Monday, June 13, 2005

Catalpa Ridge News - Week of June 13th

Hot - Hot- Hot After an unusually cool spring the current extreme hot & dry conditions have started to ruin the cool weather crops. Fortunately we have a very early delivery of cauliflower which just loved growing on those cool spring days. The spinach is beginning to bolt, but we were able to harvest it on Sunday. A few varieties of Oriental greens bolted prematurely and will be replanted. We currently are replanting cauliflower, spinach and more Oriental greens for autumn deliveries. So far the broccoli, fava beans, peas & late plantings of lettuce are doing well in the fields. They do need water & a break in this extreme heat. Farmer Rich is irrigating the fields from the pond and it looks like cooler weather is on it's way on Wednesday night.

Leslie, a local neighbor, is helping on the farm on Saturdays with planting, transplanting, weeding & with general farm duties. Last week she transplanted a number of cherry tomato plants to make a "pick-your-own" patch for any CSF members who visit the farm can pick their own cherry tomatoes. We will let you know when they are ready to harvest. This past Saturday, Leslie transplanted the summer squash in the field. Four different varieties have been planted. We welcome aboard our new farm-hand!

Strawberry Report - We have strawberries this week from our neighboring farmer Diane. We don't grow strawberries on our farm but we do network with other farmers close to use to bring variety to your deliveries & supplement the CSF share. Diane, like us, is not certified organic and she does not use any chemical fertilizer or sprays. The fruit deliveries from Windy Brow farm will start in July, so look forward to some great plums and peaches soon.

Country Sampler Share In past years we have been able to offer a country-sampler-share so members could choose to have a once-a-month delivery of free-range eggs, goat cheese, goat fudge & honey. This year we are not able to offer it due to problems coordinating with the other farmers. If things change, we will keep you posted.

Crop Report - What's Up & Growing - Some eggplant, peppers & more tomatoes are waiting to the transplanted into a prepared field. This week they should go in. The early tomatoes that were planted in the hoop-house are doing really well and are beginning to flower. Hopefully Farmer Rich will re-seed the spinach patch which has been tilled and ready for planting. Kale, herbs, perpetual spinach and a row of tomatoes are slated to be planted there.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Catalpa Ridge News - Week of June 6th

Our 10th year! The CSA movement actually started in the 1970's in Japan, and then became popular in Europe. Community Supported Farms started in the United States in the 1980's. With this movement the members support the farm directly and know where their food is coming from and have access to all aspects of the farm. Small farms become more sustainable, not having to worry about where their market will come from. Members are helping to sustain a farm and in return are receiving fresh, locally grown seasonal produce throughout the harvest year. We began with a small CSA on the lower east side of Manhattan 10 years ago with just 10 members. It had grown to over 100 members at one point, but with lack of help on the farm we decided to concentrate on delivering just in NJ and thus the Hoboken, Jersey City & Vernon Valley CSA's have been sustaining the farm over the last several years. We thank all of you for your continued support and allowing us to reach this landmark year. Without member support the farm may have been lost to development. We are always looking for ways to improve and encourage suggestions from the members. We continue to produce a newsletter each week to let you know what is happening at the farm as well as recipes for the weekly delivery. We also like to have a few trips to the farm throughout the year where the members can visit, tour & help out with a few projects. We look forward to a bountiful year. Weather Report - The month of May was quite dry and less than 1" of total rain fell during the month. This month too has been dry except for some isolated rain storms. We still need that soaking-in kind of rain. Farmer Rich has had to irrigate the crops regularly since they have been planted in the fields. Animal Report - So far this year we have been lucky with the animals staying away from the field crops. Last year at this time the rabbits were running rampant. We can only assume they are waiting for the most in-opportune time to attack! Crop Reports - What's Up & Growing! The early spring deliveries are light with many types of greens. As the weeks progress you will be receiving more variety. Here is a list of what has been planted & is growing right now: Cucumbers - 2 varieties Garlic Peas Fava Beans Broccoli Spinach Chard - 2 varieties Cauliflower Sunchokes Arugula - 2 varieties Green onions Red Cabbage Radishes- 4 varieties Endive Beets- 2 var. Kohlrabi Lettuce Tomatillos Tomatoes - 5 varieties Oriental greens- 5 var Turnips - 2 var Herbs - 10 varieties The following crops are waiting to be transplanted: Sweet Peppers - 2 varieties Leeks Hot Peppers - 3 varieties Tomatoes - 15 more var. Eggplant - 4 varieties Zucchini - 3 varieties Winter Squash - 4 varieties Okra