Hello Everyone, 

So we continue to experience dry conditions here on the farm. We have had several more predicted rainfalls fail to arrive. We have another shot at a little precipitation overnight on Monday and perhaps a better chance of the wet stuff on Thursday. Keep your fingers crossed, say a prayer or perhaps do a rain dance if you are so inclined. In the meantime we will continue to move the sprinklers around the fields and employ creative tricks to get the seeds to sprout.

This week’s share will be very similar to last weeks. We still have lots of spectacular spinach as well as escarole and frissee, so enjoy them now as they won’t be back until the fall. We have Swiss chard ready and a second planting of arugula for next week’s greens. We are still inundated with garlic scapes so we will send some more one last time. These will keep for weeks even months in the fridge so don’t feel the need to use them quickly. 

The broccoli and the peas on the other hand should be used as soon as possible; especially the English or shell peas. These turn starchy very quickly. We will begin to have more sugarsnaps (edible pod) soon and these hold their sweetness much better. The summer squash is coming in heavy now so there will be more in the shares. We are back to radishes for the root vegetable this week, except for those who did not receive their salad turnips last week. We will have beets for you next week. Broccoli is becoming abundant and if you did not get it last week you should see it this week. Those who received broccoli will get kale.

The share for this week will be: Lettuce, summer squash, garlic scapes, radishes (or salad turnips), broccoli or kale, kohlrabi, spinach, choice of escarole or frissee, peas and choice of cilantro or dill.

Enjoy!  
Farmer John

Posted
AuthorDan McCarthy

Hello Everyone, 

So we waited with a mixture of anticipation and dread for the severe storms predicted for Saturday. We badly need the rain but worried about the high winds and potential for hail. In the end we got no rain at all, only 2 days of high winds that have been wreaking havoc with our crop covers and drying out the soil even more. There is some hope for precipitation at the end of the week; in the meantime we will be moving the sprinklers around from field to field to keep the crops growing and the seeds germinating.

The good news is that the shares size will nearly double this week with lots of new crops beginning to mature. The broccoli has begun to head and we will send it to some groups as availability allows. Those not receiving broccoli will get kale for this week and broccoli next week or the week after. We will also be sending bunches of broccoli leaf which is almost as nutritious as kale and in my opinion more palatable. I sauté the leaf with onions and blend this with milk for a delicious base for cream of broccoli soup. Summer squash has also started to produce; small quantities for this week; more in weeks to come. We have peas, mostly English- the shell type. The sugarsnap peas will become more abundant in the coming weeks. For lettuce we have a speckled romaine-an heirloom variety called Forellenschlus. The heads are usually fuller but with the drought they may begin to bolt and will get bitter. Garlic scapes are here! These are the flower tops of the plant and can be grilled, chopped finely and sautéed or blended to make a pesto. Hakurei salad turnips are a sweet, baby size treat intended to be eaten raw, although many folks prefer to cook them. They have beautiful greens- great for braising or sliced into ribbons mixed into salad.

I hope to see many of you at our farm visit picnic this Saturday. The weather looks good. If you can’t make it on Saturday you are welcome to come on Sunday. 141 Brighton Rd. Andover NJ 07821. 

The share for this week will be: Forellenschlus romaine, salad turnips, garlic scapes, spinach(2 bunches), broccoli or kale, summer squash, choice of escarole or endive(frissee), peas, bok choy and choice of cilantro or dill. 

Enjoy!  
Farmer John

Posted
AuthorDan McCarthy

Hi Folks, 


So I’ve heard of racing against the sun but out here on the farm we’ve been racing against the rain. The ground barely dries out enough to work when in rolls the next storm. On Saturday we started earlier than usual and were able to get an acre field ready for planting winter squash and pumpkins. A steady drizzle began and by the time I rode out on my seeding tractor it was too muddy to plant. We received a little more than an inch and a half of precipitation over the weekend and if it doesn’t rain on Tuesday we will be able to plant by Wednesday.


We are still heavy on greens- there is nice tatsoi and broccoli raab and arugula as well, although the arugula is a bit ugly thanks to a pernicious pest called the flea beetle that have been riddling it with holes. It also starts to get very strong and spicy as the plants get older. We will send it as an extra this week for those who love it and don’t mind the bite and the holes. The spinach crop if winding down now until the fall; we will offer it as a choice with Swiss chard. We also have an overabundance of lettuce, so you will receive 2 heads this week. Enjoy some big salads or give some away to friends or family. Broccoli is beginning to come in heavy now so groups that did not get it last week should find it in their share this time. We always try to send broccoli leaf when is in good condition. It is super nutritious, almost equal to kale and for me more palatable. It makes a wonderful base for cream of broccoli soup or can be used just the same as kale. 


Cauliflower and cucumbers are also beginning to mature. We will distribute these as availability allows and those who miss out this week will receive them next week. The beets are still a bit small because they are a little crowded, but we need to start harvesting them to thin out the rows. We will be shipping baby beets as a choice with turnips, so if you really want the beets you should try to get to the pickup early. We will have enough beets for all soon; carrots are coming soon as well. We still have lots of dill and cilantro and it is beginning to flower so it will be ruined. We also have parsley, summer savory and sweet marjoram which need to be cut. We will send the latter as a choice and the some of the dill and cilantro (un-bunched) as an extra.


The share for this week will be: Lettuce (2), broccoli or kale, summer squash, choice of tatsoi or broccoli raab, peas (English or sugar snap), choice of spinach or chard, cauliflower (some groups), choice of beets or turnips, cucumbers (some groups) and choice of parsley, marjoram or savory.


Enjoy!  
Farmer John

Posted
AuthorDan McCarthy

Hello Everyone, 

Rain, rain, rain, rain! I know it seems that all I do is complain about the weather, but it’s hard to get our planting done in the mud. The crops are loving it though… the peas and the brassica family are water lovers and are thriving. We actually dodged a bullet over the weekend as the heaviest rain passed to the south and we received only about an inch. One of my favorite bands- The Subdudes have a beautiful song called “The Rain”, the chorus is:” The rain keeps falling down but it don’t bother me. The rain is working very hard; it’s got to water every little seed. It’s beautiful and ordinary, making live seem very good to me”. So we’ll keep working around what Mother Nature brings us; knowing that as we head into summer it could get very dry again.

The broccoli is beginning to head up but it will likely be next week before it comes in heavy. A few groups will receive broccoli this week and everyone else will get kale. The beets are almost ready but also need another week, so we will offer a choice between radishes and salad turnips for this share. We still have lots of greens, so enjoy and maybe freeze some (spinach is easy to freeze-lightly steam and put in bags) because greens get scarce during the hot weather. Peas are abundant now so all groups should get them this week. We could really use some help picking them though as they are a labor intensive crop to harvest. Sunday’s pea picking party was cancelled due to the precipitation. This Sunday there will be another opportunity if the weather cooperates!

The share for this week will be: Lettuce, Kale (broccoli for some), spinach, choice of broccoli raab or arugula, summer squash, choice of escarole or frissee, peas, choice of radishes or salad turnips, purple Bok choi, potatoes, scallions and choice of dill or cilantro.

Enjoy!  
Farmer John

Posted
AuthorDan McCarthy

Hello Everyone,

So it never rains but it pours, isn’t that the saying? After nearly 6 weeks without rain it has now been raining regularly and a little heavier than I would like. We were almost caught up with our planting schedule and now have fallen behind again, due to many days of sodden soils that keep us from preparing the beds for planting. But the veggies are growing beautifully! I have also been trying to take off some of my cover crops baled as hay to later use for mulch, which is also confounded by the wet conditions. It’s time to plant the pumpkins and winter squash but I can’t plow the ground until I take the hay off. You’ve got to make hay while the sun shines! Literally!

We are quickly getting up to speed with our deliveries. The peas are coming in heavy now; with both English and sugarsnap being picked. Greens are abundant, in fact there are more than we can harvest and probably more than you can use in a week. There will be arugula again and 2 bunches of spinach. We will offer kale as a choice with broccoli raab. There are other mustard greens which we will send as extras for those of you who are not overwhelmed by too many greens. There is a purple bok choy that is small but wants to flower, but we will try to hold it for next week. We also have salad turnips which have wonderful edible greens. For the new members, these small mild flavored treats are meant to be eaten raw –sliced or shredded, but are also delicious lightly cooked. Zucchini and summer squash are coming in heavy as well. And for this week we will be throwing you a curve ball in the form of kohlrabi- a baseball sized globe from the brassica (cabbage) family. Also very sweet, these can be grated to make slaw or into salads or cooked in soups or as a side dish. Last but not least we have garlic scapes. These are also curvy; looking like a green pig tail. They can be chopped finely and sautéed, grilled, pickled or blended with oil nuts and cheese to make a pesto. They keep a long time in the fridge.


The share for this week will be: Arugula, summer squash, salad turnips, spinach, lettuce (mostly romaine), choice of escarole or frissee (endive), kohlrabi, peas, choice of kale or broccoli raab, and garlic scapes. 


Enjoy!  
Farmer John

Posted
AuthorDan McCarthy

On Saturday, April 26, 2014, members of the South Shore CSA and Mid Island CSA took part in Staten Island's 2014 St. George Day celebrating "Earth Day". Elizabeth Loscialo, Shannan O'Hara-Levi and Joan Baggs, nutrition counselors and CSA members, met with various Staten Islanders to provide information about the 2 new CSAs starting on Staten Island and to discuss a variety of health related topics to include Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) and sugar content in everyday foods. They handed out informational flyers, served up some of their delicious recipes and inspired Staten Islanders to become more aware of simple ways to improve their health. 

Elizabeth Loscialo and Joan Baggs holding down the fort. 

Elizabeth Loscialo and Joan Baggs holding down the fort. 

There was a consistent stream of Staten Islanders visiting the CSA table asking great questions, wanting to learn more about GMOs and organic produce. Staten Islanders were also excited to hear about the growth of CSA throughout Staten Island!  

Shannan O'Hara-Levi discusses GMOs with Staten Islanders. 

Shannan O'Hara-Levi discusses GMOs with Staten Islanders. 

Interested in what these ladies have to say? Well, by joining the South Shore CSA or the Mid Island CSA, you get to experience demonstrations such as these at both pickup site locations throughout the season! 

So join a CSA! 

Registration is ongoing until June 12, 2014! 

www.southshorecsa.org

www.midislandcsa.org

 

 

Posted
AuthorDan McCarthy

Thanks to everyone who came out to meet the Farmer and hear all out the South Shore CSA and the Mid Island CSA registration process and how the CSA will function for the 2014 season. 

It was a successful night! 

  • GRANTS: Thanks to one of our CORE MEMBERS, Celina Ramsey, we filed 2 grant applications with the Citizens Committee for NYC for both the SSCSA and the MICSA for the 2014 season. ONLY if granted, money will be allocated for start up supplies such as scales, tables, etc while a bulk of the grant money will serve for 2 revolving loan shares (both vegetable and fruit shares) for each CSA for 2 families affected by HURRICANE VICTIMS. This will allow those 2 selected families to pay for their shares on a weekly basis rather than upfront. We also hope to use a portion of the shares to pay for transportation costs to the farm for respective Farm Days. 
  • CORE MEMBER POSITIONS: Potential CSA members stepped up and we have acquired our maximum number of SITE COORDINATORS for the MICSA! We are still looking to fill 2-3 SITE COORDINATOR positions for the SSCSA and we are still in need of filling numerous other CORE MEMBER job descriptions. Take a look at both websites 'Members' pages for a positions still available. 
  • JUST FOOD CONFERENCE: Registration for the JUST FOOD CONFERENCE is currently underway. This year's conference will take place on April 5-6 at Teachers College in partnership with the Laurie M. Tisch Center for Food, Education & Policy. Saturday's programming includes numerous intensives and tours at locations around the city, capped off with a networking reception and fundraiser. Sunday is full day of food talks, workshops, and a farmer panel. If you are a foodie, than this is for you! Visit http://bit.ly/jfconf14 for more details, including ticket prices and scholarship information.
  • MEETING AGAINST GMOs: If you are interested in attending a STATEN ISLAND event against GMOs, see the information on this FACEBOOK LINK. The event will take place on FEBRUARY 26, 2014 at 7pm at the Path Family Center, 1779 Richmond Avenue, 3rd Floor, Staten Island, NY 10314.  CSA member STEPHANIE LOCRICCHIO will be hosting the event. She brings with her, an extensive breadth of knowledge regarding health and nutrition. Hope to see you there! ALL ARE WELCOMED! 

 

MISSED THE FIRST 2 COMMUNITY MEETINGS? If you missed this meeting and the last one in 2013 and are interested in a 3rd, we may consider hosting a final 2014 informational meeting in April, but we need your interest and commitment to attend. CONTACT us to inform us what day of the week and time works for you! 

Our goal is to bring organic produce to 150 families for both the South Shore CSA (75 families) and the Mid Island CSA (75 families) for the 2014 season! 

Posted
AuthorDan McCarthy

 

The South Shore CSA and Mid Island CSA will host their 2nd Community Meeting on Tuesday, February 11, 2014 at 7pm at Christ Lutheran Church, 121 Cleveland Avenue, Staten Island, NY, 10308.

This meeting will include a discussion about what a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) group is, how it functions and the specifics about joining one of the 2 new CSAs forming in Staten Island: South Shore CSA and Mid Island CSA. We will also have a meet & greet from Farmer John Krueger, the CSAs farmer, as well as leaders Paula Lukats and Qiana Mickie, from the non-for-profit sponsor organizations, Just Food. 

Feel free to spread the word and join us with any questions you may have about getting fresh, organic produce into your homes! 

 

larger flyer_community meetin.jpg
Posted
AuthorDan McCarthy