Farmers' Blog

Field Report

What's New?
Posted 2/10/2011 8:41am by Andre Cantelmo.

Hello Heron Pond Farmers!

We are coming up to the time when the spots reserved for our past CSA members will open up to the public. Until February 15th, all returning CSA members are guaranteed to have a spot in the 2011 summer program. After that, spots are open to all and when we reach 400 members we will close registration. This by no means means that after February 15th you won't get in to the CSA. It means that we are no longer holding a spot just for you.

We started holding spots two years ago to make sure that all returning members were guaranteed to get in. At some point we need to make sure that others have the opportunity to join as well. All of us at Heron Pond Farm hope that you will take the time to register now so we can continue our plans to grow you great food this summer.

Money should not be a bar to your ability to eat locally. Every one at Heron Pond Farm is more interested in building community through local agriculture then getting rich. We have worked with many folks to spread out payments, making participation in the CSA possible. Registration is more important then payment at this point because seeding and planing have begun. So if you need to make a special arrangement for payment just drop us a line and we will set something up.

The bread share is selling well. I must admit that I am responsible for the misprint that went out on some of the pamphlets. The coast of the bread per loaf is the same for summer and winter. However there are six more pickups in the summer. So the bread share coasts are as follows: $120, one loaf premium bread; $240 two loaves; $190 loaf plus baguette; $70 baguette only. Sorry about the mix up.

There are only a few meat shares left. If you would like a meat share you should register soon. We will be shutting down the meat registration at thirdy five shares. Because of New Roots Farm dedication to quality, grass feeding, and humane treatment, it will take a year or so to ramp up to the demand that we all have for their meat.

We got great feedback from you all at our annual meetings. I will have all our new plans written up soon and get those out to you all. Thanks again to all those who participated.

Andre

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Posted 1/28/2011 7:24pm by Andre Cantelmo.
Since our last communication I imagine that we've all been doing much the same thing: moving snow from one place to another. Personally, I would love for it to stop until December but that seems unlikely. Fortunately for all of us the snow doesn't affect the harvest or storage of our winter treats. This will be the last of the lettuce until later in the spring. Starting tommorrow we'll be preparing the former home of the lettuce for some seedings of salad greens that should be ready later in March. The vitagreen and Yukina Savoy are both delicious salad greens. You can also cook them, but I would suggest only a quick wilt.
Sometime in the next week we will begin seeding onions and shallots for the coming season. The first greenhouse tomatoe plants will be in place by March 1st. There may be 3 feet of snow on the ground with temps below zero at times but the light has changed. The birds have definitely noticed, just this morning I heard several different male cardinals testing out their spring voices. When all seems cold and dormant, life is stirring!

                                                        Greg 

This weeks' share:

4 lbs potatoes
2 lbs carrots
1 lb parsnips
1 lb rutabaga
1 lb kohlrabi
6 onions
2 shallots
2 heads lettuce
3/4 lb vitagreen/yukina savoy
Posted 1/13/2011 7:47pm by Andre Cantelmo.
   What a storm! We'll be busy clearing the farm for several days, especially since our primary tractor is in the shop for transmission work (thankfully under warranty!). As of Christmas we had no wood in our shed to fuel our woodstove in the earliest heated greenhouse. With the New Year's thaw we threw ourselves into the cutting, splitting and moving of wood and on the day before the storm, finally filled the shed. If we hadn't taken advantage of a gift like a nearly complete January thaw to correct an autumn mistake, shame on us!
   Although we spend many hours harvesting greens and washing root veggies this time of year, we must also begin repairing tractors and preparing greenhouses for spring. In just a few weeks we will sow onions, leeks and herbs for the coming season. As I write this, tomato plants destined for our early greenhouses are growing under the care of a fellow farmer in Rhode Island. By the end of February we should have three greenhouses heated and growing towards the coming season. With any luck, we will have seeds in the ground by the end of March.

Your Share,

4 lbs potatoes
2 lbs carrots
1 lb parsnips
1 lb rutabagas
6 onions
2 shallots
3/4 lb swiss chard
3 heads lettuce


Enjoy, Greg












Posted 1/7/2011 7:26am by Andre Cantelmo.

Sorry about the late notice but we will need to change the date of our meeting for the Dover/Portsmouth area. The location we wanted to hold it in was not available so we have moved it to next week. Still hope to see you all there! Here is the info again:

The solstice is behind us, and the seed catalogs are all waiting for our attention, so it's time to start looking ahead to the new growing season. Before we do that we need to look at what we are doing right and what can be improved at the farm, so this is your call to come to our annual meeting!

Both the Summer and the Winter CSA's will be discussed at the meeting (see agenda below). Most importantly WE WILL EAT! Yes, this is a pot luck. Yes, it happens the week after your share pick up, so you will have food on hand to cook up. The meeting will be in two locations this year, so our shareholders from Dover and Portsmouth will not have far to travel. If you can not make one meeting please come to the other. Your input is needed so that we can bring you the best CSA experience that we can.

For our shareholders in the Portsmouth and Dover area we will have a meeting at the St. Thomas Episcopal Church in Dover. On Saturday January 15th at 6:00 pm we will have the potluck followed by the meeting. This is our first time having two meetings. If you can't make one please see if you can make the other.



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Posted 1/2/2011 11:10pm by Andre Cantelmo.

Hello Heron Pond Farmers!

The solstice is behind us, and the seed catalogs are all waiting for our attention, so it's time to start looking ahead to the new growing season. Before we do that we need to look at what we are doing right and what can be improved at the farm, so this is your call to come to our annual meeting!

Both the Summer and the Winter CSA's will be discussed at the meeting (see agenda below). Most importantly WE WILL EAT! Yes, this is a pot luck. Yes, it happens the week after your share pick up, so you will have food on hand to cook up. The meeting will be in two locations this year, so our shareholders from Dover and Portsmouth will not have far to travel. If you can not make one meeting please come to the other. Your input is needed so that we can bring you the best CSA experience that we can.

The South Hampton Meeting will take place at the South Hampton Town Hall right down the road from the farm stand on Friday January 7th at 6:00 pm for the potluck, 6:30 pm for the meeting. We would like to get though our agenda in about an hour. For our shareholders in the Portsmouth and Dover area we will have a meeting at the St. Thomas Episcopal Church in Dover. On Saturday January 8th at 6:00 pm we will have the potluck followed by the meeting.This is our first time having two meetings. If you can't make one please see if you can make the other.

The most important next step for Heron Pond Farm is to increase the number of folks enjoying local food. We know that once people take part in Heron Pond Farm's CSA they don't go back to store-bought produce, they stick with local if they can. We want to help New Hampshire get to 10% of it's food coming from local sources. An ambitious goal to be sure, but you can help. Bring one new person to the CSA meeting. You already know that the CSA is a great way to make a commitment to eating local and you all know at least one person or family that is close to eating local; they just need a push. What will it take to get the someone you know to take that next step toward helping us achieve food soveranty? Bring the body, the stomach will follow!

Lastly we need to talk about registration for the Summer 2011 CSA. As the CSA at Heron Pond Farm has grown more folks depend on us as their source for local food. Likewise we depend on your registration dollars to pay for seed, supplies, and the labor necessary to deliver the quality food you have come to enjoy. We need you to register early this year, not only to pay bills, but to know how many spots we will have open for all the folks that have been contacting us all year. Heron Pond Farm likes to let all our returning members get the spots before we open to the public. So, please, get your registration form in today or register online!

We'll see you soon!

Andre

Agenda

 

How this season went and plans for 2011: Promises we've kept and where we are going.

Food quantity and frequency in share: This is when we pick the food to grow!

More on farm activities: Tomato festival, Strawberry planting, Garlic harvest, Canning workshop?

Getting pick ups to go smoother

Shareholder input: What else do we need to do?

 

 

 

Posted 12/21/2010 1:05pm by Andre Cantelmo.

Thinking of getting someone involved with the local food movement for Christmas? You can buy full and half Summer 2011 CSA shares in Heron Pond Farm. We will send them a Gift certificate in your name!  Call 603-591-8720 to set it up!

Posted 12/17/2010 6:12pm by Andre Cantelmo.
Heron Pond Farm and many other local growers and craftpeople will be at Wentworth Greenhouses in Rollingsford this Saturday from 10:00 to 2:00. Come see us for great food and holiday gifts before the snow arrives!
Posted 12/17/2010 6:07pm by Andre Cantelmo.

It sure feels like winter around here! We're storing the root crops and thinking more about greens from the houses than from the field, and this weeks' kale may prove to be the last taste of outside greens for some time. The parsnips are sweet and delicous and rutabagas savory and golden when cooked. This winter storage kohlrabi is much different than the summer types. The skin should be removed, but the inside is sweet and crisp. It can be eaten raw (great with hummous!) or stir fried. I've heard rumor that you can even make kohlrabi chips. Good luck with all of your holiday cooking.
Happy Holidays to all!     Greg   

4 lbs potatoes
2 lbs carrots
1 lb parsnips
1 lb rutabagas
1 kohlrabi
4 onions
2 shallots
2 winter squash
1 bunch kale
2 heads lettuce
1 stalk brussel sprouts
Posted 12/3/2010 6:44pm by Andre Cantelmo.
   Hope that everyone had a great Thanksgiving. We had a few days of quiet on the farm before making the final push to get the root crops out of the ground. We finished with both parsnips (you'll see those soon!) and carrots yesterday, and now onto brussel sprouts and kohlrabi. The weather is about to turn quite cold but we're hoping to protect a few very hardy crops in the field. The greenhouse crops are growing nicely, especially lettuce, bok choi, chard and spinach.
   Due to the mid-May frost/freeze most regional apple growers took a hit on their crops and our supplier, Apple Hill Farm in Concord, was no exception. The apples in the Thanksgiving share were the last of the winter although we do have a few for sale at the stand this week.
   Stay warm and eat well, Greg

This week's share:

4 lbs potatoes
4 lbs carrots
4 onions
2 shallots
2 winter squash
1 bunch kale
1/2 lb swiss chard
2 brussel sprout stalks
Posted 12/1/2010 7:16pm by Andre Cantelmo.
This Saturday December 4th, there will be a winter market at Exeter High School from 10:00 to 2:00. In addition to ourselves and many other farmers, there will be many craft vendors for those seeking gifts for the holidays. Come and see us at the market!

Greg