Dear Summer Members,
Memberships: We are around 10 memberships short of our goal of 600. Now is the time to warn your co-workers, family, friends and parents of your kids’ friends that we are just about filled. If they intended to be members this year, they need to join right now! It’s fast and easy now that they can join the farm right online!
Asparagus and Strawberries: Asparagus is on! We will be picking this patch over the next five weeks. I will get everyone out here (schedule dependent on your end), but flexibility is a must! Please return my phone calls so I can call others to come pick if you cannot make it! I will not be sending email notifications, and I do not want any email responses.
Strawberry picking does not seem to be in the cards for our farm anymore. The warm months of February and March bring the plants out of hibernation. Then the snow and freezing in April and May kills them. Last year, the plants did not recover enough to do any picking at all but we are hopeful for this year. I want to start two picking wait lists. One I will prioritize by members who have been with us for two seasons or more. And the other I will prioritize by members who have been with us one year or less. Please call and leave me a message with your name, phone number, whether you can pick during the week or weekends and if you are a recent member or a member who has been with the farm two seasons or longer. If there are lots of strawberries, I will call from both lists. If there are only a few, then I will call the oldest members first and work down to the newest members. Keep your fingers crossed that the strawberries recover from the freeze in April!
Distribution Center (DC) Update: We have found our DC’s for the summer! Cherry Creek is located near Monaco & Florida, Broomfield is located off of Midway & Federal and North Boulder is off of 19th & Iris.
What to expect: We anticipate the season will start the third week of June with leafy greens, turnips, maybe a few peas and possibly summer squash & Kohlrabi. You will hear from your DC as soon as Mother Nature indicates the season is about to begin. At that time you will get an email with their name, address, phone number, email address, hours, day of week, what to do if you forget and what to do when you go on vacation. Please respond to this email so they know you received it. Otherwise, they have to call you to make sure you have their information!
The season will start out light. We live in a very hot, dry area of Colorado. So we cannot grow greens all summer. Those will fade off and something new will fill their place. By the end of July, the variety of produce will start to compound and grow!
June 5th is the last chance to add fruit, honey or oil to your order. I must contact all my vendors to tell them the total sales for the summer. You will not be able to add these items later, so please take a look at what your needs may be and let me know if you want to add anything ASAP!
The hardest year for new members is the first. You do not get to choose what you get each week. Therefore, you will be eating in season and you have to get your produce from the farm before you can create your menu for the week and go grocery shopping. This takes time to wrap your head around and get into a routine. Some tell me it took the whole summer! The second year was so much easier because they were now accustomed to the whole procedure. So don’t give up~ keep working at it! Remember, you are doing this for the health of yourself and your family!!
You are not locked into the share size you have chosen. If you are getting overwhelmed by produce, you can switch down to a smaller share. Same if it looks like you have too small of a share, we can switch you to a larger share. You have until the first of September to make this decision. I will prorate the difference between the two shares and will expect full payment immediately. It is precisely for this reason we have divided up the payments into three with the last due in September. Don’t be afraid to call me and discuss what is happening and we can brainstorm how to make this as easy as possible for you!
Fruit Share: Called Ela Family Farms, Rancho Durazno and First Fruit to find out how their orchards faired in April. Rancho Durazno did get a light freeze early but feels they will have a pretty good season anyway. First Fruits wanted you to know this was the warmest low temperatures they have ever experienced. Due to the drought, their water will be shut off early and they are not sure where that will lead them. But their orchards look terrific and they plan on have a good season! Ela Family Farms says they had a couple of touch and go nights that got to some of the peaches, but believe they should still have a decent crop. They will have a great apple & pear crop this year. So between them all, we should have a great crop for our fruit share this summer.
Pork: If you are still interested in pork; we have a half spring hog available in June and we have around 5 unsold hogs for fall/winter. Four spring hogs will go to processing in May and two more in June. All hogs must be paid in full before we take them to the processor, so please plan accordingly.
Lamb: We have sold out on fall lamb! Now, we tend to have someone drop out due to finances. So, if you want any lambs that my come available, please email/call and we can place you on a Wait List.
Beef: We also have 2 steers available for processing this winter. Again, contact us if you want one.
New Crops: We are so excited to tell you about the cool new crops we are raising this summer. There is a cantaloupe that was developed in the Greeley area in the late 1890’s. Back in the early 1900’s, people saved and exchanged seeds for their crops and gardens. There were not seed companies around like there is today. This seed was procured by the Monroes’ in the 1920’s. It grows to the size of a basketball! Jerry Senior, with our help, last grew this seed in the late 1980’s. Last summer Kyle found a bucket of seed in the back of the barn. To our surprise, it was the Greeley Wonder Melon seed! We thought the seed had been lost a long time ago. Kyle hand selected around 1500 seeds and started them. Another surprise; they all germinated!!! This is a very rare seed and Kyle saved the seed from the best melons that grew last year. We cannot wait for you to see this unusual melon in your shares this summer!
There are two tomatoes we grew last summer that were outstanding and both also rare and unique. On one, the skin color is terra cotta and the other is black with beautiful red flesh. Members unanimously loved these tomatoes. We saved the seed and will raise them again this year.
The Office: Dani has asked me to inform you that it takes us up to three weeks to process your deposits. We are not a large corporation with multiple employees. Dani and I both work part time in the office. We do the best that we can with the time we are allotted.
For those of you who have not paid your Membership Fee and Fruit Share deposit payments; they are due no later than June 1st. If we do not hear from you, we will cancel your share. Your first produce installment payment is due July 1st. At this time, you should be paying half of all your remaining fees except for the Winter Share and your meat.
Conclusion: May is a huge month for planting. Kyle, Sam, Jerry and The Crew have been and will be planting non-stop through the month of June. I would be willing to show you around a little bit when you come out to pick asparagus.
The asparagus fields are starting to show their pretty heads. We have three fields, but half of two fields are not producing anymore. They are very old and it is only a matter of time before we will need to replace them. The third field is in its fifth year and is producing nicely for its’ young age, (planted to replace one of the two older fields). Asparagus is not picked for its first four years so it can build character and grow up strong. Sounds a little bit like describing a child…does it not?
Depending on how you look at it, good news or bad, I guess we are heading into another drought that should last approximately 5 years (starting last summer). With relief, we should have fewer devastating storms during the drought years….but we are also short of water. So how do you look at this?!
Enjoy the beautiful weather & we will talk again once the season gets started! Jacquie, Jerry, Kyle and Sam