Monthly Archives: September 2010

Harvest Festival!

This was the first year I was able to attend the harvest festival and I’m not sure what I enjoyed the most: the chance to hang out with farm and foodie friends, the delicious food, the fun of judging the jam contest, or this cute little fellow out in the field picking and sampling peppers and tomatoes as his mom picked the row next to him.

I promised the jam winner recipes so here are two of them – will get you the other one as soon as I get it!

First Place
Caramelized Onion Jam
Stefanie Winfield

6-7 large white onions, thinly sliced
1 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup white sugar
1 cup balsamic vinegar
1 cup red wine

Cook the onions in oil or butter for about 15-20 minutes until caramelized. When they are starting to brown, add all the rest of the ingredients. Stir occasionally in the beginning and then very often as they mixture starts to thicken. You’ll know know it is done when you can run a spoon through the mixture and create a valley.

Third Place
Cherry-Almond Jam
Peg Lehr, Adapted from the Ball Blue Canning Book

Yield: about 6 1/2 pints

3 (12 oz) bags of frozen sweet cherries, thawed and drained (or 36 oz. fresh sweet cherries, pitted)
1 package powdered pectin
3/4 cup almond liqueur
3 tablespoons lemon juice
4-1/2 cups sugar

Finely chop the cherries. Combine cherries, pectin, almond liqueur and lemon juice in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Add sugar, stirring until dissolved. Return to a rolling boil. Boil hard 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat, skim foam, ladle into hot jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Adjust two-piece caps. Process in boiling water bath for 10 minutes. Enjoy!

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Newsletter: Sept. 28, 2010 – Winter Shares, Lost & Found, Freeze Warning


Dear Members,

This is week 15 out of 18 deliveries.  You are getting Yukon Gold potatoes, yellow cooking onions, carrots, summer squash, possibly some cucumbers, red peppers, banana peppers, tomatoes and bi-color corn.  New this week are diakon radishes, celery and butternut squash.  We will be getting fruit this week.  First Fruits Organic Farms are sending Honey Crisp and Gala apples.

We have found a Distribution Center in Central Denver on the east side of I-25.  The location will be near 6th Avenue and Downing.  We are still looking for a Distribution Center in Boulder.  If no one volunteers, we will be calling each and every person who signs up for a Winter Share asking them to be the Distribution Center.  Please consider volunteering.  You get a $100 discount and the produce is delivered to your door.  Best part about it, you don’t have to drive to pick up your produce!

The Winter Share deadline is coming up on October 1st.  Winter Share forms can be found at your Distribution Centers!  Or you can call me and I will mail one directly to you.  Those of you who have already registered for a Winter Share this spring do not need to sign up again.  It will be transferred from your Summer Share information, including your egg order.  Contact me if you want to increase or decrease the total amount of eggs you receive each month.  Winter Distribution will begin November 3rd and will be delivered every-other Wednesday through February 23rd.  We will skip December 29th delivery and give you a double bag on Dec. 15th (the week before Christmas).

Jerry and the guys have finished harvesting the dried beans.  We grew black beans and kidney beans for the Winter Share this year.  They look terrific!  It looks like we will have enough to give it out every distribution!  I made a pot of chili out of the kidney beans just to see how they taste.  Oh Wow!  I was surprised by the freshness and how wonderful they tasted!  I am really looking forward to this.

New items have been found from the Harvest Festival.  They include:  a tea towel, a cell phone and canning jars that had pickles in them.  Item not claimed yet are:  a clear plastic bowl, pottery serving dishes, duffel bag with dishes, a large baking dish, a large white plastic serving spoon and several other metal serving spoons; two of which are matching and belong to the pottery serving bowls.

If you are one of the many people who did not bring a one gallon container to the Festival to pick tomatoes into and barrowed one of our wooden baskets, please return them if you took them home.  They were only for measurement purposes.  We need them for Farmers Markets and several are missing!

If you could not make it out to the Harvest Festival and would like to pick anaheim chilies and have them roasted, you can do that this week.  I will be available Tue & Thr at 6pm and Sunday at 10am or 1pm.  Please call and make an appointment.  It costs $5 to roast!

It is that time of year where we can have a hard freeze that will take crops away from distribution.  Are you available to help pick produce at the last minute?  Some crops can be saved and given out for distribution if we can get them safely inside the barn or strawbale buildings.  We are going to set up a freeze warning system. Lorna Carnahan will be in charge of this.  Contact her at 208-371-8372 or at lornacarnahan@gamil.com.  If it looks like we will have a freeze, a warning will go out and picking will start immediately.  We will mostly likely pick peppers and probably tomatoes.  There are not too many of these left so we may just let them go!

If you are one of the many Members who are saving the heirloom watermelon seed, it must be in a paper envelope.  They cannot be saved in a plastic bag.  By the time we get them, they have completely molded and they are no good!

Again, I would like to thank everyone who helped out and attended the Harvest Festival.  There really was a great turnout and I think everyone had a great time.  I know I did!

Have a great week!

Jacquie, Jerry, Alaina and Kyle

New Cookbook!

I hope by now you’ve purchased your copy of the Monroe cookbook that we put together for this year and had a chance to use some of those wonderful 200 recipes. We’ve just about sold out and will be working over the next year to produce a Volume Two as Jacquie mentioned in the newsletter today. I’m posting this FYI that my email address was wrong in that letter – please send recipes to me at michele@cookingwithmichele.com. Blame my mom for giving me that French spelling!

Thanks!

~Posted by Michele of Cooking with Michele

Newsletter: September 21, 2010

Dear Friends of the Farm,

We are so happy so many could make it out to the Festival Sunday! We had 140 Memberships and 43 Guests to make a grand total of 736 people. We could not have gotten anywhere without the help of our Volunteers. Set-up was the smoothest I have ever seen. A special thank you goes out to the Festival Committee and to Peg Lehr being the head. The two of us spent a few hours on the phone conversing about the organization of it all. She really took the reins and I didn’t have to be involved in the small detailed stuff. Thank you, thank you, and thank you! Jan Coffelt was in charge of the T-shirts. She did a great job in getting that organized. And a special thank you to Peter Richards for coming to our rescue when our t-shirt printer skipped out on us! There were so many Volunteers that brought this whole thing together; I cannot thank them all. It was with their help the Festival ran so smoothly. Thank you to each and every one of you!

Contest Winners!
Allison Richards won the $50 prize and a free t-shirt with her design. I will have t-shirt order forms at all the Distribution Centers if you would like to order one. They cost $12 (including tax) and can be delivered to your Distribution Center. All proceeds go to paying for donated produce to friends and members in need. We have:

Mens: small, medium, large and extra large
Womens: small, medium, large and extra large
Youth: small, medium and large.

Stepahie Winfield won the $15 prize and a 1st place ribbon for her savory onion jam. Noelle Taylor came in second with her rainbow pepper jam and Peg Lehr placed third with her cherry-almond jam. There were a total of 8 entries which included Myrna Fielder’s plum jelly, Davee Jo Bunting peach jam, Valerie Wilson’s apple-cranberry jam, Jill Pries’s mixed fruit jam and Ann Cuthbertson’s strawberry jam. Judges were from our Cookbook Committee; Michelle Morris, Michelle Schiavone and Kathy Flanders. Samples were left out for those who would like to taste the jams and jellies in the afternoon. Congratulations to our winners and thank you for entering the contest!

Games & Entertainment!
We had three new games this year: The Yowling Cats; where you had to knock off the cats that sat on top of the “fence”. Then we had metal milk bottles that you could knock down and toss balls into milk jugs. But the big one everyone had fun participating and watching was the Stick Horse Races. The kids have fun and everyone got a ribbon! But to tell you the truth; I think the adults had even more fun watching the little ones on their “horses”. We also had the hayrides to the pumpkin patch. Jerry ran the hayrides and everyone who wanted a pumpkin was able to get one. That tractor didn’t stop from 11:oo until 3:oo!

The chili roaster is the hardest thing to do at the farm. After a little brainstorming with a couple of Core Group Members, we may have a way to make this easier next year so that you will not have to wait in line for so long. We will experiment with it and let you know next summer!

Teardown was a cinch with everyone’s help. We didn’t have very many people pre-volunteer for this, but anyone who was around at the end of the day pitched in and we had the whole place broken down and cleaned up by 4:oo.

Lost & Found!
We have several items that were left behind. If you recognize any of the below items, let me know and we will send them to your Distribution Center. Please don’t forget to tell me which DC you belong too!

Duffel bag with dishes
2 beautiful pottery serving dishes (on second thought, don’t claim these, I would like to keep!)
1 big baking dish
1 large plastic serving bowl
Lots of serving spoons

Food!
My goodness we had a wonderful selection of side dishes this year! (Unlike a couple of years ago where we had nothing but potatoes! Oh well, I guess that’s the way it goes!) I would like everyone to submit your recipe to Michelle Morris for a new cookbook we will be putting together. Some of those dished looked absolutely delicious! Please share your recipe at Michele@cookingwithmichele.com! We started grilling at 10:30 and never stopped. For the first time, we didn’t get too far behind with hamburgers and hot dogs. Next year we will have those of you who want veggie burgers to go over to the grillers right away. You will need to inform them you want the veggie burger so it can be cooked. We ended up with a lot of extra veggie burgers!

All in all it was a fabulous day; the weather was perfect, not too warm or cold, (unlike our freezing yesterday!) Thank you for participating!

Jacquie, Jerry, Alaina and Kyle

Newsletter: Harvest Festival Details!

Dear Friends of the Farm,

Wow! We have an exciting week ahead of us! This Sunday is the Harvest Festival and we have wonderful goodies to start the week with. You will be getting Yukon Gold potatoes, red onions, carrots, turnips, cucumbers, summer squash, orange and red peppers, green beans, tomatoes, muskmelon and orange honeydew. New this week will be White sweet corn and banana peppers. Banana peppers are another variety of sweet pepper. Use them as you would the other sweet peppers. This is a honey week, so those of you who get honey monthly will be getting that this week.

Festival news:
Peg Lehr at 303-329-8506 still needs your RSVP if you plan on attending this Sunday from 11 to 3. Everyone needs to check in when they arrive at the farm and get a name tag. It is a potluck; please plan on bringing a dish twice as much as you would normally feed your family. We will have two games available to play in the front yard; Bean Bag Milk Bottle Collision and Milk Jug Bean Bag Toss. We ask that after playing each game, you set it up for the next person to play. Don’t forget to have your little ones bring a stick horse for the Stick Horse judging and horse race.

We will have the Hayride to the Pumpkin Patch. Continue reading

Newsletter: September 7, 2010


Dear Friends of the Farm,

This is week 12 of 18. We have six more weeks of deliciousness heading your way! You will be getting red potatoes, red onions, carrots, cucumber, squash, mixed colored bell peppers, eggplant, muskmelon, honeydew, green beans and tomatoes this week. New crops will be Roma tomatoes and Edamame beans. Boil these beans in heavily salted water for 8 minutes. Eat, shelled, hot or cold. Add to stir-fries, soups, salads and stews. They are easy to eat as a snack, just slide shells through your teeth and they pop out!

First Fruit will be sending fruit again this week. They preferred to wait a week, but their white peaches, called Blushing Star, are ripe and ready to pick. They do not last long, so they decided to send them to you this week. They will have pock marks from an earlier hail storm. Watch these areas carefully; this is where mold can start to grow. You will also get half a box of apples called Akane. They are an early Jonathan. These apples are really good for cooking and juicing. Chris at First Fruit described them as “spicy and juicy”. Heads up! Honey Crisp Apples will be in the next delivery, which we hope will be in two weeks.

It is only three weeks until our Annual Harvest Festival. Two winners have been chosen by the membership in our t-shirt design contest. It was a dead heat between “rooted in Colorado” and “colorful veggies”. Congratulations to both of you. Now a decision needs to be made! Since our 75th anniversary is coming up next year, we thought we would leave “rooted in Colorado” for next year. I think that is a very neat play in words and perfect for what we want to convey for 2011. (We will still have a t-shirt design contest for the 2011 Festival.) For 2010, we will be using the “Colorful Veggie“design. Our Merchandise Committee is working on getting a “store” set up so that you can purchase anything you want. I don’t know the facts, but I’m hoping you can pick your own color of t-shirts, hats, bags, etc.

I will be sending Winter Share forms to the Distribution Centers this week. Included is an option to purchase eggs, beef, lamb or pork. Eggs can be purchased without ordering a Winter Share. We are only offering this to our current members at this time. Please do not ‘pass on’ the information to anyone else. We want to fill the demand for Winter Shares and meat within our Membership before we offer this to others outside the Membership.

We are looking for Winter Distribution Centers (WDC) in a few areas. If you are interested in more information, please contact me…by phone…and I will be glad to go over all the information about being a WDC. Produce needs to be protected from the weather; garages are required! There is a need in Broomfield and one in Denver, east of I-25. All other WDC’s are covered and here are their locations:

Aurora: I-225 and Mississippi
Boulder: Arapahoe and Foothills Parkway
Centennial: Arapahoe and Broadway
Denver- West: Sheridan and Colfax
Ft. Collins: Harmony and Shields
Greeley: at the farm
Lakewood: Alameda and Union

Having a Distribution Center on the West side of I-25 was a huge hit with those members who have been driving over to the East side for years. However! Those of you driving to the West side last winter sure did let me have it! With that in mind; we have a Distribution Center set for West Denver at Sheridan and Colfax. We need a Distribution Center on the East side of I-25 somewhere between Colfax & Alameda and Santa Fe and Downing. If you live anywhere around this box, please call me and we can talk!

Broomfield is another location that we would like to have a WDC. Someone showed an interest last spring…but I’ll be darn if I remember who I was talking to. We would be interested in something easy to get to from Hwy 36, but we will consider anything. Please contact me if you are interested in working with the farm this winter as a WDC for the Broomfield area.

It was nice to have a cooler day to enjoy this week. Boy, didn’t if feel cold? I changed clothes three times before I was comfortable! This weekend we get to enjoy the 90’s again. We hope everyone got to enjoy at least a three day holiday, if not four!

Jacquie, Jerry, Alaina and Kyle Monroe

Pears and Peaches

How great to get a whole box of fruit this week! Jacquie wanted to let everyone know that the pears should be stored on your counter until they ripen completely, and since the peaches are already so juicy, you should store them in the fridge until you are ready to eat them!

Are you enjoying your fruit share? What is your favorite peach or pear recipe?