Farmer John Writes: Mystery and Miracle

 In Farm News

Harvest Week 13, September 10th – 15th, 2018

Your Box This Week – Saturday Deliveries:
Please note: this summary is written before we pack your box—be aware that some guesswork is involved. Share contents often vary over the course of the week. And, as always, be sure to thoroughly wash all of your vegetables.

Fruiting Crops — Butternut Squash (probably), Acorn Squash, Sweet Peppers

Root Crops — Carrots, Celeriac

Cooking Greens — Brussels Sprouts Tops (maybe)

Salad Greens — Arugula

Alliums —Garlic

Herbs Dill

Sign up for the Free CSA Meal Planning Service
Make sure you sign up for the Local Thyme CSA meal planning 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: Coconut Red Curry with Winter Squash, Brussels Sprouts Tops, Tofu and Lime.

From Farmer John’s Cookbook
Here is a link to storage tips and recipes for carrots from the out-of-print Farmer John’s Cookbook:

Less Rain, More Crops

We had a letup in rains towards the end of last week. One of my many concerns regarding the rain was that the attendant mud would dissolve the fall carrots into slush. This has happened twice in the past, where only orange-ish mud remained in place of once long, lovely, pointed carrots. Miraculously, our carrots are still intact, so we have been harvesting them preemptively, mindful that more rain might soon plague us again and threaten your carrots.

Another crop that can succumb to mud is celeriac. We are harvesting the celeriac early, mindful that the tops can suddenly go brown and the bulbs can rot from excess moisture. In the flurry of planting last spring, I did not notice that many of the celeriac seedlings were doubles. They should have been thinned down to one seedling per cell. You may receive an intertwined pair of celeriac bulbs. 

We had a good garlic crop this year, but the wrappers on many of the large bulbs dissolved in the mud, or at least became crinkly and flakey. This week, you are receiving cloves of garlic, not bulbs. The cloves are large and pungent, so your garlic experience will likely be up to your expectations.

You are receiving a nice bag of aromatic arugula this week. Earlier in the season, many of our baby greens did not survive the mud and humidity—rare, but this has been a rare season. We are delighted to present you with lovely arugula.

Pumpkins and Gladiolas—Farm Field Day, Saturday, September 15
It looks like we will have plenty of gourds and big orange carving pumpkins for our shareholders at the Farm Field Day coming up on Saturday, September 15.

And the gladiolas in the U-Pick garden are blooming (though many have been flattened by rain.)  Please arrive by 11 a.m. to make sure you catch the hayride to the pumpkin patch before lunch. Bring a dish that will feed 8 to 10 fellow shareholders. Kids love our fall Field Day. Learn more at


If the Weather is Inclement
Our big barn can provide protection from the elements, in case of rain or extreme heat. The loft is air-conditioned and can seat over 100 people for the pot-luck, so don’t let the weather keep you from attending.

The pumpkin patch and the U-Pick garden have been mostly mud for weeks, though the upcoming week’s weather report foretells that the ground under the pumpkins and glads will support our shareholders. I suggest bringing rubber boots though, if rains resume this week. If heavy rains resume, you won’t be able to walk in either the gladiola garden or the pumpkin patch. In that case, we will transport the pumpkins, gourds, and glads to a more suitable location for you.

Haidy sank into the pumpkin patch last week

25% Discount for 2019 Shares Will be Retired on Sunday, September 16
When I first introduced the option for shareholders to select a discount up to 25% a few years back, I was gratified that the average discount selected was about 13%. Now the average discount selected is about 22%. (Thank you to all who sign up, and especially to those who select a smaller than maximum discount.) I’m going to soon pare the discount back to a maximum of 10%, as the farm cannot flourish with so many people taking the 25% discount. Until Sept 16, the maximum discount will be 25%. Until Sept 23, 20%. Until Sept 30, 15%. After Sept 30, 10%. Sign up for 2019 by logging in to your membership with your email address at

Community Supported Agriculture is about Mystery and Miracle
Having been involved with shareholder communications most of this season, I have noticed a broad range in the types of relationships shareholders have with Angelic Organics CSA.

Many shareholders feel close to the farm. The rain is their rain; the breakdown of the delivery truck is their breakdown. They appreciate learning about the challenges and joys of their farm. Many view their box as a poetic crystallization of weather, work, crew, seed, and soil.  

At the other end of the spectrum are those who simply experience the box for its value, compared to farmers’ market or grocery store pricesMany seldom if ever read Farm News. Sometimes I personally encounter such a shareholder.  The conversation might go like this:

“It’s been a tough season.”

“Tough season—why is that?”

“Terrible rain.”

“Rain. What rain?”

Standing water reflects a fair sky

My biggest joy and inspiration with the Community Supported Agriculture model is sharing the journey of the farm with our shareholders–connecting people to the earth and its ways through our farm. Food according to many is a product, a collection or arrangement of substances. Food is more than that; it is a mystery. My greatest satisfaction is not providing a product, a commodity; it’s providing a connection, a relationship, to the earth and the earth’s mystery and miracle of food. 

Meet Denise Glasenapp, Our New Office Assistant, at our Field Day
I introduced Denise in last week’s issue of Farm News. Denise is a most delightful, accommodating and engaged person. She looks forward to communicating with shareholders and meeting in person at the upcoming Farm Field Day. Denise’s charismatic father Don has been serving as coordinator of the Angelic Organics pack volunteers for the past two seasons. You will also meet Don at our Field Day.

Lovely Denise

How to 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.

Farmer John

Angelic Organics Learning Center
Come out to this NEW program and catch the last of the Summer weather with Prairie on the Farm: Pizza and Beer on Saturday, September 22nd. Prairie Street Brewing Company will teach parents how to brew local beer while the Learning Center takes the kids to make pizza from scratch. Then we’ll come together for a delicious meal and outdoor movie. Sign up now at

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