Monthly Archives: September 2015

Newsletter – September 28, 2015

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Dear Members,

This is week 16 out of an 18 week season and you are getting Yukon Gold potatoes, yellow onions, yellow carrots, cauliflower or cabbage, cucumbers, squash, globe eggplant, sweet peppers, green beans, tomatoes and orange honeydew.

Raising Animals: We were asked how animals became a part of the farm. We started out raising them for ourselves, actually. When members, came to visit or came to volunteer; they asked if they could get beef or pork too. We started with four of each. Then we added egg layers and offered the extra eggs we had to members. Everything just built from there. At the height of production we had 35 steers, 80 pigs, 25 lambs and 1200 chickens. It was exhausting, took too much time away from field work and our focus should be vegetables, not animals. So we lowered our numbers to a tolerable amount. We found out we were not making any money on eggs at all and eliminated them. We are now down to 15 steers, 20 lambs and 60 pigs a year.

Five Years of Interesting Weather: So far, the last five years have been so inconsistent; it makes it very difficult to know how to farm anymore. For those of you who have been members a long time, you know how hard Jerry tries to give you the best! But this weather we are having is crazy and it makes it difficult for him to know how to farm, let alone plan for the next year!

In 2011, we had several spring hailstorms, but a beautiful fall prolonged the summer harvest! It wasn’t pretty, but we did get a crop. 2012 was the worst drought anyone has ever seen here. However, the quality of the produce was outstanding! We had plenty of water due to all the snow the winter before. It was a good thing since it didn’t rain or snow again until March of 2013. That was the year we didn’t think we would be able to farm at all because we started the season with no water. We had a devastating hailstorm the first week of August and then the flooding in September. It was a light year of produce and we didn’t have any melons at all. 2014 was pretty crazy too. It consistently rained on and off the whole entire summer. I took forever to plant and as expected, everything was delayed. But we had decent produce…once we got it!

Now we come to 2015 and a non-stop rainfall that lasted 21 days in May. But what really hurt was the fact we had absolutely no sunshine for 26 days in that same time period! Funny thing: Plants do not grow without sunshine! There was so much moisture in the ground, it took forever to dry out enough for a tractor to drive through the fields. Again, produce was delayed. But we had no hailstorms throughout the summer and the nice warm days have slowly ripened the crop bringing us another decent late summer and a fall crop. It’s hard to believe we went from the rainiest May on record to one of the warmest Septembers on record. Unbelievable! Thank goodness too, because what kind of a season would we have ended up with if it had frozen early….say between the 20th & 25th of this month, (something that happened on a regular basis when Jerry and I took over the farm in the early 1980’s)!

It would help us greatly if you would take a few moments to fill out this Survey. We want to know if the share size needs to change based on eating habits. Keep in mind each share has a specific household to feed. The following information is very important to me; please do not skip the beginning of this survey! Be blunt, we need to know what is on your mind to help better serve you. Thank you very much for your time!

PLEASE EMAIL OR SNAIL MAIL THIS TO JACQUIE. ANSWERS LEFT ON THE BLOG WILL NOT BE SEEN.

I wonder what our winter will be like…if only that darn crystal ball would work! Jacquie, Jerry and Kyle

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Newsletter – September 21, 2015

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Dear Friends of the farm!

This week you are not getting any potatoes, which I know many of you are getting tired of. You will be getting white onions, purple carrots, eggplant, cucumber, squash, fennel, cabbage, sweet peppers, hot peppers, beans, tomatoes and honeydew melon.

We are nearing the end of our season and the plants have worked hard to produce fruit and vegetables for us. They have been stressed all season from the crazy month of May they had to endure. So you will find your bag will be getting smaller. Corn is done for the year; cucumbers, squash and eggplant are just barely producing anything now. Melons are almost done too. We were afraid it might be either a light year or a short year; and it looks like we got a little of both. This was a learning year for us, because even the old timers could not remember a spring like this last one!

Tomatoes: Just a reminder; if you are interested in picking a box of tomatoes for canning or freezing, please call me with your name and phone number. I will add you to a wait list. We still do not know if there will be any to pick, but if there is (hopefully in Oct.) we will call and set up appointments.

Harvest Festival: Wow! Thank you for such a great turnout for the Harvest Festival. We believe there were around 375 to 400 people that came. Many of you have been members for 10 to 15 years and it was your first time to the festival. I am so glad you came by! It appeared everyone had a super good time.

It was a comfortable sunny day at a perfect 87 degrees. The side dishes and desserts were absolutely wonderful! Chili roasting got started early and didn’t stop until 5 o’clock! Everyone was wonderful about helping set up and volunteer all day long. Clean-up was a snap with all the helping hands! Thank you very much, everyone!

I do want to shout out to two special young people that jumped in when we really needed help. Unfortunately I did not get their names, but a young lady helped out at the check-in station when our first set of volunteers did not show up and she ran the booth a long time completely by herself. The second person was a young man who stepped in and helped grill when we had a missing Master Griller. Myrna (my mother) wanted to say thank you to you personally, but you disappeared before she had a chance. She said for your age, you were excellent on the grill! (She wants you back next year!) And thank you to the mother and son team who stepped in and kept up with the drink station when absolutely not one volunteer showed up. It was just hot enough that it kept you busy all day!

To the musician, Erik Gilbertson; everyone loved your music and commented on your choice of music and your voice. To Kate Hartman; your face painting was excellent and the kids couldn’t wait to show me their faces. I think both parents and kids thought you were an excellent addition to the festival. Thanks to both of you for sharing your talents and time. It is simply amazing the creative people we have in our membership!

The kids loved the horse races and we had some terrific designs this year! Everyone was very inventive. There was one that was super charged with a rocket booster on the back and a monster face on the front, another from cardboard and spray painted towels made into the shape of a beautiful black horse plus several horses were made of socks. All were absolutely wonderful.

The corn-shucking contestants were a blast to watch! We have some darn good shuckers out there!!!

Pickle and Jelly contests were quite competitive this year. In the Pickle/Relish category Tatiana MacDuff’s Hot Dill Pickles (from Aurora) and Valerie Wilsons’s Zucchini Relish (from Longmont) tied for first place. Hands down the winner for Jams & Jellies was JoAnn Peterson (from 470 & Quebec) with her Pear Ginger Lime jam. Certificates of Achievement plus a $20 award will be given to each. Hope everyone got a chance to get over there and taste them for yourselves. Simply delicious!!

The hayrides to the pumpkin patch went off without a hitch. This is one activity I think everyone looks forward to! There were lots of goodies to go home with and they were easy to get to this year. (I’m not sure if Jerry planted it that way, or if it just worked out that way!). The raspberry patch produced many beautiful raspberries and everyone went home with a full pint.

I’m sorry if you were not able to join us this year. It was simply a great party and I think everyone had fun running around the farm!

Thanks again to all the volunteers. So many of you pitched in, it made set-up and break-down extremely easy. Many of you pitched in during the day when other volunteers did not show up. Thank you, thank you. You have no idea how much that is appreciated!

Lost & Found: A green and white bowl was left behind along with a pie server and a slotted spoon. We also found a pair of sunglasses. If you give me a call, I will be happy to return your items to your Distribution Center and you can pick them up there.

It was so good to see everyone this weekend. Hope you all had a blast; I know we did! And for those of you who could not come; I hope you can join us next year!

Jacquie, Jerry and Kyle

Newsletter – September 14, 2015

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Dear Members;

This is week 14 out of an 18 week season. You are getting purple flesh-purple skinned potatoes, yellow onions, carrots, a head of cabbage, cauliflower or broccoli, squash, lemon and slicing cucumbers, Japanese eggplant, green, orange and lipstick peppers, beans, white flesh and orange flesh honeydew, Black Velvet, Golden Globe and red tomatoes.

I didn’t realize when I wrote the newsletter last week that there wasn’t enough of the Cone cabbage to give it to everyone. So, some of you got cauliflower and broccoli instead. When we went out to the fields again this week, it appears the same thing is going to happen; you will be getting one of the three.

Another reminder to cold water bath your produce. I recently got a letter from a new member upset about the condition of the produce. Unfortunately, I cannot do anything about wilted produce. I do not have refrigerated trucks and there is no refrigeration at the Distribution Centers. The produce is alive but slightly dehydrated when you get it and all it needs is a cold bath! I know I feel better after a cool shower on a hot day and your produce will do the same! Give it time; it may take all night to revive. Do as the Chinese do: When something is wilted & cannot recover, cook and eat it immediately. No one will ever know!

Did you notice your carrots are larger than before? We are now harvesting our main season planting. If Jerry had not planted an early variety, you would just now be getting carrots. Don’t be surprised if you still find a small carrot now and then. Just like children, they do not all grow up the same!

Tomatoes: New this week is Black Velvet tomatoes. This is an heirloom variety and they should be eaten with a slight tinge of green around the eye. You can eat them when they are totally red, but they will be extremely soft by then!

I am taking names on a Wait List for those of you who would like to pick tomatoes by the box. So far, we have been giving you everything that is ripening! But there is a possibility we may pick in October, if the weather holds out (it did last year, remember?!). Do not email me or leave a message on the blog, please call and leave a message. I will need your name and phone number.

Winter Share: Jerry tells me he has started the harvesting of dried beans and the Tiger eye is looking really good. He may get to the rest of them this week…we will see! Forms are due by the end of September. If you know of a friend or co-worker who would like to participate this winter, give them a copy of your form or I can. Have them give me a call with their contact info! I will try to remember to send extra forms to the Distribution Centers!

Good News! We have two new DC’s to report for the Winter Share! The MLK & Forest location is moving to Colfax & Ulster. The Lakewood location is going to be located at 26th and Simms which will be perfect for Golden, Lakewood, Arvada and Westminster customers to get to. Both Distribution Centers are super nice people and wonderful to work with!

The Harvest Festival: The Festival is this Sunday the 20th from 11 to 4. Guests will be charged $10 per person (three and under are free). It sounds like we are going to have a beautiful day with daytime temperatures sitting around 85 degrees. Can’t ask for better day than that!

Bring sturdy shoes, a hat & a large side-dish or dessert to go along with the hamburgers and hot dogs. Your dishes & utensils will be rinsed off and placed under the tables for retrieval when you are ready to go for the day.

Check in before doing anything or going anywhere at the farm. This is for safety reasons and for me to know who came by. You can pick up a map of the farm with directions to u-pick crops. Please follow the directions, or you may be picking crops that are not on the list. There will also be directions for a self-tour of the farm and its’ buildings. If you have any questions, that is the best place to stop in and ask. If they don’t know the answer….they will come find me!

Volunteers: all volunteers, but especially if you are a Master Griller; please check in with Myrna right away. She can be found between the kitchen, drink station and grills.

U-Pick Crops: Jerry will take a look after Distribution Thursday to see what crops may be in abundance. I’m pretty sure you can pick poblano and anaheim chilies plus some jalapenos too. We will have the potato digger going for a bit and there will be hayrides to the pumpkin patch. And, we have flowers! You will not be able to pick tomatoes. We normally have a few special things in the barn to take. There could be some other things; I just don’t know what they will be at this point!

Please bring your own bags! We will not be providing them.

Roasting Chilies: It will cost $5 to roast chilies. Please start inside the barn. You will get one tray for picking. When you are done, you must check in at the barn again, pay your fee and get a ticket. Your ticket will match a bag of roasted chilies laid out in trays. No waiting in line, but it does take quite a bit of time to roast, so don’t be surprised if your chilies are not ready when you are! We are limited to roasting 35 trays, so after that, you will need to roast them yourself. We are interested in people showing up early (to help set up) and to pick chilies so we can get the roaster started earlier. Feel free to come around 9am (chili picking will start around 10 or 10:30)! The more hands we have to help with chores, the sooner everyone can get started picking and enjoying the festival!

Canning Contest: Both will start at 12:30. All canning goods (jams, jellies, relishes and pickles) should be at the booth no later than 12:15. There will be experts sitting in the booth all day to answer any questions you may have with your canning needs! If you would like to check out the jams and jellies, stop by and give them a try! There will also be samples of the pickles too!

Stick Horse Races: The Stick Horse Race will begin with a parade and then the races will begin. Ribbons will be awarded!

Shucking Contest: I think we will start around 1:00 or 1:30. We will start with the kids and work up to the adults. It is fun to watch and it is really fun to participate. Plan on joining the fun!

Music: Thanks to some very talented members, we will have music from 11 to 2. Enjoy!!

No bug spray or sunblock should be applied on the farm. Please do this at home and wash your hands thoroughly. Please remember; we are organic and a chemical free farm. Thank you!

This is our way of thanking you for being members. We cannot express our gratitude as well as we would like, so we hope this gesture gives you an idea of how much you mean to us!

Hope to see you Sunday!

Jacquie, Jerry and Kyle Monroe

Last Chance to RSVP for the Harvest Festival!

RSVP no later than Sept 12 for the Harvest Festival.

U-pick items:  Unfortunately, there isn’t much.  The weather in May has
really screwed this up.  But this is what Jerry thinks will be available.
Poblano chilies
Anaheim chilies
Possibly jalapeno’s
Potatoes
Pumpkins

Don’t forget there will be hayrides to the pumpkins patch and that there is
a $5 charge for roasting chilies.

If you are entering the canning contest we need jams, jellies, relishes
and pickles no later than 12:30

Children’s stick-horse parade will start at 12:30, then the races will
begin!  Ribbons will be awarded for the best homemade stick horse and race
winners.

Hope to see you there!

Newsletter – September 7, 2015

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Dear Friends of the Farm,

This week you are getting Yukon Gold potatoes, white onions, carrots, cone cabbage, squash, Nubia eggplant, slicing cucumbers and lemon cucumbers, green, purple, orange and jalapeno peppers, beans, sweet corn, muskmelon, watermelon, gold and red tomatoes.

Spots: Sometimes you may find sunburn spots on your peppers this summer (and some of the heirloom watermelon). I have noticed the plants themselves have been stressed by the rains in May and did not grow many leaves. In turn, this leaves the peppers exposed to the sun. They get a yellow spot that will eventually turn brown then black. It is not mold; it has been burned by the sun and is a dry spot. Cut this out and use the rest of the pepper. We try to catch this not only when it is picked, but also at distribution. However, some will slip by us. It may also be that in order to get any peppers at all, you will be getting some of these “blemished” peppers.

Boxes: Not sure if you have noticed, but all the “extras” are coming in and you will need a way to carry them out to your car. Now is the time to bring extra boxes and bags to your Distribution Center. It will make your time at the DC much easier!

FYI!!: Two weeks until the festival! The deadline to RSVP is Sept 12th. Contact Peg and leave your reservation (especially if you can help out during the day) so we know how much stuff to purchase! wrdwrrior@comcast.net or 303-320-5706. Peg just notified me we are in need for afternoon Master Grillers, people to clear the food table and someone to dump the trash can every once in a while! When leaving your RSVP, please let her know if you are willing to help out.

Mock Apple Pie
4 med. zucchini (or mixed summer squash)
1T cornstarch
1 cup sugar
1 – 9” pie crust
4T lemon juice
1 cup flour
1t nutmeg
½ cup butter, cold & cubed
2T tapioca starch or flour
½ cup brown sugar
2t cinnamon
¼ cup chopped nuts, optional

Cut zucchini in half, scoop out any large seeds, peel if desired and slice. Combine squash with the next 6 ingredients and place in pie crust. Mix together the remaining dry ingredients then cut in the butter until butter is pea size. Pour over pie filling and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes to an hour.

Until next week;
Jacquie, Jerry and Kyle