Farmers' Blog

Field Report

What's New?
Posted 12/9/2009 10:46am by Andre Cantelmo.

Hello Heron Pond Family

As 2009 comes to an end Heron Pond Farm has an eye on making the most of 2010. With CSA demand increasing and the general theme of the farm seem to be “grow more diverse crops” we needed a greater area that we could readily get water to. This will help us grow the type of crops our customers have been looking.

Additionally in order to stretch our seasons in an good way we will need to put up more greenhouses and cold frames. The biggest part of witch is the Haygrove tunnel project that we are looking to get going sooner then later. In order to make this kind of investment in cold frames we need to make sure that we had reliable water.

So Greg and I have put a long, longed for pond in the mid-field. The first step was to pull back all the top soil were the pond was going to go. This leaves only the sub soil and gravel to deal with while digging the hole. Most folks don't know that the water actually is held in the gravel under the soil. It runs like underground rivers till it reaches the surface. The trick with ponds is to find a big enough gravel field close enough to the surface, with a recharge rate grater then you will pull out. If any of you have hiked up to the mid-field then you will know that it is perfect.

As the pond fills up the banks must be stabilized. Some of that top soil that was scraped off will be put back around the pond to plant grass into. This will give the pond more stability, but that is not enough. There will be a overflow culvert installed about two feet below the top and draining downhill.

When this pond reaches it capacity it will be about 95,000 gallons. There are seven acres of land right around the new pond. In the past we would only take a chance with corn and potatoes but now anything we grow can be grown here.

Photos are nice but I think that this video will give you a better scene of the place:


We have been restricted in how many CSA shares we have been able to offer till now. The CSA represents the fastest path for Heron Pond Farm to reach economic sustainability. We are so close we can taste it, along with all our good food. You can help us by turning your friends on to Heron Pond Farm as well as registering yourself. We have a new on line registration method. You are in control of picking your location, day, and can register as many e-mail addresses per account as you like. This will let everyone involved in your share to get all the news about the CSA. Of course you can still download a registration form and send it in.

Hope to here from you all soon.

Andre

 

Share

Posted 12/3/2009 6:22am by Andre Cantelmo.

Hello Heron Pond Farmers

So this week we start into our deep winter shares. Greens will get harder and harder to come by. The green houses look good, the spinach looks amazing so we will have that green element for some time. I was sad when we had o give out the salad mix last share. That was out of one of the green houses and was meant for latter in the winter but it came on early do to our mild weather. We will be building more shelter for winter growing soon so that we can cover ourselves better. I don't see a problem coming on yet so we will see what late January and February look like.

As Greg and I have said all along this is a 14 pick up winter CSA going to through March. We modeled this off the Wolf Pine CSA that does the every other week thing. Like many other winter CSAs we do not have a pick up every week all winter.  The winter program has always been a 14 week pick up plan.  The greens that we harvest in the deep winter come from the green house and do not grow as fast or as plentifully as other times of year.  When looking for guidelines in building a winter CSA we looked to two models.  Wolf Pine Farm in Maine (with 9 winter pick ups) and Peats Greens in VT (with a pick up every week).  Peats CSA cost almost $800 and requires twice the green house space that we currently have.  Wolf Pine does not grow their deep winter greens and buys in many of the foods that they offer in the winter.  We had to make choices about the kind of product we wanted to put together.  We chose to be mainly an on farm CSA, we do get apples from else where, but we grow our own food other wise. 

That being said we think that you will all get plenty of food to keep you going, and Greg and I have some nice deep winter surprises that will be fun. So the pick up days will be on the weekends for everyone. The days are December 5,6; 19,20; January 2,3; 16,17; 30,31; February 13,14; 27,28; and March 13,14; 27,28. If you can't make a pick up we can hold your food at either location, the farm or up in Portsmouth so contact us to let us know when you are coming.

This weeks Share:

 

           2 bunches greens
           1 bunch turnips
           1 head pac choi
           1 lb broccoli
           4 lbs carrots
           4 lbs beets
           4 lbs potatoes and 2 lbs fingerlings
           6 apples
           4 leeks
           2 winter squash

If we have time to cut more greens we will. Also if you don't want the beets you can switch with potatoes. I need to check but we also may have some extra carrots to sub with. It will be on the board when you get your share.

Don't forget that the farm is a great place to walk, x-country ski, snow shoe in the winter. All CSA members are welcome on the farm.

Andre


Posted 11/20/2009 8:04pm by Andre Cantelmo.
Well folks, some new additions to the list this week: mesclun mix; Green Lance asian style greens and pie pumpkins. We have had two hard frosts/freezes this week but most crops are holding up well. The broccoli is turning into an avalanche and we want to get it harvested before the really cold weather arrives after thanksgiving. We've had quite a busy week preparing for this weekends pickup and the Seacoast Eat Local holiday market, not to mention that we just finished planting garlic and are continuing to plant in the greenhouse (got to think ahead to February!). After pickups this weekend and on Wednsday in Portsmouth we will see you all again at the next pickup December 5 and 6. We hope that you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

November 21-22 & 25

1 Bunch Hon Sai Tai
1 Bunch Green Lance
1 lb Mesclun Mix
3 lbs Broccoli
4 lbs Beets
4 lbs Carrots
4 lbs Potatoes or 2 lbs Fingerlings
1 Rutabaga
1 Pie Pumpkin & 1 Winter Squash
2 lbs Onions
8 Apples



Regards, Greg


Posted 11/16/2009 6:27am by Andre Cantelmo.

The Shultz have been so gracious as to let us use there barn in Portsmouth as our indoor winter CSA pick up. The address is 140 Orchard Street but the barn faces out to Ash Street, as the Shultz have a corner address.


View Larger Map

The Pick up it's self will take place in the barn that is on Ash Street. There is a side door to the barn and in the bad weather we will be using this side door only.

barn 

If you see this house you know that you are in the correct place, you just need to go around the corner. If you have any problems at all you can always call me at 603-591-8720. The Shultz can be reached at 603-373-8608.

Wednesday the 18th and 25th will be at this new location from 3:00-6:00 with Heron Pond Farm personal attending. Shares not picked up will be left at the barn for you. There is no need to stop at the house, just get your share from the barn. On cold night left over share will be brought into the house so you will need to call to pick up if you missed. December the 5th will be our first weekend pick up beginning Saturday morning. The food will be there until Sunday but we expect most of you to pick up by the end of Saturday. We may be able to help out from time to time so call if you are having a problem getting your share.

 

So glad to be able to bring the folks in Portsmouth a winter share of Heron Pond Farm.

 

Andre

Posted 11/14/2009 7:51am by Andre Cantelmo.

Hello Heron Pond Farmers!

This week I will be sending out a separate news letter to all mailing list members with some cool fax about the farm, so look for that soon.

This update is crafted for the winter CSA membership. Most importantly we have come up with the go ahead plan for the Portsmouth pick up. I know you all have been working with us as we pulled the Portsmouth pick up out of the air but I think this will work better for all. Wednesday the 18th and Wednesday the 25th will have the Portsmouth pick up moved to our new location. The site will still be maned, but we will be able to bag shares and leave them behind if you don't show. You will of course have to deal with what we pick for you but it will be good to have access to your food. Your next pick up will be on December 5th (the weekend). We will stay with this type of pick up for the rest of the winter, in the better spot, every other week. I will be sending out a map of this set up on Monday so keep an eye out for it.

Thank you for all the positive share feedback. Next weeks share will be for the Thanksgiving week so if you have any suggestions please pass them along (yes there will be pie pumpkins but how many?). Next week will be the first of our doubled up shares because we will start going every other week. So there will be more food in that share and you should be prepared to put some up or keep it longer term.

This weeks share:

 

4 of any Apple

1 Hon Tsai Tai

1 Summer Jean

1 Yukina Savoy

2 lb Broccoli

1 Head of Lettuce

2 Leeks

2lb Carrots

2lb Beets

2 Winter Squash

2lb Potatoes or 1lb Fingerlings

Eat Well

Andre

 

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Posted 11/7/2009 12:08am by Andre Cantelmo.

Hello Heron Pond Farmers!

Heron Pond Farm and Andre now have face book pages. You can keep up with farm stuff and other happenings by friending us. We are also coming up with new ways for you to keep up with the farm on Twitter and bring more pictorials to the web site. Hope this all brings you closer to the food you eat.

This week has been all about getting the potatoes out of the ground. We spent the better part of the week picking the fingerlings off the ground. Then we moved on to the rounds were we can use the potato digger. Check out this video I took with the phone.


Many of you have been asking for recipes for some of the stuff we are giving you. You can find some recipes through the links on our greens page. But my favorite tool for finding recipes is Epicurious. Just type in any ingredient into the sites search and lots of choices come up. Its fun and easy to use. You don't have to sign in to use the service, but must become a member if you want to use the forums.

Some of you may want to add meat to the menu.  The stand now has Kellie Brook Farm meat in the Freezer. You no longer have to pre-order, its there while supplies last. Next week we hope to have bread and eggs at the stand as well.

So this weeks share:

4 of any Apple

1 Hon Tsai Tai

1 Summer Jean

1 Yukina Savoy

2 lb Broccoli

1 Head of Lettuce

2 Leeks

2 Rutabagas

2lbs Daikon radish (Learn about it)

2lb Carrots

2lb Beets

2lb Potatoes or 1lb fingerlings

Enjoy the good eats. Be sure to use the comment section bellow this post on the site to let folks know what you did with your share!

AndreShare

Posted 11/1/2009 4:50am by Andre Cantelmo.

Hello Heron Pond Winter Farmers!

 

Well this week our web master has helped me with our e-mail problem. So if you have had to get our updates from our web site it will soon all be coming to your in box. I'm on it. Greg and I are racing to get the Potatoes out of the ground, while the green house food seems to be humming along nicely.

 

This weeks share has a lot of greens. Remember you can blanch and freeze them if we are getting a head of you. You may need them in January, we never know how that month will go.

 

1 lb Onions

1 Choi

1 Lettuce

1 Radish bunch

1 Turnip Bunch

1 Summer Jean

1 Yukina Savoy

2 lb Potatoes or 1lb of Fingerlings

4 Apples

2lb Carrots

1 Winter Squash

3 Peppers

1 lb Broccoli

 

 

Eat well

 

Andre

 

Share

Posted 10/21/2009 7:14pm by Andre Cantelmo.

Hello Heron Pond Winter Farmers

Well if you went outside today, and I hope you did, it was not a lot like winter. A great break from last weeks cold and snow. Never the less it is time for our first winter CSA pick up. Stand pick ups are the 24th and 25th from 10:00am-6:00pm. Portsmouth pick ups are the 28th from 3:00pm-7:00pm at St. Johns Church lot. We will be doing pick ups every week till Thanksgiving when we change to every other week. All those wishing to pick up in Portsmouth please get back to me. Remember when we started this year we did not have a Portsmouth pick up. Now we need to know who wants in. Thanks

So here comes the food!

3lbs Tomatoes

2 Heads of Lettuce

2 Heads of Choi

2lbs of Potatoes or 1 lb of Fingerlings

2 Peppers

2 Leeks

1 Bunch of Radish

2lbs of Beets

1 Bunch of Summer Jean or ½ lb of Yukina Savoy

4 of any type of Apple

The tomatoes are the last from the field. I'll send you some shots of the winter tomato house next week. We will be expanding our production of summer like veggies in next years winter CSA when we put up our first Haygrove tunnel next year.


A lot of you have heard of slow food well I heard about slow money today. It sounded like they had some “new ideas” for things that we have been doing for years. I thought you might like to check it out the Slow Money Alliance.

Looking forward to seeing you all soon.

Andre

Posted 10/11/2009 9:26am by Andre Cantelmo.

Hello Heron Pond Farmers!

Well this is it. The last week of pick up for the Summer C.S.A. It has been the worst weather season of farming that we have ever been through. When we look back on the year it will be the different crops and diversity we have started with the C.S.A. that we will fondly remember. As we put together the numbers it seems that you, the share holder have done very well again this year. We will have the final numbers out in time for our annual meeting.

Our annual meeting is a time for shareholders and farmers to come together to make the farm a better place for all of us. This C.S.A. began by a group from the community coming together and approaching Heron Pond Farm to be their farmers. Today it is the C.S.A. that drives the decisions that are guiding the farm into the future. We take all the feed back we get all year and use that to shape the farm but it's at the annual meeting that the shareholders get to decide what stays what goes and what we need to add. So please come and help us be a better C.S.A. The meeting is tentatively scheduled at the South Hampton Town Hall on Saturday October 24, at 6:00pm. It will be a pot luck so please respond and tell us what tasty treats you will be bringing.

So after waking up to frost this morning it seems like the perfect way to give you the last share of the season.

Full share:

4 Tomatoes

4 apples

1 green pepper

1 onion

2 lbs potatoes-or-1 lb fingerlings

2 shallots-or-1garlic

1 Leek

1 Winter squash

 

½ share:

2 tomatoes

2 apples

2 shallots-or-1 bunch garlic

1lb potatoes-or-1/2 lb fingerlings

1 onion

1 green pepper

1 Leek

1 Winter squash

Full choose two of ½ choose one of:

Kale, Turnips, or , Radishes

Eat well!

Andre

 

 

 

 

 
Posted 9/27/2009 11:57am by Andre Cantelmo.

Hello Heron Pond Farmers

Well it looks like we were able to get by Friday night / Saturday morning without a frost. Good news because we have so many good looking crops that we would like to keep around for a while. So we are able to put corn and green beans back into the share this week. I think we have enough beans to keep us going until the frost now so they should stay in the share. After getting a few broccoli plantings eaten on us it looks like we have some of that coming back for the share this week. It is worth noting that the broccoli that should be read in November for the winter share looks great! We may even have a few heirloom tomatoes and cherries around from time to time.

We just got he flier for the Heirloom Harvest Barn Dinner. Heron Pond Farm was part of this years RAFT grow out this year. The Renewing America’s Food Traditions (RAFT) alliance is a coalition of many organizations focused on documenting, restoring and celebrating the regional foods and place-based food traditions that make our country’s foodsheds unique and diverse. The partners include Chefs Collaborative, Slow Food USA, and the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy, as well as founder and facilitator Gary Nabhan and many local partners. The RAFT Grow-Out run by Chefs Collaborative is just one project among many run by the partners. Either Greg or I will be at the dinner along with other growers from the area. Maybe we will see you there.

We still have a few spots in the winter CSA yet to fill. If you or someone you know would like to get involved please fill out a winter registration form.

Three pick ups left in this years summer share! Time to start planning for next years CSA. We will be planing an end of the year meeting soon so stay tuned.

This weeks share:

5 tomatoes

4apples

1gren pepper

2zucchini-and/or-summer squash

4corn

2cucumbers

1onion

2lbs potatoes-or-1 lb fingerlings

2shallots-or-1garlic

1lb beans

1lb broccoli


½ share:

3 tomatoes

2 apples

2 corn

1 zucchini-and/or-summer squash

1 cucumber

2 shallots-or-1 bunch garlic

1lb potatoes-or-1/2 lb fingerlings

1 onion

1 green pepper

½ lb beans

½ lb broccoli

Eat well!

Andre