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Posted 6/30/2015 3:36pm by Jennifer LaMonaca.

CSA Week 4; pickup Wed 7/1, 1-6pm OR Sat 7/4, 9am-2pm.

Happy 4th of July Week! Yes, the CSA is open 4th of July, 9am-2pm.  Blueberries open; pick-your-own 9-2; B&B Farms will close at 2pm as well.  Bring your friends and family and show off "your" farm!  Extras for sale, see below.

ON THE TABLE IN FARM SHOP: NEW CROPS! PEPPERS (green bells), just coming in; introducing a new CABBAGE - sweet and crunchy "caraflex" for summer slaw's.  Plenty of CUCUMBERS, ZUCCHINI, YELLOW SQUASH and BROCCOLI - extras for sale too.  CARROTS - these are gorgeous (extras for sale) - we will distribute with the greens as long as they hold well in the field, like we do with the beets.  And yes, we have BEETS, along with TURNIPS and RADISH.  For greens, LETTUCE and KALE.  We will offer Mix and Match options for you, see Shop for details.

IN THE PICK YOUR OWN FIELDS:

- Flowers and Herbs - lots of them!  Please pick generous bunches.  Sunflowers - pick um while they last, don't be shy.  For herbs - take lots - experiment with drying, or freezing. Try "herbcicles". I did this last year and I was so happy I had them on hand later on.  

- Green beans - lots of them!  Extras for sale too - bring a friend!

- BLUEBERRIES - OPEN TO THE PUBLIC - Mon-Sun, 8-4, weather permitting.  PLEASE NOTE: 4th of July 8-2.

CROP UPDATES: I am excited to see EGGPLANTS, some cherry and grape TOMATOES too!  We will have them on the table soon; eggplant likely next week.  FENNEL - nice fennel!  Great addition this season; SCALLIONS in Week 5 also.  Hey - look up - our GARLIC harvest will be on display curing in Farm Shop for about a month. We will distribute soon after.

EXTRA JERSEY FRESH FOR SALE: our produce, fresh baked breads and buns (Leatherhead), cheeses (Fulper Farms), chicken sausages (Griggstown Farms) and local honey.

See you on the Farm.

Posted 6/23/2015 3:21pm by Jennifer LaMonaca.
CSA Week 3;
Pick up Wed 6/24, 1-6; or Sat 6/27, 9-2.
IN THE FARM SHOP: New crops!  Broccoli and carrots. Lots of cucumbers and zucchini.  Mix and Match: beets (without the greens - too hot now for good greens), kohlrabi, Chinese cabbage, garlic scapes, radish and turnips.  Mix and Match Greens: lettuce, kale, bok choy and swiss chard.  EXTRAS FOR SALE - we will have a price list posted, see Shop for details.  We should have just about all crops in bulk.
 
IN THE PICK YOUR OWN FIELDS: 
Extended hours/days for CSA Pick Your Own (weather permitting):
Mon-Fri 8-4, Sat 9-2, Sun closed.  
Some customers like to do their pick your own crops on another day - that is fine with us!  The weather does not always cooperate on share pick up days, or you may be short on time Wed and Sat.  You do not have to check in with staff - just have a look in Farm Shop for the pick your own display and enjoy the fields at your leisure.  
 
- Green Beans - they are just coming on and we will have lots of them.  We will open the fields Wed, picking will be light though.  Sat will likely yield heavier. You can always pick more on another day, or the following week.
- Peas - last week for peas; it got too hot too fast.  If you want them, take them.  No limit.
- Flowers - take a big bunch, sunflowers too.  Rows open will be marked with yellow flag tape at the ends.
- Herbs - take a big bunch; all herbs open.  Make pesto - we have beautiful basil! Don't be shy, take a bag if you like. 
- Blueberries - B&B Farms, $1.65/lb.  Open 7 days a week, 8-4 (weather permitting).
 
EXTRA JERSEY FRESH FOR SALE: produce, fresh baked breads (Paul Erbacher/Leatherhead), chicken sausages (Griggstown Farms), cheeses (Fulper Farms), eggs (Cycle Farms), and honey.
 
See you on the Farm.
Posted 6/16/2015 4:50pm by Jennifer LaMonaca.
CSA WEEK 2; PICK UP WED 1-6, OR SAT 9-2 (6/17, OR 6/19)
 
ON THE TABLE IN FARM SHOP: New Crops - cucumbers (pickles), zucchini (green and yellow), lettuce (red and green), Chinese cabbage (tender, great for stir fries), spring turnips (on the sweet side) and radish (on the spicy side).  Also beets with greens, garlic scapes and kohlrabi (red and green).  For greens - arugula and kale.  We may harvest bok choy and/or Swiss chard - we will make this decision Wed am.  Mix and Match options likely for you this week - see Farm Shop for details.
 
CROP UPDATES: Spinach is really taking a hit with the hot/humid days.  Not sure if we will distribute this crop, but we have great crops to fill in.  We will seed more spinach for a later harvest.  Carrots are looking strong - we will give them another week to size up, and they will be on the table next week and beyond.  Lots more up and coming!
 
PICK-YOUR-OWN: rows open for picking will be marked with yellow tape at the end of each row. Please keep to and pick in the marked rows - we will open others as they are ready.  Thanks!
-  Peas - lots of them! Bring a friend, extras for sale. 
-  Flowers - pick a nice bunch - see sample in Farm Shop.  Bring a container for harvest and your own scissors.  Staff will be on hand in the fields to answer questions and demo.  Zinnia, snapdragons, cosmos and sunflowers.  Limit on sunflowers - see Farm Shop for details.
-  Herbs - take what you need for the week - see sample in Farm Shop.  Basil, parsley, dill, cilantro, and others.  DO NOT TAKE THE WHOLE PLANT - you are cutting what you need and allowing for regrowth/continuous harvest throughout the season.  Thanks!
-  BLUEBERRIES!  B&B Farms blueberries will be open to the public Mon-Sun 8-4, Wed 8-6.  There is a fee, $1.65/lb.  As a convenience to our CSA members, grab a can from us in Shop; you can check out in the barn during pick ups.  Otherwise, please go up to the house during non-CSA days.
 
SPLITTING SHARES:  if you are splitting a share, please read.
-  Pick up - We prefer you come in together and split your share in Farm Shop, OR 1 person pick up and you split it at home.  We can not keep track of who picked up what portion on what day.  Please do your best to meet on the farm, or designate someone to pick up for the week.  Much appreciated.
-  Pick-Your-Own - some crops are easy to split, like 2 pints of peas.  Others are not, like a bunch of herbs and flowers.  If you would like to pick more than your share, please ask if available; there is a fee for extras.  You are on the honor system.  We do not count stems, but if you feel your bunches of herbs/flowers are more than our Farm Shop sample display, let us know so we can keep things fair.  Thanks.
 
PURCHASING EXTRAS: when available, we will offer extra produce for sale.  See Shop for details.  
 
LOCAL, JERSEY FRESH PRODUCTS FOR SALE:
Fresh Baked Breads, Chicken Sausages, Cheeses, Eggs, Honey.  T-Shirts too!
 
See you on the Farm.
 
Posted 6/9/2015 4:14pm by Jennifer LaMonaca.
CSA WEEK 1; Wed 6/10 and Sat 6/13.
Starting the season on the light side; we need some heat to push along some crops and others are ready to go now.  See below for what is on the table and in our fields.  We aim for a minimum of 7 crops in your share each week. As the season progresses, the diversity is greater and we will offer mix and match options and heavier shares.  Enjoy!
 
WHAT FOOD?
ON THE TABLE IN FARM SHOP:
- Beets (with greens) - beet and green edible.  Try the greens sauteed with something or in a salad.  
- Garlic Scapes - what are they and what do you do with them?!  Make the most out of your CSA share this week - I like this Huffington Post link, check it out for adventures with garlic scapes: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/04/13/garlic-scape-recipes_n_1637590.html
- Kohlrabi - OK, here is another "weird" CSA veggie.  There are so many great kohlrabi recipes out there.  I love to make it into a veggie patty, baked or fried. Some folks like it raw.  Recipe links below.
 
Greens:
- Lettuce - butter crunch definitely this week; maybe red, this will be a game time decision as we walk the fields and harvest what is ready to go. 
- Kale - in the spring, we grow a tender "Russian" type - red and green stems.  For fall, we grow the more familiar "green curly" type.  Use it just as you do any other kale, and taste the difference!  
- Arugula - a little spicy/peppery.  Great in salads (along with roasted beets and goat cheese).  Pairs great with a vinaigrette and drizzle of honey, or a lemon/Parmesan.  Some consider arugula as a accompaniment to a sandwich or salad, others love it as a whole meal.    
 
IN THE PICK-YOUR-OWN FIELDS:
- PEAS!  Snow peas coming on strong, snap peas just coming in.  Enjoy picking AND eating right from the vine.  
- Flowers and Herbs growing nicely, but not quite ready.  Likely for Week 2, and definitely Week 3.
 
Crop Updates and More CSA Food.  
Week 2 is looking strong. The crops listed here should be ready for harvest in Week's 2 and 3, along with the Week 1 crops:
 
Cucumbers; Zucchini and Yellow Squash; Carrots; Chinese cabbage; Radish and Spring Turnips; More Greens - Spinach, Bok Choy, Swiss chard; Pick-Your-Own Beans
 
WHAT DO I DO WITH THIS FOOD?!
Check out these links - if you have some good ones to share, send me an email and I will post to our members.
 

PICKING UP SHARES: Please observe the following:

1) PICK UPWED 1-6, OR SAT 9-2 (extended days/hours for pick-your-own; we will let you know during the season). No refunds for missed weeks; nor will my share be held for another day/time. Can't get to the farm? Send a friend! 2) BRING A BAG: members pack their own shares from around the display tables in Farm Shop (AND pick-your-own in the fields, when available); crops are labeled with what it is and how much you can take.  3) PARKING: USE CAUTION – children at play, customers walking to and from pick-your-own fields, etc. Follow signs for CSA Parking – just out front of our Farm Shop.  4) MEMBERS/ CHILDREN/ GUESTS: THIS IS A WORKING FARM - KEEP AN EYE ON THINGS AND ENJOY YOUR VISIT! Be aware of crops, equipment, irrigation pipe, uneven ground and so on. Parents please supervise your children.  5) FOOD SAFETY: WE TAKE THIS SERIOUSLY! For your added protection, wash all produce before eating and put frozen products in the freezer as soon as possible. 6) PETS:  please leave beloved pets at home, or in the car with the windows down (when appropriate). Thanks!  

EXTRAS FOR SALE - local, Jersey Fresh (we accept cash, credit and SNAP):
-  Chicken Sausages (frozen) - Griggstown Farms, Princeton.
-  Cheeses - fresh mozzarella, ricotta and cheddar - Fulper Farms, Lambertville.
-  Honey - Bob's Buzzy Bees, Yardville.
-  Eggs - Cycle Farms, Galloway.
-  Fresh Baked Bread!  Chef Paul (formerly the Avenue in Egg Harbor City).  Can't wait to see what he is up to with his new adventures.  
 
Friendly staff will be on hand to assist new members and answer all of your questions.  No worries!  We will help you figure it all out.  See you on the Farm!
 
 
Posted 5/22/2015 2:26pm by Jennifer LaMonaca.

CSA NEWS:

It is getting to be that time of year – CSA customers getting the urge for seasonal veggies.  I am with you!  The farm is growing on nicely my friends.  We will soon be harvesting lots of good stuff and filling your shares with fresh, healthy produce.  We are projecting opening day Wed, June 10th.  I will certainly keep our customers informed as we get closer, along with other CSA information.  If you have questions – email jlamonaca@gmail.com or call – how many people do you know who have their farmers’ phone number?!  CSA benefits!  Really, you can call me.  609-338-8690; we know our new customers have questions and are excited to get the season started.  Our farm is accessible and friendly – this is “your” CSA; please do not hesitate to contact us.

OUR CROPS:  What to expect in the first few pickups? 

I’m giving you a heads up so you can begin your recipe searches.  Lots of greens to start: lettuce, kale, spinach, arugula and other greens (bok choy and swiss chard); also garlic scapes, radishes, kohlrabi, carrots, beets, fennel, cabbage and broccoli.  Soon to follow will be the cucumbers and zucchini – they love hot and dry weather.  In the pick-your-own fields we open with the peas (snap and snow peas) for a few weeks, then green beans (yellow and purple too). Also flowers and herbs as they fill in – likely sunflowers, cosmos and snapdragons will be the first flowers to harvest.  Zinnias, dianthus, more sunflowers and others that are good for fresh or drying will become available throughout the season. For herbs – likely basil, dill, cilantro and parsley to start – followed by others in the summer (sage, thyme, oregano, marjoram, rosemary, chives).  We open flowers and herbs on the light side, and then as they mature over the summer, you can pick heavier and take what you need/like for the week throughout the season.

OUR FARM SHOP:

We will have the Shop stocked with your favorites for purchase - Griggstown sausages and other products, Fulper Family cheeses, honey, local eggs, fresh breads and more Jersey Fresh produce. Our Farm Shop is open to our CSA customers during CSA pickup hours (Wed 1-6, and Sat 9-2).

In the Pick-Your-Own fields: 

These fields are just about as nice as I have ever seen them – the peas are climbing the trellis; flowers have buds and getting taller and fuller by the day; beans will soon appear on the bushes; herbs taking hold and getting ready to garnish your favorite dishes; blueberries are forming and will be ready near the end of June; and we are nurturing our cherry tomatoes for an early July harvest (you know those Sun gold’s are so worth the wait - new customers, you are going to love this variety!).  We look forward to seeing our members and their friends and family enjoying the farm soon, picking and eating right from the vine.

Stay on top of farm news – follow us on Facebook and Instagram

Happy Memorial Day Weekend!  Have a great one – be safe, have fun and support a Jersey Fresh farmer! http://www.jerseyfresh.nj.gov/

Farmer PS - that rain was delightful!!!

 

Posted 5/1/2015 11:02am by Jennifer LaMonaca.

Hello to our Friends of the Farm.  Thanks for your interest in our CSA!  Spring is finally here and it is an exciting time for us on the Farm - abundant sunshine, fresh air, growth, field work, greenhouse work - we get a good workout - no gym required.  Based on our planning over the winter months, we hit the ground running and we don't stop until first frost - well, this year we will be working though the winter and plan to offer a winter share - more on that much later though.  We are keeping busy planting, fertilizing, cultivating, irrigating, installing deer fencing, repairs and maintenance on equipment, Farm Shop renovations, and the list goes on.  

Payments:  a reminder to our current members - CSA payment due May 1st.  Not sure what your balance is - you can check here.  Questions?  Give me a call - 609-338-8690.  

Prospective member?  We have slots available!  Join our CSA and receive a season's bounty of the best Jersey Fresh produce.  From mid June through the end of October, visit the farm and pick up a share - fresh from the fields.  We offer choices - pack your own share, pick your own crops and experience "your" Farm.  Get to know the farm and local farmers.  For your convenience, in our Farm Shop (open to CSA members), we offer items for sale that we do not have the means to produce ourselves to add to your share - such as corn, peaches, apples and more (when available).  Also cheese (Fulper Family Farmstead, Lamertville), meat (Griggstown Farm, Princeton), eggs, honey and more.  

Join our CSA - click here!

Farm update:  Lots of progress going on:

-  In the the greenhouse: lush and full of beautiful plants eager to get in the fields - just waiting for Mother Nature to say when. For most crops, we plant after the May full moon, somewhere between the 1st and 2nd week of May, after the threat of a frost has passed. Cucumbers and Zucchini will be here before we know it, and then we will have plenty that we can not give them away it seems! Greens - Kale, who doesn't love kale these days?  We are growing more to satisfy the demand.  Tomatoes - of course we grow the big reds; also more heirlooms to keep things interesting, and offering more pick your own (CSA favorite - sungolds! Adding a new grape variety and increasing the plum limits for your saucing pleasure).  Peppers and Eggplants - should be to your table a bit sooner with earlier varieties (and we are still growing your favorite classics too) - looking forward to a tasty "snack pack" type of pepper - a cute little sweet orange one - perfect for lunchboxes.  On the savory side, a tender white eggplant perfect for grilling (I'm thinking a little goat cheese, fresh picked herbs, olive oil drizzle - mmmmmmmmm!).  We will have Canteloupes and Watermelons (seedless red and yellow varieties) for you to take along to your summer parties.  Flowers and Herbs - offerings are going to be our best yet, lots more to pick and choose from - we have started earlier in the greenhouse which should get you picking an abundance sooner this season.

-  In the fields to date:  our cold hardy crops are in and growing on nicely - lettuce (butter crunch and romaine to start, which will soon be followed by other red and green varieties), carrots, beets, spinach, swiss chard, onions, leeks, broccoli, cabbage (early napa type, great for stir fry, and a later cabbage for summer slaw's), kohlrabi (green and red types), potatoes (reds, golds and white), fennel (yes, spring fennel!), scallions and garlic (really nice crop this year!  so looking forward to garlic scapes!).  For pick your own crops - peas, green beans and herbs - 1st Farm Shop not too far off, and soon you will be picking and eating right off the vine!  More crops going in weekly for a continuous harvest throughout the season.  Soon to follow - more greens (arugula and bok choy), radish (new french breakfast type), and spring turnips.  

-  Farm Crew 2015 - Joining myself, husband Ryan and owners Art and Carolyn Brown: back again for a 3rd season, Carey Fleming.  This year, he is taking on more responsibility working in the greenhouse; getting tractor experience cultivating, seeding and repairs and maintenance; and being an overall asset to the operation.  We are excited to have him return, and will do our best to give him the experiences he seeks to have a successful career in farming.  Also, 2 newbies - Will and Napoleon.  Still looking for a few good workers!  If you know of anyone who might fit, please send them our information - employment description here. Contact us ASAP.  Thanks!

In closing - every year our CSA expands as we are able to build upon the past seasons trials - the  successes and misadventures.  We learn as we grow; we are truly thankful that our community of eaters is keeping our small family farm in business!  We are proud to be a part of the agricultural landscape and work hard to keep our customers well fed and eating healthy.  We look forward to seeing everyone soon.

Sincerely,

Your CSA Farmer - Jen 

Follow us on Facebook and Instagram - for more adventures in farming!

Posted 3/10/2015 4:44pm by Jennifer LaMonaca.

To our CSA members, and Friends of the Farm:

As warm days and abundant sunshine get closer (I am an optimist), we encourage you to think ahead about spring, farmers, and fresh produce!  Read on for information about the 2015 season – our healthy crops, pick-your-own flowers and herbs, upcoming events and more!  CSA SHARES AVAILABLE – JOIN OUR FARM – PURCHASE A SHARE FOR THE FAMILY, OR JOIN WITH A FRIEND!  We look forward to winter loosening its grip, and getting back in the fields.  Here is what we are planning for our CSA members:

CROPS:  Along with your favorite farm staples - over 35 different crops and 100 + varieties - how about purple kohlrabi?  Start your recipes search now!  Look for seedless watermelons, yellow and red varieties. WE ARE TRIALING THIS TECHNIQUE, new to me, but I am excited. On the tomato front, new heirlooms and grapes (sungolds of course)!  For your grilling pleasure, we are growing a tender white eggplant.  More pick-your-own flowers and herbs - new varieties!  In the fall – bringing back some favorites – rutabaga, parsnips, fennel and celeriac.  New winter squashes (blue hubbard and sweet dumpling), gold beets (red too). Also Brussels sprouts (for holiday/winter shares).  So much to eat!

FARM SHOP UPDATE: Shop expanded on the inside to accommodate a growing CSA, AND a new roof! More local products for sale; extended hours – CSA pickup Wed 1-6, and Sat 9-2.  We will update our social media and website with pics soon.

CUT FLOWERS AND HERBS: extending our selection!  More choices.  NEW FLOWERS – lavender (well, really an herb), dianthus, asters, celosia (crop failure last season – trial and error).  Also, plenty of sunflowers, zinnia, snapdragons, cosmos, ageratum and gomphrena. NEW HERBS – tarragon, marjoram, chives.  More of your favorites too - basil, dill, cilantro, parsley, rosemary, oregano and sage.

WORKSHOPS/POTLUCKS: we will offer: bouquet making from our fields, for fresh and dried use (and freezing for herbs); potluck/recipe swaps; and cooking demos via local chefs (we hope!).  We encourage ideas for events that are casual, fun and relaxing – for the farmer and guests! Unwind with us on the farm.  Looking forward to learning from each other!

WINTER SHARES.  I know, this is off on the horizon, but I felt worth mentioning as it pertains to our expansion.  Here is what we are thinking… WHEN: Nov-Feb.  PICKUP:  1x/mo; dates to be determined, likely mid-month. WHAT: BOXED SHARES – the boxes will be larger than our main season share since many of the items can be stored longer (winter share tips to follow).  We plan to grow extras of things in anticipation of a winter share.  What to expect – mostly storage crops, and some greens in the field and hoop house. HOW MUCH FOOD?  About a bushel, or 1.5 brown grocery bags/month. COST: to be determined (ballpark $40-50/box).   

Please do not hesitate to contact us - we are happy to talk CSA.  We will be in touch soon about our progress.

Here's to 2015!

Farmer Jen

Posted 2/9/2015 8:42am by Jennifer LaMonaca.

CURRENT (AND PROSPECTIVE) MEMBERS:

Current Members, CSA Payments Due; Not a Member? Join Us!

  • Pay In Full, $540; OR choose below:
  • Payment Plans: 

SIGN UPS PRIOR TO FEB 1ST - 3 equal payments of $180; 1st due at sign up, then Feb 1, and May 1.

SIGN UPS AFTER FEB 1ST - $360 due at signup, then $180 May 1st.  

  • Other payment arrangements negotiable. 

Payment Type: credit/ debit, check, cash or money order; to make a payment via website - click here.

Checks made payable to: Sea Salt CSA - remit payment to our mailing address listed below -  thanks!

Mailing address:  Sea Salt CSA, Jennifer LaMonaca, PO Box 832, Oceanville, NJ 08231

PROSPECTIVE MEMBERS:  

ON THE WEB @ bbfarmsnj.com:

CSA Info; read our Member Agreement; learn about our Growing PracticesMeet the Farmers and more.

CSA PREVIEW:

  • Our share ON AVERAGE, FEEDS 2-3 PEOPLE.
  • Pick-Your-Own crops INCLUDED in the cost of a share.
  • MARKET STYLE - mix and match options.
  • ON FARM PICKUP.
  • COST $540/SEASON.
 

Thank you for your interest in our Farm!

Posted 12/3/2014 9:53am by Jennifer LaMonaca.

WHAT IS A “REAL” CSA? A CSA is one of the most direct connections between farmer and eater. IT IS DIFFERENT FROM A FOOD DELIVERY SERVICE OR CLUB!  In my opinion, when these services use the good name that CSA farms have built, they are taking advantage of customers trust and providing non-local products in a CSA box.  IN A REAL FARM CSA, the products are from a local farm(s) and the profit goes back to the farm(s).  A delivery service/club cannot beat the connection and trust that the CSA model gives rise to.  Our CSA provides a diverse and healthy bounty along with the genuine experience of supporting a local farm – we share with you the hardships and joys of growing your food and we are grateful for your support!                                                        

Eaters – demand REAL CSA’s!  We know our CSA members have unlimited choices on how to spend their food dollars; the fact that you chose Sea Salt CSA as your farm is a conscious and special choice. We hope eaters will continue to go out of their way to join CSAs. This is not necessarily an easy way to eat, but the quality of our product keeps members coming back.  To our happy members – pass on your experience to friends and family and grow the demand for “real CSAs”.  We are passionate about our CSA – thank you for helping us grow our small farm into a sustainable business.   

Posted 11/26/2014 10:16am by Jennifer LaMonaca.

Giving Thanks: to our CSA members, pick-your-own customers and friends/family of the farm - we celebrate you! Thank you for helping us succeed and making our life work enjoyable. We value our customers; we are grateful for the pleasure to serve you and bring the harvest to the table.    

On behalf of Sea Salt CSA and B&B Farms, we thank you for supporting our family farm. We look forward to seeing our returning customers in the spring, and meeting new ones soon! We wish you a wonderful Thanksgiving and holiday season.