Newsletter – June 18, 2018

Dear Farm Friends,

Our first week was as exciting as ever, but this week is even better! We are so happy to be giving you red onions, garlic, carrots, kohlrabi, squash, (may now include Q-ball which is a round zucchini) broccoli, garlic scapes and red butterhead lettuce. The scapes are the tops of the garlic. This has become the new favorite of our members! It is extremely versatile. It can be grilled and eaten as a vegetable, minced and added to salads & eggs (like green onion) and it’s wonderful chopped up for stir-fries. One member told me the best pesto she ever had was prepared with garlic scapes. Another told me she made green garlic hummus made with scapes. Don’t be afraid to experiment with these little buggers! They’re wonderful!!

Kohlrabi is in the cabbage family and can be eaten as such. Its great raw in coleslaw, salads or as chips. I replace watercress in stir fries with it and it is wonderful on its own sautéed until tender. Needs to be peeled!

Fruit/Pickles: Strawberry picking is over for the season. I was afraid it would be short! No fruit from the Western Slope this week. But it is Pickle Picking Time!! If interested, please call and get on the wait list.

Bags and Boxes: I forgot to tell you how important it is to return your vegetable bags every week. We reuse them as many times as we can. This includes any small produce bags for beans or peas. (Please take the time to dump or shake out any extra organic material left in the bottom. This way your DC does not have to clean out 30 bags & Jacquie does not have to dump out 600!) Distribution Centers will be keeping track of this, so don’t be surprised if they remind you how often you have forgotten or how many bags you have not returned!

Facebook/Blog/Website/Email: Please be aware that I do not work from these social media sites; I don’t even have an account. Several members took it upon themselves to start these up and continually update them. Everyone needs to contact me directly by phone when you have any questions. I will need your name and also your Distribution Center. Email is the same. I know this is very convenient for you, but I am home only a half day on Monday and Friday each week. So it is not the best way to contact me. I am very good about answering phone messages, but I do not have time to look at email. You can use email for anything that does not need to be answered immediately! FYI: I never look at the Blog; I simply send the newsletter to a member for posting.

Introductions: It seems that members are getting my daughter, Alaina, mixed up with Kyles girlfriend, Sam. Alaina now lives and works in the medical field in Kansas City, MO. Sam works, lives and breathes the farm side by side with Kyle and the crew. Dani works for me in my office part time three days a week, Tue, Wed & Thr. We have two new interns from Hawaii, Carly & Scott and Mike (previous intern from last summer) came back as a full time employee this summer. If you see any of these folks at farmers markets, stop by and say hi!

Thank you for a great first week. I know a lot of DC’s were on vacation either the week before or the week of our first delivery and you may have gotten a late notice or had someone doing distribution that was not your Distributor. As the summer goes along, things should even out!

Jacquie, Kyle, Sam and Jerry

Veggie Wash (Especially for store bought produce!)

  • Juice from a whole lemon
  • 2 Tbsp vinegar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 spray bottle & scrub brush

Mix and spray onto surface of veggies. Let sit for a minute or two. (Longer if trying to remove wax.) Scrub lightly on soft skinned veggies and more aggressively on hard skinned produce like winter squash, cucumbers, root veggies and melons. Leafy greens simply should be sprayed, let sit and rinsed.

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Newsletter – June 11, 2018

Dear Friends of the Farm,

Welcome to our first week of distribution!! The entire farm is really looking good! Now that it is getting so hot (hard on humans, but great for plants) everything is growing like crazy & green, green, green!!! This is only the second time in our history that we have started before the third week of June. It is mind boggling what is happening here. I have been asked about our water situation. And yes, we will be fine this year because of our spring rains. But here we are again in a drought. If we do not get rain or snow this winter, our situation could be quite different for 2019. But we will have to worry about that later! For now, we have an exciting year ahead of us!!!

Produce: This week you are getting butterhead lettuce, peas, garlic, summer squash (either yellow straight neck, zucchini) and red kohlrabi. We are hoping all three distribution days will get these crops, but it is the first week and we may be short. We will make it up to you next week if a distribution center is shorted.

It is very important that you return all your bags every week! Because we reuse them over & over!!

It is a good plan to pre-wash outside to get the majority of the dirt off in the yard (or an extra-large bowl set in your kitchen sink) and not down your drain pipes. Children especially love this task. (They are very good at picking off the worms in your corn too! Make it a game and see how many they can find.) By getting your kids involved in the pre-prep work, talking about the produce & asking them what they want to eat will help get them motivated to try the different varieties. Did you know children have to try something 9 times before they get a taste for it? It’s true!! So make them eat a bite or two every time it is served!

Your Distribution Center: Please do not forget that your DC is a member too. They have offered to be a DC to make it as convenient as possible for you to get your produce. They too have busy lives and are trying hard to please everyone. A majority of our DC’s have 30 to 40 members coming by. Respect their hours and if you need to pick up at a different time or have forgotten to pick up during normal hours, please call and make new arrangements. They will hold produce for 24 hours. If there is no contact from you within that time period, the produce will be donated to a place of need – including your fruit. We encourage members to donate their produce when going on vacation. Last year the membership donated a whopping 1400 pounds of produce to organizations around the metro area. If you plan on having someone pick up your produce for you while you are gone; your DC will need their name and phone number. This gives them permission to hand out your produce to someone other than yourself and it gives them a contact number when they forget to pick up…which they almost always do! Ask your DC questions! They are a wealth of information and will help you use your share. Get a cookbook. There are ten recipes for every veggie we grow. And, it was put together by members of this farm! It is useful and the recipes are excellent!!! All DC’s should have an exchange box for produce you do not want. You are welcome to take something left behind by another member. Anything left at the end of the day will be donated.

4th of July: Since the 4th lands on a Wednesday this year, we will be doing Wednesday distribution on Monday. The rest of the days will remain the same. DC’s, please contact me if this is a problem!!

Your Expectations from the farm: You are sharing the risk of farming with your farmer. This is no different than gardening yourself. Mother Nature does not always cooperate with our plans. It is unrealistic to expect everything to be perfect all the time. We grow varieties for their taste, not necessarily for their beauty! If there is an abundance of produce, you will get it. If there is a shortage of produce, you will see that too. Along with June/July rain we sometimes get hail. Don’t be surprised to get produce with scabs from the damage this causes. We try very hard to catch produce that is badly bruised. But sometimes this slips by us & it will start to mold in your bag from the heat. We apologize ahead of time! We do not intend for this to happen! We love what we do and care deeply about the land we live on, the food it produces and the people it feeds. We are the caretakers and we intend to take care of you and your farm!

Statements: We will send statements each month. Your first produce payment (including fruit, oil and honey) is due July 15th. You may pay these fees in full, or half by July 15th and the other half by September 1st. If you are paying monthly, then continue making your agreed upon & scheduled payments.

First Year Members: This year will be your hardest summer. It takes time to adjust to getting your produce this way! Plan on going to the grocery store after you get your share. You need time to process your produce by sorting and washing. If you are willing to put up with the dirt, don’t wash until you are ready to use it, it will last longer. Produce breaks down as soon as it gets wet. But I also understand you might not want dirt in your crisper drawer! The tenderer a crop is, the sooner it will need to be eaten, i.e. greens, summer squash, peas, beans, broccoli, cantaloupe, cucumbers and tomatoes. I will give you hints on storage as we go through the summer.

Newsletters/Blog: A Member with a better Internet system (than I have) will post my newsletters to the blog. Please notify your DC if you prefer to get a hard copy at the distribution site. It is important to read your newsletters each week because they will inform you of additional “bonus” picking days, other events that may directly affect you or the produce you’re getting and fun things that are happening on the farm. Access the blog by going to: monroeorganicfarms.wordpress.com. Do not forget to check out our Facebook page or Twitter (also run by members) for pictures and videos!

The next u-pick crop coming up is pickling cucumbers and that will be sometime in July. I can start taking names of members who would like to pick pickles for canning. Please let me know if you can come during the week or just weekends or both.

How to contact me: Please remember I am gone 5 days a week delivering CSA shares or at farmers markets. I am home on Monday & Friday mornings or Tue/Wed/Thr late afternoons. The best way to reach me is by phone. I am very good about answering phone calls, not so much with email! I am just not in the house that long! Email me if you do not need an answer right away. But if it is about a change in your share or DC, please call me. We pick on Monday for Tuesday, Tuesday for Wednesday and Wednesday for Thursday. Keep this in mind when you want to make a change! Whenever you call about your share, especially if needing to make changes, always identify your Distribution Center!

Thank you: Welcome to the 2018 farming season with Monroe Organic Farms. We hope you enjoy every morsel! I can’t tell you how excited we are to get started! This is just a sample of what is to come. My family is looking forward to a fantastic summer. Thank you for giving us this opportunity; we are very excited about being your farmers!

Jacquie, Jerry, Sam, Kyle and Crew

Newsletter – May 18, 2018

Dear Summer Members,

Memberships:  We are around 10 memberships short of our goal of 600.  Now is the time to warn your co-workers, family, friends and parents of your kids’ friends that we are just about filled.  If they intended to be members this year, they need to join right now!  It’s fast and easy now that they can join the farm right online!

Asparagus and Strawberries:  Asparagus is on!  We will be picking this patch over the next five weeks.  I will get everyone out here (schedule dependent on your end), but flexibility is a must! Please return my phone calls so I can call others to come pick if you cannot make it!  will not be sending email notifications, and I do not want any email responses.

Strawberry picking does not seem to be in the cards for our farm anymore.  The warm months of February and March bring the plants out of hibernation.  Then the snow and freezing in April and May kills them.  Last year, the plants did not recover enough to do any picking at all but we are hopeful for this year.  I want to start two picking wait lists.  One I will prioritize by members who have been with us for two seasons or more.  And the other I will prioritize by members who have been with us one year or less.  Please call and leave me a message with your name, phone number, whether you can pick during the week or weekends and if you are a recent member or a member who has been with the farm two seasons or longer.  If there are lots of strawberries, I will call from both lists.  If there are only a few, then I will call the oldest members first and work down to the newest members.  Keep your fingers crossed that the strawberries recover from the freeze in April!

Distribution Center (DC) Update:  We have found our DC’s for the summer!  Cherry Creek is located near Monaco & Florida, Broomfield is located off of Midway & Federal and North Boulder is off of 19th & Iris.

What to expect:  We anticipate the season will start the third week of June with leafy greens, turnips, maybe a few peas and possibly summer squash & Kohlrabi.  You will hear from your DC as soon as Mother Nature indicates the season is about to begin.  At that time you will get an email with their name, address, phone number, email address, hours, day of week, what to do if you forget and what to do when you go on vacation.  Please respond to this email so they know you received it.  Otherwise, they have to call you to make sure you have their information!

The season will start out light.  We live in a very hot, dry area of Colorado.  So we cannot grow greens all summer.  Those will fade off and something new will fill their place.  By the end of July, the variety of produce will start to compound and grow!

June 5th is the last chance to add fruit, honey or oil to your order.  I must contact all my vendors to tell them the total sales for the summer.  You will not be able to add these items later, so please take a look at what your needs may be and let me know if you want to add anything ASAP!

The hardest year for new members is the first.  You do not get to choose what you get each week.  Therefore, you will be eating in season and you have to get your produce from the farm before you can create your menu   for the week and go grocery shopping.  This takes time to wrap your head around and get into a routine.  Some tell me it took the whole summer!  The second year was so much easier because they were now accustomed to the whole procedure.  So don’t give up~ keep working at it! Remember, you are doing this for the health of yourself and your family!!

You are not locked into the share size you have chosen.  If you are getting overwhelmed by produce, you can switch down to a smaller share.  Same if it looks like you have too small of a share, we can switch you to a larger share.  You have until the first of September to make this decision.  I will prorate the difference between the two shares and will expect full payment immediately.  It is precisely for this reason we have divided up the payments into three with the last due in September.  Don’t be afraid to call me and discuss what is happening and we can brainstorm how to make this as easy as possible for you!

Fruit Share:  Called Ela Family Farms, Rancho Durazno and First Fruit to find out how their orchards faired in April.  Rancho Durazno did get a light freeze early but feels they will have a pretty good season anyway.  First Fruits wanted you to know this was the warmest low temperatures they have ever experienced.  Due to the drought, their water will be shut off early and they are not sure where that will lead them.  But their orchards look terrific and they plan on have a good season!  Ela Family Farms says they had a couple of touch and go nights that got to some of the peaches, but believe they should still have a decent crop.  They will have a great apple & pear crop this year.  So between them all, we should have a great crop for our fruit share this summer.

Pork:  If you are still interested in pork; we have a half spring hog available in June and we have around 5 unsold hogs for fall/winter.  Four spring hogs will go to processing in May and two more in June.  All hogs must be paid in full before we take them to the processor, so please plan accordingly.

Lamb:  We have sold out on fall lamb!  Now, we tend to have someone drop out due to finances.  So, if you want any lambs that my come available, please email/call and we can place you on a Wait List.

Beef:  We also have 2 steers available for processing this winter.  Again, contact us if you want one.

New Crops:  We are so excited to tell you about the cool new crops we are raising this summer.  There is a cantaloupe that was developed in the Greeley area in the late 1890’s.  Back in the early 1900’s, people saved and exchanged seeds for their crops and gardens.  There were not seed companies around like there is today.  This seed was procured by the Monroes’ in the 1920’s.  It grows to the size of a basketball!  Jerry Senior, with our help, last grew this seed in the late 1980’s.  Last summer Kyle found a bucket of seed in the back of the barn.  To our surprise, it was the Greeley Wonder Melon seed!  We thought the seed had been lost a long time ago.  Kyle hand selected around 1500 seeds and started them.  Another surprise; they all germinated!!!  This is a very rare seed and Kyle saved the seed from the best melons that grew last year.  We cannot wait for you to see this unusual melon in your shares this summer!

There are two tomatoes we grew last summer that were outstanding and both also rare and unique.  On one, the skin color is terra cotta and the other is black with beautiful red flesh.  Members unanimously loved these tomatoes.  We saved the seed and will raise them again this year.

The Office:  Dani has asked me to inform you that it takes us up to three weeks to process your deposits.  We are not a large corporation with multiple employees.  Dani and I both work part time in the office.   We do the best that we can with the time we are allotted.

For those of you who have not paid your Membership Fee and Fruit Share deposit payments; they are due no later than June 1st.  If we do not hear from you, we will cancel your share.  Your first produce installment payment is due July 1st.  At this time, you should be paying half of all your remaining fees except for the Winter Share and your meat.

Conclusion:  May is a huge month for planting.  Kyle, Sam, Jerry and The Crew have been and will be planting non-stop through the month of June.  I would be willing to show you around a little bit when you come out to pick asparagus.

The asparagus fields are starting to show their pretty heads.  We have three fields, but half of two fields are not producing anymore.  They are very old and it is only a matter of time before we will need to replace them.  The third field is in its fifth year and is producing nicely for its’ young age, (planted to replace one of the two older fields).  Asparagus is not picked for its first four years so it can build character and grow up strong.  Sounds a little bit like describing a child…does it not?

Depending on how you look at it, good news or bad, I guess we are heading into another drought that should last approximately 5 years (starting last summer).  With relief, we should have fewer devastating storms during the drought years….but we are also short of water.  So how do you look at this?!

Enjoy the beautiful weather & we will talk again once the season gets started! Jacquie, Jerry, Kyle and Sam

Newsletter–October 9, 2017

Dear Members,

This week you are getting red potatoes, white and yellow onions, carrots, bell peppers, jalapeno peppers, celery and tomatoes.  Unfortunately, Tue. Members will not get carrots because of the storm.  Will make that up next week.

The celery variety we grow can be very strong tasting.  I have not had a chance to try it yet, but some Members do not like to eat this raw.  It is excellent for cooking and adds so much flavor to any recipe.  Makes the best celery soup too!  I dry the leaves for future use in casseroles in the winter.  Wash and dry on a paper plate.

Garlic Separating:  We did not get a large crowd as we have in the past and will need to do this again this Sunday.  We cannot plant the garlic if we cannot get the cloves separated!  Next years’ harvest depends on you and how much we accomplish!  We will get together at 9am and work until 12.  Bring a lunch and join us for a meal.  If you cannot stay the entire time, then come for a couple of hours!  As a group you will find extremely interesting people to chat with and interesting stories to hear.  Join us for a day of comradery as we work together to accomplish our goal!

Winter Share:  Sign-up is going well and we just about have all our members for the winter.  If you intended to sign-up for the winter, you will want to get that in because it will not be long before we close that window.  If you need to split a share with someone and can’t find one on your own; ask your DC to put out a memo or sign during distribution.  You would be surprised how many people want to give it a try but can’t find someone to split with!

We are looking for Colin O’Neill.  He sent in money for a Winter Share, but with no paperwork and with no info on your check.  We cannot set you up nor do we have a way to contact you.  Could you be a spouse of a current member?  Please call us immediately or sign-up online at monroefarm.com.

Survey/Changes:  Jerry and I are getting older (as we all are) and cannot continue working at this pace.  Kyle and Sam are not ready to take on this large of an operation.  Something will need to change.  The survey we sent out in September needs to be filled out by as many members who want an input on their share and the variety & quantity you received.   We need your thoughts.  We may need to not only reduce how many shares we offer, but how many varieties we offer.  Tell us in your own words what you liked & did not like about the share!  Write a letter if you do not want to fill out the survey.  What can you absolutely not live without; what can go by the wayside?  Hard copies of the survey will be at each DC.  Fill it out there or take it home; but tell us what you are thinking!  Manilla envelopes will be provided at each DC to be returned to us, hopefully full of surveys and letters.

Please help us improve! Take our online end of year survey here:

2017 Summer Survey for Monroe Organic Farms, llc

 First Snowfall!  Beautiful, isn’t it?  We love the first snowfall.  It represents to us the end of a fabulous summer.  Time to close up the farm, put on wooly sweaters, put on a good pot of tea, make soup and read a book!

Spicy Cream of Celery Soup

3T butter
1 head celery, sliced
2 large onions, chopped
3 cloves garlic, diced
1 large carrot shredded
3T flour
6C vegetable or chicken broth
1 bay leaf & 5 balls allspice
1C heavy cream
1t hot sauce

Melt butter, add first 3 vegetables & cook until just tender on med. heat.
Add flour and brown.  Add carrot, broth & spices and simmer for 30
minutes.  Remove and discard bay leaf & allspice.  Remove half of the
veggies and set aside.  Blend the rest in a processor or blender.
Put everything back into pot then add cream.  Add salt, pepper and
hot sauce to taste.  For a traditional taste, do not add hot sauce!
Gluten free:  reduce broth to 4 ½ cups and change cream to 1 ½ cups.
No need to add any thickener.

Newsletter — October 3, 2017

Dear Members,

This is week 16 of an 18 week season. You are getting red potatoes, red onions, yellow cooking onions, leeks, Romanesco cauliflower, red & yellow bell peppers, sweet banana peppers, pablano peppers and Black Beauty, Cherokee Purple, yellow and red tomatoes.
There are hot and sweet banana peppers and these are the sweet variety! Excellent eaten raw or cooked and can be the color of yellow & gold to orange & red. Romanesco cauliflower is a beautiful green ornate cauliflower. I love the dimension of shape and color. It can have a tinge of purple to it because of the cool nights. Cook as normal!

Garlic Separating: It is that time of year to prep the garlic for planting. As most of you know, this is a wonderful time to connect with other members & the farm and work as a group toward a common goal of separating the garlic for planting. We always have garlic that is unfit for planting and you will be able to take that home with you. If there are any tomatoes available for picking, you may be able to get one box. (We don’t want to take away from the membership, so after checking the fields in morning we will let you know.) Bring a box just in case you can pick. We will do this Sunday, Oct. 8 th at 9am and work until 12pm. Bring a lunch and after we clean up the barn, we can have a meal together and then pick tomatoes (if any). This is something a lot of members look forward to participating in because of the comradery. Join us. It is a lot of fun and you will make a huge impact on the work that needs to be accomplished!

Quote of the Day: When Earth is laughing, flowers bloom. Jacquie Monroe I wish I could express my sorrow for all the tragedies across this wonderful place we call earth. I can’t imagine what people are going through from the earthquake regions of Mexico to the hurricane hit areas in America and all the terrorist inflicted areas abroad. I shake my head in wonder of the human spirit and the wonder of our forgiveness and willingness to extend a helping hand to those we don’t even know. We need to appreciate those around us more.
Always in our thoughts and prayers. Your Farm Family; Kyle & Sam, Jerry and Jacquie

Cauliflower Casserole, page 35 in cookbook

1 Tb. Olive Oil
1 lb. mushrooms, sliced
1 large onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, diced/minced
1 large head cauliflower, chunked
3 cups cooked rice
2 cups shredded cheese, your choice

Heat oil in large skillet over medium high heat. Add mushrooms, onion, garlic and cauliflower. Cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and combine vegetables with rice and cheese. Pour into a greased casserole dish and bake 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Serves 6

Please help us improve! Take our online end of year survey:

2017 Summer Survey for Monroe Organic Farms, llc

Newsletter — September 25, 2017

Dear Friends,
This week you are getting beans, white and yellow cooking onions, garlic, gold beets, cauliflower, lemon cucumbers, red bell peppers, a specialty pepper called Mosco, red anaheim, yellow, black, Cherokee Purple, Black Velvet and Roma tomatoes, muskmelon and orange flesh honeydew. Mosco was developed in 1995 in Pueblo and was tested by the CSU Arkansas Valley Research Station from 1999 to 2004 before it was released for sale. It is a chili style pepper with thick walls which make it great for grilling. Mild to medium hot, this chili can be used just like an anaheim. Skins need to be removed before
eating begins. See red anaheim for details. Red anaheim peppers tend to be sweeter than their green counterpart. But they can still have that sense of heat after the sweet. Easy to grill, just place under your broiler until they turn brown & start to bubble.

Newsworthy: Recent studies have shown that produce with scabs, marks, bumps and soft spots may actually be healthier for us. When plants are stressed by weather, insects or disease, they produce more of the antioxidants that unleash the cell protective functions in our bodies when we eat them. Do you realize that 25% of our produce doesn’t make it out of the fields because of those scabs, marks, bumps and soft spots?
Did you know that another 25% doesn’t make it to supermarkets because it does not meet the size, shape and color requirements of these stores? Makes you think a little bit about these stupid standards and how many people could be fed if it wasn’t all thrown away….which is what happens to it when it does not meet inspection.

2017 Survey: We cannot make this the best CSA without input from you. On the back of this newsletter I am placing a survey I would like everyone to fill out. It is important to me to know small details about your household so we can compare what you say about your share with the size of your household. Thank you in advance for taking the time to do this for us! We want everyone to be happy with their farm and we can’t make improvements without input from you!!! Your thoughts and comments are important and we read each and every evaluation.

Please help us improve! Take our online end of year survey:

2017 Summer Survey for Monroe Organic Farms, llc

You can also download a PDF copy of the survey here:

Sept_25___Survey

Chili Relleno Casserole

Butter or oil a 9×13 pan. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Chop 4-6 roasted anaheim peppers and arrange in bottom of pan.
Add 2lbs shredded Colby-Jack to the top of the peppers.
Beat 10 eggs with 1 tsp salt, 4 Tb flour and 1 ½ small cans evaporated milk.
Bake 45 minutes or until a knife come out clean.
Adaptions: I have mixed the peppers with diced cooked potatoes and cooked sausage.
Delicious!!!

Please help us improve! Take our online end of year survey:

2017 Summer Survey for Monroe Organic Farms, llc

You can also download a PDF copy of the survey here:

Sept_25___Survey


 

Newsletter – September 19, 2017

Dear Friends of the Farm;

This is week 14 out of an 18 week season. You are getting red potatoes, Walla Walla onions, carrots, purple cauliflower, red peppers, yellow peppers, green basil, red tomatoes, specialty tomatoes, muskmelon and orange honeydew.

Fruit: I’m sorry I forgot to tell you last week apples were coming…completely forgot! That is the last of the fruit this year. It came in large quantities because of the horrendous year they are having. If they had given us smaller quantities, they would not have been able to bring it again. When the crop was ready to pick, we had to take what we could get or not get very much of anything! Sometimes the fruit was ripe and ready to eat and had to be refrigerated immediately and sometimes it could sit and continue to ripen for three or four days. But at least we got it!!

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

Do you remember? Can you believe how fast this summer has gone by?! Amazing how time just seems to slip away from us. The older you get, they faster time vanishes too. Do you remember what you were doing four & five years ago? 2012 was one of the hottest summers on record. With three straight weeks of over 100 degree heat and three months in the 90’s, the farmers had used up all the water in most of the reservoirs. After that dry summer and no snow during the winter, we didn’t think we would have any water to farm with the following year. We made arrangements with the city of Greeley to use city water and drip irrigation on five acres of land. The one and only snowstorm we got was a huge one that hit the Denver Metro area and Front Range in late March. It dropped a whopping three feet of snow in the Metro area and 8 feet all along the upper Front Range. The farm received around 6 to 8 inches of snow during that storm and all that snow melt-off filled our reservoirs. As devastating that storm was to the trees that had budded out, nothing compared to the 500 year storm that hit in September of 2013 that flooded just about every city along the Front Range. Those of you who were in the area at the time will never forget what happened. Some cities received anywhere from 15 to 24 inches of rain in a three or four days. Streets became rivers and houses & basements were flooded. The city of Lyons because an island! Helicopters had to rescue all the residents!

I guess we should all stop what we are doing now & then and appreciate what we have and what we are doing because Mother Nature has a way of slapping us in the face to give us a wake-up call. It’s up to us to appreciate all the little things in life that makes life easy and fun. Slow down and look around you. What is it that you appreciate today?

Jacquie, Jerry, Kyle and Sam

Smashed Potatoes

2# potatoes, no larger than 3X3 (cut if necessary), boiled or baked, grease a baking pan & arrange potatoes. Use a masher to squash to about half the size. If using different size potatoes, squash all potatoes to about the same width. Melt 3Tb butter with 4 crushed & diced garlic and 1 Tb chopped fresh parsley (or 1 ½ tsp dry); drizzle over potatoes. Broil or grill until golden and crispy. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese to taste and heat until cheese is melted. Sprinkle with extra parsley if desired & pass around a salt shaker if needed!