2022 Main Season Week 7D
A quick note on a policy change:
You may be asked to share proof of confirmation for any changes to your pickup or special orders if we need clarification on your request. Please try to have your email handy if necessary. This will help us so much to avoid any miscommunication and mistakes. Thank you so much!
Also, thank you for bearing with substitutions! This time of year can be so unpredictable from one day to the next, especially with the heat and drought. And you know what they say about the best laid plans...
In news that surprises absolutely no one, it's hot and dry!
We're so grateful that we have irrigation because without it, our crops would have been gone weeks ago. Truly, there is no way that we could farm without a reliable water source. We do have city water at home on Waverly, which is a blessing, but also a very expensive blessing. There is absolutely no way we could sustain both of our greenhouses and all of the acreage here on a well. Unfortunately our bills go up drastically when we are in a drought.
We have a well at Booth Hill, which is also a blessing. But it also poses the issue of needing to decide what crops to prioritize. We can't possibly water everything at once. Randy is often switching different circuits on and off. Booth Hill is more than double the size of Waverly, so most of our crops are there, including our fruit trees (and all fruit!), melons, potatoes, peppers, and so much more.
This photo was taken after we transplanted fall broccoli and cauliflower. The weather report was calling for a 100% chance of storms on Thursday afternoon, so we tried to get them in the ground to rain them in. And, of course, we didn't get any rain and had to quickly install and turn on the irrigation.
Most crops need an inch of rain a week. Even though it poured on Friday night, unfortunately it takes a lot to really add up and put a dent in their needs.
This is that broccoli and cauliflower.
This week's big project was harvesting all of the garlic. We were bummed to have had to cancel the Great Garlic Harvest and spent a couple of hours in the afternoon every day pulling out and bundling garlic. We grow 4 different varieties from 90 lbs. of seed. This will dry for a few weeks before we're ready to put aside next year's seed and sell the rest.
Here's a snap of Randy climbing up on the barn rafters to hang the garlic up.
I love finding a monster garlic head!
After the garlic was pulled up, Randy quickly plowed and harrowed those beds and seeded beets for the fall. We have a quick turnaround time here and don't like to let any land go unused or untouched. That can be problematic for soil health, and we also like to ensure that we have a steady supply of crops late into the season. We'll harvest these into December even!
On Thursday and Friday afternoon, some bonus crops became available:
We harvested a couple of crates of green peppers after transplanting.
And then on Friday afternoon, we went out to harvest eggplant...
And got SO much that you get to have eggplant this week! What a nice surprise!
Truthfully, we are a little nervous about the state of the eggplant. We aren't seeing a lot of flowers on the plants. We wanted to get this eggplant to you ASAP in case anything were to happen to the crop. It's still actually very early for us to harvest eggplant, believe it or not, so there is plenty of time for the plants to develop flowers. But there are never any guarantees in farming, so please savor it this week!
Any guesses as to what these are?
Mums! We've got 4 different colored mums planted for this fall.
We're really grateful that our crew keeps going even in this heat. A common misconception is that farmers work even earlier to beat the heat, and while it is true that the earlier you get started the better, there is just no possible way to finish a day's worth of work before it gets hot. If anything, the farm needs more tending to. The week ahead looks like temps will drop slightly, and that will make things a little more bearable.
If anyone is able to donate some boxes to us, we would greatly appreciate it! This size and slightly larger are idea. Think pet food delivery boxes and Amazon splurges. We are all set with small boxes. Thanks so much!
We are approximately half way through pickling cucumber orders, so if you have not received an email to plan out your order pickup, stay tuned. Orders for pickling cucumbers will most likely continue through Labor Day.
Harvesting all of our onions to dry for storage
Harvesting a new crop... huckleberries!
Subscription BINGO... beginning next Sunday!
In Your Share (Listed approximately from shortest shelf life to longest)
1 head of radicchio
1 head of broccoli
1 lb. of beans
1 lb. of yellow squash
1 bunch of beets
1 bunch of carrots
1 head of radicchio
1/2 lb. of beans
1/2 lb. of yellow squash
1 bunch of beets
1 bunch of carrots
Caring For Your Share (All of this information, plus long-term storage info, can also be found in our Vegetable Library of Resources)
Remove the greens from the beets 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 beans in a plastic bag in the fridge. Wash and blot dry when ready to use.
Store radicchio in a plastic bag in the fridge. Wash when ready to use.
Store your squash in the crisper drawer in the refrigerator.
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.)
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.
The LGF Cooking Club
Eggplant and Hummus Burger (I like my eggplant burger topped with mozzarella, roasted red pepper, and balsamic. You can easily change out the toppings on this one!)
30 Minutes or Less:
Summer Squash Tacos (Add your eggplant!)
Large Share Additional Ingredients:
Biweekly Catch-Up (A copy of last week's updates)
Being stuck inside for another week, I didn't have a chance to get out and take photos, and truthfully, I still feel pretty disconnected to all of the happenings here.
But, what I can tell you is how our crew really held it down this week and kept things running smoothly, kept making sure that shares were harvested for and packed, and that our store and markets stayed stocked. We're really grateful for everyone who pitched in.
Thank you all for the well-wishes, too! We're happy to be on the mend and back in action. This week, I should be able to do a better job of providing updates in the newsletter and on our social media.
I asked the crew to send over some photos of their week, so I will share them here. First up is Carly:
Hannah had a pretty genius idea for harvesting beans.
A baby currant tomato
Katelyn's flowers. As she continues to harvest more, we should have a steady supply of fresh bouquets here. The lack of rain interfered with her harvest schedule this week.
A mosaic of tomatoes that are coming in a little faster from the greenhouse now. Our hose broke while we were out sick and Randy was able to repair it ASAP on his first day back. Crisis averted!
Dumping stinky compost is a necessary evil. What we can donate, Real Food CT comes to pick up weekly for distribution to local food pantries. What is inedible heads to our compost pile. We use the compost in our herb gardens, greenhouse tomato bags, and greenhouse pots.
A new fall crop this year: burdock! It looks very healthy. We can't wait to try it!
Pepper progress! We harvested a handful of hot peppers this week. We anticipate harvesting green peppers in a couple of weeks.
It's hard to tell by the photo, but this is Randy's prized cabbage because it's huge!
A praying mantis buddy in the kale patch. We love finding critters. Sometimes they're spiders and snakes, and other times they're a little more harmless, like caterpillars and bunnies. Thank goodness we never see deer anymore - we haven't for years since we were able to put up deer fencing. They're cute and magestic, but they are pesky to crops. Recently, we've also seen turkeys and a snapping turtle. Turkeys can be so noisy!
This week, you're receiving kohlrabi again. We know you have received it a couple of times already, but we want to encourage you to prepare it in a new way. This is especially true if you didn't think that you liked it previously. In my opinion, kohlrabi is one of the most drastically different crops in flavor, between being cooked and raw. When you cook it, it becomes immensely sweeter and loses that radish-y "bite." Member Linda shared this unique recipe in our Facebook group last time she cooked the kohlrabi: Kohlrabi "Noodles" with Bacon and Parmesan.
We've also seen lots of variations of kohlrabi fries with dipping sauce, either breaded or not. Believe it or not, it's my favorite veggie on white pizza. I saute it with garlic and olive oil and top it, just like you would with broccoli. Our neighbor Frannie loves to mash it like potatoes and add a little drizzle of honey!
This week, I'd like to challenge you to post a photo of your kohlrabi creations in the Facebook group. The submission that wows us the most - sent in by 7/30 - will win a prize.
FYI, we have a couple of upcoming contests and challenges:
In August, subscription BINGO. Fill up your card to be entered to win a prize! (More info to come!)
In September, our Spectacular Spuds contest (cooking with potatoes!)
If anyone is interested, the Shelton Farmers' Market is having a dinner to raise money for advertising and events. Here is the flyer with more information.
If you'd like to attend we also have tickets available in our store (cash or check only. Sorry, no credit card for these!)
On the agenda this week:
Prepping fields for fall crops
Harvesting garlic so we can plant beets where the garlic is now
Have an awesome week, everyone! We desperately need rain... the downpour on Saturday was great, but technically we are still in a drought and have a long way to go. Most crops need one inch of rain per week! We only got a 1/4 inch on Saturday, and we are weeks behind.