Farm Update 07-18-24

This certainly is some interesting weather we’ve been having, with the storm, and more specifically the straight-line wind that blew through yesterday causing a not insignificant amount of damage to crops. I’m still assessing the overall damage, as it will be a couple of days before some of the plants show the full extent of injury.

On the positive side, I was able to get some Potatoes dug before the storm. As I’m sure most of you remember, I need 3 to 4 days of general dry conditions in order to dig the Potatoes without causing damage to them. There will be Red and Yukon Gold available this week, but it will be about 2 to 3 weeks before the Russet will be ready. As I was checking the field I got a bit of a surprise, as it turns out there will be Jalapeno Peppers ready for the weekend.

At the market this week I was able to get some more Cantaloupe (from NJ), and was also able to get some of the last Local Bing Cherries for this season. I was told that Local Plums should be available in 1 to 2 weeks. There were no good Strawberries at the market, so hopefully they will be back for next week. For the complete list of what I will have, please check out the What’s Available page.

Also, there’s some good news for the flower lovers out there, as the Gladiola have just started flowering. Not sure how many will be available just yet, but be sure to keep an eye out for them. I should also be able to pick Field Flowers on a more regular basis going forward.

In the coops, the heat over the last week finally impacted egg production, with overall numbers about 2/3 of the usual number of eggs per day. I’m still working on the size issue and have not been able to resolve it just yet.

The last of the Tubbies (aka Broiler Chickens) were processed this week, so if you are looking to pick up a Fresh Whole or Half Chicken, this is the weekend to do it. Due to scheduling and chick availability, this is the only other weekend until after Labor Day that I will have Fresh Chicken available. Frozen Chickens will be available throughout the year, or until I run out. This brings me to another point, which is that the number of birds for the second round of Broilers will be smaller than usual. So, those of you who get a number of birds for over the winter should make note. And lastly, given the questions I get about this, I have so far been able to keep the Fresh and Frozen chicken prices the same as last year, though there is price increase pressure building. I’m trying to get things locked in so that I can hold the price through the remainder of the year.

That’ll be all for this update. Thanks to everyone who has been able to stop by and help support the farm. And as usual, I hope you all have a great week.

Farm Update 07-11-24

A bit of a brief update this week, as there isn’t a whole lot different going on than there was last week. The one main thing was the heat and sun intensity, which had put a minor hold on some of the work I needed to do, but will otherwise complete soon enough.

In the field, the crops are growing at a decent pace. There will be some new additions this week, including Slicing Cucumber, Beets, and if I can get some dug (the rain is causing delays), some Potatoes. There was also a bit of a boneheaded move on my part, and I accidentally tilled in most of a row of Cilantro – so yeah, that happened, and my apologies to the Cilantro lovers out there. While there is some left, it’s not much, and it will be at least a couple of weeks before the next round is big enough for harvest.

In the coops, the chickens have been a bit miserable due to the weather. The Laying Hens have toughed it out though, and are still producing at near normal levels. I’m still working on changes to their feed ratios to have them lay larger-sized eggs, but it is not a fast process. Egg sales have been higher than expected this season, with the eggs selling out on multiple days.

The Tubbies (aka Broiler Chickens) are also doing well, but that’s because they are the beneficiaries of air conditioning, which I provided to help mitigate the worst of the stress they would otherwise suffer from the heat and humidity. The schedule for the processing of the next round of Broiler Chickens has changed, and Fresh Chickens will be available again on the 19th, not the 26th, while Frozen Chickens are available now.

There will potentially be some Field Flower bunches available again this week. The Gladiola are also growing well, but have yet to send up any flower stems. It should be any time now that they do, and cut stems will not be far behind.

So, that’s it for this week’s update. Thank you to everyone who was able to come by last week. Your support of the farm is greatly appreciated. Hope you all have a great week.

Farm Update 07-03-24

My apologies for the late update this week given that the stand will be open on July 4th, but there was a serious issue here that required my immediate attention, and it threw my entire schedule for the day into chaos. In other words, pretty much a “normal” day of dealing with whatever happens. Let’s move on to the actual update.

The big news this week is the early arrival of the Pennsylvania PEACHES. This is the first picking for this season, so they are a little firm, and not quite as sweet as they will be in a week or two, but they are good. Sweet Corn from Connecticut will also be available.

Due to the July 4th holiday this week, I have decided to fill out the farm stand with a near full selection of goods. There will be Melons (both Watermelon and Cantaloupe), Plums, Apricot, Green Seedless Grapes, Local Cherries, Strawberries, and more. On the veggie side of things, there will be Local Snap Peas, String Beans, and from the farm there will be Lettuce, Herbs, Zucchini, and Pickling Cucumbers. Please check the What’s Available page for the complete listing.

In the coops, the Laying Hens are still not producing a very good number of larger eggs. I have been trying to isolate the cause, given that before the stand opened for the season they were producing many more larger-sized eggs than now. Anyway, I’ll keep working on it.

The first round of Broiler Chickens have been processed and will be available Fresh over the weekend, and Frozen thereafter. Due to a change in operations, there will be fewer times that Fresh Chicken will be available this season, even though it will be the same number of chickens overall, so keep an eye out for news about them in the updates and get them while you can.

Before finishing the update, since I still have work to attend to, I want to mention the change in policy at the farm stand. As those of you who have been to the stand already know, there is now a discount for paying in cash, meaning there is an effective service charge of 3.5% for using any electronic payment method (card, Apple, or Gpay) I normally accept through my processing service. Please note – All the prices listed at the farm stand are the Discounted Cash Price. If you require additional clarification, please ask.

That’s it for now. I’m sure there is news I’m forgetting, but I have to get back to work. Hope you all have a great week and a fun holiday.

Farm Update 06-27-24

It’s nice to make it into yet another summer season, though I would prefer a little more consistency to the weather. It does seem to be calming a bit, and we most certainly did not get the intensity of the storm last night that we could have gotten. Anyway, we’re a week closer to the July 4th holiday, and I’m doing my best to have more of my own crops and other goods ready for it.

In the field, the crops have slowed a little bit, presumably due to the weather, so while I will have some Lettuce this week, it looks like the Zucchini and Cucumbers will not be big enough to begin harvesting just yet. The String Beans, while having a lot of buds, have also been slow to set and develop beans. In the better news column, test digs of Potatoes were very promising, and barring a major disturbance should be just another couple of weeks until “new” Potatoes can be harvested.

Additionally, while Local Strawberries are no longer available to me, I was able to get the good Canadian Strawberries that we’ve enjoyed over the years. And in a bit of a surprise, I was able to get some Local Bing Cherries. Not sure how long they will be available, but I’ll get them while I can. There will be melons this weekend too, including the little Seedless Watermelon and a similar to Cantaloupe type of melon called a Tuscan Melon. Regular Cantaloupe is still unavailable as the broker told me that what was available to them was all garbage looking. For the people who buy Avocado, the prices have started to spike already (this is usually peak harvest season with lower prices), and the market news is not promising on it coming down. I will do my best finding decently priced ones, but they are already almost to the wholesale price point where I will not longer purchase them.

Looking forward to next week for a moment, there should be Corn from Connecticut available. And there was one other prediction made by one of the brokers regarding availability of a highly sought after crop. I don’t want to jinx it, so what I’ll say is, the fruit broker told me there would be an item from Pennsylvania that starts with PEA and ends with CHES available for next week. Mind you, this is not a guarantee, though they were fairly certain about the issue. Guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

In the coops, the Laying Hens are acting like the slowly growing crops. They are laying, but the egg size is still not coming up to the sizes I would have expected by now. I’ll ask extra politely for them to step up and produce bigger eggs.

The Broiler Chickens (aka Tubbies) are getting a good bit bigger, and as of the schedule right now, I should have Fresh Broiler Chicken available next week. This week there are still some Frozen Broiler Chickens available for purchase.

Beyond all that, operations on the farm continue as usual, with all the usual ups and downs. The only other announcement, which is for the schedule next week – the farm stand will be open for the holiday on Thursday, July 4th from 10 – 6.

That’s all for this week. As usual, I’m sure I’m forgetting a bunch of stuff to pass along. A big Thank You to everyone who was able to come by last week and help support the farm. Have a great week.

Farm Update 06-19-24

Hi everyone, and welcome back to the start of the farm stand’s ninth season. I hope you all have been doing well, and this crazy weather we’ve been having has not had too much of an impact on you. Here on the farm it has made life a little interesting. Whether you’re talking about the 37F on the morning of Sunday 6/16, or the 91F afternoon on Tuesday 6/18, it makes for an interesting ride.

Anyway, enough about that for a minute, as I’m sure you’re all wondering what I’ll have, so be sure to check out the What’s Available page for the complete listing of offering this, and all weekends. I’m not going to have much of anything from my field for this weekend, but was able to get a good few locally grown crops from other farms at the market. I suppose the one question everyone will have is, did you get Local Strawberries. And the answer is YES, I was able to get not only Local Strawberries, but also Local Raspberries. I was also able to get some very nice looking Local Snap Peas.

As far as the fields go, I should be able to have Lettuce, maybe Cucumber, and Zucchini by next weekend. Other crops will be a bit of a longer wait. In the happier news section, my early plantings of Potatoes are coming along very well, and should be harvestable some time around mid-July. For those about to ask, I have planted Sweet Corn, but as always, who knows.

Things about the farm are generally going well. I have added another small greenhouse to the operation, and will likely add at least one more.

Flower lovers will be happy to see that there are already a good few blossoms, but the big color show won’t be until sometime mid-July at the earliest.

In the coops, the Laying Hens have been perfecting their trade, and the egg sizes are now getting a good bit bigger. Very few XL and Jumbo right now, but they are starting to show up on a regular basis. And the Broiler Chickens, or Tubbies as I call them, are doing great. They are currently 4 weeks, so it will be a couple more weeks before they are big enough. Maybe I’ll have Fresh Chicken for July 4th weekend, but I’m not guaranteeing it.

Beyond the farm, the word is that in general things are looking pretty good for this season. There is one thing though, that the heat in the local area has affected the Strawberries, so local ones will only be available from the market for maybe another week, though I’m also told that U-Pick operations will likely be running for a bit of time yet. Anyway, after that the Canadian Strawberries should be available. The really good news is that, at least in the early stage, the orchards are saying it may be a fantastic, near bumper crop kind of season, so let’s hope that pans out. And lastly, other crops sound like they’ll be in generally good supply for the season.

For the curious, there have been no coyote sightings at all this year, though I have heard them howling nearby back in February, and I have found tracks about the farm. There have also been two bear encounters, which were both thankfully just the bear passing through. One of the encounters was a momma with twins. If you are in the area, please exercise caution if suspect there is a bear about, and remember – Momma is always watching the cubs.

That’s about it for this update, or at least I can’t think of anything else to include at this point, though I am sure I’m forgetting a bunch of little things. Looking forward to seeing you all again over the course of the season. Take care and have a great week.

Farm Update 10-05-23

We have once again reached the end of another season. Seems like it was January just a few days ago, June a day or so later, and then another couple more and here we are. Strange pace for the year, I suppose, but it is what it is. This weekend, Columbus Day weekend, will be the last the farm stand is open for the 2023 season. As I’ve been doing with most holidays, there will be extra hours:

Monday 10/9: 10 – 4

Beyond this weekend, you can still check the What’s Available page to see if I have what you’re looking for, and if so, you can text to arrange a time to pick up. I’ll be adding some additional info to the What’s Available page to help clarify what to do if there are any items you would like to get, and also any specific times when I will be unavailable.

Unfortunately, the start to this weekend looks to be about on par with most of the rest of the summer, with considerable rain at the start, and then getting much colder. Hopefully, you’ve been able to enjoy the last couple of days with the temps in the high 70s and clear blue skies.

For those of you who like checking out the fall colors, most of the trees in the area are now changed or changing rapidly. The colors are a little on the browner side this year, but there are also patches with some nice vibrant yellows and reds. Of course, being able to head off the mountaintop and see a variety of color changes is also a nice treat.

In the field, virtually everything is finished growing, with the exception of Kale and Chives. I still have even more Potatoes to dig going forward, so if you’re looking for fresh dug Potatoes (mostly Red Potatoes) I should have a good supply of them for some time.

In the coops, the Laying Hens are being their usual selves – always begging for more treats. I swear, I could shower them with nothing but mountains of food and treats and they would still constantly be squawking for more. They are, however, still producing good numbers of eggs, which will also continue, and be available after the stand closes. I’m not sure exactly how long I will have the Laying Hens this year, but it will likely be well into November, if not December.

The remainder of the Broiler Chickens will all be processed for this weekend. There will be a little variety in the sizes, but they are tending to the larger side. There will be both Fresh and Frozen, Whole and Half chickens for this weekend, and then Frozen from that point on until they are sold out. I am still taking orders for over the winter, and can hold the chickens for a time, if need be.

I also have a bit of a request. Given the news that Kern’s Nursery will be closing up at the end of this season, I would very much like to hear feedback on whether or not there is interest in the farm selling both vegetable and flower plant starts, as well as potentially selling some potted plants in the spring at the beginning of the season. This is something I’ve considered in the past, but just not followed up on doing. Please let me know what you think.

That’s going to be it for this update. I would like to thank everyone who was able to come by this season and help support and keep the farm going. I hope you all not only have a great holiday weekend, but a fantastic fall, winter, and spring, along with joyous holidays along the way. Take care and have a great time.

Farm Update 09-28-23

If it wasn’t about the time I normally finish for the season it certainly would be after this week. The temps here on the farm dropped as low as 30F, with the temps remaining below the freeze line for more than 3 hours on Wednesday morning, and it’s looking like the same as I write this update on Thursday morning, with the temperature again hitting 30F. These readings are well below the forecast temperatures, averaging about 10 degrees below the published lows.

It is, however, coming up to the end of the season for the farm stand. The last day for this year is Monday, October 9th, which is the Monday of Columbus Day weekend.

In the field, aside from just a couple of things, like Potatoes and Kale, most everything else has been either killed outright, or burned by the freeze. This includes all the remaining flowers as well. I hope all of you who wanted to get pictures of them were able to before now.

In the coops all is generally going well. There have been a few times that the heating for the Broiler Chickens has given me problems during the middle of the night, but was dealt with without too much of a hassle. Given that I am approaching the end of the season, and due to scheduling, I have already re-homed half of the Laying Hens. They’ve gone to the farm I’ve been dealing with for a few years, and they keep them for the remainder of their lives.

As for the Broilers, they are getting on the bigger side, and eating everything in sight. Fresh Chicken will be available again this and next week, and after that, there will be Frozen Chicken available until they sell out. After I close for the season on October 9th the What’s Available page will list approximate sizes and quantities of chickens available for purchase.

Since it is well and truly Fall, I have made a small batch of Cranberry Preserves. I also made some more Strawberry Preserves, since I was about to run out. In the end, I was not happy enough with the Cherry Preserves recipe I had been working on, so they will not be available at all this year.

I suppose that’s it for this update. Thanks very much to all of you who were able to come by and help support the farm. Hope you all have a great week, and enjoy the sunshine while it’s here.

Farm Update 09-21-23

Well, what was expected last week showed up with a vengeance this week. Not only did the temps drop on Wednesday (9/20) to the point where there was a solid frost, with a low temperature of 34.5F, but the follow up this morning (9/21) dropped the temp to 32F. Needless to say, this does not bode well for the crops still in the field. And I should mention that none of the forecasts for the local area showed the temps dropping anywhere near these levels, with the actual temperatures registering seven to nine degrees lower than forecast.

In the fields, given the back-to-back frost/freeze, there is little expectation of all but the hardiest plants, and crops like Potatoes surviving. I do still have some herbs in the greenhouse, so there will still be some of my own stuff, along with some Tomatoes I harvested prior to the frost. Beyond that, it will be at least another 24 hours until the full extent of the damage is known. Please check the What’s Available page for the full listing for this week.

In the coops, the Layers are laying, and the Broilers are eating everything in sight. Both Fresh and Frozen chickens are available this weekend.

I was able to get time to make more Raspberry Preserves this week. If I can get a chance in the next few days I will also be making a planned batch of Cranberry Preserves. Sadly, I will not be making Cherry Preserves this year.

Before I end the update, allow me to remind you all that the last day the farm stand will be open for the 2023 season in Monday, October 9th, which is the Monday of Columbus Day Weekend. After that date, there will likely still be items (Preserves and Frozen Chicken) and even some crops like Potatoes available for some time. After checking the What’s Available page you can text or call to place an order and we can arrange a pick up time.

So that’s going to be it for this week. Thanks to all who have come by and helped support the farm. Hope you all have a great week.

Farm Update 09-14-23

Hope everyone has been enjoying the warmer conditions we’ve been having since Labor Day, as the long-range forecast is showing the approaching decline in temps. Luckily, we’ve managed to avoid the mild, patchy frost event that happens all too often this time of year. Make no mistake though, fall is here, and the trees are turning at a pretty good pace. Work has also now changed over to the usual fall activities, as has a fair selection of goodies at the farm stand.

In the field the plants are already slowing down as they normally do with the cooler weather. String Beans will be ending soon, and the Zucchini have officially bitten the dust. Cucumbers are valiantly trying to make a comeback, but honestly, at this point, I’m not sure they’ll be producing much more. Due to other commitments, I have not been able to get into the Winter Squash area yet, but hope to find Acorn, Butternut, and Spaghetti Squash. I’m not going to list them on the What’s Available page until I actually have them in hand.

Flowers are slowly coming to an end. While they still look impressive from a distance, up close is a different story. There should still be just a few Gladiola this week, and then potentially a few more per week for a bit longer. Field Flower bunches will still be available, and, weather permitting, should be available right through the end of the season.

In the coops, things are also going pretty well. The Laying Hens continue churning out eggs at a steady pace, though still with very few Jumbo. There are, however, a good amount of XL size eggs. The Broilers are now big enough that I will be processing some this week, and will therefore have Fresh Chicken available for this weekend, and then right through until I close for the season on October 9th.

Lastly, I was able to get some more Strawberry-Rhubarb Preserves made. This may be the last of it I can make for the season as I am having trouble sourcing Rhubarb. There are still plans to make more Raspberry, and if I can somehow squeeze it in, a batch of Cranberry as well.

That’s going to be it for now. Hope you all have a great week. Thanks to everyone who has been able to come by and help support, and keep the farm going.

Farm Update 09-07-23

Welcome to fall, or at least welcome to the post-Labor Day time of year. I hope everyone had a great time this summer, and despite the weather was able to get in all the fun activities you wanted. Here on the farm, the work is now quickly shifting over to the fall schedule. As was previously mentioned, there are some operational changes that take place, though not really anything that someone visiting would notice.

In the field, the crops that made it through the rains of the summer are still doing pretty well. I will be getting into the Winter Squash and Pumpkin patch over the next week, though I do not have particularly high hopes for a good set of crops from either. The next round of Snap Peas I had planted are getting bigger, but have not yet begun to flower, so it’ll be a couple more weeks at least.

Speaking of flowers, the Gladiola are still blooming like crazy. They will not be around too much longer, so be sure to swing by and check out the great colors. The Field Flowers are also doing great, and for those who did not ask when at the stand – the flowers toward the front with the reds, yellow, and orange are called Pampas Plume Celosia and they are annuals.

The little tubbies, aka Broiler Chickens, are getting big rather quickly. If they maintain this growth rate, then I will likely be processing for Fresh Chicken next week. It’s not definite yet, and would be the following week at the latest, but please be sure to check back if they are what you’re looking to get. Also, if you are thinking about ordering a few for over the winter, please don’t wait too long to let me know.

There was a major run on Preserves last week, with the holiday and all, so as of right now there are a few types sold out. Until I get a chance, which may even be this afternoon/evening, both sizes of Raspberry and Strawberry-Rhubarb are sold out. I will be making more shortly, it’s just a matter of squeezing them into the list of critically important things that must be accomplished in short order. That list is like 5 pages long, but who’s counting, right.

That’s it for this week’s update. Thanks again to everyone who has come by and helped support the farm. Hope you all have a great week.