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
We are very excited for this new year and all the delicious food to come. Thank you for being a part of our farm and we look forward to being your farmers for the season. Each new year gets us excited. This year is no different. I believe it is finally getting warm. It’s been so darn rainy lately making our soils too soft to work with. Plantings have been delayed. But those crops planted are looking good. We just need nice warm days in between all the rain! We have a few things we want to communicate to you, so here we go.
Distribution: We have some sad news to convey. Valerie Wilson, our Longmont distributor for 15 years, fought a tough battle for three years with pancreatic cancer. She passed away on April 29th. We say goodbye to a dear, dear friend who loved the farm just about as much as we did. Katie Bond and Frank Quinlan will be your new Distributors and live in the same neighborhood.
We anticipate starting distribution the third week of June depending on the weather. You will hear directly from your DC approximately a week before we start. At that time, you will get their name, phone number, e-mail, physical address, distribution hours, day of week and any other information you need to know about picking up from their home. They will include information on what to do if you forget to pick up or you go out of town for vacation. Please remember these members volunteer their home and time to make this as convenient as possible for you. They will work with you if you have strange work hours or travel for work. But I ask that you please respect their hours. If you cannot arrive during normal distribution hours, please call to make arrangements. Do not just show up before or after hours and expect them to be happy about it!
Eggs: We have some extremely exciting news for you! We have been working with Croft Family Farms over the winter and they have agreed to supply our CSA with eggs. They do not have an endless supply, so we will limit the largest orders to one dozen a week. You are also welcome to get eggs every other week or even once a month. Cost is $7.00 each. Here is what you need to know about Croft Family Farm Eggs: The eggs are not certified organic, but the farm is. They raise their hens on certified organic pastures and supplement with soybean & corn free organic chicken mix. They will be distributed to your DC along with your produce so you will pick them up the same time. Place order with attached form. I will pre-bill you for the season based on your order. You will not be able to pay for this with a credit card… It will not be listed on our website. Please contact Jacquie by phone directly if you wish to add eggs to your summer share.
Fruit: I spoke to Ela Family Farms and First Fruit. Both are having a hard year. The freeze and snow we received last fall (Sept/Oct) took a toll on their trees and this is why: Normally it slowly gets cold and the trees harden off preparing for winter. We went from a 70 degree day to below freezing. Several stands of trees died completely. Then the Western Slope received a serious freeze just two weeks ago freezing buds and flowers off the trees. Ela tells me they will not have any fruit for CSA’s this year. First Fruit tells me it looks like they will have fruit, but most of it will come during peach season and into the fall with a few apples and pears. You will not get any cherries, apricots or plums. We will not be cancelling any of your fruit shares. At the end of the season, we will send Ela Family Farms a portion of your fees as a donation to keep the farm running for next season. First Fruit will get paid through the fruit they give us.
The Colorado fruit industry will be facing some lean years ahead as trees recuperate and new plantings take hold and grow into maturity for fruit production. Both orchards thank you for supporting them this year and during the lean years as they regroup for the future. (Don’t tell me there is no global warming/weather changes!)
Honey: Lazy Bee Ranch was gliding into the farm to check on the beehives; making sure they are healthy and have plenty of food. They tell me everything looks really good with some very healthy hives out here. Interesting stuff they were telling me. Did you know that there is a queen in every stack of beehives? Of course we all know that bees talk to each other through the vibrations of their wings. But the queens will actually scream at each other if they get too close. It’s their way of saying, “Hey, this is my hive … buzz off!”
Olive Oil: There are no changes for this year in the olive oil. It looks like we will have a normal supply.
Asparagus: Asparagus is on! We will be picking this patch over the next five weeks or so. I will get everyone out here (schedule dependent on your end), but flexibility is a must! Please return my phone calls, that way I can call others to come pick if you cannot make it! I will not be sending email notifications. There is still room for you to get on the Wait List; if you haven’t already! There is no cost to you other than your time. Being on time is a must. If you are going to be late for any reason, we are asking you not to come at all. Please contact Jacquie by phone directly if you wish to be added to the list for picking.
Beef: We have sold 14 out of 20 steers. We buy one-year old calves that have been weaned from their mothers on pastured land from an eastern plains’ rancher. We expect these animals to be ready for processing by December. They will be raised on pasture and finished with a grain mixture. Please contact the farm if you would like an e-mail with the sign-up form or you can go online and order one there.
Pork: We picked up 55 piglets from a farmer in Eastern Kansas. Currently, all hogs have been sold. If some survive, we will have three or more hogs to sell this fall. If you are interested, get on the Wait List and we will call you (in the fall) if it looks like we have an extra hog available.
Lamb: We have sold 30 out of (we think) 43 lambs, but Jerry is still not exactly sure how many we have because they will not stand still long enough to be counted! Please let me know if you are interested in a lamb because we have several still available.
Newsletter/Blog: In order for you to access the Newsletter, (and get notifications of postings) you have to sign up for the Blog. This will not only give you access to our newsletters, but more importantly, if there is a sudden change with the farm, we post here first (and eventually to Facebook). Please keep in mind that members run these social outlets for me. It is not a perfect system and things sometime slips through our fingers! You will always have the option to pick up a hard copy of the newsletter at your DC. But if there are sudden changes, we will post to the blog first. If you are not getting notifications from our blog, then you did not sign up. You can sign yourself up by going to monroeorganicfarms.wordpress.com.
Broken Ankle: Just an update on Jacquie and her progress. I had a severe shattering of my left ankle (April 2nd) leaving me on my back with the ankle up in the air for three months. I did not take my first step without a walker until mid-September. I am doing pretty well but I’m still on the road to recovery. I cannot jog or run yet. I am very excited about seeing you all again during u-pick hours at the farm.
Office: Office hours will be 8 am to 4 pm Monday through Friday before the season begins and then 8 am to 5 pm June through October. Please Remember: If you need to make any changes to your share, you must notify us no later than two days in advance of your distribution day. Phone calls are easier for me to handle during the busy summer months than email. Alaina is pregnant and I may be gone for a couple of months in June/July/Aug. In that case, Sam and our intern, Marta, will be in the office taking care of things.
Conclusion: May is a huge month for planting. Kyle, Jerry, the interns, Marta and Dylan and The Crew have been and will be planting non-stop through the month of May and June. Kyle tells me that he planted broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, green beans, sweet corn and popcorn this week. Last week they planted tomatoes, red and yellow watermelon, muskmelon, summer squash, cucumbers and lettuce. Next week sweet and hot peppers, honeydew, eggplant and more tomatoes will be planted. Looks like spring is here and summer is on the way!
It’s a very busy time of year and this kind of work will continue not stop until the first week of August. Crops such as beans, corn, squash and cucumbers have to be repeatedly planted in order to get them throughout the summer. If our schedule gets interrupted for any reason, we will miss a week (or several) of that particular crop. It’s sad, but it happens; and usually it’s Mother Nature who you can be blame for this!!
Thank you and have a healthy May!
Jacquie, Jerry, Kyle and Sam