Posts Feed
Comments Feed

Archive for November, 2010

week 24 update

Hello Folks, I know it’s hard saying goodbye, especially to your fresh vegetables, but we have reached
the end of the season. We are in the process of making one final push to glean what we can from what
is left in the fields. Many of the greens are very small at this point. The spinach has been ravaged by the
deer, despite our attempts to maintain the fence in place. There is very little for them to eat at present
and the spinach, which they normally won’t bother with, is just too tempting and they find ways to get
in. It is too small to bunch so we are harvesting it loose and will distribute what we have by weight.
The lettuces too are rather tiny, so we will be sending 3 or 4 of them per share. We have only a few
onions left and many of them have soft centers and we have a very small amount of shallots. We are
making up small bags with an assortment- a red onion, a few small yellow onions and a few shallots. We
will be sending the culls as an extra; they will require a little more work and there will be some loss, but
there is still plenty of good eating to the larger ones. We are harvesting the Brussels sprouts, a very time
consuming task because we must trim them from the stalk. It would be easier if we could ship the entire
plant, but some have many sprouts and others only a few. For squash we have a large gray kabocha
type called Sweet Mama. These make excellent pies, cakes or soups. We will also be including some
butternut squash. We have some very nice red-skinned turnips for your holiday table. We still have
a small amount of sweet potatoes left, so we will send what we can. We have a lot of very small ones
which will be best used by boiling and eating whole with the skins.

Thank you all for your participation and support this season and a special thanks to core group
members and site hosts who work so hard to bring it all together. I wish all a Happy Holiday season and
a healthy winter.

The share for this week will be: Lettuce, choice of broccoli or
cauliflower, carrots, turnips, choice of arugula or mustard greens,
spinach, Brussels sprouts, parsnips, onions, potatoes, kabocha and
butternut squash.
Happy Thanksgiving!
Farmer John

Comments Off on week 24 update

week 23 update

Hi all,

Today is our second to last vegetable and fruit delivery.  :-(  Ken is
delivering eggs, etc today and will continue to do so every other
Tuesday for those who preorder from him directly.

We will have sign up sheets at both sites and a “cookie jar” out for
any members who would like to order the Winter stock up share ($60.00
checks made out to Starbrite Farm – delivery on Tuesday November
30th.)  If you can’t find it, please ask Sabina or Donna.

Also, don’t forget next week is our last pick up and our end-of-season
potluck at Sabina’s house (189 Park Street) from 5-8 om.  Both John
and Ginger will be there, most likely toward the later half of the
time.  It’s a chance to say thanks to our farmers and wish them for
the winter.  So please plan on coming by, even for just a few minutes
to warm yourself with a cup of tea.

We do have some CSA organizational news.  Donna has decided that
juggling work and family and all the extras we all do, plus hosting
the CSA is just one two many things on her plate.  We appreciate all
the time and care she has put into creating a warm and welcoming site
and wish her well.  Meanwhile, Karin Johnson, a longtime CSA has
offered to host our second site at her house in Cedar Grove.  She
lives just over the “Bradford” hill,” off of Pompton Ave.

Lastly, we are looking for additional members to join our core member
group to take on some of the administrative tasks of the CSA. Besides
the warm fuzzy feeling you get for participating in something
positive, there are some partial shares available for compensation.
Anyone even a tiny bit interested, please speak with Sabina or Donna,
or email me at (

This week’s fruit share will include: Stayman Winesap, Mutsu and
Macoun apples.

The vegetable share for this week will be: Red Romaine, green cabbage,
radicchio, carrots, broccoli or cauliflower, leeks, sweet dumpling and
delicata squash, radishes or salad turnips, Bok choi, sweet potatoes,
and tatsoi or mizuna (a frilly Asian mustard).

Treelicious Farm Update

Good Evening!

We have finished packing three of our favorite varieties into this
week’s share including Stayman Winesap, Mutsu and Macoun.  The saps
and Mutzu are great for baking and eating while the Macoun remain
crisp and even sweeter for eating. Enjoy!  A few more pears will come
in the share next week to round out the season.

See you soon and best!


Starbrite Farm Update

Hi Folks,

The crops continue to grow very slowly, but that’s the way it is in
November. We do have some broccoli that is big enough to cut, although
not as large as I would have liked.   We will continue the broccoli/
cauliflower alternation again this week; with Tues. and Wed. groups
getting broccoli and The Thursday groups receiving cauliflower.  Most
of the cauliflower we have at the moment is either the green type or a
variety called Romanesco, which has a beautiful other-worldly
appearance, and which I like to call “the cauliflower from another

Last week we ran out of radishes large enough to pull, so we
substituted salad turnips for some groups. If you had radishes last
week you will get turnips this week and vice versa.  We also have some
cute little heads of cabbage, a variety called Gonzales, which is
meant to be small- just so you know and don’t think I forgot to
fertilize it! We also have full size Bok choi this week, and no, it’s
not from the same crop as the baby Bok we sent last week-it doesn’t
grow that fast!

It will be sweet potato surprise this week; that’s not a dish you
might make, but rather speaks to the fact that we have smallish
quantities of the 3 varieties of sweet potatoes, and I’m not sure
which variety anyone will get. In any case they’re all good!

On Sunday, November 28 we will host one final volunteer work party for
anyone brave and hardy (perhaps foolhardy) enough to endure a few
hours outside in potentially frigid weather.  Some of my workers are
beginning to depart or find other jobs for the winter months and we
could use some help in gleaning what remains in the fields for the
final stock-up delivery that next week, or to donate to a food pantry.
We will begin at 1PM and end when you have had enough. You will also
be free to harvest anything you crave to take home with you. If you
can make it, please RSVP to me directly at .

The share for this week will be: Red Romaine, green cabbage,
radicchio, carrots, broccoli or cauliflower, leeks, sweet dumpling and
delicata squash, radishes or salad turnips, Bok choi, sweet potatoes,
and tatsoi or mizuna (a frilly Asian mustard).

Farmer John

Comments Off on week 23 update

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

Comments Off on winter stock up note

week 22 update

Hi all,

It’s November so I guess there’s no denying it:  we are closing in on
the end of the 2010 season.  Luckily, this year we extended our
regular season from 22 weeks to 24 weeks so that delivers would
continue all the way up to the Tuesday before Thanksgiving.  So glad
we did, otherwise tomorrow’s delivery would be our last.  Instead we
have three more deliveries including tomorrows.  Yippee.

Don’t forget to mark your calendars for the end-of-season party at
Sabina’s house (189 Park Street) on TUESDAY November 23rd, from 5-8
pm.  Separate evite to follow.  Also, John often offers a winter stock
up share and as soon as I get the details I’ll forward them on.

The vegetable share for this week will be: Red lettuce, acorn squash,
garlic, red onions, carrots, radishes, potatoes, choice of arugula or
other mustard greens, baby bok choi, and choice of red or Napa

No word yet on what is in tomorrow’s fruit share.  My guess: an
assortment of apples.  😀


Starbrite Farm Update #24

Hello Everyone,

We are rapidly approaching the end of the season, and none too soon
for my workers who are trying to endure the cold weather we have had
this past week. The fields here are very open and the winds are often
very strong.  The crops have endured several nights of low 20’s
temperatures with little damage, but things are growing very slowly.
I am a bit frustrated with the broccoli crop which normally does well
in the fall, but this year is refusing to size up. I know that I
promised broccoli for everyone this week, but it’s just not happening.
It’s predicted to get a little warmer later in the week, so I’m hoping
this will give it a chance to grow.

We do have beautiful red and Napa cabbage, which we will offer as a
choice this week. We also have really beautiful and sweet carrots
which will be in the shares this week and for the next 2 deliveries
(for those who have paid for a 24 week season or have opted for the
extension).  I know that many of you really love the stiffneck garlic
that we grow and probably have not received enough this year.  I am
trying to remedy the shortfall by planting nearly twice as much as we
planted last autumn.  To do this I need to save some of this year’s
crop for planting. We have set aside enough to give one medium sized
bulb in this week’s share; I know it’s not much but at least everyone
can enjoy one last taste.

For those of you for whom this will be your last pickup, I would like
to thank you for your participation and support. The CSA program is
what enabled me to get started as a farmer and what sustains me from
year to year. I and my workers have worked hard to provide the members
with a variety of quality produce and I hope we have succeeded at
least to some degree. Every year has its own particular challenges,
this year it was hot and dry conditions. Each year some crops will
excel and others will fail. This year was a better year for tomatoes
but a poor year for eggplant. White potatoes did poorly this season,
but we had a banner year for sweet potatoes. Celery root was a crop
failure this season, but we have lovely carrots, parsnips and beets. I
lament the loss of any crop, but as a farmer I have had to accept that
there are many variables beyond my control, and crop failures happen
to the best of us.  I wish all of you a safe and healthy winter and a
joyous holiday season.

The share for this week will be: Red lettuce, acorn squash, garlic,
red onions, carrots, radishes, potatoes, choice of arugula or other
mustard greens, baby bok choi, and choice of red or Napa

Farmer John

Comments Off on week 22 update

Week 21 update

Hi all,

All three farmers are delivering today.  No more broilers from Ken
until spring.  Wish I put some in my freezer during the summer.  :-(

We are beginning our planning for the final delivery on November
22nd.  Sabina opens her home to all members for a potluck get-together
from 5-8 pm.  We are going to send out a special potluck planning
evite in the next few days so look for that.  Both John and Ginger
will be there.  Ken, unfortunately can’t make it.

Meanwhile, Park Street members please drop off two extra bags
(preferably not paper, in case it rains onh the 22nd).  We have the
set-up crew bag everyone’s share at Park Street on that last delivery
so that members can save time and instead come right inside.  The
Nassau Rd site will follow their regular set up and clean up routine,
but please stop by Sabina’s house afterward to say hello (189 Park

The fruit share will be Mutzu, Macoun and Bosc pears.  The vegetable
share will be Boston or green leaf lettuce, beets, daikon, choice of
spinach or Swiss chard, Japanese sweet potatoes, butternut squash,
cauliflower, shallots, and choice of arugula or tatsoi.


PS:  We are short set up help today at Park Street  and Sabina spent
the night at the hospital with her son.  He broke his wrist and needed
surgery.  Anyone available to pitch in, please come by.

Treelicious Orchards Update


We will continue the theme of a mixed box again this week.    We are
sending beautiful Mutzu, Macoun and Bosc pears.

Similar to last week, I would like to encourage our members to visit
our market on Saturdays to pick up the make up shares due to
vacation.  In this way they can select the best choices among our
apple varieties.  I will reach out to Megan to drop off a special
delivery to her for the two weeks due to vacation.

Many thanks!  Please stop by on Saturday if you can –


Starbrite Farm Update #23

Hello Everyone,

It’s been a very warm fall up to now, but now it would seem we are
quickly entering winter. We have had lows in the upper 20’s these
past few nights and now they are predicting lows in the lower 20’s for
Tuesday night. We are scrambling to harvest or cover anything that
might be damaged by these frigid nights. Most of what is left in the
fields is very hardy and can survive quite cold temperatures, but in
some cases the edible part of the plant can be damaged. This is the
case with cauliflower- the plant will survive, but if the head has
started to form, it can freeze and be ruined.  Similarly root crops
like radishes and turnips have leaves that can withstand the cold but
if the roots project too far above the surface they can freeze, and
after thawing become spongy.

Today, Monday we harvested about 800 lbs. of daikon which had pushed
itself several inches out of the ground. We also began raking soil
over the roots of turnips and radishes to protect them. Tomorrow we
will be continuing this task as well as covering some crops with a
white ag-fabric that affords several degrees of frost protection.
Hopefully once we get through the next couple of nights we will have a
couple of weeks of more moderate lows.

Last week we began cutting quite a bit of cauliflower, some of which
ended up in the shares for the Thursday groups. This week we will have
cauliflower for all other groups and broccoli for those who pick up on
Thursday. Next week we should have broccoli for everyone. We will be
sending the daikon with leaves attached as they are quite palatable-
good in soups or stir fries. We will have sweet potatoes again this
week, this time a variety known as Japanese, which have bright red
skin and a yellowish flesh. They are quite delicious but where not as
productive as the other varieties, so there will be a slightly smaller
quantity to disperse. We are out of herbs for the time being, having
overcut the parsley. We are waiting for a planting of cilantro,
chervil, and dill to be large enough to harvest.

The share for this week will be: Boston or green leaf lettuce, beets,
daikon, choice of spinach or Swiss chard, Japanese sweet potatoes,
butternut squash, cauliflower (broccoli for Thursday groups) shallots,
and choice of arugula or tatsoi.

Farmer John

Comments Off on Week 21 update