Sunday, July 29, 2012

Catalpa Ridge News Volume 17 No 8–Week of July 30, 2012

NJ State Fair Starts !

The NJ State Fair – Sussex County Farm & Horse Show starts on Friday. The crew will be exhibiting again this year in the Open Vegetable Show. Ali, Lisa, Dory, Renee and Michael all plan on entering exhibits are we hope for many blue ribbons. Lisa and our Mr Fix It, John, also plan on exhibiting their dairy cows. Lisa has a Brown Swiss and John has a Jersey and we eagerly anticipate seeing them in the ring. As of this writing the calves are getting a haircut and shampoo so they will look great during their debut at the fair.

The Open Vegetable Show judging is on Saturday at 12 noon so we will have the results for next week’s newsletter. We hope that all of the crew members are in contention for the top 5 placements. If you visit the fairgrounds, stop by the greenhouse and you will be able to see the veggie exhibits. The fair has many wonderful events from livestock shows, outdoor entertainment, tractor pulls, 4-H exhibits, creative arts, photography, wine tasting and of course their famous Horse Show. It makes a great day out. More information can be found at: http://www.newjerseystatefair.org.

The harvest year this year is less stressful than last, where were had too wet conditions. Each week’s harvest is far larger than last year’s as well as more variety. The fruit this year is on the scarce side due to the freeze we had in the late spring. The freeze destroyed the buds which produce the fruit. We are working with the farmers that have provided fruit in the past they will do all they can to try to supply us with fruit.

Franklin Greenhouse Report: Renee has been rolling over some beds. There were a few crop failures with the Oriental greens in the greenhouse. Carrots will be a new crop to go into these beds. The salad burnet that is in tonight’s delivery was harvested from the Franklin greenhouse. The herbs that we have planted there are all doing well. This includes: rosemary, sage, ginger, China Rose radishes, husk cherries, hot peppers, basil, and greens.

From the Fields:

The crops that Michael seeded are all up. We have a new section in the field to seed this week. Radishes, turnips, beets and Oriental greens are slated for this project. The kale keeps cranking along. There are lots & lots of kale this year. Last year we didn’t have any. I have added a link in the recipe section to 6 ways to Love Kale!!

The transplanted squash from three weeks ago is almost ready to harvest in about 10-14 days. The yard-long beans are doing well as is the lettuce planting. We have a new chard variety that is growing a bit on the slow side and probably won’t be ready for harvest for another two weeks. The fava greens have been enjoying the recent rain.

Kale BedOne of the Kale Beds

Weather Report: We received at least 1” of rain over the past week. Fortunately this rain is not only helping the crops but has also filled the pond back up. Farmer Rich gets nervous when the pond drops, which it did over the past several weeks. The pond was down almost 12” at one point. Saturday, a front moved through which brought hail to the area. At the farm, Farmer Rich watched as the hail stones fell but most actually melted just before impact. There is some minor hail damage to some crops but fortunately none were lost.

Animal report: The voles seem to have a full run of the farm, they tunnel through the fields and will often take a bite out the leaves of all different crops. Farmer Rich and the crew noted a fawn just outside the new field. The fawn isn’t big enough to jump the fences yet!

Upcoming Events

 
clip_image002 NJ State Fair – Sussex County Farm & Horse Show – starts August 3rd. More info: http://www.njstatefair.com/
clip_image002[4]

Annual Heirloom Tomato Tasting – Hoboken Historical Museum – 1301 Hudson Street
August 26th 1-5 pm

Week of July 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.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Catalpa Ridge News–Volume 17 No 7 – Week of July 23rd

Reprieve from the Hot Weather

The weather finally broke at the end of the week and we were able to get an incredible amount of work done. Some all important field work was accomplished. Weeding, staking the tomatoes and cucumbers and transplanting into the back field were all accomplished on Thursday. Zucchini, beans and various greens were all planted for deliveries in the fall. On Friday, the greenhouses were cleaned up and straightened out as it was raining most of the day. Though a mundane task it was one that had to be done. Mike tilling2

Sunday morning, the crew started early and finished harvesting for the delivery. Lisa and Ali sorted the harvest for each delivery site as they do every week. Michael and Farmer Rich worked in the field seeding new crops. Though it seems they are planting late for some of the crops, it really works out well as any earlier it was just too dry and the crops would have been lost. With the current rain, the soil is perfect to accept the new seeds and there is more rain in the forecast. Planted on Sunday was: Dill, Early Wonder Beets, Dikon Radishes, Golden Ball Turnips, Torazorah, Cilantro and Cherry Bell Radishes.

Michael Preparing the Bed for Seeding


Franklin Greenhouse Report: Replanting is on schedule in the Franklin greenhouse. Some thoughts are to plant carrots again in the beds, as the first crop did very well. The husk cherries, which were slow to start, should start to show up in the deliveries soon. The ginger crop is coming along, though small. Newly seeded China Rose radishes are up & growing. The Hot Pepper crop is also doing well. We made a special planting of Orange King tomatoes in the greenhouse that we are actually saving for seed for next year. There are only 2 sources of this very scarce seed that we have been able to find, so we’ll save our own seed for this variety.

From the Fields: We planted some favas for fava greens. The eggplant, tomatoes and peppers in the round field are doing well and the harvest from that field should be starting in the next several weeks. We have been having some problems with the main field. When it was first planted it was too wet, and recently it has been too dry. This recent rain has perked everything up and it looks like it will produce rather well in a few weeks.

Weather Report: It was a super HOT week until we finally received some relief on Thursday. Some severe thunderstorms moved through the area on Wednesday night and a few farms in the area were hit with hail, which totally destroyed some of their crops. We were lucky that no severe hail fell on our farm, though some small hail did fall and hit the chard crop (which you will notice). We finally receive some rain this week. A good “soaking-in” rain fell on Friday for most of the day. This really perked up the field crops. Over 2” of rain fell during the Thursday & Friday storms.

Animal report: With the dry conditions, the animals have been on patrol seeking out greener pastures. The fencing is doing its job by keeping them out and we hope none decide to burrow in. The rabbits continue to bump into each other, as there are so many of them! Very comical to see and we only wish we had a video camera on them in the field. The small animals seem to have taken over from the larger animals, which is more of a nuisance. The chipmunks sneak into the greenhouse and take a taste of a tomato now and then. Interestingly, we haven’t had the chipmunks around for years.

Week of July 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, July 16, 2012

Catalpa Ridge News–Volume 17 No 6 – Week of July 16th

The best crew just got better!

We have the best crew working at the farm for the last several years and our crew just got better with the addition of Michael. Michael has been coming up to the farm along with his younger brother, and his Mom and Dad, to help with projects since he was probably about 4 ½ years old. Michael wants to pursue a career in agriculture and is looking into college programs once he graduates high school. We always told him that once he was legal to work and could drive, he would have a job at Catalpa Ridge and that time has come! Michael fit right in with the crew on his first week on the job.

Michael-KevinMichael and Kevin in 1999 helping at the farm

Franklin Greenhouse Report: The ginger is coming along nicely and far better than in prior years. It will be slated for an October harvest. Oriental greens are doing well after they were thinned out. Unfortunately some that were harvested last week never made it to the delivery sites due to the excessive heat. Renee transplanted some more basil in addition to the basil planted at the farm. Renee also seeded more lettuce that will be planted at the farm.

From the Fields: The dry weather is slowing the crops. We continue to irrigate the fields but the crops really need the “soaking in” kind of rain. Our work hours are way down as it is impossible to work when it is so hot. The crew is starting early, and has to end the workday early well before 12 noon. The pond is dropping daily, due to the lack of rain. The round field is finally fully planted and all the crops are doing really well. That particular field is usually too wet, so little irrigation is needed. All the former garlic beds were wrapped with plastic on Saturday and the irrigation set up. They are ready for a new planting which will include Brussels sprouts, cucumbers, zucchini, oriental greens, yard-long beans, and lettuce.

Weather Report: Lack of rain and hot temperatures loomed over the farm for another week. The Forest Service in the area has posted a High Fire Danger warning for Sussex County. No drought conditions have been reported on the droughtmonitor website in our area, though about 28% of NJ is in an “abnormally dry” condition.

Animal report: The rabbits were the most comical animals this week. A few baby rabbits were running in the field and bumped into each other. Then one of them decided to chase after the other probably because it was mad! A white cat at the Franklin greenhouse decided to climb into Renee’s car and eat half of her sandwich. With drought conditions the animals are getting closer and closer to wanting to break into the fields to eat. We have been fortunate the first several weeks of the season not to have a severe problem with the animals. Just a few minor annoyances so far this season and we hope it will stay that way.

Farmer-HoeTrip to the Farm Scheduled for Saturday – July 21st

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 21st 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 19th) 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.


Week of July 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.

Sunday, July 08, 2012

Catalpa Ridge News–Volume 17 No 5 – Week of July 9th

Burn Out !

It has been a difficult week at the farm with the high heat. We have been arriving early to start the day at 6:00 am so most of the work & harvesting can be done before the mid-day sun gets too hot. A few times this week we almost lost the crew due to heat exhaustion. Both Ali and Renee felt the worse and Farmer Rich himself was close a few times. A few minutes cooling off in the shade and staying hydrated were the keys to be able to function during this 10 day period of 90+ temperatures. We actually had to shut down work in the fields everyday by about 11:00 am.

Franklin Greenhouse Report: Tonight’s delivery of microgreens is from thinning of the greenhouse planting. They are doing well and more are due to come. Two successive plantings of lettuce are scheduled. The chard that was started in the greenhouse was planted in the field mid-week, the one day it was cooler.

Asparagus beans, lettuce, chicory all were started in the greenhouse over the past week or two. Unfortunately we had a failure of broccoli & Brussels sprouts. We do plan on reseeding them and will need a little more cooperation from the weather.

From the Fields: Most of the garlic is now harvested and the beds are all ready for replanting. It looks like the farm is half-empty without the garlic rows! The transplants are ready in the greenhouse to be planted in new beds. We are close to being on schedule. If only we had an afternoon that wasn’t 100-degrees this would have been done. We lost some of the lettuce due to the excess heat and dryness, as this one bed was located too much in the sun. The other beds of lettuce are in a shadier area and they are much happier Lettucesthere.

No new plantings this week due to the heat, but for the chard. The onions, kale and chard are doing well, as are the cucumbers, zucchini, tomatoes, peppers and eggplant. The tomatoes seem to be behind in the field. The variety of cucumber we have been delivering are probably going to be the last of the season as they are getting heated up. New varieties of cucumbers are doing well and will start showing up in the deliveries.

Weather Report: The weather has actually been too dry lately with little to no rain. We are in need of a few rain storms to help the field crops along. The irrigation system is all hooked up and we actually started it in the new round field & back fields.

Animal report: Fortunately, the animals are not breaking in to the fields to munch on your crops. The fencing is holding up well. The rabbits keep multiplying though they are not devouring the crops. It appears a weasel has been patrolling around the farm, and upon occasion we have seen evidence of its captures. Fortunately we don’t have any chickens or there would no eggs!

Farmer-HoeTrip to the Farm Scheduled for Saturday – July 21st

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 21st 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 19th) 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.

Week of July 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, July 01, 2012

Catalpa Ridge News–Volume 17 No 4 –Week of July 2nd

Happy 4th of July !

4th of July


“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

The Declaration of Independence July 4, 1776

GarlicHarvest2012

The Garlic Harvest is in progress. We have already pulled a number of varieties and are about half-done. The garlic in your delivery today is Music and all-in-all we have about 16 different varieties. We like to deliver the different varieties so that you can taste the differences in their flavors. This early fresh garlic does not yet have the full-flavors set in, as that will come with the curing process over time.

The deliveries are progressing well, and above last year’s levels that were impacted by severe wet & cold weather. We have ongoing plantings, such as when the garlic harvest ends, the beds are tilled up to be readied for the next crop. We are a bit behind on some of these plantings but are catching up.

The round field is now planted. We only have to worry about the current dry weather so the irrigation system will be ready to go soon. It is entirely planted but for one row. Once that last row is planted we think we’ll pop a bottle of champagne! It was indeed a difficult project and virtually a mountain of rocks had to be removed to make it tillable.

Franklin Greenhouse Report:
The whole greenhouse has almost been totally converted after the onions and carrots were harvested. There will be lots of baby greens coming, probably next week. Renee is off for a few days vacation and Farmer Rich hopes that he can keep everything alive while she is gone.

From the Fields: On schedule are additional plantings of tomatoes, peppers and eggplant. LettuceHarvestWe still have to seed Daikon radishes, Oriental greens and fall crops. It is only the beginning of July, and we have time. Many harvested crops are actually ahead of schedule, mostly due to the weather. We are waiting to hear from the fruit farmers on how the fruit harvests will be, as there was a late freeze in May that may impact the harvests of apples, nectarines, plums and pears. We will keep you posted as we get closer to the seasonal fruit.

Meanwhile, the greenhouses on the farm are still active. We have transplanted another seeding of squash, cucumbers, lettuce, escarole, chard, and Chinese cabbage. These will all be transplanted in the fields over the next few weeks.

Weather Report: Hot, Hot & Hotter! The crew has been doing a great job during this super hot spell. They have been arriving at the farm around 6 am so that most of the work can be accomplished before the mid-day sun worsens the conditions. This has worked out well all week and probably a precursor to how the summer will be.

Animal report: The rabbits seem to multiplying every day. Every time we turn around there is one seemingly smiling at us!

Week of July 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.