Farmer John Writes: What Do You Say?
Harvest Week 18, October 25th – 30th, 2021
Parsley, Sage, Rosemary, and Thyme
In a nod to Simon And Garfunkel’s Scarborough Fair, we offered parsley, sage and thyme this week. Rosemary, too? No.
What Do You Say?
I am not sharing these comments to be boastful about Angelic Organics, but rather to portray the loveliness, generosity and good will of so many of you. (I am excerpting from some of the comments due to space considerations.)
I will start off by acknowledging a generous gift of money from a shareholder family (who want to be anonymous) that we decided to use for a festival of food for our Mexican crew, their friends and families, followed by a screening of The Real Dirt on Farmer John this past Saturday in the loft of our renovated barn.
“Just wanted to thank you! This was my first year and your vegetable boxes have encouraged me to try new recipes and therefore, eat healthier. Delivery to our home has been great! We appreciate all you do to make the world a better place! Enjoy reading about the world of farming through Farmer John’s newsletters.”
“Thank you for your stewardship for mother Earth. May God Bless You and all those who care for our brothers and sisters in the plant and animal kingdom.”
“We joined the CSA last year and were so impressed with the quality and variety of the crops that we figured we’d just gotten lucky and that this year probably wouldn’t match up. But it’s exceeded — even far exceeded — our experience last year! The turnips were divine, the tomatoes a treat, and the broccoli out of this world. One thing I’ll say in favor of this year’s customization feature: we haven’t wasted *anything*. Last year, sometimes we’d receive a bunch of delicate greens during a week when we weren’t going to be able to get to them quickly and they’d go bad before we could use them. This year, if we know we won’t be around to cook much during a given week, we’ll opt for hardier storage veggies. Then, the next week when we’ll be cooking/eating at home every night, we’ll go for the delicate crops and use them right away. So this new system has helped us avoid wasting such wonderful produce, which is always a shame. Looking forward to what the rest of the season (and extended season) offers!”
Right on the Farm
“Hello Farmer John, I just wanted to thank you. My son and I volunteered to pack beginning in Sept. It has been a very interesting and enjoyable experience – getting to see things right on the farm. My son was thrilled the day you allowed us to bring home pumpkins and a bag of potatoes (so was I). Thank you for your generosity I found you when I was searching for organic produce locally. My life has changed so much when I was told “you have cancer” back in 2020. So thankful I found you! We look forward to volunteering through the end of the season. Have a Beautiful day!”
“Hello Angel Organics team,
I want to say a big THANK YOU for all the hard work you all put in to make sure that we have yummy veggies to eat!
I can tell that you get some criticism. I want to make sure that you know that there are folks who are OVERJOYED when we open our box of goodies and find thoughtful substitutions for veggies that, for whatever reason, didn’t make it.
May you all feel encouraged today!!
My family enjoys being part of the local farm business, even in this small way of being part of your CSA.”
Sharing with the Elderly
“Hi Farmer John, I want to say that this is our first experience with a CSA and it has been an absolute delight! I have very much enjoyed your news letters and my children have been able to discover new foods. When our box was really stuffed we were able to share our bounty with the elderly neighbors that live in our building they too love you food. Covid has taught us the importance of healthy food and instilling good food choices in our children… Thank you again for a wonderful experience and we look forward to discovering something new in our last few boxes of the season.”
A Gift of Food and Hope
“Hello Farmer John and all you beautiful Angelic Organics people, So here it is Sunday night and I am finally sitting down to read your newsletter for this week–having enjoyed a delicious stir fry with the amazing vegetables from my box. I have to admit, I am somewhat of a silent shareholder. I’ve been a subscriber off and on since 1995, whenever I could put together enough money at once to afford it–which fortunately for me has been fairly often. So now, after reading about your experience of complaining shareholders and future downsizing, I just want to let you know what a gift you are in my life. I LOVE everything about Angelic Organics. The delicious, beautiful produce and herbs, the newsy, thoughtful and educational newsletters, your cookbook from way back in 2006, the days at the farm (especially when my children–now 23 and 26–were small), and all of you and your commitment to community. Angelic Organics keeps me hopeful and well fed, knowing that this kind of world, which understands everything as interconnected and acts out of that understanding, is possible and real, in circles beyond my own (although you are definitely part of my circle also :-)) Words aren’t really capable of conveying the fullness of my gratitude, but hopefully you get a sense of it. Please know that you are well loved–as is everything in my box! (Except maybe pea shoots but that’s another story.)”
They Are Still Potatoes
“I read the newsletter every week on the way home with my box, and want you to know that my husband and I are VERY happy with everything we have recieved from the farm. We fully intend on getting a biweekly share for 2022, also. I appreciate everything ALL of you do to make sure these shares go out every week. (…also, I will accept any dinged potatoes, too. They are still potatoes.) I hope you all have a wonderful week, and I am SUPER excited about these fall veggies and winter squashes….”
To Think about what We’re Eating
“Farmer John and Crew-
We appreciate your farm, and are enjoying being members of your CSA. We joined in 2020, not because of pandemic reasons, but as we happened to be “settling down” (ie bought our first house, started our family), and want to support local, healthy, sustainable practices. We found your last ‘Farm News’ disheartening, and are disappointed people are belittling and rude to you and your staff. They clearly do not understand what you are doing; if they want perfect produce every time they should go to Whole Foods. We understand that being part of a CSA is similar to buying stocks in the market, but it is worth it for us. On a more day to day level, we enjoy the challenge of using items we wouldn’t necessarily buy. For example, we never had kabocha or buttercup squash before, but with it we made delicious soup, curry, enchiladas, and a chili. We share recipes with [my husband’s] sister (also a member of Angelic Organics). We are very busy, as we both work full time and have two kids ages 2 and 8 weeks, and getting these deliveries forces us to cook and really think about what we’re eating. I also think it’s good for our kids to understand where food actually comes from.
We look forward to remaining members of Angelic Organics, and appreciate our experience thus far.
“I just want to say Thank You! for another summer of bountiful, healthful and delicious vegetables. We have been every-other-week shareholders for several years and are delighted season after season to participate in sustainable agriculture with you. Thank you so much for continuing to allow us to be part of your farm and sharing farm news with us. We love Angelic Organics.”
Outshines… Zdenek, too
“Just a quick note to tell you and your entire team how much we have enjoyed our farm share and we love hearing all the news about what goes into bringing the bounty from the land. We especially love to learn about the cast of characters and the skills they bring. As a site host it is always fun to greet Zdenek every week as he delivers the boxes. He appears like clockwork and always brings a great attitude along with a fun little anecdote or recommendation. Being a shareholder for the better part of over twenty years, we have learned about the many challenges presented in one form or another. Nonetheless the boxes have delivered time and again in appearance and flavor that outshines store-bought produce regardless if grown as conventional or organic. We also really appreciate the box customization options offered in recent years. It surprises and saddens me to hear that the office is fielding hostile or negative claims from certain shareholders. There are lots more of us who reco gnize that curveballs are part of life and even more so in your line of work, so please don’t let the disgruntled get you down. We honor and appreciate you!”
~ Site Host
Glad You are Drawing a Line
“Hi Farmer John,
I was genuinely sorry to read about this abusive behavior from a CSA shareholder. It boils my blood that any of our fellow shareholders would think this is an acceptable way to treat anyone, let alone the people who grow our food. I am glad you’re drawing a line in the dirt on that nonsense.
“We are a team” is absolutely what this CSA is all about. As long-term CSA shareholders we are supportive of whatever “new direction” you and everyone at Angelic decide to take the farm. Whether blemished or misshapen or otherwise, we look forward to enjoying “the future” cultivated by you and the Angelic team!
Thank you for all you do for us.”
I just wanted to let you know that we have been thrilled with everything that we have received over the years from your farm and for every jerk who calls and complains there are dozens and dozens of us who love what you do and who you are. I might not thank you often enough (sorry) but we love everything that you grow and how much love and effort goes into the farm.
Our kids have always loved getting the boxes with us to see what is in them for the week and have learned a good amount about cleaning, eating, and cooking vegetables. With a dietitian, physician and three active children in our household we always stress the importance of eating healthy and are have recommended Angelic Organics to several people over the years.
I need to tell you that your carrots are the most wonderful carrots we’ve ever had, besides what we’ve grown in our own garden.
This year, our garden was home to one of the cutest wild cottontail rabbits ever. There were four baby bunnies born in our perennial bed, and one decided to adopt our carrot/greens garden plots as his own bedroom and restaurant. He also particularly enjoyed dessert in our bean plot on the other side of our suburban backyard, with a few nibbles of peas, dill, and fennel to round it out. Thus, we replanted our carrots and greens three times, and did at least five plantings of beans! And just now we are starting to get some beans for US to eat! 😊 Our carrots are few and far between, so I’m particularly appreciating yours! But – you know – I can buy beans, carrots, peas, etc…. but the cutest wild bunny ever, living in our backyard delighting my husband and me and our two young children? Priceless! And so the girls and I specifically did those extra plantings ‘to feed the bunny’, and we’ll take the leftovers (which are ample). 😊 This is my favourite way to garden!
We are so glad to be back with you after several years of no CSA boxes! We’ve had a few years of Imperfect Veggies boxes, while the girls were small enough that getting to a store was often a miraculous event. But – I couldn’t agree with you more about how the CSA model is different from a warehouse veggie box delivery model. We are excited about next year, having weekly boxes with you instead of biweekly. I love LOVE opening the box of real food with real bumps and dirt and garden smell!
Thank you so much for having the customization option this year. That was the deciding factor for us to come back to CSA boxes, since our garden is so much bigger now than when we had the boxes 7 or 8 years ago (before babies were born), and I am able to skip items in your box that are wildly producing in our garden and focus on items that our garden doesn’t have enough of at that point. That way none of the work and yumminess gets wasted. 😊 …
We are loving the home delivery, and opted for the pick up option for next year only because of cost. We all get excited when we see the delivery truck pull up! And the liner bags fit our kitchen trash pail perfectly. Your veggies arrive looking very happy and real and loved… and one of my daughters is delighted when an occasional bug shows up that she can examine in her bug jar. 😄
Thanks for everything you do, and thank you for welcoming us back! Please keep us when you downsize next year!”
Thanks to all of you above and all the rest of you who recently shared your love and support for our farm. We are so moved and energized by this outpouring.
Also, thanks to those of you who signed up for a 2022 share this past week, and extra thanks to the many of you who did not use a discount. We are most encouraged that you have renewed your commitment to our farm for another year.
(If you haven’t yet renewed your share for the 2022 season, and you would like to, log in to your membership account and click on on “Purchase or renew subscription”. Also, check out last week’s Farm News, Farmer John Writes: People Were Scared, for a thorough explanation of why early 2022 signups are so important.)
“You live your life like an exclamation point.”