Monday, August 30, 2010

Volume 15 - No 13 - Week of August 30th

A Great Day in Hoboken!

TomTaste2010,jpg.jpgIt was great to meet many CSA members at the Annual Tomato Tasting on Sunday and we want to thank the Hoboken Historical Museum for hosting the event as well as their network of volunteers who worked throughout the day from set-up to take-down. We were able to round up tomatoes from about 5 different farmers and about 15-20 different varieties were available to taste.

As you know we have been struggling with drought conditions all summer and last Monday reported it was great to finally get a nice soaking-in rain. Unfortunately the rain continued for a few more days after which impacted the tomatoes in the field. What happens is that it has been so dry, that when the 4" of rain fell during the week any tomatoes on the vine basically "exploded". Not exploded-expFranklinGreenhouseAug2010.jpgloded, but they split and are not deliverable. We also had trouble from our farmer network in rounding up tomatoes for the tasting as during the heat wave that we had 4-5 weeks ago the blossoms drop-off the plants so fruit will not set.

What's up & growing: Our last seeding of arugula, lettuces, white icicle radishes and red mustard got a big boost from the rain. They kind of came back from the dead! The eggplant & peppers remain consistent producers and believe it or not the late planting of potatoes in July with CSA member help during the trip to the farm are doing great!

At Franklin greenhouse the Japanese turnips should be ready to harvest in a week or two. The hot peppers and herbs are doing extremely well. Unfortunately the cherry tomatoes are just not setting fruit. We had planned on having more cherry tomatoes this year, but as with farming the best laid plans sometimes go awry. At this point, Farmer Rich is going to tear out the cherry tomato plants if they don't produce soon! Word has gone out to them, so we'll see if they cooperate this week.

Weather Report: We are in for a HOT week this week, but fortunately the evening and early morning temperatures are cool.
TurkeysinFranklin.jpg
Animal report : We had a breech in the fence line, so a deer was able to get in. Fortunately it just nibbles on a few different plants so there were no major losses. A rafter of turkeys greeted us on Saturday morning at the Franklin greenhouse. They were enjoying the early morning dew and didn't like Sometime Farmer Sue sneaking up on them to take a few pictures.

Fruit Delivery: Tonight's delivery we have some great Nectarines from Windy Brow Farm.

UPCOMING EVENTS

9th Annual Garlic Gathering - Olde Lafayette Village - Lafayette, NJ

Saturday / Sunday October 2nd & 3rd
11 am - 4 pm

4th Annual Garlic Fest - Hoboken Historical Museum - 1301 Hudson Street

Sunday October 17th 1 pm - 5 pm

Week of August 30th - 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 at anytime during the season. 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, August 23, 2010

Volume 15 - No 12 - Week of August 23rd

Soaking In Rain!

As we write the newsletter on Sunday after dinner, we have received about an inch of rain today. It was a great soaking in rain as it fell off & on all day long. The pond didn't fill up, which is a concern, but the crops are much happier today! It has been the third time this year that we have been low on our irrigation water. We were only watering critical areas so some of cucumber and squash fields were suffering, but now they should bounce back.

We irrigated the Brussels sprouts, eggplant and tomato plants with the drip irrigation tape. The soil they are in is sandier so even after a rainy day they needed water.

The rain did hamper harvesting some greens for delivery.

Farmer Rich, John & Gary worked on an interesting project this week. Rich was contacted about a month ago by The Delaware Water Gap National Park Service in Montague to fertilize perhaps the oldest orchard in the National Park Service in the United States. It was truly an interesting project as we have always been interested in heirloom varieties and to be able to work on a project that included some of the oldest fruit trees in the United States was something he couldn't pass up. It has been estimated that some of the trees in the park are over 200 years old. This area of the Park is known as the Roberts Farm Orchard. According to the National Park Service they are reestablishing and maintaining historic fruit trees throughout the NPS. A spokesperson states that "It represents an historic milestone in the preservation of the cultural heritage of the United States." Other historic orchards have had pruning & maintenance project as well, the most recent being at the historic orchards in Gettysburg National Military Park and the adjacent Eisenhower National Historic Site; additional pruning is also planned for trees at Adams National Historic Park.

A recent article about the "Living History" project in the National Park Service notes the following:

· Coordination and funding for preservation of the historic orchards as come from the Service's Frederick Law Olmsted Center for Landscape Preservation in Brookline, Massachusetts. The Center's staff notes,

· "The National Park Service is one of the principal stewards of historic orchards in the United States. Many of these orchards date from the eighteenth, nineteenth, and early twentieth centuries and reflect important social trends of the country such as the migration and settlement patterns of immigrants, the development of commercial agriculture, and the growth of rural and urban economies."

· "Many of the orchards at national parks have direct associations with important people or events that shaped the history of our country, such as the Peach Orchard at Gettysburg National Military Park in Pennsylvania. Additionally, historic orchards in national parks often contain rare or unusual fruit varieties that may be the only surviving examples of their type." (reference www.nationalparkstraveler.com/2010/02/living-history-project-delaware-water-gap-national-recreation-area-required-some-very-sharp-instrume5428)

So our participation in just one small segment of the project took place on Thursday afternoon. Farmer Rich, John & Gary brought up the tractor & spreader and Fertrell supplied the organic fertilizer. Unfortunately, the orchard is in the process of being rejuvenated so there are no apples to deliver now, but we hope in the future that they will have some available.

What's up & growing:We are having a great pepper & egplant year this year, probably the best ever. The seeded crops for October are probably are going to come in early. They consist of turnips, sen posai, dill, cilantro, tendergreen mustard, Dicon radishes and French Breakfast radishes. Newly seeded crops include, red mustard, arugula, lettuce and white icicle radishes. With this rain they should really start cruising along.

The cherry tomatoes in the Franklin greenhouse are not setting fruit. Farmer Rich spent Sunday morning investigating and fertilizing them in the hopes that fruit will be set soon. The plants themselves look great.

We have been delivering basil on an ongoing basis, but there seems to be a shortage of basil among other farmers due to a blight condition.

Weather Report: The week was dry, but much need rain finally arrived on Sunday. The forecast for this week looks like more rain early in the week and about average temperatures.

Animal report: The two fawns visited the plum tree again. We haven't seen them in weeks. They were looking for some plums to eat, but all the plums from the tree had already dropped. We hope they won't want to jump the fence to check out the crops in the field.

Fruit Delivery: Tonight starts some great apple varieties from Windy Brow Farm. The variety this week is the Red Free Apple. Tomatoes.jpg

11th Annual Heirloom Tomato Tasting - Hoboken Historical Museum

Sunday August 29th 1 pm - 5 pm at the Hoboken Historical Museum

• 1301 Hudson Street

We'll have many varieties of tomatoes for tasting as well as farm fresh produce for sale from local farmers. Also dips, pestos, salsas will be made from farm fresh produce. We hope to see many CSA members there!

Week of August 23rd - 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 at anytime during the season. 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, August 16, 2010

Volume 15 - No 11 - Week of August 16th

Just Enough Rain !!

We had received about ½" of rain on Thursday and more rain is falling on Sunday as I write this newsletter. It should be just enough to keep us going for awhile! The pond is dropping rapidly, down about 12" and we hope for more rain during the week.

We are harvesting a lot of tomatoes and it is a far better year this year than last. So far all three planting of tomatoes are doing well.

We have been keeping up with our field maintenance so the weeds are under control and the beds are probably the best that they have been in years. The greenhouses, which house the hot peppers, chard, and oriental greens are doing well and they will be rolled over soon.

We are curing the garlic, onions & shallots and more will be coming in the deliveries over the next few weeks.

What's up & growing:

The lettuce is almost ready to be transplanted into the fields and we have one more planting of zucchini. We also have some pickles ready to go. The greens in the back fields, which incluce turnips, tendergreen mustard, French breakfast radishes, and Sen Posai are going balistic.

The newly seeded arugula, red mustard and white icicle radishes are growing ok, but they need more water.

The winter squash in our fields up at Scott's are doing incredible so far. We have acorn, butternut, hikori, delicatta and perhaps a few more varieties growing at this point. Not only are they going to be great tasting, but winter squash are so beatiful & colorful!

The carrots in the Franklin greenhouse have not improved since our last report. We may end up pulling them and replacing them with something else.

Weather Report: As reported earlier, just enough rain has fallen to keep us going for now, but we really need more consistent rainfall. The beginning of week was hot again, but the second half of the week was pleasant with low humidity which really helped our harvest mornings. The shorter days mean it takes longer for the veggies to mature, though we are planting varieties that like the shorter days and lower temperatures for the fall harvests.

Animal report: Hannah found a baby groundhog feasting on the parsley. It took one look at Farmer Rich and ran and hasn't been back since.

Fruit Delivery: The variety this week we have again the Starfire Peach. These peaches from Windy Brow Farm are a nice scarlet orange-red and one of the tastiest peaches they have!

11th Annual Heirloom Tomato Tasting - Hoboken Historical Museum

  • Sunday August 29th 1 pm - 5 pm at the Hoboken Historical Museum 1301 Hudson Street

    We'll have many varieties of tomatoes for tasting as well as farm fresh produce for sale from local farmers. Also dips, pestos, salsas will be made from farm fresh produce.

Lisa & Hannah's Blue Ribbon Entries on Exhibit at the Sussex County Farm & Horse Show

Lisa 1stPlace-sm.jpg Hannah - 3rdplacesm.jpg

Week of August 16th - 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 at anytime during the season. 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, August 09, 2010

Volume 15 - No 10 - Week of August 9th

1STPLA~1.GIFSweep!

Lisa & Hannah placed in the top 5 at the Open Vegetable Show at the NJ State Fair - Sussex County Farm & Horse Show. Lisa was the overall Grand Champion in the vegetable show with 18 blue ribbons and Hannah was 3rd with 13 blue ribbons. Hannah as 2nd overall in the herb category with 11 blue ribbons and Lisa 4th with 10 blue ribbons. Renee who runs our Franklin greenhouse earned a number of blue ribbons as well. She won 4 in the herb category and 2 in the vegetable category.

They also had a number of Best in Show ribbons as well:

• Hard Neck Garlic - German White - Hannah

• Soft Neck Garlic - Ozark - Lisa

• Dill - Lisa

• Flat Leaf Parsley - Lisa

• Par-Cel - Lisa

• Texas Super Sweet Onions - Lisa

• Ivory Peppers - Lisa

What's up & growing:

Last Monday, Hannah seeded our last planting of zucchini, pickles and lettuce and they are up & growing and should be transplanted in the field in a week or two. Also we direct seeded arugula, lettuce, white icicle radishes and red mustard which are doing well as long as we continue to get water on them. They should be in deliveries in September. The thinning of greens in tonight's delivery are doing very well and the remaining plants should be harvested over the next few weeks.

The carrots continue to be slow in growing, we don't know exactly why, but probably mostly due to the drier weather.

The garlic is not curing & storing well. Use as soon as possible as there may be some bad cloves within a bulb. Take out the good cloves and you can store them in the freezer for future use.

Farmer Rich is researching why this is a problem this year. Currently is affecting on the NY White variety and we hope that it won't affect the other varieties we grow.

Weather Report: Another dry week and we have to continue to irrigate. The plan is to water the newly seeded crops which are just coming up by hand until we can establish some irrigation to those areas. The pond is starting to drop again. Fortunately it is not as bad it was earlier in the season, but it is dropping fast enough to be a concern. So far we are doing well, all things considered. The heat is not as hot as it was in July and we continue to work full days, starting early in the mornings.

Animal report: Aside from a few rabbits cruising around the "outside" of the fence for a change, it is quiet in animal land for now. We haven't seen the twin fawns for a while now, probably because the plum tree stopped dropping its fruit.

Fruit Delivery: The variety this week we have again the Starfire Peach. These peaches from Windy Brow Farm are a nice scarlet orange-red and taste great. This is the first year we have delivered this variety from them. We like to get the peaches on the "hard" side for better transportation and less bruising. They should ripen up in a few days. NJ stateFair Logo2.jpg

NJ State Fair - Sussex County Farm & Horse Show - The NJ State Fair in Augusta, NJ runs to August 15th. For more information you can go online to www.njstatefair.org to see what events are scheduled for each day. If you go, stop by the greenhouse to see Lisa, Hannah & Renee's blue ribbon entries!

Week of August 9th - 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 at anytime during the season. 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, August 01, 2010

Volume 15 - No 9 - Week of August 2nd

Cooler Temps!

We are glad to see July over, as it sure was hot and humid! The average temperature for July was over 7ºF hotter than last year's average and the rainfall was an average of 3" less than last year. Overall, great for many of the crops that love the hot weather, such as the tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, but not so good for the lettuces, arugula and tender greens.

We had some intermittent showers occurring off and on during the week. The sun doesn't come up at the farm until after 5:30 am, so Farmer Rich is getting an extra ½ hour sleep! The early morning harvests are nice & cool and even Farmer Rich has to put on a flannel shirt!


The potatoes were harvested this week at our fields up at Scott's Farm. The potatoes will be mixed between Red Norland, Katadin and Russet. The potato harvest did not yield as much as it should have, mostly due to the dry weather. Estimates are about ½ of what we should have been able to harvest, but we do have plenty of potatoes for the rest of the season.


The leeks & squash that were weeded & mulched by the CSA members who came up to the farm are much happier. The mulch is helping keep the moisture in the soil.


For those of you getting the arugula in your delivery - you may notice some insect holes. What happens is that they bite into the young plant and then the leaf grows and the hole becomes larger. The Arugula tastes REALLY GOOD aside from the cosmetic problem.

What's up & growing:

On July 21st we planted Cilantro, Dill, Sen Posai, Turnips, Tendergreen Mustard, Dicon Radish, and French Breakfast Radishes in the back field and they are growing great. You should start seeing thinnings in upcoming salad mixes.

The July 14th planting of carrots are finally growing! Carrots do take a long time to germinate.

We divided the chives plants, to plant long rows as well as planted some basil.


The eggplant crop is growing very well and each week one or two delivery sites are receiving them on an alternating basis until we have enough for all the sites. The eggplant varieties we have been harvesting consist of Rosa Bianca, Florida High Bush, Ping Tong Long, Black Beauty and Orient Express. We are also encouraged by the production of our sweet peppers plants. We have some great colored varieties, such as ivory, black, chocolate, purple, golden, fryers & some standard greens.

Weather Report: Very little rain fell during the week, most of which came on the 25th during the trip to the farm. There have been some storm fronts moving through the area but have been more of a hit-or-miss at the farm.


Animal report: The rabbits have multiplied, but are not creating a problem. We haven't seen the two fawns this past week either. We have our "natural" pest controllers working in the greenhouse. They are small toads who just love to eat insects!! In the early morning hours at the farm we see a number of bats swirling around and when they go to sleep the birds then wake up! Nature isn't it wonderful!

Fruit Delivery

The variety this week is the Starfire Peach. These peaches from Windy Brow Farm are a nice scarlet orange-red and taste great. This is the first year we have delivered this variety from them. We like to get the peaches on the "hard" side for better transportation and less bruising. They should ripen up in a few days.SFHS Logo.jpg

NJ State Fair - Sussex County Farm & Horse Show

The NJ State Fair in Augusta, NJ starts on Friday and runs to August 15th. Hannah & Lisa are looking forward to entering a few exhibits in the Open Vegetable Show which will be judged on Saturday. For more information you can go online to www.njstatefair.orgto see what events are scheduled for each day.


Week of August 2nd -
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 at anytime during the season. 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.