On Thursday we planted 844 heads of lettuce. Randy plowed and harrowed an old cabbage planting and Eric helped him lay down the plastic mulch for the raised beds. When we do that, the irrigation is installed at the same time.
When we turn over beds this fast, it means that we're planting into dry beds, so it's a race against time to get the seedlings in the holes and let the drip irrigation keep them alive. We can always expect some transplant loss and always have some backup.
We still need to finish planting romaine and escarole for the fall here. Randy projects that these greens will be ready at the end of the month, which is awesome because I've been missing a good salad! Anyone else?
Randy and I were discussing the importance of showing the reality of farming. As we all know, social media is a highlight reel, and we show as many beautiful photos of the farm as we can. It is, of course, truly a blessing to be on this farm and to be among nature.
But, we also think it's important to discuss the struggles, too. We never have it all together here, especially at this busy time of year. We forget items in shares, we fail to check on a crop, we often don't have enough hands, and our farming practices are far from perfect.
I snapped this photo of Carly earlier this week to show her harvesting some tomatoes and I noticed that the weeds were pretty much as tall as her. At first I felt a little embarassed about it, but needed to remind myself that it would be physically impossble to have everything under control here at all times.
Here's another shot of greenhouse #2. The white strings are where the tomato plants used to be. And you can clearly see pots of greens that we abandoned in probably June and never dealt with. As with anything in life, deciding upon priorities is a major part of how our work load is completed. There will always be limitations to what we can accomplish here.
Fall mums look great and are projected to be ready later this month! We believe we chose varieties that flower around the end of September - the first official start to fall. Do you start decorating early in the month or wait for fall to begin?
Fall squashes are coming along really well too. The plants start to die off when the fruit ripens, so although this photo looks like it's of a bunch of unhealthy plants, they're doing their jobs of creating delicious fruit. Can you spy a few different kinds of squash in this photo?
Check out some of the submissions for our googly eyed pepper contest! Members, this has been SO much fun. I am a member of a large community of national CSA farmers and I shared this contest with them - they were over the moon about trying the idea (thank you, Terry!). However, you have all surpassed our expectations with your participation. We are SO grateful to have a community of such fun-loving people! Don't forget you have until this Tuesday to submit your photo. There is a pepper-themed prize for one submission!
And speaking of fun, we had a blast at our Pick-Your-Own grape tomato gathering on Saturday morning! Unfortunately Peter woke up with a cold, but Randy and my aunt Lorraine reported having a fantastic time. We even ran out of grape tomatoes at the end due to the turnout, but everyone seemed to have left happy! Thank you for coming out. Here are some photos of members:
In Your Share (Listed approximately from shortest shelf life to longest)
1 bunch of basil
1/2 lb. bag of arugula
1 yellow squash
1 Pick-a-Pint (grape tomatoes, husk cherries, shishitos, lunchbox peppers)
1 lb. of colored peppers
1 lb. of potatoes
1 bunch of basil
1/4 lb. bag of arugula
1 yellow squash
1 Pick-a-Pint (grape tomatoes, husk cherries, shishitos, lunchbox peppers)
Caring For Your Share (All of this information, plus long-term storage info, can also be found in our Vegetable Library of Resources)
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.
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 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.
Store yellow squash in the crisper drawer of the fridge for approximately a week. Wash when ready to use.
Store garlic in a cool, dark place out of the refrigerator, like a cabinet or pantry. Ensure that it has air flow. We leave the neck on the garlic to prevent it from rotting at the base of the bulb.
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.
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 grape or cherry tomatoes in a bowl with lots of airflow on your counter. If stems are still attached, don't pull them off until you're ready to eat the tomatoes. Wash before using and enjoy within a few days.
Keep husk cherries in a bowl on your counter, where they will get plenty of air flow. Husk cherries will last for weeks and will continue to ripen; the husk will turn brown and dry out while the cherry will turn a deeper golden yellow. Peel the husk and wash when ready to eat.
Trim the bottoms 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.
The LGF Cooking Club
Breaded Eggplant Cutlets (one of my favorite things ever!)
30 Minutes or Less:
One-Skillet Lemon Chicken with Summer Squash (Substitute eggplant for the zucchini)
Large Share Additional Ingredients:
Biweekly Catch-Up (A copy of last week's updates)
Well, we finally got it... rain!
It was not quite a quarter inch, but we'll take it. Crops need about an inch of rain per week, so this wasn't nearly enough to catch us up or keep us sustained, but if it were to continue, would add up nicely.
If you follow us on social media, you would have seen that we were completely passed over during the local storms on Tuesday. Customers who live just a couple of streets over were reporting heavy rain in their area. Jones actually got an inch. Someone made a funny joke that it's like the farm is located in the Bermuda triangle for rainfall. The clouds looked promising for rain, but we were shocked to have gotten nothing.
This little patch of land at Waverly (pictured below) has no irrigation. We grew basil there earlier in the season, but pictured front and center are the hot peppers. To the right of those is a new fall crop, burdock root, and then parsley is all the way to the right. In past years, it's been way too wet and swampy for us to be able to grow anything successfully. This year, we're relying 100% on rainfall.
The ironic thing is that the hot peppers are currently thriving. They're turning red a lot sooner than they would normally, which is indicative of being stressed by lack of rainfall. But the peppers coming off of the plants are absolutely stunning and perfect. We're sure all of those crops were at least a little happier after Friday's rain.
It's kind of exhausting to keep talking about rain, and most of our conversations at home are about rain, wells, or weather. Admittedly, it's a little exhausting here, too. But I completely understand the obsession now that I'm married to a farmer.
In other news, Emily, Felicia, and Carly weeded the rutabaga this week.
It actually occurs to me as I write this that we are exactly in the middle of our farming season. When we talk about rutabaga, they're still such little plants, and we don't harvest them until November around Thanksgiving.
Each little weed was pulled by hand in order to allow the rutabaga plant to thrive without weed pressure near it. These little babies have a long way to go.
More weeding took place in the raspberry field. We're harvesting a little bit now, which you might be able to find in the store in dribs and drabs. What a view at the top of Booth Hill!
Some great news! We've been hoarding colored peppers all week in order to share some with you! Which means... we're making googly eye faces with them this week!
Member Terry P. shared this idea with me last fall, and I instantly purchased googly eyes for everyone to make these faces this season. How much do these make you smile? This is a sample photo that I found on Google.
So this week, you'll be getting a little bag with 2 googly eyes inside. All you have to do is snap a photo like this and share it with us. We can't wait to flood social media with these photos! Submit it by Tuesday, September 6th for a chance to win a pepper prize!
Plus, coming soon, our annual fall cook-off... we're looking for our 2022 LGF Spud Specialist. And the custom prize has already been purchased. This will happen in mid-September. More details to come!
In case you missed out on plum tomatoes this season, sign up on our waiting list to order a 25 lb. box of tomato "seconds."
Fill out the form below to be added to our tomato seconds list! We'll email you as soon as we have enough availability to fill your order and give you a few days' notice to get your supplies ready.
Look out for our email! If we don't hear from you within 24 hours, we will move down our list. We'll circle back to you one time before you forfeit your spot.
Payment for bulk boxes ($25 for 25 lbs.) is due at the time of pickup.
We are inviting all of our members to come to the farm on Saturday, September 3rd from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. to pick a free bag of grape tomatoes. Read on to find out how this will work.
One bag will be given out per family, and this is open to members only. This is a pick at your own risk event. Sorry, but there will be no alternate times to come and we can not pick a bag for you in your absence - this event is being held to allow members to experience the farm! Please do not send a non-member in your absence. No need to arrive at 9:30 a.m. sharp - you can come and leave at any time during that time frame. Simply send us an RSVP to let us know that you will be in attendance. Just park in our lot or barnyard and check in at the store. We'll tell you from there where to meet us. Wear appropriate shoes! If we need to cancel for any reason, we'll let you know on Friday.
Saturday members, we are closing early on Monday, September 5th, Labor Day. We are open from 10:30 to 1:00 to allow our staff to hopefully go home early. This means that you must pick up your Saturday, September 3rd share on Saturday or in that pickup window on Monday. Otherwise, we strongly encourage you to change your pickup day following our normal process of giving 48 hours notice. We will not hold your share beyond those time frames. Thank you!
To close out this week's newsletter, please enjoy some more beautiful shots.
Holy moly! Look at that eggplant.