We're so excited because, as mentioned previously, tomatoes don't usually come until week 10. Well, we've got grape tomatoes and sungolds for week 9! We really had just enough to make it happen. Fingers crossed we'll be able to work larger (globe) tomatoes into shares next week, too. It's hot this week, but we'll take it because it means summer favorites are making progress! Here are some pictures from the week: Our first harvest of tomatoes, progress on the peppers and melons, and various shots from Booth Hill.
Sincere apologies to anyone who got a moldy cabbage last week. It really is so tough to grow cabbages that we've debated giving up. It happens every year: we get a heavy rain while the heads are forming, then once they're harvested and put into the cooler, mold forms from the water inside. It's nearly impossible to tell from the outside - sometimes we can tell if the leaves look a little black and we compost the heads when that happens. Other times we have no idea until they are cut into. We heard from so many of you that it seemed consistent across that harvest of heads. To make it up to you, delivery members will receive a few extra goodies in their bags, and pickup members will get to add on to their shares from a surplus area.
This week, large subscription members will be receiving a head of savoy cabbage. If yours ends up moldy inside, please send us an email so we can make it right!
And on that note, would you like to learn about composting?!
Here's a link to the EPA's information about it, as well. https://www.epa.gov/recycle/composting-home
This is the composter that I have. Remember, don't despair if your greens have bug holes. They're perfectly safe to eat and the arugula, Asian mix, and bok choy are all pesticide-free!
What else is new here?
We've been planting beans that will hopefully be ready for the beginning of October. They were planted in the former place of the lettuce and escarole. Beets are next to be planted this week in place of the garlic that we finished harvesting last week. Melons, peppers, eggplant, corn, and potatoes are making progress to be ready within the next couple of weeks, too! Crew members Ella & Amanda have been seeding lots of fall crops to be transplanted later this season, such as brassicas (cabbage family crops) and lettuce. The final planting of corn for the season happened this past week, too.
This week on the Facebook page, I polled everyone to ask which kind of kale is your favorite: red curly kale, green curly kale, or Toscano (aka flat leaf, dinosaur kale, or Lacinato) kale. At the farmers' markets, green curly kale is by far and away the most popular. We hardly ever sell flat leaf. I found it very interesting that more of you voted for Toscano kale! For delivery members, I'll change up the type of kale you're receiving and for pickup members we'll give you a choice upon pickup.
Stephanie Unbags Her Share: Thank you to All-Star Stephanie for unbagging last week's share for us and giving us tips!
Here is the link to the fritters recipe that Stephanie talks about. http://leavenoleftovers.com/yellow-summer-squash-fritters/
And a picture of her end result!
A Message from Randy:
Contents (In approximate order from shortest shelf life to longest):
1-2 heads of bok choy
1 bunch of kale
1/4 lb. of arugula
1/4 lb. of Asian greens mix
1 pint of grape or cherry tomatoes
1 lb. of cucumbers
2-3 heads of bok choy
1 bunch of kale
1 head of savoy cabbage
1/4 lb. of arugula
1/2 lb. of Asian greens mix
1 pint of grape or cherry tomatoes
1 lb. of cucumbers
Caring For Your Share:
Store the cucumbers in the fridge as is. Wash when ready to use. Use the greens from the onions within a few days to ensure freshness.
Store the head of cabbage in the fridge (leave the outer leaves on to prevent the inner leaves from wilting). Remove outer leaves from the head when ready to wash and use.
Store the greens mix and arugula in the fridge in the bag. Don't compress it, if possible. Wash and spin out when ready to use.
Keep the tomatoes out of the fridge and pour out into a bowl. Store out of direct sunlight, like on a counter. Wash before using.
Keep the garlic in a cool, dark place out of the fridge, such as a pantry, where it will have air flow. The fridge will dry it out. Keep the neck on the garlic if you would like to store it long-term to prevent it from rotting.
LGF Cooking Club:
Roasted Grape Tomatoes: https://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/claire-robinson/roasted-grape-tomatoes-recipe-1946352
Mandarin Chicken Salad: https://www.food.com/recipe/mandarin-chicken-salad-20045
Garlic Parmesan Kale Pasta: https://www.budgetbytes.com/garlic-parmesan-kale-pasta/
Bok Choy Kimchi: https://tasty.co/recipe/baby-bok-choy-kimchi
The Breakfast Club (Ha!): We're doing a breakfast challenge over in our Facebook group by trying to incorporate more veggies into our breakfasts. Egg and Cheese Pita with Onion, Tomato, and Basil: https://www.self.com/recipe/egg-and-cheese-pita-with-onion-tomato-and-basil
Kale Quinoa Breakfast Bowl: https://goop.com/recipes/kale-quinoa-breakfast-bowl/
Kale, Cucumber, and Pineapple Smoothie: https://www.vegkitchen.com/kale-cucumber-and-pineapple-smoothie/ Arugula Breakfast Sandwich with Caramelized Onions: https://fitfoodiefinds.com/arugula-breakfast-sandwich-with-caramelized-onions/
Cucumber Breakfast Spread for Bagels and English Muffins: https://onceamonthmeals.com/recipes/cucumber-breakfast-spread/
What else do our members suggest? "I think we’ll try toast with cottage cheese or cream cheese spread on it and top it off with tomatoes and cucumbers!!" - Terry "Love veggies for breakfast! On the fresh side, wilt freshly chopped spinach in small amount of spray/oil, light sprinkle onion powder then add beaten egg (w/bit of milk if you prefer) and/or some grated cheddar. Can do the same with zucchini, leftoverbroccoli florets (esp. steamed florets). If you prefer on the side, great use of leftover potatoes, carrots, actually whatever you want. Last week I used leftover sautéed asparagus, (boiled ok too) chopped it up, let it warm & added 1/2 c eggbeaters (was out of eggs). If you let it be while cooking, moving edges toward center, you'll get an omelet effect, even flip it over if you must. Aka frittata if you don't scramble it." - Karen "Toast w/arugula & tomato and a poached egg or hard boiled egg. Drizzle balsamic or Trader Joe’s Everything Bagel Seasoning. Last night I roasted kohlrabi/beets/onion/potatoes. I sometimes heat this up for breakfast w/hot sauce (w or w/o an egg)." - Norma
"I love having pre made healthy breakfasts so I meal prep egg white bowls. I use my instant pot with a Pyrex bowel (probably could be in the oven too but instant pot helps with the heat in the summer) and after I spray the bowl with some oil or non stick spray I fill the bowl with egg whites and add whatever veggies I have. Kale, arugula, bok Choy, tomatoes, zucchinni, onion, broccoli asparagus. Throw in some salt and pepper. And then just let it bake until the eggs are cooked. It keeps in the fridge all week. I usually use the small 2 cup bowls and make all 5 at once (have to do one at a time in instant pot but super quick) and just reach for it every morning. Tastes good hot or cold!" - Stephanie
Cooking Tip(s) of the Week (Oops! Forgot to change this last week!):
How to Quickly De-stem Kale: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pPGUw8jRv1k How to Roast Garlic in the Oven: https://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-roast-garlic-in-the-oven-5341
Biweekly Catchup Time (Thank you for the idea, Randy!):
Let's talk about the word "organic" for a second. This is a tough topic to talk about, because there's a lot of misinformation surrounding it. When people hear that we are not certified organic, they're often immediately turned off. But here's the thing: did you know that certified organic farms are absolutely allowed to use pesticides on their crops? This means that they can spray insecticides, fungicides, and herbicides on their crops so long as they are approved by the USDA for organic use. Sometimes organic pesticides are even needed more frequently (like copper, for example) because they're less effective.
I think people often have visions of us dousing heavy amounts of chemicals on our crops when we say that we are not certified organic, but that's not the case. Sometimes we need to use chemicals once a month, sometimes more frequently if we have a bad infestation (we think of this like a dose of medication), and sometimes literally never. Sometimes we even use certified organic chemicals if it's the best remedy in a given situation. Now, I'm not saying that all farms that are certified organic are "bad," but what I am trying to say is that education and transparency are important no matter what the food source is. The key to operating our farm has always been educating ourselves on preventative measures, educating ourselves on using the least potent dose of chemicals, and educating consumers on what it means to be certified organic. Transparency is always important to us, too. That's what this segment is about.
And whatever you choose to buy, be careful of big box stores that list their products as organic at a very low cost. A hint would be to look at the country of origin. "Organic" is a government regulated term, which means that you need to pay money to label your farm as such. Some farmers truly use no chemicals but can't legally use that word - other farms use organic certified chemicals in excess but pay for the ability to use that word. And in other countries, that word may literally mean absolutely nothing when shipped here and sold in our stores because it's not regulated in some places of the world.
Phew! It's a lot to think about, but our hope is to always earn your trust. You buying your food locally and getting to know us means a lot to us, and we hope that you feel the benefits of it, too.
Please don't forget to bring your reusable bags. The CT Bag Tax is back, and unfortunately we need to start charging $0.10 per plastic bag used.
How good do Susan G's microgreens look?! And Sue B. is ready to plant a second round of her own! Dave N. just ordered his first microgreens kit. If you want to join in, we still have some kits for sale: https://www.laurelglenfarm.com/diy-microgreens-kit
It’s always sad when the snap peas are gone, but late last week Randy and Ethan planted more squash, zucchini, and cucumbers in their place to keep our crop coming for months. Succession planting is so important to help us meet demands, extend our season, and preserve soil health. There will be 2 more plantings this year if you can believe it! We have summer squash until the first frost.
Monster garlic! We harvest a little bit every day. If you harvest it all at once, you have to clean the mud off all at once - an impossible task for us right now with thousands and thousands of heads and many other tasks to do.
The tomato fields are looking good! Grape tomatoes are coming along sooner. For reference, we usually start harvesting tomatoes around week 10, so we're not behind - they're truly a later July crop. There will be a few for sale in the store here and there as they come in, and then you'll get tons in the months to come - we promise!
Randy's dad Ed worked on leveling out part of our barn and rebuilding some onion tables. Soon we'll be harvesting all of our onions to get them in the process of drying for the fall. Ed was too shy to pose for the picture, so Randy stepped in.
Amanda and I were back in action at the Monroe Farmer's Market last Friday from 3 to 6. It's in a new location this year because of COVID-19 (Fireman's Field), but we're hoping to build some momentum there.
If you want to visit us at markets, here's our line-up: Trumbull Farmers' Market - Thursdays from 4 to 7
Monroe Farmers' Market - Fridays from 3 to 6 (Online pre-orders from 5-6 too)
Shelton Farmers' Market - Saturdays from 9 to 12
Stratfield Saturday Market in Clinton Park (Bridgeport) - Saturdays from 9:30 to 1:30