Some friendly reminders to start the week:
We will be closed on Tuesday, July 4th. All Tuesday pickups will automatically be shifted to Wednesday, July 5th. If any members enrolled on any day need to rearrange pickup by skipping a week, or switching to Saturday instead, the deadline to notify us is Sunday, July 2nd at midnight.
Please note that we don't leave shares outside the store and are only open for pickup during regular store hours. Tuesdays and Wednesdays we are open from 10:30 to 6 and Saturdays we are open from 9 to 4. You always have the option to come for 24 hours after your scheduled pickup before your share is donated.
This week, we've got some really new and exciting crops to share with you! First up is broccoli.
The second is garlic scapes!
If you're new to garlic scapes, they're the seed pod that shoots up from the garlic plant. About a month before the garlic is ready to harvest, it frantically tries to reproduce and sends up this seed pod. Farmers cut it off so that the garlic plant will instead focus its effots on growing a nice big bulb rather than on reproducing. The bulb will continue to plump up until the middle of July when the leaves die off and the plant signals that it's ready to be harvested.
But, fanatics know that you shouldn't toss garlic scapes - they are DELICIOUS. They're like a cross between an asparagus stalk and garlic. You can eat them whole like seen above (just toss them in olive oil, salt, and pepper, etc. and either grill, saute, or air fry them). Or, you can chop them up and use them as you would garlic (increase the quantity as the flavor is slightly milder). My mother-in-law just texted me that she used the last of her garlic scape infused butter from last season, which was in the freezer (recipe below). I challenge you all to show off what you make in the Facebook group!
Another fun new crop we're growing this year is tatsoi. Tatsoi is an Asian green that's a cross between spinach and bok choy. It has a mustard-y cabbage flavor like bok choy but with the texture of spinach. It can be cooked as you would any of the Asian greens. Here's how it looks when it grows.
I added it to the Vegetable Library of Resources, so check it out and let us know what you think once you cook it! Should we keep growing it?
One thing that will not yet be in shares is squash or zucchini. Though we'll have it stocked in our store, there's just not enough sun lately to allow us to have enough to go around. We'll cross our fingers that the sun will come out enough this week for us to have it next week...
It sure looks good though. We might even have the first of the cucumbers in the store by the end of the week.
In case you're new to the farm, you might not know that we grow your veggies in two different locations. Our main farm is at 247 Waverly Rd. where you pick up your share, and that includes 2 greenhouses and 6 acres. We also grow veggies at our land on Booth Hill Rd. where we have 14 more acres. 2.5 of those were recently planted as fruit fields (table grapes, raspberries, blackberries, honeyberries, peaches, and apples) and we're restoring another 1.5 of the acres for vegetable production. The raspberries will be ready this season, but everything else needs a few more years.
Here's a shot of the fields on Waverly.
Here's a photo of the crew pruning tomatoes at Booth Hill this week.
Pruning the tomatoes is like harvesting garlic scapes - It forces the plant to focus on growing big, juicy tomatoes instead of on leaves. It also lets the plants breathe better, which prevents the spread of disease. Basically, we cut off all of the bottom leaves of the plants.
On this date last year, we already had greenhouse tomatoes trickling in, but no dice yet. It just goes to show how slow this season has been with cold snaps and cloudy days.
Please keep those large boxes coming! We sent 450 pieces of produce to the East End Market and Cafe in Bridgeport this week (10 varieties of veggies!) and it was distributed to a preschool. We love their mission of helping those who live in food deserts to have access to farm fresh produce and have choice surrounding the types of veggies they eat.
Think Thrive Market, Chewy, and larger Amazon purchases for box sizes. Thanks so much!
We're having a breakfast potluck on Saturday, July 15th from 9:30 to 11 a.m. This will coicide with our first cooking contest of the season... but this time, in person! Bring a breakfast dish, and if it includes a veggie component, you just might be crowned our 2023 LGF Breakfast Boss!
In the past, we've had virtual cooking contests where we voted to crown our Greatest Griller, our Souper Star, and our Spud Specialist, as well as our Golden Glove baker. We let social media vote for the winner based on which dish sounded the most creative and appealing. And the winner always gets a commemorative prize!
You can bring a dish that does not include a veggie component (no pressure to enter the contest!) but we will all vote for the Breakfast Boss who includes a veggie in the breakfast dish. Bring a blanket and the family and we'll picnic on the farm (if it rains, the rain date is TBD). Laurel Glen Farm will provide the plates, utensils, coffee, and water. We can't wait to hang out!
On Saturday we welcomed a handful of people to the farm to pick peas. The rain wasn't nice to us after all and we think it kept people inside. We plan to do more pick-your-own events this season, like green beans and grape tomatoes, so stay tuned. Here are some shots of some of the friends who came out! It was so nice to see you.
In Your Share (Listed approximately from shortest shelf life to longest)
1 large head of broccoli
1 head of lettuce
1 bunch of tatsoi
1 bunch of Asian greens mix
1 bunch of Swiss chard
1 pint of snap peas
1/4 lb. of garlic scapes
1 small head of broccoli
1 head of lettuce
1 bunch of tatsoi
1 bunch of Swiss chard
1/2 pint of snap peas
1/4 lb. of garlic scapes
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, Asian greens mix, and tatsoi in a plastic bag in the fridge. Or, snip the ends and store in a glass of water, like a bouquet. Wash and spin out when ready to use, within a few days.
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 garlic scapes in a plastic bag in the fridge. 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.
Store snap peas in a plastic bag in the crisper drawer of the fridge. Remove stems and wash when ready to eat, within the week.
The LGF Cooking Club (Recipes to try in addition to those in the Library of Resources!)
Extra Vegetable Fried Rice (use your tatsoi, broccoli, garlic scapes, and peas)
Easy Broccoli and Cheese Egg Bake (to get those Breakfast Boss wheels turning!)
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.