Hello members! As you can see from the blog post title, this is a "P" week, which means if you are a biweekly member with a pickup, you'll receive your share this week! If you're a biweekly delivery member, your turn is next week.
This is Mini Harvest Season week number 2 out of 3 (the extension for those of you in the summer program who missed sign ups for the full fall program).
This is Fall Program week 2 out of 8 for those of you enrolled in the full program.
Phew! This is why we bundled the 3 seasons together for next year - to avoid some of the confusion and get everyone on board for the full length of the program.
This week, it's still about SOUP! Send us a photo of your creative soup for our contest! It doesn't have to be your own recipe: just send us the source of the recipe along with the photo of your finished soup. We're really looking for submissions that are a little out of the ordinary: combinations or flavors you wouldn't typically expect. Our crew will pick the soup that wows us the most on Saturday and the winner will receive a soup-themed prize! I'm really excited about this cute, silly prize!
Here are some submissions to date:
Broccoli is one of our hottest items! We caught some flak this past weekend for not bringing broccoli to the markets. But we said, "Sorry! We're saving the good stuff for our subscription members!" Many of you upgraded to the large share for the fall for some of these exact crops, so we really wanted to make sure we had enough. Cauliflower probably won't come in abundantly enough. It gets fungus very easily and this year is no exception (and no surprise since it's been nothing but cloudy and wet lately...) P.S. Note the head of "cheddar" (yellow) cauliflower on the back of the truck. It's a different variety and yes, supposed to be that interesting color!
One of these heads was 2.16 lbs! Heads can vary a lot which is explains why some of you are either receiving a larger head or a smaller head and an extra bonus item to make up the dollar difference.
Brussels sprouts are in this week, too. Just twist and snap them off of the stalk when you're ready to use them and toss them in a bowl of cold water to give them a quick rinse. Eating those Brussels sprout tops a few weeks back sure paid off!
Speaking of market-going, last week we wrapped up our Monroe Farmers' Market and Trumbull Farmers' Market for the 2020 season. They were both super different because of COVID, but we're grateful that they were still able to happen. The Shelton Farmers' Market will continue this coming weekend.
And speaking of this weekend, on Halloween we're going to have a little extra fun in the store! Check out this farm family of mummies that my aunt made. Kids, wear your costumes and come trick-or-treating. Adults, there will be a treat for you, too. We'll play some music, decorate for the holiday, and enjoy a special Saturday here. Even if you don't pick up on Saturdays, you're welcome to come by from 9 to 4!
Peter loves to play with squash - probably because it's fun to roll and easy for him to hold. He's all about the bright yellow delicata. Delicata gets its name because its skin is delicate. No need to peel it! Delicata is also known as sweet potato squash because it's very similar. Delicata is probably my favorite winter squash because it's sweet, soft, and nutty. I love it with butter and salt to balance out the sweetness, but many people recommend nutmeg, cinnamon, or even maple sugar. Delicata is very trendy right now. Many people are cutting it into rings that resemble flowers, roasting it, and putting it on pizza.
We're reflecting on a few failures from the year. We don't do a good job with some things around here, and sometimes it's out of our control and sometimes it's not. Sometimes we're too stubborn about saving onions for the later weeks of the fall subscription and we end up losing half of them to rot too soon. We've been spending some time separating out the good from the bad onions to see what we've still got left and wondering when we'll ever learn to change some of our ineffective habits...
Randy's not happy with his sweet potatoes, either. Potatoes were misshapen, yields weren't good, they have tons of open wounds and blemishes... He's just not sure if he's interested in growing these anymore. Needless to say, we're unsure about having enough high quality ones for the shares, but the good ones will be available in the store. As you can tell from his message this week, he's super into potatoes lately and his focus has been on making sure they're dug up and heading into storage for the remaining weeks of the subscription. This week, everyone will receive some red potatoes for something a little different than the gold potatoes we've been receiving.
To close out this newsletter, here are a couple more pretty shots from the week:
That row of bright yellow-green in the second-to-last row is a new loose-head Asian cabbage green we're growing called Tokyo Bekana and should be ready soon. The really awesome thing about this experience is getting to try new veggies. How many people can say they've eaten Tokyo Bekana before?!
A Message from Randy:
Contents (In approximate order from shortest shelf life to longest):
1 head of broccoli
1/2 lb. bag of beans
1 stalk of Brussels sprouts
1 lb. of green peppers
1 lb. of red potatoes
1 delicata squash
1 red onion
1 head of broccoli
1 lb. bag of beans
1 head of lettuce
1 stalk of Brussels sprouts
1 lb. of green peppers
2 lbs. of red potatoes
1 delicata squash
1 red onion
Caring For Your Share:
Wash all before using:
Store the peppers and bag of beans in the fridge as is. Wash when ready to use. You may want to blot off the beans since they've been creating condensation in the bag. Turn the bag inside out to replace them and store them in the fridge.
Keep the Brussels sprouts on the stalk in the fridge. Snap off with your hands and swish in a bowl of cold water when ready to use.
Store the onions, potatoes, and delicata squash in a cool, dark place such as a pantry. Put them in a mesh bag or a location where they will get some air flow. Keep them out of the fridge. Keep the onions and potatoes separate from each other; they will cause the other to rot.
Wrap the head of lettuce and broccoli in a moist paper towel or a Ziploc bag for some protection. Remove any bad leaves from the lettuce and shake it out first. Put in the crisper. Wash both and spin out the lettuce when ready to use.
LGF Cooking Club:
Creamy Brussels Sprouts and Bacon Soup:
Brussels Sprouts and Sausage Soup:
Maple-Roasted Delicata Squash with Red Onion:
Quick Pickled Red Onions (amazing to have on hand for tacos!)
White Beans and Charred Broccoli with Parmesan (you can add in Brussels sprouts as well):
Brussels Sprouts Hash:
Balsamic Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Cranberries and Pecans (one of my all-time favorites):
Creamy Broccoli Cheddar Soup:
She uses about 3/4 lb. of broccoli for this recipe, which is approximately what small share members are receiving and about half of what large share members are receiving.
Sick of beans? Turn them into chips!
Lemon Dijon Roast Potatoes and Broccoli:
Delicata Squash Pizza
Cooking Tip(s) of the Week:
5 Smart Tips for Cutting Winter Squash (not just for butternut!) https://www.thekitchn.com/5-easier-ways-to-cut-winter-squash-250121
Biweekly Catch-Up Time:
Last week was a really terribly rainy one, wasn't it? It really made for a lot of miserable harvest days, yucky market days, and consequently, not as many pretty pictures taken around the farm. It's always disappointing when that happens, and we especially feel bad for our crew when they put up with the elements to keep at all of the tasks that need to be done. Here's a shot of Ethan and Randy continuing to pick beans in the pouring rain. After that is a shot of Randy with some freshly harvested leeks for the weekend markets. He's giving the Gorton fisherman a run for his money in that outfit!
On Monday morning, I chatted with Randy and crew member Ethan about the feeling of relief that comes with the fall subscription program. As Randy put it, "I feel like I can breathe again." We have significantly less membership for the fall because our crops start slowing down, and with it comes less pressure to continue growing and keeping up with the harvest. Randy's had everything in the fields planted since September 15th. Now it's a matter of keeping it healthy, protected from frost, and beginning to clean up the fields. We'll still plant in the greenhouse, but it's much less labor-intensive. We had all of the shares packed before noon on Monday, which is kind of a miracle when we've been packing until 6:00 all season long.
On Saturday night, we got a pretty significant frost. As we always do, we were sure to harvest any peppers, tomatoes, eggplant, beans, squash and zucchini that might have been affected. Our family stepped in to help cover the plants with Reemay cloth again and as long as the plants were covered, they survived again. It's amazing that we are able to extend the growing season for so long, but it also is such a project to do every time that we begin to fall behind on other tasks we really want to do, like finish digging potatoes, which has been a Saturday job.
One of the tasks we'd like to complete over the next couple of months is closing in our hardening house to be converted into another greenhouse! Check out the video for a little tour of the hardening house and how we're planning to better utilize some of our space on the farm.
Peter sampled the string beans for you this week. Check out the information below from last week's blog post to see more about the difference between wax beans (yellow) and green beans. You might receive either one in your share this week.
Alison K. shared this recipe for Warm Yellow Wax Beans in Bacon Vinaigrette in our Facebook group, and said that the vinaigrette was versatile enough to be used on other dishes and salads. Thanks for getting our members talking, Alison!
If anyone likes to stuff hot cherry peppers, we have a surplus this week and can give a 25% off bulk discount, beginning at 10 lbs. To give you an idea, 10 lbs. is about 2 plastic shopping bags' worth. You can even split it with a family member. These are awesome when stuffed with cheese and prosciutto and packed in oil, or pickled in a vinegar brine. Here's a recipe:
We also have tomato seconds for anyone interested in making sauce. Boxes are 25 lbs. for $25 and you don't even need to know how to can. You can make sauce as you normally would and freeze it in freezer bags instead. Whole tomatoes can even be frozen for later use in soups, sauce, and chili. Email us if you're interested.