Farmers' Blog

Field Report

What's New?
Posted 8/14/2012 4:20am by Andre Cantelmo.

   As we near the end of the summer we are saying goodbye to many of our summer help who are off to college. This leaves the farm without enough hands to harvest, plant and weed this fall. We are looking for several candidates to join our field crew this fall and perhaps stay through the winter to help with our winter growing. Experience is preferred but not necessary. An interest in farming and local food issues is helpful. We work in heat, cold and rain without regard for the clouds of mosquitos and deer flies. Lifting as much as 50 or 60 pounds is a regular duty in the course of this job. The positives are a fun and interesting outdoor work environment surrounded by plants and produce. We are also committed to teaching those who would like to become farmers. 

  If this opportunity sounds like a fit for you, contact me at greg@heronpondfarm.com

 

               Thanks, Greg

Posted 8/13/2012 4:33am by Andre Cantelmo.

       More rain and we're glad to see it. Tomatoes are not only coming from the greenhouse now, but are yielding well in the field also. We are just starting into a nice planting of cucumbers, zucchini and summer squash for those who have missed them the last few weeks. We are temporarily out of greens, but for those with farm stand pickups you can see the next planting in the field next to the farm stand. Making this a short message, have to get outside to the fields.  Greg

    

             Full Share                                                      Half Share

   8 tomatoes                                                          4 tomatoes

   6 ears sweet corn                                                 3 ears sweet corn

   4 peaches                                                           2 peaches

   2 lbs potatoes                                                     1 lb potatoes

   1 lb snap beans                                                   1/2 lb snap beans

   2 zucchini/ sum squash                                        1 zucchini or sum squash

   1 cucumber                                                         1 cucumber

   4 onions                                                             2 onions

   1 eggplant                                                          1 eggplant or 1 green pepper

   1 green pepper                                                    1 bunch carrots

   1 bunch carrots                                                    1 bunch chard

   1 bunch chard     

Posted 8/6/2012 4:13pm by Andre Cantelmo.

Winter registration for the 2012-13 is here!  All returning members will have two weeks to register for veggie, meat, or bread shares before the general public has a chance to sign up.  There are two hundred winter shares.  With four hundred summer shareholders, pulse returning winter members, these shares will fill up fast! So register here now.

 

Winter CSA’s are not for everyone.  The increase of winter growing in our area has brought a new kind of local option for our CSA shareholders, that of the winter CSA. There are a lot of questions that pop up when considering joining a winter program. Here are the most common ones. If you have any other questions about our winter CSA or CSA's in general, feel free to contact us. We would love to hear from you.

 

What is in a winter share?

 

Heron Pond Farm grows food in the winter. We use six 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.

 

How can I get a half share?

 

Due to the nature of the type of shares we put together for winter we do not do half shares. If you would like to split a share with someone we can help organize that for you. There are folks in each of our pick up locations looking to split a share. Heron Pond Farm can help pair you with someone from your area and even help get you registered. In general one of the shareholders picks up the share and does the splitting. You make a new friend and get great food!

 

How do pick ups work?

 

Each location will be set up farm stand style. We do not pre-box shares with our CSA. You will be able to pick out the food you want guided by a pick up list. When you arrive you will be greeted by one of the farmers from Heron Pond. They will help you get signed in and give you a list of the food in the share that week, or it will be on the “share wall.” Feel free to ask the farmers any questions about what is going on at the farm. We try to keep everyone up to date about our season.

 

Where can I pick up my winter share?

 

Winter shares are picked up at the same locations as our summer shares. We have Dover, Portsmouth, and South Hampton pick ups. The Dover (Monday), and Portsmouth (Wednesday) pick ups are from 3:00-6:00. The South Hampton location is open on the weekends from 9:00-5:00 and you can pick up your share either day.

 

What happens if I miss my pick up?

 

If you are a farm stand pick up you can just come either day of the weekend. Sometimes shares can be bagged and left in the side room for pick up. Off farm pick ups are bagged and left at your pick up site for 24 hrs. After that time they are donated to others. If you have a need that does not fit in with this time frame please call to make arrangements.

 

It is winter so there will be times when you will be away for your pick up day. The best thing to do is to get a friend or family member to pick up you food that week. If this can not be done we will try to make it up to you. Please understand that some of the food may not be available for these make up shares.

 

What are the dates for all the pick ups?

 

Farm stand: October 27-28; November: 3-4, 10-11, 17-18; December: 1-2, 15-16, 29-30; January: 12-13, 26-27; February: 9-10, 23,24; March: 9-10, 23-24.

 

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

 

Portsmouth: October: 24, 31; November: 7, 14, 21; December: 5, 19; January: 2, 16, 30; February: 13, 27; March: 13, 27.

 

Why does my deposit need to be in so soon?

 

We have 200 shares available for the winter CSA. Heron Pond Farm depends on selling all these shares to meet the needs of the farm. We also believe that everyone looking to eat locally should have an opportunity to do so no matter what their economic situation. Heron Pond Farm has always honored payment plans we make one on one with our shareholders. However, if no deposit is put down, and no payment arrangement is made we have no way of knowing if you intend on participating with us this winter. We have had a few folks register in the past only to find that it did not fit in with their plans. Meanwhile we turn others away when we are full. Getting a deposit or making a payment plan provides us with a way of being sure that we are providing great local food to as many families as we can.

 

 

Posted 8/5/2012 12:52pm by Andre Cantelmo.

     We finally received some rain this week! Almost an inch on Tuesday night and another inch Wednesday afternoon. It doesn't mean the end of irrigation, but much of the pressure is off. Some planting for the fall continues and fields are being prepared for late summer cover crops, especially with some moisture to germinate them. The other major project is hand weeding where mechanical cultivation didn't do the job. With many of our field crew being students we are hurrying to complete this weeding before everyone goes back to school.

    With a week off from beans we should be able to bring them back into the share next week. Our late summer planting of cucumbers, zucchini and summer squash should also be fully ready for next week. I'll keep an eye on the melons, should have plenty by the end of the month. Eat well.

                        Greg

This week's share:

 

                  Full Share                                                                       Half Share

       6 tomatoes                                                                         3 tomatoes

       6 ears sweet corn                                                                 3 ears sweet corn

       4 peaches                                                                           2 peaches

       2 lbs potatoes                                                                     1 lb potatoes

       2 eggplant                                                                          1 eggplant

       2 green peppers                                                                  1 green pepper

       1 bunch carrots                                                                    1 bunch carrots

       1 head cabbage                                                                   1 head cabbage

       4 onions                                                                              2 onions

       1 head lettuce or bag of greens                                       1 head lettuce or bag of greens

Posted 8/1/2012 8:30pm by Andre Cantelmo.

 

   Heron Pond Farm is looking for a capable person to handle our CSA deliveries and also some farmer's markets. An interest in local foods, good communication skills and the ability to move crates of veggies into and out of trucks is required. The position involves working afternoons and evenings. From our farmstand in South Hampton, NH produce is delivered to our CSA members in Portsmouth and Dover, NH and Newburyport, MA. Our summer CSA deliveries continue until mid October and winter CSA deliveries run from October through March. We attend five summer/fall markets and vend at three winter markets. A person in this position would assist in marketing our produce at some of these venues.

   If you are interested please contact me at greg@heronpondfarm.com

 

                     Greg

Posted 7/30/2012 4:41am by Andre Cantelmo.

      Several new crops are making an appearance on the share list this week. Eggplant, peppers and broccoli are all yielding nicely now. It is time for sweet corn but our picking is just starting. We lost our first two plantings to weeds and drought. All of our later corn plantings look great and we'll do our best to make sure they stay that way. Our tomato tunnels are really starting to produce right now with lots of reds and heirlooms.

     Even with the recent rainfall (less than half an inch on the farm) this drought has become just as serious as two years ago. Andre and I have had to devote almost all of our time to irrigation and even that isn't enough. We'll just keep moving water until some real rain falls.   Greg

 

                       Full Share                                                    Half Share

                4 tomatoes                                                         2 tomatoes

                4 peaches                                                           2 peaches

                2 lbs potatoes                                                      1 lb potatoes

                1 lb beans                                                           1/2 lb beans'

                4 ears sweet corn                                                 2 ears sweet corn

                2 eggplant                                                           1 eggplant

                2 onions                                                              1 onion

                1 bunch carrots                                                     1 bunch carrots

                1 head broccoli                                                      1 head broccoli

                1 pepper                                                              1 pepper

                        One greens choice of either lettuce, swiss chard or bag of salad greens

        

Posted 7/23/2012 4:55am by Andre Cantelmo.

    As I write this newsletter some rain is falling and I hope that there is much more to come. We've had less than an inch of rain on the farm in the last month. With the frequent high temperatures all of the crops have been stressed. Andre and I have been very busy moving sprinklers and setting up drip irrigation but some crops will only see water in the form of rain.

   In your shares this week you will see the first of the spring onion crop. Right now we are harvesting the Ailsa Craigs, a mild (some call them sweet) onion that can get quite large. Green beans are finally here and they are delicious as usual. It didn't look like they would make it but the extreme heat pushed them along. Peaches from Apple Hill Farm are in your shares this week and they are tasty. Chuch and Diane tell us that this is the earliest they have ever harvested peaches. Blueberry season was very short for us this year. We heavily pruned the bushes in late winter/early spring so that we could produce more berries and less lumber, but the short term result is fewer berries. We hope that our berry crops going forward are better as a result. There is still some u-pick available, although our u-pickers cleaned out the patch this weekend. We expect some berries to ripen late in the week.

    Enjoy eating in the season,  Greg

 

               Full Share                                                              Half Share

            2 tomatoes                                                              1 tomato

            4 peaches                                                                2 peaches

            2 lbs potatoes                                                          1 lb potatoes

            1 lb green beans                                                      1/2 lb green beans

            2 zucchini                                                                1 zucchini

            1 bunch carrots                                                        1 bunch carrots

            2 onions                                                                 1 onion

            1 bunch basil                                                           1 bunch basil

            1 bag of greens                                                       1 bag of greens

            1 head cabbage

Posted 7/10/2012 4:47am by Andre Cantelmo.

     Sorry for the delay in getting the newsletter out. The mid-summer reality of the farm has demanded my full attention, to the detriment of all paperwork and communication. We're in the thick of it here: planting, weeding, harvesting and the juggle to get all the produce where it needs to go. Our last planting of tomatoes will be go in today. The next rounds of cucumbers, zucchini, summer squash, broccoli, and cauliflower will hopefully be in this week. At the same time Andre is working to prepare ground for fall carrots and beets. We're hoping that things calm down in another 10 to 14 days.

     This weeks shares look alot like last week except for the arrival of cucumbers and departure of sugarsnaps. We had the longest pea season ever for this farm, but the summer heat has put an end to it all. We are picking blueberries and hope that by next week the picking will be good enough to get them into the share. Our earliest bean planting is not going to be very productive so we're looking forward to subsequent plantings to satisfy green bean lovers. 

                                 Greg

    

         Full Share                                                              Half Share

      2 tomatoes                                                                 1 tomato

      2 lbs potatoes                                                             1 lb potatoes

      3 zucchini/summer squash                                         2 zucchini/summer squash

      2 cucumbers                                                                1 cucumber

      2 onions                                                                     1 onion

      1 bunch carrots                                                          1 bunch carrots

      1 bag greens                                                        1 bag greens or 1 bunch swiss chard

      1 bunch swiss chard                  

Posted 7/1/2012 2:52pm by Andre Cantelmo.

    Here on the farm we are settling into our summer rhythm. Regular plantings of many crops continue and harvest grows by the week. Lis, Rich and the field crew are in a groove with harvest and are able get done some other projects in the afternoon. Andre and I are busy preparing ground, planting and cultivating. For all of you who participate in the winter CSA, watch out! We've got some great looking storage crops that look better than ever.

    Carrots are making their first appearance of the season. We have two very nice carrot plantings that should keep us going for some time. This will probably be the last week for sugarsnap peas. We've had a good run but the heat of summer will send them on their way. Green beans are a week or two away. We hope that the cucumbers will be ready for next weeks' share and also possibly blueberries.  Don't forget to eat well in the heat, everything on this weeks' list can be eaten in a salad, prepared on the grill or eaten out of hand. Enjoy, Greg

         Full Share                                                                    Half Share

2 tomatoes                                                                        1 tomato

2 zucchini/summer squash                                            1 zucchini/summer squash

2 lbs new potatoes                                                        1 lb new potatoes

1 lb sugarsnap peas                                                     1/2 lb sugarsnap peas

2 onions                                                                          1 onion

1 head lettuce                                                              1 head lettuce or 1 bag of greens

1 bag greens                                                                  1 bunch chard

1 bunch chard                                                                  1 bunch carrots

1 bunch carrots

Posted 6/25/2012 11:51am by Andre Cantelmo.

    What a heat wave! The zucchini and summer squash really jumped with the temperatures and the cucumbers are now coming along quickly. Not all of the cool season crops were happy about the temps, but they seem to have done OK. We are close to catching up on our planting and are very busy taking care of everything that is planted to date. The crew here had a rough week in the heat but other than being tired and a little sunburned they did well. Kudos to Erik and the transplanting crew this week for getting the leeks planted at the peak of the heat, you may have seen them off Whitehall road pushing to get the job done. We'll all enjoy the fruits of that labor in October!

   A reminder for folks at the Dover and Portsmouth pickup sites, New Roots Farm will be there once a month for meat shares but will not have any meat for retail sales. They may have a September/October abbreviated meat share for those not signed up for the full meat share.

                                              Thanks, Greg

           

 

           Full Share                                                                Half Share

         2 tomatoes                                                               1 tomato

         2 zucchini or summer squash                                  1 zucchini or summer squash

         1 1/2 lbs new potatoes                                              3/4 lb new potatoes

         1 lb sugarsnap peas                                                 1/2 lb sugarsnap peas

         2 onions                                                                  1 onion

         1 bunch chard                                                         1 bunch chard

         1 head lettuce                                                      1 head lettuce or 1 bag salad greens

         1 bunch beets