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!

Newsletter – September 15, 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 week you are getting red potatoes, white onions, red beets, both globe and Japanese eggplant, green or red bell peppers, yellow peppers, anahiem peppers, broccoli, kale and green tomatoes.

Please keep in mind that we are going to run out of different kinds of produce throughout the rest of the summer. And it may just occur during the week we tell you you are getting it. For instance, last week we ran out of celery and some single share members did not get it. We apologize for this in advance. But if we have to short members, it may be by distribution center or the smallest share. We picked everything the fields had to offer. Plants die or get a disease and Mother Nature ends up shorting us. We feel it is best to give out as much of it as we can and short shares if we must. I know this is disappointing if you are the one that is missing something you were really looking forward to getting.

Honey: Those of you who ordered honey monthly will be getting that this week.

Ordering extra Honey/Oil: Now is the time to reassess if you are going to need more honey or oil for the winter. We do not offer this during the winter months. So, you will need to order now what you think you may use over the next seven months. Send me an email so I have it in writing what you are needing. The last of the honey and oil will be delivered Oct. 6/7/8. Deadline for extra orders will be September 26th. No orders will be accepted after this date.

The Freeze: New record lows were set on September 8th & 9th. and yes, we did get a freeze here. Members were fantastic. Many of whom came out not only Saturday but Monday as well. 600 trays of produce were picked, collected, stacked, transported and stored in our coolers, strawbale building and dugout (large cellar). We successfully picked all the peppers, tomatoes, eggplant, celery, melons and cucumbers that were still available. Many of these plants were not producing very much to begin with and you will be getting the last of these tasty morsels over the next couple of weeks.

Winter Shares: We have not filled all our Winter Shares and are still taking orders. Extra forms are sitting at your DC.

Green Tomato Relish

6 green tomatoes, cut in half

1 XL red or green bell pepper, quartered

3 large onions, quartered

1 cup sugar

¼ tsp salt

½ cup vinegar

2 tsp celery seed

3 pint jars with lids

2 tsp mustard seed

1 X-large pot (can hold 3 pint jars)

In a food processor, grind the first three ingredients untill they are in pea sized pieces. May need to do in batches. Put in a cheesecloth and drain 30 min. to an hour. Mix all ingredients in a medium size pot and bring to a boil. Lower heat and cook five minutes. At the same time, fill an x-large pot half full of water and bring to a boil. Also fill a teapot and bring to a boil. Fill sterilized, hot jars with relish a quarter inch from top. Whip off rim & screw on sterilized lids. Place jars in pot of water. Jars need to be covered with at least one to two inches of water. Use from teapot if necessary. Cover pot and processes 30 minutes. Can store up to one year. Serve with saffron rice or any other spiced rice dish.

Jacquie, Jerry and Kyle

Newsletter – September 8, 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 Members of the farm,

This is week 13 of an 18-week season. You are getting potatoes, onions, cucumber, eggplant, celery, bell peppers, jalapeno peppers and tomatoes. Plus, some of you will receive broccoli too.

Fruit: Fruit shares will receive apples and pears from First Fruits.

Insane week: Boy, hard to believe we were breaking heat records this past weekend and Tuesday we see snow. This is one of the main reasons you are members of a CSA or Community Supported Ag business. We need your support now more than ever! You see, your emotional support through cards and letters means as much to us as your financial support. Your enthusiasm for the delicious produce you receive and your sympathies when things go wrong keep us motivated. It makes our day when we hear you just ate the best tomato/watermelon/potato/cucumber, etc. you have ever eaten. But to know you stand with us during weather challenges fills our hearts with gratitude. All we want to do is feed people good food. It tears us apart when things go wrong. Believe me when I say, we love what we do and do what we love!

Saturday/Monday: We had the most unexpected turnout of members on these workdays! Only about 10 to 15 people actually told us they were coming last weekend and yet over 20 to 30 people showed up Saturday and 35 to 40 people showed on Monday! These special people picked a ton of produce that was stored in coolers and our dugout for distribution over the next few weeks. All of us; our CSA members and farmers say, “Thank you!” What you did for everyone is deeply appreciated. We know your time is precious.

Winter Shares: If you have signed up in the spring for a Winter Share, please do not send in another copy. If we miss the fact that you already signed up and we billed you again, please let us know. We are trying to catch these things, but sometimes they slip past us.

Curry Eggplant

2 medium eggplant, cubed

3-4 cloves garlic, crushed and chopped

4 Tbsp butter

¼ tsp salt

1 lemon for juice 

Freshly ground black pepper

1-2 tsp sweet or hot curry powder

3-5 Tbsp water

Cut eggplant into ½” or 3/4” rounds discarding the bottom and top rounds. Now cut rounds into the same size cubes. Sprinkle with lemon juice, toss and set aside. In a large, non-stick pan melt butter and bring it to a sizzle on med-high. Add garlic and eggplant and stir immediately. Eggplant will absorb the butter. Shake and stir the eggplant for a minute or two. Now sprinkle with all your spices along with 1 Tbsp water; stir and cook 10 to 15 minutes depending on the size of your cubed eggplant….adding a Tbsp water every 2 minutes or so. Eggplant should start to brown. The trick is to brown the eggplant without turning into a soggy mess. Take a piece out every once in a while and taste for consistency and flavor. Correct seasoning as needed. Eggplant should be firm but not hard. Serve with saffron rice or any other spiced rice dish.

Jacquie, Jerry and Kyle

Need Harvest Help Tomorrow (Monday, Sept 7)

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.

Just a reminder from the Monroes that they still need help to harvest as much as possible before Tuesday’s storm. The final chance to help is tomorrow, Monday September 7th. Please arrive by 8am so that there is another large crew harvesting all together. A few reminders:

  • Wear a hat, gloves and an open long sleeved shirt over a t-top.
  • If you wear sunscreen or bug spray; you must put that on at home and wash your hands thoroughly before coming to the farm.  You cannot put it on here at the farm.
  • Water is a must, so bring a big water bottle.  The bathroom is up by the barn and a long way from where you will be working…so lighten up on the coffee!  LOL
  • If bringing children, bring things they can play with in the dirt.  Shovels, funnels, buckets, trucks etc.

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

Sunday Harvest Canceled – Monday Morning Still On

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.

The Monroes had a tremendous turnout this morning and want to thank all of you for your time.  They need to make a change for Sunday.  There are chores they need to do that we cannot be taken away from.  Please do not come tomorrow to harvest – we will not be available to direct you to fields.

If you can make arrangements to help on Monday, that would be wonderful.  Harvesting will start in the morning at 8am and Monroes would like everyone to come at that time so that there is another large crew harvesting all together.  Besides Sunday, the Monday afternoon time at 1pm has also been canceled.

Thank you very much,

The Monroes

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.

Save the Crops! Monroes Need Your 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!!!

We will be working all day Saturday and Monday picking everything we can before the big freeze on Tuesday.

Start times will be at 8am and again after lunch at 1pm for Saturday and Monday there will be just one shift starting at 8am. 

Please arrive at our start times.

Thank you ahead of time for your physical help during this extraordinary event that is about to unfold!

Wear hat, gloves and an open long sleeved shirt over a t-top.

If you wear sunscreen or bug spray; you must put that on at home and wash your hand thoroughly before coming to the farm.  You cannot put it on here at the farm.

Water is a must, so bring a big water bottle.  The bathroom is up by the barn and a long way from where you will be working…so lighten up on the coffee!  LOL

If bringing children, bring things they can play with in the dirt.  Shovels, funnels, buckets, trucks etc.

You will be hungry.  Bring food even if you do not stay to eat here.

PLEASE call or email the farm to tell them if you are coming and when.

Your Farm,

The Monroes

Newsletter – September 1, 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 week you are getting: Red potatoes, garlic, green cabbage, lemon, regular and pickling cucumbers, squash, globe and Japanese eggplant, purple, green and jalapeno peppers, corn, heirloom and regular tomatoes and you will also get one melon of either muskmelon, Greeley Wonder Melon or a honeydew.

My Apologies: On your statements in August, I was so proud of the fact that I figured out a way to add a text box to the form so I could give you a due date for your remaining summer produce fees, I didn’t pay attention to what I was writing! Unfortunately, as several members pointed out, I put the wrong month on the form. Your fees are due September 1st, not August 1st. Late fees will be assessed on Sept. 10th.

Animals: All animal fees are due in full by October 1st. Hogs will be the first thing to go to processing then lambs and then steers. We still have a few lambs available that will be processed in January or February. They were born very late and I believe we may have around 14 of them. We may also have a couple of hogs available. If we any extra hogs, those of you already on a Wait List will be called first. If you want a hog and you are not on the Wait List, get on that so if we still have available hogs, you will get a phone call.

Greeley Wonder Melon: Developed by James Max Clarke, 1890 in Greeley CO., by the accidental cross of 2 melons; (possibly Emerald Gem and Jenny Lind melons, there is no way to verify this). He called it the Greeley Wonder Melon. It is known for its large basketball size and sweet taste.

Gerald E. Monroe, Sr. tells how his father, Lester Monroe, living in on the North side of Greeley at the time, got the seed from a neighbor down the street and started growing it for his farm stand in the late 1920’s. It is said that farmers in Greeley, Colo. never purchased seed outside of the area in those days. Instead, seed was saved and either sold, exchanged or given to each other for next year’s planting.

Jerry Monroe, Jr, Gerald’s son, continued to propagate the seed through the 1980’s where the seed was thought to be “lost” due to a catastrophic hailstorm. The Monroe’s believed we were the last farmers to still have the seed for this extraordinary melon. However, Gerald E. Monroe, Sr. had given 100 seeds to Seed Savers, a new company saving old heirloom seed, in the 1980’s, as a way to make sure the seed was never lost. It was then completely forgotten about.

Kyle Monroe, Jerry’s son, found a bucket of seed in the back of an old barn in the late spring of 2017. Knowing this seed was his grandfathers from the mid 1980’s; he was curious as to whether or not it would germinate. Selecting the 10 fattest seeds, he placed them between wet paper towels & put them in a warm place. All ten sprouted. An additional experiment with potting soil was performed on ten more seeds & placed in the greenhouse for germination. All ten sprouted. That same year, Jerry found documents about the seeds given to Seed Savers and asked them if he could have them back to propagate. Very excited about the probability that the same family that had given them the seed, from the same farm, from Greeley CO…. needless to say they were happy to give the seed back to us. Kyle then germinated 1500 seeds and produced hundreds of pounds of seed he then shared with other farmers as well as Seed Savers and other seed banks.

Jacquie, Jerry and Kyle

Newsletter – August 24, 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 10 of an 18-week season. You will be getting onions, carrots, garlic, cucumbers, both Japanese and globe eggplant, tomatoes, bell peppers, hot peppers, sweet corn and orange honeydew. Full and Half Shares will get squash and no one will be getting potatoes this week.

Fruit: First Fruit is giving out peaches and Akane apples. First fruit is experiencing the same problem with fruit maturing three weeks early; just as the farm….see below.

This Growing Season: There is a saying among farmers that goes something like this: “It takes your whole life to learn how to grow crops because no two summers are the same. By the time you think you know what you are doing; it’s time to pass it on to the next generation.” Jerry and I have had 35 years to work the land and try to figure out how to grow crops. Between bugs, disease and weather…very few people have the patience to keep going under these distressing circumstances that keep popping up. The weather makes farming incredibly challenging. 2012 was the hottest year on record in Greeley with 85 days over 90 and 15 of those days were over 100. This year is shaping up to be very similar.

When we have consistent hot weather like this (we have had well over week of 100 degree temperatures); it is not only hard on the humans, it is hard on the plants. They experience a shock that is hard to recover from. Most living plants that bear fruit shove all their liquids into the fruit to protect the plant once temperatures get around 95 degrees. (This is why you see splits in tomatoes.) When the temperatures fall below that number, it will retrieve those fluids to support the plant. Other ways the plant protects itself is to stop producing fruit by dropping the blossoms before pollination.

We are experiencing this exact thing. Many plants including tomatoes are dropping their blooms and we do not see a surge of tomatoes coming out of the fields like we would normally this time of year.

Both a good and bad problem to have: It has been such a warm summer, everything started to produce three to four weeks early. Plantings of crops we should not see until next month started to produce two weeks ago. This leaves a gap at the end of the season that is not filled with a new planting. We did not plant one because we did not know this summer would be so hot and bring everything on three weeks early!

Winter Share: Download our Winter Storage Share form. Please fill it out if you find you would like to continue to get produce from November through February this winter. Keep in mind we only have one size share. If you are a Single Share holder find someone to split the share with. The Winter Share is based on a Half Share. Those of you who get a Full Share may want to order two and we will give you $150 discount. See the reverse side for more details. We are looking for a new location for the central Denver location that used to be at 12th & Josephine. Please consider being a DC. We only deliver every two weeks and without a new location everyone will have to pick a location with a farther drive. Call or email for details.

Jacquie, Jerry and Kyle