This week's major project was planting garlic. We save 85 - 90 lbs. of seed for planting, comprised of 5 different varieties. Garlic is an amazing crop because you plant the cloves to get a new head the following year. We got our garlic seed from our neighbors, and every year it has multiplied as we save more and more. Our neighbor Frannie commented that the garlic is generational: she gave us this seed, and some day we'll pass down seed from the same garlic to Peter to plant.
The task of separating seed is tedious, tough on the fingers, and time-consuming, probably taking over 10 hours to complete. Because we save seed based on weight, we actually ended up running pretty short. Many of the heads of garlic saved only consisted of 2-3 large cloves, and because we plant a certain length of row, didn't go as far as we had hoped. Luckily, we held onto "seconds" garlic, either that had been speared during harvest or had some other blemish, and we used that to complete the job.
Randy poked the holes while Laina and Frannie popped the seed into them.
Randy and Laina also prepped leaves for mulching the garlic to provide insulation over the winter. Because we didn't complete the mulching before the rain on Friday, some of the garlic actually popped back out! We spent some time fixing that on Friday and are hoping the mulching will be completed soon. Sometimes we have to wait for landscaping companies to dump their leaves for us, which can take some time.
This week, you're all receiving a pint of Brussels sprouts. Normally we would have given you the entire stalk (mostly because it's just really cool how Brussels sprouts grow!). But, our Brussels sprouts didn't grow as well as we had hoped this year, and the quality across each stalk isn't uniform. Randy thinks that he should have seeded his Brussels sprouts a few weeks later because they sat in seedling trays for too long before we planted them. As a result, a lot of the sprouts ended up rotting. Not to worry - the ones in the pints should be great, and although they won't go farther than a simple side dish, we recommend cooking them up alongside the carrots, turnips, and potatoes.
We have a little bit of bad news regarding our new mystery fruit crop. As you know, we bought the seedlings from Canada, and we had to mail a check to them through customs. Unfortunately the check took SO long to arrive, that the company recommended holding off on planting the seedlings until next spring now that we're getting freezing temperatures. Although we're bummed when our plans go awry, we won't loose a significant amount of time on the crop because the plants would have been dormant over the winter anyway. We'll resume Operation Mystery Crop again in the spring, when we'll reveal their identity.
This week, you get to "pick a pumpkin" ... or something like that! Ahead of Thanksgiving, we wanted you to have an ideal squash to bake with. You get to choose between a sugar pumpkin, a hubbard squash, or a kabocha squash. All have their merits and they're all SO similar and good for baking. You can make a pumpkin pie using puree from any of these squashes. I've made pie using the famous Libby's pumpkin pie recipe but blue hubbard puree. And if baking isn't your thing, you can make something savory with any of them, too. Here are a couple of recipes to get you started:
We added more take home kits for our Thanksgiving Centerpiece Workshop! While our Monday and Tuesday in-person workshops are sold out, we have 7 more take home kits available. Katelyn and I did a video tutorial to help you craft your centerpiece from the comfort of your own home. Your kit can be purchased at this link.
Our veggie dessert contest is underway! We've got a commemorative prize ready for the winner of this challenge, too.
Here's how to enter:
Make a dessert that includes a vegetable element
Send a photo of your creation to us at email@example.com or tag us on social media @laurelglenfarmllc
Submit your photo to us by Saturday, November 20, 2021
No need for it to be your own made-up recipe, though if you are the winner, we'll want to share the source
The vegetables don't need to be from Laurel Glen Farm, but honorary bonus points if they are!
We'll pick a winner and send out the photo and recipe on Sunday, November 21st, so we can make the creation, too, for Thanksgiving!
Here are some of the desserts our community has baked so far, using beets, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, and spinach:
Please help us fill this donation box for those in need! We'll be collecting unexpired, non-perishable food items until Saturday, November 20th and delivering them to St. Vincent de Paul Thrift Store & Food Bank in Derby for the holiday season.
Also, don't forget that we're doing a field gleaning this Thursday, November 18th from 10 - 11 a.m. or 11 a.m. - 12 p.m. Harvest a pre-determined box of veggies specifically to be donated to local food pantries. Please RSVP by Monday, November 15th by signing up for a time slot by going to https://www.signupgenius.com/go/9040449aba922a6fb6-thanksgiving. Hope you can make it!
We are also in need of large boxes for vegetable donations. It's been hard for us to pack donations without large boxes lately, and we'd absolutely love it if you would pass yours along to us. Preferable sizes are 18 inches wide, by 2 feet long, by 1 foot deep and greater. Thanks so much for your help!
Lightly used paper bags are also a big help, too, for new customers in our store who may have forgotten a bag. We love to recycle as much as possible. Thanks!
Because of our field gleaning and reduced foot traffic, we are closing the store this Thursday, and for future Thursdays. We need as many daylight hours as possible and all hands on deck for end of the year projects and cleanup. If you are a Wednesday member who can't pick up on your scheduled day, we will hold your share through Friday (or can leave your share outside the store if you request it). Thank you for your understanding and flexibility!
In Your Share (In approximate order from shortest to longest shelf life)
1 pint of Brussels sprouts
1 bunch of spinach
1 bunch of carrots
1 lb. of turnips
1 lb. of potatoes
1 pumpkin or squash of your choice
1 pint of Brussels sprouts
2 bunches of spinach
1 bunch of carrots
1 bulb of fennel
2 lbs. of turnips
2 lbs. of potatoes
1 pumpkin or squash of your choice
Caring For Your Share:
Store Brussels sprouts and turnips in a plastic bag in the fridge. Wash when ready to use.
Remove the greens from the carrots and store them in plastic bags in the vegetable crisper. Use greens within the week, but the carrots may last for weeks when stored properly.
Store spinach in a plastic bag in the fridge. When ready to use, wash in cold water and spin out in a salad spinner. Use within the week.
Wipe down the surface of the pumpkin or squash and store it in a cool, dark place such as a cellar or pantry. It can stay out on the counter if you plan to use it soon.
Remove the fronds from the fennel and store the bulb and greens in separate plastic bags in the fridge.
Store potatoes in a mesh bag in a cool, dark place such as a cabinet or pantry, and ensure that they get plenty of air flow. Do not wash until ready to use, but wipe away dense soil, if any. Keep away from onions.
LGF Cooking Club (The Library of Resources is filled with TONS of ideas about all of these veggies.)
Mashed Carrots and Turnips https://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/mashed-carrots-and-turnips/
Curried Carrot and Turnip Soup https://www.thespruceeats.com/curried-carrot-turnip-soup-recipe-256015
Turnip Stir Fry with White Beans and Spinach https://itsavegworldafterall.com/turnip-stir-fry/
Carrot, Apple, and Spinach Salad https://food52.com/recipes/55817-carrot-apple-and-spinach-salad
Carrot and Spinach Dip https://2sistersrecipes.com/carrot-and-spinach-dip/
Vanilla Spinach Cake with Vanilla Frosting https://veggiedesserts.com/vanilla-spinach-cake-with-vanilla-frosting/
Mashed Potato Truffles https://www.dessertfortwo.com/mashed-potato-truffles/
Carrot Cake Blondie Bars https://www.yourcupofcake.com/carrot-cake-blondie-bars/
Maple Bacon Brussels Sprouts (use more for inspiration than measurements; your sprouts won't go as far) https://www.thepioneerwoman.com/food-cooking/recipes/a37242804/maple-bacon-brussels-sprouts-recipe/
Sheet Pan Chicken with Brussels Sprouts, Carrots, and Potatoes https://thesuburbansoapbox.com/sheet-pan-chicken-brussel-sprouts-carrots-potatoes/