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.

Advertisements

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!

Newsletter – September 12, 2017

Hi Everyone!

It is week 13 of an 18 week season and you are getting: red potatoes, red onions, red beets, daikon radish, lemon cucumbers, purple & red peppers, pablano peppers, green beans, orange honeydew and tomatoes; including red beefsteak, yellow, Cherokee Purple, Black Beauty, and Terra Cotta.

The Terra Cotta tomato is a unique tomato that has an orange tinge to it with green mixed throughout. Its flavor can be fruity to outrageously acidic! It’s the acidity that gives a tomato its flavor. Compare the flavor of your low acid yellow tomato to the high acid of the other three and you can really see the difference! Our regular beefsteak red tomato has an acid content in the middle range.

The orange flesh honeydew is absolutely one of my favorites! It has a nice round flavor and very sweet. Honeydew are at their best when you leave them on the counter until they resemble an over inflated rubber ball. They should have a rubbery feel to them. You can eat any of these melons right away, but those that do not have that rubbery feel to them will be firmer inside and the rubbery ones will be soft inside!

Daikon Radishes are a favorite in Asian cooking and is mostly pickled and served as a side dish. An old Chinese proverb says, “Eating pungent radish and drinking hot tea let the starved doctors beg on their knees.” There’s probably some truth to this saying, because radishes are among the most nutritionally loaded yet low-calorie vegetables you can eat. Daikon has the ability to improve digestion, helps relieve indigestion & heartburn, may help improve blood circulation and prevent clots. The juice extracted from raw daikon has been traditionally used to alleviate headaches, fever, swollen gums, hot flashes and it has anti-inflammatory effect on people. Sounds like a super-food to me!!

Office Staff: Dani is having ankle surgery this Wednesday and will not be in the office until next Monday. Please be advised I am not in the office this week either because I have company from California coming Friday and won’t be available until Friday the 22nd. I will try to answer phone messages on the 15th but will not be answering email. (Which everyone should know by now that I do not do very often anyway!)

Do you remember? Telephone booths, party lines, phones you dialed, phones that hung on the wall with 10 foot cord so you could try to find some privacy when talking? Do you remember writing long notes to your friends during a boring lecture instead of texting for five seconds? Talk with your kids tonight and enlighten them on the way telephones used to work!

Colorado Proud Day is September 13th and is a day set aside for everyone to think about where their food comes from and the farmers that produce it. Do you know where your food comes from? Good question to ask most people because they do not! Hug a farmer…they deserve your appreciation!

Pickled Daikon

4 pound each carrots & celery, julienned
½ pound daikon, julienned
1 ½ cups water
¼ cup rice vinegar (I used regular)
2 Tb raw honey

Place everything into a large, wide pan. Bring to a boil and immediately remove from heat. Let sit for at least one hour. Serve at room temperature or chilled.

UPDATED Newsletter – September 4, 2017

Dear Friends of the farm,

This week Jerry made some last minute changes! You are getting Walla Walla onions, garlic, turnips, red cabbage, squash, cucumbers, lemon cucumbers, green & purple bell peppers, basil, beans, red tomatoes, Black Beauty tomatoes, corn, muskmelon and honeydew.

We are now giving out a new honeydew called Banana Melon.  It has salmon
colored flesh with yellow, smooth, rippled skin.  It has a unique flavor
that reminds me of muskmelon and honeydew combined.  It is banana shaped
and some will say it even smells like a banana….though I could not smell
it.  It is an old heirloom seed and somewhat rare.  Please save the seed
by rinsing well, dry it out, then place in an envelope.  Please do not
place in plastic. The seed will mold & we cannot use it.

You are also getting several different heirloom tomatoes such as Cherokee
Purple (same as last week), Golden Globe and Black Beauty.

This is the world’s darkest tomato! It has the same antioxidants as blueberries!  With a thick flesh, it is one of the greatest tasting tomatoes with a savory, earthy taste.  Allow the green spot to turn pink by leaving on your counter.

After examining the fields, the best looking right now is a beautiful red
basil called cinnamon basil.  Has a very nice, slightly spicy taste.

We are out of watermelon for the summer.  Due to the extremely warm temperatures in July, everything came on approximately 3 to 4 weeks early.  So we will be slowly running out of product this month. So enjoy it while it is here!!

Boxes/Bags:  If you remember, at the beginning of the year we asked you to return all boxes & bags including your bean bags.  This means we want your peach boxes!  We want to put tomatoes into them for distribution.

Cards & Letters:  I sure do appreciate all the nice notes members are sending me along with their payments.  It makes us feel like we are doing something right!  We work so hard (and get a little grumpy along the way) and so many hours; well let me just say, thank you for appreciating it!!  It has been an amazing summer full of rich, wonderful goodness…

Jacquie’s Soapbox:  My grandmother (Edith) had a saying:  “If a child hasn’t eaten five pounds of dirt by the time they are 2, they’re not going to be healthy.” After having kids of my own, and seeing other people with their kids today, I’m beginning to see her point!  I dug a huge hole in my back yard and the kids and I would sit in it and play with Matchbox Cars or Tanka Trucks for hours.  Sometimes we would add water to that hole, just for fun!  We had a sand pit under the playhouse and again play in it for hours.  We would make mud pies and have mud fights!  When they got older, we played in the muddy water in the ditches.  None of us wore shoes all summer unless we had too.  (I cannot tell you how many times I had to wash off those two kids with a garden hose before coming into the house!)  We still play in the dirt (literally) every day.  Our kids had a mud volleyball game for their friends a few years back!  As everyone crawled out of the pit, they had mud in their hair, smeared across their faces and of course, on their cloths. Everyone had the best time.

Today, kids appear to be sparkling clean.  I constantly hear parents say, “Don’t get dirty!”  Well why not??  We have to be exposed to the germs in the dirt around us to build up our immune systems. Evidence shows us that if we do this as kids it will help us as adults.  Children raised in homes that are not perfectly clean have fewer allergies as adults.  Hopefully this will inspire you and make you feel much better about going outside to play with your kids instead of cleaning the house this week!  Let’s all get dirty, be healthy and have some fun!  (psst.  We eat produce right out in the field without washing it; a big no-no in food safety today.)  WE LOVE OUR DIRT!!

Curried Vegetables 

1 onion. sliced & quartered
2 carrots, sliced
1 green chili, chopped (or jalapeno for added spice)
1 summer squash, chunked
1 small eggplant, chunked
3 T. oil
1 lg potato, chunked
1 t. cumin seeds
1 cup cauliflower, in pieces
1 t. coriander, turmeric & chili powder
1 bell pepper, chunked
2/3 cup veggie broth
juice from a lime

Heat 1 T. oil in a pan and fry onion, the chili & cumin seeds 2 minutes and set aside in a serving bowl.  Heat 2 T. oil then add potato & fry 3 minutes.  Add cauliflower & carrots and fry 3 minutes.  Add eggplant & squash and fry 3 minutes. (Isn’t this nice and easy so far?)  Stir in spices, add broth, cover and simmer 30 minutes or until veggies are tender.  Add more broth if needed to make a nice consistency.  Finish with the lime juice, cook another couple of minutes and serve!

Winter Share Form

Winter Share Form

Monroe Winter Share pdf

(click above to download – it will take you to a new page, where you will have to click the link again.)