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Posted 8/1/2018 10:32am by David Zemelsky.

Dear those of true heart and bellies

Joel Here

Never in my life have I felt this to be more true than here and now in the heat of the summer and the peak of harvest.  I want to harvest everything at just the right moment to keep things like our squash and cucumbers as productive as possible.  I'd love to get every last cherry tomato before they split but the reality is one must turn towards priorities, as heart breaking as leaving a tomato behind can be.

There's beds to be prepped, seed to be sown, transplants to well transplant and all the while trying to keep up against the power of nature. While summer may mean ideal conditions for vacation to most, it also means ideal conditions for many garden pests, weeds and not so ideal conditions for sprouting many a seed. But let's not bore you with the less enjoyable parts of my day.

The fight for good food continues in earnest here at the farm.  And yes we've fallen right off the tomato cliff and it's a long way down.

This weeks offerings

Tomatoes $7/lb

Cherry Tomatoes $6/pint

Tomatillos $4/pint

Kale $4/bunch

Swiss Chard $3/bunch

Collards $3/bunch

Carrots $5/lb

Red Onions $3/lb

Spring onions $4/bunch

Garlic $3.50 each

Summer squash mostly yellow $3/lb

Beets $4/bunch

Aroma Basil $3.50/bunch

Cilantro $3.50/ bunch

Thai and Spicy bush basil $4/bunch

Slicing Cukes $6/lb

Pickling Cukes $0.50/each

Mustard Greens $6/bag limited amount first come first serve

Let us know your orders by 8AM tomorrow for pick up after 2 P.M. out front in the shed.

Thanks Again



Posted 7/4/2018 9:24am by David Zemelsky.

Dear lovers of summer's bounty

Joel Here

Fireflies light up the woods edge at dusk, the smell of charcoal grills fill the air, children run free with the innocent notion that summer will last forever and the sounds of distance fireworks can be heard almost everywhere.  My friends it must be July.

Personally I love summer, especially July and at times can be a glutton for punishment working out in the heat.  However on this July fourth I'm taking a rare day off( well let's be honest it's more like a half day, after all things must be done), to enjoy this beautiful time off year.

Speaking of beauty the high tunnels are looking full and beautiful.  Actually even a bit intimating from a harvesting and maintenance standpoint but that is just another part of summer.  The point of this being that tomatoes and peppers are not far off.  Very soon David will have the privilege of offering you summer's true bounty even if the woodchucks and their refined pallets are competing for them.  Besides experience as a grower, I'm gaining a bit of skill as a woodchuck trapper(In the have a heart live trap of course)

Let's get down to the real point of this mailing this week's offerings

Radishes  $3.50/ bunch Red round, Black and Watermelon

Beets 4$/ bunch Early wonder top, Touchstone or Chioggia

Carrots $5/bunch

Swiss Chard $3/bunch

Big Kale- $3.50

Salad Greens- $6

Glorious, glorious heads of lettuce $3.50/head

Arugula $6/bag

Bunching Onions $2.50/bunch

Spring Onions $4/bunch

Pak Choi $3/bunch

Braising Greens, with spicy greens and tender young brassicas $6/bag

Bunches of Basil ,Cilantro, Sage or Thyme . Please say which one $3/bunch

Garlic $3.50/head

Collards $3/bunch

Summer Squash $3/lb

Cukes $6/lb

That's the offerings for this week.  Remember to email me directly at smithbissett@yahoo.com.  All orders should be in by 8 am Thursday for 2pm pickup out front in the shed and of course email with any questions.


Thanks and enjoy






Posted 7/2/2018 8:35pm by David Zemelsky.

Dear CSAers,

What can you say about July? Seems like we wait all year for this beauty of a month but when it arrives as it has one must wonder what were we thinking.  Even myself a true child of summer found the heat a bit oppressive and on that note I'll keep this short and sweet.

The 4th falls on a Wednesday this year so we'll be doing that pickup on Tuesday the 3rd still after 3pm. Saturday pickup remains unchanged.

We'll be offering you Carrots, Beets, Kale, Basil and Salad totaling 22.  This leaves a balance of 8 for the small shares and 18 for the big.

Radishes  $3.50 Traditional red round, Black or watermelon radish

Swiss Chard $3/bunch

Glorious, glorious heads of lettuce $3.50/head

Arugula $6/bag

Spring onions $4/bunch

Bunching Onions $2.50/bunch

Pak Choi $3/bunch

Bunches of Cilantro, Sage or Thyme . Please say which one $3/bunch

Garlic $3.50/head

Collards $3/bunch

Summer Squash $3/lb

Cukes $6/lb

And remember David is away this week so please email me directly smithbissett@yahoo.com


Thanks and Happy fourth







Posted 6/13/2018 12:24pm by David Zemelsky.

Dear Friends,

Joel Here

David is returning tomorrow however, he is having phone issues so please email me directly with your orders as emails to David may get overlooked.



When the days are getting long and hot and fireflies and mosquitoes swarm at night you know summer is near.  Around the farm we have our own ways of knowing the beautiful days are coming.

Some are bad, like flea beetles, aphids and leaf miners.  While some are good like cucumber plants outgrowing there intended area, garlic plants forming scapes and potato plants beginning to grow taller everyday.  While some things are just down right overwhelming such as the amount of weeding which must be done and a tomato jungle just screaming to be pruned and attached to strings so it can grow straight and tall.

Meanwhile I sit and wonder how I can balance all these things and many more while still finding the time to get a swim or two in each week.  But don't let me distract you with my problems instead choose from the list below and reap the benefits of our work after all that's why we do it.

Salad Greens $6/bag

Arugula $6/bag

Large Kale(if you want lacinato, just mention it when you order ) $4/bunch

Swiss Chard $3/bunch

Radishes $3.50

Hakeuri Turnips $4/bunch

Garlic Scapes $2.50/ 1/4pound

Braising Greens $6/bag

Pea Tendrils $6/bag

Pak choi $3/bunch

Green Onions $3/bunch

Collards $3/bunch

Glorious heads of lettuce $3/head

Still plenty of tomato plants and herbs and especially those miniature sunflowers $5/plant.  Our plant sale is going into it's final stages and we are now offering a buy one get two special.  If what plants you want aren't available we will choose a replacement and please suggest one.

Please send me your request by 8am tomorrow.  Your order will be in the shed at 54 Fowler Ave.(to the LEFT of the house) after 2pm tomorrow.  Payment goes  in the payment jar.  If you come after dark, bring a light.

Thank you so much for thinking of us and remember this week send your order to me smithbissett@yahoo.com


Posted 6/12/2018 10:28pm by David Zemelsky.

Dear Chefs

David is away this week so we ask that you send all orders to me Joel at;




Here's what we have to offer you this week

Arugula- $13/lb

Salad Greens- $10/lb

Mizuna- $10/lb

Baby red Russian Kale $10/lb

Pea Tendrils $10/lb

Swiss Chard- $10/lb

Big Kale- Nash's, Siberian, Scarlet and Tuscan - $10/lb

Collards $10/lb

Garlic Scapes $8/lb

Hakeuri Turnips- $4/lb  Another one of those "you got to try it" experiences

Radishes- $3.50/lb

Pak Choi- Rosie and Shanghai Green $10/lb

Cosmically Wonderful Heads of Lettuce- $2.50//head

Beets with splendid tops, Limited Amount-first come $5/lb

Thanks again and don't forget to contact me directly to ensure your order is received
Posted 5/30/2018 1:48pm by David Zemelsky.


I really don't like the phrase ;"America: Love it or Leave it" because there's no middle ground.  For me, any time its either "this or that" only, I get suspicious.  Same for the phrase above- I don't see any middle ground.  Now, sometimes there isn't any middle ground, but we're not going to get into that now.  But as far as weeds go- yes there can be a certain tolerance for their existence.

One very essential thing about soil-it needs to breathe.  If it is compacted too much then all the bacteria and other good stuff in there stops functioning.  Think about a carrot.  Once its yanked out of the ground, there's a big gaping hole.  The soil is now loose and ready to accomodate air and water from above.  Once there's an abundance of both, then soil magic takes place.  I'm probably the very wrong person to tell you what that magic does and how it does it, but what I do know is that what goes on under the ground is a miracle.  Not just the chemistry, but the little microscopic creatures that endeavour to make a wonderful environment for our plants to thrive. 

And just right there is the beginning of understanding how organic farming has it all over traditional agriculture.  In traditional agriculture, the plant is fed , not the soil. In a scenario like this eventually the fauna of the soil get discouraged and die off.  With trace minerals and compost, the soil remains intact and ready to serve the plants. 

So, what does this have to do with weeds? Plenty.  Weeds are one of the main ways that soil ges broken down.  They provide pathways through their intricate root system.  These pathways can delivery nutrients, water and air.  Of course, if you leave the weeds in for too long, they're also going to wreck havoc with your garden hence their bad name in backyard gardening.

At Star Light, I must say, the weeds are there.  We keep promising every year to make sure none of them go to see, but that never works out.  My best method is to gently harrow the ground and make it look like there isn't any weeks.(There are, though).  Not a rototiller.  Throw that away.  Once the ground is bare, wet it and encourage weed growth.  That should take about a week.  Then, I take our flamer (propane fired, and lethal. One needs to pay attention) and kill all the new weeds.  And at the same time endeavour to not disturb the soil.  That's because, you don't want to uncover weeds that are below the surface.  If they aren't exposed to sunlight, they won't germinate.

Let's talk about the shed activities.  We're back to Thursday.  For anyone who was confused, I am very sorry.  For new comers to the mailing list, this is an opportunity to get great, fresh organic food that is locally grown (Star Light).  Read the list below.  Email me back exactly what you want by 8AM tomorrow.  We''ll be processing your order and it will be ready and put in the shed by 2pm tomorrow.  Payment goes in the jar on the table.  If you come after dark-bring a light.

Salad Greens $6/bag

Swiss Chard $3/bunch

Big Kale $4.bunch

Pea Tendrils $6/bunch

Spring Garlic $2.50 each

Green Onions $3/bunch

Carrots- $5/bunch

Radishes $3.50/bunch

Hakeuri Turnips $4/bunch

Braisiing Greens

Pak Choi- $4/bunch

I hope that your week is wonderful and full of great nutritious food.  Talk to you soon.


Posted 5/16/2018 1:07pm by David Zemelsky.


Its a good time here today.  But I usually feel that way anyway about what goes on around here.  My only wish is that we had tomatoes to offer you right now.  Patience and acceptance.  Whenever a customer comes up to me at the market in April and ask if there are tomatoes yet, my first iinclination is to snicker or laugh.  Of course not.  But they don't know how long things take to reach maturity.  If they did, they wouldn't bother to ask.  Anyway, if someone came up with that question in April, it would give me a "teaching moment" to explain that we start tomato plants from seed in the middle of Winter and can't plant them out until it gets warmer and that if we're lucky, we'll see tomatoes in July. But just maybe.  Once they arrive, though, it feels like heaven has actually fallen at my feet.  We work real hard on these tomatoes, trying to keep the plants healthy.  One very important procedure that we do that really enhances the flavor is to spray the whole plant with a seaweed spray.  There are so many trace elements that get absorbed through the tomato leaf.  Not to forget the salt in the brew.  Its like pre salting your fruit.

An important and gratifying job around here that I reserve mostly for myself is to prune the tomato plant.  This serves to help produce bigger and healthier fruit.  A properly pruned plant will benefit from the airiness created by the culling of leaves.  Also , in between each branch is a sucker that needs to be removed.  Suckers are what makes for a densely  branched plant. Its a lot of work, but I believe that by doing this, we are growing the very best tomato possible.  I hope you agree.

This week at the store we will be having the following items.

SPECIAL: 4 pack of Juliet or Striped German tomatoes. $12.  Usually, plants are $5 each.  So that's a substantial saving

Plenty of herbs: majoram, basil, thyme, chives, savory, chives, cilantro, rosemary  $5/plant

Tomato Types;  $5/plantuse this address to see choices.http://www.starlightgardensct.com/showcase/spring-plants

Baby Sunflower: These will not get big, which is awesome for some growing conditions

Arugula- $6/bag

Salad Mix- $6/bag

Glorious heads of lettuce--$3.50/head

Pea Tendrils- for pea tendril pesto and Asian cooking $6/bag

Big Kale- $3.50/bunch

Carrots- $5/bunch.  Sweet, first of the year

Spring Garlic- $4.50 /plant.  Use the whole plant

Swiss Chard- $3.50 bunch

Spinach $6/bag

Radishes- $3.50/bunch

Haukeri Turnips- $4/bunch

Pak Choi- $3/bunch

Orders in to me by 8AM Thursday.  Pick up Thursday after 2pm in our shed at 54 Fowler Ave.  The shed is just to the left  of the house as you face it. Payment goes in jar.  Bring a light if you get there after dark.

Lastly, we'll be hosting our art show of Ty's work this Saturday from 1pm to 5pm.  Hope to see many of you there.  We'll be opening up the home and her studio with the work that she's dedicated herself to over the past 30 years.  While, we've decided as a family, to not sell anything as yet, you should come anyway and let us know what interest you.  We're also having a raffle to raise money for the scholarship in her name: Ty Zemelsky Raising Artist Fund which will benefit a CRHS graduating senior who intends to pursue the visual arts.  The winner of the raffle gets a free CSA membership.  Tickets will be $15.  Good luck, too!

Thanks and have a great week

Posted 5/8/2018 4:19pm by David Zemelsky.

I'm really happy with how things are growing now. Wouldn't have said that a few weeks ago.  The cold weather, the cold weather and the rain, the cold weather and sun.  It didn't matter.  It was just cold.  Now, one would have to be a stick in the mud not to enjoy this kind of weather. 

Here's what I want to talk about this week-carrots.  In some circles, I am known as the Carrot Scientist.  I have to admit, no one but myself gave me this title.  At Star Light, we do have a passion for crunchy, sweet carrots and after a while, assuming the title (Carrot Scientist) was irresistible.  When the tomatoes come into season, then I'm the Tomato Scientist.  My favorite is Watermelon Scientist. Anyway, back to carrots.  If one plants carrots 12 weeks  before the  length of day becomes just under 10 hours(November 13), then the following happens.  The carrots will germinate in the late late Fall and basically just sit in limbo, neither dying or growing, but staying alive for the rest of the Winter.  In the Spring,  with warmer temperatures and a lengthening day, the carrots start to grow again.  The result is early carrots.  Which gets me to this weeks offering.  We have some of those early carrots now.  Not a huge amount, but will sell a bunch to the first four people who are ordering other food from us.  I've been munching on them all day and they are good-real good. The other thing to mention about growing these carrots.  We grow them in short low tunnels covered with plastic and weighted down with sand bags.  It works well.  Here's what one of the carrots looks like that I dug up today.  It was delicious

So  lets start with our list.  And remember, Thursday Thursday after 2pm in the shed at 54 Fowler Ave. your order will be waiting,  If you come after dark, bring a light.  Your order will be marked with your name and the amount that you owe.

Carrots-first four people who are ordering other things $5/bunch

Pea Tendrils- Dear People, you've got to try pea tendrils.  Whether in Asian cooking, or Pesto (yes pesto, its better than pesto made with basil) or add to salads, it shouldn't be missed.  $6/bag

Arugula- $6 /bag

Salad Greens- $6/bag

Spinach Special-  all  we can fit in one bag $11 (less than last week) or $6/bag

Spring Garlic-  these are aromatic and wonderuful.  Can be crushed and used like regular garlic.  Leaves are particular  delicious.  $3/bunch

Hakeuri Turnips- $4/bunch.  Another one of those "you got to try it" experiences

Radishes-still the crunchiest thing going $3.50/bunch

Pak Choi- $3/bunch

Plants: Mother's Day Home Run.  Consider the Dwarf Sunflower.  Or one of the many tomatoes eggplants, peppers or herbs.  Compact Genevese Basil, stays in a small pot. Cilantro,parsley, marjoram, sage, rosemary, thyme.  If you'd like to discuss tomatoes before a purchase, please feel free to call me.  I live to talk tomatoes.  Cell 860 463 0166.  Here's a picture of some of the plants ready to enter your household.  They're happy and also certified organic.

Swiss Chard- $3/bunch

Big Kale- $3.50/bunch

Cosmically Wonderful Heads of Lettuce- $3.50//head

Reminder-CSA is still the most economical way to buy awesome vegetables. If interested, call (see number above) or just sign up on the website.

Second reminder- Ty's Art Show is a week from this Saturday.  Check out her Facebook Page, which is still up.  There's a sneak look at what the house looks like.


Posted 5/3/2018 10:18am by David Zemelsky.


Introduction:  Technically, this paragraph isn't an introduction.  I just wanted to introduce (that's almost introduction) the concept that we're selling some glorious glorious plants.  See the literature about it at the link here:http://www.starlightgardensct.com/showcase/spring-plants

Remember about two weeks ago that my subject line was "Stop Complaining"?  And the first line was to tell you that I wasn't suggesting that you stop complaining, but that I should stop it.  Same for this week.  Its not all about tomatoes.  Something that I need to remember.  Its hard though.  Tomatoes were started in the first few days of the new year-almost 4 months ago.  Its a long long road to a tomato(Title of a book of the same name,and a good read). There's also pest and disease , not to mention the art of pruning.(more of that later in the season) And they are good (so very good).  I wouldn't want to diminish that.  But lets not forget some of the farm's "co-stars".

Let's start with lettuce.  We've been trying some new lettuces this year that are crisp, sweet, drop dead gorgeous and available now.  We'll have mini heads this week and also incorporate them into the salad mix.  Heads/$2.50  Salad Mix $6/bag

Then there's spinach.  We are going to make available to you spinach to freeze for later.  These are big leaves and perfect for the freezer.  Freezing is simple.  Just blanch for 30 seconds and cool off in ice water and then into zip lock bags.  Done.  If only parenting was that simple!  So one huge bag probably weights over two pounds or might be three.  $!3/bag

Hakeuri Turnips- $4/bunch.  Like radishes only unique in flavor.  The greens are great for soups or braising greens.

French Breakfast Radish-  why do they call these french breakfast radish?  I've actually heard that its been served on buttered toast.  Sounds civilized to me!  $3.50/bunch

Swiss Chard- which is impossible to beat for a flavorful, colorful , bountiful, mindful experience.  $3/bunch

Arugula- speaks for itself. $6/bag

Pea Tendrils-  try this.  You'll be amazed how much a tendril taste like those flavorful peas that we all love.  And pea tendril pesto is just every bit as good as pesto made with basil.  $6/bag. 

Spring Garlic-  get the fresh taste of garlic bulbs early.  It is best used by cutting up in slices and frying.  Won't go through a garlic press.  $2.50/bunch

Pak choi- the all time best for a side dish or part of a stir fry.  $3/bunch(which might be one plant or two , depending on the size.  We'll be generous.

Red Mustard- spicy, and not over the top with heat.  Beautiful to behold $6/bag

Mizuna- intricate flavor with some of the excitement of discovering you can whistle.  Try it.  $6/bag

Yu Choi- another all time best green to stir fry.  $3/bunch

Now, a word about our plants.  We've got a huge selection of tomatoes, kales,herbs, baby sunflowers(so cute, you'll want them all).  The link is worth repeating here:http://www.starlightgardensct.com/showcase/spring-plants

Here's the tomato plant update: This is the one that I've been taking a picture of every week.

I see lots of good new growth.  Before the end of next week, it will be necessary to do some more pruning.  A good sign!

If you'd like anything that we've talked about, let me know by 8AM Friday. Order will be waiting for you in our shed at 54 Fowler Ave. in Durham.  After dark, bring a light.  Payment in the payment jar.

I hope that all of you have a healthy time. A reminder: May 19th is the Art Show for my wife, Ty.  Most of you already know that she passed away on February 14th of this year.  My family and I are putting on a show of her work, which I know she would have loved to have happen.  It will be at the farm between 1pm and 5pm.  Any and all of you are welcome.  The farm, will also be running a tour in mid afternoon.  Consider coming.  If I've never met you face to face, this would be a good time, too.


Posted 4/25/2018 10:28am by David Zemelsky.


If you look up the last possible day for a frost in our area, you're going to read that its April 23.  And indeed, that day we had a very strong frost.  Took me by surprise because it didn't feel that likely when I went to bed.  The other part about all this is that weather is no longer a product of the elements, but our activities too play a big hand.  On this Wednesday after Earth Day, we need to remember humans footprint in the way weather goes down.

The pace of growth has expanded considerably since last week.  Lets take claytonia as an example of this.  We're now looking at a very exciting and edible phase in its life.  The small white (and tasty) flower has really started to take off.  This week, it is tender, sweet and fun to eat.  Next week-well, we'll see.  But for now, it is on my recommended list.  There's a lot of it, so look below for a good price.

All those little white flowers are great to eat.  This is a very happy stand of claytonia.

Other activities this week include planting beet transplants along with kale plants, too.  Kale, as everyone knows is big in the world of foodys.  Now, thanks to a big effort by Joel, we've got 800 or so kale plants growing outside.  This should be enough to satisfying everyone's kale needs for this season.  One day, I'd like to write a book about kale....

A reminder about our CSA.  There are several pluses about the CSA to consider.  First, you'll be getting a discount on the price of our produce.  Second, you'll be able to get what you want, not what I want to give you.  For example if you'd like to take all your value out in tomatoes for one week-we'll be able to accomodate that.  Interested people should check out the fine details at starlightgardensct.com

Offerings this week will include live plants.  There is still time to take advantage of the sale which is buy one and get one free.  I'll keep taking care of your new plants until you want them.  Normally, we sell plants for $5 each-so that's a pretty good savings.  Here's the link to see what's available. http://www.starlightgardensct.com/showcase/spring-plants

Here's a photo of our tomato plant that we're keeping track of.

Progress! You can see the dead leaves that I pruned lying on the weave cloth at the bottom of the plant.  Almost no signs of frost anywhere.  Keep posted for its inevitable explosion of growth.

Here's our offerings for this week.  Orders emailed back to me by 8AM on Friday.  Your order will be available after 2pm on Friday (April 27) at our shed at 54 Fowler Ave./Durham.  If you arrive after dark, bring a light.  Payment goes in payment jar. Checks are ok.

First, the specials

Spinach- $6/for six oz bag. BUT 1lb for $8.  2lbs for $14.  This is a good opportunity to freeze spinach, which is SO easy.  Basically, blanch, cool and freeze.  Couldn't be simpler.

Claytonia-i'm not going to encourage you to get a large amount of claytonia.  It will keep for over a week, but it isn't a good candidate for freezing.  But a lb is not a crazy amount.  So here's the offer.  $6/for six oz bag and 1lb for $9

Salad Greens- with kale,lettuce,spinach, claytonia $6/bag

Arugula- $6/bag

Pak choi-also known as Bok Choi $2/bunch

Radishes - $3.50/bunch (quanities limited)

Hakeuri Turnips- $4/bunch

Swiss Chard- $3/bunch

Spring Garlic-$3/bunch  Use everything that you see in the photo.  Roots, stem or white part.

Mizuna- $6/bag

Enjoy the weather.  We'll be talking soon