Category Archives: Harvest Festival

Newsletter – September 19th, 2016

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Dear Friends,

This week you are getting white onions, garlic, carrots, radishes, red turnips, squash, anahiem peppers, sweet peppers, red and yellow tomatoes.

T-shirts: This was something I was really, really looking forward to. But this has turned into a real hassle!! The first printing of t-shirts turned out terrible! The colors were so washed out it didn’t even look like my logo. So I refused the order and returned the shirts. We then had to scramble to get new t-shirts printed before the harvest festival. Of course, something always goes wrong when you are in a hurry and the printer could only get a few t-shirts printed before there was an equipment breakdown. We should get the bulk of our order by the end of this week and we will send them to your DC next week.

The Festival: What a beautiful day we had; bright, sunny and warm! 209 members and 14 guests came by to visit and have some fun. The Stick Horse race went off without a horse coming up lame. The corn shucking contest was very exciting in both the kids and adult categories. Unfortunately, I got caught up with talking to members and completely forgot the pumpkin carrying contest! I’m sure sorry about that folks. For the Canning Contest Valerie Wilson took first place with her Corn Relish and Titiana Macduff got first place with her Prickly Pear jelly. Each will receive $25.

I think this year we had some of the best combinations of side dishes I have ever seen! The table just looked fantastic (and tasted sooooo good too)! Myrna would like to thank all the Master Grillers for hanging out with her and doing such a good job with keeping up with demand. A special thank you to Garrett Kumar for donating hotdogs and to Barb Granica who provided such beautiful 80th anniversary “farm” cakes. I can’t do this shin-dig without the help of Peg Lehr. She not only takes all the RSVP’s but does all the purchasing of the supplies and gets them to the farm. And to all the other volunteers who help make this day special: Thank you very much we really appreciate your help!

We have several utensils and bowls left behind. If you want it back, let me know where to send it!

Several of you brought gifts to Jerry and I and we feel this was such a thoughtful gesture and want to thank you for being so generous. (I was given the cutest thank you note yesterday from one of the kiddos. I thought you would enjoy seeing it too.)

1945 to 1955: There was a huge growth spurt for the Monroe’s during this time period. Jerry Sr. had returned from Germany and WWII. He was ready to work hard to make the farm grow and prosper. Did you know that all metal was taken for the war? Tractors were not being made at this time! So Lester would go to the salvage yard and purchase an old Chevy truck. He would then pay a local man to convert it into a tractor. Even with this, most of the farming was done by hand. They plowed and planted seed with the “tractor”, but weeding & harvesting, including picking dried corn for the cows… was all done by hand.

While Jerry Sr. was away, Lester had continued to sell produce to the local grocery stores and to Denargo Market (a wholesaler) in downtown Denver (just east of Coors Stadium). The Monroe’s ran a Jersey cow dairy from around 1937 until 1950. They decided on Jersey cows because the milk was richer & cream was thicker and therefore; more valuable. But by the 1950’s, people wanted less fat in their milk and the demand plummeted for the rich milk they produced.

One day while delivering produce to Stohl’s Market in north Greeley, Jerry Sr. was asked by a customer if they could come to the farm and get the same produce for a discount if they picked it themselves. This gave Jerry Sr. the idea to start a u-pick farm. He started his business around 1948 and ran the u-pick operation through the 1980’s. Jerry and I shut down the u-pick operation in 1992, the year before starting our CSA.

Hope everyone has a very bright and beautiful week!
Jerry, Kyle, Sam and Jacquie

Newsletter – September 12th, 2016

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This week you are getting Yukon Gold potatoes, garlic, red onion, carrots, scarlet turnips, daikon radish, regular radishes, squash, peppers, yellow & red tomatoes and possibly some kale.

1960’s & 70’s: Jerry Sr. was running one of only a very few U-pick farms in Colorado at the time. (His Dad Lester ran the farm stand.) He grew a smaller selection of produce and would put an advertisement in the Classified Ads when something was ready to pick and give them a time frame on how long it would last. He specialized in pickling cucumbers (and the dill to go with it), green beans, watermelon, muskmelon, red beets and tomatoes. Jerry Sr. had folks coming as far as central Nebraska and Wyoming plus all the Coloradoans. Customers really looked forward to the tomatoes, but he was equally known for his pickles. Bushel of pickles (40#) sold for (app.) $5.00 and 25# box of tomatoes sold for $4.00. You could purchase the same thing under the farm stand for $5.00 more. He said many times people would pick upwards of 10 bushels!

Jerry Jr. was in high school and college during this period of time. His grandfather gave him a small piece of ground. Jerry planted tomatoes & sold them as a U-pick item to help pay for his college days at UNC. He also worked at the local feed lot or any other odd job he could pick up every afternoon/evenings and on weekends & holidays. He had long 10-15 hour days either working hard or studying hard in order to graduate debt free; which he did in 1980 with his Bachelor of Administration in Business. He wanted to be a manager of a business, a CEO or someday own his own business until he discovered the unpleasant office politics! After a few years messing with that, he decided being his own boss was going to be the best option for him and decided to go back to the farm. As the saying goes, “You can take the boy off the farm but you can’t take the farm out of the boy!”

It’s where his heart will always be.

Festival: The festival is this Sunday starting at 11am. You must check in as soon as you arrive. We need to know how many people are on the farm! We have a few volunteers, but not enough. If you plan on coming to the festival, don’t be surprised if we ask you to help out with something for a little bit. This will be the smallest festival we’ve had since the 1990’s! As sad as I am about the turnout, I am equally as excited! Jerry and I will be able to sit down and enjoy the festivities instead of running around as mad-men!! If you choose to come to the farm at the last minute, please do not eat a hot dog or hamburger because one will not be ordered for you. We still ask you bring a side dish so that you can enjoy a picnic lunch. Chili roasting will begin immediately and continue until there is nothing left to pick. Please check in at the chili roaster for a bucket and again to have the chili’s put in line for roasting & get a ticket for identification. It will cost $2 per person to have the chili’s roasted. Clean up will begin at 4pm sharp (or earlier if the weather gets weird or if everyone leaves early)! Anyone still around at that time will be asked to help break down tents, tables, etc. and help clean up.

This festival is our gift to you. It’s not cheap, it takes three weeks to prep for it and it is a big deal to us. We want everyone to come to the farm and see where your food comes from, to meet us and see this beautiful place. We do that by tempting you with activities. It is amazing how things have changed through the years. Just in our short 24 years as a CSA we have seen so much change in how food is perceived, grown and eaten. Did you know our CSA half share cost $300 in 1993 and today it is $475? Your share did not go up $15.00 a year, nor $10 but $7.29 a year. Such a small price to pay for such a rewarding benefit! And to thank you for being a member, we transform the farm for one day and have a fantastic festival to celebrate!

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

Newsletter – September 5th, 2016

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Dear Members,

This week you are getting potatoes, white onions, purple carrots, daikon radish, white turnips, eggplant, jalapeno peppers, bell or specialty sweet peppers, cabbage, tomatoes and corn. Fruit share will be getting getting pluots and peaches and anyone who ordered a box of peaches will be getting that, too.

Winter Share and Animals: Thank you for taking the short survey. Here are the results: out of 90 people surveyed; 60% wanted organic squash and 40% said not to purchase anything. 60% said not to purchase any dried beans and 40% said to purchase them. So….Jerry will purchase local, organic squash for November and December and not for January and February. He will not purchase any dried beans at all.

We are looking for a new distribution center (DC) in Boulder. I need someone there to help us unload the truck and be present for distribution. Time window of two hours is required, (preferably late afternoon/evening), but longer hours or hours that suit your CSA customers are fine. We need a garage at least the size of a single car because of cold weather. You get $100 discount for helping out. This is not difficult work, the members are so excited to see you & get their bags of produce and you get to choose your hours. Please call me if you need more info! If we cannot find a DC, you can go to Westminster or Longmont.

Here is the Winter Storage Share Form 2016. I will need this back by the end of September. Please mail to me with your check to pay the deposits. I will be offering shares outside the CSA at this time because pre-ordering occurred this past January/February. Call me if you have any questions, I am still not checking email but once every week or two.

Festival RSVP: This is our 80th Anniversary! Let’s celebrate in style by getting together on a beautiful day in September! Nothing speaks of a party without food. Hamburgers, hotdogs, drinks and your utensils will be provided. Why not boast a little and bring your best side dish.

Please continue to call or email Peg Lehr with your RSVP (wrdwrrior@comcast.net or 303-877-2554). We cannot figure out how much food, plates, forks etc. without these numbers. The festival is Sunday, September 18th from 11 to 4. The deadline is September 9th.

We will have U-pick hot peppers and raspberries (plus a few surprises in the barn). You will not be able to get a full bushel. Peppers will be roasted as full bushels and then divided equally into thirds or (quarters if necessary)! We will have hayrides to the pumpkin patch (Jerry will purchase organic pumpkins for the occasion). We plan on making a display from a 1990 festival with a picture of our family from that time period. You are welcome to have your picture taken with this display and a few murals will have been painted for picture taking as well. Other activities include face painting, corn shucking contest, stick horse races (Please bring your best steed. Prizes will be awarded for races and a grand prize for the best in class!) plus games on the front lawn. We hope to have a new game available where families compete by loading up dad with pumpkins and he tries to carry them to a finish line. The winner gets to keep all the pumpkins he can carry! Canning contest for jams/jellies, savory/sweet relishes and pickles. Let Peg know if you are bringing something to be judged. T-shirts and hats will be available (I hope) to purchase by the festival.

Several members have been so gracious to help with food expenses this year. One member of the farm is having a large sheet cake made to commemorate our 80th anniversary. If you decide to bring a dessert, I would say we only need gluten free. A second member has graciously offered to bring all the hotdogs and buns for the festival. Thank you in advance for your donations.

Mark your calendars to keep this day open. We plan on having a ton of fun!!!

Volunteers needed: The festival cannot run without all the extra hands that day. If you have not volunteered in the past, this is an excellent opportunity to invest some of your time into the farm! We still need Volunteers for the following: the Check-in Station, 4 Master Grillers, people to cut up produce, set up tents, tables and chairs, sevearl to rinse cookware & set under the serving table and resupply cut veggies & to refill drink containers, 4 to check on bathrooms and empty trashcans around the area, 5-6 people to run the canning booth and/or t-shirt booths.

Storm Follow-up: Please visit our Facebook page to stay on top of what is happening on the farm. Sam and Kyle have taken over the page, made it public and are going to post information & pictures as often as possible so you can see firsthand what is happening on the farm.

The farm is looking better these days (and doesn’t smell anymore!). We were impressed with how quickly the Patty Pan squash repaired and started producing again. The zucchini and straight neck squash have also repaired slightly and continued to produce a little. The third and fourth planting of squash wasn’t hurt as badly because the plants were smaller in size and the huge hailstones were far enough apart to not affect them as much. Eggplant is an extremely sturdy plant. Of everything, it didn’t get torn up as much. The hail did knock off most of the flowers though. But soon there were pretty violet flowers all over the plants again. You are getting all that the plant had produced before the storm. Time will tell if we get more later in the season. You are getting tomatoes from the 2nd and third planting. We stager the planting so you get a fresh supply of tomatoes all season. Plus, when there are too many ripening at a time, this gives us a chance to offer u-pick opportunities. We do not know at this time if there will be enough tomatoes to pick by the box this year. We will keep you informed! At lease we have a few for distribution and that is what really counts!! Your bell peppers and specialty sweet peppers were hurt badly and have not really come back at all. The plants look fine, but the peppers were crushed by hail. We are gleaning the fields for every possible pepper we can find. And as I have said before; all our root crops have survived and are looking well for both the summer and winter shares.

Our Insurance Policy: Did you know that we use the farmers markets as insurance for our CSA? We normally go to 9 farmers markets a week. After the storm, we quit all but one. (We estimate we lost 65% of our crop.) I still attend the farmers market in Boulder on Saturdays. We do this for two reasons: 1. Customers are more accepting of the damaged produce and 2. I get more money for my produce at this market.

We discovered a few years ago that we could not cut out all the farmers markets. The reason? We have so much production from Thursday through Sunday (when we don’t pick for members) it has to be picked and used somewhere. You see, we pick every day or the produce would be huge & uneatable. Over time, we discovered when we have a bad year and produce is in short supply, we can cut the farmers markets out and all the produce is saved and given out for distribution. We have had small hailstorms before, but our members very seldom felt the affect. We would lose a crop or two, but most fields could still produce something and be harvested for members.

What can you do to help us? Purchase a Winter Share! We would not survive this storm if we had to depend on farmers markets. But unlike other CSA’s, we put our members first and you always get the best the farm can offer (and all the leftovers from Thursday go to market). Most people walk away from my farmer’s market booth because of the dings, scars and bruises. If it was not for our CSA, we would be lost. Your insurance is the farmer’s markets, but our insurance is the CSA! This is what CSA is about: Support your farmer in the good years and the bad. And when you have an opportunity, support your community too. You can do that by donating your share when you go on vacation or business trips. Unfortunately, you are seeing the results of a very bad storm, but on those good years, (which happen more than not) you will get the bounty and all its glory!

Spicy Roasted Veggies
Serves 8

In a plastic re-sealable bag add:
¼ cup EVOO
1 tsp sugar
1 tbsp chili powder
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp garlic salt
½ tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp onion salt
4# root veggies, any kind
Cut all the veggies the same size and place in bag with oil & herbs. Bake on cookie sheet at 400 degrees for 35 minutes. Wonderful cold or hot!

Thank you very much for being so good to us!
Jacquie, Jerry, Kyle and Sam

Newsletter – August 23, 2016

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This week you are getting potatoes, red onion, garlic, carrots, cabbage, squash, specialty peppers, kale and tomatoes. The Full Shares will be getting broccoli. We do not have a lot of peppers due to the hail storm, so you will be getting different types. These specialty peppers are called lipstick. They come in red, green, yellow and orange, are very sweet and are good for cooking. Treat them as any other pepper. No fruit, but everyone will be getting honey that ordered it!

Going back in time to 1995-96: It was a wet, stormy spring and crops came on late. We planted our first asparagus field in 1993 (our very first year as a CSA) and expected our first crop this year. (Little did we know it would be three more years before seeing our first fat spears!) We added 120 laying hens, two goats, two calves, four piglets and a greenhouse to the farm. We had a “Barn Raising” event and around ten members showed up to help us erect the greenhouse. By the end of August, there was a small hailstorm. Crops were already set back by the cold, wet spring and this storm set them back farther and damaged the roof of the greenhouse. We did not expect most of the crops to come on until September and October. All the tomatoes in the greenhouse (no longer standing) went to farmers’ market. We had an early freeze on Sept 25th and were down to root crops and winter squash for the month of October.

The “Homeplace” (as we call the original farm where Jerry Sr. lives today) is a very small 21 acre farm where only about 15 acres are farmable. Jerry and I knew we could not grow our business with the amount of acreage we were farming. On March 1st 1996, Jerry and I expanded the farm by purchasing the place we live, work and play on today! This was the year of expansion and improvements for us and we invested a lot of time and money into the project. We purchased two used cold frames that year and Jerry planted lettuce and kale in one, the other held carrots, turnips and beets. The greenhouse needed a new plastic roof due to the hailstorm and a second “barn raising” occurred with five handy male members helping out. (It was planted with tomatoes again). The farm was 60 years old that year and we were asking all the PR types for tips and suggestions on what we should do to play it up. A harvest festival was suggested and we acted on that idea right away even though we have been getting together as a group at the end of the year since 1993 for a potluck. But this time we had a bicycle parade, I did face painting, we had a volley ball game and croquet tournament in the yard, a nephew performed a magic act and we had hayrides to the pumpkin patch; all happening under the 75 year old trees at the Homeplace.

1996 was probably the hardest year we endured yet. We had a hailstorm in early July and again in August. The hailstones were nickel size and it hailed for 10 minutes each time. Much to our dismay, we had another early freeze (Sept. 20th this time)! Two years in a row was excruciatingly painful! Now we have to get winter jobs to support our family. We asked members to dig deep and help us out by purchasing something new: a Winter Share.

Winter Shares looked very different than they do today. For $100 a member could receive 8 bushels of crops including carrots, onions, potatoes, corn, winter squash and anything else still remaining on the farm. Each household got to pick exactly what they wanted, how much of it and making any combination they wanted.

We had five to ten people get the Winter Share….my records are foggy here. Until we found a way to store the produce ourselves at the farm, the most people we ever got to purchase the share was 25. Today we serve 150 to 175 depending on the season.

Coming back to today: This summer (with the larger than golf ball size hail) is probably very close to being as destructive as the two hailstorms of 1996. It has been a long time since we have seen this kind of devastation! The biggest difference between now and then is: we were young, green, and had invested heavily in improvements. Jerry Sr. helped us by telling us what would continue to grow and produce and what to plow under and start over or forget for the season. (Much could be replanted in July, but not in August.) The early freeze cut off any recovery and production of so many plants. Is this starting to sound familiar?

It is cooling down already at night when we have gotten used to upper 60 degree temps in August for the last 18 years. A meteorologist once told us that we have 20 year cycles coinciding with cycles of the sun. Starting in 2010, we were supposed to start a cooling cycle. We did not see any changes until 2013 with the cooler spring, rainy month of May and torrential rains in September. Could we actually be seeing a cooling trend? Every May since then has been cold and rainy. This year has been fairly cool all summer with only a few very hot days. Normally we can feel fall starting to cool down our evenings in September….but I am feeling this already. All I can say is this is all very interesting to me!! Goodness! Does this mean I am getting old enough to be like my grandmother/grandfather and be able to recite weather through a historical setting? Yikes!! (What does this mean for global warming? Which I do believe is happening! We have already gone up a degree and a half around the world. Will this continue? Will the cool springs we are seeing right now continue?)

2016 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. We go even farther by allowing some members to pay monthly now. If you cannot pay your fees in full at this time, please call me and let me know as soon as possible. We plan on discontinuing delivering shares for those customers who have not paid in full starting the week of September 4th.

Harvest Festival RSVP’s and Volunteers: What time is it? It is time to tell us if you plan on attending the festival! Please RSVP to Peg Lehr about volunteering or your attendance. Her contact info is wrdwrrior@comcast.net or 303-320-5706. The festival is September 18th 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!) Anyone play an instrument or sing and wants to share that with us? We encourage even children to share their talents! I think everyone would love to see what you are learning! Mark your calendars now, so you do not plan anything else on top of this festive day!

Volunteers are needed to keep this day running smoothly. This is an excellent time to invest some of your time into the farm! Our Wish List: 8 people for the Check-in Station, 6-8 Master Grillers, 4 people to cut up produce, 8 to set up tents, tables and chairs, 6 to rinse cookware & set under the serving table and resupply cut veggies, 4 to refill drink containers, 4 to check on bathrooms and empty trashcans around the area, 5-6 people to run the canning booth and/or t-shirt booths.

Everyone has been so wonderful to us and has said the kindest things. We truly have the best CSA Members in the world. We cannot thank you enough! Have a great week.

Jacquie, Jerry, Kyle and Sam

Newsletter – August 16, 2016

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Dear Members,

This week you will get Yukon Gold potatoes, white onions, garlic, red beets, squash, Japanese or Nubia eggplant, bell peppers of various colors, basil and a mixture of tomatoes; beef steak and heirloom.

Fruit: Allstar peaches from Rancho Durazno. They are a free-stone, classic eating peach with good flavor.

Week 2 after the storm: Well, how can I describe this for you? It smells funny here! Broken melons are turning to vinegar and everything that was damaged is rotting. Some places of the farm are brown where a sea of green should be. It is very hard to see the farm in this shape. Amazing how mad Mother Nature can get!!

What is surprising is what we have been able to find that is still good to eat! The summer squash has recovered a bit and we are picking those for you now. It looks like some eggplant has survived as well as the basil. Tomatoes that have not been crushed to death are continuing to ripen on the vine.

The bad news is we had to let two employees go and the two summer interns. This was a very sad day for us. It is difficult to find employees and to have good ones you have to send away is crazy hard to do.

Kyle and Sam made a wonderful farm dinner and we sat down with the interns and tried to get some closure on the season for them. They were gracious and learned a tremendous lesson about farming: It’s not easy, it’s hard work, there are long days, it can be very rewarding and when you least expect it; things can go wrong!

Harvest Festival: Please come help us celebrate 80 years of being a continuous organic farm. We are so proud to be able to say we have always been organic and now a four generation farm! The plan is to continue with the festival because it is our way of thanking you for being members and supporting this farm, the employees and your farmers. We will be doing this on September 18th which is a Sunday. Hamburgers, hotdogs, drinks and your utensils will be provided. We ask you to bring the side dishes. A member of the farm is having a large sheet cake made to commemorate our 80th anniversary. I would say we only need gluten free deserts brought to the picnic.

Until we get closer to the date, I cannot tell you for sure if we will have U-pick hot peppers, tomatoes or raspberries. I can tell you for sure we will not have anything else available! We will have hayrides to the pumpkin patch (Jerry will purchase organic pumpkins for the occasion) and a few murals will have been painted by then for picture taking and there will be face painting, corn shucking contest, stick horse races (please bring your best steed) and games on the front lawn. We hope to have a new game available where families compete by loading up dad with pumpkins and he tries to carry them to a finish line. The winner gets to keep all the pumpkins he can carry! Mark your calendars to keep this day open. We plan on having a ton of fun!!

Have a wonderful week!

Jerry, Jacquie, Kyle and Sam

Newsletter – September 21, 2015

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Dear Friends of the farm!

This week you are not getting any potatoes, which I know many of you are getting tired of. You will be getting white onions, purple carrots, eggplant, cucumber, squash, fennel, cabbage, sweet peppers, hot peppers, beans, tomatoes and honeydew melon.

We are nearing the end of our season and the plants have worked hard to produce fruit and vegetables for us. They have been stressed all season from the crazy month of May they had to endure. So you will find your bag will be getting smaller. Corn is done for the year; cucumbers, squash and eggplant are just barely producing anything now. Melons are almost done too. We were afraid it might be either a light year or a short year; and it looks like we got a little of both. This was a learning year for us, because even the old timers could not remember a spring like this last one!

Tomatoes: Just a reminder; if you are interested in picking a box of tomatoes for canning or freezing, please call me with your name and phone number. I will add you to a wait list. We still do not know if there will be any to pick, but if there is (hopefully in Oct.) we will call and set up appointments.

Harvest Festival: Wow! Thank you for such a great turnout for the Harvest Festival. We believe there were around 375 to 400 people that came. Many of you have been members for 10 to 15 years and it was your first time to the festival. I am so glad you came by! It appeared everyone had a super good time.

It was a comfortable sunny day at a perfect 87 degrees. The side dishes and desserts were absolutely wonderful! Chili roasting got started early and didn’t stop until 5 o’clock! Everyone was wonderful about helping set up and volunteer all day long. Clean-up was a snap with all the helping hands! Thank you very much, everyone!

I do want to shout out to two special young people that jumped in when we really needed help. Unfortunately I did not get their names, but a young lady helped out at the check-in station when our first set of volunteers did not show up and she ran the booth a long time completely by herself. The second person was a young man who stepped in and helped grill when we had a missing Master Griller. Myrna (my mother) wanted to say thank you to you personally, but you disappeared before she had a chance. She said for your age, you were excellent on the grill! (She wants you back next year!) And thank you to the mother and son team who stepped in and kept up with the drink station when absolutely not one volunteer showed up. It was just hot enough that it kept you busy all day!

To the musician, Erik Gilbertson; everyone loved your music and commented on your choice of music and your voice. To Kate Hartman; your face painting was excellent and the kids couldn’t wait to show me their faces. I think both parents and kids thought you were an excellent addition to the festival. Thanks to both of you for sharing your talents and time. It is simply amazing the creative people we have in our membership!

The kids loved the horse races and we had some terrific designs this year! Everyone was very inventive. There was one that was super charged with a rocket booster on the back and a monster face on the front, another from cardboard and spray painted towels made into the shape of a beautiful black horse plus several horses were made of socks. All were absolutely wonderful.

The corn-shucking contestants were a blast to watch! We have some darn good shuckers out there!!!

Pickle and Jelly contests were quite competitive this year. In the Pickle/Relish category Tatiana MacDuff’s Hot Dill Pickles (from Aurora) and Valerie Wilsons’s Zucchini Relish (from Longmont) tied for first place. Hands down the winner for Jams & Jellies was JoAnn Peterson (from 470 & Quebec) with her Pear Ginger Lime jam. Certificates of Achievement plus a $20 award will be given to each. Hope everyone got a chance to get over there and taste them for yourselves. Simply delicious!!

The hayrides to the pumpkin patch went off without a hitch. This is one activity I think everyone looks forward to! There were lots of goodies to go home with and they were easy to get to this year. (I’m not sure if Jerry planted it that way, or if it just worked out that way!). The raspberry patch produced many beautiful raspberries and everyone went home with a full pint.

I’m sorry if you were not able to join us this year. It was simply a great party and I think everyone had fun running around the farm!

Thanks again to all the volunteers. So many of you pitched in, it made set-up and break-down extremely easy. Many of you pitched in during the day when other volunteers did not show up. Thank you, thank you. You have no idea how much that is appreciated!

Lost & Found: A green and white bowl was left behind along with a pie server and a slotted spoon. We also found a pair of sunglasses. If you give me a call, I will be happy to return your items to your Distribution Center and you can pick them up there.

It was so good to see everyone this weekend. Hope you all had a blast; I know we did! And for those of you who could not come; I hope you can join us next year!

Jacquie, Jerry and Kyle

Newsletter – September 14, 2015

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Dear Members;

This is week 14 out of an 18 week season. You are getting purple flesh-purple skinned potatoes, yellow onions, carrots, a head of cabbage, cauliflower or broccoli, squash, lemon and slicing cucumbers, Japanese eggplant, green, orange and lipstick peppers, beans, white flesh and orange flesh honeydew, Black Velvet, Golden Globe and red tomatoes.

I didn’t realize when I wrote the newsletter last week that there wasn’t enough of the Cone cabbage to give it to everyone. So, some of you got cauliflower and broccoli instead. When we went out to the fields again this week, it appears the same thing is going to happen; you will be getting one of the three.

Another reminder to cold water bath your produce. I recently got a letter from a new member upset about the condition of the produce. Unfortunately, I cannot do anything about wilted produce. I do not have refrigerated trucks and there is no refrigeration at the Distribution Centers. The produce is alive but slightly dehydrated when you get it and all it needs is a cold bath! I know I feel better after a cool shower on a hot day and your produce will do the same! Give it time; it may take all night to revive. Do as the Chinese do: When something is wilted & cannot recover, cook and eat it immediately. No one will ever know!

Did you notice your carrots are larger than before? We are now harvesting our main season planting. If Jerry had not planted an early variety, you would just now be getting carrots. Don’t be surprised if you still find a small carrot now and then. Just like children, they do not all grow up the same!

Tomatoes: New this week is Black Velvet tomatoes. This is an heirloom variety and they should be eaten with a slight tinge of green around the eye. You can eat them when they are totally red, but they will be extremely soft by then!

I am taking names on a Wait List for those of you who would like to pick tomatoes by the box. So far, we have been giving you everything that is ripening! But there is a possibility we may pick in October, if the weather holds out (it did last year, remember?!). Do not email me or leave a message on the blog, please call and leave a message. I will need your name and phone number.

Winter Share: Jerry tells me he has started the harvesting of dried beans and the Tiger eye is looking really good. He may get to the rest of them this week…we will see! Forms are due by the end of September. If you know of a friend or co-worker who would like to participate this winter, give them a copy of your form or I can. Have them give me a call with their contact info! I will try to remember to send extra forms to the Distribution Centers!

Good News! We have two new DC’s to report for the Winter Share! The MLK & Forest location is moving to Colfax & Ulster. The Lakewood location is going to be located at 26th and Simms which will be perfect for Golden, Lakewood, Arvada and Westminster customers to get to. Both Distribution Centers are super nice people and wonderful to work with!

The Harvest Festival: The Festival is this Sunday the 20th from 11 to 4. Guests will be charged $10 per person (three and under are free). It sounds like we are going to have a beautiful day with daytime temperatures sitting around 85 degrees. Can’t ask for better day than that!

Bring sturdy shoes, a hat & a large side-dish or dessert to go along with the hamburgers and hot dogs. Your dishes & utensils will be rinsed off and placed under the tables for retrieval when you are ready to go for the day.

Check in before doing anything or going anywhere at the farm. This is for safety reasons and for me to know who came by. You can pick up a map of the farm with directions to u-pick crops. Please follow the directions, or you may be picking crops that are not on the list. There will also be directions for a self-tour of the farm and its’ buildings. If you have any questions, that is the best place to stop in and ask. If they don’t know the answer….they will come find me!

Volunteers: all volunteers, but especially if you are a Master Griller; please check in with Myrna right away. She can be found between the kitchen, drink station and grills.

U-Pick Crops: Jerry will take a look after Distribution Thursday to see what crops may be in abundance. I’m pretty sure you can pick poblano and anaheim chilies plus some jalapenos too. We will have the potato digger going for a bit and there will be hayrides to the pumpkin patch. And, we have flowers! You will not be able to pick tomatoes. We normally have a few special things in the barn to take. There could be some other things; I just don’t know what they will be at this point!

Please bring your own bags! We will not be providing them.

Roasting Chilies: It will cost $5 to roast chilies. Please start inside the barn. You will get one tray for picking. When you are done, you must check in at the barn again, pay your fee and get a ticket. Your ticket will match a bag of roasted chilies laid out in trays. No waiting in line, but it does take quite a bit of time to roast, so don’t be surprised if your chilies are not ready when you are! We are limited to roasting 35 trays, so after that, you will need to roast them yourself. We are interested in people showing up early (to help set up) and to pick chilies so we can get the roaster started earlier. Feel free to come around 9am (chili picking will start around 10 or 10:30)! The more hands we have to help with chores, the sooner everyone can get started picking and enjoying the festival!

Canning Contest: Both will start at 12:30. All canning goods (jams, jellies, relishes and pickles) should be at the booth no later than 12:15. There will be experts sitting in the booth all day to answer any questions you may have with your canning needs! If you would like to check out the jams and jellies, stop by and give them a try! There will also be samples of the pickles too!

Stick Horse Races: The Stick Horse Race will begin with a parade and then the races will begin. Ribbons will be awarded!

Shucking Contest: I think we will start around 1:00 or 1:30. We will start with the kids and work up to the adults. It is fun to watch and it is really fun to participate. Plan on joining the fun!

Music: Thanks to some very talented members, we will have music from 11 to 2. Enjoy!!

No bug spray or sunblock should be applied on the farm. Please do this at home and wash your hands thoroughly. Please remember; we are organic and a chemical free farm. Thank you!

This is our way of thanking you for being members. We cannot express our gratitude as well as we would like, so we hope this gesture gives you an idea of how much you mean to us!

Hope to see you Sunday!

Jacquie, Jerry and Kyle Monroe