Monthly Archives: July 2012

Newsletter: July 30, 2012

Dear Friends,

This is week 9 and we are half way through our season!  This week you will receive Yukon Gold potatoes; red onions; white carrots; green cabbage; slicing, pickling & lemon cucumbers; Globe eggplant; green beans; green & purple peppers; yellow sweet corn; muskmelon; gourmet honeydew and tomatoes.  You may possibly get one of the following heirloom tomatoes which are just now starting to mature:  Brandywine, Black Velvet and Golden Globe.

I have recently been informed by members the cucumbers have been bitter.  We believe this is caused by the heat or possibly because the cucumber patch is old.  Removing the skins of the cucumber will solve the problem.  Jerry wants you to know that we are now picking in a new patch and he is watering as much as we possibly can.  We are hoping they will be much better this week!

Don’t be fooled by the roots that look like parsnips or a radish.  They are actually white carrots.  Their taste will be milder than your orange carrots.

There will be no fruit this week for our Fruit Shareholders…but there will be a nice surprise next week!

Please Note:  Dani tells me we have received a payment from a J. Troy in April that we cannot attach to anyone in our membership.  We figured someone would have called and told us their share had been paid and this would have all worked out by now!  Does this belong to anyone?  If you can verify what was paid I will credit your account.

Recent Water News:  The farm received a letter from the irrigation company.  They believe there will be enough water to get us through the middle of September.  However, if we continue to get these extremely high temperatures, this may change.  Something we don’t even think about is the amount of evaporation off of the surface of lakes.  On a normal year, we lose 25 acre feet per day, and this year we are losing 45 acre feet of water per day to evaporation!  A letter will be sent out at the end of the month to keep us informed of any changes.

Jerry tells me that that even though he makes several planting of the same crops throughout the season (so we can have them every week); he still expects to harvest about everything because everything is coming on sooner than normal.  We still expect a full 18 week season.  Your share just may look a little different in the end.

Blog:  I know the blog has not been as consistent as usual.  The member who normally posts the newsletter to the blog has been ill and has had several surgeries.  Please keep in mind the farm is run by a small staff of employees and Member Volunteers.  We are not a huge corporation with several employees with many titles and positions.  Paper copies are always available at your Distribution Center.  If you would like to get one, please inform your DC!

Festival:  We are looking forward to our gathering on September 16th 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.  You must RSVP to this event!  Please do so no later than Sept 7th.  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 reply will not be given to 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!
  • 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 winners!
  • If you are interested in a 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 the winners of the races.  We will start out with a parade and then the races begin!
  • A Self-Tour of the farm will be available.  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 at the check –in station.  You will need a decent pair of shoes for picking crops (flip flops are not recommended)!
  • We hope the Belgium mules will make it to the festival again this year for a field demonstration.  I really want you to see how farming was done with animals when Jerry’s Dad was a kid!
  • 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 for festival:  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 need 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 3:00
  • “Master” Grillers:  two people every shift – 10:30 to 12; 12 to 1:30 and 1:30 to 3:00
  • Clear Food Table and Man Drink Station:  2 people every hour 11 to 3:00
  • Empty Trash Cans/Restock Bathrooms:  1 person every hour 11 to 4
  • Canning “Experts”:   1 person every hour 11 to 3 or 4
  • Cookbook/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.  Last year because we had so many helping hands, this work was completed in 45 min!

The Final Word:  This is such an exciting time of year.  Normally the crops you see right now are on mid to late August.  Yes crops such as melon and tomatoes are extremely early.  Jerry wants you to know he has never picked a muskmelon in June his entire life nor a watermelon in July.  I’m glad we have them; it has been so hot outside.  They give so much relief!  We don’t have any watermelon this week, but be assured…it is Jerry’s favorite, so more varieties are on the way!  To make up for it, he has found some sweet corn for you.  Another one of his favorites, so you know it will be good!

Thank you for supporting us during this extremely hot summer.  When the produce is on, you will be getting a lot of it.  The same goes when I tell you it is time to come out for a U-pick crop.  When it’s on, it’s on!  Be prepared to come out on short notice!

Jacquie, Jerry, Kyle and Alaina

Advertisements

July 23rd Recipes from Jacquie

Memebers!  I’m so sorry!  This week’s newsletter included some great recipes from Jacquie that I forgot to post yesterday.  Here they are now!  -Anisa

Celery Au Gratin

3 cups chopped celery
¾ cup dried bread crumbs
1 egg
1 ½ Tbsp butter
1 to 1 ½ cups grated sharp cheese
1 ½ cups milk mixed with 1 ½ Tbsp flour
Salt & pepper to taste

Beat egg, milk and seasonings together. Melt ½ tsp butter in glass baking dish and cover completely. Boil celery 5 minutes, then layer in bottom of dish. Sprinkle on some bread crumbs and cheese. Continue with layers, reserve enough crumbs and cheese to top casserole.
Pour egg and milk mixture over all and top with remaining crumbs and cheese. Dot with remaining butter and bake at 350 degree oven for 40 minutes or until celery is tender.
This recipe comes from a cookbook I received in 1984 (when I got married) from a friend of my grandmothers who was in an Extension Club.

A member, Katherine Standifer gave me this recipe, yum!
Cabbage Pocket Pie

1 lb ground beef*
½ large head of cabbage, shredded
4 large carrots, grated
1 large onion, chopped
Shredded cheese
1 cup biscuit mix
2 cups milk
4 eggs

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Brown burger over medium heat. Drain then add cabbage, carrots and onion. Sauté until cabbage is tender. Season liberally with salt and pepper. Pour into 9X13 pan that has been greased/oiled. Sprinkle a little cheese over top of mixture. Combine biscuit mix, eggs and milk. Mix well then pour over ground beef mixture.** Bake 40 minutes or until knife inserted in center (of dough) comes out clean. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

*Vegetarian Version: Omit ground beef and substitute summer squash, eggplant (& celery?). Cook as directed.
This reminds me of Shepard’s Pie. I think it would be great with lamb too!
**The biscuit topping could be replaced with garlic mashed potatoes.

Green Bean Fries
Wash and trim stems from beans. Place in a plastic bag, add olive oil and season with onion salt and garlic salt. Shake and mix until all beans are covered. Place on a large cookie sheet mostly in a single layer. Preheat oven to 500 degrees. Cook until slightly browned (around 10 minutes) toss the beans over half way through. Serve immediately!

Rosy Home Style Fries

4 to 5 med potatoes, cubed and boiled until tender
2 med beets, cooked and cubed
1 Tbsp oil
1 med onion, finely chopped
1 large pepper, chopped (optional)
½ cup fresh chopped parsley or 2 to 3 Tbsp dried
¼ tsp salt
1/8 tsp black pepper

Saute’ onions 5 min. Add potatoes and beets, saute’ 10 minutes or until potatoes start to brown. Toss in everything else and cook 1 to 2 minutes more. Serve warm.

Watermelon Split
2 Bananas
¾ cup melted semi -sweet chocolate chips
18 “scoops” watermelon, deseeded
raspberry jam, strawberry jam, blueberry jam
whipped cream
chopped nuts
maraschino cherries

Peel bananas, cut in half then cut lengthwise. Dip in chocolate and place on wax paper until hardened. May need to refrigerate or freeze to speed up process! Add bananas and watermelon “scoops” to a bowl. Cover each 1/3 watermelon with each kind of jam. Top with whipped cream, nuts and cherries. Serves four.

Newsletter: July 23, 2012

Dear Friends of the Farm,

This week you are getting red potatoes, yellow carrots, Chioggia beets, summer squash, cucumbers, Globe eggplant, green beans, tomatoes, purple peppers, muskmelon and red & yellow watermelon. You got a couple of the yellow carrots last week to sample. Hope you like them! They are supposed to be light, sweet & delicious. Use them as you would your regular orange carrots. There is a new summer squash that is starting to produce called Zephyr. It is mild (like your straight neck) with a green butt and it has a slight nutty taste to it. I love this squash! Use it like all the others! The Chioggia beet is an Italian beet. Depending on how you cut it, it can look like it has candy stripes or a bull’s eye. These are very sweet beets. Cook as you would red beets. (Roasting keeps the flavor, nutrients and color intact.) Some of you may get a new tomato we are trying this year. It is called Black Velvet. It is not a large tomato but it packs a punch! Tomatoes are just starting to develop ~ so watch for more to come! Our purple peppers are our earliest peppers. They can be light purple to dark purple in color with a touch of light green. Bring on the ratatouille!

Celery, broccoli & cauliflower: I understand several of you did not know how to handle the celery from last week. It can be used in stir-fries, soups, roasts, salads or any recipe that calls for celery. All three can be eaten raw, just remember they will be stronger than what you are used to. Everything we grow will have much more taste than anything you purchase in the store! This is how these crops are supposed to taste…we just have to retrain our taste buds! Cooking helps to mellow out the strong taste.

Fruit: You are getting Lambert cherries from 100 year old trees. Everyone who ordered extra boxes of apricots will get them this week. They are also from very old trees. I am sorry to inform you that only fruit shareholders are entitled to extra fruit. This was my mistake in informing the DC’s on how to proceed with the offer and orders. If you get a box of apricots, the DC will give me your name and I will add an invoice to your statements and those will go out by the end of next week. Some of the apricots may need a day or two of additional ripening before use!

Bags: Don’t forget to return your bean bags as well as your produce bags. We reuse everything! It helps us greatly if you make sure everything has been removed from the bag and it is kept dry and clean. Please keep your bean and produce bags separate when you give them to your Distributor.

Cooking Class Social: We had an amazing evening! Too bad everyone could not join us. We started in the kitchen washing and trimming produce. This took about an hour then we went into the back yard and Mary Collette Rogers went through the menu: grilled pork steaks with beet relish, grilled patty pan squash, Chinese green beans, and garlic french fries. Within the hour the sun went behind clouds and we had a semi-cool evening to cook in. Everyone learned something from Mary as well as each other. Including some Italian! Nedra San Fillipo helped us with the pronunciation of the Chioggia beet (kee-o-jia). Both the conversation and wine flowed smoothly. I do believe everyone had a great time. We will do this again next year!

Dear farm friends in Aurora: I say, with my heart in my throat, my shock and sorrow for what your town is going through. This is a terrible tragedy and we want to support you any way we can. Your town folk will be in our prayers and good thoughts are being sent your way.

Jacquie, Jerry, Kyle and Alaina Monroe

Newsletter: July 16, 2012

Dear Friends,

This week you are getting Banana Fingerling Potatoes, Walla Walla onions, sweet carrots, green cabbage, summer squash, cucumbers, celery and garlic. This variety of celery is not the same kind you purchase in the grocery store. Most people do not like to eat this raw…it is pretty powerful! It is more of an herb. It packs a punch and will add tremendous flavor to anything you cook.

Your Produce: The heat is taking a toll on all the produce. Water is an issue. Jerry waters one day and it will be a muddy mess. The very next day it will be dry on top. The following day the ground is hard as a rock! We have never seen it like this before and we can’t water every crop twice a week. Since the majority of our produce comes from tropical plants, they are suffering! This is why you are not getting as much green beans as you would normally get. The sweet corn isn’t growing very fast and the raccoons are eating it before it matures. We are giving you as much as we can! But it appears this season is going to be a tough one for certain crops!

Fruit: We will not be getting any fruit this week. Next week, First Fruits will bring the full boxes of apricots and possibly peaches. The peaches are slow ripening, so there is that chance that you will only get your additional order of apricots! Since they are not delivering the apricots this week, you can still order a full box for jam or drying. Please contact your DC (Distribution Center) ASAP!

Pickles: I’m so sorry about the pickles. I kind of jumped the gun on that! Jerry tells me we will not have pickles for a couple more weeks. They were planted three weeks after the slicing cucumbers. I still have you all on my pick list and will call you just as soon as that field produces!

Beef, Lamb and Pork: We are completely sold out on lamb and pork, but there are still two steers available. A quarter is $500 plus processing and a half is $1000 plus processing. If you are interested in a quarter or half of beef, call me and let me know. These animals will not be ready for processing until the end of December or the beginning of January.

Fees: At this time your membership fee & deposits should be paid as well as half of your produce, fruit and honey fees. If we do not see that a minimum of half of your fees are paid, there will be a $25 late fee added to your statement at the end of this month.

July 22 Social Cooking Class: We will gather at the farm at 4pm. BYOW if you would like. Come prepared to cook!

Jacquie’s Soapbox: The resent fires across our state have been shocking and devastating. We may not own homes in these places, but can sympathize with them. We all love our wild mountain areas! I cannot imagine what it would be like to lose everything! Or even be on the verge of having to evacuate!

I have been talking a lot about water. With our current shortage of water, how do the fires affect those with water rights in those reservoirs? We already have a shortage and all the water companies are threatening to shut off our ditches early. I wonder how much water was taken from those reservoirs. How does that affect the farmers? Don’t get me wrong…I am glad those reservoirs were available. But thousands of gallons of water were used to put out those fires. All of this taken from the farmer, who, (more than likely) would not be able to water his fields for the entire summer anyway. Just thought I would plant a seed… We don’t always think about where water comes from, we are just so happy it is there when we need it!

Have a good week!

Jacquie, Jerry, Kyle and Alaina

Newsletter: July 9, 2012

Dear Members,

This week the veggies you are getting are: New Red Potatoes, red onions, carrots, white turnips, summer squash, cucumbers, green cabbage, green beans and with a little luck, Swiss chard. (It will be wilted from the heat, so do your cold water bath!) We are hoping there will be enough muskmelon to give everyone one of those and only the Full Shares will be getting fennel.

Honey will be coming this week for those of you who get it monthly!

Fruit: You will be getting either apricots alone or a combo of apricots and sweet cherries.

Eggs: We have to short everybody’s eggs now. I guess the chickens feel it is too hot to lay an egg everyday! I hope to deliver one out of the three days of delivery. Between me and the Distribution Center, we are keeping track of the eggs you receive and a credit will be issued at the end of the year.

July 22nd: Our 2012 Social Cooking Class will be held at 4pm. This is a reminder to come prepared for some adult fun (byow), conversation and good food! The following members have made reservations: 1 for Wilham, 1 for San Filipo, 1 for Yamashita, 3 for Gay, 4 for Mazzaro, 4 for Hartmann, 2 for Bush, 2 for Ron Schreiber, 2 for Firstenberg and 1 for Bellhumer.

The 2012 drought: This is week six of an 18 week season. We are one third of the way through the summer season and it feels unreal! This is truly an unprecedented year. On a regular basis, we have increased our season by 6 weeks. Three weeks upfront and three weeks at the end when we started delivering produce the third week of June and ending the third week of October. This season extension has happened without greenhouses and cold frames; just good old Mother Nature. Hum…could this be global warming at work here???

Your Produce: Now 2012 comes along and we have started the season two weeks earlier than the last several years by delivering produce the first week of June. Our bodies and water can only hold out for so long! What does this mean to you and your summer produce? 1) The ditch company we hire to help us regulate our water throughout the season is thinking of shutting off the ditch “earlier than normal”. Which means we may not have any water after…when? We hope the 1st of September or the 15th of September but we have not heard. 2) We normally plant crops through July to cover into the fall and early winter. We will not be doing this; especially now that they are talking about shutting off the ditch early. 3) We hope to deliver produce for 18 weeks, so the season will definitely end the first week of October, if not sooner. 4) This is what Community Supported Agriculture is all about! Your financial support of a farm so that it remains in business during the tough years. This may be one of those years!

Jacquie’s Soapbox: So have you thought about your use of water? How many times do you wash your car? Do you let the water run down the drive or down the sewer? How do we waste water every day? And can we change? It is actually healthier to bath every other day (unless you have been sweating). But can I convince you of that? How often do you water your lawn and do you water the sidewalks, fence & house too? What kind of grass do you grow?

I water my grass a couple times a week when the temperatures are over 100 (it is greenish yellow right now). It is a hybrid buffalo and it is very drought tolerant. When the temperatures are under 100/above 90, I only water once a week! Once temperatures get back into the 70’s & 80’s, I water once every two weeks. Buffalo is native to Colorado, slow growing and only gets 6 inches tall. So I also reduce my mowing! There are other good grasses that are drought tolerant and worth looking into. Insist on these grasses instead of Kentucky Blue. If you are going to have grass…make it the right kind! Oh by the way, now that we have gotten about ½ inch of rain, the grass will turn bright green again.

Correction: In my last soapbox I mentioned the rainy months of June 2011 & 12, when it should have been June of 2010 & 2011! Oops! Sorry!

Have a good week!
Jacquie, Jerry, Kyle and Alaina

What I Made This Week: Grill “Roasted” Beets and Potatoes

Whew!  It’s been SO hot… too hot to cook in the kitchen for us.  That leaves us the grill.

This week, we figured out that we could “roast” potatoes and beets on the grill.  First we scrubbed everything and then cut both the beets and potatoes into about 1 inch pieces.

Toss the veggies with olive oil, salt or garlic salt, and pepper, and place them into aluminum foil to make two packets.  Wrap the beets and the potatoes separately unless you want the beets to turn the potatoes red.

Put the packets on the grill over medium to medium-high heat.  They will take about 20 to 25 minutes to cook through.  While you’re at it, go ahead and slice your squash and grill it too.

The potatoes are creamy this way and the beets are delicious!

What did you make this week?

________________________________________________________
Anisa has been a member with the Monroe’s since 2008 as both a working member and a non-working member. She and her family enjoy a full share.  Read more from Anisa at The Lazy Homesteader.

Newsletter: July 2, 2012

Dear Members,

This week you are getting New Red Potatoes, white onions, summer squash, golden beets, cucumbers, white cauliflower and green beans. Full Shareholders will get cheddar cauliflower and Tuesday Distribution Members will get the first picking of muskmelon!

Cookout: The July 22nd cookout is filled to the max with 20 reservations. Thank you for joining us that day. It should be fun! A menu will be created when we get closer to that date and see what is being harvested. I’m sure Mary Collett Rogers will have something wonderful for us to prepare that afternoon!

Jacquie’s Soap Box: So tell me. For those of you who have been here since the 1970’s…when was the last time you saw it rain just about every day for an entire month; like in June 2011 & 12? (Meanwhile Texas just about burned up in the worst drought on record.) How about a March without snow? Do you remember it being over 100 degrees in June for an entire week? And it is reported that scientist do not believe in global warming. I can tell you that true scientists do believe in global warming; they just do not agree on how it is being created. Whether or not you believe it is created by man does not interest me at all. Do you really want the earth to fall apart simply because you don’t want to change? Do we really want to wait to prove the point?

My whole thought on this is why wait. The world needs to work together to reduce our carbon footprint. It was reported in Scientific American in April of 2012 that the disaster risk is going up in every nation on the planet. Governments are not prepared for a multiple disasters nationwide. The United States alone suffered 55 billion dollars in disaster related incidences last year. Of which there were 14 extreme weather events that caused over 1 billion dollars of damage each.

It is believed that this phenomenon is not going away and some places may become uninhabitable. For instance; small islands and large coastal cities are threatened by rising sea levels. Places already under stress from weather related problems will be pushed over the edge. Some of those areas that already experience heat waves or heavy rains will get more frequent, more intense and longer droughts, rains, hurricanes and tornadoes. We will see more record breaking reports of those “100/500/1000 year” droughts and floods. They will occur more often and they are expected to be ‘the worst in history’.

Don’t expect farmers to ‘save’ water in reservoirs for recreation when we are in drought conditions. Those precious resources were created not for recreation but for irrigation purposes (and more recently municipalities are buying up those water rights). You will see most reservoirs dry after this horrible summer heat if we do not get some help from Mother Nature.

Do we really want to argue what is causing this? Or do we want to be proactive and try to swing things in the other direction. Especially since we know that our carbon footprint is not helping the matter at all. Let’s all take a stand. Demand HOA’s to stop requiring front lawns and no clotheslines. Reduce our driving and demand better gas mileage in our cars. Say to yourself…What can I do? There is so much more to say about this…but I’m getting hot under the collar and it is raising the temperature in the house! Thank you for listening!

Jacquie, Jerry, Kyle and Alaina