Saturday, April 20, 2019

Letter from John Krueger, Circle Brook Farm (2019 Season)

Hello, Happy Spring Everyone! 

So the crocus’ and the daffodils are in flower; the spring peepers (tree frogs) are peeping and the robins and bluebirds have returned. These are all unmistakable signs that my favorite season has finally arrived. I really love this time of year. I love the many shades of pink and red that the trees take on as they begin to bud and then transform into a myriad of different hues of green. Ironically ever since I began farming it’s been harder for me to enjoy the spring. Even though I am outdoors much of the time, I am so busy and often a little stressed out that it just flies by. I’ve been trying of late to allow myself to appreciate the beauty of the season.

We have been busy since early March planting in the greenhouse. My first four field worker arrived on April 3 and another five on the 9th. They have been prepping ground for seeding and planting onions. We plant somewhere around 80,000 onions so they’ll be plugging away at it for the next couple of weeks. I planted the first round of peas last week and will be planting two more batches in the next ten days. Tomorrow I will plant carrots, beets, parsnips and Swiss chard. It’s time to start planting potatoes now too, so we will be in the barn cutting up the seed potatoes whenever those famous April showers chase us out of the field. The garlic crop survived the winter splendidly and is growing nicely. We expect to have lot of delicious garlic scapes for the first delivery and of course lots of juicy hard-neck garlic later in the season! Soon we will begin transplanting the brassicas (cabbage family) and lettuces out and soon after that… well, everything else! OMG how will we do it! It’s never easy but we always manage. We look forward to a bountiful and delicious season- God willing and the creek don’t rise!

Thanks so much to those of you who have purchased your shares early. You support makes a huge difference by enabling the farm to start planting without going heavily in debt. The CSA program has been a tremendous boon to small farmers but due to many factors it is quickly losing popularity. I ask you to urge your friends and family to join a CSA or shop at their local Farmer’s market. Small, local farmers need all the support they can get. Amazon, Hello Fresh and Blue Apron are not buying their produce from us. And even if they did, small farms would not be paid well enough to survive.

I wish you all a Happy Easter and Passover.

Best Regards, 
Farmer John













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John Krueger is being honored as 
"Farmer of the Year" 
at the

2019 Foodshed Alliance Gala Celebration

Of Local Food and Farms


 May 16th, 6 PM 
Perona Farm, Andover, NJ

The event features 17 chefs, open bar, & silent auctions. For more information or to purchase tickets go to http://foodshedalliance.org/2019-gala


Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Opening Day is 2 Months Away! Read about a good reason to join or donate!

Opening day is less then two months away! If you have already joined for the season, thank you! The farmers both need and deeply appreciate your support. 

Well, if you needed another reason to join here you go… I recently listened to an interview with Dr. Zach Bush on “How Soil Health is Reflected in Your Gut” on the goop Podcast and am reading the book “Formally Known as Food” by Kristen Lawless.  Both Lawless and Bush talk about how industrial, chemical farming has led to depletion of nutrients in the soil with the use of Round Up. This horrible chemical ends up in the food we eat, the air we breath and water we drink. The most alarming fact is it RoundUp is changing the microbiome in our bodies, the collective genomes of the microbes composed of bacteria, bacteriophage, fungi, protozoa and viruses that live inside our gut, and on the skin of our bodies. We each individually,  and collectively, are dependent on these flora and fauna to help digest our food, produce certain vitamins, regulate our immune system, and keep us healthy by protecting us against disease-causing bacteria.  

Today 46% of children have some kind of chronic health condition - diabetes, hypoglycemia, high cholesterol, even eczema.  The increase of these conditions can be traced to the increased use of Round Up in our food system in the 1990s and its use on our lawns, driveways and vegetable gardens.  As Lawless states, “(our) reliant on these industrial foods, our bodies are literally changing from the inside out.”  Lawless points out that organic foods are better but with the increase of industrial organic farms with mono-crops, there is still a depletion of nutritions in the soil. 

But both stress that we can do something about it!  You should know your farmer and their growing practices, purchase produce from small farms that practice crop rotation and prepare your own food.  And stay away from process foods that even if they are organic, are still processed and not good for you.

So with that said, why have you not joined Farm & Fork Society?

Being a member of Farm & Fork Society you benefit from seasonal produce, literally farm-to-table, coming directly from the farmer. We work with small local farms to bring fresh organic produce to the community on a weekly basis from June through November. All produce comes from small local farmers that pursue practices that are environmentally sustainable. Produce is either certified organic, organic stewardship, eco-farmed or sustainably grown. Animals products are raised without antibiotics and hormones and the farmers can trace back all the materials they use in their farming. 

And just in case you did not see, we now have two locations -- Downtown Millburn and the new location in the Valley Arts District in Orange at Garden State Kitchen with evening pick up hours. 

I chose this location because consumers in Orange have been in a mini-food desert for decades. By bringing fresh, seasonal, sustainably grown produce to this community, we can further Farm & Fork Society's mission to bridge the gap between farmers and eaters. The Valley Arts District in Orange, NJ is a growing and thriving community that has welcomed Farm & Fork Society with open arms.

What I initially started as a community supported agriculture group in 2008 has grown into a food cooperative focused on both providing the community fresh, seasonal, and local produce as well as educating them on environmental and food issues, teaching members how to cook healthy and seasonally and facilitating the bonding over food.

If you cannot join us this season, we are once again raising money to purchase produce for our local food pantries to pick up each week during the growing season. Click on the donate button below.  

Eat Well,

Melissa


Help Us Provide Fresh Produce 
For Our Local Food Pantries

Saturday, March 23, 2019

April Events

Wednesday, April 3, 6:30 PM -- RSVP HERE
The Gefilte Manifesto 
The Book House Millburn

Just in time for Passover, meet author’s Liz Alpern and Jeffrey Yoskowitz of The Gefilte Manifesto: New Recipes for Old World Jewish Foods. Learn about how the two are reimagining and revitalizing Old World Jewish foods and inspiring a new generation to get in the kitchen. The Gefilte Manifesto cookbook was named a finalist for the National Jewish Book Award and a top cookbook of the year by USA Today and Epicurious. Guests will sample Passover recipes from their book including handmade matzo, kugel and spongecake.

Guest will be able pre-order Liz and Jeffery critically-acclaimed limited run artisan gefilte fish for pick up in Millburn.  Made from the finest ingredients, Gefilteria’s gefilte fish is gluten-free, as well as kosher for Passover (certified by the OU). Each loaf serves 10-12 guests. (You do not have to attend class to order gefilte fish -- use RSVP link to order)


Tuesday, April 9, Evening, 6:30 PM -- RSVP HERE
Hands on Canning Class with Marisa McClellan
Garden State Kitchen, Orange, NJ

Want to learn how to safely and easily can your own jams, and preserves? Join cookbook author and food blogger Marisa McClellan for a hands-on class where you will learn how make and can jam using the boiling water bath method for safe, shelf-stable preservation. In addition, Marissa will show you how to put your seasonal preserves to work in a variety of ways, opening your eyes to the possibilities that live in your pantry. All things that are tackled in her new book The Food in Jars Kitchen. Each student will leave with a jar of jam to enjoy at home and her new book that includes 140 ways to incorporate preserves into everyday dishes.