Blog

Welcome to the blog.
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

Posted 6/24/2014 4:10pm by Jennifer LaMonaca.
CSA Week 2 Pick Up, (for Wed 6/25, Sat 6/28) 
Wed 3-6 OR Sat 9-12

On the table in Farm Shop – cucumbers (we grow the best for making pickles, and of course salads), zucchini, yellow squash, Napa cabbage, beets, kohlrabi and garlic scapes.  For the greens, we have beautiful and very colorful Swiss chard, also mini bok choy and kale.  Lots of spinach and lettuce too.  And to round off your salads nicely we have radish and white, spring turnips.  What a great week 2!  Lots of food on the table and we will have mix and match options for you to create the share that fits your likes.   

Extras for sale – extra produce for sale this week (kohlrabi, peas and maybe others); see Farm Shop for details.  Also cheeses and chicken sausages!  Need a cold drink after picking in the fields?  We have water, ice tea and others for purchase.  Or you can bring a container and fill up from the water cooler (not as cold though).  

In the Pick-Your-Own (PYO) fields –

-          Peas:  lots of peas out there, please pick them!  Extras for sale too if you would like to increase the size of your share and put some in the freezer for later use.  Snap peas – tall plants, pick full, swollen pods for the highest sugar content.  Eat the whole thing, no need to shell them.  Snow peas – short plants, 2 rows furthest from the barn, pick flat for best quality.

  -        Herbs:  all herbs open – from the trees and moving towards the barn we have:  cilantro, dill, basil and parsley.  The next row over is a mix –  from the pond and moving towards driveway we have:  rosemary, thyme, oregano, sage and lemon balm.  Take what you need for the week.  Some herbs are on the small side as they are still maturing so pick lightly here (cilantro, rosemary, oregano, sage and lemon balm).  Some herbs we have tons and you can pick these hard (dill, basil and parsley).

-          Flowers: a few snapdragons and others coming on!  Sunflowers maybe, but likely next week.  We will start with a few stems until they fully mature.  For most of the herbs and flowers, they are “cut and come again” varieties for a continued harvest – cut, please do not take the whole plant!  Bring your scissors and a container for water and help yourself to a nice, small bouquet this week – I like to combine the herbs and flowers on the counter or windowsill.  Even if I don’t use all the herbs, they look nice in the jar!  If you borrowed our scissors, kindly return them on your next visit to the farm, thanks!

Seafood Share (Sat only) – little neck clams.

 

See you on the farm!

Posted 6/20/2014 2:57pm by Jennifer LaMonaca.

We are officially open for Pick-your-own Blueberries!  We will be open daily from 8am to 4pm as long as there are berries and weather permitting.  You are advised to call ahead to be sure we are open.

Posted 6/17/2014 3:38pm by Jennifer LaMonaca.

Opening day this week – you choose Wednesday afternoons 3-6, or Saturday mornings 9-12 – and the farm has lots of good food for you!  The crew is working hard weeding (and more weeding!), harvesting, and whatever else it takes to keep the CSA on schedule.  Much thanks to Carey Fleming and Casey Schrading for their efforts to help put food on the table for our CSA members.  On a break from college for the summer, what could be better than farming, right?!  Along with my husband Ryan and B&B Farms owners Art and Carolyn Brown we are looking forward to seeing everyone soon!

Beat the heat!  Wow, it is a hot one – today and tomorrow – not so great for opening day!  We have been harvesting in the am to beat the heat and quickly moving things into the cooler to keep fresh.  All produce is holding well and we will always have the same crops on the table for Wed and Sat pickup.  If Wed is too hot for you, pickup on Sat.  The weather is supposed to break and it will be much more comfortable on the farm later in the week.  If you do come out Wed, please take it easy out there in the pick your own fields!  Drink plenty of water, take a break in the shade or bring a friend to help pick with you.  Otherwise, you can pick up your share in Farm Shop Wed and do your pick your own crops later in the week. 

How does pick up work?  On pickup days, bring your favorite reusable bag or basket and fill up from around the tables in Farm Shop.  Everything will be labeled with what it is and how much you can take.  For the greens like spinach, we will ask you to weigh out the amount on the scale, let’s say .5 lbs.  For other greens, it will be by the bunch or count.  We will have plastic bags if you wish to keep you greens separate.  Or you can recycle your own plastic bags – seems we all got a few around the house that accumulate.  Bring them in and use them for your greens.  I find the greens will stay nicer in the plastic – wrap the air out and put in the fridge until ready to use.

Week 1 Share:  In the Farm Shop:  lettuce (red and butter crunch types), spinach (lots of it!), arugula, kohlrabi, kale, bok choy, garlic scapes, spring turnips (baby white type) and radish.  Look for cucumbers and zucchini next week – still a bit too small to harvest for week 1.  In the PYO fields:  peas and herbs. 

Pick-Your-Own (PYO) crops: Please bring your own scissors for herbs and flowers, thanks!  For opening week, we have peas!  Snow peas and snap peas - 1 quart for the week.  We supply the containers, you help yourself to the fields.  The crops and locations will be labeled and staff will direct you to where you need to go.  Herbs too – basil, parsley, lemon balm, sage and thyme.  We will have more but they are not quite ready for this week (dill, cilantro, rosemary, oregano).  For the herbs, take what you need.  Use scissors, do not pull the whole plant out, we want them to keep growing throughout the season!  PLEASE KEEP TO THE MARKED ROWS ONLY.  Parents, please keep an eye on the kids and point out where they can and cannot walk, much appreciated!  We want to avoid damage to other crops that are not ready yet.  PLEASE DO walk around the fields and have a look at things, take pictures and enjoy! 

Week 1 Seafood – Saturday pickup only:  Soft shell crabs.

Parking – proceed up the driveway and park in front of the old barn (the first building you come to on your left).  Park on the grass facing our crops and come on in!

Our facilities – our setting is a bit rustic, but we have what we need.  If you are looking for a bathroom, a port-o-jon will be located behind the barn and a hand washing station inside the barn.  Need a drink of water after picking in the fields?  Bring a container and help yourself to our water cooler. 

See you on the Farm!

Your Farmer, Jen

Posted 6/15/2014 11:21am by Jennifer LaMonaca.

 

Just went out to check again - this is what I'm seeing! Maybe by Wed! Stay tuned for additional updates. Will check daily and post. See all of you soon!!!

 

Posted 6/13/2014 4:01pm by Jennifer LaMonaca.

Due to cooler weather conditions the blueberries are delayed a little.  We hope to have a better idea regarding an opening date by the 20th of this month.  We are looking forward to a great season and can't wait to see everyone soon.

Be sure to check out our Facebook page for additional updates and photos.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/B-B-Farms/128903147135023