Monday, September 26, 2016

Catalpa Ridge News–Volume 21 No 16–September 27, 2016

Zucchini Surprise !

 

News from the Fields & Farm: 

All of a sudden our late planting of zucchini came to life! They got away from us and most are rather large but excellent this time of year for baking up into zucchini bread, stuffed zukes, etc. It is probably the latest in the season that we have delivered zukes. Farmer Rich says the plants still look good so we may actually be able to harvest another crop.

 

clip_image002

 

The rain we received early in the week has helped with the field crops. With the shorter days, the moisture is holding better in the soil.

 

The sunchokes (Jerusalem Artichokes) are close to harvest, perhaps in about two weeks. The tomato crop continues to produce which is quite late in the season.

 

We planned on harvesting kale for tonight’s delivery but the plants were not harvestable. There was an overnight attack of cabbage worms that destroyed most of the crop.

The autumnal equinox came on September 22nd and now the days are getting shorter and the temperatures are starting to drop. We had a low of 37 on Sunday morning when the crew started harvesting. It wasn’t as cold as anticipated, but still cool enough for gloves and flannel shirts.

 

The first of the pumpkins are being delivered this week. Variety Name is Sugar Pumpkin. You can cook it up for a nice soup or simply use for seasonal decoration.

 

Franklin Greenhouse Report: Nothing new is going on at the Franklin Greenhouse. The tomatoes and peppers plants are still producing. We plan on harvesting beets next week.

 

Weather report: We received about ½” of rain fell during the week. The leaves on the trees are just starting to turn color so we are a few weeks away from really ideal fall foliage colors.

 

Upcoming Event:  

 

clip_image002[7]

Sussex County Harvest, Honey & Garlic FestivalOctober 8 – 10 am – 4 pm Sussex Fair Grounds – Augusta, NJ. The Sussex County Harvest, Honey & Garlic Festival will celebrate the agri‑ecotourism, arts & heritage of New Jersey's great northwest with displays & info about northern NJ's open spaces. We will have garlic at this event!

Monday, September 19, 2016

Catalpa Ridge News–Volume 21 No 15–September 20, 2016

 

Harvest Moon !

 

News from the Fields & Farm: 

The Harvest Moon came on the 16th. It is followed by the Hunter's Moon, the Beaver Moon and the Cold Moon to round out the year. We had a super cool morning on the 16th, and 17th – about 42◦. Then the days warmed up with the morning temps around 70◦ on Sunday. The Autumn Equinox is on the 22nd and the days will then become shorter. We have already seen some of the trees starting to change color.

 

The crew is starting to map out where the garlic beds will be for planting in October. We plan on preparing a number of beds for both hard and soft neck garlic varieties to be planted mid to late October. We do like to rotate the beds each year to avoid problems with a combination of nutrients and soil borne diseases.

 

We will attempt to replant the greenhouse on the farm with more salad greens.

 

Lucille Fryer Peppers in the field:

clip_image002

 

Franklin Greenhouse Report: We are still harvesting from the greenhouse; tomatoes, chard, hot peppers

and the eggplant plants have shut down. With only 5 more weeks after this week we will not be replanting into this greenhouse but will continue weekly harvests.

 

Weather report: We managed to get some rain this past week; probably about 1/2'”. We generally remain in drought conditions along with the rest of northern NJ. The northern NJ district reservoirs are only about 60% full. This is about 10% below the 1962-2010 average for the same time period. This year we had the 9th driest August since records were kept back to 1895 as noted on the Rutgers chart below:

clip_image002[5]

 

We did have a brief rainstorm on Sunday just as the crew was finishing the delivery.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Catalpa Ridge News–Volume 21 No 14–September 13, 2016

 

Hot Weather Returns!

News from the Fields & Farm: 

It is now early September and we are having record high temperatures. We have had to cut back on the hours as it is too hot to work by late morning. The crew is working diligently between 7 am -  11 am each day.

 

It appears we have an abundance of butternut squash this year. We anticipate starting to deliver them next week. We are still good with tomatoes as most of the plants are still producing. The cucumber plants have shut down but we do have a new planting going in.

 

Newly transplanted beets & escarole:

clip_image002

 

Franklin Greenhouse Report: The chard is almost ready to harvest and the beets should be ready in a few weeks. We also have some Daikon radishes doing well. We are trying some South American Sunchokes in the greenhouse. They usually don’t get harvested until very late in the season. This variety is called Oca (originally grown by the Incas).

Cipollini’s curing in the greenhouse:

clip_image002[5]

 

Weather report: In addition to the heat reported earlier, we are also having another dry spell. We were fortunate to receive about ½” of rain during the week. This was both good and bad. The good is that the general crops perked up and the bad was that many of the heirlooms and cherry tomatoes split on the vine after receiving the rain. Since it was so dry and then the switch to the rain they take a lot of water in and split or as we like to say, we have “salsa in the field”. It is unfortunate that this affected the cherry tomatoes this week. Luckily the heirlooms on today’s delivery were harvested prior to the rain.

Monday, September 05, 2016

Catalpa Ridge News–Volume 21 No 13–September 6, 2016

No Hermine!

News from the Fields & Farm: 

Hermine was nowhere in site! We surely could use the rain but we didn’t want the high winds that would have come with Hermine. So instead of an ugly day we had cooler temps and not a cloud in the sky.

 

The days are getting shorter so we have moved our start time up to 7 am instead of 6. No one wanted to wear the mining hats with the lamps on them!!!

 

The crew took to the field and did some planting. An additional planting of beets, escarole, lettuce and a very late planting of cucumbers.

 

They also performed some maintenance such as stringing up the asparagus beans.

 

The tomatoes continue to produce, probably our most productive year in quite a while.

 

The potato crop is all harvested and will be filtered into the deliveries over the next week or two. Some of the varieties of onions are not holding up as well as they have in the past. It appears that the middle is softening on some and we have already have had to toss out a multiple number of them. They just are not holding up. The Cipollini variety is holding up better than the round yellows and reds. We are screening them but some may slip into the deliveries.

clip_image001

 

Franklin Greenhouse Report:

 

Nothing new in Franklin and all the crops seem to be coming along nicely.

 

 

Weather report: Little to no rain during the week. The irrigation system continues in full swing, though the back field is suffering.

 

 

Asparagus Beans – Yard Long!

Asparagus Yardlong beans have a delicious nutty flavor and are great steamed, sautéed or in a stir fry. Some hints from: http://www.harvesttotable.com/2008/08/long_beans/

Prepare. Trim away the stem end and slice into desired lengths on the diagonal or straight across. Long beans are best trimmed before stir frying.

Cook. Long beans can be stir-fried, stewed, braised, sautéed, shallow fried, and deep fried. With cooking, the long bean’s bean flavor intensifies.

  • Stir fry until just tender crunchy.
  • Steam or for 3-7 minutes until just tender.
  • Braise for 20 minutes with other vegetables and meats, best in a garlicky or oniony braising liquid.

Serve. Long beans can be served raw in salads or added to soups or stir-fried dishes.

Flavor partners. Long beans have a flavor affinity for pork, ginger, nuts, fermented black beans, garlic, strong herbs, soy and fish sauce, chili peppers, sausages, oil and vinegar.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Catalpa Ridge News–Vol 21 No 12–August 30, 2016

Great Day in Hoboken

News from the Fields & Farm: 

It was a great day in Hoboken at the Annual Heirloom Tomato Festival. It was perhaps our largest selection of heirloom tomatoes that we had available for the tasting. We had over 30 varieties for tasting. Each of the tomatoes has their own distinct flavor and everyone who came to event was able to taste each of them in addition to some apples, garlic & peaches.

clip_image002

 

Farmer Rich manning the tomato table:

clip_image004

 

This event is also a great way to meet many of our CSA members in Hoboken.

 

We transplanted some additional lettuce and escarole in the field. The rest of the week was spent getting ready for the event and the crew harvesting for the Monday/Tuesday deliveries.

Franklin Greenhouse Report: No real changes from last week in Franklin. The radishes are doing well and the beets should be ready to harvest next week. The sweet peppers (orange, yellow, red, white, lavender etc) should be ready for harvest next week as well. The CSA delivery next week should include a nice selection of different colored peppers.

Weather report: We have gone back to being too dry. We have had Michael fixing some of the irrigation lines due. Again the hot temperatures have come. We are looking forward to the shorter days which usually brings on the cooler temperatures.

 

Sun Crisp Apple: a great baking apple. More tart than sweet when picked, it becomes sweeter and develops a complex, spicy flavor in storage. It is especially good for cooking.

Suncrisp was developed in the 1990s by Dr. Frederick Hough at the Rutgers New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station in New Brunswick.

Upcoming Event: clip_image002[5]Sussex County Harvest, Honey & Garlic Festival – October 8 – 10 am – 4 pm Sussex Fair Grounds – Augusta, NJ. The Sussex County Harvest, Honey & Garlic Festival will celebrate the agri‑ecotourism, arts & heritage of New Jersey's great northwest with displays & info about northern NJ's open spaces. We will have garlic at this event.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Catalpa Ridge News–Volume 21 No 11–August 23, 2016

Cooler Temps!

News from the Fields & Farm: 

We worked in the fields on the off-harvest days to weed. We also cleaned up some beds and planted lettuce (2 plantings). We will reseed some arugula that was lost last week. Farmer Rich admitted he should have waited to plant the arugula a little later as the cooler temps in September would have prevented bug infestation and loss of that crop.

 

Tomatoes on the vine (in various levels of ripening)

clip_image002

 

 

Franklin Greenhouse Report:

The radishes are all up and about a month from harvest. We have a planting of beets ready for harvest over the next 2 weeks. The sweet peppers continue to do well. Unfortunately, it appears that the eggplant plants are not doing as well as past years. We will continue to monitor their status. For seed source for next year, we left a few of the red lettuce plants to go to seed and Farmer Rich saved the seed from those plants. We often will do this for other veggies as well, as this makes a great resource for seeds during the year when we like a specific crop and it does well, we know exactly where the seed is coming from.

 

Weather report: Temperatures are now milder which makes it pleasant to work in the fields. We did receive a timely rainfall of about 1” over the past week. The days are getting shorter and that is making our 6 am start time abit on the dark side as the sun hasn’t fully risen. We will have to adapt pretty soon to a new start time or simply have a few cups of coffee!!