News & Blog

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Posted 3/28/2020 11:32am by Josie Hart.

Dear new and returning CSA members,

First off, we hope you and your families are safe and healthy throughout this difficult and scary time. We are certain that freshly picked, nutrient-dense food is exactly what will help us all - and we can't wait for the season to begin.

Food IS medicine - and we are happy to be growing it for our community!

Normally, our CSA distributions are a social, community-driven activity. We hope that by the end of May, we will be able to offer a market-style experience where you can pick out your vegetables, talk with your farmer and exchange recipes with other members. However, we are also planning for a different model in which we limit social interaction and use a grab and go model, where you still pick up at either location but you do not handle the produce or interact with more than a small group of people for your safety. 

In addition to safer regulations at our distributions, we will follow all CDC and CDH/Jeffco Health recommendations on the farm for safe produce handling during the time of COVID-19. This means we will increase our hand-washing stations, limit visitor interactions at our produce-washing house and make sure each staff person goes through rigorous safe handling training. We have always followed a food safety plan for our farm, so most of this is nothing new, however, we want you all to feel reassured we are aware of how important this issue is - we are feeding our families, too!

We still plan to start our distributions for Supporting Shareholders on Tuesday, May 12 and Thursday May 14. Supporting Shares will be delivered to your home, so if you signed up for this type of share, please email me the address that you would like us to deliver to at josie.hart@botanicgardens.org 

**Distribution for ALL other shares (full and small) should begin the last week of May: Tuesday, May 26 at our York Street location and Thursday, May 28 at Chatfield Farms.** 

If things change, as we all know they might, we will be in touch. Right now, Governor Polis has expressed strong support for farm operations ranging from farm stands, markets and CSA distributions. Hopefully we can come together again this summer to celebrate local food and a stronger community.  

Our regular weekly newsletters will pick up in May, where we will introduce our staff, go over season logistics and share "Notes from the Field," so you can hear stories about how your food is being grown! 

We give you all our best. We are considered essential workers by the local government which means our farmers are working, seeds are still going in the ground and the soil is alive and well! 

 - The Chatfield CSA Team

 

Posted 2/11/2020 11:37am by Josie Hart.

Hello everyone,

Thank you to those who signed up for the 2020 Chatfield CSA share. If you did not get in before we sold out - Good News! We have a list of CSA Farms in Denver that still have space, so look for one that is close to where you live (we have far west to far East).

We hope you choose to support a local Denver Farm this season to source your food locally!

Golden Acre Farm - pickups in Lakewood, contact Jason at goldenacrefarm@gmail.com or 860-716-9231.   

Paper Kite Farm - pickups in Harvey Park, delivery offered as well. Contact Ashley at paperkitefarm@gmail.com   

Grow Girl Farm - pickups in Littleton, more info at growgirlorganics.com, growgirlorganics@gmail.com or 303-885-5645.  

Sprout City Farm - pickups at Denver Green School (SE Denver) and Montair Park (Lakewood)
http://sproutcityfarms.org/programs/food-access-for-all/2015-csa-programs/  

Two Hands Farm -pickups in Golden, more info  https://twohandsfarm.wordpress.com/2014-csa/  

Emerald Gardens  year-round CSA - www.emeraldgardens.farm • 303-644-5980  

Delaney Farms - East Denver/Aurora
https://projectworthmore.org/csa-memberships/ 

 

Posted 2/1/2020 9:47am by Josie Hart.

Hello!

We have a few remaining small shares still but plenty of FULL shares on sale now for all the waitlist folks! We also have FLOWER shares and they are gorgeous! Click "sign up now" on our homepage or follow this link here:
http://www.chatfieldcsa.org/members/ 

Let's make it a tasty year! All you need to do is put down $100 for the first payment, then you can sign up for auto-payments once a month.

Thanks to everyone,

The Chatfield CSA, with Denver Botanic Gardens

 

Posted 1/30/2020 2:33pm by Josie Hart.


Hell all!
We will start selling shares to our waitlist on Feb. 1st. So if you would like to purchase a 2020 CSA share, we suggest you do so before then.

We still have plenty of flower shares - which normally sell out every year - and plenty of Yak snacks, eggs and mushrooms too. If you want to add any of these shares to your account you can do so from our homepage at  "update membership" or use this link:       

http://www.chatfieldcsa.org/members/updatemembership

Thanks all!

Josie Hart and the Chatfield CSA Team

 

Posted 1/4/2020 12:22pm by Josie Hart.

Dear CSA Community,


The time to renew your share for the Chatfield Farms CSA is coming up! We will open sales on January 15, at 9 a.m. At that time you will be able to put down the first payment on your vegetables, fruit, mushrooms, eggs and more.

A full list of prices and products will be available starting on the 15, under the "our produce" tab. On that date, we will also send out a direct link to the payments page.

We are sad to lose Phil our farm manager for the CSA, but I know he will still visit and will continue to be a part of our community. We are actively looking for his replacement and have some very qualified applicants!

Lastly, thank you for your support, your recipes and your enthusiasm for what we do here. We couldn't have a CSA farm without the most important ingredient: community.

 

All the best,

Josie Hart

Manager of Farm Programs 

 

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.