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2023 Main Season Week 14 of 20

A quick housekeeping item:

We would love your feedback about this year's program - it's so helpful for us to finish the year as strong as we can and to continue to improve every year. Please click here to take a very brief anonymous survey to tell us your thoughts.

 

Another week and more musings on the weather. It's just too wild not to discuss! Obviously last week was stiflingly hot, and this week we're looking at a lack of sun and more rain than we need. There just doesn't seem to be a balance, does there?


It's imperative that we give a shoutout to our crew for their hard work last week. The heat was oppressive and they carried on with their normal duties. Planting still needed to occur so that we have items to harvest in a couple of months, and we even started harvesting pumpkins and some winter squashes for the store. Typically we save these for later subscription boxes so that we can eat what's fresh and perishable now.


Here are Felicia and Emily with a truckload of pumpkins, which left us thinking "What month is it? How could it be almost the middle of September when the heat index was over 100?!"


Later this week it looks like the overnight temperatures will be dropping into the 50s. This means that ripening of crops will slow down drastically, especially with the skies being overcast during the day. As previously mentioned, please plan on getting your bulk plum tomatoes and tomato seconds by the end of the week. We'll do one big harvest this week and should have plenty, but after that we will see them begin to fade away.

 

On Tuesday, I plan to send out an email to our mailing list that describes the ins and outs of how we plan for harvests for subscription boxes, retail avenues, and wholesale orders. We're getting to the point where we need to be incredibly strategic about how we use our land so that we can optimize our yield potentials and also decide how to balance quantity with variety. Stay tuned to read more about that.


It must have taken me a few days' worth of field walks to decide upon this week's box contents. You just can never tell for absolute certain what will be ready in abundance through the end of the week. The broccoli is a gamble this week because the plants are all in various stages of maturity. We predict we have enough for each box, but we can't promise anything, so we may need to make a substitution. If you do not receive broccoli this week, we would plan to give it to you next week. Thanks so much for your understanding!


 

This week, you'll be receiving bok choy and mizuna in your shares. Mizuna is a new-to-us green in the cabbage family, related to broccoli rabe, but also having a slight peppery flavor like arugula.


It's wonderfully tender in salads, and I highly recommend grilling pears and serving them with the mizuna and a soft cheese. Check out the recipe below for Roast Pear, Mizuna, and Parmesan Salad. You can also stir fry it for just a minute or two - it won't need long.

As you can see it was pretty wilted when I checked on its progress on Saturday. You have to make sure you harvest greens as early in the morning as possible before the "field heat" sinks in too much. Field heat actually has a technical definition, which is the difference between the current temperature of the vegetable and the optimal storage temperature of the item. We absolutely do not know these figures off of the top of our heads, but we do understand how important it is to harvest and bring baskets of veggies in as soon as possible. Last week, the water was actually so warm going into the wash sinks that it was extremely hard to perk up the veggies. Our method is the same as we recommend to you just in case you need it - snip off the ends of greens and put them in a bowl of ice water for a couple of hours. They'll perk right back up.

 

Saturday was the first day that we launched our fall offerings, which feels bizarre to say but we know it'll feel like it before we know it. Mums are $10 each or 2 for $18 and there are red, orange, yellow, and pink varieties. We also have the first of the pumpkins and gourds available if you're in the spirit.


Hindinger apples are the only produce we ever supplement in our store. We have ginger gold and Paula red varieties available.


And I got a pro-tip from Brian on Saturday that the Sugar Maple Farms maple sugar is excellent when sprinkled on bacon.

We've also got fall teas, maple candy, fall flavored Savor cookies and Dash 'n Drizzle oil and vinegars, pumpkin butter and apple maple jam from Twin Pines Farm, fall scented soaps and lotions from Guardians Farm, and more.


I asked Felicia to share some photos with me from her week and she said she didn't take much, but I think this photo is worth a thousand words, and a good way to end the newsletter.

From left to right: leeks, mizuna and arugula with radishes at the end of the row, beets in the center of this field, and beans all the way to the right. In the distance is eggplant, peppers, carrots, tomatoes, chard, and behind that greenhouse is where all of the fall cabbage crops and squash and zucchini are.

 

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

Large:

  • 1 head of broccoli

  • 1 small bunch of mizuna

  • 1 eggplant

  • 1 lb. of slicing tomatoes

  • 1 pint of grape tomatoes

  • 1 head of bok choy

  • 1 lb. of sweet bell peppers

  • A couple of hot peppers

  • Garlic

Small:

  • 1 head of broccoli

  • 1 small bunch of mizuna

  • 1 eggplant

  • 1 lb. of slicing tomatoes

  • 1 head of bok choy

  • A couple of hot peppers

  • Garlic


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.

  • Store bok choy in a plastic bag in the crisper drawer of your fridge. Wash and pat dry when ready to use (within the week).

  • 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 eggplant at room temperature, like out on your counter, but keep it away from other fruits and vegetables that will emit ethylene gas, as this will cause it to rot faster (tomatoes, melons, bananas, etc.)

  • 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 mizuna in a plastic bag in the fridge. Wash and spin out when ready to use (within the week).


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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