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Saturday October 22, 2016


I remember my first experience of eating pesto.  It was a small revelation.  My taste buds sang and the world shifted ever so much and I realized that there was a big world of taste out there that needs to be discovered.  Over the years, our family has probably consumed gallons of the delicious stuff.  When the price of the pine nut went so high that it seemed we'd have to cease enjoying this dish, we discovered peanut butter. Yes, peanut butter.  It works just as well and a fraction of the cost.  One would need to wait till the basil leaves got abundant enough to harvest the correct amount to make a pesto batch.  That would be early to mid June.  This was a long long wait for a true fan of pesto.  But 10 years back, we discovered pea tendrils as a substitute for basil.  The result was perfect in so many ways.  The taste is just as pleasing, if not more so and the pea tendril season so much much longer.  By the time it gets too hot to grow peas, that's when the basil leaves become of harvestable size.  Then later in the Summer, when the basil is all done, it becomes cool enough for the  peas to start growing again.  That strikes me as perfect.  We're in that zone right now.  Lots and lots of pea tendrils and no basil.  Fortune smiles.  Our recipe for pea tendril pesto does not include how much of each ingredient, just experiment around.  The main thing is to have all the "right" stuff.  And who knows, you might come across and even better recipe.  Here it is:

Pea Tendrils (maybe a cup and a half

Garlic-amount depends on your taste.  More garlic, the better your health is

Parmesean Cheese-go up to Lino's and ask for the real stuff from Lino's father, Sal.  He's the only one (or wait, there's also Eric) who knows how to grind it.  Do not get that stuff in the green cardboard container.  Only use that  during desperate times.  The real stuff is expensive, but you won't regret it.

Olive Oil

Peanut Butter-maybe a big tablespoon.  The more p.b. you put in the stickier it becomes.

Put everything in a food processor and whirl it around until everything is blended.  Toss with just cooked pasta (or rice) until everything is well coated. Enjoy.


Here's what else we have for you this week(It reads a lot like last week):

Northfordy Tomato Sauce- a blend of three local farm's tomatoes.  $10?jar

Sun Dried Tomatoes-$4/oz

Tomatoes- think seasonal here.  Green tomatoes for frying, pickling and making picadilli. $2/lb.

Peppers-  all green and crisp.  $3/lb

Eggplant- striped Gallion.  Very firm and ready for frying or putting on pizza. $3/lb

Pea Tendrils- this is their time of year!  Fresh, crunchy and amazing as a garnish, a substitute for basil in pesto that is of superior taste, add to salads, soups or just make a pea tendril sandwich with swiss cheese $6/bag

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

Arugula-needs no introduction $6/bag

Baby Kale- it stands alone as a salad or garnish $10/lb

Big Kale-both flat leave Lacinato and several curly varieties.  Fall is kale's moment $4/bunch

Mature Mizuna- it will happily make a great vegetable side dish. Sweet, but refreshing $4/bunch

Large Ruby Streaks-a tender, but spicy mustard.  Light wispy leaves $6/bag

French Fingerling Potatoes- $5/lb

Yaya and Cosmic Purple Carrots- Fall is the time when carrots are at their sweetest.  Yaya is orange and cosmic purple is purple (what a good guess!) $6/lb

Ginger- this is a ginger that you won't find from your vegetable supplier.  Pungent and pretty much dizzying in aroma. $8 1/2lb. Your bar drinks won't be the same either.

Turmeric- a rare offering.  We grew lots of it.  For sauce or again in drinks.  Grated with barley or any other bean you can think of.  If you make roasted potatoes, grate some of it after you've oiled and salted it.$10 1/2lb

Pak Choi- for stir fries, or another great side dish $5/bunch  These are young, smaller, tender plants

Italian and Rainbow Chard-still the go to green for great side dish or add to soups $4/bunch

Fresh sage and Thyme $4/bunch

French Breakfast Radish $3.50/bunch

Haukeri Turnips- crunchy and a unique wonderful taste.  You can eat this turnips raw,too-in fact they're better raw! $4/bunch

Deadline for accepting orders is 10AM Friday via email.  Your order will be available with your name on it after 2pm on Friday.


Posted by: David Zemelsky
10/20/2016 9:15 am

Dar Loyal Friend of Our Farm and of Sustainably Grown Food

We are offering many things for you this week, which I'll tell you about a little further down in this letter.  For now, I'd like to touch on what our Season Extension farm is doing now, so that we can make available to you, freshly harvested food right through the end of 2016, and through the Winter.

There are many crops that are cold hearty and could care less if they freeze at night and thaw out during the day (in a hoop house).  This would include spinach, kale, claytonia, mache, minutina, chard and hakeuri turnips.  Of all of those mentioned spinach and claytonia are far in a way the heartiest.  Each of these crops has a special ability to die from extreme cold.  If you are interested in why, let me refer you to the following website:http://www.doesgodexist.org/MarApr01/WhyDontPlantsFreeze.html

Like getting things ready in the kitchen, timing is everything.  If I wait too long to plant these greens in the Fall, there won't be enough time to enjoy them until Spring. The growing process slows down so much, with the lack of both light and warmth.  Here's an example.  In the Summer, if we planted arugula, we can count on being able to harvest it in 21 days.  If I planted the same seed right now, it would twice as long.  With that in mind, we've had to clear the hoop houses of tomatoes, eggplants and peppers.  But don't worry, they are all safely in boxes in our walk in.  We're not running out of them for several weeks.

After getting the soil prepped for our new crops, we do nothing for 10 days to the ground, except to water it.  This encouraged all the weed seeds to germinate.  Once they emerge, we actually fry them quickly with a powerful propane torch, leaving the ground relatively weed free.  Then we plant.

Here's what we can offer you this week.

Tomatoes- think seasonal here.  Green tomatoes for frying, pickling and making picadilli. $2/lb. There're be ripe tomatoes soon, too.  Tomatoes off the vine will slowly ripen.

Peppers-  all green and crisp.  $3/lb

Eggplant- striped Gallion.  Very firm and ready for frying or putting on pizza. $3/lb

Pea Tendrils- this is their time of year!  Fresh, crunchy and amazing as a garnish, a substitute for basil in pesto that is of superior taste, add to salads, soups or just make a pea tendril sandwich with swiss cheese $6/bag

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

Arugula-needs no introduction $6/bag

Baby Kale- it stands alone as a salad or garnish $6/bag

Big Kale-both flat leave Lacinato and several curly varieties.  Fall is kale's moment $4/bunch

Mature Mizuna- it will happily make a great vegetable side dish. Sweet, but refreshing $4/bunch

Large Ruby Streaks-a tender, but spicy mustard.  Light wispy leaves $6/bag

French Fingerling Potatoes- $5/lb

Yaya and Cosmic Purple Carrots- Fall is the time when carrots are at their sweetest.  Yaya is orange and cosmic purple is purple (what a good guess!) $6/lb

Ginger- this is a ginger that you won't find from your vegetable supplier.  Pungent and pretty much dizzying in aroma. $8 1/2lb. Your bar drinks won't be the same either.

Turmeric- a rare offering.  We grew lots of it.  For sauce or again in drinks.  Grated with barley or any other bean you can think of.  If you make roasted potatoes, grate some of it after you've oiled and salted it.$10 1/2lb

Pak Choi- for stir fries, or another great side dish $5/bunch  These are young, smaller, tender plants

Italian and Rainbow Chard-still the go to green for great side dish or add to soups $4/bunch

Fresh sage and Thyme $4/bunch

French Breakfast Radish $3.50/bunch

Touchstone (golden) and Early Wonder Top Beets $3.50/bunch

  Deadline for accepting orders is 10AM Friday (10/13) via email.  Your order will be available with your name on it after 2pm on Friday.


Posted by: David Zemelsky
10/12/2016 3:13 pm

You remember the song about the "cat came back, the very next day...?  It was a humorious kids song about how many lives a cat has.  Well, that's how it feels about Chuck (as in woodchuck).  Earlier this Summer when there were tomatoes growing at his/her level. She'd(he'd) go along from plant to plant and take a sample bite out of them.  Within one night there'd be countless dollars of damaged tomatoes.  I took evasive action and for a while it looked like the humans had won.  Suddenly, in the past few weeks I'll discover a chuck running out of a house, trying to make me think that I just imagined seeing something.  Maybe we're looking at the children of the deceased woodchucks.  We'll never know.  I'm not even sure what they're looking for.  All the low lying tomatoes have been picked.  Eggplants are too hard for them, it seems and peppers are maybe just too  much trouble.  I don't know-I'm not a chuck.  All that is apparent is that they like being around the farm.

We're running hard against the clock now.  Slowly, a few rows at a time, we're clearing out the hoophouses and getting the soil ready for Fall/Winter crops.  After creating what looks like a jungle in these houses, with tomato plants that reach 14 feet up in the air, it is a shock to come in and see bare ground.  Fall crops at Star Light are mostly kale, claytonia and spinach.  This year, I'm experimenting with chard and beets just for their greens, along with hakeuri turnips.  There is also some young but ambitious kale plants that I hope will provide that large leaf kale that people clamour for.  There will also be some late lettuce.  Any way you look at it, Fall is a great time to enjoy leafy greens. 

Meanwhile, outside we are taking the approach of planting more greens and  hooping them and covering with plastic.  We call these low tunnels.  Either place, inside or out need warmth which we also provide with row cover.  It is a cloth that emits most of the light but also provides a certain amount of warmth. 

A couple of noteworthy things about this week.  For the first time this season, we'll be offering for sale fresh ginger and tumeric.  Locally grown ginger is as different from  Stop And Shop ginger as watching  the Red Soxs on the television as compared to seeing them at Fenway.  No comparison. Tumeric is of high interest these days because of a belief that it inhibits inflamation in the body.   Its use in cooking is widely known and praised.  For soups, rice dishes and Indian cooking, it is a must.  Both the ginger and the tumeric were bought from an organic farm in Hawaii.

Here's what we can offer to you this week: And  let me know what you'd like by 10AM Friday.  Orders will be available in the shed in front of our house at 54 Fowler Ave. after 2pm on Friday

French fingerling potatoes 5/lb

Big kale, a few varieties , includiing lacinato $4/bunch

Baby Red Russian kale $6/bag

Yu Choi- $4/bunch

arugula $6/bag

pea tendrils $6/bag These are awesome greens that taste just like peas, except you don't have to get them out of the pod

Salad greens, with baby kale, mizuna, assorted lettuces $6/bag

Beets and pretty decent topsboth touchstone (the golden glorious one and early wonder top) $4/bunch

Hearty german garlic $2.50/head

Assorted peppers (really pretty and tasty) 5/lb

Eggplant. both the striped and the asian. 5/lb

Italian coastal chard and rainbow chard $4/bunch

Thyme and sage $4/bunch

Tomatoes. just tell me what you’d like and i’ll do my very best to make it happen. production has slowed way down and so far, everyone has gotten everything that they’ve asked for. its just a matter of time before i come up short. better to forewarn you. juliets, sun golds, black cherry (probably in good shape),

Heirlooms. $6.50/lb 

$6 on the pints

Sun dried tomatoes $4/oz

Tumeric  $3/oz

Ginger $13/lb

Have a great week,

Posted by: David Zemelsky
9/29/2016 5:21 am

For some farmers, tilling is a four letter word.  For others, a necessary evil.  And still others-pure joy.  The later is a variety of farmers that enjoys seeing fallow ground turn into a fluffy blanket of smooth weedless soil, ready to grow whatever the farmer wants.  For myself, my belief in tilling falls somewhere inbetween the two.  Soil is happiest when it gets disturbed the least.  Tractors driving on it and rototillers stirring it up like a food processor-none of those things helps the health of what goes on below the surface.  And what goes on below the surface?  Just so much.  Fungal and microbial growth that would defy your imagination.  Other insects burrowing through the  soil, not to mention worms and moles.  Creatures both miniscule and not so much doing their part to make the soil a happy place.  No wonder they can't stand tilling, as it rips up their happy homes, tunnels and chemical balances.  Rototilling basically takes the soil on top and puts it on the bottom. So one is inverting the  soil.  By putting the bottom on the top, one is also taking vast weed seed banks and exposing them to light and eventually germination.  So when a rototiller finishes its work, it may look weedless, but that is very deceptive.  There are now millions of weed seeds that are suddenly able to germinate.  About ten years ago, I wondered if there might be a tractor implement that just stirs up the soil rather than inverting it, therefore not exposing any need weed seeds to the surface and germination.  After a bit of research, I discovered the "power harrow".  This machine looks like a tiller but instead of blades that pull the lower soil up and push the surface soil down, this machine just stirs it around-much like an eggbeater.  It is manufactored in Italy and was sold by some dealer in California.  So, I thought we'd give it a try.  The results are wonderful.  Sub surface weeds are kept where they lie and the ground has a great surface to plant into.  It doesn't go as deep as a rototiller, but we get around that by using the subsoiler before using the power harrow.  The subsoiler literally hooks the soil and rips into the soil to a depth of 2 feet.  Water finds its way into this crack and the soil does not become compacted.  Everyone's happy.  If you'd like to know more about soil health, contact your local NOFA-CT office( CTNOFA.ORG)

Before telling you what's available at the store, I needed to mention that we it has become cool enough to start  pea tendrils again.  Look for them in about 10 more days.  For those of you who haven't tried pea tendrils- they taste exactly like fresh peas, except you don't have to shell them.  Another fall crop that is on its way is spinach.  I've had a few false starts because of the heat (spinach does not like heat), but we're on our way now.

Ok.  On to the store.  Let me know what you'd like by 10AM Friday.  Order  will be in our shed at 54 Fowler Ave. by 2pm on  that same Friday.  Your order will have your name by it and the amount owed.

here’s what we’ve got for you:

French Fingerling Potatoes5/lb

big kale $4/bunch

Arugula $6/bag

Salad greens $6/bag

Beets and pretty decent topst $4/bunch

Hearty German garlic $2.50/head

Spring tower! This is an excitiing lettuce that one eats both the leaves and the core (which is delicious beyond all words) $3/head

Assorted sweet peppers (really pretty and tasty) $5/lb

Eggplant. both the striped and the Asian. 5/lb

Thyme and sage $4/bag

Heirloom tomatoes $6.50/lb-still amazing with the height of summer flavor

Juliets- $6.50 still my Desert Island Tomato

Sun Golds and Black Cherry- outstanding cherry tomatoes $6/pint

Sun dried tomatoes $4/oz

Have a great week


Posted by: David Zemelsky
9/15/2016 6:35 am


Last week, I wasn't sure (seasons wise) whether I was coming or going.  Now I know, it is late Summer.  I know this because we just started our first batch of pea tendrils.  These are a sure sign of cooler weather.  Another thing would be spinach coming up.  I've tried growing this in the Summer, and failed miserably.  Its a popular green and people clamor for it.  Our latest attempt looks good. I primed the seeds by soaking them in water for 5-6 hours and then dried them in the dehydrator.  After planting them, they sprouted within 3 days.  Priming really works.

Tomorrow is our Certified Organic Inspection.  The agent comes, looks all around, pokes through our paperwork and asks numerous questions.  Even though we always pass, it is an anxiety producer.  That is why I am writing to you early because by the time he's finished with me tomorrow-I'll be beat.

Store Items:

Salad Greens-finally! $6/bag.  With lettuce, kale, mizuna

Ruby Streaks- a spicy mustard.  Light and fluffy looking and a pretty good heat to it.  Recommended $4/ 4oz bag

Heirloom Tomatoes- they're still here and still as good as mid Summer. $6.50/lb./

Cherry Tomatoes- $6/pint

Juliet- $6.50/lb Our Desert Island Tomato.  Write back and ask me why its called that

Swiss Chard $4/bunch

Hakeuri Turnips $4/lb

Arugula $6/bag

Beets with lovely greens $4/bunch

Garlic - $2.50/head

Assorted Sweet Peppers $5/lb

Asian Eggplants $5/lb

French Fingerling Potatoes $5/lb

Large Kale-$4/bunch

Baby Kale- $6/6oz. bag

Yu Choi- a very sweet and tender baby pak choi $6/60z. bag

Simply Gorgeous Mini- Heads of Lettuce  $2.50

Orders to me by 10AM Friday.  Pick up at shed after 2pm.

Have a great week.

Posted by: David Zemelsky
9/7/2016 7:12 pm

I am wondering if we're at the beginning of Fall or the end of Summer.  My fellow board member on the Agricultural Commission was a few minutes late for our special meeting earlier this week because she was helping get the Cow Barn ready for the Durham Fair.  If that's not a sign of early Fall, I really don't know what is.  On the other hand, our new crop of katrina cucumbers,the french string beans, the watermelon and the tomatoes are looking great , too.  That's all about Sumer.  But then again, I've got my receipt for being an exhibitor at the Fair for our garlic-now that sounds like Fall.  It can be confusing.  Maybe, we shouldn't mess with labels that much and just let the season be.

Having said all that, I need to report to you about looking forward.  I'll start with a our hoop house full of new carrots.  This was Joel's idea.  Joel, as many of you already know, is in his third season with us.  Joel gets things done around here.  One day, he suggested that we  plant mid Summer carrots for Fall harvest and Winter , too.  So we did that.  Now, there are carrot tops in different stages of development.  The earliest ones will be ready, I hope by the middle of October.  Our Summer carrots were  great (There's still some left, but I see a gap with no carrots), but Fall carrots are the best because when it gets cold, they tend to overload on producing carbohydrates (sugar!) and are profondely sweet.  Then, there's beet greens which I would strongly recommend for soups, and stir fries.  It is becoming that time to think about using your stove top more.One last evidence of Fall coming-we've got spinach coming up.  Really looking forward to a decent crop within the next 40 days.

On to the store:  Boring reminder.  Let me know what you'd like by 10 AM Friday via email.  Your order will be waiting for you at 2pm Friday in the shed to the left of our house at 54 Fowler Ave.Cash preferred, but checks are ok if need be.

Salad Greens $6/bag

Arugula (maybe for the first two orders) $6/bag

Yu Choi- a nice Asian Green, kind of a pak choi, but more tender $4/bag

French Fingerling Potatoes- now these are something to marvel at.  Newly harvested, small, tender and only flacky in texture $5/bag 1lb.

Beet Greens $3/bunch

Beetsw $3/bunch

Hakeuri Turnips $4/bunch

Italian Coastal Chard- $3/bunch.  Serious chard from Italy.  So wonderful in stir fries

Big Kale and Lacinato Kale $3/bunch

Carrots $5/bag

Heart German Garlic $2.50/head

Sun Gold Cherry Tomato -$6/pint

Black Cherry Tomato-$6/pint

Juliet- our Desert Island Tomato $6.50/lb.

Heirloom Tomato-$6.50/lb

Asian Eggplant - something to marvel at.  Even though its Asian, it made a fantastic Eggplant Parmesan $5/lb

Assorted Color Peppers $5/lb

Sun dried Tomatoes- $4/package 1oz.  These are so amazing on pizza, sandwiches or anything else. Really, anything else.  I've tried them with chocolate and that's a homerun, too!

OK. That's it.  Have a great week.  Hope to hear from you soon.



Posted by: David Zemelsky
9/1/2016 11:22 am


Full disclosure  The list of what's available has been copies and pasted from last week's list.  Hope that your week has been productive.  One thing that is paramount on our minds at Star Light right now is Fall.  In fact, its been front and center for several weeks.  It is always a challenge to stay mindful and in the present,and at the same time without planning for the next season-we'd be dead in the water.  A few examples of this: Let's start with beets. We've actually enjoyed beets all Summer long.  Now, all our beets from then are harvested and in the walkin.  Knowing that growth slows down dramatically at the end of Summer, I had to plant beets in mid July in order to have a crop for the Fall.  Another example of planning for the Fall would be Pak Choi.  I just planted Pak Choi for mid to late Fall.  More to follow.

Come out to the Wadsworth Mansion Open Market!  We'll be there like we usually are.  Way way down at the end, farthest way from the mansion itself.  Its is a great event with lots to eat, nice music, and friends whom you haven't seen in a long time.  They're always there.  I'd love the opportunity to see some of you again.  Usually, we're just exchanging emails!  Stop in.  This Sunday from 10AM to 4PM.Here's  the link:



Below is a repeat from last week.  The description of some of the heirlooms is helpful.

We'll start with Kellog Breakfast.  Here's a picture one of the two that I relished last night. 

It has a full , rich flavor (I'll use that phrase a lot here. Just watch) and its wet.  Orange/yellow happens to be one of my favorite colors, so its fun to consume a vegetable that has a pleasing look. Its sweetness is derived from a bit of mischeavous  savory overtones.  I know that sounds confusing, but the multitudes of flavors tends to feel like a cascade of  taste.

Next, would be the Juliet.  Long loved by everyone in my family and now by a host of chefs who want this small beauty.  Looking like a paste tomato, but having every single strength to be a winner as a raw taste winner.  Needless to say, it has very little juice in it and becomes a great choice for cooking.  Lots of flesh that remains firm even after cooking it. Here's its picture.

Wapsipinicon is next.  Named after a river in Iowa, this variety was introduced to me by a grower in Canada who just happened to mention it in passing after telling me about the Juliet. (Thank you, for both).  It has a very dull, almost institutional color.  I'd never pick this color for a room in our house ever.  Its skin is fuzzy and therefore belongs to a variety of tomatoes known as "peach-variety".  Despite its dull color, I find the Wapsipinicon to be a taste treat that you'll not forget.  Watery, like the Kellog, and almost like that wine that you might have tried once at a restaurant and haven't ever been able to find out again what exactly that was.  It's just that good.

Marbonne- a new variety from Johnny's Selected Seeds.  Technically, not an heirloom, but still looks and acts like one.  Big red fruit and an honest, rich flavor.  You can make thick, real slices with this one.

Green Moldovan- yes, green and ripe.  It doesn't make sense at first, but you'll get use to it.  The texture of, but not the taste of, an avocado.  Watery , juicy and very exciting .  You'll feel like you're swimming, once you bit into this one.

So this week, at the store, you can order by flavor.  $6/ a serving.  Probably for the Kellog, and the Marbonne-one tomato will be a serving.  Even though this is expensive, you will not be disappointed.  I promise.  You can't get this kind of food experience in January.  The other choices will be about a lb. 

Other things available at the store this week:

Heirlooms Tomatoes $6.50/lb.  If you'd like a mixture, then ask for this.
Sun Golds $6/pint
Black Cherry $6/pint
Peppers of many colors $5/lb
Green Onions $3/bunch
Fingerling Potatoes-fresh dug, infact they’re still in the ground as we speak $5/lb
Coastal Italian Chard-deep rich green color. Great side dish $4/bunch
Hearty German Garlic $2.50/head
Yaya (orange) and Cosmic Purple Carrots- with or without the tops $6/lb
Asian Eggplants-long, thin and purple $5/lb
Hakeuri Turnips $4/bunch Special! Buy two bunches for $5

Radishes $3/bunch  SPECIAL! Buy two bunches for $4

Beets- $4/bag                                                                                                              

Northfordy Tomato Sauce-still the best you can get anywhere. $10/jar 32oz. 

NEW this week! Sun-dried Tomatoes.  It would be impossible to describe how amazing our sundried tomatoes are.  Made from the Juliet tomato, can be used on sandwiches, or pasta dishes to name but a few.  $4/oz                                   

Boring as it sounds, here's the reminder: Let me know by 10AM Friday (tomorrow) Cash preferred but checks ok. Order ready after 2pm in our shed at 54 Fowler Ave./Durham.  Your order will be marked with your name.  Payment goes in the payment jar.

Thank you, one and all for being our friends.  It goes a long way.

Have a great week
David Zemelsky



Posted by: David Zemelsky
8/25/2016 8:34 am


The last two weeks contain everything in the subject line above. First:waterfalls.  For the past few weeks, we've had some tomatoes that have delighted a few people.  I kept looking at all those green tomatoes and felt pretty sure that they'd never ripen.  Then one harvest day about 18 days ago, as we were picking crates of tomatoes, I kept looking at the increasing number of crates that were amassing.  It occurred to me-we're in the zone.  And we were.  After finishing, there were crates and crates of amazing looking tomatoes.  This is the waterfall that we've been waiting for since starting these plants from seed last January.  On Monday, even though it was theoritically a day off for me, I decided that it would be best to harvest tomatoes for an hour or two, rather than leave their fate up to the woodchuck.  In almost no time, I had 7 crates.  The next day, we added 7 more.  In other words, if you'd like heirloom tomatoes in an quanity -we've got it.  Striped German, Paul Robeson, Marbonne, Kellog Breakfast , Wapsipinicon to name but a few.  Wapsipinicon deserves an extra mention here.  Named after an Indian Tribe in the mid-West, this peachy feeling little tomato has the dullest yellow color.  You'd never pick this color to paint your house, outside or in.  However, it has a clear ringing taste and one that you've never tried before.  Recommended.  Since the waterfall, I've indulged in all manner of tomato consumption, starting with a breakfast feast of sliced tomatoes with kosher coarse salt.  Again, recommended.

The Wilt part of the story has to do with bacterial wilt-a sure killer of cucumber and squash plants but not watermelon.  Once started , it can't be reversed.  It is transmitted by the cucumber beetle.  The best thing to do is to keep these varmints ways from your plants.  Spraying with pyganic (pyretheium) or Surround(a kind of clay, approved for organic practices) helps.  Apparently, the clay confuses and agitates the beetle and puts them into a state of nonfunctioning.  Inspite of my best efforts, our katrina plants all went south(died) within a week of each other.  We've got more plants growing, so those of you who are big fans of katrina-help is on the way.

And Wonderment?  Yes, about everything, the good things and the not so good things.  If one is not in wonderment about nature, then you're just not paying attention.

Store Info:

Get orders in by 10AM Friday and pick up after 2pm Friday.  Cash preferred, but checks ok.  Bring exact change, as you can't count on someone having already left the right amount of money for you to make change.  Mostly everything is picked that day.  Its a great system all around.

Northfordy Tomato Sauce- still the best $10 jar

Yaya and Cosmic Purple Carrots- $5bunch. 

Assorted Colors of Peppers- $5/bag

Eggplant- Asian, thing ones, with a wonderful purple color $5/bag

Arugula - spicy and aromatic $6/bag

Hakeuri Turnips- $4/bunch.  Such a pleasing texture and taste.  No need to cook

Wapsipinicon (see above)- a cult tomato $6.50/bag (!lb)

Juliets-The Desert Island Tomato.  Versatile: great for cooking(very little water) or eating raw (oh my god quality) $6.50/bag

Sun Golds- sweet and more sweet cherry tomato.  The kind of food experience that you've dreamt of all your life $6/pint

Black Cherry- savory and aromatic.  Multiple taste.  Like a good wine $6/ping

Garlic-$2.50 head.  Our best crop

Italian Coastal Chard- lush green and very flavorful for either salad or cooking $3/bunch

Big Kale- $3/bunch

Beets- $3bunch

Heirloom Tomatoes-  this is your time to experience what a tomato could taste like $6.50/bag

Green Onions- $3/bunch

Questions or Comments?  Bring em on.  I love to respond!


Posted by: David Zemelsky
8/10/2016 12:42 pm


Someone must have already made that joke already (The Beet Goes On).  The idea just popped up at me as I began to write.  And that's what happens while farming, too.  An idea will seem to appear out of no where.  At the beginning of Star Light, we use to dry our salad greens by putting them in a large net and swing them around as hard and fast as we could.  That got old so very fast.  It also would have caused permanent damage to who knows what in my shoulder ligaments and muscles.  After a few weeks of a very sore process, I suddenly realized that we could get better and easier results by putting the net inside a washing machine and setting it to "lock and spin".  Instant success.  Now, here's the point: every time I told one of my farming friends they'd say "Done that".  It was just one of those ideas that sooner (not me) or later (me), one would come to this idea.  So if someone has already figured out already about the phrase "The Beet Goes On", already-my apologies.

Here's what's happening about beets.  First off, we have beets available right now.  We're talking about future fall beets.  If one wants a crop of beets for the fall-plant early to mid Summer because its later than you think(but not too late, yet).  And plant a lot.  Some for you and some for the mice.  You'll see what I'm talking about.  We plant our beets with a planting machine that will lay down a row of beets, slightly bury it and then gently cover it over.  The Earthway Seeder, as its called, has various plates that you can use depending on the size of your seed.  It turns out that they don't know what they're talking about when they're refurring to beet seeds.  After planting and watering, the tiny little plants came up way to close.  This will never work, as they are competing for the same space and no one will turn into a decent sized beet.  Therefore, I've taken up the task of thinning.  This is not a thankless task.  I'll take a small section and pull out carefully the extra seedlings.  After doing this for several feet, I've collected dozens of potential beets.  I'll take my pile and move to another section.  I'll poke a hole with an old screwdriver every inch and slip the seedling into the hole.  After each new hole is filled with a seedling, then I'll nudge the soil against the new plant.  It doesn't always work.  Sometimes when the seedling is pulled out of the ground the roots don't come with it.  Also, if you try this task in the middle of the day, the seedling will probably die from the harshness of the sun.  Best time is the end of the day, and the second best time is the early morning.  I'll let you know how it comes out.

Woodchuck update: Better.  Some of our residents are gone (Thanks to our nameless techniques) while others still reside.  They seem less interested in tomatoes though.  The damage to the crop seems significantly less.  I got several request for a good method to get rid of these guys.  Check out the internet, too.

Next pest update: Horned worms.  I think we've conquered them.  After writing about them last week, we sprayed with Bt (called Dipel DF.  Its an approved organic spray).  Available from Johnny's Selected Seeds.

On to the store: 

Hakeuri Turnips:  These babies are in their full glory now.  Great tops for cooking or salad and amazing flavor to the roots.  Crispy and snappy.  Roasted or raw.  $4/bunch

Bloody Butcher-a favorite heirloom tomato that we're putting on special this week. Small and very very sweet fruit.  Bright red color.  They're a bit like candy-just pop one in your mouth. $6 for 2lbs

Juliet-my Desert Island Tomato. A grower in Canada once told me about these gems.  Small, red, sweet fruit.  It would be my choice, if I had to take just one plant to a desert island because of its versitility.  Great raw and fantastic to cook with as there's hardly any liquid.  They can be dried with great success too.  $6.50/lb

Heirlooms- I can't even begin to wrap my head around what to say about heirloom tomatoes.  They're here.  They are transformative.  If you've never tried an heirloom tomato, its as different as watching the Metropolitan Opera on your phone versus being at the Met.  Its that simple.  Since late January, we've been working towards this abundance of tomatoes and now its here.  Buy a lot.  You'll spend a fair amount, but you won't regret it-that's a promise.  $6.50/lb.  Also, my idea of a pound is really generous.

Sungolds- if you want sungolds, put it down, but not sure if they won't already be sold out by the time Friday comes around. $6/pint

Black Cherry- a bit larger than Sungold.  Very savory and special.  The flavor parade will amazing you.  Eating Black Cherry is like experiencing a good wine. There's  its first flavor, middle and a wonderful aftertaste $6/pint

Beets- $3/bunch

Swiss Chard $3/bunch. This an Italian variety called Coastal.  Light green, succulant and worth visiting

Large Kale-$4/bunch

Katrina Cucumbers-  they still remain the worlds best cucumber.  I'll stand by them.  $5/5 cucumbers.  We might see an end to them soon,(two weeks?) but other varieties are coming.  A second planting will hopefully see them come back in September

Garlic- now its all cured and ready for you.  This is our best crop of garlic ever.  I'm going to enter some in the Durham Fair.  $2.50/head

Thyme Plants-  still a good time to put in the ground.  Perenials. $4/pot

Northfordy Tomato Sauce-better than everything you'll get at the store $10/bottle

Green Onions-  so perfect for everything $3/bunch

Regular drill.  Let me know by 10am on Friday.  Orders available in shed after 2pm on Friday.  Don't miss out on the tomatoes!

Have a great week.



Posted by: David Zemelsky
8/3/2016 5:10 pm


Thank you for coming to me in my time of need!  I got so many great suggestions about how to deal with pesky woodchucks.  I've had, since writing last, a certain amount of success.  If you really want to know my methods-write back.  I don't want to change that image that I'm probagating-"the mild mannered farmer". 

I wouldn't mind if they took a few tomatoes and ate them whole.  However, that is not their way.  They'll try one huge heirloom tomato, sample it and then move on to another.  Hardly ever will they finish one whole tomato.  Conservatively, they've probably done at least $300 worth of damage.  Worst this year than ever. 

Meanwhile, we've got another pest which is fortunately easily controlled.  This would be horned worm catepillars.    They blend in to the tomato plant and literally devour the top, tender tops of the plant.  There is an approved spray that will kill them, but occasionally they get attacked by a parasite that devours them from the inside out.

I took this picture early AM on Thursday (July 28th), while spraying with Bt, a natural deterent for horned worms.  What's really cool about this photo are the little white "cocoons" on the back of the horned worm.  These parasites are killing it.  Very cool.

Ok. Please do not get the idea that farming is just a grim fight from one pest and disease to another.  Well, maybe it is in someway.  But inbetween all this, I thoroughly enjoy watching day by day the growth and health of our plants.  And the end result is glorious glorious food.

Let's get to the store for this week.

My first product is hakeuri turnips.  These are the most wonderful of root crops.  White, crunchy and delicious.  They are perfect to eat raw or roasted.  Plus, and this is a big plus-the greens on the hakeuri are fantastic for stir fries.  Please consider this often overlooked root. $4/bunch

Yaya and Cosmic Purple Carrots (please specify) -crunchy, too and full of flavor. $5/bunch

Heirloom Tomatoes - oh, living the dream. $6.50/lb  We've been growing these guys since late January and now finally, they are here.

Heirlooms towards the back.  Juliets in bottom of picture.  Sungolds on the right.

Juliet Tomatoes- perfect for cooking and salads and drying, too.  My Desert Island Tomato, named because of the versitiltiy.  $6.50/lb

Sun Golds - $6/pint sweet and the best

Pepper- $5/lb

Big Kale- $4/bunch

Swiss Chard- $3/bunch

Northfordy Tomato Sauce-still as delicious as ever.$10

Katriina Cukes-still the very best cucumber in the world (in my opinion, anyway) $5/for 5 cucumbers

Garlic- big wonderful heads and strong, flavorful taste $2.50/head

Let me know by 10AM on Friday.  Pick up in shed  on 54 Fowler Ave. after 2pm. 

Have a great week.

Posted by: David Zemelsky
7/28/2016 9:41 am