Farmer John Writes: A Field Day Trove of Basil for Shareholders

 In Farm News

Week 14, September 12th – 16th

Your Box This Week — Saturday Deliveries:

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

Fruiting Crops — Spaghetti Squash, Delicata Squash, Jalapeños, Sweet Pepper

Brassicas — Broccoli or Cauliflower

Cooking Greens — Pac Choi, Baby Chard (in bag)

Salad Greens — Baby Lettuce Mix (in bag), Head Lettuce

Herbs  Cilantro

Lettuce Mix
Our answer this week to those who really did not like receiving pea shoots last week is Johnny’s Allstar Gourmet Lettuce Mix. It includes Includes Green Oakleaf, Red Oakleaf, Green Romaine, Red Romaine, Lollo Rossa, and Redleaf lettuces. In the 90’s, we often seeded a mesclun mix with baby lettuce and Asian greens for our shareholders, but some shareholders so disliked the Asian greens in the mix (arugula, mizuna, etc.) that they picked them all out of the mix before diving into their salad. There are no Asian greens in this mix, though I imagine that some of our shareholders wish there were. Please let us know how you like the lettuce mix at email hidden; JavaScript is required. Make the email subject Lettuce Mix.

Twins Katherine and Kaitlyn Haas Enjoy Twin Lettuce Leaves

Lots of Basil for our Field Day Guests, Saturday, September 16 (Open to Shareholders and Their Friends)
We have two 500 ft beds of basil that is not good enough anymore to put into shareholders’ boxes, because it would be considered by many to be of sub-standard or marginal quality. However, at the Field Day, you can decide for yourself if it is suitable. I think many of you will be happy to have the opportunity to have basil of this quality. You’ll enjoy the pesto, come winter. (This offer of basil is for the Field Day only.)

One Stop—the Basil is Right Next to the Pumpkins
Take up to a whole shopping bag of this basil home, if you like. There are about 2000 basil plants to choose from. You can break or snip off the basil branches or simply take whole basil plants until your shopping bag is full. The basil crop will be finished with the first temperatures that drop below 40 degrees, so please help yourself to a generous quantity. The basil is right next to the pumpkin patch; with one stop on the hayride, you can come home with basil, gourds, and jack-o-lantern pumpkins.

Bring Your Own Basil Bag
Please bring your own bag. Your basil will keep better in plastic bags, but if the day is cool, it will probably hold up well enough in any type of bag until you get it home.

Store Your Basil Properly
You probably know this already, but I’ll remind everyone anyway. Basil leaves will turn black if they get wet or cold. Do not refrigerate your trove of basil. Put the stems in water and put plastic bags over the leaves of your basil bouquets to keep them fresh. 

Field Day Schedule
Plan to arrive by 11 a.m for hayrides and pumpkin/basil picking, a potluck feast, a visit to the animals at the Angelic Organics Learning Center, and a trip to the U-Pick Garden for a bouquet of flowers. We like to complete the hayrides by lunchtime at 12:30 p.m. We don’t provide hayrides during the lunch period. Please bring a dish that will feed at least 10 people.

Note: if you arrive too late to get your pumpkins before lunch, the afternoon hayrides will first go to the nearby Lodge of the Angelic Organics Learning Center (see further below) and then, if requested, one designated hay wagon will go from the lodge to the pumpkin/basil patch and then back to the farmstead.

Check out Angelic Organics Farm Field Days for details. (The posted afternoon schedule is different from what is posted there.) Sorry if you are a Saturday shareholder seeing this invitation for the first time on the day of our Field Day. We published the date for this Field Day in earlier newsletters, but you may have missed it.

Quiches on the Food Line from Beloit Bagels & More
Farm hospitality means that everyone gets fed well at our Field Day. We’ve been known to order in pizzas at the last minute for our Field Day guests, worried that there just might not be enough food for everyone. Usually these worries have been unjustified, and the delicious dishes that our shareholders bring provide plenty to go around. 

For the upcoming open house, we have arranged with Bagels & More in Beloit to use some of our vegetables–heirloom tomatoes, spinach, basil, peppers, broccoli, onions, garlic, etc–to make quiches as a supplement to the regular open house fare provided by shareholders. Joan and David Siekierski, owners and managers, founded Bagels & More 21 years ago. They have also been enthusiastic Angelic Organics shareholders for well over two decades, and frequent attendees at our Field Day events. Check out their café in Beloit. 

Visit the Lodge of The Angelic Organics Learning Center on the Field Day
After a delicious lunch, shareholders can drive or ride on a hay wagon to the nearby Angelic Organics Lodge. The lodge is set to open in November of this year offering farm stay opportunities that deepen one’s connection to our land, food and one another. The lodge sits on a limestone bluff surrounded by old oaks, overlooking a bend of the Kinnikinnick Creek. The beautiful grounds invite exploration, wonder, creativity, and revitalization. The lodge can host up to 35 people at a time in dormitory-style lodging.

Angelic Organics Lodge

Organic Hydroponics?
Hydroponic growers are making a strong case for organic certification. Cornucopia Institute states “the debate over hydroponics cuts to the heart of organic values.” Check out Cornucopia’s article on Authentic Soil to learn more. At our Field Day, walk our land and ponder food grown without soil.

No Shame for Purslane
Shareholder Steven Plock celebrates purslane with this sweatshirt he designed.

Steven writes, “I recently learned about a food called purslane…Let’s educate ourselves about all food types and options so we can live more healthy and sustainable lives. NO more shame for PURSLANE. Try purslane and revel in its lemony, fatty-acid goodness!”

Purslane seems like a good name for a university; perhaps it could be a sister to Tulane. Check it out at

Pea Shoots
A Shareholder Writes “Does anyone like pea shoots?”
Another Shareholder Writes “I love pea shoots!!!!!”

Farmer John

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 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 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.

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

Upcoming Events at Angelic Organics Learning Center
9/23-9/24 – Beginners Herbalism Weekend Come to the farm for two inspiring days with international herbalist & naturopath, Gigi Stafne. Herbs and natural remedies are discussed for each phase of life. Learn how to use them to cope with life stressors/toxins – and create remedies to take home!

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