Congratulations to our 2023 Breakfast Boss, Tom Wilson!
The breakfast potluck on Saturday morning was SO much fun. Even though it was such a hot and humid day, to see the Laurel Glen Farm kids and adults mingling, walking the fields, and enjoying breakfast together was the highlight of my week.
Tom won the cook-off with his Magic Crust Blender Quiche (recipe linked), but there was an awesome variety of dishes to share and no two were the same.
We'd love to do this again, or something like it in the future. Tom's son-in-law Bill mentioned the idea of a pumpkin carving event, and I have to say, I'm very into it!
This was my black raspberry zucchini bread (recipe linked below!). What's your favorite way to make a zucchini bread? I have so many variations in my repertoire... cinnamon, double chocolate, classic chocolate chip, and lemon.
It wasn't ALL fun and games this week. We had a lot of business to take care of, too! Eric and Emily took on tomato tying and pruning.
We have three plantings of tomatoes in the ground this year. In previous years, we've only done two, but there's always a lapse in the harvest as we transition into late summer. In order to aleviate that, we tried for a third planting this year. This means we're still in the process of nurturing the final planting for the year.
As you can see from the photo, the crew members wear the twine on their belt, hold the plants up, and string the twine across the middle of the plants and around the stakes. Emily and Eric buddied up to get it done this week and Felicia joined in a little bit, too. Felicia also weeded some of the rows while she was out in the field.
Another major task we accomplished this week was planting mums. If you're a summer lover like me, I'm sorry I'm mentioning talk of autumn this week!
Our mum transplants are shipped to us in July and Randy and I picked out varieties in 4 colors (orange, red, yellow, purple) that are intended to bloom during a certain time frame. We selected mums that bloom in early October so that fall fanatics can shop for them in September while they still have buds on them and then watch them bloom over the next couple of weeks. There are always decisions like this to make when it comes to shopping for tulips, daffodils, and hanging flower baskets.
These babies will stay in the greenhouse until they fill out and start to bud in September. I have a rule that nothing fall-related can happen on our farm until the weekend after Labor Day. I just don't like to rush the seasons and I like to savor food and decor as nature intended. This is also why fall squashes aren't typically put into shares until we've run out of items with a shorter shelf life and need to start eating the items that are more shelf stable. There's no point in throwing away greens and heat tolerant crops like peppers, tomatoes, and eggplant so that we can eat squashes that will last even into February in our pantries.
This week, we called on some friends to help us with raspberry harvesting. There's a major abundance of them and a massive demand for them. My good friend Sara from college is a teacher and loves to spend time in nature, so I called her with an SOS and asked her if she wanted to come pick berries.
Sara crushed it and harvested a crate of each type of berry. We've figured out that a good speed to fill a half pint of raspberries is about 8 containers an hour (about 7.5 minutes per container).
Being so wonderful, Sara came down over an hour from northern CT and donated her time to the cause in exchange for a box of veggies and some raspberries of her own. Randy's cousins Amanda, Bryan, and Ryan also pitched in this week, too.
And in exciting news...
The weather looks good, so we decided we can go ahead with two more time frames for pick-your-own raspberries this week. Join us Tuesday (7/18) and Wednesday (7/19) from 4 to 6 p.m. (enter until 5:30). The address is 475 Booth Hill Rd. (Make sure your GPS is set to Shelton and not Trumbull). Alicia and Gianmario reused their own basket here, but originally harvested berries into $6 half pint containers. Cash, credit, and Venmo accepted. Be ready to walk up to the field and prepared for the heat. This is most likely the last opportunity for PYO raspberries for the season, though we’ll continue to harvest them daily in our store through July.
Cucumber bulk boxes are now available for purchase every day. Right now we have SO many cucumbers that we can pretty much guarantee enough for anyone who asks this week. Boxes are 25 lbs. for $32 and you are welcome to purchase as many as you would like. Simply let us know that you would like one when you come into the store and we'll grab it from the cooler for you.
On the agenda for this week... weeding beets, harvesting garlic, tipping raspberry canes, and planting more fall crops. I'll talk more in depth about each of these things next week. Some of you have asked for more narratives about the growing aspects and I've asked Randy to document some of the tasks he's been working on. In two weeks, I'll feature that information. See you soon!
In Your Share (Listed approximately from shortest shelf life to longest)
2 lbs. of cucumbers
1 lb. of beans
1 bunch of Swiss chard
1 bunch of carrots
1 lb. of cucumbers
1/2 lb. of beans
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).
Store beans in a plastic bag in the fridge. Wash and blot dry when ready to use.
Remove the greens from the carrots and store them in plastic bags in the vegetable crisper. Use greens within the week, but the carrots may last for weeks when stored properly.
Store your cucumbers in the crisper drawer in the refrigerator.
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 zucchini in the crisper drawer of the fridge for approximately a week. Wash when ready to use.
Store fresh onions in the crisper drawer of the fridge - you can even use the tops as green onions.
Store chard 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!)
Additional Large Share Ingredients
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.