Reminder that Jacquie does not check this blog – you’ll have to email or call the farm directly to get on the waiting list for strawberry picking! If you have any questions, please reach out.

jacquie@monroefarm.com
970-284-7941

Hi Everyone!

We are very excited to inform you that half the strawberries we planted last year survived.  We do not have enough for everyone to pick so we thought to make this a lot more fun and fair to everyone; we would have a lottery.  Email or call and get yourself on our Wait List.  I will need your name, phone number and whether or not you can come on weekends or weekdays.  Starting next week the picking schedule will be:  Sun/Tue one week and Mon/Wed the following week.  We hope to be able to pick for app. 4 weeks.  If you can only make it on weekends, know that your chances of your name being drawn will be highly limited.  Each person will be able to pick 5 pints.  We will provide the pint baskets but you cannot take them home.  Please bring a flat ridged container to put your strawberries into for the trip home….(baking sheets, aluminum baking pans, Tupperware, etc.)  No bowls!  Your strawberries will crush in the bottom.

Please note that this is the first time we have had strawberries survive our crazy new weather pattern in the past six years.  Climate change is really affecting them.  It’s too warm in February and they come out of dormancy then it freezes in April and kills them.  But we are hoping to build a beautiful new patch where everyone will be able to pick a lot of strawberries in the future!

Don’t forget…name, phone number & weekdays or weekends only.

Happy to be your farmers,


Jacquie Monroe
Monroe Organic Farms, llc
25525 County Road 48
Kersey, CO  80644
970-284-7941

Newsletter – May 2021

NOTE: This blog is posted by a volunteer. No one from the farm checks or responds to messages here. You must contact the farm directly with any questions, comments, etc

Dear Farm~ily,

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

Newsletter – March 2021

NOTE: This blog is posted by a volunteer. No one from the farm checks or responds to messages here. You must contact the farm directly with any questions, comments, etc.

Dear Farm Friends,

Last year we were experiencing the official shut-down of our country because of Covid 19. We implimented several food safety plans at both the farm and our DC’s (Distribution Centers). These seemed to work well and every Member of the farm followed directions, wore facemasks and waited patiently for their turn to go into garages for their shares. We appreciate your cooperation while we figured this all out last summer. I anticipate all the DC’s will continue doing distribution the same way until all restrictions have been lifted. At the current rate of vaccination, it appears this could happen by mid-summer….which makes me very happy! I am not one to get out to do very much, but I have cabin fever like crazy! I can’t imagine what it must be like for those of you living in the city and not able to take advantage of city living!

March Madness: If you have not already done so, you may want to join the farm now. We are filling at a rate that could have us filled and closed by the end of April. Keep in mind your produce is handled by very few people compared to a grocery store where produce is touched by tons of shoppers. Our produce is traveling less than 70 miles to our farthest DC. Whereas 72% of the produce in grocery stores travel thousands of miles from Brazil, Costa Rica, Argentina, the Philipenes and Mexico….just to name a few. You vote with every dollar you spend. By joining a CSA farm, you are supporting your local farmer, your local economy, help the environment, nurture community, take advantage of our expertise and invest in entrapeneurship plus it makes our farm a destination. So many good reasons to join a CSA farm!

Membership: We have 70% of our memberships filled. If you need another form, please call the office at the number above (or email) to have one sent to you. Keep in mind, you get a discount by filling out a hard copy form and retrning that with a check instead of signing up online and paying with a credit card. If you need a payment plan, you will need to join the farm with a hard copy form. I am happy to work with you to make this easier for you to pay for. I would rather have you as a member than for you to decide not to be a member because it is hard to pay the deposits. Call me and we can make a plan.

We sent extra signup forms last month, please share with others. This is a good time to inform friends, neighbors and co-workers we have openings available at most of our DC’s (Wheat Ridge is filled and closed). If everyone tells one person about the farm, we will fill up in no time. I am very happy to email extra signup forms out if needed. Feel free to post them in breakrooms, community boards or any other place you deem acceptable.

We are again trying to get a Parker Distribution Center going. We need 15 people to make this happen. We are currently sitting with four members. Please spread the word so we can make this happen for our southern neighbors! And if you are also wanting to be at this location, let us know so we can make a note of it. Thank you for helping us with this project!

Asparagus: We will be taking names of those of you who would like to come out to the farm to pick asparagus. This can start anytime in April (depending on freezing) but ususally by the end of the month. Picking will continue through May and possibly go into June. Take home as around five pounds per member. Our price at farmers market is $7 a pound, so you can do the math. We will need your name, phone number and whether or not you can come during the week or weekends only. We will not call you back to verify you are on the Wait List. But we will call you when we see those beautiful heads popping out of the soil. You will need your own container to take your produce home. Please be flexable. I do not have control of the weather and sometimes will only be able to give you a two day heads up when your place in line reaches the top of the list.

Heartfelt Sorrow: We want to reach out to our friends and members in Boulder and the surrounding areas and let you know we are thinking of you and sending positive energy your direction. We reach out with our love & support and share your sorrow. We charish those that are so loved & lost, but recognize & appreciate that these wonderful people have moved on to another relm of loveliness. They are not hurting, they are not fearful, and they will be with you if needed.

Enjoy the spring everyone,

Jacquie, Sam, Kyle and Jerry

Newsletter – February 2021

NOTE: This blog is posted by a volunteer. No one from the farm checks or responds to messages here. You must contact the farm directly with any questions, comments, etc.

Dear Friends of the Farm,

What we are up to, you ask? We have been busy planning the crops and designating fields they will be in, ordering seed and signing up for the Boulder farmers markets. We are erecting a couple of new cold frames and planting carrots & beets in them. Soon we will need to start the long, arduous task of applying for our Organic Certification! (The paperwork is unbelievable!)

Note to New Members from 2020: This is a very different way to get your produce you need for your family. I know it can be hard to deal with each week; especially the cleaning and storage of the produce. It does take the whole summer to learn how to processes everything and have it ready to eat. Believe it or not, the second year is so much easier! You have gone through the hardest part: the learning process! So I invite you to give yourself another summer to find out if this type of coop will work for you and your family. Just think about how much money you saved (average price per pound through the CSA was $1.32) and the wonderful variety of produce you received!

2021 Renewals: So far, about a third of our members renewed their memberships. If you have not sent in your Sign-up form, please do so now! Now that customers can join on-line, spots are a first come first served for all openings for each Distribution Center (DC). If you need to make payment arrangements, please do so (making a notation in the margin) and send in those forms! It is very important to include your DC on the back side. If you want to switch DC locations, please indicate where you attended last summer and your new preference. We will do our best to accommodate you. If you decide to sign up online, please do not send in another form with your payment!

Distribution Centers: I have been informed that the Golden DC now needs a new volunteer home. Briana needs more time with her kids because they are so busy these days. If you are available to help unload the truck and then do distribution in the late afternoon/evening, please let me know. You get a working discount for helping us.

We have found a site to replace 6th & Downing. It will move to 6th & Race (which I will call 6th & York).

Late Fees in Feb: We had a very warm winter and storing winter produce was a challenge because of this. But all is going well and we have two more weeks to go. All fees should have been paid by February 1st. If you have not paid for your meat and Winter Share, a late fee of $25 will be added to your statement this month.

Drought/Water: This has been another dry winter. Droughts are quite common on the Eastern Plains and the reason we are called the High Plains Desert! Did you know that a lot of our drinking and irrigation water comes from snow melt-off? Even though it has been dry, we recently got some particularly good news! We’ve been notified by our irrigation company that they are filling our lake. And, our two snowiest months, March and April, are still ahead of us. Knowing we will have the water we need to irrigate this summer is good news indeed!

Have a nice Valentine’s Day,

Jacquie, Jerry, Kyle & Sam

2021 Sign Up

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.

Happy February everyone!  Just want to remind you we are taking membership signups online through our new and snazzy website at monroefarm.com.  There is now a feature where you can pay by credit card.  Or, if you prefer to save some money and you keep checks on hand (or can have your bank send a check through your bill pay feature), fill out the hard copy form sent to you by mail and return it with your check for 2020 prices. Looking forward to sharing our bounty with you this summer!

Newsletter – January 2021

NOTE: This blog is posted by a volunteer. No one from the farm checks or responds to messages here. You must contact the farm directly with any questions, comments, etc.

Dear Farm Friends:

Thank you for all the wonderful cards, pictures, letters, gifts and homemade goodies for Christmas. We loved all the wonderful news about your busy lives and appreciate you sharing that with us. We also love seeing the pictures of the family and watching your children change over time. Your thoughtfulness on including us in your Christmas makes us feel like family. Thank you!

2021 Sign-up: Enclosed you will find your signup form. It is imperative to return it ASAP. We were filled by the end of March last year and if you want to retain your space, you need to send in your form with your deposit. We are creating a new website (not yet running) with the option to pay by credit card. If you choose to do this, you will be paying 2021 prices. If you choose to return this form with a check, you can pay 2020 prices except for the Fruit Share & Olive Oil. There is a price increase for both.

If you cannot swing the total deposits at this time, send me what you can and make monthly payments, but let me know what your plan is so we are all on the same page. You can send monthly payments through September 1st to pay off your Summer Share (8 months). If you purchase a Winter Share or meat, you are welcome to divide out your payments over 11 months with your final payment on December 1st. Late fees will apply if you do not keep up with making your monthly payments.

Working Members: We are also in need of Working Members. Being a working member brings lots of camaraderie, bonding and team building. You will make new friends and learn more about the farm than you ever imagined! The day starts out in the barn filling all the shares that go to the DC’s. Left over produce needs to be stored in the cooler and the barn needs straightening. After that, we go into the fields to do a little weeding or harvesting. You will feel very accomplished as we all work together toward a common goal. We need folks on Tue, Wed and Thr mornings starting at 7am. You will work four hours and take your produce home with you (plus any extras). You will see first-hand all the hard work that goes toward making distribution possible. Plus, you will meet new friends with a common interest and eating habits. Food is often the subject most talked about and recipes are shared. Kids are always welcome!!!

Distribution Centers (DC): I have spoken to most of last year’s DC’s and so far, most have agreed to continue for the 2021 season. Here are our needs. The person who ran the 6th & Downing DC has sold their house and moved. We are in need of a DC north of 6th Avenue. If you picked up produce in this area, would you please consider being a DC? Other changes between now and the beginning of summer may occur with one other DC, but they’re plans are not solid yet. DC’s are considered volunteers and you can get the Working Membership discount. If you are interested, call or email Jacquie and she will send you a job description.

New Members: I understand being a member can be a big commitment. I also understand it can be hard to find the time to clean the produce and create meals. Realistically, where are you going to find prices like this anywhere else and where can you get produce this fresh? So make it a family affair and get everyone involved. Get your kids involved ~ they love playing in the water and counting worms. It gives you an opportunity to talk about the food they will eat. Ask them to choose something to eat at each meal and they just may be more willing to try it! Get your spouse involved. Nothing is better or more relaxing & therapeutic than fixing a meal together. Share a glass of wine while you’re at it… (Then tell your spouse your farmer recommended it!) Keep in mind it takes two years to get used to getting your produce this way ~ so give it another year if 2020 was your first!

Add On’s: Please keep in mind, you cannot order any add-on’s such as honey, olive oil, fruit or meat without purchasing a Summer or Winter Share. Add-on’s are for current CSA members. We still have two lambs available for purchase from last year’s batch. They will be processed on March 2rd. A half lamb costs $225 and a whole lamb costs $450 plus processing fees. Contact me if you would like one!

Kyle is doing more of the management of the farm each year. To keep his sanity, he has decided to raise animals for fall/winter processing only. Due to the pandemic, Kyle decided to raise steers again last year. It appeared that the membership was extremely excited about this and they sold out in six weeks. He will continue to raise steers this year as well.

2020/21 Winter Shares: Everyone who is getting a Winter Share should have this paid off by now. But if you did not pay it off in December, your payment in full is due at this time. Unfortunately, it coincides with the current sign-up for 2021. This is why we suggest you pay this in full by the end of December!

Plans for 2021: It is important to renew your membership this month! We will be sending Info Packets to interested customers from our Wait List as well as accepting sign-ups online outside of the membership. This is due to the fact that we are now set up to accept online forms from our website (as soon as it is up and running). So even though you have a hard copy form in hand, if you’d rather signup online, it is available at 2021 prices! It is equally important to inform any interested friends, neighbors or co-workers about joining the farm right away. We can send an Info Packet (which has more information about the shares) or have them check out our snazzy new website, http://www.monroefarm.com!

Jerry, Kyle and Crew have been busy prepping the farm for winter. The barn has been cleaned up and they have tightened loose bolts on several pieces of equipment. Lots of garlic was planted last fall and with good luck and weather; we should have a fabulous harvest! They are also spending tons of time researching seed, planning which crops to grow and how much of it. Kyle and Jerry are buried in seed catalogs and ordering supplies right now.

As many of you know, we enrolled in the H2A farm worker program in 2020 due to lack of local employees. After farming for 36 years, we just could not find enough help locally. Four guys came from central Mexico. There is a ton of paperwork involved in this. But we feel it was very successful and will continue with the program. Two guys are returning from last summer and we will get two new workers all coming in March.

We tried a new planting technique as well as spaced the carrot seed farther apart to try and get larger carrots for distribution last summer. Some of this worked and some didn’t. We will continue to experiment until we get the perfect carrot size. However, weather has a huge impact on the performance of carrots. It takes three weeks to germinate the seed, most of the summer to grow to a decent size and then the tender plants are loved by all of Mother Natures’ creatures. This is because they are one of the first new plants to emerge in the spring. But the good news is: Carrots will be planted in two cold frames in a couple of weeks for spring harvest! We will always have small carrots in the beginning until the field carrots come on later in the summer.

A new variety of Romaine lettuce was also tried that was supposed to grow without too much bitterness during the hot summer months. For the first time in our history, we were able to provide greens to members for a large part of the season. We are happy to let you know that we will be growing this again this summer for your enjoyment! We may not be able to provide greens every single week, but we will be working towards that.

Conclusion: Those members who have been with us for many years will tell you we have done a pretty good job of growing and distributing produce even with the huge inconsistencies of weather for the past eight years. Our weather has huge fluctuations from spring to summer to fall. If it were easy to grow produce in Colorado, everyone would have huge gardens! There were times you received fourteen different varieties of vegetables and melons in your summer share. I know it can be hard to know what to expect from year to year when there is so little consistency in our weather. But you now understand the reality of farming and what we deal with each year. I hate to say it, but this new weather pattern isn’t going to change. With three generations of expertise and the fourth now taking charge…. I would say you are in good hands!!! It’s not an easy job, but we love what we do! Feeding people is our passion and we appreciate your support. Your consistent support from year to year is why we are in business and we could not do this without you! We truly have the best members of any CSA and by working together, either financially or physically; we will make it even better!

Thank you. We are looking forward to being your farmers this summer.

Jacquie, Jerry, Kyle and Sam

Winter Distribution Reminder

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.

Hi Everyone!

Hope everyone made it through the holidays healthy.  Just a reminder that Winter Distribution is not this week.  We start up again on the 13th and will deliver produce every-other week through Feb. 24th.

Thanks and Happy New Year!
Jacquie

What is that big, white root in my winter share?

Diakon radish!

A very large white root mostly found in Japanese cooking.  It can be eaten raw, cooked or fermented.   I have used this in soups and stews, made fries out of them, shredded for salads, cubed and roasted with other root veggies.  But is is best known for shredding and fermenting like cabbage.  Then add to anything you would put kraut onto or add to lettuce wraps and Chinese food.  Oh!  and it can be shredded and added to cabbage salad.  Can be sweet and can be hot….just like any other radish!

Dry rub for roasted root veggies…compliments of Jacquie

1 Tbsp chili powder
1 tsp garlic salt
1 tsp onion salt
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp paprika (or smoked paprika for a change)
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper…say spicy please!

Add all these into a gallon zip-locked bag with 1/4 cup EVOO.  Massage together before adding veggies. Cut 4# root veggies into cubes as close to the same size as possible. Toss into bag and make sure everything is covered well. Cover a rimmed cookie sheet with parchment paper and dump veggies onto paper adding every last drop of spice mix over veggies. Roast at 400 degrees for 35 minutes, more if at higher altitude.

Serves 8 or makes wonderful leftovers.