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2023 Main Season Week 19BP of 20

Hi everyone,


Check out this photo of Laina holding a snake... yikes! Would you do this?

Laina, Felicia, and Emily spent a good portion of a day this week ripping up all of the plastic and irrigation lines in the onion field. This is the only plastic we use that is not biodegradable. The reason for this is that we use reflective plastic. Reflective plastic is a tool used to divert insects from allium family crops (like onions). UV light reflected off of the plastic confuses the bugs and prevents them from finding their hosts. Believe it or not, studies have shown that using black plastic like we do on our other crops actually increases onion pests. So, although it's not as environmentally friendly to use reflective plastic, it does serve an important purpose.


As they pulled up the plastic and harvested any straggler onions, they found a ton of snakes. I don't think I'm quite as brave as Laina...

 

This week, we also harvested the remainder of the potato crop.

We're not thrilled with our potato crop this year, as they didn't thrive as much as we had hoped. We actually planted them in the new field that we restored with the help of a grant from the Connecticut Department of Agriculture. We had lower yields than we had hoped for and this is with us actually doubling the amount we planted. Randy thinks the fields were just too wet this season, so we'll try again next year.


All of the potatoes are out of the ground, but because everything has been so wet and muddy, we aren't going to try to store them this season and we're going to put them out for sale ASAP so that they don't rot.


Dana was brushing them off for shares last week, and look what she found that was picked up, disguised as a potato... a golf ball!


 

Here's a photo of Henry and Peter having a staredown with a praying mantis. Praying mantises are abundant this time of year and they're beneficial predators to have around.

In this photo, Henry was working on sterilizing seedling flats for next season. Once we finish all of our transplanting for the year, each tray gets a dunk into bleach water and is scrubbed and hosed down. This prevents the spread of any lingering diseases when we plant into the trays again next year. If you're not careful, seedlings can become diseased early on and it's hard to revive them after that happens. There are hundreds of trays to be done, each one getting scrubbed. Dana and Henry have both been working on this in their down time, and it's a job that's expected to take the next few weeks.

 

October 12th was National Farmers' Day, and Randy celebrated by doing what he loves best: driving his tractors. It was a big day for harrowing and spreading winter rye seed as a cover crop. Cover crops keep the soil from eroding over the winter. Are we really thinking about winter already?




 

This week, we expected beans to finally be ready. We've been saying "next week" about them for almost 3 weeks now. But when we checked them this weekend, we found them in practically the same condition they had been in, too thin to harvest yet. They seem stuck! To celebrate the final week of the biweekly shares, we're offering a free choice item. Beans and eggplant will both be offered as choices if you wish to have them one last time. Other than that, we aren't sure if we can guarantee beans for next week and would hate to overpromise.

This week, you'll also get the opportunity to select either a butternut or a spaghetti squash with your share.

 

Cleanup on the farm continues. Here's a eerily shadowy photo of the inside of greenhouse #2, once filled with beautiful Mother's Day hanging baskets, greenhouse tomatoes in grow bags, seedlings for our May seedling sale, and (too-wet-and-ended-up-rotten) onions. We'll move some equipment into it to keep it under cover in about a month or so, and it'll be filled with beautiful flowers, plants, and tomatoes once again next year.

The crew has about 2 weeks left of work and we'll say goodbye to most for the season. Henry will stay on in the store through November, I'll return to the store on Saturdays in November as week, and Laina will stay on consistently through December. The bulk of the harvesting is done and now we'll focus on cleanup as a crew.

 

We would be remiss not to mention that at the time of this writing, 130 of you have signed up for your 2024 subscription... we are so honored and appreciative of you all. Katie's post in our Facebook group sums up our feelings exactly...

We have so much love for this community and even though this year is not over, we look ahead to a very bright future next year, with even more fun to come. Thank you to all of the biweekly members. This week is your final pickup.

 

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 that the accompanying 2-day sale for 2024 subscription enrollment 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!


 

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

Large:

  • 1/2 lb. of tomatoes

  • 1 head of broccoli or cauliflower or romanesco (farmer's choice)

  • 1 bunch of arugula

  • 1 bunch of Swiss chard

  • 1 lb. of leeks

  • 1 butternut or spaghetti squash (your choice!)

  • 1 free choice item! (May include beans, eggplant, beets, peppers, lettuce, grape tomatoes, or carrots)


Small:

  • 1/2 lb. of tomatoes

  • 1 head of broccoli or cauliflower or romanesco (farmer's choice)

  • 1 bunch of Swiss chard

  • 1 butternut or spaghetti squash (your choice!)

  • 1 free choice item! (May include beans, eggplant, beets, peppers, lettuce, grape tomatoes, or 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 Swiss chard in a plastic bag (or one on each end) in the fridge. Wash when ready to use, within the week. Do the same for the arugula.

  • Store squash in a cool, dark place such as a pantry, cabinet, or cellar where it will get air flow.

  • Store leeks in a plastic bag in the fridge. Wash when read to use.

  • Please reference the Vegetable Library of Resources for storage information specific to your free choice item.

  • 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 broccoli, cauliflower, or romanesco in a plastic bag in the fridge. Wash 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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