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Posted 1/21/2020 4:49am by David Zemelsky.

A Winter Warrior is a phrase that evolved here at Star Light to identify those greens that "could care less" what the temperature is.  In reality, "care less" is somewhat of an exaggeration because there are times and conditions when it becomes too much even for them.  To be clear here, these plants are not at war with Nature.  They're taking a challenging situation and making it work for their survival.  Every single plant that we grow has just one objective and that is to make seeds so that there will be another generation after them.  Providing food for us is just incidental.  Or, you  might say that the attractiveness of the food that they provide motivates us to take care of them better and subsequently allows them to develop seeds.

 

There's one more subset of this thought.  In reality, Star LIght and many other farms don't allow these plants to fulfill their mission to make seeds.  We'll mow them down and scrap them off the surface of the soil.  Then rake them into a pile and proceed to plant another generation in the same spot.  Sounds a bit ruthless when you put it that way, right?

Other than this drama that I've described above, its been a relatively quiet week on the farm.  What does stand out is that there are now tomato plants starting in the basement.  And so begins an 8-9 month relationship.  "Its A Long Road To A Tomato", saids it all.

We'll have all of the same items for sale this week as last week.  We'll need your orders by Thursday again with distribution after 2PM Friday.  Again, if its cold we'll set up inside the front door of my house.  So, if you arrive at the shed and see nothing there, just figure that your order is inside.  Here is this week's 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 1/13/2020 11:04am by David Zemelsky.

Magic?  I could come up with a hundred things in our everyday life that are magic.  Maybe a thousand.  How about our DNA?  The life of a monarch butterfly? A smile on a young child's face?  A smile on your dog's face (for real!)? But right now, I'm thinking of the Winter magic of what we grow at Star Light.

I always tell people that we always have fresh things for sale in every month of the year.  This is usually a surprise to them.  But those of you who've been with us for numerous years-you know already that this is what we do.  For instance, at the Wooster Square Winter Farmer's Market this past Saturday we had salad, spinach, claytonia, braising greens, arugula, hakeuri turnips, Rover and French Breakfast Radish.  Not to mention, pickles, dried tomatoes and frozen turmeric and ginger.  Quiet a haul, really! Here is a picture of what part of the display table looked like.

Talking about roots, brings me to carrots.  We're going to have them for you early this year, with a bit of luck and skill.  We followed a special formula on planting late in 2019 in order to have carrots by Mother's Day in 2020.  You start with the date in the year when the length of day goes above 10 hours. (January 29th).  Then you go 12 weeks before that,which is November 6th.  That's your planting date.  If you go too soon, then your carrots will unfortunately mostly go to seed and be inedible.  Germination at this time of year is SLOW but it does happen.  Now we have the beginnings of a crop.  Here's what these baby baby carrot plants look like right now:

So having said all that.  We're going to begin selling at the shed starting this Friday.  If it is super cold, we'll move the store to the front of my house.  You'll know if its too cold because when you arrive at the shed and see nothing, just figure that its inside the house.   Pick up will be FRIDAY (yes, I know we keep changing the day, but for good reasons each time!).  Order should be in by 8AM on THURSDAY. We'll need your orders by then because we expect colder temperatures by the end of the week. Pick up after 2pm, Friday

We'll have for you this week the following items:

Frozen Turmeric - $5 piece

Frozen Ginger- $5/piece

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

As always, thank you for supporting Star Light.

Have a great week!


 

 

Posted 12/16/2019 7:13pm by David Zemelsky.

This is a time of year when a lot of people find hope.  When the fate of the planet, the endless division in politics, the enormous  chasm between the haves and have nots, seem absolutely insurmountable-then this time of year looks like the moment when something could change.  Non profits count on the Holiday season to raise the bulk of their contributions.  We’re all geared up now for holiday spirit. I’m not sure exactly what that is, but there’s no doubt it’s in the air.

My wish is that we carry that feeling throughout the year. Why couldn’t Christmas spirit, just become daily spirit?  I grew up listening  to The Weavers,an important folk group from the 50’s/60’s. On one of their records, the last song was “We Wish You A Merry Christmas “. They did a joyous , festive standard version until the last line when they sang “Why can’t we have Christmas the whole year around?”  Indeed, why not, I wondered. Not just then but 60 years later the question still looms in my head-why can’t we approach everyone with the same feeling of hope, trust and love all the time?

This early morning thought is not polished, certainly-but heartfelt. And with that in mind, please remember that myself, Jen and Joel, we appreciate all of you for allowing us to help provide you real food each week. It’s a true privilege to be able to do that for you. I hope that peace follows you into and beyond the new year which is just over the horizon. Namaste.

There’s going to be two more times to get food before the Christmas. This Thursday,as usual and Monday,the 23rd.  Thursday’s order is do to us Tuesday by noon.  Monday’s order needs to be done by Thursday at noon. We’ll need the extra lead time because of the colder weather.  After that, the store will be closed till after the New Year. Break Time.  The next time you’ll hear from us, the new tomato plants will already be planted (or close to it).

This week we’ll have 

Salad, spinach,arugula and braising greens- $6/bag

Joel and Jen’s Spicy Dill Pickles and Hot Pickled Peppers -$8/jar

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

Both items are awesome stocking stuffers

Also great stocking stuffer: Sun dried Tomatoes $5

Big Kale- $4/bunch

Radishes- crisp, a tad spicy and reassuring$4/bunch

Haukeuri Turnips- roast them if you want or just treat them like radishes and eat raw$4/bunch

Bok Choi-$4/bunch

That’s it . Enjoy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted 12/9/2019 2:53pm by David Zemelsky.

Our 2020 seed catalogues are here.  We've already started making plans for what tomatoes we'll keep and which we won't.  The pictures of promised vegetables seem to be calling to me not unlike the Sirens who tried to get Ullysses' attention to the point where his crew had to lash him to the boat to keep his temptations at bay.  Summer and  all its amazing foods seems a world away. 

But this is what keeps us in New England, too.  The changes, the contrast, the waiting.  Oh yes, the waiting.  There's beauty in diversity of decisions, but limitations have a very real beauty, too.  And in this way, we watch an end turn into a beginning.

Here's the first exciting beginning I can tell you about.  Its the carrots that Joel planted in mid November.  Barely, barely, they've begun to poke out of the soil.  As young tender things, they'll be ready to survive the Winter, small as they are.  By the end of next month, there'll be enough light for these seedlings to continue growing.  Let's hope for Mother's Day as our first harvest.  Can't wait!

The next exciting thing is that we'll be starting next years tomato crop at the beginning of January.  That ends up being a really long relationship when you think of it.  Start in January and take them out by September-that's nine months.  One can get to know a plant pretty well after that length of time.

Sometime within the next two weeks, we will probably plant a special blend of lettuce that will do something somewhat similar to the carrots-except much faster.  We should see a blush of hearty lettuces by mid to late April.

The next benchmark will probably be second Winter plantings by the end of January.  Mostly kale and other greens.  As always, plants that are exposed to cold , perceive that they are in danger of dying.  Their defense is to produce extra sugars to change the freezing point of the plant.  These sugars add a sweetness that can not be beat in our greens.  We anticipate and relish when this happens.  By the way, the plants do not die.

Below is our list for this week.  With colder weather, our window of opportunity to harvest has narrowed significantly.  Therefore, we're requesting that you let us know your wishes by 8AM on Wednesday.  Send us an email with your order.  The order will be ready after 2pm on Thursday.  Order will be in the shed to the left of the house at 54 Fowler Ave./Durham .  Bring a light if you come after dark.  If its really cold and you can't make it, we can bring your order inside and we'll carry on from there.

Now, lets talk about whats available for you this week.

Salad,Arugula and Spinach-all $6/bag

Big Kale- $4/bunch

Hakeuri Turnips and Radishes- $4/bunch

Bok Chi- $4/bunch

Star Light Gardens Sun-dried Tomatoes-$5/package

Jen and Joel's Fabulous Pickles- $8/jar

Jen and Joel's Equally Fabulous Apple/Hot Pepper Jam $7/large jar $4/small

Celeriac- $3/lb.

Ten items.  Not at all shabby.  By the way, if you've never ever tried Hakeuri Turnips,  I just want you to know how unique and wonderful their flavor and texture are.  Well worth it.

Have a great week and don't forget to eat real food.

 

Posted 12/2/2019 2:20pm by David Zemelsky.

This is a short few sentences about wishing for what I don't have.  Earlier, while talking with my sister who lives in Brattleboro, I discovered that the town got wacked with tons of snow.  Everything came to a stop, apparently and the grandchildren (who live in back of her) were going nuts.  Jealousy.  It really isn't that far to Brattleboro.  But whatever it is, it seems always just enough north to assure some good snow.  Which I really like.  Now, not all of you might share this love and I respect that.  So as I sit down to write you about what we do have, it makes me mindful of what I'm missing.  AND, in saying that it brings to mind how grateful I am to have what I have.

OK.  Plenty to choose from this week.  True, I'm putting on our best face about what there is, but truly, its just wonderful that you can get freshly harvested greens that are grown within a few miles of where you live.  With the cold weather, we'll need a bigger lead time to harvest our vegetables.  So let us know by 8AM on Wednesday (not Thursday).  Your order will be waiting after 2pm on Thursday in the shed.  Money in the Payment Jar.  Bring a light if you come after dark.

Salad, Arugula and Spinach- $6/bag

Kale and Swiss Chard-$4/bunch

Radishes - $4/bunch

Lettuce Heads- $3/head

Haukeri Turnips- $4/bunch

Celeriac-  otherwise known as Celery Root.  Great for soups and salads $3/a bunch

New This Week! Sun-Dried Tomatoes/  a very excellent stocking stuffer $5/bag

Jen and Joel's Pickles $8/jar.  You will like these.  Also hot peppers

Apple Hot Pepper Jam $7/big jar $4/small jar.  Again, Jen and Joel Brand

Have a great week and make sure you know where your snow shovel is.

 

Posted 11/25/2019 4:11am by David Zemelsky.

The pluses of Thanksgiving are enormous for me.  They mostly center around my gratitude for good health, family and shelter.  I think the pilgrims were probably thinking the same thing  AND, I will have to share that there's a dark side of this holiday for me.  It was the beginning of a terrible relationship with the Native born Indians that was marked by broken promises, violence upon a whole race and the taking up of Native land.  We're still feeling the repercussions of all of this today.  It needs to be noted along with the wonderful gatherings that will be attended in the days ahead.

We'll be offering food this week with a pick up on Wednesday after 2PM.  Same deal, only a day earlier.  Get your orders to us by NOON on Tuesday.

Here's the list:

Salad Greens , Braisiing Greens, Spinach and Arugula- $6/bag

Big Kale and Swiss Chard-$4/bunch

Radishes and Turnips- $4/bunch

Lettuce Heads- $3/head

Garlic- $3.50/head

Carrots- $5/bunch

Turmeric- $3/piece

Bok Choi- $4/bunch

All of us wish you a wonderful Holiday.

 

Posted 11/18/2019 12:26pm by David Zemelsky.

First off: We'll be at a special Pop Up Market in Madison, this Friday on the Green 2-5pm.  Come look us up.

This is the learning time of the year. This is the time when we look at what we have to offer you and either say "Oh wow, that's a lot of (name a product) that we still have"  or "Oh, wow, I wish we had planted more (name another product)".  It happens like this every year.  We plan and plan and wonder and wonder and eventually plant the amount of each crop that we think will be the right amount.   The "right amount" is strongly based on past years consumption, but there's always an element of what's just right.  We keep learning.  At this stage of the game (year twenty for Star Light), I'm convinced that eventually  we just hold our breath after a careful study of what's the right amount and do what we think is best.  Things usually come out just fine.

So with that in mind, I'm going to list the products that are being taken off the list this week and try to share a few wonderful new ways for you to go and enjoy what we do have even more. The removed items are beets,onions, potatoes, pea tendrils and sweet peppers.  I know.  I'm going to miss a few of these things, too.  And, we are still loaded with tons of other amazing things.  I'm going to list what we have to offer.  When you see some things that you want,  email to us your order before 8AM on Thursday.  Your order will be waiting for you after 2pm on Thursday in our shed next to the house at 54 Fowler Ave./Durham.  If you come after dark, bring a light.  Payment goes in the jar.

Here's this week's list:

Arugula- sharp and alive with flavor $6/bag

Salad Greens- $6/bag

Spinach- how sweet it becomes in the cold! $6/bag

Radishes- this is the best crop of radishes we've ever grown.  And there's a lot of them.  Rover (round and crunchy and RED) or French Breakfast Radish (RED and white, also crunchy.  A tad less spicy than Rover.  But just a tad). Japanese Red Long Radish(again RED and a bit more spicy than Rover) $4/bunch

Swiss Chard- $4/bunch.  Always, always welcomed

Siberian and Curly Kale- These guys are happy in the cold. Try and you'll see $3.50/bunch

Carrots- Please, try our carrots.  You'll get why $5/bunch

Ginger- $5/piece

Turmeric- $5/piece

Hakeuri Turnips-these white globes will bring you more peace than the teddy bear that you grew up with.  Can be roasted, but awesome to just eat raw in salads.  $4/bunch

Bok Choi-  They grew big this year.  And crunchy. Very.  A quick stir in oil with garlic and salt will be extremely pleasing.  $3.50/head

Glorious , glorious lettuce heads-  gaze at my photos from a few weeks ago.  Crunchy, very crunchy loud leaves.  $3/head

Garlic- for consumption or planting (Its not too late!) $3.50/head

Hot Peppers- $4/small basket

Parsnips- $3/lb

Cooking Opportunities?  Lets start with soup.  I've been making soup 3 times a week.  Each time, they've been a home run.  Here's my basic soup idea.  If you're going with beans, pre cook them or open a can.  Get the largest pot you've got and put in it many cut off vegetables such as carrots, parsnips, potatoes and onions ( I know, we're out of potatoes and onions).  Sautee in olive oil, butter, or Earth Balance (butter substitute)  No need for salt if you're using vegetable broth.  Its full of salt.  Add the broth. Add a can of unsweetened coconut milk and your beans.  Barley, can also be a great addition.  Cook slowly for an hour.  Make a lot.  You'll be happy to have more the next day.  Parsley and/or pumpkin seeds are a welcome addition on top.

Next opportunity is Creamed Spinach.  Special thanks goes out to Alan and Cindy for this recipe.  Its a little more involved but still a simple recipe. 

Ingredients:

2tbsp oil                                 2eggs                                                                                    1/4 cup whole wheat flower      3-4 cups fresh spinach (from Star Light!)                                1cup milk hot                            1.5 cups REAL parmesan/peccorino                                           1 tsp salt                                 1 cup yogurt                                                                             2 tsp. nutmeg (fresh, if possible

Heat oil. Stir in flour and cook over very low heat 1-2 minutes.

Stir in hot milk, salt and nutmeg.  Cook until the sauce thicknes, stirring often.

Add 1/4 cup of this mixture to the beaten egg.  Then pour all that back into the sauce pan. Stir briskly to avoid curdling.

After sauce has cooked for a minute, add spinach.

Cover tightly and simmer over low heat for five minutes, until the spinach just wilts.  Remove from heat.

Stir in the parmesan and yogurt and you're ready to serve.  We had the spinach (Alan and Cindy) over dark caraway rye toast, and it was delicious.

I hope you like these suggestions.  The reality is that we wish we had those missing ingredients.  However, sometimes absence can create surprising results that can often come out better.

Have a great week. 

David


Sent from my iPhone

 

Posted 11/11/2019 9:47am by David Zemelsky.

Two weeks ago, I said that I was going to tell you about growing carrots the following week.  Well, the weather turned very cold last week, so it seemed more relevant to write about how plants survive the extreme cold.  I should have been talking about carrots because that's what I previously said I was going to talk about.  Arlo once said to a receptive audience, "We can't always be doing what we're suppose to be doing."  So, with that in mind, here's our story about carrots.

First off, you should all know that I love carrots passionately.  A good crunchy sweet carrot is one of those things that helps me realize how awesome vegetables can really be.  It just reminds me how connected we all are to the life source that keeps the planet turning round and round.  I do not take this passion lightly.  My other name is "The Carrot Scientist", a part of who I am that is dedicated to making sure that real delicious, and nutritious carrots are available to you in as many months as possible.  One way to have carrots at odd times is to root cellar them.  Currently, we don't have a root cellar.  But what we do have is hoop houses both low and high.  And within them lies the magic.

Our goal is to have new carrots available by Mother's Day (Just in case you want to give some to that important Mother figure in your life for Mother's Day!).  To do that we actually plant the carrots now.  Yes, now.  The date that we pick is very specific.  If you plant them too early, they'll go to seed and only produce hard, fibrous roots that are inedible.  And if you plant them too late, the seedlings will be too fragile to withstand the harshness of Winter.  A formula has emerged that seems to work.  We find out when the days become longer than 10 hours and count back 12 weeks.  That is our date. 

Prep work is pretty intense.  An identified bed is broad forked and fortified with both compost and organic fertilizer weeks before our date.  Weeds are encouraged to grow so that they can be destroyed before planting.  Carrots do not like weeks at all.

This season, Joel is trying pelleted seed in our four point seeder.  Pelleted seed has an organically approved shell around the seed so that once wet, it will stay wet and make for better germination. As the seed grows, the shell melts away. That's the theory, anyway.  The four point seeder is a beautifully engineered little gem that has a hopper for the seeds and a brush holding the seeds from falling out all at once.  The brush sweeps the seed, one at a time into a machined scooped out hole that rotates in such a way as to drop the seed down a short chute.  One pulls the seeder so that the result is several parallel lines of seeds spaced out from each other the correct amount.  After seeding, the ground is gently rolled to make sure that the seed is in contact with the earth.  Then water, to soak both the ground and the pelleted seed.  After that, we'll build a small tunnel over the bed to keep it warm and encourage good germination.   We expect to see emerging carrot seedlings within 6 weeks. 

After that, our job is to keep the weeds down and make sure that the bed doesn't dry out.  The tiny seedlings stay at a very small size all Winter until we reach the a 10 hour length of day, which is somewhere near the end of January.  At that point, growth begins in earnest.  Maturity is around mid May.  Its quite a heroic journey.  I love this.  And I love the carrots that are a result of our hard efforts.

We've had a favorable response to our CSA a la Star Light.  You're part is to send us $100 and we'll give you credit at the store and/or the Farmer's Market for $120.  That is a 20% savings, which we think is pretty cool.

This week, like last week, we've an exciting array of fresh greens for both salad and side dishes.   If you see something that you like, email us back by Thursday 8AM and your order will be waiting for you in the shed after 2PM on Thursday.  If you come after dark, bring a flashlight or use your smart phone.

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

Arugula-  $6/bag

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

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

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

Carrots-  $5/bunch

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

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

Bok Choi- $3.50/bunch

We're concentrating on a few things that would be great to cook, namely braising greens.  Last week we introduced two braising green collections.  One has mustards, bok choi, a carrot, kale, and a few Asian greens.  All you do is lightly rinse the greens and braise in a pan briefly.  $10/bag.  The second one is a soup mix, with turnip,carrot,celeriac, radish, onion, potato, kale. Again $10.

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

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

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

Parsnips- $4/bunch

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

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

Beets- $4/lb

Garlic- $3.50/head  If you want to plant your own garlic, this is a perfect choice.

Peppers- $5/lb

Hot Peppers-$5/lb

 

Posted 11/5/2019 12:36pm by David Zemelsky.

After giving you a very small taste of how amazing soil is and all the  incredible things that go on down there, I thought it would make sense to talk about how some plants have figured out how to tolerate Winter. It seemed more important to talk about this than late carrots this week.( as promised last week.)

A little background first.  Twenty years ago when Ty and I started Star Light, we took a trip up to visit Eliot Coleman in Maine. Way up.  Eliot, for those who don't know is a rock star in the world of farming.  Kind of a Brittany Spears equivalent. (Or maybe JLO, depends on your taste!).  Anyway, Eliot is a very curious and inventive farmer who  realized that it was possible to have fresh food locally grown all Winter long.  Not all vegetables, of course, but a wide variety of greens, radishes, kale, chard, claytonia ( a lot more about this amazing Winter green in later weeks) and spinach.  Eliot put up hoop houses (a greenhouse without the heat) and constructed them in such a way that he could move them from one place to another.  Basically, he put them on runners, like a sled.  When the time was right, he'd get two tractors and pull the houses over an area that was planted for Winter harvesting. 

Hoophouses are marvelous ways to make a micro climate.  Covered with plastic and then covering the plants with rowcover (kind of a blanket for greens)  this system would make the world that the vegetables lived in 7-10 degrees warmer than being outside.  Also, the plants would be sheltered from the wind and the rain.

Eliot chose his vegetables wisely.  There are some vegetables that just won't tolerate  cold at all.  Tomatoes, peppers, basil, green beans to name but a few.  The ones that he did  grow for Winter harvesting had an inner wisdom about the cold.  Kale, claytonia, spinach, the ones that I call Winter Warriors, are the best suited for this lifestyle.

I find this plant skill truly amazing.  How does it work?  I'll give you a simple explaination and also refer you to a website that can explain it best.  Essentially, when it gets cold, the water in a plant's cellular structure can change density.  By doing that, the freezing point also changes to a lower temperature.  AND, its a bit more complicated than that, so I"m going to refer you to a website that will do a better job.  Here it is:https://www.newsobserver.com/news/technology/article46478820.html

Available food this week? So much! And so wonderful.  As in other weeks,send us your order by 8AM on Thursday and your order will be waiting for you in our shed at 54 Fowler Ave./Durham after 2pm.  Bring a light if you come after dark!  Payment goes in the Payment Jar.

We are offering you a money saving idea again for the rest of the season.  Its a modern approach to CSA.  For $50, we'll supply you with $60 worth of food. That's a twenty percent savings.  Just send us a check at Star Light/54 Fowler Ave./Durham, CT 06422 and order food like you have already been doing.  The difference is that you've prepaid! And Saved!  Thank you for considering this.

We're concentrating on a few things that would be great to cook, namely braising greens.  Last week we introduced two braising green collections.  One has mustards, bok choi, a carrot, kale, and a few Asian greens.  All you do is lightly rinse the greens and braise in a pan briefly.  $10/bag.  The second one is a soup mix, with turnip,carrot,celeriac, radish, onion, potato, kale. Again $10.

Another incredible vegetable to consider this week is our lettuce heads, both green and red.  Here's a picture.  They taste even better than they look.

I just took this picture out in the field.  Pretty effective with the rain glistening all over it, right?!

You're looking at both a red and green butter leaf, but there's also red oak leaf and red and green romaine.  Please specify, if there's a preference for type and color.  $3/head

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

Arugula-  $6/bag

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

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

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

Carrots-  $5/bunch

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

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

Bok Choi- $3.50/bunch

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

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

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

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

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

Beets- $4/lb

Garlic- $3.50/head  If you want to plant your own garlic, this is a perfect choice.

Peppers- $5/lb

Hot Peppers-$5/lb

Tomatoes-still way way better than anything from the supermarket $4/lb

Onions- $3/lb

Have a great week,


 

Posted 10/29/2019 9:53am by David Zemelsky.

There's a loud, robust conversation going on right below our feet.  Not in the usual sense of the word of "loud", because you won't be able to hear loud noises if you put your ears to the dir10/lb.10/lb.  Loud, in the sense that once you realize what's going on,  you'll feel like you hear what's going on.  Soil is an amazing  thing to contemplate.  It is literally alive and teaming with life.  Some of it you can see in the form of worms, other burrowing insects, small rodents etc.  But in sheer numbers, the microbial life in one cubic foot of soil would range in the millions or millions of millions.  Each of one of them has a specific and important job to do in keeping the health of the soil alive.  This is Nature at its most important and sacred levels, trying to keep the planet healthy.  These millions of microscopic living creatures  want to be able to make the environment that they live in the best possible place for living plants and trees to survive in.  If people could cooperate with each other at 1/100 the level that  these invisible creatures operate at,  I would venture to say that all of societies major problems would be solved.  Let me name but a few of the important jobs that all these under the ground creatures accomplish.  First off, the worms and other burrowing creatures create pathways for water and other nutrients to be distributed throughout the soil.  Other microbes affix themselves to plant roots providing them with an easy access to micronutrients and nitrogen to put  to good use in their own photosynthesis  factories operating topside.  Further, there are very sophisticated microbes that can help transmit information to fellow plants in the event of an attack by some unwelcomed pest.  The information gets transmitted electrically.  Go figure.  On a bigger scale, trees can correspond to each other if a unwanted predator and be able to create an actual scent that makes the tree undesireable to intruders.  What I"m describing is just the beginning of the story.  I encourage you to surf the web or go to the library to further this knowledge.  I, for one, am just at the beginning of it all.  Maybe for starter, try "The Secret Life of Trees".  It'll get you thinking-I promise.

Still harvesting everything from outside plantings.  A hard killing frost must be right around the corner.  Its officially late, as of this writing.  We've put up the small hoops, and there's plenty of row cover to protect the plants from frost for another 3-5 degrees.  But sooner or later, they'll get wacked with a serious freeze.  We'll talk in a week or two about how some plants manage to overcome cold.

Before mentioning the available produce for this week, I want to run the following idea up your flagpole.  We'll be offering a modified CSA plan for the rest of the year to anyone interested.  This will be CSA a la Star Light, strictly speaking.  You can buy for $50, $60 worth of our produce.  That's a 20% savings.  Nothing to sign up for, just send us a check.  You could also do $100 and get $120 worth of produce.  Once we have your check, we'll be able to take your order every week, tract your purchases and let you know what your balance is.  Order whatever you want.  If you want to order it all in potatoes or ginger that's fine,too.  Whatever you see on our list.  Mail your checks to Star Light at 54 Fowler Ave./Durham, CT 06422.  This is the best way to get local, organic produce at the best price.

Here's our list.  The Durham and Madison Markets are now closed for the season.  Except that there'll be a POP UP Market in Madison on November 22 2-5pm.  Our shed is a great place to come pick up our very fresh food.  Just look over the list and let us know by 8AM on this Thursday.  Your order will be waiting in the shed after 2pm on Thursday.  Bring a light if you're coming after dark.  Payment goes in the payment jar.

NEW this week!-Sweet Potatoes.  They're what we all need to live by! $5/lb

Braising Green- a really big bag for $6.  Probably twice the usual weight.  We're going to just get the biggest handful possible and call it a day.

NEW! Braising Green Kits.  Complete with everything needed for a stir fry.  Braising Greens, onion, carrot, pak choi and maybe a surprise or two.  $10

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

Arugula-  $6/bag

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

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

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

Carrots-  $5/bunch

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

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

Bok Choi- $3.50/bunch

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

Jen's Flower Bouquet- $8

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

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

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

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

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

Beets- $4/lb

Garlic- $3.50/head

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

Peppers- $5/lb

Hot Peppers-$5/lb

Tomatoes-still way way better than anything from the supermarket $4/lb

Onions- $3/lb

Next week, my intention is to talk about late late planting of carrots.  They are the best!

Have a great week,