Author: Bryan Housel

Circle Brook Farm

Farm News – September 5, 2016

Hi Folks, I hope you had an enjoyable Labor Day weekend.  I guess we dodged a bullet with the hurricane moving out to sea — although I confess I was hoping it might spin a little precipitation our way.  There isn’t much rain in the forecast ahead, and we have another heat wave arriving later this week.  We are in the final push to get seeds in the ground for the fall crops like spinach, arugula, turnips, and radishes.  I guess we will have to continue moving the sprinklers around to ensure germination!  It is what it is, as they say, and we do what we gotta do. (more…)

Circle Brook Farm

Farm News – August 29, 2016

Hello Everyone!  This week marks the beginning of the second half of the season (time flies when you’re eating well!).  We still have three more weeks of summer officially and we hope for at least a few more of warm, frost free weather.  We are also hoping for some rain (but not too much) as we have slipped back into a dry weather pattern.  Our early planting of tomatoes has mostly succumbed to disease, but we have second and third plantings that will continue to produce for a while yet.  Peppers and eggplant will continue for at least another 6 weeks.  Unfortunately, the second and third planting of summer squash have not fared so well, so we will probably not have much zucchini for you until a fourth planting begins to produce in a few weeks.  We do have another planting of cucumbers beginning to come in, so we hope to have some cukes for you in the coming weeks. (more…)

Circle Brook Farm

Farm News – August 22, 2016

Hello Everyone!  So we have finally gotten some relief from the heat!  The cold front brought us a small amount of rain as it moved in, a little more would have been welcome but at least there was no severe weather.  The heat wave took a toll on our lettuce production, causing many varieties to bolt prematurely.  We had to cut many heads at a very small size or lose them.  You will receive 2 or possibly even 3 small heads of lettuce this week.  The rest of the share is similar to recent weeks – lots of tomatoes, beans, peppers and eggplant. (more…)

Circle Brook Farm

Farm News – August 15, 2016

Hi Folks!  It is my firm belief (or perhaps my desperate hope) that we are over the worse of the heat wave.  It’s been a tough couple of weeks!  I thought that it was forecast to break on Tuesday with some rain followed by more tolerable temperatures but now it seems the temps will climb toward the upper eighties later in the week with no real relief in sight until early next week.  The good news is that we received nearly 3 “of rain during the week a huge benefit to the fall crops that we have been seeding and transplanting. (more…)

Okra

Okra

In the south, it’s available year-round, but for the rest of us, summer is a great time to take advantage of fresh okra. While it looks like a ridged pepper, okra belongs to the same family as hibiscus and cotton, and likely came to the U.S. from Africa more than three centuries ago. (more…)

Bhindi Masala

Bhindi Masala

Bhindi (okra) is a staple in Indian cuisine. This recipe for Bhindi Masala comes from Slate Magazine. If you were scarred by stewed okra as a child, you might be wary of overcooking your okra here. Don’t be. Counterintuitively, you want to cook it so long it’s just shy of burning. A long frying session will give the okra time to dry out as its liquid evaporates, and that dried out texture is what you want if you’re trying to avoid slime. Your okra’s not done until it looks wilted and deeply browned. (more…)

Circle Brook Farm

Farm News – August 8, 2016

Hello Everyone!  We received about 2/10 of an inch of rain on Saturday from a brief downpour.  It appears we will have multiple chances of precipitation during the week ahead and dry spell is over for now; I only hope it doesn’t start to rain too much.  The tomato crop is coming in heavy now, but many of the vines are succumbing to disease, and wet conditions serve to exacerbate the problem.  The squash crop is also quite prone to diseases such as powdery mildew, that are promoted by warm, wet conditions. (more…)

Circle Brook Farm

Farm News – August 1, 2016

Hi Everyone! So we finally got some rain, a bit over 2 inches with a little more expected overnight.  We are very fortunate not to have been deluged.  I have heard that some NJ farmers were hit with 6” or more; and then there are those poor folks in Maryland.  Wow!  That seems to be the way it is these days – feast or famine, as they say. (more…)

Circle Brook Farm

Farm News – July 25, 2016

Hi Folks, so it was another scorching week, and no rain fell.  We just received about a quarter of an inch of the wet stuff along with gale force winds at the time of this writing, with more possible this evening.  There are multiple chances for rain from thunderstorms later in the week into next week, so fingers crossed… (more…)