "Earth", and "Snow."  Worsted Weight, double twist, soft, 240 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. 
PICK YOUR OWN BLUBERRIES - right here on the corner of Quaker and Adam Schools Road - Kathy and Steve now have their blueberry patch open - usually Thursday through Saturday  - its best to call them for times.  Their number is 372-5656.  If you get their answering machine just listen to the message it will tell you if they are open or not for the day.
Recipes
Summer Squash and Zucchiniwhen picked young have a sweet, nutty taste when they are sauteed or grilled.  Just slice them in half the longway and put some olive oil on them then place them on the grill.  These small ones can also be used to make bread and butter pickles, eaten raw in salad, and make great additions on pizzas (we love pizza in this house - Every Friday night we make homemade pizza and it is truly amazing all the great combinations we come up with).  With the larger zucchinis you can cut them longways in half and scoop out the inside and stuff them, veggie burgers, make zucchini bread, make zucchini chocolate cake (yum), or freeze shredded zucchini into portions that you need for bread making, soups or whatever kind of recipe you will need later - this is great to have in January. Zucchini and summer squash can be used interchangeably and adds lots of moistness to baked goods.      
Fresh Tomato Storage: I know I know – In the grocery store you buy tomatoes and they are sometimes in the cooler section – but PLEASE Keep these fresh tomatoes on the counter until you use them. Don’t put them in the fridge! It makes them mealy, mushy and less tasty. Just keep them in a bowl or line your counter with them – very festive for this August.
Pesto Tortellini – Terrific for Summer Entertaining – shared by BHF CSA member


2 packages (9 ounces each) refrigerated cheese tortellini
2 cups loosely packed fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
1 small garlic clove, crushed with garlic press
1/2 pint cherry tomatoes, each cut in half or into quarters if large


In sauce pot, prepare tortellini in boiling water as label directs. Drain tortellini, reserving 1/2 cup pasta cooking water. Return tortellini to saucepot. In blender, combine basil, pine nuts, Parmesan cheese, olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic, and reserved pasta cooking water and blend until mixture is smooth, stopping blender occasionally and scraping down sides with rubber spatula. Add basil mixture and tomatoes to tortellini; toss until evenly mixed. Top with shaved Parmesan cheese and pine nuts. Preparation Time: 15 min. Cooking Time: 25 min. Serves 6
Ricotta and Tomato Toast from Everyday Food


1 thick slice whole-wheat bread, lightly toasted
¼ cup part skim ricotta cheese
½ small heirloom or beefsteak tomato, sliced
Fresh basil leaves
¼ teaspoon olive oil
S & P to taste


Spread bread with ricotta; top with tomato and basil. Drizzle with oil, and season with S & P.
Fudgy Zucchini Muffins – The Washington Post, August 29, 2007
These are worth making even when you don’t have too many zucchinis on hand.The muffins are best eaten within 2 days. They can be individually wrapped, gathered into a heavy-duty resealable plastic food storage bag and frozen for up to 1 month (expel as much air from the bag as possible before sealing).  Makes 12 large muffins


2 1/2 cups flour (may combine 1 1/2 cups flour and 1 cup whole wheat flour)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/3 cup corn oil or other flavorless vegetable oil
2 1/2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, in pieces or coarsely chopped
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
2/3 pound zucchini, peeled, trimmed and finely chopped (about 2 cups)
1/3 cup low-fat or nonfat vanilla yogurt
2 large eggs
3/4 cup chocolate morsels


Position a rack in the center of the oven; preheat to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a large-cup muffin tin with nonstick cooking oil spray or line with paper muffin cups.In a medium bowl, combine the flour, salt and baking soda and mix well; set aside. In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, heat the oil and chocolate just until the chocolate has melted, stirring to combine. Remove from the heat and add the sugar, zucchini and yogurt, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Add the eggs, stirring vigorously until well blended. Add the flour mixture and chocolate morsels just until evenly incorporated. Use a large spoon or half-cup measure to divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups; they will be full. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the center muffin comes out clean — except for the bottom 1/4 inch, which should look wet. Transfer the muffin tin to a wire rack to cool for at least 15 minutes before serving.

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