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The Solstice Has Arrived!

Posted 6/22/2017 11:02am by David Zemelsky.

Dear Person Who Knows The Value of Good Food,

We're winning the woodchuck war.  However, they're still out there.  This week, I mowed down some profoundly high grass along the edges of the planting beds.  When the dust had settled (literally) , what was discovered was a very large hole. Later that same day, I moved the Hav-a-Heart trap over to be closer to the hole.  When I was around 30 feet away, I looked up and saw a woodchuck frozen in time, just staring at me.  He/she was so quiet that I actually was under the impression that it would be possible to walk right up to him.  As I get closer, though the critter ducked (woodchucked?)into this hole.  The trap is now sitting outside his door, waiting for him.  I'll report, when he gets caught.

This is now the time of the year when certain beds of greens are done and need to be ripped out.  Making this decision has always been a hard one for me. I'll usually thank the bed for all that they've put out.  Another way of looking at it: out with the old and in with the new. But being more on the senior side, I usually chose to not think that way.  More productive: this is the way of the land.

Another activity that has taken a GREAT amount of my time this week is tomato pruning.  The tomatoes will put on a huge amount of foliage at this time of the year.  And quickly, too.  I feel that if I blink , they'll grow another 6 inches.  Needless to say, if one ignores this fact, more quickly than not, a tomato jungle could quickly emerge.  Luckily for us, I've been able to get at them timely enough to just barely squeek  out a win.  We need our tomato plants to grow vertically-not spread out on the ground.  There are several ways that this happens.  The main thing is that we put strings from the top of the hoop house down. From there, we use special tying tools and baby clamps to anchor them to the strings.

Here's something different this week.  My friend and neighbor from Northford, Peter is more or less made his farming operation smaller and smaller.  He has a few interesting things that we don't have that as an experiment will be offering to you this week, too.  Peter is an excellent farmer that has been growing organically (he's not certified, but trust me, he's still the real deal) for decades.  So, I'll start with his list.

Eggs- $3/half dozen

Rhubarb $5/lb

Scallions $3/bunch

Plants: Calla lilly, thornless blackberry and raspberry $8/plant

If you'd like any of the above, just include in your email with the rest of your order. Also, I know everyone is wondering about tomatoes.  Me , too.  It will be soon. 2 weeks, I would venture to say.

Here's what we're offering.

Collards $3/bunch

Big Kale $4/bunch.  Seriously amazing, as I've been saying for weeks. If you'd like lacinato, we got it.  Please specify.

And it taste even more amazing!  See recipes from the past week or two

Garlic Scapes- $4/bunch.  This is the best and most satisfying way to use garlic.  The scape is actually the flower of the garlic plant.  Once removed, the plant then begins to form a serious bulb under the ground.  The scape can be chopped up, fried or put raw in salads.  One of early summer's first pieces of joy.

The curly curly thing-that's a garlic scape. The plant benefits from removing it to help put all the energy of the plant into making the bulb.  That will be later July.

French Breakfast Radish- $4/bunch

Salad Greens- $6 bag with 4 different lettuces, kale, baby choi and mizuna

Arugula- $6/bag

Beets with tops -$4 bunch.  I love beets and these are turning into a great crop.

Swiss Chard- $3/bunch

Chinese Cabbage $3/head

New Potatoes- $5/bag (1lb.)  These are going to go fast, so first orders have a better chance of getting completed.

This is about as good as a potato is ever going to get-seriously. In about 20 minutes, these are going to turn into our salt potatoes for lunch. With butter? It will never get any better!

Compact Genevese Basil Plants- $5. Still, the best choice for a pot

Thyme Plants- $5

Chives- also $5

Fresh picked thyme or sage (please specify) $3/bunch

Exciting Braising Greens, with chinese cabbage, spicy mustard, kale $6/bag

As always, email me back what you'd like.  Order will be in shed after 2pm(or thereabouts).  If you arrive and I'm not there, its because I'm just running a tad late.  I need your orders by 8AM tomorrow, Friday.  Again, earlier than before because it helps with our efficiency.

In closing, thank you one and all for your support of Star Light.  Dealing and talking with all of you is one of the big bright spots of doing this work.