Newsletter – February 9, 2016

logorooster.gif

Yummy farm goodies coming your way – here’s this week’s list:

Winter Squash until we run out (not everyone will get one)
Sweet Potatoes (this is the end)
Leeks
Yukon Gold Potatoes
Celery Root
Orange Carrots
Yellow Carrots (we have a ton of carrots, so plan on giving out a lot this
month)
Red Cabbage
Yellow Onions
Garlic and Yellow Popcorn

Also – you should see a newsletter from Jacquie before month-end. Happy cooking!

Newsletter – December 14, 2015

logorooster.gif

This week everyone will receive two bags instead of one. We will be skipping the week between Christmas & New Years and will resume deliveries on January 13th.

Produce will include:

Bag 1: Butternut squash, sweet potatoes, leeks, yukon gold potatoes, red beets, carrots, green cabbage, yellow onions, garlic.

Bag 2: Butternut squash, sweet potatoes, leeks, yukon gold potatoes, carrots, red cabbage, parsnips, celery root, yellow onions and garlic.

There will be one bag of blue popcorn and black beans also
included as part of the share.

Happy holidays!
Jacquie Monroe

Newsletter – December 1, 2015

logorooster.gif

This week you are getting:  acorn squash, sweet potatoes (orange & white flesh), leeks, Yukon Gold potatoes, golden beets,  orange carrots, green cabbage, yellow and red onions, garlic, Anasazi dried beans and lettuce.

How to store your winter produce:  Cold temperatures convert potatoes into starch.  Place in a paper bag or cardboard box in a cool, dark place.  (Sunlight turns potatoes green!)  Onions need air circulation to stay fresh.  Keep in a mesh bag and hang or place in a cardboard box in a dark area (not the same box as potatoes, the onions can make them rot!).   Carrots, beets & parsnips like to be washed, celery unwashed and placed in a plastic zippered bag and kept in the crisper drawer.  Sweet potatoes & squash like to be kept on the kitchen counter or with your potatoes.  Cabbage likes to be kept in the crisper drawer or back of fridge with no covering.  Garlic wants to be in your cabinet with your dried beans.

Hope everyone had a fantastic Thanksgiving!!

Jacquie, Jerry and family

Newsletter – November 16, 2015

logorooster.gif

This week you are getting:  carnival acorn squash, sweet potatoes, fennel (the last), leeks, Yukon Gold potatoes, parsnips, orange carrots, red cabbage, yellow, red and white onions, garlic, celery (the last), Tiger eye dried beans and lettuce.

This year I will be posting the newsletter to the blog on Monday.  This way if you want to know ahead of time what you will be getting, you can find a list there.  Monroeorganicfarm.wordpress.com.   Most of you know that I write very short notes during the winter.  So the newsletter isn’t that big of a deal anyway!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!! Jacquie, Jerry and family

 

Newsletter – November 2, 2015

logorooster.gif

Dear Winter Friends; Welcome to the first week of Winter Distribution, and it’s a doozy!!!

This week you are getting Spaghetti squash, Yukon Gold potatoes, sweet potatoes, red beets, orange carrots, fennel, red, white & yellow onions, gourds, garlic, celery, leeks, green and red tomatoes, black beans and lettuce (with a little bit of spinach)!

Unfortunately we do not have our usual supply of tomatoes and peppers that seem to flow into winter. This year, because of the long, harsh, wet spring; the plants struggled to keep producing fruit. They are expiring due to old age! What little they are producing you will get this week. Anything after this week will be going to a farmers market.

Through experimentation and experience (Jerry always tells me he has yesterdays experience) he plans on giving you the majority of the sweet potatoes, winter squash and lettuce by the end of December. He is afraid it will not store into January or February. So please enjoy while we have it! And if we can keep any of it into the later months, we will try.

You will only get lettuce, fennel & celery as long as we do not get too hard of a freeze or several days of freezing in a row. Celery & fennel can be stored long term by dicing and placing in an ice cube tray, adding water and freeze. Pop out and store in a plastic bag or container. The leaves can be dried and stored in a glass jar. Use as any other herb in recipes. Delicious in soups and stir-fries!!!

Dates of Delivery: Here is a list of dates we will be delivering produce this season: November 4th & 18th, December 2nd & 16th, January 13th & 27th, February 10th & 24th. We will not be delivering produce on Dec. 30th. Instead you will be getting two bags on Dec. 16th. This gives you the opportunity to have extra produce for the holiday and gives us a much needed break in the middle of winter!

Something of Interest: I was giving a tour of the farm last week and something came up I wanted to share with you. Jerry was asked about the challenges of farming at high altitude. He explained that he didn’t quite know because he has never farmed anywhere else! But he did say that most farmers regardless of where they farm have similar challenges. One of the very most important in Colorado is our water issue. Do you realize that 62% of our nation’s food comes from other countries? The Denver Metro area has already admitted they do not have enough water to service all the people that will need water in the next 10 to 20 years. They are expecting 2.4 million new people will need housing, water and other services. One half to two thirds of those people are our own children becoming adults and having kids of their own. The rest are moving into the state. If we do not become proactive in saving our farms, where will your food be coming from? The Metro area is buying up water from NE Colorado like it doesn’t matter. And their plan is to continue to purchase water until they have dried up 400,000 acres of land. Just in the last ten years they have dried up 100,000 acres of farmland between Fort Collins and Sterling. We need a guaranteed amount of water to stay on farms. Be vocal and talk to your family, friends, co-workers and your legislature about our water & supporting local farms!

Quote: “The future belongs to those of us who are still willing to get our hands (shoes and clothes) dirty.” Unknown

Jacquie, Jerry and Kyle Monroe

Newsletter – October 12, 2015

logorooster.gif

Dear Friends of the Farm,

This is our last week of distribution. It is so hard to believe because we had such a long wonderfully warm fall, it still feels like summer! Let me remind you it is the middle of October though and you are getting the following summer-time produce: Banana Fingerling potatoes, yellow and white onions, carrots, gourds, squash, Japanese eggplant, several types of bell peppers, garlic, tomatoes and corn. Yes, you heard me right, corn!!

Fruit: You are getting your last 10 pounds of apples this week. They are Jonathan Gold. After all the disappointment of hearing First Fruits were not able to supply us with fruit this year…I can’t thank Ranch Durazno more for helping me find you decent fruit to eat. Everything came from either him or Fortunate Fruit. Both located on the Western Slope of Colorado.

The CSA Adventure: Several of you have never grown anything in Colorado before. I also know some of you are avid gardeners. CSA is a very hard thing to get used to. It is one of the hardest things you will do! You have to learn to cook with what you have instead of what you want. Learning the Colorado seasons and when produce is actually harvested and using them is new to half of you this year. You have to clean the produce yourself; which you should be doing anyway with your grocery store produce. (So many people are touching everything all day long, Yuck! Who knows where those hands have been!) But this is one of the cheapest ways to fill your family’s needs, eat more vegetables and improve your diet at the same time!!

This takes a lot of work & commitment to do what it takes to feed your family locally harvested produce. Give this a chance. It takes two years to get used to getting your produce this way. The first year is the hardest. The second year is so much easier because now you have information you need on how to use the produce and take care of it from your first year. And if you are dissatisfied, please give CSA a chance with another farm. Every farm is different and each one is unique on what it grows and how they distribute produce. When you spend one dollar locally, it gets used 7 more times within your community! Don’t send your hard earned dollar to a “box store” that will send it to their corporate office out of state.

Food for thought: Did you know you “vote” with every dollar you spend? What have you purchased lately and what are you voting for?

Thank You Working Members: I would like to thank our Working Members; both those at the Distribution Centers (DC) and those who make the journey to the farm. The Distribution Centers are very much appreciated for their time and homes. They make it possible for you to have a DC fairly close so you don’t have to drive across town.

Working Members at the farm spend an extra hour on the road getting to the farm, plus the four hours every week bagging up your produce, loading the truck, finishing up doing farm chores and then driving an hour home. It would be nearly impossible to run this CSA without their help. So many projects are completed every week! Thank you to you all for your hard work, consistency, patients and good humor. We soooo appreciate you!

Overview: Well…..this has been one of the most challenging springs we have ever planted in. We have never seen it rain like this before! It has rained a lot in the past, but never non-stop and to never see the sun too??? What was that about? We had no idea that would happen, so we continued to plant throughout the month of May. Plants suffered because it never dried out and never had any sunshine to grow by. They were literally drowning! The result of this was stunted plants with the will to produce but not enough oomph to do much about it. So production of some crops was affected. June wasn’t much better because it took so long for the ground to dry out. I bet it was another three weeks before a tractor could be used!

We hand planted just about every crop you received in June and July. Many times without shoes and their pants rolled up! It was a slow start, but it finally dried out and warmed up. Some plants caught up, some struggled to live. Those that were struggling to survive had insects get into them. That is why your cucumbers, eggplant and melons had strange scabs on them. They tasted good, they just didn’t look good!

Thank goodness for our long beautiful fall. Just like our record breaking May, Jerry has never seen a warmer September. It is now on the books for the warmest September on record! We benefited from this windfall because some plants had put on a second set of flowers that were able to grow and mature enough to be eaten.

In the end we had a decent amount of produce. It was light in the spring but good in the fall. Did you notice that when there is a breakdown of one crop, there is an abundance of another? This was a really good tomato & melon year, but not so good a pepper & cucumber year. All we can do is hike up our pants, put on our gloves & slide on our thinking caps and start working on next year!

Goodbye and Thank you: Being the eternal optimists that farmers are: Next year will be fantastic! We have to admit; we are exhausted and are greeting Mr. Winter with open arms (if he ever gets here!). It can be draining (emotionally) when you cannot control the most important input (weather) that controls your income. We cannot stress how much we have appreciated your support over the season and your patience with Mother Nature.

Feeding people is our passion. We are committed to providing the best tasting organic produce you have ever eaten. We have fed thousands of people and donated thousands of pounds of produce to communities around Northern Colorado throughout the years. We have never done anything so important or made us as happy. Thank you for being a part of this! We love you all and appreciate your support more than ever! We cannot exist without our Members; who happen to be the most passionate people about supporting local farming and eating organic produce. We are looking forward to being your farmers in 2016! Have a wonderful, restful winter and think of us when you pull out vegetables from the freezer!

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!

Jacquie, Jerry, Kyle and Alaina Monroe

Newsletter – October 5, 2015

logorooster.gif

Dear Members,

This is week 17 of an 18 week season: You are getting banana fingerling potatoes, red onions, red beets, celery, squash, Japanese eggplant, bell peppers, specialty peppers, jalapeno, garlic, red & gold tomatoes and honeydew. The peppers are starting to get soft, but they are delicious, so use them right away or freeze them raw (just chop)!

Fruit: We hope your last delivery of fruit will be next week….if the Golden Delicious apples mature by then. After all the worry and stress of a bad year of fruit; Tomas Cameron came through and found fruit for us to enjoy. It wasn’t easy and the very last delivery may not make in time, but without the last delivery of apples, you have still received 80 pounds. This is not bad especially after knowing what kind of a year most of the farmers had over on the Western Slope. I talked with one of Kevin Kropp sons, Casey. He was telling me only half of the property can be insured and they only collected 70% of that. So a bad year is putting it mildly. I’m sure notes of encouragement would go a long way for both Chris and Kevin. First Fruits Organic Farms, PO Box 864, Paonia, CO 81428. I do not have an email address.

Honey: This is the last delivery of honey for the year for those of you who get monthly and bi-monthly honey.

Winter Shares: We are slowly getting our members and are sitting at 125. Our goal is to reach 150 by the third week of October. So, if you know anyone who might be interested, let them know we have openings. A new DC has been added in Longmont for your convenience! Extra forms will be available at your DC.

Surveys: Please take a little time to fill out the survey given out last week. It helps us to understand what is needed for each size share, how many people are using it and what size the families are and their ages. We are trying to make sure that a Single Share can feeds one vegetarian or two adults on a mixed diet; Half Share should feed two vegetarians or a family of four (with small kids) on a mixed diet and the Full Share should feed up to three on a vegetarian diet or a family of four (with teens) on a mixed diet. This is our goal and the survey helps us keep on track. It appears that people’s diets change over the years and we just want to keep up with that too! (But it is equally important to get the appropriate share according to the size household!) If you get the newsletter from the blog, you will need to download the form and fill it out or ask your DC for a copy. I am sending extra this week. Thank you for taking time out of your busy lives to keep us up to date! YOU MUST MAIL THE SURVEY TO THE FARM OR RETURN IT TO THE DC, PLEASE DO NOT EMAIL IT.

Renewals: As the summer comes to a close and crops are slowing down; it is time to get additional information from our members. We did not raise prices in 2015 and a small increase is needed because the price of all our inputs certainly didn’t go down! We have decided that the Single Share will go up by $5, the Half Share will go up $10 and the Full Share will go up $15. Please let us know if you want an automatic renewal or not. Your DC has a way of keeping track of this so please convey your wishes to them and they will pass on the info to me.

Thank you for being such terrific members!

Jacquie, Jerry and Kyle