Sunday, October 27, 2013

Catalpa Ridge News–Volume 18 No 21–October 28, 2013

Last Delivery of the Season!

It is hard to believe that it has been one year since Hurricane Sandy which greeted everyone last year at this time. We know many of you were impacted with either the inconvenience of electrical failures and long gas lines or the tragedies of losing parts of your homes to water. Our only loss was the big greenhouse within our main field. The plastic was torn to shreds and the metals bars were twisted beyond repair. Our only choice was to tear it down and look to replace it. We didn’t get to replace it before the growing year for 2013 but do have plans for 2014. We also want to build an on-site walk-in-cooler and packing house to make our distributions go more smoothly.

The harvests this year have been much more abundant that last year and we also were pleased with the overall variety that we were able to offer. It is amazing what better weather and growing conditions does! Though we lost our big greenhouse to Hurricane Sandy, we did till up new beds and took advantage of extra growing area. The early spring was wet and we did have our usual weather problems i.e. too wet, too dry, but overall we were able to manage the weather related problems.

As with any business model, the success is dependent on great employees and we truly have the best crew in the world! Without their dedicated work ethic and going over and above the call to duty during the harvest year makes our life less stressful.

 

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 2014.

Franklin Greenhouse Report:  The Franklin Greenhouse will be cleaned out during the next week or two. We hope that all the plastic covering the greenhouse will be good for next season and we hope

that we don’t have too severe of a winter. Michael has been busy fixing up a few things, i.e. the doors on the heated greenhouse.

 

From the Fields:   We have been lucky this year with these later deliveries in that the weather has been warmer than in past years. We have had heavy frost early in the mornings. During the cold mornings we do have to wait for the plants to defrost before we can harvest them! In past years we have had to harvest, run to the truck to warm up and then go back to the fields. This week we all started later in the morning around 9 am and were still able to put together nice harvests.

 

During the off season, we will continue to clean up the fields and start to prepare new areas for next year. We will work until we can’t work anymore, which is usually the first snow storm.  

 

Weather report:

More dry weather. It didn’t matter too much with the crops this late in the season. On the positive side the dryer weather is holding back the newly planted garlic from growing too much before winter (which is a good thing).

Animal report: 

All quiet on the farm with no problems to speak of. No deer have been sighted in the area, probably due to the start of deer season. No update on the wooly bear caterpillar report as all sightings have been the same as previously reported. The folklore of a larger center stripe on the caterpillar predicting a mild winter. We can only hope!

LAST DELIVERY OF THE SEASON

clip_image002

Thanks to all CSA members for your continued support.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Catalpa Ridge News–Volume 18 No 20–October 21, 2013

Cold Weather Looming !

While the temperatures are still relatively on the warm side, the mornings are very cold and by the end of the week we should see temperatures in the 30’s. The crew has been working diligently to get all the warm weather crops out of the fields with all of the peppers and tomatoes harvested. The tomato trellises have been taken down. We plan on delivering for the last delivery of the season next week more tomatoes, green tomatoes and the cold weather crops that shouldn’t be too affected by the upcoming cold temperatures.

 

Franklin Greenhouse Report:  Tonight’s ginger was harvested from the Franklin Greenhouse. Celery, rosemary and hot peppers are the only items left there. Michael will be working on cleaning it up mid-week and we’ll get it ready for winterizing.

clip_image003The ginger is fresh harvested unlike the dried out ginger you find in your supermarket. It is being delivered with it stalks and leaves still attached, but you should remove the stalks and leaves and keep the ginger root for your recipes. Here are some ideas:

·         Grate ginger for stir-frys, sauces & dressings.

·         Slice into “coins”, then whack each coin to break up the fibers and release the ginger essence, heat oil in your sauce pan or wok and let ginger stir-fry for 30 seconds (stir-fry longer for a stronger ginger flavor, but do not allow to burn) – add your GARLIC and you have a start to a classic Oriental stir-fry.

·         Use a vegetable peeler to peel paper-thin slices of the ginger root, then slice thinly and add as a condiment to soups, dumplings, fresh vegetable dishes.

·         Make homemade Gingerade or Ginger Ale!

Fruit Report: This week we have Yellow Delicious from Hillcrest Farm.  The girls picked the apples on Friday which is a nice break in the action from their usual farm work.

From the Fields:   Needless to say everything is winding down with just one more week for deliveries. After the deliveries are over we will be clearing the fields, pulling up the plastic and start to prepare for next year. The first planting of garlic is up and growing. The rest of the garlic beds will be planted over the next few weeks. We plan on putting a few more beds to get a jump on next year so regardless of the weather we can transplant early crops.

 

If you want to go Apple Picking, Hillcrest Farms in Frankford Township has Pick-Your-Own-Apples on Saturdays in Sundays throughout September and October. They are located at the corner of Plains Road & Davis Road. You can also visit their dairy cows, take a scenic hayride and they have great fresh apple cider & cider donuts. For more information call: 973.703.5148.

Weather report:

It has been incredibly dry, though about ¼” of rain fell on Saturday night which “fluffed” up the field crops.  No frost as of yet, but it is looming by the end of the week.

Animal report: 

A deer broke into the back field and ate most of the lettuce that we were planning on delivering next week. Aside from that unhappy fact, the rest of the fields are intact and no problems in animal-land.

clip_image002Sunchokes (Jerusalem Artichokes) – these are edible tubers that grow underground, similar to potatoes. They are knobby and will taste slightly nutty. Some say almost like a cross between an artichoke heart and a potato. They can be eaten raw or can be steamed, roasted, boiled, grilled, fried or even microwaved. * Best stored in a paper bag in your refrigerator.

 Next Week–LAST DELIVERY OF THE SEASON

October 14th - 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.
- See more at: http://catalparidge.blogspot.com/#sthash.HPBgWUe0.dpuf

October 21st - 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, October 13, 2013

Catalpa Ridge News–Vol 18 No 19–October 14, 2013

Still No Frost !
It is now the middle of October and we still have not received the first frost of the season (which is a good thing). According to the NJ State Department of Climatology, the first frost in the Fall is around October 7 and we are now one week past that. The warm weather crops basically have shut down, though we are able to harvest a few things here and there to filter into the deliveries.

It was great to see some of our CSA members at the Garlic Fest on Sunday and the Hoboken Historical Museum.

Your delivery this week will include some garlic rounds. Occasionally, a garlic round is produced when the garlic bulb does not subdivide into cloves. If replanted, they may form fully divided bulbs (cloves) the following spring. If not in the planting mood, they make a really nice Roasted Garlic because you do not have to push out the garlic from the individual sections.


Franklin Greenhouse Report:  Wednesday we are scheduled to clean up the beds in the Franklin Greenhouse as well as harvest the ginger for next week’s delivery.


From the Fields:   We did have some rain during the week which definitely perked up the field crops. The sunchokes are almost ready to harvest. The planted garlic for next year is sprouting but we hope that it holds off so as to not grow too much before winter. The late planting of zucchini and cucumbers don’t appear that they will be ready for harvest in time for the last two weeks of the CSA deliveries. We were optimistic at the time hoping they would “zuke” up and “cuke” up. Our last planting of lettuce is alittle small though will be harvested for the last delivery of the season.

If you want to go Apple Picking, Hillcrest Farms in Frankford Township has Pick-Your-Own-Apples on Saturdays in Sundays throughout September and October. They are located at the corner of Plains Road & Davis Road. You can also visit their dairy cows, take a scenic hayride and they have great fresh apple cider & cider donuts. For more information call: 973.703.5148.

Weather report:
clip_image002
The storm that was to be an “event” in the area never materialized at the farm. As we were preparing for the Garlic Fest on Thursday we saw a stunning formation of clouds over the eastern sky probably altostratus. The formation looked almost like waves in the sky. This was probably remnants of the storm but it never did rain.
Animal report: 
clip_image004
Preliminary Wooly Bear Caterpillar Report shows a sleeping wooly bear all curled up. The center stripe is longer than the end stripes and according to folklore we should have a mild winter. Only time will tell!
It has been quiet in animal land over the past week. The only action that we have seen is the continued burying of nuts and acorns by the resident squirrels. Their fervent activity is contrary to the wooly bear caterpillar forecast.
Fruit Report: This week we have Mixed Apples from Hillcrest Farm. You will be receiving either Gala or Cortland depending on your delivery site. More apple picking will be accomplished this week as along as the weather holds out. The crew will head over to Hillcrest Farm and pick them which is a nice diversion from the field work.

October 14th - 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.
- See more at: http://catalparidge.blogspot.com/#sthash.PIdEYnHZ.dpuf

Sunday, October 06, 2013

Catalpa Ridge News–Volume 18 No 18–Oct 7, 2013

Warm Snap !
The temperatures approached 90°F over the week with some spotty rain. We received only about 1/8” of rain on Saturday evening and we still have to run our irrigation. Michael had to re-hook up the irrigation on Wednesday. The girls worked in the fields all day Saturday harvesting as we were at the Garlic Gathering in Olde Lafayette Village. It was great to meet some of our Sussex County CSA members there as well.
clip_image002

The fava greens this week are absolutely perfect and at their peak! We plant them special just for the greens this time of year. Fava beans have a long growing season and the plants won’t “bean-up” in the fall in our climate.

Franklin Greenhouse Report:  We are winding down the Franklin Greenhouse. We should deliver the ginger next week. The other crops that are still producing there are: celery, eggplant, rosemary and hot peppers. These will be forthcoming as long as there are no disasters on the horizon.

From the Fields:   It has been a good pepper year, needless to say, and they are still producing in the field. This year has been our longest run for tomatoes and we may actually be able to delivery tomatoes to the last week. Some green tomatoes will be coming soon for those of you who like to make fried green tomatoes.
We anticipate planting more garlic by the middle of November. We just need to prepare more beds, line up the varieties and plan a day to do it. The garlic that was planted in September during the trip to the farm has rooted and well. We know it was planted earlier than we have in the past. Fortunately it has been dry so the plants are not pushed to grow their tops now but develop nice roots instead. This should benefit them in overwintering and develop a good crop for next year.
Our Oriental greens are ahead of schedule because of the warmer weather. The warmer weather also contributes to bug problems and the greens may not be deliverable if they get too bad. The lettuces on the other hand are behind due to the dryness. There should be enough lettuce for deliveries over the next few weeks, though they may be small close to the end of the month.
Animal report: The groundhog finally stopped eating the escarole and we hope it hasn’t been able to find its way back through the fence. The squirrels continue to bury the extra good crop of hickory nuts and acorns. We hope this isn’t a signal for a bad winter.

Weather report: Continued dry weather overall.
Fruit Report: This week we have Jonamac Apples from Hillcrest Farm. The Jonamac is similar to the McIntosh. The girls will be picking Yellow Delicious for next week’s delivery as they weren’t ready the last time they were at Hillcrest.
October 7th - 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.