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What's the new mystery fruit?

Updated: May 25

If you started reading this post through the email we sent, we were talking about the mystery fruit that we are planting this coming week. (It's not raspberries, blackberries, grapes, apples, peaches, or plums - we already grow those!) And by the way, thank you for jumping over to the blog to finish reading the email - this is exactly where these updates will permanently be posted going forward, though you'll always receive an email preview exactly as you did this week.


Anyway, the decision to grow this mystery fruit came about for two reasons: one, Randy is always looking for ways to grow his farming repertoire and take on new endeavors, and two, we wanted a crop to generate excitement during a period of time that we don't already have fruit available: June. Does that narrow down your guesses?


Deciding to grow this fruit came with a lot of "imposter syndrome" for Randy. First of all, he's always nervous to make an announcement without knowing if it will pan out. But honestly, we really have the most supportive community behind us, cheering him on and understanding his setbacks no matter what happens. Second of all, we really didn't want to appear that we were copying another already well-established farm... Okay, okay, it might be time to spill the beans.


Here's Randy plowing for our new fruit, which is...

STRAWBERRIES!


As we all know, Jones is the pro when it comes to strawberries. I myself truly have the fondest memories of picking my own strawberries with my family every summer as a kid. So, it felt a little tacky to make this decision. Of course, we recognize that we're not a large enough farm to detract from Jones' success (nor would we ever want to - we love the Joneses!!!!) Still, it feels a little uncomfortable not to recognize that they already do this successfully...


But, we are moving forward with this endeavor believing that it's the right move for our community, if not just our family, and that there are never too many strawberries to go around. As of right now, we don't have any plans to offer pick-your-own, but when the plants begin to yield next year, we will have the berries available in our store.


Next week, we'll give you an update on how the planting went and let you know when the new-to-us strawberry tractor makes it debut.

 

This week, I also gave the chicken coop its first coat of white paint. Randy is still putting the finishing touches on some of the construction, but this is one of the final steps of this chicken endeavor. As I painted, I thought a lot about my life here on the farm and what a blessing it is to be able to work with my hands. There is really something special about the grit that you build from working on the farm - the resilience, perseverance, patience, and so many more important traits. I am also blessed to wear many hats here - writer, painter, manager, farmer, and so many more...


Ta da! One coat done. My plan is to finish next week.


 

And speaking of paint, we're sure you've noticed that the barns and buildings here are all white, but at our property at 475 Booth Hill Road in Shelton, they're red! This is the perfect time to tell you about our free farm walk, happening at 475 Booth Hill Road in Shelton on Sunday, June 2nd from 10:30 to noon. You'll be able to see our fruit fields, our land restoration project in action, our flower field, and where we grow most of the veggies at Laurel Glen Farm.


After the first portion of our walk, we'll caravan back to 247 Waverly Rd. (our main farm) for the rest of the farm walk. Kids are absolutely invited, but please be aware that we will be walking and standing for the entire duration, and staying in certain areas. The terrain is rocky and hilly, so you will need good walking shoes. The event is shine only and there is no rain date at this time. We'll send an email and update our social media and phone line in the event of a cancellation. We will be closing the gate behind us promptly at 10:30 a.m., so please arrive between 10:15 and 10:30. We are so excited for this event! We've only done something like this once before.


You'll get to see so many beautiful sights like this:

Beets.


Tomatoes.



Dill.

 

Celery, melons, peppers, and eggplant were all planted this week.


The crew helped Randy cover up newly seeded greens. We do this by hand - called "broadcasting" - and then shovel a thin layer of dirt over the top.


We're also succession planting squash, zucchini, and cucumbers every 2 weeks to keep a steady supply coming into the fall. Randy's beloved "speckled notebook" keeps us on track - he maps everything out over the winter and then consults with it every week to make sure that everything is seeded, planted, and harvested according to schedule (weather permitting, of course!)

 

With farmers' market season upon us, we'd like to remind you to look for a few things at markets: all produce sold at Connecticut farmers' markets is required to be labeled with the farm name of where it was grown. Signs should be posted next to items with the farm name, or there should be a sign explicitly stating where the crops were grown - not just a banner with the farm name. As in our store, we only sell what we grow - and our signs state this.


Secondly, seasonality doesn't change much across the state. Some farms do have massive operations to grow produce indoors, but this is not typically the norm. It is still greens season in Connecticut and will remain so into June. The threat of frost has just barely passed in our area - if you are seeing summer crops in abundance (and perfectly uniform ones at that), question where they were grown. As an example, corn is not ready for Memorial Day if it was grown in CT.


 

Every week, the email will follow this format: farm updates to begin, housekeeping or other important information, sales information (we have seedlings available every day now!), and upcoming events. If you are a vegetable subscription member, you'll scroll all the way down to find your list of box contents, storage information, and recipes!


Thanks for reading along in our new format this week! Let us know what you think!

 

HOUSEKEEPING

  • WE WILL BE CLOSED ON MEMORIAL DAY - MONDAY, MAY 27TH.

  • The best way to reach us quickly is always by email - laurelglenfarm@gmail.com

  • Please note that Victoria does not work on Thursdays. Emails or phone calls received on Wednesday night through Thursday will be answered on Fridays.

 

WHAT VEGGIES ARE IN THE STORE?

Here are the fresh veggies we plan to have in stock while supplies last (through Friday, 5/31):

  • Arugula

  • Bok choy

  • Carrots (the last of them until July)

  • Celery

  • Escarole (very limited quantities this week)

  • Fresh herbs (sage, thyme, rosemary, mint, oregano, parsley)

  • Leeks

  • Lettuce

  • Romaine

  • Scallions

  • Spinach

  • Swiss chard

  • Tokyo bekana (a leaf cabbage for stir fry, salad, or slaw)

 

Sugar snap peas, broccoli, garlic scapes, summer squash, and new greens will be in season in a few weeks.

 

SEEDLING AVAILABILITY

Sold as single plants ($4.50 each or 3 for $12):

  • Heirloom slicing tomatoes (Black Krim, Striped German, Brandywine, and Cherokee Purple)

  • Red and yellow slicing tomatoes (we don't label the specific varieties, but these are all of the same globe tomatoes we grow on the farm)

  • Red and yellow grape tomatoes

  • Red cherry tomatoes

  • Eggplant

  • Red bell peppers

  • Jalapenos

Sold in 2-packs ($4.50 each or 2 for $8):

  • Slicing cucumbers

  • Zucchini

  • Yellow squash

  • Broccoli

  • Kale

  • Watermelon

  • Cantaloupe

Sold in 4-packs ($8.50 each or 2 for $16):

  • Green and red lettuce

  • Green beans

  • Basil, cilantro, dill, thyme, parsley, mint, oregano, and sage

  • Sunflowers, snapdragons, and zinnias


FLOWER SALE

Hanging flower baskets are now on sale - $17 each or 2 for $30.

 

SHIRTS ARE IN STOCK

Shirts are $22, unisex, and available in S, M, L, XL, and XXL. They're 100% cotton, incredibly soft, and slightly baggy for a trendy, lived-in feel for stepping out at your favorite casual establishment.

 

The front is the Laurel Glen Farm logo and the back is a beet with the phrase "keep your friends close and your farmers closer."

 

STORE HOURS

Monday: 10:30 to 6

Tuesday: 10:30 to 6

Wednesday: 10:30 to 6

Thursday: 10:30 to 6

Friday: 10:30 to 5

Saturday: 9 to 4

Sunday: 10 to 3


** Vegetable subscription pickup occurs during all open hours on members' scheduled pickup day and we hold shares for 24 hours afterward.


WE WILL BE CLOSED ON MEMORIAL DAY - MONDAY, MAY 27TH.

 

UPCOMING FARM EVENTS


BOOK CLUB

Our next book club meeting will take place on a Saturday or Sunday morning in July. The date is TBD and will be determined based upon other farm events. We'll be able to announce the date in late June, but we recommend trying to complete the book by July 1st just in case (although many of us at the meeting had not yet finished! Don't let that discourage you from attending.) We'll ask you to RSVP once we post the date. 


This week's reflection question: What information has made you uncomfortable so far and why?



FREE Farm Walking Tour


Sunday, June 2nd

10:30 to Noon

We are starting at 475 Booth Hill Road in Shelton. We will caravan back to the main farm at 247 Waverly Rd. for the second half of the tour.

 

Please meet there promptly at 10:30. We will be closing the gate behind us at that time.

 

Be advised that this will include a lot of walking in both locations and will be hilly. Although kids are absolutely invited (our own will be coming!), we will be taking our time, staying inside of walking areas, and in the elements for a prolonged period of time.

 

Shine only - no rain date. Call 203-305-9179 or check our website, Facebook, or Instagram that day to ensure that the event is still happening if the weather is questionable.


Tentative dates for PYO peas: June 21 (Friday), 22 (Saturday), and 23rd (Sunday). More information to come.

 

EXTENDED SEASON WEEK 5 OF 32

(May 28th through June 1st)


Share Contents (Listed approximately from shortest shelf life to longest)

Large:

  • 2 Grab-a-Green (Pick your choice of greens from the free choice table! Swiss chard, arugula, lettuce, bok choy, romaine, Tokyo bekana, and spinach will be available while supplies last)

  • 1 head of lettuce

  • 1 bunch of spinach

  • 1 bunch of scallions

  • 1 bunch of radishes

  • 1 lb. of carrots

  • 1 bunch of herbs (your choice - mint, oregano, thyme, sage)


Small:

  • 1 Grab-a-Green (Pick your choice of greens from the free choice table! Swiss chard, arugula, lettuce, bok choy, romaine, Tokyo bekana, and spinach will be available while supplies last)

  • 1 head of lettuce

  • 1 bunch of spinach

  • 1 bunch of scallions

  • 1/2 lb. of carrots

  • 1 bunch of herbs (your choice - mint, oregano, thyme, sage)


Caring For Your Share (All of this information, plus long-term storage info, can also be found in our Vegetable Library of Resources).

  • Store spinach in a plastic bag in the crisper drawer of your fridge. Wash and spin out when ready to use (within the week).

  • Store lettuce in a plastic bag in the crisper drawer of the fridge (you can use two bags, one on each end, if needed due to size). Wash and spin out; use within the week.

  • Remove the greens from the radishes and store them in separate plastic bags. Wash and eat the greens within a few days; the roots will keep for a couple of weeks if stored properly.

  • Keep carrots in the plastic bag in your fridge until ready to use.

  • Trim the bottoms of the scallions and place in a jar of water in the fridge, like a bouquet. Put a plastic bag over the greens to protect them. Or, store in a plastic bag.

  • Wrap herbs in a damp paper towel and place it in a plastic bag in the fridge. It will last a week or two. Or, place in a jar of water, like a bouquet.


The LGF Cooking Club (Recipes to try in addition to those in the Library of Resources!)


Large Share Additional Items

 

How to Change Your CSA Share Pickup Day

  • If you need to skip your share for the week, or change your pickup day, you must provide us with 48 hours notice for any of the options below. This is because we pack shares the day before pickup. Once your share has been harvested and packed, we can not cancel your pickup.

    • For Tuesday pickups being changed, we need to know by Sunday.

    • Wednesday pickups, we need to know by Monday.

    • Saturday pickups, we need to know by Thursday.

  • You have the option to choose another of those pickup days in a given week: Tuesday, Wednesday, or Saturday.

  • You can skip a pickup and receive a double the following week.

  • If you miss your pickup, we will hold your share for 24 hours after your pickup day, and then it will be donated to a local food pantry. With more members than ever before, we don't have the cooler space to hold onto shares longer than this. This is a great option if you accidentally miss your pickup - just come the next day.

  • You can always send a guest to pick up in your place by simply notifying us of their name.

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