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2023 Extended Season Week 28 of 32

What a crazy week it's been! On Tuesday, we got to work prepping for the impending frost. Laina started with one last run through of the squash, zucchini, and cucumbers to save as much as possible.


Meanwhile, Randy went around to all of the irrigation lines to let the water out so it wouldn't freeze.


Then, Ethan, Laina, and I tucked in the lettuce, escarole, and romaine, which are not frost-tolerant.


As I turned over rocks to lay on top of the Reemay cloth, I even made a few new worm friends.

Worms are SO good for the soil - they eat through decaying matter in the soil, like plant roots, and then their own waste is filled with rich, organic matter. They also aerate the soil when they tunnel through it.


Afterward, Laina and Ethan also tucked in the arugula and Asian greens as well as the wax beans at Booth Hill.

 

My dad watches our kids on Tuesdays so we can work, and I took them all up to Booth Hill with me to check on the blackberries and golden raspberries one last time. And my goodness, the plants were loaded with beautiful unripe blackberries!

Randy planted many different varieties of raspberries and blackberries with the intention that they would last through as much of the season as possible. One of the varieties of blackberries is meant to be hardy up to 10 degrees and supposed to yield in late October or early November. We crossed our fingers that they would be okay in the frost, but all of this is quite an experiment as it's new to us.


Not pictured: I probably ate a quart myself, which I suppose balanced out all of the Halloween junk from later that night...


Then, Wednesday into Thursday we got a very hard frost! These seeding flats were coated in ice.


It's always sad to say goodbye to the squash, zucchini, cucumbers, tomatoes, and peppers, but such is life.


One of the most difficult things to do once we get a freeze is wash the veggies. The water is above ground, so it's subject to freezing. This means the the hose to the sink needs to thaw out before we can wash veggies. And on top of that, our hands freeze. A few of us actually own gloves made from the same material as scuba divers use, that's how cold the water gets!


Later in the day, I held my breath and took the kids up to Booth Hill to see how the blackberries made out...


Sadly, they had turned to transluscent mush. We're wondering if the plants will generate new berries since the plants themselves were still green. Time will tell. It was such a weird season as I'm sure you all know, based on the fact that many lilac bushes bloomed again in the fall. We're wondering if next year this variety might yield differently. The nerve-wracking thing is that we'll have to wait and see, and if we do decide to rip the row out and replant a new variety, we're looking at at least 4 years from now before the plants would be ready.


So many responses to our long-term business plan survey included the desire to see more fruit in our store. We will most likely never have enough fruit for a CSA add-on, but when the grapes, berries, apples, and peaches reach their maturity in the coming years, we should at least be able to stock our store more regularly and fully.

 

Randy has begun to do necessary maintenence on his tractors.

Oil changes, repairs, and anti-freeze are part of the norm in the off-season. Of course, he still has a ton of tractor work to do.


On Saturday, he plowed and harrowed under the squash, zucchini, and cucumbers.


I mourn the end of certain crops' seasonality because it means my kids will be one year older when we get to eat them again. I don't buy cucumbers at the store because they're waxy and mealy, which means it will be June and my son will already be 5 by the time they come back. Does anyone else think like this? I guess it's the same as thinking about being a year older for each holiday or summer vacation... I mark my family's memories in veggies.

 

The best thing about a frost is that it makes certain crops sweeter. Saturday members who received cabbage and Brussels sprouts post-frost may have even noticed a difference. All root crops like carrots and beets, as well as cabbage crops like broccoli and kale, experience a sweetening after a frost. The sugars in the plant intensify as they store energy. This is a win for us because we're all receiving broccoli this week! See if you notice a difference...


 

This week, we plan to plant garlic. It's a HUGE job. I'll take you along on the journey on Instagram and Facebook stories @laurelglenfarmllc and also give you a recap next week.

 

Here are the veggies expected to be in the store through Friday, November 10th... A new list will be emailed out on Friday.

  • Acorn squash

  • Arugula

  • Asian greens mix

  • Beets

  • Bell peppers (the last of them!)

  • Bok choy

  • Broccoli

  • Broccoli rabe

  • Brussels sprouts

  • Butternut squash

  • Cabbage (red, green, napa)

  • Carrots

  • Cauliflower

  • Celery root

  • Cutting celery

  • Choy sum

  • Collard greens

  • Delicata squash (the last of it!)

  • Escarole

  • Garlic

  • Herbs (sage, thyme, rosemary)

  • Honeynut squash

  • Hot peppers (the last of them!)

  • Kabocha squash

  • Kale

  • Kohlrabi

  • Leeks

  • Lettuce

  • Potatoes

  • Radishes and salad turnips

  • Romaine

  • Romanesco broccoli/cauliflower

  • Rutabaga

  • Shishito peppers (the last of them!)

  • Spaghetti squash

  • Spinach

  • Sugar pumpkins

  • Swiss chard (the last of it!)

  • Tomatoes (the last of them!)

  • Turnips

 

Don't forget to take a look into your pantries and cabinets to find any unexpired nonperishable items to donate to St. Vincent de Paul of the Valley Thrift Shop and Food Bank in Derby. This is a great way to clear up some space for you and also to help others in need. We'll be collecting items in the box in our store through Saturday, November 11th.


 
Gather a group of friends or treat yourself to a night of solo fun!
 
We'll show you how to make a table wreath for your Thanksgiving centerpiece using gourds and foraged herbs and greenery.
 
You'll receive a grapevine wreath plus all of the herbs, greens, gourds, and floral wire you'll need to complete this project.
 
*** When you sign up, you must select which type of wreath you would like to make: choose either the orange and white gourds OR the white gourd with red ornamental corn. Please see the sample photos to help you choose. Supplies will be allocated for participants, so the wreath type can not be changed once you order.
 
Where & when?
Monday, November 20, 2023 from 4-5 p.m. in the hay barn at Laurel Glen Farm.
 
Things to consider:
We'll be standing at tables for the workshop - please wear comfortable shoes for standing during this extended period of time. The barn is not heated, so we recommend dressing as if you were outside.
 
Tables can fit up to 4 people, but table arrangements can not be reserved, so we recommend arriving a few minutes early to claim a spot. The demonstration will begin promptly and you're welcome to use the remaining time frame to build your piece.
 
TERMS & CONDITIONS: The event ticket is non-refundable.

 
Gather a group of friends or treat yourself to some solo fun!
 
We'll show you how to make a holiday wreath using foraged greens from our farm. You'll have access to pine, cedar, yew, hemlock, and holly to build a personalized wreath that suits your tastes.
 
You'll receive an 18" wreath frame that you can fill as narrow or full as you'd like, plus the wire and greens you'll need to complete this project. Please bring a pair of garden clippers with your name on them, which you'll use to prune greenery for the wreath.
 
Where & when?
Friday, November 24, 2023 from 10 to 11:30 a.m. at Laurel Glen Farm.
 
Things to consider:
We'll be standing at tables for the workshop - please wear comfortable shoes for standing during this extended period of time. The barn is not heated and we will be using tent space outside, so we recommend dressing for outdoor elements (thin gloves are helpful).
 
Tables can fit 2 people, but table arrangements can not be reserved, so we recommend arriving a few minutes early to claim a spot. The demonstration will begin promptly and you're welcome to use the remaining time frame to build your wreath.
 
TERMS & CONDITIONS: The event ticket is non-refundable.
 

MORE FARM UPDATES


New Fall Hours


Effective through our

season’s closing date on

Saturday, December 9, 2023


Monday: 10:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Tuesday: 10:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Wednesday: 10:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Thursday: 10:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Friday: 10:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Saturday: 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.


The Shelton and Monroe Farmers' Markets have concluded for the season. Thank you for your support at our tents!

 

In Your Share (Listed approximately from shortest shelf life to longest)

Large:

  • 1 bunch of choy sum

  • 1 head of broccoli

  • 2 lb. of leeks

  • 2 lb. of rutabaga

  • 2 lb. of potatoes

  • 1 acorn squash


Small:

  • 1 bunch of choy sum

  • 1 head of broccoli

  • 1 lb. of leeks

  • 1 lb. of rutabaga

  • 1 lb. of potatoes

  • 1 acorn squash


Caring For Your Share (All of this information, plus long-term storage info, can also be found in our Vegetable Library of Resources).

  • 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.

  • Store leeks in a plastic bag in the fridge. Wash when read to use.

  • 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 rutabaga in a plastic bag in the fridge. Will last for about a month if stored properly.

  • Store acorn squash in a cool, dark place such as a pantry, cabinet, or cellar where it will get air flow.

  • Store choy sum in a plastic bag in the crisper drawer of your fridge. Or, trim the ends and store it in a glass of water, like a bouquet. Wash when ready to use (within the week).


The LGF Cooking Club (Recipes to try in addition to those in the Library of Resources!)

 

Please note that Victoria does not work on Thursdays this season. Emails received on Wednesday night through Thursday will be answered on Fridays.


How to Change Your Pickup Day

  • If you need to skip your share for the week, or change your pickup day, you must provide us with 48 hours notice since we pack shares the day before pickup. Once your share has been harvested and packed, we can not cancel your pickup.

  • For Tuesday pickups being changed, we need to know by Sunday. Wednesday pickups, we need to know by Monday. Saturday pickups, we need to know by Thursday. You have the option to choose another of those pickup days: Tuesday, Wednesday, or Saturday. Or, you can skip a pickup and double the following week.

  • If you miss your pickup, we will hold your share for 24 hours after your pickup day (Monday for Saturday members), and then it will be donated to a local food pantry. With more members than ever before, we don't have the cooler space to hold onto shares longer than this. This is a great option if you accidentally miss your pickup - just come the next day.

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