2021 Main Season Week 13D
A reminder that we are closed on Monday, August 23rd in anticipation of storm cleanup and unfavorable conditions.
We expect that all Main Season subscription pickups will take place as usual this week, but we will keep you all informed ASAP if we need to make changes.
If you did not pick up on your scheduled day of Saturday, August 21st, please email us to make arrangements.
If you would like to make changes to your share pickup, please remember that you must notify us 48 hours in advance of the change. For example, if you anticipate being unable to pick up your share on Tuesday, you must notify us by Sunday because we are still planning to pack shares on Monday. We offer pickups on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays. You can also skip a week and receive a double the following week. As always, once your share is packed, we are unable to make changes to your share pickup other than holding it for 24 hours.
The process to make changes to your share pickup is to email Victoria & Randy at firstname.lastname@example.org, note your name and typical pickup day, and let us know of the change you are making.
Stay safe, everyone!
As always, our incredible crew continues to amaze. Here they are on Saturday, harvesting all of the yellow watermelons ahead of the storm. Usually Eric (near the truck) is the only crew member regularly scheduled for Saturdays, but when we asked everyone to sacrifice a weekend day to help with storm prep, they answered the call with a resounding "yes!" Here's what they accomplished:
Harvested and and stored all slicing and plum tomatoes
Harvested all bell peppers
Staked and tied up bell peppers to support them during the storm
Harvested and stored all yellow watermelon
Harvested all ready eggplant
Harvested and wiped all squash, zucchini, and cucumbers (a typical Saturday task)
Other prep work we did to get ready for the storm:
Dumped all compost
Cleared out our store coolers in case of power outages (another reason we are closed Monday; we'll have to move it all back!)
Put away all loose items and crates
Put away all machinery
And all of the typical Saturday hustle and bustle: Shelton Farmers' Market, a busy store (thank you all!), watering the greenhouse, and other field maintenance like mowing
Saturday felt very overwhelming (of course in a good way; we are so grateful to be busy!), but our crew supports us more than we can say. We are also very lucky to have family members who watch Peter so we can keep up with the farm most days.
Speaking of, here are a few more photos of the crew this week. Neighbor Frannie planted lettuce along with Carly and Laina, Rory's last day was Thursday, and Olivia filled in at the store this past week (thank you!). Let's hope the lettuce seedlings don't get washed away.
This week will be a good week for stir fry! When the summer crops start rolling in, it's nice to have some greens to balance it out. Bok choy is back this week and will pair nicely with the multi-colored peppers in your share. We're also including the herb shiso again, which will make an excellent addition to stir fry, too. Believe it or not, shiso actually goes with watermelon and can be used to make a savory salad (see recipe section!)
Jen Z. submitted this photo of her smiley yellow watermelon last year. Yellow watermelon is sweeter and less acidic than red watermelon (which gets its red color from lycopene). Its flavor is almost honey-like. All of the varieties of watermelon we grow do have seeds (quite honestly, the seed is SO much less expensive), and there's just something plain nostalgic about it. If you've never had yellow watermelon, let us know what you think!
Good news for all you fall lovers: pumpkins are turning orange! We usually harvest them around mid to late September and we increased our jack-o-lantern crop this year, so you can potentially pick out a good one to carve here. Gourds are looking good, too!
On Friday, we celebrated Randy's cousin Alexa's wedding, and we popped back to the farm to get a little work done in between the ceremony and reception. Randy didn't even bother to take his suit off!
Here we are, celebrating with Nick and Jill. For those of you who have been with us since the beginning, you may recognize Grammie Rose in the middle. Grammie used to work in the store. This year she's been doing a ton of work behind the scenes on Mondays and Fridays to bag and wipe produce for the shares. This is such an essential job!
This week, we're trying out a new crop: tomatillos! Tomatillos are sometimes called "husk tomatoes" because they're in the same family. They're meant to be eaten green and can be fried like a green tomato, roasted, or included in soups and salsas. The flavor is acidic, almost lemony. We recommend checking out the Library of Resources for more information and recipe ideas.
Finally, if you ordered bulk plum tomatoes, beans, or peppers, please be sure to check your email frequently.
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. Our plan is to circle back to you again.
Our waiting list is currently still working a few weeks out, so if you haven't heard from us yet but know that you submitted your order, we'll be in touch! Bulk orders can be filled into the fall. 25 lb. tomato boxes are $35.
In Your Share (In approximate order from shortest to longest shelf life)
1 head of bok choy
1 bunch of shiso
1 pint of shishitos
1 lb. of tomatoes
1/2 lb. of multi-colored peppers
1 yellow watermelon
1 head of bok choy
1 bunch of shiso
1 lb. of beans
1 pint of shishitos
1 lb. of tomatoes
1 lb. of multi-colored peppers
1 yellow watermelon
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.
Store shishitos and bell peppers 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 watermelon on your counter, out of direct sunlight, where it will get airflow. We harvest them when they are ripe; we recommend eating it within the week.
Store beans in a plastic bag in the fridge. Wash and blot dry when ready to use.
Store shiso in a glass of water in the fridge, like a bouquet. Or, wrap it in a damp paper towel and store it in a plastic bag in the fridge and use it within the week.
Keep tomatillos in a paper bag in the fridge (the paper bag will absorb any excess moisture). Peel the husk, wash, and use when ready to eat. Can be stored for a week this way.
Store bok choy in a plastic bag in the crisper drawer of your fridge. Wash and pat dry when ready to use (within the week).
LGF Cooking Club (The Library of Resources is filled with TONS of ideas about all of these veggies)
Savory Watermelon Basil Salad (with shiso) https://eatyourwayclean.com/savory-watermelon-basil-salad/
Peach, Shiso, and Mozzarella Salad https://frenchfoodiebaby.com/a-salad-of-peach-shiso-and-mozzarella-our-weeks-menu/
Shiitake, Shiso, and Chicken Stir Fry (add in the bok choy!) https://food52.com/recipes/81975-shiitake-shiso-and-chicken-stir-fry
Tomato-Watermelon Gazpacho with Avocado https://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/11294-tomato-watermelon-gazpacho-with-avocado
5 Minute, Easy Watermelon Sorbet https://thethingswellmake.com/5-minute-easy-watermelon-sorbet/
Watermelon, Feta, and Charred Pepper Salad (shishitos) https://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/watermelon-feta-and-charred-pepper-salad
Bell Pepper Eggs https://www.delish.com/cooking/recipe-ideas/a19425431/bell-pepper-eggs-recipe/
Pork Stir Fry with Bok Choy, Red Peppers, and Mushrooms https://chewingthefat.us.com/2018/03/pork-stir-fry-with-bok-choy-red-peppers-and-mushrooms.html
Tasty Tomatillo Shrimp https://www.foodiecrush.com/tasty-tomatillo-shrimp-recipe/
Smoky Jalapeno Grilled Cheese with Tomatillos https://www.foodrepublic.com/recipes/building-a-better-grilled-cheese-smoky-jalapeno-grilled-cheese-with-tomatillos/
Blistered Tomatillo Salsa and Roasted Chicken Thighs Tacos (add tomato!) https://www.realsimple.com/food-recipes/browse-all-recipes/chicken-thigh-tacos
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.
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!