Sunday, August 30, 2015

Catalpa Ridge News–Volume 20 No 12–August 31, 2015

Great Day in Hoboken !

The annual Heirloom Tomato Tasting was on Sunday and we had over 20 varieties for tasting. The winner this year was Jelly Bean, a grape variety. This variety we have shipped to all the CSA drop-offs this season, so we hope that you have enjoyed them as much as the tasters dHoboken TT 8-30-15 - 2id in Hoboken. The second place finisher was Striped German. This is one of the bi-color yellow/red tomatoes that we have been delivering as well.  Another favorite that is similar is Pineapple. The third place finisher was John Bear a more classic red variety. Each of the tomatoes has their own distinct flavor and everyone who came remarked about the great variety and taste.  There is nothing like a fresh harvest Heirloom tomatoes!

Hoboken TT 8-30-15


This event is also a great way to meet many of our CSA members in Hoboken.


Franklin Greenhouse Report:   

Three beds from the previous harvest were cleaned up and re-seeded with Oriental greens for the late autumn harvests. The eggplant continue to do well. The basil plants have started to shut down so that bed will be re-seeded with fall crops. We should have some greens for next week’s harvest from the Franklin greenhouse and those beds will then be seeded and planted for the fall.


From the Fields: A few of the beds that we seeded about one month ago have not done well. The beets are doing well and should start showing up in the next week or two. The zucchini and cumber plants are both starting to shut down so the harvest of these will start to drop off.


We are looking at the sunchoke (Jerusalem Artichokes) plants and they are looking extra good this year. We anticipate harvesting them in about one month.


Quite a few of the tomato plants are starting to shut down but we should be ok for the foreseeable future as we grow so many varieties  and have extensive plantings over different locations in the fields.


The cabbage, chard, kale and lettuce are all doing OK. We have a nice harvest of winter squash coming in. Varieties will include Butternut, Spaghetti, Kabocha, Delicata and Acorn.


Weather Report: We have had to irrigate over the last two weeks due to lack of rain. Temperatures have varied from very cool to too hot to too cool! Oh, the joys of farming. It appears we are trending for a hot week this week.


PS – Thanks to all who sent me an email regarding my Mom. She is doing better and is home from the hospital! – Sue

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Catalpa Ridge News -Volume 20 No 11 –August 24, 2015


Sorry No Newsletter this week !

Sorry no newsletter this week. My Mom was hospitalized. Your picks of the week are below. Thank you for understanding --- Farmer Sue


Upcoming Events: Heirloom Tomato Tasting
-An Annual Taste of Summer at the Hoboken Historical Museum - August 30th - 1-5 pm 1301 Hudson Street. Join us for an afternoon of tasting a few dozen varieties of heirloom tomatoes and farm fresh produce will be available as well from many local farms to us. It is a great afternoon in Hoboken.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Catalpa Ridge News–Vol 20 No 10–August 17, 2015

Maintenance Week !

We are trying to catch up on maintenance of the fields as well as transitioning from summer to fall crop planting.


Our direct seeding into the old garlic beds is not working as planned as the plants just seem to not want to produce as well as we had hoped for. The exception is the beets which are doing well. At least ½ bed of cilantro is also coming along nicely.


During the week during a maintenance day, Farmer Rich was brush hogging between the rows and low and behold a coil section of hose was twisted around the blades. Now we have to add the brush-hog repair to our list of things to do!

Franklin Greenhouse Report: 

We have not rolled over the beds yet in the greenhouse though we hope we can this week. The eggplant continue to produce well and are more productive this year than last. The hot peppers are doing well except for the ghost pepper plants. We have a variety of sweet pepper (Blushing Beauty) that we have been saving the seed since the seed went out of commercial production over the last few year. These plants are doing great and we anticipate have our own great seed source for full production in the future.


We had tried Peppinos (an eggplant relative, often referred to as garden eggs) and okra in the Franklin greenhouse but they both are lacking production. We are always trying to come up with something new and sometimes it works and other times it doesn’t.


From the Fields: The Heirloom tomatoes, cucumbers are producing on schedule and the tomatillos will be ready soon. The variety we have this year is “extra large” so all you salsa makers will be very happy.


The back field’s cabbage and Brussels sprouts are looking good mostly due to Michael tweaking the irrigation system. The cukes, chard, cherry tomatoes, new plantings and the sunchokes all have benefited from the irrigation system change. Our lettuce beds should be ready to harvest for next week and the winter squash should start coming in in about two weeks.


Weather Report: We did receive about ¾” of rain Saturday night and some fell previously in the week as well. We are still irrigating to keep all the crops happy!


The days have been super-hot and humid and during these days we stop field work early in the day. The crew then goes to the shaded picnic area to clean garlic for delivery.


Upcoming Events:  

clip_image002Heirloom Tomato TastingAn Annual Taste of Summer at the Hoboken Historical Museum – August 30 - 1-5 pm 1301 Hudson Street. Join us for an afternoon of tasting a few dozen varieties of heirloom tomatoes and farm fresh produce will be available as well.

Sunday, August 09, 2015

Catalpa Ridge News–Volume 20 No 9–August 10, 2015

Dry Weather Continues !

We are back at full strength at the farm now that the Sussex Farm & Horse Show is over. Both Lisa and Michael spent time at the fair working on exhibits and volunteering as well. Now that the crew is back on track we have a lot of work ahead for transitioning from the summer to autumn crops.

Franklin Greenhouse Report:


All the eggplants are coming out of the Franklin greenhouse for the deliveries. We have six different varieties in all and they are still producing. We look forward to continued production through October. We also have harvested the radishes and Sen Posi. Unfortunately the arugula hasn’t grown well and we have to roll over the bed to plant another crop for the fall. We feel that perhaps the pH of the soil was off for this variety of arugula and it just isn’t harvestable.

From the Fields: We have had a bumper zucchini crop so far this year. The plants are looking like they are starting to shut down. The future crops of winter squash and trombocino squash are coming along nicely. The cucumbers in the back field are finally producing and Michael and Farmer Rich spent Thursday getting that field back in order; weeding and clipping up the plants on the trellis. The Heirloom tomatoes are actually starting their production on a positive note.

The round field is scheduled for maintenance on Monday. The crew will be getting the work done while Farmer Rich starts his delivery rounds to Bergen County.

Animal Report: Unfortunately it appears that a field shrew broke into the greenhouse and destroyed the newly seeded flats of lettuce and cauliflower. What they do is dig up the soil in the flat but don’t eat anything. Needless to say we have to go back to square one to get these flats back on track. We brushed-hogged an area of the main field which had weeded up and it apparently great cover for the rabbits. After clearing the area it is now too exposed and the rabbits had to find a new home, hopefully outside the fence.

Weather Report: The nights are getting cooler and we actually have had drier weather over the past few weeks. We are running water from our irrigation system on all the beds. Dory has hand watered Michael’s seedling beds to ensure the proper amount of water to keep them starting well. These seedlings include radishes, beets, turnips, cilantro, kale and Oriental greens.

Upcoming Events:


Heirloom Tomato TastingAn Annual Taste of Summer at the Hoboken Historical Museum – August 30 - 1-5 pm 1301 Hudson Street. Join us for an afternoon of tasting a few dozen varieties of heirloom tomatoes and farm fresh produce will be available as well.

Monday, August 03, 2015

Catalpa Ridge News–Volume 20 No 8–August 3, 2015

Blue Ribbons for Michael !

The Sussex Farm and Horse Show started on Friday and will run to August 9th. Over 900 entries were taken in at the Vegetable Show on Friday and Saturday and almost 100 exhibitors. We are proud to announce that Michael placed 2nd overall in the Open Vegetable Show for his entries that included 22 Blue Ribbons. He also won Best-in-Show for Liliac Sweet Peppers, Chinese 5 Color Hot Peppers, Adirondack Blue Potatoes, and Schimmeig Striped Hollow Heirloom Tomatoes. Though Farmer Rich was a judge, the entries are judged anonymously and there are three judges in all so there is no partiality!




Franklin Greenhouse Report:  The eggplants are producing some nice sized fruits and the hot peppers are also doing well. Some of the hot peppers entered by Michael won Best-In-Show at the Sussex Farm & Horse Show. He also won a few blue ribbons for some of the eggplants he has grown in the greenhouse.


From the Fields: The cucumbers are producing well though the zucchini plants are getting a bit tired. We are debating whether to start more zucchini plants for the fall as we will start running out of time as they need to be in the ground about now. It takes about 2 months from seed. While we have a lot of zukes now the plants are starting to shut down. We have a really nice planting of Trombocino Squash (an Italian Heirloom), sometimes referred to as a Trompetto or Trompette. They look like a trumpet or trombone and taste great. This should fill in between the current crops and the projected ones for October.

The crew spent some time weeding the rows and also performed some general field work such a clipping up the tomatoes & cucumbers on the trellis.

The heirloom tomatoes are finally starting to produce and will be in the delivery tonight. Some of the ones we harvested include: Brandywine, some Black types, and various striped varieties.

Weather Report: After all our complaining of too much rain we are now in a too-dry period and have had to run the irrigation on all of our fields. It is hard to believe that after all the rain that we had it dries out so quickly! These are the true joys of farming – going from too wet to too dry in a manner of weeks! Though we had a few hot/humid days, overall the weather has been nice to work in the fields.


Current 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