Monday, July 28, 2008

Vol 13 No 8 - Week of July 28th

Rain Finally!
This was our first week without our full-crew and it was difficult adapting. We still have not rolled over the fields for the fall crops. The delivery is taking more time to put together, but is getting done in a timely fashion as Leslie is our veteran and putting in extra time to get the job done right. We hope to get the fall crops in this week. Meanwhile, Leslie has been rolling over the beds in the Franklin greenhouse. The beds have been planted with oriental greens and yard-long beans. A few field beds have been cleaned up and are ready for planting of fall crops. Farmer Rich has to starting seeding as well then transplant into the fields. NJ State Fair – Sussex Farm & Horse Show starts on Friday and runs to August 10th. This year we are having Leslie submit some entries from the farm as she did so well last year winning a few blue ribbons. Fruit – This week is we have picked up Red Heart Plums from Windy Brow Farm located in Newton, NJ. Red Heart is a Japanese variety plum. From the Fields: Farmer Adam brush-hogged two new fields at the farm for us and we hope to get them into production. He also cut our hay above the pond which we will use for mulch next year. The potato harvest started on Sunday, but more to go. The New Zealand spinach as well as the collards, chard and kale look like they will be ready to be harvested within the next week of two. The greenhouse tomato plants are shutting down with just one bed remaining. There will be a gap in the tomato deliveries until the field tomatoes are ready for harvest. This was our earliest delivery of tomatoes ever and we hope that you have enjoyed them thus far. There are many different heirloom varieties planted in the fields, and the plants are doing well with many green fruits on the vine. Weather Report: Rain finally fell last week with more to come this week. That has improved the water level in the pond, which is our irrigation source. We received over 2” of rain in all and most came within about a 20 minute stretch on Thursday. Farmer Rich was working in the greenhouse and noticed “catalpa brook” running through the greenhouse. A tree had also fallen on the fence during the storm. This was a major problem as it created a breech in a 20’ section. Farmer Rich had to perform some quick repairs so our resident animals didn’t find the gap and just wander in for free eats! It looks like the repair is holding up thus far. Animal report: Still another intruder is sneaking into the fields and this week decided to eat some of the collards. Also noted was a bear that decided to trash around our storage barn. Looks like he was looking for something, threw around some of our supplies and left. Trip to the FarmAugust 16th 11 am to ? Some members from our original CSA drop-off in NYC want to come up to the farm and help, so we are putting together another work-day. Projects for the work day will be posted in upcoming newsletters. Farming Quote of the Week: Farming looks mighty easy when your plow is a pencil and you're a thousand miles from the cornfield. - Dwight David Eisenhower Pick of the Week: click on the links below or to the right to bring you to the delivery specific to your pick-up location. Deliveries will be of similar variety & poundage, but may contain different items. Occasionally, some crops are ready to harvest but not enough to deliver to all our drop-off locations. What we do is start to filter them in each week to a different drop-off until there is enough to delivery to everyone.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Vol 13 No 7 - Week of July 21st

Fruit deliveries begin
The garlic harvest continued through the week, but the yields are poor, as we mentioned last week. The tomatoes, peppers, potatoes, garlic, summer & winter squash that we planted at Farmer Scott’s farm are doing well. We have about 1 acre of crops planted there and they have bounced back from the deer damage earlier in the season. The harvested fava bean & pea patches have been mowed down, but the ground needs to be tilled for planting another crop. We plan on planting mustards, oriental greens, radishes & turnips in this area. We do need to ready the beds in the lower greenhouse for planting too. Fruit update – This week is the first of the fruit deliveries from Windy Brow Farm located in Newton, NJ. We have been delivering fruit from Farmer Jim for many years now and they grow many varieties of peaches, plums and apples. The variety of peaches this week are Flaming Fury, a great freestone peach with yellow flesh. These are great for eating or for your favorite peach recipes. From the Fields: This week, we are behind. We lost 2 of our crew members, who decided to start working locally in a factory. That leaves us quite short with farm help, but fortunately the bulk of the planting has been done. Our Farm Manager Leslie remains and is a true asset to us. The potato harvest started, but will have to wait until this week to harvest the rest. Neighboring Farmer Adam (who has the large farm machines) has cut our upper fields of hay, and this hay we use for mulching. He will also be brush-hogging the back field where the garlic was and help with preparing a new field for us. Weather Report: There has been little rain during the week, just enough on Monday last week to help, but the fields are still in need of our irrigation system. Fortunately the system has been working great. We have a problem with the pump for some of the overhead irrigation, but we’ll be talking with our neighborhood “wizard” to help us with the mechanical issues. We are using water when necessary, which is practically every day and our water supply, the pond, is beginning to drop. We are down about 4” as of Sunday. Hopefully rain will be on the way this week. Animal report: Another groundhog has broken into the fence, apparently looking for a new home among the veggies. Leslie saw him and chased him out of the fields and he was seen heading for the woods. Hopefully he won’t be able to find his way back. We find that in times of very dry conditions, we have the most problems with the wild animals breaking into the fields. Perhaps it is because they are not finding sufficient forage elsewhere and they peek in through the fences and see quite a smorgasbord! From the Wild Side this week! Periodically we get requests from members desiring some wild edibles. This week’s we had enough Amaranth to bunch up for everyone. Many wild edibles are quite nutritious and amaranth is high in protein, lysine, calcium, iron & fiber. More below & on the harvest identifier as well. Amaranth greens can be served as a good substitute for spinach. Great for stir-fry, steamed, and put into soups. More on the Harvest Identifier! Farming Quote of the Week: There is not a sprig of grass that shoots uninteresting to me. Thomas Jefferson Pick of the Week: click on the links below or to the right to bring you to the delivery specific to your pick-up location. Deliveries will be of similar variety & poundage, but may contain different items. Occasionally, some crops are ready to harvest but not enough to deliver to all our drop-off locations. What we do is start to filter them in each week to a different drop-off until there is enough to delivery to everyone.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Vol 13 No 6 - Week of July 14th

Garlic Harvest begins....
We began harvesting the garlic on Friday. The crop unfortunately looks poor; with about 50% losses and the bulb heads are small. We do have garlic at Farmer Scotts which also has small heads, but better yields. It appears that most farmers we are talking with are all experiencing similar problems; small heads and larger than normal losses. What happened was with no snow cover over the winter, the ground froze, then thawed, froze then thawed repeatedly which actually heaved the garlic out of the ground. This exposed the cloves to the elements thereby causing their demise. Farmer Rich did cover the fields with greater than normal amounts of mulch during the winter, but this did not save the entire crop. The garlic is now on wire racks for its drying & curing stage. It is during this time that the flavors set in. Fruit update – we hope to start the fruit deliveries next week from Windy Brow Farm. We will be getting an update from Farmer Jim during the week as to availability, but usually the first deliveries of fruit include peach varieties. TRIP to the FARM – scheduled for Sunday, July 20, 2008 starting at 12:00 noon. Want to help with a few projects at the farm? Come up to the farm and spend an afternoon in the country. Projects we need help with include: · mulching · install fencing around the back field (provided all the garlic has been harvested) please RSVP so we can plan on refreshments also send out directions. From the Fields: Another crop of potatoes will be harvested soon. This week the crew replanted the Franklin greenhouse with yard-long beans and got beds ready for Chinese cabbage to transplant this week. Other beds were planted with lettuce & celeriac. More herbs were also planted this week, including rosemary and lemon basil. Additionally, tomato plants were planted in the big greenhouse for late deliveries. Weather Report: The fields still remain dry, and harvesting the garlic is like pulling them from cement. Even Farmer Rich was surprised at how dry the back field of garlic was. This field is not irrigated, but it probably wouldn’t have mattered much as most of the garlic crop was lost during the winter. Our irrigation system is working well with drip lines through the beds. The water source is our pond and gravity feeds to the main hoses that the drip lines are attached to. Farmer Rich turns it on and the beds get irrigated for about 1 ½ days, then the filter gets clogged and has to be cleared. This set up is a simple yet effective use of our water without having to use pumps. Animal report: The rabbit in-side the fence decided not to eat the remaining transplanted lettuce, but has shown an appetite for kale this week. On Saturday Farmer Rich saw a baby groundhog scaling the fence pole and it appeared it didn’t quite know what to do if it did get to the top of the fence. Fortunately Farmer Rich persuaded it to not continue its break-in attempt, but we are sure that it tried again later in the day. Field Pix: our middle field Farming Quote of the Week: No race can prosper till it learns there is as much dignity in tilling a field as in writing a poem. - Booker T. Washington Pick of the Week: click on the links below or to the right to bring you to the delivery specific to your pick-up location. Deliveries will be of similar variety & poundage, but may contain different items. Occasionally, some crops are ready to harvest but not enough to deliver to all our drop-off locations. What we do is start to filter them in each week to a different drop-off until there is enough to delivery to everyone.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Vol 13 No 5 - Week of July 7th

Drier than you think
There has been little rain at the farm, so our irrigation systems are in full-swing. The scattered thundershowers that pass through are better than nothing at this point, but we really need some good rain storms. It is a bit deceiving as it seems like the fields are getting wet, but they are not. You can walk among the fields and kick the soil & it will fly up as a ball of dust. A nice “soaking-in” kind of rain would be nice. We are at the point that the spring crops are all coming off the field and being replaced by crops for the fall deliveries. Right now we have a lot of beds ready to be planted. The middle greenhouse should be planted this week. We are unfortunately falling a little behind, but we do have time to get in all these plantings for the autumn harvests. The crew is working daily in the fields and on Farmer Rich’s delivery day two of them work on different projects that Rich has left for them, so there is no time lost. TRIP to the FARMscheduled for Sunday, July 20, 2008 starting at 12:00 noon. Want to help with a few projects at the farm? Come up to the farm and spend an afternoon in the country. Projects we need help with include: · mulching · install fencing around the back field (provided all the garlic has been harvested) please RSVP so we can plan on refreshments also send out directions. From the Fields: Our broccoli harvest is producing small heads and it looks like a bad broccoli year at our neighboring farmers as well. The tomato plants in the greenhouse in Franklin are starting to shut down. Hopefully the production from the greenhouse will last long enough until our field crop starts coming in. The garlic harvest should begin this week. Farmer Scott’s garlic is already ready and ours isn’t too far behind. More feedback to come next week as the harvest begins. The chard, kale, sorrel and New Zealand spinach all are doing well and the cauliflower crop is still “iffy”. We have about 1000 lettuce transplants ready to be planted in the field for late summer, early autumn deliveries. We are just starting to get a few ripe tomatoes in the field and our crew will be staking the plants up this week. After the garlic is harvested from the back field, we plan to fence that field in so we can put another field into production. Weather Report: Nice temperatures all-in-all for this time of the summer, not too hot. The early morning temperatures during the weekend allows for easier harvesting to get the harvest into the cooler for delivery. Animal report: The rabbit remains inside the fence and occasionally samples a few items. Farmer Scott planted about 3000 of our tomato plants for our csf deliveries and a deer broke into his field, which has an electric fence, and proceeded to eat about 2/3 of the plants. Fortunately it hasn’t eaten the zucchini or pepper plants, yet! We were able to replace many of the plants that Scott lost, so though not as many as we had hoped for, their production will be coming as long as there are no further set-backs.
Farming Quote of the Week: Weather means more when you have a garden. There's nothing like listening to a shower and thinking how it is soaking in around your green beans. Author: Marcelene Cox

Greenhouse Pix of the week: Bird's nest in the Fava Bean Patch

notice the leaf in the nest as an attempt to camouflage the eggs! Pick of the Week: click on the links below or to the right to bring you to the delivery specific to your pick-up location. Deliveries will be of similar variety & poundage, but may contain different items. This time of year we may have some crops ready but not enough to deliver to all our drop-off locations. What we do is start to filter them in each week to a different drop-off until there is enough to delivery to everyone.