2016 Denver and Colorado Springs CSA SHARES AVAILABLE

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Colorado Springs and Denver CSA Shares Available NOW!

20 week CSA, June to October

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Must Read! The Fraud of Organic Agriculture

The article below is EXACTLY why we must support local farmers and know who our farmer is and how they are growing.  "Organic" is next to meaningless today when you consider that "Organic" is a very profitable niche based solely on trust.  Is your agricultural conglomerate "farmer" that provides "fresh," "Organic" produce, shipped on average of 1500 miles, growing their food "organically" because they believe it is healthier for the consumer and the environment?  Or are they doing it simply because it's a niche that can keep them in business.  If it is the latter, than what is keeping them from compromising?  It certainly isn't the certification of "Organic" because they can get around that (ridiculous and flimsy that the standards actually are).  In many cases it's the mighty dollar that motivates them and compromising is exactly what they end up doing!
Read the article below, then read The Omnivores Dilemma by Michael Pollard and learn about the "Organic" farmers that admittedly don't believe in what they are doing and are motivated simply by profits.
Knowing your farmer and eating locally and seasonally is the only way to ensure that you are getting pure food.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Reflections of a Hungry Farmer

Today is Tisha B'av (Literally the 9th of the month of Av), a day of fasting, mourning and reflection for the Jewish people.  Being Jewish, our family is also fasting this day.  Like a few other occupations though, like those who are in medicine, there are truly no days off for a farmer.  Even days like Shabbat, when the Jewish people are to rest from ALL work, a day full of restrictions, there are still many things that absolutely must be done on the farm.  Things like feeding and watering the animals never takes a day off.  So, therefore, even on a day like Tisha B'Av, when we are fasting from any food or water for more than 24 hours, we do not have the luxury to at least take the day off and rest.  Further more, there are deadlines that need to be made.  Plants need to be watered, product needs to be harvested, and food needs to be delivered.  So what did I do this morning while fasting?  As soon as I was done praying, I worked in the field. I harvested the shares for tomorrow, I irrigated the vegetables, watered and fed the animals.  Was I tired?  A little bit.  Hungry?  A little bit.  Reflective?  Even more so...

I thought about the meaning of Tisha B'Av: The remembrance and mourning of the destruction of the Holy Temples (both the first and the second temple were destroyed, as it were, on the same calendar day), the crushing defeat of the Jews in 132 C.E. during the Bar Kochba revolt, the first crusade against the Jews in 1095, the expelling of the Jews from Spain in 1492 and the declaration of WW1 all occurred on Tisha B'Av along with a host of other destructive events.  In short, Tisha B'Av is a sad day.  For me as a farmer, I have an opportunity on this day, however.

As I am fasting and mourning and reflecting on the atrocities that have occurred to the Jewish people, to our people, over the centuries and I am feeling weak and hungry while working in the field, I could feel sorry for myself.  But I don't.  I realize instead what a privilege it is to live as free as I do and to be able to feed people with such pure and whole foods that bring healing to their bodies and to our land.  While working I think of how grateful I am to be able to practice my faith openly and without apology in such a free country and during such a time as this. Sure there is anti-semitism, and I am not immune from it believe me, but comparatively, we are living in a time of immense peace and prosperity.  Yet, there are so many around the world who are not.

I think of those in parts of China, India and parts of Africa that are suffering from malnutrition and hunger.  I think mostly, however, of those even here in America, the most prosperous nation the world has ever seen, that are suffering from unseen starvation. Today  there are 50 million Americans who are literally starving to death (Watch "A Place at the Table).  These American's who can barely afford to purchase food are not all aching for food, some are, but they are starving (Read Stuffed and Starved).  Stuffing themselves on foods laden with refined carbohydrates like high fructose corn syrup, added refined sugars, stripped of all nutrients like white bread and white rice, these people are literally starving of nutritional deficiency to death. Some of them don't even realize that they are starving, as they make the choices to eat this way while suffering ailments that doctors tell them are "hereditary," while giving them a prescription for statins to lower their cholesterol.  Others, however, wish they could eat healthier.  They long for pure, clean, fresh food, but cannot afford it, or it's simply not accessible to them (See Food Desert).

This is where we come in.  Colorado Springs and El Paso county as well as other areas in southern and eastern Colorado are some of the areas that many people are suffering.  Only 1-2% of the food in El Paso county is considered local and a huge percentage of the area including much of the rest of Colorado outside of Denver and a few exceptions are considered to have low availability to fresh food (see USDA Map Here).  Even if they do have access to fresh food the question then is first, can they afford it, and second, is it really pure, healthy food that is going to bring healing, or is it conventional food that will further damage their bodies because it is laden with chemicals and modified organisms that are not recognizable or digestible by the human body (see a great video about this HERE)?  The reality is, however, that even with an additional 100,000 acres of pure food, it still wouldn't meet the local demand.  But we can make a small difference.  Our little farm is responsible for feeding about 30 families per week pure food.  We bring healing to a small amount of additional people with those that purchase our food from the farmers market as well.  It's not much, but it's a start.  We have been told by so many, how the food makes them feel, how much they enjoy it and even more so, how thankful they are that we are here to provide it for them.  What a blessing!

With so many people that are starving each and every day, I choose to be hungry for one day with them.  I am hungry and I am tired and I am sad because of Tisha B'Av, but I am also thankful.  I am thankful that my family is so healthy.  I am thankful that my family is safe and does not have to worry about being expelled, murdered, or persecuted to such an extent as those who have gone before us have been.  I am also thankful for the opportunity to provide food and bring healing to people who otherwise do not have access to it.

Fasting brings a reflection that encourages appreciation for the things that we have.  To go without food for one day is no problem, even if I am working hard for much of that day.  For, there are almost a billion people around the world right now who do not have food (see HERE).  I am making a choice not to eat.  They don't have one. How dare I complain, whine, snivel or pout about not eating for one day, for running after children or working hard in the field?  I can't.  I must, therefore be grateful for the opportunities that I have.  For the opportunity to have a choice not to eat for a day, for the opportunity to provide health and financial well-being for my family and for the opportunity to bring health to others through the food that I grow.

Tzom Kal

Sunday, July 19, 2015

What Goes Into a Typical June-July Share?


Two Heads of Buttercrunch Lettuce
1 Head of Broadleaf Batavian Endive
1 Head of Bronze Mignonette 
1 Large bunch of Ruby Red Swiss Chard
1 Bunch of Detroit Dark Red Beets
1 Bunch of Danvers Carrots
1 Bunch of Calabrese Broccoli Greens
1 Bunch of Snow White Cauliflower Greens
1 Bunch of Southern Giant Mustard
1 Straight Eight Cucumber
1 Large Boston Pickling Cucumber
4 Black Beauty Zucchini's
2 Yellow Crooked Neck Zucchini

Total Market Price:  $38.25
Total Share Cost:  $29.09 per week

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Danielle Zitoun Photography






Danielle Zitoun, now a local, came out to our farm to do a photo shoot with our family.  Danielle is currently doing a photo series on "Individuals and businesses contributing positively to an ethical and sustainable world."  Danielle heard about our humble family farm and thought that we modeled this and wanted to do a shoot on us.  What a blessing it was to meet Danielle, a passionate individual trying to make the world a better place.  The photos are absolutely amazing as well!  Danielle is fantastically skilled, and she does family portraits and other freelance work as well.  Check out Danielle's website here:  http://www.daniellezitoun.com/

You can check out the rest of the farm photos here:  http://daniellezitounphotography.dphoto.com/#/album/b113ft

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Local. Sustainable. Pure.

Local.  Sustainable.  Pure.

This is our trademark and our mission.  But what does it mean, and why does it matter?  Many business' clout themselves as SRC's (Socially Responsible Corporations), but when it comes down to it, many times it can be a mere marketing campaign and a way to advertise.  With Social Responsibility being as important as it is, many people are waking up to the things that their money supports and therefore many companies are falling in line and becoming socially responsible themselves, or at least acting like they are.  Ideas such as "Environmentally Friendly," "Organic," "Sustainable" etc. get thrown around regularly and many times they are simply meaningless phrases that catch the eye's of the consumer, luring them into supporting their business.

The term "Organic" is one such term that really get's under our skin.  It's also a word that we refuse to use to refer to ourselves and it is something that we refuse to get certified as.  Let me explain why.

With "Organic" pushing the envelope and walking a fine line between pure food and your typical CAFO (Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation, or Commercial Agriculture Farming Operation), the range of "Organic" farmers is very wide.  From your small-town and family-owned, truly "organic" farmers, to your large and thousands-of-acres, corporate-owned and operated giant multi-national corporations, the term "Organic" has lost much of it's meaning.  In many cases, it has been corrupted by those very multi-national corporations and the government certifying agency that they, essentially, run.  For instance, did you know that "Organic" certification allows for 38 synthetic chemicals to be used on your food?  Did you know that a percentage of GMO's (Genetically Modified Organism's) can still be considered "Organic?" http://gmo-awareness.com/2011/05/05/is-organic-always-gmo-free/.  Did you know, that sewer sludge (aka, human waste) and irradiated food can still be considered "Organic?" (http://evergreenfarm.typepad.com/evergreenfarm/2007/06/why-we-choose-n.html).  Did you also know that the Organic Certification could care less how the soil is treated, how our environment is impacted, how much water is wasted, how much emissions and petroleum products are consumed and emitted and how the animals are treated? (http://www.peta.org/issues/animals-used-for-food/free-range-organic-meat-myth/)

Certainly, purchasing organic food is MUCH better for you than purchasing non-organic food and I am not saying that there aren't amazing Certified Organic growers.  My "beef" is not with those that call themselves "Organic" because many are wonderful, but with the Certification itself.  It's a sham. Does Organic mean that it is sustainable?  Is it as fresh as local or as economically responsible?  Is it really considered pure?  Are the animals really that much healthier, happier and humanely treated?  The answer, sadly may be a resounding "NO!" with a few exceptions, including us.  We claim to be "Better Than Organic" and this is why...

Local.  By being a "Local" farm, not only do you the consumer have the opportunity to "Meet the Farmer" and visit the farm and see first-hand what and how we are growing and producing our food, but you also get to support the local economy and support the "little guy."  In addition, by being local, the food you get is usually picked either the same day, or pretty close to it.  Ripe, fresh and not shipped in from Mexico, California or worse, China.  You know where your food is coming from.  You know that it is fresh.  You know how it is produced.  You know who you are supporting.

Sustainable.  Sustainable goes hand in hand with "pure."  In order to be sustainable, you have to be "organic" but being "organic" doesn't make you automatically "sustainable."  In fact, Organic farming can use many of the same farming methods as non-organic like having an enormous carbon footprint, the destruction of the soil by over-tilling and the extreme waste of other resources like water and fossil-fuels (most synthetic fertilizers are oil-based, even "Organic" ones).  Sustainable agriculture takes care of the soil, uses compost, no-till methods and preserves water.  There is minimal water waste, fossil fuel waste and other un-natural methods of farming are not used.

Pure.  Pure ties this all together.  As mentioned above, because we use sustainable farming practices, your food is pure.  It's not "organic" it's better-than-organic.  No synthetic chemicals, fertilizers, sprays or genetically engineered seeds etc. are used.  In fact, every vegetable that we sell is heirloom.  This means that it hasn't been altered in any way.  In addition, we use row-covers, hand-tools and old-fashioned pure and natural farming methods to avoid pests and to control weeds.  Your food is picked fresh and ripened on the plant and not on a truck.  The same goes for our animals.  Our chickens and ducks get to roam the land eating bugs and grasses as well as our kitchen scraps and our left-over produce.  All supplemented feed is "organic" and soy and corn free and the animals are loved, well-cared for and simply the cleanest birds you have ever seen!  In short, there is no possible way to get fresher, healthier and more pure produce than you can from our farm or from your own garden.


Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Baruch Hashem!

That means "Praise God!"  It looks like the harvest is on!  Come by the market tonight to get some of the following and more....