Sunday, July 26, 2015

Catalpa Ridge News–Volume 20 No 7–July 27, 2015

Sussex Farm & Horse Show starts on Friday

The Sussex Farm & Horse Show starts on Friday and runs through Sunday, August 9th. The trip up to the fairgrounds is worth the trip with many agriculture events ongoing throughout the week. The Vegetable Show is judged on Saturday, August 1st and Farmer Rich is a judge again this year. We will even have a “meet the judges” after the show is judged so the exhibitors can ask questions and learn how to submit better entries in the future.


The week was rather uneventful. We had a good growing week for a change. The zucchini are producing exceptionally well at the current time. This can change in a flash so we will keep picking them hard while the plants are holding up.



Just a fraction of the zucchini harvest!



The last garlic bed that was harvested has finally been replanted with Oriental greens. This is a bit on the early side. The Tokyo Bekana tonight does show some tiny holes due to some minor insect damage by being outside in the field.

Franklin Greenhouse Report: The plantings are doing well and the crew will probably be seeding spinach or Oriental greens on Monday in the last bed to be turned over. Michael’s irrigation system in the greenhouse is definitely making a big difference in increasing production.

From the Fields: The crew worked diligently during the week and fertilized all the field crops and they really perked up after being washed out with the excessive rain we had been having. We fertilize with Fertrell 4-2-4 which is an OMRI approved organic fertilizer. We have been using this for years and find it the most effective fertilizer.

The beds that Michael seeded with radishes, chard, and beets are all doing well. The Red Russian Kale hasn’t really taken off and the cilantro is just starting to take.

We clipped up the cucumber plants on the trellising system in the back field to help improve production. We also weeded most of the beds in both the main field and back field.


Upcoming Events:
New Jersey State Fair/Sussex Farm & Horse Show – The 75th Anniversary Year. JULY 31 – AUGUST 9, 2015 - 37 Plains Road, Augusta, NJ.
Friday, July 31 – Saturday, August 8 — 10 am – 10 pm
Sunday, August 9 — 10 am – 5 pm

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Catalpa Ridge News–Volume 20 No 6–July 20, 2015

More Rain, but we not going to mention it!

We are tired talking about the rain we have been receiving! Though we received more rain we aren’t going to tell you about it!


Michael was able to seed in some beds in the main field. A few varieties of beets, cilantro, turnips, chard and some Chinese cabbage were all seeded during the week. Meanwhile this week’s delivery of Tokyo Bekana and turnips greens were in the greenhouse and we needed to start their harvesting to avoid a growing aphid problem.


The back field that was looking great last week after the weeding patrol, turned back into a jungle after some rain (which we aren’t going to mention).


The seedings that Dory started two weeks ago are doing well except for a few varieties of lettuce and fennel. These just didn’t germinate and probably due to bad seed.


Franklin Greenhouse Report:  The eggplant are starting to make it into the deliveries and will be delivered to all sites over the next few weeks. A few of you will be getting some this week. One bed has been rolled over with escarole. The arugula and sen posi will be harvested next week and those beds will be replanted. The new planting of radishes should be ready to harvest in about two weeks.


From the Fields: The second planting of zucchini are starting to show up in the deliveries this week.

The sweet peppers and cucumbers are also starting to be delivered and will make it into all the delivery sites over the next few week. The heirloom tomatoes are coming along, but seem abit slow this year, perhaps set back by all the rain have been getting (but we aren’t going to mention)!


We were fortunate to have planted potatoes between the garlic rows and when we dug up the potatoes with the potato digger, it actually created trenches which helped drain the 3” of rain that we aren’t

going to mention. This enabled the crew to clean up the beds and Michael was able to do some seeding.


Tokyo Bekana (Chinese Cabbage) & Zucchini rows (upper right) just one week later



Upcoming Events:   

New Jersey State Fair/Sussex Farm & Horse ShowThe 75th Anniversary Year. JULY 31 – AUGUST 9, 2015 - 37 Plains Road, Augusta, NJ.
Friday, July 31 – Saturday, August 8 — 10 am – 10 pm
Sunday, August 9 — 10 am – 5 pm

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Catalpa Ridge News–Volume 20 No 5–July 13, 2015

Rain Continues (again) !
We received more rain this week and Thursday was the worst of the week. The round  field, though we have had some losses, is doing ok and we are hoping for improved conditions. Last week we had to start the garlic harvest and this week it was the potatoes.  Since it is too wet to make new beds for planting we are going to plant in the garlic beds. The transplants were started during the week in the greenhouse on the rainiest day so we were able to at least get some work done.

On Monday the crew finished all of the garlic harvest while Farmer Rich was making deliveries to Bergen County.

While the plants are growing well with all the rain, the weeds have taken off as well. One of the projects this week will be to regain control from the weeds.

Franklin Greenhouse Report:  The eggplant and hot peppers are all doing great. The Oriental Green rotation is working out well and you will find them in your delivery this week. The radishes are coming along nicely and the arugula we think will be ready for harvest either next week or the week after. We are getting at least 1-2 items per week out of this greenhouse. The advantage of using this greenhouse during this time of year is the reduction in insect problems. Virtually all of our eggplant production will be coming from the Franklin greenhouse.

Weather Report:   Again more rain fell during the week. The week ended up on a positive note with no rain Friday through Sunday. At least 1 ½” fell during. Though it was too wet to do major field work, the crew was able to harvest some zucchini and work in the greenhouse. Dory was able to seed about 30 flats of veggies for field planting in two to three weeks. The crop rotations are working out well.

From the Fields: The seeded crops included lettuce, Oriental greens, broccoli and cauliflower. This was perfect timing as lettuce, escarole and cucumbers were transplanted just in time to make
room for these newly seeded flats in the greenhouse. The rotations from seeding to transplanting to field planting takes about 2-3 weeks depending on the vegetable variety.
Tokyo Bekana (Chinese Cabbage) recently transplanted & Zucchini rows (upper right)

The cucumber patch that got destroyed by the never ending pounding of rain was replaced with transplants (again). We do hope that it works out this time. The surviving plants are doing ok.

We seeded some favas for fava greens in the back fields. Cabbage, tomatoes & Brussel sprouts in the back field are really coming along great. The sunchokes patches are really enjoying the rain and are growing higher & higher every day.

Monday, July 06, 2015

Catalpa Ridge News–Volume 20 No. 4–July 6, 2015

Garlic Harvest Begins

With more rain falling during the week we had to start the garlic harvest earlier than usual. We were at risk of losing some of it so it was better to harvest than lose it. The rain pounded the newly transplanted cucumbers in the back field and wiped out more than half of them. The Brussel sprouts and cabbage faired a bit better during these storms.


The crops are growing well except in the round field which is a little too wet. We had planted that field first in the spring when we were having too dry conditions and now things have changed.


During the garlic harvest Dory happen upon a hornets nest and was stung repeatedly. Though she felt ok during remainder of the day she did have to go to the hospital in the evening to receive some treatment for swelling and a fever. Fortunately she is back on track and no worse for the ordeal.



Both Lisa and Michael took some time off during the week and we welcomed back Ali for a few days to fill in. Lisa went away to a wedding and Michael to Boy Scout camp with his troop. He is both an Eagle Scout and a leader. He even took some strawberries and rhubarb and they made some strawberry/rhubarb pie over a campfire!

Field plantings this week included: Chinese cabbage, oriental greens, escarole, and broccoli raab. Since it is so wet we plan on planting into the harvested garlic beds as we cannot make new beds with the degree of mud that we have at the present time.

Franklin Greenhouse Report: The Oriental greens may be harvest next week. The eggplant and peppers are doing well though the buckwheat microgreens are not germinating well. This week we have another bed to turn over and more Oriental greens will be planted. The arugula is really coming along great and should be harvested next week.

Weather Report: Unfortunately more rain fell during the week which we didn’t need. There is more rain in the forecast for this Sorting Garlic in the greenhouseweek as well. A rough wind storm came close to the farm, just south of us. Many trees were uprooted and the roads were closed in about three places so it made a difficult trip home on Wednesday. On the 4th of July, in the rain, we spent some time in the greenhouses.