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.



Farmer Rich manning the tomato table:



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)




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!!

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Catalpa Ridge News–Vol 21 No 10–August 16, 2016

Excessive Heat

News from the Fields & Farm: 

The Heirloom Tomatoes are coming along nicely. We were able to transplant lettuce in a shady part of the main field toward the end of last week. The round field is not looking good due to poor it being baked in the sun, though we do have irrigation running. The crew is calling it “death valley” at this point. The plants are fortunately are doing well since we did receive some rain.


It was brutally hot and humid this week and very difficult to work in the fields. We do start early but that didn’t seem to help. On one day we actually “lost” a worker to heat stress. We emphasize safety and when it is too hot we encourage sitting the shade, drinking lots of water and Gatorade and don’t expect anyone to return to work until feeling better. The worker was being abit stubborn and passed out though recovered in a short period of time.


Sampling some items from the delivery for lunch at the Farm on Sunday!




Franklin Greenhouse Report:

Tiffany cleaned it up last week and Michael planted into the beds this week. Two varieties of radishes were planted as well a few other items.

The greenhouse tomatoes are starting to slow in their production which is just in time for the accelerated production of the field tomatoes (mostly heirlooms).

Weather report: Excessive heat for the better part of the week. The crew started early to be able to work before it got too stressful with the high  humidity. We did receive about 3” of rain during the week, spread out over 3 different thunderstorms.

Michael – 2nd Place @ Open Vegetable Show


Lisa Showing her ribbons for Exhibiting her Livestock clip_image004

Monday, August 08, 2016

Catalpa Ridge News–Volume 21 No 9–August 9, 2016


Blue Ribbons for Michael !


News from the Fields & Farm:  Michael placed 2nd place overall at the Open Vegetable Show at the Sussex Farm & Horse Show. He received 49 blue ribbons overall with 3 Best-in-Show exhibits. Congratulations Michael.


We spent the week cleaning up between the rows in the field. It is amazing how when the rains came the weeds grew 10xs faster than the veggie plants. We now have full control back.


The transplants in the greenhouse will be going into the field this week. We did plant cucumbers, a little late, but they should work by the early fall. Virtually all of the potatoes have been harvested and will be showing up in the deliveries starting next week.clip_image002


The winter squash are coming along really nicely. We probably will start the harvest in about 2-3 weeks. We have spaghetti, butternut, acorn, buttercup just to name a few.


The onions are almost cured in the greenhouse and they will be in next week’s deliver along with the start of the cured garlic.


Franklin Greenhouse Report: All of the peppers in this week’s delivery are from the Franklin greenhouse. The Oriental greens and radishes did not germinate well and those that did are suboptimal for harvest. The beds have been cleaned out and we will replant this week.


Weather report: More rain fell during the week. Fortunately, no hail came with the severe thunderstorm on Saturday afternoon. We will probably have to run some irrigation this week upon returning from the deliveries as there is no rain in the forecast.  


Upcoming Events:  


New Jersey State Fair/Sussex Farm & Horse ShowAugust 5 – AUGUST 14, 2016 - 37 Plains Road, Augusta, NJ.
Friday, August 5 – Saturday to August 13 —

10 am – 10 pm
Sunday, August 14 — 10 am – 5 pm



Heirloom Tomato TastingAn Annual Taste of Summer at the Hoboken Historical Museum – August 28 - 1-5 pm 1301 Hudson Street. Join us for an afternoon of tasting a few dozen varieties of heirloom tomatoes and farm fresh produce will be available as well.


Motto when we are stressed:

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Catalpa Ridge News–Vol 21 No 8–August 2, 2016


We had a Great Rainy Week


News from the Fields & Farm:  We finally received more than a brief rain. Over 3” fell during the past week over 3 different days and boy did it really perk the plants up!


We started to harvest the Red Wing Onions from the field. They are now in the greenhouse on the racks curing along with some white Cipollini onions and shallots.


We transplanted, lettuces and escarole. The fields did become too wet to work in. The field tomatoes are in great shape and we have started harvesting. The cherry tomatoes are almost ready to harvest.


The fruit is behind due to the late freeze and we hope to be able to get some fruit from a local farm in the near future.



Franklin Greenhouse Report: We are still harvesting tomatoes from the greenhouse and it looks like more eggplant for the next few weeks. We should have sweet & hot peppers next week from the greenhouse. We will have to replant the Oriental Greens as it appears we have a crop loss due to it getting too hot.


Weather report: Rain fell a number of different days this past week. All the field crops are looking much better. This month’s rainfall has surpassed the rain in July 2015, though the temperatures were higher.


Fun Facts about Romaine Lettuce: from: How has Caesar Salad affected the production of Romaine Lettuce?  But for much of the 20th century, romaine wasn’t known at all to many Americans. That’s because of the overwhelming success of iceberg lettuce, which can remain reliably crunchy (though incredibly bland) despite days if not weeks of shipping. As late as the mid-1970s, iceberg lettuce accounted for more than 95 percent of all of the lettuce grown in this country.

Then along came the reborn Caesar salad. Invented in a Tijuana restaurant in the 1920s (which one is a subject of a bitter interfamilial dispute), for decades the Caesar kind of limped along in all of its garlicky glory as a California specialty.

Then, all of a sudden, in the late 1970s it was “discovered” by the fast-food industry, often topped with very untraditional grilled chicken, and there followed a couple of decades of extremely heady popularity.
From almost nothing, by the mid ’90s, more than 16,000 acres of romaine was being grown. By 2000 that had increased to more than 60,000 acres and today it stands at more than 80,000.


Sunday, July 24, 2016

Catalpa Ridge News–Volume 21 No 7–July 26, 2016

Brief Reprieve

News from the Fields & Farm:  We received some rain last Monday/Tuesday which has provided a brief reprieve to the dry conditions. It is amazing how a little rain can “fluff” everything up. 


The crew worked in the field at the end of the week and clipped up the tomato plants to keep them off the ground. They also cleaned up some of the beds. The arugula and turnip transplants started in the greenhouse were planted into the main field.


We started harvesting the potatoes (Adirondack Blues and Red Norland). We will start to deliver them over the next few weeks.  


We are starting early in the am so that we can accomplish a lot before it gets too hot. The heat and humidity were especially brutal this past week.



Franklin Greenhouse Report: The Oriental greens are almost ready to harvest, we hope for next week. Almost all the tomatoes in this week’s delivery are from the Franklin greenhouse and the field tomatoes are just starting to be harvested. The cherry tomatoes are running late but we hope they will be abundant (it sure looks like they will be).



Weather report: As mentioned earlier we finally received some rain. Less than 2 miles down the road at Diane’s farm no rain fell. We were lucky the receive that rain and hope for more this week. The irrigation system still remains in full swing.  



clip_image002[5]The Sussex Farm & Horse Show – NJ State Fair is approaching fast! Farmer Rich will be a judge at the Open Vegetable Show again this year and Farmer Sue is on the Vegetable Committee and runs the computer for the Veggie Show to record the exhibits, exhibitors and results. It is always a fun time especially when the kids bring in their exhibits. Everyone gets a ribbon! It is a great day out and there are plenty of things to see and do. It is also a great time for the kids. Go online to see events at: .


Upcoming Events:  

New Jersey State Fair/Sussex Farm & Horse ShowAugust 5 – AUGUST 14, 2016 - 37 Plains Road, Augusta, NJ.
Friday, August 5 – Saturday, August 13 — 10 am – 10 pm
Sunday, August 14 — 10 am – 5 pm



Heirloom Tomato TastingAn Annual Taste of Summer at the Hoboken Historical Museum – August 28 - 1-5 pm 1301 Hudson Street. Join us for an afternoon of tasting a few dozen varieties of heirloom tomatoes and farm fresh produce will be available as well.