Farmer John Writes: A New Rule and Our U-Pick Flowers are Ready

 In Farm News

Harvest Week 5, July 6th – July 9th

Farm News Archives
Farmer John Wrote Too Old for That

For some of you long term shareholders, you probably remember my farming tales that were published in early issues of your newsletter. I will occasionally link to one of those stories in current issues of Farm News. I miss having the time to write those stories. Farm dramas are always unfolding; I just don’t have the time to record them. Here’s one about my mom– Too Old for That.

Your Box this Week–Saturday, July 9

  • Celery—Lovely celery. We harvest celery early because it can quickly spoil in summer heat.
  • Cucumbers
  • Kale—large bunch of kale. The kale is out-performing previous kale yields by at least 30%.
  • Golden, Red, or Chioggia Beets with Leaves—Usually the leaves of the beets decline dramatically in quality by now; not this season.
  • Zucchini / Summer squash—Count on zucchini for several more weeks.
  • Summer savory
  • Lettuce
  • Cabbage (in most boxes)

Celery just before it starts its journey to you

Broccoli, Chinese Cabbage, and Choi—Done until Fall
The broccoli came on suddenly and is now over. If you get a half share on odd weeks, you likely received broccoli 2 weeks ago. Last week, we put 3 heads into most of the boxes, because it has to be harvested in a very narrow time window and I don’t like to store broccoli, even when it is iced and in stored in a cooler at just above freezing; I like giving it as crisp and fresh as possible. Chinese cabbage is done; choi is done.

Coming Soon
Carrots; fennel; sweet onions.

Our sweet onions want to size up a bit more before they meet you

Our sweet onions want to size up a bit more before they meet you

Strict Rule for Vacation Holds and Temporary Site Changes—Must be Made at least 2 Weeks in Advance and Must be Made by the Shareholder Online
Our farm office continually receives calls from shareholders who request a vacation hold or a site change, often for a delivery which is going to happen very soon. We cannot change our packing and delivery system on a moment’s notice. We will no longer accommodate last minute changes.

We order fruit 2 weeks in advance of when it is delivered to our farm. Last week, I had to give away hundreds of dollars worth of fruit that had been scheduled for shareholder deliveries because shareholders called to say they didn’t want their fruit or vegetables last week. Our accommodating office authorized these changes. I have prohibited these changes from being made in the future by phone or by email or in person.

It’s easy for you to make the changes sufficiently in advance; it’s overwhelming for us to do it at all, let alone to do it close to your scheduled delivery.  Our CSA management program Member Assembler offers a very nifty system for scheduling vacation holds or temporary site changes.

Again, do not call or email our office to make vacation holds or site delivery changes. Make your changes online at least two weeks in advance.

Log in to your CSA membership online two or more weeks in advance of your needed change and make the vacation holds and temporary site changes yourself.

Beets waiting for a wash

Beets waiting for a wash

Survey, Please
If you haven’t yet, please fill out this short survey to help us determine why some shareholders are not receiving their delivery notification emails. We want to determine how widespread this problem is, and how to resolve it. The survey will also help us to determine how many of you are receiving the pickup reminder email that is sent out at 8 p.m. the evening before your delivery. If you receive home delivery or if you pick up at the Farm, or in Rockford or Beloit, please also fill out the survey, as we want to determine the quality of your email notification service as well. We launched the survey last week, but for those of you who get half shares this week, feel free to weigh in.

Field Day at the Farm, July 16
We hope you attend our Field Day on Saturday, July 16. 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. Please arrive by 11 a.m. We like to complete the hayrides by lunch at 12:30.

Visit Our U-Pick Garden
In bloom this week in our lovely U-Pick Garden: bachelor buttons, marigolds, calendula, larkspur, borage, zinnia and cosmos. The dill is also ready. The snap beans are splendid with flowers; they should be ready in time for the Field Day. Pick up scissors and bags at the U-Pick station near the coolers between the two barns and head west towards the colors. Learn more on our Shareholder U-Pick page.

Besides our U-Pick Garden, Another Reason to Visit the Farm —Pack Your Own Box
Maybe you can get away on a Wednesday afternoon, when some of our shareholders pack their own box. Click here for more about how the Free Choice program works. 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.

Farm Dinner

Farm to City_Save the Date

Galleria Marchetti (825 W. Erie St. Chicago, IL)
Tickets & Info:

Angelic Organics Learning Center is bringing the farm to Chicago! Join them for a special Peak Harvest Farm Dinner recognizing Rick Bayless & Deann Groen Bayless of Frontera Farmer Foundation for their impact on sustainable & organic farmers growing our local food system. Galleria Marchetti will transform into an urban farm oasis filled with food and drinks using organic & local ingredients, a fresh pie stand, live bluegrass music from the No Name String Band, and a farm store! Enjoy photo ops with adorable farm animals, mingle with fellow food + farm supporters, and meet special guests including emcee Monica Eng of WBEZ Public Media & Chewing!

Local farms and purveyors include Angelic Organics CSA farm, All Grass Farms, New Holland Brewing, Girasole Vineyards (Candid Wines), Bang Bang Pie & Biscuits, and more! FREE bus from Rockford. Proceeds benefit the non-profit Angelic Organics Learning Center and their programs that build sustainable local food & farm system. Tickets are limited, so buy early.

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

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