Meet Elise

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Meet Elise

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Elise came to JSF with a lot of experience on organic vegetable farms, as well as other agricultural fields. She is one of the fastest members of our team, and is often seen running from hoophouse to hoophouse. Elise splits her time between wash-pack and home farm harvest, which includes hundreds of pounds of tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini, herbs, and specialty crops. She also takes on side projects, and builds vegetable gardens with her partner, based in the Stowe area.

Running the chainsaw was fun,I found it’s a very methodical task that requires a great amount of concentration and intuitive feel, and as with any other skill its very enjoyable and satisfying to see improvement in my practice over time.

Most interesting job experience(s) before JSF : Last fall/ early winter I worked for about 5 weeks with a crew at Trapp Family lodge setting up a sugar woods. We started right at the beginning clearing out brush and trees from around the maples. Running the chainsaw was fun, I found it's a very methodical task that requires a great amount of concentration and intuitive feel, and as with any other skill its very enjoyable and satisfying to see improvement in my practice over time. That's also probably why I like farming/ growing things so much. After that we ran tubes and wires throughout the woods. There were angles, maximum numbers of taps on a line and it was somewhat scientific. All in all I think I got to learn the process very thoroughly in a very short amount of time. Oh, I also used to deliver the newspaper in Jericho, when I was 17 in my little Hyundai accent during a real snowy winter. I got really good at winter driving and I apologize for all those missed boxes.

Interesting hobby or skill : I enjoy painting, acrylics and watercolor mostly. I'm an herbalist, and one of my favorite things to do (especially now in the spring) is go out and identify/ hang out with the plants I've read about in study.

What's up with your family? : I grew up in Essex, VT. My father has always been a handyman/ work for himself kind of guy. Growing up he'd often want me to join him in whatever roofing/ apple tree pruning/ wiring job he was doing at the time and i would throw a huge fit because ugh, work. Obviously something came out of it though as i find myself drawn to outdoor work today. My mom has done lots of neat things in her life, she was an artist, a dairy herdswoman, and now works at Fletcher Allen in the ophthalmology department. Great parents.

What's your favorite job on the farm? : Tomato trellising, its a methodical task requiring concentration, see above. I enjoy feeding the pigs as well, because they are adorable.  

What's your favorite place to work on the farm? I like to work in the greenhouses, its such a contained world in there, and its amazing to see how fast the plants grow. Louise (one of our Harnois hoophouses) is a good example, I was in there picking cucumbers in May, the plants are around 12' tall now, and the summer squashes are just cranking. you can really convince yourself you've just somehow time traveled into late June.

What do you do with your weekends? : I usually come home on Thursday (my Friday) and pass right out until Friday morning. Then I'm ready for a weekend of hiking, swimming and leisure activities around the house. My partner and I are also in the process of incubating a small annuals landscaping project. 

What's your favorite vegetable? : The braising greens are definitely one of my favorites this year. They are so sharp and refreshing when eaten fresh. I love sugarsnap peas, obviously, and the pear shaped cherry tomatoes.

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Primal Feast

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Primal Feast

Tickets available at Localvore Today. 

Open Farm Week is a weeklong celebration of Vermont farms. Learn more about local food origins and to get to know your local farmer.

We are teaming up with Frank Pace, the Great Northern, and Zero Gravity to bring a community cookout to Jericho! We will be serving primal pork cuts, prepared by Master Butcher Frank Pace and his talented team. Zero Gravity will host a cash bar of beer and wine. Tickets will be available soon on LocalvoreToday.com. 

This event is a part of NOFA-VT's Open Farm Week

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Ruby Red Beet Slaw with Red Shiso and Papalo

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Ruby Red Beet Slaw with Red Shiso and Papalo

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It's time to use some obscure herbs for the U-Pick garden! We grow them because they're delicious, and now you can use this great recipe to familiarize yourself with them for the first time. Have you cooked with red shiso or papalo before? Tell us about it (in the comments) so we can share it with our community! 

Salad:
1 lb Beets
1 Head of Napa or Green Cabbage
1/4 of an Onion
3 Sprigs Papalo (or cilantro)
3 Sprigs Red Shiso (or basil)

Dressing:
1 Handful of Sesame Seeds
1/4 Cup Sesame Oil
1/4 Cup Apple Cider Vinegar
1/4 Cup Soy Sauce
1 TBSP Maple Syrup
1 tsp Sriracha or other Hot Sauce

Peel your raw beets, and then grate or food procees them. Sprinkle salt, and set aside until the dressing is mixed up.

In a bowl, whisk together the sesame oil, sesame seeds, vinegar, soy sauce, maple syrup, and sriracha. Chop your herbs and add to the dressing. Pour the dressing over the grated veggies, stir well, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. For best flavor, allow the salad to sit overnight in the refrigerator.

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Ginger Turmeric Stir-Fry

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Ginger Turmeric Stir-Fry

Before I used a wok I never understood the magic of the wok. I can't explain the magic, but it comes through in every stir-fry. 

Ginger Turmeric Stir-fry

2 TBSP Coconut, Sesame, or Peanut Oil
1 Bunch Hakurei Turnips
1 Bunch Baby Pac Choi
1 Small Onion
1 Zucchini
1 TBSP Freshly grated or Ground Ginger
1 TBSP Ground Turmeric
1 tsp Salt
1/2 Cup Peanuts or Cashews
1 Bunch Cilantro (optional)
1 Bunch Scallions (optional)
2 cups cooked Jasmine Rice
1 lime

Start the rice according to package instructions. My jasmine rice takes almost an hour, so I will often set this first thing after work, take a shower, and then start prepping the rest of the meal.

Heat 2 TBSP Coconut oil in a wok over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and peanuts. After the onion begins to soften, add 1 TBSP ginger and 1 TBSP tumeric. Stir in so the herbs and the oil create a light paste over the onions. Once mixed in, add the zucchini, pac choi, and hakurei turnips. My goal is to have some crunch left in the zucchini, pac choi stems, and turnips, so I like to let them cook for about 5-7 minutes.

Chop cilantro and scallions into a bowl. Serve your plate with the veggies over the rice, and the fresh herbs over the veggies. Adding a touch of crushed peanuts to the top and a wedge of lime will finish it off nicely.

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Meet Jessie

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Meet Jessie

Jessie came to work at JSF this season with the goals of having a great time, learning about growing vegetables, and working hard. She has been an amazing force for the harvest crew, and keeps everyone smiling even through the heat and rain.

Each day at the farm is filled with new challenges and opportunities to work smarter and stronger.

Hey there! My name is Jessie and this is my first summer working on a farm.

I became interested in farming as soon as I moved to Vermont. Before moving to the Green Mountains, I lived in Gunnison Colorado where I studied psychology. I quickly adapted to my surroundings out west, challenging myself on the snowboard in the back bowls of Crested Butte mountain, and learning more about my love for snow sports and the mountains. Living out west was quite a ride but eventually the east coast began to call my name again and so I moved back to be closer to family.

I’ve always loved the idea of living in Vermont and luckily landed a job teaching adaptive skiing at Smugglers Notch a couple of winters ago. Thinking I would just stay here for one winter season, I still haven’t left, and have fallen in love with exploring everything about this state. I wanted to be a part of the Vermont farm lifestyle, and voila! JSF took me under their wing and I’ve acquired lots of facts, tricks and great memories from working on an organic vegetable farm.

Much like hiking a gnarly trail up a mountain and looking out over the ridge lines to see how far you’ve come.

Each day at the farm is filled with new challenges and opportunities to work smarter and stronger. While harvesting veggies out in the field, I’ve learned to move my body quickly and efficiently under harsh heat, rain, and time crunches. (It’s been a great way to stay in shape for skiing!). I love learned about each vegetable’s personality, starting from when they go into the ground to the harvest days. It’s a great feeling to look back on the rows of vegetables and see how much you’ve accomplished. Much like hiking a gnarly trail up a mountain and looking out over the ridge lines to see how far you’ve come.

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How to Carve a Chicken

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How to Carve a Chicken

There are countless ways to cook a chicken. Roast it, grill it, stuff it, brine it. But the best way to finish off any bird is by carving it simply and effectively. You only need 2 knives to do this correctly. A sharp, small, boning knife will be the best tool for the majority of this procedure. A sharp chef's knife is useful for slicing the breast.

1) Check Done-ness  When the breast reads 165 degrees F, remove the legs. Take the bird onto a cutting board, and cut along the thigh where the leg connects to the bird. When you get down to the bone, cut the joint between the thigh and the body while pulling back on the drumstick. Put the legs back into the cast iron/grill/oven/stovetop until they too read 165 degrees.

1) Check Done-ness

When the breast reads 165 degrees F, remove the legs. Take the bird onto a cutting board, and cut along the thigh where the leg connects to the bird. When you get down to the bone, cut the joint between the thigh and the body while pulling back on the drumstick. Put the legs back into the cast iron/grill/oven/stovetop until they too read 165 degrees.

2. Allow to Cool. Let the bird rest at least until the legs are finished cooking. This will prevent the juices from leaving the bird, and will help keep the breast juicy. After at least 20 minutes, cut a straight line down the spine. You will be cutting one on each side. You will then move on to the wings to allow the breast to cool a bit.

2. Allow to Cool. Let the bird rest at least until the legs are finished cooking. This will prevent the juices from leaving the bird, and will help keep the breast juicy. After at least 20 minutes, cut a straight line down the spine. You will be cutting one on each side. You will then move on to the wings to allow the breast to cool a bit.

3. Wings. Gently pull back the wings so you can see the seam where they connect to the body of the bird. Cut along that seam until you can see the bone. Then gently cut the joint between the bones while pulling back on the wing with your nondominant hand.

3. Wings. Gently pull back the wings so you can see the seam where they connect to the body of the bird. Cut along that seam until you can see the bone. Then gently cut the joint between the bones while pulling back on the wing with your nondominant hand.

4. The Breast. Cut along the side of the spine while pulling back with your fingers. Your goal is to do a combination of pulling and cutting to release the breast in one large piece. 

4. The Breast. Cut along the side of the spine while pulling back with your fingers. Your goal is to do a combination of pulling and cutting to release the breast in one large piece. 

Here you can see the right side of the bird, which has already been carved, and the left side of the bird, where the breast is almost fully off of the body.

Here you can see the right side of the bird, which has already been carved, and the left side of the bird, where the breast is almost fully off of the body.

5. Finish. Once you have cut the breast off of the bird, you will take a larger chef's knife to finish. Cut against the grain with even spaced slices. Once you have cut the breast, scoop the entire sliced piece onto your knife, and gently place it on your serving platter.

5. Finish. Once you have cut the breast off of the bird, you will take a larger chef's knife to finish. Cut against the grain with even spaced slices. Once you have cut the breast, scoop the entire sliced piece onto your knife, and gently place it on your serving platter.

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Cooking with the Crew: Scallion Pancake

When I was a kid, the only thing I would eat from the Chinese take-out place in my town were scallion pancakes. I still love them today, and I even see versions of them at local farmers markets. Some places make them looser, more like a batter, and wrap them around eggs (just add more water and stir in the green onions instead of knead them in). I still love them stiffer,  blistered on top, flaky on the inside. I find they are a great addition to meals, similar to a biscuit or pita.  

Scallion Pancakes

4 cups flour, plus more for dusting (I used 50% sprouted wheat, 50% all-purpose)
4 tsp kosher salt
peanut, sesame, or vegetable oil
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 cups chopped scallions and/or green onions
2 cups hot water

Add 4 cups of flour to a large bowl. Slowly work in one cup of hot water, incorporating 1/4 cup at a time. Stop when the dough is sticky, but still thicker than a batter.

Divide the dough into quarters.

Roll or knead each piece of the dough while mixing in the salt, red pepper flakes, scallions/green onion, and a few teaspoons of oil. I like to add a few, roll the dough into a ball, add a few more, roll it into a log, add a few more, coil the log, add a few, and roll it back into a ball. Try to keep the oil on the inside of the dough (make a depression, add a bit, and roll it in) to keep the rolling surface clean.

When you are done rolling the dough (no more than 10 min or the dough will stiffen), flatten the balls into 8-9" wide circles.

Heat oil in a large skillet. Pan fry each side of the pancake for 3-5 minutes per side.

Dipping Sauce
Mix together 1/2 cup soy sauce, half of the chopped green onion/scallions, i tsp sriracha, and 1 tsp honey or maple syrup. A splash of lime juice never hurt anyone either.

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Cooking with the Crew: Herbed Potato Salad

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Cooking with the Crew: Herbed Potato Salad

1 Pint of Potatoes
Half of one bunch of Radishes or Hakurei Turnips
1 Cucumber
Tops of Green Onions
1 Bunch (total) of fresh Parsley and/or Basil
1 TBSP Butter

Boil the potatoes (or grill them, roast them, whatever you like) until they are fork tender. You won't be cutting the potatoes again, so be sure to cut larger pieces into fractions for even cooking times. Chop the basil/parsley and green onion tops. While the potatoes cooked, drained, and still hot, add a tablespoon of butter and the herbs. Mix in, salt gently, set aside to cool.

Slice the radishes and cucumber as thinly as possible. Whisk together the ingredients in the simple dressing below, and allow the radishes and cucumber to marinade in it until the potatoes have cooled off. Wait until the potatoes have cooled completely, and stir everything together. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving.

Dressing:
1/3 cup Apple Cider Vinegar
1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 TSP Stone Ground Mustard
1 TSP Honey or Maple Syrup
Salt and Pepper to taste

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