This week feels like a big transition week. During the first week of August we typically start sharing the first of the tomatoes and peppers in subscription boxes. My walk around the farm on Saturday was especially vital this week because we were so excited to share some of these new offerings with you, but needed to guarantee amounts. We are almost positive that we can provide the list in this newsletter, but remember that we will always provide a substitution if not.
Here's a beautiful snapshot from my walk. Right in front of me are the tomatillos. Beyond that are the fall tomatoes. In the background are the peppers.
I'd love to share my walk with you. Let's start at Booth Hill.
A quick check on the green peppers revealed that there are enough for everyone... and that they smell amazing! We only harvest green peppers from one row and leave the rest of the green peppers untouched to change color.
Tomatillos look like beautiful lanterns on a plant similar to a tomato.
See how the onion tops are dying back? That means it's time to start getting them out of the ground this week! They won't grow anymore and we don't want them to sit there and rot. It's amazing how nature lets us know about times and seasons. Seasons just can't be rushed. The onions are ready when they're ready, and they're happy to let us know exactly when that is.
Baby beans are on the vine. You'll get a break from beans this week, but they'll be back soon.
Even smaller beans are popping up. These will be ready in the fall.
Here are those beans again. I love the seclusion of Booth Hill. It's so beautiful!
Now let's head on over to Waverly for some more updates.
Here are Carly and Felicia with our prized cabbage, Big Bertha. We asked social media what we should name her and got a ton of silly and clever ideas. Audrey II from Little Shop of Horrors was also suggested a few times, so we put it to a vote. Big Bertha it is! I just don't think we could ever harvest her.
P.S. Green cabbage is back this week. If you're not in the mood for it this week, it'll keep in your fridge for next week.
Tomato gradients are, in my opinion, one of the most beautiful things on the farm.
Husk cherries are coming in, but usually they're all over the ground. It'll be a couple of weeks before we see enough to begin our Pick a Pint option. We hope you try these at some point this season!
There are more flowers on the eggplant than there were last week. Phew!
I don't think we quite anticipated how labor intensive huckleberries would be. Neither Randy nor I realized how teeny tiny they are. For that reason, huckleberries won't be appearing in shares. But what we are able to have time to harvest will be available in the store.
Have you ever had a huckleberry before? We had never tasted them before this year! I have to say, the jury's out for me... Sources say that they are similar in flavor to a blueberry, and I understand that, but also feel like they're slightly tart, but also just completely unique. Kind of like husk cherries, I have a feeling you either love them or hate them. What do you think? Let us know if we should bother to grow them again!
We're super excited to share tomatillos with you this week.
These were a huge unexpected hit last season, and we doubled our crop for this year. Our members specifically liked making them into salsa verde, but members grilled, roasted, and fried them, too. Though we won't be doing a tomatillo contest this week, we would LOVE to see your submissions to be able to share them on our social media. There are lots of recipe ideas in the Library of Resources, and it'll be perfect to pair them with the tomatoes this week.
Simply peel back the husk and rinse away the sticky residue. They're very similar to a green tomato with a lemony tart flavor. You can eat them raw or cooked, but cooking tones down the tartness quite a bit.
Pick up a hot pepper in the store to go along with your tomatillos. My favorite salsa verde recipe can be found below!
We picked a winner for the Creative Kohlrabi Contest! Kate R., the newly-proclaimed Kohlrabi Lady will take home the prize! Her kohlrabi chips shared at the beginning of the contest gained 22 "likes" in our Facebook group, which was the highest amount that any of the entries received. We also felt that Kate showed ingenuity with her Kohlrabi and Cucumber Quencher with agave. Kate will take home a small bottle of oil or vinegar of her choice from Dash 'n Drizzle!
As always, you all wowed us with your creativity, and honestly, just your sheer participation. We are so thrilled that you love to play along with us. Here are all of the delicious dishes created with kohlrabi this week.
It's always so hard to pick a winner that we let the social media reactions speak for themselves. Thank you so much again for playing!
Thank you to all who voted in this week's Facebook poll regarding whether or not you wanted squash, zucchini, both, or neither. We can't tell you how helpful this group has been and how much guidance these polls provide us. To be honest, I was so surprised by the results! Since zucchini did get the most votes, we will only be providing zucchini in shares, but we will also have a crate of FREE yellow squash out on the swap table for anyone who would like to grab one of those, too!
And, this seems like the perfect time to introduce...
Here's how to play:
Complete a task to mark it off. A diagonal line, horizontal line, or vertical line qualifies as BINGO. You must send us photo proof of one completed task in your winning line (you can even share the photo before earning BINGO if you have a line in mind to complete). Send us an electronic copy or hand in a physical copy of your successful BINGO board by August 27th for a chance to win a prize! One participant will be selected at random to win a prize on August 28th. Have fun!
In Your Share (Listed approximately from shortest shelf life to longest)
1 pint of grape/cherry tomatoes
1 lb. of tomatoes
1 lb. of cucumbers
1 lb. of zucchini
1 lb. of green peppers
1 pint of shishitos
1 pint of tomatillos
1 head of cabbage
1 pint of grape/cherry tomatoes
1 lb. of tomatoes
1 lb. of zucchini
1/2 lb. of green peppers
1 pint of tomatillos
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)
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.
Store your zucchini, cucumbers, and squash in the crisper drawer in the refrigerator.
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 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 tomatoes out on the counter and out of direct sunlight, where they will get plenty of air flow. Do not put them in the fridge; it will dry out the tomatoes and change their consistency. Tomatoes continue to ripen after harvested, so use within a few days. To ripen a tomato quickly, put it in a paper bag in a dark place, like a cabinet.
Keep tomatillos in a paper bag in the fridge. Peel the husk, wash, and use when ready to eat. Can be stored for a few weeks.
The LGF Cooking Club
30 Minutes or Less:
Large Share Additional Ingredients:
Biweekly Catch-Up (A copy of last week's updates)
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!