Author Archives: Gretchen

Newsletter – June 27, 2017

Dear Farm Friends,

Our first week was as exciting as ever, but this week is even better! We are so happy to be giving you peas, carrots, squash, kohlrabi, garlic, garlic scapes, onions and lettuce. The scapes are the tops of the garlic. This has become the new favorite of our members! It is extremely versatile. It can be grilled and eaten as a vegetable, minced and added to salads & eggs (like onion) and it’s wonderful chopped up for stir-fries. One member told me the best pesto she ever had was prepared with garlic scapes. Another told me she made green garlic hummus with scapes. Don’t be afraid to experiment with these little buggers! They’re wonderful!!

Kohlrabi is in the cabbage family and can be eaten as such. Its great raw in coleslaw, salads or as chips. I replace watercress in stir fry’s with it and it is wonderful on its own sautéed until tender.

Fruit: You received cherries last week and will get apricots this week. We are working with Rancho Durazno & Ela Family Farms, both are certified organic. Rancho Durazno purchased those bags at a farm sale and was reusing them. I did not realize there was a bar-code number on the bag or would have addressed it in the newsletter!

Bags and Boxes: I forgot to tell you how important it is to return your vegetable bags every week. We reuse them as many times as we can. This includes any small produce bags for beans or peas. (Please take the time to dump or shake out any extra organic material left in the bottom. This way your DC does not have to clean out 30 bags & Jacquie does not have to dump out 600!) Distribution Centers will be keeping track of this, so don’t be surprised if they remind you how often you have forgotten or how many bags you have not returned!

Facebook/Blog/Website/Email: Please be aware that I do not work from these social media sites. Several members took it upon themselves to start these up and continually update them. Everyone needs to contact me directly by phone when making changes to their shares. I will need not only your name, but also your Distribution Center. Email is the same. I know this is very convenient for you, but I am home only a half day on Monday and Friday each week. So it is not the best way to contact me. I am very good about answering phone messages, but I do not have time to look at email. You can use email for anything that does not need to be answered immediately!

Donations: We are now taking nominations for families with health problems and/or financial problems to get a share from the farm. We have around 15 shares available after helping out current farm members. Please call or email your nomination including what their situation is & how to contact them. We will try to get those started no later than the middle of July.

Thank you for a great first week. I know a lot of DC’s were on vacation either the week before or the week of our first delivery and you may have gotten a late notice or had someone doing distribution that was not your Distributor. As the summer goes along, things should even out!

Jacquie, Kyle, Sam and Jerry

Veggie Wash (Especially for store bought produce!)

Juice from a whole lemon
2 Tbsp vinegar
1 cup water
1 spray bottle

Mix and spray onto surface of veggies. Let sit for a minute or two. (Longer if trying to remove wax.) Scrub lightly on soft skinned veggies and more & scrub brush aggressively on hard skinned produce like winter squash, cucumbers, root veggies and melons. Leafy greens simply should be sprayed, sit and rinsed.

Newsletter – June 20th, 2017

Dear Friends of the Farm,

Welcome to our first week of Distribution!! We have a beautiful bag of produce coming your way! In May we had two freezes and a hail storm. Jerry has always pushed the limits on trying to get produce as early as possible for you. We have three cold frames filled with carrots, tomatoes and beets. We cover early plantings of field crops such as kale, turnips, tomatoes, summer squash and cucumbers with a light cloth to protect it from freezing and hail stones. The cloth did its job because we are starting to uncover these crops to weed and they look terrific (though the cloth is full of holes)! The rest of the farm is really looking good too. Now that it is getting so hot (hard on humans, but great for plants) everything is growing like crazy & green, green, green!!!

Produce: This week you are getting butterhead lettuce, peas, garlic scapes, summer squash (either yellow straight neck, zucchini or Q-ball (light green, round type zucchini)broccoli, kohlrabi and garlic. We are hoping all three distribution days will get these crops, but it is the first week and we may be short. We will make it up to you next week if a distribution center is shorted. It is very important that you return all your bags every week! Because we reuse them over & over!!

It is a good plan to pre-washing outside to get the majority of the dirt off in the yard (or an extra-large bowl set in your kitchen sink) and not down your drain pipes. Children especially love this task. (They are very good at picking off the worms in your corn too! Make it a game and see how many they can find.) By getting your kids involved in the pre-prep work, talking about the produce & asking them what they want to eat will help get them motivated to try the different varieties. Did you know children have to try something 9 times before they get a taste for it? It’s true!! So make them eat a bite or two every time it is served!

Your Distribution Center: Please do not forget that your DC is a member too. They have offered to be a DC to make it as convenient as possible for you to get your produce. They too have busy lives and are trying hard to please everyone. A majority of our DC’s have 30 to 40 Members coming by. Respect their hours and if you need to pick up at a different time or have forgotten to pick up during normal hours; please call and make new arrangements. They will hold produce for 24 hours. If there is no contact from you within that time period, the produce will be donated to a place of need; including your fruit. We encourage Members to donate their produce when going on vacation. Last year the Membership donated a whopping 1440 pounds of produce to organizations around the metro area. Let’s try to beat that record! If you plan on having someone pick up your produce for you while you are gone; your DC will need their name and phone number. This gives them permission to hand out your produce to someone other than yourself and it gives them a contact number when they forget to pick up…which they almost always do! Ask your DC questions! They are a wealth of information and will help you use your share. Get a cookbook. There are ten recipes for every veggie we grow. And, it was put together by members of this farm! It is useful and the recipes are excellent!!!

4th of July: Since the 4th lands on a Tuesday this year, we will be doing Tuesday distribution on Monday. The rest of the days will remain the same.

Your Expectations from the farm: You are sharing the risk of farming with your farmer. This is no different than gardening yourself. Mother Nature does not always cooperate with our plans. It is unrealistic to expect everything to be perfect all the time. We grow varieties for their taste, not necessarily for their beauty! If there is an abundance of produce, you will get it. If there is a shortage of produce, you will see that too. Along with June/July rain we sometimes get hail. Don’t be surprised to get produce with scabs from the damage this causes. We try very hard to catch produce that is badly bruised. But sometimes this slips by us & it will start to mold in your bag from the heat. We apologize ahead of time! We do not intend for this to happen! We love what we do and care deeply about the land we live on, the food it produces and the people it feeds. We are the caretakers and we intend to take care of you and your farm!

Statements: We will send statements each month. Your first produce payment (including fruit, oil and honey) is due July 15th. You may pay these fees in full, or half by July 15th and the other half by September 1st. If you are paying monthly, then continue making your agreed upon & scheduled payments.

First Year Members: This year will be your hardest summer. It takes time to adjust to getting your produce this way! Plan on going to the grocery store after you get your share. You need time to process your produce by sorting and washing. If you are willing to put up with the dirt, don’t wash until you are ready to use it, it will last longer. Produce breaks down as soon as it gets wet. But I also understand you might not want dirt in your crisper drawer! The tenderer a crop is, the sooner it will need to be eaten, i.e. greens, summer squash, peas, beans, broccoli, cantaloupe, cucumbers and tomatoes. I will give you hints on storage as we go through the summer.

Newsletters/Blog: A Member with a better Internet system (than I have) will post my newsletters to the blog. Please notify your DC if you prefer to get a hard copy at the distribution site or if you prefer to access the blog. It is important to read your newsletters each week because they will inform you of additional “bonus” picking days, other events that may directly affect you or the produce you’re getting and fun things that are happening on the farm. Access the blog by going to: monroeorganicfarms.wordpress.com. Do not forget to check out our Facebook page (also run by members) as well for pictures and videos!

The next u-pick crop coming up is pickles and that will be sometime in July. The strawberries did not make it, so we are out again this year. We need to have normal springs (freezing in Feb & Mar without freezing in May!) in order for a decent crop of strawberries.

How to contact me: Please remember I am gone 5 days a week delivering CSA shares or at farmers markets. I am home on Monday & Friday mornings or Tue/Wed/Thr late afternoons. The best way to reach me is by phone. I am very good about answering phone calls, not so much with email! I am just not in the house that long! Email me if you do not need an answer right away. But if it is about a change in your share or DC, please call me. We pick on Monday for Tuesday, Tuesday for Wednesday and Wednesday for Thursday. Keep this in mind when you want to make a change! Whenever you call about your share, especially if needing to make changes, always identify your Distribution Center!

Thank you: Welcome to the 2017 farming season with Monroe Organic Farms. We hope you enjoy every morsel! I can’t tell you how excited we are to get started! This is just a sample of what is to come. My family are looking forward to a fantastic summer. Thank you for giving us this opportunity; we are very excited about being your farmers!

Jacquie, Jerry, Sam, Kyle and Crew

CSA Membership Renewal Due: April 8th

members…

WE NEED YOUR HELP!
The 2017 Summer season is just around the corner. Little green buds are already peaking their heads up out of the ground getting ready to feed your families yummy fresh organic food. That’s where YOU come in:

We are currently 35 membership renewals under our monthly goal for this season. Help us get there by letting us know you are returning.

We always serve you best when we can count on your CSA membership. Membership Renewal Forms and Payment Are Due Saturday April 8th if you plan to renew your CSA membership.

IMPORTANT: Please submit a check or arrange direct payment with your bank as we only accept checks and cash at this time.

Please drop off or mail forms and payment to:
25525 Weld County Road 48,
Kersey, CO 80604

DOWNLOAD MEMBERSHIP RENEWAL FORMS HERE.

A BIG Thank You to those who have already sent us your membership renewals. Your early support gives us the funds we need to get this summer season off to the best start!

~Jacquie and Jerry Monroe
And Sam and Kyle

P.S. Have questions? Feel free to reply to this email or call the farm direct at: (970) 284-7941

Winter Apple Orders – ACTION REQUIRED

Winter Share Members originally had until the 9th to order a box of apples to be delivered with their winter shares. With the coming storm, that date has changed to Wed. the 7th at 12 noon.  Ela Family Farms need to have plenty of time to process this order and drive it over the mountains and they are worried about the weather!

You MUST call Jacquie to place an order. If you email, it will not be
processed!

Jacquie – 970-284-7941

Note* – apples are only available for order by winter share holders.

New Boulder DC

apples

We now have a Dist. Center for the Boulder area!  It is a very
centralized location near 20th and Alpine.  Please call Jacquie if you
are interested in signing up for a winter share.

Everyone subscribed to a winter share should be contacted by the end of this weekend.  Distribution starts Wednesday November 2nd.  Each DC will first contact you by email. PLEASE RESPOND TO THEIR EMAIL!  Your DC will call everyone who does not respond to make sure you have the information you need to pick up produce.

You have an option to order apples for delivery on November 2nd.  It is a
20# box for $30.  You can order as many as you like.  There is an option
to have apples delivered on the 14th of December too.  Please call the
office to place an order.  Do not email Jacquie or call your DC.  Orders
must be placed no later than Oct. 27th for the Nov delivery.

We are excited to be working with member shares again.  Thank you in
advance for supporting this very old truck farm!

Jacquie Monroe
970-284-7941

Newsletter – October 10th, 2016

Logo

This week you are getting: potatoes, garlic, onions, turnips, daikon radish, jalapeno & bell peppers, leeks, celery and broccoli, cabbage or cauliflower,

Fruit: This is your last delivery of apples and they are Golden Delicious. We are taking orders of boxes of apples for the Winter Shareholders ONLY. Call the above number & let me know how many you need. They will be delivered the first Wednesday of November with the first delivery of your Winter Share. There is a chance to get another box in Dec.

Winter Share: We still have Winter Shares available if you are still interested! Complete the Winter Storage Share Form 2016 and mail back to sign up.

Garlic Separation: We need to do this Sat. & Sun. at 10am. Call and make an appointment just in case of a cancellation.

Overview of 2016: Yet again, we had a cold wet spring. We would get four days of rain with one day off. We finally warmed up, crops were growing like mad and the farm just looked terrific when the hailstorm of the century hit us! Crops that were devastated were the cucumbers, green beans & melons of all types. Also hurt in the storm was the tomatoes, peppers, onions and potatoes. We were able to pick the remaining melons until there was nothing left. To our surprise, the eggplant, lemon cucumbers & summer squash recovered quite well! The benefit of the hailstorm; you got more greens than you have ever gotten in the past. But, it took five people 5 hours (per distribution day) to pick the spinach for you. We cannot do this when we have a normal summer and the normal amount of produce. Green beans, cucumbers, melons and tomatoes will always trump greens! How wonderful was it that the frost waited until we could pick the last planting of corn. It would have come on sooner, but the storm set it back by a couple of weeks.

With Kyle and Sam’s return to the farm the week after the storm; allowed us to plant kale, lettuce, spinach and more summer squash. These are all fast growing crops and you have been reaping the benefit of these crops this fall. We are still in awe of the amazing recovery this farm made! I told you the farm was resilient!

The CSA Adventure: CSA is a very hard thing to get used to! 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 is new to half of you. You have to clean the produce yourself (which you should be doing anyway with your grocery store produce) and do your main grocery shopping after you get your big bag of goodies from the farm. 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 grown 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 much easier because now you have the information you need on how to use the produce and take care of it from your first year. And if you were 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. Support local businesses (and people) by shopping at CSA’s, farmers markets and farm stands!

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 that controls your income (the weather). 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 people & 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 2017! Have a wonderful, restful winter and think of us when you pull out vegetables from the freezer!

Jerry, Jacquie, Kyle and Sam

Newsletter – October 3rd, 2016

Logo

Dear Farm Members.

This is week 17 of an 18 week season. You are getting Yukon Gold potatoes, garlic, yellow onion, yellow carrots, cabbage, squash, eggplant, anaheim & jalapeno peppers, spinach, lettuce, yellow & red tomatoes and corn. Just another fabulous day of distribution! Please enjoy!! If garlic or onions are getting ahead of you, they both freeze really well. Chop to the size of your choice, fill a freezer bag and throw in your freezer! It is as simple as that! To roast the hot peppers: simply place under your broiler or over your grill and turn every once in a while until the outside turns brown. Put into a heavy plastic bag and “sweat” until cool. Peel and place in a freezer bag and freeze or use fresh in salsas, soups, green chili or any Mexican recipe.

Fruit & Honey: This week you are getting apples and this is the last delivery for honey.

Volunteer Weekend for Garlic Separation: Jerry would like as many people as possible to come to the farm this weekend to help get the garlic separated for planting. We will do this for two hours on Saturday and Sunday starting at 10:00 am. No need to make an appointment; please just show up!

Returning Bags: It is vitally important to return all bags to your distributor over the next two weeks. We need to take an inventory and get reorders placed for next year. You will be receiving plastic bags the last two weeks and we do not want these bags back!

Farm Recovery: I would say the recovery has been miraculous! Wow! As bad as the hailstorm was, I didn’t think some of the root crops would recover and here we are, picking tomatoes and corn in October….no less!!! The variety of produce really has been great. We couldn’t have imagined a better turn out!

1925 to 1944: Lester Monroe moved to Greeley, Co in 1925. He married Margaret Brownfield, started a family and farmed a small acreage on the north side of town. Jerry Sr. remembers selling corn door to door; a “baker’s dozen” (13) for a penny in the early 1930’s. They ran a small farm stand at the street and sold to all the small grocery stores around the area (including Ft. Collins, but not Denver). There were no Safeway’s, King Soopers or Walmarts at that time. This is where everyone shopped for food in those days and everyone was eating our produce! Believe it or not, the Monroe’s were pushed out of town by development. With inheritance from Margaret’s side, they purchased the “Homeplace” east of LaSalle in 1936 and continued their farming adventure. Lester decided to start selling to a wholesaler in the Denver area near the railroad called Denargo Market. Because they had so much land (and three strapping boys to do the work) Lester decided to start a dairy in 1937. It wasn’t too long before WWII came knocking on their door and took Jerry Sr. right out of high school to Germany in 1944 &45. In 1946, Jerry Sr. finished high school, married Nadine Annen, moved to the farm to begin their life together and continued farming. Nadine was a 2nd grade teacher for 36 years. Jerry Sr. remembers filling a Model A Ford pickup with watermelon in the late 1940’s and selling the whole thing for a $1. He thinks there would have been around 10 watermelons in there!

Have a good week!

Jacquie & Jerry