Sunday, September 30, 2012

Catalpa Ridge News–Volume 17 No 17–Week of October 2nd

Purple Stripe GarlicGarlic Weekend

This coming weekend will be the 11th Annual Garlic Gathering at Olde Lafayette Village. Make a trip up to Lafayette for two stinkin’ days of fun. This event is then followed by a Garlic Fest on the 14th at the Hoboken Historical Museum. See the upcoming events at the end of the newsletter for addresses & times.

We did go up to the Saugerties this past weekend to pick up a few new varieties of garlic to plant. Also a reminder that the Trip of the Farm is on October 20th and we will be planting the garlic for next year’s harvest. Please RSVP so that we may plan on refreshments and lunch.

We have been tilling up the fields and planted the cover crop of rye and the rye is now up. The crew continues to clean up the fields and plan on plowing up the fields to prepare for next season.

Franklin Greenhouse Report: The ginger is almost ready to be harvested. There also is a nice crop of stevia and rosemary yet to be harvested. We also have a nice crop of mixed hot peppers yet to be harvested from the greenhouse. The seeded microgreens are doing well.

From the Fields: The field crops are winding down. The collards, leeks, sunchokes and other cold weather crops will be starting to show up in the next few weeks. This late in the season no new crops are being planted.

Fruit Report – The apple variety in your delivery this week is the Macoun. The Macoun apple is a cross between McIntosh and Jersey Black. It was developed at the New York Agricultural Experiment Station in the late 1920’s. It is one of the larger apples that we have delivered. It is extra sweet apple, very juicy and great for snacking, making sauce or making a nice fruit salad.

Weather Report: We had a few periods of rain this week. The temperatures are cooler of course this time of year, but not unseasonable. The fields are staying a bit on the wet side which may cause some problems, though we are looking for some drier weather this week which will help out. There was a scattered light frost at the beginning of the week. Fortunately no crops were damaged by this frost. Crops that are the most vulnerable this time of year to frost are the peppers, beans, eggplant, zucchini and tomatoes. We still have many semi-hardy crops in the fields that tolerate light frost, such as chard, beets and carrots. Crops that tolerate a hard frost include kale, collards, mustard greens and radishes.

Animal report: Farmer Matt planted a small patch of corn for popcorn for our CSA deliveries. We thought it would be a nice addition for a late season delivery. The bears decided that this popcorn was quite tasty as well as his crop of Silver Queen sweet corn. The bears just love corn and are somewhat comical in that they just lay in the corn field with their arms extended to scoop in all that they can!

Upcoming Events
garlic bulbsGarlic Gathering – Olde Lafayette Village – Route 94/15, Lafayette, NJ 11 am – 4 pm
October 6th & 7th

Annual Garlic Fest – Hoboken Historical Museum – 1301 Hudson Street
October 14th 1-5 pm


Week of October 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.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Catalpa Ridge News–Volume 17 No 16–Week of September 24th

Welcome Autumn

The leaves are starting to turn at the farm, rather swiftly at the moment. The warm weather crops have either wound down or are winding down. The girls have been doing some field work by pulling up the plastic on the beds of cucumbers, tomatoes, summer squash as these plants are now done. We are still not sure where the garlic beds are going to go but we will have it all figured out by the time the trip of the farm on October 20th comes around.

As usual, some of the fall crops are gorgeous and some have problems. The escarole and collards are extra nice this year. The Daikon radishes are starting to “radish-up”. Some of the oriental greens are a bit wholly. Some of the leeks are coming back nice. The winter squash and potatoes are doing well and will be in the upcoming deliveries. The onions, garlic and green onions are in nice supply. The tomatoes are winding down and we are going week to week. We have a really nice delivery of tomatoes this week. The sunchokes are bulbing up and we are looking for a much larger crop than last year.

Franklin Greenhouse Report: The salad burnet in the delivery was harvested from the Franklin greenhouse. We re-did a bed in the greenhouse and Renee planted some buckwheat for sprouts. With the days getting shorter it takes longer for these types of crops to mature. The arugula is doing nicely, and the carrots while on the sparse side should be in the later deliveries. The stevia and ginger are still doing great.

From the Fields:  The crew continues to perform field work as the beds die back and get them ready for a cover crop over the winter. We spent a good deal of time this week, weed whacking to keep the weeds under control. We are also working on putting together a new field, which will be an extension of the back field. This would require clearing about 1 acre of land and removing some small trees and rocks. This is a pretty ambitious project that may take a back seat as we have to replace the big greenhouse. Replacing the greenhouse will be our first priority. We have been fortunate that this greenhouse has lasted through the last two winters without falling down.

Fruit Report – This week, the grapes are again from Marjorie’s View Vineyard, located in Wantage, not too far from the farm. These are a small white grape, similar to a Cayuga white wine grape.

Weather Report:  We received 4” of rain this past week, with torrential downpours throughout the area. For the early part of this week, they are predicting low temperatures in the mid-30°’s. We probably are good to remain frost-free for about another week. The cool weather crops of course love these colder temperatures and make them more flavorful.

Animal report:   We have one creature who keeps breaking in through the fence, but not eating any vegetables. We think it may be a fox on the prowl for smaller creatures. We will soon be reporting on the Wooly Bear Caterpillars, as they are starting to show up. It is too early to report on them now for their folklore prediction of the upcoming winter.

Trip to the Farm – October 20th

Help Plant Garlic    
•    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 20th 
•    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

Upcoming Events
garlic bulbsGarlic Gathering – Olde Lafayette Village – Route 94/15, Lafayette, NJ 11 am – 4 pm
October 6th & 7th

Annual Garlic Fest – Hoboken Historical Museum – 1301 Hudson Street
October 14th 1-5 pm

Week of September 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, September 17, 2012

Catalpa Ridge News–Volume 17 No 15–Week of September 17th

First day of autumn starts Saturday!

Shorter days & cooler nights abound as we transition to the autumn. Our start time at the farm is moved to 7:00 am instead of 6:00. Now we have the usual problem during this time of year, we have to pull out the falling leaves from the greens. The first day of Autumn starts on Saturday.

John has tilled up some areas to plant rye grass as a cover crop for the winter. It is too late to plant anything in these areas so we thought it best to start the cover crop early. Sunchoke Flower

This week we did a lot of week whacking to get some control of the beds. This hopefully will improve some production. The tomatoes plants are still producing, though winding down. The fall crops that were seeded are coming in nicely. There may be some leeks in the upcoming deliveries by the end of the month, though the whole crop was a disaster.  The sunchokes are in full flower and they will be ready for delivery in a few weeks.

Franklin Greenhouse Report: Everything continues to do well in Franklin. The arugula looks like it will be a nice harvest. We probably will be planting some buckwheat for sprouts for deliveries toward the beginning of October. We were hoping to deliver the salad burnet but we have cilantro in this week’s delivery as it was readier for harvest.

From the Fields: The crew has been pulling the plastic off the fields for the crops that are now over. The seeded greens that Michael had completed before going back to school are really doing well and are starting to show up in the deliveries. As the plastic is pulled up we are tilling up the beds and planting the cover crop for the winter months. The cover crop protects the soil over the winter and then is tilled into the soil in the spring thus adding nutrients early in the season. Cover crops of choice are usually rye or oats for this late in the season. We are using rye this year, as Farmer Matt has rye seed from his farm as we truly like to keep everything as local as possible. grapes

Fruit Report – As we have noted in the past, it has been difficult to get fruit this year due to the late freeze in the spring. We have been able to partner up with a local farmer for grapes, Marjorie’s View Vineyard. Grapes bloom in June so they were not affected by that freeze that destroyed the plums, apples and peaches. We have two to three deliveries of grapes lined up with them. Also for apples, Farmer Matt has some extra apples for future deliveries.

Trip to the Farm – October 20th
Help Plant Garlic    
•    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 20th 
•    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

Weather Report: Despite the heavy rains earlier, we are back on the dry side. We did receive about ¼” of rain the other day but we found ourselves having to run our irrigation for the back field.

Animal report: There are hawks over the farm and roosting in the trees on watch for small animals to swoop upon.

Upcoming Events
garlic bulbsGarlic Gathering – Olde Lafayette Village – Route 94/15, Lafayette, NJ 11 am – 4 pm October 6th & 7th

Annual Garlic Fest – Hoboken Historical Museum – 1301 Hudson Street October 14th 1-5 pm

Week of September 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.

Sunday, September 09, 2012

Catalpa Ridge News–Volume 17 No 14–Week of September 10th

Finally some Rain !

RainCloud-dropsLast week we were moaning of how dry it has been, and then we get 4” of rain mid-week which was a welcome event. The only problem with the onslaught of rain was the tomatoes on the vine in the main field decided to explode with happiness in receiving some rain. Needless to say, we have salsa in the field and were struggling to find undamaged tomatoes for the delivery.

We cleaned up a few beds by pulling up the plastic and re-tilling them. The plan was to see some crops for late deliveries but the rain has postponed that due to the muddiness.


We plan on taking down one of our older greenhouses and have to come up with a plan to replace it over the off-season. This one is our largest greenhouse in the back field. We are hoping to replace it with a high wall, high tunnel. It will be similar to our newest greenhouse, though it will be bigger. We plan on making it 96’ x 32’. This will enable us to try some off-season production without heat in both early spring and end of season. We also plan on putting heat in a second greenhouse which will enable starting more transplants.

HighSide HIgh Tunnel









This was our 2009/2010 construction of a high side/high tunnel greenhouse. We hope to put up a similar type though larger in the middle field.

Franklin Greenhouse Report: There was sporadic germination of the carrots, but it looks like there will be enough for the deliveries. The basil for tonight’s delivery is from the Franklin greenhouse. The salad burnet is coming along nice and should appear for next week’s delivery. We have been making a few different herb dressings with the salad burnet, as it has a great light cucumber flavor. The arugula is up and doing well.

From the Fields: The newly seeded plantings are all doing well. Some of the beds are getting closed down as the last crops are harvested from them. It looks like our broccoli and cauliflower crops are a total failure. On a positive note, it appears we will have a bumper crop of sunchokes (Jerusalem Artichokes) for the fall deliveries. The onions, kale and chard all look great. We did have a late planting of zucchini and the plants are doing well as are the winter squash.

We will be planning a trip to the farm in October to plant garlic. This is always a fun day and we get a lot of garlic planted in just a few hours. Last year many members came to help and we hope that this year many of you will be able to participate. Our tentative date is: October 20th More details will follow in the newsletter over the next few weeks.

Weather Report: Lots and lots of rain fell during the week. We still have warm days for the time being, but those days are numbered as the cooler weather will start arriving. The night temperatures are low and our early morning start times have us in gloves & jackets.

Animal report: We were visited by a porcupine this week. They don’t eat any veggies but prefer to eat trees. This was a scarce sighting and normally they are not around. There is still a decent sized “crop” of rabbits who greet Farmer Rich in the mornings.

Upcoming Events
garlic bulbsGarlic Gathering – Olde Lafayette Village – Route 94/15, Lafayette, NJ 11 am – 4 pm October 6th & 7th

Annual Garlic Fest – Hoboken Historical Museum – 1301 Hudson Street October 14th 1-5 pm

Week of September 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, September 03, 2012

Catalpa Ridge News–Volume 17 No 13–Week of September 4th

Dry – Dry – Dry

Very little rain has fallen, which is creating dry conditions in the fields. It is almost like they became too dry overnight. We are trying to run water from our irrigation system, but all fields cannot be covered. The pond is in good shape as it filled up during the last storms, but is still down about 6”from its normal high. The water flow is a bit on the slow side, but at least we are getting some water to the fields. Hopefully the rain coming from the remnants of Hurricane Isaac will fall on the farm later in the week.

Michael’s last day was on Saturday as he has to go back to school. He is looking forward to working full-time next season and we hope he will fill in now and then on weekends until the end of this season.

Franklin Greenhouse Report: Renee seeded arugula and tendergreen mustard this week. Her planting of microgreens is doing well and we anticipate harvesting them as baby greens. The seeded carrots seem to be sporadic in their germination, but we should be able to get at least one harvest before the end of the season. We have some nice basil and salad burnet which will be delivered over the next few weeks. We are getting close to the end of seeding new crops in the greenhouse. Field 9-2

From the Fields: The tomatoes are suffering due to the lack of rain, but we are in good shape for the next few weeks. As fields are harvested and not replaced by new crops as the season is winding down, we are planning on where to plant the garlic crop in October. We will be planning a trip to the farm, probably the third weekend of October. Our late planting of zucchini might just work as the weather has been warm enough for them to take hold. A new basil planting in both upper greenhouses and some in the field is really doing well. Everyone loves a lot of basil!

The delivery of blue potatoes is just harvested so are “new”potatoes with very thin skins. Please use them as soon as possible as they will not store. They are on the “dirty” side as we didn’t want to wash them or the skins would fall off.

Weather Report: With the lack of rain, we are spending time overhead watering and at this time are picking and choosing which crops to save. The priority at this point is the fall greens, radishes, turnips and keeping the tomatoes on target for delivery. Some areas of the fields are better than others and the choice of what to save is based on the shape they are in. On a positive note, rain is in the forecast for Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday this week.

Animal report: While we were gone for deliveries last week, a groundhog decided to move into the center of the lower field. He has been munching on lettuce, tomatoes and some weeds. At this time, it has been relocated outside the field in the hopes it will not return.

Upcoming Events

garlic bulbsGarlic Gathering – Olde Lafayette Village – Route 94/15, Lafayette, NJ 11 am – 4 pm October 6th & 7th

Annual Garlic Fest – Hoboken Historical Museum – 1301 Hudson Street October 14th 1-5 pm

Week of September 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.