Sometimes the weekend sneaks up on me, and Thursday is the day when I work on a lot of my online content. This past Thursday I realized I had only taken 2 photos of farm happenings! I was even more panicked when I thought about how it was raining and I wouldn't be able to capture much. I quickly ran outside and snapped this one of Ethan harvesting carrots. Our crew works through the elements to stay on track for our harvest schedule.
By the time Saturday came and went, I had more photos than I've uploaded in a week so far this season. That's because Friday was such a busy day with pumpkin prep, and pumpkins are just so photogenic, even to me, a summer lover. Take a look at this new-to-us variety of pumpkin, called Captain Jack. We love a good tall carving pumpkin.
(Our son, Peter!)
While we're on the subject, we changed over our store inventory to fall offerings, including some new products. Our pumpkins, gourds, and specialty pumpkins are now available. Click through the gallery to see what else is new: soap scents, pumpkin spice granola, fall flavored teas, maple sugar, maple candy, cranberry cheese, pumpkin butter, apple maple jam, and mushroom ravioli. Meat has been backordered for awhile, but we're supposed to receive a delivery this week.
You'll notice we have winter squashes out in the store now. Something we always advocate for is seasonal eating, which of course involves eating things when they're ready from the fields. To us, part of that also includes eating things according to storage capabilities. These winter squashes will literally last into the winter just stored out on your counter. For that reason, one of our practices here is to store winter squash for the later portion of our growing season, and it won't appear in Main Season shares. We wrap up our Main Season in mid-October, and even after that, we're getting so much amazing fresh food from the fields that it seems silly to let it go to waste in favor of something that will last into the winter. We've made it available in the store if you'd like to purchase it, but we hope that helps to explain our logic when it comes to seasonal eating.
Here's a shot of the acorn squash Eric and Randy harvested on Saturday. This is about half of what we grew: plenty for the months ahead, and plenty to stock up on in November and December.
Here are the other 2 aforementioned photos I took before Thursday: loading up the tractor bucket with compost and weeding the fall planting of beets. Both of these are practices that keep our fields healthy.
One of the unfortunate byproducts of farming is food waste. Certain items are too poor quality even to be donated. What we can donate goes to Real Food Share every Monday. Anything else heads to the compost pile and turns into rich, nutrient-dense soil. In my opinion, this is one of the most amazing aspects of nature, that produce can be turned into soil that then feeds more produce. We'll most likely use this soil for our herb gardens and greenhouse next year depending on the yield. We don't use a ton of precision with our compost pile. It does require a sunny spot, and then we just turn it every 3 weeks or so and it does the rest of the work on its own. If you want to make one of your own, just make sure it's far away from your house because it does attract critters.
Let's check in on the baby fall crops and play a game... Can you identify them? Click the arrow to browse through the gallery. Answers below.
1) Bok choy 2) Kohlrabi 3) Napa cabbage 4) Broccoli
How'd you do? Everything looks very healthy so far.
We've loved seeing all of your tomatillo success! I talk a lot about the beauty of this program being that feeling of pride when you discover a new vegetable or recipe and meet with success when cooking it. Everything you share truly makes farming worthwhile, so thank you for that. I think salsa verde might be my new favorite thing.
We put up a poll in the Facebook group, and the results didn't lean overwhelmingly toward the inclusion of tomatillos to the point where we felt comfortable putting them in all shares. If you'd like them, they'll be available in the veggie swap. We aren't sure how much longer they'll be around since they're slowing down, so if you are interested, we recommend snatching them up this week.
We pulled the winning tickets for our watermelon giveaway, and we had a special surprise! We discovered 2 more massive watermelons worth a giveaway. Here were the results:
36 lb. watermelon: Ticket #701188. Won by Ronnie and John D.!
31 lb. watermelon: Ticket #701268. Won by Kat A.!
25 lb. watermelon: Ticket #701318. Unclaimed. If we don't hear from you by Monday 9/13 at noon, we'll redraw.
One last thing to mention: our Early Registration period for our 2022 Vegetable Subscriptions runs from Sunday, October 3, 2021 at 7 a.m. through Sunday, October 17th. This Tuesday, our mailing list will receive an email with early bird perk information (there are three perks!) We don't want to overwhelm you with information since we still have a month to go in our current Main Season, but we definitely want it to be on your radar. Stay tuned for that email.
In Your Share (In approximate order from shortest to longest shelf life)
1/4 lb. of arugula
1 bunch of Tokyo bekana
1/2 lb. of tomatoes
1 lb. of multicolored peppers
1 bunch of carrots
1/2 lb. of arugula
1 bunch of Tokyo bekana
1 bunch of cutting celery
1 lb. of tomatoes
1 lb. of cucumbers
1 lb. of multicolored peppers
1 bunch of carrots
Caring For Your Share:
Store your cucumbers in the crisper drawer in the refrigerator. Wash when ready to use.
Store 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 garlic in a cool, dark, dry place, such as a pantry, cabinet, or cellar. Ensure that they have plenty of airflow; you can store them in a mesh bag. Keep them away from potatoes.
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.
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.
Trim the bottoms of celery stalks and place in a jar of water in the fridge, like a bouquet. Put a plastic bag over the leaves to protect them.
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.)
Store arugula 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.
Store Tokyo bekana in a plastic bag in the crisper drawer of the fridge. Wash when ready to use.
LGF Cooking Club (The Library of Resources is filled with TONS of ideas about all of these veggies)
Sesame Lime Cabbage Salad (use Tokyo bekana) https://detoxinista.com/sweet-sesame-lime-cabbage-salad/
Summer Sesame Chicken Salad (use Tokyo bekana) https://www.cookstr.com/Ethnic-Food/Shokos-Summer-Sesame-Chicken-Salad
Korean Ground Beef with Slaw (use Tokyo Bekana) https://dinnerthendessert.com/korean-ground-beef/
Roasted Eggplant with Crispy Chickpea Arugula Salad https://www.wellplated.com/roasted-eggplant-chickpea-arugula/
Balsamic-Roasted Eggplant and Arugula Sandwiches https://food52.com/recipes/61301-balsamic-roasted-eggplant-and-arugula-sandwiches
One Pot Stuffed Pepper Casserole https://food52.com/recipes/61301-balsamic-roasted-eggplant-and-arugula-sandwiches
Bell Pepper Chicken https://www.thegraciouspantry.com/bell-pepper-chicken-recipe/
The Dos and Don'ts of Grilling Leafy Greens https://food52.com/blog/17376-the-do-s-and-don-ts-of-grilling-leafy-greens
Eggplant and Rainbow Carrot Red Curry with Barley https://www.brewersorganics.com/recipes/main-dish/eggplant-and-rainbow-carrot-red-curry-with-barley/
Roasted Red Pepper and Eggplant Tacos with Balsamic Honey (you can use regular honey or Dave's Angry Honey) https://www.heb.com/recipe/recipe-item/roasted-red-pepper-and-eggplant-tacos-with-balsamic-honey/1398756645179
Happy Labor Day! We hope you're all enjoying some relaxation and fun this weekend. It's back to school time, too, which means pickup and mealtime habits may have shifted in your family's routine.
If you miss your pickup, you can always come the next day (Monday for Saturday members) because we hold your share for 24 hours. If you need us to hold it for longer than 24 hours, just send us an email. We hope the transition goes smoothly for all of the educators and families in our community!
We couldn't believe that the farm made out so well during last week's storm. We feel really grateful, and we hope everything was okay for you, too. It kind of snuck up on us and left almost 5 inches of rain.
Somehow, the crops were almost completely fine. Here you can see that the raised beds were a little bit leveled out, and are not as raised as they normally would be. The reason we plant on raised beds is actually for drainage, but this shouldn't be a big deal at all.
The new area that we planted on this year is usually very wet, which is the reason we've avoided planting on it in the past. This year it has hot peppers, shishitos, tomatillos, parsley, and a previous planting of basil. Here you can see that the rows were slightly flooded with the rain, but again, the plants look fine, albeit flopped over. This is a very minor deal.
If anything, a lot of our crops are slower growing this year. Believe it or not, it was hard to cover all of the shares with zucchini last week. With zucchini being one of the most prolific crops out there, it's pretty surprising. We knew it was winding down, which is why we wanted to include it in shares for sure one more time, but even with all of the plantings we do, we'd think we would be getting a little more in. The extreme fluctuations in the weather this summer haven't helped.
If you ordered cherry peppers, they're in the section above and just are not coming in quickly at all. It took us two weeks to fill HALF of an order - not good! We're crossing our fingers for more soon. There are still flowers on the plants.
Regardless, we can't complain one bit about the recent storms. We just wanted to give you a little tour of the farm and show you how we fared. Some farms in Connecticut were ransacked with some stretches completely underwater and major crop loss. We are very lucky!
We're celebrating a year of having Tyler on the crew! He jumped in and joined us right after Labor Day last year. This crew never, ever, ever complains about the weather - even harvesting in the rain.
We started picking up watermelons this past week and are excited to share them with you this week. This will make 3 weeks with fruit this season!
FYI, if you are a delivery recipient, you'll be receiving one additional item in your share. Your watermelon will be slightly smaller so that we can fit them all onto the truck, so we'll make up the difference with another item or more quantity of an item based on availability that day.
And we also have a fun little treat this week...
Here's crew member Eric with a 36 lb. watermelon! You can't tell that it's so massive because of how tall he is, but this is an enormous melon. Just for fun, everyone will receive a raffle ticket in your share. We'll do a Facebook live drawing on Saturday 9/11 to see who wins the melon! (And send out an email, too.) Something tells me the winner is going to need the Library of Resources for a ton of ideas about what to do with the melon!
Speaking of fruit, here's a check on the grapes and raspberries at Booth Hill.
Fun fact: the company we bought the vines from replaces a certain percentage of plants because they know that they'll fail to successfully transplant. We'll need to supplement a bunch ourselves next spring, but overall they look great.