SUMMARY: EIGHTH Week of Summer 2020! - Classes and Tours! - EXTRAS! - Volunteering Opportunities - Did you know? - The MOST important part of being a CSA member is... - Donate today! - Weekly Updates and Harvest for the Week - What to expect NEXT Week.
Week 8 - EIGHTH Week of Summer CSA 2020!
HELLO DEAR MEMBERS! It's been another beautiful and productive week on the farm. I'm so excited about the way our plans for the Fall and Winter Seasons are coming together!
We have been working so hard on prepping for the perfect Fall and Winter seasons and our efforts are paying off. We already have loads of dried herbs (Basil, mint, chives, garlic, parsley, dill, cilantro and fennel). We also have thousands of lbs of onions curing and thousands of lbs of potatoes yet to harvest.
We also will have loads of celeriac root, parsley root, carrots, turnips, daikons, beets, radishes, fennel, kale, swiss chard, leeks and loads more. Of course we will still have our microgreens and sunshoots, pea shoots, fresh herb plants, wheat grass will return and so will the cold weather crops: Spinach, claytonia, mache, tatsoi, mustard, pak choy and more!It's going to be an amazing fall and winter season!
As for this week, the shares are going to be beautiful once more. This week we really have all the Summer crops ready or almost ready. The squash is coming in and so are the cucumbers.
One thing to keep in mind: We have been having some severe pest pressure. The grasshoppers are killing our tomatoes and many of our greens. NONE of this reduces the quality of the produce besides the cosmetic damage. So, enjoy it just the same - it may just not be as pretty!
We could use some volunteers for packing bags on Thursday and for weeding throughout the week. E-mail us if you are interested and see below for more info. Enjoy your share this week and don't forget to join the fun and share your recipes and pictures in the Facebook Community Group! _________________________________
EXTRA VEGGIES FOR SALE
Lots of Extra Veggies Available for Purchase at Your CSA Location!
DON'T FORGET THAT SNAP MEMBERS GET 50% OFF
ALL PRICES ARE SUGGESTIONS ONLY AS WE ALWAYS OFFER PAY-WHAT-YOU-CAN-AFFORD!
This week we are anticipating the following items for sale:
Small / Baby Onions (dried and cured)
Microgreens (spicy and mild)
Radishes with greens
For Payment: Cash or Check at the drops or the balance can be sent via PayPal to firstname.lastname@example.org or via Venmo to 719-233-7828 or by paying with credit card over the phone.
CLASSES AND TOURS
Plenty of Room in our Upcoming Tours
Classes are full, but our educational tours still have openings. To register, simply respond to this email. Remember, that classes are free for all CSA members, though we do recommend a $20.00 donation to ACI for each class and a $10.00 donation for each tour to cover expenses.
Class and Tour Schedule:
The Four-Season Garden or Farm: This is a 5-part series that can be registered for the entire series or just one at a time. We will learn what it takes to grow and harvest food all year long, here in Colorado at elevation and in harsh temperatures. We will learn about the specifics to growing amazing crops in each season of the year and since we start in July there will be plenty of time for participants to set up their own four-season garden or farm starting in the fall.
Classes are at 9am on the following Fridays: 7/17, 8/21, 9/18, 10/16, 11/20 - (CLASSES ARE FULL)
Tours: NEXT TOUR COMING UP: 8/25! Tours are always a good time and we always learn a lot too! Educational tours are centered on environmental stewardship and the pure standards we have set for our farm. We walk the entire farm and learn about biodiversity, microbiology, the benefits of no-till and our other sustainable farming methods. We talk about energy, nutritional density of our food and we even tour the wash-rooms, the nurseries, our blacksmith shop, our storage facilities and more.
Tours start at 9am on the following Tuesdays: 8/25 (OPEN) , 9/29 (OPEN).
We would like to offer more classes, specifically on food preparation etc. If you are an individual that would be interested in using our facilities to host a class we would love to encourage this. Please reach out to us with your ideas. _________________________________
This is Reid, Anna and Patty...but this is mostly about Reid (she's the one on the left).
Reid is a Music Therapist who works with special needs children. She makes time to come out here every Thursday to be a part of our bag-packing team. In fact, she is actually one of the main reasons for it's success. Every week we were struggling to get the bags packed correctly and we would struggle with the extremely complicated logistics of 3,000 units of food dispersed to 8 different locations and routes in 3 different CSA share sizes...all to be done in one day! Well, Reid came to our rescue and helped Shane really get a handle on the program and we owe her a ton! Now, she comes nearly every week and has become a real part of the team! (Oh, did I mention she is also Shane's girlfriend 😊 !?)
Want to get involved? E-mail us to let us know. We are always looking for volunteers and we would love for you to join the party!
AHAVAH COMMUNITY INITIATIVE
We raised $722 in the last month - that's enough to donate two whole CSA memberships to families in need!! Thank you so much everyone for leaving your change, bringing your $$ and supporting your community! Help create access to the purest food on the planet and DONATE TODAY! We truly believe that Ahavah Community Initiative (501C3) is one of the best ways to make a direct impact on YOUR community. Our mission is simple and the finances are completely transparent. 100% of your donations go straight to supporting our mission to "connect under-served people to locally-farmed, regeneratively-grown produce..." etc. Our board is 100% volunteer and there is no paid staff. Our meetings are public and our minutes are available at request.
Please consider a tax deductible donation to ACI by clicking the Donate link below and please consider making it a monthly donation by clicking the box:
FALL DONATED SHARE APPLICATION
ACI is donating up to 20 CSA shares for the Fall of 2020 to families in need.
If you or someone you know is struggling to feed their families pure, unadulterated local organic food but are struggling to afford it, please apply or share the application today!
DID YOU KNOW?
Did you know that we dedicate 100% of everything we grow to you, the members and we do not sell to stores or attend farmer's markets? Did you also know that 100% of everything you receive in your shares in grown and harvested by us, right here on the eastern plains of Colorado, by hand, without chemicals, tractors or sprays? That means that you will never receive avocados or pineapples or lemons in your shares, as they don't grow here in Colorado. You will never receive a share with stickers on your produce 😉! As a CSA member, you receive the vegetables that can be grown during the appropriate season. No tomatoes in January (too cold), no spinach in August (too hot).
We aim to provide a variety of flavors and experience, but we don't want it to be too varied that you only get too small of a portion to do anything with, or too boring that you get too much or the same things week after week. We also aim to ensure the value is always more than what you paid for (This helps, especially when you may get something in your bag that you don't enjoy.).
Have you noticed that the varieties in the bags vary between the sizes? Sometimes the small shares get cucumbers and the medium's don't or the large shares get kale and the small's don't. Why is that? Well, since we grow everything here on the farm, can you imagine if we grew everything to 380 members? It wouldn't work. Let me explain.
If we grew 380 units of everything, all year round, it would be a very boring CSA and we would be limited to the length of the crop and the amount the crop yields. Most crops get harvested every week (Kale, squash, tomatoes...most everything) and they last for nearly the entire season. Therefore, if we wanted to provide all the bags with the exact same ingredients every week, we would have to be stuck with the exact same ingredients every single week of the season too! You see? All the CSA's would all receive the same items every single week and it would be terribly boring because we would have to wait until all the cucumbers were harvested before we could move onto a different crop. What if you didn't like cucumbers? There would be no substitutions or variety 👎.
So, what do we do instead? Well instead of growing 380 cucumbers, 380 tomatoes, 380 carrots, 380 lettuce every week we vary the amounts based on popularity and based on spreading the crops out throughout the season. We grow 200 units of something like cucumbers per week, and 200 units of beets, 100 fennel, a few hundred carrots and lettuce etc. We grow less units of "this" crop or more units of "that" crop. By doing things this way, it is the only way that we can provide a truly varied share so that you can experience all the local, seasonal flavors (which is one of the most-favorite things about our CSA - the fact that we grow almost 100 varieties of heirloom vegetables. Imagine experiencing that from the store!?😮)
Every year we do surveys and we base what we will grow based on popularity and although it's not perfect, we try to do our absolute best. We know that not everyone loves even the most popular items and so we attempt to pack the bags varied from week to week so you don't get stuck with eating the same thing week after week (even if it's your favorite! :-) ). Therefore, we simply can't provide the same things each week and in each bag and that means smalls will get something this week and mediums next week and large bags will get it a different week. It also means that sometimes we can't get all the varieties into all of your bags, but we try (why we really miss market style CSA shares!).
No, it's not perfect and we can't make everyone happy all of the time. Some members love our style, and some members choose to move on and that's ok. However, we are very proud of how well we have been able to do this and how hard we have worked at perfecting this over the years. We aren't perfect yet (nor is that even possible), but I feel that we are only getting better and better at it. Thank you all for your amazingly positive feedback this season - even with Covid-19, it has been fairly successful and I hope that you have a little more insight into the how's and why's of Community Supported Agriculture. _________________________________
CSA PICKUP DAYS AND TIMES
NOTATE TIMES: Times are subject to change.
(photo credit: Megiddeh Goldston)
COS North / Monument @ Beasts and Brews (7 Spectrum Loop, Ste. 140)
12pm to 1pm (Drive Thru)
NOTE: Beasts and Brews IS OPEN for business! They are doing take out orders and still offering a special discount for CSA members. Inquire inside or call ahead to pick up lunch to go! Go to www.beastsandbrews.com to learn more.
Denver @ JCC (350 S. Dahlia St.):
2:30pm to 4pm (Drive thru)
Colorado Springs @ Ranch Foods Direct (4635 Town Center Dr.):
1pm to 2:30pm (Drive Thru)
2:30pm to 6pm (Inside store)
NOTE: The Ranch Food Direct Store IS OPEN! Please go in and support your local food producers - bread and baked goods, meats and veggies and so many other local goods and necessities. They are stocked! Go to www.ranchfoodsdirect.com to learn more!
Peyton @ Ahavah Farm (7545 Log Rd.):
10am to 11am (Drive Thru)
Be a part of our ZERO-WASTE mission here at Ahavah Farm and bring us your compost! PLEASE REMEMBER - NO PLASTIC BAGS. Want more information? CLICK HERE to learn about the program. Thank you everyone who has been bringing their compost! We are so excited that we can help on your mission to become Waste Free! __________________________________
BAGS! We need your bags!!!
Thank you to everyone who has brought us your bags - DON'T STOP!!! This is so wonderful and such a huge blessing! __________________________________
What to expect THIS week:
As always, nothing is guaranteed. These are the items that are "in season" and are anticipated to be ready this week (which may or may not be available at the CSA):
Small = 4-6 items per week
Medium = 7-9 items per week
Large = 10-12 items per week
Arugula - a Spicy green with a very unique flavor. Some love arugula and some could do without out. Cooked this green and it's flavor changes, and add it to eggs and you just may become a fan! Overall, most of you tell us how much you love this green!
Cilantro - It may or may not come this week. It is "on the edge" or being ready to harvest.
Beets - CYLINDRA is the variety and they are AMAZING! Long cylindrical beets with a juicy and sweet flavor. Oh, we love these! They are also HUGE - and the greens - OH MY!!!!!
Carrots - Who doesn't love carrots? Lol, believe it or not there are some :). But these? Oh, they are so sweet!
Onions - Do you know about the onion recall? Geesh, if you are going to eat onions...I know of only one safe place :).
Radish Microgreens - The spicy variety of microgreens that we will be offering this week, though they will only be for sale and won't be included as part of the CSA this week.
Cabbage Microgreens - The sweet variety of microgreens. Like the radish micros, they will only be for sale and won't be included as part of the CSA this week.
Tomatoes - Tons of tomatoes. Some minor grasshopper damage on some.
Basil - Remember to dry this if you don't use it! We give you a bunch too, so it's great for pesto!
Fennel - The fennel is here again this week and will be for a few more. The fronds on these are huge! If you haven't dried them, make sure you do! Sprinkle dried fennel on pizza or pasta and I bet you will love it!
Lettuce - Not much lettuce this week. It may all be for sale.
Squash - Squash is starting to come in, but as you saw above, we got hailed out yesterday so we aren't so sure about the yield.
Sunshoots - Our sunshoots have been on a roll for 4 straight weeks and the feedback is continuing to roll in about how much you all love these! We have had a few people say that once they got creative with them they fell in love with them. Here are a few great ideas for your sunshoots, the most nutritious thing we grow: https://www.martinsgardenacf.com/sunflower-shoots-recipes
Pea Shoots - We love these raw as an anytime snack. We also add them to soups. Like peas? You will love these.
Cabbage - The last of our cabbage is coming this week as we harvest the last of it. We planted more for the Fall. Because there won't be a lot we will be selling these.
Cucumbers - Not a ton of cucs this week as it is our first real harvest, and as I mentioned last week, it won't be a huge harvest. It will probably be large shares only at first.
Swiss Chard - Big beautiful chard. Some minor grasshopper damage, but waxy and beautiful none the less.
Kale - our favorite variety of kale is this blue curled kale. However, like a few other things on the farm, we are really struggling with bug pressure and you may find some problems. We do our best to remove any bad leaves when harvesting, but we aren't perfect. Hopefully we can get this under control quick or we will lose the whole crop!
Is that it? It's a lot, but I think so! I may be missing something...who knows, you might be surprised with something else too!
__________________________________ What to expect NEXT week:
The coming week's should continue to provide a bounty. Parsley was supposed to come this week, but I forgot to add it to the harvest list, so it will come next week. Peppers will also be coming next week. Cucumbers and squash and tomatoes will continue and scallions will also most-likely be in next week's share as well as daikons, dill and more. That's it for this week! Love you to pieces! Yosef, Havah, Kids and Team The Camire Family