Farmer John Writes: Ready or Not

 In Farm News

Week 1, June 19th – 23rd

If You Have a Full 20-Week Share
Deliveries of 20-week shares begin this week, the week starting June 18.

If You Have a Half 10-Week Share
We have two schedules for half shares; one is called the “odd weeks” half share, and the other is called the“even weeks” half share. This week of June 18 is Week 1 of our deliveries, so it is considered an “odd” week.

Those with an odd half share will start receiving their share this week. Those with an “even week” half share will be on the opposite half share schedule, and their first delivery will be next week, the week starting June 25.

We sent you an email recently telling you which half share schedule you are on. If you did not receive this email, please check your spam and “promotions” folders for emails from email hidden; JavaScript is required.

If you have a half share and need to find out which half share delivery schedule you are on, log in to your membership with your email address at this link and you will see if your half share is labeled “odd” or “even”:

Delivery Reminder Emails
All shareholders receive a delivery reminder email at around 8 p.m. the evening before their delivery day.

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.

Salad Greens — Arugula (in bag)

Cooking Greens — Bunched Kale

Brassicas  Broccoli

Root Crops  Radishes, Bunched Beets

Alliums — Garlic Scapes, Scallions

Herbs Cilantro

Note About Broccoli
The broccoli is a little tattered from a heat wave, and we had to harvest it a little early because of the heat, as well.

No lettuce this week for Saturday shareholders – it was tattered by torrential rains.

Thank You
Thank you to all our 2018 shareholders for being with us this season. Wherever you live, whatever you do, you are now a part of a farm. You are part of a place where wind, rain, soil, machinery, seed and people converge to grow your food.

Lettuce awaits a shower

A Couple of Important Administrative Details

Vacation Holds
Please make your own vacation holds at least two weeks in advance of the scheduled delivery at will be of immense assistance to our office if you follow the procedure for vacation holds, without bringing the office into the process. If you need a vacation hold in less than two weeks from now, email the farm office at email hidden; JavaScript is required.

Sign up for the CSA Menu Planning Service
Make sure you sign up for the Local Thyme CSA menu planning service we offer with your share. It has received many great reviews from our shareholders in previous seasons, and includes storage tips and recipes customized to your weekly (or bi-weekly) box. Find the instructions for signing up for Local Thyme at

Returning shareholders – please note: You need to re-subscribe to Local Thyme for the 2018 season following the instructions in the link above even if you were subscribed to Local Thyme in 2017.

A Late Start
In early June, I sent out an email titled Delivery Delay—Whodunnit? to our shareholders. It explained that we would delay deliveries so that we would have the time to get our weeds under control. If you did not see this notice, check your spam and promotions folders.

The delay reminded me that pretty much every season I want to delay the start of deliveries a bit. Getting the crops in and properly tended in the beginning of the season is an enormous task, and once harvest starts, there’s very little time left over for tending the crops.

When we milked cows on the farm in the 50’s and 60’s, corn and oat planting ended in mid-late May and baling hay started in early-mid June. There was a welcome break from the hard work for a couple of weeks in between the two. However, if corn planting was delayed, or the hay was ready early, it seemed like all of summer on the farm was under pressure from the weather.

It’s not so hard to have a box full of vegetables ready for our shareholders in early June, but it’s hard to have everything in place in time for the rest of the season to go smoothly.

Due to the delay in the start of deliveries, we have been able to get the weeds under control in most of our fields, though I’ll add that the weeds have been pushing back relentlessly.

Chinese Cabbage

My wife Haidy manages the farm office. She was planning to train in an assistant this winter, as shareholder service is an ongoing process and more than one person can comfortably handle. It’s not just about correspondence with our shareholders; it also includes distribution, marketing, and bookkeeping. Sadly, Haidy was too sick these past many months to manage the office properly or to train in an assistant.

Her health has been variable since she was quite young. This last spell of sickness was prolonged and debilitating. We have consulted with numerous specialists, have done dozens of lab tests, and have been continually thwarted in finding a cause or a solution.

In March, we hired Lesley Freeman, the lady bumblebee in this video co-starring Farmer John, to be our office assistant. Lesley had been my prior assistant for several years, and she needed very little training to be our office assistant. However, Lesley lives in San Francisco, one of the most expensive cities in the country. Even though I offered her generous pay from the standpoint of the farm’s finances, she said that it’s impossible to survive in San Francisco for under $90,000 per year—way beyond what I offered her. She warned that if she was offered a job in her city with good pay, she would take it. Shortly after she started working for the farm, she was offered a job as executive assistant for well over the cost of living in San Francisco, and Lesley understandably quit her position with us, almost as soon as she started.

So, we got more and more behind in the office. We apologize to those of you who were affected by our office shortcomings this winter.

These past few days, Haidy has been feeling better, and she and I have been working diligently to catch up in the office (while I am also managing the rest of the farm.) It is a joy to work with her.

Haidy is a stellar office manager—thorough, insightful, and conscientious. Imagine the distress for her of being conscientious, and for months not being able to do the job properly, due to her illness.

Coming Soon


The Beets
Perhaps I should not talk up our beets so much, since it seems that the deer have overheard that our beets are fabulous, and therefore consume them every night. We have beets in two very separate fields. In one field, the deer have pretty much destroyed them all. They burrow down into the soil at the stem and chomp. Sometimes they just pull the beet out by the greens and chomp, chomp, chomp.

We lament the loss of beets—one of our signature crops. It’s a big task to build deer fencing around the beets. We’ve never had this problem before of the deer eating the beets, so there was really no consideration of a fence until the damage was done.

We build fences around the lettuce and the sweet corn to keep deer out. If we did not do this, the deer might consume a thousand heads of lettuce or a thousand ears of sweet corn in a night.

With the crops looking good, we feel we can sell a few more shares. Please tell your friends that we are continuing to sell shares as we enter the harvest season. Send them to

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.

Have the Best Shareholder Experience
For the best shareholder experience, visit

Let us Know
Let the 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.

We hope you enjoy your first box of the season.

Farmer John


Angelic Organics Learning Center
Angelic Organics Learning Center is an exciting and engaging place to learn about food, farming, and caring for the earth. They even offer overnight programs. Sign up for a workshop at

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Showing 2 comments
  • Cindy Ann Stear

    Have you already considered a deer tic like they display at Anderson Gardens?

    • Angelic Organics

      Thank you for your suggestion, Cindy. Haidy has been to the Hansa Center in Wichita, KS many times for treatment of Lyme disease.

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