Newsletter – August 24, 2015

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Dear Friends,

This week you are getting red potatoes, garlic, white onions, purple carrots, cabbage, squash, Nubia eggplant, cucumber, green pepper, purple bell peppers, green beans, red tomatoes and possibly some assorted heirloom tomatoes (yellow, Cherokee Purple, Tie-Dye, or Black Velvet), orange honeydew, muskmelon and Crimson Sweet watermelon. Nubia is a beautiful white eggplant with flecks of magenta throughout the fruit. Use this as you would any other eggplant. The purple, tie-dye and black tomatoes will have some green in them. They are ready to eat right now, but will continue to turn if you let them. (They will also get very soft!)

Honey is coming for the Monthly and Bi-monthly customers. One time delivery will be in September due to the cold and rainy May. The bees are behind in making their favorite meal! We will deliver on September 14th.

Festival: Please continue to RSVP to Peg Lehr about volunteering or attending the festival. Her contact info is wrdwrrior@comcast.net or 303-320-5706. The festival is September 20th from 11 to 4. She will need to know the number of adults, kids and guests and if anyone is a vegetarian and will want a Boca burger. (Guests will be charged $10 per person, three and under are free!)

2015 Fees: All fees are due in full by September 1st for your vegetable, fruit and honey shares. We have always tried to make this CSA as easy as possible to pay for. We do not ask for 100% of your fees up front, which is how most CSA’s work across the US. We have divided your fees into three installments between the membership fee due early in the spring and your produce fees due on July 15th and September 1st. If you cannot pay your fees in full at this time, please call me and let me know. We plan on discontinuing delivering shares for those customers who have not paid in full starting the week of September 7th.

Winter Share: You will find a link to a downloadable sign-up form for the winter share, beef, pork & lamb at the bottom of the newsletter. Deadline to return this form (done via snail mail!) is September 30th. The Winter Share will begin the first Wednesday in November (4th) and will continue every-other-week until February 24th. We skip the December 30th delivery and give you two bags on the 16th. This way, if you are hosting Christmas, you will have plenty for the party!

Jacquie’s Soapbox: Here is an issue that I think gets to everyone at one time or another: Being on time. I don’t think anyone really thinks about this unless you run a business and have to wait on people when they make an appointment with you. Or if you have a dinner party and you are waiting to serve a delicious dinner and it will be spoiled if a couple of guests do not arrive soon. I understand with all the construction happening that it is really hard to know how long it may take to get somewhere. But listen folks: All of you are big on computers and your I-phones. Members are constantly asking me to arrive in the 21st century and do everything on line. And yet, I wait. Are you telling me you cannot do a little research and find out if there is traffic congestion or construction zones before you decide to leave? This is not only an inconvenience for me but for everyone else that is waiting to do their u-pick veggies too. My day does not end when everyone goes home. I have to go with Jerry to determine what will be picked for distribution, make a list, decide how much we can give based on the production in the field and calculate how much is needed and make a picking outline for our crew. I also recount each pouch from Saturday farmers market and make change for the next weekend. Once the Sunday markets are over and people have returned, I count those pouches too. Please keep this in mind the next time you come to visit. It is always preferable to be early than to be late!

Thank you for hearing me out!
Jacquie, Jerry and Kyle

Winter Storage Share Form 2015

Newsletter – August 17, 2015

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Dear Members,

We are half way through our summer. It’s hard to believe, but it is true! Spring was difficult, but it appears the crops are really starting to come on. New this week you are getting Japanese eggplant, green bell peppers, jalapeno peppers, red watermelon and hopefully everyone will get orange honeydew. You will also get Yukon Gold potatoes, garlic, yellow onions, beets, squash, cucumbers, eggplant, tomatoes and muskmelon. Please remember to scrub the rinds of the melons before you cut into them!

Reminders: Two things; it is very important to return your bags to your distributor. They are keeping track and they soon will be getting after you if you have been forgetful more than once! Second. Please remember that I am busy either working outdoors in the field or barn and delivering produce or attending farmers markets. I am not home much and do not check email. If you send me an email, the likelihood of a prompt return email is very unlikely and may not be answered until October or November! If it is important, the best way to get ahold of me is by phone.

A Day in the Life of Jacquie: I have gotten a lot of good responses from members about the Day in the Life of Jerry and was asked to do the same for myself. So here it goes!

My week starts on Sunday with either attending a farmers market or spending the morning with Jerry. We will head out to view the different veggie fields to see what is ready to pick and how much we think we can give members that week. I make a spreadsheet to figure out how much is needed for each size share and a grand total needed to be picked. Then I make a picking outline for our crew. We pick on Mon. for Tuesday distribution, Tue. for Wednesday distribution and Wed. for Thursday distribution. After members of the family come back from market (or I do), I recount & verify the cash from all the pouches from each market (Sat & Sun). If I don’t go to market and if I’m lucky enough that Jerry does not need me to help with a special project, (pick up & stack bales of hay, pick veggies or weed), I can sometimes start the newsletter or this becomes our u-pick day for members. On Monday morning I make the deposit and write the newsletter based on information extracted from Sunday rounds. Then, of course, I am going into town to the bank, the post office and any other errands needed for us personally or for the farm. (There is always something for the farm!)

Tue, Wed and Thr are basically the same. I start the morning writing a letter to each of your distributors. It will include info such as how many shares they are getting in each size, if we are adding a new customer or a donated share, how much of everything extra (not in bags) that is to be given out, and whether or not there is fruit or honey and cookbooks, how much of that is being given out and sometimes to whom. I print the newsletter and make sure each Distribution Center has the right amount. Once that is completed, I go out to the barn and help finish bagging up produce and loading trucks. Jerry and I split the route and head off in two directions returning home somewhere between 2:30 and 4:30 in the afternoon. I walk right into the office and check messages to see if a distributor has called with questions or concerns and return any important messages right away. It’s about this time I start to think about dinner and get the meat out or go out and get veggies for a stir-fry. (I make those a lot!) Wed. night I do distribution at the farm for those members who live close to me. While I wait, I work in my yard and flower beds. It is relaxing and an enjoyable way for me to experience the beauty that Mother Nature provides.

Friday is my “day off”. I clean my house, wash clothes, pay bills and (of course) run errands again. Anything I didn’t get done earlier in the week gets done on Friday. Many late Fri. afternoons you can find me out at the barn helping to load trucks for farmers markets. Sat. is an early day with a 4:30 am start and a long (one hour) drive to Boulder Market. I head home around 3:30 and now it takes an extra 15 to 20 min to get home. Once there we unload everything, sort it and reload a truck for Sunday market. Everything unsuitable for human consumption is taken out to the animals and they get a nice treat. They seem to know the program and are usually keeping an eye out for us.

Then there are those special days such as the 15th and the last day of the month that people call pay-days. I have a spreadsheet to help me determine everyone’s wages; check stubs are printed, checks are written and handed out.

Other than that, I don’t do much. My relaxation time is a good half hour or so reading in the tub at night!

Quote of the Week: Roses are red, the mud is brown. The farm is better than a night on the town! – Unknown

Vegetable Wash: Here is a handy vegetable wash you can easily make at home!

Juice from 1 whole lemon
1 spray bottle
2 tbsp vinegar
1 scrub brush
1 cup water
Mix and go at it!!!

Have a wonderful week! (It’s supposed to cool down a bit.)

Jacquie, Jerry and Kyle

Newsletter – August 10, 2015

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Dear Friends of the Farm,

New crops this week are a bi-color potato called Mardi Gras, tomatoes, Japanese eggplant, purple peppers and yellow watermelon or muskmelon. This is the early planting of tomatoes (before the rain) and there are not very many rows in production (3). We had just started to plant when the storms started to hit and we got them covered with row cover. It is not the peak of the season yet. Most of the field tomatoes were planted after the rain, so we expect most of the tomatoes to come on later in the month or beginning of next month. As I’m sure most of you know tomatoes do not like to be cold. Store them on the counter (out of the sun) until ready to use.

Mardi Gras is a beautiful potato that is marbled purple and yellow. It has some of the benefits of a purple potato with the taste close of a Yukon Gold. I like to roast these babies on the grill because they tend to keep their color better.
I know you get tired of hearing this, but I don’t know how else to say it!! Because of the wet May, the eggplant plants are having a hard time producing. If we cannot get everyone one Japanese eggplant, you will get a black one. Eggplant are hard to store. They do not like to be too cold or too warm. I usually store my eggplant on the counter and try to use it in a stir-fry as soon as possible. The older it gets, the more bitter it becomes. You do not need to salt and sweat this (to remove bitterness) because it is so fresh, (unless you are trying to get out excess liquid for a specific reason). For long term storage, wrap the eggplant in plastic wrap and place in your crisper drawer on warmest setting.

The purple peppers are just starting to mature. We hope everyone will get one, but you may not. We will know more once we get out there picking!

Last week you got a yellow watermelon called Yellow Doll. It is a refrigerator melon which means it remains small and is the first to maturity. It was planted during the rain and the plants are stunted and only a few melons have grown to maturity. This week you will get a yellow watermelon or muskmelon. There isn’t enough of both to give everyone one of each. Muskmelon is in the cantaloupe family but has a stronger taste and is sweeter.

This week you are also getting red onions, carrots, possibly a few turnips, squash, a cucumber and green beans.

Fruit: Members will be getting plums and a few more peaches!

Festival: We are looking forward to our gathering on September 20th for a beautiful day of fun on the farm! Hours will be 11am to 4pm. We need to know who will be attending this event so that we know how much inventory we need to purchase. You must RSVP to this event! Please do so no later than Sept 12th. Contact Peg Lehr at wrdwrrior@comcast.net or by phone at 303-320-5706. We will need to know if you are vegetarian and how many people are in your family; adults/kids. We do not encourage people from outside the membership to join us for the festival. This is our Thank You to you for being members. If you do bring guests, it will be $10 a person, adult and children alike. We will also need to know how many adults/kids and whether or not they are vegetarian. A return reply will not be given to your RSVP.

Activities: There will be a pot-luck style lunch. We will provide utensils, drinks, hot dogs and hamburgers, plus all the extras that go with them. We will need you to bring a side dish or dessert. Please double the amount you would normally feed your family.

There will be a few carnival style booths for children and for the adults that still are children deep inside!
There will be a Canning Booth to help you with your canning questions. We will also hold a jam/jelly contest and a pickle contest. Please bring down your best jar and let us see how it stands up to our judges’ views! There will be a small prize for the winners!
If you are interested in a hat or cookbook they will be available to purchase at the Festival.
We will have our annual Stick Horse Race for all horse lovers. We encourage you to make your horse and enter your steed into the race. Prizes will be awarded for best dressed horse and the winners of the races. We will start out with a parade and then the races begin!
A Self-Tour of the farm will be available. Loaded with a map and directions, you can explore the buildings on the farm; see animals and the farmland itself.
If you are interested in picking a few crops, we normally have a list of U-pick crops for canning and freezing at the Check–In station. You will need a decent pair of shoes for picking crops (flip flops are not recommended)!

Volunteers for festival: I know several of you could not make it to the farm this spring and are anxiously waiting for a time in which you can volunteer on the farm. Now is your chance! The Festival will need several people to help keep it running smoothly! Please contact Peg Lehr about volunteering! wrdwrrior@comcast.net or 303-320-5706.

Here is a list of all the jobs that need volunteers:
Set Up and Produce Choppers: as many as we can get & we start at 9am sharp!
Check-In Station: two people every hour – 11 to 3
“Master” Grillers: two people every shift – 10:30 to 12; 12 to 1:30 and 1:30 to 3
Clear Food Table and Man Drink Station: 2 people every hour 11 to 3
Empty Trash Cans/Restock Bathrooms: 1 person every hour 11 to 4
Canning “Experts”: 1 person every hour 11 to 3
Cookbook/Hat Booth: 1 person every hour 11 to 3
Tear Down & Clean Up: Everyone who is still around at the end of the day can help us with this chore! As Grandmother Edith would say, “Many hands make light work.” This takes no more than an hour to complete. Last year because we had so many helping hands, this work was completed in 45 min!

Thanks for letting us be your farmers this summer! Jacquie, Jerry and Kyle

Rosy Home-Style Fries
4 to 5 med potatoes, cubed and boiled until tender
2 med beets, cooked and cubed
1 Tbsp oil
1 med onion, finely chopped
1 large pepper, chopped
(optional)
½ cup fresh chopped parsley or 2 to 3 Tbsp dried
¼ tsp salt
1/8 tsp black pepper

Saute’ onions 5 min. Add potatoes and beets, saute’ 10 minutes or until potatoes start to brown. Toss in everything else and cook 1 to 2 minutes more. Serve warm.

Helpful Hint: This recipe works best if the beets and potatoes are cooked ahead of time and cooled completely!

Check out Jacquie’s Summer Pasta on page 71 in the cookbook for another great recipe for squash. I like this cold the next day for lunch after I have had it
 warm for dinner the night before!

Newsletter – August 3, 2015

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Dear Members,

New this week are globe eggplant and green basil. You are getting an assortment of potatoes. This can include red, yellow or purple. You are also getting white onions, carrots, cucumber, garlic and green beans. Squash can include a yellow round or a green zucchini, yellow straight-neck, a striped green squash called safari, a striped yellow squash called Sunbeam and a two-toned yellow/light green squash called Zephyr. Last week you got cinnamon basil (sorry, Jerry didn’t tell me).

Tips: It is starting to get hot! It’s tough on the humans, but wonderful for the slow growing crops due to the cool spring and summer. This means that your bags will have wilted produce. You may need to give your produce a cold water bath. Because the produce is so fresh, it will hydrate within a few hours to overnight. Don’t forget! Do not throw dirt down your sink; it will clog up your pipes. I wash my produce into a large metal bowl and discard the water outside!

Carrots should be washed, dried and stored in a plastic bag. It is best not to wash your beans, squash and potatoes until you are ready to use them or they will rot immediately! Store the potatoes in a paper bag or a cardboard box. They need air because they generate their own heat. I just throw my squash, onions and cucumbers into my crisper drawer. Beans I place in a cloth bag and also place in the crisper drawer.

Potatoes: I love, love, love to grill these babies! I simply cut them to bite size, sprinkle with salt and pepper, (add butter if you love it) and double wrap in foil and place on grill. My family will scarf down my garlic cheese potatoes. I boil 6 to 8 potatoes with garlic (1 clove per potato) with half an onion (preferably white) with salt and pepper. Drain and mash, shred cheddar cheese (around one cup) and stir in just enough to mix, stopping before cheese starts to melt. Serve while hot!

Squash: Here is one of my all-time favorite recipes and it is a great way to use up my squash. The recipe comes from Sunset Magazine Mexican Cookbook (1990).

Burritos de Verduras

2 tbls Oil 4 medium squash, diced
2 lg carrots, thinly sliced 1 cup corn kernels
1 lg onion, chopped 1 bell pepper, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced 1 lg can kidney beans or black beans, drained
2 ½ tsp chili powder 12 flour tortillas
¾ tsp ground cumin & dry oregano
Heat oil in frying pan over med heat, add the first 5 ingredients and cook until onion is soft. Then add the next four ingredients and cook until squash is tender. Heat tortillas in foil for 15 minutes in a 350 degree oven. Spoon filing into tortillas, wrap ends of tortilla over filling and fold sides over ends. Place fold side down. Add garnishes as desired: sour cream, guacamole, lettuce, cheese, tomato and cilantro.

Enjoy your summer produce! Jacquie, Jerry and Kyle

Newsletter – July 27, 2015

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Dear Farm Friends,

Ooooo! This week you are getting something very special! Jerry has tried two new purple potatoes. One has dark purple skins and yellow flesh and the other is dark purple skins with purple flesh. You may get one or the other this week. We are just about out of Walla Walla yellow onions, so this week you may get our regular yellow onions instead. Also new this week is basil, green beans and radicchio. Radicchio is a bitter green and it normally comes in a head. You will be getting this, but it did not form a head. The May rains did something to these plants and they are already bursting into flower! You are also getting garlic, carrots, Chioggia (Italian) beets, fennel, squash and a cucumber.

Fruit: Good news! You are getting a 20lb box of peaches this week! Yay!!

Harvest Festival: Just a reminder that the Harvest Festival will be the third Sunday of September, (the 20th). This is our way of thanking our Members for supporting us from season to season. There will be a potluck with us providing the hamburgers and hot dogs and you providing the sides and desserts. There are normally u-pick opportunities, especially tomatoes and chilies. You can explore our buildings and farm with a self-guided tour. It wouldn’t be a festival without hayrides to the pumpkin patch, now would it?! This is an excellent time to visit your farm, chat with Jerry, Kyle & me and get to know other members. Anyone play an instrument or sing and wants to share that with us? We encourage even children to share their talents! I think everyone would love to see what you are learning! Mark you calendars now, so you do not plan anything else on top of this festive day!

Day in the Life of Jerry: I did this a few years ago and it was so popular that it has been requested to be written again! Jerry starts his day (every day) around 5am. He runs around the farm checking the water he set the night before and changing it to new areas. He checks on the animals to see if they are healthy and happy, and have water and alfalfa. ‘The Crew’ starts at 7am. He gives out assignments such as the harvesting or planting of crops, cultivation of crops by machine or hoeing of crops by hand. On Mondays, Jerry himself has to plant the next succession of crops such as beans, corn, squash, cucumbers, etc. This will normally take all day and if there is a lot to be planted, he usually has to take part of Sunday to do this as well.

Tue, Wed and Thr is Distribution. All the crops are in cold storage until that morning (being picked the day before). The working members arrive at 6:15 and are ready to start their day by 7. First thing is to get everything out and lined up to be bagged for non-working members and loaded into trucks. This will take anywhere from two to three hours. Then working members are off doing farm chores. Jerry and I start the route to deliver produce.

On Tue. I drive to Yale & Broadway, Arapahoe and Broadway, Highlands Ranch and Aurora. Jerry drives to Golden, Lakewood and Wheat Ridge. When he gets home, it’s off to see what is happening on the farm and to continue doing anything he didn’t finish on Monday. On Wed. I drive to Forest & 23rd, Colo. Blvd & Colfax, Leetsdale & Holly, 1st & Logan and 6th & Downing, plus a couple of restaurants. Jerry stays home. He works on special projects such as plowing, disking, land planing, making beds for a new planting, he will fertilize with fish emulsion, use insecticidal soaps if necessary, grade roads and repair machinery. Wed. is also the day to take machinery to the mechanic if necessary. If the alfalfa is ready to harvest, he will make that phone call to a local farmer to come out and start the harvesting process. He will cut, windrow and bale the hay, and Jerry and I remove it from the field and stack it (usually done on a Sunday).

On Thr, I drive to 470 & Parker Road, 470 & Quebec, Littleton and I-70 & Youngfield/Simms. Jerry drives to Broomfield, Louisville, South Boulder, 5th & University, 10th & Delwood, a couple of restaurants and Longmont before coming home and continuing with farm chores. On Tue. & Thr. afternoon, he checks on the guys to see how their day went and if everything got done. He changes the water and checks his fields. He is always looking to see if there is an insect infestation, weed infestation, water needs, and crop maturity.

Fri. is a busy day of harvesting, washing, sorting, bunching, bagging and weighing of produce that is going to farmers markets. We have to pick fields more than once a week or your produce would be overgrown, tough and mealy. We use the crops that go to farmers markets as your insurance policy. Very seldom have our CSA customers really felt the impact of a truly bad year. We take the produce away from the markets and give it to the CSA! It has worked beautifully for several years now. There have been shortages, but not like it would have been if we didn’t grow for and attend farmers markets!

Sat. is the big farmer’s market day. We all go different directions and run a market. When we get home from market, every truck is unloaded and the produce that is returned is sorted and repacked and sent to two farmers markets on Sun. Food is donated both on Sat. and Sun. and anything not edible is fed to the animals (veggies to animals is like us eating candy!) (We think this is why our animals taste so good, because they get their daily dose of veggies too!)

Sun. is our day off….except we never seem to get the day off! This is the day we run things to the mechanic, do paperwork and do any unfinished fieldwork like planting and irrigating. It is also the one day Jerry and I get to explore the farm together and see if there is anything new we can give the members. We spend a couple of hours walking fields and checking out plants. I can’t tell you how many times Jerry has taken me for the whole day to weed, pick or plant because no one else is around that day. And if we are lucky…very lucky, we get a two hour nap!

Every evening (about 6:30pm) Jerry ends the day by changing water and checking the animals. We have 200 acres of irrigated crops. About 70 acres are in vegetables and the rest is in pastures and alfalfa for animals. It is extremely important to rotate your crops on an organic farm. Every plant takes something from the soil. We have a four or five year crop rotation in our vegetable fields. Then we take out alfalfa and plant vegetables in its place. Because alfalfa is ‘mowed down’ three times a summer, there are very few weeds! (Plus alfalfa is a nitrogen fixing plant and the ground is perfect for vegetables!!) Old vegetable fields will either go into pasture or alfalfa; the three always being rotated every four or five years. So I can honestly say that no one vegetable has been grown in one place more than once every 12 years!

Quote of the day: Most people have a clock that tells them what time to quit.
But most farmers have a little voice that tells them not to! -Unknown

See you next week with more goodies! Jacquie, Jerry and Kyle

Newsletter – July 20, 2015

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Dear Friends of the Farm,

This week you are getting New Red potatoes, red onions, garlic, green kohlrabi, beets, carrots, squash, rainbow chard and maybe a cucumber. We have hit that lull in the crops where you are pretty much going to see the same thing for a while. I hope every now and again something new will come along and make the share look a little more exciting!

We are starting the pickle wait list. Even though both the slicing cucumber and the pickling cucumber plants survived the rainy month of May, they have been very stressed out. The plants are stunted and at this time are not producing very many cucumbers. We will be giving them out in distribution so that you have some cucumbers to eat (I prefer pickling cucumbers over slicing anyway!). And just as soon as we have an abundance, we will start calling people from the wait list. Please call me to be placed on the wait list. I will need your name, phone number and whether you will want a full bushel or a half bushel of pickles. Do not leave your information in the blog comments – I will not receive it. Calling me is the only way to be put on the wait list.

Fruit: This week you are getting apricots again. I found that they get sweeter with time! I set out half the bag in a bowl on the counter and they were great in about three days. Peaches will be in soon, so you can probably expect them next. I expect you should get somewhere between 60 to 80 pounds of fruit this summer. And if I have anything to do with it (which I do!) you will get all 90 pounds by the end of the season! Ranch Durazno has been wonderful in helping me find fruit. He knows most of the growers over there and is talking to all of them. But like so many fruit growers, they have already committed their crop to a purchaser. That does not mean we can’t find apples and pears. It just is a bit challenging at the moment!

Several of you have sent checks in support of First Fruit Organic Farm and I want to say thank you. We even got a check from a member who doesn’t even get a Fruit Share! The note simply said, “Please pass along to First Fruit. I want to support any organic farm that has worked so hard to give out such lovely produce.” If anyone else would like to make a donation, I will accept your checks and send them to First Fruit on the 15th of August. Please make them out to First Fruit. Thank you again, you do not know what this means to me!

Honey: Those of you who get monthly deliveries of honey will be getting that this week. I was informed by Clark that the bees were affected too by the constant rain. They are making honey like mad but they, like so many other things, are delayed. For those of you who are getting a one time delivery of honey, you will not be getting that in August, but in September instead. There is nothing we can do, but wait for the bees to do their thing!

This is going to be one of those trying years. It is the reality of farming and what I am trying to teach you about food production. It isn’t easy, but we love what we do! Feeding people is our passion!! We wouldn’t want to live or work any other way!

Jacquie, Jerry and Kyle

Newsletter – July 13, 2015

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Hi Everyone!

This week you are getting New Red potatoes, Sweet Spanish White onions, garlic, purple kohlrabi, radishes, carrots and squash.  The Half and Full Shares will be getting the remaining fennel from last week and everyone will get one of three types of lettuce again.

I was recently asked if there is a special way to store the beautiful onions and fresh garlic.  I do not do anything special.  I put the onions (unwashed, but trimmed) in my crisper drawer and leave the garlic on the counter!

Kohlrabi is in the cabbage family.  It can be eaten shredded in coleslaw or salads, it is excellent in stir-fries as a replacement for watercress and it is wonderful simply sautéed in butter or coconut oil.

CSA Memberships & Fruit Share:  The concept behind CSA is to support your farmers in the good years and bad.  It is always a possibility every season that we cannot fulfill your CSA shares with the amount of produce we normally give out.  The fruit is no different.  You need to be prepared that this can happen.  I am looking at options that work with Members as well as First Fruit.  After much discussion at the dinner table, it has been decided refund checks are not an option and neither is going out of state for fruit.  Distribution Centers will be surveying you about the possible options you do have pertaining to your Fruit Share.  We will continue to discuss the results and make a decision on how we plan on handling this very unfortunate situation.  We should feel fortunate.  Because I didn’t hesitate and started looking for other resources immediately, we are getting fruit for our shareholders.  There are other CSA’s that are not getting any fruit at all!

Internet Enthusiasts:  We need some help from those of you who love to explore the internet and love those sites that review and rate everything.  We need to get our name out there!  Could you please make a listing for Monroe Organic Farms?  I just recently talked to a new member and she said she found out about us from one of these sites.  Here is an example of sites she said she looked us up on:  harvest.org, denver.cbslocal.com, coloradocsa.info and yelp.  If you can think of anything else….then please put something out there!  If you love doing these kind of things, please check out if anything has been set up for us and post a comment.  It would really be a huge help to us!!  (I didn’t know anything like this existed, but as you know, I am such a huge fan of the computer!)

80th Anniversary Celebration:  Next summer will be a very exciting year for us!  Monroe Organic Farms will be 80 years old.  As many of you know, farmers try to be ‘jacks of all trades’.  But this is too important for us alone to work on and we are asking for your guidance.  Would you please help us by joining a committee to work on our 80th celebration?

I’m sure there are several of you who know how to “work” the media.  How do we get our name out there?  How do we let the world know how old we are?  What do we want people to know, what do we want it to look like, where do we put this information.

I really want the Fall Festival for the members to be the pinnacle of all this.  What do we want to change with the festival?  Do we want to do something in the spring too?  How do we make it more fun for everyone?

We need to meet this winter and discuss different scenarios.  One idea I had was to paint face ‘cut out’ boards.  It would be nice if someone could host and we could all meet once in Denver, Boulder and at the farm.  I’m sure we will have to meet more than just one time!  Who has some ideas and who wants to help out with this monumental occasion!  Please contact me by email and I’ll get you on a contact list!

Your Bags:  The farm and DC’s need a little help here.  We need the bags sorted by color and size.  If you could please remove everything from your bag and shake out any crop residues, that would be great!  Please keep the small bean/pea bags separate from the large bags.

Jacquie’s Soapbox:  Okay, this is where I start in on a subject that is really bothering me, so this is a good time to drift away from the newsletter if you don’t want to hear me go on and on!

Front lawns.  What good are they?  When was the last time you sat down on or used your front lawn?  Did you go out and play catch with your kids this last week?  Did you go out there and do some yoga/stretching or calisthenics?  Did you have a bar-b-que with your neighbors?  I bet the last time you used your front lawn was to mow it.

Why do we allow HOA’s to require front lawns?  Why as citizens or legislators can we not stand up and voice our objections and stop this nonsense?  Front lawns are absolutely absurd here in the arid high plains desert, but we love them.  They should be ripped out and xeriscaped or planted in a garden.  (I grow a pasture grass that needs little water and basically no mowing!)  If you are going to water something, why waste it on grass.  Make it something you can eat or in perennial flowers.  Someday we will look back on front lawns like we now look back at littering and smoking in public areas.  Keep this in mind, one square foot of Kentucky Bluegrass (which most lawns are made of) requires 55 gallons of water each year to survive.  (Oh! FYI:  If every person in a four person household did not flush the toilet one time during each day, they would save 1100 gallons of water a year.  Remember Meet the Fockers?  “If it’s brown, flush it down.  If it’s yellow, let it mellow!”)

Water is like gold west of the Rockies because of all the water shortages in so many places.  Though it may not seem like it right now, we too were crying for water not too long ago.  Remember 2012?  Our annual rainfall is 14 inches a year (including snow).  We are considered a high plains desert for a reason!  Cities right now, are buying up water as fast as they can.  And guess where that is coming from?  Farmers.  We have something extremely valuable and the cities want it.  They are willing to pay a very pretty price for it.  But we need to rethink our needs.  Do we want lawns or food?  What will happen when we dry up all these farms?  What will they look like?  Do you realize 72% of our produce is already imported from other countries?

I don’t blame the farmers for selling.  They are aging and we have not made farming as profitable for them as other businesses.  When they retire, there is no one that is young and willing to work the extremely hard, long hours to take over the farm.  They sell off their water so they can retire.  It is not an easy choice, but it is hard to say no when there isn’t anyone interested in taking over the family farm.  Even Kyle struggles with the decision sometimes!   I ask you this one thing – what is important to you?

Thanks for listening and I hope you have a healthy and happy week!

Jacquie, Jerry and Kyle

UPDATE ON FRUIT SHARES JULY 15: Jacquie does not yet have details, but she will share with members as soon as she does. She does expect fruit shares to receive peaches and plums, though there is not yet a source for apples or pears. She is still trying!