Abbe Hills Farm CSA

  (Mt. Vernon, Iowa)
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Incredible sweeet corn this week, could use some rain

Greetings shareholders,

This week, we'll have potatoes, onions, garlic, Incredible sweet corn, beets, beans, eggplant, bell peppers, chard, kale, basil, dill, fennel, and a little bit of okra.  Sadly, this variety of garlic, Chesnock Red, is also small.  Last year's drought really kicked the garlic in the teeth and we're seeing the consequences now.  Unfortunately, we now seem to be headed in the same direction this year.  We need some rain!!!

The Incredible corn is very very nice.  I believe we will have plenty of it, so I imagine I will have some for sale by the end of the week.  Keep an eye on the farm Facebook page, , to find out when it will be available.  This would be the time to put some corn in the freezer.

Bell peppers are starting to size up nicely so expect to have them every week from now on.  I saw five red slicer tomatoes when I took my walkaround last night, so we are getting closer.  We are able to irrigate the tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, melons, some of the beans, and all of the fall crops.  While it is a TON of work, and I hate doing it, I'm glad we have the infrastructure to make irrigation happen.  It will make it more likely that we'll have something for you to eat each week this fall.  But kale, collards, okra, and chard aren't set up for irrigation so we just have to hope for the best for those crops.  Actually, the heat this week will be a pretty good thing for crop development (we're still about three weeks behind on most crops) but would be even better with a good soaking.

We're planting the fall greens this week; lettuce, cabbage, chois, mustards, turnips, and radishes.  Only 45 days until the first frost!

We had a fun time at the wedding in Wyoming this weekend, and my crew did a great job while I was gone.  I got to see what a real drought looks like, too.  Kind of glad I'm able to do what I do here in green Iowa.

See you this week,


raffle tickets, potatoes, onions, beef news

Greetings shareholders,

This week, we should have potatoes, onions, garlic, dill and fennel, beets, kale and collards, chard, cabbage, and a few zukes and cukes that I've been able to scare up from the neighbors.  I know it's not a very long list and there's nothing new here.  Sorry.  The spring crops have bit the dust and the summer crops are just taking their time.  So this is the week to clean out your frig, cook all the veggies that have been getting away from you, and dream about what you're going to do with sweet corn, eggplants, and carrots next week.  Peppers and more beans aren't too far behind.  Tomatoes probably the week after that. 

The little rain this morning is going to be hugely helpful.  Looks like we got about .4 inch.  Last week, we planted LOTS of fall crops like beets, carrots, beans, radishes.   Now we won't have to start irrigating today.

We'll give you a different kind of onion this week, a light yellow one that is famously sweet and famously short lived.  They look silly but taste fabulous.  Don't try to keep them for more than a week or so.  They won't make it.

I've still got SE Linn Community Center raffle tickets for sale and would be happy if you would buy them.  The drawing is this Saturday, so you are running out of chances to get in on the big prizes AND the big opportunity to support our community.

We had a great open house last night with 81 people in attendance.  Good questions, good weather, and good food.  Of course, you can visit the garden any time, but I think the next organized chance will be Sunday, September 8.

The final ten weeks of our CSA season starts next week.   Those of you who signed up for the second half, please put pickup on your calendar.  If you don't remember what night you chose, zap me a note and I'll remind you.

Below this newsletter, I've attached a note with information about beef.  Dan's relatives are cleaning out his meat lockers and are giving you all first chance to get the last of his wonderful beef. 

Remember to look for the latest news from the farm at our Facebook page, .

See you this week,


Dear Abbe Hills CSA members,

My name is Jonathan Specht, and I'm the nephew of Dan Specht, a longtime friend of Abbe Hills and  supplier of grass-fed beef to members. As you probably know by now, my uncle Dan was killed in a farm accident a few weeks ago. Dan was a strong believer in agriculture that was in harmony with nature, and he devoted his life to supporting conservation, through both his farming and through his leadership in a number of organizations. His legacy lives on in the land he helped to preserve, the cattle he raised on it, and the beef from his cattle.

There is still a large amount of my uncle's beef (in mixed 20 pound boxes, as he delivered before). I will be taking over orders for and delivery of Dan's beef. I am planning to come to the Abbe Hills CSA pickup on Thursday, August 8th, to drop off orders.

As my uncle Dan stated to members in June:

Bundles are priced at $6.00/lb. , and hamburger at $5.50. Bundles are approximately 1/16th of a beef, but do not contain organ meats. Every box contains 3 pks. steaks, 2 minute steaks, 2 roasts, stew meat (no bones), boiling beef (some bones), and at least 4 lbs. of hamburger. You can also pre-order hamburger. I will also bring some extra hamburger to sell, first come, first served.

Please email me at to place your orders. The first five previous customers of Dan's to place an order will get a free cooler with their meat delivery.

Thank you very much,


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