Category Archives: Beef/Lamb/Pork

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

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Newsletter – October 10th, 2016

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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 – 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

Newsletter – August 24, 2015

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Dear Friends,

This week you are getting red potatoes, garlic, white onions, purple carrots, cabbage, squash, Nubia eggplant, cucumber, green pepper, purple bell peppers, green beans, red tomatoes and possibly some assorted heirloom tomatoes (yellow, Cherokee Purple, Tie-Dye, or Black Velvet), orange honeydew, muskmelon and Crimson Sweet watermelon. Nubia is a beautiful white eggplant with flecks of magenta throughout the fruit. Use this as you would any other eggplant. The purple, tie-dye and black tomatoes will have some green in them. They are ready to eat right now, but will continue to turn if you let them. (They will also get very soft!)

Honey is coming for the Monthly and Bi-monthly customers. One time delivery will be in September due to the cold and rainy May. The bees are behind in making their favorite meal! We will deliver on September 14th.

Festival: Please continue to RSVP to Peg Lehr about volunteering or attending the festival. Her contact info is wrdwrrior@comcast.net or 303-320-5706. The festival is September 20th from 11 to 4. She will need to know the number of adults, kids and guests and if anyone is a vegetarian and will want a Boca burger. (Guests will be charged $10 per person, three and under are free!)

2015 Fees: All fees are due in full by September 1st for your vegetable, fruit and honey shares. We have always tried to make this CSA as easy as possible to pay for. We do not ask for 100% of your fees up front, which is how most CSA’s work across the US. We have divided your fees into three installments between the membership fee due early in the spring and your produce fees due on July 15th and September 1st. If you cannot pay your fees in full at this time, please call me and let me know. We plan on discontinuing delivering shares for those customers who have not paid in full starting the week of September 7th.

Winter Share: You will find a link to a downloadable sign-up form for the winter share, beef, pork & lamb at the bottom of the newsletter. Deadline to return this form (done via snail mail!) is September 30th. The Winter Share will begin the first Wednesday in November (4th) and will continue every-other-week until February 24th. We skip the December 30th delivery and give you two bags on the 16th. This way, if you are hosting Christmas, you will have plenty for the party!

Jacquie’s Soapbox: Here is an issue that I think gets to everyone at one time or another: Being on time. I don’t think anyone really thinks about this unless you run a business and have to wait on people when they make an appointment with you. Or if you have a dinner party and you are waiting to serve a delicious dinner and it will be spoiled if a couple of guests do not arrive soon. I understand with all the construction happening that it is really hard to know how long it may take to get somewhere. But listen folks: All of you are big on computers and your I-phones. Members are constantly asking me to arrive in the 21st century and do everything on line. And yet, I wait. Are you telling me you cannot do a little research and find out if there is traffic congestion or construction zones before you decide to leave? This is not only an inconvenience for me but for everyone else that is waiting to do their u-pick veggies too. My day does not end when everyone goes home. I have to go with Jerry to determine what will be picked for distribution, make a list, decide how much we can give based on the production in the field and calculate how much is needed and make a picking outline for our crew. I also recount each pouch from Saturday farmers market and make change for the next weekend. Once the Sunday markets are over and people have returned, I count those pouches too. Please keep this in mind the next time you come to visit. It is always preferable to be early than to be late!

Thank you for hearing me out!
Jacquie, Jerry and Kyle

Winter Storage Share Form 2015

2015 Shares – Update from Jacquie

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Dear Members;

I’m sorry if I did not explain myself well about the statements and the
enclosed documents. It would be helpful if everyone would read the
newsletter before calling about making changes to your statement/order.

I need everyone to sign the third page whether or not you are making any
changes. Please return it to me along with your payment. By signing this
document, it is saying you agree with the order as we have it listed or
you want to make changes (as you have listed) and agree to pay for those
items.

You are not obligated to continue with the membership or to purchase
everything you received last year. If you need to cancel everything or an
individual item, please list that and return the document to me and we
will take care of you! Please list your Distribution Center.

Thank you in advance for sharing our dream of farming and supporting that
financially and emotionally. It can be taxing at times when Mother Nature
will not cooperate. Your cards and letters of support can really get us
through those tough days!

Thank you again for supporting this 79 year old farm,
Jacquie Monroe

Braised Lamb (or Goat) Neck

photo (3)I recently checked out ‘Mr. Wilkinson’s Vegetables‘ from my local library and it’s crammed with a treasure trove of yummy-sounding recipes. I’ve tried three so far and have been extremely pleased with how tasty everything has turned out. I’ve never cooked lamb neck before, and after reading his recipe for ‘Braised Goat Neck’, I went out and bought lamb necks just to try his recipe (though I tried to find goat meat first – it’s yummy, too). I’m glad I did! Continue reading

Newsletter: August 31, 2010 & Harvest Fest Info!

Dear Friends of the Farm,

This week you are getting Yukon Gold potatoes, white onions, carrots, red cabbage, white turnips, squash, cucumbers, green & purple peppers, tomatoes, green beans, Charleston Gray watermelon and orange flesh honeydew.

New this week are Sunkyo radishes, red peppers, jalapeno hot peppers and our heirloom specialty tomatoes. You will be given a choice between Brandywine, purple and Super Sue tomatoes. The Sunkyo radish has a semi long root with a deep pink exterior and a bright white interior. It has a crisp nutty flavor that is both hot and sweet at the same time. The leaves are edible either wilted or fresh.

You will be getting a full box of fruit that will be filled half with Bartlett pears and Red Globe peaches. First Fruit wants to thank you for being so understanding this summer with the inconsistency with the fruit deliveries. Their weather has really affected their crops. Being a Community Supported Agriculture participant, I know you are learning the ups and downs a farmer has to deal with each summer and how that may affect the quality of your produce. Please be patient and send them your best wishes for a half-way successful summer!

We are also experiencing difficulties in the fields because of the extremely cold spring and then the sudden shift to our extremely hot summer. We had delays in our spring crops and then our main season crops came on early because of the heat. Add to that the stress the plants are experiencing from the grasshopper damage. Needless to say, we are really happy you have gotten this much produce so far! We have had very little extra or ‘bonus crops’ for members to pick. And we are not sure what the coming month will bring! Continue reading