Watch as Farmers Grow

Fall Observations

October 4th, 2016 | Posted by miker in Musings from the Field - (Comments Off on Fall Observations)

Fall Observations; October 4, 2016

Mike R

As the season changes from Summer to Fall, the Farm Manager takes stock of how it went and what can be accomplished before winter sets in.

We had a busy season, having to put aside our High Tunnel Project in order to get through the other Priority Lists.  We were joined by two excellent workers, Sam and Christine, who brought interest and enthusiasm along with hard work and positive focus!  Markets went well, matching previous years, despite increasing competition from other new markets and the increasing availability of organic produce from mainstream distributors and therefor, most supermarkets.  Production this year seemed to start well, and a number of new items were added to the crop list.  Flowers seemed more abundant, but records show production may have been lower than last year.  We went into the season knowing increased labor costs would scour any profits, and to date that seems to be borne out, not gonna be a profitable year.  The flip side of that reality, is the production utilizing reduced tillage techniques in the field shows real promise and is exemplary of how North Slope Farm is still a leader in applying Stewardship Principles to modern practice.  We have maintained production, while reducing overall tillage by a significant amount and are developing a comfort level, with the steps to take, as we move forward.  Tree Fruit and Blackberry production was non-existent, though strawberries produced well.  Labor costs of managing and picking the berries make me skeptical of their value to us though.

Moving forward – Its all about maintaining income at the markets to try to keep from drowning in uncovered costs.  I have encouraged my crew to take advantage of off farm opportunities, as they are available, (for their personal advancement and experience), so the reduced labor time requires increased efficiency in management and production – no time to slack off, even if our natural cycle tells us to get up later, stop work earlier and eat lots of rich foods!  We pushed to get a last barrage of outdoor seeding done, to last us through the first hard frosts.  Now we need to (kinda late) finish establishing crops in our High Tunnels for Winter Production.  Also to generate cash, we need to increase our production of micro greens and are going to attempt regular plantings on Basil in pots to sell at the markets as fresh herbs.  This means turning on systems in our Seedling Greenhouse, which will add late season cost we usually avoid.  To make it worth it, we need to get the seeding done, maintain moisture, temperature and generally stay on top of successions of production!  Likewise we need to push market sales, our service must be excellent, products must be beautifully presented, harvesting and handling must be efficient so we have time to get other improvements and additions attended to!  Cover cropping will be reduced this year, in relation to reduced tillage practices.  Our Favorable Furrow method provides for the establishment of clover covers during cultivation, which ideally, survive the fallow/pasture season and all fields go into the Winter with established cover.  So far this has been working, and I only anticipate chisel plowing and having to cover crop 1 acre of the 8 acres involved in active production and fallow rotation.  Additionally, I hope to “tune up” poorly cover cropped areas by broadcasting seed and covering with a compost layer.  This may be unrealistic with our reduced labor situation, but as harvest times decrease with the die off of tomatoes and flowers, extra time may open up, just gotta manage workers, tasks and equipment effectively.

Tomato Fight – 2016

September 5th, 2016 | Posted by miker in Events and Workshops - (Comments Off on Tomato Fight – 2016)

Tomato Fight 2016 –

We do not condone violence – in any form – though we acknowledge that LIFE is full of Challenges,

To face challenges we need to be strong, to be strong, we need to strive,

Throwing Rotten Tomatoes at each other, though somewhat violent, seems like a reasonably ok way to strive..

  • Rules :

  • 1)Tomatoes should splat..  If they are hard, they should be crushed before throwing, if with Stem – remove stem.

  • 2)Only those who are prepared to be SPLATED, should enter the Tomato Fight Area.

  • 3)No Tomato throwing outside of the tomato fight area.  SERIOUSLY

Sunday September 11, 2016

5pm to 6:30 Potluck Dinner and Gathering @ NorthSlopeFarm 386 Rock Road East, West Amwell, NJ 08530

No later than 7pm, probably earlier, all participants will be brought to the Tomato Fight area and Warned..

Wear Shoes , Dont Come back until you are done, and assume you will twist your ankle, get snagged by Brambles,

and Stung by Stinging Nettle !!

Questions?  email us at

All are Welcome – if its your first time – seek out Yellow T-Shirted folks for orientation !


  • Wear sneakers, close toed shoes, that you dont mind never wearing again!
  • Bring a change of clothes
  • bring a towel (swimming pool available for plunging into)
  • Introduce yourself to Farm Staff and Friends (wearing Yellow T-Shirts) – ask for Mike, for official welcome..
  • Come prepared to relax or strive, or both, enjoy the evening !!


Fall Trail Running

August 29th, 2016 | Posted by Casey in Wild Fitness - (Comments Off on Fall Trail Running)



Fall is a great time of year to begin an outdoor fitness routine.

Really anytime is good to get started, but the cooler temperatures make it more fun.

Join us Wednesdays for a trail run on the farms Wild Fitness Trail.

Our trail is approximately a mile long and is suitable for all fitness levels.

I am a “two-looper” myself.

 It loops around the farm along the stream, past our pond and back along the edge of our production fields. 

Trail runs start at 6pm.

Walkers are welcome.

Sneakers or closed toed shoes are recommended.

No dogs or unsupervised children but check back for future dog walks and/or children’s fitness activities.

Food Safety Workshop – Wednesday September 7, 3 PM

August 29th, 2016 | Posted by miker in Events and Workshops - (Comments Off on Food Safety Workshop – Wednesday September 7, 3 PM)

Food Safety Workshop – NOFA-NJ, Department of Agriculture, Cooperative Extension

Hosted at North Slope Farm, farming organically for over twenty years, in the Garden State of New Jersey.

Wednesday September 7 ; 3 pm – 5 pm, followed by discussions, music and refreshments at our Farmstand (1701 Linvale-Harbourton Rd).

EVENT LOCATION: 386 Rock Road East, West Amwell, NJ 08530

Closest intersection – Route 579 and Rock Road East, Between Routes 518 and 31.


There will be a presentation of important information for growers and food handlers, followed by a tour of North Slope’s food handling operation, focusing on the topics and questions raised.

Following the event, participants are encouraged to linger and enjoy some live music and light refreshments.

Summer Solstice – 2016

June 16th, 2016 | Posted by miker in Events and Workshops - (Comments Off on Summer Solstice – 2016)

Summer Solstice 2016

North Slope Farm FarmHouse,  1701 Linvale- Harbourton Rd, West Amwell, NJ 08530

June 20 – Monday 7 pm into the night…  Got kids? bring em early for a swim, we’ll be probably be there swimming too, take a walk on the farm, down to the pond, check for ticks!

Winter is truly gone now and Summer is Here.  Over the Years, The transitions surprise me, as they often have already happened, and are moving on to the next season, before I really know it!

SO we gather, to take a moment in the rush, to honor the Sun, and our relation to it – and we hope you’ll come celebrate this special time with us.

We’ll be chilling by the pool, the grill will be hot for you to throw something on to eat, there will be salads and desserts that the community brings to share.

Bring a blanket, frisbee, lawn chair, enjoy the evening and our shared world – Happy Solstice to ya – Hope to see you there !

Free Probiotic Food Demo. this Wednesday

May 23rd, 2016 | Posted by Casey in Events and Workshops - (Comments Off on Free Probiotic Food Demo. this Wednesday)

Stop by our farmstand this Wednesday between 6pm and 7pm for a free demonstration in probiotic food preparation.

Dorothy Mullen, of The Suppers Program, will discuss the health benefits of fermented foods

AND show you how easy it is to do it yourself!

1701 Linvale-Harbourton Road

West Amwell, NJ 08530

Table Top Greens

May 1st, 2016 | Posted by miker in Table Top Greens - (Comments Off on Table Top Greens)

Table Top Baby Greens –

MikeR posted 5/1/2016

Photos from Historical FIle

During the downtime, and when the greenhouse is less than full – we’ve flipped the tables, doubled them up and layered in rich growing medium.  We seed

heavily, a variety of quick growing greens, and hope for a tasty harvest in two to three weeks.

Click on the photo below to access the photo web site Flickr – depending on your device and Flickr – you can scroll thru the TableTop Baby Greens Album:

Tabletop Baby Greens

Boost Your Energy and Immune System

April 4th, 2016 | Posted by Casey in Wild Fitness - (Comments Off on Boost Your Energy and Immune System)

Join Us for Our Fitness Walks.

Wednesdays at 5:30pm starting May 18th 2016.

Once a year spring peepers make their journey from their winter homes, frozen under the forest floor, to spring mating grounds.  Vernal pools, ponds, to whichever body of water they were born into, they shall return, to continue the cycle.  But the conditions have to be just right for these tiniest of amphibians.  Rainy, above freezing and after the sun has gone down and darkness fully sets in.

This migration tends to happen unnoticed, but what most people do notice is the amazing chorus of “peeps” we hear in the evenings.  It seems like the peepers are coaxing along those first signs of spring.  As that first crescendo floats through the air, the peach buds swell, the chickweed, nettles, and dandelions turn a vibrant green, magnolias, daffodils and blooms of every color open and there is the chatter of birds and insects checking in after a long winter.  All the while spears of asparagus lie just millimeters below the soil surface, hearing the symphony above, knowing their turn is so near.  Do they nudge one another? “You go first….no you” or do they just give in to the “greensong” and absorb into the magic dance of the ages…the arrival of spring.

Sprouting, hatching, budding, mating, waking – so alive!  You know we humans are part of this all too right?  We only need to remember, to recognize that song and dance that is part of our very souls.  Spend time listening, watching, just being in the natural world.  This alone, many believe, can boost your immune system.

“Researchers from Japan’s Kyoto University have determined that outdoor therapy – including forest walking, gardening and yoga meditation – not only will increase well-being and quality of life: It will also strengthen the immune system”.

Imagine experiencing a feeling of rightness about yourself and your place in the flow of life.  We are all part of this universal creative energy” -Sandor Katz.

Season Focus for 2016

March 29th, 2016 | Posted by miker in Administration - (Comments Off on Season Focus for 2016)

North Slope Farm – Plans for 2016

Farm Manager – MikeR

Crew Colleen, Todd, Jacob, Dan & Two 1st Year Trainees.

(Estimated Full Time Wages: $90,000) (2015: $65,000 incl tax)

Basic Assessment:

Need to generate an extra $30-$40 thousand, in 2016.


  • Focus on crops that we could have sold more of – Herbs, Blackberry’s, Strawberries, Asian Pears, Apples, Peaches, Green beans, Tomatoes, Flowers, Micro’s, Seedlings (?), Complete Summary to highlight items we can do better with….
  • Expand Sales at Farmstand – Special Focus, with events, Email Newsletter, Visible activity, Beautification and Signs.

Long Term:

  • Invest in Production Systems to Increase Production
  • Plant more Fruit Trees, Brambles, Strawberries
  • Plant High Tunnels with Fruit Trees (Peaches?) – Research and Trials – trees vs brambles vs strawberries
  • Develop Dedicated Production Area/System for Micro’s

New Developments to Explore and Test:

  • Farmstand: Develop area into child and visitor friendly experience.
  • Juicing:  Incorporate processing and bottling into the work week.
  • Increasing Egg Production:  Develop feed production system to reduce cost.
  • Expand Speciality Herbs: Dedicate growing areas, Drying, Process and Store in farmhouse.

Guilders at North Slope Farm 2015

March 28th, 2016 | Posted by miker in Season Summary - (Comments Off on Guilders at North Slope Farm 2015)

Thanks to hard working crew, North Slope Farm enjoyed another productive year!

Click on the Photo below, links to Flickr Photo Site..  check out the Album of Guilders in 2015…

Jacob on IH 140