3rd Harvest Week: Wednesday/Thursday Delivery, June 29 & 30, 2011

Dear Shareholders,

The fields are looking (and tasting) great. We’re so glad to hear the many positive comments about our vegetables the past couple weeks. This week, we hope you enjoy the aromatic herbs, more of the curvaceous garlic scapes, many leafy greens, sweet beets, and more:

Box Contents

Juan Luis cleaning scallions

Brassicas – Broccoli or Cabbage
Fruiting Crops – Zucchini and/or Summer Squash
Salad Greens – Lettuce
Cooking Greens – Swiss Chard, Baby Kale
Roots – Beets
Alliums – Garlic Scapes, Scallions
Herbs – Basil, Summer Savory, Parsley

Note: the above summary is written before you receive your box – please be aware that some guesswork is involved. As always, be sure to thoroughly wash all your vegetables.

Wait till all you new shareholders get your complimentary copy of Farmer John’s Cookbook in several weeks! But for now, here are a couple simple salad recipes for your enjoyment, from epicureous.com. These twin salads are great on sandwiches, or as complements to a heartier meal. Substitute basil for the mint if you like.

Beet salad:

  • 2 tablespoons Sherry wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 5 tablespoons safflower oil
  • 3 large raw beets, peeled, coarsely grated

Cabbage salad:

  • 1/4 cup distilled white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 5 tablespoons safflower oil
  • 6 cups very thinly sliced green cabbage
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint

Prep for the beet salad:
Whisk vinegar and mustard in large bowl. Gradually whisk in oil, then mix in beets. Season with salt and pepper.

Prep for the cabbage salad:
Whisk vinegar, soy sauce, and sugar in another large bowl. Gradually whisk in oil. Mix in cabbage and mint. Season with salt and pepper. Let salads stand 30 minutes and up to 2 hours at room temperature, tossing occasionally.

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Farmer John Writes!

We have over 40 crops at Angelic Organics…many more than this if you consider the numerous varieties that comprise certain crops.  Last week, I included a  video  of some of these crops.

My approach to farming is if we can’t give a crop 100% of what it needs at every step of its development from seeding through harvest, then we won’t plant it. We’ll sleep more or read a book, instead. Actually, our treatment of vegetables starts at least the season before they are planted, via the fertility program that is in place in that prior year. Also, our weed control program is in place the prior year: if we don’t let weeds flourish the year prior to the year a crop is planted in that field, then there are fewer weed seeds to germinate during the subsequent year. I figure that if we give a vegetable 90% of what it needs, it will probably yield about 50% of what it would yield if it receives 100% of what it needs. Imagine if we seed the crop at the right time in the greenhouse, nurture it to transplanting stage, plant the healthy transplant into fertile ground, but the weeds overtake it…or the bugs…or blight. Then farming becomes reactive. Salvage methods are put in place to rescue a failing crop. Other crops are neglected in order to rescue the suffering crop.

A lot of what ends up being the hard work of farming is the not-being-ready, not-doing things on time, not-having soil fertility at the level where it should be, not-having equipment ready to go, etc. If farming is done right from crop to crop, day by day, it will still be hard work, but not nearly as hard as if it’s done at the 90% level of effectiveness.

Granted, it’s bewildering how many things need to be in place in order to make a diverse vegetable farm work smoothly: the 100+ pieces of equipment have to be reliable and operators need to be able to operate it professionally; building infrastructure needs to support the work being done; the 20+ members of the field crew need to be dynamic and well trained; office staff has to properly support customer service, distribution, and marketing; soil has to be fertile; plans need to be in place well in advance, so there is an action script ready for when the time arrives to seed or till or harvest.

I was recently at a Landmark Education seminar where the facilitator announced that unless a person has all areas of his or her life in integrity, then the areas that lack integrity will radiate throughout the rest of the person’s life. I’ve reflected on this pronouncement now and then since hearing it, and I can certainly see how well it applies to a farm.

This year, I feel we have come the closest ever to our goal and our motto of giving every vegetable everything it needs in a timely way. Of course, like life, a farm’s journey is a striving. There are always ways to improve it, to solidify it, to make it more effective and more integrated. Still, it’s a joy to behold our crops this year. I love the feeling of touring the fields and reflecting, that’s exactly how I want the corn to look, the potatoes to look, the squash, the onions, the tomatoes, the eggplant, melons, zucchini, basil, and lettuce to look…oh, no, there’s a weed!

Come see our crops and the weed at our open house, July 16, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

12-Week Shares
Please tell your friends about our 12 week shares  and assure them that their boxes will be topped off with vegetables and herbs from a most bounteous year. Deliveries start the 2nd week in August.

Warmly,
Farmer John

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