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Archive for August, 2010

week 12 update

Hi all,

The fruit share this week will be gala apples, yellow peaches, and
Ozark plums. I spoke with Ginger this evening and she told me that
Tree-licious Orchards, once again, will be hosting AppleFest on
Sunday, October 10th (Columbus Day Weekend)  to benefit the Children’s
Center at Montclair University.  Beside a wonderful apple picking
experience for the family, there will be face painting, games and
other foods to enjoy.  Ginger will send us a flier soon with more
details but I thought I’d let you know now so you can put it on your

The vegetable share will be:  tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, beets green
beans or edamame, garlic, sweet corn (conventional), melon or
watermelon, choice of cherry tomatoes or ground cherries, tomatillos,
red onions, and choice of an herb.

It is an off week for Havenwood Farm.  Ken mentioned that the turkeys
this year are not doing well and he does not think he will have any
for us for our Thanksgiving dinners.  He will let us know for sure
very soon so that we can make other arrangements.  Meanwhile, the Sept/
October order form for eggs/poultry etc is posted on the Google
Group.  If you haven’t sent yours in yet, be sure to get it in the
mail asap for next week’s delivery.


Starbrite Farm Update #14

Hi Folks,

As predicted we received some much needed rain this past week, a total
of a little more than an inch, that fell mostly as drizzle and light
rain over  four days.  Such a protracted period of precipitation makes
the harvest more challenging, especially for the potatoes, which had
to be dug by hand, without the help of the potato digging machine.
I’m not complaining though, after such a dry summer we’ll take
whatever we can get, and be grateful for it. Now it seems we’re
engulfed in another heat wave, but it should break by Friday and we
get another chance of rain as the high pressure moves in.

We are still picking melons and watermelons, although the peak
production is past. What we have at the moment are mostly smaller
watermelons.  We were unable to harvest many edamame soybeans last
week, so some groups did not get any as promised. If you were one of
those members who did not get soybeans, you will this week. The same
is true for eggplant.

We are bringing in loads of tomatillos at the moment, so start
searching for recipes…  These green (sometimes purple) paper husk
covered members of the tomato family are the main ingredient in salsa
verde, the Mexican condiment.       They are not picante as many
people assume, the heat coming from the chili peppers which are added
to the salsa. Salsa verde is very simple to make just  boil them until
soft, pour off the water,  and put them in a blender with onion, hot
peppers (or not) and salt to taste.

The share for this week will be: tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, beets
green beans or edamame, garlic, sweet corn (conventional), melon or
watermelon, choice of cherry tomatoes or ground cherries, tomatillos,
red onions, and choice of an herb.

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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week 10 update

Hi all,

Sorry for the late notice.  John didn’t send his farm update until
after I went to bed last night.  I chatted with John at the market on
Sunday.  Apparently, the tomatoes and melon crops love this summer’s
heat, but greens are having a hard time.  The vegetable share for this
week will be:  Tomatoes, beets, potatoes, leeks, tomatoes, melons and /
or watermelons, beans, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant (maybe), choice of
cherry tomatoes or ground cherries, choice of an herb and more

Last week’s gigantic fruit share was actually twice the amount we will
normally get.  The peach crop this season has been spectacular and
Ginger wanted to share their bounty with CSA members.  She sent down
20 pounds of peaches each, instead of our usual 10 pounds.  I skinned,
sliced and froze a lot, made a peach pie for my in-laws and will make
another tonight.  Even my neighbors are benefiting from this peach
bonanza.  This week we are back to a regular size delivery and have a
combination of Gingergold apples and yellow peaches.


Starbrite Farm Update #12

Hi Folks,

This will be a brief update, since I am late in writing it. My
computer died last week and after determining that it was not worth
fixing, today I purchased a new one. Between setting it up, learning
my way around a different operating system and getting the farm work
done, it’ been a hectic day.

Greens continue to be scarce and we have run out of lettuce as well.
We’ve been planting more and should have some again in about a month.
Spinach and arugula are up and growing and should be ready about the
same time- in Mid-September.

Meanwhile, tomatoes and melons are ripening rapidly and ground
cherries are falling to the ground profusely. For those of you new to
the CSA, ground cherries are an odd fruit in the solanaceous (tomato)
family closely related to tomatillos, having the same paper husk
around the fruit. They are the size of cherries and they fall off the
plant when ripe so we gather them off the ground, hence the name. They
are very sweet and have a unique nutty pineapple flavor. They are one
of those items that people either love or hate, so we will send them
as a choice with cherry tomatoes.

We had a couple of days of drizzle this past week, which while it was
enough to help some of my recently planted seeds to come up, didn’t do
much for the overall soil moisture  levels. We have a couple of more
chances for rain this week, so hopefully we will receive some more
substantial precipitation.

The share for this week will be:  Tomatoes, beets, potatoes, leeks,
tomatoes, melons and /or watermelons, beans, tomatoes, peppers,
eggplant (maybe), choice of cherry tomatoes or ground cherries, choice
of an herb and more tomatoes.

Farmer John

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week 8 share

Starbrite Farm Update #10

Hello Folks,

We’ve arrived at August, having survived a scorching July, and happy
for the more moderate temperatures we’ve enjoyed over the past week. A
few passing storms have brought us just enough rain to keep the crops
happy and to help germinate the many seeds I’ve sown during the week.

I’ve planted more beans, cucumbers and summer squash for a late
September harvest as well as beets and carrots for October. We have
also begun transplanting the brassica crops for the fall as well.
We’ve been busy in the greenhouse seeding escarole, radicchio and
lettuces to be transplanted out into the field in 2 or 3 weeks. We
have to work in the greenhouse on overcast days or during the early
morning hours before the heat becomes unbearable. We also have to
trick the lettuces into germinating by placing them on a cool concrete
floor in the barn for several days until they begin to emerge. Lettuce
seed has a trait known as heat dormancy by which, if exposed to high
temperatures and moisture it will refuse to germinate under any
circumstances for about a month. We have to watch them carefully
because they will quickly get too leggy if not moved into the light as
soon as they begin to emerge.

It’s not easy being (a) green, especially during a hot summer in New
Jersey.  The spinach and mustard greens are long gone and the kale is
laced with holes courtesy of 2 pests; the flea beetle and the
tarnished plant bug. I have sprayed it twice to try to control them
but they continue to migrate in from the broccoli and cabbage plants
which are finished and waiting to be plowed under. The Swiss chard has
been over-cut and needs time and cooler weather to recover. About the
only greens we have in abundance are the dandelion kind; not a big
favorite (the insects don’t seem to like it much either). We will
continue to send it as an extra for those who like it bitter. I am
planting spinach, arugula, and other mustard greens this week, so we
should start to have greens in the share again in September.

In the meantime, we will have to make do, with the summer crops-
peppers will begin this week, and eggplant the next. Tomatoes will
become more abundant with each passing week. The melon crop is looking
good and some fruit should begin to ripen in the next 2 weeks.

We are still experiencing a dearth of beans, but the pole beans have
begun to flower and the beleaguered bush beans are trying to produce a
second crop, so we should  be back in the bean business soon.

The share for this week will be: Lettuce, tomatoes, peppers, summer
squash, white onions, carrots, red gold potatoes, and choice of an

Farmer John

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