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Archive for September, 2010

week 16 update

Howdy Folks,

Summer has officially ended and with it go the warm weather crops.
The tomatoes are definitely over for the season; the peppers should
continue producing for a few more weeks. The eggplants are full of
small fruit but they are sizing up very slowly. We will give them a
rest this week in hopes of getting one more large harvest of medium
size fruit for next week. The late summer squash planting peaked last
week and production will begin to decline rapidly. Many of the plants
already have powdery mildew issues and with wet weather coming will
probably fade quickly. We still have a good supply for the shares this
week.

We have a good winter squash crop which we are in the process of
harvesting. Next week we will begin the rotation of the various
varieties of winter squash; from acorn to spaghetti, which will take
us to the end of the season.  The first large broccoli planting is
heading up nicely and we should have sufficient quantities for
everyone this week. If we run short we will substitute kale and ship
broccoli to those groups next week.    We have put in nearly 10,000
plants so expect broccoli frequently during the remainder of the
season.  There are also thousands of cauliflower and cabbage plant
which will begin to mature during October. I expect to have lettuce in
the shares again by next week. We have some spinach which is large
enough to pick, principally a red stemmed variety. We need to harvest
this type first because it is more prone to bolting and also because
the deer have decided that they like it!

I just returned from the Garlic Festival in Saugerties NY where I went
in search of seed garlic for next year’s crop.  Garlic is grown from
individual cloves which we plant in late October.  It will begin to
grow some roots and then emerge in early spring as soon as the ground
thaws. Seed garlic is rather scarce at present and prices are high,
due to both increased demand for the richly flavored stiffneck
varieties as well as a recently discovered nematode problem in NY
State. Nematodes are microscopic worm -like creatures that attack the
roots of the plant and are spread on infected bulbs. One bulb can
contain as many as 50,000 organisms! This is a serious problem which
also affects onion crops, so those who have the problem have had their
crops quarantined. For many others testing is necessary to insure the
absence of these critters and prevent the spread of the plague.

Since I never seem to have as much garlic as I would like (or as you
would like!) to put in the shares, I was anxious to obtain a
substantial quantity for next season. I came back with my Subaru
loaded down with nearly 600 lbs. of several varieties that I am fairly
confidant do not harbor the pest. I spent $4000 on this haul.

Farming is like that, we are always reinvesting the profits in the
next crop or the next season. I look on it as money in the bank, only
a bank without FDIC insurance and that is subject to frequent
robberies!

The share for this week will be: Red skinned potatoes, yellow onions,
spinach or chard, summer squash, broccoli, string beans, peppers,
carrots, choice of arugula, tatsoi or other mustard greens, and choice
of an herb.

Enjoy!
Farmer John

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week 15 update

Farm Update #17

Hello Everyone,

We received a bit more rain this past week from the storm that passed
through on Thursday. It wasn’t much, perhaps a quarter of an inch,
nothing like the downpour experienced in the eastern part of the state
and NYC. Fortunately we were also spared the high winds and hail that
accompanied the storm in these areas. We are still a little on the dry
side, but the fall crops look great and the most recent planting are
germinating nicely. The final summer squash patch is producing
abundantly, so expect lots of zucchini and summer squash for the next
few weeks. The beans too, are beginning to bear prolifically, although
they are a bit slower to size up now, as the days get shorter and the
nights cooler.  There weren’t enough to go around last week, so some
groups did not receive them.  Those who did got only a half pound. We
will try to compensate for the inequity this week, by sending larger
quantities to those who were skipped last week. Eggplant production
remains slow, so we are still in an every other week rotation. The
tomato harvest has slowed to a trickle; we will try to include a few
in the shares, but I can’t make any promises.

We have the wonderful Hakurei salad turnips available once again.
Remember that the tops are a good cooking green or can even be added
raw to salads.  The turnips can be cooked or eaten raw. Both the
greens and the roots are of better quality in the fall than those of
the early summer harvest.  The Swiss chard is absolutely gorgeous
right now and we will have spinach in the next week or two. The first
large planting of fall broccoli should be starting to head up soon, so
it should be in the shares within 2 weeks. The first of the fall
lettuce crop is also still about 2 weeks away from being ready.  Since
it’s been so many weeks without lettuce, I decided to buy some from
another local organic grower. Besides the corn, this will likely be
the only veggie not grown on the farm to be included in the share.

The share for this week will be: Boston lettuce, salad turnips, beans,
peppers, Swiss chard, fingerling potatoes, garlic, summer squash,
tomatoes?, eggplant?, and choice of an
herb.

Enjoy!
Farmer John

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week 14 update

Hi all,

Apparently last week’s fruit was gala and regular macintosh apples.
Did anyone notice?  My pallet couldn’t distinguish, but Ginger, our
true fruit connoisseur, explained that Macintoshes are a more tart
than Britemac’s and therefore better for baking.   All I know is that
they all taste good.  Anyway, this weeks fruit share will be gala and
britemac’s.  I’ve got one lone Macintosh leftover from last week so
I’m planning to set up a blind taste test this afternoon.  Macoons
will be ready (weather permitting) next week.

The cooler air and rain is making John down right cheerful.  Imagine
that.  A happy farmer.  Almost a oxymoron. The vegetable share this
week will be: Summer squash, beans, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant,
shallots, white potatoes, radishes, celery, choice of arugula, tatsoi,
or other mustard greens and choice of an herb.    See his farm update
below.

Also, don’t forget to mark you calendars to visit our farms on Sunday,
October 10th (Columbus Day weekend).  Both Treelicious and Starbrite
Farms are hosting farm visits that day.  John says the two farms are
about 1/2 hour away from each other, so one could easily stop by both
and make quite a day of it.  More details to follow soon.

No Havenwood Farm delivery today.  I’ve got to remember to send in my
order form for September and October.   I remind you all and then
forget myself.  Ah well.

Best,
Enid

*********************************************************************************
Starbrite Farm Update #16

Hello Folks,

We had some light rain and drizzle here at the farm this past Sunday.
I don’t think it amounted to even a ¼ inch of precipitation. It will
help to germinate some of the recently planted seeds and will also
help the lettuce and some other newly transplanted broccoli and
kohlrabi starts. It really only wet the top 3 or 4 inches of soil and
was a lot less than what I had hoped for and what we really need.  I
guess we’ll be moving the sprinklers around a lot in the days to come
since currently there is no rain in the forecast for the next 10 days.

We will be sending celery in the shares this week.  This has once
again been a disappointing crop for us- growing slowly and never
really achieving good size.  I have dreams  of someday soon gaining
access to some of the black dirt or muck soils that we have nearby; I
am told that celery grows beautifully in this ground as do many crops.
It is rather unfortunate that these fields are used largely for sod
production and an inch or two of this rich soil is removed with each
harvest. The celery will be stronger in flavor that what you are used
to from the grocers, with only a few of the inner stalks being mild
and tender enough to be used in salads. The outer stalks are best used
cooked in soups or stir fries.

The tomato production has slowed way down, with mostly plum tomatoes
and heirlooms left with green fruit and a healthy plant. Despite the
dry weather and my efforts to control the blight, disease has once
again taken a heavy toll on the crop. We should still have some
tomatoes in the shares for the next few weeks, just not the large
quantities you have seen over the past 3 weeks.  The third planting of
summer squash is coming on strong despite grazing damage from the
deer.  I expect sufficient quantities for all groups this week and
larger amounts per share next week.  We are back in the bean business
as well, with green and wax beans in small quantities this week and
larger amounts over the next several weeks. We also have another
planting of edamame and some casoulet beans that will be ready in
about 3 weeks. The lettuce is beginning to grow nicely in the cooler
temperatures and we should see it in the shares again soon.

The share for this week will be: Summer squash, beans, tomatoes,
peppers, eggplant, shallots, white potatoes, radishes, celery, choice
of arugula, tatsoi, or other mustard greens and choice of an herb.

Enjoy!
Farmer John

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week 13 update

Hi all,

Havenwood Farm delivers today.  Yum.

In a nod to Rosh Hashana and first day back at school for some of you,
today’s fruit share will be apples: Gala and Britemac.

The vegetable share for this week will be:  Tomatoes, peppers,
eggplant (maybe), red potatoes, yellow onions, carrots, string beans
or edamames, ground cherries or cherry tomatoes, arugula or mustard
greens and choice of an herb.

Best,
Enid

*****************************************************
Starbrite Farm Update #15

Hi Everyone,

I hope you had a pleasant Labor Day weekend.  There’s no 3 day weekend
here at the farm of course, we’ve got to harvest your food!  For my
workers and I, today was just another day of labor. Besides
harvesting, the major project for Monday was to finish erecting a
temporary fence around 4 acres of field to keep the deer from
destroying the pumpkin and winter squash crop.  The vines are
beginning to die back and there are only a few more weeks before the
harvest, but the deer have already done a lot of damage.  We need to
protect it until it matures and we have a chance to bring it in out of
the field.

We are back in the greens business again, this week we have arugula or
other mustard greens, next week there will be tatsoi. A second
planting of chard is coming on and the first planting has been
renovated and is beginning to grow nicely again.  We should have
spinach and kale in 2 or 3 weeks.     Unfortunately lettuce is still a
few weeks away, but once it begins again we should have a steady
supply until the end of the season.   I haven’t griped about the
weather yet; a mandatory part of these updates, but I’ll keep it
brief.  It’s been beautiful of course, but very dry; we really need
some rain and there’s none in
sight.

Beans are a bit scarce at the moment, as we wait for the next planting
to start producing, which should be next week as they are flowering
heavily. The Rattlesnake beans have been almost completely defoliated
by the bean beetle, despite the release of thousand of parasitic
wasps.  The guys from the state insect lab have been making frequent
visits to scout and release the wasps to try to at least reduce the
population that will overwinter.  In the mean time I have to tolerate
the devastation.   Zucchini and summer squash will be making their
reprise soon, possibly by next week.  I’m sorry to say that the melons
are done, but at least we had a fairly good run.   Eggplant production
is still slow, so it’s a maybe for this week, if you got it last week,
a probably not.

The share for this week will be:  Tomatoes, peppers, eggplant (maybe),
red potatoes, yellow onions, carrots, string beans or edamames, ground
cherries or cherry tomatoes, arugula or mustard greens and choice of
an herb.

Enjoy!
Farmer John

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