Dear Friends of the Farm,
Due to the many weeks of high heat, we have some very exciting fruits and vegetables coming on! However, at the beginning, there may not be enough for every Distribution Center to get all the new crops. We may deliver to Tuesday members, but not Wed. or Thur. Or the opposite may happen. Thur. may get produce and Tue. & Wed. may not. We have even had to give crops to the Full Shares, but not to Half Shares and Single Shares. In time, everyone will get everything! It is just the way Mother Nature works. New this week are green and purple bell peppers, eggplant, basil, yellow and bi-color corn, carrots, muskmelon and yellow watermelon.
I know it is only the first of August…wait a minute!! It’s the first of August…Holy cow! Okay, Okay. I have recovered from the shock! Now where was I, oh yes! The Merchandise Committee has decided to have a t-shirt design contest for the shirts we will make for the Harvest Festival. I know several of you are great artists. We thought we could post this to the Blog and have members vote. The winner would have bragging rights, a free t-shirt and $50 award. Let’s get creative! Here are some rules to follow:
1. It must have our name on the shirt. Monroe Organic Farms, llc
2. It must have the current year.
3. Appropriate statements can be added.
4. Your wildest dreams can come alive. So be as creative as you like, but keep it a farm theme!
5. The deadline is August 15th.
6. Contact Jan Coffelt to register at firstname.lastname@example.org or 303-987-3351
The Harvest Festival is Sunday September 19th. Please RSVP to Peg Lehr at email@example.com or at 303-329-8506 if you do not use email. We will need to know how many adults and how many children will be attending. Please indicate if you are a vegetarian. (Do you prefer a veggie burger? And do you know where we can get them in bulk?) If you will be bringing guests, we will need their names and how many will be attending. They must accompany a Member. Guest will pay $10 per person to join the farm fun; children 3 and under will not be charged.
We will be having a canners corner. If you have questions about canning, a member will be there to answer your questions. There will be a jam and jelly contest this year. There will be two categories: Fruit and Vegetable. Some of you may not realize how many wonderful recipes are out there for vegetable jams. Hot pepper jelly or tomato jam can be absolutely delicious! Please notify Peg Lehr to sign up for the contest. There will be 1st, 2nd and 3rd place ribbons as well as a $15 purse for first place!
Besides the hayride and u-pick vegetables, we have other activities to keep you busy. We are very excited about the new games for the Festival this year. Besides our annual Stick Horse Judging Contest and Stick Horse race, there will be two more games available to play all day. We want to see how good you are at tossing a Bean Bag into Milk Jugs and how many Milk Bottles can you knock down! The apple press will be back, but the popcorn sheller will not be available. To our dismay, all the popcorn was ruined by mold from all the rainstorms. We left it standing in the field. Let’s hope we have less moisture this fall when things are supposed to be drying out!
This is a really wonderful way to spend the day with your family. You would be crazy not to join us on September 19th for friendship and fun on the farm. Come and see where all your produce is coming from. Take a look at your handiwork; if you were lucky enough to join us this spring for planting and hoeing! Or just spend time getting to know other members who love this farm as much as you do!
Have you checked the most recent report on the 12 dirties fruits and veggies lately? Here is a list compiled by the Environmental Working Group. They get their information from chemical residue testing by the USDA. It is recommended to purchase this produce by EWG organically due to the amount of residue still found on conventionally raised produce that has been washed and ready to serve: celery, peaches, strawberries, apples, blueberries, nectarines, bell peppers, spinach, kale, cherries, potatoes and imported grapes. There are imperfections in everything around us. Farmers try to please their customers by produce blemish free produce. In some instances, this takes an extreme amount of chemicals!
Produce recommended ‘safe’ to purchase non-organically consist of fruits and veggies that can be peeled. Some have natural defenses against predators such as sweet potatoes that secrete a white sticky substance that gums up an insect’s legs and mouth or asparagus that gets picked so quickly that insects don’t discover it in time! Here is the list of conventional produce that is listed as the Clean 15: onions, avocado, sweet corn (I beg to differ with this one), pineapple, mango, sweet peas (the standard kind with inedible shells), asparagus, kiwifruit, cabbage (outside leaves are sprayed heavily, it is best to remove 5 to 7 layers. We do this (removing layers) without spraying and get beautiful heads of cabbage!), eggplant, cantaloupe, watermelon, grapefruit, sweet potato and honeydew.
I don’t know what to make of some of this. When you work in it and you see what is happening, it is hard to believe! I know some farmers that spray their sweet corn weekly until harvesting. I find it difficult to believe that some of that is not getting to the corn! Same with onions, are you kidding me! You want me to believe that taking off two layers of an onion that is mostly made up water, makes the rest of it okay to eat? Hum…I think I will stick to organic!
Thank you for supporting organic farmers! We love hearing your comments when you call! It really makes our day wonderful to hear how much you are enjoying the fruits of our labor (of love!).
Jacquie, Jerry, Alaina and Kyle