2021 Main Season Week 14P

We were so relieved about how things turned out with Henri last weekend. Thank you to everyone for being flexible with our store closure on Monday. We used the day to pack shares and put the store back together in time to open on Tuesday, and the rest of the crew deserved a day off for all they did to help prep on Saturday. A special thank you to crew member Eric L. for coming in and harvesting during Monday's downpour.


Some of the crops plateaued a bit after the heavy rainfall, but other than that, we were relatively unscathed. Here's a photo of how some of the fall greens are progressing. Arugula, radishes, Tokyo bekana, and beets are in these beds. Peas, beans, and garlic were here earlier in the season.

This week, we're clearing out the bed of beets in order to use it for broccoli and (maybe) cauliflower this fall. Turning over fields and using them for multiple crops in a season has so many benefits: first of all, we can increase our yield from planting something else in one crop's place. Second of all, this increases soil health. When Randy plants a crop from a different family, more nutrients are restored to the soil.


When you plant the same thing in one particular spot over and over and over, over time, the soil health is going to be depleted and then the plants become much more susceptible to disease and pest damage. It's kind of like your immune system: when you're run down, you're more susceptible to illness, too.


When we talk about mapping our fields in the winter time, Randy plays a big game that's kind of like a cross between Tetris and sudoku. He tries to plant as much as he possibly can where it will fit and where it can be replanted mid-season depending on the length of time it takes to grow to maturity, and he also rotates which crop families have been in a particular field. That means that a particular crop can't be back in that same spot for 3 years!


To be honest, I can barely even grasp all of the planning and mathematics that goes in to making this happen. I have a lot of appreciation for how this attention to detail increases our sustainability.


Here's a picture of Laina washing and crating up beets. We grow traditional red, Chioggia, and golden varieties. We'll be curious to hear which you like best and we're aiming to give you at least 2 of those types this week. Greens quality at this point in the season with this older planting isn't great, so we're taking them off to account for more beets in your share this week.

Ciocci Lorraine stopped by to fill some bulk orders last week. Ciocci Lorraine is my aunt, and last year she worked at the farm on Mondays and Fridays. She's since moved on, but helps out a ton whenever she can, mostly now in her role as Great Ciocci to our son Peter on Saturdays. Behind the scenes of the farm are amazing family members who help with child care so that we can work, and we literally don't know what we'd do without them. P.S. Keep your eyes open for emails about bulk orders if you haven't heard from us yet! We're filling more this week.

It's so hard to believe, but we're already planning for our 2022 Subscription program! Without getting into too much detail yet, we are planning to have a Main Season and Extended Season program again.


But we need your input: should we shift the Main Season program 2 weeks later? Watch the video below to see what this would entail.

  • It would remain a 20-week program

  • It would begin 2 weeks later (mid-June)

  • It would end 2 weeks later (late October)

  • The types of crops in your share would shift as a result of this shift

Here is how the first two weeks of the 2021 Main Season program compare to the first two weeks of the fall portion last season to see how that would potentially change your box contents (remember that the value of your box never changes from week to week, just the contents):

If you looooove the Extended Season crops (the super early spring crops and the December crops), this wouldn't affect you at all! We are planning for the same Extended Season program next year.


To cast your vote, visit the 2021 Subscription Members Facebook group and vote by the end of the week. Enrollment for next year opens on Sunday, October 3rd, but we'll be starting the marketing process after Labor Day, so we'd love your input now!

We're taking a little break from slicing tomatoes this week. One of the crops that did plateau slightly with the weather last week was tomatoes, so we're unsure if we'd be able to cover all of the boxes with tomatoes. The good news is that we're doing another pick a pint option, and grape/cherry tomatoes will be a choice. We're aiming to get slicing tomatoes back to you next week.

I'm very much obsessed with this eggplant panzanella salad. For me, it's that recipe that you've been saving for the right time in the season, just dying to try it. It exceeded my expectations and I made sure that we had eggplant and a colored pepper in your share this week so that you could try it too. If you need basil or mint for it, ask when you pick up and we can cut it for you. Trust me, don't omit those!


Randy is kind of bummed about the eggplant yield this year because he really wanted you all to be able to receive two at a time to do something substantial with it. But, I reminded him that there is SO much you can do with a single eggplant: burgers, eggplant "meatballs", this panzanella salad, the eggplant stacks you've been talking about in our Facebook group, eggplant tacos that Dawn has been raving about at Saturday pickups... I'm kind of appreciating that one eggplant has made us all think outside the box.


Another recipe you must try is the eggplant spread in the recipe section. Randy's cousin's grandmother made this for us years ago and we've been sharing it ever since. That's a good one to keep in mind for Labor Day.

Our Little Free Library could use some donations: If you have any books to spare, we'd greatly appreciate being able to stock some more choices. We love how well-loved this library is.


We can also use some more boxes of all sizes to pack some of our bulk and wholesale orders. The bigger the better, but no box is too small. We are currently sourcing red and yellow tomatoes to Roseland Apizza in Derby. Check out this photo they shared of the pizzas they're making with our tomatoes: unreal. We are really grateful to have a partnership with such a renowned place. What an honor!

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

Small:

  • 1 eggplant

  • 1/2 lb. of multicolored peppers

  • Pick a pint of your choice! (Grape/cherry tomatoes, husk cherries, and shishitos. Delivery members will receive husk cherries!)

  • 1 bunch of scallions

  • 1 lb. of beets

  • 1 lb. of zucchini

  • 1 bunch of parsley

Large:

  • 1 eggplant

  • 1 lb. of multicolored peppers

  • Pick a pint of your choice! (Grape/cherry tomatoes, husk cherries, and shishitos. Delivery members will receive husk cherries!)

  • 1 bunch of scallions

  • 2 lbs. of beets

  • 1 lb. of zucchini

  • 1 bunch of carrots

  • 1 bunch of parsley

  • Garlic

Caring For Your Share:

  • Store grape or cherry tomatoes in a bowl with lots of airflow on your counter. If stems are still attached, don't pull them off until you're ready to eat the tomatoes. Wash before using and enjoy within a few days.

  • 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.)

  • Remove any greens from the carrots and store the greens in separate plastic bags in the fridge. Use greens within the week; carrots can last up to a month. Wash when ready to use. Follow the same process for beets.

  • Store shishitos and/or 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 parsley 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. You can also dry it by following directions from our Library of Resources

  • Store zucchini in the crisper drawer of the fridge for approximately a week. Wash when ready to use.

  • Store garlic in a cool, dark place out of the refrigerator, like a cabinet or pantry. Ensure that it has air flow. We leave the neck on the garlic to prevent it from rotting at the base of the bulb.

  • Store scallions roots-down in a glass of water in the fridge, like a bouquet. Cover the greens with a plastic bag. Or, store in a plastic bag in the fridge and use within the week.


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

Biweekly Catch-Up:

Hello, members!

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 laurelglenfarm@gmail.com, 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 tomatillos

  • 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.


368 views0 comments