Farmer John Writes: Thank You and Looking Ahead
Week 20, October 24th – 28th
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.
Brassicas — Cabbage
Root Crops — Daikon Radish, Turnips (maybe)
Cooking Greens — Bunched Kale, Daikon Radish Greens, Baby Chard (in bag)
Fruiting Crops — Sweet Pepper or Eggplant
Salad Greens — Baby Lettuce Mix (in bag), Head Lettuce
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: Vegan Miso Soup with Daikon Greens.
Your hard copy newsletter is on top of your vegetables this week, as it is especially important that you read it. We inserted the newsletter into a plastic sleeve to protect it from the moisture in the box.
For Some, The Season Ends this Week
If you have a 10-week half share delivered on the “even” weeks and you are not signed up for an extended season share, or if you have a full 20-week share and you are not signed up for an extended season share, this is your last week to pick up a box, and your final week to return your flattened boxes. We appreciate that you were with us this season.
Conclusion of the Main Season
As shareholders, you know this has been a wonky season, with tremendous floods through early August followed by a severe drought. As I’ve mentioned in prior weeks, we feel blessed that we have been able to fill your boxes week after week, although the proportion of leafy items to weighty items has been quite skewed. This unusual composition dominated by greens continues into this final week of the full season. We’ve received raves about Brussels sprouts tops and Daikon radish greens; we’re gratified that so many of our shareholders appreciate these more exotic items.
David Crogan, our driver who delivers most of your shares, has noticed that a lot of pea shoot bags end up in the swap boxes. He said “tell your shareholders that Whole Foods is offering a pea shoot option with their sandwiches now, so maybe they should give pea shoots another chance.”
We are honored that you have put your trust in us to provide you with healthy food for the season, and to offer you a farm fresh culinary adventure. You chose to be an intimate part of your food’s journey, not starting with the store or the delivery person or the internet grocery order page, but starting with the farm itself, the very beginning, the origin, of your food’s journey. Thank you.
Last Week’s Newsletter, about the Future
I am including some highlights below from the Week 19 issue of Farm News. For those of you who receive a half share this week who may not have read the newsletter last week, I suggest that you read the Week 19 Farm News in its entirety.
Our 2018 Growing Season Began Years Ago
Our fields are in a four-year rotation program. For example, our growing plans for our 2017 crops were implemented in 2013, when we sprayed the Biodynamic preparation BD 500, then seeded fields to alfalfa and clover for two years of rest and rejuvenation, then worked in large amounts of Biodynamic compost in the fall prior to planting these fields to vegetables for the next 2 years. Building up the soil years in advance of growing crops is an expensive necessity for soil and vegetable health.
A special thank you to those of you who have already signed up for 2018. An additional thank you to those of you who have multi-year CSA shares. Your long-term commitment is a most gratifying match for the long-term commitment of the farm.
Soil Health = Planet Health
Elizabeth Candelario, managing director of Demeter USA, stated in a recent interview with Dr. Mercola, “a French initiative called the 4 Per 1,000 Initiative found that if we were to increase the carbon (the organic matter) in all agricultural land around the world by a mere 0.4 percent per year, the annual increase of CO2 in the atmosphere would be halted, because so much carbon would be drawn from the atmosphere.”
Our soil fertility at Angelic Organics has improved tremendously since I started farming it organically and Biodynamically in 1990. The organic matter has increased 50% from an average of 2% to 3%—a tremendous achievement, and one that you as a shareholder, by putting your trust in us, have helped us to manifest.
2018 Will Be Different
For the next season, I’m going to do something differently from how I’ve done it for the past 27 years. In the past, we could sell everything we could grow through our CSA program. Today is different. The question used to be “how much seed do we order for all these fields that are prepared to grow vegetables this coming season?” Now the question is “for how many shares do we order seed?” The best way to know that is to have people already signed up for the season.
We actually start making our specific growing plans for next year this November—evaluating varieties, planning field layouts, etc. In January, we will order seed for 2018. It is folly to buy seed for all of our prepared fields in the hopes that we will sell enough shares to justify all that time and expense of growing crops for an unknown market. We can no longer assume that we will sell out of shares in the spring.
If You are Going to Be with Us in 2018, Please Sign Up Now
I haven’t decided yet how or even if we will sell shares in the winter and spring of 2018. The CSA model calls for a certain level of participation and commitment on the part of the shareholder. If I become more and more invested in a season by building up the soil for several years prior to that season, and then invest much more heavily in the early part of the year when we will grow the crops—beginning in January and then ramping up more and more towards spring—does it not seem appropriate for our shareholders to be on board at least by the time we order the seed?
Biggest Discounts for 2018 when You Sign up by Sunday, October 29
The best way to make sure that we will sell what we grow is to sell it in advance of ordering seed.
We are again offering your choice of discount when you sign up for a 2018 CSA share.
- Sign up by Sunday, October 29, and take up to 15% off.
- Sign up by Sunday, November 26, the end of the extended season, and take up to 10% off.
- Sign up by Tuesday, January 2nd, and take up to 5% off.
To sign up for a 2018 share, log in to your membership at www.angelicorganicsfarm.csasignup.com/login. You can pay for your 2018 share with a credit card or debit card via PayPal (even if you don’t have a PayPal account) or you can pay by check.
Excerpt from a Recent Email
Our csa in Norway is the 1st one, the biggest and 13 years old, solely inspired by you.
Studying organic and biodynamic agriculture and having future plans for an eco community/farm we would gladly hear about your latest thoughts and connect with you.
We can…come on…Friday…
Please Fold Your Boxes Properly and Return Them
The farm re-uses the vegetable boxes. Each box costs the farm over $1.50. We appreciate getting them back so we can re-use them. 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
More from Shareholders
Visit us often at www.facebook.com/angelicorganics, where we post exciting farm developments regularly, and shareholders post recipes, tips, and photos.