Monday, July 31, 2006

Catalpa Ridge News Vol 11 No 9 - Week of July 31st (August 1)

Heat - Repeat

As you can see reading our weather report below it has been exceedingly hot as you all probably are feeling it too! We have the first delivery of sweet corn from Farmers Heather & Adam Hubbard, whose farm is just around the corner from us. There is nothing like local fresh corn. Eat as soon as possible for maximum sweetness! Remember it is no spray corn, so you may encounter a worm hole or two. With weather permitting we should be able to deliver their corn for the next few weeks.

From the Fields: The crops are responding to the rain that we did receive. We transplanted cucumbers and a final planting of zucchini. We have an ongoing process of staking the cucumbers to keep them off the ground. We seeded Tokyo Bekana and Shanghi Cabbage to replace the Japanese turnips that failed. They are up and doing well. We have a new seeding of chard planted for fall harvest. Cilantro & more beets have also been seeded for the fall as well as fennel, collards & Chinese cabbage.

Weather Report:Hot-Hot & more hot! It has been the hottest we have seen for this long a stretch including last year. We have had to close down field work early in the day as it is impossible to work. In place of working in the field, Farmer Rich & helper Leslie have been cleaning up the garlic harvest. We did receive some rain which gave us a nice break from having to irrigate, although on Monday Farmer Rich did have to start irrigating the fields. It looks like another week of excessive heat. The excessive heat caused another set back in the tomatoes, as if the day temperatures are too hot the blossoms drop off the plant and the plant will not bear any fruit. We are just starting to see some tomatoes on the vine, though not enough to start delivering. We hope to have some tomatoes within the next week or two.

Animal Report: Luckily no problems this past week. No bear, no deer, no groundhog, no birds. Guess it is too hot for them too.

Fruit Report: Plums are from Windy Brow this week and Farmer Jim says that the peach harvest is starting, so look forward to peaches next week.

Upcoming Events:

· NJ State Fair - Aug 4-13th -

· Hoboken Tomato Tasting - August 27th
· Tomato Tasting - September 9th - Ramsey Day
· Garlic Gathering - October 7-8 - Lafayette, · Garlic Day @ Arboretum - October 22nd - Morristown

info @

Creature of the Week:

Goldfinches.jpgMr & Mrs Goldfinch are helping to eat the seeds of the most obnoxious thistle plants that abound at the farm.

Pick of the Week
: Click on the link below (or on the right) for your drop-off location. This time of year the deliveries will be the same in pounds & variety but may include different items at each location.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Catalpa Ridge News Vol 11 No 8 - Week of July 24th

State Fair is Coming!

The New Jersey State Fair is approaching quickly. It is starting on August 4th and runs to August 13th. We have been on the Vegetable Committee for about 8 years now and often exhibit as well. It still remains a "country style" fair where you can see exhibits of all kinds of farm animals, crafts, agricultural events, horse shows, performing arts and of course there is the carnival side as well. More information can be found at

Sweet corn should be coming next week according to Farmers Adam & Heather (just around the corner from us). We don't grow any corn on our farm, as corn is a large field crop & we grow on a smaller scale. So look forward to some great local sweet corn next week!

From the Fields: We finished harvesting the garlic crop and it is now drying & curing in the greenhouse. This year it looks like the best garlic crop we have had which is opposite of last year. Farmer Rich & helper Leslie transplanted the round field but with the garlic harvest a lot of projects have backed-up. Our planting of Gailon, turnips, cilantro & dill all have failed and we hope to replant this week. Looks like they did not get enough water over the past 1+ weeks. The tomatoes are slow but coming along as are the eggplants & peppers. The tomato planting that we thought was lost has come back quite well.

Weather Report: For the last 2 weeks we had a high temperature of 105ºF. It has only rained 1" in this period too, which has kept Farmer Rich actively irrigating the fields that he can. Hard to believe after receiving so much rain 3 weeks ago.

Animal Report: One groundhog has moved out & another has moved in. Farmer Rich thinks he has fixed the fence (for about the 5th time) to keep him on the outside, looking in! Otherwise we haven't had too many other pests.

Fruit Report: The Beauty-heart plums are from Windy Brow Farms. We have been delivering fruit from Windy Brow for 4 years now and get the plums, peaches, nectarines & apples in season as part of your CSF share.

Creature of the week:

Turtle.jpgThis snapping turtle all covered in mud was making a bee-line for the woods and just detoured for a few minutes in the potato patch.

Upcoming Events:

  • NJ State Fair - Aug 4-13th - Fairgrounds
  • Tomato Tasting - August 27th
  • Tomato Tasting - September 9th - Ramsey Day
  • Garlic Gathering - October 7-8 - ,
  • Garlic Day @ Arboretum - October 22nd - info @

Pick of the Week: Click on the link below (or on the right) for your drop-off location. This time of year the deliveries will be the same in pounds & variety but may include different items at each location.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Catalpa Ridge News Vol 11 No 7 - Week of July 17th


It is blueberry time - just in time for the late arrival of a new CSA member (see photo below)! We had a great day at the farm on Saturday with Hoboken West members Desiree, Jay and their daughters Claire & Renee and Hoboken Midtown members, Patricia, Francis & Eric driving up to help out. Upon their arrival we gave them a tour of the farm and then proceeded to the major task of the day; harvest the rest of the fava beans. We were cruising along, hot, but not too hot as there was a nice breeze blowing, then all of a sudden a rain storm came which drove everyone into the greenhouse to keep dry. Sometime Farmer Sue stuck it out under the ash trees in the picnic area to cook up lunch. We had a fresh picked squash, salad, fresh garlic-pesto, garlic bread, cheese, fresh sweet corn on the cobb, campfire pizzas & hotdogs! The CSA members were real troopers! While they were waiting out the pouring rain in the greenhouse, they weeded it - it has never looked so good! After lunch they actually were able to finish harvesting the favas. Unfortunately with the rain delay we did not get to harvest any garlic. This was a crucial task to complete, as with 6 adults harvesting over 1 hour each was equal to Farmer Rich having to work a full day performing the same task or ½ day with helper Leslie. It has freed up time so he could complete today's harvest as well as working on continued plantings and harvesting garlic on Sunday & Monday. We usually like to schedule work-days at the farm for tasks such as this; labor intensive. It truly gives those who help an appreciation of where their produce comes from. We were able to show them the different stages of plantings, new seedings, problems that occur and more. Late in the day Claire, who is about 2 years old, asked her dad Jay to bring her up to see our pond again. It is up & over a small embankment so we couldn't see them up there, but when then came back they told us they saw 2 fawns by the pond! What a treat that must have been. After everyone left & Sue & Rich were cleaning up and loading up their vehicles, Sue looked down into the back of the picnic area & a new CSA member was checking things out. Luckily Sue had on her telephoto lens to get this shot. More photos will be posted on the weblog ( !

From the Fields: The chard is up & doing well, we just need to get some water on it. The cilantro & fava greens are doing well and the dill is a bit iffy at this point. The original fava patch was seeded with beets on Saturday & Sunday. Our squash seems to be coming back from the dead as are the tomatoes (the flooded conditions had really done them in for a while). We were able to show the CSA members that the potatoes were potatoing-up. Hopefully this week we can transplant the seeded veggies from the greenhouse to the fields. The freshly harvested fava patch will be mowed up tilled to be planted as well as the round field.

Weather Report: Nothing more to say than it is HOT!

Animal Report: Our neighborhood groundhog continues to break into the field to eat the parsley. He seems to like the parsley & weeds. Doesn't say much for Farmer Rich's crops now does it!


Late arrival: New CSA member or just looking for a free lunch?

Pick of the Week: Click on the link below (or on the right) for your drop-off location. This time of year the deliveries will be the same in pounds & variety but may include different items at each location.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Catalpa Ridge News Vol 11 No 6 - Week of July 10th

Trip to the Farm - Saturday!

Each harvest season we like to schedule a few trips to the farm to give the members an opportunity to visit, see their produce growing & help with a few projects. We are about 1 ½ hours away from Jersey City or Hoboken, 1 hour from Ramsey. We are located in Wantage, NJ, and it is a good opportunity to spend a day in the country. Just RSVP by the 13th so we can have enough refreshments & plan our lunch menu. Sometime Farmer Sue usually cooks up a storm on the campfire (we are really rustic up there) and of course we'll have fresh veggies from the field too. In the past most members usually like to plan the day at the farm sometime between 11 am - 3 pm or may just stay part of the day. Either way just let us know. You can reply by e-mailor phone & I'll get directions to you. Rain date will be July 22nd.

From the Fields: The first planting of fava beans has been completely harvested with two deliveries of favas to each of our drop-off sites. Sue mowed up the patch & Farmer Rich will till it up & prepare it for another planting. Next week will probably be the last of the fava bean harvest from another patch (a different variety). Please remember that the bean pods will turn black during these hot days, but the beans inside are O.K. Just remove the pods as soon as possible & you can keep the beans to prepare within a few days. With the extra wet conditions that came after the heavy rains 10+") we have a bumper crop of slugs, as you have probably noticed with the holes in many of the greens.

Weather Report: We only had 3 ¼" of rain since our last deluge of 10" early in the month. Farmer Rich is irrigating the newly seeded pea bed & the greenhouses. The night temperatures are a little on the cool side, unlike last year and even the day temperatures have been lower than last year. The eggplant & peppers are doing great in the greenhouse, as the temperatures reach well over 100º.

Animal Report: The groundhog continues to eat the parsley. He is quite a devious devil, every time Farmer Rich finds where he is breaking in he decides to relocate to a new entrance.

What's Up & Growing: The chard that was planted in the old pea patch is up. Farmer Rich & helper Leslie transplanted into the round field, tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, squash. Kale & chard should be planted into the same field this week. It has been a short week since the last delivery last Thursday, so not much else is new.

Harvest Overview: This time of year we like to give you an overview of how we are doing. In 2005 for the 1st 6 weeks of the season we delivered a total of 25.95 pounds per full-share and this year for the same 1st 6 weeks we have delivered 24.67 pounds. You can see that in 05 we had a larger than usual delivery week 6, but this year it happened in week 5. Most of the reason is there were 10 days between deliveries this year due to 4th of July. The drop off this week is due to only 4 days to start harvesting for this week's shares. Also last year we had nice cauliflower & broccoli and this year we haven't had any harvest despite planting over 400 plants. Next week we hope to start delivering the fruit from Windy Brow. It all depends on the weather. Farmer Rich is in contact with Farmer Jim & he feels the peaches should be coming in soon!graph.jpg

2005 - Weeks 1 - 6 = 25.95 lbs
2006 - Weeks 1 - 6 = 24.67 lbs

Pick of the Week- Click on the link below (or on the right) for your drop-off location. This time of year the deliveries will be the same in pounds & variety but may include different items at each location.

Click here for the Recipes of the Week

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Catalpa Ridge News Vol 11 No 5 - Week of July 3rd

Garlic Harvest Begins!

Garlic Harvested.jpgFarmer Rich & Sometime Farmer Sue started harvesting the garlic on Sunday & again on Tuesday. So far we have harvested the German White and Spanish Roja varieties. There were some patches that did not fair well due to the water (even though we planted in raised beds). The garlic needs to be dried & the curing process starts. We'll probably start delivering the garlic bulbs within the next two weeks.

From the Fields: Sometime Farmer Sue chopped up the harvested pea patch and Farmer Rich tilled it up & replanted it with chard, dill, cilantro, fava greens & Anaheim peppers. We have harvested half of the fava bean patch and your first delivery of fava beans is tonight! The other half will be harvested next week and then a different variety the week after. Hopefully you all like fava beans! This will be the first time that we are able to have 3 crops of fava beans. Farmer Rich & helper Leslie have almost completed fencing in the round field and that should be planted during the rest of this week. A late planting of tomatoes, newly seeded kale, chard, lemon cucumbers, squash, basil, peppers and more are slated to be planted.

Weather Report: In the past week looks like we received about 10" of rain at the farm! Wow - some of the fields are water logged and the broccoli, cauliflower & lettuce that was just beginning to recover from the last deluge is gone. Farmer Rich will reseed the broccoli & cauliflower over the next week & we plan on having a fall crop.

Animal Report: Our newest CSA member (a groundhog) apparently moved into the field. It seems to like the parsley the most, a few lettuces once in a while, and mostly weeds. Farmer Rich figures it has made a burrow in the middle the fava beans & is coming & going as it pleases. Once we finish harvesting all the favas that field will be tilled up & the burrow will be closed.

What's Up & Growing: The Gailon and a patch of carrots were reseeded due to the wet fields. Red amaranth & turnips seem to have survived the flooded conditions, unlike the spinach before them. Cucumbers, peppers & eggplant are all coming along well. The flooded tomato patch is remarkably bouncing back.

REMINDER - Last PRINTED copy of the newsletter! If you wish to receive a printable copy of the newsletter via e-mail (it will be in PDF format), just click here to send us an e-mail and I'll add your name to the newsletter list. 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:

TRIP to the FARM - A workday at the farm is scheduled for anyone who wants to visit & help out with a few projects. If you would like to spend a few hours or a day in the country we welcome you!

Date: July 15th 11 am - 3 pm (raindate July 22nd)

Please RSVP (by July 13th) so we can plan on lunch, refreshments & get you directions. Give us your contact # via phone or e-mail just in case the weather is iffy (it can be a whole different world at the farm) so we can give you a call if it will be a rainy day. The farm is about 1 hour from Ramsey.

WorkDay.jpgProjects planned:

  • Fava Bean harvesting
  • Harvest garlic
  • Mulching & weeding

Pick of the Week: Click on the link below (or on the right) for your drop-off location. This time of year the deliveries will be the same in pounds & variety but may include different items at each location.

Click here for the Recipes of the Week