Category Archives: Fruit Shares

Newsletter – July 16, 2018

Dear Members,

This Week you are getting Yukon Gold potatoes, carrots, red onions, fennel, squash, cucumbers, broccoli purple bell peppers and muskmelon.

The fronds and bulb are both eatable on this delicate, wonderful, spicy, sweet bulb.  Many people love to shred the bulb and add it to slaw and salads.  It is enticing cooked under roasts (it caramelizes) and roasted with root vegetables.  The fronds can be added to potato & macaroni salads as well as fish.  Oh Yum!!

Purple bell peppers are best eaten raw.  They can definitely be cooked; they just turn a strange gray color!  So if you are putting them in a wrap, go for it!  But if they are going to be seen (perhaps in a stir fry); I wouldn’t cook them!  I have just been informed that Tuesday members are the only ones getting this…most of the field is not ready to be picked.

Honey:  I am very sorry, but you should have gotten honey last week.  I simply lost track of time! Only those of you who get monthly deliveries will get honey this week.  I am talking with Lazy Bee to find out if there will be a harvest of honey next month or if they anticipate the harvest will occur in September.  Depending on the outcome, those of you who get a one time delivery will get their honey after the harvest.

Fruit:  You will be getting a fantastic Bing cherry this week from First Fruit called Lambert’s.  This is an older variety and a late season variety.  It should be tastier and sweeter than the others you have been getting.

Produce Payments:  Half of all your remaining fees were due the 15th of July (except for animals).  Late fees of $25 will be applied on July 24th.  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.  Produce will be cut off for anyone who has not paid in full or followed their payment schedule the week of the 23rd.  So get those payments in!!

Potato-Fennel Pizza on Cauliflower Crust

Potato-Fennel Pizza on Cauliflower Crust
The Crust                                       The Potatoes                            The Pizza
1 head cauliflower, separated   2 large potatoes                        6oz taleggio cheese
1 clove garlic                          1 cloves garlic                 rind removed, thinly sliced
½ cup mozzarella                ½ small bulb fennel, cored &    ½ small bulb fennel,
¼ cup parmesan                  thinly sliced                   thinly sliced, chop frons
½ tsp dried oregano                     Salt                                    ½ cup grated parmesan
2 eggs, beaten                  ½ cup Healthy Harvest olive oil 1 Tbsp   H.H. Olive Oil
1/2 tsp red chili pepper         ¼ tsp ground pepper                     ground pepper
flakes, optional

Place cauliflower and garlic in a pot with salted water and cook until
tender.  Prepare everything else for the pizza.  Preheat oven to 400
degrees & heat pizza stone or inverted baking sheet.  Pulse cauliflower
in a food processor until crumbly.  Hand mix in the rest of the
ingredients.  Line baking sheet with parchment paper and place
cauliflower mixture in center then smooth out into a circle.  Lightly
press down.  Bake for 20 minutes.  Place potatoes, garlic & fennel in a
pot with salted water and cook until tender.  Mash potatoes with olive
oil leaving small lumps then add pepper.  Remove crust from oven; let
cool 5 to 10 minutes.  Spread potatoes over cauliflower then the
cheese. Toss the sliced fennel & frons with olive oil and place on
pizza then continue with a layer of parmesan cheese.  Sprinkle with
ground pepper.  Place in oven at 500 degrees for another 10 to 12
minutes or until crust is golden brown.

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Newsletter – July 9, 2018

Dear Friends,

This week you are getting Yukon Gold potatoes, red beets, Walla Walla onions, garlic, squash, cucumbers, broccoli, muskmelon and possibly yellow watermelon.

Since it is the beginning of the season (even though it feels like August already), crops slowly begin to ripen.  This means that there may not be enough of each item to give to everyone.  The yellow watermelon is a prime example.  We know there is a lot that is ready or on the verge of ready, but will not know how many we have until they are picked.  We may only have enough for everyone in one distribution center or a whole delivery day or maybe two delivery days to get the watermelon.  We just do not know at this point, but this is how Mother Nature works!  We would rather hand it out than let the few that are ready go bad!

Fruit:  You are getting bing cherries from First Fruit called Lambert.  Delicious!!

Oil:  Sorry for the delay in the olive oil.  It was delayed in customs but you are getting it this week!

T-Shirts/Hats:  To celebrate our 80th anniversary in 2016, we had t-shirts & hats made.  We just happen to have a few still in stock.  It is a beautiful royal blue shirt with the Monroe logo on the front.  On the back are the words:  Organic before organic was cool!  I have these sizes left:  Women; 5 small, 16 medium, 20 large & 9 XL.  Men:  8 medium, 22 large, 30 XL & 3 XXL.  Youth:  3 small, 8 medium & 4 large.

Monroe t-shirt and hat order form. Please fill it out and return it to your distributor. Both the t-shirt and hat are $15 and the price includes tax.  You can include a check or we can bill you.  We will give everyone a couple of weeks to place your order then deliver them to your distributor at the beginning of August.  We have approximately four dozen hats available!

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 or on a relish tray.  Sweet pickle spices can be added during the cooking stage for a different taste.

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.  Cover with liquid and cook until tender.

Newsletter – June 26, 2018

Dear Members,

This week you are getting robust garlic, sweet white onions, brilliant red beets, superb summer squash (any kind), great cucumbers (could be the pickle variety) and beautiful magenta lettuce.

Fruit: We will be getting cherries from Rancho Durazno this week! Oh yum!!! Also, some people are going to get their fruit in bags that were purchased at an auction.  Ignore the number listed on the bag.  This fruit came from Rancho Durazno and is certified organic!

Honey: I was talking with Lazy Bee and they told me that there may be a delay in harvesting this seasons’ honey by one month. So those of you who are getting a one time delivery may not see that until September.

Fourth of July: The fourth lands on a Wednesday this year. We will be moving Wednesday distribution to Monday the 2nd. If this does not work for you, make arrangements with your distributor to pick up on Tuesday. But please keep in mind; the produce may be wilted. This comes from dehydration. To hydrate simply cold water bath your produce for a few hours. Again, I would not do this in your sink unless you have washed off all traces of dirt and sand first. Believe me; I have plugged up my pipes from thoughtlessly washing my produce in the sink! Place a large bowl in your sink first and dump it out into your garden. Now you are ready to cold water bath your produce. Anything that will not hydrate needs to be eaten ASAP. Wilted greens are popular in china. Bring water to a boil, take off heat, place greens into water 1 minute, remove and serve with balsamic. No one will ever know they were already wilted and you still get to use your lettuce!

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 24th. 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!

FYI: We did not get the bad hailstorms you heard about…they were, however, all around us! We did get a few small stones that left marks on the summer squash and tore up some of the lettuce. But it is still delicious!

Have a great and healthy week! Jacquie, Jerry, Kyle and Sam

Curried Summer Squash

  • 1½ Tbsp Healthy Harvest oil
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • 2 squash ~ any kind, chopped
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 3-4 fresh or 1 can diced tomatoes
  • ¼ tsp turmeric
  • 1 green chili, diced or 3 Tbsp canned
  • 1 sprig cilantro, chopped
  • ½ tsp chili powder
  • salt to taste

Mix everything together in a large skillet. Cover and cook on medium to medium high for 10 minutes. Test zucchini for doneness, continue cooking if you like it tenderer and then serve.

Newsletter – May 18, 2018

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!  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

Newsletter – September 19, 2017

Dear Friends of the Farm;

This is week 14 out of an 18 week season. You are getting red potatoes, Walla Walla onions, carrots, purple cauliflower, red peppers, yellow peppers, green basil, red tomatoes, specialty tomatoes, muskmelon and orange honeydew.

Fruit: I’m sorry I forgot to tell you last week apples were coming…completely forgot! That is the last of the fruit this year. It came in large quantities because of the horrendous year they are having. If they had given us smaller quantities, they would not have been able to bring it again. When the crop was ready to pick, we had to take what we could get or not get very much of anything! Sometimes the fruit was ripe and ready to eat and had to be refrigerated immediately and sometimes it could sit and continue to ripen for three or four days. But at least we got it!!

Honey: Those of you who get monthly deliveries of honey will be getting that this week.

Do you remember? Can you believe how fast this summer has gone by?! Amazing how time just seems to slip away from us. The older you get, they faster time vanishes too. Do you remember what you were doing four & five years ago? 2012 was one of the hottest summers on record. With three straight weeks of over 100 degree heat and three months in the 90’s, the farmers had used up all the water in most of the reservoirs. After that dry summer and no snow during the winter, we didn’t think we would have any water to farm with the following year. We made arrangements with the city of Greeley to use city water and drip irrigation on five acres of land. The one and only snowstorm we got was a huge one that hit the Denver Metro area and Front Range in late March. It dropped a whopping three feet of snow in the Metro area and 8 feet all along the upper Front Range. The farm received around 6 to 8 inches of snow during that storm and all that snow melt-off filled our reservoirs. As devastating that storm was to the trees that had budded out, nothing compared to the 500 year storm that hit in September of 2013 that flooded just about every city along the Front Range. Those of you who were in the area at the time will never forget what happened. Some cities received anywhere from 15 to 24 inches of rain in a three or four days. Streets became rivers and houses & basements were flooded. The city of Lyons because an island! Helicopters had to rescue all the residents!

I guess we should all stop what we are doing now & then and appreciate what we have and what we are doing because Mother Nature has a way of slapping us in the face to give us a wake-up call. It’s up to us to appreciate all the little things in life that makes life easy and fun. Slow down and look around you. What is it that you appreciate today?

Jacquie, Jerry, Kyle and Sam

Smashed Potatoes

2# potatoes, no larger than 3X3 (cut if necessary), boiled or baked, grease a baking pan & arrange potatoes. Use a masher to squash to about half the size. If using different size potatoes, squash all potatoes to about the same width. Melt 3Tb butter with 4 crushed & diced garlic and 1 Tb chopped fresh parsley (or 1 ½ tsp dry); drizzle over potatoes. Broil or grill until golden and crispy. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese to taste and heat until cheese is melted. Sprinkle with extra parsley if desired & pass around a salt shaker if needed!

Newsletter – August 29, 2017

Dear Friends,

This is week 11 out of an 18 week season.  You are getting red potatoes, Walla Walla onions, carrots, squash, cucumbers, lemon cucumbers (simply eat like a cucumber), green, purple and jalapeno peppers, green beans, beefsteak tomatoes, Cherokee Purple (heirloom) tomato, muskmelon, honeydew and the Half & Full shares will get watermelon.

A few members are commenting about how much produce you are receiving this year.  What a horrible problem to solve!!  There is a reason we are giving you a lot of produce.  Last year we had a devastating hailstorm on July 29th that took out 75 to 80 percent of the farm.  We quit all but Boulder farmers market and retained that produce for our members along with whatever we could pick during the week.  Distribution continued throughout the summer, but with much fewer variety & quantities.  We want to show our appreciation for our past members support for not leaving the CSA by giving you a greater selection as well as a nice quantity of produce.  We love you all!  Thank you for sticking this out with us!  This is a good time to check out our canning and freezing guide on our website!!!  (By freezing as you go, you will reduce the cost of your share by sliding it into winter!)

Seed Saving:  Watermelon seeds need to be rinsed and dried, then placed in an envelope and taken to your distribution center, we will collect from them.  Plastic bags will make the seeds mold and we will not be able to use them!

Fruit:  You are getting a large box of peaches called Zee Lady and a bag of pluots this week.  A pluot is a cross between a plum and apricot… simply delicious!  Zee Lady are known for their great texture and flavor…soon to be your favorite!

A reminder as to why you are getting your fruit is such large quantities!  The fruit growers on the Western slope had a hard freeze at the end of April and again in the first half of May.  Their trees were well on their way to blooming or in full bloom.  The freeze reduced their quantities of fruit and most of them will be out of fruit by mid-September.  I am working on finding organic apples in the Grand Junction area, but no luck so far.  We are trying to get you as much fruit as possible before the season wears out!!

Final Payment for Summer Share, Fruit Share, honey, oil and lamb are now due in full by the 1st of September.   If you call to find out if we have gotten your check, please give me the following information.  (I can’t look for it if I don’t know what I am looking for!)  I need the name on the check (sometimes spouses write checks from their account and the farm account is set up under a different name), check number, date it was written and amount.  Please remember it can take up to three weeks to process your check.  I don’t work in the office every day.  I am delivering your produce on Tue, Wed and Thr, I’m at the farmers market on Sat. and I am with u-pickers on Sundays.  Dani only comes in on Friday and half day on Monday.  By the way; those are the best days to reach us!

Did you know My Grandmother, Edith Bickling  (aka Grandbee by my children),  lived on my family farm approximately 10 miles northeast of Greeley during the depression.  She told me a story when I was a kid that I never forgot.  There was a railroad approximately a mile and a half from her farm.  People would ride the freight trains trying to find work in cities across America.  She told me she would feed anyone who came to her back door looking for a meal, but never from the front door.  She never explained why…but no one was ever turned away.  They simply went to the back door!  Knowing Grandmother Edith, she just didn’t want someone who looked homeless and dirty sitting on her front porch….

Until next week, enjoy the flavors of the season,

Jacquie, Jerry, Kyle and Sam

Newsletter – August 15, 2017

This week you are getting Yukon Gold potatoes, garlic, golden beets, squash, cucumbers, green cabbage, lemon cucs, purple & jalapeno peppers, kale, tomatoes, corn, muskmelon and red watermelon.  Phew, that is a mouthful!! Enjoy every bite! 

Corn:  It never occurred to me that many of you may not have had organic corn before.  After receiving an email from a confused member on what to do with it, I thought I might write about it again.  Worms do not like GMO corn.  Between the adulterations to the genes, it is heavily sprayed for insects.  That is why it looks so perfect in the grocery store!  Start by removing the worms (this is a great activity for kids because they are fascinated with the corn worms).  They are normally on the top of the ears.  Cut off what they have eaten and if one has made its way down a row, simply cut that off with a knife too.  Boiling your corn will sterilize it.  Now you are good to go!! 

Fruit:  Get your canning jars and jelly jars ready!!! You are getting 20 lbs. of either Allstar or Suncrest peaches.  Both are a delicious freestone canning peach.     

Final Payment:  Time to make your final payment for your farm share.  It is due September first.  Statements will be going out again this week.  Please remember that I expect to be paid in full for the Summer Share, Fruit Share, honey, oil and lamb.  A $25 late fee will be assessed on the 4th of September and your produce will be cut off if not paid in full by this date.  Those of you who have made arrangements for a different payment plan, please continue as per our agreement.

A few of you were upset about the late fees and cut off in July.  How upset would you be if you didn’t get your paycheck when you expected it…say 2 to 4 weeks late? I have given you plenty of time to make payments, especially since most of you signed up last February.   I’m sorry I have to get tough with this.  But every year I have around 15 to 25 people who refuse to pay for the produce they have consumed.  I am not a huge corporation and it is very difficult to absorb that kind of unkindness every year.   It is especially feels hurtful when I already donate 25 shares every year that we are not allowed to write off! 

Newsletter/Blog:  It is vitally important to read the weekly newsletter.  It gives you info about your share, the farm, what is happening around here and the Western Slope and payment notifications.  If you feel you do not want a hard copy, but want reminders the newsletter has been posted to the blog; this is how to do it.  Address:  monroeorganicfarms.wordress.com.  Add this to your favorites.  Once you get to the site, the newsletters are reprinted to the left.  Sometimes the member who posts this for me will add comments, pictures and recipes that were not included in the newsletter.  On the top right, there is a place to sign up for email notifications when there is a new posting.  Add your email address and press Sign me up.   

Festival:  After 25 years of putting on a festival every year; we have decided to take a break.  We will not be having a Fall Festival this year.  We have decided to do them every five years on our anniversary.  We didn’t have a good turn out last summer….it just doesn’t seem to be special to anyone anymore, so we will make it special by having it every five years! 

U-pick items:  Tomato, anaheim & pablano picking will be coming up very soon.  If you are interested in canning tomatoes and/or roasting peppers; we will have them available.  There will be a $5 charge for roasting the peppers.  Get on our Wait List for these items.  I will need your phone number, name and what specific items you want to pick while you are here!  Do not plan on picking both at the same time, we will run out of peppers long before we run out of tomatoes.  (Jerry just notified me the peppers are ready, so let’s get roasten!!!)