Wow! The final week of our summer program! Randy and I were reminiscing about this season over the weekend, and we both agree that the beginning of the season feels like both a lifetime ago and just the other day. He said it feels like just the other day because of the fact that it has been such an enjoyable season with so many new members and didn't make him feel "stuck." I would definitely agree with that, though we have been in such a positive routine for so long now that it's hard to remember a time before the store was completely renovated and open.
You all have definitely made this year feel easy with your positive momentum, and we thank you so much for keeping our morale up. Between the Facebook group, your sweet emails, or our face-to-face (masked) conversations, you all remind us how lucky we are. We literally couldn't do this without your support, and we want you to know how much we appreciate it.
On a similar note, within just a week of opening enrollment, we are already 45% full for next year's program (Extended and Main Season), with less than 10 spots remaining for the spring, summer, and fall bundled program. If you sign up for your vegetable subscription before Thanksgiving, you receive:
An invitation to our Onion Planting Party in April 2020
An invitation to our Seed Planting Party in spring 2020 (bring the family!)
A bonus vegetable box ($15 value) that we teach you to harvest yourself one day during the summer
A Laurel Glen Farm keepsake mug
None of these events will be available to non-members or after November 26, 2020.
Additionally, remember that you do not need to pay for your subscription in full at this time. You can click "Offline Payment" and mail a check for 50% as a deposit. The balance will be due a week before the start of your program. We hope to have you with us again next year!
Randy and his crew have been spending their Saturdays digging up potatoes. It's a labor intensive process. First, you can use the potato digger, like in the video at the bottom of this newsletter. But then, it's important to go back through the row with a rake to see if any were missed, and then pick those up by hand. We have at least 3 1/2 more full rows to dig, plus sweet potatoes, so if you're signed up for the fall program, you'll definitely be reaping the benefits. If not, the store will be stocked with them most definitely through our closing date on Saturday, December 12th.
Remember when I mentioned that I was going to move our chard plants over from the hardening house over to the greenhouse? These are them now, thriving! We find that fertilizer really helps our plants to grow. Although it's certainly not necessary, sometimes our pots lack the full nutrients that plants need, and it gives them an extra boost. The chard you've been receiving in your share is from the field, but these plants will help us to continue to farm once harvesting from the field has finished for the season.
Do you know your fall crops? These beauties are starting to come back around. I took these photos for our online ordering system for the Monroe Farmers' Market, but see if you can name them all. Answers below the collage.
Answers: Mustard greens, Delicata squash, butternut squash, parsley (it's a curly variety!), spaghetti squash, and acorn squash.
P.S. If you would like fresh parsley, we typically don't stock it in the store. Just ask and we can run out and pick it for you!
What's the difference between wax beans and green beans?
You may have seen our recent poll on our social media stories, asking if you prefer wax beans or green beans. Wax beans just edged out green beans! There isn't a huge difference between the two other than color. Wax beans get their name because they have a yellow hue like beeswax. Green beans contain chlorophyll, whereas wax beans do not. The benefit of wax beans seems to be that they retain their yellow color when cooked, while green beans tend to become a bit duller when cooked. Both are high in fiber. For Randy and I, it's psychological. Both of our grandparents grew wax beans in their gardens, and we have fond memories of eating them raw as kids.
Our second planting of tomatoes are doing pretty well now. We were able to give you all a half pound in your share last week, and this week, everyone will be receiving grape or cherry tomatoes. Covering the plants with Reemay when the temps dip down give them an essential layer of protection. We had a light frost late last week on Thursday into Friday. Randy says he doesn't see any evidence of a hard frost in the forecast any time soon. The difference between a light frost and hard "killing" frost is that a light frost dips slightly below 32 degrees for just a few hours. Though it can cause major damage, we can protect against it with Reemay cloth. In contrast, a killing frost usually dips well below freezing either for days or low enough to shock the plants and kill them.
With our 2 plantings of tomatoes, we're still bringing in some "seconds." If anyone would like to preserve, we can put together a box or two of 25 lbs. for $25. You just cut away the imperfections and use the rest; no need to can, you can actually freeze tomatoes whole or make them into sauce and then freeze that. Send us an email if you're interested!
Well, we didn't get to host our 2nd annual Fall Festival like we were hoping to (this is a picture from last year). It would have been this past Sunday. We decided not to have it because of COVID. Here's hoping next year is better for it! However, we have been discussing the possibility of having our 4th annual Thanksgiving Centerpiece workshop and our 3rd annual Holiday Wreath Making workshop. Those have been the cherry on top of our season over the past couple of years, and it's absolutely wonderful to be able to welcome you here for those. If cases don't rise, we think we are able to safely have those events with proper social distancing and time slots. Stay subscribed to our email list, because it will be a last-minute decision if we decide to have it, based on COVID numbers and state guidelines.
A Message from Randy (and thank you!):
Contents (In approximate order from shortest shelf life to longest):
1/2 pint of grape tomatoes
1/2 lb. of arugula
1 bunch of radishes
1/4 lb. of hot peppers
1/2 lb. of beans (wax or green)
1 lb. of potatoes
1/2 pint of grape tomatoes
1/2 lb. of arugula
1 bunch of radishes
1/2 lb. of tomatoes
1/4 lb. of hot peppers
1 lb. of zucchini or squash
1 lb. of beans (wax or green)
2 lbs. of potatoes
Caring For Your Share:
Wash all before using:
Store the peppers, squash and zucchini, and bag of beans in the fridge as is. Wash when ready to use.
Keep the tomatoes out of the fridge and store out of direct sunlight, like on a counter.
Twist the tops off of the radishes and store them in Ziploc bags. The greens can be eaten or frozen for later use.
Store the potatoes and garlic in a cool, dark place such as a pantry. Put them in a mesh bag or a location where they will get some air flow. Keep them out of the fridge, and always store them away from onions.
Store the bag of arugula in the fridge as is, pulling out any yellow leaves that you might see first, if any. Wash by swishing in water and spin out when ready to use.
LGF Cooking Club:
Pear Arugula Salad with Toasted Walnuts:
Arugula Pesto (throw in some radish greens for an extra kick!)
Toasted Cheddar, Ham, and Arugula Sandwiches:
Greek Green Beans (Fasolakia):
Aloo Beans [Spiced Potatoes with Green Beans]:
These Black Bean Burritos were always on the menu at my mom's when I was a teenager. I include them because you can use the hot peppers for the ever-so-slightest kick.
Similarly, Creamy Chicken Poblano Pepper Soup:
Hot Pepper Chicken:
Garlic Home Fries (Pssssst, if you got a ton of little potatoes in your share this week, those are my FAVORITE for this!) Make it fun by tossing in a hot pepper!
Rustic Radish Soup (includes the greens!):
More ideas about how to use those radish tops...
Cooking Tip(s) of the Week:
1. I absolutely love this visual from Burpee about the Scoville units in hot peppers. See if you can identify yours. We grow: poblanos, Hungarian wax peppers, jalapeños, cherry peppers, hot Thais, and cayenne.
2. Roasting or cooking your hot peppers on a high heat breaks down the capsaicin and makes them less hot. Roasted hot peppers barely taste hot. Remove all seeds and membranes from the pepper to cut down on the spice as well. Beware! Some say our hot peppers are hotter than most. Start by using half the amount that a recipe calls for and add more as needed.
3. Keep Your Onions & Potatoes Separated and Other Tips for Storing Fruits and Vegetables:
This article mentions storing onions on the countertop. I don't because we're short on counter space, so there is nothing wrong with putting them in the pantry so long as they have air flow.
4. How to Roast Garlic
Biweekly Catch-Up Time:
We still have gourds, $5 mums, $0.50/lb. pumpkins, and $1/lb. specialty pumpkins (typically ones you can also cook), for sale this week. Our friend Meg took these beautiful shots of her dining room table and front door to give you some display ideas if you haven't already finished decorating for fall.
It's soup season for sure! This week you're receiving a medley that's perfect for minestrone. I made this one with veggie stock and threw in carrots, green beans, potatoes, shredded kohlrabi, and some rotini. Thanks, Nicole, for chatting with me about it and sharing what you were cooking too! We love when you all share your recipes and success stories.
Fall crops are arriving slowly but surely... arugula, radishes, salad greens, cooking greens, and more have been gracing our store. This week we really wanted to make the theme of our box "One Last Hurrah" and make sure you got an allotment of summer items, too. We asked on the Facebook pages, and your votes were heard. We really appreciate your honest feedback whenever we poll you.
Crew member Lauren spent a huge part of the day on Monday sanitizing these transplant trays. After we use them for the season, we put them aside in a big pile in the greenhouse. Before the year is up, we sanitize and store them to get ready for next year. This is a really important step in reducing our chemical inputs as the plants are growing. Sanitizing the trays ensures that no diseases or fungus is spread into the soil, which would compromise the health of the plant. Healthier plants lead to healthier soil, and is better for the environment, too.