2021 Main Season Week 4P

Hi all!

This week you're receiving these wacky, curlicue garlic scapes in your share. Here's a photo of how they grow on the plant.

The garlic scape is a seed pod that shoots up from the garlic plant. When we cut the scape off of the plant, it will refocus the plant's energy. Instead of using all of its energy reserves to create a seed pod, the plant will then use its energy to make the bulb underground larger. We typically harvest garlic around mid-July. Read all about garlic scapes in the Library of Resources. You can use it as you would regular garlic, by chopping it up (it's got a mild garlic flavor), or you can cook them whole, which has a texture similar to that of asparagus. Garlic scape season is a one-time event because scapes are only cut once, so we enjoy garlic scape season while we've got it. My favorite thing to make every year is garlic scape butter: recipe in the cooking club section!

The Monroe Farmers' Market started up on Friday, and there was an incredible turnout. There are quite a new vendors this season, and it's back on the Monroe town green this year. It was so nice to see friendly faces and catch the breeze that always seems to be at the green. Crew member Nick and our brother-in-law Eric are going to alternate attendance at the markets from now on. Here's Nick on Friday. Say hi when you see them!


In this week's newsletter that's going out to our email list, we're giving a photo tour of Booth Hill (our additional property up the street). 6 of our 20 acres are at home on Waverly Rd., and the other 14 are about 3 minutes away on Booth Hill Rd. We run trucks (and tractors!) back and forth all day to harvest and plant. I'll explain what you're seeing in greater depth in the email, but here's a sneak peek of the photos:


Squash and zucchini are here!

We harvested the first batch on Wednesday, and it's been steadily trickling in. This week you're all receiving a pound of one or the other. Please be aware that when the newsletter says _____ or ______ in the list of share contents, it means that it's dependent upon availability on the day we pack your share. Though you won't be able to choose which you get, the swap table in the store may have additional offerings for you to make a trade. (More on this to come: but remember that in our calendar of events for the season, we're planning an upcoming week of "choice." We aren't 100% sure what that entails yet, but we are considering the logistics of having you build your box that week.)

Hi, Susan! Susan V. was the winner of our photo contest! Thank you to everyone who submitted a photo of themselves cooking over the course of the first couple of weeks of the program. We loved seeing your excitement. Susan wins either a free package of Southbury Baking Company BrewCraft crackers in the flavor of her choice, or a small bottle of flavored oil or vinegar from Dash 'N Drizzle. Keep up the fun, everyone! A similar grilling contest is taking place the week before the 4th of July; stay tuned for details.


Here's what's on deck soon: cabbage, carrots, beets, and cucumbers. I checked on the cucumbers on Saturday and there were a few small pickling cucumbers ready. Here's Randy with the first cabbage and a peek at the carrots.

Last, but not least, a few members have asked if it would be possible to provide a list of what's in the store that week to help with their shopping plans. Unfortunately we aren't staffed to provide a fully accurate list every day, but I try to keep the "Our Store" tab on the website updated with what's more on less in the store that month. Here it is if you'd like to check it out and make a loose shopping plan: Our Store

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

Small:

  • 1 head of lettuce

  • 1 head of broccoli

  • 1 bunch of collard greens

  • 1 pint of snap peas

  • 1 lb. of squash or zucchini

  • 1/4 lb. of garlic scapes

Large:

  • 1 bunch of dill or cilantro

  • 1 head of lettuce

  • 1 head of escarole

  • 1 head of broccoli

  • 1 bunch of collard greens

  • 2 pints of snap peas

  • 1 lb. of squash or zucchini

  • 1/4 lb. of garlic scapes

Caring For Your Share:

  • Trim the bottoms of dill and/or cilantro and place in a jar of water in the fridge, like a bouquet. Put a plastic bag over the leaves to protect them.

  • Store lettuce, escarole, and collard greens each in a plastic bag in the crisper drawer of the fridge (you can use two bags, one on each end, if needed due to size). Wash and spin out; use within the week.

  • Most sources will recommend wrapping a head of broccoli in a damp paper towel in the fridge. We think the less air it's exposed to the better. Open air causes it to wilt fast. You can try putting your broccoli in a plastic bag in the fridge and using it within the week. Wash when ready to use.

  • Store snap peas and garlic scapes in a plastic bag in the crisper drawer of the fridge. Remove stems from peas and wash peas and scapes when ready to eat, within the week.

  • Remove the greens from the kohlrabi bulbs 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.


LGF Cooking Club (The Library of Resources is filled with TONS of ideas about garlic scapes and collard greens!)

Biweekly Catch-Up:

Hello everyone! It's been a great two weeks so far, and we hope you've been enjoying everything in your share and enjoying reading all of the information that comes along in these newsletters.


This week, I wanted to touch a little bit on the weather and how it can affect crops so quickly. One of the challenges I faced last week when packing shares was trying to get greens into the crates quickly enough so that they didn't wilt in the heat. It was so tricky because once greens are harvested, they instantly start wilting.


Luckily, there's a way to perk them up (find it along with other tips in the Library of Resources!) Trim off the ends (use kitchen scissors for bunched greens or slice off the end of the stump with a knife for heads) and soak them in cold water. After an hour or so, they'll perk up. Here's a more in depth article from the Library of Resources if you're interested. If you receive a delivery and know that you won't be home, please make sure to leave a cooler with ice in a location where we can leave it for you.


Here's an example of how the heat negatively affect crops:

See how the center portion of the head of lettuce is beginning to grow tall? This is called "bolting" and it's a word that farmers use to explain that the plant is nearing the end of its life and beginning to produce seeds. Lettuce plants only create one head of lettuce in their lifetime. Once the heat picks up, cool weather crops feel an urgent sense to reproduce, which is every plant's goal. If we left this head of lettuce to grow, eventually it would continue to shoot up and would make flowers with seed pods on top. While still edible, the problem with bolted greens is that they can become bitter or woody depending on the type. And this process can happen fast. As with the arugula we mentioned a couple weeks back, it flowered within a day of incredibly hot temperatures. We lost the entire crop and waited for the next planting to come in for week 2. So, although bolted plants can look pretty cool, our goal is to try to prevent this process from happening.

This week you're receiving sugar snap peas in your shares. Prior to this week, we were only getting a couple dozen pints per week. Now they're coming in quickly, which means we have enough for everyone! Our crew harvests each and every pod by hand, which is very labor-intensive. We are so appreciative of the hard work they do in the fields, even when the weather was in the 90s last week. You can eat snap peas raw or cooked, and you don't need to shell or de-string them; just remove the stem.


While we predict that squash and zucchini will trickle in this week, and we will sell what we have available rather than compost it, the reason for their omission from this week's shares is that we won't have enough to cover all members. Garlic scapes will most likely be ready for next week, too.

Last week, Randy hilled all of the potatoes. We grow a red and gold variety. Hilling the potatoes mounds the soil up higher around the plant. When the potatoes are growing underground, this gives them more room to grow more tubers. The middle rows of potatoes in the photo weren't hilled at the time Randy snapped the photo, but those to the left and right of them are, to show you a comparison. Potatoes can be ready mid-summer if we harvest them, but we typically wait until later toward the fall since they store nicely.



Here's a video that shows potato hilling in action.

Check out this 6 lb. Napa cabbage harvested last week! This is Rory's second season at the farm, though this year she's in charge of the wash station, cleaning up your veggies and prepping them to be packed into shares. She'll also join the field crew at times and will be at the Monroe Farmer's Markets on Fridays through the summer. Say hi if you see her!


P.S. The Napa cabbage slaw trend from our Facebook group and emails you sent over was the highlight of our week. We are absolutely thrilled that our community here is creating trends that we can all try and get excited about! What will it be this week?! We can't wait to see!

Katelyn's flowers are starting to come in! Katelyn grows flowers here on the farm under her business name Rustle Floral Company. She typically has bouquets of flowers available for Saturdays and makes bouquets for mid-week as well. If you are looking for something specific when it comes to flowers, flower arrangements, or when flowers will be available, Katelyn can be reached at rustlefloralco@gmail.com. Bouquets of her seasonal flowers are $20.


What in the world is the "kohlrabi" in your shares this week?! Learn all about it in the Library of Resources!


Jesenia shared this photo in our Facebook group to show us her dinner plans. I couldn't help but admire the way she stored her broccoli rabe. Always store your greens in Ziploc bags! If the heads are large, you can put one on each end.


Here's another photo, shared by Lynne, of her Napa cabbage all meal prepped for the week. We're big proponents of meal prepping to make your life easier and ensure that your veggies don't go untouched in the fridge.

Member RoseAnn once gave us a tip about doing a sweep of your fridge mid-way through the week and freezing what you don't plan to cook. Genius! You can use the Library of Resources to help with freezing and storing items long-term.


Here's a link to a blog post I wrote over the winter: 12 Tips for Meal Planning Success. One tip that I believe is absolutely essential to success in a vegetable subscription program is having "Exit Strategies" you can draw from to use up the produce in your fridge and make room for your next share. Steff S. shared her go-to strategy last year: Leftover Bowls.


“I'll change the base from week to week, so sometimes it's pasta-based (penne or shells), grains (quinoa, rice, farrow), or other veggies (this week, I used spaghetti squash). Usually everything is just sauteed or baked together. I'll change the dressing based on what we haven't had most recently (red sauce, cheese sauce, soy sauce, vinaigrettes...)”


We can't tell you how much we enjoy hearing all of your upcoming meal plans, success stories, and ways that you've challenged yourselves to cook with new items. So many of you have made a point of telling us how much you're enjoying the program so far, and it means the world to us. Thank you for being here, for supporting us, and being engaged in the process.

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