The first round of field tomatoes are in the ground! Thank goodness we have drip irrigation under the row cover on the raised beds we plant on. It's been incredibly dry and hot and we've been using a ton of water to irrigate. With no rain in the forecast, it's a little bit unsettling. Last year we had quite a drought, and not only is it nerve-wracking, but it's also very expensive! We irrigate Booth Hill on a well but we have city water on Waverly. No amount of rain barrels would begin to cover it, unfortunately.
If you're new to the farm this year, here's a summary of our history: Randy's great-grandfather John came to America in the early 1800s and began Laurel Glen Farm as a dairy farm. Randy revitalized it as a vegetable farm in 2013. This past week, we were contacted by a distant family member who needed this article on John so her son could complete a project about immigration. We thought we would share it with you, too.
We had to snap a photo of the truck headed down to the Trumbull Farmers' Market on Thursday. It looked so pretty because of the tomato transplants, potted dahlias, and a few of the last hanging baskets. We've really lucked out with some beautiful weather for the market these past few weeks. The Shelton Farmers' Market also started this past Saturday from 9-12 down on Canal Street. It's definitely worth popping over to these markets if you ever have a chance.
Randy's cousin Amanda had her last day at the farm this past weekend. She graduated from the University of Bridgeport and has been working in our store and at the markets for almost as long as we've been farming! On Saturday she trained our new market crew member Emily. Emily will be at the Shelton Farmers' Market on Saturdays, so say hello if you see her!
Thank you so much for coming out to our seedling sale this past weekend! It surpassed our expectations, and for that we thank you for choosing to get your seedlings at our farm instead of at a home improvement store. If you'd like to get some, we still have many available on the pallets outside the store (tomatoes, eggplant, cukes, zukes, squash, lettuce, herbs, sunflowers, zinnias, snapdragons, beans, bell peppers, scallions, kale, broccoli, and more!) We wish all of our gardeners so much success this year! Here are a couple shots of us setting up for the sale:
This week is our final week of the Extended Season program, and the Main Season portion begins next week. In honor of the final week, we'd like to do something a little special for the 60 of you! 5 out of the 6 items in your box will be selected by us, and the last item in your share will be one of your choice! We'll have an array of items available in the Members' Corner in our store, so Jill, Dawn, or I will prompt you to pick one out. Nothing will be a new item - all will be items we've previously had in the share - but you can pick your favorite to add on.
The last thing we want to include in this week's newsletter is a gallery of progress on a bunch of our crops. In order: potatoes, greens, peas, garlic, beans, and the next round of escarole. Expect lots of greens for the first week of the Main Season, too! Randy is hoping to have squash and zucchini for week 2 of the Main Season program.
In Your Share:
1 bunch of choy sum
1 bunch of collard greens
1 bunch of radishes
1 head of bok choy
1 bunch lemon balm
You pick the last one from our table!
Caring For Your Share:
Store choy sum, bok choy, lemon balm, and collard greens in a plastic bag in the crisper drawer of your fridge. Or, trim the ends of choy sum and store it in a glass of water, like a bouquet. Wash when ready to use (within the week).
Remove the greens from the radishes and store them in separate plastic bags. Wash and eat the greens within a few days; the roots will keep for a couple of weeks if stored properly.
Reference the Library of Resources for storage tips for the item you chose to add on this week.
LGF Cooking Club:
Choy sum is a very unusual item and there aren't a ton of recipes for it online. I've picked out the best recipes for using it and incorporated it into the Library of Resources. I recommend that you reference that for 10 different recipes.
Lemon Balm is not in the Library of Resources (new this year!)
Here's a good link with an overview and ideas about how to use it:
Roasted Lemon Balm Chicken https://www.allrecipes.com/recipe/214957/roasted-lemon-balm-chicken/
Lemon Balm Cookies https://farmflavor.com/recipes/seasonal/spring/lemon-balm-cookies/
Fresh Lemon Balm Bread
Oven-Roasted Potatoes with Lemon Balm
Lemon-Balm Infused Lemonade https://simplebites.net/lemon-balm-infused-lemonade-for-a-virtual-baby-shower/
Lemon Balm Tea
Sweet and Sour Bok Choy and Radish Stir-Fry
Cucumber, Bok Choy, and Radish Salad https://recipeland.com/recipe/v/cucumber-bok-choy-radish-salad-54738
Collard Green and Radish Slaw with Crispy Shallots
Pan-Roasted Salmon with Collard Greens and Radish Raita https://bsinthekitchen.com/pan-roasted-salmon-with-collard-greens-radish-raita/