Sunday, June 29, 2014

Catalpa Ridge News Volume 19 No 2–June 30, 2014

Great Crew!

What a great crew we have working at the farm. We knew we were going to be short of help on Sunday so the bulk of the harvest had to get done on Saturday and into the cooler, all before the sun warmed up the greens. We started harvesting at 5:00 am with just a hint of the rising sun and we completed the harvest and bunching of the greens by 9:00 am. Now that the days are getting shorter we hope that we won’t have to go out the miner helmets on to light up the field! To round out the day they finished planting the round field and we then had a barbeque in the picnic area.Field

Franklin Greenhouse Report: The blue potatoes in the greenhouse are doing as well, if not better than our field potatoes. We probably tripled the eggplant plantings in the greenhouse over last year and they are doing tremendous. The ginger on the other hand is very slow this year. The hot peppers and celery are doing very well and the White Radishes will probably be harvested in two weeks. Once we harvest the potatoes we plan on seeding either beets or greens in the bed. The eggplant should run through the end of the season but there are five different varieties so at least you will have a change every now and then.

Potatoes with GarlicFrom the Fields: The round field is finally planted! Ronnie & John laid down the beds during the week and the crew planted peppers, tomatoes, eggplant, broccoli and dinosaur kale and seeded two rows of zucchini and a row of cabbage. The round field is sheltered from the wind and is probably the hottest field to work in at the farm. We surely have quite a few “micro-climates” at the farm. The crew stuck out the heat and did complete the planting over the course of two days.

The previously planted crops in the other fields are doing well and the weather has been cooperating for a change. The fava beans are “beaning” up and should be ready for harvest soon. Also, it looks like we will have a bumper crop of potatoes this year. We planted All Blue and All Red varieties and both of them appear to exceed our expectations.

Animal report: The baby rabbits are now abit bigger but are staying outside of the fence and eating the clover and alfalfa. Lisa mowed this weekend and unfortunately for the rabbits mowed down their clover and alfalfa patch. Farmer Rich caught them a few times looking around and wondering where all their grasses went!

Trip to the Farm – Saturday - July 26thwe are planning on having a trip to the farm to those CSA members who would like to drive up and help with a few projects. More details will follow over the next few weeks. Save the date!

What’s Up & Growing: Here is an overview of what is up & growing on the Farm:

Beans (3 varieties)
Beets
Broccoli
Cabbage
Celery
Chard
Chinese Cabbage Collards
Cucumbers
Eggplant
Escarole
Fava Beans
Garlic
Ginger (planted late)
Green Onions
Herbs
Hot Peppers
Husk Cherries
Kale
Lettuce

New Zealand Spinach
Peas (doing poorly right now)
Peppers
Potatoes
Radishes
Tomatoes
Turnips
Zucchini

June 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, June 22, 2014

Catalpa Ridge News Volume 19 No 1–June 23, 2014

Lettuce Begin!
Catalpa in Bloom_thumb
Our Catalpa in full bloom
Welcome to our 19th year delivering fresh veggies from the farm to our CSA members. We are sorry that we are starting late this year, but had no choice with the cold, wet & cloudy spring. The crops just didn’t want to grow and it is all up to them when we can start. We just couldn’t push Mother Nature.
You will find a “bounty” of lettuce in your delivery this week! What a difference a week makes. They just seemed to keep growing and growing and growing!
Our early production was impacted again this year as we weren’t able to replace the greenhouse destroyed by Hurricane Sandy. We didn’t lose growing area as we are planting in the ground where the greenhouse was. We lost the control that a greenhouse gives.

2013 ended great with a new purchase. We are now the proud owners of the “Little Rock House” just across from the farm. It really is a Rock House as each of the stones is at least 27” deep and hand cut. The rock cutter’s grandson stopped by the house one day in January and told us some history. It was built by RockHouse_thumb[1]his grandfather who along with others helped build the ranger station at High Point State Park during the depression. He ever remembered helping his grandfather cut the stone and install one of our walls. It is true gem and a great addition to the farm. There are even a few huge Catalpa trees in backyard which complements our only Catalpa Tree on the ridge on the farm. We have been waiting 25 years to buy that house. Clara (who is 97) just couldn’t take care of it anymore and remembered that we were interested. We closed on November 19th and spent the winter on remodeling. Needless to say we are still in the remodeling mode, as our bathroom project turned into a whole house project. Things are shaping up and we hope it will ready to have a picnic during one of our trips to the farm in the summer.

Unfortunately, the New Year didn’t start out well. Farmer Sue’s sister, Alison passed away unexpectedly in early January. Though she lived in darkness the last 20 years losing her eyesight to the complications of diabetes, her life was renewed 18 years ago by receiving a kidney/pancreas transplant. Thank you to those of you who read the blog posting and sent me sympathy cards and donations in her memory. She had the sweetest soul, inspired many and touched everyone.

Greenhouse_thumbFranklin Greenhouse Report: We have a really nice planting of eggplant this year as well as early Blue Potatoes and they happen to be doing the best we have ever seen. The Texas Legend Onions have started to be harvested and you will find them in tonight’s delivery. They were planted late so are on the small side. All the rosemary that we have had in the Franklin greenhouse did not survive our horrible winter. We had to replant the entire bed and probably won’t be able to harvest until September. Most of the hot pepper plants have been planted in the greenhouse. We have seeded radishes and as the potatoes get harvested we will seed that bed Oriental greens.

Michael in the Field_thumb
From the Fields:  Almost all the beds are planted but we continue to struggle with our round field. This field never got into production last year and three years ago was a major field. The reason we are having problems is that it is too wet. Apparently the course of the water flow from the higher elevation changed its course and is impacting that field. Tonight’s microgreens are from thinnings from plantings of turnips and radishes and really make a nice addition to your salads. While starting late this year, the crops in the field are looking really good with lettuces, chard, kale, garlic and fava beans all coming along nicely.
Animal report: Looks like big rabbit year after a long winter but so far has not become a problem at the farm. What has been a problem is that we stored our fertilizer in the back shed and a bear decided to eat 30 pounds of it! I guess they enjoy organic fertilizer. We haven’t seen it back but can only assume that it went for some water and may be drinking the pond dry. Any moment we are awaiting signs of the groundhogs moving into the fields. So far the fences are doing their job and are intact without any break-ins.

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 19 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 6th year, Michael for his 2nd year. 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.

What’s Up & Growing: Here is an overview of what is up & growing on the Farm:

Field_thumb
Beans (3 varieties)
Beets
Broccoli
Cabbage
Celery
Chard
Chinese Cabbage Collards
Cucumbers
Eggplant
Escarole
Fava Beans
Garlic
Ginger (planted late)

Green Onions
Herbs
Hot Peppers
Husk Cherries
Kale
Lettuce
New Zealand Spinach
Peas (doing poorly right now)
Peppers
Potatoes
Radishes
Tomatoes
Turnips
Zucchini
June 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.