By Rachel Weston
Let’s face it, turnips get short shrift compared to some of the other root vegetables. Leggy carrots and bossy beets jostle for a place in the sunlight. My mother always insisted on mashed turnips at our Christmas dinners. I would wrinkle my nose and take the obligatory bite. When I found myself traveling through Scotland last year, I began to appreciate the side of neeps and tatties (mashed turnips and potatoes) that came along with the haggis that I ate at every opportunity I could. Making the mash is a breeze and completely comforting to eat on a snowy evening. Substitute a few nice sizzling sausages which are easier to obtain than haggis.
When it snowed earlier this week, while we were sipping cocoa inside, Jess Niederer, a thirteenth generation farmer was out in the snow feverishly harvesting turnips at Chickadee Creek Farm in Pennington. As she pushed the row covers back, the verdant turnip greens popped out into the white landscape.
Continue to the full article, here.
Jersey tomato, potato crops threatened by ‘blight’ disease found at five NJ farms
By Kelly Johnson and Nicole Mulvaney
Hopewell Township–Organic farmer Jess Niederer is terrified of late blight, a destructive disease specific to tomatoes and potatoes that was recently discovered on five farms in the state. She knows the fast-spreading disease has the potential to wipe out her crop of tomatoes at Chickadee Creek Farms, and she also knows the first case of blight in New Jersey this year was discovered in Mercer County.
“Cherry tomatoes were my No. 2 seller last year,” Niederer said. Her crops were struck with the disease last year, but it was late enough in the season to spare her from losing a significant amount of money.
This season, the first case of late blight in the state was confirmed in Mercer on an organic farm in late June, said Meredith Melendez, agriculture coordinator for the Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Mercer County. Four other cases were confirmed on farms in Salem County this week, said Andy Wyenandt, a vegetable pathology specialist for the Rutgers Cooperative Extension.
By Kim Palumbo
Central New Jersey is home to numerous grocery stores: large chain or local mom and pop, certified organic or not-so-much, we’ve got you covered. With so many alternatives to choose from, health-conscious, budget-minded consumers may find it all a bit overwhelming.
A recent visit with Jess Niederer of Chickadee Creek Farm in Pennington made options a little less daunting, and a lot more attractive. We met with Jess to discuss her Community Supported Agriculture program, or CSA, for short….click here to read more and to watch the short video.
Throughout the United States, about 30 percent of farmers were women in 2007, a 19 percent increase in just five years. They make much less than their male counterparts — $36,000 a year versus $150,671, and farm less than half the acreage per capita, yet the women are more likely to own their own land, according to Jenny Carleo of Rutgers Cooperative Extension
In New Jersey there are about 2,261 women-operated farms, about one-fifth of the total number of farms in the state. Their farms average 29 acres in size and produce, on average, $22,170 a year in products, way below the state average of $95,584.
Carleo says that a growing number of women are eager to start on the journey.“A lot of new farmers are women,” she finds.
Two local woman farmers — both Ivy League educated — who are currently treading that path are Jess Niederer, profiled below, and and Tannwen Mount, see story on following page…
We are sincerely thankful for our members and customers who saw us through a great 2012 growing season. We will be at the Stangl Factory Farmers Market through December, and otherwise we’ll see you at the 2013 markets! CSA sign-ups for 2013 are now open.
We’ve gotten through all danger of frost, so it’s time to plant our hearts out. Just before the rain we got in a second seeding of beans, more tatsoi and arugula, herbs, salad mix and lettuce. Then we spend a nice drizzly day yesterday planting flowers, squash, and cucumbers. We’ll see you at market this later this week!
Spring came early this year! We’ve been busy. More pics will be up shortly to introduce this years fantastic farm apprentices Helen and Beverly!
Below, see our lovable pup Tiller, huge sweet turnips, tillage operations, the new (used) equipment purchases from this winter, our fantastic cover crop growth (check out the nitrogen fixation on those roots!), a delicious looking garlic patch, and scenes from the greenhouse. More to come soon…back to work!
Chickadee Creek Farms owner Jess Niederer is half the age of the average U.S. farmer. Though she grew up working on her family’s 80-acre farm in Pennington, Niederer approaches a small plot she leases on the farm with newfound vigor.
And she does it without chemicals, instead cultivating her produce using organic methods.
“After learning more about our food system, I decided I want to change the parts I don’t like,” the 28-year-old said.
There is a growing market for high quality, organic food and products, but finding farmers like Niederer to meet the demand is complicated, says Camille Miller, executive director of the New Jersey Northeast Organic Farming Association chapter.
While the number of small farms across the United States is dwindling, the age of the average farmer, 55 years as of 2002, is rising.