Newsletter – July 12th, 2016

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This week you are getting Walla Walla onions, kohlrabi, golden beets, squash, cucumbers, garlic and kale.  Substitute kohlrabi for bamboo shoots in stir-fry’s or eat sliced and sautéed or boiled.  It is a member of the cabbage family so can be added to coleslaw or salads.

Fruit:  You will be getting cherries this week from First Fruits Organic Orchard!!!

The Farm:  Jerry is seeding (planting) corn and beans today.  I bet you didn’t know that in order to get beans and corn every  week, it has to be planted every single week; cucumbers and summer squash are planted every three weeks; your melons and tomatoes are planted three times a year and potatoes, beets and carrots twice a year.  Unfortunately, Mother Nature was grumpy in May and killed the first planting of beans and corn.  But, Jerry is confident you will be getting green beans soon and possible corn by the end of the month!

Cucumber Relish/Salad:

  • 1 C. fresh cooked corn, cut off cob
  • 1 lg. cucumber, chopped
  • 2 T finely chopped onion
  • 2 t. honey
  • ½ t. salt
  • 3 to 4 t. finely chopped cilantro
  • 1 T. red wine vinegar or balsamic vinegar
  • 1 T. sesame oil or olive oil
  • 1 t. dried red chili flakes
  • 1 small hot pepper

Mix and refrigerate for several hours to allow flavors to blend.  Serves 8 to 10.

Veggie note: Cut zucchini lengthwise and use in your favorite lasagna recipe instead of pasta noodles.  It is a great way to use up those large zucc’s! Zucchini Boats are a lovely dish as well. Make your favorite stuffing; bread, veggie or meat and place in your zucchini cut lengthwise with the seed bed removed. Bake at 350 degrees for 45min. to an hour. Another way to use up the larger cucumbers is to make tuna boats.  Make tuna salad and place in minced (optional) cucumber, again cut lengthwise with seed bed removed. This is a cool and refreshing meal for lunch or dinner!

Produce Fees/Lamb:  Half of your produce fees, fruit and honey are now due.  This is a reminder to send in your checks no later than the 22nd to avoid late fees.  Jerry was inspecting the sheep this morning and says it looks like they will go to processing sometime in September, maybe August on the biggest ones.  We had asked that all lamb be paid in full by August 1st, but will allow that to extend to the 15th since they are going in later than expected.

T-shirts:  Turn in your order form to your Distribution Center in the next two weeks.  (I’ll have extra forms at the DC’s)  If you prefer; I’ll take the order in house.  Please do not email an order to me!  Either mail it to me or give it to your DC.  It’s no problem to pay for your t-shirt at the time you order or you can be invoiced.  We expect to be paid immediately upon receipt of the invoice.  We will deliver your t-shirts to your DC as soon as they are printed and obtained by us (hopefully no more than three weeks).  What a great way to show your support of a local, 80 year old farm!!!

Something Special:  On the other side, you will find an article written by a 2nd year working member.  Our first year (38 members in 1993), we didn’t write a newsletter until the very last week of the season.  The next year, we wrote a monthly newsletter with members writing many of the articles.  This was one of my favorites!  Our 2nd year we had 78 members and the working members started the 1st of April and worked through October.  We did distribution two days a week on Tue and Thur.  We had five Distribution Centers:  Aurora, Lakewood, Boulder, Ft. Collins and the farm and everyone had to drive to one of these locations.  These members were really dedicated to supporting a local farm!!!

Learning and Working the Farm Experience 

Paula Reets, 2nd year working member (written in 1994, our second year as a CSA)

Being a working member on the farm has been a great learning experience for my family.  We’ve especially learned to appreciate vegetables.  What a difference it makes being directly responsible for the production of your food!  It even seems to taste better. We’ve learned a lot about the farming process, from planting to harvesting.

During planting, we learned that when Jerry says to plant the seedlings a foot apart, that everyone’s foot is a different size.  We learned how delicate the seedlings can be—yet they can withstand the normal range of weather; wind, rain and heat.  We learned how extreme weather can wipe out a whole crop, and how to transplant volunteer tomato plants because the rest of the tomato plants suffered severe wind burn.

We learned how to hoe, which means we learned about weeds.  Some, like the dandelion and lamb’s quarters, are actually edible.

We learned that time passes much more quickly when your busy making friends with other working members.  It can be very peaceful listening to the kids play and the birds sing.  Sometimes, we even hear a goat bleating in the distance.

Hoeing is exhausting, but harvest follows soon after it, and it’s a welcome change.  Yet harvesting often can be harder than hoeing!

We learned things about food that I don’t remember from Biology class.  We discovered that sun warmed, fresh picked strawberries are the tastiest, and the berries with bird bites are the sweetest.  And—what a surprise!—discovered that green beans actually taste good raw.  But most surprising of all, we learned that contrary to popular belief, you can eat the black seeds in watermelon!

The kids learned a couple of interesting animal facts too.  They learned that snakes eat toads live, and that pigs have hair!

Most important of all, we learned that farming is hard work, but, every minute we put in on the farm is worth it.  Not only do we get superior quality produce, we make great new friends too!

Paula Reets has been with our farm since our very first year.  She wrote this for me to help members understand what you get out of being a working member.  Unfortunately, this year we are very short of working members.  If you would like to join us one day to help out, let me know!  You will take your produce home with you that day.  Please give me at least a two day notice!  We start at 7 am sharp and work four hours on Tue, Wed and Thr.  You will start out your day bagging up the produce for the non-working members, then will move on to barn clean-up, field work or prepping produce for market.  This is a great way to see how a small portion of your farm works and what your Working Members are responsible for!!  Families are welcome, so plan on joining us soon!

2006:  I was looking at newsletters to see what the weather was doing ten years ago.  I was talking about the dry weather and how so many farmers’ wells were shut down because they were never augmented.  (You have to own surface water (to put back into the ground) in order to take water from underground because it depletes what is running down rivers when groundwater is too low.  Surface water just sinks underground instead of running on top.)  I hope this makes sense!  Anyway, the shutdown did not affect us because all of our water comes from two reservoirs.  Spring was rough that year because of numerous freezing in late May and early June.  So it looks like our first delivery didn’t start until the fourth week of June!

Until next week….Jacquie and Jerry

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