The Local Harvest

THE LOCAL HARVEST   The Newsletter of Honey Brook Organic Farm CSA, April, 2018  

MEMBERSHIPS AVAILABLE FOR ALL OF OUR MANY LOCATIONS! – Sherry Dudas Applications for all pick-up locations are still being accepted.  Please join today if you haven’t already; our Join Us page is HERE.  If you haven’t checked out our Boxed Share page in a while, you may want to do that now, as we’ve added many new pick-up locations for this season, including PEAC Health and Fitness in Ewing and St. Luke Lutheran Church in Willingboro.

For those considering purchasing a membership for pick-up at either our Pennington or Chesterfield farms, please keep in mind that our "Choice" Premium, Basic and Personal Shares allow shareholders to choose the produce in their share each week! Get what you want every week by filling your box with what your family enjoys the most. Pick-your-own privileges are included in the membership fee & PYO crops do not have to fit in your box. We have three different box share sizes, ranging from the .28 bushel Personal box, the 1/2 bushel Basic box (our most popular size) and the 3/4 bushel Premium box. 

In early May we print our member identification cards, which members receive the first time they visit the farm.  Membership Handbooks will be revised for 2018 and posted on the website in early May for members to download and read prior to Opening Day.  Beginning May 5th, please check the “This Week” pages of our website for updates as to when Opening Day may be set for this year (it varies each year, depending on the weather).  We will also be sending emails with Opening Day information, as well as announcing it on our Facebook page and on our Veggie Hotline (609-737-8899).  Please keep in mind that usually the ripening of the strawberries dictate when Opening Day will be.  Please also know that all memberships include PYO crops, so Boxed Share members may harvest PYO strawberries even if the Boxed Share deliveries have not yet begun.  Remember, we are not saying that we open on May 5th, but rather, that is the date when you should begin checking for updated Opening Day information.  


Up until April 11th, the month was almost five degrees cooler than normal, then, on April 13th, the temperature was twenty-one degrees warmer than normal! March averaged a bit over two degrees cooler and the three Nor’easters that hit us brought threatening winds, heavy spring snow and one power outage to our greenhouses, which were laden with our produce transplants!  Thankfully, staff at the Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed Association let us borrow an extra generator they had, saving our tender "babies" from the unexpected chill.  

The late season snow prevented us from preparing fields as early as we usually do, and we found ourselves in the unusual situation of being ready to plant at the Pennington farm before the Chesterfield farms. Pennington received less snow, so the fields dried out faster than in Chesterfield, even though Chesterfield’s sandy soils are better drained.  By April 5th, we began hand-transplanting thousands of snap and snow pea plants and covering the tender seedlings with row cover to protect them from the chilly nighttime temperatures. Plants are no longer backing up in our greenhouses, as we have worked double time to prepare ground in which to get them transplanted. So far this week, we have been transplanting kale, fennel, scallions, broccoli, boc choi and lettuce with the aid of our tractors. 

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Field Manager David Camacho with boc choi transplants!

At this point, Farmer Jim thinks it’s possible that our strawberry crop, which is a perennial, may ripen around mid-May, while our lettuce, kale and other greens may not be ready for harvest until the end of May or later.  We’ve never had a spring like this in all our years of farming, so it’s hard to predict when opening day may be.  Right now, the effect of the weather will be more pronounced for our early crops, but will not set back summer crops.  

We’ve had a bit of good news from Rutgers’ plant breeders!  They’ve developed basil seed that’s resistant to basil downy mildew, the disease that’s been so devastating to our Genovese basil in recent years.  If all goes according to plan, we expect to have much more of the basil most cooks prefer to make pesto with than we have had for at least the past four years!

In other news, we are pleased to now offer our four farms for private/group/school farm tours, events (such as unique farm-to-table wedding receptions, family reunions, memorial services or birthday celebrations) and film/photo shoots! Click here for more details.

We are also partnering with The Rooted Affair in Robbinsville, NJ, a new and unique venue offering Farm-to-Table dinners, workshops and off-premises catering!  Mark your calendars for our Farm-to-Table dinner, which will be catered by The Rooted Affair and will celebrate our own summer and fall vegetables and fruits! This event will be enjoyed at our Chesterfield farm on Saturday, September 29, 2018 (more details to follow)!


Please stop by and say hello at any of the following spring events we’ll be participating in!  


Saturday, April 21 at 10 AM - 3 PM

Ocean Township Public Library 701 Deal Rd, Ocean, New Jersey 07712


The day will feature a free tree giveaway, bee-keeping and honey-making discussions, compost and recycling info, marine science activities, home gardening education and organic farming information by Honey Brook Organic Farm!


Saturday, April 28 at 11 AM - 3 PM

258 Crosswicks Ellisdale Road, Chesterfield, New Jersey 08515


Join us for our Chesterfield Open House! We will be participating in the 5th Annual Bordentown - Chesterfield Green Fair & will also host an Open House at our farm at 258 Crosswicks-Ellisdale Road in Chesterfield at the same time! Come visit our fruit tree high tunnels, which have Asian plum, nectarine, peach & apricots trees in them. Learn how we use compost & biochar to grow organic produce and find out more about our CSA program! This is a family friendly event and potential members of both our Boxed Share program as well as on-farm pick-up program are encouraged to attend!  


Saturday, May 19 from 10AM-3PM

1124 West Front St, Lincroft NJ 07738

Learn more about how we’ve been farming organically for over 30 years and get some gardening tips from staff of Colonial Nursery, our new Lincroft Boxed Share host (with pick-ups each Wednesday from 3-7pm)!  


Saturday, May 19 from 10AM-4 PM Main Street, Pennington, NJ 08534

Visit Honey Brook Organic Farm's stand at Pennington Day 2018! to learn about what it means to grow organically, how we use compost & biochar to grow organic produce and find out more about & join our CSA program! We will also be selling our locally-grown certified organic vegetable transplants! Expect a beautiful day filled with fun for the whole family. Local artists, eateries and civic organizations will be participating, as vendors will line Main Street. Performances by local talent, a kid’s zone behind Toll Gate and food trucks in the circle will round out the day!    


Download our January 2018 newsletter here.

Download our February 2018 newsletter here.

Download our March 2018 newsletter here.

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