I have to thank crew member Carly for being so on top of snapping photos throughout the week. She's been documenting the crew's days faithfully, and this past week sure wasn't the greatest for them. The weather was disgustingly cold, raw, and rainy, and yet, the show needed to go on.
Things that we had been doing multiple times a week only needed to happen once or twice because of the lack of sun. For example, now that it's October, we only need to harvest zucchini, squash, and cucumbers every few days instead of every-other-day because they don't ripen at the same speed anymore. Tomatoes are down to once a week now and are really only trickling in. We got dangerously low temperatures overnight on Saturday.
Here are Carly and Felicia harvesting tomatoes. Can you tell where they are?
They're actually under a big tent of Reemay cloth in the field. We decided to cover the tomatoes to give them a little extra insulation, but really it hasn't led to drastic improvement.
Truth be told, this is probably the first season ever where Randy and I haven't cared much about saving the tomatoes, peppers, and eggplant. We're truly so disgusted with the yields we're getting, even at this time in October, that it's barely worth saving them.
This is a photo of Laina harvesting tomatoes at this time last year - notice how many baskets are in the back of the truck.
If you remember, in August I talked about how badly the drought affected the pepper crop, and it truly was irreparable damage. At this point in the season we should be bringing in multiple baskets per week, but instead we're bringing in about half a basket per week. It's a huge shame.
On Thursday, we got a respite from the nasty weather. What a difference a day makes! Harvesting and washing veggies in weather below 60 degrees can be a really difficult chore.
Look at the size of these beautiful collard greens!
On to the fall crops! The weather patterns have been very noticeable to us this season, but haven't affected the variety in our subscription boxes that much. In a typical growing year, we wouldn't really have enough of the summer crops to cover shares anymore anyway. It just shows us that it's really time to go back to embracing the greens.
This week, large share members are all receiving a head of cabbage. These have formed in a very inconsistent manner, so we'll have more later this season, but unfortunately not enough to cover everyone right now.
For now, we're on frost watch! The beauty of October is that greens are back, but there are also tons of root crops and squashes that we would never see in the spring. This week, small share recipients are taking home 5 items that are all on the higher value side - a mix of greens and root crops!
Don't forget to set your alarm for this Sunday, October 16th at 7 a.m. to sign up for next year's program. Remember that the code EARLYBIRD can be used through October 23rd to take 5% off of your total - but you MUST enter it at checkout - it can't be applied retroactively.
We're also launching our "8 Days of Giveaways" for anyone who signs up within the first 8 days of our enrollment period! Each day we're raffling off a kitchen tool and anyone who's enrolled for 2023 that day will be entered to win! We'll post the prize and the name of the winner in the Facebook group and on social media starting on Sunday. Good luck!
In Your Share (Listed approximately from shortest shelf life to longest)
1 bunch of arugula
1 head of lettuce
1 bunch of radishes
1 bunch of collard greens
2 lbs. of beets
1 bunch of carrots
1 head of cabbage
1 head of lettuce
1 bunch of radishes
1 bunch of collard greens
1 lb. of beets
1 bunch 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)
Remove any greens from the beets, radishes, and carrots and store them in separate plastic bags in the fridge. Use greens within the week; beets can last up to a month. Wash when ready to use.
Store collard greens and arugula in plastic bags in the fridge and use within the week. Wash when ready to use.
Shake out any excess water in the head of lettuce, then store in a plastic bag in the fridge. Wash and spin out when ready to use.
Leave the outer leaves on and store the head of cabbage in the fridge. The outer leaves will keep moisture in the head and prevent it from drying out.
The LGF Cooking Club
30 Minutes or Less:
Creamy Beet Greens (You can add in the collard greens!)
Large Share Additional Ingredients:
Biweekly Catch-Up (A copy of last week's updates)
As a reminder this program runs for 20 weeks in all. The final week will be the week of October 24th.
On Tuesday, we released information about our 2023 vegetable subscriptions, and we'd really like to repeat the highlights here so that you're aware of all of the important details as well as the 3 perks you can receive for enrolling early. We encourage you to read the full post here, which will explain everything in detail.
2023 Vegetable Subscription Program Overview
Enrollment begins on Sunday, October 16th at 7 a.m. We encourage you to set an alarm.
Extended Season (80 available spots) - 32 weeks, May through December. Large and small share options. No biweekly pickup option. Tuesday, Wednesday, or Saturday pickup.
Main Season (190 available spots) - 20 weeks, Mid-June through October. Large and small share options. Reduced number of biweekly pickup options. We are sadly discontinuing all deliveries for 2023 (read the full post above to hear why and our suggestions if you've previously been a delivery member). Tuesday, Wednesday, or Saturday pickup.
Peak Season (30 available spots) - 13 weeks, July through September. Monday pickup option and small share size only.
Earn early bird perks for signing up between Sunday, October 16th and 23rd.
5% off your subscription but you must use the discount code EARLYBIRD at checkout
An invitation to harvest a bonus box at the farm next September
Entry into our "8 Days of Giveaways" kitchen gadget raffle
Although it sounds like we're overexaggerating the hype, we really encourage you to sign up on Enrollment Day. Last year, we sold out Extended Season on day one, and the limited number of biweekly pickups are expected to sell out early. Plus, honestly last year, you all RALLIED. It was really one of the coolest days in Laurel Glen Farm recent history to have the community so strongly behind us. Here we are after just 2 days last year!
This is the 2023 Veggie Subscriptions link on our website, which will also give you way more detail about each program. Check it out! We won't be able to answer questions or troubleshoot the process with you on Enrollment Day, so if you have any questions, please reach out ahead of time.
This week we spent almost all of our free time harvesting and storing winter squash. Do you recognize that squash in the back? We'll give you a hint... it's not butternut...
It's honeynut! Randy and I have been hearing about honeynut for a couple of years now and decided to try growing it this season. We are super happy with our yield, though we're saving them for the Extended Season portion of the program. We'll have some for sale in the store, though. This week, you're all receiving a spaghetti squash.
We'll also say goodbye to the last of the summer squash, as you'll all have a chance to pick out either a yellow squash or a zucchini this week. You'll also receive what's probably the last offering of grape tomatoes. It's hard to believe it's October already! Though we'll have all of these crops in the store until it frosts, they're slowing down production and we won't be able to cover 200+ shares anymore.
We're already thinking about adding in a third planting of tomatoes next year and changing the proportions of peppers and eggplant to get better yields next season. We're super unhappy with how quickly those crops took a nosedive once the cold weather hit. It was truly from one day to the next that the tomatoes tanked. The peppers took a hit in the drought, and every year is different, but we'd love to have a steadier supply of all of these crops, especially tomatoes.
The best part of this program is that you all signed up because you LOVE veggies, no matter the season. This week we're also welcoming back some cooler weather crops that we haven't seen in a while: kohlrabi and Asian greens mix.
Lettuce isn't too far behind (most likely next week!) and Swiss chard will make a comeback later this month.
Aside from harvesting winter squash, we've been working on odd jobs: turning the compost pile, sorting through rotten onions in storage (it happens a lot!), reseeding new grass drive roads that are getting washed away in the downpours we've had, and continuing to nurture our fruit field. Randy let me sample this rogue cluster of table grapes... they're SO different than the table grapes we're used to in the store. They're sweet, but they're also complex, almost citrusy. It sounds so snobby to say, but hopefully we'll all be grape connoisseuers in the seasons to come.
We'll let you in on a secret. One way that we're hoping to expand our offerings in the future is by having a weekly fruit share add-on that accompanies the vegetable shares. To be able to provide grapes, raspberries, blackberries, apples, plums, and peaches to you one day is a dream in the works a few years from now.