Wow! It's the final week of our 2021 Main Season program! It's so hard to believe that 20 weeks together have come and gone. This week, our growing season is coming full circle. The first week of June we started strong with greens, and they're reappearing heavier than the summer crops at this point. Escarole is back this week, and we'd love to share all of your creative ideas about how to use it. We think that oftentimes escarole and bean soup is the first thing that comes to people's minds when they think of escarole. Post in our Facebook group or email over what you're making with it this week, so we can show the world how our community thinks and cooks outside the box (But if you want to make escarole and bean soup... we certainly won't blame you! It's classic.)
Randy's been keeping an eye on the long-term forecast. Last year, right around the autumnal equinox we had our first threat of frost. It was a Sunday, and we called upon both of our dads to help us furiously cover crops with Reemay cloth. Randy and our dads worked until dark, and we ended up with a very light frost after all. You never know what will happen this time of year; the forecast can change in a matter of hours. Randy notes that there is absolutely no threat of frost in sight, which means that our tomato crop will keep coming in. It's a pretty comfortable feeling for now. Randy says that if the forecast actually stays this way, he may not even cover the summer crops at all. Depending on how late in the season we go, he may just take the risk and let mother nature determine what's left in late October.
We've got a fun little giveaway happening this week in the store. For any member or non-member who makes a store purchase this week, you'll get a raffle ticket to put your name and phone number on. We'll have recipes for 6 different soups out on display with a jar next to each recipe. You'll put your ticket in one of the jars, and we'll be raffling off the highlighted ingredients on Saturday after we close.
Our early bird registration period for our subscription program has surpassed our goal! We estimated (hoped!) that we'd have 150 members enrolled by October 17th. We're currently up to 161, and we want to thank you all for your support. We have 49 spots left, but some of the customization options are limited. We have less than 10 of biweekly pickup and deliveries left. Prices increase on October 18th. If you've enrolled for next year already your 2021 price is locked in. We're already dreaming up plans for next year! Here's the link if you still need to join us.
P.S. Check out this Tik Tok we made to celebrate our 2022 members!
Planting in the field is done for the year, but planting in the greenhouse continues. On Thursday, Tyler and Laina transplanted head lettuce and scallions into beds. We still have arugula left to transplant, too. Last season we grew the arugula leaves larger into bunches for one of our final pickups of the year, and our plan is it do it that way again. Usually we broadcast our arugula seed into beds in the field (which means you scatter it and cover it, rather than transplant it). Because the seeds are more densely packed, we end up with smaller baby arugula leaves that we cut to be bagged. It's interesting how planting and seeding using different techniques yields a different product! The scallions they planted will most likely be overwintered and used in the spring for our Extended Season.
This week, we also harvested the first and last of our sugar pumpkins and our Blue Hubbard squash. Both of these can be roasted and used to make puree, either for sweet or savory dishes. We set aside all of them for our Extended Season program (especially around Thanksgiving!) as well as our Thanksgiving Centerpiece Workshop. Tickets for the workshop will go on sale next week. We'll post the link in the newsletter, on social media, and through our email mailing list.
Market season is coming to an end. For those of you who like to frequent the local markets, here are the final dates:
Trumbull Farmers' Market - Thursday, October 21st (3:30 - 6:30)
Monroe Farmers' Market - Friday, October 22nd (3 to 6)
Shelton Farmers' Market - Saturday, October 30th
(And a special thank you to crew member Tyler for snapping some gorgeous photos this week!)
Field cleanup is happening this week, which we'll capture on photos and explain a little more next week.
If this is your final week, we'd like to extend a fond farewell, a thank you for joining us, and best wishes for the off-season. We hope to see you again in the future. If this is your final week of subscribing with us, we'd like to thank you for giving us the opportunity to be your farmers. If you'll be back again in the future, we can't wait to see you again. Enjoy a very happy, healthy fall and winter, and keep opening our off-season emails to stay connected. We love to hear from you on social media, too!
In Your Share (In approximate order from shortest to longest shelf life)
1 head of bok choy
1 head of escarole
1 head of Napa cabbage
1 lb. of beets
1/2 lb. of tomatoes
1 bunch of scallions
1 head of bok choy
1 head of escarole
1 head of Napa cabbage
2 lbs. of beets
1/2 lb. of broccoli or cauliflower
1 lb. of tomatoes
1 bunch of scallions
Caring For Your Share:
Shake out any excess water in the heads of escarole, bok choy, and Napa cabbage, then store in a plastic bag in the fridge. Wash and spin out when ready to use.
Keep tomatoes out on the counter and out of direct sunlight, where they will get plenty of air flow. If you choose the grape tomatoes, pour them into a shallow bowl. 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.
Remove the greens from the beets and kohlrabi and store them in separate plastic bags. Wash and eat the greens within a few days; the roots will keep for a couple of weeks if stored properly.
Store scallions roots-down in a glass of water in the fridge, like a bouquet. Cover the greens with a plastic bag. Or, store in a plastic bag in the fridge and use within the week.
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. Do the same for cauliflower.
LGF Cooking Club (The Library of Resources is filled with TONS of ideas about all of these veggies)
Mediterranean Rice-Stuffed Escarole https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/mediterranean-rice-stuffed-escarole-241999
Open-Face Omelets with Spicy Feta and Escarole https://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/open-face-omelets-spicy-feta-and-escarole
Tilapia with Escarole and Lemon-Pepper Oil https://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchen/tilapia-with-escarole-and-lemon-pepper-oil-recipe-1972910
Fresh Mozzarella, Beets, Walnuts, and Escarole with Ricotta Salad https://galbanicheese.com/recipes/freshmozzarella-beets-walnuts-and-escarole-with-ricotta-salad
Beet Poke Bowls https://www.feastingathome.com/beet-poke/
Fresh Cabbage Kimchi https://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/fresh-cabbage-kimchi
Pork and Napa Cabbage Soup https://nomnompaleo.com/post/153203159908/pork-and-napa-cabbage-soup
Napa Cabbage Wrapped Shiitake Pork Rolls https://healthstartsinthekitchen.com/napa-cabbage-wrapped-shiitake-pork-rolls/
Baked Mac 'n Cheese with Scallions & Tomatoes https://www.cuisineathome.com/recipes/side-dishes/baked-mac-n-cheese-with-scallions-and-tomatoes/
Cajun Shrimp & Rice https://www.willcookforsmiles.com/cajun-shrimp-rice/
Nothing says fall in New England like a pickup truck full of butternut squash driving through the farm fields. Am I right?
In all seriousness, the photos we've been snapping on these cool, crisp, colorful days remind us of how lucky we are to be able to enjoy this farm.
The vibrancy of this photo of Ethan restocking the pumpkin patch on Friday just captures the essence of that.
This week we'll be harvesting the first of our sugar pumpkins. We'll set aside many of those for our Thanksgiving Centerpiece Workshop and Extended Season shares, and the rest will be added to the patch.
More on the centerpiece workshop in the weeks to come (or through our mailing list if your subscription is ending soon). In case you missed it last week:
We are partnering with Shaggy Coos Farm again to sell Thanksgiving turkeys. Turkeys are $4.65/lb. and you'll place your order for a bird in a particular weight range: 6-10 or 10-14 lbs. There is a $20 deposit at the time of your order, and you'll pay the balance at pickup. Pickups will happen here on the Monday and Tuesday before Thanksgiving, 11/22 and 11/23 (Sorry, no delivery). Click here to pre-order through us. We have very limited inventory. Please check out with credit card to place your deposit.
Just one thing to note: Brittany is short on larger bird inventory this year due to the heavy rains we had this summer. If you are looking for a bird larger than 14 lbs., you'll have to order and pick up directly with her (sorry about that!). Here's the link to do that through her farm:
This week is the final week of biweekly deliveries for the Main Season program. The Main Season program ends next week. Remember, if you are currently a delivery member who is part of the Extended Season, deliveries will end next week as well and you'll go back to picking up through the remainder of the Extended Season program.
Main Season biweekly delivery members, thank you for your participation this year! It means the world to us. We hope to see you again next season. And if you've decided not to participate next year, we thank you so much for this opportunity to be your farmers.
This week, Randy seeded his rye for the winter. Rye is one of the cover crops we use to prevent soil erosion over the winter and restore nutrients back to the soil. If we left the field a giant, empty patch of dirt, it would wash away over the winter. Having rye there helps to secure it. Cover crops are not planted to be harvested. Rather, they are selected for the benefit that they bring to the soil. Rye is great for accumulating nitrogen from the soil so that it can be readily available for crops to grow their root systems into next spring. Randy chooses rye because it's a fast growing grass. Because we do so much succession planting and extend our season as long as possible, we get our cover crops seeded pretty late. We need something that will sprout and grow quickly enough to bond our soil with its root system before we get a killing frost. Other cover crops might be something in the legume family, although again, not for harvesting.
Most of our winter squashes have been harvested at this point, where they'll reside in these giant storage bins inside our barn for a little while. Picking it up takes quite a few crew members. Typically we harvest into a large pile and then toss to a crew member or two on top of the truck. Then they place the squash into the bin. And usually someone drives along to keep the truck moving. It's one of those processes that you have to complete in one shot. You can't leave harvested squash in the field. It has to be dry or it'll rot. Typically we've been working on this little by little in the afternoons. You'll know the squash is ready when it's a certain color; for acorn squash, the spot on one side turns orange.
We won runner up for best farm stand in Connecticut Magazine! Thank you all for your votes and kind words. It truly means so much to us. We will never, ever underestimate the power of our farm community.
Randy and I went to Real Food Share's Local Harvest Celebration on Saturday night, and it was a beautiful evening. Real Food Share is an organization that grows food specifically to donate, and they pick up from local farms to donate to food pantries as well. As you know, their team of volunteers picks up every Monday here (leftover shares are donated to them), and they distribute 6 days a week. So far this year, they've donated 30,000 pounds of produce (which equates to 25,000 meals) to the local community. If you're ever looking for a non-profit to support, this is a great one!
The winner of our butternut squash weight guessing contest was Suzanne S. with a guess of 12.6 pounds! The squash was 12.70 lbs. Thank you all so much for playing and having fun with us!
Enrollment for 2022 Subscriptions is open! If you enroll by Sunday, October 17th, you'll receive 3 bonuses: a price discount, an invitation to harvest a bonus box next September, and first access to our bulk box waiting list. Click here for the product page. Thank you to all who've signed up on day 1! We're so appreciative of your support.