Happy 4th of July weekend! We hope it's been a relaxing and enjoyable one. On Tuesday we have a really awesome announcement to share with our mailing list, so stay tuned for that!
This week, we planted Brussels sprouts. We usually harvest Brussels sprouts around Thanksgiving, so it takes a while for them to grow and mature. Believe it or not, we actually continue to plant until September 15th.
Succession planting plays a huge role in our farm operations. Usually that means we're seeding new plantings of crops like squash, zucchini, and cucumbers within a few weeks of each other to keep them coming, and that's something we do nine times here! We also schedule multiple plantings of crops, like spinach and broccoli rabe, to come back again in the fall. Eventually we'll be seeding more lettuce and greens for later this year.
This week you're receiving radicchio in your share. We aren't going to lie, this is a challenging item to receive! It's not particularly popular and recipes are a bit more scarce for enjoying it. We highly recommend - as always! - not swapping out an item until you've tried it. Even then, if you've tried an item before and didn't love it, try it again in a new way. Remember, that part of this program is about learning to love new veggies. You can read about radicchio in the Library of Resources.
Again, another bit of honesty - radicchio is a bitter green. We recommend balancing out the bitterness with some sweetness. For example, making it into a pineapple slaw, or mixing it into a salad with some other sweet fruit. We have also grilled it and enjoyed it with a sweet balsamic reduction. Consider picking up a small bottle of the Dash 'n Drizzle flavored vinegar (like strawberry) to drizzle over it.
Let's spam the Facebook group with tons of radicchio ideas this week and show off how creative our community is! Even if you don't end up loving it, it's an awesome source of vitamin K, fiber, and antioxidants. At the very least, giving it a chance will give your body an amazing boost of nutrients to balance out your diet.
Remember Randy's fruit crop? Well, he just harvested the first handful of fruit from it - black raspberries! We hope to be able to share some with you in the store potentially this week if not next week and/or the following!
The way Randy planted his raspberry and blackberry crop was that he chose varieties that ripen during specific weeks across the season, so that there shouldn't be a gap in berries being harvested. And believe it or not, the black raspberries will be right on schedule for the first couple of weeks in July! Everything else will be here next year - black raspberries just happened to catch on really well.
Carrie L. was the first to email us at 1:34 with the hidden message in last week's newsletter, and will therefore receive her greenhouse tomatoes.
But if you recall, we had also said that the members on the pickup day with the least amount of missed pickups this week would win a bonus item this week.
And the winner was... Team Wednesday with only 1 missed pickup!
All members who are normally scheduled for Wednesday pickups will receive a bonus item this week (TBD, farmer's choice).
We'd like to invite you to the Great Garlic Harvest of 2022, happening here on the farm at 247 Waverly Rd. in Shelton on Saturday, July 16th from 9 to 2.
Many of you have expressed interest in coming to the farm and have asked about opportunities to come get your hands dirty, and this is a great way to build community and spend some time together.
Here's the sign up form if you're interested. Select an hour time slot for your family to come. We'll send out another email right before the event once you've signed up.
The only thing we ask is that you please do not sign up tentatively. Please only register if you're sure that you can make the commitment. We appreciate good intentions, but drop-outs at these events significantly affect our planning.
Here's how it'll work:
Come to the farm that day with a small garden spade during your selected time slot (if you have a spade, that would be great!).
We'll show you how to harvest garlic, you'll tie it up, and sit aside for drying.
You'll take home a little bonus bag of veggies as a thank you!
Unfortunately there will not be a rain date for this event, so we are hoping for good weather!
Let's end the newsletter with some beautiful shots of the farm. Happy 4th of July weekend, everyone!
In Your Share (Listed approximately from shortest shelf life to longest)
1 head of radicchio
1 lb. of cucumbers
1 pint of snap peas
1 lb. of squash or zucchini
2 lbs. of beets
1/4 lb. of garlic scapes
1 head of cabbage
1 head of radicchio
1 lb. of cucumbers
1 lb. of squash or zucchini
1 lb. of beets
1 head of cabbage
Caring For Your Share (All of this information, plus long-term storage info, can also be found in our Vegetable Library of Resources)
Store radicchio, snap peas, and garlic scapes in a plastic bag in the fridge. Wash when ready to use.
Remove the greens from the beets and kohlrabi bulbs (if any... leaves may have been removed due to the heat) and store in separate plastic bags in the fridge. Use the greens within a week; the bulbs can last a couple of weeks if stored properly.
Store cucumbers, squash, and zucchini in the crisper drawer of the fridge for approximately a week. Wash when ready to use.
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.
The LGF Cooking Club
Homemade Quick-Pickled Beets and Turnips (Use your kohlrabi in place of the turnips!)
30 Minutes or Less:
Large Share Additional Ingredients:
Biweekly Catch-Up (A copy of last week's updates)
This week, we're starting off with more housekeeping, but different announcements, so please be sure to read them all.
Thank you all for understanding our mistakes, as a few of you have been subjected to them so far! Perhaps a missed item in your share, or perhaps the inside of a cabbage was rotten when you cut into it, and we thank you all for notifying us of these problems. Of course, it is never our intention to miss your share or give you a rotten item, so we thank you so much for your understanding and flexbility. We are more than happy to make it up to you when a mistake arises! We want you to be happy and would much rather you say something.
If you pre-arrange for a specific occurrence with us in advance, please be sure to remind our crew in the store as miscommunication can sometimes arise, too. For example: we missed the broccoli in your share and arranged to give you some this week. Please let our crew members in the store know. We try very hard to let them know of these things, but sometimes we forget!
These are the following days that we pack shares: Monday for Tuesday pickup, Tuesday for Wednesday pickup, Friday for Saturday pickup. If you need to change your pickup for another day, those are your options, and you must let us know 48 hours in advance of the pickup day. Additionally, there is always the opportunity for us to hold your share for the next day if you need to come on one of those off days. For example, we can pack your share for Wednesday, but hold it through Thursday.
We do not provide reminders about missed pickups. So sorry! We do recommend setting a recurrent alarm on your phone for the day-of so that you never forget! Again, you can always come the next day and we will save your share for you. After the 24 hour holding period, your share will be donated to a local food pantry.
Now on to the good stuff! Two really fun announcements:
Throughout the remainder of this newsletter, there will be a hidden message. Be the first person to send us an email with the hidden message, and win a prize! We'll email you all once a member has won.
This week, the pickup day that has the best attendance (meaning least number of missed pickups) will win a prize next week! For example, Tuesday has 3 missed pickups, Wednesday has 5, and Saturday has 8, all members who are regularly scheduled on "Team Tuesday" will win a bonus item in your share next week! To clarify, a missed pickup does not refer to members who have pre-arranged a different pickup day or asked us to hold their share an additional day. The goal is to try to have as many members remember to pick up as possible! Who will it be?!
It was a pretty unseasonable week last week, but we were able to complete some big projects. One of those was tending to our fruit trees. If you're a new member, we planted raspberries, blackberries, table grapes, apples, peaches, and plums at our Booth Hill Rd. location and are tending to them for harvest in the next few years.
Here is a photo of the center of a peach tree. These are clothespins that are stretching the branches away from each other. The object is not to let them grow too densely packed.
And, it seems like a cruel job, but you also need to pull any fruit off of the tree that might be on it to encourage the tree to grow to maturity.
We are crossing our fingers and toes for a black raspberry harvest this year - a year early! What we do end up harvesting will be in the store later this season.
This week, you're all receiving garlic scapes! This might be one of my favorite things we "grow" here on the farm. I say "grow" because it's not an intentionally grown crop, but rather a beautiful side effect of growing garlic.
Garlic scapes are harvested from the top of the garlic plant. At the very tip of the scape, there's a seed pod. If you remember from last week's discussion, a plant's one and only goal is to reproduce and make seeds.
Seeing these garlic scapes means that the garlic is at the end of its life cycle, ready to reproduce and die. So, we go through the garlic field and snip off these delicious curlicues to eat. This transfers the energy from creating the seed pod back down to growing a larger head of garlic. When we harvest it on Saturday, July 16th (pssssttt: save the date to come harvest with us!) the garlic will be larger than if we had left the scape on.
Here's a photo of Carly and Felicia harvesting scapes.
We wait until they're fully curled and pointing upward, and then we know that they're ready to snip off.
Remember to read about all of our crops in the Library of Resources, but think of garlic scapes like a cross between asparagus and garlic. They have the texture of asparagus with the mild flavor of garlic. You can eat them whole and grill or roast them, you can chop them up and put them in hummus or butter (one of the trendiest things we do here at Laurel Glen Farm - seriously, you gotta try this!), or you can chop them up and use them in a dish exactly like you would use garlic.
They'll only be in shares this week, so if you want more, we do recommend that you snatch up what you see in the store. (Hint: garlic butter freezes really well!)
We are so impressed by the dishes and posts that you're all sharing in our Facebook group. On the first week, we specifically talked about using the greens from the top of your root crops, and you all crushed it! Lisa made kohlrabi green chips with a yogurt dill sauce and Stephanie made radish green dal.
As for me, I was super inspired by the members who posted about their kohlrabi fries and decided to make some myself.
Take a moment to reflect on what you've learned from this program so far.
This may be the time in the season when you're acquiring some unused veggies left over in your fridge. To avoid food waste, I always refer back to longest participating member RoseAnn's (10 years!) tip about doing a sweep of your fridge mid-week. After you've had your share at home for a few days, sweep out and freeze anything you know you won't use. Basic Ziploc bags can do wonders. You don't even necessarily need to blanch or prep these items. For example, if you're not going to use the head of escarole and it's halfway through the week, stick it in a gallon sized Ziploc and store it in the freezer. If you make soup with it this fall, the quality of it won't matter as much. Better than food waste, for sure!
Thank you all for keeping morale up in the Facebook group, too! Shout out to Stephanie for her photo of her daughter holding up her gigantic veggies, and to Lynne for her joke: "By the time I chop up all that napa cabbage I'm going to need a napa!" Pickled radishes are being made for the first time, and there are so many successes happening. We hope you're having fun!
This week you're receiving cucumbers, and they might be slicing cucumbers or pickling cucumbers. Sometimes when customers hear the word "pickling," they worry that these cucumbers can only be used for making pickles. Pickling cucumbers get their name for being crunchy and the perfect size for pickling - slender and short - and the seeds inside typically stay smaller due to the size of the cucumber itself. But the truth is, pickling cukes make the best snacks and are my personal go-to when slicing a cucumber for a salad.
Here's a photo showing the difference between a slicing and pickling cucumber.
On the left is a slicing cucumber and on the right a pickling cucumber. You can see the size difference, but another way you can tell them apart is by subtle differences in their appearance. Slicing cucumbers are slightly darker. Pickling cucumbers also have a greater amount of light green speckles on the skin. Can you see the difference?
This week, you're also receiving Tokyo bekana, a leaf cabbage. We highly recommend reading all about it in the Library of Resources. It's a member favorite for sure!
We sell bulk boxes of pickling cucumbers, tomatoes, and imperfect peppers for pickling and canning once we have an abundance.
Pickling cucumbers: 25 lb. boxes for $30 (Makes 12-13 quarts)
Plum tomatoes: 25 lb. boxes for $35 (Makes 8-9 quarts)
Imperfect Peppers for Freezing (some blemishes to cut around, in assorted colors): 25 lb. boxes for $35 (Makes 8-9 quart bags)
We have a waiting list that can be months-long, but you can add your name to the list now.
Here’s how it works: we’ll send you an email or call when your order is ready for pickup at our store. You’ll have 24 hours to respond before we move down the list (we’ll circle back to you one time).
Click this link to fill out the form and add yourself to the list. More information about this can be found on the form.
Coming soon: green and wax beans! Looking good!