Monday, September 28, 2009

Volumne 14 No 17 - Week of September 28th

The Empire Strikes Back!Movie.gif

Our Veggies & a Movie is back but this month it is fruit & a movie. You will be getting Empire Apples this week. They are a cross between Red Delicious & McIntosh. What better way to celebrate Apple Month with an Apple & a movie!! (PS it was also Johnny Appleseed Day on the 26th).

Farmer Rich & I went up to Saugerties, NY to their annual Garlic Festival to seek new varieties of garlic to plant. We can only hope the 2010 growing season is better than this year, as our garlic had to be harvested early due to the excessive wetness. This caused it to be on the small side.

The leaves are starting to turn, so within the next few weeks the autumn colors will be at their peak. It may even be during our Work Day at the farm!groupPlanting.jpg

WORK DAY @ the FARM: October 10th 11 am - 2/3pm
Want to spend a day in the country and help us on the farm? We are scheduling our next work day at the farm to be a garlic planting day. Help us plant garlic for the 2010 season. It is a great for families, as garlic is very easy to plant. Just a few extra hands and we plant plenty of garlic in just a few hours. If we had to do it ourselves it would take the better part of a week. We first start by "popping" the garlic, which is separating the individual cloves from the bulb, then we plant each clove and finally apply mulch over it. We also plan on having a good-bye lunch for our Farm Operations Leader, Ali, who will be leaving for California. She will be sorely missed and we hope she returns for the 2010 season. For the remaining weeks of the season we will still have Lisa & Jessie working. They all have been a GREAT crew this year. Please RSVP so we can plan on lunch & refreshments and send you directions.

From the Fields: The fall crops continue to do very well and the greens deliveries over the past few weeks are thinnings from our very productive beds. The Oriental greens, radishes and turnips and are cruising right along. It is nice to finally report that some crops are doing well. The sweet peppers continue to produce and probably will do well until we get a freeze. The eggplant continues to bear fruit and is in this week's delivery and should be in next week's delivery as well. Our tomato plants are all shut down and the tomatoes we are delivering are from our local farm trading partners.

Weather Report: The overnight rain Saturday into Sunday somewhat dampened our Sunday morning harvest but there was a break in the weather so we could complete our harvest before the day temperatures got too warm. Fortunately we have greenhouses and it is so much better to harvest greens from the greenhouse & not get wet!

Animal report: Though not really an animal, an insect at best, the Annual Wooly Bear Caterpillar report will be coming up soon. So far we have found 2 and both had wide center stripes which indicate a mild winter. We do however; need more than 2 to make a more statistical analysis!!

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, September 21, 2009

Volume 14 No 16 - Week of September 21st

If a tree grows in Brooklyn....

If a tree grows in Brooklyn why not peanuts in NJ. That's right! Since we have to supplement the deliveries, as the season has been so terrible, Farmer Diane called us that she found a local farmer with peanuts and we said sure why not!! These of course are raw or "green" peanuts and can be boiled or roasted (see recipes on the back). You can simple eat them raw and add them to salads whole or chop them and sprinkle the bits over your salads, raw soups, and even raw desserts. The flavor of raw peanuts is quite delicate compared to the more familiar taste of roasted peanuts.

When we bought the farm back in 1985, Farmer Rich planted 100 apple trees. The deer proceeded to eat all but 9 of these trees in the course of the first few years. The remaining 9 trees have intermittently produced fruit over the years and this year when Ali & Lisa check them out, they had about 200 pounds of our "wild" apples to pick. Though they are a bit on the wild side, they taste great, more of a tart taste, but have not been sprayed ever (and they look it). You also will be getting Yellow Delicious apples from Windy Brow Farm this week.

From the Fields: With the better growing weather the seeded crops are doing very well. In this week's delivery you will be getting a mix of baby greens which are thinnings from the rows of mustards, oriental greens and radishes. We hope to get another batch of thinnings for another delivery. Some spinach is on the horizon. It too is doing well in the field.

The final bed in the Franklin greenhouse has been rolled over and seeded with arugula. The Sweet Peppers continue to do extremely well (as you have noticed) and until a frost should continue to do so. The winter squash harvest has started. This week you will be receiving butternut squash. More varieties are coming, such as delicata, carnival and acorn.

The established crops in the field look the best they have all year, though 16 weeks into the season. We hope that this increases our deliveries for the remaining weeks yet to come. Farmer Rich considers this the worst season in our 14 years of CSA deliveries. We have tried hard to keep the deliveries consistent and hope that you all understand the risks involved when there is season where the weather has severely impacted the outcomes of the crops.

The crew continues to pull up the plastic on the beds in the field as the season is winding down. We plan on tilling it and plant a cover crop of oats for the winter.

Weather Report: Some rain did fall on Thursday and it helped the newly seeded crops which are all field planted and depend on rain and/or irrigation. The night temperatures are in the high 30's. There was a frost warning for the area, but fortunately it did not hit the farm, though the week ahead looks like some frost may hit.

Animal Report: The Farm Cat continues to become a part of the farm family making it's rounds and keeping the voles & field mice at bay.

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, September 14, 2009

Volume 14 No 15 - Week of September 14th

Believe it or not!

Believe it or not we needed rain and it came on Friday & Saturday. So far with all the rainy days we have had this season we haven't missed out on any work at the farm nor have had to send the crew home early. Between working in the greenhouses & finding other important tasks that need to be done our crew has worked through those rainy days and more positively have not had a sick day either.FuzzySquash in the Field.jpg

If you want to have a good laugh you must read an article by our Hoboken South CSA coordinator Carolyn in her "The Crisper Whisperer" article for Serious Eats. Farmer Rich and I were laughing hysterically and it is a great read. We even went so far as to post a photo of the "fuzzy squash, hairy gourd or Mo Qua" growing on the vine for all to see. Click here for a link to the article. Actually both Lisa and Ali like these fuzzy squash better than zucchini or other summer squash that are more traditional. Seems like many are turned off by their appearance, but they taste great!

This week you will be receiving both Apples & Asian Pears. The Gravenstein Apples are from Windy Brow Farm and the Asian Pears are from a local grower whom Rich met recently. The Gravenstein Apple is perhaps one of the most versatile apples and great for baking & cooking with its sweet/tart flavor. The Asian Pear actually looks more like an apple than it does a pear and it too has crispy & juicy fruit. There are two varieties, one being mostly yellow and the other mostly russet. They both taste delicious, actually we like the russet one better.

From the Fields: Our late plantings are actually coming along quite nicely. We received some rain that we needed after a week of dry weather. Farmer Rich is still rounding up tomatoes from neighboring farmers and they are getting more and more difficult to find. We know tomatoes are important to the deliveries and we try will to keep them in the deliveries as long as we can. We should start having some winter squash in the deliveries by next week. Farmer Scott was spending Sunday harvesting more potatoes. The Sweet Peppers continue to do well and hopefully we won't get an early frost.

The crew pulled up plastic on some of the beds that were not producing in anticipation of preparing those beds for garlic planting. The remaining beds that aren't producing as going to be cover cropped with oats for the winter in preparation of next year. Many of the local farmers are already getting ready for next year and planting rye in their fields. It is hard to believe that after virtually no summer it is already time to starting thinking about next year.

Weather Report: Rain on Friday & Saturday, but it was needed for the crops that have been planted recently over the past few weeks. During the rainy days we cleaned up some garlic so the days weren't wasted.

Animal Report: We have a cat sneaking into the fields, which is keeping any field voles & mice away. The crew hasn't nicknamed it yet so we'll just refer to it as the "farm cat" for now.

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, September 07, 2009

Volume 14 No 14 - Week of September 7th

Dry Weather, finally!

Farmer Rich, Ali & Lisa were able to accomplish a lot of field work this week, and it may have been the first full week of dry weather. Farmer Rich said it was great to finally feel like a farmer! The crew was able to plant many crops for the October deliveries and if the weather continues on the positive side, we anticipate a great end of the season. They even had to turn on the irrigation system for the first time this season.

As you know, we like to grow many "different" varieties of vegetables which give you an opportunity to try new things that you normally could not find at the grocery store. This week you will be getting a Golden Celery, which at first glance it looks like there is something wrong with it, as you are looking for traditional green celery. This variety is Golden Self-Blanching celery from Jordan Seed. They are great tasting and free of strings. Another unusual veggie this week are the Asparagus Beans, often referred to as Yard-Long beans. They tasted like a cross between asparagus and green beans. Great anyway you cook them, stir-fry, soups and salads, stewing, braising, sautéing or frying. Actually, cooking, the long beans intensify their flavor.

From the Fields : With the stretch of nice weather we were able to catch up on field maintenance and weed control. We planted Yukana Savoy (oriental green), red frilly mustard, large leaf mustard, dicon radishes, while hailstone radishes, golden ball turnips, pak choi, peas for sprouts, lettuce and spinach. Though the planting is a little on the late side (should have been planted the end of August), we have irrigated and almost everything is up & growing. After our last sorrel delivery the weeds had gotten out of control so we mowed down the whole field and the sorrel is about 6" already, so there will be another harvest of sorrel. Ali & Lisa transplanted collards and kale and with good weather they should be ready for the end of the season deliveries. The garlic planting season is rapidly approaching so we will be planning a work-day at the farm either on September 19th or October 10th. We'll keep you posted by next newsletter.


Weather Report:
Finally!!! A full week of dry weather. The cooler temperatures continue at night, but the day time temperatures are hot. Everything seemed to perk up this week.


Animal Report:
Still quiet with no break-ins in the greenhouses or the fields. We guess there is enough for our neighboring groundhogs to find outside the fence to eat so they are leaving the crops alone.


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.