Farmers' Blog

Field Report

What's New?
Posted 7/21/2013 7:12pm by Andre Cantelmo.

               The field crew had it rough last week with temperatures far above normal and humidity as well. We are all looking forward to more seasonable weather this week. The heat has pushed many crops along and also increased the need for irrigation. Hard to believe after all of the rain not so long ago. We have had a rash of deer damage around the farm over the last two weeks. It began with the sweet potatoes and then moved into peppers and tomatoes, culminating with sweet corn. We now have the better part of four acres surrounded by electric fence and hope that this will deter our four legged foes. More drastic measures are certainly on the table. The damage will certainly delay the pepper harvest and that particular tomato planting will be late in ripening.

         New additions to this weeks' share include carrots, sweet onions, blueberries and fennel. The carrots are delicious, although a little on the small side. Ailsa Craig is the variety of sweet onion we grow and though it may not be as mild as a vidalia, it has little pungency and can be eaten raw in salads. The blueberries are ripening well and very tasty, but the birds are harvesting them faster than we can. Come on down and U-pick! Fennel is a new one for us. It has a distinct flavor that doesn't appeal to everyone but can be quite delicious sauteed with onions or other roots.

         Eggplant are coming soon and sweet corn is close. Enjoy, Greg


                             Full Share                                                              Half Share

                        4 tomatoes                                               2 tomatoes

                        2 lbs new potatoes                                     1 lb new potatoes

                        1 bunch carrots                                          1 bunch carrots

                        4 sweet onions                                           2 sweet onions

                        1 bunch chard                                           1 bunch chard

                        3 zucchini or summer squash                    2 zucchini or summer squash

                        3 cucumbers                                              2 cucumbers

                        1 fennel bulb                                             1 fennel bulb

                        1 pint blueberries                                       1/2 pint blueberries

Posted 7/8/2013 4:59am by Andre Cantelmo.

     We've sure had some heat! Most crops are responding positively to the heat, and especially to the very mild nights. The rain has given us a break for the last week so that planting has started again although it took several days for fields to dry out. Let's hope for good working and growing weather for the rest of the month. The deer are active on the same side of town where they gave us problems over the winter and into early spring. As of late they have been relentless in their nibbling of sweet potatoes and we are about to embark on electric fence adventure. These same deer are also sampling tomato and pepper plants, but not the eggplant in between. Go figure!

     Cabbage, zucchini and summer squash are new additions to this weeks' share. The cabbages are very tender leaf types that are suitable for salads. A few cucumbers have appeared and the birds tell me that the first blueberries are ripe. Our earliest corn has been fully in silk for a week. Carrots are within a week or so of harvest. Garlic crop is buried in weeds and the head size won't be very large, but we will have garlic. The spring onion crop looks fantastic and I suspect that all of the rain helped a lot. Enjoy the bounty!          Greg


                            Full Share                                                                    Half Share

                       3 tomatoes                                                      1 tomato

                       1 pint new potatoes                                      1 pint new potatoes or 1 bunch beets

                       1 bunch beets                                                 1 pint sugarsnap peas

                       1 quart sugarsnap peas                                  2 zucchini or summer squash

                       2 zucchini or summer squash                          1 head of cabbage

                       1 head of cabbage                                         1 bunch chard

                       1 head of lettuce                                           2 onions

                       1 bunch chard

                       4 onions

Posted 6/29/2013 8:05pm by Greg Balog.

     As farmers we are having a hard time adjusting to what might now be called a wet year after three very dry ones. Our window of time for preparing ground and cultivating for weed control was mighty short and now the chance for rain seems perpetual. Crops generally grow well in wet years (aside from potential problems with blight and other moisture driven diseases) but they are often harvested from a sea of weeds! Let us hope that the soil dries out regularly to allow for the good work to continue.

     No new additions to the share this week, although onions have reappeared. Zucchini, summer squash, cabbage and blueberries are getting close. All the crops on this weeks list look solid for the forseeable future. Enjoy some great meals and happy fourth!   Greg


                    Full Share                                                   Half Share

          2 tomatoes                                                        1 tomato

          1 pint sugarsnap peas                                        1 pint sugarsnaps

          1 bunch beets                                                1 bunch beets OR 1 pint new potatoes

          1 pint new potatoes                                            1 head lettuce or 1 bunch chard

          1 head lettuce                                                   2 onions

          1 bunch chard

          4 onions

Posted 6/23/2013 8:19pm by Andre Cantelmo.

    We have some serious growing weather now! While it isn't good for everything, it will even some crops out that suffered in the clouds and rain. We still have some big plantings to get in the ground but we are gaining on the backlog. This hot, dry weather gives us great conditions to cultivate many crops that found themselves surrounded by weeds all too happy about the wet conditions we had.

     There are a few new items in your shares this week. Tomatoes were expected and should remain in the share straight on through if the greenhouses continue to produce well. New potatoes came on strong and we did our first harvest Friday. Beets were trickling in but are now in full swing. The garlic is just about all scaping right now. For those who aren't familiar with scapes, they are a stem that emerges from the center of a garlic plant several weeks before the head is full sized. On hardneck garlic it takes on a curl and if left to mature, it would form a cluster of tiny cloves. If left on the plant it also a) reduces the size of the garlic head maturing underground and b) we don't get to enjoy them! They can be used just like garlic or onions although the flavor isn't as strong. I made some new potato salad with raw diced garlic scapes, definitely not too strong for the dish.   

                                          Enjoy, Greg


                            Full Share                                                      Half Share

              1 quart strawberries                                                  1 pint strawberries

              1 tomato                                                                 1 tomato

              1 pint sugarsnap peas                                               1 pint sugarsnap peas

              1 bunch of beets                                                 1 bunch beets or 1 pint new potatoes

              1 pint new potatoes                                                 1 bunch of garlic scapes

              1 bunch of garlic scapes            

              1 head of lettuce

Posted 6/16/2013 8:45am by Greg Balog.

    What a week of weather we had! Here in South Hampton more than 6 inches of rain fell in a week. Many fields are very wet and will remain so for several days. The clouds and cooler temperatures slowed down the growth of many crops. Although there are some clouds out now the forecast looks promising through the week ahead. We'll need all the good weather we can get in order to catch up on our planting and so that our crops will ripen. Strawberries are on schedule, but peas and onions are a week or two behind last year. We have pulled a few beets but they are only just starting to size up. We have a small gap in our lettuce harvest but will have more for next share. We are still battling aphids in our greenhouse tomatoes, but things are looking better and once we get to a sizable harvest tomatoes should remain in the share.

     If you haven't heard yet we are having a grand opening celebration for our new store at Eastman's Corner in Kensington. The festivities will begin at 3:00 next Saturday at the Kensington store. Come on down and see us!



                     Full Share                                                          Half Share

                 2 quarts strawberries                                          1 quart strawberries

                 1 box sugarsnap peas                                       1 box sugarsnap peas

                 1 bunch of kale or chard                                    1 bunch of kale or chard

                 2 spring onions                                                  1 spring onion

                 1 bunch of parsley

Posted 6/9/2013 9:13am by Andre Cantelmo.

      We are still moving forward with planting, tending and harvesting here on the farm. Rain and wet fields have slowed us some and promise continue to do so this week. On the bright side, irrigation hasn't been necessary! We are hoping that by the next share both sugarsnap peas and beets will be ready. Our early tomato greenhouses are weakened by an aphid infestation, but we have it under control in the later maturing houses. Early onions are beginning to bulb and new potatoes have begun to form tubers.

      For those with farm stand pickups make note of the day you signed up for, and if it won't work for you let us know so that it can be changed in our system. In Dover, we apologize for the problems last week with the new pickup location. We will have better signage out this week so that the location will be obvious.

             Thanks, Greg


                            Full Share                                                        Half Share

                   2 heads of lettuce                                               1 head of lettuce

                   1 bag salad greens                                             1 bag salad greens

                   1 bunch chard                                                   1 bunch chard or 1 head choi

                   1 head choi                                                       1 lb potatoes

                   1 lb potatoes

Posted 6/6/2013 7:49pm by Andre Cantelmo.

Hey folks, The Heritage Meat Add-On option begins with this coming week's pickups at the farm-stand, and in Dover and Portsmouth. If you indicated an interest in participating but have not registered and paid yet, we apologize for any confusion. Technical issues with the registration software led to the loss of some data. No worries, however. We will be accepting registrations and payment on the spot on Monday the 10th in Dover and Wednesday the 12th in Portsmouth. There is also room for new participants as well. Details of the program along with a registration form are available at

If you have already mailed your registration info, you are all set to go. Thanks very much!

Posted 6/1/2013 11:09am by Andre Cantelmo.

      Hard to believe that it is already June! It sure feels like it with these temperatures. As always at this time of year we are busy planting. We lost some time in the fields with the rain last week but the last several days have been a blur of planting, cultivating and harvesting. The share this week is a light one but we wanted to get things rolling.

      Farm stand pickups begin on Sunday. We are open from 9 to 6 daily. Dover and Portsmouth shareholders will find directions to their pickup locations on our website. Hours for these pickups will be from 3 to 7. The Newburyport pickup location is in front of Joppa Fine Foods at the Tannery, also from 3 to 7.


This week's share:


                   Full Share                                                          Half Share

        1 head Lettuce                                                             1 head Lettuce

        1 bunch chard                                                              1 bunch chard

        1 head bok choi                                                           1/2 lb potatoes

        1 lb potatoes                                                               1/4 lb shallots

        1/2 lb shallots

Posted 5/26/2013 10:48am by Andre Cantelmo.

Last chance! 


The 2013 CSA season is about to begin.  If you or anyone you know would still like to be part of our veggie CSA or the New Roots Farm CSA let us know.  You can still sign up online or catch us at one of our farm stands or farmers markets.


We at Heron Pond Farm are looking forward to providing you with 20 weeks of local food goodness!


Come along for the ride.



Posted 5/26/2013 9:11am by Andre Cantelmo.

Dear CSA Members,

It has been a hectic season here at Heron Pond Farm on all fronts, and I'm sorry that I've been out of touch for so long. We have lots of good things happening, but the days aren't long enough to get everything done. The good news is that you will reap the rewards of this labor!

On the farm we've had an unusually cool spring that has slowed down the growth of the crops. And now we're getting lots of good rain, but that complicates transplanting and working the fields. All of this is par for the course, but it keeps up scrambling.

As you know, we've been working on the new farm store at Eastman's Corner in Kensington. I'm very happy to say that as of today we are open for business. Please do come by and see what we have to offer, and hold the date of June 22-23 and come to our Grand Opening! There will be a wide array of food to taste, all supplied by local vendors who will be there to discuss what they are offering, and there will be entertainment for all. Bring the kids and make a afternoon of it!

Regarding the new CSA season, as you know, we usually offer the first share at the beginning of June. Because of the slow growing season we considered waiting but we have have too much good food to not get it to you as soon as possible. So, this first share will include potatoes, 2 heads of lettuce, bok choi, Swiss chard, and whatever other greens we have. This share will be light, but consider it a first taste of spring!

We have a new location for our Dover pickups. We'll be at the Seventh Settlement Brewery on Washington Street in downtown Dover, opposite the children's museum.

Here are the first pickup dates:
Dover—Monday, June 3
Portsmouth—Wednesday, June 5
Newburyport—Thursday, June 6
South Hampton farm stand—Sunday, June 2

Finally, the beginning of a new season is a good time to check your information on the MEMBERSHIP DETAIL PAGE on our website. Please check to be sure that we have you down for the correct share (i.e. half or whole); that we have you registered for a meat share if you signed up for one; that the balance of your account is correct, and your farm stand pickup day. (Again, CSA pickups must be made that the South Hampton stand ONLY.) 

Moving forward, our communication will be more regular and more timely! We're anticipating a great growing season and lots of good, healthy food for all!



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