It's time to harvest our garlic! You're all invited to the Great Garlic Harvest, happening this Saturday, July 24th from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the farm (weather permitting). If you'd like to come hang out with us, harvest some garlic, and receive a bag of veggies as a thank you, click the link below to RSVP.
Randy and Hannah weeded the garlic patch last week in preparation for the event. Looking forward to seeing you and building our community!
Hannah's also been working on a very important but tedious task here on the farm over the past few weeks: sanitizing our plug trays for future seedlings. This is a necessary step to help us reduce the spread of disease between plants on the farm.
Succession planting is another important aspect of farming. To ensure a steady supply of certain crops, we need to continue to seed and plant them. We're currently harvesting squash, zucchini, and cucumbers off of succession planting #3 out of 8. There is typically overlap in a couple of those plantings, which is why our yield increases during the height of the summer. Laina's also been responsible for seeding and tending to the fall crop seedlings, like more herbs, kale, fennel, and other cabbage family crops.
The next round of cilantro
Summer colors are slowly making more of an appearance. Last week, we harvested the first of our carrots, plus a basket of Asian eggplant, and a few handfuls of teeny currant tomatoes. So much more beautiful color to come!
Mark your calendars! The Week of Choice is happening during the week of August 1st to the 7th. We'll be verifying with you at pickup (if we haven't already) if you're interested in receiving a voucher to spend on vegetables of your choice instead of receiving a pre-packed box that week. If you receive a delivery during that week (weekly members only; it's a biweekly pickup week) and would like to opt in, please follow the link below: https://forms.gle/KqpC35nF6NHDCFx47
Delivery members: Remember to leave us your KIND bag from the previous delivery for us to pack into for the following delivery. And don't forget to leave a cooler! We'd hate to leave your beautiful veggies outside in these hot temperatures.
Pickup members: Thank you so much for remembering to bring a bag to pick up your vegetables. We can no longer provide courtesy plastic bags, so we appreciate your help!
Don't forget to vote for us for Connecticut Magazine's Best Farm Stand! The deadline is July 31st, and you can vote once with a valid email address. We've gotten so much incredible, positive feedback, and we are so appreciative of all of your kind words and votes. Even if we don't win, this nomination was an unbelievable honor that means the world to us. Click here to vote!
Here are all of the amazing grilling contest submissions to date. If you're reading this on Sunday, July 18th, the deadline to submit is tonight! We pick a winner to win a fun prize tomorrow! Just snap a photo of your grilled veggies, share it with us, and label what it is.
In Your Share (In approximate order from shortest to longest shelf life)
1 bunch of basil
1 bunch of Swiss chard
1 head of Napa cabbage (or green cabbage depending on availability)
1 lb. of cucumbers
1 bunch of carrots
1 bunch of basil
1 bunch of Swiss chard
1 head of Napa cabbage
1 lb. of cucumbers
1 lb. of green beans
1 lb. of beets
1 bunch of carrots
Caring For Your Share:
Trim the bottoms of basil and place the stems in a glass of cold water, like a bouquet. Keep it out of the fridge, as basil leaves can turn black when exposed to cold temperatures. Use within a few days.
Store beans in a plastic bag in the fridge. Wash and blot dry when ready to use.
Remove the greens from the beets, kohlrabi, and carrots and store them in plastic bags in the vegetable crisper. Use greens within the week, but the roots may last for weeks when stored properly.
Store Napa cabbage and Swiss chard in a plastic bag in the fridge (use two, one on each end, if needed due to size). Wash when ready to use.
Store your cucumbers in the crisper drawer in the refrigerator.
LGF Cooking Club (The Library of Resources is filled with TONS of ideas about all of these veggies)
Basil Cream Cheese Dip https://www.frugalnutrition.com/basil-cream-cheese-dip/
Lemon Basil Chicken https://easyfamilyrecipes.com/lemon-basil-chicken/
Pasta with Chard and Basil https://www.midwestliving.com/recipe/pasta-with-chard-and-basil/
Ground Beef, Napa Cabbage and Carrot Stir Fry https://www.mealime.com/recipes/ground-beef-napa-cabbage-carrot-stir-fry/3101
Ginger-Maple Steak with Napa Cabbage and Grilled Onions https://www.beefitswhatsfordinner.com/recipes/recipe/1842/ginger-maple-steak-with-napa-cabbage-grilled-onions
One of my favorite recipes to share through the years... Kohlrabi Carrot Fritters with Avocado Cream Sauce https://www.acouplecooks.com/kohrabi-fritters-with-avocado/
Mango Kohlrabi Salad https://www.mygermantable.com/mango-kohlrabi-salad-mango-kohlrabi-salat/
Swiss Chard Tzatziki https://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/swiss_chard_tzatziki_yogurt_dip
Pickled Chard Stems (throw in your cukes!) https://www.upstateramblings.com/pickled-chard-stems/
It came as a huge shock to us last week when we found out that we were even nominated, and are now in the final running, to win Connecticut Magazine's Best Farm Stand award!
Our crew had fun making this silly TikTok video to garner some hype and votes.
Voting is open until July 31st, and you can vote once with a valid email address. Please share with friends and family who'd also love to vote! Click this link to take you to the polls.
Amidst all of the fun we have on the farm, the reality of this growing season is that it's been challenging. This has honestly been one of the hardest seasons yet. The spring started out pleasantly sunny, but the inconsistencies in water and sun have been anything but balanced. We're getting too much sun, not enough sun, too much rain, not enough rain, plants are getting sun scald, and we're seeing more pest pressure than ever due to a mild winter.
Not only is the weather causing us difficulty in growing, but it also makes field work and markets harder, too. The crew can't go out when it's storming, and we're finding ourselves bringing truck loads of produce that we spent hours harvesting back from markets that were hindered by the rain.
Certainly nothing is meant to be a complaint, as we are so appreciative of you especially, who stand behind your farmer in a Community Supported Agriculture program. To know that you're all there with positive words and engagement in this program means the world to us.
The timeline of harvesting hasn't really been affected by the weather. Most, if not all, items are still on schedule. We are experiencing some crop loss, but aren't anticipating anything major.
On one of the sunny days last week, I snapped some photos to show you some progress. Eggplant, husk cherries, tomatillos, bell peppers, gutter planters full of scallions, and our beautiful echinacea, all look healthy.
Our greenhouse tomatoes started coming in beautifully last week, too. We're getting about a tray a day, which doesn't amount to much, but the quality has impressed us. Tomatoes historically come in from the field during week 10, so we are getting close!
Click to take a video walk through the peppers. Peppers are about a few weeks off, and when I turn the camera view behind me, you can see a sea of carrot tops, where your carrots were harvested from this week.
Last week, when we were able to work in the fields, it was a big week for turning over crops and replacing them with new ones. Typically we harvest in the mornings and then plant, weed, and do farm maintenance in the afternoons. Nick and Tyler pulled out the old pea crop stakes to be used for tomato stakes. They also planted Brussels sprouts for the fall in an old greens block.
Just a reminder that we're open from 10:30 to 6 on weekdays and 9 to 4 on Saturdays. We know that 10:30 is kind of a strange time, but we've figured out that this works best for our family, farm, staff, work flow, and business. We don't want to disappoint you, but we can't promise to be available before then.
1,400 of our 1,700 lbs. of plum tomatoes are already spoken for! We're just estimating our yield and availability this year based on last year's numbers. This means we've only got about 12 more bulk boxes available before plum tomatoes would be sold out.
If you'd like to get on the list to receive bulk boxes of veggies so you can pickle, can, and preserve this summer, you can order yours by following this link: 2021 Bulk Box Waiting List
The following bulk boxes will be available this season:
Cucumbers: 25 lb. boxes for $25 (Makes 12-13 quarts)
Plum tomatoes: 25 lb. boxes for $30 (Makes 8-9 quarts)
Imperfect Peppers for Freezing (some blemishes to cut around, in assorted colors): 25 lb. boxes for $30 (Makes 8-9 quart bags)
Cherry Peppers: 10 lbs. for $30 (Makes about 10 pints)
Here are a few shots of our picklers' finished products!
CT has a new law as of July 1, 2021 that bans all single-use plastic bags. We are no longer legally allowed to provide a courtesy bag at pickup, so please remember to bring a reusable bag to pick up your veggies. Thanks so much for supporting us in this!
If you receive a delivery, please remember to leave us last week's KIND bag so that we can pack your next share into it. If we don't receive the bag back, we'll leave the items loose in your cooler next week. We SO appreciate your remembering to leave a bag and your cooler with ice during these very hot summer days!
We feel happy about the new law and committed to our decision as a farm to move in this direction away from plastic as much as possible.
Remember that our "Week of Choice" is happening from August 1st to August 7th. If you'd like to waive your pre-packed box and instead receive a voucher to spend on items of your choice in the store, you must use this form to opt in.
If you wish to continue to receive a traditional pre-packed box that week, that is completely fine with us! If we haven't received a response as of this week, Jill, Dawn, and I will begin to ask for confirmation that that means you would like to receive a pre-packed box. The deadline to opt for the voucher will be July 24, 2021.
We're EXTENDING OUR DEADLINE as we look for LGF's Greatest Griller of 2021! This weather has been so awful for grilling that we think we need more opportunities to join in on the fun. The deadline will now be Sunday, July 18th, and our crew will pick a winner on Monday, July 19th. Here are the criteria to enter:
You MUST grill a veggie! Since we are a veggie farm, we're looking to share some inspiration with dishes that our community can make.
Tag us with a photo submission of your grilled creation (Our Instagram and Facebook handles are @laurelglenfarmllc). OR email the photo to us at firstname.lastname@example.org (We'll reshare it with your first name on our account.)
Simply provide us with a short caption of what it is. You are absolutely welcome to explain it if you'd like, but we just need to be able to label it on our social media. No recipe needed!
Here are our submissions to date. Who will win the fun, custom prize?!
One of the perks of this weather? Beautiful rainbows. What a sight!