Newsletter – July 13, 2015

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Hi Everyone!

This week you are getting New Red potatoes, Sweet Spanish White onions, garlic, purple kohlrabi, radishes, carrots and squash.  The Half and Full Shares will be getting the remaining fennel from last week and everyone will get one of three types of lettuce again.

I was recently asked if there is a special way to store the beautiful onions and fresh garlic.  I do not do anything special.  I put the onions (unwashed, but trimmed) in my crisper drawer and leave the garlic on the counter!

Kohlrabi is in the cabbage family.  It can be eaten shredded in coleslaw or salads, it is excellent in stir-fries as a replacement for watercress and it is wonderful simply sautéed in butter or coconut oil.

CSA Memberships & Fruit Share:  The concept behind CSA is to support your farmers in the good years and bad.  It is always a possibility every season that we cannot fulfill your CSA shares with the amount of produce we normally give out.  The fruit is no different.  You need to be prepared that this can happen.  I am looking at options that work with Members as well as First Fruit.  After much discussion at the dinner table, it has been decided refund checks are not an option and neither is going out of state for fruit.  Distribution Centers will be surveying you about the possible options you do have pertaining to your Fruit Share.  We will continue to discuss the results and make a decision on how we plan on handling this very unfortunate situation.  We should feel fortunate.  Because I didn’t hesitate and started looking for other resources immediately, we are getting fruit for our shareholders.  There are other CSA’s that are not getting any fruit at all!

Internet Enthusiasts:  We need some help from those of you who love to explore the internet and love those sites that review and rate everything.  We need to get our name out there!  Could you please make a listing for Monroe Organic Farms?  I just recently talked to a new member and she said she found out about us from one of these sites.  Here is an example of sites she said she looked us up on:  harvest.org, denver.cbslocal.com, coloradocsa.info and yelp.  If you can think of anything else….then please put something out there!  If you love doing these kind of things, please check out if anything has been set up for us and post a comment.  It would really be a huge help to us!!  (I didn’t know anything like this existed, but as you know, I am such a huge fan of the computer!)

80th Anniversary Celebration:  Next summer will be a very exciting year for us!  Monroe Organic Farms will be 80 years old.  As many of you know, farmers try to be ‘jacks of all trades’.  But this is too important for us alone to work on and we are asking for your guidance.  Would you please help us by joining a committee to work on our 80th celebration?

I’m sure there are several of you who know how to “work” the media.  How do we get our name out there?  How do we let the world know how old we are?  What do we want people to know, what do we want it to look like, where do we put this information.

I really want the Fall Festival for the members to be the pinnacle of all this.  What do we want to change with the festival?  Do we want to do something in the spring too?  How do we make it more fun for everyone?

We need to meet this winter and discuss different scenarios.  One idea I had was to paint face ‘cut out’ boards.  It would be nice if someone could host and we could all meet once in Denver, Boulder and at the farm.  I’m sure we will have to meet more than just one time!  Who has some ideas and who wants to help out with this monumental occasion!  Please contact me by email and I’ll get you on a contact list!

Your Bags:  The farm and DC’s need a little help here.  We need the bags sorted by color and size.  If you could please remove everything from your bag and shake out any crop residues, that would be great!  Please keep the small bean/pea bags separate from the large bags.

Jacquie’s Soapbox:  Okay, this is where I start in on a subject that is really bothering me, so this is a good time to drift away from the newsletter if you don’t want to hear me go on and on!

Front lawns.  What good are they?  When was the last time you sat down on or used your front lawn?  Did you go out and play catch with your kids this last week?  Did you go out there and do some yoga/stretching or calisthenics?  Did you have a bar-b-que with your neighbors?  I bet the last time you used your front lawn was to mow it.

Why do we allow HOA’s to require front lawns?  Why as citizens or legislators can we not stand up and voice our objections and stop this nonsense?  Front lawns are absolutely absurd here in the arid high plains desert, but we love them.  They should be ripped out and xeriscaped or planted in a garden.  (I grow a pasture grass that needs little water and basically no mowing!)  If you are going to water something, why waste it on grass.  Make it something you can eat or in perennial flowers.  Someday we will look back on front lawns like we now look back at littering and smoking in public areas.  Keep this in mind, one square foot of Kentucky Bluegrass (which most lawns are made of) requires 55 gallons of water each year to survive.  (Oh! FYI:  If every person in a four person household did not flush the toilet one time during each day, they would save 1100 gallons of water a year.  Remember Meet the Fockers?  “If it’s brown, flush it down.  If it’s yellow, let it mellow!”)

Water is like gold west of the Rockies because of all the water shortages in so many places.  Though it may not seem like it right now, we too were crying for water not too long ago.  Remember 2012?  Our annual rainfall is 14 inches a year (including snow).  We are considered a high plains desert for a reason!  Cities right now, are buying up water as fast as they can.  And guess where that is coming from?  Farmers.  We have something extremely valuable and the cities want it.  They are willing to pay a very pretty price for it.  But we need to rethink our needs.  Do we want lawns or food?  What will happen when we dry up all these farms?  What will they look like?  Do you realize 72% of our produce is already imported from other countries?

I don’t blame the farmers for selling.  They are aging and we have not made farming as profitable for them as other businesses.  When they retire, there is no one that is young and willing to work the extremely hard, long hours to take over the farm.  They sell off their water so they can retire.  It is not an easy choice, but it is hard to say no when there isn’t anyone interested in taking over the family farm.  Even Kyle struggles with the decision sometimes!   I ask you this one thing – what is important to you?

Thanks for listening and I hope you have a healthy and happy week!

Jacquie, Jerry and Kyle

UPDATE ON FRUIT SHARES JULY 15: Jacquie does not yet have details, but she will share with members as soon as she does. She does expect fruit shares to receive peaches and plums, though there is not yet a source for apples or pears. She is still trying!

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5 responses to “Newsletter – July 13, 2015

  1. Claire Phillips

    I had understood we were going to be surveyed about the fruit – whether out of state or to donate funds. But if read this correctly, we don’t have options? What other options are there? Does this mean we are paying $250 for the cherries and apricots? And we are receiving nothing else this year?

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

    • Claire – Jacquie does not monitor the blog or comments. You should call the farm directly with questions. That said, reading Jacquie’s blog, it sounds to me like we will get more fruit.

      • Claire – I heard from Jacquie. We *are* going to receive more fruit (hopefully including peaches and plums), but she hasn’t secured a source for pears and apples as of yet. Also, your DC will be sending you a survey regarding your share. Hope this helps.

  2. Kristen Klaassen

    Thanks. I did sign up 🙂 to get these.

    Kristen

    Sent from my iPad

    >

  3. As a CSA supporter/member I feel “you take what you get and you don’t pitch a fit.” Farmers put in the work and meet the expenses each growing season regardless of the result of their labour. We have no control over what mother nature gives us and, about all we can do about the weather is complain. If we don’t support our farms and farmers this year will they have what they need to prepare and harvest a crop for us next year? I will miss our usual bounty from the western slope. We will see higher prices for fruit in local grocery stores because their supply has been impacted as well. I trust that Jerry and Jacquie will do their best to provide us with what they can while supporting our Colorado Farmers. Bev Gay, Centennial

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