Blog

Welcome to the blog.
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

 

Posted 6/8/2014 9:33am by Jennifer LaMonaca.

Dear Members,

Mark your calendars - our 2014 season will officially begin Wed, June 18th!  We are at least a week behind schedule due to cooler weather for this time of year, crops are getting there though.  Along with Mother Nature delaying some crops, the wildlife have created issues for us too.  Early on as the peas and other tender greens were just emerging, geese were hatching, and all over the farm it seemed!  We have always had a family hatch out along the pond and we have been able to escort them successfully off the property.  For some reason, this season we had several families and they were making us run around everywhere!  Every day for 2 weeks or so we were chasing geese and their young from eating our crops and off the farm.  Finally relief and the geese did not return, maybe we could get some rest - but wait, what keeps eating our peas, and now the lettuce, and tomatoes, particularly the heirlooms?  Oh deer!  We expect to have a nice crop for our members though and are keeping a close watch on the situation.  

So, this is farming!  And there is good news!  We have planned a nice variety of crops for you this season.  What to expect for your first share?  In the Farm Shop, most definite lettuce, spinach, kale, arugula, kohlrabi and garlic scapes.  Get those salad spinners ready! Maybe a few squash, they are small but in a week or 2 the plants will be loaded - cucumbers too.  We should have radish, spring turnips which will add a nice kick to dips and salads.  My mouth is watering - I am excited!  Others coming up early on this season - beets, carrots, broccoli, swiss chard and scallions.  

Pick-your-own update:  peas took quite a hit from early geese pressure and now the deer.  It looks as if the harvest will be on the lighter side.  In 2013 we were loaded with peas, sad to say not so much this season.  Although our green beans are real strong.  Lots of herbs this season - basil, dill, parsley, cilantro, rosemary, thyme, lemon balm, sage, oregano.  Flowers are looking good too, there might be a few to pick for the first share.  If not, they will quickly fill in and we will have a nice selection of sunflowers, snapdragons, zinnias and more for you.  And our customer favorite, sungold cherry tomatoes which are amazing!  Look forward to picking and eating right off the vine soon.  

I will be in touch with members during the next week leading up to our opening day with all of the information you will need, including seafood share details.  

See you on the farm soon!

Your Farmer,

Jen

Posted 5/8/2014 2:36pm by Jennifer LaMonaca.

Hello All, 

If you tried to sign up for a seafood share via the website and had troubles - it seems we got it worked out.  

To add a seafood share to your current 2014 membership, follow the link below to update your share:

http://www.bbfarmsnj.com/members/updatemembership

You will be required to enter your email address and it will send you a link to click on to gain access to your account for making updates.

Any questions, please let me know.

Farmer Jen.

Posted 4/29/2014 12:41pm by Jennifer LaMonaca.

Seafood Shares:  Yes, the Seafood Share option which we have offered for the past two years will be coming back to Sea Salt CSA again this season. The process has been taken over by Heritage Shellfish Cooperative, a newly formed co-op whose members are long time baymen that have been involved with shellfish aquaculture and seafood for a combined total of over 160 years.  The cost of the share will remain at $230 for the season and it will be distributed every two weeks, beginning in mid-June during the CSA veggie pickup.  Seafood pickup day will be Saturday only in order to have time to decide what fish or shellfish are available.  Having it on Wednesday last season reduced the decision making time and was hard to accomplish. The sign up will be the same as it has been in the past – you can do so via the website.  Along with Heritage Shellfish Cooperative, we hope to have you on board.

How much seafood?  The share will be enough for 2 people, and we feel the portions are generous. Eat Jersey Fresh seafood and support the livelihoods of local NJ fisherman throughout the state.  In partnership with Heritage Shellfish Cooperative, we are pleased to offer this option again.  Based on our experiences with fisherman’s scheduling, species availability, pricing, etc., we have adjusted our program accordingly.  This season’s seafood menu to include: clams, oysters, scallops, lobster, soft shell crabs along with swordfish, tuna and other high quality species – to be determined.  Know your farmer AND know your fisherman too!

SIGN UP FOR A SEAFOOD SHARE - CLICK HERE.

PLEASE MAKE CHECKS PAYABLE TO “SEA SALT CSA”; PO BOX 832 OCEANVILLE, NJ 08231.  Or pay via the website checkout process using a credit card.  Seafood payment in full ($230) due June 1st.  

Posted 4/29/2014 12:33pm by Jennifer LaMonaca.

Final CSA payments due May 1st (unless you have made other arrangements with us).  As soon as you are able, you can pay your remaining balance via a check or online with a credit card.  Not sure what your balance is?  You can check your membership status on our website (www.bbfarmsnj.com), click on the CSA link, then Make a Payment.  If you have paid in full – thanks for your payment – please read on to get more on the upcoming farm season. 

CSA shares still available for 2014!  We have expanded and welcome new and returning members.  If you have not yet joined for this season, or know of someone who would like to join the farm - you can do so via the website sign up process. Questions? Give us a call, 609-338-8690, or email and we will get back to you as soon as we are able.

We are planning to have lots of healthy and delicious food for you in 2014 - check out our crops, click here.  We are scheduled for opening day on Wednesday June 11th; although this date is flexible due to what Mother Nature does this spring.  So far, it has been on the cool side, not quite cucumber and zucchini weather.  We like to open for the season with a nice variety of crops for you in our Farm Shop rather than just a few things.  I do my best to follow the crop schedule that I laid out over the winter months to ensure the CSA is bountiful on a weekly basis throughout the season, but we have to be patient with the weather and work around these cold and wet conditions.  We can seed and plant the fields early but cold, wet soil may rot our seed or damage newly emergent tender plants so we try and wait for dry and warmer weather to do our field work.  Also it is not ideal to work wet soil – not only do the tractors and our equipment not operate properly, or worse get stuck, it creates poor soil conditions.  So hang in there – warm, sunny days are sure to come along!  I will keep members updated as we get closer to our 1st CSA pickup.

In the greenhouse and the fields – while we wait for windows of opportunity to allow us to do field work, our greenhouse is full of plants!  Lettuce (butter crunch, reds and more), tomatoes (red slicers, plums for canning and salsa, and a few heirlooms back this season), peppers, eggplant, broccoli (keep your fingers crossed, broccoli is a trial this spring), kohlrabi (surprise customer favorite in 2013!), kale, cabbage, herbs, flowers and scallions.  What else?  Cucumbers, summer squash and cantaloupes too – we will seed more of these crops in the field when it gets warmer to ensure a continued harvest throughout the summer.  In the fields, we have seeded beets, carrots (another trial this spring), and have transplanted onions and leeks.  We are waiting for it to dry out a bit to plant potatoes which I like to have in the ground by now but we are ok.  Lots more seeding and planting to do in May – spinach, swiss chard, arugula, more lettuce, radish, pick your own flowers, herbs and beans. 

How do we do it all?  Thus far, I get lots of help from the following 3:  welcome Carrie Fleming to the farm crew!  He is with us now part time until he finishes school in mid-May and then he will be full time – we can’t wait!  So much work to do and he will be great.  He is enthusiastic about farming and a hard worker – look for Carrie in the fields and around the Farm Shop this season.  Also without fail, there is owner Art Brown who assists daily with all things on this farm from field work to equipment maintenance, troubleshooting and whatever else needs to be done; my husband Ryan who works part time on the farm while running his own full time business as a graphic designer.  Ryan has been working the irrigation and helps with whatever else I need like transplanting, weeding, harvesting and running the Farm Shop.  Together we are getting the farm ready for the season; we are seeking another full time person, or 2 part time to bring in the harvest – if you know of anyone looking for work, have them contact me ASAP.  Thanks!  For details, please go to our website, click on the B&B Farms link, then Employment.

Thanks for your interest in our farm and for supporting us!  

Your Farmer, 

Jen

Posted 1/28/2014 3:54pm by Jennifer LaMonaca.

Dear members (and those thinking of joining our CSA),

This is a friendly reminder that the next scheduled CSA payment is due Feb 1.  If you have paid in full, thanks for your payment!  

We accept payment in 3 installments of $175.00 each - a down payment due at signup, 2nd due Feb 1 and 3rd due May 1.  If you need to make other arrangements, let us know and we may be able to work something out.

PLEASE NOTE FOR CREDIT CARD PAYMENTS:  You may use your credit card for the initial down payment at sign up, and to pay off the remainder of your balance.  Otherwise, you can mail us a check for your next scheduled payment of $175.

To make a payment using a credit card AND check your membership status - you can do so via the website - look for the link on the right hand side bar for "make a payment".  Not sure if you are joined to the current 2014 season?  You can look it up here, or send us an email and we can help you out.  

Not a member yet?  You can still join! Click on the links for further CSA Information and More Share Details.  Not sure about it - could it be too much food, or just want to check it out? We have members who split a share with a friend, you can too! As soon as you are able to get us the 2nd payment, we appreciate it. We accept credit cards via the website, or you can mail us a check for your first and 2nd payment.    

Please make checks payable to "Sea Salt CSA", and mail to our PO Box, NOT B&B Farms - thanks!

Sea Salt CSA, PO Box 832, Oceanville, NJ 08231

 

Thanks for your support.  See you on the Farm.