8/11/09 Newsletter

Dear Friends of the Farm,

Well here it is, the second week of August and it is supposed to be very hot. What have we been getting? Rain…again! Last night we even received a little hail with it. That was lovely. Something every farmer looks forward too. It doesn’t appear to have caused any damage really. But you will see the marks on everything. Is it monsoon season yet? It looks to us as if it started a long time ago and never really went away! Enough with this crazy weather!

There is a really nice blog put together by a member who is a food writer in Denver. Gretchen has a passion for food, but more importantly, food from sustainable sources. Check out her blog at http://www.seedtospoon.com. If you are looking for more recipes for all the goodies you receive each week, you may want to try out http://www.cooks.com. I like this site quite a bit. A few years ago, a couple of members took the initiative to create and monitor a Yahoo Group Page. This group discussion page will have a calendar to mark off special events, when extra pickings are available and freeze warnings. It is designed for members to keep in touch via email. It is a great place to get to know each other as well as exchange recipes, cooking and preservation tips. You send email to a common address and yahoo distributes it to whoever has chosen to receive emails about Monroe Organic Farms. Your email address is kept safely within the group and traffic is low. You can be removed at any time. To join, either go to: http://www.yahoogroups.com/group/MonroeOrganicFarms/join, or send an email to MonroeOrganicFarms-subscribe@yahoogroups.com and we’ll get you signed up.

Once melons, corn and tomatoes are on, you will need extra cloth bags or a box to take all your loose produce home. It will also keep it from rolling around in your car! We do not provide the bags you will need for this, so plan ahead! You are welcome to bring your extra plastic bags to share with other members for this task.

Distribution Centers are asking me to remind you that they have set hours for you to pick up produce. Please do not come early unless you have called them ahead of time and made arrangements to do so. Never take produce from a Distribution Center without checking in with them first. They keep track of who have come and who have not, who have turned in their bags and picked up honey &Western Slope fruit. So you can see if you arrive and take produce without checking in, Distribution Centers are at a loss as to where that produce has gone and who has taken it!

Produce Fees are due and payable in full by September 1st. Statements will be sent out by the end of this week showing what has been paid and what has not. A $25 late payment fee will be assessed by the 15th of each month the accounts are not paid in full.

For those of you interested in the Winter Share, I will be sending out information about that in September. Watch for it! If you are one of those members who has already signed up for the Winter Share, do not worry about sending another form. We will take care of you!

The Harvest Festival will be Sunday, September 20th from 11am to 3pm. This is our ‘thank you’ for being members. We are asking you not to invite non-members. But if you do, they will be charged $10 per person, adults and children. We will be taking reservations starting this week. We need to know how many people are coming from your household. If non-members are coming, we need to know that too and how many.

I need volunteers to help set up tables and tents and chop produce. We get started at 8am. I will also need 3 volunteers to clear the table during the day, keep up with filling the drink containers and chopping extra produce if necessary. There is a need for 8 people (two every hour) to run the Check In Station from 11 to 2 pm. A couple of people will need to empty the trash in the bathrooms, make sure there are extra T.P. and paper towels available. The canning booth was a big hit last year and I would love to have volunteers sit and talk to people about canning. The most important job yet, the Master Grillers! We need two people every hour over a four hour period. Grilling will need to start at 10am. and continue until 2 pm. Tear down and clean up will start around 3:30pm. and we need as many hands as possible to make it easy and light work.

We hope to have the apple cider press back this year. We need everyone to bring a big bag of apples to the Festival to share. This way everyone will get a small sample of fresh apple cider. The more variety of apples, the better the cider! I haven’t checked with Jerry to find out if there was any popcorn left over from last fall. If there is, we will set up the popcorn sheller and everyone can try their hand at removing popcorn from the cob and take a small bag home for popping. We will of course have the hayrides to the pumpkin patch throughout the day. Each child should be able to take home a pumpkin!

We will also have our list of u-pick crops & directions available at the check in table for those who want to pick. We ask that you bring your own containers. If you do not, you will not be able to pick this year. We need all of our containers for distribution. We also ask members to only pick crops on the list. For the last couple of years, we are noticing more and more people taking crops out that were not listed. If this continues, we will stop the u-pick part of the party. We do not grow extras of every crop. And every year that list changes according to what Mother Nature has decided to give as bumper crops.

Would anyone like to do the shopping for me? Once we have a tally as to how many people are coming to the Festival, we will need the supplies for it. A shopping list will be compiled and passed on to you. You will need to bring those supplies to me on the day of the Festival. And I will reimburse you for those costs.

The Harvest Festival is something we all look forward to every year. But it does take several volunteers to make it happen. We noticed the same volunteers show up every year. It would be nice to see some new faces. The chores are not difficult and you get to know other members at the same time. To be successful, this festival needs you!

The Festival is a potluck. We ask you to bring the side dishes & desserts and we will supply the fresh veggies, fruit, hot dogs, burgers, utensils and drinks. The Festival is a great way to get to know other members and see the farm where all your veggies come from. Mark your calendars and plan on joining us for a fun filled day!

This week you are getting red potatoes, red onions, red beets, yellow carrots, celery, eggplant, ivory & green peppers, slicing cucumbers, summer squash, beans, muskmelon and corn! Normally you would not see celery this time of year. We assume it is due to the cold wet spring. Muskmelon is in the same plant family as cantaloupe, however, it is stronger tasting and sweeter than cantaloupe. Try not to fall head over heels in love with this. Oh yes! I do believe summer has arrived!

The Monroes

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