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2023 Main Season Week 18 of 20

It was a busy week for Randy as he sought to sow as much cover crop as possible. The first step in doing so is harrowing any vegetation left in the field. Here is the winter squash and pumpkin field, freshly harrowed under.


He also harrowed under the old fields of melons, pickling cucumbers, and cabbage family crops. The next step is to seed winter rye. Rye is used as a cover crop to restore nutrients into the soil and to prevent erosion over the winter months. If there is a root system in the soil, it can't wash away due to winter precipitation and is held solidly in place. Randy chooses rye because it comes up quickly, so he can seed it almost right up until the end of the farming season. Old plantings of beans are next on his list, and then the first planting of tomatoes.

 

While the weather was warmer and sunnier this week, we found that many of the fields didn't dry out. We had hoped to provide arugula in your share this week but found it to be stunted and discolored. Randy explained to me that the discoloration was a result of the leaves starving for nutrients. With wet soil, the root systems can't take in enough oxygen and basically the plant is drowning. One low spot in the sloped field was worse than others, and we're hoping it'll revive.


Another issue that we're finding as a result of the rain this year is that our delicata squash and sugar pumpkins aren't storing as well. Because the skin on the delicata is so thin and was rained on so heavily this season, we're finding that they're becoming moldy sometimes overnight. We're composting delicata squash and sugar pumpkins left and right and encourage you to pick one up sooner rather than later if you hoped to have them this season.


We'd also hoped to provide beans in your share this week, but they are just a hair too small. We don't want to take the risk that we might not have enough, so we will defer them for another week. Instead, this week you'll get to "Grab a Green" of your choice to round out your share. Choices will include bok choy, green cabbage, red cabbage, kale, collards, escarole, lettuce, or romaine.


 

This week we were invited to a very special event hosted by the Jones family. They won the 2023 Leopold Conservation Award for New England, which specifically celebrated Terry Jones' lifelong efforts in land stewardship. It happened to fall on our 9th wedding anniversary, so we took the afternoon off and shared it with the Jones family. It was a BLAST.


We started off on a hayride of the farm, led by Terry. He explained a ton of interesting information about the farm's history as well as their efforts to conserve natural resources. First we saw Pumpkinseed Hill, and then we saw the Christmas tree fields.


Just truly stunning land.


Then, we had wine and charcuterie at the winery, and headed up to the barn above it for an incredible locally grown dinner (featuring some of our greens). Behind us here was Dan Beardsley of Beardsley Cider Mill & Orchard and White Hills Distillery, who we spent some time chatting with. We got to network with other farmers and those in the agriculture industry from all over New England. We also heard from local officials and watched a video presentation of the award.



It was a truly magical, inspirational evening. We just want to take a moment to say what an incredible family the Joneses are. For those who don't know, I worked at Jones during my senior year of college, when Randy and I were getting ready to begin our own farming journey. Back then, they still had a veggie stand, and I got my first taste of selling veggies under Jean Jones' mentorship. They are the NICEST people, giving to their community, and supporting those around them. When I was younger and still now, the Joneses were my, and now our, inspiration. We were so touched to have been invited to celebrate with them. They are so deserving of the prestigious award.

 

On Tuesday, October 24th, tickets will go on sale for our wreath making workshop. It'll take place on Black Friday (most likely a 2-hour period in the morning), which is November 24th. Due to space in the barn, a limited number of tickets will be sold. Put a feeler out to your friends and family now so that you'll be prepared to purchase tickets. Final information will be forthcoming. We'll also sell some pre-made wreaths as we have done in years past with remaining greens.


Also, don't forget to set your alarm for 2024 subscription enrollment, opening on Sunday, October 15th at 7 a.m. The accompanying 2-day sale will run through Monday, October 16th at 11:59 p.m. We encourage you to read the details about how to get the cash or check discount during this time period. We will not be able to refund you if you sign up with a credit card and later wish to pay by cash as this defeats the purpose of trying to avoid credit card fees on our end. Here is all of the information about the program and sale. Our crew made this silly video to remind everyone so that the date will stick in your mind.


Plus, you're invited to our 2023 Jack-o-Lantern Carving Contest! On Saturday, October 28th from 10-11 a.m., join us in the barn to show off your carved pumpkin! Bring a pumpkin that you've carved prior to the event (our insurance won't allow us to carve on the premises). We'll display them with tea lights and everyone will vote on their favorite. Coffee and cider will be served. If you'd like to bring a coffee cake-like dessert to share, please do! Please park on Farm House Lane and walk up the hill to the farm. The winner who receives the most votes will go home with a trophy (thank you to members Kate & Bill for making this hilarious prize!) Pro-tip, if you want to save the pumpkin for Halloween night, coat the cut edges with vaseline!


Other future events we're thinking about: Our liquidation sale of store products begins the week after Thanksgiving so you can stock up for the winter. The store closes on Saturday, December 9th for the season, but a final Stuff-a-Bag will occur on Saturday, December 16th from 9-11 a.m. We're also kicking around some ideas for next year: a walking tour of the farm, more opportunities for PYO crops, and possibly a 4-week microgreens share during the winter. Stay tuned! If you're a Main Season member, make sure you receive our mailing list emails to stay informed about all of these fun things.

 

Finally, some photos from the week:




 

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

Large:

  • 1 bunch of Tokyo bekana

  • 1 "Grab a Green"

  • 1 bunch of radishes

  • 1 summer squash (may be yellow squash or zucchini depending on the day - farmer's choice)

  • 1 lb. of mixed bell peppers

  • 1 lb. of potatoes

  • 1 lb. of carrots

  • 1 stalk of Brussels sprouts


Small:

  • 1 bunch of Tokyo bekana

  • 1 "Grab a Green"

  • 1 summer squash (may be yellow squash or zucchini depending on the day - farmer's choice)

  • 1 lb. of mixed bell peppers

  • 1 lb. of potatoes

  • 1 lb. of carrots


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

  • Store carrots in a plastic bag in the vegetable crisper.

  • Keep Brussels sprouts on the stalk in the fridge. Wash when ready to use, which may be in more than a week. They'll keep longer on the stalk, but if you need to take them off of the stalk for space reasons, snap them off and store them in a plastic bag in the fridge. Wash when ready to use.

  • 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 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.

  • 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 Tokyo bekana in a plastic bag in the crisper drawer of the fridge. Wash when ready to use.

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

  • Please reference the Vegetable Library of Resources for storage information specific to your "Grab a Green"


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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