Monday, June 25, 2007

Vol 12 No 4 - Week of June 25th

Summer Arrived

Summer arrived during the week and so did some much needed rain. The rain definitely perked up the crops. We received about 1/3" of rain each day between the 19th & 21st. Farmer Rich & Leslie worked hard all week working on irrigation and replanting beds. Farmer Rich plowed up a new section to finish transplanting peppers & eggplant. With the new drip irrigation system and long rows of plastic, Farmer Rich was finding it difficult to keep the weeds from invading between the rows. He spent the better part of Thursday cultivating long rows with the rototiller (so he could find the plants).

From the Fields: The fava bean crop is not "beaning" up as they should. Mostly likely cause is the late planting due to severe cold weather we had through April. They are usually planted around March 15th, but at that time the ground was still frozen and Farmer Rich couldn't plant until April. Another crop has been planted for the newest "gourmet" crop of the year - fava greens! You'll get your first taste of fava greens in tonight's delivery. Tuesday, Leslie transplanted into cells lettuce & broccoli to be planted into the fields in about 2 weeks. More tomatoes, 7 varieties of sweet peppers & some hot peppers were also transplanted. Red amaranth, basil, cucumbers, kale & arugula were also planted into the fields.

Weather Report: Despite the rain, the ground remains quite dry. Farmer Rich is diligently irrigating the crops. The hot weather to come definitely will impact the cooler weather crops which are now being replaced by the warm weather crops. Lettuces & greens start to bolt and want to go to seed.

What's Up & Growing: The gai lan crop has failed and was replaced on Sunday by radishes. The tomato crop is coming along overall very well. The chard, sorrell, collards & kale are all coming along nicely and you should start seeing them in your deliveries in the coming weeks. Our squash isn't doing well, but with our neighboring farmers Diane & Shawna we should start having squash soon. On target are the onions & garlic, and green onions probably will be delivered next week. The garlic bulbs are bulbing up now and the harvest will start in July.

Animal Report: Looks like the culprits who have been eating the lettuces are a few baby rabbits. Instead of eating a few whole heads, they have been enjoying munching on many heads as they move down the row. I guess they are sampling the varieties. Farmer Rich RabbitintheField.jpginterplanted green & red lettuce, so it must have looked like quite a layout for the rabbits!

Rabbit in the Field - Sometime Farmer Sue caught this rabbit up by the pond last week. It's probably not the one eating your lettuces, as it was outside the fence.

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, June 18, 2007

Vol 12 No 3 - Week of June 18th

Trials & Tribulations!

Oh - what an interesting year! Last week we had employee problems on harvest day and this week Farmer Rich was in the Emergency Room at our local hospital for 5 ½ hours on Saturday! Friday he came home early with severe pain close to the site of his hernia surgery this past January, but of course thought it would pass. He slept for 12 hours and went back to the farm with his farm helper Leslie on Saturday morning but only lasted until 10:00 am at which time he called me that he just couldn't function anymore. I told him to bring Leslie home & I would bring him up to the ER, and he agreed! Being married to Farmer Rich for the past 28 years I knew that if he agreed to go to the ER it must have been pretty bad. We were there for all afternoon and they did a lot of tests, found the problem and he is now back on track. Luckily it was nothing major, though we thought it could have been. I went up & helped him harvest on Sunday morning so the deliveries are just waiting for the last minute additions on Monday morning.

From the Fields: The large greenhouse was turned over with radishes & oriental greens which are already sprouting. We transplanted more tomatoes & cucumbers into the fields. Arugula, kale & fuzzy gourds are slated to be seeded this week. Meanwhile on delivery day, Leslie will be working at the farm and seeding some beans & squash & also transplanting lettuce & broccoli. The potatoes are doing well, as the mulching is helping them hold more water.

Weather Report:We finally received some much needed rain. About ½" fell on Saturday night. The garlic crop looks like it is suffering from lack of water, so the garlic bulbs may be small this year. Some of our farmer friends that hay their fields actually got damaged by the rain that helped us. The rain ruined their cut hay so what would have been good feed hay is now only good for mulching. Just the other end of farming & how rain might help us but hurt another farm - oh the yin & yang of things!

What's Up & Growing: The seeded turnips, beets, radishes & dill are all up & growing. They look good despite the dry conditions most of the week. Some of the squash plants don't seem to the "squashing-up" as they should. It may be because of an area that became too wet with the irrigation.

Animal Report: Something is breaking in & eating the lettuce. We believe it may have been a groundhog that ate an entire delivery of lettuce during the week. The lettuce in your delivery this week was harvested a few days prior to what we normally like to so the groundhog wouldn't get it. Farmer Rich & Leslie went through the field on Friday & harvested the lettuce like Sherman went through Atlanta!. They got it all into the cooler and it has held up very well for the extra few days.

A Friendly Visit! Bears.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.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Vol 12 No 2 - Week of June 11th

Dry - Dry - Dry


We had a great day at the farm on Saturday for the trip to the farm. Thanks to Eric & Christina from Hoboken Midtown for coming up & helping with mulching the small field. The mulching helps to keep moisture in and the weeds out, which is very important, especially with our continued dry conditions.

We have a new problem! Either a baby woodchuck or a baby rabbit has broken into the large field. Saturday night it ate three lettuces. As it gets bigger we hope its consumption won't multiply to 6, then 12, then 24…..! Farmer Rich has not been able to find where it is getting in. In addition, upon his arrival on Sunday morning it looked like there were dozens of rabbits. As he quoted "they were everywhere", in the driveway, in the picnic area, and generally all about. Interestingly, we did not sight even one on Saturday all day.

Farmer Rich has added some new sprinklers and with the assistance of our neighbor Farmer Adam has added more drip irrigation tape. The ground is bone-dry, so we need everyone to "think rain"

From the Fields All fields are in production at this point. The main field has the largest variety of crops planted. The back field has newly planted potatoes (2 varieties), garlic & onions. The side field has tomatoes, peppers & herbs. This was the field that we mulched on Saturday. The large greenhouse is where the oriental greens, chard & kale are growing. We planted arugula and more oriental greens in the areas where the collards were harvested.

Weather Report: A little rain fell last Sunday night, but not a drop since. We continue to irrigate from the pond, which helps but there is nothing like a soaking-in kind of rain. Lack of rain inhibits germination of newly seeded crops, delays maturation of growing crops and generally inhibits growth. Each season has it's own struggle and it looks like lack of rain is the signature of this season so far.

Laugh1.jpgFarm Humor! Everyone knows how the Green Giant dresses when he works in the field. But when he goes to a corporate board meeting, what does he usually wear? answer below

What's Up & Growing: We like to keep you posted on the variety of crops that are either growing or ready to be planted. Here is our crop report:

Planted, transplanted or seeded this week: Beets Turnips Black Spanish Radishes Cilantro Dill Cherry tomatoes Tomatoes Peppers Parsle Tomatillos Potatoes

What's up & Growing: Sorrel Horseradish Garlic Lettuces Cucumbers Squash Radishes Kale Walla Walla Onions Chard Tomatoes Shanghai Cabbage Peppers Fava Beans Oriental Greens

Crops Lost: Broccoli Cauliflower Peas Spinach

Farmer Rich reseeded the broccoli & cauliflower. At this point we have to wait until the fall for the spinach. The spot the peas were planted in is now tomatoes. We work with other farmers so hope to get you some peas, sooner or later.

The cherry tomatoes were planted in a pick-your-own area, so when ever you visit the farm you can pick the cherry tomatoes!

Laugh2.jpgVegetable Joke of the Week: .Answer: a three peas suit!

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, June 04, 2007

Vol 12 No 1 - Week of June 4th

Here we Grow Again!

This is our 12th year delivering to our community supported farm members and we welcome both our long-time members as well as our new members to the 2007 harvest season. We certainly are pleased with the increase in interest in members supporting the farm, and started a new delivery location in Mahwah which is being coordinated by Joel Mosbacher, a Ramsey CSF member last year. Also thanks to Holly @ Hoboken Midtown, Jennifer & Kristen @ Hoboken West & Lynn in Jersey City for volunteering their homes for the drop-off location for the harvest season. We know the members appreciate their efforts during delivery day and throughout the year.

The interest this year has blossomed not only in Mahwah, but in Hoboken & Jersey City as well.We certainly know that the members appreciate knowing where their food is coming from. Members are welcome to visit the farm to see our small but productive fields and learn more about our sustainable practices. As you know we do NOT spray any pesticides or use any chemical fertilizers. We are not certified organic, as we dropped out the NOFA-NJ program when the federal government got involved in 2002.

We look forward to a bountiful year!

Trip to the Farm - Saturday June 9th

Projects for members include:

  • Transplanting
  • Mulching

We will be scheduling a few trips to the farm throughout the year where the members can visit, tour & help out with a few projects. This helps put the "community" into a community supported farm. Any help with projects is greatly appreciated. Just e-mail us that you will be able to come, so we can arrange for lunch & refreshments & give you directions.

From the Fields While we have changed our growing system over to make it more tractor friendly, Adam Hubbard a neighboring farmer was instrumental in installing a new drip irrigation system at our farm. Without the addition of that we wouldn't be able to deliver this early. We are actually ahead of previous seasons because Adam & Farmer Rich installed the irrigation before the 8" of rain that came in April. We are behind in transplanting tomatoes, peppers and eggplant but they will soon go in & hopefully some of you will join us on Saturday to help.

Weather Report: We have been under severe drought conditions during the month of May. There has been very little rain and Farmer Rich has had to irrigate, which helps, but there is nothing like a natural rain to perk up the crops. This year again we lost our first planting of peas which were washed out by the 8" rain storm in April. The crops were a little behind, as April was so cold that Farmer Rich could not plant in the fields. The Fava beans usually are planted in mid-March, but this year were not planted until the end of April. We are getting rain Sunday night so that should help tremendously.

What's Up & Growing: Our farm hand Leslie has been working 3 years at the farm now and this year has been joined by Audrey. Both are part-time but great assets to the farm with transplanting in greenhouses, planting in the fields and assisting on harvesting days. Without their help we would not be able to grow as we have.

Animal Report: Two new CSF members at the Farm! Last week Sometime Farmer Sue caught the Mom & Dad taking their babies for a puddling about!


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