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Limited PYO peas hours due to limited crop...

One of the top questions we're asked is how the weather is affecting us this season. I always joke that I never thought I'd be the kind of person who can create an entire conversation around the weather - but living on a farm makes me understand just how impactful it is.


This week, the weather was pretty extreme for June. June is sort of the season when two worlds collide - the cool weather crops can thrive in the mild temperatures, while we start to see the arrival of summer crops like squash, green beans, and more.


The problem is that when temperatures are too extreme for the season, or fluctuate too quickly, it can ruin crops virtually overnight.


Take peas for example. On this week last year, the peas were thriving so much so that we were able to offer pick-your-own. We followed that data trend and advertised to hold it this weekend, and, of course, as it got closer, we discovered some concerns. Peas don't like when temperatures rise above 80 degrees. They start to drop their blossoms, and as a result new peas can't grow. As you may know, we had to make a substitution in this week's subscription boxes, reducing the quantity of peas to half a pint and offering another free choice item instead.


As the old saying goes, "The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry." We assumed we'd be swimming in peas this year, and that's not the case. So, we have to reduce the timing of the pick-your-own peas and ask you to check back to our website each day this weekend to see if we can hold the event.


Today, Friday, June 21st, the hours will be 3 to 5 p.m. We're tentatively offering it again on Saturday and Sunday each from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Please check back tomorrow to ensure that is the case. (And yes, we will have bread! Scroll down for more info...)


A huge thank you to the crew for working in this heat. The planting, staking, harvesting, and weeding hasn't stopped despite the heat. And they've been working faithfully every day to continue to meet our goals. If you see them around this weekend (or ever!), please offer a message of gratitude to help them feel appreciated.


On the other side of the coin from the peas, we've got a lot of happy summer crops. Squash, zucchini, and cucumbers pleasantly surprised us this week, as did the first of the raspberries.



And look what's not too far away now...



If you are a member of our subscription program, you'll have a choice of broccoli or cucumbers this week (it's a tough one, I know!) Laina texted me mid-week to let me know that there were a bunch of huge, beautiful heads of broccoli ready for harvest.


Broccoli is possibly the diciest crop in the heat. You may remember me sharing on social media last year that the broccoli flowered and went to waste practically overnight one day. The problem is that the readiness is so sporadic - some heads are huge and beautiful while others are tiny. So once she sent me that text I gave her the green light to get it out of the field as soon as possible. She put a good amount into storage, and we'll keep an eye on the rest of it every day to make sure it doesn't bolt (which means it shoots up, flowers, and turns yellow and woody).


Meanwhile, we have the first of the cucumbers rolling in. There is a 100% chance of you having more cucumbers in your share as the weeks go on, but a slim chance of receiving broccoli again this summer. We hope that helps you to make a decision on what to choose. Now excuse me while I knock on every piece of wood in sight...


This week, members are all receiving Tokyo bekana in their shares.


Tokyo bekana is a delicate, tender leaf cabbage with a mild flavor. It's amazing for salads and slaw. If you Google Tokyo bekana, you won't find a lot of different recipes. Therefore, I encourage you to use it more generally. Make a salad and top it with shredded carrots, scallions, peanuts, or crushed up ramen and dress it with sesame oil, rice vinegar, honey, and soy sauce. Or change up the flavor profile and make a dressing with white vinegar, mayo, sugar, and celery salt. Tokyo bekana is one of our members' most loved unique crops of the year and we can't wait for you to share your creations in our Facebook group.


One last update to end the week. I'll say it again, "The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry." Our excavator Tom is "crushing" the land restoration project - literally! Check out this massive rock he busted up last week.


And after.



Tom's been hard at work restoring 1.5 acres of farmland for us, thanks to a grant we received from the CT Department of Agriculture. However, it may affect our ability to offer PYO raspberries this season. He dug up most of the soil associated with the drive road leading up to the fruit fields, and with the lack of rain, new grass seed hasn't germinated. Heavy machinery is also in use in the vicinity.


We'll be keeping a close eye on the completion of the project, but as of now, we can't safely welcome customers into these fields. That won't stop us from harvesting these berries for you, though! The first of the half pints will be in the store starting today.


And since you love "Vicky," you should know that she escaped one last time to a wooded area beyond the farm's fencing. We thought for sure she was a goner, as the thicket was so dense that we couldn't get in the patch to fish her out of there. Faithful Richard the Rooster called for her, and sure enough at dusk, she was circling the fencing of the coop trying to get back in. Randy got the rest of the chicken wire up this week and there's just no way she can get out now.


And thank you, Richard!


 

We're asking for donations of clean, gently used boxes to pack orders into. Please use the photos below for size references - anything in that range would be so appreciated. No need to break the boxes down either. Simply rip off your address label and bring them into our store. We can also use some clean paper bags at this time - no cloth, please. Thank you so much for your help with recycling!


 

HOUSEKEEPING

  • The best way to reach us quickly is always by email - laurelglenfarm@gmail.com

  • Please note that Victoria does not work on Thursdays. Emails or phone calls received on Wednesday night through Thursday will be answered on Fridays. 

 

WHAT'S IN THE STORE THIS WEEK?

Here are the fresh veggies we plan to have in stock while supplies last (through Friday, 6/28):

  • Arugula

  • Asian greens mix (bagged)

  • Beets

  • Broccoli (limited quantities)

  • Cabbage (Green - limited quantities)

  • Collard greens

  • Cucumbers

  • Escarole (BOGO free - in store only as the number of crates sent to markets becomes unmanageable)

  • Fresh herbs (sage, thyme, rosemary, mint, dill, cilantro, and basil)

  • Garlic scapes 

  • Kale

  • Kohlrabi

  • Lettuce (BOGO free - in store only as the number of crates sent to markets becomes unmanageable)

  • Napa cabbage

  • Radishes

  • Raspberries (Red - very limited quantities. We will not be harvesting them daily yet, but you may find them in store.)

  • Romaine (BOGO free - in store only as the number of crates sent to markets becomes unmanageable)

  • Scallions

  • Swiss chard

  • Tokyo bekana

  • Yellow squash

  • Zucchini


Farmer Jake from Silverman's Farm in Easton grew a ton of the most beautiful strawberries. Because he has an overabundance, he asked if we'd like to share them with our community. Therefore, we will stock berries in our store daily (while supplies last) and they can be expected through June 28th. That will most likely be the last of them. $8.50/quart.


Wave Hill Breads

Delivered fresh on both Saturday & Sunday (limited quantities - come early!)

Blueberry and chocolate chip muffins

3 grain boule and baguette

Buttermilk and wild yeast sourdough pan loaves

 

Where is your LGF shirt traveling to this summer?!

Ever heard of "Flat Stanley"? Send us a photo of your 2024 LGF tee out in the world or tag us @laurelglenfarmllc


Shirts can be purchased in our store. They are $22, unisex, and available in S, M, L, XL, and XXL. They're 100% cotton, incredibly soft, and slightly baggy for a trendy, lived-in feel for stepping out at your favorite casual establishment.

The front is the Laurel Glen Farm logo and the back is a beet with the phrase "keep your friends close and your farmers closer."


Community member Danielle sported hers to work this week!


 

STORE HOURS

Monday: 10:30 to 6

Tuesday: 10:30 to 6

Wednesday: 10:30 to 6

Thursday: 10:30 to 6

Friday: 10:30 to 5

Saturday: 9 to 4

Sunday: 10 to 3


So sorry, but we can't accommodate early or late arrivals even if we are around. Our staff is scheduled to work on prepping the store with the freshest products right up until we open. We also try to honor personal lives by closing promptly.


** Vegetable subscription pickup occurs during all open hours on members' scheduled pickup day and we hold shares for 24 hours afterward.


MARKET HOURS

Shelton Farmers' Market - Saturdays from 9 to 12 at 100 Canal Street.

Monroe Farmers' Market - Fridays from 3 to 6 at 7 Fan Hill Road.


 

UPCOMING FARM EVENTS


Book Club

Our next book club meeting will take place on a Saturday or Sunday morning in July. The date is TBD and will be determined based upon other farm events. We'll be able to announce the date in late June, but we recommend trying to complete the book by July 1st just in case (although many of us at the meeting had not yet finished! Don't let that discourage you from attending.) We'll ask you to RSVP once we post the date. 


This week's reflection question: What information makes you feel connected to the topics being discussed? Disconnected?

 

Meet the Fleet

In May, we featured "Little Massey" and in June, we're featuring the Farmall 200. Catch it outside our farm store on Father's Day weekend and June 22nd and 23rd. Read about its history, snap a photo, and let your little ones sit on it!


Our littlest community members are loving the tractors!


 

Pick-Your-Own Sugar Snap Peas


We will be offering pick-your-own peas on Friday, June 21st, Saturday, June 22nd, and Sunday, June 23rd. $10/quart. 2024 Main Season and Extended Season members will get $1 off. Very little walking required. Come in during our store's open hours - no reservation required. Check our website daily for hours and more information.

 

THIS WEEK'S VEGGIE SUBSCRIPTIONS

MAIN SEASON WEEK 3 OF 20

(Tuesday, June 25th through Saturday, June 29th)

Biweekly pickup occurs on all odd-numbered weeks - 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 11, 13, 15, 17, and 19. (This week.)


Share Contents (Listed approximately from shortest shelf life to longest)

Large:

  • 1 bunch of broccoli rabe

  • 1 head of romaine (take an extra if you'd like!)

  • 1 bunch of basil

  • 1 bunch of Tokyo bekana

  • 1 head of broccoli or 1 bag of cucumbers (your choice!)

  • Yellow squash or zucchini (farmer's choice)

  • 1/2 pint of peas, 1/4 lb. of garlic scapes, or 1 kohlrabi (your choice!)

  • 1 bunch of radishes

  • 1/4 lb. of garlic scapes


Small:

  • 1 bunch of broccoli rabe

  • 1 head of romaine (take an extra if you'd like!)

  • 1 bunch of Tokyo bekana

  • 1 head of broccoli or 1 bag of cucumbers (your choice!)

  • Yellow squash or zucchini (farmer's choice)

  • 1/2 pint of peas, 1/4 lb. of garlic scapes, or 1 kohlrabi (your choice!)



Caring For Your Share (All of this information, plus long-term storage info, can also be found in our Vegetable Library of Resources).

  • 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.

  • Store broccoli rabe, romaine, and Tokyo bekana in a plastic bag in the crisper drawer of the fridge. Wash and spin out; 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.

  • Remove the greens from the kohlrabi bulb and radishes and store in separate plastic bags in the fridge. Use the greens within a week; the bulbs can last a couple of weeks if stored properly.

  • Store garlic scapes in a plastic bag in the fridge. Wash when ready to use.

  • Trim the bottoms of the basil and place the stems in a glass of cold water, like a bouquet. Keep it out of the fridge, as basil leaves can turn black when exposed to cold temperatures. Use within a few days.

  • Store your cucumbers, squash, or zucchini in the crisper drawer in the refrigerator.



The LGF Cooking Club (Recipes to try in addition to those in the Library of Resources!)


Additional Large Share Ingredients


 

How to Change Your CSA Share 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 for any of the options below. This is because 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 in a given week: Tuesday, Wednesday, or Saturday.

  • You can skip a pickup and receive a double the following week.

  • If you miss your pickup, we will hold your share for 24 hours after your pickup day, 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.

  • You can always send a guest to pick up in your place by simply notifying us of their name.

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