October Newsletter 2014
Wow, what a busy month October is. I love October because the weather is usually cooler, of course that hasn’t been true so far this October. We hardly have time to enjoy the nicer weather. We are so crazy busy now. The Pumpkin Patch opened on the 4th and I started delivering CSA vegetables on the 7th. We’re getting ready for the Fall Harvest Dinner on Nov. 2nd too. We are getting winter vegetables ready to plant.
It’s hard to believe we’ve been doing the Pumpkin Patch for 13 years. It takes a lot of time and manpower to operate. It takes a lot of juggling to keep the regular farm work done and do all the Pumpkin Patch extras. I have a lot of admiration for our crew. They feed animals, dump trash, keep the pumpkin field straight, help in the concession stand, harvest and pack vegetables, gather and wash eggs, and a million other things. They are often here before I am and still working when I go home.
On top of everything going on at the farm, Thomas is running for County Council. It takes a lot of time and MONEY to run a campaign. I’ve put up my share of signs. I should have learned by now that when Thomas says can you help me for a little while that means all day. If you live in District 8 in Charleston County then remember to vote for a Farmer not a Politian.
Hope all of you are coming to the farm during October especially this coming weekend for the Haunted Maze and House on Friday and Saturday nights. We certainly have a lot for you to do. Make sure you stop by and speak to Linda, Thomas, or myself. We love to talk to all of you about the farm and everything else we have going on. We appreciate your support and without you we wouldn’t be in business.
Vegetable of the Month
The great thing about living on the coast of SC is that we have an extended growing season in the Fall. It is a very very rare thing for us to have frost before December. We are able to grow summer vegetables usually into November or later. We are usually still picking tomatoes, squash, peppers, and cucumbers in October. My vegetable of the month is cucumbers. I don’t eat raw cucumbers, not because I don’t like them but they don’t like me. I have never been able to eat cucumbers even when I was young and could eat anything. Even the burpless varieties don’t agree with me. I do love cucumber pickles. There are 2 types of cucumbers, slicers and picklers. Slicers are what we eat in salads and pretty much anything eaten raw. Picklers are exactly what they sound like, they are used for making pickles however you can eat them raw. Slicers take an average of 60 days from planting to harvesting. Picklers take an average of 45 days from planting to harvesting. We normally plant around the 1st of August to have them ready around the 1st of October. We plant directly into the field from seed for fall plantings. In the spring, we sometimes start seeds in the greenhouse to get an early start then transplant into the field. When choosing a variety of cucumber you should study the seed catalogs. Seed catalogs have great information including the days to maturity. Different people like different things with their cucumbers. For example my husband Rick likes a cucumber with a big seed cavity because he likes the seeds, other people like more meat so a seedless variety would be best. If you have a small growing space, then look for compact bushy type. The General Lee is a great variety of slicers but you better have plenty of room because the vines really take off. General Lee might be a good choice if you want to train the vines to go up on a trellis which is a good way to take advantage of a small space. Disease resistance is also important on the coast especially in the spring. A couple of other things, I look for when choosing, is whether the cucumber has lots of spines and if the skin is bitter. I usually have a favorite and stick with it but there are new varieties introduced every year so I usually try something new along with the old tried and true.
Vegetables to Plant in November
It’s too late to plant warm season vegetables so we need to think of cool season vegetables. I like to use transplants in November. Transplants are small plants that have been started somewhere else like the greenhouse then transplanted into the field or beds thus the name. (if you Google transplants, you will find out it’s a punk rock band). In the spring, we plant seed in the greenhouse where it’s warm to get a jump on a quicker harvest. In the fall seeds can be started outside to transplant into the field or beds. We are so busy in the fall, so I usually buy my transplants from a greenhouse grower.
Collards, kale, broccoli, swiss chard, cabbage, and spinach can be planted in November. Collard, cabbage, and broccoli transplants are easy to find in any feed and seed store but you may have to search more for kale, swiss chard and spinach or grow your own. You can also still plant garlic in November. November is a good month to start readying your garden for spring. In the unplanted areas, you can plant a cover crop that will be tilled into the soil in early spring to add organic matter. You can also just till up the soil and add compost for organic matter. We have a good cheap source of compost from the landfill in Charleston County. It’s available in bags or in bulk. Fall is a great time to enjoy the garden with cooler weather.
October Pumpkin Patch
November 2 Fall Harvest Dinner
November Thanksgiving on the Farm field trip
November 29 Holiday Open House
January 31-February 2, 2015 Battle of Charleston American War Timeline
Feature of the Month
Our Fall Harvest Dinner is the feature this month. The dinner is always on the 1st Sunday of November, this year it just happens to fall on my birthday so it will be a really special day. The dinner is November 2nd starting with a Meet the Farmer reception at 4:00 pm and dinner at 5:00 pm. We will serve beer from Holy City Brewery and Palmetto Brewery also wine from Irvin House Vineyards. New this year will be samples from High Wire Distilling Co and Firefly Distillery. We will also have lemonade for you non drinkers. There will be representatives from all of these businesses to talk to you about their product and answer all your questions.
Dinner will be prepared from Legare Farms beef, pork, and vegetables by Chef Fred Neuville of Fat Hen Restaurant, Chef Frisco Thumbtzen of Duvall Catering, Chef Robin Rhea of Slather Brand Foods, Chef Jay Kees of Angel Oak Restaurant, Chef Craig Deihl of Cypress Restaurant, Chef Jacques Larson of Wild Olive Restaurant, Chef Jimi Hat of Guerrilla Cuisine, Chef Robert Carter of Rutledge Cab Co. Restaurant, Chef Aaron Lemieux of Michaels on the Alley, Chef John Ondo of Lana Restaurant. We will have tea from Charleston Tea Plantation to have with dinner or you may bring your choice of wine. We will have the wine glasses for you. Coffee will be provided by Coastal Coffee from Summerville. Dinner is served under a large tent here on the farm. Music for both the reception and dinner will be provided by family members.
This event is a fund raiser for our nonprofit Education Foundation. Tickets are $65 per person and can be purchased on our website http://legarefarms.com/products/fall-harvest-dinner.
Special of the Month
The Butchers Club is the special this month and while it’s not exactly a special, it’s a discount on meat. You purchase a membership in the Butchers Club for $250, $500, or $1000 then you get 25% discount off retail prices. It works a lot like the CSA vegetable program because it gives us money up front to raise the animals without borrowing money. The advantage over the CSA vegetable program is that you can take the meat when you are ready not when the vegetables are ready. You don’t have to take all of the meat at once since most people don’t have enough freezer space. Find more info on our website and purchase a membership at http://legarefarms.com/butchers-club.
Recipe of the Month
I like this recipe because it can be frozen instead of having to seal jars. The biggest problem is finding enough freezer space.
Sweet and Tangy Freezer Pickles
10 to 12 medium pickling cucumbers (about 2 pounds), thinly sliced
3 medium onions, thinly sliced
1 large green pepper, chopped
3 tablespoons salt, divided
2 cups sugar
1 cup white vinegar
1 tablespoon celery seed
In a large container, combine cucumbers, onions, green pepper and 2 tablespoons salt. Cover with crushed ice; mix well. Refrigerate for 8 hours. Drain; rinse and drain again. In saucepan, combine the sugar, vinegar, celery seed and remaining salt. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 1 minute. Spoon over cucumber mixture. Pour into jars or freezer containers. Cool. Top with lids. Cover and freeze for up to 6 weeks. Thaw at room temperature for 4 hours before serving.
Please call or email if you have any questions or just want to chat.
2620 Hanscombe Pt. Rd.
Johns Island , SC 29455