Farmers' Blog

Field Report

What's New?
Posted 8/16/2009 12:08pm by Andre Cantelmo.

Hello Heron Pond Farmers

This week we start in with some peaches. Some will be white and some will be yellow depending on the picking. They are just coming in and we will be able to offer more when they really start. Tomatoes are starting to come in so will be back in the share this week (the latest ever!). You may want to get your pickling jars ready as the full share can take up to 10lbs of pickles! Also new this week is basil. It is hard to keep fresh so we have it as pick your own. Portsmouth share holders will have basil brought up to them as its just not worth the dive to pick a little basil.

Crop updates! Beets and carrots should be back again soon and stick around for a while. Greens and lettuce have mostly been eaten now by deer. I know some of you are vegetarian but I'm thinking CSA venison roast for all the deer we have fed this year. We are putting up a fence around the greens hoping to keep them out long enough for the greens to grow.

The winter crops are looking great! Those of you that helped us get started with a winter CSA last year will be very happy with the amount of winter food we will have this year (yes Tim I planted more carrots then you can imagine 10,350 feet!). We have doubled our winter greenhouse space from last year and increased our outdoor greens by 500%. As we have said before all summer CSA will have the first shot at the winter program. We will start a winter sign up sheet at the stand and at the Portsmouth pick up. You can also e-mail me and I will put you on the list. No money is due at this time we are just looking to see how many share we can open to the public.

With all that here is this weeks share:


Full Share

2 Peaches

6 Corn

2lbs Zucchini or Summer Squash

2 Cucumbers

up to 10lb Pickles

1 Onion

2 Shallots or 1 Garlic

1 Eggplant

1 Pepper

1lb Beans

2lbs Potatoes or 1lb Fingerling's or 1 Cabbage

1 Tomato

Qt of pick your own Basil

½ Share:

1 Peach

3 Corn

1lb Zucchini or Summer Squash

1 Cucumber

up to 5lb Pickles

1 Onion

2 Shallots or 1 Garlic

1 Eggplant or 1 Pepper

1/2lb Beans

1lb Potatoes or 1 pint Fingerling's

1 Tomato

Pt of pick your own Basil

Of course for those of you that need to catch up on your blueberry picking there is still time. Please come down soon to get some fruit and see the farm!


Posted 6/27/2009 8:46pm by Andre Cantelmo.

This weeks' share will include:   2 heads of lettuce

                                             1 bunch of scallions

                                             1 box new potatoes

                                             2 zucchini

                                             1 box sugarsnap peas ( or 1lb. shelling peas as available)

                                             1 bunch of swiss chard OR 1 bunch of beets

                                             1 tomato


        See you at the farm!




Posted 5/28/2009 8:08am by Andre Cantelmo.

Hello Heron Pond Farmers

Most of the hiccups are out of our new system. Thanks for getting back to us with your phone calls to put some fixes in. If you know anyone not getting these updates that wants to get them let them know that they can self register at our web site. Be sure to check both the general mailing list and the CSA boxes. That way all the updates will get to them.

First pick up will start the week of May 31. Your pick up day was confirmed with you phone contact. If you are looking for the farm stand check out our map on the web site. Remember when you are looking at the map that Google maps has us much further down the road then we are. We are just over the Mass border in NH on Main ave. For those of you doing a Portsmouth pick up look for the shopping basket on the map. If you click on it there will be information about the your pick up. Including time and place.

Some of you have outstanding balance. Don't send anything in at this point. We will touch base with you at the first pick up. Many Portsmouth pick up folks were caught unaware of the pick up fee. In order to cover coasts of delivery to Portsmouth there is a $36.00 charge. Heron Pond Farm makes no money off this charge. It simply covers 1/2 of the cost of 20 weeks delivering to Portsmouth which includes fuel, insurance, and a person to cover the drop off. Greg and I have decided to pay the other half of the cost. So it comes to $1.80 a week to have your veggies brought up from the farm. I am sorry that this fee is not in our registration form. We have corrected the error and have tried to let everyone know that signed up for the share. I will be at the first few Portsmouth drop offs to talk about it.

As always the shares start out slow and pick up quickly by the end of June. By mid July you should be very happy with you selections. If you are new to this please give it time, in the end you will love it. If you have been with us a while post a comment on how you felt about your share last year.

Some up dates on how this all works. Those of you with us in the winter will be happy to hear that you will be able to get fresh local meat from Kelly brook farm at the farm stand. For those of you new to this you just order what you want for the next week and when you come for your share it will be there. New price list will be available at the farm stand. For now we can only offer this to our farm stand members. We will be working with the city of Portsmouth to get them to let us bring in the meat for our pick ups there but for now they say no. You can still get Kelly brook products from Tim at the Portsmouth market on Saturdays.

Our CSA runs in compliment with our retail sales, wholesale operation, and our commitment to giving food back to the community. Some times items will be available to CSA members only. Sometimes there will be things at the stand that are not included in your share. There will still be other times that you will hear of large amounts of food going to the community. We keep good records of what our share holders get and they have never been cheated out of anything do to our other commitments. If you would like to purchase something not in your share please feel free to do so and take your 10% discount.

Now about the food, which is why we are all here. The spring has been strange. I don't like to start the year with out lettuce so we have been waiting on that. We almost had to start early because the greens were bolting in the heat. This has made me nervous about the first pick up but I am always nervous about the first pick up. The lettuce is in and although we have lost a lot of green to bolting we have been planting them every week so they will catch up. Any day of the week might bring different harvest opportunities so one days offerings may vary from the next. Every one will be getting lettuce and greens. Which lettuce and greens will be fun to see. You will be able to choose your lettuce from the harvest that day and also choose your greens. It is unclear to me if you will be getting one or two bunches of greens this first time out but they will be from the good eats early section of the site. Part of the fun is to try something new so if you haven't had it before don't be afraid of it try it. There will be new options all the time.

I want to close by saying that the expansion of the CSA has really worked out for the farm. We have more crops in the ground then ever at this time. Everything looks so good we are looking forward to a great season full of great foods.



Posted 5/12/2009 5:07am by Andre Cantelmo.


Early in the season there seems to be a lack of local food. This year Heron Pond Farm has worked hard to Make many greens available even before the Peas are in. There is a nice variety to the mix of veggies we have come up with. Some are mild but some have that extra bite the folks crave. The greens list changes from week to week but here are some of the offerings that you will see from Heron Pond Farm this spring and summer. Some are available today at are farm stand. Or come see us at any of the farmers markets we attend.  A great Asian Greens Guide can help you prepare some of these.

hon sai tai

Hon Tsai Tai
(Brassica rapa)

Purple flower stems and buds.
A Chinese specialty. The young plants soon branch and produce quantities of long, pencil-thin, red-purple, budded flower stems. Pleasing, mild mustard taste for use raw in salads or lightly cooked in stir-fries or soups. For multiple harvesting of tender stems and leaves.  Use in stir fries or as a great side dish.

Yukina Savoy

(Brassica juncea)

Similar to Tatsoi but larger.
Plant habit is more upright and vigorous for improved baby leaf yields. At full size the thick, savoyed leaves are held upright on pale green petioles. Space 12-18" apart and cut at the base for beautiful, full-sized bunches 10-12" tall. Delicious steamed or stir-fried.
Tatsoi and Warm Scallop Salad with Spicy Pecan Praline


Green Lance (F1)
(Brassica oleracea)

Glossy leaves and crisp, thick stems.
This uniform, budding-type Chinese kale (also called kai-lan, gai lohn, and pak kah nah) is great in stir-fries or cooked like broccoli. Harvest the stalks when 8" tall and 2-3 flower buds are open. After the main stem is cut, the plant will send up many branches for subsequent harvests.

Summer Jean (F1)
(Brassica rapa)

Tender, budded stems.
Dark green leaves with small, edible buds. Similar to Hon Tsai Tai, but with thicker stems. Stems regrow for ’cut and come again’ harvest. Best suited to summer and fall planting; spring plantings may bolt

Spring Raab
(Brassica rapa (ruvo group))

A must in Italian households. The smell of this cooking will bring me in from any field I'm in. Heron Pond Farm only grows this for spring production but we may be cooking something up for fall winter.


(Cichorium intybus)

New last year! Highest yielding and most uniform Italian dandelion.
Clio is similar but superior to Catalogna Special. It is more upright and more uniform, and thus delivers a higher marketable yield. Clio is clearly the best Catalogna type we have ever seen

Red Rib
(Cichorium intybus)

Bright red stem and midvein, dark green leaf.
Eye-catching, dandelion-type chicory, definitely on the wild side.

Dandelion Salad with Lardons and Goat Cheese Phyllo Blossoms.Sauteed Dandelion Greens



Bright Lights
(Beta vulgaris, cicla group)

Multicolor chard - 1998 All-America Selections winner.

Stems of many colors including gold, pink, orange, purple, red, and white ... with bright and pastel variations. Lightly savoyed, green or bronze leaves. The taste is milder than ordinary chard, with each color a bit different. Grow from transplant - individual colors may then be separated out - or direct seed. Suitable for production year round, but somewhat less frost hardy than normal for chard. The late New Zealand amateur breeder John Eaton developed Bright Lights, and Johnny’s selects and maintains the different color stocks and produces the seeds. Sauteed Swiss Chard with Onions. Roasted Garbanzo Beans and Garlic with Swiss Chard. Bacon and Swiss Chard Pasta

Joi Choi (F1)
(Brassica rapa (Chinensis group))

Pac Choi, Bok Choy, & Pak Choi are all different spellings for the same vegetable. Whichever name you use, it's the ultimate green vegetable for stir-fries.

Our Freinds over at Pete's Greens Have some great recipes!

Asian Chicken Salad with Snap Peas and Bok Choy















Posted 4/22/2009 7:06am by Andre Cantelmo.

Andre working on 4000Well we knew it was going to have to happen sometime. Heron Pond farm has had to make a investment in a new tractor. As many of you know Heron Pond Farm is really a continuation of Valley Acres Farm. For the two farms this is the 50th season of turning over soil in South Hampton. In that time much of the primary tillage has been done by the first tractor ever bought new by the Syvinski's a 1974 Kubota M4000. In addition to moldboard plowing, this tractor was used to run the potato harvester, two of the hardest jobs on the farm. For a farm our size a tractor getting this kind of use might last 25 years. Thanks to Walters “laying on of hands” style of tractor maintenance, this machine lasted 10 years past it's prime. The 4000 might have gone longer if it weren't for the dreaded “we don't make that part anymore.”


After Andre performed open heart surgery on the 4000 it was found to have a worn gear shaft Greg gets out of 5040in it's main hydraulic pump housing. It's pumping engine oil into it's hydraulic oil. You can't buy the shaft, and we have folks looking for a pump for us. Meantime there is work to be done on the farm. Enter the Kubota M5040 and the wonders of Kubota financing.


With care and maintenance this could be the tractor we retire on. MB tractor gave us a good deal and the financing met the farms' needs. So a new era is born on Heron Pond Farm. The M5040 rolled off the truck, was hooked up to the plow, and started turning soil day one. It handles the plow really well and has already proved it's a valuable asset to the farm.


Belle and GabeThe 4000 isn't going anywhere. We will find a pump and keep the tractor in the fleet. In all likelihood it will be used to transplant the bulk of the crops from year to year. This is a very important job on the farm but one that won't take that much out of her. She's not quite going out to pasture but will be enjoying her golden years in a stress free environment.


So heres to a new beginning. The future of the farm may be in Belle and Gabe's hands, and with all likelihood they will be driving this tractor for much of it.

Posted 3/29/2009 10:42am by Andre Cantelmo.



Heron Pond Farm and CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) Members to Provide Local Food Banks/Families With Fresh Local Veggies.

Tough economic times mean more families struggle to put food on the table. Heron Pond Farm and the members of it's CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) program are backing up their mission to "build community through local agriculture," with free, weekly, shares of fresh vegetables and produce to families in need.  CSA members have the option to donate money towards the shares.  Heron Pond Farm will match every complete share contributed.  Saint John's Church food bank in Portsmouth, NH and Our Neighbors Table in Amesbury, MA will receive the shares and pass them out to anonymous families in need every week during the growing season.  "Adopted" CSA members are members in full standing, and will pick up their fresh food each week at either the farm or St. Johns location just like any other member. Non-CSA members are welcome to contribute through by filling out a CSA form and checking the Sponsor a Share box only.  Four hundred fifty dollars purchases one family enough fresh local vegetables for 20 weeks but you can donate as much or little as you like.

"One of our members suggested we donate any extra food after a market," says Andre Cantelmo, proprietor of Heron Pond Farm. Teaming up with it's CSA members to contribute formally was the next logical step, Cantelmo says.  "Access to fresh, delicious, local food shouldn't be hindered by economic barriers. " he says. Soup kitchens and food banks, naturally, have to keep non-perishable stores on hand.  The fresh shares offer something different for adopted members - the flavor of fresh cut cukes, tomatoes, zucchini, lettuce and other earthly goodies. No can-openers needed.  "Nourishing our local community is job one, literally and figuratively," Cantelmo says, "Making healthy choices should not be about how big your bank account is."

This is nothing short of huge for us.” says Rosemary Werner executive director of Our Neighbors Table. “The number one thing lacking in our food programs are fresh vegetables. Having the ability to acquire them locally is fantastic.” Kids needing access to healthy food is also of primary concern,”for some of these kids this will be their only experience with fresh food.” says Werner. “We gave generously because we were thinking of the kids,” says Gabe Porter, shareholder in Heron Pond Farm, “we feel so fortunate to have access to this great local food, we wanted to share our fortune.” “Common Table is feeding 120 families a week right here in Portsmouth,” says Jim Rollins, St. Johns parish member and shareholder at Heron Pond “this food helps Common Table get families the nutritious foods they need to stay healthy and introduces good fresh vegetables to the kids.”

Heron Pond Farm has been serving the community fresh local vegetables since 1998. The farms mission is to build community through local agriculture. Community supported agriculture shares, Farmers markets, farm stand, and food bank outreach are some of the tools Heron Pond uses to build a healthy community.


If you would like more information about this topic, or to schedule an interview with Andre Cantelmo, please call 603-591-8720 or e-mail Andre at


Posted 2/23/2009 9:05am by Andre Cantelmo.

Join us for our ongoing series of winter farmers' markets. Buy local foods directly from area farmers & food producers and stock up on local foods for the winter.  Check out all the farms coming at Seacoast Eat Local.

Donations for local food pantries will be accepted at the markets, helping to provide healthy, local food for our neighbors in need.

Heron Pond Farm will be bringing Spinach, Chard, Salad Mix, Escarole, possible other greens, and of course our famous Potatoes!  You can also sign up for our CSA there.  Hope to see you!

If you need help getting there check out our map page.

Posted 2/18/2009 8:04pm by Andre Cantelmo.
The Newburyport Farmers Market will host a farm and CSA fair at the Tannery Mill #1 on Sunday February 22nd from 11:00 to 4:00. Please visit for more information and a list of participating farms. Sponsored by the Tannery Mall.
Posted 2/12/2009 7:56am by Andre Cantelmo.
Heron Pond Farm will be at the CSA fair in Portsmouth NH on Saturday Feb 14th from 10:00am to 1:00pm. The fair is located at the Portsmouth Public Library, 175 Parrot Ave. Come see what we have in store for the 2009 season!
Posted 7/14/2008 7:39am by Andre Cantelmo.

Hello CSA Members!

The power has been on and off for the last few days so getting this out has be difficult. But here it is!

Share for July13-July 20

1 Tomato

1 Box of Potatoes

½ Doz Corn

1 Onion or 1 Scallion or 1 Garlic

4 Any Squash

2 Slicer or 4 Pickling Cucs

1 Head of Lettuce

1 Blueberry Pint or pick your own qt

1 Bunch Beets or Chard

1 Green Pepper

At the moment we have a lot of pickling cucs. So anyone wanting to do some pickling please get in touch with me and I will box up some of our many extras! Please call or write ahead. The corn is in and I'm happy to say we are again the first to have it in the area. With all this strange weather lets hope for no gaps! The lettuce is spotty. We have good plantings in and they are not bolting, but we are having a problem with bottom rot. As many of you know we don't spray many of our veggies and lettuce is one of them. So the bottom rot is catching up to us. We will do our best to stay a head of it. Beans are not far off. We have some but not enough to carry us through yet. Beans are the crop giving me the most problems this year. Good news is the field tomatoes are ripening fast so more toms for everyone soon, and more choice of toms! Remember the broccoli that I wanted to give you a mouth ago, well its coming in soon so lets all cross our fingers that it doesn't bolt in the heat.

I have added this request from one of our shareholders. They want to network with other CSA members. It seems like a good idea and may lead to a more productive annual meeting:

Hello seacoast farmers & others,

I am so excited about two things right now: having a share in a local farm for the first time and having recently discovered the joys of WikiSpaces.  I would like to invite you and all the shareholders of your farms to visit the Seacoast CSA space I have created at  This is a place for those who own shares in local farms to share their experiences, recipes, photos and more throughout the growing season.  Please forward this email to your shareholders and other farmers so that we can spread the word and grow some new connections in our community!


Wishing you a bountiful season,

Kathy Pearce

Portsmouth localvore

On a related note I looked up the shares for the past mouth offered by other CSA's. I'm blatantly going to toot our horn and say we all have it very good here at Heron Pond Farm!

Yes I'm working on the winter share!

I'm going to have to change the date for farm day due to an upcoming wedding. But I think this will give us more time to work with the farming in Africa group for an event.

Good Eating!


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