VOLUME VII, JOURNAL II JUNE 11, 2012 BLUE HERON FARM JOURNAL SO WHAT’S HAPPENING ON THE FARM THIS WEEK? Okay, it’s 3:15pm…pickup in 45 minutes. Ready set, write.. All through the week I think about moments I want to share with you from the farm. I think about all the other mama farmers working with their children and that crazy balancing act we do. Some folks have said “how do you do it? I could never..” But you know you could and you do. We all rise up in situations when we need to. I kid around with our interns and friends that I need a “farm wife”. Some days are more hectic then others – while I cut up cheese and apples and a granola bar to feed to our children before market and other days the days are full but not too full and we can play in the mud and the swing in the tree or bring the cows and sheep treats. I think, I hope, the girls are as flexible and easy going with this start of a new veggie season. Their bed times are all over the place – but we have a rhythm and a pattern to our days. Bedtime has its routine – so does meal times. Sadie knows that Monday is CSA day, Tuesday is on the farm day and daddy works late off the farm, Wednesday is market day, Thursdays are delivery and market day (also a fun day since the interns and volunteers make the deliveries and fm and we can stay home and nap and play and do around the farm things), Fridays are on farm days and play group day, Saturdays are farmers market and Sunday is catch up and family day – and then the week starts again. Our days are marked by sunrises and sunsets, and sharing our days with family, our interns, workers and volunteers on the farm. The farm is such a dynamic being – living and breathing – and it wraps around us nourishes us and exhausts us (this time of the year). The farm can be a roller coaster of living. We have chosen to have diversified farm – animals and vegetables – each enterprise feeds the other. The manure from the animals is spread on the fields when they graze the land and then it is turned into compost for our veggies to flourish the following year. The chickens peck and scratch and clean up after grazing animals or after a veggie field is done for the season. It is pretty cool when every being is working together. Now this sounds like a rosy and harmonious picture – most of the time its not – fences to move, manure to shovel, animals get out of fencing, children covered in “mud” dropping eggys..but you know farming is messy just like life. if you can look above the messy parts, it is pretty cool and amazing and that is what keeps me going day in and day out – that big picture of helping to create food to nourish our bodies, my children’s bodies, your bodies, your children’s bodies. After a long day, we sit down to dinner and we look around at the feast – we are so very blessed to have all this bounty – we eat better than kings and queens. Another thought I had this week. Each farm is different that you will come across. We all grow different things and have different ways to grow veggies, animals and birds. Some choose to pay a lot for propane for the earliest crops and use lots of fertilizers, pesticides (organic or nonorganic), use heavy machinery on the land, import alot of ammendments for their land, go into major debt, use of alot of petroleum products, the list goes on. We are trying to buck that trend. We are a small family farm – we want to be mindful to the environment, this heavy clay soil we are farming, respect the ground that we farm, and be small scale so we can farm with our little ones and be sustainable. We may not have the first tomato at market – but that is okay with us. What we are striving for is long term sustainability for our family, land, environment and the lake. We are lucky to be the stewards to these 30 acres – and we take that very seriously. This land has to be fruitful for many generations to come. So we are busy on the farm these days. We think we will have garlic scapes next week, the peas are starting to flower, heirloom chard next week maybe head lettuce. Oh and today we picked well over 250lbs of spinach – if you would like some extra this week let us know – you can blanche and freeze it. We picked all the bodacious spinach because it was going to bolt (produce seeds) because of the heat. So we spent literally all morning and into the afternoon to get it all in, wash it , spin and bag. Hope you like it. We have never had so much spinach before. I think the girls have a bit of a green tinge to them. 🙂 We are hoping to pickup again next week but there maybe a chance we won’t so we will let you know by Thursday. We look forward to farming with you this season. Peace, your farmers, Christine, Adam, Sadie and Delia, Jen, Mandy, Annie, Harley and Sophie WHAT’S IN THE SHARE THIS WEEK: BODACIOUS SPINACH, LUSCIOUS LETTUCE, CILANTRO, DILL, AND GREEN ONIONS 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. Recipes Parmesan Spinach Cakes http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes/parmesan_spinach_cakes.html If you like spinach-cheese pie, try these simple but elegant-looking little spinach cakes. 4 servings, 2 spinach cakes each | Active Time: 15 minutes | Total Time: 40 minutes Ingredients 12 ounces fresh spinach, (see Note) 1/2 cup part-skim ricotta cheese, or low-fat cottage cheese 1/2 cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish 2 large eggs, beaten 1 clove garlic, minced 1/4 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper Preheat oven to 400°F.Pulse spinach in three batches in a food processor until finely chopped. Transfer to a medium bowl. Add ricotta (or cottage cheese), Parmesan, eggs, garlic, salt and pepper; stir to combine.Coat 8 cups of the muffin pan with cooking spray. Divide the spinach mixture among the 8 cups (they will be very full).Bake the spinach cakes until set, about 20 minutes. Let stand in the pan for 5 minutes. Loosen the edges with a knife and turn out onto a clean cutting board or large plate. Serve warm, sprinkled with more Parmesan, if desired. Tips & Notes Make Ahead Tip: Equipment: Muffin pan with 12 (1/2-cup) muffin cups Note: Baby spinach is immature or young spinach—it’s harvested earlier than large-leaved mature spinach. We like the sturdy texture of mature spinach in cooked dishes and serve tender, mild-flavored baby spinach raw or lightly wilted. Baby and mature spinach can be used interchangeably in these recipes (yields may vary slightly); be sure to remove the tough stems from mature spinach before using. Weights & Measures 10 ounces trimmed mature spinach=about 10 cups raw 10 ounces baby spinach=about 8 cups raw Spinach & Sun-Dried Tomato Stuffed Pizza http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes/spinach_tomato_stuffed_pizza.html This stuffed pizza is filled with crumbled tofu, spinach, sun-dried tomatoes, cheese and fresh basil. It’s easy to make stuffed pizza at home. Just roll the crust thin, spread filling over half and fold closed. To use fresh spinach, cook 10 ounces until just wilted; finely chop and squeeze dry. Serve with: Marinara sauce for dipping and mixed green salad. Cooking spray, preferably canola or olive oil 1 14-ounce package firm water-packed tofu, drained 1 10-ounce package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry 1/2 cup chopped soft or reconstituted sun-dried tomatoes (see Tip) 1/2 cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese 1/2 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil 1/2 teaspoon onion powder 1/4 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper 1 pound prepared pizza dough, preferably whole-wheat Position rack in lower third of oven; preheat to 475°F. Coat a large baking sheet with cooking spray.Finely crumble tofu; pat dry. Place in a large bowl and use your hands to combine with spinach, tomatoes, Parmesan, mozzarella, basil, onion powder, salt and pepper. Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface to about the length of the prepared baking sheet and twice as wide (approximately 16 by 18 inches). Transfer the dough to the baking sheet, allowing the extra width to hang over on one side onto a clean surface. Spread the filling on the dough in the pan, leaving a 1-inch border. Fold the overhanging dough over the filling. Fold the edges closed and crimp with a fork to seal. Make several small slits in the top to vent steam; lightly coat the top with cooking spray. Bake the stuffed pizza until well browned on top, 18 to 20 minutes. Let cool slightly before cutting.Tip: For this recipe, look for soft sun-dried tomatoes (not packed in oil). If you can only find tomatoes that are very dry (and hard), soak in boiling water for about 20 minutes, drain, chop and then add to the pizza filling. Cheese-&-Spinach-Stuffed Portobellos http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes/cheese_spinach_stuffed_portobellos.html Here we take the elements of a vegetarian lasagna filling—ricotta, spinach and Parmesan cheese—and nestle them into roasted portobello mushroom caps. The recipe works best with very large portobello caps; if you can only find smaller ones, buy one or two extra and divide the filling among all the caps. Serve with a tossed salad and a whole-wheat dinner roll or spaghetti tossed with marinara sauce. 4 large portobello mushroom caps 1/4 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, divided 1 cup part-skim ricotta cheese 1 cup finely chopped fresh spinach 1/2 cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese, divided 2 tablespoons finely chopped kalamata olives 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning 3/4 cup prepared marinara sauce Preheat oven to 450°F. Coat a rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray.Place mushroom caps, gill-side up, on the prepared pan. Sprinkle with salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Roast until tender, 20 to 25 minutes.Meanwhile, mash ricotta, spinach, 1/4 cup Parmesan, olives, Italian seasoning and the remaining 1/8 teaspoon pepper in a medium bowl. Place marinara sauce in a small bowl, cover and microwave on High until hot, 30 seconds to 1 1/2 minutes. When the mushrooms are tender, carefully pour out any liquid accumulated in the caps. Return the caps to the pan gill-side up. Spread 1 tablespoon marinara into each cap; cover the remaining sauce to keep warm. Mound a generous 1/3 cup ricotta filling into each cap and sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan. Bake until hot, about 10 minutes. Serve with the remaining marinara sauce.