Friday April 3, 2020

Dear Gentle Walkers On Our Planet,

A Warning. This letter could go far afield.  If you just want to know how to order and receive our food, skip down a few paragraphs.  OK.  You've been forewarned.

The last two weeks have reminded me that people can astonish me with their goodness.  As for the poor, wretched behavior that we see sometimes-I don't need any reminding about that.  All ready know that one.  And I'd bet a ton of spinach that you've experienced the very same, whether its a stranger that you pass on the road or your neighbors.  There's an uncanny thirst for real care.  And I also know that there's a lot of heroes out there, trying to make a difference in this upside down world.  Really upside down.

I find myself, along with Jen and Joel sitting on an opportunity to  help make a difference.  As I said both last week and the week before.  No one is blinking here.  We're planting food as if there's no tomorrow.  Yesterday, we planted the first 3 rows of tomatoes in the one house that has heat.  Along side of that, Joel keeps putting out rows of lettuce, beautiful beautiful little plants that will be soon (maybe not soon enough) lettuce heads.  Like I said,no blinking here.

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Carrot Report: Happy,happy, happy

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Newly planted tomatoes.  Seeded January 11th.  They are happy!

I rate our CSA as the easiest and best value out there.  You put your money down first, and then when you're ready to order, just order exactly what you want.  There's a discount for you, too.  If you order at the $100 level, its worth $105.  If you order at the $300 level, its worth $330.  We'll issue you a card (looks like a credit card), but the way things will have to work now is that you tell us what you want  and we'll handle the bookeeping from our end.  If you're a Durham area CSA member and just show up at the shop, email us what you got and we'll deduct from your balance.  If you special order, we'll also handle deducting from your balance.  Easy, easy!

A few weeks ago, Thomas Friedman wrote in the NYT that there's BC and AC. Before Corona and After Corona.  I agree.  Nothing is already the same.  So with that in mind, I'm going to start telling you all the different and specific ways to get our food.  None of its complicated, but without following the guidelines, its going to be hard to do so.  I'll start with the easiest ways and move down to the more complicated (which really isn't that complicated, so don't get nervous!).

Easiest way to get Star Light food is to come visit our self service Farm Shed at 54 Fowler Ave, Durham.  First off, there's a handwashing station there.  Good to know.  We''re keeping this open 7 days a week during daylight hours, although, if you came after dark and had a light, you'd do alright.  There's Joel and Jen's World Famous Pickles and Apple/Pepper Jam and Hot Pickled Peppers.  All revered throughout the  world.  Also salad greens, spinach and claytonia.  There also might be a few surprises.  Payment jar on the table.  Checks ok,too.  Should also mention that we have a constant supply of free spinach for ANYONE who has been negatively affected by this pandemic.  We'd love to be able to help you in this way, if need be.

Next would be special orders of all of the above and a few other things that we don't put out because of its limited shelf life.  That would include radishes, turnips,and a few others.  They'll be listed in the part of the letter that mentions what's available.  Special orders are on Wednesday (with a 8AM Wednesday deadline to order) and Friday/Saturday (with an 8AM Friday deadline for BOTH days.  In other words, for Saturday pick up, the deadline is 8AM Friday, also.  That's because we're off to Farmer's Markets on Saturday, so the special order needs to be put out first thing Saturday).  After reading what's available, just email us what you'd like.  We should send you an email back to acknowledge receiving your order.  Pick up on any of these days is after 2PM.  In your note to us, please be specific about which day you are wanting to pick up.

Another way to get our food is to attend the two Farmer's Markets that we are currently going to.  Durham Farmer's Market will be on Saturday's on the town green from 10AM to 1PM.  Out in the fresh air, people will be keeping a safe distance from each other.  Our stand will be offering our produce in plastic bags.  And all produce is harvested by following Good Agricultural Practices (GAP)- the gold standard for hygiene procedure.

Cityseed Market is also on Saturdays from 10AM to 1PM.  This is a  pre paid/preorder market.  Its been going like this for two weeks and has gotten universal acceptance.  On the cityseed.org website you'll be directed to a place to get a time slot for your pick up.  That's the very first thing to do.  They will not let you onto the site without this.  Very important!  Then go to our website at starlightgardensct.com  At the top right hand corner is a labeled choice that saids  "cityseed market pickup".  Click on that, which will reveal "Available products". Select that.  This will bring you to our easy to operate store, showing everything that we're offering for this week. There'll be a picture  and/or a box for each item that we're selling. Just click on what you like (add to cart).  When you get to check out, you can adjust the amounts.  When you've selected every item that you want click on "save and checkout".  On the next page selected CitySeed as the pick up. Then click "choose and continue".  This will bring you to Check Out.  Fill in your name, email and phone. Again, very important. There's a small box at the bottom. Please put your pick up time in that box.

We've arranged to be part of Paypal.  Even if you aren't a paypal member yourself, they will take your credit card for processing.  The situation is like this.  As of right this very second, we still setting up Paypal. If we can not get Paypall set up in time for this week, we'll call you to get your credit card info over the phone.  But, hopefully in the next day or three, paypal will be up and running.  After that click the "complete checkout" box and you're done.  Its really simple (I could do it!).

It sounds like a lot but its going to be fine.  Granted, it isn't as easy as grabbing your bags and going to market, but its the new reality and we all have to live with it.  I'm just grateful, so very grateful that we have a way to get you your food.  If you'd like me not to put your name on our General Mailing list, let me know that, please.  Please stay safe and act smart.  We all depend on each other for our health now, more than ever.

DEADLINE FOR CITYSEED ORDERING IS 10AM ON FRIDAY!! PLEASE NOTE!

Lastly, we will need to increase our Cityseed prices by $.50/order, to help with the increase in doing business this way. (extra bagging, extra credit card expense through paypal).  Its nominal, so hopefully everyone will readily understand our need to do this.  Thank you

Finally, here's what's available:

Lets start with Mushrooms:  Our friend and fellow vendor Chris operates the best mushroom business-Seacoast Mushrooms!  A lot of his business has been restaurant orders, so he's looking for other ways to market his mushrooms.  We've offered to sell his mushrooms thru our store.  We're just passing his price along to you.   We do not increase his price.  We're just hoping that some extra business will be of help to him.  As a special order, we can offer these on either Friday or Saturday.  Please let us know which day you're ordering for.  Deadline for this order is 4pm on Wednesday.  Two choices.  $4/ for a 4oz. container of shitakes.  $8 is a mixture that he calls Chef's Choice.  Not available for Cityseed customers, as he will be there himself.

Arugula -finally!  Its going to go fast, I know that already.  Its in limited supply, so first come first served. $6/bag

Glorious Salad Greens-$6bag

Claytonia- hey people,claytonia will be out of season in a few short weeks.  If you've never tried it, do it now!  $6/bag

Spinach- our very best.  Also, glorious. (heck! everything is glorious!) $6/bag

Braising Greens- spicy, succulant and lots of fun $6/bag

Mustard Greens-also spicy.   Also , fun  $4/bunch

Tokyo Bekana- very beautiful light green color with a sweet and crunchy experience.  $4/bunch

Pak Choi- $4/bunch

Mizuna- a light, really tasty Asia green.  Delicate, too $6/bag

Swiss Chard- very limited amount $4/bunch

Large Kale-limited amount $4/bunch

Scallions- $3/bunch

Radishes and Turnips $4

Joel and Jen's World Famous Pickles- hey the stock is running down, so it might be gone shortly(not might be-it will!) $8 jar

Famous J and J Apple/Pepper Jam- $7large

More Famous J and J Hot Pickled Peppers- $7/jar

Thank you, one and all for taking the time to find out what's going on at Star Light.  Please remember that hard times can help remind you about how strong you really are inside.  I hope that everyone stays healthy.

Namaste,

Us At Star Light

 

Posted by: David Zemelsky
3/31/2020 12:21 pm

Dear Eaters:Be Gentle,

I know.  Everybody from your bank, your internet provider or your dentist has something important to say about this virus.  I'm only going to say this one thing:  This tiny microscopic thing that isn't even alive,  should convince all of us that the human race is not that powerful or important.  We are all part of one big whole.  Try remembering that next time you're walking down the street while its raining and find a lone worm on the pavement.  Just saying...

I want to emphasize something that was stated earlier.  Star Light is not blinking once about the virus.  Our Good Agricultural Practices are solidly in place.  Our crop plan has not been altered by this crisis.  Producing quality food and lots of it is still our focus.

I'm going to talk about the  Wooster Square Farm Market first.  Those of you who aren't going, can skip ahead a few paragraphs.

Last week's market in New Haven at the Metropolitan Magnet School was stupendous.  Ok.  A little weird, in that socializing was impossible.  However, people were able to get what we were offering, along with several other vendors.  The market is on for this Saturday. Same place and same time.  Pre ordering is the only way to attend.  Read carefully the following information, as our procedure has been refined.

Deadline for ordering CitySeed Market is 8AM on Friday.

You'll need a pick up time from CitySeed before we can process your order.  Very important because we need to control the amount of people that come to the market at any one time.

To order from us, go to our home page at starlightgardensct.com  There are choices above the blog post.  Select  "City Seed Market Pick Up". Its the last one, all the way over on the right. Then select "Available Products".  This will take you to a nice list of everything that is available to you this week.  Scroll down from that and you'll find the usual online look for a store. 

There'll be a picture  and/or a box for each item that we're selling.  If you'd like that item, click on "add to cart". When you've selected every item that you want click on "save and checkout".  On the next page selected CitySeed as the pick up. Then click "choose and continue".  This will bring you to Check Out.  Fill in your name, email and phone.  There's a small box at the bottom. Please put your pick up time in that box. Click the "complete checkout" box and you're done.  Its really simple (I could do it!).

I'm going to call you some time after that and get a credit card number.   This system will help us be more efficient.  Last week we welcomed checks, but that turned out to be more difficult from out end.  I hope that this change will work well for you.  In coming weeks, we'll be working on a way to have you enter your credit card info.  But for now, this is our best shot.   See our list of available products below.  Like last week, there'll be plenty of handwashing stations at the market for your peace of mind (and everyone else's)

There will also be a Farmer's Market in Durham, on the green this Saturday from 10AM-1PM.  We'll be there, also.  Please, if you attend, be responsible for the Social Distance requirement.

Lastly, the shed at the farm at 54 Fowler Avenue will be opened 7 days a week with wonderful greens.  Also, there are many other items  you can special order (we don't want to leave them out for fear of spoilage) for pick up on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.  For Wednesday pick up, we'll need your order by 8AM on that day.  For both Friday and Saturday special orders, the deadline is 8AM Friday.

Our offerings this week:

Seacoast Mushrooms- only available on Friday or Saturday. $4/shitake (4oz.)package or $8/chef's blend (8oz.)

Salad Greens, Claytonia, Baby Red Russian Kale,Braising Greens or Spinach. $6/bag

Pea Tendrils- had to put these on a special line so that they didn't get lost amongst the spinach and salad.  These are special! $6/bag

Radishes- $4/bunch

Pak choi- $4/bunch.  New crop and so delicious.

Haukeri Turnips (limited amount.  First come, first serve) $4/bunch

Nagasaki Turnip-purple, similar to Haukeri.  We'll substitute them for you if we run out of Haukeri. $4/bunch

Large Kale- $4/bunch.  Limited amounts, so first come first

Mustard Greens- $4/bunch spicy and beautiful

Koji-another amazing bunched green.  Lots of strong earth flavor here. Not spicy and very crunchy. $4/bunch Limited amount

Jen and Joel's Utterly Famous Pickles-just a tad spicy $8/jar

Hot Pepper/Apple Jam $4/small jar and $7/large

Again, we're offering free spinach to anyone who has been negatively effected by the pandemic. As you enter the shed, there's a box with a free sign on it.  Please, don't be shy.  We're happy to be able to provide something.

Lastly, these are indeed strange times.  Joel, Jen and I are grateful to be able to provide you with this good food.  I  know there's many more steps to getting it, but that's what has to be for now.  To all of you , we wish you safe healthy times. 

Namaste,

David

PS:  FOR CITYSEED CUSTOMERS ONLY: some of the items that are listed above have not yet been added to the online store.  probably by tomorrow. So, make your orders tomorrow when everything is on.  Thank you

Posted by: David Zemelsky
3/24/2020 7:25 pm

Dear Gentlest of Eaters,

I want to publicly applaud CiySeed for plunging thru countless red tape moments in order to reopen the market this Saturday.  This will look very different that our usual markets.  You'll need to pre order with us (and any other farm that you want to buy from) and also create a pick up time thru the cityseed. org website.  It'll be fun.  Read the website so you know everything.  Trust me, it's going to work out and you'll have your great food too.  A bit of a different scene, but we'll all deal. This information about Cityseed Market does not mean that the farm stand will close.  Its just about how to order the "new way" at the Farmer's Market.

Star Light will be offering for you the following items:

Glorious Salad Greens $6/bag with lettuces, mizzuna, chinese cabbage, baby pak choi

Claytonia-$6 in it's heyday.  Crunchy, sweet and delicious .  Limited season, so don't wait till the last minutes

Baby Kale- pretty and sweet $6/bag

Spinach- $6/bag virtually as sweet as can be.  Cold makes for extra carbohydrates which means SWEET!.

Pea Tendrils- $6/bag world famous at this point.  Taste just like fresh peas.  Also , an awesome pesto can be made.

Braising Greens-spicy and crunchy. Awesome. Red and green looking $6/bag

Radishes- $4/bunch A bit spicy, but not too much.  Beautiful bulbs and grees.  First of the season.

Mustard Greens-spicy! $4/bunch

Koji- a beautiful cousin of tatzoi $4/bunch

Haukeri Turnips-  $4/bunch Crunchy and stupendous taste.  Can be eaten raw, too.  Limited supply.  First come, first serve.

Jen and Joel's World Famous Pickles (ok, maybe a bit over the top, but still, they are great!) $8 jar

J and J's equally famous Apple Hot Pepper Jam- Its universally accepted-this stuff is the best! $4/small and $7 / large

Those of you who are CSA members, we'll have taken your purchase for the market off already.  No need to bring your card.

Two  more things and then I'll let you go.  We are a true and safe source for real food.  All of which has been harvested according to the strict GAP (Good Agricultural Practice) Guidelines.  We aren't going anywhere, so you can count on us for great food now and into the season.

The other thing I wanted  to mention is our CSA card.  Along with getting great food, you can save money by buying ahead.  Send us a check for $100 and we'll give you a card worth $105.  For $300, the card will be worth $330. Its something serious to consider, yes?

I'll be delighted to see all of you on Saturday.  Its hard to realize that there won't be the usual opportunity to converse with you and the rest of your family.  We're grateful for all of you and your support.  Star Light is going to do everything possible to make sure that the great food keeps coming your way.

Stay safe.  Remember the guidelines.  Try Vitamin C, too.

Namaste,

David

PS The winter carrots are growing SO well.  I'll try to send a photo next week.

 

Posted by: David Zemelsky
3/19/2020 12:16 pm

Hello Gentle Eaters,

We've clearly made a decision at Star Light.  We're going to keep on doing exactly what we've always been doing.  That is, grow an impressive amount and great quality of food.  Easily, we could look at what's ahead and say that we should be more conservative and grow less.  But we're not.  We're taking the position that by one way or another, we'll figure out a great way for people to get our food.  End of story.

To that end, the store will keep on being open 7 days a week. SO TELL YOUR FRIENDS AND NEIGHBORS!  Additionally, we'll continue to do special orders except that you'll be able (for now) to special order on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.  Even though the store will be open 7 days a week, we recommend that you keep ordering rather than just show up at the shed.  There are some items that you can only get  by ordering.    Radishes, koji and turnips. These items wouldn't be that happy staying on there for too long. OH, and pea tendrils!  You have to try pea tendrils. Fresh and crunchy.  They taste exactly like fresh peas.  The other good thing about continuing to order is that you'll get what you want.  There's always the possibility of running out of what's on the shelf for people who just stop in.

Our harvest methods are one hundred percent consistent with  the standards set forth by the CDC.  And we plan to have a hand washing station at the farm stand for your convenience.

Our CSA offer has really gotten going in a positive way.  Send us a check for either $100 or $300 and you'll be able to get an extra $5 worth of food for the $100 level or $30 for the $300 level.

Here's a last minute development!  SeaCoast Mushroom from Stonington  is an extraordinary grower. from  They sell mostly to Farmer's Markets and restaurants.  We asked him if he'd like to sell his mushrooms thru our farm stand since so many of his regular customers are currently shut down.  He really liked the idea.  So if interested, he's offering a shitake mushroom $4/4oz. or a chef's mix $8/8oz.  When you make your order, just include the mushroom order along with everything else.  They are awesome!

So here's what's available for ordering this week.  This would be for either a Wednesday, Friday or Saturday pick up.  Send us an email by 8AM on the day you're going to pick up. 

Salad Greens, Claytonia, Baby Red Russian Kale,Braising Greens or Spinach. $6/bag

Pea Tendrils- had to put these on a special line so that they didn't get lost amongst the spinach and salad.  These are special! $6/bag

Radishes- $4/bunch

Turnips (limited amount on these.  First come, first serve) $4/bunch

Large Kale- $4/bunch

Mustard Greens- $4/bunch spicy and beautiful

Koji-another amazing bunched green.  Lots of strong earth flavor here. Not spicy and very crunchy. $4/bunch

Jen and Joel's Utterly Famous Pickles-just a tad spicy $8/jar

Hot Pepper/Apple Jam $4/small jar and $7/large

Again, we're offering free spinach to anyone who has been negatively effected by the pandemic. 

We appreciate you're enthusiasm for Star Light food.  Humbly, I say that your enthusiasm is well founded.  Good food springs out of our deep dedication to being good stewards of the land.  We're trying, anyway.  Tell friends. Like us on Facebook or even better share with us your ideas about how to let people know we're out there.

Namaste and Stay Healthy!

The People Component of Star Light

Posted by: David Zemelsky
3/16/2020 3:20 pm

 

Been to the supermarkets lately?  Its a wake up call.  People are buying toilet paper, sanitizers and steaks in record numbers.  I personally saw an individual load up on what looked like a year supply of toilet paper.  Now, I know that no one wants to read that word when you're expecting to hear things about good food.  But these are uncommon times.  To say the least. 

I'd like to share some of my own thoughts about what's in front of us.  Not that I can or would want to predict the future.  But just some thoughts as I stood in the check out line pondering a new world-one that will be forever unchanged from here on.

The strongest thought that I had is that we are all here together on this planet and that are best way of coping with the new world in front of us is to cooperate.  We can be aware if our next door neighbor is ok.  Is the rest of your family doing ok?  Are there things that I can do for someone else that would be of help.  As a nation, we've not been brought up to think this way but more towards taking care of oneself first.  I should be careful here to note that there's a fine line about this.  In order for any of us to keep our children safe, we need to make sure that we are ok ourselves.  I go back to the instructions on the airplane before takeoff about passenger safety, where we're being directed to make sure our oxygen mask is working so that we can then, in turn, take care of our children's safety for the long run.  Makes sense.

So that lands me right away into the good food conversation.  Star Light has a number of things in mind to help you and help us.  This is the cooperation part. You get our very best food and we get wonderful customers.  Two of our biggest sources of revenue, Farmer's Market and restaurants have suddenly stopped or gotten less.  But, we are loaded with extraordinary produce and a convenient place to sell it.  Here's our idea: We'll keep the shed stocked with food all the time for at least the present time.  That means 7 days a week.  If you come after dark, bring your light.  Those of you who are cardholders should also come whenever you want, just email us what you bought and we'll take it off your card from our end.  No need to use the card for this.  That would be unnecessary.  Just tell us what you took.

We'll have the following:

Salad Greens, Claytonia, Spinach and Braising Greens $6/bag

We'll still be offering a Friday ordering, which will include radishes, pak choi and turnips.  Its just that radishes and pak choi won't  be happy for a longer period of time out in the shed.

Lastly, we'd like to offer free spinach to anyone who has  been negatively impacted by this pandemic. Just come to the shed at 54 Fowler(starting Saturday). We're going to offer this for at least the next two weeks. We trust you.  My only request is that you look around and find someone else who could use your help.  They are out there-maybe a friend or a neighbor.

Stay healthy and don't forget to keep your immune system in good shape.  Lots of Vitamin C, D3, Magnesium, Iron.  All these things will help ward off many health issues.

Tell your friends about our store.

Have a great week

Your Star Light Gardens People

Posted by: David Zemelsky
3/13/2020 2:36 pm

I am really happy that we've changed how we do our CSA.  The best part is that I'll know that every week, our members will get exactly what they want.  It seems that everyone wins in this configuration.  My inclination, as a farmer was to obsess a bit on whether everyone would like what we had to offer them each week.  It could be stressful.  Now, people are able to pick out their own choices.  I'm happy and so are the people who've joined up.  Another plus is that members are getting a discount.  Oh, and a plus for the farmer is that they're getting a better cash flow, something very important at this time of year.

If you'd like to try our CSA, you can join for $100.  We'll offer you $105 worth of food at that level.  For $300, we'll add $30 to the worth of your membership.  This seems like a very cool deal because besides saving dollars, you are making yourself available to consume  really great vegetables.  It is important to remember that our mind and body are really just part of a greater whole.  Think of them as one and then the importance of consuming wholesome, organic food becomes goal number one. 

If interested, send your checks to Star Light Gardens/54 Fowler Ave./Durham, CT 06422.  Thank you.

This week we'll have radishes again!.  They are such a welcome crunch anytime. $4/bunch

Salad, Claytonia (if you haven't tried it, now's a great time.  The crop is still very strong)and Spinach $6/bag

Swiss Chard-$3/bunch Limited supply

Kale-$3/bunch Limited supply

Chinese Cabbage $3.50/bunch

Jen and Joel's Awesome Pickles $8/jar

Their Just as Awesome Apple/Pepper Jam $7/large and $4/small

One last package of our Dried Sun Gold Tomatoes $5/package

One last thing.  We're doing great on making early carrots available.  My best estimate at this point is that they'll be ready by Mother's Day.  I'm going to try to send to you pictures of their progress.  The picture below was actually taken in a different year.  But, the size is very close.

I hope you have a great week.  Write, or call with any questions or comments


 

 

 

 

 

This week

Posted by: David Zemelsky
2/25/2020 7:55 am

   On a morning as beautiful as today it is impossible not to feel as though Spring is just around the corner.  This even more so for one who passionately cultivates the earth.  Yet, we would be wise to remember that it's still a ways off and weather these days seems more unpredictable than ever.  One must be ready. Outside the houses there are many low tunnels in the fields which allowed us to have quite the bounty in the fall, with the added benefit of keeping these spots dry and protected.  Soon we can work these soils transplanting some early crops with the low tunnels going back in place to protect against any late season winter weather.  Spring is saying hi with the first of this years flowers along with the garlic enthusiastically poking there heads above ground and to be honest we are about as excited as they are. 

   Enthusiasm is all around the farm, the basement is brimming with starts and we should be firing up the newly expanded nursery this week.  Within that nursery lies a smaller room which we are using as a healing chamber for grafted Tomatoes.  Our test run has been successful and we are ready to begin our real grafts as early as next week.  If you are unfamiliar with grafting stay tuned, in the weeks to come we'll be updating you with our progress and photos( I promise).

Other maybe now not so enthusiastic characters around the farm include the two well fed rabbits that have been enjoying the season extension benefits of our high tunnels and the delicious taste our winter spinach.  They were pretty big good looking rabbits which apparently get some black striping in the winter as camouflage.  Not too worry though around here the have a heart trap is our tool of choice and said rabbits have been relocated to join the countless wood chucks that have a taste for fresh organic veggies.

I guess you can't blame them for having good taste, incase you are also in the mood for some winter spinach or anything else we have please email us back your order by 8AM on Thursday.  You're order will be waiting for you at the shed infront of 54 Fowler ave, after dark, bring a light.  Its easy.  Also, if the weather is too cold, we'll move the store into the front hall of the house.

And a word about our newly configured CSA.  You'll get exactly what you pick out every week.  And at a discount, too.  Send us $100 and you'll get $105 worth of food.  For $300, you'll be able to enjoy an extra $30.  Additionally, we've added a card for you to use that is loaded with the amount of money that you bought from us.  Those of you at the market already, we'll give you your card right away and others will be able to have theirs when the Durham Market opens in May.  We've done CSA for years, and this flexible system makes the most sense and give us a good feeling that we'll be able to get you the food exactly that you want.  If interested, please send your checks to Star Light/54 Fowler Ave./Durham, CT 06422

This week we'll have: Braising Greens, Claytonia, Salad Greens and Spinach -$6/bag  Also available Red Russian Kale

Tatzoi Bunches, awesome for both salads and a quick braise $3/50/bunch

Chinese Cabbage-again, both for salads or a quick braise- $3.50/bunch

Jen and Joel's Awesome Pickles- a hint of hot spicy to it -$8/jar

Apple Pepper Jam- another hint of hot $7/large jar or $4/small jar

Pickled Peppers- $7/jar

Thanks Again

 

Posted by: David Zemelsky
2/20/2020 8:57 am

 

What I mean by "good seeds" is that each of us has an enormous amount of great ideas, great feelings and great compassion in this world.  And when we show that or share that with others, its like planting seeds in the earth.  If the right things are  available for these seeds, then plants will grow, flourish and create more seeds.

Not unlike what we do on the farm.  Here we get (or have saved) good seeds from past years.  When the conditions are right, we put those seeds in the ground and encourage them to grow.  We already know that the groundwork has already been done before hand.  I mean, good compost, good texture and adequate moisture for the soil.  With care, love and compassion these seeds begin on their journey to maturity.  First the cotyledon appears-a promise of things to come.  This is followed by the first true leaves.  And after that much involvement of subsequent leaves, stems-you know the drill.  Eventually, the plant produces something that we can all eat, whether its a cucumber, tomato, pepper or whatever.  And if left alone after that, the plant will produce seeds for the future.  Every plant has this precious goal in mind-to keep reproducing for future generations.   To me, this is special behind belief.

There's a flip side to this story-and not a pretty one too.  However, we can learn so much from the flip side.  Ok.  We were just now talking about good seeds that we plant in the ground both psychologically and in reality.  Besides these positive things that we can do, we can't forget that other feelings are just as easily "planted".  I'm talking about anger, fear, jealousy to name a few.  Like good seeds, once these more negative feelings are planted around us, whether its between family or friends,  these seeds, too can begin to grow and eventually make more seeds.  Once anger is planted, its hard to rid the soil around us of it.  And the longer it stays in the ground, the harder it is to be rid of it. 

So, when one is aware of anger or some other hard feeling, it is important to look deeply at the cause of the anger and see if there's a way get at its root cause. And by the way, while doing farming, it is just as easy to  allow long standing problems to develop in the soil.  Problems  will fester for seasons to come if the farmer doesn't look deeply at the cause and help it to go away.

At Star Light, we're always striving to make sure that we plant and encourage the growth of good seeds both in our hearts and in the soil.  I know all must sound a little "off" from what gets usually talked about here, but I really take all of this very seriously both on and off the field.

Below is a great stand of baby baby carrots.  This is very exciting!  I'm hoping for a Mother's Day harvest.  We'll see.  I'll send update pictures in the upcoming weeks so you can follow their progress.

 

Spring is making a good comeback right now.  With the daylight now going over 10 hours, the Persephone Period is officially over.  I can see stands of baby lettuce, baby carrots and radishes really begin to start developing.

This does not change that the list is the same length it was last week-a bit on the short side.  However, what we do have is crisp, succulent and incredibly sweet and full of taste.  If you'd like something please email us back your order by 8AM on Thursday.  You're order will be waiting for you at the shed infront of my house at 54 Fowler Ave. by 2pm on Friday.  Self service.  If you come after dark, bring a light.  Its easy.  Also, if the weather is too cold, we'll more the store into the front hall of my house.

And a word about our newly configured CSA.  You'll get exactly what you pick out every week.  And at a discount, too.  Send us $100 and you'll get $105 worth of food.  For $300, you'll be able to enjoy an extra $30.  Additionally, we've added a card for you to use that is loaded with the amount of money that you bought from us.  Those of you at the market already, we'll give you your card right away and others will be able to have theirs when the Durham Market opens in May.  We've done CSA for years, and this flexible system makes the most sense and give us a good feeling that we'll be able to get you the food exactly that you want.  If interested, please send your checks to Star Light/54 Fowler Ave./Durham, CT 06422

This week we'll have: Braising Greens, Claytonia, Salad Greens and Spinach -$6/bag

Tatzoi Bunches, awesome for both salads and a quick braise $3/50/bunch

Chinese Cabbage-again, both for salads or a quick braise- $3.50/bunch

Jen and Joel's Awesome Pickles- a hint of hot spicy to it -$8/jar

Apple Pepper Jam- another hint of hot $7/large jar or $4/small jar

Pickled Peppers- $7/jar

 

 

Posted by: David Zemelsky
2/11/2020 7:50 am

Hello Eaters,

For some reason my non subject email from last week brought more responses than any before.  I should mention that responding to my emails is gratifying, so if you read something that strikes a chord, by all means, write back.  Because almost all of us use computers all  the time, my experience of losing all my work was familiar to you-hence all the responses.   But now, I'll circle back and try to create again what got lost in the world of cyberspace from last week.

Last week, I was reading the Ct Northeast  Organic Farmer's Association newsletter (CT NOFA).  The premier article was about growing greens in the Winter.  The cover picture was of a farmer in her hoop house tending to the crop of greens that she had growing.  The article was suggesting that she was only one of very few people who grew this way.  This is where my "rant" started. 

There actually are several farms in CT that are interested in growing "on the backside of the calendar" , Star Light sitting very prominently in the top tier.  Not bragging here, just reporting.  But here does come the bragging.  Although we didn't invent off season growing, we were the first in CT to make a serious effort at it.  I'm very proud of our forward looking approach.  Our model has inspired many, many farms throughout New England to try growing food in "the off season".  Your ability to get fresh greens in January-April is a direct result of this effort. 

I'd totally have to give Ty full credit for pushing both of us into this venture.  The popular story is that we were hoping to develop some kind of a business out of our home.  We focused on  farming when we learned from a neighbor about the pioneering of Eliot Coleman up in Maine, along the cold, windy and rugged coast.  Eliot, graciously showed us around his farm and warned us both not to quit our day jobs.  (Neither one of us listened!)  Turns out that growing great food for Winter use makes for a great business.  This year, 2020 marks out twentieth year.  Very sadly,Ty, as many of you know developed cancer and died (almost two years ago this Valentine's Day).  So I ask of you to to remember how her willingness to take chances has resulted in being able to offer you great food every month of the year.

I think we're  onto something very positive with our CSA.  Simply put, we'll set you up with a "bank account' of sorts.  Send us a check for $100 and we'll give you $105 worth of food.  $300? We'll give you $330 worth of food. The Farmer's Market people who be getting a credit card that has a running total of your balance on it.  When you get your food at the market, you'll scan the card and in this way, we;ll know your balance.  The Durham people will also get a card once the market begins in May.  In the meantime, we'll just keep a running total-much like what we did last year.  Send your checks to Star LIght/54 Fowler Ave. /Durham, CT 06422

Store will be ready after 2pm on FRIDAY, as usual.  Please don't forget to pick up your order.  Send in your order by replying to this email by 8AM on Thursday.

Our list is a tad shorter this week, but not for long! With longer days, our crops are beginning to pick up speed and grow faster.

Salad Greens, Spinach,Arugual, Claytonia and Braising Greens- $6/bag

Chinese Cabbage - $3.50/head

Radishes- $4/bunch

Joel and Jen's Famous (well I think so) Pickles-just a tad on the hot side $8/jar

Apple Pepper Jam- Pepper , as in hot.  This jam is also just a tad spicy. $7/ and $4

Hot Pickled Peppers- $7/jar

A few frozen gingers- last of the season. $5/piece.

Have a healthy peaceful week

 

Posted by: David Zemelsky
2/3/2020 11:35 am

The shortness of this note is a result of me hitting the wrong key and erasing everything that I'd been working on for the past 40  minutes.  So, as a result you won't hear my ranting about something.  Maybe next week.  But that wont' stop me from offering up to you more of the same amazing "Winter Warrior" crops this week.  The very same.  Here's the list:

Home Made Awesome Pickles- a bit spicy, but not over the top.  $8/jar

Apple Hot Pepper Jam-a recipe developed right here by Jen and Joel.  $4/small jar $7/large jar

Frozen Turmeric - $5 piece

Frozen Ginger- $5/piece

Dried Juliet Tomatoes-for salads, when you want something special.  Sort of like raisins, cause they're sweet.  They actually taste better than almost any fresh tomato that you'd pick up at Stop N Shop.  $5/oz.

Spinach, Arugula, Braising Greens, Salad Greens-$6/bag

Claytonia- also $6/bag.  I'm putting this separately to highlight claytonia.  Beautiful, succulent and delicious, this green stands out above all others in the Winter.  You'll never see it until it gets cold.  It has earned the title of Winter Warrior at Star LIght because it will survive, no thrive, in the coldest of situations.  Here is a picture.

Over the years, I've introduced this special greens to so many people.  They become fans and start asking for it by name weeks before we're able to harvest it.  Highly recommended.

Radishes and Haukeri Turnips $4/bunch.  Both incredibly outstanding!

Lastly, we're sticking with our concept of Community Sustained Agriculture by offering you great discounts on future sales.  The original CSA model will get you a box of whatever we're growing in any given week.  Our more flexible idea is that you pick out what you want each week.  IF you choose to join, you'll give us a specific amount of money and we'll track your sales for you AND give you a discount on the food that you want.  If you send us $100, we'll give you a 5% added amount of food.  If you send us $300, we'll make that 10%.  If you want to save even more, send us a note and we'll talk.  We'll be tracking your sales for now in the same way, but eventually, we're going all out modern with gift cards that we'll give to you.  They can be preloaded with money.  More of that later.  For now, if you'd like to save money on real food, send us a check for either $100 or $300 and your savings will start right then and there.  Address is: 54 Fowler Avenue/Durham, CT 06422.  Make checks payable to Star Light Gardens

As always, thank you for supporting Star Light.

Have a great week!

 


 

 

Posted by: David Zemelsky
1/28/2020 7:39 am