Sunday, October 26, 2014

Catalpa Ridge News–Vol 19 No 19–October 27, 2014

Freeze at the Farm !

We did have both frost and a freeze at the farm with a low of 30ยบF. The warm weather crops were about done anyway so no unplanned weather events impacted the delivery.

We planted garlic with Michael’s Boy Scout Troop on Sunday and had a beautiful day to do so. All of the five beds that were prepared for planting were planted with about 10 different varieties .Our soft neck varieties did not do well this year due to the super cold winter we had last year. Three main varieties of soft neck garlics were planted (Ozark, French Red and Italian Purple) with the hope that the winter will not be as traumatic as last year and will produce a better yield. Additionally more than 7 different varieties of hard neck garlics were planted including NY White and Spanish Roja both of which are our favorites and good producers.


Franklin Greenhouse Report:  We still have some peppers, lettuce and Oriental greens for the final week of the season (next week). Just a few eggplant remain as well as some hot peppers and these will be harvested for the last week of the season. The greenhouse will be cleaned out and prepared for winter. The stand of rosemary that was replanted is coming along with the hope that we will have a better winter. The prior stand had been destroyed during last year’s super cold winter. That stand had been in production for the last 7 years.


From the Fields: A tree fell into the back field and did take out part of the fence. This is on the list of things to fix during the off-season. The back field production was lost during the season due to the lack of water so the deer have been feasting on what was left in there now that the fence is down. Farmer Rich is getting the chain saw ready.


Weather Report: Aside from the cold mornings the temperatures have been pleasant for this time of year. We did get about 2” of rain during the week on Wednesday and Thursday leaving the crew to take off Wednesday and work in the Franklin greenhouse on Thursday.

Animal report A raccoon is the culprit breaking in to the main greenhouse though not doing any damage just finding a nice place to rest for a while at night. The crew has to make sure that they don’t leave their donuts out!

Next Week–

  • November 3rd for Mahwah
    November 4th for Hoboken
    November 5th for Franklin and
    November 7th for On-Farm pickup

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Catalpa Ridge News–Volume 19 No 18–October 20, 2014

Frost is Near!

Sorry there hasn’t been a newsletter the last two weeks but Sue’s Mom was admitted to the hospital then transferred to a health care center and there wasn’t time or energy left to get a newsletter done. Sue’s Mom is on the mend at 88 and we are all hoping for a speedy recovery to get her back home.

Surprisingly there hasn’t been a frost yet at the farm, though there was one in Franklin about 10 miles south. It usually is colder at the farm as we are up the mountain close to High Point. A freeze is predicted for Monday early morning but by then the harvest has been picked, sorted and loaded on the van for delivery!

Franklin Greenhouse Report:
The eggplant and pepper production is winding down. The transplanted greens have come along nicely and are doing well for the last few weeks of the season.

From the Fields:
All the transplanted crops are really doing well, mostly helped by the rain we have received over the last week. The upcoming crops over the next few weeks from our main field will include: Chicories, lettuces, Oriental greens, winter squash, leeks and green onions.

Weather Report:
We received two inches of rain and warmer temperatures during the week. We are long overdue for a frost though we know that it will be coming soon and perhaps right after I am writing this newsletter early on Sunday morning. The frost actually makes some of the cold weather crops sweeter such as the collards, lettuces, kale, Oriental greens – though too cold will make them toast! So far we are not at the point that we have to worry about a deep freeze.

Animal report – Either a raccoon or opossum decided to break into our main greenhouse, though not too hard to break in as the screening on the bottom of the door was missing.

Jerusalem Artichokes (Sunchokes)



The Jerusalem artichoke has no relatives in the artichoke family but is actually a member of the sunflower family. A native of North America, it grew in the wild along the eastern seaboard from Georgia to Nova Scotia. The explorer Samuel de Champlain first encountered sunchokes growing in an American Indian vegetable garden in Cape Cod, Massachusetts in 1605. In his opinion they tasted like artichokes, a name that he carried back to France. The American Indians called them sun roots and introduced these perennial tubers to the pilgrims who adopted them as a staple food.

STORAGE: Keep the tubers wrapped in plastic and refrigerate. They will keep up to two weeks, but it's always best eat them as fresh as possible for the best flavor and nutrition. Their sweetness is known to increase when refrigerated after harvesting. If you grow your own, refrigerate them for a day or two before consuming.

PREPARATION: Scrub the sunchokes clean with a vegetable brush. Since much of their nutrients are stored just under the skin, it's best not to peel them. Once cut, sunchokes discolor quickly, so it's best to cut them close to serving time, or cut and immerse them in water with lemon or vinegar to prevent oxidation. Cooking them with the skins on may cause a darkening of the skins because of their high iron content.

Slice sunchokes and enjoy the crunch they add to your salad.
Slice and serve them along with crudites and dips.
Shred them into a slaw. Dice them into a chopped salad.
Slice, dice, or shred and marinate in a little extra virgin olive oil and lemon juice or rice vinegar. Coarsely chop sunchokes and add to the blender when preparing raw soups.

STIR FRY: Slice, dice, or shred and stir fry along with other fresh vegetables in a little extra virgin olive oil. They will become softened in about 4 to 6 minutes. For a tender crisp texture, stir fry about 2 to 4 minutes.

BAKED: Sunchokes can be baked whole or sliced. Toss them in a bowl with a little extra virgin olive oil and place on a baking sheet. Set the oven temperature at 375 and bake 30 to 45 minutes for whole, and 20 to 25 minutes for sliced, turning them half way through. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

STEAMED: Coarsely chop the Jerusalem artichokes and put them into a steamer basket. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Continue at high heat and steam for 5 to 8 minutes. Test for softness. Remove and season to taste or mash like potatoes.

BOILED: Sunchokes can be boiled whole or cut as desired. Bring a covered saucepan of water to a boil over high heat. Add sunchokes and boil for 10 to 15 minutes for whole, and 5 to 8 minutes for cut up. Season as desired or mash like potatoes.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Catalpa Ridge News–Volume 19 No 17–October 13, 2014


Sorry no newsletter this week – Sue’s Mom was hospitalized and now in a PACU unit to get back on track and Sue hasn’t had the time to put a newsletter together. We appreciate you understanding.

Deliveries by Farmer Rich will be made as normal.

Monday, October 06, 2014

Catalpa Ridge News–Volume 19 No 16–October 6, 2014


Sorry no newsletter this week – Sue’s Mom is in the hospital.

Deliveries by Farmer Rich will be made as normal.