Sunday, July 31, 2016

Catalpa Ridge News–Vol 21 No 8–August 2, 2016


We had a Great Rainy Week


News from the Fields & Farm:  We finally received more than a brief rain. Over 3” fell during the past week over 3 different days and boy did it really perk the plants up!


We started to harvest the Red Wing Onions from the field. They are now in the greenhouse on the racks curing along with some white Cipollini onions and shallots.


We transplanted, lettuces and escarole. The fields did become too wet to work in. The field tomatoes are in great shape and we have started harvesting. The cherry tomatoes are almost ready to harvest.


The fruit is behind due to the late freeze and we hope to be able to get some fruit from a local farm in the near future.



Franklin Greenhouse Report: We are still harvesting tomatoes from the greenhouse and it looks like more eggplant for the next few weeks. We should have sweet & hot peppers next week from the greenhouse. We will have to replant the Oriental Greens as it appears we have a crop loss due to it getting too hot.


Weather report: Rain fell a number of different days this past week. All the field crops are looking much better. This month’s rainfall has surpassed the rain in July 2015, though the temperatures were higher.


Fun Facts about Romaine Lettuce: from: How has Caesar Salad affected the production of Romaine Lettuce?  But for much of the 20th century, romaine wasn’t known at all to many Americans. That’s because of the overwhelming success of iceberg lettuce, which can remain reliably crunchy (though incredibly bland) despite days if not weeks of shipping. As late as the mid-1970s, iceberg lettuce accounted for more than 95 percent of all of the lettuce grown in this country.

Then along came the reborn Caesar salad. Invented in a Tijuana restaurant in the 1920s (which one is a subject of a bitter interfamilial dispute), for decades the Caesar kind of limped along in all of its garlicky glory as a California specialty.

Then, all of a sudden, in the late 1970s it was “discovered” by the fast-food industry, often topped with very untraditional grilled chicken, and there followed a couple of decades of extremely heady popularity.
From almost nothing, by the mid ’90s, more than 16,000 acres of romaine was being grown. By 2000 that had increased to more than 60,000 acres and today it stands at more than 80,000.


Sunday, July 24, 2016

Catalpa Ridge News–Volume 21 No 7–July 26, 2016

Brief Reprieve

News from the Fields & Farm:  We received some rain last Monday/Tuesday which has provided a brief reprieve to the dry conditions. It is amazing how a little rain can “fluff” everything up. 


The crew worked in the field at the end of the week and clipped up the tomato plants to keep them off the ground. They also cleaned up some of the beds. The arugula and turnip transplants started in the greenhouse were planted into the main field.


We started harvesting the potatoes (Adirondack Blues and Red Norland). We will start to deliver them over the next few weeks.  


We are starting early in the am so that we can accomplish a lot before it gets too hot. The heat and humidity were especially brutal this past week.



Franklin Greenhouse Report: The Oriental greens are almost ready to harvest, we hope for next week. Almost all the tomatoes in this week’s delivery are from the Franklin greenhouse and the field tomatoes are just starting to be harvested. The cherry tomatoes are running late but we hope they will be abundant (it sure looks like they will be).



Weather report: As mentioned earlier we finally received some rain. Less than 2 miles down the road at Diane’s farm no rain fell. We were lucky the receive that rain and hope for more this week. The irrigation system still remains in full swing.  



clip_image002[5]The Sussex Farm & Horse Show – NJ State Fair is approaching fast! Farmer Rich will be a judge at the Open Vegetable Show again this year and Farmer Sue is on the Vegetable Committee and runs the computer for the Veggie Show to record the exhibits, exhibitors and results. It is always a fun time especially when the kids bring in their exhibits. Everyone gets a ribbon! It is a great day out and there are plenty of things to see and do. It is also a great time for the kids. Go online to see events at: .


Upcoming Events:  

New Jersey State Fair/Sussex Farm & Horse ShowAugust 5 – AUGUST 14, 2016 - 37 Plains Road, Augusta, NJ.
Friday, August 5 – Saturday, August 13 — 10 am – 10 pm
Sunday, August 14 — 10 am – 5 pm



Heirloom Tomato TastingAn Annual Taste of Summer at the Hoboken Historical Museum – August 28 - 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, July 17, 2016

Catalpa Ridge News–Volume 21 No 6–July 19, 2016

Dry-Dry-Dry (again)

News from the Fields & Farm:  We spent a lot of the week weeding the beds in the all the fields (main, back and round fields). The newly seeded beans are up and the newly seeded squash are a bit spotty and we will replace those that didn’t germinate.


The Heirloom tomatoes from the fields are almost ready to harvest. They are probably a few weeks away. We have a lot of cherry tomatoes this year.


The zucchini are producing nicely and the second planting is almost ready. We also have a third planting coming along.


Our seedings from last week should be going into the field in about week. The first stage of seeding is in flats (as pictured below). Once they are up we then transplant into cells so that the individual plants can establish good roots. Then they are planted into the field rows. All in all this takes about 3 weeks, then depending on variety another 5-8 weeks until harvest. We continue this rotation throughout the season to maintain a continuous harvest!

Our winter squash field is doing well and we do hope to get some good rain for them to continue to grow and produce flowers so we have some great winter squash in a few months.


Seeded flats – another week and the plants will go into the fields

Franklin Greenhouse Report: We continue to harvest some tomatoes form the greenhouse and are happy with the progress of the eggplant, radishes, peppers and Oriental greens. All the seeded beds are up and growing. 


80’ row of eggplant


Weather report: This week we were back to dry weather with no rain. The heat & humidity returned. We have our irrigation system in full swing. So far this month about 1” of rain has fallen at the farm. Historically, the Sussex weather station received over 6” of rain in July 2013, 3 ½” in July 2014, and 2” in July 2015. The two reservoirs we pass on Route 23 South are both very low and that reconfirms our dry-dry-dry weather.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Catalpa Ridge News Volume 21 No 5 - July 12, 2015

Finally, some Rain
The rain finally came during the week. Just a trace on Thursday evening then a good storm moved through on Saturday night. Though we had to work in the mud, the rain was very welcome.

News from the Fields & Farm:  We finished the garlic harvest and the garlic is in the upper greenhouse curing. We have started to deliver some of the newly harvested garlic and this week’s variety is Brown Tempest. This variety we have grown for many years and is very popular during our tasting events.

This week we stayed busy replanting the beds. Previous to the rain we had super-hot/humid weather. We do start early in the morning so that we can get the bulk of the field work done before it gets too hot to work.

The crew also has been busy weeding the beds to keep ahead of them taking over. We reseeded over 100 flats of veggies for future planting in the fields. This included lettuce, broccoli, escarole, beets, turnips, kohlrabi, cucumbers, Chinese cabbage. Once these flats are up and growing we move them in the beds in the field. This usually takes about three weeks.

We seeded in the beds, two varieties of beans and Oriental greens. We should have some nice baby greens next week from the previous planting.

The winter squash appear a bit spotty, probably due to it being too dry for a few weeks. We’ll give them another week and if they don’t turn around replanting is in order.

The zucchini are slowly producing as we mentioned last week. With the rain they should start taking off.

We have seeded additional golden beets in the field and the red beets should be ready to harvest in two weeks.

Fawn in the main field was found sleeping in the garlic.

Franklin Greenhouse Report: The newly seeded Oriental greens and radishes are doing really well. The pepper crop is almost ready to harvest and we hope that next week we can start delivering them. We hope the eggplant will be ready in 1-2 weeks. This is a bit later than last year but the plants do look like they will be really productive. The greenhouse tomatoes also are coming along nicely.

Weather report: Additional rain fell on Saturday evening, we received about 1”. The crops definitely perked up with this rain. While we were irrigating, they really need a good “soakin’ kind of rain.”  There were a number of severe thunderstorm warnings issued late in the day on Saturday with a chance of hail. Luckily no hail with this storm at the farm.

Sunday, July 03, 2016

Catalpa Ridge News–Volume 21 No. 4–July 5, 2016

Happy 4th of July

clip_image002We hope that you all had a very Happy 4th of July.


The 4th always signals the start of summer and what a beautiful day it was.


News from the Fields & Farm:  We started the garlic harvest and have 4 rows out and another 2 rows to go this week. We will try to get some fresh garlic into next week’s delivery as we do like it to start curing to set in the flavors.



In the garlic beds we transplanted cantaloupe and sweet peppers and seeded more zucchini and winter squash. Also additional herbs were transplanted; winter savory, parsley and oregano.


The pea plants are now shut down due to the hot weather. We were hoping that the additional irrigation would have given us another week of harvest but the plants just seemed to collapse overnight. There were quite a few hot-hot days in a row and the plants just didn’t like it. The fava beans were also harvested this week and we will be seeding fava greens for late summer/early autumn delivery.


We just started seeing that some of the zucchini were ready to harvest and they are coming in slowly as you will only be receiving one this week. They notoriously increase their production rapidly as you will see over the next month. We have many different varieties seeded so at least when they are at their peak you will be receiving different kinds (light green, dark green, yellow, golden, heirlooms etc).


Franklin Greenhouse Report: The newly seeded crops from last week are all coming up nicely. The eggplants and peppers continue to look great and they should start to be harvested over the next two weeks. More tomatoes are ripening up and this will increase the harvest each week.  


Weather report: We finally received some rain on Friday evening. Just about ½” fell and this definitely did help out the field crops. There were severe thunderstorm warning in the area with threat of tornadoes and hail. Fortunately, that severe cell didn’t approach the farm. Additional rainfall is forecast for late in the week.