Dear Friends of the Farm;
Produce: This is week 18 out of an 18 week season. Didn’t this last summer seem to just fly by? By the end of August, Jerry was exhausted. I told him to hang in there because before he knew it, it would be the end of the season. Now here we are! New crops this week are pie pumpkins and gourds. You will also receive spaghetti squash, potatoes, onions, carrots, turnips, green & red bell pepper, our main season tomatoes and Brandywine tomatoes.
Eggs & Bags: It is very important to bring your checkbooks to Distribution this week as well as any purple, red or white bags hanging out in your kitchen or garage. You will be asked by your Distributors to pay for the eggs you have received. They are sending me a report outlining how many shares were given to charities around your community as well as what you owe me for eggs. Distribution Centers keep track whether or not you have been returning your bags. Don’t be surprised if they know exactly how many you have not returned!
Fruit: First Fruit wanted to share with you their products they process and distribute to surrounding grocery stores. They felt bad that you did not receive as much high dollar items such as cherries and peaches. Even though they had one of their worst years ever, they sent us the best tasting fruit! I thought the quality and taste was amazing! Being a CSA member, I was astounded they were sending us pear & apple cider, peach jam and Honeycrisp applesauce! They have never done this before, god willing they don’t get a repeat of this last summer!
Survey: Last week I sent a hard copy of the survey to those members who get hard copies of the newsletter. For those of you who go to the blog to get the survey, here is the address of an online version. Please take a few moments to fill this out and let us know how we are doing! Thanks.
Winter Share: The Winter Share will begin the first Wednesday of November, the 2nd. The New Distribution Center for West Denver is located at 24th & Raleigh off of 26th and Sheridan. The New Distribution Center for Westminster, Broomfield and Louisville will be located at 115th and Sheridan off of Hwy 36 and 104th. Distribution Centers will get their list of Members picking up from their homes next week. You can expect a call from them with their home address, phone number, hours and what to do when you forget to pick up; by Sunday night the 30th of October. Call me ASAP if you want to switch Distribution Centers! For those of you who signed up for a Winter Share last spring, we will be continuing your egg order as it was filled this summer. If you do not want eggs, please call and let me know!
2012 Membership: 325 Members have confirmed they will be continuing with the farm in 2012. Thank you for your commitments! You will be seeing a statement of your charges by the middle of December. If you are only getting a summer share, a deposit of $175 will be due by January 31st. If you are ordering fruit, please add an addition $80 to that. If you are no longer interested in a Fruit Share or any other product listed on your statement, please let us know of your cancellation and we will take care of it right away! Beef, lamb or pork will not be included in the statement. You will need to fill out a new order form for these products.
Those of you who are undecided, you will get a renewal form in December. You will be asked to return that by mid January. If you cannot send a full deposit of $175, please send a minimum of $40 and plan on making monthly payments to pay for your share by the end of October or December if getting a Winter Share. Please write your intentions in the margins of the Sign-up Sheet.
2012 Animals: Anyone who has ordered a 2012 beef or lamb; your order has been cancelled. Jerry has decided to raise the rates for both. New Sign-up Forms will be mailed out to each person who has placed an order. If you were holding off ordering until you knew the new price, please give me a call and I will promptly mail you an order form! The new price for a quarter of beef is $500; up from $450. The new price for a whole lamb is $400; up from $350. Pork will remain the same at $500 for a whole hog. The reason for the increase is the cost of feed. We cannot raise enough feed for all the animals all year long. We have to supplement and that price has skyrocketed.
A Reflection: This has been a roller coaster ride for the farm this summer. Spring was wet, cold and full of hail. Then it got extremely warm come August and September (August being one of the hottest on record!). And then we had one of the prettiest falls I’ve seen. If it wasn’t for this beautiful long fall, several of our crops would not have matured and you wouldn’t have gotten them! What a nice benefit to offset our cold spring.
Several of you have never grown anything in Colorado before. I also know some of you are avid gardeners. CSA is a very hard thing to get used to. It is one of the hardest things you will do! You have to learn to cook with what you have instead of what you want. Learning the Colorado seasons and when produce is actually harvested and using them is new to half of you this year. You have to clean the produce yourself; which you should be doing anyway with your grocery store produce. (So many people are touching everything all day long, Yuck! Who knows where those hands have been!) But this is one of the cheapest ways to fill your family’s needs, eat more vegetables and improve your diet at the same time!! This takes a lot of work & commitment to do what it takes to feed your family locally harvested produce. Give this a chance. It takes two years to get used to getting your produce this way. The first year is the hardest. The second year is so much easier because now you have information you need on how to use the produce and take care of it from your first year. And if you are dissatisfied, please give CSA a chance with another farm. Every farm is different and each one is unique on what it grows and how they distribute produce. When you spend one dollar with a local vender, it gets used 7 more times within your community! Don’t send your hard earned dollar to a “box store” who will send it to their corporate office out of state.
Feeding people is our passion. We are committed to providing the best tasting organic produce. We have fed thousands of people and donated thousands of pounds of produce to communities around Northern Colorado throughout the years. We have never done anything so important or made us as happy. Thank you for being a part of this! We love you all and appreciate your support more than ever! We cannot exist without our Members; who happen to be the most compassionate people about supporting local farming and eating organic produce. We are looking forward to being your farmers in 2012! Have a wonderful, restful winter and think of us when you pull out vegetables from the freezer!
Jacquie, Jerry, Alaina and Kyle Monroe