Sunday, October 29, 2017

Catalpa Ridge News–October 30, 2017

Last Delivery of the Season

It was dry during the week, except for Sunday and we did nave seasonable temperatures. We haven’t had a frost yet at the farm, though some have occurred locally in the surrounding area. It appears from the weather forecast that we will receive a heavy frost on Wednesday morning. This usually happens after a heavy rain this time of year. Luckily the frost will be arriving after the end of the seasonal deliveries.

The beds that have been harvested will all be brush-hogged and then prepare them for next season. It is a bit late to plant a cover crop now, though we probably have enough mulching on top to cover the beds before winter.image

The crew planting garlic during the week and we are ready to plant more during the first weekend of November. They also finished winterizing the heated greenhouse. It is now totally covered with a new door and plastic.

Our Annual Wooly Bear Caterpillar IC_Pyrrharctia_isabella_caterpillarReport. According to folklore, the wooly bear can predict how severe the winter will be. Here is an excerpt from

  • According to folklore, the amount of black on the woolly bear in autumn varies proportionately with the severity of the coming winter in the locality where the caterpillar is found.  The longer the woolly bear's black bands, the longer, colder, snowier, and more severe the winter will be.  Similarly, the wider the middle brown band is associated with a milder upcoming winter.  The position of the longest dark bands supposedly indicates which part of winter will be coldest or hardest.  If the head end of the caterpillar is dark, the beginning of winter will be severe.  If the tail end is dark, the end of winter will be cold. In addition, the woolly bear caterpillar has 13 segments to its body, which traditional forecasters say correspond to the 13 weeks of winter.

At the farm, we have equal stripes so we guess it is a toss up as to what kind of winter it will be.

The is the last delivery of the season. Thank you for supporting our farm. We look forward to seeing you again in the spring!


Sunday, October 22, 2017

Catalpa Ridge News–October 22, 2017

Garlic Planting

The trees are finally showing signs of color. Better late than never! About 30% of the trees around our area dropped their leaves before even turning color. imageYou can see on the photo of the crew planting garlic on Sunday, the ash trees have no leaves on them. Usually this time of year they would be bright scarlet in color.

We had a light frost on Tuesday morning last week and Farmer Diane just down the road was hit hard and lost a lot of her crops. This has happened before as our higher altitude protected us during this frost. The cold air flows down the mountain and the warmer air moves up the mountain and that leads to us being less impacted during the early frosts. It is only a matter of time before a season ending frost comes. image

The crew planted garlic on Sunday with a perfect day to do so. Temperatures were in the 70’s and hardly a cloud in the sky. They planted over 2000 cloves of German White and Italian Purple varieties. The remaining rows will be planted over the next week or two and we hope to get 8,000-10,000 cloves planted.

Last delivery of the season will be next week.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Catalpa Ridge News–October 16, 2017

Continued Warm Temps

The weather remains warm though the cooler temperatures are on the horizon. We pulled up the cucumber and bean trellises. We brush hogged that area and the sunchokes (Jerusalem Artichokes). The sunchokes are in the delivery today. The winter squash has all been harvested and they will be in the deliveries over the next few weeks. The tomato crop appears to be at the end and the plants are ready to be pulled up soon.

GarlicBeds 2017The garlic beds are ready and we plan on planting soon. It will be a bit later than we have planted in years past but with the warmer temperatures we wanted to put off planting as to not promote too much growth before the cold weather. In between the white plastic rows we have a summer annual covercrop. Normally by this time it is frozen and will die back but the warm temperatures it is still growing. We may even have to cut it prior to planting the garlic.

With just two more weeks to deliver after this week, we will be getting everything that is deliverable off the fields.

Sunday, October 08, 2017

Catalpa Ridge News–October 8, 2017

Autumn Conditions Slowly Approaching

This week we had temperatures in the 70’s and they reached in the 80’s over the weekend. It was even hot early in the mornings, not typical for this time of year. The lack of rain and the warm temperatures are impacting the fall foliage. In our area it appears to that the leaves are just falling off the trees without much color. For optimum autumn color, the trees normally need a nice hard-frost, and this has not occurred nor is there one in the forecast in the near future.

We are preparing garlic for planting and the beds are ready to go. It is one of the crops that get planted late in the season for harvest next year. The garlic variety in the delivery is called Music. It was named after its developer, Al Music, the farmer who switched from growing tobacco to garlic in the early 1980’s. It was developed from a strain of garlic he acquired in Italy and brought to Ontario Canada.

The winter squash are coming along and the delivery this week includes Acorn. The butternut will be delivered next week. Our late summer squash did well with some zucchini production. Another variety we have is pattypan, a uniquely shaped squash, sometimes referred to as flying saucers!

BUTTER~1The annual Monarch butterfly migration has started as evidenced by them appearing at the farm. We seem to be on their path south to Mexico. They continue to migrate through the end of October or the first severe freeze. They search for milkweed and we have plenty at the farm. An online article on discusses the mystery of how Monarchs find the overwintering sites each year. “Somehow they know their way, even though the butterflies returning to Mexico or California each fall are the great-great-grandchildren of the butterflies that left the previous spring. No one knows exactly how their homing system works; it is another of the many unanswered questions in the butterfly world.

Sunday, October 01, 2017

Catalpa Ridge News–October 2, 2017

Cooler Temperatures Return to the Farm

Last Sunday we covered the greenhouse and the temperature was approaching the mid 90’s and on Sunday it was struggling to get to 60-degrees. We still have not received much rain. We have noticed that with the higher temperatures during last week and the lack of rain appears to be postponing the fall foliage in the area. We can see the colors subtly red apples on treechanging but not the big bursts of color we usually see. The apple season is upon us and there are a number of great varieties available now.

The potatoes have been harvested and will be in today’s delivery and again in the future. This week we have Adirondack Blues. The winter squash will start to be delivered next week. The sunchokes are almost ready to harvest and we anticipate them being ready in about 2 weeks. The tomatoes are pretty much done but we can probably squeeze out some more deliveries over the next few weeks, just as long as we don’t get a heavy frost. Our second planting of zucchini will probably be ready in about 2 weeks as well. All of our oriental greens in the greenhouse have some bug problems. Since we don’t spray they may become a crop loss.

We made a trip to Saugerties on Saturday to pick up some new varieties of garlic to plant for next year. A few varieties we haven’t had in a few years are: Marengo, Georgia Fire and Russian Red.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Catalpa Ridge News–September 25, 2017

Autumn Arrived

As summer has refused to leave, being 90-degrees over the weekend, we will be greenhouse recoveredtransitioning into autumn soon enough. In preparation of the end of the season we finally finished covering the greenhouse with new plastic. The nice thing about this project was that with the high temperatures on Sunday and virtually no wind, the crew completed the recovering and when the colder temperatures come the plastic will have a super close fit.

We are looking at another two weeks of higher than normal temperatures and no rain is in the forecast.

This week the crew started disassembling the trellises from the cucumber patch that has stopped producing and brush hogged that and the first squash field in preparation of planting a cover crop before winter. The tomatoes in the same area are slowly decreasing production and we’ll probably start pulling up those trellises over the next week. The garlic beds are all prepared and we hope to plant around the middle of October.

We have had twin deer visiting us off and on during the summer. Luckily they are staying outside the fences. They do like to watch Praying Mantis visitingwhat we are doing. We also had another visitor on Sunday, a giant praying mantis decided to sit on the tractor and see what was going on!