The Local Harvest

THE LOCAL HARVEST   The Weekly Newsletter of Honey Brook Organic Farm CSA, August 17th, 2017


We’re halfway through the month and still experiencing below average temperatures, just as we were at the beginning of the month. Since cooler temperatures contribute to the changing of green tree leaves to their fall hues of red, orange and gold, I’m sure no one is surprised to see the autumnal colors emerge at both of our farms.  For me, it feels like the summer than wasn’t!

Despite the cool weather, we finally had more of the summer crops ripen and begin to be distributed.  Our large watermelons are currently being harvested from our Pennington farm and Farmer Jim feels they have the best flavor in years! Our summer leeks, larger than they have in years, will also be available to members soon. The heirloom and regular tomatoes are quite abundant now, although the cherry and grape tomatoes are ripening unevenly.  Our very popular pick-your-own sauce tomatoes are also ripening and will be of a harvestable quantity soon. 

The PYO flower quantities have increased, but the fields have been muddy due to the many sporadic rain events at both farms.  Sunflowers, which are a fall crop for us, have been directly seeded by hand and our hope is that they are available for harvest in mid-autumn. 

NATURE NOOK  – by Sherry Dudas

On our Chesterfield farm, a small patch of non-native thistle, a flowering plant listed as a noxious weed by the USDA, is in bloom. It is a scourge of farmers since, once established, it is very hard to remove from farm fields. There’s even a law against allowing Canada thistle to grow on property in New Jersey.  Since late July, however, I’ve noticed the thistle is attracting swarms of bees, butterflies (especially monarchs and swallowtails) and seed-eating birds such as sparrows, goldfinches and indigo buntings.  I can watch the thistle garden for long stretches of time, noticing which winged critter gets bumped off the stalks of thistle by a larger, hungrier creatures. I know Farmer Jim is going to want to get his flame weeder out there soon to eradicate these pernicious plants, but I’m going to speak for the bees and insist he delay, at least until after the fall migration!

In other critter news, we only have had a few lightening bugs illuminating the summer skies now, but I did have the pleasure of witnessing the Perseid meteor shower this past Monday morning.  Nothing like the Perseids to remind one of how vast and wondrous this universe is!  And with regard to other awe-inspiring celestial events, any CSA members who would like to come to the Pennington farm on Monday afternoon to witness the partial solar eclipse are more than welcome to do so.  The partial eclipse will start at 1:22pm and end at about 4pm in our area. How exciting!  


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