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Posted 11/18/2019 11:46am by Josie Hart.

Dear Supporters,


We have a new partner, NUM Foods! Owned and operated by a local Denver mom, Kristine Root, who wanted to make cooking from scratch/fresh herbs a simple daily task! In your holiday box that will be delivered this week, you will find two herbal salt blends that were sourced from Chatfield Farms and dried/mixed/curated by Kristine as a gift to you for your support.

Also included are two holiday recipes for Thanksgiving with options for vegetarians or vegans. Please visit the website www.NUMfoods.com to learn more about these blends and how you can purchase them. If you love these blends as much as I do, let us know! We are considering offerring the herb salts as a share option next season and your feedback is extremely helpful!!

Also included in your holiday share box is our printed 2018 season report (kind of like an annual report) that informs you of all our Urban Food and Farming programs at Denver Botanic Gardens. 

Finally we created a booklet on the specific partnerships and individuals that received SNAP/Donated shares as a direct result of your supporting share. Enjoy seeing and reading about all the ways our program gives back to the community! Thank you so much for your support in 2019 and we do hope you continue helping to make the CSA accessible to a larger audience!

Please email me with your thoughts about the NUM herbal mixes and any other thoughts you would like to share about your experience this season. We are grateful for all of you!

With gratitude,

Josie Hart
josie.hart@botanicgardens.org 

 

 

 

Posted 9/13/2019 5:16pm by Josie Hart.

Dear shareholders,

Tomorrow is Gleaning Day! We invite you and your families to come out between 8-10 a.m. to harvest some crops before they get mowed and plowed back into the ground. It's a nice time to come see where your crops are grown, and also a great scavenger hunt! We'll have beans, chard, basil, summer squash, cukes, tomatillos, dill and cilantro, and probably a few more that I'm forgetting right now.

When you get to Chatfield Farms, park in the gravel lot and walk past the Hildebrand Ranch House and animals out to the dirt road. Take a left, walk past a pond and then our beehives on your right. Turn left into the fenced in fields just opposite our compost piles, and there will be volunteers to orient you, a list of crops and flags marking areas to be gleaned. Bring your own supplies, like gloves, knives for harvesting and something to put your harvest into.

This is David in the golden light of morning mowing the aisles of the tomato field. We try to keep our fields as manicured and tidy as possible, both for aesthetic purposes and for the health of the crops. Luckily now that we are past the peak of planting and seeding new crops we've had some time to get aisles mowed, fall cover crops seeded, and our last transplants cleared of competition from the weeds. With six more weeks of distribution we are feeling much less hectic and some of us are even getting vacations in (say hello to the ocean for us, Maddy!). We're still far from what I would consider peak harvest of summer crops but fall crops such as broccoli and cabbage are coming on and suddenly the equinox is right around the corner! I honestly can't say whether I'm ready for summer to be over or not ...

HARVEST LIST:

  • Napa cabbage
  • Bok choy
  • Tomatoes
  • Leeks
  • Fennel
  • Sage
  • Garlic
  • Beets
  • Broccoli

*Please note the exact share may change due to weather or crop conditions.

FEATURED RECIPE: Fennel casserole

This week's recipe comes from Monika, aka "Scales," a shareholder and Tuesday distribution volunteer who can be found manning the third table and hitting the weights of all bagged cut greens right on the money!

 

Ingredients

  • 6 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced fresh thyme
  • 2 fennel bulbs, stalks discarded, halved and cut into 1-inch wedges
  • 3 ounces rye bread, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 ounce Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 teaspoon caraway seeds

Directions

Heat oven to 425 degrees. Whisk 3 tablespoons melted butter, lemon juice, 1 teaspoon salt, thyme, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper together in a large bowl. Add fennel and toss to coat. Arrange fennel cut side down in a single layer in 13x9 baking dish. Cover with aluminum foil and bake until fennel is nearly tender, 25-30 minutes.

Meanwhile, pulse bread, Parmesan, caraway, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/8 teaspoon pepper and remaining 3 tablespoons butter in food processor to coarse crumbs, about 20 pulses. Set aside.

Remove foil from dish and sprinkle fennel with bread crumb mixture. Continue to bake, uncovered, until fennel is tender and topping is browned and crisp, 15-20 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes before serving.

 

Posted 8/30/2019 10:52am by Josie Hart.

Dear shareholders,

Chatfield honey is in! Just bottled up by Bob and Josie Dolezal, our resident beekeepers. They're very excited about the quality of this year's honey, and I can't wait to try it. Bring cash or check to purchase, $15 a pint.  

I am shocked! -shocked!- to see the month change over in the subject line of this newsletter, though with the cooler nights and now that I'm leaving for work in the pitch black there is a fall feeling in the air. In so many ways it feels like the season hasn't even begun ... melons just flowering, peppers still spindly and with many plants yet to even flower, cucumber plants still vining out and not in full production ... sigh ... a strange season, and a strange one for many of the local farmers I've spoken to as well. And I know they're not lying because nearly all of them want to grab a beer and commiserate. It does help to know you're not the only one struggling!

This week we'll be featuring our treasured Jabaghly garlic. This variety has been developed at Chatfield from seed (well, technically not exactly seed since garlic no longer produces seed, but that's a longer botanical story ...) collected by greenhouse manager Mike Bone which he found growing near the Jabaghly River in Kazakhstan. This is the area where garlic is believed to have originated from. It is believed to be descended from Allium longicuspis, a wild strain of Asian garlic but its origins are still in question. In fact, garlic is one of the world’s oldest cultivated crops. Garlic is mentioned in ancient Egyptian, Greek, Indian and Chinese writings as well as the Bible, Talmud and Quran. Greek, Egyptian, Chinese, and European medicinal texts cite garlic as the cure for many ailments, including impotence, scorpion bites, heart disease, lack of energy, and the black plague! 

HARVEST LIST:

  • Garlic
  • Radishes
  • Summer squash
  • Chard
  • Dill
  • Cucumbers
  • Tomatoes
  • Red onions

*Please note the exact share may change due to weather or crop conditions.

FEATURED RECIPE: Swiss chard and roasted red pepper frittata

This is shareholder Sarah's go-to chard recipe, and as a bonus it uses half a week's egg share as well!

Ingredients:    

  •  4 tsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 bunch swiss chard
  • 1 (5 oz) jar roasted red peppers, drained and chopped
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 large egg whites
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese

Directions:   

Preheat broiler.

Heat oil in 10-inch nonstick ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is softened, about 5 minutes. Add chard and roasted red peppers; cook, stirring occasionally, until chard is tender, about 3 minutes.

Meanwhile, whisk together eggs, egg whites, salt and black pepper in medium bowl. Stir in mozzarella. Pour over onion mixture, stirring gently to combine. Reduce heat to medium and cook until eggs are set, 7-8 minutes. Place frittata under broiler and broil 5 inches from heat until top is lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Let stand 2 minutes before serving. 

 

Posted 8/16/2019 12:01pm by Josie Hart.

Dear shareholders,

Tuesday folks we are back to our usual York St. spot!  

Our experimental crop of the week is New Zealand Spinach, a spinach-like succulent green that is actually part of the fig-marigold family. New Zealand Spinach (Tetragonia tetragonoides) is native to Australia, New Zealand, and parts of Asia. The plant was (somewhat) popularized as a culinary green when brought to England by Captain Cook, whose crew cooked and pickled the leaves, eating them to prevent scurvy! We are excited about New Zealand Spinach as it can handle hotter and drier climates much better than most common spinach varieties, which means it thrives even in the Colorado summer heat. We found the seed took a bit longer than most greens to germinate and grow in the greenhouse, but has really taken off in the field.

Please note that is best to cook NZ spinach to remove some of the oxalic acid (the same compound in spinach that can make your mouth feel chalky if you eat a lot of it raw) contained in the leaves.

HARVEST LIST:

  • Head lettuce
  • Leeks
  • Summer squash
  • Beets
  • Beans
  • New Zealand spinach
  • Tomatoes
  • Fennel

*Please note the exact share may change due to weather or crop conditions.

FEATURED RECIPES: New Zealand Spinach

Welcome to Chatfield's Test Kitchen! Since none of us have ever grown or eaten this crop before we did a few cooking trials with it.

Here's Katie's dish and review:

 

Pasta with New Zealand Spinach, artichoke quarters, onion, garlic, parmesan, and balsamic vinegar. I don't hate it? It's much better than I expected. The succulent-y texture goes away with cooking. Still slightly thicker than spinach but not bad! 7/10

Maddy cooked up an Udon Noodle dish with the NZ spinach and found that it cooks down quite a bit just like regular spinach and adds a nice salty and slightly earthy flavor to the dish!

Here is her recipe:

Ingredients:

1 Packet Udon noodles
3 cups NZ Spinach
1 cup edamame
1-2 cups mushrooms of choice (I used Maiitake)
2 garlic cloves
¼ cup onion Protein of choice (I used some tempeh)   

Sauce ingredients (optional):
Tablespoon ginger (chopped)
2 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons peanut butter (optional)
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar  

Directions:

While boiling water for the Udon noodles, saute onion, garlic, and mushrooms in a bit of olive oil until mushrooms are cooked. Add edamame and New Zealand spinach and saute lightly to wilt the spinach. Drain noodles once cooked and add those to the pan as well. Keep it simple and just add some soy and fish sauce or make a peanut sauce by mixing together soy sauce, chopped ginger and garlic, peanut butter, apple cider vinegar and water to taste.

 

Posted 8/3/2019 8:23am by Josie Hart.

Dear shareholders,

For those of you who pick up at York St. on Tuesdays, we will be at City Park Greenhouses for the next two weeks. It's the same alternate location we held distribution at in July, 2500 E. 23rd Avenue. From our usual pickup location head north on Josephine, turn right on 23rd, then take your first right. The entrance to the parking lot for the greenhouses is on your left. 

Well, another crop tilled under. Below was the state of our kale and collards, host to a variety insects, caterpillars and animals who also enjoy our produce! Behind the ravaged leaf is one of our main tools to prevent our produce from looking like this, remay or floating rowcover. 

Remay is a very thin material which lets light and water through while also keeping bugs out. Since I don't like to spray pesticides, even organic ones, on our crops, once the population of pests reaches a threshold of damaging the crop we just mow it on down and hope the remay on the next planting doesn't blow away in the wind. So, no kale or collards for a while.

Our first round of cukes, usually in abundance this time of year, never got remay on it (oops) and got stunted by cucumber beetles feeding on the leaves and have not really recovered, so we're keeping our fingers crossed that the second planting will begin to yield soon.

When we have to do things like mow down whole plantings I sometimes wish I could just nuke all the bugs with a conventional pesticide but I was reminded of why we grow this way when a shareholder told me last week that her baby's first solid food was our zucchini. It's sometimes easy to forget what a great trust you have placed in us as farmers to grow food for you. 

We were able to dig up a bed of carrots, our next round of beets are nearly ready, and there are plenty of peppers starting to size up, so we do hope for more abundance soon! Thank you as always for sharing the ups and downs of the season with us!

HARVEST LIST:

  • Carrots
  • Onions
  • Chard
  • Beans
  • Summer squash
  • Herbs

*Please note the exact share may change due to weather or crop conditions.

 

FEATURED RECIPE: Fennel Panna Cotta

Since that was a lotta fennel I'll go with another fennel recipe, besides I don't want dessert to get neglected in the recipes here, I certainly don't neglect it in my life.

Ingredients     

  • 1 bulb fennel, including feathery top
  • 3 cups heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 grind freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons licorice-flavored liqueur, such as anisette or sambuca
  • 1 tablespoon powdered plain gelatin softened in 1/2 cup cold water, or 4 sheets gelatin soaked in 1/2 cup cold water       
  • 1 cup sugar, plus 2 1/2 tablespoons
  • 1 vanilla bean, cut in half lengthwise
  • 1 cup chilled heavy cream

DIRECTIONS

Lightly coat eight 6- to 8-ounce ramekins with nonstick cooking oil spray and set aside (disposable foil cups are okay to use). Refrigerate a large stainless-steel mixing bowl so that it is well chilled. Cut the feathery tops off the fennel bulb; chop enough of the most delicate fronds (about 1/2-inch lengths) to fill 1/2 cup and set aside. Cut the bulb in half from stem to root end and then cut into very thin slices.

Place the sliced fennel, heavy cream, milk, sugar, honey, salt and pepper in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring to ensure that the sugar has dissolved, then remove from the heat and let the mixture steep for 15 minutes. Strain, discarding the solids. Add the liqueur and the softened gelatin and stir until the gelatin has completely dissolved. Divide the reserved chopped fronds among the ramekins, then fill the ramekins with the panna cotta mixture. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 6 to 24 hours, or until set.

To serve, run a knife around the inside of each ramekin and invert the panna cottas onto individual plates; they should come out easily, with the fennel fronds displayed on the top. Scrape the seeds from the grilled vanilla bean halves into the chilled mixing bowl. Add the remaining 2 1/2 tablespoons sugar and 1 cup of heavy cream; use a hand-held mixer on high speed or a whisk to beat to soft peaks. Carefully fold the grilled berries into the whipped cream and spoon over the panna cottas.  Serve immediately.  

 

Posted 7/29/2019 12:41pm by Josie Hart.

Dear Supporting Shareholders,

We invite you and a guest to our annual Farm to Fork Dinner here at Chatfield Farms. This dinner is free and is a show of appreciation for all you do for the farm.

Please save the date for Sunday, September 22nd, 5:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.

We will send out an electronic invitation as well, and we ask that you RSVP so we can keep an accurate count of guests attending.

The evening's plan is as follows:

5:30 - Cocktail Hour and Tour

6:30 - Dinner and Stories from the Farm

8:00 - Dessert and Farewell!

We hope to see you on the farm for a deee-licious dinner with farm friends!!

 

Posted 7/20/2019 7:37am by Josie Hart.

Dear shareholders,

Hey look what we found this morning!

 

We are currently in a bit of a lull, waiting for summer crops such as this delicious yellow tomato to come on in earnest while spring crops like peas, radishes and bok choy have all been picked through and mowed in.

Unfortunately we'll be without root crops for month or so. We had to mow down two whole plantings of beets and carrots since we just couldn't keep them weeded, and also couldn't let the pigweed and thistle throw even more seed on the fields. It's an incredibly sad thing to sit on the tractor and mow down those beds when you know there's baby carrots under there, but sometimes as a farmer you have to make those difficult decisions ...

On a brighter note, today is our Lavender Festival here at Chatfield from 9am to 5pm. And if you get to the farm between 9 and 11 you'll be able to catch our very own Royce Hale performing with his big band. And if you're there, make sure you bring your dancing shoes, because they really do swing.

For those of you with Fruit Shares we'll have cherries again this week before we have a little break while we wait for peaches, scheduled for August 13th and 15th, and then fruit will be weekly until the end of the season.

HARVEST LIST:

  • Head lettuce
  • Onions
  • Basil
  • Oregano
  • Summer squash
  • Collards

*Please note the exact share may change due to weather or crop conditions*

FEATURED RECIPE: Zucchini casserole

Since it's supposed to cool down a little here I suppose I can reasonably include this recipe. This comes from my notebook of recipes dating all the way back to 2003, and includes no amounts, but I remember this one being in heavy rotation for a good long while.

INGREDIENTS

  • zucchini
  • tomatoes
  • peppers
  • onion
  • oregano
  • basil
  • shredded cheese


INSTRUCTIONS

Slice zucchini in rounds and layer with peppers, onions, tomato slices, basil, and oregano in a buttered casserole dish. Top with cheese. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes.

 

Posted 6/28/2019 4:39pm by Josie Hart.

Dear shareholders,

A couple of important notes: 

This week we will be celebrating the Fourth of July this Thursday by harvesting and distributing produce, same time as usual. If you are out of town or just can't make it to pick up, remember all shares left over will be donated to SAME Cafe, a pay-what-you-can restaurant and food truck.

With concert season beginning at York St. on Tuesday, we will be at City Park Greenhouses, 2500 E. 23rd Avenue. From our usual pickup location head north on Josephine, turn right on 23rd, then take your first right. The entrance to the parking lot for the greenhouses is on your left. 

This is some of our indispensable volunteer crew, with Allison in the center clutching her haul of collard greens on a recent harvest morning. Now that we are reaching the high point of the season, with planting after planting going in, and trying to stay on top of the weeds in all those plantings, and get spring plantings done in to get a second crop in that space I would like to thank all the volunteers for enabling us to keep this farm running. Because of your efforts, we as staff are able to go home at a reasonable hour and are able to maintain some semblance of a life outside the farm. Very much not a given in agriculture! So this week, volunteers, we salute you!

 

HARVEST LIST:

  • Lettuce mix
  • Hakurei turnips
  • Bok choy
  • Parsley or dill
  • Collards
  • Peas
  • Scallions

*Please note the exact share may change due to weather or crop conditions.

FEATURED RECIPE: Hail to the Kale Salad

Volunteer Cindy brought this snack for us at distribution yesterday, and we all freaked out because it's incredible, and since we hit the kale trifecta last week of Red Russian, lacinato AND green curly kale I thought this would be appropriate. Trust me, it will NOT disappoint ...

INGREDIENTS

• curly kale
• sliced almonds
• shredded beets and/or carrots 

Dressing:
• 1 cup raw almond butter (raw, unsweetened and unsalted)
• 1 cup coconut water (or regular water)
• ¼ cup fresh lime juice (about 2) 
• 2 cloves garlic
• fresh, peeled ginger (approximately 1” or ¾ of an ounce)
• 2 tablespoons Tamari or soy sauce
• ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes

INSTRUCTIONS

Blender together all dressing ingredients until smooth and creamy. Remove the larger stems from the kale and chop finely into in a large bowl with the shredded carrots and/or beets. Pour 2 cups of the dressing over the kale and massage the dressing into the kale. Sprinkle almonds on top before serving. 

Posted 6/15/2019 12:13pm by Josie Hart.

Dear shareholders,

First pea pick of the season yesterday! We brought in about 20 pounds, which is but the tip of the iceberg, but what we've done in previous seasons until the harvests really ramp on up is have peas on alternate weeks. Beets are really sizing up too, with carrots not far behind, so we're starting to get into some main season crops. Also, just because we like trying out different things, we'll also have Shungiku, an edible chrysanthemum, which I like in salads, or cooked lightly in stir-fries. You can let it go to flower, also edible, before harvesting it, but we tried them yesterday and the leaves and shoots are very tender and have a nice, delicate flavor.

We just finished staking and getting the first string on the tomatoes, which have just taken hold and are sprouting a riot of new green growth. Our next major project will be winter squash and melon planting. We are waiting on the right time to knock down our cover crop so we can no-till plant these crops as well, nearly an acre's worth. The cover crop is almost two weeks behind last season, so since we are using this new system where we are more closely tied to the cycle of the season, we will keep waiting. I'm finding it a good exercise in patience, and that it keeps me observing the plants more closely, away from just checking my calendars and spreadsheets. I like also that it runs so counter to our modern desire to have everything available at any time. In keeping with the place we farm, I feel proud and hopeful to be going toward the future by digging deeper into more historical and traditional farming practices.

HARVEST LIST:

  • Lettuce mix
  • Garlic scapes
  • Broccoli raab
  • Shungiku
  • Arugula
  • Hakurei or beets
  • Mint
  • Chard or Collards

*Please note the exact share may change due to weather or crop conditions.

FEATURED RECIPE: Pasta with Broccoli Raab

I include this recipe every season, but for a reason! This recipe (actually the vegetarian version of it) is what got me started on loving the more flavorful (and yes, bitter) Italian greens, which given my last name, seems fitting. Bitter greens certainly take some more care and thought in terms of flavor combinations, so please do not just steam it and set it out for your dinner party! The leaves, flower buds and upper part of the stem are all  tender and edible. Cooking it with garlic, lemon and white wine mellows the sharpness of the raab. This is how I like to prepare it, with the white wine and sausage taking it from a humble peasant meal to a rather luxurious one!

INGREDIENTS
• 1 pound orecchiette
• 1 tablespoon olive oil
• 1 pound Italian sausage, loose
• 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
• 2 cups broth or white wine
• 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper
• 1 bunch broccoli rabe
• Juice of 1 lemon
• 1 cup grated Parmesan (4 ounces)
• Salt and pepper

INSTRUCTIONS

Cook the pasta according to the package directions. 

Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the sausage and cook, breaking it up with a spoon, until it’s no longer pink, 5 to 6 minutes.

Stir in the garlic and cook 1 minute.

Add the broth or wine, parmesan, lemon and red pepper and simmer. Add the broccoli rabe cook until tender, 3 to 4 minutes.

Drain the pasta of most of its cooking water and toss the pasta with the sausage mixture. Add salt and pepper to taste.

 

Posted 6/7/2019 6:14pm by Josie Hart.

Dear shareholders,

The good new is, the peas are nearly ready! Probably not ready for next week, but I'll bet the week after we'll be able to start bringing them. They are sweet and tender and each of the thousands of flowers lining these plants will turn into one.

As

The bad news is, the hail finally got us. It was a couple of hours after this picture of spring hopefulness, and lasted only a few minutes but long enough to shred the rest of our head lettuce. Our big beautiful chard now has quite a few holes shot through it, so we'll see how it looks on Monday but I think/hope it will still be harvestable. 

HARVEST LIST:

  • Salad mix
  • Hakurei turnips
  • Kale or chard

*Please note the exact share may change due to weather or crop conditions.

FEATURED RECIPE: 

 

This section of the newsletter is cancelled due to hail.