Posts Feed
Comments Feed

Archive for October 19th, 2010

week 19 update

Hi all,
We are beginning to plan for our end-of-the-season, potluck get-
together.  According to our tradition, the potluck will be at Sabina’s
house (189 Park Street) on the last regular delivery (that’s November
23rd, the Tuesday before Thanksgiving) probably between 4-7 pm or
there abouts.  Please try to stop by and say hi to our farmers and
tell them what you thought of this season.
Tomorrow is a trifecta.  All three farms will be delivering, so be
sure to check the Havenwood Farm coolers if you think you may have
ordered eggs or broilers.
I spoke with Ginger at the farmer’s market last Saturday and explained
that, while CSA members understand many things affect crops from year
to year, including weather, pests, and wild animals, several members
have complained to me that they are missing pears and wished that the
fruit share had more variety in general.  She promised us pears in our
shares in the next few weeks.  Meanwhile, please read the Treelicious
Orchard farm update from Ginger below to catch up on some of the
issues facing the farm this year, and to hear about their plans for
special pie and cider orders. The fruit share this week will be a mix
of Mutzu and Macoun apples.
Ginger and I also spoke about the extra deliveries for those members
who took weeks off from the fruit share for vacation.  We proposed
that we designate the first two weeks of November as “vacation make-up
weeks.”  Ginger will deliver an extra share to those members who are
owed shares.  I asked her to send me a list of the member’s names who
took weeks off and number of weeks.  As soon as she puts the list
together I will forward it to you. Ginger asked that if someone thinks
their name should be on the list but doesn’t see it, or if the number
of weeks seem wrong, to let us know.  She wants to make sure everyone
gets all their fruit.
This week’s vegetable share will be Red or green leaf lettuce, choice
of escarole or endive, parsnips, red onions, Jersey sweet potatoes,
acorn squash, choice of spinach or Swiss chard, cauliflower or kale,
bok choi and choice of an herb (mostly parsley).   Also look for hot
peppers, edamame and flageolet beans as extras.
Lastly, sorry I missed sending out last week’s farm update from John.
My work week begins on Tuesdays so if he doesn’t get it to me before
then I have a hard time sending it out before the delivery. I’ve
included it at the bottom, below this week’s farm update.
Treelicious Orchards Farm Update
Dear Fruit CSA Members:
We have packed a delicious medly of Mutzu and Macoun appleis into each
box  for this week. Both are sweet – but we recommend the Mutzu for
not only eating but also the very best baked apples.  Enjoy!  We will
select two other varieties next week fresh from our trees for you .
It has come to our attention that several of our fruit members are
disappointed to not receive pears in the distribution to date.
Regretfully, our pear crop is extremely small this year due to the
natural cycle of the pear trees.  While we predict we will have many
pears next year – exactly opposite of this year’s crop – we are
seeking another family orchard to provide pears to us for distribution
to our fruit members.   We will provide later season pears to our
membership in the mixture of fruits in a future week.  We regret any
inconvenience and disappointment the pear crop may cause this year to
our membership, but we hope collectively that our members will
understand that growing fruit is different than other productive
activities as the crop varies significantly from year to year.
Overall, we have plenty of beautiful apples and other fall vegetables
available this season.
As we plan for the holiday season, please look for our pie order form
in your delivery next week. Our apple pies are made from fresh
ingredients, including our fresh apples. Continuing our annual
tradition, a special delivery of fresh pies based on orders placed in
advance willl be made to Montclair on Tuesday, November 23rd from 5pm
to 8pm at the Walnut Street Train Station Parking Lot.  Please stop by
the Farmers Market on Saturdays to say hi or sample one of the apples
grown at our orchard.
We sincerely thank you for your support of our Annual Apple Festival
at our farm on October 10th  The group had a fun day in the warm
sunshine overlooking the orchard – all in support of the school.  We
appreciate the opportunity to introduce many new families to our
orchard.  Thank you!
The Kesler Family
Starbrite Farm Update #22
Hi Folks,
I hope you are all enjoying the beautiful fall weather.  There is no
rain in the forecast this week, at least for the moment. This is good
news, since the ground is quite saturated. In general this is not much
of a problem, but I do have one field that stays wet, and part of it
is planted with turnips, radishes, and various mustards.  We have
tried to cultivate these crops several times during the past 2 weeks,
but the tractor bogs down and sinks into the mud. All we can do is
lift the implements and race for the edge, so we don’t get stuck in
the mud!
We also still have about a half an acre of potatoes to dig which will
be much easier if the ground has a chance to dry a bit. I have
finished sowing seed for crops for this season, but there are many
acres of field that need to be planted in cover crop. We sow winter
rye and hairy vetch to improve the soils and protect them from
erosion. The vetch is a legume which fixes nitrogen and improves the
soil fertility.
We are still waiting for the next broccoli crop to do it’s thing, but
we have begun cutting cauliflower. There won’t be enough for all
groups this week, so some of you will get kale and should see the
cauliflower next week. We will be sending sweet potatoes again this
week, this time a white variety called a Jersey sweet. This type is a
bit drier than the orange variety but quite delicious; I sampled them
last night for dinner. We are in the process of trying to cure the
sweet potato crop so that they will store better. This requires
keeping them at a temperature between 85 and 90 degrees for about a
week. I have never been able to accomplish this in the past, but this
year we have turned a recently constructed cooler into a hot box using
some electric heaters.
We have a tremendous crop of these scrumptious and nutritious tubers;
now the trick will be to store them for distribution during the
remainder of the season. We have also begun digging the parsnips, so
they will make their first appearance in the root category in this
week’s shares.
The share for this week will be: Red or green leaf lettuce, choice of
escarole or endive, parsnips, red onions, Jersey sweet potatoes, acorn
squash, choice of spinach or Swiss chard, cauliflower or kale, bok
choi and choice of an herb (mostly parsley).   Also look for hot
peppers, edamame and flageolet beans as extras.
Farmer John
Starbrite Farm update #20 (belated)
Hi Folks,
We had our first frost this past Saturday night. As warm as it has
been, I was hoping we would get a couple more weeks from the warm
weather crops. The old saying “you can’t always get what you want” is
especially true in farming. I was, as frequently happens, taken by
surprise by it, as it wasn’t forecast until Saturday.  I might have
tried to cover a few crops, but by the time I learned of its
imminence, the workers had already gone home. Gone are the beans and
the basil, the peppers and eggplant, and the zucchini.  The cold also
blackened the leaves of the sweet potatoes, but that’s good news,
because now we have begun to dig them, and hopefully, soon so will
you! So far the harvest looks great, with good size and quality and
overall yield. I pulled a few out of the ground last night and baked
them for dinner; they were quite yummy.
We are still waiting for the next round of broccoli to head up, which
should happen in the next week or two.  In the meantime, we have some
Napa or Chinese cabbage and some Bok choi to offer in this week’s
share. Some groups will get the cabbage this week and others the Bok
choi, next week the contrary. Both white and yellow cauliflowers are
beginning to head as well, so look for these in the share’s soon.
We will give the spinach a rest this week and allow it to get a little
bigger, ditto for the chard and the kale. We had been thinning out the
rows of spinach as we harvest; pulling the largest plants and leaving
the smaller ones with more space to grow. I planted the spinach at the
back of one of my fields, because in my experience it was not eaten by
ground hogs or deer. Unfortunately, with fewer of their favorites
available to them, the deer seem to have acquired a taste for it. They
did a fair amount of damage before we were able to get it fenced in.
We have now had to put a fence around a second planting, which I
thought was still too small for them to bother with; wrong again!
The lettuce for this week will be an old variety called Forellensclus,
which means something like trout back in German. It is a romaine type
with red speckling, hence the name. I mention it mostly because to the
un-initiated it can appear to be going bad, but it is a very nice
lettuce with a dense head, full of many tender leaves.
The squash of the week will be spaghetti. I was planning on sending
acorn, but it appears that the spaghetti squash is not keeping very
well. This is not typical for winter squash as most keep for months. I
recommend that you use it promptly, or at least keep an eye on it, so
that it doesn’t spoil before you get to it.
We also have a choice of edamame soybeans or flageolet beans in this
week’s share. The latter are the traditional ingredient in the French
dish casoulet. They are shell beans and can be used in any dish
calling for lima beans or added to soups. They look just like green
beans, but you will be very disappointed if you try to prepare them as
Don’t forget about the Farm visit, this Sunday at Circle Brook Farm
141 Brighton Rd., Andover, NJ, 07821 11 AM to 4PM  This will be a
simple event, an opportunity  for those who have wanted to visit the
farm and haven’t had the chance, to see how their food grows.  The
weather forecast looks good!
The share for this week will be: Forellenschlus lettuce, sweet
potatoes, Bok choi or Napa cabbage, choice of edamame or flageolet
beans, yellow onions, spaghetti squash, beets, choice of arugula or
tatsoi and choice of an herb.
Farmer John

Comments Off on week 19 update