Farmer John Writes: Thank You to All
Extended Season Week 1, November 21st – 26th, 2022
Welcome to the Extended Season
This week is the first week of our two-week extended season. Normally, our extended season is four weeks long, but this year we have condensed our extended season from four weeks into two weeks. This means that shareholders with a full extended season share will receive two vegetable boxes this week and two vegetable boxes next week, and shareholders with a half extended season share will receive one vegetable box this week and one next week.
If you are unsure of your delivery schedule for the rest of the season, please check your delivery calendar by logging in to your membership account.
Next Week is The Last Week of 2022 Deliveries
Next week, the final delivery week of the season, we will likely be offering large amounts of acorn squash and potatoes, moderate amounts of butternut squash, kohlrabi, Brussels sprouts, garlic, onions and popcorn, and small amounts of a few other items. We usually have moderate to large amounts of 11 or 12 crops from which you can customize your share, but this time you will have moderate to large amounts of 9 crops to choose from. There will be plenty to go around and to provide the full value for your box or boxes, just not the variety you are used to choosing from. The last week of the season is usually a bit uneven from a variety standpoint.
If You Have a Full Extended Season Share
If you are signed up for a full extended season share, you will receive two vegetable boxes this week and two next week. When you receive your customization email for next week, be sure to customize both of your boxes by clicking on the orange boxes on the share customization page.
Make Sure that You Take the Right Number of Boxes this Week
If you have a full extended season share, you will receive two vegetable boxes this week. Make sure, if you pick up your share at a community pickup site and you have a full extended season share, that you pick up both boxes. They are labelled Box One and Box Two with your name on both. Please don’t overlook picking up both boxes.
Your Empty Vegetable Boxes
If you receive home delivery, please remember to leave your flattened, empty boxes where our driver can retrieve them. Regarding the last box or boxes of the season that he will deliver to you next week, keep them until next season if you have signed up for next season, or recycle them. We cannot return to each home delivery address to retrieve boxes after the delivery season is over.
If you pick up your share at a community pickup site and you have our vegetable boxes at home, please flatten them and return them to your pickup site for our driver to return to the farm.
This Reminds Me
I promise that there will be a few extended season shareholders who won’t know that we have condensed all four weeks of the extended season into two weeks. It’s a lot of work to handhold confused shareholders after we go to the effort to communicate clearly via email which does not get read. (Am I complaining? Yes. Does this apply to you? Probably not, because at this very moment you are reading what we write.)
Some shareholders don’t read the hard copy or the electronic version of Farm News. Some also don’t read their share customization emails.
From the Shareholder Agreement: “If I don’t read all of my correspondence from the farm and if I don’t read the weekly Farm News, I am not fully participating in the Angelic Organics Community Supported Agriculture program. I will make sure to read Farm News so as not to burden the farm office with extraneous questions.”
We rescued some of the Brussels sprouts from their slow development this season. We harvested the larger ones, which really are not large; they are just large by comparison with the others. The crew spent many, many hours cleaning the dark leaves and wrappers off of some of the harvested sprouts. I finally decided they would never get the job done, even if they stayed with it for days. So, I am asking you, the shareholder, to clean the dark leaves and wrappers off of your sprouts. You can feel like you have suddenly joined our harvest team for a while. The Brussels sprouts have endured several frosts, so they should be quite sweet from our field, a treat you probably won’t experience with Brussels sprouts from afar.
In Case You Wonder about Your Acorn Squash
If you receive acorn squash this week and wonder about the discolored, sometimes soft spot on the shell—that’s where the squash was touching the ground as it matured in the field. We have cut open a few of these squash to evaluate the quality of the flesh, and they have all passed the quality test; they have all been fine inside.
We had a good crop of potatoes this year. We usually make three-pound bags of potatoes for your shares, but this season we often made four-pound bags for you.
We might run out of kale for this week’s pack—might. If you ordered kale, and it is not in your box, we’ll put in an extra lettuce, or something else of which we have extra.
The Challenge of Projecting Crop Availability for Your Share Customization
For this week, we now have 5 bins of kale left with reportedly 200 kale tops in a bin, but we offered 1100 tops of kale for this week before we knew how many would be left over from the previous week’s pack. (All the kale is now in storage to protect it from the current hard frosts.) Maybe the person packing the kale last week came upon a few kale tops that were simply too small to count as one each, so she doubled up the kale and put two small tops into the box to correspond to one regular top. So, maybe there were 1100 kale tops, more or less, available when we did the projection, and then maybe the volunteer justifiably paired some of the tops last week, and therefore we should have offered less kale; we just did our best estimate. Getting exact with some of the crop projections would be way too complicated and way too time-consuming. Sometimes we are over; sometimes we are under.
Also, are there really 200 tops in a bin? The crew counts them as they are going into the bin, but there has to be a little leeway for counting error.
A shareholder confronted us with a refund request in part because she didn’t like that we on occasion do substitutions. We’re not making car parts or breakfast cereal here; we are a farm where estimates and facts don’t always line up.
Protecting the Garlic
The last outdoor activity for our crew was mulching next year’s garlic (which we planted this fall) with straw on a very cold, wintry morning. The mulch protects the garlic against hard freezes in the winter. We have never had a garlic crop failure, and I suspect that a big part of the reason why is that we have always mulched the garlic. Between the straw and the labor, it probably costs a couple of thousand dollars to do the job, but garlic is one of our most treasured crops, and we treat it accordingly.
We Are Thankful
In the spirit of Thanksgiving Week, we have much to be thankful for at Angelic Organics. The season has been most bountiful. The farming equipment has for the most part been cooperative, and when it hasn’t been cooperative, the expenses to get it to cooperate have been less than usual. The crew has been fabulous and fun. The crew has been so hard-working and efficient that we have been able to achieve a bit of building restoration during the last weeks of field work—painting, window replacements, siding repair, staircase rebuilding, and more. Our pack volunteers have been plentiful, conscientious and of good cheer. And we are mindful that we have soil, weather, seeds, and a beautiful farmstead for which we are most thankful. And of course, we are thankful for our wonderful shareholders.
Many of Our Shareholders are also Thankful
We have received many notes of praise and appreciation from shareholders, such as:
“Hello Angelic Organics,
I LOVE the vegetables and your farm!
If I am around next year I will order, and am willing to pay full price.
Thank you so much for the great vegetables!!
“Just dropping a note to say thank you for the wonderful broccoli in our
last delivery, and thank you for several years of fresh-from-the-earth
“Thank you for all you do. Through the years I have learned much about
farming, the hardships, unpredictability, and the hard work that I admit
I took for granted before joining Angelic Organics CSA, and I have
learned to love a few veggies that I had never tasted or just thought I
“Thank you for all you have taught me, and for all you endure in your
never-ending work to provide fresh amazing foods!”
If the farm could speak, I am sure it would also share its thankfulness this week.