Monday, September 27, 2010

Volume 15 - No 17 - Week of September 27th

Warm Snap !

The past week brought near record highs. For this week temperatures are supposed to trend to a more seasonable range. The autumn leaves are turning early due to the combination of lack of rain & shorter days. The shorter days are also shutting down the warm weather crops, such as the eggplant, tomatoes & pepper plants.

The crew is working the fields on non-harvest days cleaning up in preparation for next year since all the planting has been done. They are taking down the trellises that supported the tomatoes, cucumbers, squash and tomatillos. Next week they should be removing the plastic from the wrapped beds.

We continue to irrigate during the week to keep the October crops ready for the deliveries. We still have tomato plants in the field and are not sure when their production will end. So far we are pleased with the production from the tomato plants this year which is in stark contrast to last year.

We are working on getting a brush-hog attachment for the tractor to get our anticipated new field in order for next year. The brush-hog clears fields by cutting down larger brush and small trees. After, we can plow the field, pick the rocks (which is just a really great job!!) and then plant a cover crop. As this we hope to have done by November. If this is all done before winter then in the early spring we can put up the fences.

What's up & growing:The winter squash, pumpkins & gourds will be coming in more now. We have leeks, turnips, chard, lettuce and radishes to be harvested in October. More onions will be delivered as they are in their curing stage on racks in the greenhouse. The garlic crop was weak this year, mostly due drought conditions. We went up to the Garlic Festival in Saugerties to get more garlic and look for seed stock and pick up new varieties, but there were slim pickings up there as well.

Weather Report: Last week was another dry week with no rain. The forecast for this week looks like rain early in the week, which will be greatly appreciated.

Animal report: There have been no signs of any of the neighborhood ground hogs or rabbits. We do hear the turkeys in the back gobbling away. It looks like they are eating acorns amongst the stand of oak trees. They are making Farmer Rich hungry thinking of Thanksgiving!

TRIP to the FARM-Help Plant Garlic

Sunday October 24th. 11 am - ??

Want to spend a day in the country and help us on the farm?garlic clipart.gif We are scheduling our next work day at the farm to be a garlic planting day. Help us plant garlic for the 2011 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'll also plan Farmer Sue's famous BBQ lunch to follow!! Just RSVP via e-mail so we can plan on refreshments & lunch.

Fruit Delivery: Tonight's delivery we have some Melrose Apples from Windy Brow Farm. The Melrose,(the official apple of Ohio) looks like a vintage apple, but surprisingly, it only dates back to World War 2. It's a cross between a Jonathan and a Red Delicious. Good in the kitchen since it stays firm with cooking and it doesn't need much sweetener. Windy Brow offers pick your own apples until October 10th this year.

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

Potluck.jpgEND of SEASON POTLUCK hosted by the Hoboken Midtown group - but all CSA members are welcome - Tentative date is November 6th. More details to come…..

Week of September 27th - 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, September 20, 2010

Volume 15 - No 16 - Week of September 20th

Dry conditions continue !

The drought continues for another week which makes our job harder to keep up with irrigating and trying to offset crop losses. We did receive ¼" of rain and fortunately did not receive the hail storm that many farmers in the area did. It all occurred last week during the severe weather that impacted the NYC area the most. We haven't seen much publicity regarding the drought conditions, but in driving in Wanaque recently by the Monksville Reservoir, I noticed that there was practically no water in it!! It is a huge reservoir and I have never seen it as low as it was on Saturday.

The fruit trees are suffering as well. In talking with Jim @ Windy Brow it appears that the pear trees suffered greatly during the drought & didn't produce at all. This means no pears this season L. He also mentioned that the apple harvest will be winding up next week, which is way ahead of normal. He will however, be able to provide apples for our CSA deliveries until the end of the season.

The "Harvest Moon" appears on Thursday the 23rd. The full moon that appears closest to the autumnal equinox is known as the harvest moon. Though folklore has the harvest moon as gathering up the crops for the season, we have our harvests going to the end of October, though it may be a struggle.

What's up & growing:We are just planting for the end of the harvest season to help off-set some crop losses. Some arugula was planted in the greenhouse this week. In the fields the recently planted lettuce & arugula are doing well. The red mustard plants were thinned and are in tonight's delivery, which will make the remaining plants get bigger when grown to maturity. The next crop is expected to be harvested in October.

We are going to be preparing and area for garlic planting in October. Currently there are daikon radishes, turnips and cilantro in that field and as they are harvested we'll be getting that area ready. We hope to schedule another work-day at the farm for Sunday October 24th and our project will be planting garlic. More info will be forthcoming in upcoming newsletters.

Weather Report: There is a just a chance of some thunderstorms this week on Wednesday and Friday, but nothing of any consequence to help with the continued drought conditions. Temperatures will remain comfortable in the high 70's and low 80's which makes it nice to work in the fields.

Animal report: No major problems in the fields this past week. There were a few deer grazing in an area we plan to have a new field for next year. Hopefully they won't get too used to it! Also the toads abound in the greenhouse, which is a good thing as they like to feast on insects!

Fruit Delivery: Tonight's delivery we have some Greenings Apples from Windy Brow Farm. The first orchard in Massachusetts was planted around 1625 by a clergyman named William Blaxton who owned a farm on Beacon Hill in Boston. He later moved to Pawtucket, Rhode Island and planted the first Rhode Island orchard in 1635. Blaxton is credited for having grown the first named apple in America. This variety is sometimes referred to as Rhode Island Greening.

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

END of SEASON POTLUCK hosted by the Hoboken Midtown group - but all CSA members are welcome - Tentative date is November 6th. More details to come…..

Week of September 20th - 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, September 13, 2010

Volume 15 - No 15 - Week of September 13th

Splash of Rain !

Sunday brought a splash of rain. Something is better than nothing, but we are still in drought conditions. NJ State DEP issued their 2nd Drought Watch this summer, the first being on August 5th and the second on September 8th. The drought conditions impact us as well as the hot weather all spring & summer. The press release posted on their website http://www.njdrought.org/ has the following statement: "According to State Climatologist David Robinson of Rutgers University, New Jersey is experiencing its warmest summer (June-August) on record since weather data has been kept starting in 1895. This followed the warmest spring on record. Every month since March has ranked in the top 10 of all time for heat, with August ranked 10th, July ranked 2nd and June as the first hottest month in the past 105 years."

Each year we hope for the perfect season, and it never seems to come. Last year was too cold & wet and this year is too hot & dry. We adapt, though it is often a struggle. Even the plants have what is called "stress" during a season like we have had. Most evident was the tomatoes which experienced extra heat stress which led to decreased production.

What's up & growing:We hope to seed some mustard & arugula in some open beds for the late October deliveries. It may be a little late but we should get something. As beds are opening up in the back field, we will prepare the beds for planting garlic. The winter squash crop looks good but the squash are small, due to the lack of water during their growing season. The crew picked quite a few this past week and will harvest more during the rest of the week. The tomatoes are slowing up, but there are still more to be harvested. The peppers and eggplant should last for another week or two, depending on the weather.

With the cooler temperatures the cherry tomato plants in our Franklin greenhouse are finally setting fruit. They have been non-producers all summer with the high temperatures. We hope they will produce for late October delivery and are protected from any frost that may take place since the plants are in the greenhouse.

On a negative side we lost most of our turnips and red meat radishes to pests. Two planting of radishes and one planting of mustard bolted with the hot temperatures. Powdery mildew wiped out the cucumber plants, almost overnight.

Weather Report: As reported earlier, just a splash of rain fell on Sunday and no further rain is in the forecast for the rest of this week. The mornings have been chilly and warm In the afternoon which makes for pleasant working in the fields. This week we were in the high 40's. Farmer Rich has been spending a lot of time moving hoses to irrigate the fields. Basically the fields are dead-dry!

Animal report: With the dry conditions, pressure from animals increases. They look for ways to break through the fence to get into the fields. One groundhog devoured the lettuce crop last week and another one just loved the yellow peach tomatoes! A trellis of tomatoes fell over because it was too heavy which left a banquet table full of tomatoes for the voles to feast on. Next year we will have to make stronger trellises.

Fruit Delivery: Tonight's delivery we have some great Cox Orange Pippin Apples from Windy Brow Farm. It is considered to be one of the best dessert apples ever! The variety originated in England and was introduced in 1825.

Week of September 13th - 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.

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

Monday, September 06, 2010

Volume 15 - No 14 - Week of September 6th

Low of 43 F !

We had temperature fluctuations of between 93⁰F early last week to a low of 43⁰F early in the morning this week. The crew had to harvest with gloves & sweatshirts on for a change.

Needless to say the hot weather crops have either shut down production or are "toast" now that temperatures have dipped that low. MrPotatoHead.jpg

Believe it or not the potatoes we planted late are producing. Farmer Rich checked out the potatoes that were planted the end of July when CSA members came up to the farm for a workday, and they will be ready to harvest soon!! Theoretically potatoes need to be planted early in the spring for the best production, but the ones we planted in July were stored in the cooler and either had to be planted or thrown out, so plant we did! The plants started showing their flowers a few weeks ago, which meant they were starting to produce potatoes. Once the tops of the plants start to die back, that is the signal to start the harvest. Harvesting of them will begin soon, they will be small, but we will get some potatoes from our CSA member work day!!

The hay on the upper end of our farm was finally cut by Farmer Adam and it is baled and stacked by the field that we plan on planting garlic in October. We will be planning a trip to the farm to plant garlic and will post the date in the upcoming newsletters. It is a great project to help with and an easy project to bring up the kids as well. What would take us two weeks to do, we can do in just a few hours with CSA member help.

We are always planning on the next year and we have a plan for a new back field which we hope to get started in a week or two.

What's up & growing:The planned crops for October are coming in early. The Brussels sprouts and kohlrabi should be ready to harvest soon and the additional planting of greens (other than the lettuce - see below) are doing well in the cooler weather.

Eggplant in Franklin2.jpgMeanwhile at our Franklin greenhouse the hot peppers, eggplant & turnips are doing better than those at the farm in the field. This is of course due to the warmer temperatures in the greenhouse and being about 10-12 miles south of the farm where the low was perhaps in the low 50's instead of the low 40's.

Weather Report: Rain is still needed as the spurt that we received was good just for the short term. The forecast for the week predicts perhaps a shower on Wednesday and seasonal temperatures all week. Farmer Rich is irrigating all sections that he can. Some sections of the field aren't set up for irrigation so we have to hope to get some more rain.

Animal report: The deer that jumped the fence decided to munch only a few things and a groundhog broke in and decided to devour the lettuce. The new planting of lettuce was completely wiped out by the groundhog so not only are our October crops coming in early; the planned lettuce isn't left to harvest. After the deer snacked on a few things it laid down in the shade & took a nap!

Fruit Delivery: Tonight's delivery we have some great Molly's Delicious Apples from Windy Brow Farm. This variety was introduced in 1966 by the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station.

Week of September 6th - 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.


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