And just like that, it's September!
Most of our beloved crew members are headed back to school - if they haven’t already - and believe it or not, harvest time actually ramps up around this time.
Here's a picture of Ella, our greenhouse queen, who's headed to Dartmouth this week. We asked Ella to be the greenhouse queen (manager) back in the spring as we transitioned into summer and the greenhouse is often neglected. She surpassed all of our expectations by far (watering, seeding, weeding, transplanting, and cutting each and every leaf of salad mix by hand) and we are going to miss her dearly.
Being extra busy in our store and through this program this year has been a blessing that we couldn’t have imagined (and weren’t completely prepared for!) Our goals and visions have definitely shifted this year and we continue to be more inspired by our community by the day. For now, it’s one day at a time, growing, harvesting, selling, and appreciating everything that this farm brings us. We have 6 more weeks of summer season goodness. This program runs for a total of 20 weeks.
If you follow us on social media, we're going to make a little announcement on Thursday at 6 p.m. It's not something you have to rush to see, as you won't miss out on anything. But it's something special that affects us and we're looking forward to sharing it with you. If you aren't on social media, we'll post it here in the newsletter next week. No, it is not a baby! Everyone always thinks so!
We are partnering with Shaggy Coos Farm in Easton, CT to make your Thanksgiving a local experience. Shaggy Coos Farm will be raising turkeys according to the weight range you select - how cool is that?! Go to: https://www.laurelglenfarm.com/turkeys
The order form is just a deposit for a fresh, farm-raised Thanksgiving turkey from Shaggy Coos Farm.
Please select the weight range that you would like your turkey to be and pay the difference at pickup. The price per pound is $4.45.
Pickups will be held at Laurel Glen Farm from 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Monday, November 23, 2020 and Tuesday, November 24, 2020. We can't accommodate other days or times, so please do not order if you can't come during those time frames.
Brittany needs to have a final count soon, so please order by September 12th. She has a limited number to raise.
We will also be open for veggie shopping on those days, so you can pick up anything extra you might need like, hopefully, butternut squash, rutabaga, greens, and potatoes.
Click to scroll through the gallery of submitted photos for our photo contest. Our crew chose Pat K. as the winner with the sonogram. Pat's prize is a package of "Soup Socks" which are mesh cloths that you use to make soup stock! I thought they were pretty cool and I recommend saving your food scraps if you don't already. Put them in a freezer bag until it's full - then boil them in water to make a veggie stock. Season it to make broth. The soup sock makes it a little easier because all of the scraps are contained in one place and can be strained and disposed of easily. Check out my blog post about making stock here.
I decided to hold off on another week of a silly photo contest, and instead I'm saving the other prize for another idea that I have in mind. While we're getting sentimental about this season, we would love it if you shared a testimonial with a photo of yourself or your family enjoying this experience. In a paragraph or less, explain why you decided to join the program and how it has affected you this year. There is no way that we could choose a "winner" for this heartfelt contest, but instead will choose a winner at random. We would love to share these testimonials on our website. The deadline will be October 1st. You can submit through our Facebook group, by email, or on your own social media by tagging us.
Here are some more photos from the week. A critter visits Ciocci Lorraine in the kale, my homemade hot sauce recipe and a photo in action (getting ready for our crew's hot sauce contest next week!), photos of Randy weeding the beets by hand!, fresh green beans, and some pretty shots of the farm in the afternoon and early morning.
A Message from Randy (With a peek at some fall planting action!):
Contents (In approximate order from shortest shelf life to longest):
1 red watermelon
1 lb. of tomatoes
1 lb. of mixed colored peppers
1 lb. of zucchini
1/2 lb. of beans
1 bunch of sage
1 red watermelon
1 lb. of tomatoes
1 bunch of collard greens
1 lb. of mixed colored peppers
1 lb. of zucchini
1 bunch of carrots
3/4 lb. of beans
1 bunch of sage
Caring For Your Share:
Store the peppers, zucchini, and beans in the fridge as is. Wash when ready to use.
Keep the melon and tomatoes out of the fridge. Store all out of direct sunlight, like on a counter. Wash before using. Melons are ripe and ready to eat.
Remove greens from carrots and store them in the fridge in Ziplocs.
Store collard greens in plastic bags in the fridge. Place a damp paper towel in with the oregano to keep it moist.
Store sage in a plastic bag rolled up in a paper towel. Or, freeze it chopped in olive oil in an ice cube tray.
LGF Cooking Club:
Chicken Breasts with Fresh Sage: https://food52.com/recipes/2451-chicken-breasts-with-fresh-sage
Mushrooms with Crispy Sage: https://www.splendidtable.org/story/2016/01/15/mushrooms-with-crispy-sage
Holding onto summer with this ridiculously easy Watermelon Sorbet: https://thethingswellmake.com/5-minute-easy-watermelon-sorbet/
Watermelon Salsa: https://sweetgreen.tumblr.com/post/96260088403/watermelon-salsa-recipe
Watermelon Fruit Leather (It's back to school time!): https://domesticallyblissful.com/watermelon-fruit-leather/
Black Beans with Bell Peppers & Rice: https://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/black-beans-with-bell-peppers-rice/
Tilapia with Sweet Peppers, Saffron, and Garlic: https://www.latimes.com/recipe/tilapia-sweet-peppers-saffron-and-garlic
Slow Cooker Caribbean Beef, Potatoes, and Green Beans: https://fitslowcookerqueen.com/slow-cooker-caribbean-beef-potatoes-and-green-beans/
Cooking Tip(s) of the Week:
5 Reasons to Reconsider Trashing Your Watermelon Rind: https://www.thekitchn.com/5-reasons-to-reconsider-tossing-your-watermelon-rind-tips-from-the-kitchn-219949
Biweekly Catch-Up Time
Kathy F. has been chock full of inspiration this season. She brightened our day when she sent us a really sweet message with her excitement about last week's cantaloupe followed by these silly photos:
So, for the next 2 weeks, 13A and 14B, send us your best silly photos made with produce from your share. We'll pick one winner each week to win a prize! Photos can be posted to the Facebook group or sent by email.
And speaking of sweet photos, here's one from Narvan and Mike, shared after they picked up their 25 lb. crate of plum tomatoes.
I can't tell you how much we love these photos and appreciate you all taking the time to send and post. If you tag us, we can share them on our social media, too.
We still have plum tomato crates for sale! $25 for 25 lbs. Siying and Melissa are up this week!
A couple of housekeeping items:
If you signed up for the fall extension through the website, there may have been a problem with pricing. When I updated the inventory and took it out of stock at 6 p.m., it reverted all of the product variants to $48. We appreciate very much those of you who took the time to point it out and ask what to do next. For the meantime, think of it like a deposit. Over the next week or two, I'll be able to invoice you the difference if it applies to you.
Next week, we'll be posting some special news about purchasing Shaggy Coos turkeys for your Thanksgiving dinner! Stay tuned if you're interested in cooking a local turkey.
This week, you're all receiving YELLOW watermelon! It does have seeds (unfortunately), which means it calls for some good old seed spitting. We harvested 340 red watermelons again this week, which should carry us through the next couple of weeks (watermelons don't ripen after they're harvested, which means they store longer than cantaloupes.)
Uncle "Eric" (our brother-in-law) wrote this sweet post on our Instagram last week. We were sad to see him go. To all of our teacher friends starting this week, you got this!
Speaking of, I'm now back at work. If you didn't know, I'm also a third grade teacher. Our PD started this week, so I apologize if I don't respond to emails as quickly. We're in the process of redistributing our work load as we shift crew schedules.
Back in mid-July, I posted a photo of Ethan and Randy seeding new cucurbits where the peas were. They are now up and producing squash and zucchini, with cucumbers not far behind. Succession planting helps to keep our crops fresh. It's temping to harvest squash and zucchini from old plants, but once they get mold and disease on them, handling just further spreads it. It's better to rip out old plants and continuously seed them.
We don't bother with succession planting with eggplant and peppers, which yield the whole season, but we do have another planting of tomatoes which will be ready in September: that's how we keep them coming until it frosts.
Spotlight on "Ground Cherries"
Ground cherries, also known as husk cherries, are a relative of the tomato, and they grow on a plant similar to the tomato plant. The husks start out green, and when they ripen, they turn brown and fall off the plant. Thus the name “ground cherries” – you have to harvest them off the ground! Luckily, they are protected by a husk. Just peel back the husk and enjoy the sweet, tart, tomato-like fruit inside. Some say the mysterious flavor is reminiscent of a combination of a grape, pineapple, and tomato.