Cloud's Path Farm

  (Sheffield, Vermont)
chemical free human-scale farming
[ Member listing ]

lovely day

Another beautiful day and plenty of rain are really helping all the vegetables along.  We are shaping up to have a good crop of winter squash and the green beans are starting to go crazy- be prepared.

This week's CSA includes:

broccoli, salad mix, basil, plus:

thumbelina carrots- they are slightly larger this week, but still in the "mini carrot" category.  The super-long 'sugar snax' and gigantic 'danvers' and 'nantes' varieties are going to be ready in a few weeks.

baby fingerling potatoes- a mixture of 'yellow banana' and 'peruvian purple' with a few 'la ratte' These are great roasted at 450 with some olive oil and herbs for about 20 minutes or you could steam them and serve with plenty of butter.  They definitely do not need peeling, but please store them in the fridge.  New potatoes are tender and have not been cured for storage like those harvested in the fall.  Room temperature tends to make them rot or attract pesky fruit flies.

green beans- the first of many.  Only a light cooking is necessary to make these completely delicious.

edible pod peas- the last of the peas, no more until next year!  The powdery mildew was beginning to set in and most of the plants have finished producing, so we have already taken down the pea fences and put the chickens on the field to clean up.  Spots on  peas are harmless!  

 
 

oh, I just remembered...

I completely forgot to mention that our last two wonderful interns have moved on to their next adventure ( bye, Mike and Johanna- we'll miss you! ) but now we have another two wonderful interns to replace them.  Welcome Monica and Tau from Ft. Lauderdale, FL!  These guys are just amazing - they are on a cross country volunteering roadtrip and we are blessed to have them with us.  Check out Monica's blog www.followingthesunrise.com to get her story on how this trip came about and to read about the experiences she's had before arriving on our farm. Truly inspiring.
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did I move to Florida?

This week's CSA contains:

sugar snap & oregon giant snow peas

Thumbelina carrots- yes, they are supposed to look like little round things.  I have never eaten a sweeter carrot than these.  I just wish they would come in a larger package.  Great for snacking, roasting, and juggling.

Rainbow Swiss chard- it just gets bigger and bigger.  Stir fry, steam, soups etc.

Kale- not a lot, but we didn't want to overwhelm you with greens.  Lightly cook kale to keep it mild and not too sulphur-y

arugula- we've got more than enough of this, but the latest crop is starting to go to seed, so maybe it will be taking a break for a month or so.

broccoli- just about the end of the early broccoli.  We expect the late stuff to be ready by the end of August.  Maybe we'll have cauliflower inbetween.

mixed sweet peppers- the yellow ones are called Baby Cheese peppers, green ones are early wonder, purple ones are Czech black NOTE: the black ones were sold as hot, but all of the ones I have eaten are not hot at all.  Even my kids eat them and they don't eat spicy food at all.  Let me know if any you get are hot.

beet greens- a good old-fashioned vermont favorite.  Steam these and serve with vinegar, salt and pepper.  They are sweet, earthy and nutty.

Enjoy the sun while it lasts!

 

 

 serve with vinegar

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july 15- sun!!!!

Well, I think I skipped last week, but here we go with the contents of this week's CSA bag:

Mixed edible pod peas- both sugarsnap and snow peas

arugula

baby leeks- use the white part and light green parts as long as they seem tender.  The very tops make good soup stock, or snip very finely like chives if they don't feel too tough.

mizuna- stir fry green, is also good raw in salads and sandwiches

rainbow chard- cook the stems slightly longer than the greens for the best results

early baby broccoli side shoots- small and tender- delicious raw.  The big heads will be ready in a month or more!

mixed peppers- the purple/black ones are Czech black hot peppers, so be careful! The long green ones are Jimmy Nardello's frying peppers, not really hot at all, and the rounder green ones are thinnings from Peacework red  peppers, which are sweet.  Hopefully the peppers removed today will allow the plants to increase their overall yields later in the season.

 

 
 

peas!

This week's vegetables:

Broccoli-  the broccoli is called Tendergreen and is the earliest variety we've grown.  The drawback is the small size of the heads and the looseness of the flower buds.  I still like Tendergreen because I don't have to wait another month or more for broccoli, so I'll forgive it's flaws.

Sugar snap peas-  Our first real crop of peas came in this week.  There will be lots more to come.  Make sure to remove the string on the concave side of the pea.  We eat these up raw, and they are great in stir fries.

Head lettuce- nice big leaves good for making ceasar salad or using as a wrap for sandwiches

Mizuna- a kind of Japanese mustard.  Mild in flavor and good raw or cooked.  Goes well with other Asian ingredients, but can be used in place of  kale or other cooking greens.

Arugula- the usual stuff!

And now  a warm welcome to our two wonderful interns Johanna and Mike!  They will be staying for a month and we love them already- Thanks for all the help.

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good week, but BUSY!

Hi, all CSA members wondering if I forgot the blog.  No, I didn't exactly forget so much as I've been doing 10 different things at once for the past week.  Of course I sometimes love it like that- if there's one thing I don't have to worry about, it's boredome.

On to your week's vegHetables; by now you've probably figured out that there are two bags of spinach, two bags of lettuce. and one bag of arugula.  Here on the farm we've been eating salad at two to three meals a day, and Max ate half a bag himseslf for dinner last night.  Enjoy it while you can!  We try to keep some salad fixings going for you through the entire season, but during the winter I can barely eat the stuff from the store since I'm so spoiled by freshly picked greens.

Another reminder to wash and dry everything well in addition to any washing we may have done.  There's nothing worse than sandy salads!

If you are ever in Littleton at one of those big box stores (we all go sometimes), try visiting the farmers' market for a relaxing change of scenery.  On Sunday from 10:00 to 1:00 I'm at the market by the river downtown.  It's one of my favorites because of the great location and there are all kinds of interesting things to see.

If you don't already know about the Lyndonville farmers' market I'm there as well on Friday for 3:00 to 7:00. In Lyndonville I usually sell lots of breads, cookies, and other baked goods and in Littleton I sell our vegetables, syrup and eggs.  I did really well at the markets this past week, and am hoping it continues for the rest of the season! 

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week 3 csa

Cloud’s Path Farm CSA

Week 3

June 10, 2009

 

A bit of rain this week has really helped the veggies grow.  Even though I personally like sunny weather, I find myself hoping for at least two days of rain each week so the gardens can be at their peak production.

A reminder about all the vegetables (especially greens):  All our vegetables need to be washed prior  to use even if they look clean.  The ready to eat salad mix in stores is considered a processed food and has undergone an extensive regulation process to ensure a product that needs no further washing.  We are a small farm that does not have the facilities for such a procedure, but we do follow the FDA’s Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs)- guidelines to improve food safety on farms.

We have 50 kosher king meat chickens that are about 2 weeks old.  In another 8 to 10 weeks or so, we will have fully dressed whole roasters for sale.  These are not organic chickens since we give them some conventional grain, but they are raised on fresh pasture and eat plenty of grass, bugs, etc. They are truly delicious! Birds are 3.00 per pound.

We are also raising 3 pigs on pasture with conventional grain supplementing their forage.  No antibiotics, hormones or any bad stuff.  We worm them with an herbal formula that is used on organic dairy goats, and other than that they  get no medication whatsoever.  If you want to lose your appetite, do some research on the commercial hog industry or poultry industry. These are happy happy happy animals 100%. Prices available soon!  

Call or email cloudspath@hotmail.com if you are interested in any of our pasture raised meat.  

This week’s produce:

Spinach

Japanese turnip greens

Radishes with greens

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RECIPES

Sauteed radishes with radish greens

From Farmer John’s Cookbook, The Real Dirt on Vegetables by John Peterson

Radish greens have a peppery bitterness that mellows slightly when they are cooked.  The succulence of sautéed whole radishes will make you wonder why we don’t cook these feisty little roots more often.  You can use radish greens or arugula, or both, for this recipe. 

Serves 4

2 Tbsp butter

1 lb radishes

4 cups radish greens

2 Tbsp lemon juice or vinegar

Salt and pepper

1.       Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add the radishes; cook, stirring constantly, until tender but still crisp, about 5 minutes depending on size.  Transfer to a  bowl to cool.  Return the skillet to stove.

2.      Put the greens or arugula in the skillet with the wash water still clinging to the leaves.  Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until just wilting, 2 to 3 minutes.

3.      Turn off the heat.  Add the lemon juice and radishes to the skillet; stir well until combined.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Return to bowl and serve immediately.

 

Spinach Saag

This is a delicious Indian dish that is one of Sam’s favorite foods.  The homemade version is much better than the kind that comes in a little foil pouch from the supermarket.  This recipe is adapted from  The Spice Box Vegetarian Indian Cookbook by Manju Shivraj Singh.  If you can find fresh Paneer (Indian cheese) use that, or use mozzarella, cheddar, or any other mild cheese.   I’ll put a recipe for paneer at the end of this one- it’s easy and authentic.

Serves 4

 

1 lb fresh spinach

3/4 cup water

1 tsp fresh chopped ginger root

Salt to taste

¼ tsp crushed black peppercorns

1 Tbsp butter

 1 tsp garam masala powder

1 tsp lemon juice

1 Tbsp oil

½ tsp cumin seeds

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1 medium onion chopped

½- ¾ cup cubed cheese- paneer, mozzarella, cheddar

 

Wash the spinach and steam in water, ginger, salt and peppercorns until tender, about 15 minutes.  Mash with a large wooden spoon, add butter and cook until all water is absorbed.  Add garam masala and lemon juice.  Mix until very smooth or put in a blender (we don’t mind it a little lumpy, but the real thing is totally smooth)  Place in a bowl.

In the now empty spinach pan, heat oil and add cumin.  Fry 2 minutes.  Add garlic and onions.  Cook 5 minutes.  Pour into the vegetables and stir gently. Stir in the cheese.  Let sit a minute so the cheese softens, and serve.

 

Paneer (homemade Indian cheese)

Bring 6 cups milk to a boil.  Add the juice of 3 lemons, ½ cup vinegar, OR 3 cups of buttermilk.  Stir until the milk curdles.  Cover and set aside 20 minutes.

Strain through a damp lint-free cloth and squeeze out all the fluid.  Tie a knot in the cloth and put it under a heavy weight (a filled quart jar will do) for about 4 hours.  Take it out and cut into small squares. 

 
 

farmers market

I'm sitting at the farmers market typing at my laptop during the slow times between shoppers.  It was a big hurry up and wait day- had to be here by 3 pm and got here at five of 3 only to sell one box of eggs in the last two hours.  The weather's good the location's good, but this is a tough town to crack.  In more exciting news, the CSA is doing great and we are clearing more land for gardens.  Sam's brewing a batch of compost tea for the greenhouse, and man, is it gross!  The chickens have be getting out by mysterious holes in their house and partied for a few days, but now they are under lockdown.  Saw lots of moose tracks on the way to the goat pasture today.  Last night saw a mama bear and her cub- mama stood up and looked straight at us- luckily we were in the car!

 
 

first CSA

Our first CSA went pretty smoothly this past wednesday.  I washed and bagged 9 lbs of spinach, 9 3/4 lbs of arugula anda whole lot of rhubarb.  I put in some parsley and mint, a dozen eggs and a pint of our maple syrup.  I'm already looking forward to next week's delivery and hoping the rest of our salad mix shapes up.  Once my broken oven gets fixed I'll start including some artisan breads when I feel inspired.

Thanks to Cleo for helping to cover all the broccoli plants in advance of the big frost the other night.  They survived just fine, but not so the greenhouse tomatoes.  We had to do tomato triage the next day and buy a whole bunch of new plants.  Live and learn......   Looks like a number of them are recovering, but Sam planted the new babies in the spots of the hardest hit plants.

Thanks to a new laptop and a neighbor's wireless I hope to be more regular with the blog.  The plan is to use this instead of paper newletters in the CSAs to explain new veggies, talk about farm news etc. 

Speaking of news- I brought home the last of the day old chicks today which brings the total up to 100 new chicks on the farm.  Gave a short tour to CSA member Jay and wish him luck with the new baby!

 
 

pigs love eggs

well, up here in frozen tourist country we are eagerly awaiting the return of "the summer people" as the locals like to call our seasonal residents.  I for one can't wait another minute, since they are my best customers especially when it comes to buying eggs.  A recent indoor farmers' market was utterly disappointing due to the fact that anybody still left in town only eats those watery, pale, tasteless excuses for eggs found in walmart-type stores.

Right now I have at least 50 dozen eggs stashed in the fridge and another several dozen waiting to get in.  The stores can't take any more eggs and the chickens just keep on laying.  This seems to happen every April.  But this year I have devised a plan for disposing of excessive eggs.  Pigs.  It isn't entirely foolproof, but our three pigs are eating about 6 dozen a day and there may be an end in sight.  Oh, it may not be the most efficient way of using energy, but at least somebody is eating those eggs.  I've also convinced my favorite store to take a bunch of eggs on consignment just to have them out of the house.  I might be able to actually put some groceries in my fridge soon!

And thank you Carol, for the glowing review!

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sugaring season = mud season

We are celebrating mud season by staying up late into the night boiling maple syrup.  This is our second year with our hobby size sugaring operation and it is getting bigger and sweeter this year.  For every gallon of syrup it is said to take 40 gallons of sap- that means when I spilled a few quarts on the floor last night it was a bathtub's worth of sap lost to my slippers, the dog's bed and the pile of laundry I used to mop it up.

My two year old came along in the middle of the spectacle to lay on the floor and suck syrup off all the surfaces.  Needless to say a bath was in order.

Last night might have been the end of our  sugaring season if the weather keeps on with all this rain and gloominess. It was fun and sticky and the smell of boiling sap was heavenly, but I have to say I won't mind packing up my hygrometer for the year.  We slog through the foot deep mud, tend the fire and stay up all night for 30 gallons of sweet, thick, deep golden nectar.  I am feeling a tad hyperglycemic.

In other news, the spinach is is along with some arugula, mustard, bok choi and lettuce.  Got to get those onions planted- all the thousands of them.


 
 
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