Last week, Randy started digging up potatoes by machine for your shares. We recently did a post about how everything on the farm is hand harvested, but come to think of it, potatoes are the only exception. Prior to this week, the potatoes were dug by hand (with a pitchfork, just like the olden days) but we have this nifty potato harvester to help with these. It unearths the potatoes, sifts the dirt away, and then you pick them up by hand. Click play to watch.
Believe it or not, this week it was so tough to figure out what items were going into your share. We wanted to make sure we had a nice mix of summer and fall crops, and there is so much good stuff ready out there! They call this harvest time for a reason - summer crops are still rolling along, while cooler crops are ready now, too. We settled on "pick a pint" again this week to give you the chance to grab a summer item of your choice. Some of the greens were "must gos" and we knew they wouldn't hang on. It seems like a really great week for soup!
On the agenda this week: plowing under certain fields and seeding fall cover crops, picking up some drip tape irrigation, weeding beds (it's harvest time for weeds too, and we want to get those pesky plants under control before they drop too much seed), and planning for some more fruit crops that we'd like to plant up at Booth Hill. Much more on all of this in the weeks to come!
We had a blast at our bean harvesting event on Saturday! We've really lucked out with weather at our events this year, and it was a gorgeous day up at Booth Hill. Here are some photos from the day. Thank you for coming out! We love being able to spend more time with you.
Now that it's officially fall, we feel like it's safe to start talking about Thanksgiving. We are partnering with Shaggy Coos Farm again to sell Thanksgiving turkeys. Turkeys are $4.65/lb. and you'll place your order for a bird in a particular weight range: 6-10 or 10-14 lbs. There is a $20 deposit at the time of your order, and you'll pay the balance at pickup. Pickups will happen here on the Monday and Tuesday before Thanksgiving, 11/22 and 11/23 (Sorry, no delivery). Click here to pre-order through us. We have very limited inventory. Please check out with credit card to place your deposit.
Just one thing to note: Brittany is short on larger bird inventory this year due to the heavy rains we had this summer. If you are looking for a bird larger than 14 lbs., you'll have to order and pick up directly with her (sorry about that!). Here's the link to do that through her farm:
At pickup this week, we're having another fun (massive item!) giveaway. This butternut squash will be on display, and you'll have the chance to guess the weight. The member with the guess closest to the nearest hundredth of a pound without going over will win the squash! We'll find the winner after we close on Saturday. Good luck!
Last week we added Hindinger Farm apples to our store (from Hamden, CT). We've never supplemented produce that we grow ourselves, but we love the idea of having additional options that we don't grow. Macoun, McIntosh, and Cortland were the 3 varieties we picked up.
Here's a story about why we love Hindinger Farm so much. When I interviewed for my first teaching job, I noticed that one of the teachers on the committee had a familiar last name. At the end of the interview, the staff asked me what I like to do for fun. I responded, "Well, this is a little random, but I love farming." The teacher instantly lit up and told me that her family owned Hindinger Farm. And, as they say, the rest is history.
Not only did Rachel become one of my closest friends to this day, but her father George and aunt Liz (and entire Hindinger family) are the absolute NICEST people you could ever hope to know. In the farming world, it's important to have role models, colleagues, mentors, and just friends who understand. George and Liz have been incredibly helpful along our farming journey and we just can't say enough great things about them. We think you'll like their apples just as much as we like the family. How beautiful are these?
2022 Subscription enrollment opens next Sunday, October 3rd at 7 a.m. Set a reminder for that day to get the spot you want! If you still aren't sure what you're hoping to sign up for, check out the product descriptions or read our blog posts to help you gear up for next year's program: Product Descriptions
The Early Registration period ends on October 17th and includes 3 perks: a discount, an invitation to come harvest a bonus box, and first dibs on our bulk box order form.
In Your Share (In approximate order from shortest to longest shelf life)
1/4 lb. of Asian greens mix
1 head of escarole
1/2 lb. of tomatoes
1/2 lb. of bell peppers
Pick a pint! (Husk cherries, grape tomatoes, shishitos, lunchbox peppers, or hot peppers)
1/2 lb. of Asian greens mix
1 head of escarole
1 head of romaine
1 lb. of tomatoes
1/2 lb. of bell peppers
Pick a pint! (Husk cherries, grape tomatoes, shishitos, lunchbox peppers, or hot peppers)
Caring For Your Share:
Store Asian greens mix 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.
Shake out any excess water in the heads of romaine and escarole, then store in a plastic bag in the fridge. Wash and spin out when ready to use.
Store 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. If you choose the grape tomatoes, pour them into a shallow bowl. 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.
Remove the greens from the kohlrabi 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 garlic in a cool, dark place such as a cabinet or pantry, and ensure that it gets plenty of air flow.
LGF Cooking Club (The Library of Resources is filled with TONS of ideas about all of these veggies)
15-Minute Chinese Hot and Sour Soup (use greens mix) https://www.chilitochoc.com/chinese-hot-and-sour-soup/
Asian Frittata (use greens mix) https://www.landolakes.com/recipe/16597/asian-frittata/
Pepper Steak Stir Fry (add in the greens mix) https://www.dinneratthezoo.com/pepper-steak-stir-fry/
Escarole, Beans, Sausage, and Peppers Cheat Sheet https://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/jeff-mauro/escarole-beans-sausage-and-peppers-cheat-sheet-9395751
White Bean and Escarole Chili (you can use quinoa or brown rice instead of teff) https://www.blueapron.com/recipes/white-bean-and-escarole-chili-with-teff
Hot Honey Pork Chops with Escarole and White Beans https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/hot-honey-pork-chops-with-escarole-and-white-beans
Seared Fish with Tomatoes and Garlicky Escarole https://www.realsimple.com/food-recipes/browse-all-recipes/seared-fish-garlic-escarole
Warm Kohlrabi Salad https://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/nancy-fuller/warm-kohlrabi-salad-3300864
Baked Chicken over Riced Kohlrabi and Peas (adding this here especially to show that you can make kohlrabi into "rice") https://recipecenter.stopandshop.com/recipes/175937/baked-chicken-over-riced-kohlrabi-and-peas
Kohlrabi 'n Tomato Soup https://cookpad.com/uk/recipes/11306905-kohlrabi-n-tomato-soup
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.