Sunday, September 23, 2007

Vol 12 No 17 - Week of September 24th

Warm Snap

Last week we had our first frost warning and a low of 35º and this week we have had 4 days of 80º+ weather! Sometime Farmer Sue & Farmer Rich harvested the mustard greens & more potatoes on Sunday. There are another 4-6 rows of potatoes yet to be dug. It was noted that in digging up the potatoes the ground is dry-as-a bone due to the lack of rain for at least a week now.

Weather Report: There was no rain during the week at the farm. Farmer Rich continues to irrigate the crops in the field. The shorter days & cooler nights, lack of water is not as big as a problem as it would be in July when the ground just totally dries out.

What’s Up & Growing: The fall greens are all coming along nicely, being mustards, white radishes, bekamaru, shanghai cabbage & Torazorah. The yellow celery is also up & doing well. The fava greens should be ready to harvest within the next week or two.

Animal Report: The gourmet groundhog continues to munch in the fields. He liked the cabbage this week and Farmer Rich cannot find where he is getting in through the fence. Perhaps he has tunneled in.

From the Fields: Tonight is the autumn delivery of decorative gourds & mini pumpkins. Farmer Rich has to prepare fields for garlic planting in October and we will be scheduling a trip to the farm for members to come up & help with this project. In just a few hours hundreds of cloves of garlic can be planted. He was able to find some time to take down some old fencing that was in the middle of our newly expanded fields, so this area will be ready to be worked for next season. With the cool temperatures last week, the cucumber plants just shut down.

Fruit Report – Empire Apples –Freshly picked from Windy Brow Farm. They were developed in 1966 at the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva as a cross between Red Delicious and McIntosh. Empire Apples have a sweet-tart taste that is ideal for eating and salads but also great for sauce, baking, pies and freezing. Windy Brow does have apple picking at their farm this time of year. Their phone # is 973.579.9157 so you can call for directions & dates & times they are open. It is a nice day out in the country!

SAVE NJ FARMS UPDATE ! Shale Hills Farm in Wantage continues to take the lead on getting out information to fellow farmers regarding the proposed “land-grab” by the DEP who proposes to limit use of farm land within a 300’ area of a C1 stream. As noted in prior newsletters, this would in essence make our farm no longer viable as we could not farm the land. As a matter of fact, the potatoes we just harvested and the ones already delivered to you are no more than 10’ from the stream! More information can be found at www.saveruralwantage.com and of course we encourage you to write letters to Secy of Agriculture Charles Kuperus at: charles.kuperus@ag.state.nj.us. THANKS!!!!! We need ALL of you to do this. We believe that e-mails coming from Bergen & Hudson counties will definitely make an impact.

Upcoming Events: · October 6th & 7th –6th Annual Garlic Gathering @ Olde Lafayette Village – Lafayette, NJ · October 14th – 1st Annual Garlic Festival @ the Hoboken Historical Museum Hoboken, NJ

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 17, 2007

Vol 12 No 16 - Week of September 17th

Frost Warning
We had our first frost warning issued here in Sussex County. As you will read below, it was issued far earlier than usual. We did have a low of 35ºF so luckily no frost as there are tomatoes to be harvested. The tomatoes in the field are slowing down due to the short days & cooler temperatures. Once is freezes at the farm the warm crops will be gone but the cold crops will continue. These include mustards, chard, kale, fava greens, and onions. The late plantings of tomatoes have thousands of flowers but have not set tomatoes. Seems Farmer Rich made a mistake on the varieties he chose for this planting. Weather Report: Some rain fell on Sunday morning, but that was it for the week. There also was a frost warning early on Sunday in Sussex County. The usually fall frost date for Sussex county is 10/2 so 9/16 is a little early. As per the Farmer’s Almanac: Tender plants will die back during a frost (temperature range: 29-32ºF). The next level, classified as a moderate freeze (25-28ºF) will have a widely destructive effect on most vegetation. What’s Up & Growing: The favas are up for the fava greens and the turnips have gone ballistic as have the mustards. You should start seeing them in your deliveries soon. We did have problem with the Torazorah, but they seem to have come back o.k. Our last planting of Chinese cabbage is struggling; seems to have been slow to germinate. They should start to “pop” soon. Animal Report: Very quiet this week. I guess the cooler temperatures have slowed down even the gourmet groundhog. There are a lot of Monarch butterflies around. Perhaps we are on their migration path south. From the Fields: Hopefully we can get the potatoes out of the ground this coming weekend. The horseradish is doing well and we hope to start to harvest it soon. This will be our first season growing horseradish for deliveries and we have experimented at home with some immature roots so should have a few recipes for delivery time. With the cooler temperatures it is time to start winter squash and you will have Acorn squash in your delivery tonight. Pumpkins & gourds are on the horizon. Reminder – if you haven’t read last week’s newsletter regarding the proposed changes by the DEP to limit use of land within 300’ of streams – please do. NJ Farms ARE AT RISK if this goes through. We must plead to the NJ DEP & NJ Dept of Agriculture to exempt 100% of farmland from this proposal and we encourage letters be sent to Secy of Agriculural, Charles Kuperus at: charles.kuperus@ag.state.nj.us . So far only a handful of you have let us know that you have written to Secy Kuperus so we are reaching out to you again to help save not only our farm but NJ Farms! Fruit Report – Harrow Pears –Freshly picked from Windy Brow Farm. Originated in Harrow, Ontario, Canada @ the University of Ontario. If you like to cook pears, this variety cooks into a lovely pear sauce or butter. 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 10, 2007

Vol 12 No 15 - Week of September 10th

Urgent Plea
NJ Farms at Risk – We have been receiving e-mails from fellow farms raising extreme concern about the latest NJ DEP proposal to limit any activity within 300’ feet of a C1 stream. This would have a disastrous effect on most NJ farms as most farms are located close to water due to necessity for crops & animals. This is of extreme importance! If this proposal becomes law, we would no longer be able to farm on our property as our growing areas are within probably only 100-200’ of a seasonal brook! Basically, the farm would become worthless and be part of the latest “land-grab” by government bureaucrats, all without compensation. We have a very successful farm, all due to the support of you, our community supported farm members. It is important to you to know who is growing your food and where it is coming from. What will happen if most of our local farms are lost? The Dept of Agriculture is proposing to shrink the 300’ buffer to 150’ – but there should not be any compromise to this proposal. Agricultural land should be exempt! There is still a lot of confusion regarding the proposed rules and an administrative analyst for the DEP is quoted as saying “If you have an existing agricultural use within buffer you would be allowed to continue,” Minch said. “If you are pasturing animals you would be allowed to continue and if you are cropping you also would be allowed to continue, “The department is seeking additional clarification of the rules and trying hard to get the message to potentially affected farmers,” If this were true then why would there be a need for additional clarification of the rules? Also in reviewing the legalese of the proposed rules, there is no mention of “existing agriculture use”. Looks like typical double talk from the bureaucrats. Would it allow for new crop areas to be cleared on our 15 acres that we currently do not have in crops now? I guess it is o.k. to have major highways & roads right next to waterways where the salt & chemicals are washed into them during the winter, but not o.k. for a farmer to raise his crops or pasture his animals! Where are the government bureaucrats when wet lands are filled in to for malls, sports arenas & large developments? Wow and I thought we lived in America, not Amerika! We must plead to the NJ DEP & NJ Dept of Agriculture to exempt 100% of farmland from this proposal and we encourage letters be sent to Secy of Agriculural, Charles Kuperus at: charles.kuperus@ag.state.nj.us . There is a story in our local newspaper for more information: http://www.strausnews.com/articles/2007/09/06/advertiser_news/news/17.txt . We are continuing to research and will pass along more information as it becomes available. Now onto our farm news…… Weather Report: Again no rain for the week. We think the lack of rain contributed to the corn not being very good this past week. Also some of the crops such as tomatillos, and tomatoes are getting smaller. What’s Up & Growing: The turnips are doing well though we were not able to get any water on them all week. They are behind but luckily coming along. The newly seeded radishes outside the greenhouse are up and the mustard greens are ready to be thinned. Our last seeding was Tokyo Bekana (a Looseleaf Chinese Cabbage) and that is up. We planted a late planting of fava beans for fava greens. Our seeded Italian arugula is MIA. It appears to seed did not germinate well. Animal Report: The gourmet groundhog continues to break in. It does not each much of anything, but continues to sample many different crops. The latest being the cabbages & some tomatoes. From the Fields: More potatoes need to be harvested and we hope to be able to get them out of the ground within the next week. Luckily the skins set nicely while in the ground, so they will not be lost. We do have some pototoes set aside from our last harvest which will be filtered into the deliveries soon. The tomato patch is winding down as we are unsure if the plants will continue to produce with the cooler nights. As of today & next week we’ll have lots of tomatoes. We usually like to try to deliver them through the end of the season. Fruit Report – Mixed Apples –Freshly picked from Windy Brow 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, September 03, 2007

Vol 12 No 14 - Week of September 3rd

Ramsey Day - Saturday The 6th Annual Heirloom Tomato Tasting is Saturday @ Ramsey Day! We’ll be set up across the street from the High School with the tomato tasting & farm-fresh produce and hope to meet many Mahwah/Ramsey members there. The Tomato Tasting is a fund raiser for the Woman’s Club of Ramsey to raise money for their charitable work. Ramsey Day is always a fun event where customers can taste over 20 varieties of tomatoes and sample some peppers, cucumbers & more. We also make up some salsas, dips & pestos with recipes to hand out. Everyone just loves to be able to taste so many varieties of tomatoes in one spot. Weather Report: We did not receive any rain this week. Farmer Rich has been irrigating. The days & nights are cooler and Sometime Farmer Sue saw the first wooly bear caterpillar of the season on Sunday. It has been very pleasant to work in the fields all week as those super hot days seem to have “gone by”. What’s Up & Growing: Finally the turnips look they will be a reality. Shanghai cabbage & chard are almost ready for harvest. The late tomato plants are “late” and are just flowering now. We hope that they will bear fruit to extend the season. The carrot planting also looks good aside from missing some leaves to the gourmet groundhog. The white carrots are up and the mustards are coming along well too. The planting of leeks failed as they split at the stems. We have a very happy patch of horseradish which will be harvested probably in October. Animal Report: Seems to have been a quiet week for the animals. The only animals Sometime Farmer Sue saw on Sunday was a gaggle of turkeys and a lot of leopard frogs in the potato patch. From the Fields: Finally, some of our potatoes are in your delivery tonight. We did have a few trips to the farm scheduled so members could come up & help with the harvest, but only a few came so the harvest took longer than we had hoped. Farmer Rich & Sue harvested another 4 rows of red potatoes on Sunday and there are another 12 rows yet to harvest. We hope to get them out of the ground over the next few weeks. Corn Report: Sweet corn from Green Valley Farm is in tonight’s delivery. Fruit Report – Mollies Delicous Apples –Freshly picked from Windy Brow Farm. Mollies are a nice summer apple, not to be confused with Red Delicious. Attractive fruit with unique slightly conic shape. Good very distinctive flavor. Introduced in 1966 by the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station. Upcoming Events: · September 8th – 6th Annual Heirloom Tomato Tasting – Ramsey Day · September 15th – 3rd Annual Garlic Day @ the Arboretum-Frelinghuysen Arboretum – Morristown, NJ · October 6th & 7th – 6th Annual Garlic Gathering @ Olde Lafayette Village – Lafayette, NJ · October 14th – 1st Annual Garlic Festival @ the Hoboken Historical Museum Hoboken, NJ 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.