Farmers' Blog

Field Report

What's New?
Posted 1/29/2010 7:27pm by Andre Cantelmo.

Hello Heron Pond Farmers

Well the hits keep coming as far as I'm concerned. This week the spinach harvest was a little better then expected, so one pound bags for all! We also have some nice mesclun mix and a real treat, Belgian endive. We grow these plants in the summer for there root stock. They were in cold storage till about 20 days ago. Then we set them up in a dark room for growth. Now they are ready for you to enjoy! Check out our favorite food site for recipes.

Important announcement for all Portsmouth pick up folks. Because of the cold we will have a limited pick hours in the barn Saturday 10:00am-2:00pm. The food will then be moved into the house for safe keeping. So if you show up and the food is not there don't fret, just go up to the house.

This weeks share:

Last of the apples split between us all.

1lb Spinach

1/2lb mesclun greens

1 bag of Belgian endive

1lb Beet

1lb Parsnips

2lbs Carrots

1 Rutabaga

4lbs Potatoes or 2 lbs of Fingerling

2lb Onions or ½ pint of Shallots

Enjoy the food, I know I will.


Posted 1/27/2010 6:27am by Andre Cantelmo.

Heron Pond Farm is proud to offer a community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program to the people of Dover. For the last two years we have been able to have a location in Portsmouth for CSA members to pick up there food and meet the farmers. Now after the loss of three CSA's that were serving the Dover area, we will be offering the same great service that the folks of Portsmouth have been enjoying to your community. Because over the last five years the members of our CSA have been shaping the food in the share (quantity and variety), and how it is distributed, I think you will enjoy all the aspects of being a member of Heron Pond Farm, and being able to pick up your food in a Dover location.

Our CSA does not work like a lot of others. Your food is not boxed for you, you choose the food from the offerings. We find that folks like to pick “the” tomato they want so why not let them. Food is grouped into category and you pick the prescribed number of things from that group. We find that this gives flexibility for your menu each week. We are also a full discloser CSA. So if you want to know what past shares got each week, its on the web site. We do a financial discloser as well, aiming to get you a 20% return on your investment. Last year folks made 14.7%, the year before 44.9% so the weather does make a difference.

Fruit is included in the share. We have strawberries, blueberries, peaches, plums, apples, and melons throughout the year, each in it's real season. We are planting some raspberries this year so they should be a few years out.

I'm sure there are a lot more questions that you have and I would love to answer them. Call me any time at 603-591-8720 and I'll do my best to answer them. If you would like to become a member we offer you an on line option to sign up. Otherwise you can make a copy of our registration form and mail it in.

Looking forward to having you as a member.

Andre Cantelmo

Heron Pond Farm                                                          




Posted 1/22/2010 6:25am by Andre Cantelmo.

Hello Heron Pond Farmers!

Just a note to says thank you for all the great feedback about last winter share and give you some more information about those letters you should be getting by now in the mail. Not only is it always great to hear from all of you but it's nice to know when you are doing a good job. Jerry Monkman (share holder, photographer extraordinar) came out to watch us harvest the spinach fro the green house. He is working on a photo project about sustainability. The benefit to us is we get to see all his cool shots first! (done much better then the shots you get from us). So here are some photos of the harvest.




Spinach will be in at least the next two shares and may make it to more. The stuff you got last time was the best looking, the others have some spots. Greg and I are looking at better varieties because we are not going to spray spinach with even a certified organic product (give me spots on my spinach...give me back the birds and bee...please). The good news....lots of spinach to come.

The mailing we sent out has most of the information you need to register for the 2010 season. There is no due date on the form but we try to get all renewals done by the 15th of February. It is at that point that we really get going on getting new members so we like to have an idea of how many spots we have left. We also need to meet our expenses so the sooner you register the sooner we can put those funds to work for the 2010 season.

If you need to make a payment plan be sure to contact us sooner then later. We need to save your spot even if you are going on a plan. Once again, Heron Pond Farm does not believe that money should be the bar that block you access to local food. That being said we need money to run the farm but have always been able to work this out on a case by case basis.

Heron Pond Farms sponsor a share program is in the works. Last year we had four families receive free shares from Heron Pond Farm. This was done with your generous donations matched dollar for dollar by Greg and I. Last year we did this on the fly and no one got a tax deduction. This year we will partner with a non-profit so anyone donating can get a deduction. So everyone who is asking why the check box for sponsor a share is gone from the registration form will now know why. With the new system you will have to write your checks out to the non-profit, so you can use their tax id number for the deduction. When we have all these things together we will get back to you.

We need your help to get new members at all our locations, but Dover is the biggest push. It looks like the Dover pick up is coming together (unfortunately they lost three CSA's last year) but we need 30 shares to get it off the ground. Fifty shares would make it a solid CSA location. If you know anyone in the Dover, Rollinsford, Somersworth, South Berwick, Eliot, Durham, Madbury, Lee, or Barrington area looking for a CSA, this might be a good fit for them. Pass along our information to them our send us an e-mail. Lets bring local food back to Dover!

Eat Well!


Posted 1/15/2010 5:52pm by Andre Cantelmo.
We have some real treats from the winter houses this week folks! Baby spinach and turnip greens! There is nothing like winter spinach, sweet and delicious. The turnip greens have a little spice to them, maybe one step from arugula, good for salads or a light saute. They really shouldn't be cooked for more than a minute or two. If you find any tiny turnips with your greens, you will notice that they are quite sweet.
We promised the celeriac for the last pick-up but realized that it needed a good washing before distribution. Unfortunately we don't have quite enough for every member so those who don't get celeriac or prefer something else will have rutabaga or kohlrabi in its place. For those who get celeriac let us know what you think. We hope to have spinach in the share right through March and by mid February we might have swiss chard, beet greens and mesclun mix.

3/4 lb.   baby spinach
1/2 lb.   turnip greens
4          apples
2 lbs.    carrots
1 lb.     beets
4 lbs.   potatoes or 2 lbs. fingerlings
1         celeriac or kohlrabi or rutabaga
1 lb.     turnip
2 lbs.    onions


Posted 12/9/2009 10:46am by Andre Cantelmo.

Hello Heron Pond Family

As 2009 comes to an end Heron Pond Farm has an eye on making the most of 2010. With CSA demand increasing and the general theme of the farm seem to be “grow more diverse crops” we needed a greater area that we could readily get water to. This will help us grow the type of crops our customers have been looking.

Additionally in order to stretch our seasons in an good way we will need to put up more greenhouses and cold frames. The biggest part of witch is the Haygrove tunnel project that we are looking to get going sooner then later. In order to make this kind of investment in cold frames we need to make sure that we had reliable water.

So Greg and I have put a long, longed for pond in the mid-field. The first step was to pull back all the top soil were the pond was going to go. This leaves only the sub soil and gravel to deal with while digging the hole. Most folks don't know that the water actually is held in the gravel under the soil. It runs like underground rivers till it reaches the surface. The trick with ponds is to find a big enough gravel field close enough to the surface, with a recharge rate grater then you will pull out. If any of you have hiked up to the mid-field then you will know that it is perfect.

As the pond fills up the banks must be stabilized. Some of that top soil that was scraped off will be put back around the pond to plant grass into. This will give the pond more stability, but that is not enough. There will be a overflow culvert installed about two feet below the top and draining downhill.

When this pond reaches it capacity it will be about 95,000 gallons. There are seven acres of land right around the new pond. In the past we would only take a chance with corn and potatoes but now anything we grow can be grown here.

Photos are nice but I think that this video will give you a better scene of the place:

We have been restricted in how many CSA shares we have been able to offer till now. The CSA represents the fastest path for Heron Pond Farm to reach economic sustainability. We are so close we can taste it, along with all our good food. You can help us by turning your friends on to Heron Pond Farm as well as registering yourself. We have a new on line registration method. You are in control of picking your location, day, and can register as many e-mail addresses per account as you like. This will let everyone involved in your share to get all the news about the CSA. Of course you can still download a registration form and send it in.

Hope to here from you all soon.




Posted 12/3/2009 6:22am by Andre Cantelmo.

Hello Heron Pond Farmers

So this week we start into our deep winter shares. Greens will get harder and harder to come by. The green houses look good, the spinach looks amazing so we will have that green element for some time. I was sad when we had o give out the salad mix last share. That was out of one of the green houses and was meant for latter in the winter but it came on early do to our mild weather. We will be building more shelter for winter growing soon so that we can cover ourselves better. I don't see a problem coming on yet so we will see what late January and February look like.

As Greg and I have said all along this is a 14 pick up winter CSA going to through March. We modeled this off the Wolf Pine CSA that does the every other week thing. Like many other winter CSAs we do not have a pick up every week all winter.  The winter program has always been a 14 week pick up plan.  The greens that we harvest in the deep winter come from the green house and do not grow as fast or as plentifully as other times of year.  When looking for guidelines in building a winter CSA we looked to two models.  Wolf Pine Farm in Maine (with 9 winter pick ups) and Peats Greens in VT (with a pick up every week).  Peats CSA cost almost $800 and requires twice the green house space that we currently have.  Wolf Pine does not grow their deep winter greens and buys in many of the foods that they offer in the winter.  We had to make choices about the kind of product we wanted to put together.  We chose to be mainly an on farm CSA, we do get apples from else where, but we grow our own food other wise. 

That being said we think that you will all get plenty of food to keep you going, and Greg and I have some nice deep winter surprises that will be fun. So the pick up days will be on the weekends for everyone. The days are December 5,6; 19,20; January 2,3; 16,17; 30,31; February 13,14; 27,28; and March 13,14; 27,28. If you can't make a pick up we can hold your food at either location, the farm or up in Portsmouth so contact us to let us know when you are coming.

This weeks Share:


           2 bunches greens
           1 bunch turnips
           1 head pac choi
           1 lb broccoli
           4 lbs carrots
           4 lbs beets
           4 lbs potatoes and 2 lbs fingerlings
           6 apples
           4 leeks
           2 winter squash

If we have time to cut more greens we will. Also if you don't want the beets you can switch with potatoes. I need to check but we also may have some extra carrots to sub with. It will be on the board when you get your share.

Don't forget that the farm is a great place to walk, x-country ski, snow shoe in the winter. All CSA members are welcome on the farm.


Posted 11/20/2009 8:04pm by Andre Cantelmo.
Well folks, some new additions to the list this week: mesclun mix; Green Lance asian style greens and pie pumpkins. We have had two hard frosts/freezes this week but most crops are holding up well. The broccoli is turning into an avalanche and we want to get it harvested before the really cold weather arrives after thanksgiving. We've had quite a busy week preparing for this weekends pickup and the Seacoast Eat Local holiday market, not to mention that we just finished planting garlic and are continuing to plant in the greenhouse (got to think ahead to February!). After pickups this weekend and on Wednsday in Portsmouth we will see you all again at the next pickup December 5 and 6. We hope that you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

November 21-22 & 25

1 Bunch Hon Sai Tai
1 Bunch Green Lance
1 lb Mesclun Mix
3 lbs Broccoli
4 lbs Beets
4 lbs Carrots
4 lbs Potatoes or 2 lbs Fingerlings
1 Rutabaga
1 Pie Pumpkin & 1 Winter Squash
2 lbs Onions
8 Apples

Regards, Greg

Posted 11/16/2009 6:27am by Andre Cantelmo.

The Shultz have been so gracious as to let us use there barn in Portsmouth as our indoor winter CSA pick up. The address is 140 Orchard Street but the barn faces out to Ash Street, as the Shultz have a corner address.

View Larger Map

The Pick up it's self will take place in the barn that is on Ash Street. There is a side door to the barn and in the bad weather we will be using this side door only.


If you see this house you know that you are in the correct place, you just need to go around the corner. If you have any problems at all you can always call me at 603-591-8720. The Shultz can be reached at 603-373-8608.

Wednesday the 18th and 25th will be at this new location from 3:00-6:00 with Heron Pond Farm personal attending. Shares not picked up will be left at the barn for you. There is no need to stop at the house, just get your share from the barn. On cold night left over share will be brought into the house so you will need to call to pick up if you missed. December the 5th will be our first weekend pick up beginning Saturday morning. The food will be there until Sunday but we expect most of you to pick up by the end of Saturday. We may be able to help out from time to time so call if you are having a problem getting your share.


So glad to be able to bring the folks in Portsmouth a winter share of Heron Pond Farm.



Posted 11/14/2009 7:51am by Andre Cantelmo.

Hello Heron Pond Farmers!

This week I will be sending out a separate news letter to all mailing list members with some cool fax about the farm, so look for that soon.

This update is crafted for the winter CSA membership. Most importantly we have come up with the go ahead plan for the Portsmouth pick up. I know you all have been working with us as we pulled the Portsmouth pick up out of the air but I think this will work better for all. Wednesday the 18th and Wednesday the 25th will have the Portsmouth pick up moved to our new location. The site will still be maned, but we will be able to bag shares and leave them behind if you don't show. You will of course have to deal with what we pick for you but it will be good to have access to your food. Your next pick up will be on December 5th (the weekend). We will stay with this type of pick up for the rest of the winter, in the better spot, every other week. I will be sending out a map of this set up on Monday so keep an eye out for it.

Thank you for all the positive share feedback. Next weeks share will be for the Thanksgiving week so if you have any suggestions please pass them along (yes there will be pie pumpkins but how many?). Next week will be the first of our doubled up shares because we will start going every other week. So there will be more food in that share and you should be prepared to put some up or keep it longer term.

This weeks share:


4 of any Apple

1 Hon Tsai Tai

1 Summer Jean

1 Yukina Savoy

2 lb Broccoli

1 Head of Lettuce

2 Leeks

2lb Carrots

2lb Beets

2 Winter Squash

2lb Potatoes or 1lb Fingerlings

Eat Well





Posted 11/7/2009 12:08am by Andre Cantelmo.

Hello Heron Pond Farmers!

Heron Pond Farm and Andre now have face book pages. You can keep up with farm stuff and other happenings by friending us. We are also coming up with new ways for you to keep up with the farm on Twitter and bring more pictorials to the web site. Hope this all brings you closer to the food you eat.

This week has been all about getting the potatoes out of the ground. We spent the better part of the week picking the fingerlings off the ground. Then we moved on to the rounds were we can use the potato digger. Check out this video I took with the phone.

Many of you have been asking for recipes for some of the stuff we are giving you. You can find some recipes through the links on our greens page. But my favorite tool for finding recipes is Epicurious. Just type in any ingredient into the sites search and lots of choices come up. Its fun and easy to use. You don't have to sign in to use the service, but must become a member if you want to use the forums.

Some of you may want to add meat to the menu.  The stand now has Kellie Brook Farm meat in the Freezer. You no longer have to pre-order, its there while supplies last. Next week we hope to have bread and eggs at the stand as well.

So this weeks share:

4 of any Apple

1 Hon Tsai Tai

1 Summer Jean

1 Yukina Savoy

2 lb Broccoli

1 Head of Lettuce

2 Leeks

2 Rutabagas

2lbs Daikon radish (Learn about it)

2lb Carrots

2lb Beets

2lb Potatoes or 1lb fingerlings

Enjoy the good eats. Be sure to use the comment section bellow this post on the site to let folks know what you did with your share!


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