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the first delivery is almost here!

We’re all gearing up for the first delivery of the season, and I for one can’t wait! Starting next Tuesday, it’ll be all about the veggies!  And just in time for the season, NPR has a great piece on what to do with a farm share box/CSA that’s well worth the read–and also features some delicious looking recipes!

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winter stock up note

Hi all,

Some members were confused by John’s mention in yesterday’s farm
update of the “2 week extension”.  This year, Bloomfield-Montclair CSA
changed it’s regular season from 22 weeks to 24 weeks, so our final
delivery is Tuesday, Nov 23rd.  The cost of your CSA membership
includes the deliveries for the two extra weeks.  John’s other CSA’s
run only 22-week seasons so yesterday was their final regular
delivery. John is offering them an optional two week extension.

In addition, John is offering an “end of season stock up share” to all
his CSA’s, including the Bloomfield-Montclair CSA.  This “stock up
share” is a single delivery which that will arrive on the Tuesday
following Thanksgiving (November 30th.)  Our regular CSA membership
does not include the cost of this stock up delivery and it is
completely optional.

We will have sign up sheets at both sites and a jar for you to leave
your check ($60 made out to Starbrite Farm) if you would like to
receive the stock up share.  The delivery will be on Tuesday, November
30th and pick up will be during regular hours.  John pre-assembles
these stock up shares and brings them down in boxes, so while we do
not need a set up or clean up crew, we doneed to give him a head count
in about two weeks.  It winds up being quite a large share so, if you
are interested, is it quite a good deal.

Looking forward to seeing everyone at the end-of-season potluck on the




For those groups who have enrolled for a 24 week season we will be
offering one additional share to be delivered during the week of
November 28th.  This will be a “stock up” share and will include
various vegetables that store well, so that you will be able to enjoy
produce from the farm well into the winter months. The total weight of
this share will be between 50 and 60 lbs.

We have had an excellent crop of winter squash and approximately half
of the share will be an assortment of butternut, acorn, buttercup
(kabocha), delicata, and sweet dumpling squash. The share will also
include an assortment of root vegetables such as carrots, beets,
parsnips, turnips, and radishes. I expect that the root crops will
comprise about 10-15 lbs. of the share. We did not have a great potato
harvest this season and the onion crop has not kept well, however I
have made arrangements to buy some organic potatoes and onions from a
farm in NY State. I generally do not buy produce to put into any
share, but I feel it is necessary to make the stock up work, and I
don’t want to hold back these items from the regular season shares to
save them for the stock up. There will be 10-12 lbs. of potatoes and
onions in the share.

Also included will be cabbage, and whatever greens we still have in
the field at this time, such as arugula or other mustards, lettuce and
spinach. It is possible that there will be broccoli, cauliflower, or
Brussels sprouts, but I cannot guarantee their availability at this

The potatoes, onions and squash can be stored in a cool dry place such
as an attached garage or enclosed porch, where they will not freeze.
The root vegetables and cabbage will best be stored in your

The cost of this final share will be $60, which is an excellent value,
equivalent to a wholesale price for the produce included.  I know that
this final share will not work for everyone, but I hope that many of
you will be able to participate. Doing so will help me to disperse the
produce that we have in storage, as well as utilize what remains in
the fields, and to finish the season with a small amount of profit. As
always, I thank you for your support and patronage.

Farmer John

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week 11 update

Hello Everyone,

It’s been a dry summer and we’ve been waiting and hoping for some
rain. Many of the scattered storms that have been about have missed us
and we finally had to hand water most of the recently transplanted
lettuces last week or risk losing many of them. Now it seems we’re
headed into a rainy stretch for the first half of this week. Rain is
of course critical for the crops, but it can be a mixed blessing.

Long periods of damp and overcast conditions accelerates the spread of
diseases in the tomatoes and in other crops as well. These conditions
also make the harvesting more of a challenge.  The flood of tomatoes
we’ve seen over the past 2 weeks is beginning to ebb, as most of the
early varieties have produced their crop and succumbed to disease. We
are bringing in a lot more plum tomatoes now, there are still
heirlooms that will continue to produce and we are still picking lots
of the cherries.

The melon bonanza is also starting to slow, but we will still have
them in the shares for  the next couple of weeks. Eggplant production
continues to be slow, so we will probably be in the every other week
rotation for a while. The first planting of edamame soybeans is ready,
so we will be harvesting the 60 or 70% that the groundhogs have not
destroyed as weather permits this week. We will likely offer them as a
choice with the string beans.

We have been busy transplanting lots of broccoli, cabbage and
cauliflower over the past couple of weeks. I have also seeded many
other fall crops, such as spinach, turnips, broccoli raab, arugula,
and other mustard greens. I will be continuing to make successive
planting of these crops over the next month, until about the third
week in September, in order to provide you with ample quantities of
greens during the second half of the season.

The share for this week will be: Potatoes, white onions, tomatoes,
string beans or edamames, peppers, savoy cabbage, carrots, melons or
watermelons, choice of ground cherries or cherry tomatoes, and choice
of an herb.

Farmer John

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Farm update #21, week 19, October 20th delivery

We have only four more weeks of vegetable deliveries, including this
week’s, during our regular season. The vegetable share for this week
will be: Boston lettuce, peppers, white potatoes, red onions, choice
of arugula or tatsoi, butternut squash, baby white salad turnips, and
choice of an herb.  John should let us know soon what the extra winter
share should look like (how many weeks, what types of vegetables, and
what it will cost) so members can decide if they would like to sign

This is the 12th and sadly, final fruit share delivery. The fruit
share for this week will be Empire apples and Bosc pears.

Hi Folks,

We have gone very quickly from our first frost to our first snowfall,
with about a half an inch of heavy wet snow blanketed the farm this
past Thursday. While there was no concern about damage to the
remaining crops from the snow by virtue of the temperature, I was a
bit worried about damage to some plants, especially the lettuces from
the weight of the snow and its potential to break off leaves and
branches. Fortunately this did not occur and we were spared a second
round of snow that was predicted for Sunday.

With warmer temperatures expected this week I expect that many of the
crops that have been growing very slowly will have a chance to size up
this week. The broccoli is still heading up rather sporadically, so
although I had promised broccoli in the shares this week, it seems we
will have to wait one more week. We have harvested what was left of
the peppers in the field before they could be damaged by the frosts.
We will be distributing them over the next 2 weeks provided they are
holding up. We also have hot peppers which we will be sending as an

The share for this week will be: Boston lettuce, peppers, white
potatoes, red onions, choice of arugula or tatsoi, butternut squash,
baby white salad turnips, and choice of an herb.

Farmer John

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Farm update #20, week 18, October 13th delivery

Hello Everyone,

We had our first frost of the season this past Saturday night. I must confess that it caught me by surprise. I had last checked the weather websites on Friday and they were calling for a low of 37 degrees, giving a safe margin of error. I was expecting a frost this Tuesday and was planning to cover a few crops and do some final harvesting on others. It was a bit of a shock to see the fields blanketed in white when I awoke at dawn on Sunday to head off to market. It was a very light frost but it burned the beans and the peppers slightly and finished off the winter squash vines that were still growing. It was repeated again on Sunday night and I expect we will have frost again on Tuesday, and apparently there is a possibility of snow flurries this Thursday evening.

I had been hoping for a mild fall with no frost until late October, but we just don’t seem to be catching any breaks this season. It really isn’t a major catastrophe except for the fact that I’ve been promising beans for the past 3 weeks and now there won’t be much of a crop. We are attempting to harvest the few beans on each plant that have achieved reasonable size, but it is a painfully slow process. Hopefully we can pick enough for a small share for everyone and I can guarantee they will be the thinnest beans you have ever seen.

The sweet potatoes on the other hand are mostly quite large, with one monster weighing in at 5.25 lbs. As previously mentioned broccoli is beginning to head up, but unfortunately not in sufficient quantities for distribution this week.

The share for this week will be: Sweet potatoes, Choice of green leaf lettuce or endive, yellow onions, mustard greens, carnival squash (similar to acorn), red potatoes, choice of string beans or edamame, peppers, radishes, and choice of an herb.The fruit share will be fuji apples and bartlett pears.


Farmer John

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