Volume XIV, JOURNAL 1
Blue Heron Farm Journal
So what’s happening on the farm this week?
Week 1: Hi everyone! Welcome to the first pickup of CSA. Thank you and good to see you to our returning members and welcome and we look forward to meeting all of our new members this year. This is week 1 of 18 weeks to come!
We are thankful for the sun and the growing conditions right now. The month of May we saw two days of sun. June got slightly better and like many Vermont farmers we have been catching up, catching up. This is the latest we have ever started our CSA but the silver lining is all those yummy spring time crops we missed we will get in September and October. Next week, we will have Sugar Snap Peas!! The Peas have reached to the top of their trellises and still flowering! we also think we will have basil too and a few other veggies. We have also planted tons of flowers including sunflowers, zinnias, cosmos, coneflower – all about to bloom and they will be pick your own in a week or two for CSA members in our front field.
To be honest, I was a bit stressed out about today’s offering so many greens and starting so late. But another farmer told me, real veggies don’t come until after the 4th, especially this year;) So I am taking that to heart and giving us a little bit of a break. And one of the wettest springs on record, so wet there are many dairy farms that still don’t have their corn in and just starting to be able to take hay off the land. We have worked non stop this spring and early summer to get you the best of the best organic veggies around. This heavy Champlain islands soil is not very forgiving for the spring we had but in the drought times it holds on to water and organic matter and feeds our veggies so well with all the nutrients packed in there.
Our hope is to try to fill you all in on what is going on on the farm week to week, what’s in the share, and some favorite recipes in this space. We have had this journal going for 15 years now and past copies are in archives on our website.
Our farm is run by Adam and Christine and our two daughters Sadie, 11 and Delia, 8. Besides all the veggies, we have about 30 sheep for wool and meat, chicken for eggs and meat, and 2 jersey cows – Sandy and Skye who are due in September and October. We also have currently 5 cats and 2 kittens (11 weeks old looking for new homes if you are looking for one or two) and our new rescue pup, Daisy, 10 month old from Texas – australian shepherd/blue heeler and a tad of german shepherd – she is very loving and caring.Our farm is split into 16 acres on one side of the road and 14 acres on the other. We are both on the farm fulltime as of April of this year.
Our apprentice this year is Olya, she is originally from Connecticut and most recently from Boston. She brings some farming and homesteading experience and we are excited to have her this season. Olya is no stranger to Vermont, she went to UVM 10 years ago. We will be hosting a few WWOOF volunteers this summer also. We are also thankful for the CSA volunteers that help us each week get all the food ready for you allJ
So, the farm is a living organism – everyone that comes through in one way or another becomes part of our little farmily. Lots of celebrations and good byes this spring. Everyone our farm comes in contact with mean so very much. Big Congratulations to Uncle Kurt and Katie for their wedding at the end of May and settling in the Bellow Falls, VT/Acworth, NH area. What a fun day!! It was amazing to share all the love that day.
And a HUGE happy wedding day for my youngest sister, Sue and her wife to be Kayle on their 4th of July wedding this thursday in underhill!! A fun side note, Sadie and Delia will be wearing the dresses that Sue and Michelle wore 16 years ago at our wedding on August 2 J Sue is the amazing person behind our website and our ability to take CSA registrations online.
Goodbyes to our former intern, art teacher and now farmily member Kristen and her partner Graham as they moved to Savannah, Georgia. The pictures she posts are amazing of the Georgia springtime and the neverending gift of art lessons that she gave our daughters J To fellow homeschooling mama impromptu farmer (when I broke my foot in the early fall) dear friends Veronica and her two amazing little girls Antha and Colleen – they moved out to Washington State. Our fall CSA would not have happened without Veronica and her girls steadfast help, support and love. We miss you and hope to visit you this year.
This past spring long time friends and CSA member volunteers Sheila, Tom, Madeline, Jack and Audrey – moved to Connecticut for Tom’s new and amazing job with the fish hatcheries there. They are amazing friends, invaluable volunteers (everything from milking the cows, moving hay, help with calving, finding wandering cows, weeding, picking potatoes in November, impromptu swimming and dinner parties and more) we wish them well and our little farm and family misses them. The garlic scapes we picked today are thanks to Audrey planting the garlic cloves in November with me in the snow and mud on one leg J
A farm is a living organism – there is no clocking in and out. It breathes. It loves. It nourishes. We are all connected.
Thanks for being part of our farm. We look forward to farming with you this season.
Peace, your farmers, Christine, Adam, Sadie, Delia and Olya
What’s in the share this week:
This list is what is in a full share this week. Things may change between Monday and Tuesday and Individual and Salad share will get differing amounts and may not get everything on the list. Lettuce mix, speckled romaine lettuce head, Lacinto Kale, Baby Chard, Scallions, garlic scapes, herb plants
Eggs for sale We have the pretty girls’ eggs for sale – these are free-range, certified organic chicken eggs that are brown eggs– with the brightest yellow/orange yolks you ever seen. The eggs are $6.00 a dozen. $3.00 half dozen
Maple Balsamic Vinaigrette
1 part maple syrup
1 part balsamic vinegar
1/2 part of olive oil
salt and pepper
It keeps well in the fridge – the olive oil may separate in fridge – but just shake and everything mixes together again.
Garlic scapes are the “flower stalks” of hardneck garlic plants, although they do not produce flowers. These stalks start to appear a month or so after the first leaves. They are usually cut off of the plant, since leaving them on only diverts the plants strength away from forming a plump bulb. If left on, they eventually form small bulbils that can be planted to grow more garlic, but it takes 2–3 years for them to form large bulbs. Along the same lines, young garlic plants that are pulled to thin a row are referred to as “green garlic”. Used in the same manner as green onions, these too make excellent eating. All garlic varieties produce a stem, but it’s the hardneck Rocombole garlics that send out the curling scapes that gave them the nickname ‛serpent garlic’. There are many types of Rocombole and the flavor of the scapes can vary considerably from variety to variety, just as with garlic bulbs. But if you have a favorite variety of garlic that grows well in your garden, you will probably enjoy its scapes. Some of the more popularly grown varieties of Rocombole garlic include: ‘Carpathian’, ‘German Red’ and ‘Spanish Roja’. http://gardening.about.com/od/herbsatoz/a/What-Are-Garlic-Scapes.htm
Top 6 things you can do with Scapes
1. Scape Pesto
Far and away my favorite use for garlic scapes is pesto, either straight-up or mixed with herbs like basil and dill. Pesto showcases raw scapes in all their glory. Scape pesto can be very pungent, but it mellows substantially after a few months in the freezer. I like it best in the middle of winter, but I think that’s one part mellowing and two parts deprivation.
2. Grilled Scapes
Another great, and very different, way to showcase scapes is to grill them, tossed with a little olive oil, salt, and pepper, over direct heat for about two minutes. Flip them once, halfway through, and finish with an extra sprinkle of flaky salt and maybe a bit of lemon juice and zest. They’ll be charred in spots and just soft enough, and their flavor will have sweetened and mellowed dramatically. Grilled scapes are surprisingly reminiscent of asparagus, and surprisingly different from raw scapes.
3. Scape Hummus
For the same reason they work well in pesto, scapes are a brilliant swap-in for garlic in your favorite homemade hummus. I think they work especially well in a lemony, tahini-free hummus, which really gives them a chance to shine. Edamame “hummus” with scapes works nicely too, and color coordination is tough to argue with.
4. Scape Compound Butter
Scapes would make a lovely compound butter with a little lemon and maybe some fresh thyme. You could use the butter to make a tarted-up garlic bread, and I can’t think of much (except maybe fruit—I do have some boundaries) that could be tossed on the grill but not finished with a nice slice of this melting goodness.
5. Scapes as aromatic
To take a more utilitarian approach, you can slice scapes to whatever length you like and use them as you would garlic, as an aromatic in a wide variety of recipes. Scapes lose a lot of their bite when sautéed, more so than garlic cloves, so use at least three or four times as much scape-age as you would clove-age.
6. Scapes also work well as a vegetable, cut into lengths and added to stir-fries or blanched and added to salads, much as you might use green beans. They’re chameleons among vegetables, I tell you, though not karma chameleons. Karma-wise, they’re all good.
Fun for kids and adults, high in vitamins!
· 1 or 2 bunches red or green kale
· 3-4 Tablespoons olive oil
· garlic (scapes or cloves) and/or balsamic vinegar
· sea salt & pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 350. Rip up kale (with or without stems) into a mixing bowl (or into a ziplock bag if you want to keep your hands clean).
Add olive oil, then chopped garlic and/or balsamic vinegar. Add salt and pepper to taste, then use hands to mix in the bowl (or squeeze the bag). Spread out on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, and bake 5-10 minutes, watching VERY carefully so they don’t burn. After, keep in a brown paper bag.
Enjoy! Kale chips are a delicious snack and contain tons of vitamins A and C as well as calcium, iron, protein, and fiber. Try making up your own recipe!