Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Letter from John Krueger, Circle Brook Farm

Hi Folks,  All is well here on the farm. My workers and I remain healthy and are working hard to ensure a bountiful season for you. The weather has been far less than ideal -we have had several nights with temps in the mid -twenties and experienced snow flurries through most of the day on Saturday.  In my last update I said that I thought we would be able to start planting warm weather crops out into the field in a short time. It seems I was mistaken (or at least misled by the 10 day weather forecast). Instead we have been devoting ourselves to covering cold weather crops to protect them from damage.  It appears we are in for three more cold nights before it will be safe to plant the peppers and eggplant. We have already planted lots of tomatoes into our greenhouses and unheated high tunnels but we have thousands more to plant out in the field as well as tomatillos, ground cherries and goldenberries.  We are done planting the potatoes and are almost finished planting the onions.  We have transplanted the first crop of corn and have another crop ready to go (and tying up space) in the greenhouse.  Corn is not generally transplanted but rather direct seeded.  Without the fungicide treated seed that conventional farmers use it is the only way to get a jump on the corn season.  In cold soil the seed rots before it can germinate.  All of the direct seeded crops-peas, carrots, beets, radishes etc. that I have planted thus far have taken twice as long as normal to pop their heads up.  All of these crops as well as the transplanted lettuce and brassica starts have been growing very slowly due to the cold. After having worked so hard it is very frustrating to see so little growth!  But there’s nothing to be done except protect the crops and wait for warm weather.
We are beginning our first markets of the season this week. We are at Grove St PATH on Mondays and Thursday 3 pm to 8 pm. We will be in Montclair at the Walnut St. train station on Saturday 8 am to 2 pm and in Denville at the Upper Bloomfield Ave. parking lot on Sunday 8:30 am to 1 pm.   Pre-ordering is available on the local line website.  Come on down and support the farm!  Wear your masks and introduce yourselves- CSA member receive a 10% discount!
Stay safe, Be well!   
Farmer John