Farmers' Blog

Field Report

What's New?
Posted 6/4/2010 6:18pm by Andre Cantelmo.

Hello Heron Pond Farmers


Just a quick note to let you all know that we are bringing extra berries to market tomorrow. Remember you get 10% off whatever you need from our stand at the market.


See you there!



Posted 5/29/2010 8:41am by Andre Cantelmo.

Hello Heron Pond Farmers!

This is it! We are on! Time to get some food. Sunday marks the first day of the CSA pick ups. It also marks the first day of fixing all the mix ups that happen every year with the pick up locations and days. Never fear! We go through this every year, it is normal. You will get all your food and not be shorted at any time. We bring extra to all our location. This way if there is any confusion at least we have the food to give you. We have been updating our records with all the corrections that you gave us but sometimes they don't go through the Member Assembler. There will be a paper record at each pick up. Please take the time to look at the information and make sure it is correct. This is also a good time to clear up all outstanding balances. Some balances that have been cleared up still will not show on the paper work. Helping us clear this up is all part of the CSA process. After the first week things seem to straighten themselves out well.

Now for the food. This hot spring has not helped our early season, mild weather loving crops that we have planed for this time of year. Many of you were with us the year we got an early case of cabbage root maggot. Well they are back. It was the decision of the CSA last time not to spray for them. We kept with that decision this time as well. You will get an e-mail with the life cycle of the fly and all that goes into making a management decision about how we handle the pest. For those of you knew to us you will find that we talk about how WE want to grow our food and you are in on that. This means that sometimes we loose crops and sometimes we spray them. Weather we use an certified organic spray or not all sprays have consequences. By working together we all get to eat the food that we enjoy in a responsible way. This is my favorite part of CSA.

So what does this mean for crops? The maggots got the Bok-Choi, Kolrabbi, and Nappa Cabbage. Other brasicas have been hit but so far holding there own. We have of course replanted and will be getting some more of those crops soon. It is a shame about the Kolrabbi. Folks loved it so much this winter, that we grew some spring types for you all to try. I will look forward to the next round.

This weeks share!

Full Share

2 Heads of Lettuce

½ lb Greens (depending on availability: aruggula, oska purple, yukina savoy, kossimo, or rabb)

1 Bunch of Scallions

1 Tomato

1 Pint Strawberries! Yum!

Half Share

1 Heads of Lettuce

1 Bunch of Scallions

1 Tomato

1 Pint Strawberries! Yum!


Posted 5/18/2010 6:02am by Andre Cantelmo.

Hello Heron Pond Farmers!

It has been a long time since our last contact. Greg and I have been working hard getting this season off to a good start. 2010 is not coming easy, but I will take our early troubles this year over our late troubles last year any day. This e-mail should help us all get on the same page for the start of the 2010 CSA season. There are over 300 of us now enjoying local food and building community. Some organization needs to take place so you will need to help out to make sure all your share information is correct and up to date. I will also give you a crop update and give a heads up on things to come.

Taking care of business!

We need to be sure that we have the correct information for all of you. In addition some of you will want to change your pick up day or location. We need to get this all straight before first pick up. It is easy to check the information we have for you. Just go to the website, under the CSA tab and hit the Membership status button. Follow the screen instructions and you will be sent your information. Please be sure to check your day and location make sure it is what you want. This page should also give you the information for your pick up including a map of how to get there.

This is also a good time to check the balance on your account. You need to do this for two reason. One, I have been known to make mistakes. We moved to using this web based program to help with these things but I still make mistakes. My main goal this year was not to screw up the Jackie Ellis groups account which I have done every season including winters for as long as they have been with us. If I can do that I think I am on the right track. Two, we need folks to pay off there unpaid balance. As we become a more CSA based farm, we rely more on you then early spring sales to get through to June. Thanks for all your help. Taking care of this business will help us run smoothly.

Crop Report

Those of you that have been with us for a while know that all of the farmers here at Heron Pond Farm look at everything with a critical eye. Both Greg and I are always looking for way that we could be doing better, I guess thats why so many of you have been with us for so long. With that in mind....the strawberry crop looks great! We were unable to include strawberries in the share last year because of a crop failure. This year they look great and we are looking forward to a good season. The spring has been hot and dry. Many of our small seeded crops are not coming up well. This will manly effect some of the spring greens that we all enjoyed early on last year. Never fear, Greg and I have replanted many of these and by the end of June we should be back on track. Beans have never been earlier. I think that by the first week in July we should get some and they should be with us right through the year. Peas are coming well too, and we have added Snow Peas this year for you all to choose from. In short the early crops are hurting a little but the summer crops look better then ever to me. I'll keep you up to date as things keep growing. You can also follow us on twitter or facebook for those pictures I send out from the field. The links are on the main page of the web site.

Health of the CSA

The health of our community is growing even stronger then it was before. The feed back loop between folks and farmers is really coming together for us. This year we hope to close the loop and be able to go 12 months with food for you. We have been growing toward this and each year the CSA has helped the farm bootstrap up to the next level. This spring has been hard to do, providing food for the winter CSA while growing food for the summer. This has helped us grow are farming family and we now have two full time year round farmers to keep agriculture growing in this area.

We also have two families that will be getting most of their calories from the farm this year and bloging about it for you. They will be coming down to the farm and picking extra stuff, freezing, caning and planing on how to keep all this going for the year (I know I like my berries out of the freezer in the winter).

Phat Catt bistro in Amesberry will be picking up a share as well. They will see what they can do with it and be posting some ideas for us all.

In short every year is bring us closer to our goal of making this farm a permanent fixture in the New England landscape.

Thank you

All the farmers here at Heron Pond Farm want to thank you for such a great registration season. With out you would would have a hard time putting this kind of harvest on the table. We are looking forward to getting into the food with you at this point. If you are new with us, things start out slow but get going well by the end of June. Also with four season farming coming this may be the last thin June we have.

These updates will come more frequent now as I have missed you all and talking about the farm. I send out some short ones on each crop as they come up. And you will all get the news when the newest Heron Pond Farmer shows up (in fact they were due yesterday)!

See you all soon!


Posted 4/23/2010 4:59am by Andre Cantelmo.

Hey Heron Pond Farmers!

On Saturday April 24 from 10:00 am till 2:00pm there will be a group of vendors coming down to the farm. These are some of the same vendors you have been enjoying from the winter markets. Come on out and check on all the early spring action.

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See you there!




Posted 4/9/2010 7:54pm by Andre Cantelmo.
Starting April 10 the farmstand will be open Saturday and Sunday 10:00 to 5:00. Currently we have mesclun mix, spinach, chard, beet greens, cilantro, potatoes, carrots and parsnips available. You can also find Kelli Brook Farm meats at the stand.
Come see us at the Exeter winter market on April 10th at Exeter High School from 10:00 to 2:00!
Posted 3/26/2010 6:27pm by Andre Cantelmo.
Well finally winter has come to an end, although perhaps this is bittersweet! The signs of spring are everywhere to my eyes and ears but the winter csa has come to a close. Spring peepers were first heard on the farm a week ago and have been increasing their spring peeping all week. Woodcocks have been active for about ten days and the grass is greening in many places.
For those of you who just can't wait for the summer CSA to begin, we will be open on weekends after Easter. We should have carrots, potatoes, parsnips and greens for some time. On April 10th we'll be in Exeter for what will be the last winter market, in case you can't make it down to the stand.
This weeks share:
     3/4 lb spinach
     1/2 lb swiss chard
     1 bunch beet greens
     4 lbs potatoes or 2 lbs fingerlings
     4 lbs carrots
     2 lbs parsnips
As always enjoy and look for spring!


Posted 3/12/2010 6:16pm by Andre Cantelmo.
Planted the first tomato greenhouse 8 days ago and saw our first flower on Tuesday. Many transplants growing in the houses, even some that will be eaten this time next year! You'll find the last of the onions in this weeks' share as well as a diversity of greens.

3/4 lb spinach
1 bunch beet greens
1 bunch turnip 'rapini'
4 lbs potatoes or 2 lbs fingerlings
2 lbs carrots
1 rutabaga
1 lb onions

Two weeks from now will be the last pickup of the winter CSA. Plenty of greens in that one! Looking forward to the summer.

Posted 2/26/2010 7:57pm by Andre Cantelmo.
We hope that everyone has come through the storm OK and will have power restored soon. Part of the farm is running off the generator right now and the rest is dark. We will be at Wentworth Greenhouses tommorrow for the farmers market/CSA Fair. Although power is out in that area, the greenhouses are powered by a very large generator. Come out and see us! As usual there will be a wide variety of agricultural products and crafts.
For those who have registered for our 2010 summer CSA, there have been some questions about the status of your memberships. Whether you have a half or full share, only half your total is due at registration, the other 50% is due April 20. If you have signed up online but have chosen to send us a check via traditional mail, your confirmation e-mail is also an invoice for the amount due. Hope this answers your questions.

Posted 2/26/2010 7:39pm by Andre Cantelmo.
Update on this weekends pickup: We weren't satisfied with the appearence of our mesclun mix so there will not be any in this weeks' share. Spinach and belgian endive are ready to go and delicious! Hope that everyone is safe, the weather did quite a number on the farm, although no catastrophes.
Posted 2/25/2010 6:30pm by Andre Cantelmo.
We are leading double lives on the farm these days. Last week we were preparing greenhouses and seeding, seeding, seeding thinking only of the season ahead. This week its harvest and wash getting ready for distribution and market, although the seeding won't really stop until November. Lis has been working with Andre and I all winter, Dave returned recently and Ben will join us next week. All hands on deck, here comes spring!

1 lb spinach (some spots, but perfectly edible)
1/4 lb mesclun ( will harvest tomm, amount uncertain)
1/4 lb belgian endive
1 lb beets
1 lb turnips
2 lbs carrots
1 lb parsnips
4 lbs potatoes or 2 lbs fingerlings
2 lbs onions

                       Enjoy,   Greg
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