Summer Subscription 2020 Week 16B

SAVE THE DATE!

On October 4th, we will be opening enrollment for our 2021 subscription season. It seems early, but Randy and I are hoping to use the winter to plan our season out even better. This year, Randy mapped fields, purchased seeds, and planted for the CSA program and markets that we typically run, but those quickly changed changed due to COVID. Next year, we are hoping to accept 250 members into our main season program, and this will require us to purchase, map, and plant differently. Details about 2021 will be released next week. Most aspects will stay the same with a few changes.


Our current program runs through October 17th. We have 20 weeks in all.

Mums are almost ready! Fingers crossed they'll be ready for purchase in a week or two. We don't want to put them out for sale until they're in bloom and we can see them well. Colors should be orange, gold, and purple.


The greenhouse is still looking good! This week you may even be receiving some bok choy from the beds inside. One of my big projects last week was moving chard plants over from the hardening house to the greenhouse. There is no water with fertilizer in the hardening house and the plants desperately need it. We're hoping this will help their progress quite a bit. The hardening house is usually used as a transitional location before trays of transplants are exposed directly out into the elements in the field. The chard plants didn't need the full cover that a greenhouse provides, being closed in and warmer, but now they really need fertilizer.


Our crew is also working on weeding and replanting the hanging pots for heads of lettuce and escarole to be used this fall. All of the remaining transplants will go out into the field this week so Randy can meet his September 15th "deadline" for being done with all planting.

These heads of lettuce were planted on biodegradable plastic last week by Randy, Ethan, and new crew member Tyler. Look closely and you can see wire hoops over each row. The hoops will hold up the Reemay cloth (like pictured all the way in the back) and act as a layer of warmth for these chillier nights. The beautiful striped rows next to the lettuce are beds of arugula, spinach, radishes, salad turnips, choy sum, and salad mix for the fall.


Randy "wades" through a "sea" of greens in an outfit that Gorton would be proud of. We have to make some funny fashion choices around here when it's extra rainy, hot, humid, or cold.


Here, Randy is harvesting peppers and weeding the beds by hand at the same time. Peppers are one of the trusty crops that stay healthy and consistent right up until the frost as long as we take care of them - and for that, we are thankful. Off in the distance you can see squash, zucchini, and cucumber plants (closest to the greenhouse), next beets, and then beans which should be ready in a week or so.


Another shot in that general direction. Tomatoes are to the right of the drive road.


Here's a shot looking the opposite way - the squash plants are on the right, greenhouse to the left. In the distance are the peppers, eggplant, carrots, beets, rutabaga, and leeks. If you look closely, you can even see our compost pile near to the fence line.


Happy birthday to Randy's dad (Peter's Papa), Ed! From maintenance, to tractor work, to helping with heavy lifting, Ed is an asset here at the farm.

Plum tomatoes are pretty much gone, but we can put together 25 lb. boxes of "seconds" of tomatoes for those who are interested. We haven't canned our own sauce yet, but are planning to do it with seconds - you don't necessarily need plums for sauce. Instead of purchasing online, email us at laurelglenfarm@gmail.com and I'll give you an estimated timeline. It'll take slightly longer now.


However, we do have some $25 boxes of "imperfect peppers" for sale. Throughout the week, we harvest bruised, blemished, or sun scalded peppers for freezing and then we'll email you once the box is full. You simply cut around the imperfection and place them into freezer bags. If you want to blanch, you can, but I always skip that step to keep it simple.


I froze this batch of peppers on Sunday and it took me about 30 minutes. I used a Food Saver, but you don't need to. I'm also not a fan of the plastic waste it creates, but it was a gift so I'm using it up. This is about a third of what you would receive in your box. You can use them for soup, stir fry, omelettes, or stuffed peppers within the next few months. If interested, email me, though we can only accommodate a few people - we don't get a ton of imperfect peppers quickly (maybe that's a good thing!)

On Saturday, we changed over the store's stock to offer lots of fall themed items: beef stew meat, ham steaks, various sausages; cranberry, beer, and espresso-infused cheeses; maple candies and maple sugar for baking; hearty pastas like stuffed shells and mushroom ravioli; fall grains like farro, wild rice, and a beautiful harvest blend; pumpkin and apple-scented soaps; peach, apple, and tons of fall tea blends; and even apple pies and cider donuts from Oronoque Farms in Shelton. Saturday was the most amazing turnout we have ever had, by far, so thank you for that! Randy and I spent some time over the weekend discussing how we'll be able to safely and enjoyably add pumpkins and mums to the mix when it's already so busy and crowded at times. Stay tuned, because we have some ideas we're working on...

Last call to order your Thanksgiving turkey from Shaggy Coos Farm! We will not have any for sale in person; you must pre-order. Follow this link to do so!

www.laurelglenfarm.com/turkeys


A Message from Randy:

The Uncrating:



Contents (In approximate order from shortest shelf life to longest):

Small Weekly:

  • 1 lb. of Asian eggplant

  • 1 head of Napa cabbage or bok choy

  • 1 bunch of cutting celery

  • 1 pint of cherry or grape tomatoes

  • 1 lb. of colored peppers

Small Biweekly:

  • 2 large eggplant

  • 1 head of Napa cabbage or bok choy

  • 1 bunch of cutting celery

  • 1/2 pint of cherry or grape tomatoes

  • 1 lb. of colored peppers

Large Weekly:

  • 1 lb. of Asian eggplant

  • 1 head of Napa cabbage or bok choy

  • 1 bunch of cutting celery

  • 1 pint of cherry or grape tomatoes

  • 1 pint of shishitos

  • 1 lb. of colored peppers

  • 1 pint of husk cherries

Large Biweekly:

  • 2 large eggplant

  • 1 head of Napa cabbage or bok choy

  • 1 bunch of cutting celery

  • 1 pint of cherry or grape tomatoes

  • 1 pint of shishitos

  • 1 lb. of colored peppers

  • 1/2 pint of husk cherries


Phew! The reason for the 4 different shares this week is to limit the amount of Italian eggplant that weekly shareholders receive 2 weeks in a row, while also making sure that biweekly members receive a substantial enough amount at least once this season. The value of the 2 large eggplant is higher than the pound of Asian eggplant, which explains why members who receive Asian eggplant will receive a little more of another item.

Caring For Your Share:

  • Store the eggplant and peppers in the fridge as is. You may want to transfer the shishitos to a ziploc first. Wash when ready to use.

  • Keep the tomatoes and use cherries out of the fridge. Dump out into a bowl and store all out of direct sunlight, like on a counter. Wash before using.

  • Store Napa cabbage or bok choy in plastic bags in the fridge. Shake out excess moisture first. Use within a few days.

  • Snip the ends off of the cutting celery and store in a glass of water in the fridge.

LGF Cooking Club:

How to Cook Shishito Peppers (With Two Dipping Sauces):

https://slowthecookdown.com/how-to-cook-shishito-peppers-with-two-dipping-sauces/ (Hint: Google search for more dipping sauces until you find one you like! There are so many out there.)


Eggplant and Bell Pepper Stir Fry (Hint: Add the Napa cabbage or bok choy in!): https://recipeland.com/recipe/v/eggplant-bell-pepper-stir-fry-54168


Pork and Napa Cabbage Soup: https://nomnompaleo.com/post/153203159908/pork-and-napa-cabbage-soup


Cucumber and Napa Cabbage Coleslaw: https://www.healthyseasonalrecipes.com/cucumber-and-napa-cabbage-coleslaw/


Sausage and Pepper Sheet-Pan Sandwiches: https://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/sausage-and-pepper-sheet-pan-sandwiches/


Crispy Eggplant Bacon (What?!):

https://minimalistbaker.com/crispy-eggplant-bacon/


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:

https://www.twospoons.ca/eggplant-rose-bouquet/


Eggplant Rollatini: https://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/eggplant-rollatini/


Use your celery tops for:

  • Pesto

  • To flavor soups

  • Sprinkled on salads

  • Stir fry

  • Smoothies/juice

A little bit goes a long way!


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:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=At02GJDnVUs



Biweekly Catch-Up Time

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!

The Winner: https://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/homemade-hot-sauce


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 laurelglenfarm@gmail.com 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.

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247 Waverly Rd. Shelton, CT 06484

laurelglenfarm@gmail.com

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