Blog

Welcome to the blog.
Posted 8/26/2014 2:12pm by Jennifer LaMonaca.

Week 11 CSA; Wed 8/27 (pickup 3-6) and Sat 8/30 (9-12)

In the Shop… New crops.  For the greens – kale (curly and toscano types), lettuce (loose mix) and arugula.  Winter squash – carnival (round acorn/delicata type) and spaghetti squash – choose 1.  Back on the table – zucchini and yellow squash – just coming on, small and tender, they are very nice (cucumbers are soon to follow).  Leeks - use in place of onions (or with), potato/leek soup (we have the potatoes!) and so on.  On the mix and match table – onions, carrots, potatoes, eggplant and peppers.  Tomatoes are heavy (slicers, heirlooms) – and see below for pick your own.  We will take a break on watermelon for a week or 2 (new field to be harvested next week).

Bring your own bags to recycle – we all have them (standard size from Wawa, Shop Rite, or the like), and we will have some too.  Our bag supplier has moved and we are not able to get them as readily anymore.  I might have them by Saturday, please bring your own as a backup though for your tomatoes (for pick your own plums) and greens – thanks. 

In the Fields… Plum tomatoes – fill a bag!  Every year I aim to have the plums be a pick your own crop but a combination of the varieties I selected and weather/disease issues have not produced a crop well enough to have an abundant pick your own experience.  When I think of plums, I think of our customers picking bushel baskets full of saucing potential.  I have been holding back on opening this field to heavy picking until just the right moment – when lots of tomatoes are ripe on the vine (it is not perfect though).  Staff have gone through and picked as much rot as there was at the time and cleaned up the walkways for you.  A ripe tomato field can be messy!  If you choose not to pick plums, take a few extra slicers in Farm Shop.  Sungolds still out there and lots of the pink cherry tomatoes.  Herbs and flowers too. 

Extra Jersey Fresh for Sale… local eggs (provided by Cycle Farms and a few shareholders) cheese (ricotta, mozzarella – Fulper Farms), chicken sausages (Griggstown Farm). 

Storehouse Market on Saturday; a local business providing whole and nutritious foods – dried beans, fruits, grains and nuts.  They will be on hand Saturday morning for a sample of what they offer, chat and take orders if you are interested.  Wednesday pickup?  No problem – give them a call or email.  For details – click here.

See you on the Farm!

Posted 8/19/2014 3:08pm by Jennifer LaMonaca.

Week 10, Wed 8/20 (pickup 3-6) and Sat 8/23 (9-12).

Half way mark, 10 more to go!  Hope you are enjoying your CSA experience with us – let us know your thoughts, if you have suggestions, we are all ears.  A few folks have mentioned that either the melons have been great or that it rotted quickly.  Please let us know!  The good and not so good about our CSA so we can keep doing what we are doing or make adjustments. We aim to meet your expectations.  Here is what we have for you this week:

On the Table… spaghetti squash, tomatoes (nice red slicers and a few heirlooms), watermelons (red or yellow) and onions.  Mix and Match options for eggplant (round and classic Italian types), peppers (sweet reds, orange and green bells), carrots and potatoes.  For the carrots and potatoes, choose 1 quart if you like – they will be included with the eggplant and pepper mix and match items this week.  For example, 1 quart will equal 1 piece.  Mix and Match options for the greens – arugula (peppery) and Swiss chard (small and tender) – take one or both. 

In the Fields… tomatoes – plums, orange sungolds and dark pink cherry types.  Due to the last rain event, 6 inches, lots of tomatoes on the ground and some rot.  Don’t worry too much though, they are hanging in there and we have cleaned up this field.  We picked up and tied up what we could so you can get in there for the good stuff.  Herbs – basil is small, but getting there, not open yet.  Rather, go for thyme and oregano.  Also rosemary, sage and lemon balm.  Parsley is no more, washed out in the rain along with the new dill and cilantro.  It may be too late to re seed these crops.  Flowersdoing well for this time of year – more to come soon. 

Seafood (Sat pick up only) – clams!

Extra Jersey Fresh for SalePeaches – local, Pastore Orchards, Hammonton, NJ.  Cheeses – fresh mozzarella and ricotta, Fulper Family Farmstead, Lambertville, NJ. 

Other farm news – for the crops, lettuce and spinach looking good, soon on the table.  New zucchini and yellow squash to harvest in a week or 2.  Beans (green and purple) coming along.  Tomato crop best ever!  We are having a great tomato year, heirlooms so so, but that is how they go.  Winter squash has been pulled, a bit early though due to the wet fields, we feared rot though if we did not collect them.  We have them in our greenhouse to cure and sweeten.  Along with the spaghetti, we have lots of butternut, buttercup, acorn and carnival (round delicata type).  We will give them out in the order that they cure and store. 

Regarding our farm crew – back to school!  First one off is Casey.  I am so appreciative for all of his hard work and dedication on the farm this season.  He planted, weeded, harvested, trellised, sorted, bunched, topped and whatever else the farm required daily - and with a good attitude!  He brought positive energy - just the dose we needed on the crew this summer. I thank him for his service to the farm and community – all the best to you and may the farm be with you!

From all of us - thanks for supporting our farm and we look forward to seeing you.

 

Posted 8/13/2014 9:23am by Jennifer LaMonaca.

CSA Week 9: Wed 8/13 (3-6) and Sat 8/16 (9-12)

On the table in Farm Shop… New crops - Watermelons! (On the trailer outside shop).  Red AND Yellow – choose 1.  Extras for sale.  Yellows are smaller with dark green stripes, very sweet!  Arugula – add a handful of this peppery green to your tomato sandwich.  We have the tomatoes!  Also onions, potatoes, carrots and beets.  Colored bell peppers, nice orange and yellow.  Lots of sweet red Italians – great for stuffing. Jalapenos (and other hot peppers we grow) - we handle these like herbs - take um or leave um.  Off the table for a few weeks are cucumbers and zucchini.  We have more planted and they look real good.  Sneak peak for next week – Spaghetti squash!  The first of the winter squashes to appear – big harvest next week.

Peaches for sale – LOCAL, Pastore Orchards, Hammonton, NJ.  

In the Pick-Your-Own fields… Rain, rain, rain everywhere – about 6 inches last night!  Too much.  The fields are wet; standing water will remain for a while.  Therefore if you are picking tomatoes, walk along the driveway, not the pond.  If you choose not to pick cherry/plum tomatoes in the field, you may take extra slicers in the Farm Shop to complete your tomato share for the week.  Flowers – again, pick along the driveway to mid field.  Also, we have harvested sunflowers for everyone – 2 stems in Farm Shop.  Herbs out there - take what you need/like for the week.

See you on the farm!  Bring your muck boots!

Posted 8/6/2014 8:20am by Jennifer LaMonaca.

CSA Week 8: Wed 8/6, 3-6 or Sat 8/9, 9-12  

On the Table in Farm ShopTomatoes!  We are bringing in a nice harvest.  Also plenty in the pick your own fields (orange sungolds, pink sweet treats and plums).  We have a few heirlooms too, but as heirlooms go, they are inconsistent.  We will keep on them though and harvest whatever colors, shapes and flavor they give us!  New crop this week – sweet onions!  Lots of eggplant and peppers – extend the harvest and stock up the freezer for the winter now, see tip below.  Last week for cantaloupe, then watermelons.  Your choice of roots – potatoes, carrots, beetsStill a few cucumbers and zucchini too.   

Stocking up?  It may be a little old fashioned, but it is the best way to eat!  I am taking a few extra eggplant for the freezer – dip in egg, bread crumbs and place on baking sheet, single layer.  Drizzle with olive oil and bake @ 425, turn once until golden and crispy.  Allow to cool and place in freezer bags, single layer.  Perfect for eggplant parm later on!  I did 6 bags last week – try one and see how it goes.  For peppers – easy!  Just chop/slice and freeze.  That is it!  Make a few stir fry bags.   

In the Pick-Your-Own FieldsTomatoes – orange sungolds, pink sweet treats and plums.  Plum tomatoes just coming in, you can pick now or wait for more to ripen for ease of harvest.  Flowers – lots of zinnias.  Plenty of pink gomphrena (great fresh or dried) and purple ageratum.  No sunflowers this week, but we have more seeded.  Snapdragons are out there but not as plentiful.  We cut them back and fertilized for a comeback soon.  Herbs – parsley, thyme and oregano – all great for tomatoes, also rosemary, sage and lemon balm.  New basil small, maybe 2 weeks.  No green beans this week either, but we have more seeded.   

Extras for sale – bring a friend to the farm!  Show off your pick your own fields – they are welcome to pick and purchase extras in our Farm Shop.   

Seafood share (Sat only) – shark steaks.  It is handled just as nicely as our tuna and swordfish.  Click here for details and recipes.  Enjoy!  

As always – thanks for being a part of the season; we look forward to seeing our members on the farm.

Posted 7/29/2014 1:21pm by Jennifer LaMonaca.

On the Table in Farm Shop: New this week – tomatoes – nice red beefsteaks and plums, maybe an heirloom, in addition to the amazing pick-your-own sungolds and sweet treats!  Cantaloupe – around for about 2 weeks, then we bring in the watermelons.  Enjoy! Peppers – roast them, stuff them, eat raw – new variety just coming in – sweet red Italians (also cubanelles, green bells, jalapenos). We’ve got lots of eggplant (classic and round heirloom).  Mix and Match potatoes, beets, carrots, scallions, cucumbers, zucchini and yellow squash. 

In the Pick-Your-Own Fields: Tomatoes (orange and pinks). Look low on the plants.  Green beans, just across the bridge.  Flowers and Herbs – take what you like/need for the week.  We have more seeded for a 2nd harvest in a few weeks.  CAUTION! The walking bridge over to the green beans is old and needs repair. We did not plan to have pick your own crops in this field but the schedule changed due to weather.  In the meantime, please do not linger on it or lean on railings – Thanks.  

Field Notes:  The pick-your-own tomato crop is one of our best yet!  Due to the weight of the plants, our trellis has fallen over in a few spots, which is to be expected, but not to this extent!  The crew has reinforced it, not an easy task – thanks guys!  The crew works hard daily and I am grateful for all they do on this farm – lots of harvesting now.  They just cleared the onion field and we are very pleased with the quality of this crop.  We will allow the onions to field cure which helps with storage holding ability.  We will begin distribution next week.  After the much needed rain a few days ago, our new greens have responded nicely.  Everything is up, good germination.  Blueberries open this week, nearing the end though, get um soon!  

From all of us on the Farm, thanks for your support, see you soon.

Posted 7/22/2014 5:07pm by Jennifer LaMonaca.

CSA Week 6 Pick Up, Wed 7/23 3-6 or Sat 7/26 9-12 (Seafood Share Sat pick up only)

On the table in Farm Shop... potatoes (yellow flesh - lots of flavor!), eggplant (classic and round Italian heirloom), peppers (green bells, cubanelles and jalapeno), red cabbage, cucumbers, zucchini, yellow squash, scallions, beets, carrots and turnips. See crop update below for more on our progress.

In the Pick-Your-Own Fields... Tomatoes! Sungolds - orange and really sweet - we love these things!  Also a new variety for us, Sweet Treats, nice pink color and great flavor.  3 rows open, look low on the plants, they ripen from the bottom up.  Beans - green and yellow wax - just across the bridge.  Flowers - lots - big bouquets encouraged!  See our Farm Shop display for what is a big bouquet.  Herbs, all open BUT - basil downy mildew causing problems.  We will keep it for this week and mow it after Saturday.  Still good flavor though, but not attractive.  You say tomatoes and no basil?!  Try oregano, parsley or thyme.  We have seeded more for a later harvest to come on when we are heavy with tomatoes.  Dill and cilantro still out there but I will mow these soon too to make room for another seeding - use them now or wait for the next crop.

Please do stay in the marked rows only!  We have seeded crops that have not yet emerged or are very small.  Along the zinnias (just walk the irrigation line), and the sunflowers close to the parking area (pick from the grass, not in the field). Thanks!

Seafood (Sat pick up only) - Scallops!  

Others for Sale this week - Corn!  Local, from our friends at Pastore's in Hammonton.  Cheese - fresh mozzarella is back (Fulper Family Farmstead, Lambertville, NJ)!  Ricotta, Cheddar, Gouda, Yogurt (plain) and spreads too.  Eggs - local, free range.  We don't have many, so first come first serve.  

Crop Update:  We like to keep our customers updated with our planting and harvesting schedules as well as the field conditions.  As a CSA member, please do ask us questions and we will fill you in on the dirt!  What’s planted?  More cucumbers, zucchini and yellow squash for a late summer harvest.  Greens - lots of people asking for arugula and other greens like kale, spinach and lettuce mix – I seeded lots for you and we should begin harvest in about 3 weeks.  It is a challenge to grow greens in the summer, they don't love the heat and therefore we irrigate these newly seeded crops often to ensure good quality for harvest again soon.  Oh how the distance makes the heart grow fonder, right?! We continue to seed beans, flowers, herbs and more fall crops.  Check out our newly planted broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage.  Winter squashes coming along nicely - spaghetti, butternut, acorn and others. What are we harvesting?   Potatoes!  We are digging a few rows now and it is a nice crop.  Compared to last season’s loss due to flooding, we will have tons this season!  Tomatoes, nice red beefsteak types are amazing and we are looking forward to bringing these in soon. Heirlooms back this year and we will hold our breath that they do not get diseased too early on.  Look for orange and red streaked ones and pear shaped blood red/black ones.  Interesting and tasty!  Onions will be pulled next week - not your typical onion either.  Wow!  Cantaloupes should be ready in a week or 2 - I will give you another update on this as we begin the harvest.  

More In the Fields: in particular the walkways of some crops and along the irrigation lines, you may have noticed we have applied a weed killer – not on the crops though!  Effective weed control is a must otherwise weeds encourage pests and diseases, compete with crops and decrease yields. We continue to put our best effort forward daily to keep the weeds to a minimum using tractors, weed whackers, mowers, hand pulling and hoeing.  Throughout the year, we use practices that help prevent and suppress weeds like crop rotations to reduce the proliferation of a species that prefer certain conditions, stale seed bedding which we allow the weeds to germinate prior to planting and then kill them using tractor cultivation without disturbing the soil too much and bringing up new weed seeds, and cover cropping in the fall to smother weeds by competition and add organic matter.  Along with these efforts, we have applied an herbicide where appropriate.  Safe use of materials, organic or conventional, is serious business to us. Our farm is an open book and we are willing to discuss how we grow it and why we do it. We eat this food too!

Great week on the Farm - see you soon!

Posted 7/16/2014 8:32am by Jennifer LaMonaca.
CSA Week 5 Pick Up
Wed 7/16 or Sat 7/19
Wed 3-6 or Sat 9-12
 
Lots of good food on the table this week in Farm Shop.  The Crew has been working hard to keep the harvest moving along which includes weeding and more weeding, planting our fall crops on Saturday evening to beat the weather, harvesting tons of healthy food hunched over and by hand (thanks guys!), AND whatever else it takes to keep the CSA running.  Here is what we have for your this week:
 
Eggplant (and they are beauties!), Peppers (green bells, lime green cubanelles for stuffing or fresh eating, and jalapenos for a little heat), Carrots, Beets, Scallions, Red Cabbage, Cucumbers, Yellow Squash, Zucchini, Broccoli, Lettuce and maybe a few others (potatoes if we can get in the fields to harvest with the wet conditions).
 
Pick-Your-Own:  flowers, herbs, green beans and cherry tomatoes (maybe!).  For the tomatoes - we will evaluate the fields today and make a decision on the tomatoes.  It is wet out there, we got a lot of rain in a short period of time, not ideal for picking tomatoes.  Wet fields lead to disease and we do not want this in our tomatoes!  It might be best to wait a week.  For the green beans - the first planting is holding very well in the  field.  Lots out there.  Next week we will open the new patch and feature yellow beans and more green beans.  Enjoy!  In the flowers - please do pick lots of snapdragons!  AND next to the snaps - more purple ageratum and pink globe amaranth. Cut zinnias too, just next to our green beans. New sunflower variety open - a small yellow one, next to the others which are on the way out. More sunflowers opening next week along with our new beans.  In the herbs - basil is hanging in there, although we are seeing disease, basil downy mildew.  This is relatively new for our area and of much discussion and research at Rutgers.  The basil still has good flavor, but not as attractive.  We plan to seed more for later harvest.  Dill and cilantro getting big, but still good eating quality.  Again, we will seed more for a second harvest as soon as the fields dry out.  For all the herbs, take what you need/like for the week.  The thyme is amazing - I really like using this herb, give it a try!  Fresh thyme, coarse salt and cracked pepper just at the end of cooking are a nice touch.
 
Other farmer notes... Week 5 and so many more to go - hey, we love what we do (most days!).  It is great to see our customers every week with friends and family enjoying the farm and sharing your food experiences.  Your farm enthusiasm keep us motivated.  We want to hear from you - from your kitchen tales to how we can improve on things.  Thanks for supporting our small family farm and see you soon!
 
Your farmers - Jen, Ryan, Carey, Casey and whoever else is around to lend a hand!
 
 
Posted 7/10/2014 3:10pm by Jennifer LaMonaca.
The seafood share for this Saturday has been changed from oysters to tilefish - Jersey Fresh of course!  We could not get the oysters; although they are on the menu and we will be enjoying them soon.  Few extras for sale, we can not accommodate orders at this time, first come first serve.  Thanks for supporting our seafood program, see you on the farm!
Posted 7/8/2014 3:24pm by Jennifer LaMonaca.

CSA Week 4 Pick Up, (for Wed 7/9, Sat 7/12) Wed 3-6 OR Sat 9-12

On the table in Farm Shop - carrots, broccoli, scallions, beets, cucumbers, zucchini, yellow squash; for the greens - lettuce, spinach and Swiss chard; also kohlrabi, Chinese cabbage, radish and turnips.  Others up and coming in the next week or soon after - eggplant, peppers, potatoes and sweet onions!  See below for pick your own too.

Mix and Match options - create the size share that fits your week.  If you do not want a bunch of Swiss chard or a head of kohlrabi, choose more cucumbers or carrots or whatever you like.  Please read the signs in Farm Shop - questions?  Just let us know.

In the pick-your-own fields - green beans, herbs and flowers.  Lots of flowers out there, help yourself to a nice bouquet - choose zinnia, snapdragons, purple ageratum, pink globe amaranth and sunflowers (limit 4 sunflowers per bunch). For the herbs - all open, take what you need for the week.  Take a little extra and dry some for later use.

Sneak peak next week...pick your own cherry tomatoes!

Blueberries - looking good out there!  Get um while you can!

Extended Hours for CSA Pick-Your-Own Crops, weather permitting, Mon-Fri 8-4,    Wed 8-6, Sat 9-1, Sun closed

We know the conditions may not be great for picking during Farm Shop hours - it could be raining, hot and humid, or whatever. We invite you to pick at your convenience - this is your farm!  Park at usual spot and help yourself to the share of PYO crops for the week.  PYO crops will be noted on the counter along with containers for picking.  Staff will be in the fields working, you are on the honor system.  Enjoy!

Extras for Sale - if you would like to increase the size of your share, you may purchase extras - all produce in bulk except spinach.  Show off your farm!  Bring a friend and share the harvest. Also chicken sausages, cheeses - Gouda, cheddar, ricotta, (mozzarella sold out for the week), cheese spreads and yogurt (plain).  Cold drinks in the fridge too. 

Seafood (Saturday pick up) - Oysters - Cape May Salts.  

See you on the Farm!

Posted 7/1/2014 10:45am by Jennifer LaMonaca.
CSA Week 3 Pick Up, (for Wed 7/2, Sat 7/5)
Wed 3-6 OR Sat 9-12

On the table in Farm Shop - broccoli, cucumbers, zucchini, yellow squash, beets, spinach, lettuce and Swiss chard, Chinese cabbage, kohlrabi, turnips, radish and garlic scapes.  We got what you need to make your 4th of July party the talk of your neighborhood.  Impress your guests with grilled squash, green bean salad with fresh herbs (hand picked - go you!).  Try caramelizing onions, add Swiss chard - serve with a cheese spread and crackers.  Take your veggie platter to the next level with sliced kohlrabi and turnips.  Pick some blueberries and wow everyone with your famous blueberry dessert!  

In the Pick-Your-Own Fields - Green Beans!  This crop is so nice right now.  I ate a few yesterday and they are tender and sweet, just perfect for picking.  Peas are on the way out, still a few good ones though, the heat is getting to them.  Last week for peas.  Lots of herbs to pick - the dill is amazing.  Flowers are just beginning, help yourself to a small bunch.  As they mature over the next few weeks (and we get some measurable rain) you will be able to make bigger bouquets.  Thanks!

Extended Hours for CSA Pick-Your-Own Crops, weather permitting, Mon-Fri 8-4,    Wed 8-6, Sat 9-1, Sun closed

We know the conditions may not be great for picking during Farm Shop hours - it could be raining, hot and humid, or whatever. We invite you to pick at your convenience - this is your farm!  Park at usual spot and help yourself to the share of PYO crops for the week.  PYO crops will be noted on the counter along with containers for picking.  If available, and you would like to pick more than your share, we will have a box for you to leave cash (or an IOU note so you can pay us during normal Farm Shop hours).  Staff will be in the fields working, you are on the honor system.  Enjoy!

Mix and Match - please note Mix and Match signs in Farm Shop - we like to give our customers choices.  For example, mix and match greens, we may have 3 types on the table but we ask you to choose 1 bunch, NOT all 3!  Not sure? Please ask questions and we will be happy to assist.  Not all the crops on the table will fit in your share, select what is best for you for the week.  If you want to increase the size of your share, you may purchase additional produce, prices will be posted or ask us. 

Extras for Sale - produce (see Farm Shop for crops and pricing), chicken sausages, cheeses - Gouda, cheddar, ricotta, (mozzarella sold out for the week), cheese spreads and yogurt (plain).  Cold drinks in the fridge too.  

Farmers Note:  How about that broccoli?! Nice heads.  I am so pleased with this crop as it can be challenging to grow during the summer.  Seed selection is key and seems we got it right. Our crops are doing well considering we have not seen much rain. We have been irrigating nearly everyday given the dry conditions - do your best rain dance for the farm! Next week, more broccoli and baby carrots.

From all of us here, have a happy and safe 4th of July.  See you on the farm.

Your Farmers,

Jen, Ryan, Carrie, Casey and owners Art and Carolyn Brown