Farmer John Writes about Your Very Own Farm

 In Farm News

Welcome to our Second Harvest Week

A farm is a being, an individuality; it has a personality. A farm, like a child, needs the conscious, committed, focused dedication and love of humans to bring it more into fruition. Community Supported Agriculture offers a powerful opportunity for humans to help a farm to blossom.

The Easy Life

I wrote about food aggregators in a blog post titled Farm Monogamy this past April. Food aggregators have taken a big bite out of the Community Supported Agriculture movement. Their main argument for choosing them over a CSA farm is based in how they distill the offerings of a CSA farm into components, then offer upgrades of the components. They (at least some of them) will tell you right out why they are superior to CSA farms. For instance, if you get your vegetables from a certain food aggregator whose blog I just read, you will encounter a list explaining why you will have a better experience with their service than you will have with a CSA farm: you can choose which weeks you get your delivery, receive your delivery at your door, select the vegetables that are in your delivery, and add things in to your delivery that will probably not be available from a typical CSA farm, such as organic Corn Flakes and bananas. You are lauded for not showing partiality to a single farm; you will be supporting a harem of farms. You will be a friend to many farms—with benefits.

What Will it Be?

I used to play the field–this woman was funny; that one was artistic; this one was super cute, etc. Receiving your vegetables from a food aggregator is a bit like playing the field.

I have now been married for nearly five years. I am thoroughly committed to this relationship, resulting in an ever-deepening richness, understanding, and love—an endless blossoming. Belonging to a CSA farm is more like being in a marriage, a committed relationship.

The Farm Comes First

A very important part of my mission with the film about my life and Angelic Organics, The Real Dirt on Farmer John, was to offer to others an inspiring picture of a farm. For me, the film was not primarily a story about food; it was a story about a farm. As I traveled for five years, screening the film in hundreds of venues in 18 countries, I realized that for most people, food is the main thing about farms. I would rather this be inverted–that farms be the main thing about food. This was my message from country to country: the farm is the main thing—nurture the farm and the food will follow.


Farmer John and Packing Barn

Farmer John and Packing Barn

I would often notice in the discussions after the screenings that many people wanted access to cheap, healthy food. I would reply,  “Do you really want your farmers run ragged so they can produce cheap food for you? Do you want them to lie awake at night wondering how to pay their bills so that you can receive low-priced food? Do you really think that our earth can be healed when its principle caretakers, our farmers, are worked to the bone so that you can have more discretionary income, so that maybe you can get another snowmobile or a second television?” (No wonder Americans aren’t popular abroad, if they talk like this.)


I eventually realized that I was not going to upend this deeply embedded hierarchy of priorities about food and farms. I became anxious to return to my farm, to re-enter into my daily, ever-deepening relationship to my own farm. I eagerly anticipated sharing my farm’s fertility, history, location, weather, crops, and stories with more shareholders. I came home to a challenge I had never anticipated, even in my own somewhat paranoid imagination—I came home to face the increasing effort needed to get people to join our CSA. It had never occurred to me, that upon returning to my farm, that I would have to compete with food aggregators to argue for one of the greatest privileges that I believe we can experience on earth—being part of a farm.

It Can’t Get Much Better than This

Angelic Organics is Your Very Own Farm (without all the work!) By belonging to Angelic Organics, you are supporting the tender being of a farm, a farm individuality. Out of this support, food streams back towards you. In a way, the food is the surplus, the plethora that is generated from building the right relationship to your farm. You are a member of our farm: you are a part of its sorrows and its sadnesses, its joys and triumphs, its perils and bounties. You receive affirmation of this relationship every time you receive a box of vegetables and herbs from Angelic Organics.

On behalf of our farm, thank you for being a part of Angelic Organics.

The Work

hoeing the sweet corn—you will have corn in about another 5 weeks (the field in the foreground will be ready in about 7 weeks)

hoeing the sweet corn—you will have corn in about another 5 weeks (the field in the foreground will be ready in about 7 weeks)

The Crops this Week

The variety I strive for in the first box of the season will be fully available in the 2nd box, though, as is always the case, it will depend on the weather. You should receive gorgeous broccoli, succulent Chinese cabbage or pac choi, lovely heads of lettuce, scallions, kale, garlic scapes, probably zucchini, and maybe beets. We also plan to harvest spinach and cilantro, but if it keeps raining steadily, we won’t be able to harvest them, because they don’t store well when soggy.

broccoli for you

broccoli for you

The Broccoli Trajectory Last Week

The late broccoli that I wrote about in last week’s newsletter was big enough to harvest by Wednesday for our Thursday pack. Since then the broccoli has come on gloriously, so all of our shareholders will receive one or two heads of broccoli this week. (It’s challenging to grow nice spring broccoli, due to heat waves that often occur in late spring. We haven’t had such heat waves this year.)

Sign up for the Free Recipe Service!

Make sure you sign up for the Local Thyme recipe service we offer with this year’s share. It received many great reviews from our shareholders last season. Go to . Enter the farm code AOLTFREE under “I am a member of a CSA farm.”  Click the sign-up button.

Let us Know 

Let Shelly know anything you’d like to share about this week’s box email hidden; JavaScript is required . Please note the week and day of delivery, your site, when you picked up your box, and any comments about your box.

Please Fold Your Boxes Properly and Return Them to Your Site

The farm re-uses the vegetable boxes. Flaps are easily torn when the boxes are dismantled improperly, and then the box bottom might later burst open with fresh, organic local produce heading towards the floor. Please return your empty, flattened vegetable boxes to your delivery site.

More from Shareholders

Visit us often at , where we post exciting farm developments regularly, and shareholders post recipes, tips, and photos.

Saturday Box Contents

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

Salad Greens

red, green head lettuce

Cooking Greens
green heads of pac choi

garlic scapes

Root Crops





Farmer John

Adventures at the Angelic Organics Learning Center 

Angelic Organics Learning Center is an engaging place to learn about food, farming, and caring for the earth. Start a new family tradition: join us on the farm for our 4th of July Family Campout! It’s Friday, July 3rd to Sunday, July 5th and the cost is $75 per person for people ages 3 and up. Bring tents and gear; we’ll supply fresh food to prepare meals. Please register in advance on our website:

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Showing 3 comments
  • Marge Howard

    You guys are just GREAT! Looking forward to a great and wonderful year. Thank you for all you do help us all! Marge Howard

  • Rebe Goebel

    Hi, quick question – if we get our share delivered, can we return the boxes through the delivery service? Or would we need to drop them off somewhere?

    • Angelic Organics

      Please flatten your empty box and set it out for the delivery person to pick up for return to the farm. If you place your return box where you normally receive your delivery, it will be picked up by the delivery person for return to the farm. Thank you!

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