Monday, June 26, 2006

Catalpa Ridge News - Vol 11 No 4 - Week of June 26th

Delivery next Thursday the 6th

4th of JulyAs the 4th of July is on a Tuesday, it has been the consensus of the CSA members that we will deliver on Thursday the 6th instead of the 4th. Hope you all have a happy & healthy 4th of July!

From the Fields: This week is the end of the pea harvest and that field will be mowed & replanted with herbs, beets and a row of tomatoes. The fava bean harvest should begin next week and it looks like a great crop. Meanwhile the cauliflower and broccoli patch that was flooded out has been retrenched and will be replanted with peppers. Leslie & Farmer Rich have started fencing in the new round field and look forward to planting in that this week.

Weather Report: We received about ½” of rain during the week, which was just in time as it perked up the plants but then on Sunday we received over 2” most within 1 hour. This caused some areas to become “swampy” at best. The prediction for the week is scattered storms and as usual we get either too much or too little.

Animal Report: There is a new, unwanted CSA member! A ground hog has moved into the fava bean patch and Farmer Rich can’t get him out. It seems to love the parsley and luckily he left enough for tonight’s delivery.

What’s Up & Growing: This week we seeded Japanese turnips, loose-leaf lettuce, Romaine lettuce and transplanted the rest of the eggplant & peppers. Red Amaranth & the Golden Ball turnips are up & look good. The Gai-Lon is a bit slow, but Farmer Rich will re-evaluate in about a week.

Fruit Report: The strawberry season is over but we are looking forward to some local blueberries next week or the week after.

Ramsey Notes: Special Thank you – We would like to thank Janice Morano for graciously offering her store to be the new drop-off location for the Ramsey CSA group. We are excited about this for a number of reasons; we love the tie in of a local business supporting the farm, the opportunity to continue to deliver our produce to Ramsey and the fact that the deliveries will be kept cool in the large walk-in cooler at her store. We thank my parents, Barb & Bob, for hosting the first three weeks to get the Ramsey CSA group off & running. We look forward to continued growth of the group.

Squash Report – due to the inclement weather (very, very heavy rain) on Monday am, Farmer Diane could not harvest the summer squash we planned on delivering tonight. We should have a nice crop of summer squash for next week.

LAST PRINTED NEWSLETTER – effective July 11th we will no longer be printing newsletters to include in your delivery. We are trying to save a tree! As with the growth of all the CSA drop-offs in Hoboken, Jersey City & Ramsey I am printing over 80 newsletters a week! All the newsletters, recipes, & picks of the week are available on our weblog at: . I will also forward a printable newsletter via e-mail (in PDF format) to anyone interested on a weekly basis. Just e-mail me a request (click here to send us an e-mail) for such & I will add your e-mail address to our group contacts. The newsletter will be sent either late Monday night or early Tuesday morning. If anyone prefers a printed newsletter to be dropped off to the coordinator, just let Lynn know & I will make sure Farmer Rich brings one with him.

REMINDER – Next week’s delivery will be on the 6th of July (Thursday) instead of the 4th.

Pick of the Week: - click on your delivery site on the right to see the Pick-of-the-Week for your drop-off location. This time of year the deliveries will be the same in pounds & variety but may include different items.

FawnbypondFawn by the pond

Monday, June 19, 2006

Catalpa Ridge News Vol 11 No 3 - Week of June 19th

Catalpa Ridge News - Vol 11 No 3

CSF deliveries to: Hoboken Midtown - Hoboken West - Jersey City Hamilton Park - Ramsey - Vernon Valley - On-Farm Pick-up Wantage

Daisy Time

DaisyEver since our first year we have been delivering daisies this time of year. They grow naturally in our fields and are quite pretty swaying in the breeze. Just a little something extra to brighten up your day. (Sorry no recipe – just put in a vase with water and enjoy).

From the Fields This past week it has been VERY dry with no rain. We think there is an alien conspiracy to take our moisture to another universe. Hopefully the farm received some much needed rain in Monday night’s storm. Farmer Rich has been diligently irrigating the fields and has purchased some new sprinklers from Tractor Supply. Sometime Farmer Sue tilled up the round field to be planted this week. Farmer Rich and Leslie will plant it this week with tomatoes, peppers, herbs & squash. Farmer Rich did notice a ground hog eyeing out the crops in the big greenhouse and another one was eating some parsley. Last year at this time the Tasmanian Devil had struck. Luckily he has not returned

FavaBeansWeather Report: Hot-Hot-Hot for the past few days and this is the transition period between the cool weather & warm weather crops. Cool weather crops (such as lettuce & greens) are starting to shut down and the warm weather crops (such as eggplant, peppers & tomatoes) are growing in spurts. Oriental greens are almost done and this is the last delivery of Tokyo Bekana. The fava’s are starting to “bean-up” and the peas are shutting down (both are cool weather crops).

Animal Report:Creature of the Week

Who’s Climbing on the Garlic? For those of you who have visited the farm know how “wild” it is. We have Toad2deer, bear, groundhogs, rabbits, song birds, hawks and more. This past weekend Farmer Rich was getting ready to water the greenhouse and the sole garlic plant in the greenhouse had an ugly toad climbing up it! It was probably no larger than the length of his thumb. I guess it wanted a better view of the crops! When Farmer Rich asked Sue if she had any recipes for ugly toads, it appears that the toad gave Rich an obscene hand gesture!

What’s Up & Growing: This week’s plantings included Gai-Lon, celery, celerac, peppers, eggplant and tomatoes. Amaranth and golden-ball turnips were seeded (prior turnips were washed away in the rain 2 weeks ago). A pick-your-own cherry tomato row has been planted so any members visiting the farm this summer can pick their own to bring home.

Strawberry Report: Looks like this is last week of strawberries. Normally we are only able to deliver one week, but this year we were able to deliver two as we were working with two farmers. This week’s strawberries are from Heather & Adam Hubbard, just around the corner from us. Fruit from Windy Brow will be starting in July!

Pick of the Week:This time of year we may have to split the deliveries between the different drop-off sites. Perhaps one site will get Kale, while the other Maruba. The deliveries will all be the same size & variety, but may include a few different items. Click on the link on the right for your drop-off site to see you pick-of-the-week.


Farmer Rich setting up new sprinkler

Monday, June 12, 2006

Catalpa Ridge News Vol 11 No 2 - Week of June 12th

Catalpa Ridge News - Vol 11 No 2 CSF deliveries to: Hoboken Midtown - Hoboken West - Jersey City Hamilton Park - Ramsey - Vernon Valley - On-Farm Pick-up Wantage

Toto we’re not in Wantage Anymore!Toto Wow – what a windy Saturday & Sunday.The winds were blowing all day and the plants were not happy! Luckily Farmer Rich corralled the fava beans with rope the night the night before to prevent them from falling down or breaking. Had this not been done we probably would have had a few rows that would have been flattened and thus non-productive. In the yin & yang of things, the wind did dry out a few of our overly wet fields. From the Fields The rainy weekend delayed replanting some crops and the cooler weather has delayed others such as cucumbers, tomatoes & beans. The high winds on Saturday and Sunday were outright damaging as a few times Farmer Rich noticed tops of the potato plants flying off into the woods. The winds also damaged the tomatillos and the tops of some tomatoes, but these will be replanted this week.

Animal Report: Hatchlings still sleeping in the cabbage! The new hatchlings are about 1 ½ weeks old now and “Sometime Farmer” Sue was Birdsable to get a close-up of them in the nest. I was able to get pretty close and two of the four hatchlings were watching probably wondering why I was so interested in peeking in on them. My guess is they will be leaving the nest soon and they are definitely ready to move as one did run around when I got too close. Check out the beaks & eyes on the photo (labeled Morton 1 & Morton 2)

Weather Report: Over the last two weeks we have had a high of 98º F and a low of 42º F with 4 ½” of rain. The season started out very dry, progressed to too wet. Each season is unique and we are quite sure we’ll be moaning about it being too dry in a few weeks. It always seems we get through these weather ups & downs.

What’s Up & Growing: The newly seed arugula, carrots & turnips are all up. Tonight’s delivery has opened up a spot in the greenhouse which will be seeded this week with something (Farmer Rich hasn’t decided yet). Last week’s delivery blocks were replanted with eggplant & peppers.

What’s been planted so far:

Mixed Oriental Greens (15 varieties) Beets (2 varieties) Beans (2 varieties) Fava Beans (2 varieties) Chard (2 varieties) Kale Turnips Celery Lettuces (lots!) Arugula Chickory Tomatoes (many different varieties) Garlic (lots!) Cherry Tomatoes (for CSF members to pick their own if you visit the farm) Peppers (6 varieties) Eggplant (3 varieties) Tomatillos Herbs Squash (4 varieties) Broccoli Cauliflower Cabbage Cucumbers (5 varieties) Carrots (2 varieties) Onions (3 varieties) And more….

Strawberry Report: Tonight’s strawberries come from our neighboring farmers Diane and Adam & Heather Hubbard. We don’t grow strawberries on our farm, but we do network with other farmers close to us to bring variety to your deliveries & supplement the CSF share. Both farmers, like us, are not certified organic but they do not use any chemical fertilizer or sprays. The fruit deliveries from Windy Brow will start in July, so look forward to some great plums & peaches soon.

Pick of the Week:

  • Baby Lettuces- great salad mix
  • Tokyo Bekana – oriental green excellent for stir-fry, soup & salad mixes
  • Red Mustard Greens – cut the leaves & discard the stalks; for salad, stir-fry or boil
  • Sugar Snap Peas – eat raw or cook
  • Turnip Greens – stir-fry
  • Green Garlic – use like garlic
  • Strawberries
  • Herb of the Week:
  • Oregano

The potato patch:Potato Patch

Monday, June 05, 2006

Catalpa Ridge News Vol 11 No 1 - Week of June 5th

Catalpa Ridge News - Vol 11 No. 1 - First Delivery of the season CSF deliveries to: Hoboken Midtown - Hoboken West - Jersey City Hamilton Park - Ramsey - Vernon Valley - On-Farm Pick-up Wantage

CSA s’il vous plaît??

This is our 11th year delivering to CSA (community supported agriculture) members and the first year that we have received so many inquiries about CSA and where we deliver. Most of course have come from word-of-mouth and this year the internet played a big role. But many inquiries have also come from our events during the year, where a simple question from a customer about “do you have a farm-stand where we can buy produce” evolves into an explanation to them that we don’t sell at farmers markets or have a stand, but are supported by groups of people that come together to support the farm. This concept allows a small farm to be sustainable by guaranteeing the farmer a market and in return the members receive weekly deliveries during the harvest season. In this day and age, knowing where you food is coming from is so important. 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! Thanks to Ellen from Vernon Valley for supplying the headline this year!

From the Fields The fava beans go ballistic! Farmer Rich planted them on March 15th and they are about shoulder height right now. Never in the last 11 years have they been this big! They are starting to “bean-up” as we speak. We also have a nice crop of peas developing. We should have strawberries next week from Hubbard Hill Farm. We were hoping for this week, but with the cooler weather they slowed down a bit. When we supplement our deliveries from other farmers, rest assured they are growing using the same practices as we do “pesticide-free”. For the fruit deliveries from Windy Brow Farm starting in July, they use IPM (integrated pest management) techniques.

Weather Report: We have received some much needed rain during the past week. The season started out very dry and we almost lost our pea crop after 4” of rain in two hours (about 3 weeks ago). This same rain storm wiped out our first planting of spinach. As of now we are receiving just enough rain with the night temperatures ideal for plant growth.

Animal Report: Who’s sleeping in the cabbage? Farmer Rich makes his morning rounds through the fields and greenhouses each morning. One morning he noticed some small eggs in a nest in the ground under a cabbage plant. About three days later the eggs had hatched and they are just squirming around right now. Sue was able to take a few pictures on Sunday. Perhaps by next week they will be a little livelier. We’ll keep you posted on their progress.

What’s Up & Growing: Last year we hired a part-time helper, Leslie. This additional help was very instrumental in our larger later deliveries and we are in good position for our early deliveries this year. She works about 3 days per week and is taking a great interest in the farm. Leslie has helped with transplanting in the greenhouse, planting the fields, weeding, mulching and general farm manage-ment. This was much needed help especially now that we have 5 drop-off sites! This is what has been planted & growing right now.

Pick of the Week:

Lettuce- seed saved by Debbie Dandelion but it crossed w/other varieties)
Arugula - Astra variety - great in salad - a nice nutty peppery flavor
Tokyo Bekana - oriental green excellent for stir-fry, soup & salad mixes
Red Mustard Greens - salad, stir-fry or boil
Mixed Oriental Greens - with bekana & mustard greens
Adolescent Shanghi Cabbage - stir-fry, salad mix
White Hailstone Radishes - with edible greens
Green Garlic - use like garlic
Herb of the Week: Rosemary