Watch as Farmers Grow

Author Archives: Casey


January 25th, 2021 | Posted by Casey in Wild Fitness - (Comments Off on FRIDAY 5K TRAIL RUNS)





Flowers 2018/New! U-Pick Club

April 25th, 2017 | Posted by Casey in Flowers 2018/New! U-Pick CLub - (Comments Off on Flowers 2018/New! U-Pick Club)

 Flower Page

Fennel Flowers/Plant Files #3

April 7th, 2017 | Posted by Casey in Musings from the Field - (Comments Off on Fennel Flowers/Plant Files #3)



January 10th, 2017 | Posted by Casey in Wild Fitness - (Comments Off on A WINTER MORNING)










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.

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

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.

Introduction to Wild Fitness

February 22nd, 2016 | Posted by Casey in Wild Fitness - (Comments Off on Introduction to Wild Fitness)

Coming Soon –

WILD FITNESS at North Slope Farm – trails, exercise and stretching stations to be developed in 2016 !

If you are interested, click our Email Newsletter button, and sign up to receive news about North Slope Farm – including developments in Wild Fitness!

Monthly Summary – July 2014

October 28th, 2015 | Posted by Casey in Monthly Summary - (Comments Off on Monthly Summary – July 2014)

General Observations: Construction of our new high tunnel is complete and it is already providing a home for our late season tomatoes.  An entry made by the farm manager; “Tools, drilling, generator use, multi-person tasks all performed excellent”.  Thank You NSF crew 2014 for those many days working till dark and to past crew members who came to help out.  Seed saving was pursued by several NSF crew members and we now have plenty-o-kale seed packed away for future use.  Experienced crew members took on a heavy load as farm mangers back was not cooperating this month.

Administration(51.5hrs.): (7/9) MR working in office to pay bills and conquer any paperwork piling up.  (7/16 & &/29) Bank Deposits (7/15) Staff meeting to discuss priority tasks and receive a crash course in managing our strawberry plants.

Harvesting(388hrs.): Many bounteous bean and carrot harvests.  We harvest tomatoes, summer squash, cucumbers and flowers Tuesday, Thursdays and Saturdays to keep up with the high yields at peak season. The bulk of the hardy greens and root crops are harvested on Thursdays with a smaller harvest on Wednesdays for our on-site farmstand sales. Microgreens are cut and packaged for market on a weekly basis. (7/11)Garlic was pulled and set to cure. (7/7 &7/10) Several varieties of herb teas (Spearmint, Mountain Mint and Echinacea) were harvested dried and stored.  A training opportunity arises in the tomato field.  We review and introduce to new crew members the stages of ripeness from breaker to “red ripe” and discuss the special handling for those delicate heirlooms.

Handling(61.5hrs.):  Hydro-cooling greens, spray washing roots and packing produce for market are weekly tasks assigned on a rotating basis to full time crew.  First years have taken on the weekly egg washing and packing.  Flower bunching takes us into the evening Fridays and well into the evening Saturdays.  (7/9 and 7/15) The dried mountain mint, Echinacea and spearmint tea leaves are stripped from the stems and packed into storage bags.

Marketing(132hrs.):  Salad mix, chard and kale sales all down from last year.  ???

Equipment(25.5hrs.): We rented a scissor lift for high tunnel construction.  It’s a really tall tunnel.

Composting(32hrs.): (7/9) 1 Big bed and 2 small beds in the CG.  (7/30) Furrows in VegBN field.

Planting(50.5hrs.): Microgreens are seeded weekly.  We aim to direct seed carrots and salad mix every new moon.  (7/15) Beds ripped with IH140 in new high tunnel.  Single shank down the center.  (7/16) VegBN being prepped for forth succession planting.  VegBS mowed off in preparation for primary tillage. (7/17) Six beds of tomatoes planted in our new high tunnel.  (7/18) BGB’s seeded with salad mix.  Decision made to cut short stale seed bedding and skip 2nd composting to get the job done on schedule. (7/22) Used NSF saved kale seed for trial round of micro greens. (7/30) Kale, chard and beets are planted into VegBN furrows.  Next round of BGB’s are mowed off and rototilled for stale seed bedding.

Crop Care(129.5hrs.): (7/2) Flower field is all staked, strung and weeding and in good shape for now. (7/7) CG pathways and empty beds “billy goated” and weed wacked.  (7/9) Zinnias in FG strung again to support weight of plants and keep aisles clear for harvesters.  (7/10) Cucumbers trellised and mulched. Bonus! Irrigation reaches top of the task list and will remain there until rain is forecast. (7/16) Hoops, sandbags and row covers removed from strawberry beds, d-tape tucked in and beds mowed off.  While we are out there we threw another sting up on the flowers and cleaned up and mowed off any flower beds that are past prime.  Winter squash square mulched heavily with straw.  (7/18) Hand weeding carrots in BGB.  Looks purdy! (7/22) Wired set in new high tunnel and strings hung for clipping tomatoes.  (7/25) scuffle hoed newly germinated salad mix.  Laid d-tube on carrots and worked on tomatoes in Ralph’s house; clipping and stringing.

Greenhouse(66hrs.): (7/5) Tomatoes in Ralph’s house trellised.  (7/15)  Crew seeded next field succession into flats.

Infrastructure(178hrs.):  *Note: High tunnel construction hours were recorded mostly under this category.  Plenty of mowing and irrigation repairs. (7/7) Mowed perimeter of flower field.  (7/8) Mowed and weed wacked fruit cluster.  (7/8) Ford was used to mow VegCMid (7/9) Sprinkler lines repaired.  Needed to decrease spacing between heads for more uniform watering.  Irrigation in VegBMid also received some new parts after 5th slice in submain was discovered.  (7/10) MR cleaned walk in cooler. (7/16) CSE field mowed. (7/18) More sprinkler repairs. (7/27) Weed wacked and cleaned up around barnyard. (7/30) Drip tape and misc. materials cleaned out of VegBS and it was mowed off.

Special Projects(2.5hrs.): *Note: High tunnel construction hours seem to be recorded under the element infrastructure.  Crew are fine tuning the building process as they construct high tunnel #1 to enable maximum efficiency in the construction of the second high tunnel. (7/2) Perlins raised, cables attached to framing.  Pre fab action in ATV trailer; cutting cable, making loops and securing with cable clamps. (7/4) Channel lock attached to end arches. (7/8) Ribbon board bolted on and double channel lock mounted on.  New construction term introduced to crew “countersink”. (7/15) All hands and paws on deck for 6am start to put “the skin” on the new high tunnel.  Plastic secured to channel lock on peaks using the JD bucket as a ladder and from the ground secured to channel lock on ribbon board.  


Week 1 Heavy rain forecast, humidity building.  High 90’s.  One thunderstorm but hurricane landed south of us which brought cooler, breezes, slight rain and a bit of sunshine.

Week 2 Sunny and dry conditions by the end of the week.

Week 3 Thunderstorms push through and it is humid and calm between storms.  4 inches of rain in a few days.

Week 4 Month ends on a very dry note.  Drought and fires out west.

Market Sales:

  Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4 Market Total
WWFM $1,118 $1,225 $1,165 $1,264 $4,772
Summit $2,600 $2,880 $3,389 $2,990 $11,859
There is no extra box here
It is all in your mind:)


April 1st, 2015 | Posted by Casey in Monthly Summary - (Comments Off on MONTHLY SUMMARY – APRIL 2014)

Monthly Summary – April 2014

Logs reviewed and summary prepared by Casey

General Observation: Major materials delivery received involving much planning and preparation to ensure safe, efficient offloading.  All went smoothly. We also prepared for a shipping container to be delivered requiring a bit of site preparation as well.  We have a goal of constructing at least one of the newly purchased high tunnels this year, which involves equipment rental and training the crew to use the machinery. This leaves the farm manager to juggle all these special projects on top of routine season startup tasks.  By months end the greenhouses are completely filled (including pathways) with seedling flats.  Planting has begun and water systems are charged up for irrigation and greenhouse watering.  The crops required extra care during the second half of the month which brought strong, gusty winds and frosts in the evenings.

Equipment (16hrs.):  MR purchased Seabox 20’x 8’x 8’ shipping container (not reflected in cash flow).  Equipment modifications done on big blue trailer and a chain hoist was rigged up for coming delivery.  (4/7) Solebury orchards came to pick up drop spreader (shared equipment). (4/11) Ford front tire taken for repair and reattached. Worked with the following rented equipment for the High tunnel #1 special project: (1)two man post hole digger (2) post hole digger on skid steer.  Crew was instructed in safety and operation of skid steer and each had an opportunity to drill holes and scoop and spread compost. (4/29)Everitts Equipment picked up hay bine to replace the belt.

Administration (69hrs.):  Greenhouse order sheet for market seedlings e-mailed to wholesale customers.(4/7)MR paying bills, ordering cow pots and some misc. tasks in office. (4/20) Daily log getting forgotten in the bustle of projects underway.  So we catch up so that valuable information is not lost and move on.(4/23)Biobags ordered.  Spoke with West Windsor Health Department  authority who requested confirmation that our bottled products and egg packaging meet government standards. (4/29)Payroll.(4/30)Crew took photos of seedlings and GH greens and uploaded to Flicker. Updated crops available now page on website.  MR paid bills, filed NJ 1st quarter report and completed misc. administrative tasks.  He is in the clean desk club now!!(4/30) 2013 May summary tackled.

Infrastructure (189.5hrs.):   Expected delivery of shipping container and new greenhouses requires planning and preparation. Anticipating 7 large pallets:  2:2500#’s  4’ x 2’ x 12’, 2: 1500#’s 4’ x 2’ x 12’, 2: 1500#’s 4’ x 2’ x 10’ and 1: 1000# 4’ x 2’ x 5’ (4/1) A large A-frame was recovered from the edge of Peters Brook to be utilized in the chain hoist for offloading greenhouse delivery.  Site chosen for shipping container two dumps of  2” clean (cobbly lump) spread over area to create a gravel pad.  (4/3) Introduction to drainage using corner garden as example including discussion of water table and drainage options (diversions, swales, terraces, tiles) and sheet flow vs. concentrated.  Practical done on barnyard drainage.  Field bed drainage was jump started by first using the 265 with shanks behind rear wheels to rip the walkways at ends of beds. (4/4) A box truck full of recycling was hauled off.(4/9)Fencing tightened/repaired in market garden and fruit cluster finally gets electric fencing installed.  Drainage channels in Veg C South dug out by hand. (4/10)Chickens moved and fencing reinforced.(4/10)BGB cleanup: last seasons d-tape and remay and blackberry prunings removed.  Sink holes dug out and filled with concrete.  Fenceposts straightened (where needed) and holed filled with gravel and tamped down.(4/11) General cleanup for MR’s birthday. (4/14) At this point in the season daily chores expand to include greenhouse watering and irrigation in addition to the chicken chores.(4/30) Box truck taken on supply run for pallet of potting soil. Farmhouse gang purchased new beds with frames at FDS.

Greenhouse (318.5hrs.):  (4/1) Debris cleared and post holes dug on east end of Farmhouse Gothic as first step in construction of end walls.  While the west end receives touch up storm repairs: rib re-bending and tightening of plastic.  The hardening hoop was cleared, cleaned and packed with tables for overflow seedling flats. (4/2) Hardening hoop renovations:  baseboards reset, plastic patched and resecured to end hoop, woodchips from spring pruning project dumped and leveled to south of hoop house creating additional, well drained seedling overflow area. The crew then built a stone retaining wall to complete the project. (4/3) Veg. Succession #1 moved to newly renovated hoop house and a GH watering protocol is established. (4/4)  Full crew engaged in  seeding.  Wiggle wire tune-up on Farmhouse Gothic.  Seedlings in hardening hoop protected with double layer of remay.  (4/7)  Observation made in GH that sunflower showing signs of stress.  (4/7)  MR demonstrated of setting base beams for end walls onto concrete piers. (4/14) East end wall finished on Farmhouse Gothic. (4/20) Attention on falling temperatures being sure to close up greenhouses tightly at night.(4/22) Potting on tomatoes and herbs.  Seeded next round of 4paks for market sales.(4/24) Second full seeding of tomatoes.(4/25) 2nd flower succession seeded.(4/29-4/30) Potting on of tomatoes leaves greenhouse bursting at the seems.  Tables set up in Farmhouse Gothic for additional overflow of seedlings.  Additional protections on ends of Farmhouse Gothic needed to protect seedlings from draft/cold.  Shifting of seedlings becomes routine chore at this point in the season.

Composting (24hrs.): (4/11) Composted 1 100’ bed in Corner Garden.(4/18) Composting continues in BGB section five beds done with extra compost deposited under nearby pear trees.(4/24) 140 and spreader used to compost all open beds in Veg B Mid and Veg C South.

Planting (166.5hrs.): (4/10) Planting in Corner Garden, First of Season.(4/11) 3 BGB’s of kale and cabbage and 1 BGB direct seeded with salad mix.(4/11) MR conducted spoken review of bed prep., layout and spacing.(4/14) All beds in corner garden w/o existing perennials rototilled to chop back ground ivy.(4/18) Balance of first succession planted into BGB’s South East.(4/21-4/22)First field bed planting in Veg C South: cabbage, broccoli, kale, chard and beets. Bed preparation was done using the IH140.(4/23)Time for the first big new moon seeding of carrots and salad mix is upon us and the beds are thickly covered with chickweed (which we love but it is not our chosen crop).  Bed tops rototilled to super chop chickweed to be easily raked off beds before rolling.(4/24)Big tractor day.  Compost spread, with spreader behind 140, on all open beds in Veg C South and Veg B Mid next to garlic.  Then 265 used for second round of ripping on beds. Beds next to garlic rototilled and direct seeded (4/25) with radishes, spinach and turnips using the four point seeder.

Crop Care (122hrs.):  (4/3) Finished pruning in fruit cluster.(4/8-4/9)Weeding asparagus.(4/11) Irrigation set up on BGB’s and rebar hoops and remay covering set up to protect crop from coming frost.  Let the irrigation begin! A regular rotation is implemented. (4/18) Full crew laid fresh new row cover on today’s planting. (4/22) Remay covering over today’s planting in Veg C South.(4/23)Scuffle hoed salad mix and tuned up remay in BGB’s in preparation for extreme winds this week. Decision was made to remove the remay to eliminate risk of wind tearing it up.  9pm visit to fields, hoping winds die down as forecast so crops can be recovered for the frosty night expected.  These conditions keep us busy for the last week in April.(4/24)Weeding perennials in corner garden and general cleanup.(4/25)Sprinklers set up and brought into the irrigation rotation in BGB’s.(4/29)Hand weeded broccoli, onions and collards in CG.

Harvesting (0hrs.):

Handling (4hrs.): Weekly egg washing, packaging and labeling.

Marketing (7hrs.): Weekly egg delivery to WEC. (4/7) Egg value calculation shows 1 week yields 40 dozen from 85 birds.  Taking into account feed and labor it comes to $6.75/doz to break even.(4/23)Biobag inventory and order made. Local Health authority recommends sani-wipe dispenser to be on hand at WWFM. (4/29) Seedling availability sheet updated for WEC.  This is now a weekly task.

Special Projects (21hrs.): High tunnel #1.  (4/21) Layout and site preparation for the first of two new high tunnels begins.  Crew used established corners to set batter boards to be used to maintain string lines and set post hole marks. First attempt to dig post holes with two man auger only reached 1.5foot depth.  Abandoned and rented bigger machine to allow full three foot excavation.  Job escalated when realizing these 8’long, very heavy ground posts would need to be set into concrete to ensure solid base.(4/28) Post hole auger on skid steer.  Worked until 8pm to set all posts in concrete, level and plumb.
Rented Skid Steer and auger

Week 1:  Peters Brook is flowing and the peepers are peeping away in the pond.. Average lows for the     week around 40 degrees, highs between 60 and 70 degrees.  A few overcast rainy days but in general, conditions are mild.
Week 2: Starts off with heavy rain Monday night but conditions remain mild.  Lows 40’s highs reaching 70’s.
Week 3: Heavy rains and freezing nighttime temperatures this week.
Week 4: Temperatures on the rise again.  Looking more like spring with 50 degree mornings and highs in the 70’s. We’re not off the hook though with some extreme wind conditions to confront.  Topped off with “crazy rain” and flooding to end the month.