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2023 Main Season Week 13BP of 20

Happy September!


We've been itching to see some different variety in the shares, and we're welcoming some greens back into season this week. For those of you who are familiar with them, you'll be excited to hear that it's Brussels sprout tops week!


Brussels sprout tops are the leafy greens that grow on top of the Brussels sprout stalks. They look like this.

Just like with the garlic scapes, we harvest the tops of the Brussels sprouts off of the plant. This ensures that instead of making larger leaves, the plant will focus its energy on making nice, big heads of Brussels sprouts for the fall. See the little teeny buds on the plant? Those will turn into sprouts!


Bonus for us - we get to eat the beautiful tops. They're like extra tender and sweet collard greens. I love to mix them in with onions, peppers, and potatoes to make a hash and serve eggs on top.


If you're looking for ideas for how to use them, you can reference the section on the Library of Resources, or even reference the collard greens section since they can be used interchangeably.


We'll harvest the Brussels sprouts later this fall, and since this is the earliest we've ever harvested the tops, it'll give them plenty of time to mature. This is what they look like once they're bunched.


This week, arugula is back in season, and it's the perfect time since it's matched up with peach season. Arugula and peach salad is a winning combination. Here's a photo of one that my aunt makes - she brushes the peaches with oil and grills them for a few minutes.


 

Randy is counting down the days until September 15th - not only because he’s a fall lover (not me!) but also because that will be the final planting date on his calendar. He’s powering through the harvest days to make sure there is plenty of time to plant greens in the afternoons, like lettuce, romaine, escarole, bok choy, broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower. Randy holds his breath, and I hold mine too. The life of a farmer is so challenging - trying to get all of the planting, weeding, and harvesting done and being completely reliant on the weather for support. His goal is always to make sure the veggies are abundant and high quality, and it falls 100% on his shoulders to grow them. Well, I may not be a fall lover, but I can certainly appreciate his desire to make it to the end of another growing season.


 

Yesterday, Randy and I did a thorough field walk to check on the crops for the coming weeks. We've got mizuna, which is a new Asian green that we're trialing, which should be ready next week and will pair very nicely with the bok choy that's on deck. Peppers are changing colors in greater abundance, which means you're getting a mix of colored bell peppers this week and lunchbox peppers for large share members (yay!)


We now say goodbye to the basil for the season. Even what we grew in the greenhouse has been wiped out by downy mildew. Tomatillos are also diseased and dying off, so we'll say goodbye to those, too. We may be able to harvest enough for the store this week, but that will be it for the year. Truth be told, even the tomatoes are incredibly questionable at this point. Although we are harvesting thousands of pounds a week, it's hard to find perfectly ripe, unblemished tomatoes for everyone's share. This week you'll receive slicing tomatoes again, but our guess is that we may not be able to put them in shares going forward. The yellow tomatoes are of higher quality than the reds, but a lot of them still look like cyclops.


Thank goodness for Nancy of Real Food CT, who comes every Monday to pick up donations. These imperfect tomatoes are sent to be donated rather than destined for the compost pile. They're still completely edible, but they're impossible to sell.


On that note, we'd love it if you continued to bring us your boxes of all sizes when you come in. No need to break them down, just rip off the address label and we'll pack produce right into them. We can use any size!


And on a similar note, bulk boxes of plum tomatoes and tomato "seconds" are still readily available, but we recommend claiming yours this week or next. After that, plums will be incredibly hard to come by (I predict!)

 

Fall lovers, you'll be happy to know that the pumpkins look wonderful. Can you spot them in this photo?


We always change our store stock over to fall items the weekend after Labor Day. As of this Saturday, you can expect to find mums for sale in our store as well as Hindinger Farm apples (the ONLY produce we EVER supplement in our store). We'll also have new scents from Guardians Farm, maple sugar and candy from Sugar Maple Farms, fall tea blends from Seasonal Catering, heartier Durante's Pasta options, apple maple jam and pumpkin butter from Twin Pines Farm, fall flavors of Dash 'n Drizzle oil and vinegar, and the store will be beautifully decorated. We'll also have complimentary Redding Roasters coffee brewing on Saturday to make it extra cozy. September and October are our favorite months in the store - the veggies are abundant and the hustle and bustle is contagious.


 

And finally, we heard that you loved having options to choose an item last week, so we're repeating it again this week. The items of choice will be of lesser value than this past week, and there will also be different selections. We anticipate most likely (but not a guarantee!) having squash, zucchini, cucumbers, half pints of grape tomatoes and husk cherries, beans, small sized eggplant, and other small bags of items. Shout out to member Lynne K., who got the wheels turning in my mind about this idea a couple of years ago when she mentioned having a table of similarly priced items available. We really, really like this and we hope to incorporate it more as part of the long-term plan, though we know there are also many of you who love this program because it means you don't have to make decisions about what you're eating. We're always listening to your feedback and appreciate you being here.


I'll leave you with a few miscellaneous photos from the week. We hope you enjoyed a nice Labor Day weekend!

Rows of beans, chard, broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage at Booth Hill.


I'm told this is a good spider called an orb-weaver but it looks like a "nope" to me! Laina looked up and saw it while picking up husk cherries.


Eric harvested shishitos over the weekend.


A lucky tomato!


And a tomato that thinks it's already fall... Not yet, little one!

 

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

Large:

  • 1 lb. of slicing tomatoes

  • 1 lb. of mixed sweet bell peppers

  • 1 pint of lunchbox peppers (sweet snacking peppers)

  • 1 bunch of arugula

  • 1 bunch of radishes

  • 1 bunch of Brussels sprout tops

  • 1 small bunch of parsley

  • Garlic

  • You choose 1 item from our assortment! Some options may be: squash, zucchini, cucumbers, a small eggplant, a half pint of grape tomatoes or husk cherries, and more!

Small:

  • 1 lb. of slicing tomatoes

  • 1 lb. of mixed sweet bell peppers

  • 1 bunch of arugula

  • 1 bunch of Brussels sprout tops

  • 1 small bunch of parsley

  • You choose 1 item from our assortment! Some options may be: squash, zucchini, cucumbers, a small eggplant, a half pint of grape tomatoes or husk cherries, and more!


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

  • 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.

  • Store garlic in a cool, dark place out of the refrigerator, like a cabinet or pantry. Ensure that it has air flow. We leave the neck on the garlic to prevent it from rotting at the base of the bulb.

  • 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.

  • Remove the greens from the radishes and store them in separate plastic bags. Wash and eat the greens within a few days; the roots will keep for a couple of weeks if stored properly.

  • Store parsley in a glass of water in the fridge, like a bouquet. Or, wrap it in a damp paper towel and store it in a plastic bag in the fridge and use it within the week.

  • Store arugula and Brussels sprout tops in a plastic bag in the crisper drawer of the fridge. Wash when ready to use.


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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