Dear Friends of the Farm,
This week you are getting Yukon Gold potatoes, white onions, carrots, red cabbage, white turnips, squash, cucumbers, green & purple peppers, tomatoes, green beans, Charleston Gray watermelon and orange flesh honeydew.
New this week are Sunkyo radishes, red peppers, jalapeno hot peppers and our heirloom specialty tomatoes. You will be given a choice between Brandywine, purple and Super Sue tomatoes. The Sunkyo radish has a semi long root with a deep pink exterior and a bright white interior. It has a crisp nutty flavor that is both hot and sweet at the same time. The leaves are edible either wilted or fresh.
You will be getting a full box of fruit that will be filled half with Bartlett pears and Red Globe peaches. First Fruit wants to thank you for being so understanding this summer with the inconsistency with the fruit deliveries. Their weather has really affected their crops. Being a Community Supported Agriculture participant, I know you are learning the ups and downs a farmer has to deal with each summer and how that may affect the quality of your produce. Please be patient and send them your best wishes for a half-way successful summer!
We are also experiencing difficulties in the fields because of the extremely cold spring and then the sudden shift to our extremely hot summer. We had delays in our spring crops and then our main season crops came on early because of the heat. Add to that the stress the plants are experiencing from the grasshopper damage. Needless to say, we are really happy you have gotten this much produce so far! We have had very little extra or ‘bonus crops’ for members to pick. And we are not sure what the coming month will bring!
The Harvest Festival is September 19th from 11am to 3pm. Everyone needs to check in at the Check-in Station before entering the Festival. Dress for warm weather and tennis shoes are a must. It would be wise to bring an extra jacket, just in case. The weather can change drastically in a few hours. (It doesn’t hurt to bring a change of clothes for the kids too!) Please put on your bug spray and sunscreen before you leave home and then wash your hands very well. We do not want you to apply this on the farm.
This is a potluck lunch. We will grill the hot dogs and hamburgers, please bring side dishes and desserts. We will also provide tableware and drinks. We cannot tell at this time if there will be extra produce to pick during the festival. Bring an extra box just in case. (We do not provide bags or boxes for u-pick produce.) We do anticipate having Anaheim peppers available to pick. You can have those peppers roasted for 5 dollars per barrel or you can roast them at home on your grill.
Don’t forget to RSVP with Peg Lehr at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 303-329-8506 if you do not use email. We will use this information for our buying needs. We still need volunteers to make the Festival run smoothly. Give Peg a call and she can let you know what is still available.
Guess what? It is that time of year to think about whether you want to participate in our Winter Share Program. Our Winter Share provides your staples; crops such as potatoes, onions, carrots, garlic, winter squash, pie pumpkins, cabbage, beets and popcorn. We also provide leeks and lettuce out of the green house until the aphids get too bad. We have a surprise! Jerry grew black beans and Kidney beans. They haven’t been harvested yet, so we don’t know how much we have, but it will be a wonderful addition to the Winter Share this year! I will send out Sign-up forms to the Distribution Centers next week. We will need your order returned by October 1st.
You also need to think about your need for meat next spring. We have been sold out of pork since last spring, lamb and beef since June. We are already taking orders for 2011! We can only get 30 to 35 piglets, 15 to 20 lambs each spring & fall; 10 steers in the spring and 20 steers in the fall. It will be in your best interest to order now for next spring instead of waiting until January.
Fall animals are filling out, but we do not see a sign they are ready for processing. We believe the lambs will be ready first, then the beef and pork. I will try to give you a heads up just as soon as we see them getting fat! We planted new pastures for all the animals last year. You will find your meat to be leaner in 2010. The animals love their pastures and they are spending more time out there than up in their corrals eating hay, corn and vegetables. All orders must be paid in full before we take them to the processer. We hope lamb will go in within the next 6 weeks; pork and beef starting in November.
Your Final Payment for your Summer Share was due on September 1st. However, we are still processing the July payments. We will send out statements just as soon as we get everything to the bank and in the computer. Once you get your statement, we ask you to please send in your final payment right away.
Jerry and I want to thank you all for all your support. This hasn’t been the easiest year for us to grow in and First Fruit is having the worst year in a long time. You are getting a ton of produce now, because we have it now. But your bags may look a little small come the end of the season. This is the reality of growing food in Colorado and the reason you choose to participate in a CSA. Together we will get through the good years and the bad!
Jacquie, Jerry, Alaina and Kyle Monroe