Monday, October 24, 2011

Catalpa Ridge News Vol 16 No 20–Week of October 24th

Last Delivery of the Season

This season was probably the most difficult in our 16 years. We have had some drought years, some wet years, but none so wet as this year. Frankly, we had some doubts that we could make it to the end, but with planning & a great crew we were able to make it. We have the best crew we have ever had and they always went the extra mile to get the deliveries on course each week. Thanks to our crew; Lisa, Ali, Renee & Dory for a job well done this season.

This situation wasn’t unique to us, as other farmers were in similar circumstances, but with our CSA member support we have a sustainable farm despite incredible hardships during the year. Thanks to all CSA members for your support this season.

If you have any ideas for different veggies you would like to see next year, just send us an e-mail and we will look through our seed catalogs in January as we prepare our large seed order for 2012. Some veggies we had big plans for this season just didn’t materialize in large quantities due to the terrible growing conditions such as our usual staples of chard, kale, heirloom tomatoes, Chinese greens, radishes and beets. For some we had to split deliveries between the CSA drop offs, so your site may have gotten chard one week and another site had to wait another week for it. All in the all, it pretty much evens out by the end of the year. You probably have noted we have had a great Sweet Pepper Year! Perhaps we should tag 2011 as the year of the Sweet Pepper! A great idea if you have a stockpile of sweet peppers in addition to what you are receiving tonight is to clean them up, slice them and then freeze portions in small sandwich bags and use during the winter months.

We plan on working extending the round field for next year during the next few months before the snow comes and the ground freezes. We want to get the new field into production next year. This was planned for this year, but it was just too wet and we had a hard enough time maintaining our regular fields. Work will continue in the early spring on these projects as well as a few other projects we have planned.

Weather Report: Believe it or not another 1” of rain fell at the farm during the week. The temperatures have been on the warm side which has helped greatly with these past three weeks with the deliveries. The crops we had transplanted did grow well during this time and made it into the deliveries.clip_image002

From the Fields: We had our Garlic Planting Trip to the Farm on Sunday. It was a glorious warm day. Unfortunately there was a poor turnout of CSA members so we were not able to get all the garlic planted as we usually do. Many were scared off by the prediction of cold temperatures but the day was just great! Farmer Sue made up a great campfire barbeque and we appreciated those of you who did come & help.

Animal Report – Unusually quite in animal land, but we don’t have to worry about anyone breaking into the fences now that the season is over.

clip_image002
End of Season Potluck Dinner
Is being planned for November 19th @ the Hoboken Historical Museum

More details will follow via e-mails - Save the Date!!

clip_image004

Thanks to all CSA members for your continued support.

Week of October 24th - 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, October 17, 2011

Catalpa Ridge News–Volume 16 No 19–Week of October 17th

Trip to the Farm – Sunday 10/23 & Next Week – Last Delivery of the Season

We did manage to get the garlic beds ready for planting garlic this Sunday. It was too muddy for most of the month, but Farmers Rich, John & Matt were finally able to work in that field and get the beds tilled, fertilized & wrapped and the beds are now ready for planting. We hope that many of you will be able to join us in planting on Sunday. Please see Trip to the Farm below.

clip_image002

Garlic Beds being wrapped for planting

We are making it to the end of the season & what a season it has been! Never have we never had as much rain in one season as this year. We even had an additional ¾” this past week. We appreciate all the support and feedback we have received during this difficult year. The crew has worked very hard the past several weeks to ensure we have deliveries for this week and next and are sure that you all appreciate their efforts.

From the Fields: The season is winding down with just 1 more delivery. The lettuces, sorrel, microgreens, sunchokes, squash, rosemary are all slated for harvest for the final week. This of course is all subject to a heavy frost, snow, hail storm or 4-legged intruders!

Weather Report: It has been unusually warm for this time of year, aside for a few mornings where we had to turn the heat on the greenhouse to warm up before harvesting.

Fruit Report The pears are from Soons Orchard in Middletown, NY. The Seckel is thought to be a hybrid of Asian and European pears. It is believed to be a truly American pear and named in honor of a Pennsylvania farmer who discovered it around 1820. It is quite different from any European variety, and it happens to be the smallest of all commercially grown pears and sometimes called a sugar pear.

Animal Report – The Annual Wooly Bear Caterpillar is in! This has become an annual part of the newsletter clip_image002for the past 16 years and for the most part has been pretty accurate. Weather folklore enthusiasts have long assessed that the woolly bear caterpillar is one insect that is supposed to give us some insight as to how severe the winter will be.

It is said that if the middle stripe is narrower than either of the black stripes, the winter will be severe. Conversely, if the center stripe is wide, we’ll have a mild winter. If all the stripes are the same size, we’ll have an average winter. This year, we have observed very thick center stripes on the Wooly Bear caterpillars seen, so perhaps a mild winter is on the horizon. We can only image is all the rain we received this year was snow – we would be buried right now and not able to compose any newsletters.

Trip to the Farm – SCHEDULED for October 23rd

Help Plant GarlicWorkDay2

· All CSA members are invited to help out planting garlic for the final trip to the farm this year
· Start Time: 11:00 am on October 23rd
· Planting Garlic is a great family activity & very easy!!
· We’ll starting popping the garlic then proceed to the field to plant followed by mulching
· We’ll break for a late lunch (around 2:30 pm) with Farmer Sue’s famous campfire recipes Please RSVP so that we may plan lunch & refreshments

clip_image002[4]

End of Season Potluck Dinner Is being planned for November 19th @ the Hoboken Historical Museum

More details will follow next week – Save the Date!!

Week of October 17th - 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, October 10, 2011

Catalpa Ridge News–Vol 16 No 18–Week of October 10th

Summer Returns

We had a week of sunshine and it is amazing how much work can be done when the sun is out. The crew has been cleaning up fields and getting ready for the next two weeks of harvests. It is so nice to be able to really work in better weather! We are not ready to throw in the trowel yet!

The Franklin Greenhouse has been rolled over in a week and a half with Buckwheat microgreens and lemon grass. Sunflower microgreens have also been planted for next week’s delivery. When you have weather patterns like we have had we find creative ways to continue deliveries. Renee has been working very hard in the greenhouse from removing all the beds and re-planting in less than two weeks to have harvests ready for this week.

Franklin 10-2011Franklin Greenhouse filled with greens

We thought that cooler temperatures were around the corner and the greens would be harvested in the cooler temperatures. We were greeted by 80 degree temperatures over the weekend, not typical for October.

From the Fields: We have lettuces and other greens which are coming along quite nicely with the better weather. Three weeks ago we thought it was over, but with a great crew and optimistic outlook it appears we can make it to the end of the season which will be the week of October 24th.

We are getting an area ready for garlic planting – planned for a trip to the farm on October 23rd (see trip to the farm notes). Farmer Rich and John are franticly working on the spot to get it ready, but it is still drying out. We do have other options if this one spot doesn’t dry out by the 23rd.

Garlic PrepGarlic field being prepared – still a bit muddy

Weather Report: There were wide swings in temperatures this week with a light frost early in the week to 80 degree temperatures over the weekend. Amazingly very little rain (just ¼”) fell during the week.

Animal Report – The animals continue to be quiet with a few deer peeking through the fence. So far no one has any great desire to break into the fields as apparently there is enough for them to eat on the outside.

Fruit Report The apples are from Soons Orchard in Middletown, NY. Variety this week is Empire. They are a cross between Red Delicious & McIntosh.

TECH NOTES - We have our OWN Community Toolbar that you can install clip_image002in your Web Browser! Quick links to all our content: Newsletters, Harvest Identifiers, Facebook, Twitter, search, weather & more. Follow this link and then install http://jerseygrown.ourtoolbar.com/

Trip to the Farm – SCHEDULED for October 23rd

Help Plant GarlicWorkDay2

· All CSA members are invited to help out planting garlic for the final trip to the farm this year
· Start Time: 11:00 am on October 23rd
· Planting Garlic is a great family activity & very easy!!
· We’ll starting popping the garlic then proceed to the field to plant followed by mulching
· We’ll break for a late lunch (around 2:30 pm) with Farmer Sue’s famous campfire recipes
Please RSVP so that we may plan lunch & refreshments

Week of October 10th - 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, October 03, 2011

Catalpa Ridge News–Vol 16 No 17–Week of October 3rd

A Hint of Sunshine !

We hate to keep moaning about the weather, but we had another 5 ¾” of rain this past week. There were a few times that the clouds parted and the sun did shine, but not on our harvest days. The crew were in the fields harvesting in the rain on Saturday & Sunday morning.

We had our Olde Lafayette Village Garlic Gathering on Saturday & Sunday and in your delivery you will receive some of the garlic varieties that we had available at the event. Unfortunately Saturday was mostly rainy, but on Sunday the sun came out for the better part of the day. It was great to see a few CSA members who stopped by.

Renee took the photo below at the Franklin Greenhouse of the small brook that developed after the rains this week.

water in Franklin

The whole greenhouse was flooded. We have set up the greenhouse with raised beds so all the planted crops were safe but Renee had wet feet!

The upper greenhouse on the farm wasn’t much better, but instead of a small brook had about 4” of mud to walk through.

From the Fields: Field work was limited due to the heavy rain during the week. The crew kept busy cleaning & sorting garlic.

At the Franklin Greenhouse, Renee sowed all the beds with Buckwheat, Sunflowers and MicroGreens as we have little time to left for anything else to grow before the end of the season. They are all up and growing well so we anticipate their harvest being within the next week or two.

Some of the late transplanted crops might produce better than anticipated. The Daikon radishes and lettuces are doing well. The tomatoes are winding down. This week might be the end of the tomatoes, but we may be able to squeeze out another delivery next week. We have a nice stock of onions and winter squash, though we are having storage problems with both. The sunchokes (Jerusalem Artichokes) will be delivered, though small, as the stand was blown down during Hurricane Irene. We usually have watercress, which usually does well in the wet weather, but in typical Catalpa style, the stand did get washed away.

Weather Report: Frost is on the horizon, but at this point there is not much left for the frost to kill. The forecast is for the lows being in the high 30’s with a warming trend during the latter part of the week. We are looking at a window of opportunity to prepare beds for planting garlic later in the month (see Trip to the Farm Planned below).

Animal Report – We haven’t been reporting on any animal damage lately and we have finally figured out why – we think they have all drowned!

The Monarch butterflies and Blue Birds were seen in abundance this past week, perhaps on their migratory routes

Fruit Report The apples are from Soons Orchard in Middletown, NY.

image

TECH NOTES - We have our OWN Community Toolbar that you can install in your Web Browser! Quick links to all our content: Newsletters, Harvest Identifiers, Facebook, Twitter, search, weather & more. Follow this link and then install http://jerseygrown.ourtoolbar.com/WorkDay2

Trip to the Farm – TENTATIVE date –October 23rd

· All CSA members are invited to help out planting garlic for the final trip to the farm this year
· Start Time: 11:00 am on October 23rd (tentative date – we’ll keep you posted each week in the newsletter)
· Planting Garlic is a great family activity
· We’ll starting popping the garlic then proceed to the field to plant followed by mulching
· We’ll break for a late lunch (around 2:30 pm) with Farmer Sue’s famous campfire recipes
· Please RSVP so that we may plan lunch & refreshments

Week of October 3rd - 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.