Sunday, June 30, 2013

Catalpa Ridge News–Volume 18 No 4–July 1, 2013

Happy 4th of July !

We rolled over some of the harvested beds with tomatoes, onions early in the week. Any plants that still remained in the greenhouse were planted into the fields. We still have a few more cherry tomato plants to go. We re-seeded more lettuce, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts which will be transplanted later in the season.

The round field is still not workable, but we are having great harvests from the back field. The fava beans are scheduled to be harvested within the next 2 weeks as is the garlic.

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We have some maintenance work to do on the front field due to the heavy rains we have had has increased the weeds. The upper field is still too wet to run the brush-hog through it. This is on the agenda for maintenance work as long as we have a reprieve from the rain.

The crew continues to do an amazing job while working in this heat. Michael is scheduled to return by the 11th of July so we will be at full staff.

As the transplants are being planted in the field, this is making room in the greenhouse for the soon to be harvested garlic to cure.

Franklin Greenhouse Report: The microgreens were harvested from the Franklin greenhouse as was the Tokyo Bekana. We have seeded some new Oriental greens. The ginger is doing well, though it seems to be slower than last year at this time. The eggplant looks stunning and should soon be harvested. We have two varieties of eggplant growing in the Franklin Greenhouse so some white and Ping Tong Long varieties will be in the harvest over the next week or two.

From the Fields: The crops are actually doing better than they were last year at this time. One of which is the escarole where both plantingclip_image002[4]s have produced well. There is probably another harvest of escarole on the horizon next week. The field planted eggplants are doing well, though the flea beetles seem to like them. This affects the leaves more than the eggplant themselves. The cukes and zukes are doing well and the zucchini should start showing up in the deliveries soon.

Animal report: So far the animals are outside the field fences. We do have a “crop” of baby rabbits but they are just noshing on the greens in the picnic area and smile at us while we are having lunch. The mother rabbit seems to like taking a dirt bath in the middle of the road to the picnic area. No major or minor damage to any field crops has been noticed to date. It may be that a stray field cat is on patrol in the area keeping away the unwanted creatures.

Weather report: It was a super-hot week and to deal with the hot temperatures we started our days very early in the morning. Most of the work was done before the heat of the day got the best of us. We have a standing rule that the crew decides when to stop work for the day. We don’t want anyone to get heat stroke. Another few inches of rain fell during the week. The first inch we really needed though the second wasn’t. Overall, the crops are holding up well during this time. It is summertime after all. Fortunately this week we have cooler temperatures in the forecast, though with rain predicted almost every day.

 

July 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, June 23, 2013

Catalpa Ridge News–Volume 18 No 3–June 24, 2013

Better Weather!

We had better weather this past week so we were able to work in the fields. We are replanting beds that we had stopped planting due to them being too wet. The lettuce bed from last week was completely turned over and planted with tomatoes and onions. We still have trouble with the round field as the bottom half is still too wet. We may just have to plant the top half this year and work on troubleshooting the reason for this later. Farmer Rich hasn’t had a chance to use the new brush hog as it has been too wet, but hopefully this week we can work on the upper fields. Ali and Farmer Rich spent all day on Thursday working on the back field, weeding the beds of garlic, peas, stem onions and sorrel. This will improve overall production. The stem onions like to flower, and we waited too long to cut them back. They do come back quickly and will be in the deliveries over the next two weeks. Same with the sorrel in the back field, it really just needed to be thinned out and weeded.

The kale in tonight’s delivery will be either Red Russian or Dinosaur Kale (Lacinato). Kale is known as one of the healthiest vegetables on the planet! It contains vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and so much more. It is great as a salad or as a main dish. You can even make kale chips!Escarole-Brocolli

<<<<<Far left is bed of Kale that the lower leaves were harvested, left of center Is bed where escarole was harvested & delivered tonight, center bed is more escarole and far right is broccoli bed.

The Super-Duper Moon came on Sunday, being the closest full moon of the year (perigee full moon). For farming, the full-moon to last quarter phases is the best time for planting the below-ground crops, and for thinning and weeding.

Franklin Greenhouse Report: The beds from the harvested greens in last week’s delivery (turnip greens and Tokyo Bekana) have been turned over. We planted radishes, Chinese greens, buckwheat sprouts and we planted a bed of eggplant and some hot peppers. On Tuesday we plan on turning over the buckwheat bed and plant tendergreen mustard. Another planting of buckwheat should be ready for next week. We are on schedule with our crop rotations. All the radishes that Renee planted are all up & growing!

 

 

 

From the Fields:  This week we planted tomatoes, celery, lettuce, green onions, radicchio and cucumbers. The papaya pear squash are starting to “squash up”. The purple cauliflower continues to look great. Each field has its own signature crop, those that do best.Newly seeded

Newly Seeded beds where you can see small plants just sprouting. Also notice how dry it looks! Farmer Rich had to start irrigating after all the rain that we had>>:

Animal report:  It was actually quiet at the farm this week. No animal problems at all.

Weather report: It finally dried out at the farm. Overall the rain gauge is showing about 1” over normal for the month. Believe it or not Farmer Rich has to start running water on some fields. The irrigation system is ready to go, thanks to John. The weekly forecast looks good, but it is going to be hot. June will probably go on record as being the wettest June over many parts of New Jersey. Interestingly on weather.com statistically the maximum average precipitation occurs in June for Sussex County.

June 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.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Catalpa Ridge News – Volume 18 No 2 – Week of June 17, 2013

A Wet Week!
Needless to say we had a wet week at the farm. It seemed to rain almost every day, at least enough to prevent planting in the fields most days. Over 3” of rain fell during the week. The only super nice day was Saturday so we wanted to get a lot done in every precious minute of good weather. The wet week also brought cooler temperatures and with the strange weather fronts moving through we were worried that we might have a hail storm.
We had a bit of difficulty last week putting the delivery together as the walk-in-cooler that is at Scotts had some electrical problems. Fortunately Farmer Art saved us by providing space in his cooler. The use of the cooler space is very important to chill down the greens before the delivery.
Officially, summer starts on Thursday June 21st at 1:04 am. Though we won’t be up at 1:04 am, we will start the day at the farm around 5:00 am. Thursdays and Fridays are the best days to get the most field work done. On the agenda for this week are planting more rows of tomatoes, parsley, husk cherries and peppers. We also have to do some maintenance such as weeding.
Franklin Greenhouse Report: The greenhouse is being totally rolled over into new crops except for the ginger and rosemary. All the onions were harvested and are curing up in one of the on-farm greenhouses. The lemon grass has already been planted. On the agenda for plantings this week are some eggplant, radishes and more Oriental greens. A lot of celery has been planted in the greenhouse as well as at the farm. Fennel is already in. Some Mango Ginger was planted, but has been slow. They are just sprouting now.
From the Fields: The greens in the fields are growing nicely without any damage from the excessive rains we have been having. It appears that the white cauliflower and broccoli were stressed and therefore is in essence “shutting down” producing very small heads. The stress probably came from transplanting them during the heat wave the end of May. On the agenda will be transplanting replacements as soon as possible. The purple cauliflower is really looking good as are the peas. The fava beans are started to bean up and the yellow, blue and green peas are pea-ing up! The Chinese cabbage and regular cabbage are all heading up and should be on the agenda for delivery over the next few weeks. We were hoping to deliver the looseleaf Chinese cabbage tonight, but after the rain the slugs were in control. Chard, blue collards and green collards are doing well and the zucchini are ready to blossom. The peppers and eggplant transplants have taken well in the fields. We do have to replace some herbs but all in all they are doing well.
We continue to have problems with the round field. The water is not draining well. We had John run the tractor through it to create some ruts to see if the water will flow out. This is not working well at this point.
Farmer Rich bought a new brush-hog to keep the upper fields from over growing and hopefully get those fields back into hay production for mulch.
Chicken in the GreenhouseAnimal report: We had a totally different animal problem this week. We had a visitor to the Franklin Greenhouse – a chicken! Apparently, a chicken from a neighboring farm just up the road from the greenhouse decided to hitch a ride on the landscaper’s trailer. It off loaded itself off the landscape trailer and found its way into the greenhouse. It was totally enjoying it’s time running up and down the aisles. Renee called Farmer Rich to report “there is a chicken in the greenhouse”! Needless to say Farmer Rich had to ask her to repeat the comment, not believing what he was hearing. Jim the property owner said he spent about 1 ½ hours trying to catch it to return to Farmer Maria’s.
Weather report: After a wet week and some cooler temperatures, the start of this week appears to be mostly sunny and highs in the low 80’s. Some scattered thunderstorms are in the forecast and we hope they will not scatter over the farm.
BellamyKitchen

ANNOUNCEMENT:
Do you know someone that wants to support a local farm but hates to cook? A solution will be here soon. Chef Meredith of Bellamy Kitchen will be able to prepare meals from Catalpa Ridge’s weekly produce delivery.  More information to come as we both put together the particulars on a Farm Share/Meal Share plan. The CSA delivery would be made directly to Bellamy Kitchen in Hoboken and the member would then pick up their prepared meals directly from Chef Meredith.
What’s Up & Growing in the Fields and Greenhouses:
Broccoli
Cabbage
Celery
Chard
Chinese Cabbage
Collards
Cucumbers
Eggplant
Escarole
Fava Beans
Garlic
Ginger
Green Onions
Herbs
Hot Peppers
Husk Cherries
Kale
Lettuce
Peas
Peppers
Potatoes
Radicchio
Radishes
Tomatoes
Zucchini
Week of June 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, June 09, 2013

Catalpa Ridge News–Volume 18 No 1–Week of June 10, 2013

Here We Grow Again !
Lisa-Ali o the tractor
Lisa and Ali
Welcome to our 18th year delivering fresh veggies from the farm to our CSA members. We certainly have had a few weather challenges for the start of theseason. We went from frost on May 27th to 93˚F just a few days later. Then the remnants of tropical storm Andrea came with over 3” of rain falling at the farm on Friday the 7th. We saw on the news the flooding in Hoboken and hope our Hoboken members were not impacted that severely. The farm itself has had a lot of mud over the last several days but we managed to get in quite abit of planting in raised beds during the past two weeks. Lisa mentioned that the fields haven’t looked this good since she has been working with us! Always a good thing! Our largest greenhouse was destroyed during Hurricane Sandy in October and was beyond repair.We had to remove it fully and haven’t been able to replace it yet. The field that it was over however, has been planted so we did not lose any space, just earlier production. Fortunately, we have a large greenhouse in Franklin that took up the slack.

Onions curing
Onions curing in the greenhouse
Franklin Greenhouse Report: We have a nice crop of onions that have been harvested from the Franklin greenhouse. Some are in your delivery tonight and the rest are curing on the drying racks for delivery over the next few weeks.
We will roll over the beds where the onions were with planting Eggplant, hot peppers, oriental greens and micro greens. The rosemary overwintered well. The ginger that we planted in March is a bit slow, but we expect a reasonable harvest later in the season as ginger takes about 180 days. 
 

From the Fields:  The round field is too wet at this point to plant with actual standing water. This has never happened in the past and Farmer Rich is trying to figure out why. It has always been a little on the wet side, but never this bad. The back field is looking really great and the peas are probably the best we have ever had. We have yellow peas, blue peas and green peas slated to be harvested. They are all heirloom varieties. We do hope there is no major disaster that prevents their harvest and it will truly be a great treat. The garlic in that field is doing well, and the sorrel is probably going to be on the harvest plan a few weeks out. The sunchokes seem to be everywhere this year and the fava beans are starting to “bean-up”. Two more rows of heirloom tomatoes are slated to be planted this week.
Animal report: A family of gourmet baby rabbits has snuck into the large field. Being the gourmet that one of them is, he or she has only munched on the crunchy stalks of the Chinese cabbage and not on the leaves. The fencing around the field has since been secured, but not matter how secure we make it they spend all night trying to figure out how to break in. Fortunately the rabbits are not as big of a problem as the ground hogs. So far all the ground hogs are outside the fence and haven’t broken in YET!
Thank you for supporting our farm. It is only through the continued support of our members that our farm continues to be sustainable and we continue the practice of farming. We like to grow many interesting veggies, some of which you may have never tried before. We encourage you to try-it, you’ll like it!! We always provide you with recipes and have our Harvest Identifier online as well. The CSA deliveries are seasonal, so during the spring the deliveries will consist mostly of greens with perhaps 5-7 different items. As the season progresses, more variety will be included and the deliveries will become heavier. Weekly news and recipes will be included on the blog with links within the newsletter sent out to everyone. If you have some recipes to share, please feel free to forward them so that others may try them! It is our pleasure to welcome back many of you who have been supporting the farm for many of our 18 years and welcome many new members this year.  Community supported farm members soon become connected to each other as the weeks go by. We welcome you all and look forward to working with all of you.
With you CSA support our farm provides a number of jobs. Meet the Crew – Lisa returns for her 5th year, Ali her 4th. Renee who manages our greenhouse in Franklin is back for her 4th year as well. Michael will join the crew again this year after school is out. We can’t forget John, who keeps all our machines running and helps with tilling and wrapping the beds with plastic and was instrumental in setting up the irrigation system. They are all doing an amazing job. They are instrumental in the pre-season and throughout the harvest year.
What’s Up & Growing: Here is an overview of what is up & growing on the Farm:
Broccoli
Cabbage
Celery
Chard
Chinese Cabbage
Collards
Cucumbers
Eggplant   
Escarole
Fava Beans
Garlic
Ginger
Green Onions
Herbs
Hot Peppers
Husk Cherries
Kale   
Lettuce
Peas
Peppers
Potatoes
Radicchio
Radishes
Tomatoes
Zucchini
Week of June 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.

Saturday, June 08, 2013

Community Supported Farm–First Delivery of the Season starts June 10th

Constant Contact Banner 2013CSA Start Dates:

  • Mahwah –  June 10th
  • Hoboken – June 11th
  • Franklin –  June 12th
  • On-Farm – June 14th/15th

CSA Members can look for an email on Sunday/Monday with what will be the harvest of the week. We’ll include recipes, news from the farm and our “Harvest Identifier”.