Farmer John Writes: About Fairness

 In Farm News

Harvest Week 7, July 20th – July 23rd

Transition Time
The middle third of the regular growing season is upon us with the seventh harvest week.  Most shareholders will receive their first sweet pepper or two this week. The eggplant is a bit slower than the peppers; you might receive an eggplant, might not.

The first crop of sweet corn usually ripens in the 7th week. This year, it’s ripening a day too late for our friends who receive their delivery this Wednesday. If you are a Wednesday shareholder who approaches things from the standpoint of fairness, you might think this is unfair. Maybe it is unfair, though I’ve never considered the weather nor the crops to be at all partial to the idea of fairness. Fairness must be a human construct. It’s possible that at the end of the five week sweet corn season, you will get the very last delivery of sweet corn, which could even things out. From Thursday on, you can look forward to several weeks of luscious sweet corn.

I’m going to add here what I wrote in the Week 7 issue of Farm News last year, 2015: “Upcoming Crops: Sweet corn will probably be ready sometime this week. It’s a bit of a challenge to predict exactly when the sweet corn will be ready, as its pace of maturation is very influenced by heat, humidity and rain…. I inspect the corn almost daily, wondering if it might be ready for the Thursday deliveries.”

The watermelons present a similar issue of impartiality (indifference?). They are ripening, but they are not yet ripe. I suspect they’ll be ready sometime later this week.

I almost forgot to mention the tomatoes—nothing red yet, but the vines are loaded.

Peak summer deliciousness will pass no shareholder by, I promise. Everyone will revel in peppers, eggplant, melons, sweet corn and tomatoes.

Your Box This Week–Saturday, July 23

Please Note: this summary is written before we pack your box—be aware that some guesswork is involved. At times, a bit of improvisation is required for selecting the contents of your share. As always, be sure to thoroughly wash all of your vegetables.

  • Sweet Corn
  • Carrots
  • Sweet Onions
  • Fennel
  • Watermelon
  • Bell Peppers
  • Cucumbers
  • Zucchini / Summer Squash
  • Lettuce
  • Basil
  • Dill

Sign up for the Free Recipe Service
Make sure you sign up for the Local Thyme recipe service we offer with your share. It received many great reviews from our shareholders last season. Local Thyme has storage and handling tips, a vegetable identification guide, and recipes featuring 5 ingredients that are available in your box each week. Find the instructions for signing up for Local Thyme at

Last carrots until Fall

Last carrots until Fall

More carrots for Fall deliveries

More carrots for Fall deliveries

Field Day this Past Saturday
The Field Day was super! At least 150 attended. The food was fabulous. The weather was perfect. The crops were proud and lush. The animals at the Learning Center enjoyed many ooh’s and ahh’s and giggles by the children (and their parents.) I gave several children rides on the passenger seat of the big John Deere tractor.

One young fellow named CJ Zanieski knew an astounding amount about farm equipment. It was most gratifying to talk to him about cultivators, RTK (our GPS guidance system) and the Deere’s CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission.) I believe he’s going into 6th grade next year. The last time I talked to a 6th grader who knew so much about farm equipment was with my fellow 6th graders, back when we were all helping our families farm in the 50’s.

My young friend Joseph Haas rode the tractor with me and presented an outline for a TV series on organic farming: Episode 1, Rain; Episode 2, Time; Episode 3, Demand; Episode 4, Dedication; Episode 5, Money; Episode 6, Labor; Episode 7, Machinery: Episode 8, Fertility. He added that he really likes politics, so he felt that my approval of his series seemed like an endorsement. Joseph’s next series: A History of the Farm. If only I were a TV producer…

Joseph Haas pitches the Organic Farm TV Series to Farmer John

Joseph Haas pitches the Organic Farm TV Series to Farmer John

From the Week 20, 2014, Issue of Farm News: “I had the pleasure of meeting young Joseph (Max) Haas and his mother Claudia at our last open house, where Joseph handed me the “Biography of Farmer John” he had composed, based on the documentary film “The Real Dirt on Farmer John.” … Joseph sometimes quotes excerpts from the film. He plays at being a farmer and even puts “Angelic Organics 2” on the family’s garage door.  Joseph wrote me, “I really actually love fruits and vegetables, and farming sounds like fun…” Go, Joseph!”

Farm News and You
I suspect you read Farm News, at least occasionally…like today, for instance. The 651 people who took the recent Communications Survey are more likely to read Farm News than the many hundreds who didn’t take the survey, some of whom probably didn’t know there even was a survey.


survey 1.1


survey 2


survey 3

I know that some people don’t read Farm News, which is disappointing, because a really big part of being a Community Supported Agriculture shareholder is to deepen one’s relationship with a farm.

How do I know some shareholders do not read Farm News? Well, when I talk with some shareholders, they have never heard of the feature film The Real Dirt on Farmer John and some don’t know there is an Angelic Organics Learning Center or an upcoming Field Day and some have no idea there is a recipe service. I never quite know what to say when this comes up: “Wow, did I catch you not reading Farm News!” or “Say, do you ever take a look at that Farm News that comes in a sleeve on the side of your box?” or “You’re wondering what those items are in your box this week? Hmm…they were listed in your newsletter. And did you know there’s a recipe service?”  These are awkward moments for your farmer.

Still, Farm News has a a loyal readership, and that pleases me. Here are a few of the 89 comments about Farm News from the survey:

~ I love the printed newsletter and read it every week!
~ I really like this personal touch and it is very professional and also a highlight of my delivery along with the gorgeous produce, thank you Farmer John!
~ I read it via email, not the printed copy. I don’t think the printed copy is necessary (and a waste of time and paper for you!)
~ Please keep the printed copy – I absolutely read it and only read the print version
~ My entire family reads it, because it is a hard copy I can leave it on the table and my kids read it when they have a minute in addition to my husband.’
~ I always read the newsletter with my box of veggies. i LOVE the print version and wouldn’t read it if it was only electronic.
~ I’m on an every other week share, on my off weeks I read the farm news online but I greatly prefer hard copy!!
~ Often pass on to others
~ I’m always surprised when I see copies still in the plastic envelope on broken down boxes. It’s so nice to read. I’ve got mine back many years. Ok, I am a pack rat. These are history in the making folks!!!  (Note from Farmer John: we suspect that some of the newsletters that come back to the farm in their plastic envelopes have been read and are being re-cycled, and some were never taken out of their sleeves—no way of knowing if they were read or not.)

It takes about a half day or more of my weekend each week to write Farm News, and then my wife Haidy formats it for the blog and the hard copy, which takes her a couple hours, at least. Thanks to all of you who read it, who take an active interest in your farm.

As I said at our CSA meeting at the Field Day (paraphrasing a bit here), “I think farms are the most fantastic places. Maybe I got some of this from my mother, who was so excited about farms—about our farm and about other people’s farms, too. I just love farms and I want other people to love them, too!”

Tom Spaulding, Executive Director of the Angelic Organics Learning Center added (paraphrasing, again), “If we don’t get people into the right relationship to farms, our kids aren’t going to have much of a world to live in.”

Bell Peppers

Bell Peppers

Let us Know  
Let Shelly know anything you’d like to share about this week’s 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.

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.

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

Farmer John


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Showing 3 comments
  • Nellie Angel

    Thank you Farmer John!
    I do like your letters and i read the printed one in the box and sometimes when I have the time , the online one.
    Sometimes I wonder what is that veggie that I have not seen before?;) well that is educational as well .
    Looking forward to my next box !

  • Shan

    I read the farm news! I like John’s writing, and sorry I did not take the survey.
    I love love love the corn I got this week!
    Thank you!

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