Hope you all had a restful Labor Day! The weather has been beautiful, and the heat this week will keep the summer favorites coming. Not to worry, though, the fall favorites are making progress, too. Check out this video I made to give you an update on greenhouse growth:
Fingers crossed that the mums will make an appearance over the next couple of weeks. We'll keep you updated about their availability.
Don't forget that we're pre-selling Shaggy Coos Farm turkeys for Thanksgiving. We will not have any for purchase in store otherwise. They all need to be pre-sold to regulate weight. Head over to https://www.laurelglenfarm.com/turkeys to put a deposit down. 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.
On Monday, our crew had a hot sauce cook off for Labor Day. The winner was the second from the left, and coincidentally it was mine. I was pleasantly surprised about how easy it was to make. (FYI, the photo on the top right is the same sauce without it being processed. If you'd like it less tomato-ey, try it by straining out the liquid after it cooks down, but not processing it all.) Honorary mentions went to Dawn and Ethan. Ethan made his the fermented way (far right), which means he put a ton more effort into his!
This week, a few lucky winners will receive an extra pound of gold potatoes in their share. Who will "dig up the gold?!"
Last call for plum tomato orders! We didn't plant a second planting of plums, so once these are gone in a couple of weeks, that's it for the season. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve a 25 lb. case for $25. (P.S. You don't need to can them. You can make sauce and freeze it if you're more comfortable with that).
Here's another idea of what to do with those plums... Ciocci Lorraine shows you how to make "Mom's Chili Sauce!"
A few pretty photos from the week. (P.S. The purple plant creeping up the fence is called a hyacinth bean vine.)
With that photo of the eggplant in the wagon, it's no surprise that you're all getting a couple this week!
For those not on Facebook, here was the announcement I mentioned last week:
"This week we had intended to share some news with you all, but ended up canceling for a few reasons: namely, that I started to feel that I had hyped up such a non-newsworthy piece of information and that I wasn’t ready to fully process what it meant for our farm and family when we were already feeling a shift here.
So, for those who have asked: my news is that I’ve decided to take a step back from my job as a teacher to be home this year. While not necessarily the exciting announcement you may have expected, it’s a huge part of our story. This is something that I wanted to do last year after Peter was born but didn’t have the guts to do. I am forever grateful to my district for their understanding and support, and for allowing me this time to reprioritize my life for a little while.
I’m grateful to all of you, who allow me to carry on my role as a teacher in many ways: through discussions about seasonality and farming practices, and through our subscription program through various videos, tutorials, tips, and recipes.
My greatest memories over this period of quarantine have been: going out to the fence line to collect raspberries and blackberries into a pail with our son and having him experience firsthand how his food grows (thank you so much @rustlefloralco for those), spending time in the spring carrying him around as I watered in the greenhouse and seeded crops, and running down to the end of the yard when we heard the faintest sounds of tractor in the distance in time to catch a glimpse of daddy riding back to the farm. As the school year approached I didn’t feel ready to give that up.
While this announcement may not have been what you were hoping for, we hope the impact of it trickles down and affects you too. Becoming a mother has changed my perspective infinitely and changed so much what I hope for our family here. I’m not fully ready to give up my own career, but I feel very compelled to press the pause button to enjoy the here and now. And trust me, there is so much to enjoy."
On Saturday, we're planning to change over the store's inventory to reflect fall a bit more... fall scented soaps, autumn tea and coffee blends, fall-inspired pastas and cheeses, maple candy and sugar, and Oronoque Bakery apple pie and cider donuts. Can't wait to offer some new selections and keep things fresh and seasonal!
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.
A Message from Randy (Fall crop preview!):
Oops! The rainbow chard is called Northern Lights. Thanks Randy!
Contents (In approximate order from shortest shelf life to longest):
1 bunch of kale
2 large eggplant
1 lb. of tomatoes
1 lb. of summer squash
1 bunch of carrots
1 red watermelon
1 bunch of Swiss chard
1 bunch of kale
2 large eggplant
1 lb. of tomatoes
1 lb. of summer squash
1 bunch of carrots
Caring For Your Share:
Store the eggplant and squash 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 kale and chard in plastic bags in the fridge. Shake out excess moisture first.
LGF Cooking Club:
I started to second-guess how much eggplant you all received this week, but wanted it to be substantial enough for you to do something meaningful with it, like eggplant parm or rollatini. Then, I discovered a TON of new, intriguing recipes. I hope you give them a try. And if it's more than you can enjoy at once, consider looking at the cooking tip of the week and freezing some of the eggplant. We can all relate about how much work it is to fry up eggplant - might as well make it worth your time by making enough to freeze!
Crispy Eggplant Bacon (What?!):
Eggplant Cheeseburger Roll-Ups: https://fitmencook.com/eggplant-cheeseburger-rollups/
My personal favorite - Eggplant Cutlets: https://food52.com/recipes/80737-breaded-eggplant-cutlets
Eggplant Rose Bouquet:
Eggplant Rollatini: https://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/eggplant-rollatini/
Southern Squash Casserole (Our friend Katelyn of Rustle Floral Co. made this with collard greens and ribs one Sunday afternoon around this time of year with the changing of seasons, and it was to die for): https://12tomatoes.com/southern-squash-casserole/
Stuffed Shells with Summer Squash and Ricotta:
Or, Dawn made this a few years ago and it was so good. Stuffed Shells with Eggplant, Ricotta, and Greens: https://mountainmamacooks.com/stuffed-shells-with-eggplant-ricotta-greens/
Carrot Breakfast Pancakes: https://www.food.com/recipe/carrot-breakfast-pancakes-56958#activity-feed
Cooking Tip(s) of the Week:
4 Ways You Can Freeze Eggplant: https://www.thespruceeats.com/how-to-freeze-eggplant-1388392
How to Use a Mandoline Slicer:
Biweekly Catch-Up Time
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.