Farmers' Blog

Field Report

What's New?
Posted 4/4/2013 6:46am by Greg Balog.

     Well here we are at the final farm stand pickup of the winter CSA. We are in full swing around the greenhouses with many different veggies growing for planting soon. We haven't yet opened any ground, making it among the latest starts ever for us. Early spring crops will be late but many other crops will catch up with a little help from Mother Nature. Registration for our summer CSA is still open. You can register online or fill out a registration form at the farm stand this weekend. Information on a bread share option will be available soon.

     It's been a great winter and we've appreciated all of your feedback on the share. Thanks for being part of the farm and we look forward to seeing you all this summer.   Greg


                 Full Share                                                                  Half Share

            5 lbs potatoes                                                                3 lbs potatoes

            1 lb carrots                                                                     1/2 lb carrots

            1 rutabaga                                                                     1 rutabaga

            2 lbs onions                                                                   1 lb onions

            1 lb shallots                                                                   1/2 lb shallots

            1 lb  spinach                                                                  1 bag spinach

            1 bag kale                                                                     1 bag kale

Posted 3/21/2013 9:40am by Andre Cantelmo.

      OK, this isn't funny anymore. I know it snows in New England, and I know that I am supposed to be stoic about another snowstorm but I no longer find this humorous. At this time last year I believe we had peas and carrots sown outside but right now I can't see the ground except for where I have plowed. This isn't the type of plow I want to see right now!

      Alright, I'll stop complaining. Wow have we got greens! The spinach is growing so fast that we can hardly keep up. We also have chard, green kale and red kale. Plenty of onions, shallots, rutabagas and potatoes. I promise not to complain about deer but unfortunately they have eaten all of the overwintered parsnips. I think they will be safer in the root cellar next year.

      For folks in Portsmouth and Dover this will be your last pickup of the winter CSA. Thanks for your support and we hope to see you this summer. We will remain at Orchard and Ash in Portsmouth this summer but will be moving to a new location in Dover this season. Our new location will be at the new Seventh Settlement Brewery across from the Children's Museum. We'll keep the same day and time for that pickup.

      Shareholders at the farm stand have one more pickup, April 5-7.

      Online registration for the summer CSA is easy through our website. We try to improve our offerings each year and incorporate your suggestions from the winter's shareholder meetings. Lots of snow on the ground but the sun is shining high and bright and spring will come!    Greg



                             Full Share                                                     Half Share

           4 lbs potatoes                                                              2 lbs potatoes

           1 lb carrots                                                                   1 lb carrots

           2 rutabagas                                                                 1 rutabaga

           2 lbs onions                                                                 1 lb onions

           1 lb shallots                                                                 1/2 lb shallots

           1 lb spinach                                                                 2 bags greens

           1 bag other greens

Posted 3/16/2013 6:04am by Andre Cantelmo.

You can find us this weekend at several local farmers markets. We'll be at Exeter High School from 10 to 2 today for the Seacoast Eat Local market and also in Somerville at the Armory from 9:30 to 2. Tomorrow we'll be at the Tannery in Newburyport from 9 to 1 for the Newburyport Winter Farmers Market. Right now we have potatoes and other root vegetables, onions, shallot, cabbage and several different salad greens. Come on out and see us this weekend!

Posted 3/7/2013 2:32pm by Greg Balog.

     We haven't had much help from the sun lately! While it hasn't been super cold and the snow hasn't accumulated much, the clouds have really put a damper on that early spring we're all looking for. Luckily our greens haven't paid too much attention because the spinach in particular is really rolling. This will be the last of the cabbage and we are sorry to see it go. The weather has not yet allowed us to harvest parsnips, still covered in snow, but we plan to hurry out as soon as it melts and before the deer remember how good they are.

      Seeding for spring planting has really picked up on the farm and we have already filled two greenhouses. It won't take much longer for two more to be filled and away we go. We are still busy with crop planning and the new farm store in Kensington. After this round of snow we'll have to move equipment out of storage to make room for trays of transplants. With the snow melt we can check on our overwintered plantings and before long sneak in for our early seedings. Here's to long days and bright sunshine!   Greg


                      Full Share                                                              Half Share

       3 lbs potatoes                                                                  1 lb potatoes

       1 lb sweet potatoes                                                           1 lb sweet potatoes

       2 lbs carrots                                                                     1 lb carrots

       1 rutabaga                                                                     1 rutabaga or 1 head cabbage

       1 head cabbage                                                                 1 lb onions

       2 lbs onions                                                                       2 shallots

       4 shallots                                                                          1 bag salad greens

       2 bags salad greens

Posted 2/21/2013 7:44pm by Andre Cantelmo.

       Here we go again with the snow! More on the way for the weekend but I guess that we should just expect it. A treat in the share this week, we've gotten sweet potatoes from Red Fire Farm in Granby, MA. They are the same variety that you had earlier in the winter from Picadilly Farm. Our greens are starting to respond to the lengthening days and growth has really picked up. March should be chock full of spinach and that is also the primary green this share. I believe this will also be the last share with cabbage. At the end of the growing season we harvested as many cabbages as we could fit into the root cellar and walk-ins, believing that come March we would have lots left over. Not the case at all! Next year we'll harvest all we can and then harvest some more.

      When you arrive to pick up your shares this time we will have information about the bread shares available this summer through Starboard Cove Bakery in Dover. We'll have the website updated next week to allow signing up for the bread share.

       It is a little late but we have started to sow seeds in the greenhouse! Andre has been sowing Ailsa Craig sweet onions and by next week we should be finished seeding our onions. We'll also be seeding shallots, leeks, artichokes, herbs and some flowers. Here we go! Stay safe in the snow and enjoy a great meal!




                          Full Share                                                         Half Share

               2 lbs potatoes                                                          1 lb potatoes

               2 lbs sweet potatoes                                                 1 lb sweet potatoes

               2 lbs carrots                                                             1 lb carrots

               1 rutabaga                                                               1 rutabaga or 1 cabbage

               2 lbs onions                                                              1 lb onions

               4 shallots                                                                2 shallots OR 1 head garlic

               1 head garlic                                                            1 bag salad greens

               1 head of cabbage

               1 bag of salad greens

Posted 2/9/2013 11:08am by Andre Cantelmo.

Hi folks, hope that you are all safe and warm. Due to the conditions today we will not be opening the farm stand this afternoon for pickups. The snow is still falling pretty good here and we are still working on getting the lot cleared. Two feet of snow has to get piled mighty high! We will be open for self-serve on Sunday and Monday, 10 - 5, as previously mentioned.

   For those of you in Dover and Portsmouth, we expect the pickups to proceed as usual.

   Don't forget to have a little fun with the white stuff!   Greg

Posted 2/7/2013 6:58am by Andre Cantelmo.

   Looks like this storm isn't going to fade away into the ocean! Let us hope for just a foot because two feet of snow will keep us busy with the white stuff for many days. Given the forecast right now we should be able to keep the stand open for most of the day Friday, although if it gets really bad late in the day we may close. You can call the stand if you are considering coming over late in the day (603 394-0129). We will not be open Saturday morning, but should be able to open up in the afternoon. The farm stand will be set up for self-serve on Sunday and Monday for those unable to make it earlier in the weekend. We'll stop by regularly to make sure everything is stocked.

    Lots of good, hearty food in the share as usual. These are the last of the leeks but I didn't think we would have them for this long. Eat well,  Greg


               Full Share                                                                       Half Share

         4 lbs potatoes                                                                      2 lbs potatoes

         1 lb beets                                                                            1 lb onions

         2 lbs onions                                                                         1 leek

         2 leeks                                                                                1 head garlic

         2 heads garlic                                                                       1 shallot

         2 shallots                                                                            1 lb beets or 1 rutabaga

         1 rutabaga                                                                            1 celeriac

         1 celeriac                                                                             1 head cabbage

         1 head cabbage                                                                    1 bag me quing choi

         1 bag me quing choi

Posted 1/31/2013 11:54am by Andre Cantelmo.

What happens when you farm in the winter?  You have to deal with all sorts of things that you take for granted in the summer time.  Like the fact that all your cleaning supplies won’t end up frozen at the bottom of your bucket.  Next time we will be sure to empty these when we are done for the day.


Posted 1/24/2013 6:27am by Andre Cantelmo.

     I think that this weeks' weather can be officially described as really damn cold! It seems like quite a few years since lows near zero happened this many days in a row. Work on the farm doesn't require that much time be spent outside but the process of loading and unloading veggies from one heated place to another is mighty cold. Despite the cold the crew has been able to harvest greens from the greenhouses. We have needed a temporary heat source to defrost the greens when we start harvesting before 11:00 or so but it can be surprisingly warm for a few hours in the middle of the day even without the heat. We have also had to heat the root cellar for the first time this winter.

    There is nothing new in the share this week except that you will all have the option of spinach or chard for a green this share. I don't believe that either of those greens have been in the share for a while. There are many good recipes out there for wheat berries. This week at our CSA meeting/potluck held in Dover, there was a delicious meatless chilli made with wheat berries (Thanks Heidi!). It can also be eaten as a grain in place of foods like rice or quinoa. At home we have prepared it in the crock pot with chicken stock. Experiment and have fun.

    A big thanks to all of our shareholders who made it to the South Hampton or Dover meetings recently. Andre and I really appreciate getting your feedback on what can kind of share that you would like to see. And it is always nice to chat with everyone while enjoying great food!



This weeks' share:

                        Full Share                                                Half Share

      2 lbs potatoes                                                        1 lb potatoes

      1 lb carrots                                                         1 lb carrots or 1 lb beets

      1 lb beets                                                            1 lb wheat berries

      2 lbs wheat berries                                             1 kohlrabi or 1 head cabbage

      1 lb purple top turnips                                            1/2 lb onions

      1 kohlrabi                                                              1 head garlic

      1 lb onions                                                           1 bag of spinach or chard

      2 heads garlic

      1 head cabbage

      1 bag of spinach or chard

Posted 1/22/2013 8:12am by Andre Cantelmo.

A few Shareholders have express concern that they are missing the registration deadline for Heron Pond Farms CSA. Nothing could be further from the truth. The approaching deadline is for the early bird discount only. We hope to be restringing people all spring if we can. Efforts are being made to increase the amount of members we can offer the CSA to.


There is no need for you to have your registration post marked by tomorrow to be part of the CSA. The deadline is for the early bird discount. We give a discount to those that can pay in full early. This gives the farm some needed funding during the seed buying season. Our registrations remain open till spring. Some years we can still let people in after the program has started. You can however register right now through our online member sign up


Registration for the Summer CSA began in November. Looking at our email generator program I see there were two emails sent to let members know that registration had begun. You were not able to register for a meat share at that time as New Roots needed to see what there crop would look like. We also have made announcements on Facebook and Twitter. Some of our emails do end up as spam in some systems. That is why we have switched to Amazon SES (simple email service). The Amazon service allows us to verify that our bulk email is being sent by a person and not robo-spam. I am sorry for any inconvenience that you may have had.


The truth is that Greg and I have always been very flexible about money. Our focus has always been about getting local food into as many peoples hands as possible, even if we need to work with them to make it happen. Although we need a deadline for the early bird discount we have always given it to folks that came in close to that date; we let people work out an individual payment plan that fits their needs; let folks carry a balance with us if they are going through rough times; and give shares away to families that need them.


I hope this clears up any confusion that may have come up. It is not the end of the registration season but the beginning. We hope that you will tell as many of your friends as possible about your experience being part of the Heron Pond Farm CSA so that they may join us too! Bringing more folks into the CSA moment helps us to continue building community through local agriculture.