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2023 Main Season Week 10 of 20

Hi members,


Last Monday we looked at the weather forecast and saw that it was supposed to rain in the morning but let up around 9:00. We told our staff to come in later for 8:30 so we could have a quick breakfast meeting and then go off and harvest for the day. Unfortunately we found that the forecast was completely wrong and we had torrential rain for the entire morning. Not only did it make for completely miserable working conditions, but it dramatically slowed down the entire day.


Of course, we had planned to harvest potatoes for the share, and when Randy took the potato digger out to the field, it got stuck in the mud, and the crew had to dig up the potatoes by hand. Normally we wouldn't clean off the potatoes since that decreases their shelf life, but they were so caked with wet mud that they needed to be hosed down. If you haven't used them yet, we recommend doing so ASAP.


But, something funny that always comes of digging potatoes is that we mistakenly pick up rocks instead of potatoes. One member in our early years actually told us we had accidentally packed her a rock instead of a potato and she was scrubbing and scrubbing until she realized it!


Check out this photo and you can see why. This is a rock disguised as a potato!


 

And speaking of things that accidentally end up in shares, we hope your watermelon ended up being a good one. This week you're receiving a cantaloupe in your share. Though we harvest them expecting them all to be ripe, sometimes a soft spot or problem slips by us. To be honest, cantaloupe is one of the most risky crops we grow. The shelf life of cantaloupe is like a banana or an avocado - you know the old joke about how it takes forever for them to ripen and then you blink and they're suddenly past their prime and rotten? Cantaloupe is that way. They don't all ripen at once, so we store them in the cooler for a week or so until we have enough to give our members, and the ripening process can vary from there on out. Like tomatoes, cantaloupes continue to ripen after harvest.


All of this to say that it is never our intention to give you a bad cantaloupe - so please send us a message if you get one so we can make it up to you (as is the case for all of our veggies!) We always want you to enjoy your fruits and vegetables. It's crossed our mind to stop growing cantaloupes because they are so difficult to grow, harvest, and store, but when they're good they're GREAT, so it's a risk we take.


 

Like the cantaloupe, we've started harvesting red watermelons for next week. The coyotes decimated about 50 of them, so we're trying to haul them in as soon as we get the chance. Fingers crossed they end up okay!



 

This week, the crew weeded the beets. This is the time of year when the weeds become higher than the vegetables themselves. Weeding is something that we've always wanted to get under control more, but weeding 13 acres by hand is admittedly nearly impossible, so a lot of times, the weed seed spreads. Instead we try to focus on weeding the crops that need it the most, which is typically the root crops like beets, or onions, which compete with weeds for nutrients in the exact same crowded spot.


There are a lot of philosophies to growing when it comes to farming, and one that you may have heard of is called no-till. There is evidence that tilling (or turning over) the soil erodes and disturbs it and breaks up the nutrients. However, in some ways, tilling can be beneficial because when you turn over the soil it actually helps to bury weed seed deep enough that it can't reach the sunlight.


And, as you know, we are huge proponents of growing on biodegradable plastic, which prevents weeds from emerging on the raised beds. The crops that we don't grow on raised beds, like the beets, can't benefit from the plastic mulch, but we try to use it as a weed suppression method as much as possible.

 

This week, you're receiving collard greens. I don't know about you, but my body has been craving greens and I'm looking forward to more returning in a month. Randy has mowed down the first planting of kale and collards and we're on to the next one. The collard greens salad with tomatoes in the recipe section below looks incredibly intriguing, and we hope you find a delicious way to enjoy the collards. Post about it in the Facebook group!


 

This week, we're also setting out a crate of yellow squash for members to take as a freebie. We were hesitant to provide it as a component of the share because we like to vary the contents as much as possible and there are newer items available. However, you're welcome to take one if you'd like.


 

And, finally, here are some posts from the Facebook group that we'd like to share for those of you who are not on social media. (Click to enlarge the photos and then click on the arrow to scroll through the photos.) We love chatting in the group and sharing lots of ideas and inspiration. For us as the farmers, when we see these posts, it validates everything we do. Thanks so much!


 

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

Large:

  • 1 large cantaloupe

  • 1/2 pint of grape tomatoes

  • 1 lb. of tomatoes

  • 1 bunch of collard greens

  • 1 zucchini

  • 1 bunch of carrots

  • 1 bunch of parsley

  • 1 onion

Small:

  • 1 cantaloupe

  • 1/2 pint of grape tomatoes

  • 1 lb. of tomatoes

  • 1 bunch of collard greens

  • 1 bunch of parsley

  • 1 onion


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 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.

  • 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.

  • Remove the greens from the carrots and store them in plastic bags in the vegetable crisper. Use greens within the week, but the carrots may last for weeks when stored properly.

  • 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.

  • Store zucchini in the crisper drawer of the fridge for approximately a week. Wash when ready to use.

  • Store collard greens in a plastic bag in the fridge and use within the week. Wash when ready to use.

  • Store parsley stems in a glass of water in the fridge, like a bouquet. Cover the leaves with a plastic bag. Or, put the parsley in a damp paper towel in a plastic bag in the fridge.

  • Store dry onions in a cool, dark, dry place, such as a pantry, cabinet, or cellar. Ensure that they have plenty of airflow; you can store them in a mesh bag. Keep them away from potatoes.


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

Large Share Additional Items:

 

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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