Wednesday August 5, 2020

We need to start with tomatoes.  As you know, we've been starting, planting, grafting, pruning and loving tomatoes since January 10th (or so). For the past month, there's been a slowly emerging harvest that has gotten bigger every week.  There's been a lot of disappointment for people when we've run out.  That's probably not going to happen for a while.  The "Tomato Waterfall"  arrived suddenly on Friday between 11AM and 5PM.  Tomato Waterfall simply means that a tremendous supply of tomatoes has gotten ripe and will hopefully remain that way for several weeks.  That's a 6 month wait.  But, like anything wonderful that you can think of, its worth the wait. Totally.

I'll start with the cherry tomatoes.  The Sun Golds are bright orange and as sweet as a teaspoon of sugar.  Unless you don't like sweet, these are for you.  Then there's Black Cherry, which are multi flavored.  Savory in some ways.  When people ask the difference between Sun Golds and Black Cherry, my response is that SG's are simple and sweet like grammar school and BC's are complex and multilayered like graduate school.  Both are exquisite.  Then there's Juliet, a small plum shaped tomato that is so versatile.  A great salad enhancer and also great to cook with.  The Artisan Group is multi colored and multi flavored.  I love them and will leave it at that.

Heirlooms.  One has to have the patience of a good parent with heirloom tomato plants.  They grow and put out vegetation any way they feel like it.  My goal is to prune them to two main branches that will help create large, beautiful and delicious fruit.  The plant, however, will do everything in its power to "branch out".  Sometimes, there'll be a load of tomatoes that will, almost as a second thought, put out a stem with more blossoms.  I'll cut these back for the most part and coax the plant into concentrating on the real estate that I've carved out for them.  Pruning has been almost my soul activity on the farm for a few months.  I'll disappear down a row and go on to the next and the next.  When I've been through all the houses, its already time to start at the beginning again and prune again.  The tomato plants gets real busy putting out more and more blossoms.  This is how it preserve itself for posterity-make a lot of fruit and seeds for the years ahead.  The plant is both in the present and the future at the same time.  Very wonderful.

About the taste experience of having an heirloom.  A good heirloom is one of the most intense and wonderful taste experiences you'll ever have. Ever.  One has to be slow, deliberate and mindful to maximize your ability to appreciate what you've got.  Here's what I do.  The core can often be green and tough, so I'll carefully remove it and feed it to Maria (dog, number 1. Big 60 lb omnivore).  Then I'll slice the remaining tomato into bite sized chunks.  For me the bottom with its tender, sweet skin is the best  part.  Kind of like the heart of an artichoke.  These go on your favorite plate.  Two different things can happen here.  One, get the coarse Kosher salt and sprinkle it on everywhere-then enjoy.  The second thing would be that it gets my own brand of salad dressing after the salt.  Either way, its one of Summer's top delights.  Salad making recipe available upon request.  Hint: get some of our garic.

Like our carrots, if you don't jump up in the air with total delight upon trying these, let me know and I'll give you free ones next week.  Its not going to happen.

Sun Golds in all their glory!

As it looks on 8/2/20 in the hoop house.  These plants are at least 10 feet tall!

This picture should give you a good idea about the color and vibrance of our tomatoes.  Note that 2 or 3 have splits.  These are actually the best tasting right now.

Switching gears lets look at "Heat Islands".  I want to start by making reference to a particularly inaccurate letter that appeared in the Town Times this past Friday.  The writer stated that environmental issues and racism were two separate issues.  One has nothing to do with the other.  Oh, my goodness, where to start!  The fact is that cities are going to be much hotter than surrounding suburban areas.  Tree canopy, and heat retaining cement are two obvious differences.  There's just much more cement and less trees in cities.  People of color with low incomes often find themselves in situations that are even worse for heat-hence the term "heat island".  Because of economic differences, these low income folks find themselves living in areas with even less green spaces and even more cement.  The difference in temperature in a city can vary as much as 12 degrees.  The extra heat will have a profoundly negative effect on people living in these circumstances.  Air quality is just one of the things that are much worse when the temperature is elevated.  More people die from heat factors than hurricanes, tornadoes or floods.  This is one of many ways that Racism and climate change are intertwined.

Red lining can be traced to the origin of all this.  By denying African Americans access to the same lending system that Whites have enjoyed for decades, entrenched areas of almost every major city shows that the heat islands are located in the areas that were originally redlined.  Portland , Oregon for example shows a 12 degree difference between redline and non-redline neighborhoods.

The study referenced above was conducted by Portland State University and the Science Museum of Virginia. They conclude their study by saying, “By recognizing and centering the historical blunders of the planning profession over the past century, we stand a better chance for reducing the public health and infrastructure impacts from a warming planet.”

When and if your town begins to figure out ways to make housing equitable for all people, I hope that you'll remember this concept and help figure out ways for there to be equity in our world.  Justice for all, not "just us."

Please stay safe.  Remember that if you don't get an email confirmation, we can't see your order.  Try ordering again.  If that doesn't work, give a call.

Think "Tomato Waterfall"!

Namaste,

 

Posted by: David Zemelsky
8/2/2020 6:33 pm

Who doesn't like the Dixie Chicks?  A lot of angry people, that's who.  People who felt betrayed by  them expressing their opinion of  then President George W. and his handling of the war in Iraq.  Remember?  Images in the media of people burning, stomping on and rolling over with a steam roller, countless of their cds.  The Dixie Chicks were well hated for a long time.  And many of those fans are never coming back.  I support their decision to speak up for what they believed in, even if it meant a loss of fan base.  Their actions say clearly to me that there are just too many other important things in life to worry about consequences.  There have been so many times in my life when I choose silence because it seemed the easiest thing to do at the time.  As time goes on, I want to make sure that silence as a means to avoid conflict is not part of my vocabulary.  John Lewis throughout his brave and productive life never backed down or remained silent in the face of his adversaries.  I'm sure that the Dixie Chicks drew a lot of inspiration from his example. 

Which leads me to their shorten new name,"The Chicks".  I never gave the "Dixie" part of their name a second thought.  That fact is a good example of how racism crept into my life there and probably in a whole lot of other places.  With their new album, after over 14 years, they've renewed their dedication to being brave,bold, confident women who are going to speak their truth no matter what. Its a welcomed sight for me.  They sound great, too.

Joel, Jen and I would like to thank all of you for many things, but right now specifically for your diligence in wearing mask when coming to the shed and the market.   The mask is your way of protecting fellow citizens from the possibility of you spreading the virus.  So when you see someone with a mask on, they're helping you.  Those without mask don't believe the science in front of them.  They very well might be the same people who ride motorcycles without helmets. Wonder if that's true?  I've never understand the  wisdom of going helmet-less.  Do you?

In the meantime, we're seeing more and more tomatoes, but still not that waterfall that we look for.  Its coming.  There are so many green heirlooms!  We'll be offering them, hopefully in the shed this weekin prepriced containers for at least the Wednesday pre order.  Maybe more for Friday and Saturday.  Its just hard to predict. As for the cherries and juliets, if they're sold out at the time you order, please try back later because we're trying hard to make sure that all our venues, both the shed and farmer's markets are going to have tomatoes.  If you have to make two orders for the same day, that's not a problem.

I know that we're all having a difficult time with this pandemic.  And there are so many people who are not helping by not social distancing and using a mask around other people.  Please remember that we will get thru this and when we do, there is more and very essential work that still remains to be done.  The planet is still in need of critical new ways for it to be taken care of.  Let's not forget that post pandemic is not post-do nothing

I hope that you enjoy our food this week.  Good and real food helps everything about your life.  Everything.

Lastly, thank you one and all for allowing Star Light to be part of your life.  When you order, look for your email confirmation.  If you don't get it, try again.  And , of course, you're welcome to call us to help figure things out.  Generally, the system works without a hitch.

Have a great, safe, and peaceful week

 

Posted by: David Zemelsky
7/19/2020 8:35 pm

I've been thinking a lot about priorities in our government, specifically by the President. I don't think it will come as a surprise to any of you-he's not my President.  Probably, I'm going too far to say that, but its "my truth", as is popular to say.  So here we are in a world pandemic that all 50 Governors find themselves figuring out  solutions on their own.  George Floyd, to name just one African American has been murdered publicly. And, and... look not going to go on.  You're either seeing the smoke and fire or you're not.  And the President chooses this moment to do what? Comfort and assure us that we're doing everything that we can to turn things around?  Nope.  He's more concerned that people are destroying our heritage (a popular phrase from those who celebrate The Lost Cause), by taking down monuments.  Humbly, I say-this is crazy.  Not all history is worth memorializing.  I would argue that revering and honoring traitors to the Union does not fall in that category. Period.  Our  memorials  should help us remember important values and deeds that help further the cause of our American ideals, which on paper often look pretty good.  Its the execution that is questionable.  Further, there needs to be a deep empathy for people who had ancestors that were kept as slaves.  Its trauma, pure and simple and every time that any of us (and particularly people of African American descent) are exposed to symbols of  slavery , it becomes a retraumatization of them.  Is that more important that acknowledging ones "heritage"?  If having a slave owner was part of my family tree, I'd  come to terms with this knowledge.  And yes, it would be profoundly difficult for me. But never would it take the form of needing some traitorous general on a horse to keep my heritage.  Lastly, lets remember that we want to uphold values, not history as a priority.  And the values of those memorialized in Confederate statues are not those values that we want to uphold. Period.

 

Moving on...

I want to tell you about hornworms.  Hornworms love to eat tomato leaves especially the young tender ones at the top of the plant.  In very short order they can go thru a hoop house and strip it bare of the potential for fruit for weeks ahead.  From a growers prospective, they are disgusting, filthy (their poops are almost impossible to describe, so I won't) and should all be killed.  So that leads me to two things.  The first is how a gentle, older teenager (she's now in her thirties) who was working for us, became an avid killer of hornworms and almost unrecognizable to her employer (me).  Not sure if she was a vegetarian at the time, but totally a gentle soul to say the least.  Earlier in the week, I explained to her what to look for to find the presence of hornworms. Hornworms can blend into the scenery quite well, as they are the same color as the tomato plant.  A good tip off, I told her was to note the gross poops on the ground of the hoophouse and then start scouting upwards towards the very end of the plant and see if anything can be detected.  Well, one day, she  must have discovered many of them because as I rounded a corner, there she was with a plastic bat. Bam! Bam!, just making a real massacre out of them  For a moment, I was honesty worried that I'd  helped bring out in her murderous tendencies that I'd never seen before.  Honestly, it was scary.  Not unlike if you saw Mr. Rogers yelling at the top of his lungs.  Many years have now gone by and I usually will see my former employee when she comes home to visit her folks.  We talk about this incident once in a while.  She's home now and I had a good reason to re-look at this event with her.  But first, a very quick look at the natural predator of hornworms-parasitic  wasps.  The wasp finds the hornworm and lays eggs inside it. The newly hatched eggs will eat their way out of the hornworm, which will cause its demise.  Very cool.  Ok. So Joel has noticed that our wasp population seems to be growing every year and suggested us to not kill the hornworm, but rather allow them to be found by the wasp, which in turn will increase their (the wasps) population.  Very clever and makes sense and best of all, I won't have to worry about turning mild mannered farmhands into stark raving murderers (of hornworms, that is).

There's been tomato offerings for a few weeks, but the real festival is still in front of us.  There'll be so many wonderful choices.  We've been working really hard on pruning and nurturing our plants.  Recently, Jen sprayed all of them with a fish/seaweed mix to help stimulate their growth and also enhance the flavor.   This spray gets absorbed thru the leaf system and from there travels to the fruit to add its goodness.  You're going to have a good time!

Store opens at 8AM Monday.  Items that are sold out could become available later in the week, so check up .  We'll be at Durham Market on Thursday 3-6:30pm, Madison on Friday 3-6 and Cityseed in New Haven on Saturday from 9AM to 1PM.  And you can preorder any of those days and have your order ready at the market.  We're pre ordering out of our shed on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.

I wish all of you a very safe week. Stay smart.

David

 

 

Posted by: David Zemelsky
7/12/2020 9:16 pm

Someone wrote (in a very friendly manner), that she'd like it better if I stuck to writing about vegetables and kept the politics out of my notes.  I wrote back that I appreciated her position and yet could not figure out a way to not say something about what's going on in the world specifically in regards to racism.  I just care too much to not say anything.  My note back to her  also became an invitation for further back and forth dialogue.  Hope she takes me up on the offer because an exchange of view point between people could lead to change (on both our parts).

Someone else shared a regret from their childhood experience at overnight camp whereby the writer found herself agreeing with a bunkmate that: "wasn't it too bad that we're going to have someone with dark skin spoiling our great group."  She wished that she had spoke up because she felt positive about this African American bunkmate, but said nothing to support that viewpoint.  How many times have any of us just been quiet when a racist or sexist comment has been made? God, I hate the thought of being silent.  And yet, we all know that from an early age, African American children are taught to keep their bodies and their language quiet when being confronted by the police.  That's a trauma that could last a lifetime.  I don't even have a clue what that's like.

A reading suggestion: Ta-Nehisi Coates article in the Atlantic about reparations.  https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2014/06/the-case-for-reparations/361631/

We're back to our regular schedule this week.  Wednesday, Friday and Saturday at the Farm pickup . Durham Farmer's Market on Thursday, Madison Market on Friday and Cityseed in New Haven on Saturday.  A reminder (again!): if after placing your order, you don't get a note of confirmation, then its not yet an order.  Try again.  If that still doesn't work, give us a call.  We'll fix you up.

Right now, as we speak, there are tons of GREEN heirloom tomatoes on the vine in four hoophouses.  Its not going to be too much longer.  Stay tuned for our thoughts on how we'll be selling them on preorders.  One of the things that has taken up the majority of my work time is pruning these plants.  Many people don't prune, but those that do are rewarded with more beautiful and better tasting toms (henceforth, we'll refer to tomatoes as "toms"). Additionally, a pruned plant has the best chance of staying healthy longer.  The truth is that sooner or later, tomato plants will catch one disease or another.  The longer we can postpone that, the better our production is.  The other cool thing that we do to our plants is spray them with a fish/seaweed spray.  This process helps get the best possible nutrients into the fruit.  Can't wait to taste them.  The woodchucks are probably saying the same thing!

Good eating for all of you this week.  I'm hoping that you get everything that you want.  I know that some things sell our very quickly.  I promise you that once the tomatoes start flowing, you won't have a problem with supply. (Famous last words!)

 

Posted by: David Zemelsky
7/5/2020 8:55 pm

Actively, I am hoping to figure out a way for Star Light to be an alternative to food apartheid. Sure, a tall order, but someone famous (can't remember who right now) said that it all doesn't have to be accomplished in one lifetime.  Wish that were really true cause it seems that waiting 400 years for racial justice is a long one.  Share your ideas.  I'd love to hear from you.

I will offer a thought on a very deep, complex subject linked to racial justice-reparations.  The first time that I heard about  this, my initial reaction was skeptical and not convinced.  Now, after reading a long and brilliant article in last Sunday's New York Times Magazine by the  recent Pulitzer Prize Winner and also author of 1619,Nikole Hannahh-Jones, I realize that morally this has to be taken up seriously with the powers that be and a clear course that includes a ton of money and a total turn around in how people of color have been held back in a way that sickens by heart.  I hope that you'll read it yourself and not just dismiss (as I did initially) the possibility of it happening.  Here is the link:  https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/06/24/magazine/reparations-slavery.html

The next bit of info is in capitol letters so you won't miss it! BECAUSE OF THE FOURTH OF JULY HOLIDAY, THERE WILL ONLY BE PICK UPS AT THE FARM ON WEDNESDAY AND FRIDAY.  NO CITYSEED MARKET AND THAT ALSO MEANS THAT MUSHROOMS AND OTHER SPECIALITY ITEMS AREN'T AVAILABLE THIS WEEK. NEXT WEEK, BACK TO NORMAL.

Thank you,one and all, those of you have sent words of encouragement about things that I find myself compelled to write about here.  Your letters mean a lot to me.  Others of you that have unsubscribed, I hope that you'll find a way to understand  not just I'm saying, but writers with a greater reach and skill than myself, are attempting to say.  When something is not right, it seems wrong to be quiet.  Audre Lourde said once,"Your silence will not protect you".

Online Store(opens 8AM Monday):PayPalCredit card:http://starlightgardensct.com/store/available-products-for-card-and-paypal-customers

CSA/Snap: http://starlightgardensct.com/store/csa-snap-customers

Have a great week.  I hope that the significance of Independence Day has a different, and deeper look for all of you this year.

 

Posted by: David Zemelsky
6/28/2020 6:08 pm

 

Hope its been a safe week for everyone. Is there anyone out there that thinks that social distancing is an ineffective idea?

Here's a few things. First off, we're at the end of the tomato selling season and have a super sale for those of you who haven't yet planted toms and want to.  $6 for 3 plants (we choose, and you won't be sorry!). The week after next (June 28-July4th) we'll have our store on Wednesday and Friday only.  Those of you who are used to getting their order on Saturday, should choose either Wednesday or Friday.  Since the Cityseed Market is closed, there won't be any special mushrooms, honey or chevre that week.

I want you to know that it is a privilege to be able to write this letter every week.  I've received many wonderful letters of support.  Its not like I believe that I've got more to say than most; far from it, it just happens that I've got a platform.  Makes me realize that such a platform is perhaps missing in many of our lives and if it did exist, there'd be more written expression getting out there.  Tell you what, if you write something about what you're thinking, I'd be honored to read it.  Send it.

One thing that seems more true than ever these days- we are all connected to each other in so many ways.  And what has come to light for me over the past month is how we are all connected to the systematic racism in our country.  Every big industry that you can think of has come out with a position against racism.  CVS,REI,WNPR,, CBS, all of them have taken strong stands (on paper) on the subject.  Let's look at a very brief summary of African American farming and I'll try to illustrate what I'm talking about.

At the turn of the last century roughly 15% of farmland was farmed by African Americans.  Today, that number is  but a whisper of that.  Chased or bullied off the land by white supremacists, many Southern Black farmers headed to northern urban areas and gave up on farming.  In urban centers, Black and Brown people alike encountered food aparthied, which simply put is the inability of a whole race of people being able to access good, whole and nutritious food because of either price or access (no supermarkets in their neighborhoods.)  This lack of real food for so many black or brown people has resulted in dire health issues.  It feels like a crime without there really being a law that has been broken.  

I'm talking about two things. One, the extinguishing of farming practices  by black families and the subsequent lack of decent and available real food for those black/brown families who have over the generations left the rural farming life for urban settings and in so doing found themselves without any good sources of fresh vegetables and fruit.

I believe that our country will be a stronger place if there are venues for people of color to again do what they knew so well in the past-to farm. This is an idea that is going to take hold (I hope) in a very big way in the coming years.  Please check out Soul Fire Farm website soulfirefarm.org  and you'll begin to understand this very important movement.  The co-founder of the farm, Leah Penniman was recently interviewed on NPR's Living On Earth.  You can find the interview here: https://loe.org/shows/segments.html?programID=20-P13-00025&segmentID=5  It is highly recommended.  And I believe that it will give you much to think about.  Would love to hear your reactions.

Lastly, as noted in earlier newsletters, there's been a rash of unsubscribers since my subjects have become more global.  In a way, this is an honor because it tells me that I'm really talking to some vulnerable spots in some people.  I hope that people stay subscribed and invite them to think about the subjects that we're talking about in this letter.

OK. Great food this week.  They're be sun golds in larger supply for early birds.(still not the huge amount that we need for everyone to get their fill, but you can tell-its coming.  Heirlooms are still a few weeks off.  Ah patience.  Meanwhile, the kale, salad, lettuce heads, bok choi (to name but a few) are awesome. And we have a delivery service.  If you're not sure we'd get to your area, just email us back and we'll let you know.  New Haven,Cheshire,Wallingford, Middletown, Durham are good-to name a few.  I hope you enjoy our food.

And a shout out to our Governor for freeing up funds(2.5m) to help the undocumented in this hard, trying times.  It is a great start.  Thank you.

Have a great week

 

Posted by: David Zemelsky
6/21/2020 9:31 pm

Truthfully, I'm at a loss about what to say to any of you this week.  My life has been caught up in two things.  One is the farm and other is the international protest about George Floyd.  And sadly, he is not the only Black man to have died at the hands of the police in recent days.  I've no intention on taking on the whole question of the long and systematic racism in our country.  But I will share with you this: no person who lives in our town could feel the fear and trepidation that people of color must feel whenever they are out driving or even walking around their neighborhood.  These are just my personal feelings and barely scratching the surface of  how I feel.  What I did notice last week is that immediately after posting my letter, six people unsubscribed.  That's never happened before.  Usually, one or two people every other week or so.  I'm guessing that someone didn't like what is being said.  So be it.  I recognize that a farm newsletter is probably the last place you'd expect to find political thoughts.  But, as has been mentioned in earlier letters, farms and the whole food chain are vulnerable to incidents of racism just like the rest of society.  If we're going to enjoy great locally grown food, we need to recognize how growers and meat producers alike are striving to eliminate any forms of racism in their businesses.

As for the farm. OMG.  Such an explosion of growth.  Some of it, we'll be waiting for in coming months.  Leeks, potatoes, ginger, turmeric eggplant, and peppers to name but a few. It won't be long before the cherry tomatoes will be in enough supply to sell.  Tonight while doing some last minute tomato trellising , I was able to keep finding handfuls of ripe sun golds.  Ever had one?  They're like eating a sugar cube.  You'll see.

Online Store, as always will be open at 8AM Monday.  Shopping early is a good way to maybe get what you want.  And checking back later in the week for items that you saw were sold out makes sense, too.  We carefully inventory what we have so that we don't over sell.  Sometimes, we've underestimated and put that something back in the store to sell.  Its ok to put in two orders.  We'll figure it out. 

Its going to help our ability to serve you better if we change the deadline for ordering on Friday and Saturday.  Here goes.  In red letters and Caps.  NEW DEADLINE FOR ORDERING FOR BOTH FRIDAY AND SATURDAY IS 9PM THURSDAY.

Please, be safe in your outside interactions. And, as always thank you for supporting our farm and local growers.


 

 

Posted by: David Zemelsky
6/15/2020 7:55 pm

 

These are times when it seems to me that bringing our awareness of how power is trying to run our world.  As avid consumers of real food, please consider how systematic racism has driven the agricultural business into making whole segments of our population into expedient commodities.  At this point, if a worker (often of Latino or Black descent) does not feel safe going back to work in the fields or a meat packing plant, they'll loose the job and then not be able to collect unemployment benefits.  What would I do, if face with this delemma? Not sure, but it is unconscionable choice that no one  should have to make.  Thru this all, I am blown away by how involved the younger people have embraced the need to rid our world of racism, once and for all, with an energy that simply is awesome.  The vigil in memory of George Floyd was essentially created and executed by young people.  I know that perhaps hearing things like this in your weekly newsletter about salad, carrots seems out of place.  But it isn't.  Our food system, both the larger ones and smaller ones (like ours) needs to always be done in a way that is respectful of the needs of all people, regards of race, color and sexual preference.

I'm going to have to figure out a reasonable way to wait for the tomatoes to come in.  Well, actually we've seen a few pints of sungolds, so it can't be too long.  Thought you'd like to see what the plants look like as of this AM.  We've been foliar spraying them with a seaweed, fish emulsion which will absolutely put a boast in their already amazing taste.  I believe there are a few pints offered this week.  By the way, if you see that a product is sold out, you can check back in a few days because they may become available again.  All plants have been reduced to $3 each.  So if you've not yet bought tomatoes, herbs and others, this would be a good time.

Have a great week.  Remember, when you buy thru the store, you need an email confirmation.  If you don't get one try again.  Without the confirmation, it isn't yet a sale.

Namaste everyone,

 

Posted by: David Zemelsky
6/8/2020 7:14 pm

 

Your generosity in regards to the strawberry raffle was awesome!  Thank you for opening up your hearts and wallets to help create a success.  All and all, we were able to send to ULA (Unidad Latino en  Accion) over $700.  This outpouring of support for individuals and families of Latino descent, who are the essential workers make it possible for all of us to have food, healthcare and  many other things.  The world of gratitude thanks you.

Real food raised me out of a funk this week.  I'm still puzzling over how amazing this was.  It started Saturday after finishing my day of work.  For one thing, it had been hot and I felt fried.  Earlier, all but four of the commercially bought grafted tomatoes were now in the ground.  The deal with grafted tomatoes is that if you plant them too deep, you'll lose the benefit of them being grafted at all.  A tomato plant is capable of putting out roots anywhere along its stem.  If the plant is placed in a hole in the soil below the graft, then the root system might have roots that come from the part of the live plant that you just want to grow up, not down.  The main point is that one needs to pay attention to plant them at the right depth.  It takes concentration and a lot of energy.  So by the time I was done, I felt wiped.  And a bit sad.  Why? I couldn't really tell you.  But when ever sad comes along, I usually go with the feeling and don't fight it.  Instead, I went for a great bike ride and created some energy from the exercise.  Upon returning, grabbed two bowls and went to the farm to see what I could create for dinner.  In very short order , I had several beets, some carrots, garlic scapes (more on them later), a red onion and snow peas.  Upon getting to the kitchen, a big pot of brown rice was put on the stove.  The vegetables (except the snow peas), got put in a bowl and tossed with olive oil and salt.  After that onto a cookie sheet and into a 425 degree oven for 11 minutes.  The snow peas got tossed in the wok and were also ready within 2 minutes.  The experience of consuming this meal just made me whole again.  Don't know where the sad went and didn't see any reason to ask further.  This little story really tells me that real food can work for you in ways that might surprise you.  Just saying...

Ok.  Store opening at 8AM.  Lots of good things.  Some in decent amounts, too.  Yes, some things are going to sell out, just like last week. If something is sold out when you first look, try coming back to the store later in the week because there might be more then. Consider garlic scapes, your second piece of the garlic treasure march in front of us.  Young tender and so full of flavor!  Chop them up and sauté or just put in your salad dressing.  Only happiness there.  Only.

We're still offering delivery for $10 by Susie's Smart Shop.  We're just passing the price along from Susie.  Not charging you a surcharge on her services.  She'll do  Middletown and down to the shore near New Haven.  East Haddam, too.  If you're interested, and not sure if she'll do your town, give me a call.

Also, consider pea tendrils.  There's still several weeks left  to their season.  One can make just as good if not better a pesto using pea tendrils.  And while we're drooling over peas, there'll be snow peas (see story above) this week.  The supply is ok, but pretty sure they'll sell out quickly. 

I recommend reading  over housekeeping from last week to make sure that you are ordering effectively.  I will say, no confirmation email after you ordered means that the order didn't go thru.  Maybe try again.  Call, if you get frustrated or confused.  I'll answer.

Everyone please stay smart and safe.  This pandemic is still with us.  I know we're all tired but all this relaxing of protocals  might prove to be a misstep.  I hope not.  My gold standard is Dr. Fauci.  If he saids that its ok, then I'm good with it.

Until next time, have a great week

The Farmers At Star Light

Posted by: David Zemelsky
6/1/2020 5:32 am

 

BC? AC?  Simply Before Covid and After Covid.  Now, as the Governor said,"Everything is upside down.  If you love your grandparents you WON'T give them hugs."  I can't figure it all out.  But there are two things that are very clear to me.

First off, to me the Supply Chain that they talk about every day is vulnerable.  Is it going to collapse?  I certainly don't know.  And I hope not.  It does point out to me the absolute value in strengthening are local food chain.  All of you who are buying real local food are helping to build this system for now and hopefully for the future.  Is there hope that our local area could create a food supply that could reduce our dependence on Industrial Meat,Vegetables, Dairy etc? Again, I don't really know but hope that its true.  This movement to create more locally grown food has been on the forefront of  the minds of owners of most small sustainably growing farms like Star Light since Day One.  So yes, please keep buying from us and other favorite farmers of yours and at the same time be aware that you a part of a bigger whole that could change the way that we bring food into our homes.

Second, is something that has already been written about here.  Undocumented Immigrants, here and in all other states are unable to benefit from the stimulus packages created by Congress that U.S. citizens currently have.  And yet, in this world of Essential Workers, this segment of the population has been a huge percentage of this segment of the work force.  This would definitely  include meat packing plants, garbage collecting and many other essential jobs.  And, as widely reported by both the Washington Post and The New York Times,  the undocumented  are vastly more likely to have contracted Covid-19.  The disturbing truth is that  these people are being looked at as disposable by big business.  To me, this is just a simply case of doing the right and just thing. 

With that in mind, I am proposing one more raffle (there'll be more) to help benefit this population of people, living among us, but not treated with the same respect as everyone else.  This time the prize will be the first container of strawberries.  Yes, strawberries!  I can absolutely guarantee you that these berries are so sweet that you'll  do exactly what happens when you try one of our tomatoes.  You'll jump up in the air with delight. Guaranteed.  I know this because if the truth be told, I've sampled these berries already.  You'll find in the online store a place to buy raffle tickets.  For every dollar donated, I will match and donate the same amount.

Both of these items are directly related to how you, Star Light Garden-ers (ha, just made that up!), get or don't get the food that you want on the table each night.  And further, hopefully you agree that there are better ways to both treat the people who bring that food to your table and better ways for that food to be grown for you. Let's now, with this virus turning everything upside down, try to figure out how we can produce food closer to where we live .

Ok. A few housekeeping things.  Remember that when you order, you should expect to get an email confirmation of that fact.  If you don't get it, try again.  Without that email, no one knows if you ordered or not.  Pay attention to deadlines for ordering.  Clearly, written all over the store, but if you get confused, no worries, give us a call.  All pre- ordering is either SNAP/ CSA or PayPal.  Even if you aren't a paypal member, it will still take your money thru your credit card.  It all seems to be working pretty darn good.

Head lettuce back this week.  And pretty.  There's now a big surge of tomato plants in the ground, with more to follow this week.  Same for eggplant and leeks.  We're simply growing great food.  Our job is mostly hard work.  Nature does a lot of the rest.  If I sound proud of us, its because I really am.

Have a great week, as always


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted by: David Zemelsky
5/24/2020 8:56 pm