Farmer John Writes: Think About It

 In Farm News

Week 6, July 18th – 22nd

Your Box This Week — Saturday Deliveries:

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.

Fruiting Crops — Zucchini / Summer Squash, Cucumbers, Watermelon

Cooking Greens — Swiss Chard

Salad Greens — Lettuce

Stem Crops— Fennel

Root Crops— Carrots

Alliums —  Sweet Onions

Herbs — Sage

Sign up for the Free Recipe Service
Make sure you sign up for the Local Thyme recipe service we offer with your share. Local Thyme offers storage and handling tips and recipes customized to each week’s share. It has received many great reviews from our shareholders. Check out this sample recipe: Squash, Cucumber and Chickpea Salad with Lemon Basil Dressing.

What I Learned on the Tractor at last Saturday’s Farm Field Day 
Another great Farm Field Day this past Saturday—fabulous weather, turnout, conversations, food…My 6430 John Deere has a passenger seat. I invited kids to ride with me during the hayride. We talked.

That Window was Closed
My friend, five-year-old Hannah, daughter of shareholders Brad and Deniz Hedden, rode the tractor with me. She helped steer while we talked.

Farmer John: “Hannah, about your tractor dream…was the tractor green?”

Hannah “I think so.”

“Was it big?”


“Where were you?”

“I was in a field. I think it was here on this farm.”

“Did it have a cab like this–surrounded by glass?”

Hannah looked around the tractor cab. “Yes, but that window behind you was closed.”

Hannah Hedden is fun

Think About It
Ten-year-old Josh, son of Kevin Ofloy and Briana Villarrubia, rode the tractor with me.

Josh: “what’s the most interesting thing that has ever happened to you?”

Farmer John: “there have been many interesting things, but the most interesting? Hmm…my friends and I saw a flying saucer over there about two miles.” I gestured to the northwest.


“Yes, we really saw it, but most people wouldn’t believe it.”

“I believe it.”

“Well, that’s pretty good that you believe it. That makes you quite unusual. What’s the most interesting thing that ever happened to you, Josh?”

“I went down into a basement and someone did magic tricks for me. I couldn’t figure out how he did even one of those magic tricks—I had no idea at all. The magician said to me, ‘think about it.’”

Farmer John & Josh

Update on Last Week’s Farm News: Housekeeping
Interesting how shareholders reacted to last week’s Farm News.

Most Shareholders loved Housekeeping
“Loved it ! Hilarious and scary- makes you wonder…You guys do a great job. This is my first year with you and I am loving it. Now, what time will Vanna be here?”

“Hi Farmer John & AO peeps, Was laughing out loud at your newsletter. Oh my! Seriously? Y’all must have the patience of Job.  Here’s a possible idea…What if we paired each new AO member with a veteran? Like an Angel Buddy (kinda like Clarence from It’s A Wonderful Life) to navigate the very complex waters of CSA world. That way we’re the ones helping orient others. We can emphasize in person the importance and fun of reading the newsletter. A personal sense of community could be built among the membership—this way I might actually know someone on a Farm Day! You can have fewer crazy requests and inquiries. It might take some of the new-member-drama burden off of you, the one busy FARMING!!! and let the rest of us keep the newbies in line.

If we could be paired with members who are in our delivery zone, that’s even better. If not, no biggie. I think most of us, who read the newsletters, could accurately respond to 90% of their questions and concerns OR direct them to send you an email.

Have a great week. Please tell the crew: You’re awesome and I’m super grateful for your hard labor from the heart. May you each experience moments of delight and wonder at seeing stuff abundantly growing out of the ground. Blessings on your bodies and souls.”

(Farmer John’s note: Several shareholders suggested a buddy system in response to Housekeeping—we plan to explore this suggestion more thoroughly.)

“I read this week’s newsletter and I’m only on a half share. But if you can get Vanna White to deliver, unbox and cook for us, I will immediately increase our order to a full share!  I’ll even let her eat with us! Tell him thanks for the laugh!  Sorry it was written for those who will not read it…Best regards from your newbie half-share…”

“I’m sorry you have had so much trouble from inconsiderate shareholders.  It’s too bad that so many shareholders don’t read Farm News.  Your articles are always interesting and informative…”

“To whom it may concern, Is it possible to have Farmer John, or perhaps Vanna White, come and unpack our box, identify the contents and then prepare dinner for our family? This will need to happen on June 33, at 1:44 am. In the event of rain, we will postpone the dinner preparation to 1.73 score days after the second rain of the MLB rugby season (Men’s or Women’s, TBD). The dinner itself will take place one evening earlier. Unless we’re on vacation, which we will know as soon as we know. Make this happen (obligatory “please” implied), Entitled shareholder”

A Few Shareholders Hated Housekeeping
I won’t excerpt from the few dark, scathing comments we received regarding Housekeeping. Let me just say that, ironically, in their admonishment and accusations of me for writing it, these replies were much darker in tone than the newsletter message itself; in other words, I received some acrid complaints about complaining. (I might do a future issue of Farm News on an expression commonly heard in the Heartland: “Can’t complain.”)

Business as Usual
As I wrote in last week’s column, Housekeeping was not going to reach the shareholders who we most need to reach to help our CSA to function sustainably. After it was published, there was no letup in requests for sudden vacation holds, site changes, recipes, etc. Every day, seven days per week, there are typically more requests that hit our office than what one efficient, conscientious person can handle in a full day. This excessive burden will be substantially resolved by next season—not sure how yet, but it will be resolved.

July 27 | 10th Annual Peak Harvest Farm Dinner | Galleria Marchetti (Chicago)
Join Angelic Organics Learning Center for a special farm dinner honoring chef Paul Virant and celebrating the 20th Anniversary of our Upper Midwest CRAFT farmer training alliance. Feast on a 5-course meal designed by chefs & protégés of Virant – Ed Sura of NoMi, Spencer Blake of Naha, Brian Motyka of Spiaggia, Keith Potter of Cindys, Joe Frillman of Daisies. Enjoy the fresh Bang Bang Pie Stand and cocktails from New Holland, CH Distillery, and Candid Wines. Ingredients sourced from Angelic Organics farm and local farms/purveyors. Tickets/Info:

Please Fold Your Boxes Properly and Return Them, Especially if You have been Stockpiling 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 it in the location where your box is delivered.

Let us Know
Let our office 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.

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

Farmer John

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  • Lynda Elimon

    I find it most efficient and easier to arrive with 2-3 shopping bags. I transfer the vegetables to the bags and immediately fold and leave the box on the stack. It’s easier to carry. I never forget the box. I can unpack the produce more efficiently at home.
    Thanks for the fabulous produce you supply. I am several years in and now efficiently know how to get the most out of the variety!

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