Monday, September 25, 2006

Catalpa Ridge News Vol 11 No 17 - Week of September 25th

Autumn Begins

The first day of fall was ushered in on September 23rd with the autumnal equinox. The nights become cooler and the days get progressively shorter. As stated on www.equinox-and-solstice.com" the darkness of winter is coming and it's time for the earth to sleep until the sun is again brought forth from the dark." In ancient times it was known as the second harvest (the first harvest was August 1st) and became synonymous with the end of summer.

Our harvest will continue to the end of October and the cool weather crops are doing well with the cool night temperatures. Tonight's potatoes are from Farmer Scott, also located in Wantage a few miles away. We only grow a small patch of potatoes (the red ones this year). He has a potato digger attachment for his tractor, so harvesting is much more efficient.

From the Fields: The late seeded turnips, mustards and radishes are all doing well. More celery is sizing-up as well as a fall crop of arugula. Celeriac is growing, but the voles have been nibbling the roots. We tilled up the back field for garlic planting in October. We are in the process in taking down some fences to replace (which is long overdue).

Weather Report: While rain was threatening, it never really materialized. Our first frost is on the horizon and in talking with our neighboring farmers that since all the warm-weather crops are shut down, the frost should not affect the crops negatively. In fact a light frost will improve the cool-weather crops like kale, mustards, daikons, turnips, and radishes.

Animal Report: The gourmet groundhog seemingly has disappeared. We had a visit from a Great Blue Heron who has been hanging out in the fields. They eat almost anything they can get their beaks on and luckily they don't eat vegetables.

Fruit Report: Cox's Orange PIppin Apples from Windy Brow Farm - This is the classic English apple, often regarded as the finest of all dessert apples. It arose in

in the 19th century as a chance seedling, and has inspired apple lovers ever since. Windy Brow Farm has pick-your own apples through October. They are open daily and have group tours. Homemade pies, cider, gift baskets, gourds Indian corn Rt. 80 to 206 N.to Springdale. Left on Rt. 618, right at blinker onto R. 519. 1/2 mile on right. For more information call: (you can let them know that Catalpa Rich sent you!) More info available online: www.njskylands.com/_windybrow.htm

Upcoming Events:
· Garlic Gathering - October 7-8 in Lafayette, NJ
· Garlic Day @ Arboretum - October 22nd -

Morristown

Creature of the Week: spinder.jpgSpider in the greenhouse - nice & plump from eating insects in greenhouse. Spiders are important & beneficial predators in the garden. They may look ugly & when they get this big are quite a site, but do their job by eating many garden pests. This is a yellow garden spider, known as one of the largest of the orb weavers, so called because of circular pattern of their webs.

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

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Catalpa Ridge News Vol 11 No 16 - Week of September 18th

Autumn Foliage begins

On the drive to the farm the other day we noticed the autumn colors just beginning and with the morning fog it was quite stunning. This time of year we look forward to the drive as the colors intensify each passing day. We hope to be able to schedule a trip to the farm to plant garlic during foliage season.

We set up at the Small Farm Expo this past weekend in and it was great to be able to answer questions to those interested in starting their own small farms. We promote the Community Supported Farm concept as a great way for a small farm to become viable. Getting the right CSA groups to support the farm is the key and we have been fortunate to have our Ramsey, Hoboken Midtown, Hoboken West,, Vernon Valley & On-Farm members' support.

From the Fields: The seeded greens are coming along very well and should fill out the later deliveries. Doubtful we'll make it to the end of the season with tomatoes as both our neighboring farmers tomato plants have totally shut down. Both Farmer Rich & Farmer Scott have 1 row of tomatoes in the greenhouse so we should be able to at least get a taste of tomatoes into future deliveries.

Weather Report:We received another 3" of rain over the past week and a little warm spell has set in. The fields are wet or wetter at this point, though they did take this rain better than the last.

Animal Report: The gourmet groundhog continues to sneak in. Luckily we planted parsley in a different field that apparently he does no know about so we could deliver some parsley tonight.

Fruit Report: Gala Apples from Windy Brow Farm - Golden Delicious cross with Cox's. Crisp, dense, aromatic flesh. Keeps very well. Developed in. Introduced in 1965. Windy Brow Farm has pick-your own apples through October. They are open daily and have group tours. Homemade pies, cider, gift baskets, gourds Indian corn Rt. 80 to 206 N.to Springdale. Left on Rt. 618, right at blinker onto R. 519. 1/2 mile on right. For more information call: (you can let them know that Catalpa Rich sent you!) More info available online:www.njskylands.com/_windybrow.htm

Upcoming Events:

· Garlic Gathering - October 7-8 - · Garlic Day @ Arboretum - October 22nd -

Daikon (daicon) Radish Daikon.jpgA Japanese white radish; The word Daikon actually comes from two Japanese words: dai (meaning large) and kon (meaning root). Daikon is a root vegetable said to have originated in the and brought tofor cultivation around 500 B.C. Roots are large, often 2 to 4 inches in diameter and 6 to 20 inches long. There are three distinct shapes - spherical, oblong and cylindrical. From http://www.whatscookingamerica.net/

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, September 11, 2006

Catalpa Ridge News Vol 11 No 15 - Week of September 11th

A great Ramsey Day

It was a beautiful warm sunny day for Ramsey Day on Saturday & it was great to meet many CSA members there. We had the best selection of heirloom tomatoes of the season mostly because we network with other farmers and purchased a really diverse selection. We set aside a nice selection for all the CSA members, so you'll be getting some heirloom varieties. They will look unusual in color & shapes and of course all heirlooms have thin skins, but are probably the best tasting tomatoes around - enjoy!

From the Fields: The rain we received (over the last week) damaged the tomatoes. We were having a drought, and then the rain came. This caused many tomatoes to basically explode on the vine after receiving some much needed water. It was like salsa in the field! You will probably notice some extra ugly tomatoes from ours as well as the other farms that all had the same problem. On the plus side, the cooler temperatures are encouraging the growth of the mustards, turnips, radishes and these will start to be delivered soon. Winter squash should also be coming as well as more potatoes.

Weather Report:The temperatures are a little below average for this time of year, though not really unusual. Hopefully the first frost is a few weeks off. We received an additional ¼" of rain and had a high of 96˚F and a low of 50˚F.

Animal Report: The gourmet groundhog continues to snack on a few tidbits. He had a taste of parsley, beet tops, chicory & chard. He also decided to taste a few tomatoes that Farmer Rich was saving for seed.

Fruit Report: Mollies Delicious apples are this week's variety. It is a nice summer apple, not to be confused with Red Delicious. Good, very distinctive flavor. This variety was introduced in 1966 by the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station.

We'll be exhibiting at the Northeast Small Farm & Rural Living Expo on Saturday & Sunday at the Sussex County Fairgrounds. We hope to perform some outreach for the concept of CSA as well as promote our Garlic Gatherings in October. This They will be offering demonstrations & lectures and is promoted as an educational experience for individuals interested in farming and country living. More info can be found at: http://www.smallfarmexpo.org

Upcoming Events:

· Small Farm Expo - September 16-17 -

Sussex County Fairgrounds - , NJ
· Garlic Gathering - October 7-8 - , NJ
· Garlic Day @ Arboretum - October 22nd -

Tasting table @ Ramsey Day:

tastingtableramseyday.jpg

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


Monday, September 04, 2006

Catalpa Ridge News Vol 11 No 14 - Week of September 4th

No sun for a week….
and the farmer has wet feet!
Last week we were so happy to report that we finally had rain, but it rained for a week. Looks like a total of 5 ¾" fell at the farm. Luckily we didn't get one of the tracks of the storm that they were predicting as that would have dumped over 1' of rain and would have definitely destroyed more crops. Two weeks ago we didn't have enough rain, now we have too much! The rain did heavy damaged to the tomato crop as any tomatoes on the vine popped & cracked with the rain storm. If it rains after an extended drought & the tomatoes are green they will crack and heal, but have the "cat-face" appearance. If they are ripening on the vine, they too will crack but cannot be saved at this point and are thus lost to the weather.

Tomato Tasting in Ramsey on September 9th. We have the help of volunteers from The Woman's Club of Ramsey to cut up the tomatoes for tasting and we we'll have some farm fresh produce for sale from ours as well as about 5 other farmers. It has been a very difficult growing season so far for all the farmers that we know. We hope to have sufficient tomatoes for the tasting on Saturday.

From the Fields: Unfortunately we have had to lay-off our farm helper Leslie. We had hoped to keep her to the end of the season, but with the crop losses and not enough to harvest we had no choice. She has been an invaluable asset to the farm this year and we hope to have her return next season.


Weather Report:The official weather report for the last two weeks is a high of 92˚, a low of 50˚ and 5 ¾" of rain. We keep track of the weather for submission to the New Jersey Farmer as official "weather watchers". Rich has always kept a record of weather at the farm anyway, but always nice to see your name in print!

Animal Report: The groundhog problem continues. It sneaks in and eats parsley, kale, beet leaves and carrot tops. Seems that the voles & field mice are fattening themselves up for the coming winter. They have been enjoying sweet peppers, chard & beets as well as a few tomatoes.

Fruit Report: This week we have nectarines from Windy Brow farm.

Upcoming Events:
· Tomato Tasting - September 9th - Ramsey Day (raindate September 10th)
· Garlic Gathering - October 7-8 -Olde Lafayette Village - Lafayette, NJ
· Garlic Day @ Arboretum - October 22nd - Frelinghuysen Arboretum - Morristown, NJ

Creature of the Week:

deer2.jpg


Just Watching……



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