Newsletter – July 19th, 2016

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Dear Farm Friends,

This Week you are getting Yukon Gold potatoes, green beans, white onions, cucumbers, squash, garlic and fennel.  A very exciting development:  the muskmelons are starting to ripen!  We are hoping there will be enough to give each of you one.  Muskmelon and cantaloupe are in the same plant family.  Did you know that all melons originated in Egypt?  Muskmelon is the parent plant to cantaloupe.

Exchange Box:  Each distribution center should have an exchange box.  This allows you to take items out of your bag you really don’t want and pick up something someone else has left behind.  If your DC does not have an exchange box, ask for one!

Mesh bags:  As I have stated before, we are short staffed at the farm because we do not have as many Working Members as normal.  It would help us greatly if each household will make sure their bags are free of debris.  By not taking care of this, you are asking your DC to remove debris from 30 bags.  If they do not do it, then I have to empty out 600 bags.  Many hands make light work.  Please do your part!

Volunteers wanted!  Have you ever wondered how Distribution works?  After discussing this with Jerry in more detail about getting some help on Tue, Wed and Thr; we have decided that if you choose to come help us one morning, you do not need to help in the fields afterword.  We start at 7 am and we fill all the bags, count corn, tomatoes & melons then load trucks.  You can take your veggies home with you that morning.  Please give me a two day advance notice to switch you out of your DC and onto the farm!

T-shirts:  This is the week to turn in your order for t-shirts.  The due date is July 29th.  If you forget to take your T-shirt Order Form to the DC, they will have extra forms for you to fill out.  Or if you prefer, you can call in your order with me and I’ll take care of you.  You have the option to pay at time of order or after being invoiced!

Green Bean and Potato Salad    (page 18 of the CSA Cookbook)

  • 1# cooked, cut green beans
  • 2T. vinegar
  • 4 large potatoes, cubed and boiled
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 med. onions, thinly sliced in half moons
  • ½ t. dried oregano
  • 2T. extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

Combine first three ingredients.  Whisk together the next four ingredients.  Toss the veggies with the sauce and season with salt and pepper.  Refrigerate at least four hours; but preferably overnight.

Serves 6 to 8.

(My grandmother used to add bacon to this once in a while!)

Newsletter – July 12th, 2016

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This week you are getting Walla Walla onions, kohlrabi, golden beets, squash, cucumbers, garlic and kale.  Substitute kohlrabi for bamboo shoots in stir-fry’s or eat sliced and sautéed or boiled.  It is a member of the cabbage family so can be added to coleslaw or salads.

Fruit:  You will be getting cherries this week from First Fruits Organic Orchard!!!

The Farm:  Jerry is seeding (planting) corn and beans today.  I bet you didn’t know that in order to get beans and corn every  week, it has to be planted every single week; cucumbers and summer squash are planted every three weeks; your melons and tomatoes are planted three times a year and potatoes, beets and carrots twice a year.  Unfortunately, Mother Nature was grumpy in May and killed the first planting of beans and corn.  But, Jerry is confident you will be getting green beans soon and possible corn by the end of the month!

Cucumber Relish/Salad:

  • 1 C. fresh cooked corn, cut off cob
  • 1 lg. cucumber, chopped
  • 2 T finely chopped onion
  • 2 t. honey
  • ½ t. salt
  • 3 to 4 t. finely chopped cilantro
  • 1 T. red wine vinegar or balsamic vinegar
  • 1 T. sesame oil or olive oil
  • 1 t. dried red chili flakes
  • 1 small hot pepper

Mix and refrigerate for several hours to allow flavors to blend.  Serves 8 to 10.

Veggie note: Cut zucchini lengthwise and use in your favorite lasagna recipe instead of pasta noodles.  It is a great way to use up those large zucc’s! Zucchini Boats are a lovely dish as well. Make your favorite stuffing; bread, veggie or meat and place in your zucchini cut lengthwise with the seed bed removed. Bake at 350 degrees for 45min. to an hour. Another way to use up the larger cucumbers is to make tuna boats.  Make tuna salad and place in minced (optional) cucumber, again cut lengthwise with seed bed removed. This is a cool and refreshing meal for lunch or dinner!

Produce Fees/Lamb:  Half of your produce fees, fruit and honey are now due.  This is a reminder to send in your checks no later than the 22nd to avoid late fees.  Jerry was inspecting the sheep this morning and says it looks like they will go to processing sometime in September, maybe August on the biggest ones.  We had asked that all lamb be paid in full by August 1st, but will allow that to extend to the 15th since they are going in later than expected.

T-shirts:  Turn in your order form to your Distribution Center in the next two weeks.  (I’ll have extra forms at the DC’s)  If you prefer; I’ll take the order in house.  Please do not email an order to me!  Either mail it to me or give it to your DC.  It’s no problem to pay for your t-shirt at the time you order or you can be invoiced.  We expect to be paid immediately upon receipt of the invoice.  We will deliver your t-shirts to your DC as soon as they are printed and obtained by us (hopefully no more than three weeks).  What a great way to show your support of a local, 80 year old farm!!!

Something Special:  On the other side, you will find an article written by a 2nd year working member.  Our first year (38 members in 1993), we didn’t write a newsletter until the very last week of the season.  The next year, we wrote a monthly newsletter with members writing many of the articles.  This was one of my favorites!  Our 2nd year we had 78 members and the working members started the 1st of April and worked through October.  We did distribution two days a week on Tue and Thur.  We had five Distribution Centers:  Aurora, Lakewood, Boulder, Ft. Collins and the farm and everyone had to drive to one of these locations.  These members were really dedicated to supporting a local farm!!!

Learning and Working the Farm Experience 

Paula Reets, 2nd year working member (written in 1994, our second year as a CSA)

Being a working member on the farm has been a great learning experience for my family.  We’ve especially learned to appreciate vegetables.  What a difference it makes being directly responsible for the production of your food!  It even seems to taste better. We’ve learned a lot about the farming process, from planting to harvesting.

During planting, we learned that when Jerry says to plant the seedlings a foot apart, that everyone’s foot is a different size.  We learned how delicate the seedlings can be—yet they can withstand the normal range of weather; wind, rain and heat.  We learned how extreme weather can wipe out a whole crop, and how to transplant volunteer tomato plants because the rest of the tomato plants suffered severe wind burn.

We learned how to hoe, which means we learned about weeds.  Some, like the dandelion and lamb’s quarters, are actually edible.

We learned that time passes much more quickly when your busy making friends with other working members.  It can be very peaceful listening to the kids play and the birds sing.  Sometimes, we even hear a goat bleating in the distance.

Hoeing is exhausting, but harvest follows soon after it, and it’s a welcome change.  Yet harvesting often can be harder than hoeing!

We learned things about food that I don’t remember from Biology class.  We discovered that sun warmed, fresh picked strawberries are the tastiest, and the berries with bird bites are the sweetest.  And—what a surprise!—discovered that green beans actually taste good raw.  But most surprising of all, we learned that contrary to popular belief, you can eat the black seeds in watermelon!

The kids learned a couple of interesting animal facts too.  They learned that snakes eat toads live, and that pigs have hair!

Most important of all, we learned that farming is hard work, but, every minute we put in on the farm is worth it.  Not only do we get superior quality produce, we make great new friends too!

Paula Reets has been with our farm since our very first year.  She wrote this for me to help members understand what you get out of being a working member.  Unfortunately, this year we are very short of working members.  If you would like to join us one day to help out, let me know!  You will take your produce home with you that day.  Please give me at least a two day notice!  We start at 7 am sharp and work four hours on Tue, Wed and Thr.  You will start out your day bagging up the produce for the non-working members, then will move on to barn clean-up, field work or prepping produce for market.  This is a great way to see how a small portion of your farm works and what your Working Members are responsible for!!  Families are welcome, so plan on joining us soon!

2006:  I was looking at newsletters to see what the weather was doing ten years ago.  I was talking about the dry weather and how so many farmers’ wells were shut down because they were never augmented.  (You have to own surface water (to put back into the ground) in order to take water from underground because it depletes what is running down rivers when groundwater is too low.  Surface water just sinks underground instead of running on top.)  I hope this makes sense!  Anyway, the shutdown did not affect us because all of our water comes from two reservoirs.  Spring was rough that year because of numerous freezing in late May and early June.  So it looks like our first delivery didn’t start until the fourth week of June!

Until next week….Jacquie and Jerry

Newsletter – July 5th, 2016

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This week you should get red onions, scarlet turnips, carrots, garlic, kohlrabi, squash, cucumbers and iceberg lettuce. Both the greens and the bulb are edible on the kohlrabi. It can be eaten raw, cooked or pickled (easy recipe: use a one for refrigerator pickles and substitute the cucumbers for kohlrabi). To extend storage of the greens, separate from the bulbs and place in a resealable bag. They can be eaten raw or cooked. Cook as any other greens.

There will not be any fruit this week. The growers told me that they have been inundated with rain and they cannot get into the fields to pick. Not only that, but it slows down the ripening process. They anticipate having a nice crop of cherries next week (if the weather holds out)!

I hope to have your first delivery of honey this week, if they are not too behind from the 4th!

T-Shirts: To celebrate our 80th anniversary, we are making t-shirts! Here is the T-shirt Order Form. Please fill it out and return it to your distributor by 19th, 20th and 21st (or call me and I’ll fill out a form in-house). T-shirts will be ordered the following week and hopefully we can deliver them to your distributor by the middle of August.

Harvest Festival: Mark your calendars now so you don’t plan anything on top of this fun filled day! September 18th is our festival and it is our way of thanking you, our members, for supporting us throughout the season. We grill hot dogs and hamburgers and provide the utensils and drinks. All of you bring side dishes and desserts. There is a hayride to the pumpkin patch, games for children, corn shucking contests, a pumpkin carrying contest, u-pick opportunities and self-guided tours.

This has been a tradition since 1993 when we started our first year as a CSA. Only once did we have to cancel the festival completely and that was in 2013 during the floods. We have postponed the festival twice due to very cold, stormy weather in the past. This year looks to be a great year and we plan on celebrating in style! Hope you will join us for our 80th Anniversary and the 24th Annual Harvest Festival!

Cream of Spring Vegetable Soup (page 8 of the Farm Fresh CSA cookbook)

4 T. Butter
4-8 small turnips, chopped
1 small onion, diced
4 carrots, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
4-6 cups vegetable stock
2 heads kohlrabi, peeled & chopped
1 cup half & half

Melt butter in a pot, add onion one minute then add garlic and sauté until aromatic. Add kohlrabi, turnips and carrots and sauté 5 minutes. Add four cups of stock and cook until veggies are tender. Puree soup until smooth adding additional stock until you are happy with the consistency. Return to pot. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Soup can be prepared a few days in advance or can be frozen at this time. Before serving, heat soup and whisk in half & half. Serves up to 6.

Newsletter – June 28th, 2016

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Hi all –

Jacquie’s internet is still down, so here’s a quick produce recap for this week. Be sure to pick up a paper copy of the newsletter at your DC so you can get all the news and a recipe for a ‘Gorgeous Beet Salad’!

Produce:

  • turnips
  • beets
  • garlic
  • Walla Walla onions
  • cucumbers
  • squash
  • oregano
  • lettuce

Fruit shares will be getting apricots from Rancho Duranzo. Also, Jacquie is taking names for people that want to harvest pickles – give her a call and leave a message if you’re interested in picking. Picking only takes place on Sundays.

Happy cooking!

Newsletter – June 20th, 2016

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Hi all –

Just a quick note to let you know that I heard from Jacquie today and her internet is down. No one is able to come look at it until the 30th, so full newsletters won’t be available here on the blog until things are back up working.

In the meantime, I pick up on Tuesdays, so will give you a quick produce brief after I get my newsletter and veggies. Here’s this weeks’ veg:

  • Peas
  • Carrots
  • Squash
  • Cucumber
  • Garlic
  • Garlic scapes
  • Chard

Enjoy!

Newsletter – February 9, 2016

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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

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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