2021 Main Season Week 12P

Hello, everyone! Just a quick FYI - our final week of the Main Season program is week 20, so we have 8 weeks to go beyond this.


Last week, we posted a tribute to our crew on social media, since they held down the farm during the Week of Choice. When I married into farm life, one thing that was a non-negotiable was having summer vacation time with my family. I refused to buy into the belief that farmers can’t and shouldn’t take time off during the summer. So, Randy, Peter, and I joined my family on Martha’s Vineyard.


It would have been impossible if not for this crew holding everything down. There truly are no words for the gift they granted us, the memories we made, and the hard work that they do every single day without fail.


A few crew members are not pictured, but every single person that contributes to the success of our farm is appreciated beyond words.

(Ethan, Eric, Tyler, Jill, Nick, Laina, and Rory)

This week, we say goodbye to Rory as she heads back to UConn for the fall semester. What an asset she's been at the wash station, prepping veggies every single day for the shares, store, and markets. We're also saying goodbye to Jill in mid-September. Jill's been on the move for a few years now, traveling around the country as a speech-language pathologist. She just picked up another job in her field and will be leaving us in a month.


Fall is always a huge transition period on the farm, not only with crops but with help. We actually start ramping up our harvests in September - September and October are really peak season for us - and the labor becomes even more intensive.


We're still seeking help at our markets, and now are looking to fill a few time slots in the store and at markets (specifically Monday 10:00 to 6:00 and Friday 10:00 to 2:30 in the store; subject to change). If you know of anyone who might be interested, please spread the word. Here are the two job postings on our website.

https://www.laurelglenfarm.com/join-our-team

Our planting marathon continues! Last week we had a huge push to plant all of our fall brassicas (cabbage family crops). We accomplished that mission, and then Randy also seeded arugula, radishes, and Tokyo bekana for the fall. Laina also flipped our herb garden beds, planting more cilantro, basil, and dill for the coming months.

Let's peek in on some of our crops. Below is a photo of our pumpkin patch (with tons of flowers!), plus a photo of our raspberries, acorn squash, and spaghetti squash. Remember that we won't get a full harvest of berries and table grapes until year 3 (this is only year one) but they're looking really good. Winter squashes are harvested in mid to late September.

This week, you're all receiving a few hot peppers in your share. Here's an infographic that explains the heat level in all of the different peppers and will potentially help you to identify them, too.


Here's another infographic from Burpee that I love for this.


Last year, our crew did a hot sauce cook-off for Labor Day, and this was the winning recipe. Truthfully, you only need a 1-2 of our peppers to make it a medium spiciness! This recipe is perfect for the amount of tomatoes and peppers you're receiving this week.


And psssstttt. Here's a tip if you don't like spicy foods: roast your peppers and they'll break down the capsaicin and lose most of their heat.

Yet more photos of the crew we love so much: (Click the arrow to scroll through).


Ethan on shishito duty, Tyler tossing melons to Nick to store in the cooler, Laina with a massive carrot, and Tyler on husk cherry duty.


One more thing: if you put your name on the list to receive plum tomatoes or cherry peppers, look out for an email from us in the next few weeks as we start to work our way through orders. We now have enough to start filling them. Tomatoes aren't as shelf-stable as other bulk items: when they're ripe, they're ripe. We'll do our best to plan your order for your share pickup day, but there's a chance it won't overlap. We plan to circle back to you if you can't accept them when asked, but we would appreciate so much if you would make a special attempt to check your email to give us a response ASAP so we can move down the list quickly.


Our policy is that once you are notified that we can fill your order, you must let us know within 24 hours if you can or can not accept your bulk order. Otherwise, we will move down the list and will not hold onto the box. If you respond later than 24 hours, we will have moved on to the next person and that particular box will no longer be available.


Can't wait to see what you start making with your bulk orders!

In Your Share (In approximate order from shortest to longest shelf life)

Small:

  • 1 cantaloupe

  • 1 lb. of tomatoes

  • 1 pint of grape or cherry tomatoes

  • 1 eggplant

  • 1 lb. of cucumbers

  • 1/4 lb. of hot peppers

Large:

  • 1 cantaloupe

  • 1 lb. of tomatoes

  • 1 pint of grape or cherry tomatoes

  • 1 eggplant

  • 1 bunch of beet greens

  • 1 pint of shishitos

  • 1 lb. of cucumbers

  • 1/4 lb. of hot peppers

  • 1 onion


Caring For Your Share:

  • Keep tomatoes out on the counter and out of direct sunlight, where they will get plenty of air flow. Do not put them in the fridge; it will dry out the tomatoes and change their consistency. Tomatoes continue to ripen after harvested, so use within a few days. To ripen a tomato quickly, put it in a paper bag in a dark place, like a cabinet. Do the same for grape tomatoes - you can put them in a shallow bowl.

  • Store hot peppers and shishitos in a plastic bag in the crisper drawer of your fridge. Set the crisper drawer to low humidity to allow some of the ethylene gas that results from decomposition to escape. Ethylene gas will cause the peppers to rot sooner.

  • Store your cucumbers in the crisper drawer in the refrigerator.

  • Store eggplant at room temperature, like out on your counter, but keep it away from other fruits and vegetables that will emit ethylene gas, as this will cause it to rot faster (tomatoes, melons, bananas, etc.)

  • Leave the cantaloupe out on the counter, where it will continue to ripen. Use quickly within a few days. Or, cut up the cantaloupe and store it in the fridge in a container to make it last longer.

  • Store beet greens in a plastic bag in the refrigerator and wash when ready to use. You can also trim the ends and place it in a jar of water in the fridge, like a bouquet. Use within the week.

  • The information for onions in the Library of Resources is for dried onions. Store your fresh onions in the refrigerator. You can place a plastic bag over the greens to keep them fresh, and you can use those like scallions!


LGF Cooking Club (The Library of Resources is filled with TONS of ideas about all of these veggies)

Biweekly Catch-Up:

Hi everyone! We can't believe that we are officially half way through our season. Say hi to Rory, who was prepping onions for the markets this week! Rory's last day with us will be next Thursday, as she heads back to UConn for the fall semester. She's been a huge asset at the wash station this season.

We hope you enjoyed the Week of Choice, for those of you who opted to receive a voucher. This week we're including some more choice, as all of our members who pick up their share will be able to pick out a pint of your choice: shishitos, cherry/grape tomatoes, or husk cherries. What will it be?! (Delivery members will all receive shishito peppers this week for consistency.) Be sure to check out the Library of Resources for recipes, depending on which you choose.


This week, everyone will be receiving potatoes. We tend to dig up the first of our potatoes in August and then save the majority of our haul for the fall Extended Season portion of the program. However, we thought it would be fun to include something a little different this week. You may be receiving white or red potatoes in your share, depending on availability. Leave the dirt on your potatoes, since it acts as a natural preserving agent.


This week, everyone is also receiving green peppers in your share. We grow ten rows of bell peppers, and we only harvest two of the rows for green peppers. The rest we leave on the plant to turn colors. All of our peppers start out green and then turn orange or red (and all colored peppers in general start green and then turn colors depending on the variety!) The only exception to this is our purple peppers, which start out a pale yellow and turn purple. The flavor profile on these is similar to a green pepper.


Our peppers in those other rows are just starting to turn colors.

Hey, Ethan! This week we have another planting of cabbage ready for harvest. We're also looking ahead to melons, summer radicchio, and romaine, which will all be ready soon. This month, production of eggplant, tomatoes, and colored peppers will all pick up. Enjoy!

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