Newsletter – October 12, 2015

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Dear Friends of the Farm,

This is our last week of distribution. It is so hard to believe because we had such a long wonderfully warm fall, it still feels like summer! Let me remind you it is the middle of October though and you are getting the following summer-time produce: Banana Fingerling potatoes, yellow and white onions, carrots, gourds, squash, Japanese eggplant, several types of bell peppers, garlic, tomatoes and corn. Yes, you heard me right, corn!!

Fruit: You are getting your last 10 pounds of apples this week. They are Jonathan Gold. After all the disappointment of hearing First Fruits were not able to supply us with fruit this year…I can’t thank Ranch Durazno more for helping me find you decent fruit to eat. Everything came from either him or Fortunate Fruit. Both located on the Western Slope of Colorado.

The CSA Adventure: 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 locally, it gets used 7 more times within your community! Don’t send your hard earned dollar to a “box store” that will send it to their corporate office out of state.

Food for thought: Did you know you “vote” with every dollar you spend? What have you purchased lately and what are you voting for?

Thank You Working Members: I would like to thank our Working Members; both those at the Distribution Centers (DC) and those who make the journey to the farm. The Distribution Centers are very much appreciated for their time and homes. They make it possible for you to have a DC fairly close so you don’t have to drive across town.

Working Members at the farm spend an extra hour on the road getting to the farm, plus the four hours every week bagging up your produce, loading the truck, finishing up doing farm chores and then driving an hour home. It would be nearly impossible to run this CSA without their help. So many projects are completed every week! Thank you to you all for your hard work, consistency, patients and good humor. We soooo appreciate you!

Overview: Well…..this has been one of the most challenging springs we have ever planted in. We have never seen it rain like this before! It has rained a lot in the past, but never non-stop and to never see the sun too??? What was that about? We had no idea that would happen, so we continued to plant throughout the month of May. Plants suffered because it never dried out and never had any sunshine to grow by. They were literally drowning! The result of this was stunted plants with the will to produce but not enough oomph to do much about it. So production of some crops was affected. June wasn’t much better because it took so long for the ground to dry out. I bet it was another three weeks before a tractor could be used!

We hand planted just about every crop you received in June and July. Many times without shoes and their pants rolled up! It was a slow start, but it finally dried out and warmed up. Some plants caught up, some struggled to live. Those that were struggling to survive had insects get into them. That is why your cucumbers, eggplant and melons had strange scabs on them. They tasted good, they just didn’t look good!

Thank goodness for our long beautiful fall. Just like our record breaking May, Jerry has never seen a warmer September. It is now on the books for the warmest September on record! We benefited from this windfall because some plants had put on a second set of flowers that were able to grow and mature enough to be eaten.

In the end we had a decent amount of produce. It was light in the spring but good in the fall. Did you notice that when there is a breakdown of one crop, there is an abundance of another? This was a really good tomato & melon year, but not so good a pepper & cucumber year. All we can do is hike up our pants, put on our gloves & slide on our thinking caps and start working on next year!

Goodbye and Thank you: Being the eternal optimists that farmers are: Next year will be fantastic! We have to admit; we are exhausted and are greeting Mr. Winter with open arms (if he ever gets here!). It can be draining (emotionally) when you cannot control the most important input (weather) that controls your income. We cannot stress how much we have appreciated your support over the season and your patience with Mother Nature.

Feeding people is our passion. We are committed to providing the best tasting organic produce you have ever eaten. 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 passionate people about supporting local farming and eating organic produce. We are looking forward to being your farmers in 2016! Have a wonderful, restful winter and think of us when you pull out vegetables from the freezer!

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!

Jacquie, Jerry, Kyle and Alaina Monroe

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