Farmer John Writes: Another Reason to Visit the Farm–Free Choice

 In Farm News

Harvest Week 3, June 22nd-25th, 2016

Your Box This Week
Deciding what will go into your box is an interesting process—a consideration of: what is available but must be harvested that week or it will perish in the field; what is available that can likely hold up in the field for another week or more; presentation of the box—color, texture, fragrance; fullness of the box; variety, etc. The hot temperatures of the past few weeks have accelerated the growth of many of the crops, such as the choi, lettuce, and baby greens; their prime can quickly come and go.

Some of the tips of the red lettuce are slightly sunburned—summer has arrived early. Sunburn often occurs on the delicate leaves of lettuce.

Zucchini and summer squash are now vividly making their presence known in the fields, shooting out flowers and squash in rapid motion.



We’re harvesting a beautiful crop of arugula this week.

Broccoli does not like heat, and it seems that our broccoli development has actually slowed down because of the high temperatures. We are proceeding with the broccoli harvest, because the heads will start to yellow from the heat before they are fully sized. If you receive an odd looking head of broccoli, maybe smallish with beads that are starting to separate, creating a loose or bumpy head, it’s because of the heat. We quickly transport our harvested broccoli from the field and ice it right away, but we can’t keep it cool while it’s still growing in the field. There’s a reason why 90% of the broccoli consumed in the U.S. comes from California, where the cool coastal climate is suited for year-round broccoli production. 

Harvesting the garlic scapes you are receiving this week keeps the garlic plants from flowering, which helps the garlic bulb to achieve a larger size. Check out your Local Thyme Recipe Service for ideas on how to use garlic scapes.

Garlic scape

Garlic scape

We design the first couple of harvest weeks so that most of our shareholders receive 3 heads of lettuce. That number will soon drop to one or two heads. Lettuce is a reliable spring crop, and it seems that most of our shareholders look forward to a lettuce surge at the beginning of the season, after which many are ready for a taper.

Box Contents for Saturday, June 25

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.

  • Broccoli
  • Zucchini
  • Bunched Chard
  • Chinese Cabbage
  • Arugula
  • Scallions
  • Garlic Scapes

Let Shelly know anything you’d like to share about your box at 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.

Visit Your Farm

Field Days at the Farm, July 16 and Sept 17—Mark Your Calendar
We hope you will attend one or both of our Field Days, Saturday, July 16, and Saturday, September 17. Plan to arrive late morning for hayrides, potluck feast, a visit to the animals at the Learning Center, and a trip to the U-Pick garden, perhaps for some green beans and a bouquet of flowers. It’s a great day for all. Please arrive by 11 a.m. We like to complete the hayrides by lunch at 12:30, but many shareholders show up just before lunch time wanting a hayride for their excited, hungry kids, otherwise known as a management challenge. Check out this link for details on the Field Day:

Shareholders at a Field Day

Shareholders at a Field Day

Another Reason to Visit the Farm this Season—Pack Your Own Box!
Some of our local shareholders have signed up for a Free Choice program where they select their own vegetables and herbs during our Wednesday pack afternoons between 1:30 and 3 p.m. Maybe you can get away on a Wednesday afternoon to do the same.

Click here for more about how the Free Choice program works.

Include a trip to our U-Pick Garden where you will soon find flowers and beans. Visit the Learning Center; walk the fields; maybe have a picnic.

In order to qualify for the Free Choice pack option, log into your membership at least two weeks prior to when you want to have your Free Choice adventure. Change your delivery site for the week you choose to Farm on Wednesday, Free Choice.

Remember to Sign up for the Free Choice Box Pack at Least 2 Weeks in Advance
It is fun to be spontaneous and pay a sudden visit to Angelic Organics. However, we at the farm must know well in advance that you are coming so we can plan our harvest accordingly, and  cancel your box delivery to its regular destination. Please don’t call Shelly at the last minute telling her you plan to come out to pack your box in  the next couple of days. We love to accommodate our shareholders, but we grow and harvest for many people, so we need for our protocols to be respected.

In General, When You Want to Schedule a Vacation Hold or Temporary Site Change, Do it 2 Weeks in Advance
Our CSA management program Member Assembler offers a very nifty system for scheduling vacation holds or temporary site changes. Please make your changes at least two weeks in advance. Shelly gets many calls and emails from shareholders wanting to change their deliveries at the last minute, and this complicates our office, harvest and delivery management immensely. Please be considerate of our office and our field team by making changes to your delivery online at least two weeks in advance. Thank you.

Local Thyme Recipe Service
I highly recommend that you sign up for the free, very popular Local Thyme Recipe Service that we provide with your share. It has storage and handling tips, a vegetable identification guide, and recipes featuring 5 ingredients that are available in your box that week. (If you still need help, there’s Google…) The office receives a lot of detailed questions about how to identify your vegetables and how to use them. We don’t have a chef or a dietician on staff; most of our efforts go into producing, harvesting and packing your vegetables and herbs. We’d rather that our shareholders rely on the recipe service we make available, so that we can concentrate on growing.  Sign up for the recipe service at

Please Fold Your Boxes Properly and Return Them
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 carefully flatten your box and return it to your delivery site. If you receive home delivery, place them in the location where your box is delivered.

More from Shareholders
Visit us often at where we post exciting farm developments regularly, and shareholders post recipes, reviews tips, and photos. If you’re inspired to write a review, please do. We like knowing how our shareholders are experiencing the season.

Farmer John

Another Reason to Visit the Farm: Adventures at the Angelic Organics Learning Center
Angelic Organics Learning Center is an exciting and engaging place to learn about food, farming, and caring for the earth. Sign up for a hands-on farm workshop now at

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