Sunday, July 31, 2011

Catalpa Ridge News–Vol 16 No 8–Week of August 1st

NJ State Fair – Sussex Farm & Horse Show Starts Friday!

clip_image002The New Jersey State Fair – Sussex Farm & Horse Show starts on Friday, August 5th and runs to Sunday, August 14th. We are on the Vegetable Committee for the fair and have exhibited in the past, but now it’s the crews’ turn to exhibit. Last year Hannah & Lisa both exhibited and this year it looks like all four girls will exhibit some veggies & herbs.

The fair is great to visit if you want to see farm animals, crafts, agricultural events, horse shows and lots more. Go online at: www.njstatefair.org to see a schedule so you can see what day you might want to visit. If you do attend the fair, make sure you go by the greenhouse to see the Vegetable Show to see how the girls did on their exhibits. Last year Lisa was the Grand Champion and Hannah placed 3rd for the vegetable exhibits and they also won a few Best in Shows!

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Last week’s Trip to the farm – Harvesting Beans

From the Fields: Where the garlic was harvested, John & Matt laid plastic with irrigation lines for a total of 5 beds. The Crew transplanted a late planting of zucchini & cucumbers into three of the beds. Two beds are awaiting planting as of the end of this week. We hope to get broccoli in at least one of them.

In another field the crew planted cilantro, dill, Chinese mustard & more fava greens. The heavy rain we received on Friday evening may have washed out the dill, but we’ll wait & see.

The beets planted in the back field are doing well, but we got behind on planting more turnips.

Next week we hope to get some conventional sweet corn (non-GMO) from Ideal Farm. We have been eating it ourselves for a while and it is really good!

Weather Report: It was cooler, but not my much over this past week. By 1:00 pm the crew was pretty much shot on most days, but they are starting early so plenty of work is getting done.

MC900440407We did have two severe thunderstorms go through the area on Monday and then again on Friday. Both brought some much needed rain, as many crops were suffering from lack of water. Even though we are irrigating, we still need that “soaking in” kind of rain. At least 1” fell on both days. Fortunately, we didn’t get the hail or the high winds that came on Friday, but some sections in Sussex County did get hail and there were some reports of a possible tornado. Farmer Rich was predicting “cannon ball” sized hail in tune with the over exaggeration that the local weather was predicting, but the front passed without incident over the farm.

Animal report: As usual when it gets dry the animals make attempts to break through the fences to feast on the crops. This week brought a few ground hogs which were immediately relocated.

They sampled some squash, zucchini, tomatoes probably making a shopping list for the following day but we were able to prevent any further nibbling. The resident rabbit that is inside the fence is eating the weeds and not the crops, which continues to be a bit embarrassing.

Fruit Report – We finally were able to find peaches to deliver. For several years now we have gotten the peaches from Windy Brow Farm, but he advised us that he wouldn’t be able to provide them this year as there is a shortage. Come to find out Diane down the street from us was also having a problem finding peaches from her local orchard, so we know there is definitely a peach shortage going on. We reached out to a few local orchards and one was not able to provide any fruit, but the other one, Slate Hill was. They are just about 15 minutes from the farm and on the way to our large walk-in-cooler @ Scotts, so they immediately go put into the cooler for this delivery. We love to be able to provide local fruit as part of the CSA share over the years, and fortunately have been able to find another orchard this year.

Upcoming Events

  • August 28th – 12th Annual Heirloom Tomato Tasting @ the Hoboken Historical Museum – 1 pm – 5 pm
  • October 1st & 2nd 9th Annual Garlic Gathering @ Olde Lafayette Village 10 am - 4 pm Lafayette, NJ (Routes 94/15)
  • October 16th 5th Annual Garlic Fest @ the Hoboken Historical Museum 1 pm - 5 pm 1301 Hudson Street – Hoboken, NJ

Week of August 1st  - 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, July 24, 2011

Catalpa Ridge News–Vol 16 No 6–Week of July 25th

Great Day @ the Farm !

It was great to see so many CSA members come up to the farm & help with a few projects. Though hot, we did get a lot done. A project we were able to do in the shade was to harvest some green beans and that was the project that we started first. The plants were harvested from the fields and then brought over to our picnic area where it was cooler to pick the beans. We then proceeded into the field for some mulching & weeding of the tomato, tomatillo & leek beds. Next was lunch followed by a tour of the farm.

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Of course we had a great late lunch with freshly picked salad, cucumbers, campfire pizzas, garlic bread, bruschetta, grilled onions & peppers as well as grilled potatoes & onions. Fresh picked corn on the cob was grilled with the husk on and we also had some homemade salads as well.

Overall a great day at the farm and thanks to all that came up to help & hope that you enjoyed the day. The next trip to the farm will be scheduled in October and will be the garlic planting day!

From the Fields: All of the garlic has been harvested and that field has been mowed & tilled and is now ready for planting of another crop. This field probably will be planted with turnips, radishes & more beets and Oriental greens. A few beds of broccoli & cauliflower are slated to go in as well.

The drip irrigation that John fixed last week has been working great. The only set back this week was when Farmer Rich decided to cut the grass and ran over one of the main pipes which prompted an emergency visit to Tractor Supply. He got some parts to fix the geyser that developed! With our gravity flow system there is now way to turn it off

Field maintenance such as trellising the tomatoes and weeding was performed as any strenuous labor was put on the back burner due to the severe heat. We don’t want to burn out the crew.

Weather Report: It has gotten dry again and we are irrigating all fields. The severe heat during the week prompted super early start times for the crew. This way we could get most of the farm work done early in the morning and send the crew home during the high heat of the day. On consecutive days it was well over 100ºF and we were going through Gatorade and water by the gallons.

Animal report: As it is getting dryer, we have seen our first ground hog prowling outside the fence. As the meadows dry out, they look for “greener” pastures for food and do like to break into the fields for our lush crops. We are vigilantly keeping an eye out to make sure that the fences do not have any breaches to allow them into the fields. The crows are still being pesky and pecking the tomatoes, eggplant, peppers & zucchini. The deer have been absent probably keeping cooler in the woods.

Ali in the Beans

Upcoming Events

· August 28th – 12th Annual Heirloom Tomato Tasting @ the Hoboken Historical Museum – 1 pm – 5 pm

· October 1st & 2nd 9th Annual Garlic Gathering @ Olde Lafayette Village 10 am - 4 pm Lafayette, NJ (Routes 94/15)

· October 16th 5th Annual Garlic Fest @ the Hoboken Historical Museum 1 pm - 5 pm 1301 Hudson Street – Hoboken, NJ

Ali in the pile of Green Beans

 

Week of July 25th - 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, July 18, 2011

Catalpa Ridge News–Vol 16 No 6–Week of July 18th

Garlic Harvest Begins !

We have started the garlic harvest and about 2/3 is pulled. All of the soft neck varieties have been harvested and are in the greenhouse for drying and curing. We started on the hard neck varieties and hope to finish by the middle of the week. The garlic looks better than in years past, where it was on the small side. We tried something new this year called corn gluten meal (organically approved) as a weed suppressant and it work very well until we received the deluges of rain over the season. Then the crew hand weeded the rows. The corn gluten meal actually does two things, it suppresses new weed growth, then it breaks down into nitrogen to feed the plants and garlic loves nitrogen early in the season.

From the Fields: We seeded six varieties of cucumbers, more zucchini and four varieties of lettuce. We transplanted lettuce which will be ready to be planted in the field in a week or so. The lettuce we had just planted into the field beds is coming really nice despite the super hot weather we have been having. We have a row of husk cherries which are growing great which is a welcome change as the last few years we have tried them they haven’t done well. The tomato plants are coming along rather well despite the losses we had due to the heavy rains from a few weeks ago. The same with the pepper plants and eggplant.

We almost lost control of the small round field on Friday (tomatoes and peppers) due to weeds, but our crew came to the rescue and revived this field. Though it is a bit dry the plants are much happier.

Weather Report: After the heavy rains over a week ago, we are now into a dry period. We are running sprinklers on the beets, fava greens, squash and yard-long beans. Our drip irrigation that we set up in the spring was not working and John came to the rescue to get it back on track. It was tested on Sunday and is working great and we hope that we won’t have any more setbacks.

Animal report: We have a small rabbit in one of our fields and as embarrassing at it sounds it isn’t eating any of the crops! The crows are being pesky in that they like to peck here and there on the tomatoes, peppers and eggplant. The groundhogs are interestingly absent over the past few weeks, which is a good thing.

Some sparrows are enjoying flying into the greenhouses and are naturally taking care of the bugs that get caught against the plastic. They all seem to find their way out safely. A dove flew into the Franklin greenhouse while Renee was planting sunflower seeds for more microgreens. They just love sunflower seeds!

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Trip to the Farm – Scheduled for Sunday – July 24th Want to help out at the Farm?? We like to schedule at least 2 work-days at the farm during the harvest season where CSA members can come up and help us with some projects. The first work-day is scheduled for July 24th starting at 11:00 am. Some projects planned will be to help with some mulching & transplanting. More details to come over the next few weeks. Please RSVP (by July 22nd ) so we can plan on lunch, refreshments & get you directions. Give us your contact # via phone or e-mail just in case the weather is iffy (it can be a whole different world at the farm) so we can give you a call if it will be a rainy day.

Upcoming Events
· August 28th – 12th Annual Heirloom Tomato Tasting @ the Hoboken Historical Museum – 1 pm – 5 pm
· October 1st & 2nd 9th Annual Garlic Gathering @ Olde Lafayette Village 10 am - 4 pm Lafayette, NJ (Routes 94/15)
· October 16th 5th Annual Garlic Fest @ the Hoboken Historical Museum 1 pm - 5 pm 1301 Hudson Street – Hoboken, NJ

Week of July 18th - 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, July 10, 2011

Catalpa Ridge News–Vol 16 No 5–Week of July 11th

Severe Weather Skips the Farm !

Twice during the week there were severe weather warnings for our area and fortunately we only received rain at the farm. Down the highway, Farmer Diane’s stand was partially blown over and in Franklin there was a big hail storm and another farmer lost most of his tomato plants. This was not too far from our Franklin greenhouse.

We have a few weeks before our tomato crop is ready, so the tomatoes this week are from Hilltop Farms and are greenhouse grown. We have always partnered with other farmers to get additional variety into the weekly deliveries especially when we have set backs or problems.

Farmer Rich has talked to Farmer Jim from Windy Brow Farm and the weekly deliveries of fruit will be starting soon. Last year the fruit was early, but this year is running a bit on the late side. The first delivery of fruit probably will be some delicious peaches. Some of the early fruit that we will be delivering from Windy Brow will include peaches, plums & nectarines.

From the Fields: Plantings in the field this week included two varieties of yard-long beans and fava greens. We also transplanted into the field: lettuce, more kale and eggplant which was a bit behind schedule, but better late than never. In the greenhouse lettuce, endive, chicory were planted for their next round and will be ready to go into the field in a few weeks. We will be seeding more crops this week to keep the crop rotations on schedule.

Farm July11 Cukes-Pepper-Tomato rows

Weather Report: Due to the heavy rain on Friday evening, the broccoli crop was wiped out. The heavy rains have also affected certain sections of tomatoes. All in all, most of the fields are doing well. It was extra hot during the week so we schedule early-early morning starts so that the crew can leave earlier in the day and still be able to get the work done.

Animal report: The great blue heron has been seen “fishing” in our pond. If it is the same one, it has been around for years and is often seen soaring around the upper fields.

Since it has been so hot, the fawns are probably staying cool in the woods instead of patrolling the fields.

We seldom have break-ins into the fields when the weather is this wet as the wild animals have plenty to eat on the outside of the fences. It is only when we have drought conditions that they try to break in to feast on our lush rows of crops.

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Trip to the Farm – Scheduled for Sunday – July 24th Want to help out at the Farm?? We like to schedule at least 2 work-days at the farm during the harvest season where CSA members can come up and help us with some projects. The first work-day is scheduled for July 24th starting at 11:00 am. Some projects planned will be to help with some mulching & transplanting. More details to come over the next few weeks. Please RSVP (by July 22nd ) so we can plan on lunch, refreshments & get you directions. Give us your contact # via phone or e-mail just in case the weather is iffy (it can be a whole different world at the farm) so we can give you a call if it will be a rainy day.

Upcoming Events -

  • August 28th 12th Annual Heirloom Tomato Tasting @ the Hoboken Historical Museum – 1 pm – 5 pm
  • October 1st & 2nd 9th Annual Garlic Gathering @ Olde Lafayette Village 10 am - 4 pm Lafayette, NJ (Routes 94/15)
  • October 16th 5th Annual Garlic Fest @ the Hoboken Historical Museum 1 pm - 5 pm 1301 Hudson Street – Hoboken, NJ

Week of July 11th - 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, July 04, 2011

Catalpa Ridge News - Vol 16 No 4 - Week of July 4th

clip_image002[4]Happy 4th of July !!

Though still behind the farm is progressing well. We tilled up the fava bean field and were ready to plant into that field except on Sunday except for the rain. John is working on repairing our access road that loops around the farm which had gotten too rutted over the winter.

We weed wacked between the beds in the fields and another afternoon of weed wacking is coming this week to keep the weeds under control.

From the Fields: The crew is staking up the tomatoes and husk cherries. In addition to the field planted tomatoes, we have two rows of tomatoes that have been planted into the large greenhouse.

The round field has been very wet and was just coming out of it when it poured again. The plants in this field are suffering and there have been some losses.

The garlic this week is a preview and our main harvest will be coming in a few weeks. This early garlic will not store well as it hasn’t been cured. Use in your cooking as you would garlic, but it won’t have the strong flavors that the cured garlic possesses. We are getting ready two of our upper greenhouses to start drying & curing the garlic after harvest. We have to set up wire racks to lay the garlic on.

The seeded crops from last week’s report are all up and the beans actually were ready to be planted except for the rain on Sunday. We’ll have a heavy schedule for the crew to plant this week. The zukes and cukes are looking good and should be showing up in the deliveries in the next week or two.

In Franklin, the Tatsoi and Oriental greens are up and our micro-green plantings are coming along well. We are happy with our Franklin output as it is providing additional harvest items each week.

The upper greenhouse has transplants ready to go into the fields which include lettuces, broccoli, chicory, evergreen onions, cucumbers, chard, endive and kale.

Weather Report: It was dry most of the week and had to turn on the irrigation. On Sunday the 3rd it rained all day, well over 1”. We really needed the rain, but not that

much all on one day. As Farmer Rich came home on Sunday evening, there were severe weather alerts for the chance of hail in the area.

Animal report: All has been quite this week, but of course this is subject to change at a moment’s notice. The fences are holding well and the rabbits, groundhogs and deer are all staying outside the fence for now.

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Trip to the Farm – Scheduled for Sunday – July 24th Want to help out at the Farm?? We like to schedule at least 2 work-days at the farm during the harvest season where CSA members can come up and help us with some projects. The first work-day is scheduled for July 24th starting at 11:00 am. Some projects planned will be to help with some mulching & transplanting. More details to come over the next few weeks. Please RSVP (by July 22nd ) so we can plan on lunch, refreshments & get you directions. Give us your contact # via phone or e-mail just in case the weather is iffy (it can be a whole different world at the farm) so we can give you a call if it will be a rainy day.

Upcoming Events

  • August 28th – 12th Annual Heirloom Tomato Tasting @ the Hoboken Historical Museum – 1 pm – 5 pm
  • October 1st & 2nd 9th Annual Garlic Gathering @ Olde Lafayette Village 10 am - 4 pm Lafayette, NJ (Routes 94/15)
  • October 16th 5th Annual Garlic Fest @ the Hoboken Historical Museum 1 pm - 5 pm 1301 Hudson Street – Hoboken, NJ

Week of July 4th - 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.