Sunday, September 27, 2015

Catalpa Ridge News–Volume 20 No 16–September 29, 2015

Autumn is here !

Autumn arrived on September 23rd with the autumnal equinox at 4:22 am.

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The harvest went very well on Sunday as it was perfect weather. The cooler temperatures are almost hinting at an early frost, though we should be ok for awhile. Most of the warm weather crops are now gone-by and the cold weather crops are enjoying these cooler temperatures.

 

The autumn colors are just starting at the farm, though we are a few weeks off from “peak”.

 

We ventured to Saugerties on Saturday to pick up some new garlic varieties at the annual Garlic Fest. We noticed that the garlic bulb sizes were smaller than in years past and this is similar to what we have this year as well. In speaking with other garlic farmers they all had similar growing conditions with the early dry, then too wet, then too dry. We have Turkish Red in the delivery this week and this was a new variety that we picked up last year. It is a fairly spicy garlic and you should enjoy it.

 

We are trying to merge two fields into one large field. This we have been planning for a number of years and we started on this project this week. The round field will be merged with the main field and the hill will become another contained field. The hill will be ideal for a fruit crop such as blueberries or paw-paws (custard apples).

 

Franklin Greenhouse Report:  We are happy that the eggplant continues to produce even with our shorter days. The seeded greens are up and growing well and will be harvestable within a few weeks. The hot pepper plants also continue do well. There still are about 6-7 different varieties still producing.

 

From the Fields: The sweet peppers are planned on being harvested next week and we may actually have a few more harvests before it gets too cold. It all depends on the weather. The spaghetti squash went well and they are in your delivery this week. We plan on delivering Kabocha squash next week. Other winter squash varieties will include butternut, delicate and acorn.

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Weather Report: It has been dry all week and we anticipate some rain this week as long as the weather reports hold true. We have been irrigating the fall crops and they have responded well. Rain is forecast for Tuesday and Wednesday. This mid-week rain will be perfect. 

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Catalpa Ridge News–Volume 20 No 15–September 21, 2015

Harvest Moon Coming !

The temperatures are trending lower and the fields are not drying out as quickly as they had been. We were fortunate to receive some rain last week and that had helped out tremendously. We are irrigating the back field. The cabbage crop are doing well and almost ready for harvest.

 

We have decided where to plant the garlic for next year and we did spend some time preparing the beds. We first have to remove the plastic, then till up the soil with certain soil amendments and fertilizer then lay down new plastic.

 

Our fallow field was brush-hogged and this field will not be tilled up until the spring for planting.

 

Franklin Greenhouse Report:

 

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Oriental Greens in the Franklin Greenhouse

 

The Oriental greens, Daikon radishes and peppers continue to produce. The rosemary will probably will be harvested in a few weeks and the eggplant production continues to slow down with these cooler temperatures and shorter days. The radishes that were seeded by Michael have sprouted. We hope that they will be ready for harvest by the end of the season.

clip_image002[4]Daikon Radishes in the Franklin Greenhouse

 

From the Fields: The tomato production is down and the zucchini and cucumber plants show just some spotty production and are really at the end of their production cycle. The winter squash harvest is beginning this week with butternut squash. The sweet pepper crop has continued though most of the warm weather crops are now “gone by”. A good tip for peppers is to freeze them for using later. We clean them up by slicing and removing the seeds and then store in the freezer in a ziplock freezer bag into portions we would use for a meal.

 

The potatoes will be harvested in the next week or two and onions are curing in the greenhouse. They will be filtered into the deliveries over the next few weeks.

 

Weather Report: Look for the Harvest Moon (the full moon nearest the September equinox) on the night of September 27th-28th.  This year it is not just any Harvest Moon it is also a “supermoon” that is staging a Blood Moon eclipse (due to the red appearance of the moon during the eclipse). We will have a total eclipse of the moon and it happens to be the closest supermoon of 2015. The total lunar eclipse will be visible in our area after sunset on September 27th. It is also occurring during the Jewish holiday Sukot or the Feast of Tabernacles.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Catalpa Ridge News–Vol 20 No 14–September 15, 2015

Finally some Rain !

We received at least 3.5” of rain at the end of the week. This should end the “drought” conditions. We have been working on an area to plant the garlic for next season. We usually like to plant by the middle of October.

 

The temperatures have stayed seasonably cool both during the day and at night. The rest of the week should again bring low temperatures and may even be too cold in the early am hours. The crew will be wearing their flannel shirts and gloves for sure. We do start about 6:30 am now as it is just too dark at 6:00 to start working in the fields. We don’t want to have to go out with miner’s hats on!!

 

Franklin Greenhouse Report:   

The newly seeded Oriental greens are coming along and the eggplant are starting to slow down on their production. The hot peppers continue to do well. We have 4 beds replanted and another one to be cleaned up and replanted this week. These new plantings include White Hailstone radishes, Oriental greens and Daikon radishes. The basil crop has dropped off both in the greenhouse and in the fields.

From the Fields: We are still able to harvest some tomatoes though the plants are shutting down. The cucumbers are pretty much shut down with only a few plants left producing. This is not unusual as the cooler temperatures and shorter days are the main reason that the hot weather crops start to shut down. The red noodle beans have returned to the harvest with excellent production this year. We have an excellent winter squash harvest this year. The first ones to be delivered will be butternut squash next week. We also have more potatoes coming up in the next week or two.

 

clip_image002The sunchoke (Jerusalem Artichoke) crop looks extra good this year and we plan on starting the harvest in October. They are now in full bloom and this is a sign that they are ready to “choke” up. The sunchoke are native plants to North American and used extensively by Native Americans LONG before the Europeans arrived on the continent. They have a “nutty” flavor  and cooked like potatoes or may be eaten raw. They will not brown during cooking as there is no sugar in them. They are a favorite with diabetics.

Weather Report: Autumn is approaching and some of the trees are starting to show their colors. The color change being earlier than usual is mostly due to the dry conditions along with the cooler temperatures.

clip_image004Dory and the corn harvest

Sunday, September 06, 2015

Catalpa Ridge News–Volume 20 No 13–September 8, 2015

Shorter Days – Cooler Nights !

We had a busy week catching up before Michael left to go back to college. He will still be working at least one day per week for the rest of the harvest year. Lisa and Dory continue to work during the week and on the critical weekends for harvest.

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Farmer Rich harvesting the peppers

Farmer Rich is contemplating where to plant the garlic for next season. In addition to a heavy harvest schedule this weekend we were able to perform some field maintenance during the week. Our cucumber, zucchini and tomato plants are starting to shut down as evidenced by the decreased harvest this week. Though some plants still remain, their production is suffering mostly due to lack of rain. The Jelly Bean Grape tomatoes were doing well and all sites will be receiving them this week. They were the “winner” of the Heirloom Tomato Tasting last weekend!

 

Franklin Greenhouse Report:   

The eggplants are still producing, but like the field crops of cukes and zukes their production is now about half of what it was a week ago. This is due to the shorter days and cooler nights. The eggplant production overall produced much better in the greenhouse this year than any field plantings in the past. Tonight’s harvest of escarole came out of the Franklin greenhouse. This will free up a bed to plant another crop for a late season delivery. This will probably be planted with arugula.

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Escarole in Franklin – just before harvest

 

Coming along are some Oriental greens and Daikon radishes. These were all seeded by Michael about 3 weeks ago.

From the Fields
: We are starting to harvest the winter squash varieties. Some butternut squash, onions and potatoes should be on the agenda for delivery next week. The cool weather crops; chard, kale and cabbage continue to do well. We also have Brussel Sprout plants doing well and we hope to get them into a future delivery. In season’s past we haven’t had good luck with them, but this year we are going to be optimistic that they will produce on schedule.

 

Weather Report: We still haven’t had any rain and it does not look like any in the forecast for the week. The local water utility made homeowner phone calls last week stating that the area reservoirs were less than 50% full and requested all homeowners and businesses cut back on water consumption.