Monday, October 22, 2012

Catalpa Ridge News–Volume 17 No 20–Week of October 22nd

Great Work Day @ the Farm

We had great weather for the trip to the farm on Saturday. About 20 people showed up to help out with this project and we really appreciated all the help. Thanks to all who came and participated in our annual October work-day. We started the day by popping the garlic bulbs into individual cloves for planting. We had about 4-5 different groups, each popping a different variety. Once completed all went to the back field to plant, except for Farmer Sue who started cooking lunch for the crew when then returned. After all was done, Farmer Rich gave a quick tour of the farm and the last stop was the pumpkin patch where everyone could choose their favorite pumpkin to bring home.

GarlicPopping1-2012GarlicPopping2-2012

Popping the Garlic

GarlicPlanting2012

Planting Garlic

Franklin Greenhouse Report: We will be harvesting rosemary, carrots and the rest of the ginger for next week’s delivery. Our plan is to make sure everything is harvested and the greenhouse is cleaned up as we will be closing down the greenhouse the beginning of November.

From the Fields:  As usual this late in the season, some crop harvests are not enough to harvest to all drop-off sites, therefore we work with what we have to make sure there is equitable distribution across the board. Perhaps one site doesn’t get kale, but we harvest another green for them.

Sunken TractorFarmer Matt Faber helped ready the back field for garlic planting on Thursday, just prior to the heavy Friday rain storms that moved through. Without his help we would not have had the back field ready with plastic laid for our Saturday trip to the farm. There was one drawback however, his tractor sunk up to its axle while he was brush-hogging the upper field. He was able to get another tractor to pull it out as our tractor just wasn’t big enough to do the job.
 

The week ahead looks on the dry side so we should be able to finish planting our garlic varieties.

Weather Report:  2 ½” of rain fell on Friday which made for muddy fields. Fortunately the garlic beds were already wrapped in plastic and we put straw down between the rows in an attempt to keep everyone from getting too muddy when they planted on Saturday. The field that we planted the garlic in is probably our best draining field, though one area close to the end of the bed was pretty wet as when Tom made the holes to plant garlic cloves they immediately filled with water. Oh the joys of farming!

Animal report: There are a few deer roaming around the outside of the fence and not bothering us. Farmer Sue did notice the great blue heron taking off from the lower field as Desiree, Renee and Claire were walking back from the garlic field to the picnic area. It took off just in front of them. It was truly bigger than either Renee or Claire as it flew away!

Week of October 22nd - 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.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

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

We were worried that we wouldn’t be able to get the beds ready to plant garlic as the weather has been too wet, but we are pleased to report that Farmer Rich and the crew has gotten the Garlic Beds ready to be planted. The trip to the farm scheduled for Saturday is ON! We plan on starting around 11:00 am and have a late lunch (probably around 2:00 pm).

GarlicPlanting2011All 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 2:00 pm) with Farmer Sue’s famous campfire recipes
•    Please RSVP so that we may plan lunch & refreshments

Monday, October 15, 2012

Catalpa Ridge News - Volume 17 No 19–Week of October 15th

First Freeze of the Harvest Year

The first freeze of the harvest year occurred on Saturday am. We had a low of 26°F. Fortunately, our local weather predicted the freeze warning so the crew was out harvesting everything that would be affected by the freeze. All the peppers, eggplant, tomatoes and other warm season crops were harvested so we didn’t have to worry about losing too much. We went from 26°F on Saturday morning to 70+°F on Sunday afternoon! Looking at past newsletters, it is not unusual to have a freeze this part of October. Actually in 2006 we actually had 4-5 days in a row of freezing temperatures. An extended freeze of this length would harm the cold weather crops so we were fortunate it was only for the one morning.

Garlic Hobo 10-14-12The Garlic Fest at the Hoboken Historical Museum went well and we had a beautiful day. The museum volunteers did a great job helping us out at the tasting table as well as unloading the van, then loading up after the sale. Thanks to all who helped!

We are starting to deliver the Ginger. If it is not in your delivery this week it will be next week. See our recipe page for ginger culinary hints.
IMPORTANT NOTE:
The scheduled trip to the farm on October 20th, may have to be postponed as the fields are just too wet to prepare the beds for garlic planting. If you were planning on coming up on the 20th, please make sure that you contact us with either your email or phone # so that we may contact you on the status of the garlic planting project.

Franklin Greenhouse Report: Just a few more crops to be harvested over the final weeks of the season from our Franklin greenhouse. We still have ginger, carrots, rosemary, mixed greens and hot peppers left to harvest. Renee has done a great job managing this greenhouse all season.

From the Fields:  The fields are still very wet for us to do much in field prep and only a few fields have the cover crop of rye. We plan on doing some much needed work after the season is over in the fields as well as our greenhouses. We plan on taking down one greenhouse (we are surprised that it hasn’t fallen down already) and rebuild it making it even larger. We have been contemplating putting up a field house to include a walk-in-cooler as well. All these projects depend on how early the winter comes this year and hopefully no Halloween snow storm this year!

Weather Report:  A stunning rainbow greeted Farmer Rich and the crew early on Friday morning. After this week’s freeze it looks like the next few weeks are going to be on the mild side.

Animal report: While Farmer Rich wasn’t paying attention, someone decided to sneak into the fields are eat all the parsley. On a positive side a great blue heron has been patrolling the fields and eating the voles, some frogs and virtually anything that moves. We weren’t able to get a good picture as once we get close enough to snap a picture it takes off, only to return later.

Trip to the Farm – October 20th This may be Postponed **PLEASE make sure we have your contact info if you plan on coming up!
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

Week of October 15th - 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 08, 2012

Catalpa Ridge News–Volume 17 No 18–Week of October 9, 2012

Garlic Fest Hoboken on Sunday

garlicOn Sunday we will be back to Hoboken for the 5th Annual Garlic Festival. We have quite a few nice varieties that will be available for tasting as well as some great dips (Tomato-Garlic, Horseradish-Garlic and hopefully some Roasted Pepper-Garlic). We also will be bringing some garlic vinegar and garlic jelly from farmers who come to our annual Lafayette event. It was great to see some CSA members at the Lafayette Garlic Gathering over the weekend. We actually had two stinkin’ days of fun!

Franklin Greenhouse Report: Today’s delivery of stevia was harvested from the Franklin greenhouse. With the days getting shorter, the plants were getting ready to flower (that is why it is more stretched than in the previous delivery). Drying the stevia leaves will give you a nice quantity of this natural sweetener to use anytime you want a natural sweetener instead of using sugar. Here are some tips from care2:

  • “Harvest all of the leaves from the plant and dry them. On a moderately warm fall day, your stevia crop can be quick dried in the full sun in about 12 hours. Just place the plants on a piece of newspaper in an area with good air circulation. A home dehydrator can also be used, although sun drying is the preferred method. I’ve even used the heat of my attic during the summer to speed up the job.
    You can crush the dried leaves by hand using a mortar and pestle or using a coffee grinder. You can use the stevia in this powdered form, adjusting the amount you use to achieve the desired degree of sweetness. Keep in mind that stevia is 30 times more sweet than sugar and a general rule of thumb is 1 generous tablespoon is roughly equivalent to one cup of sugar in terms of the level of sweetness.” Read more:
    http://www.care2.com/greenliving/how-to-use-fresh-stevia.html#ixzz28guPdeOq

We are winding down operations in this greenhouse, and the ginger is ready to harvest and we should be delivering it next week. We probably will have some samples to taste at the Garlic Fest in Hoboken on Sunday.  Combined with garlic, ginger makes the start of a classic oriental stir-fry. You can even use the fresh ginger to make your own ginger ale and use stevia instead of sugar for all-natural ale!

From the Fields:  It is still wet and muddy so all field work is being delayed. The crew was pretty much in the greenhouse all week cleaning up the garlic for both deliveries and the festivals. We hope to have drier weather by the end of the week so that we may prep the field for the trip to the farm on the 20th. The cover crop of rye looks like a nice blanket of green over the beds.

Fruit Report – The apple variety in your delivery this week is Yellow Delicious. As we have noted in the past, fruit this year is scarce due to a late freeze in the spring. We have seen that some varieties of apples are much larger this year than they have been in the past. The buds that were left on the trees affected by the freeze are producing larger fruit. On the opposite end, some varieties of apples are smaller in size due to the drought.

Weather Report:  It was warm during the week, but the cooler temperatures are coming and there is a chance of frost during the week as the temperatures start dropping into the mid-to-low 30’s. Whether or not we have a frost or a freeze depends on the cloud cover that night.

Animal report: Aside from some chipmunks raiding the apples stored in the greenhouse we haven’t seen any groundhogs or rabbits this week. The squirrels are busy burying nuts and they love to jump over the fence as obviously inside the fence is better for their storage than outside. They go to town burying both hickory and black walnuts. Guess they follow “the grass is greener on the other side” philosophy. We are starting to see more deer tracks throughout the farm.

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

· Garlic Tasting
· Vote for your favorite Garlic!
· Garlic & Farm Fresh Produce for Sale

Week of October 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.