Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Catalpa Ridge News Vol 11 No 13 - Week of Augus 28th

Much needed rain….

We finally have received some much needed rain. It has been raining ever since Friday. It is the great "soaking-in" kind of rain that really helps the crops. Most of the rain came on Sunday, & even though dampened the attendance at the 7th Annual Hoboken Heirloom Tomato Tasting, we had a great day. We want to thank Holly & Bob for all their help and to all the volunteers who help make this such a great event. It was a group effort from volunteers cutting up the produce for tasting throughout the afternoon, talking with customers about the event & the CSA to Valerie & Eric helping me at the checkout. Without everyone's help such an event is not possible - thank you - thank you - thank you!!!!!

The next tasting will be @ Ramsey Day on September ew are set up 9th, our 5th year there. At this event we have the help of volunteers from The Woman's Club of Ramsey. We hope to meet many of you there.

From the Fields: The newly seeded crops were definitely failing and fortunately this rain has perked them up. The greens, radishes & turnips despite being watered by Farmer Rich were not responding but this rain has turned them around. Our late planting of tomatoes, squash & cucumbers are looking good. The first planting has given up. Farmer Rich is trying to get a seeding of arugula in the greenhouse for late delivery. That will be the last seeding before planting garlic in October. We will be scheduling a trip to the farm to plant garlic sometime in October and will keep you posted.

Weather Report:The night temperatures have been on the cool side slowing the tomatoes & the other warm weather crops. While this seems unusual is not. The first year we grew we actually had a low temperature of 34˚F in the beginning of August and the tomato production was not compromised (until the deer ate all the tomatoes a few weeks later). Now all of our fields are fenced in, so we usually only have to deal with the occasional groundhog & rabbits sneaking in for a snack!

Animal Report: The pesky groundhog continues to sneak in new ways. This week's menu included beets & carrots. This field is scheduled to be re-fenced in the fall or early spring as the fencing is over 5 years old.

Fruit Report: This week we have a great heirloom apple variety; Tydeman from Windy Brow farm. Tydeman's descended from McIntosh in 1945 by virtue of a crossing with the little known Worcester Permain at the British East Malling Research Station. Beneath the thin, slick-feeling skin is a near-white, fine-textured flesh bearing a mild, enticing flavor. Great for applesauce and a good all-around summer apple.

Upcoming Events:
· Tomato Tasting - September 9th - Ramsey Day (raindate September 10th)
· Garlic Gathering - October 7-8 -

Lafayette , NJ
· Garlic Day @ Arboretum - October 22nd - Morristown

Creature of the Week:Birdonastick.jpg


Finding a spot to stand

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.
Hoboken Midtown Drop -Off
Hoboken West Drop-Off
Jersey City Hamilton Park Drop-Off
Ramsey Drop-off
Vernon Valley Drop-Off
On-Farm Pick-up
Click here for the Recipes of the Week

Monday, August 21, 2006

Catalpa Ridge News Vol 11 No 12 - Week of August 21st

Hoboken Tomato Tasting-Sunday

The 7th Annual Heirloom Tomato Tasting at the Hoboken Historical Museum is Sunday from 1-5 pm and we will have a nice selection of tomatoes. It is a great opportunity to meet us, if you haven't already! We'll be set up in the museum walkway at 1301 Hudson Street with farm fresh produce for sale too. The next tasting will be @ Ramsey Day on September 9th, our 5th year there. We hope to meet many of you there.

From the Fields: The area where we had planted garlic is now planted with White Icicle Radishes, and mustard varieties. With our new tractor, this area will become a new main field and can be easily tilled in the spring. We have noticed over the years that the animals don't like certain greens and we hope this will continue to be true as this field is not fenced. Two tomato patches and a cucumber patch is suffering from the drought conditions. We have replanted so they will probably we o.k. In view of the current conditions at the farm this may go down as one of the worst years of the 11 years we have been delivering. The tomatoes are coming in slowly, and we do have adequate supply at the moment. Remember that we grow mostly heirloom tomatoes, so they have thin skins and possess a variety of colors. Makes a great multi-colored tomato salad!

Weather Report: Despite a few scattered showers, it is still very dry. We are keeping water on the newly seeded areas. We did receive a 1/2" of rain which luckily raised our pond levels.

Animal Report: The animals seemed to have disappeared except for the trusty groundhog. Even the birds are quiet. Amazing, but perhaps they retire to the deep woods until it gets cooler.

Fruit Report: This week we have a great heirloom apple variety; Gravenstein from Windy Brow farm. This variety originated in Russia or Italy in the 1600's. Arrived in Denmark 1669 and then introduced in the United States from Germany in 1790. Continues to this day to be commercially grown. Unexcelled for cooking! Makes wonderful pies, desserts, sauces & ciders. Keeps until early November.

A funny thing happened on the way to the delivery! Farmer Rich has these great green stackable trays to transport the tomatoes to the drop-off sites. We have been using them for 10 years without incident. Monday, we stopped by Farmer Diane's to pick up peppers & eggplant & she said "you better watch out, the trays might fall down", and Farmer Rich replied "in 10 years they have never fallen over". Lo & behold about ½ mile away from Diane's, the whole stack fell over. A few tomatoes were lost & became salsa, so there may be a few bruised ones that bounced a few times. Eat & enjoy anyway.

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

Our Ford Tractor Ford.jpg



Our Ford tractor complete with a bucket loader, tiller & brush hog, which has allowed us to cut down brush, till our larger fields & move rocks & dirt.

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.
Hoboken Midtown Drop -Off
Hoboken West Drop-Off
Jersey City Hamilton Park Drop-Off
Ramsey Drop-off
Vernon Valley Drop-Off
On-Farm Pick-up
Click here for the Recipes of the Week

Monday, August 14, 2006

Catalpa Ridge News Vol 11 No 11 - Week of August 14th

Drought continues to worsen

We have had virtually no rain in 3 weeks, less than 1/8". Our pond is down about 12" from irrigating. It takes about 3 weeks for the pond to go down the first 12", then another 2 weeks for the next 12" and then about 5 days for another foot. If rain doesn't come soon in sufficient quantity we will be in serious trouble as our irrigation will be compromised. Last week Leslie tilled up the harvested garlic patches and we planned on planting mustards and other veggies that the animals usually don't eat, such as onions and herbs, but with the lack of water we have to concentrate on areas we can irrigate properly. Looking back at old newsletters, it is almost the same headline for the past few years for this time of year.
From the Fields:We are concentrating our watering on the newly seeded areas. The dicon radishes, mustard greens and turnips are all up. Our first planting of squash & cucumbers is slowing down considerably. The second planting is coming along nicely. Our tomatoes are slower than we would like, but looking at almost losing them earlier in the season with the excessive rain, they have rebounded o.k. The second planting of cilantro & fall planting of broccoli both have failed to germinate. The second seeding of carrots & Chinese greens however are doing well.
Weather Report:Dry-Dry-Dry, though much cooler. We are able to work in saving the field crops from the weeds. There was a thunderstorm in the area which dropped a ½" of rain at Farmer Diane's but the storm missed our farm completely. She wasn't very sympathetic, as the last storm we did received dropped rain on our farm & not on hers!

Animal Report:
It has been quiet at the farm with few animal problems. Usually during a drought, the animals see green in our fields and want to break in, but this year we only have our wayward groundhog eating the parsley. Perhaps it has been too hot for many of them to venture out. We won't complain, no animals problems, but we would like some rain, the nice "soaking-in" kind of rain.

Fruit Report: Shiro plums from Windy Brow Farm. These have a nice yellow color. A Japanese variety introduced in 1899. They are pleasantly sweet & juicy.

Upcoming Events:

Hoboken Tomato Tasting - August 27th
Tomato Tasting - September 9th - Ramsey Day
Garlic Gathering - October 7-8 -
Lafayette , NJ
Garlic Day @ Arboretum - October 22nd - Morristown
info @ www.jerseygrown.com

Creature of the Week:

Sparrow.JPGSparrow on our fence post! They made
a nest in a tomato plant and obviously perturbed that we were picking the tomatoes!


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.
Hoboken Midtown Drop -Off
Hoboken West Drop-Off
Jersey City Hamilton Park Drop-Off
Ramsey Drop-off
Vernon Valley Drop-Off
On-Farm Pick-up
Click here for the Recipes of the Week

Monday, August 07, 2006

Catalpa Ridge News Vol 11 No 10 - Week of August 7th

125˚F Field Temperature & Tomatoes are here!
Since it was so hot & unbearable last week, Farmer Rich placed a thermometer in the field where he & helper Leslie were working. The high temperature was recorded at 125˚F last week. Of course Farmer Rich & Leslie could not work in the field but did get some garlic cleaned up by working in the shade. It was only 106˚F there!

Fair Time - every year we exhibit some veggies at the fair, looking for a few ribbons. This year we did very well with the garlic, with 50% of our entries receiving blue ribbons. We exhibited 36 different varieties of garlic and both the soft neck & hard neck received Best-in-Show. Our veggies didn't fair as well, as with everyone else was in the same boat too. The judges gave out very few blue ribbons this year which is a reflection of the overall poor season we are having. First too dry, then too wet, then too dry again, then too hot! Wow - we always wait for the perfect season but it never comes. Only 18% of the ribbons were blue, 31% were red and 51% were yellow this year compared to 32% blue, 33% red & 35% yellow in 2005. The fair runs to Sunday the 13th, so if you want to see the exhibits, crafts, farm animals, etc drive up to the Sussex Farm & Horse Show-NJ State Fair in August, NJ. Of course they also have some great greasy food!

From the Fields: Farmer Rich had to rototill the field with the newly seeded beets as they did not germinate due to it being too dry. This area has been replanted with Golden Ball turnips & dicon radishes. The recently planted cilantro is not up. Our planting of dicon & Sharona (Japanese cabbage) should be coming in next week's delivery. The Japanese turnips in greenhouse #2 which failed have been replanted for the fall season.

Weather Report:It remains severely dry at the farm and the ground is cracking. It is about 4 weeks now without any quantity of rain. Farmer Rich continues to irrigate & keep the crops mulched to preserve moisture in the ground (this is almost the same notes we made last year at this time)!

Sweet Corn Report - the bear, deer & raccoons have eaten all of Farmers Heather & Adam Hubbard's sweet corn that we had delivered last week. I guess it was so good the animals couldn't resist. So much for four plantings of sweet corn! The fields looked like the bear just decided to lie down & shoveled the corn into their mouths.

Animal Report: He's back! The groundhog has returned to irritate Farmer Rich. It continues to eat the parsley & chicory and Farmer Rich has found where he is breaking in and fixed if for the time being. Sometime Farmer Sue though perhaps Farmer Rich should plant a crop of parsley OUTSIDE the fence to keep Mr. Groundhog happy & away from your produce!


Fruit Report: First of the peaches this year - Raritan Rose (THE NJ Peach) variety from Windy Brow Farm.

Creature of the week:
Swallowtail.jpg

Swallowtail (half-tail) butterfly pollinating the bee balm!

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.