On Thursday, Randy went out with the crew to harvest what he could of the yellow watermelons... and found that our entire crop was severely decimated by woodchucks. Someone mentioned to me that because of the drought, woodchucks are looking for water sources and are turning more to crops to quench their thirst.
We hope they enjoyed them, because we got ONE lone crate of yellow watermelons. I quickly posted this photo to Facebook to notify customers that this was all we'll have this season, and the crate was depleted by the end of the night.
We are so sorry to share this news because we know how much our members love the yellow watermelon. It's a huge shame for everyone, especially because we doubled our planting knowing how coveted they are.
We have to keep a really close eye on the red watermelon. If we don't stay on top of it, the second they ripen, they're going to become woodchuck food. Luckily we plan to have a cantaloupe for you this week. If not, it'll be a red watermelon, whichever we have available. Most likely there will be a wagon of melons for you to pick one up from. Be sure to ask in case you aren't reminded.
Also, please note that the items in your share are super high value this week, which is why it will seem far less substantial. Thank you so much for giving us feedback in the Facebook group about whether or not to include both kinds of tomatoes this week. The results at my last check were 60 to 2. This is why I love this group - I was completely unsure about putting both kinds of tomatoes in the box, but you all clarified so much! This box is quintessential fresh summer bounty. Enjoy!
This past week we got a lot of odd jobs done. When we shift to the summer peak, harvesting becomes more systematic, where we harvest certain crops on certain days. This leaves time to get more tasks complete in the afternoon. Once it's full-on harvest time, things will pick up again, but for now we're grateful for the short respite.
One thing the crew got done was weeding in the melon field. This particular field has been especially out of control with pigweed, so we wanted to get it weeded before it starts to drop seed and spread.
There was also a lot of stringing to do. Here, Eric and Emily are stringing up the fall tomato planting, and on Saturday, they strung up the husk cherries to make them easier to harvest on one side.
Ethan also spent some time in the greenhouse, seeding fall crops. Believe it or not, seeding isn't just for spring. Here's some baby lettuce.
On Saturday, our neighbor Frannie and I seeded almost 1,200 heads of lettuce, and then almost 400 broccoli plants (before we ran out of broccoli seed). There is a ton more seeding to do later this week for the upcoming months.
Other tasks that weren't pictured: pruning the berry bushes, weeding the celery, fixing hose leaks, and mowing down old crops like the cabbage and Swiss chard.
But probably the biggest task, and one that will continue for the next week or two, was harvesting onions.
First, we pull them up.
Then we lay them down to dry out in the sun.
Randy made a joke to me this week that one sure way to get rain is to lay down the onions. It never fails - when we think they'll be okay to stay out, the rain moves in. Well, guess what? It didn't work. We even talked to a fellow farmer who is only a couple miles from us who got 3/4 of an inch of rain. But us? Nope! Not this week.
After the onions stay out for a day or so, we brush off the tops. If they're completely dry, they're crated for storage. If not, we lay them down on trays to do more drying in our small greenhouse. Then we'll move them over to a drying table, where they'll stay until we get a frost threat.
We worked on this every afternoon this week and still have a long way to go. The yellow onions were ready well before the red ones, so we'll continue on with more this week. Needless to say, you can expect to see a dried onion in your share this week.
Peppers are starting to come in more steadily this week. Everyone will be receiving shishitos - my absolute favorite quick side dish to blister up! I love to see what kind of dipping sauces you whip up to go with them. Share with us in the Facebook group! And don't forget that we're playing BINGO this month. Scroll all the way to the bottom of this newsletter for more information.
I know it's hot and I know it's August, but I just don't want to hear the F word yet: fall. What about you? I know we get some great crops in the fall, but I'm a summer girl through and through. Maybe these pretty mums will help...
We have gotten a lot of questions recently about enrollment for next year. Traditionally we start dripping out information to our email list in September, so stay tuned for more details. We open enrollment on the first Sunday in October and sell out the Extended Season program that day. One thing I can tell you for certain is that we absolutely, positively can not make exceptions if you miss enrollment day and don't get the spot you were hoping for. Truly. This even goes for members who are currently enrolled in a program. We can absolutely not play favorites and make exceptions because we love you all! So, please mark your calendars now for October 2nd at 7:00 a.m.
We've just begun contacting those who were on our plum tomato bulk box waiting list. We can expect these orders to be filled into October. We are in the home stretch of filling pickling cucumber orders. Please stay alert by email. Per our policy, you'll have 24 hours to respond to our email about filling your upcoming order before we move down the list - we'll circle back to you only one additional time. In the past we have lost boxes while waiting for responses and we can't guarantee filling your order if we don't hear back within this time frame.
In Your Share (Listed approximately from shortest shelf life to longest)
1 pint of grape/cherry tomatoes
1 lb. of tomatoes
1 bunch of basil
1 pint of shishitos
1 bunch of cutting celery (use those tops!)
1 bunch of scallions
1 dried onion
1 pint of grape/cherry tomatoes
1 lb. of tomatoes
1 pint of shishitos
1 dried onion
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 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.
Leave the cantaloupe out on the counter, where it will continue to ripen. Use quickly within a few days. Or, cut up the cantaloupe and store it in the fridge in a container to make it last longer.
Trim the celery bottoms and place in a jar of water in the fridge, like a bouquet. Put a plastic bag over the leaves to protect them.
Trim the bottoms of the 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 scallions roots-down in a glass of water in the fridge, like a bouquet. Cover the greens with a plastic bag. Or, store in a plastic bag in the fridge and use within the week.
The LGF Cooking Club
30 Minutes or Less:
Large Share Additional Ingredients:
Biweekly Catch-Up (A copy of last week's updates)
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!