Home Delivery is now Available for the 2015 Season

Free Home Delivery, when you purchase a 2015 Vegetable and Fruit Share by Wednesday, March 25th!

Angelic Organics is introducing home delivery in the Chicagoland area with a very special offer: free home delivery if you purchase both a 2015 vegetable share and a fruit share. This service would normally cost $12 per delivery, but in our special introductory offer, we are providing the service for free. If you also sign up for an extended season vegetable and fruit share, you will receive those late-season home deliveries for free, too.

14NPkz

 

How Much Will I Save?

Savings are substantial. For instance, on a half vegetable share (every other week for 20 weeks) and a 10 week fruit share, you’ll save $120. On a full season vegetable share (every week for 20 weeks) and a 10 week fruit share, you’ll save $240.

When will my deliveries start?
Your deliveries will start in early June and end in late October. We also offer an Extended Season Share, which starts in late October or early November, and ends before Thanksgiving.

Who will be making these deliveries?
We are partnering with Chicago Messenger Service to make these deliveries. Chicago Messenger Service has been serving the Chicago area for more than 50 years.

Is home delivery available in my area?
Chicago Messenger Service delivers to most Illinois zip codes within 45 miles of Chicago. Check our zip code availability page to see if home delivery is available to you. Home delivery zip codes

How will the home delivery service work?
Your delivery will arrive between 9 am and 6 pm on the weekday you choose: Thursday or Friday. Sorry, you cannot specify an exact time of day when your delivery can arrive; it has to be able to arrive at any time between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. When your delivery arrives, you will be notified by email.

How will the Chicago Messenger Service know just how I want my delivery to be made?
When you sign up for your shares in our system, you will provide thorough instructions for how to make the delivery to your home or business. For example: Bring the delivery to the back door at … (your address). Ring doorbell 3 times. If no one answers, leave my delivery under the steps …

Can I receive my delivery on Saturday?
Sorry, home deliveries will not be offered on Saturday. They are only available on Thursday or Friday.

Can I get home delivery if I only order vegetables from Angelic Organics?
Yes, you can get home delivery with just your vegetable order. Your cost until Wednesday, March 25th will be $6 per delivery. Angelic Organics will match your $6 per delivery cost in order to subsidize the full $12 cost per delivery. It’s a much better deal if you order both vegetables and fruit, and then receive free home delivery.

We are excited!
Angelic Organics is always looking for ways to serve our shareholders better. We think the convenience of home delivery and the price—free, if you purchase both vegetables and fruit by the deadline—are a fantastic way to make the shareholder experience more special.

Sign up by Wednesday, March 25th

We have had much interest in home delivery and expect a big response to our free home delivery offer. We might not offer it again this season, so it’s best if you sign up now.

Learn More about Our Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) Program

Click here for a condensed, mobile-friendly version of our CSA program.

Click here for a full explanation of our CSA program on your desktop or tablet.

Sign up for your CSA share at http://angelicorganicsfarm.csasignup.com

Welcome to the Fourth Week of our Extended Season for 2014 Nov 19, 20, 21 & 22 (Wed, Thur, Fri & Sat Delivery)

Happy Thanksgiving! Welcome to the 4th and Final Week of our Extended Season

Farmer John Writes about Building the Right Sized, Heated Farm Shop after a 45 Year Wait, and the Re-building of the Milkhouse

We hope you enjoy your final box of the season. Thank you for being with us this bountiful year.

Weather Warning

For the outdoor and unprotected sites, we want to encourage you to pick up your boxes as early as possible due to frigid temperatures. We don’t want your vegetables to freeze during the day/early morning of deliveries.

Please Return Your Empty Boxes to Your Site

We re-use the vegetable boxes until they wear out. We cannot re-use them if the flaps are torn when breaking the box down, so please be careful when flattening the box. Perhaps take a couple of bags for on-site transfer of your box contents. Then you won’t have to worry about returning your final box later. Please do this transfer neatly, so your host will not have extra cleanup work to do.

Please help former Angelic Organics Interns Reach their Crowdfunding Goal

It will be super if you help my inspiring, hardworking friends Robin and Paul achieve their farm dream to renovate a farmhouse, so they can host groups to foster a healthier and more sustainable agriculture. They interned at Angelic Organics 20 years ago and have resolutely pursued farming ever since. Your contribution to their initiative will go a long way to making the world become a better place. Check out their campaign and please join me in helping their dream come true. Campaign ends Friday night, Nov 21.

H&H

Hill and Hollow Farm Stay

Join us as we create more space to host, educate, and share the bounty of Hill and Hollow Farm.

Building the Right Sized, Heated Farm Shop and the Re-building of the Milkhouse 

A Tall and Wide Heated Farm Shop

We are finally getting a heated farm shop at Angelic Organics. The farm has a lot of equipment, and a lot of it is old. It needs on-going repair and maintenance. It all has to work right whenever we need it, because it is imperative for the sake of our farm and our shareholders that we never get behind with any of our fieldwork.

Primo has been with Angelic Organics for 24 years. Along with his assistants Pollo and Victor, Primo takes care of the equipment.  For the most part, Primo, Pollo, and Victor have been working on the equipment out in the elements. (Small pieces of equipment, about 20% of our lineup, will fit inside the current makeshift shop in our heated garage.)

Primo and Victor work out of our makeshift farm shop last spring

Primo and Victor work out of our makeshift farm shop last spring

Long before Primo came to the farm, I also worked on the farm equipment out in the elements. It always seemed wrong, and it always seemed like it needed to be remedied that year. But farming has its way of delaying dreams…until this fall, when Primo and I joined forces to make a large heated shop happen (along with Victor and Pollo’s steadfast assistance.) Primo, Pollo and Victor are still outside working in the elements, but this time, it’s to enclose a space where they can work on any piece of equipment we have in a comfortable environment in any season.

Six truckloads of concrete arrive in rare warm October weather

Six truckloads of concrete arrive in rare warm October weather

From left, Pollo, Victor and Primo build the first wall

From left, Pollo, Victor and Primo build the first wall

Installing the trusses

Installing the trusses

The shop is tall, with 16 ft sidewalls. It will have a 22 wide x 14 ft high overhead door. The insulated, heated front part of the shop will be 32 ft wide by 26 ft long, with a partial 2nd floor rim around the perimeter for parts storage. At the front of the shop will be a 32 ft by 20 ft concrete apron for projects-in-waiting. The back part of the shop will be unheated, 32 ft wide by 24 ft, some of it 2 floors high for parts storage. We keep a lot of parts inventory on hand for our 100+ machines. The inventory and tools need to be orderly and accessible.

Victor (left) and Pollo help hoist the final wall into place; Primo (out of frame) is running the lift

Victor (left) and Pollo help hoist the final wall into place; Primo (out of frame) is running the lift

We plan to have the shop enclosed by late November, so that work can continue on the interior this winter. By spring, it will be up and running, with heat and electricity. Storage units will also be installed by then, and all the shop inventory will be transferred from its current locations, and properly organized. That’s a lot of bolts, screws, pipe, angle, filters, tools, sprockets, chains, belts, bungs, washers, toggles, lubricants, jacks, pry bars, cleaners, shafts, bearings, rims, hoses, strainers, funnels, anvils, vices, reflectors, manuals, tanks, etc., to re-locate.

Another Important Project—Re-building the Milkhouse

If you follow life at Angelic Organics, you know that it’s a big task to tend the crops and to fill your boxes week after week…and then to undertake the in-house construction of a farm shop on top of this? And yet, there’s another construction project that has been going on all year at Angelic Organics–the re-building of our milk house, with an indoor staircase to the Community Loft of the big barn.

This project was made possible in part by an Indiegogo crowd funding campaign we ran last year, Let’s Fill the Barns with People!  The construction started last fall, and has been gradually moving forward since then. It’s a much more intricate project than the straightforward rectangular farm shop. Because human beings and social life are important, I strive to make the social spaces on the farm uplifting and inspiring to the people who use them. (Read my elaboration on this principle at www.angelicorganics.com/socialorganism.)

Already accessorized with dormers in its arched roof, when complete, the milkhouse will have a small office/kitchenette, dramatic lighting, lazured walls, and a beautiful staircase. The space will be functional by sometime this winter. Completion will probably take several months beyond that, since getting our farm shop up and running is a most important priority for the practical functioning of your CSA farm. (I’ll add here that a farm repair shop doesn’t require a refined or intricate design, as it is a already a supremely social and dynamic space, due to the collective work and camaraderie that occur there. An active farm shop is inherently uplifting and inspiring, by virtue of its function, its smells, and its sounds.)

The original milkhouse had become very decayed. (The coat of white paint kept it looking much more sound than it actually was)

The original milkhouse had become very decayed. (The coat of white paint kept it looking much more sound than it actually was)

Pollo and Primo commence the re-building of  the milkhouse last fall, lengthening it so it can accommodate an indoor staircase to the Community Loft

Pollo and Primo commence the re-building of the milkhouse last fall, lengthening it so it can accommodate an indoor staircase to the Community Loft

Pollo rebuilds the milk house

Pollo rebuilds the milk house

Milkhouse from within, before installation of end wall

Milkhouse from within, before installation of end wall

The milkhouse is far along, but there’s still more to do

The milkhouse is far along, but there’s still more to do

To learn more about building projects at Angelic Organics over the years, check out angelicorganics.com/farmsteadmetamorphosis

From Joseph Hass (Farmer John’s young biographer, profiled in Farm News, Week 20)

Dear Farmer John,

yesterday at school I read an article about how China is tearing down farms and I was shocked because I just love farms, and you do too!  So, I wanted to tell you about it.

~Joseph

Reply from Farmer John to Joseph

Joseph,

Farms are great. It’s a shame that so many are disappearing all over the world. And barns go, too…makes me ache…Haidy, too.

~Farmer John

Box Contents

Please Note: this summary is written before you receive your box—please be aware that some guesswork is involved. As always, be sure to thoroughly wash all of your vegetables.

Garlic
Kale Tops
Onions
Maybe Popcorn
Potatoes
Maybe Daikon Radishes
Spinach
Tatsoi
Thyme
Butternut Squash
Possibly Celeriac
Beets
Maybe Rutabaga
A Cabbage or Brussels Sprouts

The Crops

The 2015 garlic crop is planted and mulched against heavy winter frosts; we planted 50% more garlic than in past seasons. All the other fields and beds are laid out and prepped with compost and cover crops for 2015.

The Casiques blanket our 2015 garlic crop with straw against upcoming frosts

The Casiques blanket our 2015 garlic crop with straw against upcoming frosts

The crew's final flourishes of their harvest machetes

The crew’s final flourishes of their harvest machetes

More from Shareholders

Visit us often at www.facebook.com/angelicorganics, where we post exciting farm developments regularly, and shareholders post recipes, tips, and photos.

Check out these fun classes for families coming up at the Learning Center this Month!

Pumpkin Pie! A Family Program, Sunday, November 23, 10am-2pm

You’ll not only learn a secret for making a delicious “pumpkin” pie, you’ll also learn all about how we care for the soil, vegetables and animals on our farm.

LC1

Thanksgiving Food from the Farm, Wednesday, November 26, 9am-3pm

At this hands-on class for families, you’ll make and take mashed potatoes, salad, and a pumpkin pie for your Thanksgiving feast, all with food from the farm.

LC2

DIY Holiday Gifts: Body Care

Black Friday Edition: Friday, November 28, 1pm-4pm

Buck the Black Friday tradition this year with fun, handmade gifts.  We’ll have natural materials on hand (many from the farm!) for shaping your own goat milk soap bars, and hand crafting lip balm, herbal bath salts, and calendula salve.  Everyone will make 6 of each gift to bring home. Snow date is Saturday, November 28.

LC3

Please pre-register at www.learngrowconnect.org/events

Plus, we have a special offer: 10% off any and all fall classes! Use the discount code “FALL201410AOSHAREHOLDER.” Expires on December 1, 2014. Please pre-register for all programs at www.learngrowconnect.org/events.

Warmly,

Farmer John and the Angelic Organics Farm Team

Welcome to the Third Week of our Extended Season for 2014 Nov 12 & 13 (Wed & Thur Delivery)

Welcome to the 3rd Week of our Extended Season

Farmer John Writes about Time

If you receive a half extended season share on the odd-numbered week, this is your last week of regular deliveries.

Weather Alert

For the outdoor and unprotected sites, we want to encourage you to pick up your box as early as possible due to frigid temperatures. We don’t want your vegetables to freeze during the day/early morning of deliveries.

Your Box is Extra Green this Week

Our greens have thrived right into November. This week, hard frost would have ended them, so we harvested large amounts of salad greens for your box. Normally, the extended season box would present more storage crops and fewer greens, but this warm and damp fall season somewhat reversed that ratio. For those of you who will be receiving a box in the final week of extended season, those contents will be more typical of November.

Please Return Your Empty Boxes to Your Site

We re-use the vegetable boxes until they wear out. We cannot re-use them if the flaps are torn when breaking the box down, so please be careful when flattening the box. If this is your last week to pick up, perhaps take a couple of bags for on-site transfer of your box contents. Then you won’t have to worry about returning your final box later. Please do this transfer neatly, so your host will not have extra cleanup work to do.

Time 

I spent a couple of hours with the Stateline Farm Beginnings Class last week. I know that a concern of many people who want to go farming today is sustainability. I said, “The way humans manage time seldom comes up in sustainability conversations. Time is a resource. It’s one of our most precious resources. It’s really not possible to have a comprehensive dialog about sustainability without bringing considerations of time and time management into the conversation.” I saw some surprised faces. Maybe there was someone in the class who thought it’s not so bad to be late for class, as long as they are driving a fuel-efficient car. I added (paraphrasing here), “Farming is not forgiving. If you’re late getting your crops in or out, you lose. It doesn’t matter what your ecological ethics are, how strongly you feel about bicycle power, or how vegetarian you are. The earth favors farmers who do things on time.”

Office+Mate+Wall+Clock

At Angelic Organics, we are time-sensitive; I suppose we are time-fanatical. If we weren’t, we wouldn’t get your boxes filled full week after week. We wouldn’t be able to pay our workers a living wage. Of course, efficiency has to be considered with an eye to quality. Efficiency always has to be balanced with the quality of the work–this is a bit of a tightrope—speed on the one hand, excellent quality on the other hand–but one which has to be continually navigated. For sure, someone on the crew might bristle at the emphasis on efficiency, thinking any such pep talk (lecture? admonition?) is exploitive or coercive, but we always emphasize efficiency in the context of what is achievable, what is manageable for the workers. Balance is the key: we encourage our workers to work fast, but not so fast that it wears them out, and not so fast that quality is compromised. Pacing is key: work fast enough to get the job done on time, slow enough to do it well—always seek balance.

Most people seek value in their purchases. Value is a nebulous term. It can mean cheap, or on sale, or discounted; it can mean reasonably priced in relation to the quality of the purchase. Angelic Organics strives to bring value to our shareholders with each box we provide. We also seek to pay our workers a livable wage (bringing value to the time they devote to our farm). We seek to keep up our equipment and our buildings and to build up our soil. The most effective way I have found to support all of these varying goals, some of which can seem in conflict or competition with the others, is to effectively manage time. We strive to do everything on time. Time is our biggest asset (though time itself will never show up in a balance sheet.)

While giving the Stateline Farm Beginnings Class a tour, I pointed to the cover crops of luscious peas in our fields, and I said, “we have no excuse for not being on time planting our cover crop. We could say that we are too busy harvesting and filling CSA boxes, or it was raining too much to get it done, but if the peas don’t go in on time, then we will have less vegetable crops next year, due to lower fertility. Who is going to bear such losses? Will shareholders be content with an apology for a hole in their boxes? Will workers be content with a reduction in their pay because yields are down? I think not. So we strive to get things done on time, no matter what. It is our absolute responsibility to the farm, our employees, and our shareholders.

Managing time properly isn’t just about efficiency. It’s also about respecting one other, and about taking care of others properly.

Illuminating this aspect of time is a story I wrote for Farm News years back, about Andy Warhol and time: No Dinner for Andy.

Box Contents

Please Note: this summary is written before you receive your box—please be aware that some guesswork is involved. As always, be sure to thoroughly wash all of your vegetables.

Arugula
Beets
Butternut Winter Squash
Broccoli Side Shoots
Garlic
Kale Tops
Onions
Parsley
Pea Shoots
Popcorn
Potatoes
Radishes
Tatsoi

The Crops

All remaining crops will be harvested this week.

Row covers let light and air in, keep cold out

Row covers let light and air in, keep cold out

Weather

The frosts get harder and harder. Our double row covers have kept our salad greens snug against frost damage, but they cannot protect the crops against the temperatures forecasted for this week, the mid-teens. It’s time to harvest what’s left.

Below you see the contrast between peas that were not covered this fall, and peas that were covered.

A short stretch of uncovered peas, with covered peas to the left

A short stretch of uncovered peas, with covered peas to the left

The pea row cover is pulled back, exposing the lush just-uncovered peas on the left, compared to the short peas on the right that were uncovered all fall

The pea row cover is pulled back, exposing the lush just-uncovered peas on the left, compared to the short peas on the right that were uncovered all fall

The Work

No more transplanting, seeding, weeding, trellising…just harvesting, packing and tidying up for next year. Our 24th CSA season is winding down.

Ray and crew race the weather

Ray and crew race the weather

More from Shareholders

Visit us often at www.facebook.com/angelicorganics, where we post exciting farm developments regularly, and shareholders post recipes, tips, and photos.

Check out these fun classes for families coming up at the Learning Center this Month!

DIY Holiday Gifts: Body Care

Black Friday Edition: Friday, November 28, 1pm-4pm

Buck the Black Friday tradition this year with fun, handmade gifts.  We’ll have natural materials on hand (many from the farm!) for shaping your own goat milk soap bars, and hand crafting lip balm, herbal bath salts, and calendula salve.  Everyone will make 6 of each gift to bring home. Snow date is Saturday, November 28.

LC1

Pumpkin Pie! A Family Program, Sunday, November 23, 10am-2pm

You’ll not only learn a secret for making a delicious “pumpkin” pie, you’ll also learn all about how we care for the soil, vegetables and animals on our farm.

Thanksgiving Food from the Farm, Wednesday, November 26, 9am-3pm

At this hands-on class for families, you’ll make and take mashed potatoes, salad, and a pumpkin pie for your Thanksgiving feast, all with food from the farm.

Please pre-register at www.learngrowconnect.org/events

Plus, we have a special offer: 10% off any and all fall classes! Use the discount code FALL201410AOSHAREHOLDER . Expires on December 1, 2014. Please pre-register for all programs at www.learngrowconnect.org/events.

Warmly,

Farmer John

Welcome to the Second Week of our Extended Season for 2014 Nov 5 & 6 (Wed & Thur Delivery)

Welcome to the 2nd Week of our Extended Season

Farmer John Writes about Chicago Hospitality

Hotel Lincoln

Hotel Lincoln

When Haidy and I recently went to the Big City for the Open House Chicago weekend, we stayed at Hotel Lincoln, where the extraordinary Perennial Virant Restaurant is located. (Noted Chef Paul Virant has been a guest chef at the Angelic Organics Learning Center Annual Farm Dinner on several occasions.)

When I told the receptionist at the restaurant that we were farmers from Angelic Organics, the kitchen promptly sent out appetizers of luscious pumpkin Eclairs–for breakfast–and the biggest, gooiest chocolate doughnut I have ever seen; it was more like a cream-filled round chocolate cake than a doughnut. Then Haidy’s sensible, hardy Farmer’s Breakfast order arrived with sausage, eggs, home fries and cheese curds along with my more indulgent breakfast of buttermilk pancakes with honey butter, fruit compote and Burton’s maple syrup. Still reeling from the sensational pastries, we were just getting started on our intended breakfasts, when out came an order of French Toast with lemon curd and maple syrup, compliments of Paul’s kitchen. “Our kitchen staff is told to treat farmers well,” the waiter explained.

The Perennial Virant staff called this a doughnut

The Perennial Virant staff called this a doughnut

Update from Joseph (Max) Haas, Farmer John’s young Biographer

In Week 20 of Farmer News, I shared a story about shareholder Joseph Haas, who undertook to write my biography: http://tiny.cc/farmerjohnsbiography

Shareholder Responses to Joseph’s Biography of Farmer John

Joseph (Max) Haas wrote a compelling piece. For me, he captured the essence of what makes a difference in life. The commitment of a man to continue and succeed and in so doing inspire others (and grow yummy veggies).

Thanks Max for this piece and the pictures. Keep it up! ~ Brook Nelson

Great Story by Joseph Haas. Way to post budding talent. ~ A Shareholder

Recently from Joseph

Hello This is Joseph. Thank you so much for getting my book on the newsletter! I will show it to my classmates today. I am now working on a series of your life. I hope to see you at the next open house!

From Joseph and Claudia Haas.

Joseph (Max) Haas, Farmer John’s Biographer

Joseph (Max) Haas, Farmer John’s Biographer

From Shareholders About the Season (note from Farmer John: it’s nice to get such great notes from shareholders as the season winds down)

You all do a superb job, and although nothing is perfect, you come close!  Just want you all to know how much I appreciate your hard work and the delicious food we get from you…Thanks so much for everything!

~Susan

We love your produce & the fact that you’re so knowledgeable and hardworking when it comes to veggies! You do what we don’t have the sun, space and experience to do for ourselves & we appreciate you for it…. We get that you aren’t a grocery store and you’re bound by the weather and the amount of help you can get….we’re completely happy with what you guys do & the processes you have in place.  You’re the best.

~Marilee

Box Contents

Please Note: this summary is written before you receive your box—please be aware that some guesswork is involved. As always, be sure to thoroughly wash all of your vegetables.

Arugula
Cabbage
Celeriac
A Daikon Radish
Kale Tops
Kohlrabi
Lettuce
Pea Shoots
Potatoes
Sage
Green Choi or Brussels Sprouts

The Crops

As I’ve been noting in previous updates, the generally warm October has provided us with an abundance of salad greens. We should be able to include delicious salad greens in your boxes for the rest of the season.

Lettuce flourishes before the frost

Lettuce flourishes before the frost

Weather 

Early last week, temperatures were in the 70’s. We had a hard frost this past Friday night. By late Friday afternoon, we had all the remaining lettuce, kale, and choi in storage. These are the crops that were most vulnerable to the frost. We double covered many beds of greens. Of course, many of our crops were already in storage, such as cabbage, onions, garlic, popcorn, celeriac, daikons, and beets. It’s a bit of a dance to handle all the fall harvests in relation to weather, but this year the weather-sensitive harvests have been managed with a minimum of drama.

Andy grades rutabaga before the weather turns cold

Andy grades rutabaga before the weather turns cold

Last of the Daikon

Last of the Daikon

The Work

Our heroic crew works in all kinds of weather. This past Friday, blustery winds were descending from the north, bringing wind chills into the low 20’s. They stayed with the work. If you want acknowledge them, send a note to Shelly csa@angelicorganics.com .

The crew brandishes their machetes on their way to the last of the kale

The crew brandishes their machetes on their way to the last of the kale

U-Pick Garden

Our U-Pick Garden is finished for the year.

More from Shareholders

Visit us often at www.facebook.com/angelicorganics, where we post exciting farm developments regularly, and shareholders post recipes, tips, and photos.

Check out these three fun classes for families coming up at the Learning Center this November!

Cornbread from the Group Up! Saturday, November 8, 2pm-4:30pm

Bring your family to the farm for an afternoon of shucking, shelling, winnowing and grinding our heirloom corn into delicious cornbread. We’ll use farm-fresh eggs from our chickens, too. Yum!

Pumpkin Pie! A Family Program, Sunday, November 23, 10am-2pm

You’ll not only learn a secret for making a delicious “pumpkin” pie, you’ll also learn all about how we care for the soil, vegetables and animals on our farm.

LC1

Thanksgiving Food from the Farm, Wednesday, November 26, 9am-3pm

At this hands-on class for families, you’ll make and take mashed potatoes, salad, and a pumpkin pie for your Thanksgiving feast, all with food from the farm.

LC2

Please pre-register at www.learngrowconnect.org/events

Plus, we have a special offer: 10% off any and all fall classes! Use the discount code “FALL201410AOSHAREHOLDER.” Expires on December 1, 2014. Please pre-register for all programs at www.learngrowconnect.org/events.

Warmly,

Farmer John and the Angelic Organics Farm Team

Welcome to the First Week of our Extended Season for 2014 – Oct 29 & 30 (Wed & Thurs)

Welcome to the First Week of our Extended Season for 2014

 Farmer John Writes about Gold and the Chicago Board of Trade

Board of Trade Building, topped by Ceres, puts a proud stop to the LaSalle Street Corridor

Board of Trade Building, topped by Ceres, puts a proud stop to the LaSalle Street Corridor

 

Ceres, the Goddess of Grain, Tops the Board of Trade Building

Ceres, the Goddess of Grain, Tops the Board of Trade Building

Gold and the Chicago Board of Trade

My wife Haidy and I visited the Board of Trade Building last Sunday, one of several wondrous sites featured during the Open House Chicago weekend. The goddess of grain, Ceres, presides from atop the lovely Deco building in homage to the crops that gave rise to Chicago’s robust grain trade. The building itself presides from the middle of LaSalle Street, in homage to the role that agriculture once played in making Chicago such a robust and glorious city.

Board of Trade Lobby, Constructed in the Can-Do Era of Deco, 1929

Board of Trade Lobby, Constructed in the Can-Do Era of Deco, 1929

The building is located near the Chicago River, because decades ago, traders actually inspected the barge loads of corn, wheat and oats that floated in from the fertile Midwestern hinterlands; they sifted the grain through their fingers, then haggled and bartered over what they had seen and touched and smelled. Eventually, the crops were standardized (for example: #2 corn, 56 lbs per bushel test weight, 5000 bushels per contract) and the traders no longer needed to see or know the physical products; the crops became abstractions, the Chicago River became a recreational amenity.

Real (Pop)Corn, echoed by Board of Trade Corn Motifs in the Lobby

Real (Pop)Corn, echoed by Board of Trade Corn Motifs in the Lobby

A trader I met in the 80’s said that pretty much no one on the soybean-trading floor had ever seen a soybean plant. I sent him a representative plant, complete with soybean pods. He taped it to the podium in the bean-trading pit. He told later me that his fellow traders kept going up to the podium to inspect the bean plant and saying things like “so this is what we sell and buy every day.”

Today, the chasm between physical crop and cold commerce has become even wider. The rugged days of raucous face-to-face trading in the commodity pits have mostly given way to computerized trading. Corn, wheat, oats and beans have transmuted from actual crops on the barges of the Chicago River to sweaty flourishes of the hand in the trading pits to cold pulses of electricity.

As part of the tour, we were welcome to visit the enormous vault on the ground floor of the building. The vault was filled with safe deposit boxes of many sizes; some of the boxes were bigger than a bushel (1.2445 cu ft). The largest ones might have exceeded 2, maybe even 3 bushels in volume. Immense fortunes must have once been stored in these boxes, perhaps to be lost one sudden day in the trading pits, and maybe replenished the next. The vault was no longer used; the cavernous, lustrous vault was eerily barren. Many of the safe deposit doors were open; drawers extended out from the sleek, metallic interiors.

In spite of its delightful deco-ness with its motifs of grain, its prominent location in the middle of a busy street and its statuesque muse that gazes out upon Chicago, I felt that today the Board of Trade building was missing its primal connection to the rich soil and the bountiful crops that gave rise to the edifice. I consequently snuck an ear of Angelic Organics popcorn into one of the safety deposit boxes and slid it shut, where it now secretly glistens like gold.

A treasure once again resides in the vault of the Chicago Board of Trade

A treasure once again resides in the vault of the Chicago Board of Trade

 

The Farmers’ Markets and the Community Supported Agriculture Movement of Chicago today re-capitulate the days when its citizens actually knew the crops they were buying.

Chicago is once again being bolstered by Chicagoans touching and smelling the crops that its outlying farms grow.

Chicago is once again being bolstered by Chicagoans touching and smelling the crops that its outlying farms grow.

The Crops

You can look forward to generous amounts of mustard greens (arugula, mizuna, etc), pea shoots, and spinach in your upcoming boxes, due to the warm October weather. You will also receive the regular fall crops: cabbage, beets, squash, celeriac, rutabaga, potatoes, and popcorn, etc., along with some garlic and onions. (As I mentioned in a former newsletter, we had a disappointing carrot crop due to the relentless rains; all the carrots have been given out already.)

Butternut Squash Heading Your Way

Butternut Squash Heading Your Way

 

Our 2015 garlic crop is all planted. We increased the garlic acreage by 50% for next year, so our shareholders will receive more of our popular German White Porcelain Garlic next season.

Large cloves of German White Porcelain Garlic seed, now in the ground, germinating.

Large cloves of German White Porcelain Garlic seed, now in the ground, germinating.

Thanks to The Crew

Many thanks to the hard-working crew. If you’d like to personally thank them, send an email to Shelly csa@AngelicOrganics.com, and I’ll make sure your comments get posted on our bulletin board; I also will read some of your comments to the crew at our midday meeting.

 

Kamin runs to the truck with arugula, while the rest of the crew races the rain to get the crop harvested.

Kamin runs to the truck with arugula, while the rest of the crew races the rain to get the crop harvested.

Weather 

Warmish weather this past week, with daytime temperatures in the 60’s …great for mid-October. It makes the salad greens grow and makes the work more pleasant for the crew.

The Work

This past week was the last week of our full season harvest. Now we have about 40% as many boxes to pack each week for the extended season shares. Besides harvesting and packing, the crew will be tidying up spaces, doing inventories, and winding down between now and Thanksgiving.

U-Pick Garden

Our U-Pick Garden is finished for the year.

More from Shareholders

Visit us often at www.facebook.com/angelicorganics, where we post exciting farm developments regularly, and shareholders post recipes, tips, and photos.

Box Contents

Please Note: this summary is written before you receive your box—please be aware that some guesswork is involved. As always, be sure to thoroughly wash all of your vegetables.

Lettuce

Mizuna

Spinach

Kale Tops

Choi

Broccoli Side Shoots

Potatoes

Rutabaga

Butternut Squash

Anise 


Cornbread from the Ground Up!
Check out these three fun classes for families coming up at the Learning Center this November!

Saturday, November 8, 2pm-4:30pm

Bring your family to the farm for an afternoon of shucking, shelling, winnowing and grinding our heirloom corn into delicious cornbread. We’ll use farm-fresh eggs from our chickens, too. Yum!

Pumpkin Pie! A Family Program

Sunday, November 23, 10am-2pm

You’ll not only learn a secret for making a delicious “pumpkin” pie, you’ll also learn all about how we care for the soil, vegetables and animals on our farm.

2014-10E

Thanksgiving Food from the Farm

Wednesday, November 26, 9am-3pm

At this hands-on class for families, you’ll make and take mashed potatoes, salad, and a pumpkin pie for your Thanksgiving feast, all with food from the farm.

2014-11EPlease pre-register at www.learngrowconnect.org/events

Plus, we have a special offer: 10% off any and all fall classes!

Use the discount code “FALL201410AOSHAREHOLDER“.

Expires on December 1, 2014.

Please pre-register for all programs at www.learngrowconnect.org/events.

 

warmly,

Farmer John and the Angelic Organics Farm Team

Welcome to our 20th Harvest Week. Oct 22 (Wed Delivery)

Welcome to our 20th week of the 2014 Season, the Final Week of our Regular Season

If you do not have an extended season share, this will be your last week of deliveries. Thank you for being with us this season. We hope you enjoyed it.

Farmer John Shares his Biography and the Tale of a Yellow Ball

Farmer John’s Biography, by young Joseph (Max) Haas

Joseph (Max) Haas, Farmer John’s Biographer

Joseph (Max) Haas, Farmer John’s Biographer

I had the pleasure of meeting young Joseph (Max) Haas and his mother Claudia at our last open house, where Joseph handed me the “Biography of Farmer John” he had composed, based on the documentary film “The Real Dirt on Farmer John.” Joseph loves to watch snippets of The Real Dirt on Farmer John. He sometimes quotes excerpts from the film. He plays at being a farmer and even puts “Angelic Organics 2” on the families’ garage door.  Joseph wrote me, “I really actually love fruits and vegetables, and farming sounds like fun…” Go, Joseph!

John Peterson

(Based ont on the movie: the real dirt on Farmer John)

Written by Joseph (Max) Haas

Farmer John was born on a farm in Rockford, Illinois. He lived with his Grandpa, Grandma, Dad, Uncle, Aunt, Cousins, Mom and his two older sisters. But one by one they slowly died. So John had to watch his dad do stuff. First his Grandma died than his Grandpa, then Uncle Harold, then finally his dad. He John had to take over the farm. Soon he goes to college. He and his friends turn the farm into the mid-Western Coast. But soon he has to sell the Farm to pay off debts. For 2 years barely get out of bed. He was in depression. He loses his girlfriend Isa...

To find out what happens next in Joseph’s original manuscript and to see more photos, visit: http://tiny.cc/farmerjohnsbiography

The Tale of a Yellow Ball

I opened my mailbox recently, and behind the pile of regular mail was a yellow ball. I retrieved it from the mailbox and read the message: We Have a Ball getting our veggies each week! Thank you for all you do. Michelle, Deanna & Chris at SendaBall.com. On the back of the ball, there was a postage label. Yup, the mailman delivered a fully inflated yellow ball from appreciative shareholders. I showed it to the farm crew, and they lit up. They read it, tossed it, bounced it, rolled it. Uh, time to go to work, teammates…

Years ago, I sent invitations with sparklers in the mail to illuminate people about a party we were planning. The post office intercepted our sparklers (and match) and returned the invitations with a strict warning about obeying postal regulations. We should have sent yellow balls instead.

This ball arrived in the mail

This ball arrived in the mail

Invitation with sparkler and match we sent in the mail in 1982. The post office objected, but they green lighted the yellow ball in 2014

Invitation with sparkler and match we sent in the mail in 1982. The post office objected, but they green lighted the yellow ball in 2014

The Crops

Final beet harvest earlier this month

Final beet harvest earlier this month

Weather 

Warmish weather this past week…great for mid-October.

The Work

The Casiques harvest Brussels sprouts

The Casiques harvest Brussels sprouts

The Future

Great fertility is a key to great crops. Cover crops are an important component of our comprehensive fertility program at Angelic organics. Our cover crops look magnificent this fall.

Farmer John revels in multi-year cover crops- sudan grass, tillage turnips, clover, alfalfa and timothy

Farmer John revels in multi-year cover crops- sudan grass, tillage turnips, clover, alfalfa and timothy

Farmer Johns stands in a lovely crop of fall peas that add nitrogen to the soil, stimulate microbial activity, and minimize erosion. Multi-year cover crop is in the background

Farmer Johns stands in a lovely crop of fall peas that add nitrogen to the soil, stimulate microbial activity, and minimize erosion. Multi-year cover crop is in the background

More from Shareholders

Visit us often at www.facebook.com/angelicorganics, where we post exciting farm developments regularly, and shareholders post recipes, tips, and photos.

Box Contents

Please Note: this summary is written before you receive your box—please be aware that some guesswork is involved. As always, be sure to thoroughly wash all of your vegetables.

Arugula
Broccoli Side Shoots
Brussels Sprouts
A Chinese Cabbage or Choi
Cabbage
Bunched Chard
Lettuce
A Hot Pepper
Potatoes
A Daikon Radish
Butternut Squash

Upcoming Program at the Angelic Organics Learning Center

The Learning Center is hosting two unique, practical classes this upcoming Saturday.

Sustainable Building Tour, Saturday, October 26, 10am-1:30pm

Tour Angelic Organics Farm and Learning Center with a special focus on the sustainable building techniques demonstrated on-site. We’ll discuss whole tree architecture, living roofs, passive solar, strawbale, cob, composting toilets, and more.

Solar Heated Office in Sustainable Learning Center Building

Solar Heated Office in Sustainable Learning Center Building

Fruit Trees 101, Saturday, October 26, 2pm-6pm

Learn how to grow a variety of fruits without using chemicals. Class includes a lecture portion with guest instructor Floyd Bednarz and a hands-on portion that includes a fruit tree planting.

LC2

Plus, we have a special offer: 10% off any and all fall classes! Use the discount code “FALL201410AOSHAREHOLDER.” Expires on December 1, 2014. Please pre-register for all programs at www.learngrowconnect.org/events.

Warmly,

Farmer John and the Angelic Organics Farm Team

Welcome to our 19th Harvest Week. Oct 15 (Wed Delivery)

Welcome to our 19th week of the 2014 Season

This will be your last week of deliveries, if you have a half share and pick up on the odd-numbered weeks, and you do not have an extended season share. Thank you for being with us this season. We’re quite pleased with the season and we hope you are, also.

In Farm News this week, Farmer John Writes Why Be a Shareholder?

Why Be a Shareholder?

It’s illuminating to read what shareholders write us about their CSA experience. For some, the experience is completely about the box and its contents, about its value compared to what could be purchased at a store. Is the box full enough? Fresh enough? Impeccable enough? Of course, we strive to provide great value through the box. Our vegetables and herbs are surely less expensive than their organic equivalents at Whole Foods…and fresher…and more local.

At the other end of the spectrum, shareholders write poetically about their relationship to the food and to the farm. These acknowledgments bring us joy. We don’t want the shareholder experience to be just about the food; we want it to be about the relationship the food builds to the being or the organism of the farm–to the farm team, the soil, the weather, the seasons. Having a relationship to the farm that grows ones food brings the shareholder consciously closer to the source of physical sustenance, to the earth.

 

A store or an organic delivery service cannot provide this deep, conscious relationship to the land. Eating from a particular farm week after week provides a direct unfolding experience of sun, wind, rain, drought, soil, and work that converge to bring the food to your table. Without having to buy your own farm, you and your family still have the experience of having a farm. You have this experience through our newsletters, our open houses, and eating from our fields. You become more conscious and more embedded citizens of our planet.

 

From Shareholders

Thank you Angelic Organics for your positive influence on my kids!

~Mindy

 

My son just loves all the veggies, especially the carrots with the tops still on!

~Jody

 

It was a beautiful day to pick beans and flowers at the U-Pick at Angelic Organics!

~Tomara

 

Nothing makes me happier than my kids begging me to cut open the honeydew for their snack! It was absolutely delicious. Thanks so much for all your hard work to bring us fabulous, organic fruits and vegetables!!

~Laurel

 

The Crops

We completed the potato harvest on Friday, and the popcorn and beet harvests on Saturday.

 

We still have a lot of-frost hardy lettuce in the fields…also, baby greens, daikon radishes, rutabaga, sage, cabbage, broccoli shoots, and Brussels sprouts. And we have lots of potatoes and squash and some lovely onions in storage to be distributed in your boxes in the upcoming weeks.

Bounteous Choi for last week’s box…note the shirtsleeves in October

Bounteous Choi for last week’s box…note the shirtsleeves in October

Final potato harvest

Final potato harvest

Weather

We experienced lovely mild weather this past week, with a couple of very light frosts. The dew stays longer on the crops now; whereas in the summer, we harvested greens first thing, now we wait until late morning or even early afternoon for the heavy due to mostly lift. (We like to harvest the greens with some moisture on them, but not a heavy dew.)

Colton and Andrea harvest arugula mid-day, after the light frost has vanished and the dew has mostly lifted

Colton and Andrea harvest arugula mid-day, after the light frost has vanished and the dew has mostly lifted

The Work

The days are getting shorter. Some of our crew has been starting at 6 a.m., but now it’s dark at 6, so they start at 6:30. Soon they’ll be starting at 7, as night envelopes more of our day. The work has been especially orderly the past couple of weeks, because the weather has been so mild—no storms or heavy winds working against us.

Popcorn harvest- Jay (left), Browny, with Ali in background

The Future

On Saturday morning, the Casiques began separating garlic bulbs into cloves for our upcoming planting of next year’s garlic crop, while Primo was working up the field where the garlic will be planted this fall.  We’re increasing the garlic acreage for next year, since so many of our shareholders love garlic, and seem to especially love our German White Porcelain Garlic.

Even though we are very busy harvesting and packing boxes, we are turning our attention to 2015 while 2014 is fresh in our minds. We’re meeting on variety selection, crop composition, timing of plantings…there are dozens of things to consider to make our next season the best possible.

Garlic cloves await planting

Garlic cloves await planting

Box Contents

Please Note: this summary is written before you receive your box—please be aware that some guesswork is involved. As always, be sure to thoroughly wash all of your vegetables.

Arugula
Brussels Sprouts
Confection Squash
Dill
Lettuce
An Onion
Popcorn
Potatoes
Turnips

Note on the Arugula

Arugula will perish quickly if stored wet in a plastic bag, if it appears moist, please do the following before storing it in the refrigerator: Fill a large bowl or dishpan with cold water.  Add greens and swirl around vigorously. All the dirt and sand will sink to the bottom.  Lift greens out of basin and into a salad spinner or colander.  Spin greens to dry or drain as best you can and dry on towels. If you don’t have a spinner or colander, soak up the moisture with paper towels. Store washed and spun greens in a Ziploc bag or plastic container lined with a dry paper towel in the refrigerator. Cut greens perish more quickly if stored wet in a plastic bag. Consume the arugula within a few days of receiving it.

Note on your Popcorn

When Is It Dry Enough to Pop?
After a couple of weeks of drying in the husk, the corn is ready to test. Remove the husk from an ear or two and pluck a few kernels off each cob. Take a small handful of kernels and pop them by whatever method you prefer.
If the popped corn is unpleasantly tough or chewy, or the exploded puffs are oddly edged or jagged, the corn is still too wet. Keep up this testing every few days until the popcorn is the way you like it, then husk and de-kernel the corn and store it. http://hubpages.com/hub/Popcorn–Planting-to-Popping

To Oven-Dry your Shelled Popcorn.

Preheat the stove to 300 degrees Fahrenheit and put a large pan (a turkey roaster will do) of kernels on the rack. Then, turn the oven down to its lowest setting immediately, and dry the corn — stirring it occasionally — for five hours. After that time you can turn the heat off and leave the kernels in the oven to cool overnight. They’ll be “poppin’ perfect” by morning.
(It is possible to dry corn too thoroughly, though. I forgot to turn my preheated oven down, once, and returned a little later to a house that smelled suspiciously like cooked corn. The kernels were so dry that they wouldn’t pop at all! But, I just sprinkled the popcorn with a little water, put it in a tight-lidded bucket, and left the closed container in the fridge for a week. The remoistened corn popped just fine.) http://www.motherearthnews.com/organic-gardening/grow-your-own-popcorn-zmaz79zsch.aspx#ixzz2jsrFGScB

Upcoming Program at the Angelic Organics Learning Center

Live Culture in the Kitchen 

Sunday, October 26, 2pm-4:30pm

Get your gut going with healthy bacteria! You’ll learn all about fermentation at this hands-on workshop on the farm. You’ll even take home a jar of sauerkraut and yogurt! We’re excited to welcome Chef Michael Staver from Kendall College as a guest instructor for the course. Please pre-register at www.learngrowconnect.org/events.

Plus, we have a special offer going on now: 10% off any and all fall classes! Use the discount code “FALL201410AOSHAREHOLDER.” Expires on December 1, 2014.

LC1

Warmly,

Farmer John and the Angelic Organics Farm Team

Welcome to our 18th Harvest Week. Oct 8 (Wed Delivery)

Welcome to our 18th week of the 2014 Season

 In Farm News this week, Farmer John Writes about Judgment

The Crops

Notice this week if the spinach is sweeter than usual, after it went through the weekend’s light frost. Other beneficiaries of frost from a flavor standpoint are Brussels sprouts, cabbage and kale.

We still have cabbage in the fields. It will be sweeter after this past weekend’s frost

We still have cabbage in the fields. It will be sweeter after this past weekend’s frost

With kale as a backdrop, Araceli muscles through the mud to harvest celeriac

With kale as a backdrop, Araceli muscles through the mud to harvest celeriac

Weathering The Weather 

We had a mild frost this past Sunday morning. We were preparing for this event all last week. Primo and his team winterized a wide range of equipment. The crew brought in all the remaining eggplant, peppers and winter squash.  They harvested all the frost-sensitive lettuce and put row covers over the salad greens. (The salad greens would have survived the light frost without covers, but later in October heavy frosts might end them. Plus, the covers provide a bit of warmth to encourage the greens to grow faster.)

Important Seeds for our World’s Future

On Saturday before the frost, Walter Goldstein of Mandaamin Seed, his assistant, and some of our crew harvested all the corn from Walter’s seed and research plots which we grew for him on the farm. A seed researcher for many decades, Walter is doing very innovative seed work in ways that can vastly help our planet in the areas of poultry health, GMO pollen exclusion, and substantial reduction of synthetic fertilizers. I feel privileged to help him. Some day, I may elaborate more in a newsletter on Walter’s important work. If you don’t want to wait for an elaboration, check out www.mandaamin.org.

The Work

The crew works in increasingly inclement conditions as we enter more deeply into autumn. They contend with rain, cold, wind, and sleet.

Andrea prepares celeriac for transport on a cold, misty morning

Andrea prepares celeriac for transport on a cold, misty morning

Judgment

What are the criteria you use to judge people? Below is an email exchange between a stranger and Farmer John that centers on judgment.

Hello,

I have heard a lot about your farm and what you do. I think it’s wonderful, but I was wondering how deep do your values lie? I have worked and volunteered at several places that walk the walk but don’t talk the talk. I keep getting disappointed. The establishments seem beautiful, and they make me happy but when I get to know them I find out the guys tilling the fields drink and get McDonald’s after a hard day’s work, I find out several people smoke, the general manager sells weight loss shakes with genetically modified ingredients, the gym is filled with people wanting to tan instead of being healthy, the deli trucks in stuff from Hormel but doesn’t include that on the labeling, neither does the pesto with its lemon juice concentrate with added sodium metabisulfite, etc.

I want to know if you guys are good to the core. I have yet to find a place like that. It’s so depressing. So, how healthy is Angelic Organics?

Thanks, A…

Dear A…,

I’m not sure it’s even legal to have a hiring policy based on people’s adherence to green or ecological principles. However, I do know, having farmed organically for 25 years, and having farmed for a total of 55 years, that the priority on a farm is always to get the work done on time. It’s interesting to notice who can get the work done; it’s quite a variety of people, but often they are people who just love the work, but don’t necessarily adhere to organic principles or green life styles. People can be outspokenly green and not at all able or willing to do the work. People can be indifferent to green and be stellar workers.

Personally, I judge people much more by whether they tell the truth than by what they eat.

You might check out the film “The Real Dirt on Farmer John” to get more insight into my farm and my personal history.

best, Farmer John

Note: A…thanked me for my reply.

U-Pick Garden

Our U-Pick Garden has a few flowers now.

More from Shareholders

Visit us often at www.facebook.com/angelicorganics, where we post exciting farm developments regularly, and shareholders post recipes, tips, and photos.

Box Contents

Please Note: this summary is written before you receive your box—please be aware that some guesswork is involved. As always, be sure to thoroughly wash all of your vegetables.

Broccoli Side Shoots
Brussels Sprouts
Carrots
Chinese Cabbage
Cilantro
Garlic
Green Choi
Lettuce
Parsnips
Popcorn (see note about drying your popcorn)
Spinach
Sweet Peppers

When Is It Dry Enough to Pop?
After a couple of weeks of drying in the husk, the corn is ready to test. Remove the husk from an ear or two and pluck a few kernels off each cob. Take a small handful of kernels and pop them by whatever method you prefer.
If the popped corn is unpleasantly tough or chewy, or the exploded puffs are oddly edged or jagged, the corn is still too wet. Keep up this testing every few days until the popcorn is the way you like it, then husk and de-kernel the corn and store it. http://hubpages.com/hub/Popcorn–Planting-to-Popping

To Oven-Dry your Shelled Popcorn.

Preheat the stove to 300 degrees Fahrenheit and put a large pan (a turkey roaster will do) of kernels on the rack. Then, turn the oven down to its lowest setting immediately, and dry the corn — stirring it occasionally — for five hours. After that time you can turn the heat off and leave the kernels in the oven to cool overnight. They’ll be “poppin’ perfect” by morning.
(It is possible to dry corn too thoroughly, though. I forgot to turn my preheated oven down, once, and returned a little later to a house that smelled suspiciously like cooked corn. The kernels were so dry that they wouldn’t pop at all! But, I just sprinkled the popcorn with a little water, put it in a tight-lidded bucket, and left the closed container in the fridge for a week. The remoistened corn popped just fine.) http://www.motherearthnews.com/organic-gardening/grow-your-own-popcorn-zmaz79zsch.aspx#ixzz2jsrFGScB

Upcoming Program at the Angelic Organics Learning Center

Live Culture in the Kitchen 

Sunday, October 26, 2pm-4:30pm

Get your gut going with healthy bacteria! You’ll learn all about fermentation at this hands-on workshop on the farm. You’ll even take home a jar of sauerkraut and yogurt! We’re excited to welcome Chef Michael Staver from Kendall College as a guest instructor for the course. Please pre-register at www.learngrowconnect.org/events.

Plus, we have a special offer going on now: 10% off any and all fall classes! Use the discount code “FALL201410AOSHAREHOLDER.” Expires on December 1, 2014

LC1

Warmly,

Farmer John and the Angelic Organics Farm Team

Welcome to our 17th Harvest Week. Oct 1 (Wed Delivery)

Welcome to our 17th week of the 2014 Season

In Farm News this week, Farmer John Writes  “It’s not just about the Food; it’s also about the Farm.”

As shareholders, you support not just healthy food and healthy eating; you support the ongoing transformation of a small part of the planet by helping to build up a farm, your farm: its soils, buildings, trees, grasslands, wildlife, economy, and culture.

At the recent farm open house, several shareholders were very effusive about how much Angelic Organics means to them. Diana McCluskey told me, “I’ve been with you for 15 years. I love the farm and truly feel a part of it. I wouldn’t have it any other way. I have a farm—this is my farm.” She went on to comment about all the improvements she has noticed that have been made on the farm over the years: the gardens, the upgrading of the buildings, the care of the fields. She added, “I read all the newsletters, and I can feel the love in those boxes. I am completely in no matter what changes occur.”

Angelic Organics Farm

Angelic Organics Farm

It was a dream for me to listen to her. Even though I devote tremendous time and effort to bringing fresh, healthy food to our shareholders, I don’t want the relationship to end there; I want it to begin there. I want our shareholders to feel you have a farm, to feel deeply connected to the place that grows your food.

I was privileged to grow up on this farm, so I’ve been blessed my whole life to have a farm to which I could intimately relate. I feel it is important for all of us to experience a deep connection with a farm, a place where wildlife, weather, moonlight, soil, sunshine, seed, and people converge. It’s not just about the food; it’s also about the farm. To flourish, a farm needs ongoing care and attention. A farm is not just a piece of real estate enclosed by property lines; it is a tender being, a living organism. It needs devotion. Thank you from the farm and me to all of you who are devoted to Angelic Organics.

The Crops

We still have peppers and eggplant in the field as October approaches. We’re letting them size up until just before the frost, an interesting waiting game. We have given you a lot of potatoes so far. (I’m sure you’ve noticed.) And there are more potatoes to come. We didn’t plan on such a huge potato crop, but that’s what we got.

Overheard: “These are the best vegetables I’ve ever eaten. And I don’t even like vegetables.”

Jay sizes up a beet and a cabbage

Jay sizes up a beet and a cabbage

The Weather

I believe the last few days are the longest period of dry weather we’ve had all year. And it’s been very mild…lovely fall weather—great for getting crops out of the fields.

Harvesting muddy carrots while irrigating recently planted lettuce seedlings

Harvesting muddy carrots while irrigating recently planted lettuce seedlings

The Work

The crew is working an extra hour a day now, quitting at 5 pm rather than 4 pm, to make good use of the dry, mild weather.

Katie enjoys her weekend home from college

Katie enjoys her weekend home from college

Want to farm?

A one year training course sponsored by the Angelic Organics Learning Center. Stateline Farm Beginnings® is a farmer-led training and support program designed to help people plan and launch sustainable farm businesses. Enrollment closes soon! – See more at: http://www.learngrowconnect.org/farmer

U-Pick Garden

Our U-Pick Garden has a few flowers now.

More from Shareholders

Visit us often at www.facebook.com/angelicorganics, where we post exciting farm developments regularly, and shareholders post recipes, tips, and photos.

Box Contents

Please Note: this summary is written before you receive your box—please be aware that some guesswork is involved. As always, be sure to thoroughly wash all of your vegetables.

Broccoli Side Shoots
Celeriac
Choi
Confection Squash
Dill
Bunched Kale
Kohlrabi
Lettuce
Potatoes
Radishes
Spinach

 Upcoming Program at the Angelic Organics Learning Center

Last cheesemaking class of the year!

We have a few spots left in our ever-popular cheesemaking class coming on Sunday, October 5 from 9am-12pm. We’ll make 5 different cheeses, including ricotta, chevre, and mozzarella, with fresh goat’s milk from the farm. Plus, you get to milk a goat!

Pre-register on our website: www.learngrowconnect.org/events

LC1LC2

Warmly,

Farmer John and the Angelic Organics Farm Team

Welcome to our 16th Harvest Week. Sept 24 (Wed Delivery)

Welcome to our 16th week of the 2014 Season

In Farm News this week, Farmer John talks up his Mom

The Crops

Our potatoes are yielding very well this year. Some of you might not use all the potatoes as you receive them, but they should store well, especially with the dirt and mud clinging to them. This coating helps them to store better. I don’t like giving out potatoes that are so dirty, and we have a fairly efficient system for washing them, but what’s the point of washing the potatoes and dramatically reducing their shelf life?

The Weather

The rain laid waste to most of our fall carrots, turning them into orange mush. They simply couldn’t handle the constant moisture in the soil. It was the nicest looking field of carrots we’ve ever raised, and I thought we would have about 10 pounds of fall carrots for each shareholder; we’ll have maybe 3 pounds per shareholder. This happened one other time in our 25 years as a CSA. As I’ve mentioned previously, the wet weather has hurt several other crops, such as the basil, the chard, and a lot of the bib lettuce, which traps the moisture inside its folded leaves.

cabbage loved the wet season

cabbage loved the wet season

acorn squash

acorn squash

The Work

We are now bringing in bins and bins of winter squash, potatoes, and beets, getting crops into storage before the freezing, rainy upcoming weeks of fall. We still have some peppers and eggplant on the vines; we’ll let them develop right up until we get a threatening frost forecast.

mud puddles, rubber boots and our crew

mud puddles, rubber boots and our crew

Want to farm?

A one-year training course sponsored by the Angelic Organics Learning Center. Stateline Farm Beginnings® is a farmer-led training and support program designed to help people plan and launch sustainable farm businesses. Enrollment closes soon! – See more at: http://www.learngrowconnect.org/farmer

If you want to farm…

Check out the documentary film about Angelic Organics and Farmer John. Even though it’s cinema, it’s a bit of a reality check: www.angelicorganics.com/film, available on Netflix and Amazon. Even if you don’t fall in love with farming, it will make you fall in love with my mom. Released in 2005, the comments still come in from viewers, and we still get requests for screenings. I just received the following messages:

John,

…I figured it was time to revisit your movie. Dude, so much hit home!  The black dirt, my grandad taking me for rides on the equipment, the strange urge to eat the dirt. I absolutely loved your mother and her optimism and energy! It made me wish the 80’s had not chewed up my grandad’s farm before I had a chance to pitch in.

Thank you for all of your sharing.

Take care,

adcdc

 

“I just finished watching the film ‘The Real Dirt on Farmer John’.  It was touching and heartwarming and I was so happy when I looked it up on the internet and found you are still farming organically.  I’m in British Columbia, and we also see beautiful farmland being given over to developments.  But your story gives me hope.  Thanks.”

~Mickey

Farmer John’s Mom, Anna

A plumber came out to the farm a couple of years ago. As we were walking across the farmyard to investigate a hydrant, he said, “I had your mom for a teacher in 3rd grade. That’s 55 years ago. I still carry your mom in my heart every day.” Although she passed away 16 years ago, many people still talk lovingly about my mom. You get a strong sense of her if you watch the film “The Real Dirt on Farmer John.” And here’s a farm newsletter story I wrote about her in the mid-90’s, “Too Old for That.” http://tinyurl.com/angelicorganics-too-old . (I’ll note here that the neighbor I mention in the story, who had his own formula for longevity, is the father of Margaret Nelson, who works in the farm office. The shared memory of her father is a strong bond between Margaret and me.)

U-Pick Garden

Our U-Pick Garden has a few flowers now.

More from Shareholders

Visit us often at www.facebook.com/angelicorganics, where we post exciting farm developments regularly, and shareholders post recipes, tips, and photos.

Box Contents

Please Note: this summary is written before you receive your box—please be aware that some guesswork is involved. As always, be sure to thoroughly wash all of your vegetables.

Arugula
Broccoli
Cabbage
Carrots
Hot Peppers
Lettuce
Parsley
Pea Shoots
A Pie Pumpkin
Potatoes

Upcoming Program at the Angelic Organics Learning Center

Say Cheese!  Join us on Sunday, October 5 from 1pm-4pm for a very special Cheesemaking for Families class!  You’ll learn all about the basics of cheesemaking at this fun, hands-on class. You’ll make and taste ricotta and queso blanco with goat’s milk from the farm, and you’ll even get to milk a goat! Please pre-register. More information and registration is on our website: http://www.learngrowconnect.org/events

LC1

LC2

Warmly,

Farmer John and the Angelic Organics Farm Team