Farmers' Blog

Field Report

What's New?
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.


                 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!


                      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          

Posted 7/11/2014 7:40pm by Andre Cantelmo.

   We have had some great growing weather lately and many summer crops are starting to come around. We've had a trickle of squash, cucumbers, eggplant and even peppers. The squash and cucumbers should become a regular feature with next weeks share. Eggplant and peppers in another two to three weeks.  Beans have started to produce and are in the share this week. Tomatoes continue to ripen in the greenhouses with a few heirlooms maturing as well.

  For those not familiar with new potatoes, you are in for a treat. New potatoes require much less cooking and have a smooth, buttery flavor that you won't forget and don't want to bury under other stronger companions in a dish.

   Enjoy,   Greg

         Full Share                                         Half Share

       4 tomatoes                                         2 tomatoes

       1 lb new potatoes                               1/2 lb new potatoes

       1/2 lb green beans                             1/2 lb green beans

       2 bunches kale                                   1 bunch kale

       1 bag swiss chard                               1 bag swiss chard

       1 bag salad greens                             1 bunch scallions

       1 bunch scallions

Posted 7/5/2014 4:58am by Andre Cantelmo.

  It doesn't often happen that July 4th is a washout. As I write this newsletter early Saturday morning the rain is still falling. This rain has certainly ruined many holiday plans but as a farmer I couldn't be happier. To say that the soil was dry before this rain would have quite an understatement. Early in the week we were in a mad scramble to get the water flowing everywhere possible. Yet in the span of only 24 hours we received enough rain for all of that pressure to ease. Here on the farm we'll give our thanks for this otherwise foul weather.

  The tomatoes continue to be harvested in abundance from our greenhouses. We hope that this harvest will continue as our later houses come into production. Our first planting of sugarsnap peas has burned out in the heat and drought, but the second planting appears ready to grab the baton. Our cabbage started to mature last week and is now abundant enough to offer in the share. Our summer cabbages are mostly varieties with thin, tender leaves that can be used in salads and slaws in addition to cooking. The kohlrabi is this weeks full share is not like that you may have tasted in the winter. The spring kohlrabi has more of a cabbage like flavor and can be eaten raw or cooked.

  Eat well and enjoy the rest of your holiday weekend,   Greg


             Full Share                                       Half Share

     4 tomatoes                                            2 tomatoes

     1 lb sugarsnap peas                               1/2 lb sugarsnap peas

     2 heads lettuce                                       1 head lettuce

     1 head cabbage                                      1 head cabbage

     1 bunch kale                                           1 bunch kale

     1 bag chard                                             1 bag chard

     1 bag salad greens

     1 spring kohlrabi                

Posted 6/27/2014 9:01pm by Andre Cantelmo.

  The tomatoes have really come on this week and sugarsnap peas are cranking. For those not familiar with sugarsnaps, they are an edible pod pea. Just take off the tiny stem and you are good to go. They are great raw and we often cook them gently in stir fries. Greens continue to be abundant and diverse. Beets are not quite abundant enough and potatoes need some rain. We received very little here on the farm, about 1/3 of an inch. Irrigation begins in earnest this week!

  Yes, strawberries are nearing an end and won't make the share this week. With the warmth our planting won't produce enough through the week for the CSA. They don't call them 'June bearing' berries for nothing! Folks that pickup at the farm stand on Sunday however, will receive berries since they missed out Sunday before last.

 We picked just a few zucchini and summer squash this week from our tunnel. I personally hope that cucumbers are not far behind! Lots of planting happened this week: brussels sprouts, storage cabbage, last field tomatoes, squash, melons and cucumbers. Next week we will plant our winter squash and sugar pumpkins. It is great to have some summer weather and come into some real harvests. We look forward to much more.



       Full Share                                      Half Share

    1 lb sugarsnap peas                      1/2 lb sugarsnap peas

    3 tomatoes                                    1 tomato

    1 bunch kale                               1 bunch kale or 1 bag chard

    1 bag chard                                   1 head lettuce

    1 head lettuce                               1 bag choi

    1 bag choi                                     


Posted 6/21/2014 4:28am by Andre Cantelmo.

  We have reached the longest day of the year although summer feels like it just started. The plants, both weeds and crops, certainly recognize the long days. The warmth, sun and long days of the last week have pushed many crops along and the weeds have taken advantage of all the opportunities we have created for them. The dry weather has given us ideal conditions under which to cultivate aggressively in our crops to diminish the weed populations. The flip side is that it is suddenly past time to set up irrigation on many crops. We'll be quite busy next week tackling these projects.

  The strawberries are really coming in right now. We are still picking our early berry, Wendy, and have moved into the Jewell as well. Greenhouse tomatoes have finally given us a flush of fruit. Greens continue to be strong. No baby greens this week, the weeds won that battle, but they will return soon. We harvested our first beets and sugarsnap peas this week. Not many of either crop, but the peas at least should appear in the next share. The new tastes of season are starting to come along now.



        Full Share                                        Half Share

   1 quart strawberries                              1 pint strawberries

   1 tomato                                             1 tomato

   1 head of lettuce                                  1 head of lettuce

   2 bunches of kale                                 1 bunch of kale

   1.5 lbs of swiss chard                            3/4 lb of swiss chard

   1 bag of bok choi

Posted 6/14/2014 6:02am by Andre Cantelmo.

  Last weekend it sure felt like summer, but by late week we seemed to be transported back to early May. Our leafy crops have no objections to this sort of weather but it is not ideal for ripening most other crops. The greenhouse tomatoes have been slow to ripen and the conditions are ideal for molds on the plants. Strawberries appreciate the water but don't get red very quickly with clouds and temps in the 60's.

  That being said, we will probably get strawberries into the share this week. I haven't included berries on the list because we have to be sure there are enough for the whole CSA. I believe that we are close, and if so there will be a quart in the full share and a pint in the half share.

  Hopefully we can have tomatoes in the share next week and we'll keep an eye on the beets and new potatoes. Your salad green this week will vary depending on the day. It could be arugula, kale or yukina, all in the baby leaf stage.

  Enjoy,   Greg

         Full Share                                        Half Share

    1 bunch swiss chard                             1 bunch swiss chard

    1 bag of salad greens                         1 bag of salad greens

    2 heads of lettuce                                1 head of lettuce

    2 bunches of kale                                 1 bunch of kale

    1 lb of red potatoes