Monthly Archives: August 2011

Newsletter

Dear Friends,

Crops:  This week you are getting red onions, carrots, beets, squash, lemon & slicing cucumbers, globe eggplant, purple peppers, green peppers, anaheim peppers, diakon radish, tomatoes, corn, muskmelon, orange honeydew, watermelon and green beans.  You will not be getting potatoes this week. If you are not sure what to do with the diakon radish, add it to your mashed potatoes to give them another flavor, add it to your roasts along with potatoes & carrots and it is really good in soups and stews.  Diakon radish is good in stir-fries and salads too.

Melon:  All of the membership will not get the same kind of watermelon.  It will be a combination of Crimson Sweet (light and dark green stripes), Charleston Gray (oblong & pale green) or Moon and Stars (dark green with yellow spots).  If you get the Charleston Gray or Moon and Stars watermelon, we would love to have the seeds – if you are willing to take care of them for us.  Simply rinse them off and let them dry off completely.  Wrap them in a paper towel and place in an envelope.  Do not put them in a plastic bag.  They will be unusable because of mold and will have to be thrown away.  The orange honeydew is one of my favorites.  It has a wonderful flavor unlike the green honeydew and can be very sweet!

Tomatoes:  Tomatoes are just about everyone’s favorite fruit this time of year.  You can do so much with them!  The reason you are not getting more of them is because of last spring.  We had four hail storms; three took out several crops that had to be replanted.  The tomatoes were one of those crops.  If you walked out into that field, you will see one out of every three plants is producing fruit.  I promise; we are giving you everything we have!  Just as soon as we see more red tomatoes, you will see them in Distribution!

First Fruit:  This is a reminder that whatever happens in spring affects us later in the summer.  I know several of you have asked about the fruit share.  Experienced long time members understand the ups and downs of the weather and how it affects the fruit.  Those of you who are new; something seems to happen every year to change the way fruit is delivered to us.  I have told them we will take fruit that is scarred from hail, but they insist on giving you the best they have.  You have received 20# of fruit and are due to get 60 to 70# over the next several weeks.  It only takes 3 – 20# boxes to catch up with what they owe us!  This is normally how our peaches, pears and apples are delivered.

Don’t forget to RSVP by September 10th for the Harvest Festival!

Jacquie, Jerry, Alaina and Kyle Monroe

Advertisements

Newsletter

Dear Friends of the Farm;

Produce: This week you are getting Yukon Gold potatoes, sweet yellow onions, carrots, red cabbage, squash, lemon cucumbers, Globe eggplant, Japanese eggplant, purple peppers, green peppers, banana peppers, jalapeno peppers, diakon radish, tomatoes, green beans, corn, muskmelon and some of you will get watermelon or white flesh honeydew. You will also receive Red Globe peaches from First Fruit Orchard, if you have a Fruit Share.We want you to understand what is happening on the farm. You are getting a tremendous amount of produce right now. This is happening because all of the early season crops came on late and all the fall crops are coming on early because of the heat. Normally this is distributed throughout the season and you are given less quantities. But we are afraid this will abruptly end! So just in case we have an early frost, we are giving you all of this produce right now while we have it. We have a canning and freezing guide on our website if you need help processing your excess produce. Remember! Whatever you get put away for winter now, will taste better than anything you get later at the grocery store!

Cooking Class: We are planning a free cooking class & demonstration using our healthy, seasonal produce. Mary Collette Rogers is a member of the farm that runs a non-profit called Everyday Good Eating. The goal is to teach people how to use the local produce when it is in season and at its’ peak of ripeness! This event will take place from 5 to 7pm at the farm on Sunday, September 4th. This will be a very light meal and will include Zucchini Bruschetta with Tomato Relish, a chicken cutting and deboning session, then preparing a Chicken and Vegetable Curry and for dessert Cardamom Coconut Tapioca Pudding. This event is free, but donations are welcome. Iced tea and water will be provided. However, you are welcome to bring a bottle of wine, if you like. Please RSVP your attendance to mcr@everydaygoodeating.com. There is a limit of 16 cooks so email Mary asap!
Festival: We are looking forward to our gathering on September 18th for a beautiful day of fun on the farm! Hours will be 11am to 4pm. We need to know who will be attending this event so that we know how much inventory we need to purchase. Please do not RSVP later than Sept. 10th. The Festival will need several people to help keep it running smoothly. If you or your family is interested in volunteering, please contact Peg Lehr. Peg is helping me organize and run the Festival this year. Her contact information is wrdwrrior@comcast.net or 303-329-8506 if you prefer to talk to her in person!

Have you noticed the chill in the night air? It is already beginning to feel like fall. The kids are returning to school and summer will come to a close soon; what a sad turn of events! Everyone please be careful driving around those schools!

Jacquie, Jerry, Alaina and Kyle Monroe

Newsletter

Dear Friends of the Farm,

Produce: We are halfway through the summer with the completion of this week. We have 9 weeks left of wonderful, scrumptious produce! This week you will be getting red potatoes, white onions, carrots, beans, basil, squash, cucumbers, lemon cucumbers, green peppers, purple peppers, globe eggplant, Japanese eggplant, yellow sweet corn and muskmelon. Some of you will receive beets or turnips.

We are starting to see different kinds of summer squash appearing from a third field of squash. You might see either white or yellow patty pan. It is disk shaped, kind of like a flying saucer. It has a light sweet taste (for a squash). Cube it and sauté just as you would any other squash. Another squash you may see is 2/3 yellow and 1/3 lime green. It is known as a Zypher squash. Zypher squash has a light nutty taste and again, can be prepared just as any other summer squash. These two squashes are my favorites of the season!

First Fruit called and said you can expect peaches next week!

Payments: Your last and final payment is due on September 1st for your farm shares. Statements will go out by the end of this week or beginning of next week. Those of you who are making monthly payments, please continue sending those in every month! Thank you for your support. It has been one of the most interesting years to farm!

Cooking Demo: We are planning a free cooking class & demonstration using our healthy, seasonal produce. Mary Collette Rogers is a member of the farm that runs a non-profit called Everyday Good Eating. The goal is to teach people how to use the local produce when it is in season and at its’ peak of ripeness! This event will take place from 5 to 7pm at the farm on Sunday, September 4th. This will be a very light meal and will include Zucchini Bruschetta with Tomato Relish, a chicken cutting and deboning session, then preparing a Chicken and Vegetable Curry and for dessert Cardamom Coconut Tapioca Pudding. This event is free, but donations are welcome. Iced tea and water will be provided. However, you are welcome to bring a bottle of wine, if you like. Please RSVP your attendance to mcr@everydaygoodeating.com. There is a limit of 16 cooks so email Mary asap!

Festival: We are slowly getting closer to our date for the Harvest Festival. If you have not marked your calendars for this fun event, do so now! We are looking forward to our gathering on September 18th for a beautiful day of fun on the farm! Hours will be 11am to 4pm. We need to know who will be attending this event so that we know how much inventory we need to purchase. Please RSVP no later than Sept 10th. Contact Peg Lehr at wrdwrrior@comcast.net or by phone at 303-329-8506. We will need to know if you are vegetarian and how many people are in your family; adults/kids. We do not encourage people from outside the membership to join us for the festival. This is our Thank You to you for being members. If you do bring guests, it will be $10 a person, adult and children alike. We will also need to know how many adults/kids and whether or not they are vegetarian. A return replay will not be given for your RSVP.

Activities: There will be a pot-luck style lunch. We will provide utensils, drinks, hot dogs and hamburgers, plus all the extras that go with them. We will need you to bring a side dish or dessert. Please double the amount you would normally feed your family.
There will be a few carnival style booths for children & adults that still have a child within them!
There will be a Canning Booth to help you with your canning questions. We will also hold a jam/jelly contest and a pickle contest. Please bring down you best jar and let us see how it stands up to our judges views! There will be a small prize for the winner!
If you are interested in a T-shirt, Hat or Cookbook they will be available to purchase at the Festival.
We will have our annual Stick Horse Race for all horse lovers. We encourage you to make your horse and enter your steed into the race. Prizes will be awarded for best dressed horse and as well as the winners. We will start out with a parade and then the races begin!
There will be Self-Tours of the farm. Loaded with a map and directions, you can explore the buildings on the farm; see animals and the farmland itself.
If you are interested in picking a few crops, we normally have a list of U-pick crops for canning and freezing. We anticipate having tomatoes, chili peppers and (hopefully) a few other unexpected wonderful things to pick. Chili Peppers can be roasted before you leave and we can do this for you for $5 a tray (limit, one tray per family). We will be doing this differently this year. You will need to check in and get a ticket and tray for picking. When you return that tray of chilies; they will be roasted and set aside. You will then match that ticket to one attached to your bag of chilies. We are limited to 40 bushel of chilies. So it is important to check in right away and get your tray. We have to start roasting chilies just as soon as possible or you will be waiting for those chilies to be roasted at the end of the day! (In the past, we were still roasting chilies at 6pm!) You will need a decent pair of shoes for picking crops (flip flops are not recommended)!
I am still working on getting horses and mules to the festival for a field demonstration. Even though I have been talking to these folks for several weeks, I do not have a confirmation on the date! I really want you to see how farming was done with animals when Jerry’s Dad was a kid! So I hope it works out!
We will have an old fashioned apple press available. We ask every family to bring a bag of apples to press; the more varieties, the better the cider. Everyone will be able to get a small glass of cider to try!

Volunteers: I know several of you are anxiously waiting for a time in which you can volunteer on the farm. Now is your chance! The Festival will need several people to help keep it running smoothly! Hopefully you have taken the time to discuss the different activities & what you would be able to do individually or as a family to help during the Festival. Please contact Peg Lehr about volunteering! wrdwrrior@comcast.net or 303-329-8506.

Here is a list of all the jobs that needs volunteers:

Set Up and Produce Choppers: as many as we can get & we start at 8am!
Check-In Station: two people every hour – 11 to 3
“Master” Grillers: two people every shift – 10:30 to 12; 12 to 1:30 and 1:30 to 3
Clear Food Table and Man Drink Station: 1 or 2 people every hour 11 to 3
Empty Trash Cans/Restock Bathrooms: 1 person every hour 11 to 4
Canning “Experts”: 1 person every hour 11 to 3 or 4
T-shirt/Cookbook and Hat Booth: 1 person every hour 11 to 4
Tear Down & Clean Up: Everyone who is still around at the end of the day can help us with this chore! As Grandmother Edith would say, “Many hands make light work.” This takes no more than an hour to complete!

We are very excited about this year’s events. I think the Cooking Class and Demo will be a lot of fun. If there is high interest in this kind of thing; we will work on doing this more often! The Festival is always a good time. It is the easiest way to meet other people who think like you!

Have a good week!

Jacquie, Jerry, Alaina and Kyle Monroe

Newsletter

Dear friends;

This week you are getting Yukon Gold potatoes, red onions, either red, golden or Chioggia beets; carrots, green cabbage, squash, cucumbers, lemon cucumbers, fennel, cinnamon basil, beans and corn. There is also a possibility some of you will be getting artichoke, either Japanese or globe eggplant, purple bell peppers and muskmelon. These last few crops are really coming on slowly because the hail damaged them so badly they were replanted three times. The strange shapes and holes in your tomatoes are caused by the hail earlier this spring. Just about all the tomatoes are marked. As an old timer may say, “They ain’t perty, but they taste goood!” We ask that you take a variety of sizes, this way everyone gets large and small tomatoes.Sweet corn can be a touchy subject for some people! Everyone gets corn and everyone will get bad ears from time to time. We do not want you to sort through or peel back the ears. It dries out the cornels and leaves horrible ears for the last few members. There will be worms because we are an organic farm. If they really bother you, have your kids shuck your corn. Use a knife to cut out the part that has been eaten or break off the top. When you boil the corn, it will take care of anything you may be worried about!

Other Produce: You received a stuffed bag of produce last week. There were 3 plantings of cauliflower and broccoli all harvested at the same time. Unfortunately, there will be weeks where you will not get broccoli and cauliflower. We try to mix these two crops with cabbage and eggplant to keep you from getting bored with your share. The eggplant is light and slow to recover from the hail and other plants tend to speed up and go to flower after something like that. I hope you had a moment to chop up and freeze your celery, (in ice cube trays and water) because Jerry has informed me that you will not get it this fall. What is left has gone to flower.Bags: It is very important to return all your bags to us each week. I am asking the Distribution Centers to start to pressure you to return them. We need the beans bags as well as the produce bags. Please empty out these bags completely! It is a pain in the butt to have to stop what we are doing during Distribution to empty out dried leaves and old beans out of bags! This is an excellent time to start to bring your cloth bags to take home your goodies that are not bagged up for you. Do not expect your Distribution Center to provide them. This is your responsibility!

Thank you for your support; it has been one crazy roller coaster ride this year!
Jacquie, Jerry, Alaina and Kyle

Newsletter

Dear Friends of the Farm,

This week you are getting red potatoes, sweet yellow onions, squash, cucumbers, carrots, broccoli, white, cheddar and/or purple cauliflower, celery, beans, basil & corn! A few of you will get Japanese or Globe eggplant, artichoke and tomatoes. There isn’t enough to give them to everyone and most of you will not get any of these five crops. But we don’t want them to go to waste. The hot days over 90 degrees and warm nights over 63 degrees have helped to get these crops to mature. Unfortunately they are not maturing fast enough to give them to the entire membership! However this is the beginning of wonderful things to come! We have to tell you we are surprised by the sudden abundance we received recently. We knew this would happen, but expected it to happen more towards the middle of August!

Everyone is anxiously waiting for the peaches this week. First Fruit says the Newhaven’s are ready and we will be getting them this week! First Fruits Organic Farms is an orchard run by two brothers, Chris and Kevin Kropp. They have been running this organic orchard since 1988 in the Paonia area. The microclimate provides the unique combination of hot summer days followed by cool nighttime breezes, which creates fruit that is unusually high in natural sugars & concentrated flavors. Many have said the fruit is the best they have ever tasted! They utilize bio-friendly methods of pest control and rebuild their soils with minerals, composted manures, cover crops and beneficial microbes to leave the precious living soils better than they found them. By purchasing First Fruits Organic Farm fruit, they believe you are not only providing yourself, your family and your friends with a safe, healthy and delicious bounty from the land, but also support farming methods and practices that are sustainable and responsible. Just the fact that you have found their fruit worthy of taking home and feeding yourself and your family is the biggest reward and compliment you could give them. The two Kropp families asked me to tell you a huge heart-felt Thank you! (Partially taken from an updated bio you can now find on our website.)

Thank you for being patient with me over the last two weeks. Alaina moved two weeks ago into a different house and we have two weddings to go to this last weekend. It is so hard for us to do anything extra over and above the farm this time of year. And to have something happening two weekends in a row has Jerry crawling in a ditch to hide!

I know several of you are always looking for new ways to prepare the crops you get on a weekly basis. Mary Rogers is a current member of the farm. She has a blog called everydayeating.wordpress.com. She helps you not only figure out what to do with your veggies, but includes tips in preparation and recipes. You can even sign-up for cooking classes!

Here is a helpful way to use all of that squash; make pickles!

Sweet & Spicy Pickles

Cut 4 lbs summer squash (use all the different kinds) into ¼ inch slices or cube into bite-size pieces.
Cut onions in half and then in half again, then slice into ¼ inch slices.
3 dried hot peppers or 8 fresh anaheims or 4 fresh jalapeno peppers.
Heaping ¼ cup canning salt
1 quart crushed ice
5 pound weight
2 ¼ cups vinegar
1 cup dark maple syrup
¾ cup water
1 tbsp mustard seed
1 tsp whole allspice
½ tsp celery seeds
6 pint jars with lids and bands

Toss squash, onion, ¼ cup salt and ice together in a large bowl. Cover with a plate and weight down. Let this stand for four hours. Meanwhile sterilize jars, lids and bands, (boil for 3 minutes). Boil the next 7 ingredients (if using dried chilies) plus 1 ½ tsp salt for 10 minutes. If using fresh chilies; cut through skins but do not cut through the meat of the chili – several times and add to mixture in the last 2 minutes of cooking. Drain vegetables and pack into jars. At this time, you could add one of the chilies to the jars as well (half and de-seed the anaheim & jalapeno)! Fill jars with hot liquid leaving ½ inch space at top Seal and roll jar on its side to remove any bubbles. Add more liquid if necessary. Seal and submerge jars in boiling water for 20 minutes for slices, 25 minutes for chunks. Let pickles stand for 1 to 2 weeks to develop flavor.

Recipe adapted from Nature Preserved

We had a fantastic compliment this week. A current member from another CSA called asking how they could get involved with our CSA because they are not getting much variety or quantity with their shares. I guess a niece is a member of our farm and they have been comparing shares. I knew this was probably happening within the membership, this is just the first time someone has admitted to it! I can’t tell you how happy I was to talk with this person to find out how we do compare with another CSA. She said she was happy with her share until she saw what was given out from your farm. Needless to say, she is anxiously waiting for next year to start!

Have a fantastic week! Enjoy all the new, fun veggies this week!

Jacquie, Jerry, Kyle and Alaina