Catalpa Ridge Farm

a community supported farm

Varieties Offered

Varieties Offered:
For transplant sales we offer approximately 60-80 varieties of tomatoes in pots at our spring transplant sales with probably over 3000 plants in one location at a time. We also offer flowers, heirloom peppers, eggplant and herbs. For the CSFs we grow about 150 different varieties of vegetables over a 20-22 week season. Some of the more popular varieties of tomatoes for our CSF members have been, Red Peach, German Johnson, Black Krim, Aunt Ruby’s Green, but each member develops their own favorite tomatoes, as we deliver mixed varieties every week. Also popular are oriental vegetables, some of which include:

Chinese Cabbage
There are many different kinds of Chinese cabbages, which can be grouped based on size, shape, healing and non-healing. Most Chinese cabbage mature much faster than common cabbages. Some loose-leafed Chinese cabbages can be ready for harvest in 3-4 weeks. Almost every Chinese cabbage is excellent for stir-fry and pickling.1

Edible Rape (Yu Choy)
Edible Yu Choy is different to the oil seed rape widely grown in the West. Edible rape is grown mainly for the young leaves and flowering stalks. Plants are harvested when bolting and are used in many Chinese stir-fry foods. The plant grows very fast and vigorously in temperate climates. Seeds are sown in the spring, late summer and fall. Plants may bolt prematurely in hot summer.2

Oriental Mustard
Oriental mustard is very popular in Chinese and Vietnamese cooking and pickling. Mustard are resistant to low temperature and grow best in temperate climates. Seeds are sown in early spring and fall. Plants are thinned to 4-8 inches apart depending on the varieties during growth. Thinnings are excellent vegetable for cooking and pickling. There are many varieties and some varieties form heads or semi-heads in cold climates. Mustard has a mild flavor that will increase in pungency as the plant matures.3

Our biggest disappointments were Jamaican cucumbers and the members were not particularly partial to red eggplants. In general, the CSF members like the variety of their weekly harvest and at times never know what will be offered. The surprise element is exciting to them and this along with the basics keeps them active in the CSF community.

Approach to plantings:
For our early deliveries we will plant the oriental greens, turnips, radishes, arugula and broccoli raab in the cold greenhouse the first week of April. Our first delivery is usually made the first week of June. We will also plant some tomatoes a little later for delivery after frost.

We always attempt to have early tomatoes and last year we transplanted on May 11th on the south-side (outside) of the greenhouse, Orange King, Native Sun, PSR-37, Clear Pink, Silver Fir Tree, Cold Set, SubArtic, and just had to try the hybrid 4th of July. We had a very cold, cloudy, wet spring and these early varieties were ready by the second week of July. The hybrid 4th of July, and heirloom Sub Artic both ready to harvest the same week. Most of these early tomatoes don’t have the taste of the later varieties but those first to ripen are just a hint of things to come. Heirlooms to follow were Black Krim, Dr. Wychie’s Yellow, German Johnson and Brandywine.

We usually have a frost around May 30th and we begin planting most of our tomatoes around that time, depending on the year. Also our warmer weather crops go into the field in the beginning of June. We begin planting our fall crops the beginning of July to be transplanted and direct seed as areas become available into August. Our deliveries to the CSF members go through to the last week of October or the first week of November.

All in all, we have found that the CSF concept of marketing vegetables is very rewarding and mostly a win-win for both the members and the farmer. The members get variety, freshness and get to know where their food comes from and the farmer gets guaranteed support each year from these members.