Letter from a Roxbury Farmer

26 January 2018 08:37PM


Last Friday, Roxbury Farm received the Farm of the Year award at the Northeast Organic Farming Association of New York annual conference in Saratoga Springs. Our family told our stories. This is mine:

When we talk about the family farm, for me, the key word is…

18 January 2018 11:22PM


Tonight, Roxbury Farm is being honored at the NOFA-NY (Northeast Organic Farming Association of New York) conference as Farm of the Year!

We’re busy putting together a presentation about the farm today, its history & where we hope to go in the future. One of the…

24 November 2017 02:20PM


I wrote this almost twenty years ago, when Roxbury Farm was on Roxbury Road in Claverack, but it’s still true.

Where can we find the perfect farm where insect and weed infestations are unheard of? In your dreams, I guess.

So much of our effort goes into…

10 November 2017 09:35AM


The time shift marks the nearing end of our season. As a farm team we would prefer the sun going down at 6 pm rather than 5 pm just as we finish work for the day. But, getting up in the light is a bit…

2 November 2017 04:35PM


Last week I was in Mexico to attend a friend’s wedding. Leaving the farm in October seemed like a crazy idea but Team Roxbury had everything under control. Thank you!! It was an amazing trip and I am grateful to work with such…

26 October 2017 06:07PM


Jody is off this weekend for a much-deserved break, so I am attempting to fill in on the newsletter production this week. I am Jody’s sister & we manage the farm together. In the 6 years that I have been at Roxbury Farm, I have…

18 October 2017 07:25AM

Thank you to all the members who came out to help with the garlic splitting and planting on Saturday. We split the Roxbury garlic variety which was enough for 1/2 acre of land. We aren’t sure what this variety is any longer. In 2001, we…

12 October 2017 04:04PM


Usually at this time of year we are checking the weather a few times a day to see if a frost is in our near future. When the temperature falls below 32 degrees that is the end of our tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, and basil. (Remember…

5 October 2017 09:46PM


We switched to the 8 am start time schedule today. We love what we do, don’t get me wrong, but switching to starting at 8 am instead of 6 am feels pretty good. It is a bit tricky for a few weeks to get used…

29 September 2017 09:25AM


This heat wave is confusing for us, the livestock, and the vegetables. By this time of year we usually start at 8:00 am but when it is 85 degrees at 9:00 am that means we need to start at 6:30 am for one more week…

24 September 2017 11:25AM

1 One of Jean-Paul’s no-till projects at Hudson Valley Farm Hub outside Kingston
2 This re-seeded hayfield could provide our green mulch for the 2018 season
3 A farmer in Germany applying green mulch to planting beds (photo by Jan Hendrik Cropp)

One of the drawbacks of growing…

12 September 2017 09:24PM


In the photo above: Lola, Pansy, and Riley hanging out on the pasture after their award winning week at the Columbia County Fair

I have mixed feelings about fall: the weather is beautiful, the pace is a bit slower, the days shorter, an abundance of vegetables…

7 September 2017 08:58PM


The onions are harvested, cured, sorted, and in storage; the winter squash is harvested and curing in the greenhouse; and this week we will start harvesting potatoes. The beets, carrots, parsnips, celeriac, cabbage, sweet potatoes, watermelon radishes, and rutabagas are growing well in the fields.…

31 August 2017 12:30PM


Last week a visitor to the farm asked us how we know what to plant and harvest every week. Along with the growing, weeding, harvesting, washing, and sorting of your veggies we keep many different kinds of records. We keep track of when and where…

25 August 2017 12:06PM


Week 12, we are halfway through the season, time is flying by. The mornings are dark now when we wake up, first light is just before 6:00 am with the sun rising just after 6:00. The skies are dark when go to sleep. (We admit…

17 August 2017 03:39PM


Two weeks ago I had the opportunity to meet with Representative John Faso. He represents the NY-19 district in the U.S. House of Representatives. We met at the Field Goods facility in Athens with a few other farmers and a representative from the New York…

10 August 2017 09:36PM


It’s time for the onion harvest. The garlic is dried, cleaned, sorted, and in the cooler; leaving the greenhouse ready for drying the onions. Last season the garlic just wouldn’t dry because of the humid weather so we had to delay the onion…

4 August 2017 08:18AM


(Above: Keri cultivating the salad mix with our newly repaired cultivator.)

Roxbury Farm is full of Dutch connections. Our founder and co-owner, Jean Paul Courtens is Dutch, my sister and co-farmer, Keri and I come from a family whose origins are Dutch, and we farm land…

27 July 2017 01:26PM


Why the crazy carrots you may be wondering after last week’s share? (See Exhibit A above, if you’re not a member.)

First, all of our carrots taste the same, whether long and straight or forked or with right angles. The wholesale market demands long, straight carrots…

21 July 2017 12:49PM


A big thank you to everyone who joined us for the garlic harvest and/or potluck & BBQ. We can’t believe we finished the garlic harvest in two hours, that is definitely a record. July is a busy month and harvesting garlic without your help would…

13 July 2017 10:37AM


We are looking forward to the ripening of sweet corn any day now. As soon as the sweet corn season is over in September we are look forward to it again. Maybe one reason we enjoy it so much is because of sweet corn’s brief…

7 July 2017 01:43PM


I have been reading and hearing everywhere in the media that we need immigrants to stay in the U.S. to farm because “no one else will do the work immigrants do.” This statement is a punch in the gut.

As someone who works in agriculture and…

29 June 2017 05:30PM


Above: This week’s share: Rainbow chard, radishes, cabbage, arugula, kale, basil, cilantro, salad mix, zucchini, broccoli, summer squash, cucumbers, kohlrabi, and scallions.

This winter I had the opportunity to visit farming projects in and around Mexico City. One of the things that stood out for me…

23 June 2017 02:27PM


Pictured above: This week’s share. CSA shares are still available at the farm, at TSL in Hudson, and in the Capital District, NYC and Westchester. Click the link above to join for the rest of the season. Your share price will be pro-rated.

As a midwesterner…

23 June 2017 02:23PM

We are back in the swing of things. The warm weather is bringing on the veggies and the hay. Our bodies are getting used to the work of harvesting and getting up at 5 am. The zucchini and summer squash require the daily harvest to…


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