Farmer John Wonders When the Bridge Went – 4th Harvest Week: Tue/Wed/Thurs Delivery – July 2nd, 3rd & 4th, 2013

 In Farm News

Farmer John Wonders When the Bridge Went

Kinnikinnick Creek, Spring 2013Kinnikinnick Creek, Spring 2013 (Past flood years: 1994, 1974, and 1955)

The Weather

Rain continues…inches upon inches. Fortunately, we have a policy at Angelic Organics to stay a few days ahead of the field work, so that when adverse weather arrives, it seldom puts us behind; it just makes it so we are no longer ahead. Next dry spell, we’ll come tearing out of the gate to get ahead again. Farming properly is so much about managing time, about being on time. It’s the only way we can keep your boxes filled week after week.

We are part of the Kinnikinnick Creek watershed. The creek (we say crick) is a little more than a half-mile from the farm. Before this year, I believe it last overflowed its banks in a major way in 1994. This season, it has overflowed its banks in a major way three times so far. Fortunately, the fields on the farm are not prone to this sort of flooding. Our crops, with the exception of a few small isolated low spots, are not under water; they are soggy, but flourishing.

The Bridge was There When I Crossed It

In 1974, the Kinnikinnick flooded at night. I was coming home my normal route from Beloit via Free Church Road, and the creek had overflowed its banks to such a depth that I drove 2 miles upstream to Grade School Road, where it was not flooding so badly. Still, the water was running over the bridge deep and fast enough so it almost pushed my car into the creek as I crossed it. Next morning, that bridge was gone. It might have given way 5 minutes after I passed over it…no way of knowing. Four other bridges in a row were taken out that night.

The Work

Farming goes on, like life. The crew works in the rain, the wind, the mist, the mugginess, and the mud. They get the job done, day after day. Most people today are protected from the weather…not our crew, they’re out in the fields under all conditions (unless lightning or a tornado threaten): squatting, leaning, stooping, lifting, walking, running, so our shareholders can get another great box of vegetables. They astound me; I hope they astound you, too. If you’re feeling it, send appreciative comments to growing manager Chris Voss, email hidden; JavaScript is required, He’ll read them to the team.

The Crops

The lettuce has been tattered a bit by the pelting rains. Peppers and heirloom tomatoes have been whipsawed by strong winds and rain. The damages in these crops don’t seem significant. Luckily, we’ve been spared hail. Overall, the crops are growing at a spectacular rate…almost leaping outwards and upwards.

Winter SquashWinter Squash, Cultivated During a Reprieve from the Rain

Filmmaker Friend Taggart Siegel Visited the Farm 

For those of you who have seen The Real Dirt on Farmer John or Queen of the Sun, you probably recognize the name of the director Taggart Siegel, my friend for the last 35 years. He’s now making a film about seed, so he’ll have an eco-trilogy to his credit: a farm, the bees, and seed. Taggart is to be commended for getting such important messages out to the world in an artistic and dramatic way. Taggart stayed on the farm for a few days and filmed me in a chicken costume.

Chicken Farmer JohnFrom left to right, Co-Directors Jon Betz and Taggart Siegel,  and Chicken Farmer John

Shareholders Write

Just wanted to say a big THANK you to everyone involved for the wonderful produce…. FRESH and Delicious…The Arugla was particularly amazing, well I don’t want to single any one item out because everything is fabulous! I’m so Glad I have joined your community!

Take Care ,


Please pass along my hats off to everyone there.  This box was full to the brim of wonderful goodness!  I’m so excited it’s finally CSA season!

Thanks again,


Lots more from shareholders at Also, many exciting photos and updates by the farm there.

Long Time Shareholder Lali Watt Writes about her Box and Building Community

Hi there – I posted a picture of the veggies in today’s box as my FB page cover photo and all kinds of people started commenting.  Many of them are fellow shareholders.

I realized that I actually knew that all these people are shareholders but I don’t think of them that way because I know them through other aspects of my life.  But it’s odd (in a very nice way) that we also share this.  Just wanted to tell you but couldn’t seem to tag you in the conversation for some reason.

They include my cousin, the family of my daughter’s preschool (14 years ago) friend, someone I know through community activism, the people who installed a furnace at our house and who I told about AO and who have now become friends, someone in my book club… goes on. Anyway, you are definitely building community!



PS – It’s a spectacular box!  I just had to stick my nose in it and breathe for a while.  Then I laid it on the counter, took a picture and left it all there for over an hour so I could admire it!

Open House, Saturday, July 20

Keep your calendar open for our farm open house on Saturday, July 20. Kids love seeing their farm, and so do their parents. More details soon.

Stay Close to Your Farm

Visit us often at , where we post exciting farm developments regularly. We invite you to post about your CSA experience there, too.

Upcoming Programs at the Angelic Organics Learning Center 

The arts and skills associated with farm life used to be passed down from one generation to the next, as it was in the Peterson family.  These skills, such as raising chickens, growing crops, and preserving food are often at least one generation removed from contemporary culture. Yet, there is a growing movement of people whom do want to raise their own backyard chickens or start their own small market farm.  For those people, the best way to learn is with a hands-on class at Angelic Organics Learning Center.

Count Your Chickens

Saturday, July 27th, 9 AM to Noon

Curious about starting a small flock of chickens? This workshop covers a little bit of everything!


Farm Dreams: Assessing Risks & Resources to Start a Small Farm or Market Garden         

Saturday, July 27th, 1 PM to 5 PM

If your love of farms can’t be satiated by visiting the farmer’s market or joining a CSA, and you are thinking of starting your own small farm enterprise, this class is the perfect starting point to determine if this is the right path for you.

Box Contents

Please Note: this summary is written before you receive your box—please be aware that some guesswork is involved. As always, be sure to thoroughly wash all of your vegetables.

Brassicas – 1 broccoli, kohlrabi

Fruiting Crops – 2-3 summer squash (Zucchini, Yellow or Patty Pan), a small cucumber

Cooking Greens – kale, swiss chard

Alliums – bunched scallions, garlic scapes

Salad Greens – 2 heads of lettuce

Root Crops – bunched beets

Herbs – bunched dill, summer savory, and bagged basil

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