Tomatoes are hanging on! This week we're beginning to harvest from our second planting of tomatoes. Night temperatures haven't been favorable for quick ripening, but they're coming in a little more comfortably this week (We think! The forecast keeps changing!). This week everyone will receive tomatoes in your share, though you'll see more and more fall crops mixed in now. Tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, cucumbers - all of our summer hits continue to come slowly and steadily until late October, or whenever we get a killing frost. We're actually going to cover this planting of tomatoes with Reemay cloth to insulate it a bit more and keep the fruit yields high.
"Second" tomatoes are a bit more abundant now that our first planting is dying off, and we'll be offering you the opportunity to grab an extra free one at pickup this week if you'd like. We posted this photo to social media because somehow it seems a more beautiful work of art than a tray full of perfect tomatoes.
This week you're all receiving Brussels sprout tops in your share. These cabbage-y greens are from the top of the Brussels sprout plant. Remember garlic scapes back in June? Brussels sprout tops are a similar crop: harvest them from the top of the plant to refocus the plant's energy. Instead of creating big, leafy tops, the plant will ensure that the Brussels sprouts on the stalk grow larger. Brussels sprouts will be here later this fall, but the tops can be eaten like collard greens. You'll need the Library of Resources for this; the majority of people aren't eating these, unless they have a relationship with their local farmer. We absolutely can't wait to see what you cook up with these this week, and can't wait to reshare your photos on our social media. Let's make these go viral and show everyone what it's like to eat creatively in this subscription program!
We're just about done seeding and planting for the year. Our cutoff date is usually September 15th, but on September 17th we made our last raised bed of the season. Tyler followed behind Randy and seeded arugula, mustard greens, broccoli rabe, and Tokyo bekana. All of these crops have an approximately 40 day to harvest timeline. Those timelines are under perfect growing conditions, so it will most likely be later with cooler temperatures.
We've also been working on planting heads of lettuce into hanging pots in our greenhouse, so that will continue until all pots are filled. This is a super time-consuming process, including taking the pots down from the overhead racks, pulling out any dead plants, topping them off with fresh soil, planting the seedling, and hanging the pots back up. We also repeat this process when we harvest the lettuce, but it's all worth it because it helps to extend our growing season to keep plants growing in the warmth of the greenhouse for as long as possible.
The final crop we plant during the season is garlic, though technically it's the first thing we plant for next year's season. Did you know that you plant garlic cloves to get garlic heads? Here, Randy and Laina are setting aside a certain amount of pounds of each variety of garlic that we harvested (along with our members who came to the Great Garlic Harvest!) Randy saves about 90 lbs. of garlic heads before we sell the rest. Eventually we'll separate it into each individual clove and plant them in the ground in November.
We got a restock on shirts and hats in the store! If you've been looking for a certain size, check the shelf. We've got short sleeve crew necks, v-necks, caps, and black cold weather beanies. If you're a delivery member hoping to sport one, send us an email and we can set you up with an invoice and pack it with your share. Tees and hats are all $20 each.
We started a new partnership with Shelton Public Schools! They'll be sourcing our produce in the different schools on a rotating basis. Last week they picked up their first order and they shot a promotional video of Chef Rich cooking up 4 different recipes with fresh produce here on the farm. We're excited about the opportunity to teach children all about the importance of eating healthy, farm fresh food grown right in town.
Member Kathie was the recipient of the 31 lb. watermelon last week! Ronnie and John D. won the massive 36 pounder, and Liz N. claimed the 25 lb. melon. Thanks for playing, everybody, and we look forward to the next giveaway, happening next week!
Next Saturday, September 25th, we're having a pick-your-own green/wax bean event just from 10-11 a.m. You'll come any time during that period (but no later than 10:30) and we'll give you a produce bag to fill up. You can eat your beans fresh or freeze them for the winter. It shouldn't take longer than 30 minutes. You can mix and match types to fill your bag. The best part? This event will give you a unique chance to spend time up at our scenic Booth Hill location.
Simply reply to this email if you'd like to come. Just a couple of terms: this event will be a pick at your own risk event. Limit one bag per family (not attendee), open to subscription members only, and if you can't attend, we're sorry, but we can't pick a bag for you. Our goal is to have this be a fun gathering for our community of members.
In the weeks to come, we'll be releasing more information about our fall happenings: our Thanksgiving Centerpiece Workshop, plus pre-orders for Shaggy Coos Farm Thanksgiving turkeys.
Last week we launched details for our 2022 Subscription Program. Our Early Registration period runs from Sunday, October 3, 2021 at 7 a.m. through Sunday, October 17th. Click here to read the first email of the series, which outlines the 3 perks you get for enrolling early and some FAQs about what will be changing and what will be staying the same for next year.
This Tuesday we'll be sending out another email in this series that outlines some tips to think about ahead of enrollment day. For example, "What's the difference between the Extended and Main Season programs?" and some other FAQs.
In Your Share (In approximate order from shortest to longest shelf life)
1 head of lettuce
1 bunch of radishes
1 bunch of Brussels sprout tops
1/2 lb. of tomatoes
1 head of cabbage
1 lb. of potatoes
1 head of lettuce
1 bunch of radishes
1 bunch of Brussels sprout tops
1 lb. of tomatoes
1 pint of lunchbox peppers
1 head of cabbage
2 lbs. of potatoes
Caring For Your Share:
Shake out any excess water in the head of lettuce, then store in a plastic bag in the fridge. Wash and spin out when ready to use.
Store lunchbox 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.
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 Brussels sprout tops in a plastic bag in the crisper drawer of the fridge. Wash when ready to use.
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.
Store potatoes in a mesh bag in a cool, dark place such as a cabinet or pantry, and ensure that they get plenty of air flow. Do not wash until ready to use, but wipe away dense soil, if any. Keep away from onions.
Leave the outer leaves on and store the head of cabbage in the fridge. The outer leaves will keep moisture in the head and prevent it from drying out.
Store dry onions 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.
LGF Cooking Club (The Library of Resources is filled with TONS of ideas about all of these veggies)
Potato and Collard Green Hash (use the Brussels sprout tops instead of collard greens) https://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/1012847-potato-and-collard-green-hash
Baked Brats with Cabbage and Potatoes https://amindfullmom.com/bratwurst-sheet-pan-dinner-sundaysupper/
Cabbage and Potato Casserole https://www.thespruceeats.com/cabbage-and-potato-casserole-2216666
Sprout Tops and Gorgonzola Frittata https://www.localgreens.org.uk/recipe/sprout-tops-and-gorgonzola-frittata
White Bean Tomato Bake with Cabbage, Carrots, and Harissa (use the Brussels sprout tops instead of kale) https://feedmephoebe.com/white-bean-tomato-bake-recipe/
Roasted Radish and Potato Salad https://www.cuisineathome.com/recipes/side-dishes/roasted-radish-and-potato-salad/
Cabbage, Radish, and Apple Cole Slaw https://blackberrybabe.com/2016/05/23/cabbage-radish-apple-cole-slaw/
Cobb Salad with Creamy Herb Yogurt Dressing https://inquiringchef.com/spring-cobb-salad-with-creamy-herb-yogurt-dressing/
BLT Potato Salad (some adaptations needed) https://www.thekitchn.com/blt-potato-salad-22892043
Flank Steak Tostadas with Pickled Radish and Red Onion https://frescadostortillas.com/recipe/flank-steak-tostadas-with-pickled-radish-and-red-onion/
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.