Welcome to our 18th Harvest Week. Oct 8 (Wed Delivery)

 In Farm News

Welcome to our 18th week of the 2014 Season

 In Farm News this week, Farmer John Writes about Judgment

The Crops

Notice this week if the spinach is sweeter than usual, after it went through the weekend’s light frost. Other beneficiaries of frost from a flavor standpoint are Brussels sprouts, cabbage and kale.

We still have cabbage in the fields. It will be sweeter after this past weekend’s frost

We still have cabbage in the fields. It will be sweeter after this past weekend’s frost

With kale as a backdrop, Araceli muscles through the mud to harvest celeriac

With kale as a backdrop, Araceli muscles through the mud to harvest celeriac

Weathering The Weather 

We had a mild frost this past Sunday morning. We were preparing for this event all last week. Primo and his team winterized a wide range of equipment. The crew brought in all the remaining eggplant, peppers and winter squash.  They harvested all the frost-sensitive lettuce and put row covers over the salad greens. (The salad greens would have survived the light frost without covers, but later in October heavy frosts might end them. Plus, the covers provide a bit of warmth to encourage the greens to grow faster.)

Important Seeds for our World’s Future

On Saturday before the frost, Walter Goldstein of Mandaamin Seed, his assistant, and some of our crew harvested all the corn from Walter’s seed and research plots which we grew for him on the farm. A seed researcher for many decades, Walter is doing very innovative seed work in ways that can vastly help our planet in the areas of poultry health, GMO pollen exclusion, and substantial reduction of synthetic fertilizers. I feel privileged to help him. Some day, I may elaborate more in a newsletter on Walter’s important work. If you don’t want to wait for an elaboration, check out www.mandaamin.org.

The Work

The crew works in increasingly inclement conditions as we enter more deeply into autumn. They contend with rain, cold, wind, and sleet.

Andrea prepares celeriac for transport on a cold, misty morning

Andrea prepares celeriac for transport on a cold, misty morning


What are the criteria you use to judge people? Below is an email exchange between a stranger and Farmer John that centers on judgment.


I have heard a lot about your farm and what you do. I think it’s wonderful, but I was wondering how deep do your values lie? I have worked and volunteered at several places that walk the walk but don’t talk the talk. I keep getting disappointed. The establishments seem beautiful, and they make me happy but when I get to know them I find out the guys tilling the fields drink and get McDonald’s after a hard day’s work, I find out several people smoke, the general manager sells weight loss shakes with genetically modified ingredients, the gym is filled with people wanting to tan instead of being healthy, the deli trucks in stuff from Hormel but doesn’t include that on the labeling, neither does the pesto with its lemon juice concentrate with added sodium metabisulfite, etc.

I want to know if you guys are good to the core. I have yet to find a place like that. It’s so depressing. So, how healthy is Angelic Organics?

Thanks, A…

Dear A…,

I’m not sure it’s even legal to have a hiring policy based on people’s adherence to green or ecological principles. However, I do know, having farmed organically for 25 years, and having farmed for a total of 55 years, that the priority on a farm is always to get the work done on time. It’s interesting to notice who can get the work done; it’s quite a variety of people, but often they are people who just love the work, but don’t necessarily adhere to organic principles or green life styles. People can be outspokenly green and not at all able or willing to do the work. People can be indifferent to green and be stellar workers.

Personally, I judge people much more by whether they tell the truth than by what they eat.

You might check out the film “The Real Dirt on Farmer John” to get more insight into my farm and my personal history.

best, Farmer John

Note: A…thanked me for my reply.

U-Pick Garden

Our U-Pick Garden has a few flowers now.

More from Shareholders

Visit us often at www.facebook.com/angelicorganics, where we post exciting farm developments regularly, and shareholders post recipes, tips, and photos.

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.

Broccoli Side Shoots
Brussels Sprouts
Chinese Cabbage
Green Choi
Popcorn (see note about drying your popcorn)
Sweet Peppers

When Is It Dry Enough to Pop?
After a couple of weeks of drying in the husk, the corn is ready to test. Remove the husk from an ear or two and pluck a few kernels off each cob. Take a small handful of kernels and pop them by whatever method you prefer.
If the popped corn is unpleasantly tough or chewy, or the exploded puffs are oddly edged or jagged, the corn is still too wet. Keep up this testing every few days until the popcorn is the way you like it, then husk and de-kernel the corn and store it. http://hubpages.com/hub/Popcorn–Planting-to-Popping

To Oven-Dry your Shelled Popcorn.

Preheat the stove to 300 degrees Fahrenheit and put a large pan (a turkey roaster will do) of kernels on the rack. Then, turn the oven down to its lowest setting immediately, and dry the corn — stirring it occasionally — for five hours. After that time you can turn the heat off and leave the kernels in the oven to cool overnight. They’ll be “poppin’ perfect” by morning.
(It is possible to dry corn too thoroughly, though. I forgot to turn my preheated oven down, once, and returned a little later to a house that smelled suspiciously like cooked corn. The kernels were so dry that they wouldn’t pop at all! But, I just sprinkled the popcorn with a little water, put it in a tight-lidded bucket, and left the closed container in the fridge for a week. The remoistened corn popped just fine.) http://www.motherearthnews.com/organic-gardening/grow-your-own-popcorn-zmaz79zsch.aspx#ixzz2jsrFGScB

Upcoming Program at the Angelic Organics Learning Center

Live Culture in the Kitchen 

Sunday, October 26, 2pm-4:30pm

Get your gut going with healthy bacteria! You’ll learn all about fermentation at this hands-on workshop on the farm. You’ll even take home a jar of sauerkraut and yogurt! We’re excited to welcome Chef Michael Staver from Kendall College as a guest instructor for the course. Please pre-register at www.learngrowconnect.org/events.

Plus, we have a special offer going on now: 10% off any and all fall classes! Use the discount code “FALL201410AOSHAREHOLDER.” Expires on December 1, 2014



Farmer John and the Angelic Organics Farm Team

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  • Mary Dagostino

    Very interesting article, John. I think you answered it well. Most of us are not perfect but we can be very good workers. Your workers are very obviously excellent workers. Your farm and vegetables..and eggs, soap, etc… are amazing. Thank you so much…for the good food and the fun at your farm when I take my two little grandsons along now and then. They love all the animals. They especially love petting the pigs. Good job, John…to you and all of your workers. Thank you for everything you do to make this world a better place for all.


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