What is that big, white root in my winter share?

Diakon radish!

A very large white root mostly found in Japanese cooking.  It can be eaten raw, cooked or fermented.   I have used this in soups and stews, made fries out of them, shredded for salads, cubed and roasted with other root veggies.  But is is best known for shredding and fermenting like cabbage.  Then add to anything you would put kraut onto or add to lettuce wraps and Chinese food.  Oh!  and it can be shredded and added to cabbage salad.  Can be sweet and can be hot….just like any other radish!

Dry rub for roasted root veggies…compliments of Jacquie

1 Tbsp chili powder
1 tsp garlic salt
1 tsp onion salt
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp paprika (or smoked paprika for a change)
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper…say spicy please!

Add all these into a gallon zip-locked bag with 1/4 cup EVOO.  Massage together before adding veggies. Cut 4# root veggies into cubes as close to the same size as possible. Toss into bag and make sure everything is covered well. Cover a rimmed cookie sheet with parchment paper and dump veggies onto paper adding every last drop of spice mix over veggies. Roast at 400 degrees for 35 minutes, more if at higher altitude.

Serves 8 or makes wonderful leftovers.

Newsletter – November 4, 2020

NOTE: This blog is posted by a volunteer. No one from the farm checks or responds to messages here. You must contact the farm directly with any questions, comments, etc.

Dear Winter Members,

This week you are getting, Delicata & acorn squash, Yukon Gold potatoes, leeks, Bulls Blood red beets, carrots, yellow & red onions, garlic, tomatoes, bell & jalapeno peppers from last summer, black beans, and a mixed bag of kale/spinach and a few small tomatoes from last summer. 

    Through experimentation and experience (Jerry always tells me he has yesterdays’ experience) he plans on giving you the majority of the sweet potatoes, winter squash and lettuce/greens by the end of December.  He is afraid it will not store/grow into January or February.  So please enjoy while we have it!  And if we can keep any of it into the later months, we will try.  But storing produce the ‘a la natural way’ does not allow for flexibility.  We do not spray growth prohibitors, waxes or other chemicals on our produce while it is in storage.  Therefore, it will start to get soft, break down and go bad.  Sorting will be a huge part of our job in the coming months.  If you need to make any changes to your share, please notify me Thursday the week before distribution.

    There are eight deliveries (9 bags) over a four-month period.  The delivery schedule for the first half of winter is as follows:  November 4th, November 18th, December 2nd and December 16th.  We will then take three weeks off and return delivering produce for the second half of winter as follows:  January 13th, January 27th, February 10th and February 24th.

  December 16th is unique in the fact that you will be getting two bags of produce to get you through the approx. 4 weeks we are off.  If you are splitting the Share, both of you will need to pick up this day.   Then split the very last day of distribution in half so both of you go home with produce.

    Distribution Center (DC) Info:  Show your distribution centers the respect they deserve!  They’re members of the farm, volunteering their time and homes.  Please respect their hours.  Keep information about your DC either in your phone or by your home phone.  Call them if there is a problem getting to the DC location during normal hours or you need to make arrangements to hold your produce or pick up the next day.  Remember, produce will be stored in their garages.  If the temperatures are below freezing, your produce may freeze too.  If you need to cancel your share completely or for the week, call me at the above number no later than the Thursday before Distribution takes place. 

    Payment Schedule:  For those of you who chose to make monthly payments; please make sure your payments are received by the 1st of each month.  Those of you who chose to make payments in thirds; your second payment is due November 15th

    Newsletter/Bags:  We use these bags over and over so it is important you return them every week.  Newsletters will not go out with every delivery, not much to say.  Besides, I send out monthly newsletters to the entire membership.   A list of produce will be on the blog each time, so check it out!  Email is sent to notify you something has been posted.      monroeorganicfarms.wordpress.com

Beef & Pork

Did you forget to order your beef or pork share for the winter? Good news! Jacquie has a 1/4 share of beef (or possibly two) available, as well as a few small pigs (which would be discounted due to their size). Please contact her at the farm to secure yours! (970) 284-7941

Newsletter – October 14, 2020

NOTE: This blog is posted by a volunteer. No one from the farm checks or responds to messages here. You must contact the farm directly with any questions, comments, etc.

Dear Friends of the Farm,

This is our last week of distribution for the 2020 season. You are getting Yukon Gold potatoes, yellow onions, red beets, turnips, daikon radish, broccoli, green or red bells & jalapeno peppers and tomatoes. Some of you may even find some cauliflower in your bags!

Surveys: Please send in your surveys! They were on the back of the October 5th newsletter and everyone should have gotten one in their bag that week. I am sending a few extra forms to each DC if you would like to fill it out there or take it home and mail it to me. Your voice is important to us. We really do want to hear what you have to say about your CSA!!!

Winter Share: Space is filling up fast and soon several DC’s will be closed. We have around 25 more spaces to fill. Please send in those forms before the 24th so I have time to process them.

Animals: We are starting to take the hogs into the processor this month. Lambs will start to go to processing next month and then the steers will follow. It is time to pay off those animals! I will not send them to the processor without full payment. All animal payments were due October 1st. We still have a few lambs available for processing in March if anyone is still interested. Expect an phone call or email from me before we take those animals in.

Summer’s Conclusion: What a year it has been! I hope you have enjoyed the produce you have gotten from the farm. It came with much love, sweat and a few tears too!

Spring…. Oh boy! We started out hot and it never cooled down this summer. We did not receive a late freeze in May and crops grew like crazy with plenty of sunshine and water. Crops came on early. This year beat out 2012 on how many days over 90, but it could not get close the 15 or more days over 100 we had that year. All things set aside; this was a very hot year.

Then something incredible happened. It froze and snowed the first week of September. Because we have amazing members; for two days dozens of people picked and picked and picked. We got hundreds of trays of delicious food set aside in coolers and dugouts that spread out produce over the next three to six weeks. Luckily we also found some produce under plants that survived the early freeze giving you plenty of wonderful things to eat through mid-October.

The heat took a toll and everyone was dragging by the end of September. We were hoping for cooler days in October that just hasn’t’ happened yet. Maybe the second half of October will cool down to within normal temperatures giving us much needed relief.

All of you have been so kind to send me thoughts of a quick recovery from my broken ankle. Thank you for a great summer. It has been our pleasure to grow your food for you.

Jacquie, Jerry, Kyle and Sam

Newsletter – October 6, 2020

NOTE: This blog is posted by a volunteer. No one from the farm checks or responds to messages here. You must contact the farm directly with any questions, comments, etc.

Dear Farm Friends,

This is week 17 out of 18: You are getting purple potatoes, white onions, red beets, broccoli, bell peppers, anaheim & jalapeno peppers, tomatoes and a few ears of corn. Please return your mesh bags over the next two weeks. We are giving out plastic bags for the remainder of the season and do not want these bags back.

Fruit: You are getting Honeycrisp and Red Delicious apples from First Fruit. This is the last delivery. I know it feels late to still be getting fruit, but to tell you the truth, everything was right on time. I know you would have loved to get more peaches. Mother Nature did not provide that. So, apples it is this year! Eat the Red Delicious first. They are a softer apple and do not have as long of a storage life as your Honeycrisp apples. So eat up!

Kacey and the First Fruit family want to thank you for your support this year. It was a rough season due to the late spring freeze that wiped out most of the Western Slope fruit. They said their partnership with Monroe Organic Farms and their CSA members are a vital part of their fruit business. Thank you for purchasing a Fruit Share!

Winter Shares: Everything is going well and it feels like we are getting a lot of crops in for storage. I still have openings, so please let friends & co-workers know we have room for new members! Over the next four weeks, potatoes, carrots, beets, celery root & cabbage will be harvested. Dried beans, popcorn and leeks are the last to be brought in.

Fruit for Winter Shares: We are working with First Fruit to see if we can get those of you who ordered a Winter Share a big box of apples. Haven’t got all the details yet, but hope to have more info by next week. Keep your fingers crossed!

Survey: This is very important to us. I know filling out some details seem monotonous, but, it makes a difference knowing how many people are using what types of shares. We want to know how you feel about supporting a farm during the good times and the bad. As with this entire year, the summer season was an interesting one! Please return to your DC next week or fill it out and leave with them this week. Alternatively, you can email them to me. Your thoughts are important to us! Download the survey here – Monroe Survey 2020.

Garlic Party: Thank you everyone who showed up to help separate garlic for fall planting. We need 100 trays of garlic and 1/3rd was completed this past weekend. 20 of your fellow members were able to complete 27 of those trays on Saturday. Another 10 members showed up on Sunday and completed 8 more trays. It was so good to visit with all of you. Yes, Jacquie made an appearance!

Delilah: As you all probably know, Delilah Nadine, our granddaughter, was born the 16th of May, at home, with her parents, Kyle and Sam, in attendance😉 Sam did really well and had a great midwife (who happens to be a member of the farm) to help her along and instruct Kyle on how he could help. Precisely at 5:16am, a delightful little girl came into this world. She has blue eyes and light brown hair.

She is now 5 ½ months old and trying very hard to roll over and crawl. We have complete conversations with her babbling her answers and tells me all her parents secrets! Delilah is at the top of the charts for her growth and is very tall for her age. I wonder if she got that from Kyle?

Kyle juggled a lot this summer. A new baby, taking over more responsibilities of the farm, corona virus… Wow, he did remarkable well for all the pressure he has been under!

Reminder: Garlic Harvest Party This Weekend – Need Help!

NOTE: This blog is posted by a volunteer. No one from the farm checks or responds to messages here. You must contact the farm directly with any questions, comments, etc.

Come one, come all.  It’s time to separate garlic for planting!  We will begin at 8 and would prefer everyone to come at one time….even if you need to leave early.  But we need as many people as we can get.

So come at 10am if that is better for you and stay for a couple of hours.  Dress in layers and don’t forget your water.  It will be chilly in the morning and warm by 12.  You may also want a snack for the ride home.

Thank you all for your time!

PLEASE call or email the farm to tell them you are coming. Thank you for your help!!

Newsletter – September 29, 2020

NOTE: This blog is posted by a volunteer. No one from the farm checks or responds to messages here. You must contact the farm directly with any questions, comments, etc.

Dear Friends of the farm,

This is week 16 of an 18-week season: This week you could get potatoes, white onions, carrots, turnips with their tops, eggplant, either cheddar or purple cauliflower, red or green bell peppers, yellow bell peppers, poblano and anaheim peppers and red tomatoes. If all works out, you just may get corn too.

Separating Party on October 3 & 4th: Just a reminder that we are looking for help separating garlic to plant for next years harvest. We will do this at 8am both Saturday and Sunday, October 3rd & 4th and will work until 12pm. Bring gloves, water and layer your clothing. It will be cool in the morning and warm by 12. Please come at 8am, even if you can only stay for a couple of hours. We ask that everyone arrive at the same time so we only need to show you how we want the garlic separated once. Depending on how many people come on Saturday, we may finish early on Sunday. So please show up promptly at 8am.

RSVP would be appreciated by email or by phone. If we need to cancel for any reason at all, we have no way of knowing who is coming if you do not rsvp. We have three people coming Saturday and two on Sunday so far. We truly hope more than that show up! In the past, we have had as many as 50 in attendance! Come on everyone! This is really fun. There are many remarkably interesting people in our membership to get to know. It will amaze you how much we all think alike! Join us and enjoy being around people who care about food as much as you do!

Fall Harvesting: There is a slew of activity on the farm right now. Hard to believe after the craziness from the hectic harvesting the first week of September to save summer crops. Are you not happy that some incredibly involved members gave up their weekend to pick produce for the entire membership? Look how long most of these crops lasted!

Now all the crops we need for our Winter CSA need to be harvested, some need to be cured, and all have to be stored in strawbale buildings or dugouts (extremely large cellars). We have harvested our onions and some of the winter squash already. It will take the entire month of October (and sometimes part of November) to harvest everything that needs to be stored for the winter. Such as potatoes, carrots, turnips, beets, rutabaga, celery root, sweet potatoes and cabbage. Onions and cabbage will be stored in strawbale buildings. Believe it or not, but these buildings store produce cooler than their dugout counterpart for root crops. Strawbale buildings (depending on weather) usually have a temperature of 35 to 45 degrees where the dugout will store produce around 55 to 60 degrees.

Winter Share/DC’s: We still have openings for a Winter Share, but they are filling up fast! It appears we will need to break up our central Denver location into two. We will be going with 6th & Race as one location and 1st and Santa Fe as the second location. I have divided up the members based on the month of sign-up. Those who first signed up get first dibs at the 6th & Race location. The rest of you will go to the 1st and Santa Fe location. I will send new confirmation letters so you know where you are heading. From her on out, anyone new who chooses the Center Denver area will automatically go to 1st & Santa Fe.

It also appears that we will need a second location in South Boulder. I have an offer from a member and will be contacting all of you who have already signed up for the North Boulder location to see how many of you would be willing to drive south.

Newsletter – September 22, 2020

NOTE: This blog is posted by a volunteer. No one from the farm checks or responds to messages here. You must contact the farm directly with any questions, comments, etc.

Dear Friends of the Farm,

This is week 15 out of an 18-week season. You could get Yukon or red potatoes, red onions, kohlrabi, globe eggplant, Japanese eggplant, green or red bell peppers, yellow bell peppers, cucumber or summer squash, poblano, anaheim and jalapeno peppers and maybe a muskmelon or Greeley Wonder Melon.

Fruit: Fruit shares will receive Honey Crisp apples this week. It is one of the newer varieties everyone loves because of the crispness of the apple and its sweet taste.  Usually the more tart the apple the crispier it is and the sweeter the apple the softer it can be. These apples are long storing if kept (as usual) in a dark, cool place.

Garlic Separating Party: Okay everyone! It is that time of year where we need to separate garlic to plant for next summer. We would like to get as many people to the farm as possible Saturday and Sunday, October 3rd & 4th at 8 am. We will work four hours until 12pm both days. You are welcome to bring a lunch and eat before you head home. Jacquie would love to have a phone call or email notifying us you are coming in case of cancellation.

Lamb: We have fourteen lambs that will go into processing on February 9th that are still available for sale. All these lambs were born late in the spring. Let me know if you are in need lamb for your freezer. We sell halves for $225 and wholes for $450. You will pay for the processing when you pick up the cut, wrapped and frozen meat from Valley Packing.

Baba Ghanoush

2 sm to med sized globe eggplants

¾ to 1 tsp salt (important for the taste)

2 cloves of garlic, pressed or minced

¼ tsp ground cumin

2 tbsp lemon juice or more

1/8 tsp smoked paprika (optional)

Heaping ¼ cup tahini (I’m crazy about this stuff!)

2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley (optional)

⅓ cup Healthy Harvest olive oil, plus more for brushing the eggplant

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees with a rack in the upper third of the oven. Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Halve the eggplants lengthwise and brush the cut sides lightly with olive oil. Place them in the prepared pan with the halved sides down.

Roast the eggplant until the interior is very tender throughout and the skin is collapsing, about 35 to 40 minutes (this might take longer if you are using 1 large eggplant). Set the eggplant aside to cool for a few minutes. Flip the eggplants over and scoop out the flesh with a large spoon, leaving the skin behind.

Place a mesh strainer over a mixing bowl, then transfer the flesh to the strainer and discard the skins. Pick out any stray bits of eggplant skin and discard. You want to remove as much moisture from the eggplant here as possible, so let the eggplant rest for a few minutes. Shake and stir the eggplant to release even more moisture.

Discard all the eggplant drippings, drain and wipe out the bowl then dump the eggplant into the bowl. Add the garlic and lemon juice to the eggplant and stir vigorously with a fork (or food processor) until eggplant breaks down. Add the tahini to the bowl and stir until it is incorporated. While stirring, slowly drizzle in the olive oil. Continue stirring until the mixture is pale and creamy and use your fork to break up any particularly long strings of eggplant.

Add the remaining ingredients except parsley. Taste and adjust seasonings by adding more lemon juice and salt if needed. Top with parsley and serve. Can use as a spread for sandwiches or a dip for fresh veggies and bread. This is extremely good for you!