Monthly Archives: July 2017

Newsletter – July 17, 2017

Dear Members,

This week you are getting Yukon Gold potatoes, red onions, garlic, golden beets, cucumbers, squash and muskmelon. (Purple peppers and eggplant will be here soon!) The first two plantings of green beans froze in May & the seed rotted in the ground for the following planting. But they too will be here before you know it!

Fruit: You are getting peaches this week from Rancho Durazno (Peach Ranch). This is an early peach and is fairly free stone (which means it separates fairly well from the pit), but is not as free stone as the later canning peach. It is a very tasty, sweet peach. Please enjoy!!

Do you remember? Ten years ago this date, I was writing about the trend that several dogs and cats were getting very sick (with some even dying) from tainted food. It turns out that a by-product from the coal industry (Melamine) was being added to their food by China’s rice, wheat & soy meal producers. It turns out Melamine made the food appear to contain more protein even though Melamine is not a food substance and has no food value!!!

What was not being spoken about is the fact that US meat producers were purchasing inexpensive protein meal from China. Plus, it is a common practice for pork and chicken producers to feed their animals the floor sweepings from pet food manufacturers. So if you were not purchasing your meat from an organic source, there was a good chance that feed for these animals were tainted too.

As long as our meat industry continues to raise livestock on a least-cost basis, I believe our health is at risk. This includes the organic industry too. Did you know that most cost-cutting practices lower the nutritional value of our meat? The universal practice of raising cattle on grain and straw instead of hay and fresh pastures gives us beef that is higher in fat and lower in antioxidants & omega-3 fatty acids. Some cost-cutting practices proved to even be deadly. Feedlot managers in the 80’s and 90’s started adding cattle scraps (from processing plants) into cattle feed. Mad Cow disease was the tragic result of this cost-cutting idea.

Again I am touting the idea that buying locally grown products is your solution to this problem. Small local farmers care about their land and animals and work them in such a way that no feedlot would even look at. The cost is way too high. Our steers are raised with their mamas until they are naturally weaned and eating pasture grass on their own (about one year). We take them and continue to feed them pasture and hay. Three months before processing, in addition to hay & their pastures; we feed them a corn mixture we grind ourselves to soften the beef a little. The result is lean beef high in omega-3 fatty acid and the natural antioxidants normally found in beef with a low fat content.

Beef: We still have five steers available for purchase. The steers will be ready to harvest in December or January. A quarter of a steer costs $650 and a side is $1300. We will be happy to take these animals to Valley Packing of LaSalle, CO for you. It will take approximately two weeks before you pick up your meat because they hang the sides of beef to age it before it is cut and wrapped. You will have to pay Valley Packing for the processing when you pick that up!

Hope you have a great week!

Jacquie, Sam, Kyle and Jerry

Newsletter – July 11, 2017

Dear Friends of the farm,

This week you are getting Yukon Gold potatoes, garlic, Walla Walla onions, red beets, cucumbers (Either the regular slicing cucumber or a pickling variety ~ both equally delicious to eat raw, but only the pickling variety can withstand the canning process for making pickles.), summer squash ( any kind), cabbage or broccoli, muskmelon (it’s just the beginning!) and kale.

This is a new variety of muskmelon that comes on early and is supposed to be pretty sweet. It is the earliest we have ever picked muskmelon and we are so excited!! They will get sweeter over time, so if yours is not the best you have ever eaten; maybe the next one will be (especially when our main season variety comes on!)!!

We started harvesting the potatoes and even though there are a few big ones, the majority is still very small. Their skins are so tender at this stage, and they can get roughed up or bruised pretty easily. Wash gently, don’t scrub, throw out the badly bruised (a small bruise won’t hurt) and cook them up…. Because the first-dug potatoes are absolutely the best and don’t take any time to cook!

Fruit: No fruit again this week, but peaches are just starting to bear! So there is a good chance we will get peaches next week. Yay!!!

Pickling cucumbers: I am taking names and phone numbers for those of you who would like to come pick pickles. The only day and time available will be Sunday morning at 8am. We will start out hoeing for an hour then we will move on to the pickle patch. Please do not email your information; I am not checking email very often anymore because I am not in the office, call the number above and leave a message! I will call you back to schedule a day to pick when the field really starts to produce.

Do you remember? Back in 2004 we were bombarded with videos of cattle with Mad Cow Disease. There was a cartoon in the paper I thought was hilarious and kept it in my office closet. I recently came across it and thought I would share it with you… Unfortunately the piece had gotten wet at some point and I cannot read who the artist was. But it reflects the issues we were dealing with at that point of time.

A gentleman is sitting at a fine restaurant looking through a menu. He says to the Waiter, “Until this Mad Cow thing passes, I’m staying away from beef.” The Waiter replies, “Then may I recommend the mercury-laden fish with a side of genetically altered corn?” Ah….awareness!

Grandma Edith’s Pickled Beets

I have never been a big fan of beets. I am also very allergic to something in sweet pickle spice. My Grandmother discovered I would eat beets if they were made this way. She would serve them warm for dinner, then put them back in the liquid, refrigerate them then serve them cold for lunch the next day! What I like about the simplicity of this recipe is that you get to taste the beets and not all the spices. Great to serve on salads.

Equal amounts (1/4 cup or 1/3 cup or 1/2 cup measurements depending on amount of beets being served) of the following: vinegar, water and sugar. Peel and slice or cube beets. Cook until tender.

Newsletter – July 3, 2017

Dear Members,

This week you are getting garlic, red onions, carrots, fennel, green cabbage, summer squash (any kind) oregano and either iceberg lettuce or magenta lettuce (same as last week).

Fennel is a very versatile vegetable.  Not only are the bulbs delicious in soups, cooked with roast or pork and shred in salads or slaws, but the greens are great as well.  Eat raw or dried.  Add to fish or the cavity of chicken, find a fennel pesto recipe (why should basil have all the fun?!) or add to collard greens to give them a little zip.

This kind of oregano is a fairly mild form so I use a bit more than recipes call for.  You will need twice as much fresh as you will need dried in any recipe (and most recipes are referring to the dried form when listed).  It’s easy to dry, just rinse & put on a paper towel or plate and wait.  When dry, slide off of stem and put in a airtight jar.

Fruit:  There will not be any fruit this week, they are in-between pickings.

Strawberries:  Here we go again folks!  This is our theory about the strawberry patch:  After growing in some of the best conditions in our 30 year history; our Spring’s over the last 5 years have never been so crazy and unpredictable.  We believe that the strawberries are coming out of dormancy in February or March when it gets nice and warm.  Then April and May come along and Mother Nature decides to give us a little bit of winter again.  The cold, freezing temperatures are killing the plants that have started to send out new growth.  We lost over half of the new field.  Jerry, Kyle and Sam planted a third strawberry field.  What we are hoping is this; if just half of each field survives, maybe combined we will have an entire field of strawberries we can pick.  Keep your fingers crossed and hope for a better Spring next year. Where it stays cold in Feb. & March and then proceeds to get warm the middle of April and stays warm in May!!

Produce Payments:  Half of all your remaining fees are due the 15th of July (except for animals).  Late fees of $25 will be applied on July 21st.  Please allow 2 weeks for us to process your checks (will still get credit for arriving on time).  We will do our best to get them processed just as soon as possible!

If it is the 4th of July, then summer must be here!  Hope you enjoyed your holiday weekend!

Cream of Spring Vegetable Soup   (page 8 of the Farm Fresh CSA cookbook)

  • 4 T. Butter
  • 4-8 small turnips, chopped
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 4 carrots, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4-6 cups vegetable stock
  • 2 heads kohlrabi, peeled & chopped
  • 1 cup half & half

Melt butter in a pot, add onion one minute then add garlic and sauté until aromatic.  Add kohlrabi, turnips and carrots and sauté 5 minutes.  Add four cups of stock and cook until veggies are tender.  Puree soup until smooth adding additional stock until you are happy with the consistency (or don’t, I like both).  Return to pot.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Soup can be prepared a few days in advance or can be frozen at this time.  Before serving, heat soup and whisk in half & half.    Serves up to 6.