Saturday, September 16, 2017

Catalpa Ridge News–Week of September 17, 2017

Zucchini Sep17There were warmer temperatures during the week and that helped perk-up some of the crops. Our planting of zucchini are really looking good as they were helped by the warmer temps and additional tomatoes are ripening. While there are beans in tonight’s delivery the plants are pretty much shutting down for the remainder of the season. During this time of year, mid to late September, the warm weather crops start to end producing and the cold weather crops pick up. With this warm trend we can extend some of the harvest.

For field work, we have started taking down some trellises from the tomatoes and wrapped beds Sep17cucumber rows and started preparing those areas for next season. More beds were wrapped for planting garlic and onions for next year. This will probably be done about mid-October.

The salad greens in the greenhouse are really looking good and will start appearing in the GreenhouseGreensdeliveries over the next week or two. We have a variety of Red Mustard, Tokyo Bekanna, Green Mustark, and some Red Daikon, a Minosiaese cross. The Cherry Bell Radishes were a stunning crop this year, perhaps the best we have had.

It has been a good year for apples and this week we are delivering Gala apples from a local orchard.

Sunday, September 03, 2017

Catalpa Ridge News–September 4, 2017

Colder Temps still @ the Farm

We had a low of 40 degrees on Saturday morning. Fortunately it was dry all week and only rained on Sunday morning. We actually had to use some irrigation during the week (only about the third time this year), to keep the crops from drying out.

The eroded field from earlier in the year has finally been put back together & we hope it won’t be a problem again. We were able to lay down new beds and actually used the bed wrapping attachment to the tractor to install the plastic and that will be used for garlic. We will also use some of the beds for spring onions and will transplant some of our perennials herbs into them. As autumn approaches we start to plan our fields for next season. Some of our beds have been tilled already and we just need to add soil amendments and fertilizer to prepare them for next year. The soil amendments add minerals and nutrients for the succeeding crops.

Sunchoke FlowerThe Jerusalem Artichoke (Sunchokes) plants are looking good this year. We anticipate harvesting them in about one month. Winter squash may be limited to Spaghetti, Butternut and Acorn this year due to the excessive rain ruining some plantings.

The final steps to complete the repairs on the greenhouse were delayed as we had to harvest on Saturday due to the forecast for rain on Sunday and of course we had rain on Sunday. The crew did some inside work in the greenhouse

Upcoming Event – we will be at the:

Sussex County Harvest, Honey & Garlic Festival

Celebrating the best in Sussex County and Northern NJ Agritourism, Ecotourism and Heritage Tourism

October 7, 2017 - Sussex County Fairgrounds


Sunday, August 27, 2017

Catalpa Ridge News–August 28, 2017

Cooler Temperatures

Cooler Temperatures and low humidity wasPotatoe Harvest the weather of the week. We had much nicer working conditions and alot of field work was accomplished. We harvested the potatoes (red, white & blue varieties). Blue potatoes will be in this week’s delivery. We did loose 2 rows due to excessive rain over the past month.

The greenhouse work progressed, with Michael tackling the repairs. We wanted to cover the greenhouse with new plastic over the weekend but new structural problems arose so we hope to get it accomplished by next weekend. Since the repaired greenhouse is on the list to recover we thought as we might as well cover the other upper greenhouse.

Our recent squash planting is coming along really well and in about 2 weeks we should have a bumper crop of zucchini. The winter squash and pumpkins have not bounced back with all the rain, though we should be able to harvest some.

About 2 months ago during a period of excessive rain, we lost a major part of the main field due to erosion (a min-grand canyon!). We finally were able to put this field back together again. Using our tractor we back filled the area with wood chips and was able to move the soil around to remediate the field. The way the weather looks we hope to have this field primed up for next year’s plantings.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Catalpa Ridge News–August 21, 2017

More Rain ……

It was another rainy week at the farm. We received 2 1/2” over the course of the week. Farmer Rich thinks this may have been the rainiest season yet. Impact on the crops are as follows:

  • The pumpkins, winter squash, potatoes & and the cucumbers in the wetter fields are suffering by being too water logged.

From the Fields

Tomatoes on the VineThe zucchini, which have done fairly well this year, are coming close to the end of the harvest season. We did another planting a few weeks and they are coming along nicely. The second planting of cucumbers, in a better spot, are also doing well.

The potatoes plan to be harvested in the next week or two. We have red, whites & blue varieties in the mix. Our peppers continue to produce nice fruit, though the hot peppers seem to have slowed down. The really hot ones (such as Ghost and Habanero) are taking really long. Unfortunately the Carolina Reapers never survived transplanting.

The tomatoes right now are producing great, perhaps a bumper crop year. We have problems in some of the fields. The cooler nights along with the plants being too wet yields some diseases that can just collapse the plants overnight. These conditions put a lot of pressure on the plants (and on Farmer Rich too!!).

The cabbage plants are starting the head up (slowly). We seeded some radishes and Oriental greens this week.

01f0b0b41f60fb4893786ee94b9402013f83bc9f26Greenhouse Construction: Our heated greenhouse is about 20 years old at this point and was in desperate need of repair. All the joints at the soil line were decayed and starting to break apart. 01a9b6ed862a80f3f1d04e03faa6821a265484f612Actually we were surprised that it didn’t collapse over the winter. The only thing holding it together was the plastic. The crew started the repair on Thursdays and continued through Saturday. We hope to complete it next weekend as the crew will be harvesting on Sunday.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Catalpa Ridge News–August 14, 2017

Rain – Rain – Rain

After an incredibly rainy season we received another 2 1/2” of rain on Friday evening. This could impact future harvesting as many of the plants are water logged. The pumpkin plants are compromised at this point though the winter squash plants are OK. The cucumbers are suffering abit, although we hope that they will bounce back for another few weeks. The peppers & tomatoes continue to produce nicely. The chard, kale & cabbages are happy!

The main planting of zucchini are almost at the end, but the 2nd planting is doing incredibly well. The oriental greens planted in the greenhouse are harvested for delivery and that area will be replanted with greens for autumn deliveries.Picking Apples

The crew picked apples from our on-farm apple trees during the week. These are Red Free variety. This variety was developed by Developed by: PRI (Purdue, Rutgers, Illinois Co Op). They are small but tasty!.

With the lushness outside the fences, due to the rainy season, the animals have not been too much of a problem breaking into the fields. We have had just some minor problemsDeer with Tractors with the occasional deer and a ground hog. There is a large crop of rabbits running around the outside the fences and we are happy that they haven’t decided the break in and eat your crops.

We did find a deer resting among the tractors, apparently finding a nice area to lie down.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Catalpa Ridge News–Volume 22 No 1–June 28, 2017

Late start to the season

Better late than never! After a horrible early spring; no sun, lots of rain and cold temperatures, the harvest season has finally started. We are about 1-2 weeks behind from prior years’ start dates. Now that the warm weather has come the crops are caught up and the harvest has begun.

Farmer Rich and crew have been diligently working over the past several weeks, despite the challenging weather. The greenhouses that were full of plants for our spring heirloom plant sales are now changed over for the CSA deliveries to our corporate, Franklin & On-Farm pickup members. We gave up delivering to Hoboken this year as we can classify Farmer Rich as semi-retired.

The fields are planted with tomatoes, zucchini, cabbage, Brussel Sprouts, peppers, chard, kale and lots of different herbs. All of the plantings in the fields are our own transplants and we have a really nice variety of tomatoes and peppers. Cucumbers and winter squash were seeded last week and they are up and growing already. Some beans were planted but they aren’t doing well.

This week’s delivery is mostly greens, remember the deliveries are seasonal. The tomatoes are greenhouse ripened. The field tomatoes will be coming probably by the end of July and of course there will be many heirloom varieties.

Thank you for your support and we look forward to a bountiful harvest year.