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TINY HOUSE SCULPTURE 1

Thursday October 17, 2019

Before I get started, I feel that its important to share with you that NOW is the very best time to enjoy greens from Star Light.  Our greens are outstanding all year long, but they are most outstanding in the Fall.  The mustards, the spinach, the salads, the kale and chard etc- all our designed to knock your socks off just as effectively as the tomatoes can in the Summer.

A few weeks ago, the Durham Library sponsored a potluck supper as part of a bigger move to promote the "one book one durham" concept.  The potluck was intended to underline the theme of the book called "This Is Where You Belong" by Melody Warnick. This book is all about making your immediate surroundings, including local businesses so much more important and satisfying then they currently are in your life.  Yes, its about buying local and yet so much more.  Its about the wisdom of putting your dollars into a local choice and helping to keep those dollars within the community.  Its also about how your life quality changes for the better when you are more connected to all the other immediate people close at hand. 

I'll give you a quick example of that.  My daughter in law in Northampton, MA is at home with the two small kids.  She needed to bring the car to get the oil changed at the service station, which is located at the end of her block.  On the phone to the mechanic she said that she'd bring the car down but wasn't sure, with two little kids how to accomplish that.  "No problem! Just leave the keys in the car, and I'll walk down and pick it up".  Such a simple, perfect solution.  She wouldn't have gotten this kind of service from Jiffy Lube!

Its just a small beautiful fact that when you interact with those immediately around you, they know who you are and are more interested in trying to make things work better for you. 

There are also problems with thinking along this model.  True, the local hardware store  owner may know your kids and your kids kids, but that doesn't change the fact that a hammer will probably cost more there than at a box store.  For people on a very tight budget,(which is most of us!), that would be the factor that weights the heaviest often.  Its a deliema that we all face.  In the long run, keeping our dollars local helps preserve the immediate experience of your environment not being flooded with corporate entities.

Buying organic locally grown food works the same way.  Its more expensive than Stop N Shop on the one hand.  But it is fresher, more tasty (a fact, not just an opinion!), less of a carbon footprint and the growing practices are environmentally friendly.  Plus, by supporting your local farmer, you're helping to keep the dollars earned right here in our community, as opposed to surrendering your dollars to a big corporate box store.

It is not too late to participate in this "One Book One Durham" event at the Durham Library.  There's a book discussion this coming Monday (10/21) 7:30pm or Saturday (10/26) at 11am.  I hope to go, and hope to see you there.

We'll be at three Farmer's Markets this week.  Durham on Thursdays from 3-6, Madison on Friday from 3-6 and Wooster Square on Saturday from 9-1pm.

If you're ordering from us for the first time, our system is easy.  Just email what you want from the list below.  Deadline for ordering is 8AM on Thursday.  We'll process your order and have it waiting for you in our shed after 2pm on Thursday.  If you come after work and its dark, just use your light on your phone!  Or bring a light.

As I mentioned above.  Greens are at the top of their game at this time of the year.

Salad Greens- with mizuna, a variety of lettuces, baby kale $6/bag

Arugula- not to be boring, but this is arugula's moment to really shine $6/bag

Baby Kale- for salad or an elegant side dish, lightly wilted $6/bag

Spinach- green green and full of iron and goodness- $6/bag

Pea Tendrils- again, they're best now.  For  pea tendril pesto and Asian cooking $6/bag

Braising Greens- a lot of hearty zesty mustards, mizuna for an awesome side vegetable dish $6/bag.  Seriously.  You should try these!

Carrots- boring to say cause I'm being so repetitive, but carrots are most sweet and crunchy right now $5/bunch

Radishes- ditto.  French Breakfast, Rover, Watermelon (a big favorite) and Lobo $4/bunch

Hakeuri and Namasaki (a deep purple) Turnips-  What's most amazing about both of these kinds of turnips is that they are even better to eat raw, sliced up for salads.  Roasting works well, too $4/bunch

Pak or Bok Choi- $3.50/bunch

Leeks-big on both size and flavor $4/bunch

Jen's Flower Bouquet- $8

Big Kale, Swiss Chard, Collards- $4/bunch

Peruvian and French Fingerling Potatoes-newly dug! $5/lb

Ginger- our ginger is so aromatic and delicious!  Nothing at all like you'd find at the supermarket $5/piece

Turmeric- it turns out that everyone wants turmeric for inflamation, general health and a grand tea  $6/piece

Parsley and Cilantro- more beautiful than I can describe.  Both herbs can kick up any dish at least 4 notches $2/bunch

Beets- $4/lb

Garlic- $3.50/head

Green Tower Lettuce Heads- $3.50/each. NEW! Crunchy, and very full of flavor

Lemon Grass- $3/bunch

Peppers- $5/lb

Hot Peppers-$5/lb

Tomatoes-still way way better than anything from the supermarket $7/lb

Onions- $3/lb

 

Posted by: David Zemelsky
10/15/2019 10:27 am

Dear Friends,

I hope that you won't think it presumptuous of me to share with you about my trip to the Shetland Islands.  If so, just skip ahead to  the food part of the letter.  I'll understand.

The first thing that you need to know is-why Shetland.  And I got asked that a lot.  Not just by friends of mine around here, but by fellow travelers and even the citizens of Shetland.  Why would you want to go visit a very small isolated place in the middle of basically nowhere.  A place where the sun shines sometimes and the wind blows all the time.  The answer to Why Shetland is not easy to answer.  I'll start by saying that it looks so damn inviting on the map!

Two years ago, just before Ty got sick, we made a decision to go travel.  This, in itself was a rare decision on our part.  We'd barely gone anywhere in all our years together.  Her vote was for Italy and specifically the mosaics of Ravenna.  My vote was for Shetland.  She, at least, had a professional reason for her choice.  Mine was just a gut feeling.  We "compromised" on going to Italy.  "We'll go to Shetland on our next trip". 

When the diagnosis of cancer came, we very quickly realized that the trip (we'd now bought tickets) should be cancelled in favor of treatment.  Whether that was a good decision or not remains a mystery to me.  I do know that the treatment looks to me like it hastened her death.  But we'll never know  So now, two years later, I decided to do the Shetland trip.

Shetland is really small.  One can get from one end to another in less than  2 hours.  My trip was well planned, but only because I enlisted the services of Sarah from Sponzo Travel (Yes, this is a plug!).  With her help, I was able to get a well formulated trip going.  One can take a ferry to Shetland. Its 12 hours.  It made most sense to just get there, so I flew into Sumburgh Airport on the very southern tip of Shetland.  From there, I picked up my tiny Kia and began my first mantra.  "Look to the right.  Drive on the left."  This worked. Oh.  One more thing about arriving in Shetland.  In order to leave the airport, I had to cross over the landing strip of the airport.  There was a person at either end to direct traffic in the event that your departure coincided with a plane arrival.

My next six days were spent sleeping in Lerwick, the largest and only city on Shetland.  Beautiful, quaint and easy to get around.  I used Lerwick in a most effective way.  Thanks to a great walk book that I picked up online,  I'd  pick a destination that looked great and drive there and then walk.   This was absolutely wonderful and rewarding.   Two important things to say about walking. 

First is that the trip convinced me-I am a walker.  Who knew?  I've known for some time that I"m a runner and a biker, but didn't realize that walking is totally me.  I would refer you to Thich Nhat Han's very wonderful book called "How To Walk ".  The main premise is that every step is an opportunity to arrive where you are.  In other words, being able to immerse yourself in the Now will help you to become fully present.  How many times in our day to day life, to we get totally distracted by details, both large and small who's presence in ones brain can be annoying and nonproductive.  To me, this is a lifetime pursuit.  One that I'm very willing to engage in.

The second thing is that Shetland is positively beautiful.  Not in some of the ways you might think of, but in its own unique way.  No trees and a constant wind.  A wind so strong that for the first time in my life, I began to understand how disruptive wind could be, especially if it knocked you off your feet.  That never happened to me, but it got close.

I got a new respect for birds and seals.  They were mostly everywhere.  There was one walk that I took around a large penisula where a group of six seals followed me avidely  for most of the first half.  They were so curious about what I might do next.

On day six, I visited the only vegetable farm on the island (according to them).  It was called Transition Turrifield.  It was a small place, with a lot going on.  They grew most of the same things we did with a lot of success.  Which is amazing because there's a lot going against farming in Shetland.  For one thing, the soil is oozing with wet.  Their outdoor plot had a big moat around it that would help with soil drainage.  They had numerous Hoop Houses (called Polytunnels there).  The actual hoops were the discarded hollow tubes from salmon farms that were used to deliver food to the salmon.  Very resourceful.  Early on they made a call to people around to bring them discarded tires.  They would mound them up and use them as a wind break.  Again , very resourceful.  But, as Penny (one of the owners) said, the damage to their crops from wind was of big concern. 

Climate change has affected them, too.  The days were often less sunny now affecting crops as well as the quality of the light.  Penny expressed concern for their future.  But even so, she showed me the sight of several more polytunnels that will go up in the next few years.  Their mission is to both educate the community about the value of growing, and hope that other people will start their own gardens. Additionally, they must make their farm a viable business.  It was an amazing project that looks like its working.

My next stop after Lerwick had to be cancelled-a big disappointment.  Off the mainland of Shetland by 20 miles is the very small and very mountainous  island of Foula.  Because the wind was so fierce at this time, the ferry was cancelled.  Instead, I went to Yell (yup, no spelling error here!).  I spent two nights there and continued enjoying and relishing the walking.  It was here that I began to appreciate the Norse tradition of Shetland.  I saw on my travels in Yell, many excavated Norwegian sights from 1000's of years ago.  Shetland use to belong Norway, but the king of Norway in the mid 1400's  used Norway as a security deposit for his daughters dowry.  Somehow, the Norwegians never got it back after this.

My last stop on Shetland was Unst, which is the most Northern piece of land in the UK.  It was here that I went to Hermaness, a bird sanctuary.  Its beauty is unmatched in my book.  It is home at certain times of the year to hundreds of thousands of birds, including the Puffin.  Unfortunately, the puffin had already moved on before I arrived.

I'll stop my description there and leave you with a few thoughts.  First, it was wonderful to travel on my own.  At the time, I was nervous that it would be lonely.  Not at all the case.  The situation helped me to be adventurous and decisive.  This trip will probably be a trip of a lifetime for me.  I feel lucky and in awe of how amazing the world really is.  And complicated.  For all its pristine qualities , the local newspaper was full of a controversy between those who wanted to reduce the carbon footprint by utilizing wind power and those who were equally concerned that a wind project would destroy the peat environment that one finds there.  It occurred to me that WOW, even in a remote place like this, there are no simple answers.

I hope that you enjoy the photos.

 

Moving on to our food.  There's lots, as you have learned to expect.  If you'd like, come to the Durham Farmer's Market this Thursday (and for the next two Thursdays after this)  on the green from 3-6pm.  If you'd like to order from us and pick up at the shed,  please write us back before 8 AM on Thursday.  Your order will be waiting for you in our shed at 54 Fowler after 2pm on Thursday.  If you come after dark, bring a light.  Self pay in the payment jar.

Orders in by 8a.m. Thursday for 2p.m. pick up out front.

If you're ordering or picking up for the first time at the farm please reach out to us with any questions or if you'd like to check the place out.

Remember please email  directly at our new address starlightgardensdurhamct@gmail.com

Simply replying to this email will do the trick

Cherry Tomatoes are now officially a Summer Memory.  I hope you enjoyed them.  Regular tomatoes?  We hope to have some, so order up and we'll see what we can do.  $7/lb.
 
New! This is our first week for shed orders!  Ginger and Turmeric.  Both are of excellent quality and flavor.  They are totally a different and better experience from buying either one at Stop N Shop.  And its smell is also amazing.  For the ginger, the stems are also of use for teas.  Turmeric's value  as an anti-inflammatory are well known and documented.  A good sized piece is $5 for either one.
 
Peppers of multi colors and the same for eggplants-both $5/lb

Salad Greens- $6/bag

Arugula-$6/bag

Pea Tendrils-$6/bag

Braising Greens-$6/bag

Red Russian Kale-$6/bag

Spinach-$6/bag

Swiss Chard,Kale and Collards $4/bunch

Bok Choy -$3.50/head

Potatoes- newly dug and as full of flavor as anything anywhere $5/lb

Garlic -$3.50/head

Hot Peppers- $4/basket

Radishes- $4/bunch

Green Lobo Radish- $4/bunch

Hakurie Turnips $4/bunch

Beets- $4/lb

Leeks-$4/bunch

Scallions-3$/bunch

Lemon Grass, Thai Basil, Holy Basil, Parsley and Cilantro $2/smallbunch

Award Winning Flower Bouquets $8/each

Last word would be a public appreciation for Jen and Joel's work while I was gone.  I almost think that the place runs better when I'm gone!  In any case, thank you both.  A spectacular job was done!.

Have a great week

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10/6/2019 9:21pm Shetland

 

Posted by: David Zemelsky
10/7/2019 7:36 am

First off let me say thanks.  Thanks for choosing us, working with us, supporting small farms and sustainable agriculture.  You've won us over and we've fallen for you.  Without you our loyal customers, customers who support small business and unique enterprise in all of it's forms, none of us would be what we are.

David will be away for this next week so please contact me directly at our new email starlightgardendurhamct@gmail.com

Yes fall it's a beautiful time of year.  Don't get me wrong there are truly few things I love more than a beautiful summer day.  However, with the passage of time and my hands in the dirt, perspectives change.  Sometimes in the early morning sun some of the late summer sown brassicas harvested in the fall compete with those summer days.

One tough thing about fall is that the Tomatoes got to go. Every day more plants are pulled from the ground and added to our compost pile.  The soil is prepped and we begin the journey to fall and winter plantings.  It's heart breaking but as inevitable as the changing seasons.  We will do our best to accommodate orders.

Orders in by 8a.m. Thursday for 2p.m. pick up out front.

If you're ordering or picking up for the first time at the farm please reach out to us with any questions or if you'd like to check the place out.

Remember please email me directly at our new address starlightgardensdurhamct@gmail.com

The tomato waterfall is truly shut down so we will do our best to accommodate, first come first serve

Here's the choices: Heirloom, with their funny shapes and glorious colors at $7lb. Then, there's Juliet which are red, sweet and easy to both cook with and eat raw. 

As for the cherry toms, there's sukura, a red red sweet sweet small tomato and the Artisan Variety with reds, greens, yellows and a cosmic flavor you won't forget, and sun golds.  When you order sungolds, be prepared to get a substitute cause we're not as sure of the supply.  All $6.5/pint

Peppers of multi colors and the same for eggplants-both $5/lb

Salad Greens- $6/bag

Arugula-$6/bag

Pea Tendrils-$6/bag

Swiss Chard,Kale and Collards $4/bunch

Potatoes- newly dug and as full of flavor as anything anywhere $5/lb

Garlic -$3.50/head

Hot Peppers- $4/basket

Radishes- $4/bunch

Hakurie Turnips $4/bunch

Beets- $4/lb

Leeks-$4/bunch

Scallions-3$/bunch

Lemon Grass, Thai Basil, Holy Basil, Parsley and Cilantro $2/smallbunch

Flower Bouquets $8/each

 

Happy Fall

Joel

Posted by: David Zemelsky
9/25/2019 1:44 pm

I want to talk to you about making decisions.  For me, this can sometimes be painful and stressful.  Or I should say, always painful and stressful.  I wish otherwise, but haven't mastered the skill of trusting myself totally yet.  If not now, when, I ask.  It can certainly be argued that decisions need to be informed.  And I would argue that often, no actually almost always the tools to get informed are usually right under ones nose. 

Here's a good example:  Let's say that I've got a beautiful path of lettuce growing out in our fields.  And I want to know the right time to harvest it.  Is it too small? Am I waiting too long? Is there a risk of pests?It is at this point that I do a very important thing.  I stop.  I stop and really look at what's in front of me.  What is this patch of lettuce saying to me that I've been so busy  talking around the decision that  I don't slow down (very important) and really look at it.  On closer examination, some of the imperfections in the leafs might be apparent.  They might be slight and not even something that someone who bought the lettuce would notice.  But I would.  Thanks to spending that extra moment to really take in the world right in front of my eyes.  Or maybe there isn't any telltale sign of disease.  Instead, my closer examination might reveal that the  growth could be more resulting in a heavier (i.e. more profitable) stand of lettuce.

The same goes for disease.  There are charts and charts of things that you could do to get rid of disease.  The very first and most important thing is that stopping to understand what the threat is.  Its like I said at the beginning-the answer to most questions are right under your nose if you care to slow down enough to read all the signs.  And to round out this conversation, its important to slow down and in some cases be still, even.  I say this with the total knowledge that I'll often forget this good advice myself.

As a reminder, we're also at the Durham Farmer's Market on Thursdays from 3-6:30pm.  September 12th ends the regular season, but the Market Master is arranging to reopen the market in October, too.  This is a wonderful and very underutilized market.  Not sure why, but you would enjoy its space, its friendly flavor and the great fruit (Dondero Orchard) and vegetables (both Forest City and ourselves)

Ok.  On to food.  If you're ordering some food to be picked up at the shed-please do so by 8AM on Thursday.  Your order will be ready after 2pm on Thursday, at the shed.  Look for your name.  Payment goes in the payment jar.

Below is a photo I took of an interesting collard recipe that a customer gave me recently.  It looks delicious.  Let me know if you try it.

Right now and for the next FEW weeks, the tomatoes will taste the best.  This is the time to enjoy them.  Not February!

Here's the choices: Heirloom, with their funny shapes and glorious colors at $7lb. Then, there's Juliet which are red, sweet and easy to both cook with and eat raw. 

As for the cherry toms, there's sukura, a red red sweet sweet small tomato and the Artisan Variety with reds, greens, yellows and a cosmic flavor you won't forget, and sun golds.  When you order sungolds, be prepared to get a substitute cause we're not as sure of the supply.  All $6.5/pint

Peppers of multi colors and the same for eggplants-both $5/lb

Salad Greens- $6/bag

Swiss Chard,Kale and Collards $4/bunch

Potatoes- newly dug and as full of flavor as anything anywhere $5/lb

Garlic -$3.50/head

Hot Peppers- $4/basket

Radishes- $4/bunch

Beets- $4/lb

Cucumbers- $2/each

I hope you have a great week.

David

PS Joel will be writing the letter next week and the next three weeks after that.  If you write to me, it will get lost in the electronic space galaxy.  I won't be gone all that time, but next week, I'll be unavailable, the next two weeks onweek.   So please stay well and eat well.

Posted by: David Zemelsky
9/3/2019 9:01 pm

Big Decision got made a few months ago, that I've not shared with you until now.  I'm going traveling on September15 and will be gone for two weeks.  Now, from a food point of view there's nothing to worry about.  Joel and Jen have everything in hand.  Well in hand.

For those of you interested (I would be!), I'm going to the Shetland Islands off the North coast of Scotland.  For reasons that are virtually impossible for me to explain, I've been drawn to northern destinations for quite some time.  In 1989 and 99, we took trips to Newfoundland, which was totally wonderful.  As you can see by the dates , I don't get out too much.  My attraction to Shetland goes way back beyond those mysteries that most of us watched on Public Television. (They actually weren't filmed in Shetland!).  Thanks for some research and help from friends, I've located a friendly farm that would happy for me to visit while there.  And there'll be plenty photos of more than just Shetland ponies!

By the calendar, its still Summer, but we're heavy into Fall in our minds.  Already, some of the tomato plants are coming out of the tunnels in anticipation of  cooler weather.  In its place we'll be planting kale, spinach, onions, pak choi, swiss chard.  Right.  Its time to realize that tomatoes aren't forever! Same for cukes , peppers and eggplant.  There'll be more on fall plantings later, but just want to remind you that one of the things that we like to do is to plant carrots by mid November so that  we get an enormously early start for next Spring.  There's something so spiritual about planting things in one season, so that they can be harvest in another one.

Again, we'll be at the Durham Farm Market on Thursdays from 3-6:30pm.  Madison Farm Market, Friday on the green from 3-6pm and Wooster Square,Saturday from 9AM to 1PM.  You can pick up our food at any of these locations.  Additionally, we'll be doing preorders at our shed at 54 Fowler Ave./Durham of Thursdays after 2pm.  Email me before 8AM on Thursday with your order.

What's available this week?

Let's briefly touch on tomatoes.  They are magnificant and tasty beyond your wildest imagination. The colors, taste and texture help me realize how incredible Nature is.  AND, they aren't going to last forever.  I can't make them available in February!  The supply is still very high, but we can already tell that the plants are becoming less productive.

Here's the choices: Heirloom, with their funny shapes and glorious colors at $7lb. Then, there's Juliet which are red, sweet and easy to both cook with and eat raw. 

As for the cherry toms, there's sukura, a red red sweet sweet smalll tomato and the Artisan Variety with reds, greens, yellows and a cosmic flavor you won't forget, and sun golds.  When you order sungolds, be prepared to get a substitute cause we're not as sure of the supply.  All $6.50/pint

Grendaro Tomatoes-for sauce.  $10/quart

Peppers of multi colors and the same for eggplants-both $5/lb

Salad Greens- $6/bag

Swiss Chard,Kale and Collards $4/bunch

Potatoes- newly dug and as full of flavor as anything anywhere $4/lb

Garlic -$3.50/head

Onions- $3/lb

Scallions- $3/bunch

Pak choi- $3.50/bunch

Hot Peppers- $4/basket

Radishes- $4/bunch

Beets- $4/lb

Cucumbers- $2/each

Leeks- $4/bunch

Jen's Already Famous Flower Bouquet-$8

Sunflowers- $5/bunch

Have a great week

 

 

Posted by: David Zemelsky
8/27/2019 10:09 am

Dear People of High Interest,

I might get into trouble about this one.  Not that I have anything negative to say about chefs, but you just don't know if one accidentally  says the wrong thing.  Dont want to do that! Restaurants are about half our business.  Its been steadily like that for many years.  There are restaurant that have been with us almost since day one (1999) and new ones that we've just added as of Saturday.  If there's one thing that's true about the restaurant industry, its that things are always changing-including chef's jobs.  I didn't get it at first.  In the first few years, when it was easy to observe that the chef's keep moving from place to place.  My assumption was that chefs were a restless cohort that needed a change every year or two.  This turns out not to be what I believe today.  In most cases, when a chef leaves, its usually because upper management is "going in a different direction".  In most of the cases where I've heard something like this, the chef never gets a chance to adopt to what Management wants.

 

This is a difficult situation at best and often can lead to a long resume for a short period of time.  If one doesn't know this about the restaurant business, it would be easy to look at a potential chef as a wanderer.  But in reality, any chef with a long resume/short period of time, might just be the victim of management trying to go in a direction that the chef can't predict.

It is easy to say that chefs are a certain breed of individuals-high strung and Type A, but that really doesn't cover adequately what goes on.  Chefs really do come in all kinds of sizes and temperments-no different than the rest of us.  They just happen to have an unusually stressful job.  There's so much riding on each and every plate that gets sent out.  Even if they aren't the ones that cook it, their name is on it.  A good chef is not unlike the principal at your kids school (if you have kids).  They set the tone for the work environment and create the place for great cooking to take place.  And of course, they have to depend on everyone at the front of the house to finish the job correctly.  Its not unlike a well choreographed ballet.  Something beautiful to behold when it comes off right.

I've been lucky to make strong connections with several of our chefs over the past twenty years.  When this does happen, I'm treated to an inside view of what goes on in their heads.  It is a particularly special time when a chef will share with me a favorite dish or a new dish that they hope will be a favorite dish.  The shear enthusiasm for what they do or hope to do is so apparent.  Such passion helps the world be a better more creative place.

My chef friends have shared a lot with me over the years.  I've been to family funerals, visited chefs at hospitals, given baby shower presents to them.  I've even found myself utilizing my previous skills as a Family Therapist (my past profession 20 years ago) in hopes of helping a chef in need. Chefs are a hard working, driven sometimes to perfection, type of indvidual.  Knowing chefs has always been one my favorite parts of doing this work.  Oh man, I am lucky.

One last thought though.  Why, do you think there are so few woman chefs?  Is it more of that men have been given an advantage by the rules of how our society works?  I'd like to know your thoughts.  Why are there so few woman chefs?

An announcement before telling you whats available this week.  Star Light, as usual, will be attending the wonderful Wadsworth Mansion Open Air Market this Sunday. Its 8/25 from 10-4.  I'd love to see as many of you as possible there.  It'd be fun to meet those of you whom I've only met electronically, for one.  The event is a sure fire day of wonderful things to eat and see.  There's music,unusual crafts, all the friends that you haven't seen in over a year.  Free and free parking.  More details at their website: http://www.wadsworthmansion.com/

In case you didn't know: Its all about tomatoes right now at Star Light.  If you haven't tried an heirloom, please consider now.  We're at the top of the season.  It is impossible to give you over the internet the utterly amazing experience of eating an heirloom tomato. However, I'll say this: if you don't jump up in the air with total delight after trying one of our heirlooms, I'll give you something else for no charge.  Its that much of a sure thing.  And yes, I know they're expensive.  You can't buy one like this in February. If you buy a lb at the $7/lb price, we'll throw in some extra tomatoes to soften the blow.  Give it a try.  You'll know its the right decision as soon as you try one.

There's also the Sun Gold, Sukura and Artisan Tomatoes.  Each of them deserve a place at your table. $6.50 /pint.  Same iron clad guarantee.  You got to jump or I'll give you something else.

And the Juliet.  Can't say enough about how sweet and head rolling you're going to feel when you try Juliet.  They're the only tomato you'll ever need for both salads and cooking.  An extremely rare situation.  In most situations, a tomato is either good for cooking or eating raw.  Juliet does them both. And they're perfect for drying.  You can buy dried ones from us $5/for a small bag.

We also have a sauce tomato-Grendaro.  Perfect for just the right sauce. $10/quart

NEW this week.  Leeks for soup, stirfries $4/bunch.

New Garlic- and a beautiful crop, too! $3.50/head

Sweet Peppers- all different colors, purple, yellow,orange, and red $5/lb

Hot Peppers -$5 for a half pint

Cucumbers- three different kinds.  Pickling cukes.  A big handful for $3 and an even bigger handful for $5.  Katrina- thin skinned and very few seeds- $5/lb.  Soyu-an Asian variety. Great flavor, texture and look.  $5/lb

Salad Greens- $6/bag

Kale, Collards and Swiss Chard-all awesome choices for those greens that we all need to eat more and more of.  $3.50/bunch

Beets- gratitude gratitude gratitude.  That's what I think after eating our beets.  Roasted or pickled.  I say "oh yes!" $4/lb.

Carrots:    Truly a gift. $5/bunch

Red Long of Tropea onions $4/bunch

Scallions- -both white and red $3/bunch

Summer Squash- both green and yellow.  Let me know which ones. $4/lb

Pak Choi - $3.50/bunch

Fennel $5/head

Jen's Now Totally Famous Bouquet-even though this is her first year going solo on flowers, Jen has mastered the bouquet with ease. $8/bunch

Sunflowers - $5/bunch

Thanks again for all your support.

David

PS I thought I was done, but realize there's one more thing.  A big salute to Jen and Joel, who work harder than anyone anywhere.  They've help bring Star Light to a new level of production.  Ty and I might have started something, but now, I'm so lucky to have these guys bringing us to new heights.  That, really is how it should be.  The seed has been planted and watch it grow!

 

Posted by: David Zemelsky
8/18/2019 9:33 pm

A long time ago, my sister and I played The Tomato Game while we were driving  in Vt towards the Massachusetts border.  This was truly a long time ago, because I was too young to drive.   In each of our laps was a truly magnificent and large (very large) tomato.  The Tomato Game's rules are very simple.  First, don't eat your own tomato until reaching the state border.  Second, try to get the other person to eat their tomato by describing how unimaginably wonderful that tomato is going to taste.   Each of us had their own secret stategy about  how to accomplish this.  I only remember that I kept throwing out the lure for her of being able to sink her teeth into a taste that would go on  and on. Her strategy was way more down to earth.  She tried to make me think that waiting to eat was just pointless and I should go ahead right this very second and chomp into it.  In looking back on this, i can't help but wonder -if it was pointless to wait, why didn't she do just that?  So, I don't remember at all who might have won.  We reached the border, which was the agreed upon place to bite into the tomato.  I certainly  remember the taste of postponed enjoyment! This experience alone probably influenced my love of tomatoes.  It was such a sweet sweet moment to be able to finally bite into its wonderful everything.  I carry the special explosion of taste with me to this day.

What I didn't know then was that  their are so many more flavors and textures of tomatoes to  try.  What I was eating was just a plain old red field tomato.  I now know that the world of tomatoes is big, beautiful and very deep.  Different taste, different colors, different sizes, different textures. Yes , on and on.  I've yet to meet a tomato that I don't like and many that my feelings go way beyond that.  Way beyond. 

And now, after over six months of work, we've arrived at the Tomato Waterfall-the moment of total abundance.  We have so many many ready to eat tomatoes with all those colors (ok, many colors), all those different sizes (ok, many, not all) , all manner of different textures ( well, many-not all ).  And most importantly, this can not be replicated in January.  Its now (and for the next few weeks.) that you can sit down at your table with a Tomato Eating Project.  I know, because its happening for me daily.  And this could be you, too! And we're going to help you make it happen.  Order a lb of tomatoes are the regular price ($7)and we'll make sure that your order weighs twice as much as a lb.  Right. Its kind of a special.

Before I tell you the other things available this week, I want to go over a few simple things.  First, its hot now and food spoils  if left out.   So, your orders in the shed need to be picked up as close to 2pm on Thursday as possible.  If they're left overnight-its not clear how wonderful they'll be in the AM.  If your work schedule  prevents you from getting here early enough, then consider what you order.  Kale and other greens wouldn't be happy left out overnight.  Tomatoes, eggplant, onions etc wouldn't mind that much.  Order for the week by email by 8AM on Thursday.  Pick up at the shed in front of the house at 54 Fowler after 2pm.  Alternatively, you can pick up food at one of the three Farm Markets we attend.  Durham, on the town green  from 3-6:30 Thursday,Madison, on its town green Friday from 3-6 or Wooster Square in New Haven on Saturday from 9AM to 1pm.

Here's our offering: Full disclosure.  This is last weeks list minus one or two items.

Here's the list:

Sun Golds- bright orange and a blazing burst of sweetness. $6.50/pinnt

Sokura- a Japanese variety that are small, round , red and delicious. $6.50/pint

Artisans- different shapes, different colors, different flavors.  Artisans tend to really "wow" people. $6.50/pint

Juliet- my all time favorite and so versatile.  Great for munching out of the container or for cooking.  An unusual combo.  That's why, if I was going to a desert island-they'd be my only choice. $7/lb

Heirlooms- As I've stated before-our tomatoes are guaranteed to make you jump up and down with delight. (even if you have a broken ankle)  $7/lb but we'll throw in more for every lb. ordered.

New Garlic- and a beautiful crop, too! $3.50/head

Sweet Peppers- all different colors, purple, yellow,orange, and red $5/lb

Hot Peppers -$5 for a half pint

Cucumbers- three different kinds.  Pickling cukes.  A big handful for $3 and an even bigger handful for $5.  Katrina- thin skinned and very few seeds- $5/lb.  Soyu-an Asian variety. Great flavor, texture and look.  $5/lb

Salad Greens- $6/bag

Kale, Collards and Swiss Chard-all awesome choices for those greens that we all need to eat more and more of.  $3.50/bunch

Beets- gratitude gratitude gratitude.  That's what I think after eating our beets.  Roasted or pickled.  I say "oh yes!" $4/bunch

Carrots:    Truly a gift. $5/bunch

Red Long of Tropea onions $4/bunch

Scallions- -both white and red $3/bunch

Summer Squash- both green and yellow.  Let me know which ones. $4/lb

Fresh Herbs- ah Summer! Parsley, Oregano,Thyme and Genevese Basil $3/bunch

Pak Choi and Tokyo Bekana- $3.50/bunch

Fennel $5/head

Jen's Now Totally Famous Bouquet-even though this is her first year going solo on flowers, Jen has mastered the bouquet with ease. $8/bunch

Sunflowers - $5/bunch

Thanks again for all your support.

David

Posted by: David Zemelsky
8/13/2019 9:12 am

Greetings To All Of You That I Appreciate Greatly,

In theory only, I wouldn't want to harm a flea.  My immediate way of thinking about other living creatures is consistent with the Tibetan Monks who will move the location of a temple being built if there's an ant colony in the way.  That's in theory only.  If a deer fly, black fly, mosquito etc lands on me, I'm going for total destruction.  I'm not very good at it, but there's dedication there.  Its instinctual.  They land, I try to execute them.  Its who I am.  But when there's time to think, there can also be mercy on my part.  The bug that's poking around in the bathroom sink- I could turn on the water and let it go down the drain or try the scope method and let it go.  Its a noble attempt at my own brand of Zen.  And then there's hornworms.

Hornworms can go a long way to showing how you really are in the world.  All this Zen stuff truly goes out the window.  And wouldn't you?  Consider the tomato that the hornworm loves to consume .  These plants have been nurtured by us for months.  Some of them since the beginning of January.  Some of you might remember the big setback in April when the furnace failed causing the vegetation to die on many of them.  They probably lost a good month in a half of progress that night.  My point-they've been profoundly nurtured and given a lot of love.  Scouting, pruning, trellising all those things.  Then along comes the tomato hornworm.  From where, I don't know.  Maybe they live in the soil and emerge that way.  In any case, at this time of year they'll appear.

So this next paragraph is graphic and a tad gross.  Skip it, if you want. I'd totally understand.  Ok.  The first thing that we'll notice when the hornworm appears is a disgusting dark green/brown/black/purple residue on some of the lower leaves.  Then, by looking up at the top most plant stalk, we'll see what's really going on.  Its a feast.  The top parts of the tomato plant are the most tender, hence the most choice for them.  They'll go thru rows of tomato tops in a matter of hours if left unchecked.  As far as a bug goes-they have a beautiful body.  Big, round, plump, striped with that prominent  horn sticking off its butt. 

Hornworms are green like the tomato plant, so easily hidden from all but the discerning eye.  If you could locate them by eye, it would be as easy as going from plant to plant and plucking them and settling them in a liquid bath of beer.  Let them go out in style, I say.  See! look at that last sentence! That's what I'm getting at.  The gentle, no harm method goes totally out the window.  My inner violent side comes to the front. It gets worse.  Read on.

Wayne Young,who alas is no longer with us, told me that the best way to find hornworms is to go up and down the aisle with a sprayer on your back filled with  water.  When they are unexpectedly sprayed, they jump and blow their cover.  On a smaller scale, you could just get a spray bottle for your backyard toms.  That's when i move in with the beer bath.  Another method is to spray all the plants with Dipel DF, an approved Organic spray.  This spray lands on the leaves and the hornworm will die after ingesting the Dipel.

The last way I want to discuss is for the farmer to do noting and let nature take over.  The hornworm can be attacked by parasites that will eventually overcome the worm and kill it.  If you come across a hornworm on your tomato plants that has white micro telescopes on it-do nothing.  Nature is doing its own thing here.  When the parasites are down, the hornworms looks exactly like the balloons at your child's birthday party two weeks after the event. Very deflated and very dead.

Full disclosure.  I'll walk amongst the dead hornworms and feel victorious.  Not proud of that feeling but will have to admit that its important for me to realize that there are dark sides  to who I am. AND, I'm still going to try and save that funny bug thats stuck in my bathroom sink.

We've got everything that we  offered last week, just more of everything!  If you're ordering for delivery at the shed, remember that your order will be ready after 2pm on Thursday.  In this hot weather, its important to get there as soon as its practical.  Let me know your order by 8AM  on Thursday.

I will add this: Our tomatoes happen to be the best.  You won't anywhere find a better tomato.  And each of them makes for an exciting eating project, whether its the Artisan smaller size, with its dreamy, and creamy flavors or heirlooms, sometimes big but always more than interesting in flavor.

Here's the list:

Sun Golds- bright orange and a blazing burst of sweetness. $6.50/pinnt

Sokura- a Japanese variety that are small, round , red and delicious. $6.50/pint

Artisans- different shapes, different colors, different flavors.  Artisans tend to really "wow" people. $6.50/pint

Juliet- my all time favorite and so versatile.  Great for munching out of the container or for cooking.  An unusual combo.  That's why, if I was going to a desert island-they'd be my only choice. $7/lb

Heirlooms- Always amazing in taste and texture. I can, with total confidence offer the following guarantee about heirlooms:  If after taking a bite, you don't jump up in down with delight (regardless of the temperature outside), I'll be happy to substitute anything else for you. $7/lb.

New Garlic- and a beautiful crop, too! $3.50/head

Sweet Peppers- all different colors, purple, yellow,orange, and red $5/lb

Hot Peppers -$5 for a half pint

Cucumbers- three different kinds.  Pickling cukes.  A big handful for $3 and an even bigger handful for $5.  Katrina- thin skinned and very few seeds- $5/lb.  Soyu-an Asian variety. Great flavor, texture and look.  $5/lb

Salad Greens- $6/bag

Kale, Collards and Swiss Chard-all awesome choices for those greens that we all need to eat more and more of.  $3.50/bunch

Beets- gratitude gratitude gratitude.  That's what I think after eating our beets.  Roasted or pickled.  I say "oh yes!" $4/bunch

Haukeri and Scarlet Long Turnips- if you haven't tried haukeri, consider it now. More like a delicious radishes in texture that can be eaten raw. $4/bunch

Carrots:    Truly a gift. $5/bunch

String Beans- $4/lb

Red Long of Tropea onions $4/bunch

Scallions- -both white and red $3/bunch

Summer Squash- both green and yellow.  Let me know which ones. $4/lb

Fresh Herbs- ah Summer! Parsley, Oregano,Thyme and Genevese Basil $3/bunch

Pak Choi and Tokyo Bekana- $3.50/bunch

Fennel $5/head

Jen's Now Totally Famous Bouquet-even though this is her first year going solo on flowers, Jen has mastered the bouquet with ease. $8/bunch

Sunflowers - $5/bunch

Nasturiums- a nice bag for $5

Thanks again for all your support.

David

Posted by: David Zemelsky
8/5/2019 11:10 am

No, not at all going to Carolina.  But I'll just borrow the beginning six words and add "Fall Planting".  This is, with all the heat around, the very moment to really focus on everything that we'll want to sell to you in October, November, and beyond.  I use to think that if we planted carrots by August First, that we'd be alright.  Now, things feel different.  It could be a variety of things that factor in here, but most likely its climate change.

Farmers are doing a lot of thinking these days about climate change.  And its more than just when to plant something.  Every time you disturb and turn over the soil, carbon is being released into the atmosphere.  Farmers who raise meat animals in the midwest are trying to figure out better feed choices that don't need to be replanted every year.  Its a constant juggling act.

Tragically, for some people, climate change already means disaster.  I'm sure that many of you have heard of a few low lying islands in the Pacific that needed to be abandoned because of rising ocean levels.  And even more tragically is the fact that in most cases, the people who are affected most by climate change are poor people of color.  Let's all of us be mindful of what direction we're going in.

Summer is bringing us the bounty that we are grateful for.  We've got a great list of available food.  If you'd like to pick something up at one of our markets, that would be great.  There's Durham Market on Thursday 3-6:30, Madison Market on Friday from 3-6PM, and Wooster Square on Saturday from 9AM-1PM.  In addition to that, if you'd like to just picking something up from our shed on Thursday, we could do that.  Please get your order in my 8AM on Thursday.

So many cherry tomatoes!

Sun Golds- bright orange and a blazing burst of sweetness. $6.50/pinnt

Sokura- a Japanese variety that are small, round , red and delicious. $6.50/pint

Artisans- different shapes, different colors, different flavors.  Artisans tend to really "wow" people. $6.50/pint

Juliet- my all time favorite and so versatile.  Great for munching out of the container or for cooking.  An unusual combo.  That's why, if I was going to a desert island-they'd be my only choice. $7/lb

Heirlooms- Always amazing in taste and texture. I can, with total confidence offer the following guarantee about heirlooms:  If after taking a bite, you don't jump up in down with delight (regardless of the temperature outside), I'll be happy to substitute anything else for you. $7/lb.

New Garlic- and a beautiful crop, too! $3.50/head

Sweet Peppers- all different colors, purple, yellow,orange, and red $5/lb

Hot Peppers -$5 for a half pint

Cucumbers- three different kinds.  Pickling cukes.  A big handful for $3 and an even bigger handful for $5.  Katrina- thin skinned and very few seeds- $5/lb.  Soyu-an Asian variety. Great flavor, texture and look.  $5/lb

Salad Greens- $6/bag

Kale, Collards and Swiss Chard-all awesome choices for those greens that we all need to eat more and more of.  $3.50/bunch

Beets- gratitude gratitude gratitude.  That's what I think after eating our beets.  Roasted or pickled.  I say "oh yes!" $4/bunch

Haukeri and Scarlet Long Turnips- if you haven't tried haukeri, consider it now. More like a delicious radishes in texture that can be eaten raw. $4/bunch

Carrots- both purple and orange.  Truly a gift. $5/bunch

Red Long of Tropea onions $4/bunch

Scallions- -both white and red $3/bunch

Summer Squash- both green and yellow.  Let me know which ones. $4/lb

Fresh Herbs- ah Summer! Parsley, Oregano,Thyme and Genevese Basil $3/bunch

Pak Choi and Tokyo Bekana- $3.50/bunch

Fennel $5/head

Jen's Now Totally Famous Bouquet-even though this is her first year going solo on flowers, Jen has mastered the bouquet with ease. $8/bunch

Sunflowers - $5/bunch

Nasturiums- a nice bag for $5

Thanks again for all your support.

David

Posted by: David Zemelsky
7/29/2019 10:37 am

As much as I love summer it can certainly feel overwhelming at times.  Ideally everyday you will be very efficient getting everything checked off your list.  Life on the other hand moves irregardless of our carefully crafted plans.  Things pop up, go wrong or you simply make a mistake.  Plans to trellis all the peppers fall to the wayside as you deal with the encroaching weeds or a hungry pest showing up.  Some are familiar like the wood chucks(we're up to 6 trapped and released) and hornworms( I'll spare you the details).  While some are new like the blister beetles and cabbage aphids.  One thing is for sure optimism and flexibility are key and triage is a fact of farm life.

Some things that just can't be skipped are daily harvests of squash, cukes and sun golds.  Late night pickle processing sessions with dinner and planning and sowing seeds for the fall( I know a crazy thing to be thinking about in July). What can we say, you probably have to be a little bit off to be a farmer anyways but we love it.

The good news is we are offering a deal this week on squash and cucumbers.  Get 5 or more pounds of squash for 1 dollar off per pound and slicing cucumbers are buy 3 get 1.  As always send us your order by 8 am tomorrow for pick up out front in the shed after 2pm.

Heirlooms and Juliets- $7/lb

Sun Golds- $6.50/pint

Sukura ( a larger red cherry, PACKED with flavor $6.50

Artisan-kind of a middle ground between cherry and heirlooms.  Multi colored and just plain awesome.  $6.50/pint

Salad Greens and Arugula -$6/bag.  Two bags for $10

Soyu or slicing Cucumbers- $2.75 each

Haukeri and Scarlet Turnips- $4/bunch

Red Long of Tropea onions $4/bunch

Scallions- -both white and red $3/bunch

Summer Squash- both green and yellow.  Let me know which ones. $4/lb

Fresh Herbs- ah Summer! Parsley, Oregano,Thyme and Genevese Basil $3/bunch

Big Kale- $4/bunch

Swiss Chard-$3.50

Collards- $3/bunch

Beets- You've got to experience roasted beets! And try Jen's idea- roast them with coconut oil. $4/bunch

Pak Choi and Tokyo Bekana- $3.50/bunch

Fennel $5/head

Jen's Now Totally Famous Bouquet-even though this is her first year going solo on flowers, Jen has mastered the bouquet with ease. $8/bunch

Sunflowers - $5/bunch

Nasturiums- a nice bag for $5

Thanks again for all your support

Joel

Posted by: David Zemelsky
7/24/2019 9:35 am