The Local Harvest

THE LOCAL HARVEST   The Newsletter of Honey Brook Organic Farm CSA, April, 2019 


April has been warmer and drier than usual, and certainly a lot better for farming than the past two springs.  We are way ahead in seeding or transplanting everything from arugula to summer squash!  The snap and snow peas and strawberries look great in Chesterfield (berry plants are already blossoming), but less so in Pennington for the berries. Asparagus is beginning to break through the soil and our German white garlic, planted last fall, looks lush and green and is on track to be available in early summer. 

Ginger and watermelon are being prepared in our sprouting chamber, where they get a summer-like head start before being transferred to our greenhouses. In other crop news, Farmer Jim also is growing personal-sized watermelon and cantaloupe, which are popular with members purchasing our Personal-sized shares.  And even though they are considered a staple crop, all onions, spring to storage, have gotten incredibly fine nurturing in the greenhouses so they’ll be up to any challenges they may have in the fields.  The early tomato plants destined for our Chesterfield high tunnels are also looking fabulously healthy! This spring, we will be planting one acre of grafted tomatoes in our high tunnels in order to get the earliest, tastiest tomatoes to our members, hopefully by late June. 


Applications for all pick-up locations are still being accepted.  Please join online today if you haven’t already, by visiting our membership webpage 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 some new pick-up locations for this season! We apologize for the inconvenience, but we are no longer offering Monday as a pick-up day for our Pennington farm, so our field staff may have more time to rest during their weekends. 

In early May we print our member identification cards, which on-farm pick-up members receive the first time they visit the farm.  Membership Handbooks will be revised for 2019 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” page of our website to learn when Opening Day may be for your program, as on-farm pick ups begin before Boxed Share deliveries.  We will also be sending emails with Opening Day information, as well as announcing it on our Facebook page.  Please keep in mind that usually the ripening of the strawberries dictate when your Opening Day will be, and Boxed Share deliveries may begin as early as Memorial Day weekend.  Please also keep in mind 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 when Opening Day may be. 

We usually have to update messaging several times in the spring season to narrow down the Opening Days! Why should you join our CSA program? Click HERE to read an article I wrote for Edible Jersey magazine! 


In addition to spring planting, it’s a busy time for our education and outreach programs.  In mid-April, we hosted students from The Hampton School, a private school for youth with disabilities in Burlington County, on our Chesterfield farm, where they got a kick out of Farmer Jim’s extensive soliloquy on the benefits of box turtles on the farm (he found one right before their bus arrived).  Farmer Jim is an enthusiastic admirer of turtles and frogs. We then headed to our recently-renovated historic home, where they enjoyed an attic-to-creepy basement tour of the farmhouse as well as the barn, with cave crickets and all!   Late April is packed with events since it’s Earth Day month, and this year we will be at Bristol-Myers Squibb in both Hopewell and Lawrenceville, NRG Energy, Arm & Hammer in Ewing (our newest Boxed Share drop-off site) and Bloomberg promoting the benefits of our Community Supported Agriculture program. 

Also in April, we will be participating in Rowan University’s Wellness Fair, and our first yoga class of the new season will be a Full Moon yoga class, held indoors at our Chesterfield farm on Friday, April 19th from 7pm-8pm.  This is a members-only event and Gina Gilligo, our yoga instructor, asks that participants register in advance.  Click HERE for registration info. 

We will continue to host our Every-Other-Saturday Spring Farmers’ Market until Saturday, May 18th, and more information can be found HERE.  After the Farmers’ Market wraps up, some of our vendors and farmers will be selling their products on a weekly basis at the Pennington farm beginning in June.  More information about their schedule is HERE

On Thursday, May 2nd at 10am, we will host another tour of our Chesterfield eco-renovated farmhouse.  When we first purchased this farm in 2007 (on NJ's Register of Historic Places as part of the Holloway Farms Agricultural Preserve), many assessed the house as a "tear down".  After years of meticulous renovation honoring the historic nature of the house while at the same time using green, sustainable methods and materials and installing a geothermal heating/cooling system, we're ready to show the house to our community! Light refreshments will be served and sign-ups for the 2019 season will take place.  Feel free to invite any friends who may have an interest in seeing the house or joining our CSA program.  This is a family friendly event and current and potential members of both our Boxed Share program as well as our on-farm pick-up programs are encouraged to attend! Members of Chesterfield Township’s Historic Society will also be joining us. Please RSVP to so we can get a head count. 

Saturday, May 11th is the date of this spring’s Community Clearing at our Pennington Farm. This is a community gathering being offered to heal anyone who so desires it. It is not a long ritual nor is it based in any particular religion. It is only to bring harmony, tranquility & equilibrium to those who wish it. There will be group cleansing with Drum Medicine and a smudging for all whom so wish it (unless you can’t be around smoke) and a Prayed for Fire in which all present will participate and a Bad Medicine Stick ritual. The ritual is not lengthy & is designed to clear people energetically.  All you really need do is show up with an open heart.  Afterward, we’ll continue to enjoy the campfire if the weather permits.   

Lastly, The Rooted Affair is hosting a Farm-to-Table Dinner on Saturday, May 25th at 5pm at our Pennington farm, which is the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend.  The dinner will feature a taste of our spring produce, such as our strawberries, kale, collards and arugula.  For ticket and other information, please click HERE.

This Week’s Harvest
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