Farmers' Blog

Field Report

What's New?
Posted 9/6/2014 9:21am by Andre Cantelmo.

  With the intense heat of late it doesn't yet feel like fall, but the departure of our student workers for the classroom has thrown all of us into harvest mode. And we certainly have a lot to harvest right now and for the foreseeable future. For early September we are as strong as ever with greens and hope that you enjoy them. Tomatoes are in a little dip until our last field planting comes in. We also have hopes for a late tunnel planting of tomatoes that will yield in October. We'll keep our fingers crossed on this project!

  Two new crops appear on the share this week. Both faced serious weed problems from early in the season. Carrots and corn are finally abundant enough to include in the share. We experimented in our early sweet corn plantings with not using herbicide to control weeds. We used a combination of cultivation equipment instead and the result was almost seven acres of very weedy corn that yielded far below average or not at all. We didn't have any of our own corn until near the end of August. Sweet corn is a low grossing and yielding crop per acre and we cannot afford to have this result again. While we may experiment in the future with different techniques for reducing or eliminating the use of herbicide in corn, for now we will stick with a more conventional approach.

  As for the heat we should just remember the days in January when it is so bitter that any time outside is uncomfortable!

    Greg

             Full Share                                               Half Share

       2 tomatoes                                                     1 tomato

       2 lbs potatoes                                              1 lb potatoes

       4 ears of sweet corn                                    2 ears of sweet corn

       4 peaches                                                     2 peaches

       2 cucumbers                                                 1 cucumber

       2 zucchini or summer squash                        1 zucchini or summer squash

       2 lbs carrots                                                 1 lb carrots OR 1 bunch beets

       1 bunch beets                                             1 head lettuce OR 1 bunch kale

       1 head lettuce                                             1 small bag of salad greens

       1 large bag of salad greens                           1 sweet pepper

       1 bunch of kale                                             2 onions

       4 onions

Posted 8/29/2014 6:49pm by Andre Cantelmo.

 

                    Full Share                                             Half Share

             6 tomatoes                                                 3 tomatoes

             2 lb potatoes                                               1 lb potatoes

             1 lb beans                                                   1/2 lb beans

             4 onions                                                      2 onions

             2 zucchini/ summer squash                     1 zucchini/ summer squash

             4 peaches                                                    2 peaches

             2 green peppers                                         1 green pepper

             1 sweet pepper                                           1 sweet pepper

             1 large bag of salad greens                      1 small bag of salad greens

             1 bunch of beets

             1 bok choi

Posted 8/23/2014 9:08am by Andre Cantelmo.

  The scope of our daily harvest continues to increase as we enter late August. Salad greens are again in the mix and sweet peppers have started to become abundant. Tomatoes continue to be strong and we are tending a late tunnel planting that will hopefully bring us tomatoes from late September into October. We are coming out of our early corn problems, but still do not have enough corn to bring into the share. We are getting very close to some beets and carrots. Water, mechanical cultivation and hand weeding have really moved them along.

  Our friends at Apple Hill Farm in Concord, NH are now harvesting their delicious peaches and you will find those in your share this week. They do a fantastic job of harvesting their peaches as close to ripe as possible so that they have all the flavor but don't turn to mush.

     Greg

               Full Share                                              Half Share

          6 tomatoes                                              3 tomatoes

          2 lbs potatoes                                          1 lb potatoes

          1 lb beans                                               1/2 lb beans

          4 onions                                                  2 onions

          4 peaches                                                2 peaches

          2 green peppers                                       1 green pepper

          1 sweet pepper                                         1 sweet pepper

          1 bag of salad greens                             1 bag of salad greens

          1 head of lettuce

          1 cabbage

Posted 8/16/2014 4:27am by Andre Cantelmo.

   There is a definite late summer feel in the air. Chilly mornings, the absence of that July heat and Goldenrod in full bloom. Autumn isn't here yet and we hope for more heat, but the signs of change are all around.

   Our hail damaged crops seem to be recovering well, especially the beets. The smaller lettuce plants that looked so bad after the storm have rebounded nicely. Our mature lettuce is still taking a pounding from the deer. Winter squash still look beat up, but are showing signs of growth.

   As I mentioned, our beets are looking much better and there are some beets in the planting approaching golf ball size. We hope to get those your way soon. Carrots are also finally showing some size and once we get into them, there are enough to keep them in the share for a while. We are also entering a good stretch of greens again. This weeks share has a mix of greens that are just starting to come on, but we will soon have fully mature chard and the full array of salad greens.

 

              Greg

  

              Full Share                                               Half Share

            6 tomatoes                                              3 tomatoes

            2 lbs potatoes                                          1 lb potatoes

            1 lb beans                                                1/2 lb beans

            2 cucumbers                                            1 cucumber

            2 peppers                                                1 pepper

            2 onions                                                  1 onion

            1 eggplant                                               1 eggplant

            1 bunch kale                                    1 bunch kale OR 1 bag of greens

            1 bag of greens

Posted 8/8/2014 8:03pm by Andre Cantelmo.

  Thursday afternoon brought by far the most significant hail storm I have seen in my 14 seasons on the farm. It was very localized in its severity, affecting the eastern most fields much more dramatically.  Our winter squash and sugar pumpkins plants look pretty beat up, but we hope that they will grow out of it. Most of our young lettuce, chard and beet plants were not so fortunate. We hope that they will also grow out of the damage, but right now they don't look good.

  As a result of the hail and deer damage, we don't have enough lettuce for the share this week. The only question mark on the share this week is broccoli. I believe we will have enough for everyone but am finding it hard to assess the pounds that will be harvested this week. We will probably start out the week with broccoli in the share and if we run out will make up at a later date to those who pick up late in the week.

  Enjoy the beautiful weather this weekend and eat well!    Greg

 

              Full Share                                                    Half Share

          6 tomatoes                                                      3 tomatoes

          2 zucchini/ss                                                   1 zucchini/ss

          3 cucumbers                                                   2 cucumbers

          1 lb potatoes                                                  1/2 potatoes

          1 lb beans                                                      1/2 beans

          1 eggplant                                                  1 eggplant or green pepper

          2 green peppers                                             1 onion

          2 onions                                                         broccoli?

           broccoli?                  

Posted 8/2/2014 4:12am by Andre Cantelmo.

  The rain of late has certainly ruined some outdoor plans and forced us to work around the weather, but all in all it is a gift. We were quite dry and finding it difficult to get irrigation everywhere it was needed. Of course the weeds are also growing well, but we can't have it both ways.

   Right now we have very strong plantings of zucchini, summer squash and cucumbers. Our Haygrove tunnel is producing lots of tomatoes, both heirlooms and hybrids. We are harvesting in the next bean planting and finding the picking much better than we had experienced lately. This week should mark a return to more greens in the share. We often have a mid-summer lull in greens production, but we have worked hard this year to keep it to a minimum.

  Greg

                 Full Share                                              Half Share

         6 tomatoes                                                   3 tomatoes

         3 zucchini/summer squash                             2 zucchini/summer squash

         3 cucumbers                                                  2 cucumbers

         2 onions                                                        1 onion

         2 green peppers                                             1 green pepper

         1 lb green beans                                            1/2 lb green beans

         1 lb potatoes                                                  1/2 lb potatoes

         1 bag salad greens                                         1 bag salad greens

Posted 7/28/2014 1:50pm by Andre Cantelmo.

Time to sign up for the Winter CSA!  

The Heron Pond Farm Winter CSA is a great way for you to keep eating local all year long. This year we have expanded our winter storage to keep field greens longer, added to are already significant winter greens production ability, will include some prepared items, and continue to expand on the frozen goods harvested from our summer bounty. Due to shareholder feedback we will reduce the amount of Irish potatoes in the share and try to beef up the sweet potatoes. Come explore what eating locally grown food in the winter can be.  

We need you to register right away! The fact is that about 70% of the cost to produce our winter bounty has already been spent. We need your support to finish the growing season strong and bring in a harvest we can share all winter long. That is why when you pay your share in full by August 31st, we are going to give you a free Heron Pond Farm T-shirt (Men’s and women’s available in s,m,l,and xl. Please specify preference in memo section of your check. While supplies last). So register here.  

This years share price will be $550 for a full share, keeping the share price the same for the last three years. Two people can eat comfortably with a winter full share. We tried doing half shares in the past and it was very difficult to split the share because of the nature of the food.  Starting with the Winter 2013-14 CSA we added prepared and frozen food that made the creation of half shares impossible. Nevertheless, as in past seasons, you are more than welcome to join together with other shareholders to buy a full share.   

Winter is a hard season to grow in. We want all our shareholders to get a nice, well-rounded diet of roots, greens, fruits, and extras. Because of this we only offer 200 winter shares.   

This year’s winter share will begin the week of October 20th and continue into late March. It includes 14 pickups. We are putting the final touches on some April-May food production that may let some of you continue to eat with us all year long. You will be able to register for our early spring share starting in November.  

What is in a winter share? Heron Pond Farm grows food in the winter. We use eight greenhouses to get us through the deep winter months of January and February. We also employ a system of season extenders to have fresh green veggies from outside late in the fall and early in the spring. This makes our winter shares more then just root crops. Combined with a good supply of storage apples this year our shares give you the opportunity to eat local all year long. To see complete list of what was in the 2010-2011 winter share visit our website.

What are the dates for all the pick ups?  

Farm stand: October 24-26; October 31-November 2; November: 7-9, 14-16, 21-23; December: 5-7, 19-21; January: 2-4, 16-18, 30- February 1; February: 13-15, 27-March 1; March: 13-15, 27-29.  

Dover: October: 20, 27; November: 3, 10, 17; December: 1, 15, 29; January 12, 26; February: 9, 23; March: 9, 23.  

Portsmouth: October: 22, 29; November: 5, 12, 19; December: 3, 17, 31; January: 14, 28; February: 11, 25; March: 11, 25.  

We’re looking forward to a winter of great food with you!  

Posted 7/24/2014 8:10pm by Andre Cantelmo.

  Just a brief bit of news this week. Veggies continue to roll in. Ailsa Craig onions are often called 'sweet' onions. Not quite a Vidalia, but very similar. Green peppers are sizing up and in the share this week. Cucumbers are more abundant and look to be going forward. Still waiting on the beans to bounce back. The birds are very busy in the blueberries and we are in between flushes of ripe fruit.

  Back to farmin'      Greg

            Full Share                                             Half Share

       4 tomatoes                                               2 tomatoes

       1 lb new potatoes                                      1/2 lb new potatoes

       3 zucchini or summer squash                      2 zucchini or summer squash

       3 cucumbers                                             2 cucumbers

       1 bag of basil                                           1 bag of basil

       1 bunch of kale                                         1 bunch of kale

       2 Ailsa Craig onions                                   1 Ailsa Craig onion

       2 green peppers                                        1 green pepper

Posted 7/22/2014 8:00pm by Andre Cantelmo.

Pick your own Blueberries are starting to peak. 

Blueberries on the bushYou always know when the blueberries are getting good—the birds come in for them. We think you should get your share too. The picking is really good this year. It does not take long to fill up you bucket.

 

While your there be sure to get a good whiff of the basil patch on your way to the berry bushes. It has been a real treat having the basil so close to the stand this year. This weekends weather looks good so we hope you will make plans to come visit us at Heron Pond Farm.

 

Posted 7/18/2014 8:37pm by Andre Cantelmo.

  Over the last week we've had all sorts of weather: very hot, hot and humid, stormy and now mild and dry. The heat has brought on the squash and cucumbers in quantity at last. The blueberries have also started to ripen with this weather and the rain. Tomatoes continue to yield well from all of our protected culture, including more heirlooms.

  On the farm, we continue to plant, harvest and tend our many crops. Although we won't be eating them anytime soon, many of our late fall and storage crops require our attention right through the summer. Hand weeding, mechanical cultivation and irrigation to fill our barn with carrots, beets, celeriac, butternut and much more for the colder months.

  Next week we hope to bring beans back into the share. Our first two plantings were a little weak, but they look good after that. We expect salad greens to return and our early onions are bulbing nicely. There may even be some green peppers on the horizon. It is getting to be that time of year!

          Greg

                      Full Share                                       Half Share

                 4 tomatoes                                          2 tomatoes

                 1 lb new potatoes                                1/2 lb new potatoes

                 3 summer squash/zucchini                    2 summer squash/zucchini

                 2 cucumbers                                        1 cucumber

                 1 bunch scallions                                  1 bunch scallions

                 2 bunches kale                                     1 bunch kale

                 1 pint of blueberries                             1/2 pint blueberries