The Local Harvest

THE LOCAL HARVEST   The Newsletter of Honey Brook Organic Farm CSA, December 7, 2017


Farmer Jim is still in the process of doing his 2017 season financial analysis, so hasn’t been able to finalize membership fees for 2018 yet.  As soon as those fees are set and we update our applications, we will post them online and send an email. Another Boxed Share site added We are excited to announce that we are adding Bloomfield to our Sunday Boxed Share route, with a pick-up window of 9am-1pm.  Bloomfield is now our northernmost Boxed Share drop-off site, so please let any friends or family interested in our CSA program that live in North Jersey that we are expanding our reach. 

We’re incredibly grateful to the staff of the Freehold Township Public Health Department, who took the initiative to reach out to the farm and worked on getting the necessary approvals from Borough officials to make this Boxed Share drop-off a reality. Theirs is part of a larger initiative by New Jersey public health officials to offer the benefits of CSA programs, not only to their employees, but also to the larger community.  For the farm, it is the first time we are partnering with a government agency to offer a Boxed Share drop-off, and we are excited to be bringing healthy, fresh, organic produce to those who work so hard to help foster healthy, happy communities, and to also directly support those communities.  Our hope is that this partnership becomes a model for the farm to help guide us in creating similar relationships with other governmental agencies throughout New Jersey and eastern Pennsylvania.  This pick-up location is being added to our Wednesday Boxed Share delivery route.  

We are looking to deliver to more communities and are still seeking new hosts for our Lincroft and Somerville sites. If you have an interest in hosting and recruiting members for a new Boxed Share drop-off site for us for 2018, please contact Rachel, our Boxed Share Coordinator, at 609-737-8846, or email the office.  


Throughout the 2017 season, farm members as well as the farm donated lots of produce to those in need.  The produce donations went, on a weekly basis, to Womanspace in Lawrenceville as well as Arm in Arm in Princeton.  Our thanks to CSA member Stephanie Gray for coordinating, picking up and delivering the weekly donation to Arm in Arm.  This was our first year donating to that organization and Stephanie made it super easy for us!  At the end of the season, we also donated carrots to NJ Farmers Against Hunger and Project Freedom.  

Our sincere gratitude goes out to our CSA members who participate in our food relief efforts.  Next year, we plan to expand these efforts by coordinating a donation program at our Chesterfield farm!   


The race is on this week to take the plastic off our high tunnels before we get the snow that’s predicted for the weekend! Jordan Gesko, one of our Pennington farm stand attendants, has joined Roy Ostrowski, Adam Klein and Eric Rager, in getting this critical task taken care of, then all staff will be busy installing three new greenhouses at our Chesterfield farm. The high tunnels in Chesterfield are used to protect our fruit trees, as well as to extend our spring and fall seasons for our vegetable crops, and to increase earliness for our tomato and pepper harvests.  This summer, if we didn’t have tomato plants in high tunnels, we would have harvested our first tomatoes relatively late, as the wet spring had delayed harvest of field-grown tomatoes.  We also grow our ginger and turmeric under the protection of our high tunnels.  

In 2018, we’ll be using high tunnels to enhance the earliness of our spring greens.  We know our CSA members crave our greens throughout the dreary winter months, so we’ll be doing everything in our power to get the greens harvested at about the same time our succulent spring strawberries are being picked!  

The wrap up of our 2017 distribution season went well, despite cooler than normal temperatures. Many members were thrilled to enjoy dried beans as an end-of-season offering.  Our hope is to be able to offer higher quantities of dried beans for future seasons. The stand out crop, however, was our carrots, which had some of the best flavor in years.  Carrot yields were high, but there was some odd cracking in some of the carrots that came into the Pennington Distribution Center for the last few days of the harvest.  Our pick-your-own perennial herbs were also of high quality for mid-November, and many members harvested sage and thyme for their various Thanksgiving dishes.  

In other news, we’ve also been working on a new collaboration between the farm and Princeton University during this off-season. As part of a new course offering for the spring, Professor Daniel Rubenstein, in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, has been seeking local farmers to enter into research partnerships.  Farmer Jim has an interest in studying the most effective compost application method for organic crop production, so we may participate in a trial study/cost-benefit analysis comparing direct biomass application vs. finished compost application. PU students would come to our farm to interview us, gather data and see first-hand how Farmer Jim, one of the most experienced organic farmers in New Jersey, grows our delicious, certified organic produce and learn about his careful and responsible stewardship of the farmland under his care!  

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