Farmers' Blog

Field Report

What's New?
Posted 7/25/2010 10:09am by Andre Cantelmo.
Our hot summer continues, and the summer crops are responding! Still not enough rain, but the heat has its advantages. Blueberries are in this weeks share but they are winding down. If you chose to pick your own, its time to get to the farm before the season is past. Yesterday we got our first significant harvest of field tomatoes, with many more to come. The corn is beautiful and delicious, with many good plantings ahead of us. Fall crops are growing well although we'll be busy irrigating them this week. We are short on minor crops this week so only one choice per share. We're doing our best to push along summer plantings of lettuce, greens, carrots and beets. Our last corn and carrot seedings are happening right now with the final bean, zucchini, summer squash, cucumber and broccoli plantings soon to follow.
Here are the share lists.

        Full                                                    Half
3 tomatoes                                           1 tomato
2 zucchini or SS                                     1 zucchini or ss
2 slicers or 4 pickles                               1 slicer or 2 pickles
1 pt blueberries or 1 qt pyo                   1/2 pt bb or 1 pt pyo
3 onions                                                1 onion
1 head garlic                                          1 head garlic
2 eggplant                                             1 eggplant
1 pepper                                                1 pepper
1.5 lbs new potatoes                               1 lb new potatoes
12 ears sweet corn                                6 ears sweet corn
1 choice                                                 1 choice

Choose from: kohlrabi, beets, cabbage, raddichio, escarole, napa cabbage

Enjoy, Greg
Posted 7/18/2010 10:21am by Andre Cantelmo.
This weather has been something; heat, heat and more heat! In the last week we have received 1.85 inches of rain, which is enough to help the crops grow some without irrigation, but not enough to make up for what we have missed out on. Most of the corn has rebounded and the corn that cannot be irrigated should mature fine. We seem to be in a little bit of a rain shadow around here, because many other parts of the region received quite a bit more rain than us as of late.
New potatoes are in the share this week, but not many. We have to go a long way down the row for these goodies, so there quantities are limited at first. If you haven't had a new potatoe before, you are in for a treat. It is nothing like a mature potato and does not require as much cooking. Right now some more rain would help the potatoes mature. Our early planting for new potatoes will last for a week, but after that we will rely on our main crop for more new potatoes. Significant rain would help!

For those who pick up on Sunday or Monday and did not receive corn last week you may take that corn at any time as a credit. I don't imagine that many of you with a full share will be able to use 18 ears of corn this week!

This week's share:

                    Full Share                           Half Share
2 tomatoes                                         1 tomato
2 slicers or 4 pickles                         1 slicer or 2 pickles
1.5 lbs beans                                      .75 lbs beans
4 carrots                                             2 carrots
2 sweet onions                                    1 sweet onion or 1 garlic
1 garlic                                               6 ears of corn
1 lettuce                                             1/2pt blueberries or pt pyo
1 pt BB or 1 qt pyo                           1 bell pepper or 1 eggplant
12 ears corn                                     1/2 lb new potatoes
1 bell pepper                                   
1 eggplant
1lb new potatoes
2 choices                                           1 choice

Choose from: Kohlrabi,chard,beets,radicchio, escarole, napa cabbage

Enjoy! Greg
Posted 7/11/2010 8:49am by Andre Cantelmo.
The heat and lack of rain are truly making farming difficult now. Moving irrigation pipe and turning pumps on and off (mostly on!) occupies much of our time. We are about to irrigate fields which we have never done before and not a moment too soon. The heat has pushed many crops along. Peppers, eggplant and corn have started to trickle in, corn being hurt however by the lack of rain.

            Full Share                                 Half Share
1 head lettuce                                     1 head lettuce
2 cukes or 4 pickles                            1 cuke or 2 pickles
2 zucchini or summer squash           1 zucchini or summer squash
1 tomato                                             1 tomato
4 carrots                                              2 carrots
1 pint blueberries or 1 qt PYO          1 pt BB or 1 qt PYO
1 lb green or wax beans                  1/2 lb green or wax beans
1 head garlic                                        1 head garlic
2 choices                                              1 choice
Choose from: kohlrabi, napa cabbage, chard, kale, scallions, raddichio

Posted 6/20/2010 10:42am by Andre Cantelmo.
This week's share may seem remarkably similar to last weeks', but the weather of late will change the scene very soon. Zucchini and summer squash will just miss making it onto this weeks list but will certainly be in the following week. New potatoes and cucumbers are coming on fast and green beans will be earlier than in recent years. The heat has and will stress some crops but we are working hard to get irrigation into place. Planting continues as always and we've been busy preparing more fields everyday.
While we farmers are busy growing food, the deer flies and mosquitos have been pursuing us with a vengence! Woodchucks seem to be having a good year at our expense, although we are hot on their trail! Andre has completed our first ever dry bean planting and the hot weather has probably already germinated the crop. We'll see what the crop looks like in the fall. Dave has been busy sowing cover crops onto fields not destined to produce veggies this year. Ben has been the master of irrigation this season and freed me up to keep weeds under control and rest an aching back (chiropractor fixed me up good!). Lis has kept the tomato greenhouses in order and jumped into the field prep process so there are times when four tractors are going at once!

Well there is the report from the field and now for this week's share.

               Full Share                                 Half Share
2 tomatoes                                    1 tomato
1 box sugarsnaps or 1lb shell peas    1 box sugarsnaps or 1lb peas
1 bunch beets                                 1 bunch beets
2 heads lettuce                               1 head lettuce
1 bunch scapes or scallions               1 bunch scapes or scallions
Choice of 2                                     Choice of 1

                                 Bok Choi
                             Chinese Cabbage

Folks, these choices depend upon availability and the previous popularity of each item. At times the choice you would like won't be available. We try our best to match the harvest to your preferences, but to harvest enough of everything so that every option would be available to every shareholder would result in much waste. Thanks for your understanding.

Enjoy,  Greg

Posted 6/13/2010 7:01am by Andre Cantelmo.
Well sadly our strawberries have come and gone all too quickly. The unusual spring warmth brought them on early but also ended harvest as early as we might sometimes begin harvesting in other years. We have begun harvesting sugarsnap peas that you will find in your shares this week. One of the choices this week will be kohlrabi. For those who had kohlrabi in our winter share, this spring kohlrabi tastes a little different, somewhere between the winter sweetness and a mild turnip.
Crops are growing well, as are the weeds! As we continue to plant in earnest, we are also cultivating and setting up irrigation. The rain of late has been far from adequate for good growth. The blueberries appear to be ahead of normal and there should be zucchini, summer squash and cucumbers by the end of June or first week of July. Enjoy this weeks share:

      Full Share                                   Half Share

2 tomatoes                                   1 tomato
2 heads of lettuce                          1 head lettuce
1 bunch beets                               1 bunch beets
1 pint sugarsnap peas                     1 pt sugarsnap peas
1 bunch garlic scapes                     1 bunch garlic scapes
Choose 2 from list below            Choose 1 from list below

                              Bok Choi


Posted 6/6/2010 7:41am by Andre Cantelmo.
The share this week will begin to include some crops familiar to those who have been members in the past. With all of the warm weather and our irrigation work, crops are really growing well. We are a little behind on planting because of the time spent on irrigation, but should be able to catch up this week. For those who are considering changing their pickup day at the farmstand please do it this week so that we can finalize our pickup lists. Also, the farmstand will open at 10:00 for several more weeks before we move to 9:00 opening.

         Full Share                                  Half Share
1 quart of strawberries                    1 pint of strawberries
2 tomatoes                                    1 tomato
1 head lettuce or 1lb lettuce mix       half pound bag lettuce mix
(depending on availability)
1 bunch garlic scapes                      1 bunch garlic scapes
1 bunch scallions                            1 bunch scallions
1 bunch beet greens                        1 bunch beet greens
1 bunch turnips

Enjoy the taste of the season!  Greg
Posted 6/4/2010 6:18pm by Andre Cantelmo.

Hello Heron Pond Farmers


Just a quick note to let you all know that we are bringing extra berries to market tomorrow. Remember you get 10% off whatever you need from our stand at the market.


See you there!



Posted 5/29/2010 8:41am by Andre Cantelmo.

Hello Heron Pond Farmers!

This is it! We are on! Time to get some food. Sunday marks the first day of the CSA pick ups. It also marks the first day of fixing all the mix ups that happen every year with the pick up locations and days. Never fear! We go through this every year, it is normal. You will get all your food and not be shorted at any time. We bring extra to all our location. This way if there is any confusion at least we have the food to give you. We have been updating our records with all the corrections that you gave us but sometimes they don't go through the Member Assembler. There will be a paper record at each pick up. Please take the time to look at the information and make sure it is correct. This is also a good time to clear up all outstanding balances. Some balances that have been cleared up still will not show on the paper work. Helping us clear this up is all part of the CSA process. After the first week things seem to straighten themselves out well.

Now for the food. This hot spring has not helped our early season, mild weather loving crops that we have planed for this time of year. Many of you were with us the year we got an early case of cabbage root maggot. Well they are back. It was the decision of the CSA last time not to spray for them. We kept with that decision this time as well. You will get an e-mail with the life cycle of the fly and all that goes into making a management decision about how we handle the pest. For those of you knew to us you will find that we talk about how WE want to grow our food and you are in on that. This means that sometimes we loose crops and sometimes we spray them. Weather we use an certified organic spray or not all sprays have consequences. By working together we all get to eat the food that we enjoy in a responsible way. This is my favorite part of CSA.

So what does this mean for crops? The maggots got the Bok-Choi, Kolrabbi, and Nappa Cabbage. Other brasicas have been hit but so far holding there own. We have of course replanted and will be getting some more of those crops soon. It is a shame about the Kolrabbi. Folks loved it so much this winter, that we grew some spring types for you all to try. I will look forward to the next round.

This weeks share!

Full Share

2 Heads of Lettuce

½ lb Greens (depending on availability: aruggula, oska purple, yukina savoy, kossimo, or rabb)

1 Bunch of Scallions

1 Tomato

1 Pint Strawberries! Yum!

Half Share

1 Heads of Lettuce

1 Bunch of Scallions

1 Tomato

1 Pint Strawberries! Yum!


Posted 5/18/2010 6:02am by Andre Cantelmo.

Hello Heron Pond Farmers!

It has been a long time since our last contact. Greg and I have been working hard getting this season off to a good start. 2010 is not coming easy, but I will take our early troubles this year over our late troubles last year any day. This e-mail should help us all get on the same page for the start of the 2010 CSA season. There are over 300 of us now enjoying local food and building community. Some organization needs to take place so you will need to help out to make sure all your share information is correct and up to date. I will also give you a crop update and give a heads up on things to come.

Taking care of business!

We need to be sure that we have the correct information for all of you. In addition some of you will want to change your pick up day or location. We need to get this all straight before first pick up. It is easy to check the information we have for you. Just go to the website, under the CSA tab and hit the Membership status button. Follow the screen instructions and you will be sent your information. Please be sure to check your day and location make sure it is what you want. This page should also give you the information for your pick up including a map of how to get there.

This is also a good time to check the balance on your account. You need to do this for two reason. One, I have been known to make mistakes. We moved to using this web based program to help with these things but I still make mistakes. My main goal this year was not to screw up the Jackie Ellis groups account which I have done every season including winters for as long as they have been with us. If I can do that I think I am on the right track. Two, we need folks to pay off there unpaid balance. As we become a more CSA based farm, we rely more on you then early spring sales to get through to June. Thanks for all your help. Taking care of this business will help us run smoothly.

Crop Report

Those of you that have been with us for a while know that all of the farmers here at Heron Pond Farm look at everything with a critical eye. Both Greg and I are always looking for way that we could be doing better, I guess thats why so many of you have been with us for so long. With that in mind....the strawberry crop looks great! We were unable to include strawberries in the share last year because of a crop failure. This year they look great and we are looking forward to a good season. The spring has been hot and dry. Many of our small seeded crops are not coming up well. This will manly effect some of the spring greens that we all enjoyed early on last year. Never fear, Greg and I have replanted many of these and by the end of June we should be back on track. Beans have never been earlier. I think that by the first week in July we should get some and they should be with us right through the year. Peas are coming well too, and we have added Snow Peas this year for you all to choose from. In short the early crops are hurting a little but the summer crops look better then ever to me. I'll keep you up to date as things keep growing. You can also follow us on twitter or facebook for those pictures I send out from the field. The links are on the main page of the web site.

Health of the CSA

The health of our community is growing even stronger then it was before. The feed back loop between folks and farmers is really coming together for us. This year we hope to close the loop and be able to go 12 months with food for you. We have been growing toward this and each year the CSA has helped the farm bootstrap up to the next level. This spring has been hard to do, providing food for the winter CSA while growing food for the summer. This has helped us grow are farming family and we now have two full time year round farmers to keep agriculture growing in this area.

We also have two families that will be getting most of their calories from the farm this year and bloging about it for you. They will be coming down to the farm and picking extra stuff, freezing, caning and planing on how to keep all this going for the year (I know I like my berries out of the freezer in the winter).

Phat Catt bistro in Amesberry will be picking up a share as well. They will see what they can do with it and be posting some ideas for us all.

In short every year is bring us closer to our goal of making this farm a permanent fixture in the New England landscape.

Thank you

All the farmers here at Heron Pond Farm want to thank you for such a great registration season. With out you would would have a hard time putting this kind of harvest on the table. We are looking forward to getting into the food with you at this point. If you are new with us, things start out slow but get going well by the end of June. Also with four season farming coming this may be the last thin June we have.

These updates will come more frequent now as I have missed you all and talking about the farm. I send out some short ones on each crop as they come up. And you will all get the news when the newest Heron Pond Farmer shows up (in fact they were due yesterday)!

See you all soon!


Posted 4/23/2010 4:59am by Andre Cantelmo.

Hey Heron Pond Farmers!

On Saturday April 24 from 10:00 am till 2:00pm there will be a group of vendors coming down to the farm. These are some of the same vendors you have been enjoying from the winter markets. Come on out and check on all the early spring action.

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See you there!




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