120 Sussex Street Jersey City, NJ 07302 Google Map downtownharvestcsajc@gmail.com
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Weekly Farm Updates

Posted 6/23/2020 6:35pm by Jeff Schrimmer.

Hi from Downtown Harvest CSA!

The next weekly Pickup of the 2020 season will be on Wednesday, June 24th from 5:15pm to 8:00pm at 180 Sussex St.  All food that is not picked up by members will be picked up by the Our Lady of Sorrows Food Pantry at 8pm.

We are still accepting new members at prorated fees.  Please tell your friends.

Face coverings are mandatory when picking up as well as maintaining a 6 foot distance from others if they are not in your household.  Only one member of your household will be allowed to enter the garage.  Regulations from the Jersey City Department of Health and Human Services can be viewed here: http://www.downtownharvest.org/blog/39286

There will be a volunteer "sign-up" sheet at the pickup site that you can use to pick your date(s) and time(s) to volunteer or to let us know what other type of volunteering you are interested in doing.  We need help with publicity/social media, people with website building skills, graphics skills and people to do other behind the scenes work.

We are pleased to announce that Pamela Leung has agreed to become a member of the Core Group! We need more people to join our Core Group and add your ideas and skills to the current management team.  Please let us know if you are interested.

Sincerely, Maria, Phil, Katia, Nancy, Jeff, and Pamela

And, here is an update from our farmer, John Krueger:

Hi Folks, Happy Summer Solstice!  Summer has officially begun, and the heat is on. The scattered thunderstorms, that are our best chance of rain currently, have so far been scattering to the south and scattering to the north. In my travels I have driven through torrential downpours various times, only to return to the farm and find it dry as a bone. Hopefully, one will cross our path soon!  In the meantime, we are moving the sprinklers around and, in some cases, allowing them to run late into the night. We have many crops irrigated with drip irrigation that requires much less water than overhead irrigation. For the overhead sprinklers to have enough pressure we must close all the lines to the drip tape. My workers set up them up before they leave in the evening and I close the valve before I go to bed (or sometimes at 2 am when I wake up and realize that I forgot).

The peas continue to produce profusely (a preponderance of peas). Thanks to the many volunteers who have come out to lend a hand we are almost keeping up.  Last week most of you received English or shell peas; this week most will receive sugar snap. If you got radishes last week there will be salad turnips for you this time. We also have kohlrabi for you, which in my opinion is best eaten raw. It can be grated into a salad or a slaw much like cabbage.

The share for this week will be: Lettuce, peas, spinach, kale/arugula/broccoli raab, dill or cilantro, kohlrabi, summer squash. Full shares will also receive a second lettuce and Swiss chard.

Enjoy!   Farmer John

Posted 6/16/2020 5:15pm by Jeff Schrimmer.

Hi from Downtown Harvest CSA!


The next weekly Pickup of the 2020 season will be on WednesdayJune 17th from 5:30pm to 8:00pm at 180 Sussex St.

Thank you all for making last week’s pickup a success. Thank you for wearing masks and for helping us comply with the regulations from the Jersey City Department of Health and Human Services which can be viewed here: http://www.downtownharvest.org/blog/39286

Face coverings are mandatory when picking up as well as maintaining a 6 foot distance from others if they are not in your household. Only one member of your household will be allowed to enter the garage. Please inform anybody picking up for you about our rules and procedures.

A volunteer will check you in. Members enter through one door, follow a one-way U-shaped path and exit through another door. If you purchased eggs, a volunteer places your eggs on a table when you enter. Both types are pre-bagged this year and will be in different areas of the garage. Members pick up Full shares or Medium shares from the appropriate areas and leave through the exit door of the garage.

There will be a volunteer "sign-up"; sheet at the pickup site that you can use to pick your date(s) and time(s) to volunteer or to let us know what other type of volunteering you are interested in doing.  There are other ways to volunteer instead of (or in addition to) volunteering at the pickup site. We need help with publicity on social media and in other ways, people with website building and other technical skills, and people to do other behind the scenes work. We are a 100% volunteer group, all the help is welcome.

Our farmer needs help at the farm this week picking peas. If you are interested, click on this link: http://www.downtownharvest.org/blog/39344

We also need people to join our Core Group and help us become a better group by adding your ideas and skills to the current Core Group.
Since everything is pre-bagged this year, setting up is faster and easier. While the official start time is 5:30pm, we will usually be able to open by 5:15.

All food donated to the food pantry as well as food that was not picked up by members will be picked up by the Our Lady of Sorrows Food Pantry at 8pm.

And, here is an update from our farmer, John Krueger:

 

Hello everyone,


Pass the peas, please! The pea season has begun.
 
Having been raised on canned vegetables, the first time I tasted fresh peas was a revelation. Who knew how sweet and delicious they were; bearing no resemblance to the gray balls of mush to which I was accustomed. Much like the tomatoes the season for these delicacies is far too short. They do not tolerate hot weather, and since spring only seems to last a few weeks anymore, they will be with us for 3 or 4 weeks. We have English or shell peas, snow and sugar snap, which both have edible pods. This week we will have mostly shell peas and as availability permits, we will rotate through the various varieties so that everyone will receive some of each type.

We also have spinach for you this week, which detests the heat almost as much as the peas. We expect to have spinach in the shares for the next 2 or 3 weeks. Unlike the peas however the spinach will make reprise appearance in the fall. The zucchini and summer squash have begun to produce but are not yet in full swing. We think we may have enough for everyone to enjoy a few this round; if not we will make sure that all groups receive some over the next 2 weeks. After that they will be abundant for much of the season.

For our root vegetable this week we are featuring Hakurei salad turnips. These sweet, ping-pong ball sized wonders are meant to be eaten raw in salads but can also be cooked. They come with mild tasting tops which are quite palatable and nutritious- cut into ribbons and mixed in salad or braised. We also have garlic scapes for you this week- these are the flower tops of the garlic plant and can be grilled, pickled or chopped finely and sautéed. You may also find a recipe for pesto on the internet.

The full share for this week will be: Lettuce, peas, spinach, garlic scapes, either kale, tatsoi or arugula, summer squash, salad turnips and escarole

Enjoy! Be well,

Farmer John

Posted 6/14/2020 5:30pm by Jeff Schrimmer.

Hi Folks, Please pardon the poor planning but this is a last-minute plea for pea pickers. We have been doing okay up until now keeping up with the farm work.  My twelve workers have been putting in long days and working half days (6 hours) on Sundays. But with the warm weather, the crops and the weeds begin to grow fast. The first planting of peas took nearly 3 weeks to sprout and the 2nd and third plantings popped up much quicker. The result is that we now have peas of all kinds maturing prolifically.   This crop is one of the most labor intensive to pick and if my workers need to spend hundreds of hours on this task other jobs will be neglected.  We are asking for volunteers to come out an lend a hand. Anyone with a few hours to spare and who do not mind stooping or kneeling is welcome to come out and spend a few hours in the sunshine. Children are welcome and social distancing will be in effect.

Beginning Sunday 6/14 (aka today) at 1 pm. members are welcome to come out.   RSVP to kruegerjohn@earthlink.net or call or text me @ 973-332-6935.  We may set up a schedule on signup.com again going forward and there will be more volunteer opportunities during the season.

More info to follow in the next farm update.    

Stay healthy, Farmer John

Added to this note by Downtown Harvest CSA: This is an alternative way to fulfill the commitment to volunteer during the season. The volunteer hours are 10am-1pm and 2pm-5pm.  You can sign up by clicking on the following link.

https://signup.com/client/invitation2/secure/1869956087943860122/false#/invitation

 

Posted 6/8/2020 7:54pm by Jeff Schrimmer.

Hi from Downtown Harvest CSA! 

The first weekly Pickup of the 2020 season is this Wednesday, June 10 from 5:30pm to 8:00pm at 180 Sussex St.

As we mentioned in our last update, Circle Brook Farm and Downtown Harvest CSA will have to modify some procedures this year for the safety of our members.   The procedure are based on regulations from the Jersey City Department of Health and Human Services which can be viewed here: http://www.downtownharvest.org/blog/39286

Face coverings are mandatory when picking up as well as maintaining a 6 foot distance from others if they are not in your household, and only one member of your household will be allowed at the distribution table.

“Pre-packaged medium share” members will not see much change.  A volunteer will check you in, and you can “grab and go”.

The biggest change will be for Full share members.  You will still need to bring your own bags, but your share will be put together for you at the farm.  Early season Full shares may be small enough for the farm to package the Full shares in disposable bags, but at some point, members will need to transfer their Full shares from boxes to their own bags.

And, here is an update from our farmer, John Krueger:

Hi Folks, So we have arrived at the week for which you have been waiting- the first delivery of the season. My crew and I have been working hard for you over the last 2 months. We have lots of great veggies in store for you in the weeks ahead. The first shares are typically on the small side and usually heavy on greens and this year is no exception. There are loads of peas hanging on the vines, but we need to wait for them to fill out.  The summer squash crop looks great and should begin to produce abundantly with each passing week. Napa cabbage and broccoli are on the horizon. For this week you have the makings for a BIG salad.

The share for this week will be:  Red or green leaf lettuce, radishes, arugula, baby Swiss chard, endive (frissee) and an herb- parsley, oregano or garlic chives.

Enjoy!  Be well, Farmer John

Posted 6/2/2020 9:15pm by Jeff Schrimmer.

The first weekly Pickup of the 2020 season will be on Wednesday, June 10th from 5:30pm to 8:00pm

We are excited about starting our 16th season as a community organization. We are eager to meet our newest members and we look forward to reuniting with our returning members.

These times are unlike anything we have experienced in the past. Circle Brook Farm and Downtown Harvest CSA will have to modify some procedures this year for the safety of our members and to follow the mandatory regulations from the Jersey City Department of Health and human services. You can view the regulations by going to: http://www.downtownharvest.org/blog/39286

Face coverings are mandatory when picking up as well as maintaining a 6 foot distance from others if they are not in your household, and only one member of your household will be allowed at the distribution table.

Pre-packaged medium share” members will not see much change. A volunteer will check you in, and you can “grab and go”.

The biggest change will be for Full share members. As in the past, you will still need to bring your own bags, but your share will be put together for you at the farm. We regret the loss of giving members the ability to choose items from bins, but we must try to keep everybody safe. Early season Full shares may be small enough for the farm to package the Full shares in disposable bags, but at some point, members will need to transfer their Full shares from boxes to their own bags.

The volunteers at the first pickup will be members of the Core, and other members will be able to sign up to volunteer to help at future pickups at the site rather than having to go online to do that. And, while we mostly need help running the pickup site, there are many other ways to volunteer.

Posted 6/1/2020 8:19pm by Jeff Schrimmer.

Hi Everyone,

I hope all is well with you and your families during these challenging times.  So, here is one last, short, pre-season update for you before deliveries begin next week. The weather has been great as of late, so I will not need to spend much time complaining about it. It was a very cold spring though and crops had been germinating and growing very slowly.  We have been working hard for 2 months and we are well positioned to have a bountiful season. The early shares are always on the small side but this year they will be even smaller. I expect that will begin to change by the third or fourth week.  The major pest of the mustard family- the flea beetle has been especially unstoppable and destructive this spring. This is likely due to the mild winter which allows more of the adults to survive. We have been battling this pest with several different organic sprays and covering many crops with an ag fabric to try to protect the crops.   We were also hit hard by a root maggot in the cabbage and onion planting.  We have been replanting as best we can.  Peas are beginning to flower and the spinach, lettuces, beets, carrots and parsnips are all growing nicely.   The tomatoes, peppers and eggplant have all been set out and as the weather warms, they will start to grow rapidly. The potatoes, which took forever to sprout, are now nearly a foot tall. 

About 10 days ago the Zufall Health Center came out to the farm and tested my workers and I for the Covid-19 virus.  Happily, all the tests were negative. I am hopeful that they will be able to return to test on a regular basis but as you know test materials are still in short supply. I suggested weekly testing, but they only smiled and said, “we’ll see”. They are a great organization and are committed to working with farmworkers along with other underserved populations.

Stay safe, Be well!  Farmer John  

Posted 6/1/2020 4:36pm by Jeff Schrimmer.

The Jersey City Department of Health and Human Services has issued the following regulations that we must abide by:

Posted 4/22/2020 7:05pm by Jeff Schrimmer.

Hi Folks,


I hope you are all staying safe and healthy during these difficult times. We are working hard to grow your food. We have already planted close to 4 acres of potatoes, onions and leeks with more seed potatoes set to arrive tomorrow. The first planting of peas are poking up through the soil and a second planting will go in tomorrow. Carrots, beets, turnips, radishes, arugula and chard were seeded during the past week. We have transplanted some lettuce, kale, cabbage, broccoli and bok choy with a lot more waiting in the wings (the greenhouse that is) as soon as we get past that last really cold night. I’m hoping that will be tomorrow. We’ve had some rain and some pretty crazy wind but it has not been as wet as it often can be in the early spring so we’ve been able to prepare a lot of ground. We will be ready to start transplanting tomatoes, peppers, eggplant and some of the other warm weather crops in about a week or as soon as it seems safe.


My crew is doing well and I have been making efforts to make sure they stay safe. They have laundry facilities in the house so that they don’t need to go to a laundromat. They have been instructed on proper and frequent hand washing, are wearing masks and have been asked to go to the supermarket as infrequently as possible. They know that they must report any symptoms to me immediately. Some of you may have heard that the Trump administration is taking steps to try to lower the hourly wage of agricultural guest workers such as those I employ. H2-A, the guest worker program that I use sets a wage rate for each state, each season. It is meant to protect American workers from being displaced and foreign workers from being exploited. It generally increases slightly each year but occasionally drops; currently it is 13.24/hr. Several years ago the wage dropped by 20 cents/hour from the previous season. I continued to pay my crew at the higher rate, since I did not feel right cutting their pay. I will continue to pay my workers the wage that they were promised regardless of any changes allowed by the Dept. of Labor.


In 2017 we built a “chicken tractor”- a mobile chicken coop used for raising birds on pasture. We acquired a flock of laying hens; Rhode Island Red crosses. The birds are outside all day, where they feed on the grass and other plants and insects as well as the vegetable wastes which the farm generates. The birds spend the night on roosts inside the chicken tractor protected from predators. Their foraging diet is supplemented with milled grain (corn and soy) that is locally sourced and non GMO.

We will begin egg deliveries the week of June 7th, the first week of the vegetable share delivery. Because of a delay in receiving our new flock of laying hens our production will be limited during the first half of the season. To be fair, there will be a limit of 2 dozen/week per member. In September there will be an opportunity to increase your egg order.

Hang in there folks. We will get through this and my crew and I will keep you well fed!


Be well, Farmer John

Posted 4/15/2020 8:17pm by Jeff Schrimmer.

Dear Members,

Downtown Harvest CSA members are keenly aware of where their food comes from, how it is grown and how it gets to our tables.  At a time when purchasing food of any quality involves new challenges, our CSA members can take comfort in knowing that we can eat healthy produce and eggs that are supplied directly to us from the farm.  This method minimizes the number of people involved and can be safer than the complicated supply chains often used by supermarkets.

We are going to have to adjust how things are going to be done on pickup nights this summer, and we are currently evaluating ideas on how to do things safely and fairly.  People familiar with our CSA can imagine some of the solutions that we are considering and probably some that we haven’t considered.

If you have concerns and/or ideas, please write to us at downtownharvestcsajc@gmail.com.

You will be getting more information from us soon.

Sincerely, The Downtown Harvest CSA Core Group

Posted 4/9/2020 8:46pm by Jeff Schrimmer.

Hi Everyone,

I hope you are all well and managing alright during these difficult and stressful times. I wanted to share some good news with you; such a precious commodity these days. Last Wednesday I received an e-mail from the US Embassy in Guatemala informing me that United had scheduled 2 flights to the US on April 3rd and 4th.  As many of you know I bring most of my farm crew from there and was having problems getting them here. I immediately called them to let them know and next called the airline. All eleven arrived on Saturday after spending the night in Houston (no connections).  They started work on Sunday and we have been going gangbusters to get ground prepared and begin planting.  We have been planting onions and potatoes and yesterday I seeded some peas.  Soon we will be transplanting lettuce, kale and broccoli and I will be seeding beets, carrots, radishes and arugula (to name just a few). We are determined to grow as much food as we can despite so much uncertainty.

I want to thank all those who came out to volunteer on the farm during the last few weeks. I especially want to thank Amy Dennis, from the Fairlawn group who organized the Signup website page for the volunteers.  Because of the support from the members we were able to quickly get to planting once my regular crew arrived. It was great to meet so many of my wonderful members. I hope to see you on the farm again one day soon under more festive circumstances.  We are working hard for you and will do our best to keep you fed during these challenging times. Together apart we will get through this.

Happy Easter and Passover,    Farmer John

Week 20 update from our farmerOctober 20th, 2020

Hi from Downtown Harvest CSA! We are still looking for a new location for next year. If you have any contact with a religious space or any community oriented association, please reach out!The next wee

Week 19 update from our farmerOctober 14th, 2020

Hi from Downtown Harvest CSA! We are still looking for a new location. If you have any contact with a religious space or any community oriented association, please reach out!The next weekly Pickup of

Week 18 update from our farmerOctober 14th, 2020

Hi from Downtown Harvest CSA! The next weekly Pickup of the 2020 season will be this Wednesday, October 7th from 5:15pm to 8:00pm at 180 Sussex St. All food that is not picked up by members will be pi

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