Dear Farm Friends,
Ooooo! This week you are getting something very special! Jerry has tried two new purple potatoes. One has dark purple skins and yellow flesh and the other is dark purple skins with purple flesh. You may get one or the other this week. We are just about out of Walla Walla yellow onions, so this week you may get our regular yellow onions instead. Also new this week is basil, green beans and radicchio. Radicchio is a bitter green and it normally comes in a head. You will be getting this, but it did not form a head. The May rains did something to these plants and they are already bursting into flower! You are also getting garlic, carrots, Chioggia (Italian) beets, fennel, squash and a cucumber.
Fruit: Good news! You are getting a 20lb box of peaches this week! Yay!!
Harvest Festival: Just a reminder that the Harvest Festival will be the third Sunday of September, (the 20th). This is our way of thanking our Members for supporting us from season to season. There will be a potluck with us providing the hamburgers and hot dogs and you providing the sides and desserts. There are normally u-pick opportunities, especially tomatoes and chilies. You can explore our buildings and farm with a self-guided tour. It wouldn’t be a festival without hayrides to the pumpkin patch, now would it?! This is an excellent time to visit your farm, chat with Jerry, Kyle & me and get to know other members. Anyone play an instrument or sing and wants to share that with us? We encourage even children to share their talents! I think everyone would love to see what you are learning! Mark you calendars now, so you do not plan anything else on top of this festive day!
Day in the Life of Jerry: I did this a few years ago and it was so popular that it has been requested to be written again! Jerry starts his day (every day) around 5am. He runs around the farm checking the water he set the night before and changing it to new areas. He checks on the animals to see if they are healthy and happy, and have water and alfalfa. ‘The Crew’ starts at 7am. He gives out assignments such as the harvesting or planting of crops, cultivation of crops by machine or hoeing of crops by hand. On Mondays, Jerry himself has to plant the next succession of crops such as beans, corn, squash, cucumbers, etc. This will normally take all day and if there is a lot to be planted, he usually has to take part of Sunday to do this as well.
Tue, Wed and Thr is Distribution. All the crops are in cold storage until that morning (being picked the day before). The working members arrive at 6:15 and are ready to start their day by 7. First thing is to get everything out and lined up to be bagged for non-working members and loaded into trucks. This will take anywhere from two to three hours. Then working members are off doing farm chores. Jerry and I start the route to deliver produce.
On Tue. I drive to Yale & Broadway, Arapahoe and Broadway, Highlands Ranch and Aurora. Jerry drives to Golden, Lakewood and Wheat Ridge. When he gets home, it’s off to see what is happening on the farm and to continue doing anything he didn’t finish on Monday. On Wed. I drive to Forest & 23rd, Colo. Blvd & Colfax, Leetsdale & Holly, 1st & Logan and 6th & Downing, plus a couple of restaurants. Jerry stays home. He works on special projects such as plowing, disking, land planing, making beds for a new planting, he will fertilize with fish emulsion, use insecticidal soaps if necessary, grade roads and repair machinery. Wed. is also the day to take machinery to the mechanic if necessary. If the alfalfa is ready to harvest, he will make that phone call to a local farmer to come out and start the harvesting process. He will cut, windrow and bale the hay, and Jerry and I remove it from the field and stack it (usually done on a Sunday).
On Thr, I drive to 470 & Parker Road, 470 & Quebec, Littleton and I-70 & Youngfield/Simms. Jerry drives to Broomfield, Louisville, South Boulder, 5th & University, 10th & Delwood, a couple of restaurants and Longmont before coming home and continuing with farm chores. On Tue. & Thr. afternoon, he checks on the guys to see how their day went and if everything got done. He changes the water and checks his fields. He is always looking to see if there is an insect infestation, weed infestation, water needs, and crop maturity.
Fri. is a busy day of harvesting, washing, sorting, bunching, bagging and weighing of produce that is going to farmers markets. We have to pick fields more than once a week or your produce would be overgrown, tough and mealy. We use the crops that go to farmers markets as your insurance policy. Very seldom have our CSA customers really felt the impact of a truly bad year. We take the produce away from the markets and give it to the CSA! It has worked beautifully for several years now. There have been shortages, but not like it would have been if we didn’t grow for and attend farmers markets!
Sat. is the big farmer’s market day. We all go different directions and run a market. When we get home from market, every truck is unloaded and the produce that is returned is sorted and repacked and sent to two farmers markets on Sun. Food is donated both on Sat. and Sun. and anything not edible is fed to the animals (veggies to animals is like us eating candy!) (We think this is why our animals taste so good, because they get their daily dose of veggies too!)
Sun. is our day off….except we never seem to get the day off! This is the day we run things to the mechanic, do paperwork and do any unfinished fieldwork like planting and irrigating. It is also the one day Jerry and I get to explore the farm together and see if there is anything new we can give the members. We spend a couple of hours walking fields and checking out plants. I can’t tell you how many times Jerry has taken me for the whole day to weed, pick or plant because no one else is around that day. And if we are lucky…very lucky, we get a two hour nap!
Every evening (about 6:30pm) Jerry ends the day by changing water and checking the animals. We have 200 acres of irrigated crops. About 70 acres are in vegetables and the rest is in pastures and alfalfa for animals. It is extremely important to rotate your crops on an organic farm. Every plant takes something from the soil. We have a four or five year crop rotation in our vegetable fields. Then we take out alfalfa and plant vegetables in its place. Because alfalfa is ‘mowed down’ three times a summer, there are very few weeds! (Plus alfalfa is a nitrogen fixing plant and the ground is perfect for vegetables!!) Old vegetable fields will either go into pasture or alfalfa; the three always being rotated every four or five years. So I can honestly say that no one vegetable has been grown in one place more than once every 12 years!
Quote of the day: Most people have a clock that tells them what time to quit.
But most farmers have a little voice that tells them not to! -Unknown
See you next week with more goodies! Jacquie, Jerry and Kyle