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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.

Posted 6/2/2019 11:57am by Josie Hart.

Dear shareholders,

Add-on shares will be starting this week, so be sure to look for those Sign-in sheets at distribution if you signed up for one. Part of the mission of the Community Supported Agriculture Program is to connect shareholders with a wider system of small-scale farms and ranches. We offer a number of add-on shares sourced from producers we know and trust, and as local as possible. 

The Meat Share from Pasture Provisions, the Mushroom Share from Mile High Fungi, and the Self Care Share from Rose House will begin on Tuesday June 4th at York St.   

The Egg Share from Amish Acres and the Yak Share from Trinity Ridge will begin on Thursday June 6th at Chatfield. Also, there will be a guest baby yak on Thursday, so even if you pick up your share on Tuesday you might consider coming down for a visit on Thursday, especially if you've never met a yak!  
 
The Fruit Share and the Flower Share will begin later in July. We'll keep you updated on how the fruit crop looks this year, and the flowers are just being planted now.  

HARVEST LIST:

  • Head lettuce
  • Chard or Collards
  • Hakurei turnips
  • Baby bok choy

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

FEATURED RECIPE: Glazed Hakurei turnips and greens

Hakurei turnips are a Japanese variety, and if you've never had them before, throw out any thoughts of the huge, woody, bland Purple top turnips you've had before; they are small, delicate, and very sweet.  

Right now the greens are also looking good, and are still tender. Later in the summer they can get pretty spicy, so for those folks who love to use absolutely everything in the share I recommend cooking them rather than in salad.

Halve or quarter the turnips, and chop the greens finely. In a skillet heat up a little butter and just enough water to cover the turnips halfway. You can add any type of vinegar or miso or honey to accompany the flavors of whatever other dish you might be serving. Cook until turnips are tender, then add the greens and a pinch of salt and cook for a minute or two more. If you'd like the liquid to thicken up more, you can take the turnips and greens out and thicken it, but the whole dish shouldn't cook for more than 10 minutes - you want to keep the crispness and freshness of the turnips.

 

Posted 5/26/2019 10:56am by Josie Hart.

Dear shareholders,

At long last and since we are planting our summer crops over the next few days we hope the wintry weather is now behind us! Here's what Tuesday's harvest looked like:

Those of you who were able to make it to the first distributions already met this season's  new and returning farmers but here they are introduced in their own words!

In addition to being the Assistant Farm Manager here at Chatfield Farms, Maddy runs Veg Yard, an urban farm network located across Denver's Athmar Park neighborhood that transforms lawns into veggie producing operations, boasts its own CSA, and sells at Pearl Street Farmers Market. Have any friends who missed out on DBG's CSA this year? Veg Yard still has shares available this season! Like her spirit vegetable, the carrot, she loves to spend the majority of her time in the dirt. 

My name is David, and I work for the DBG CSA program at Chatfield Farms. I am passionate about bringing nutritious and delicious food to the people! It is my dream to one day own my own farm.  Before moving to Colorado I’ve lived in Florida, New York City, and Madrid, Spain. I’ve been in Denver for the past two years and I love it! I like run, hike, camp, cook, read, ride my bike, and travel.  

Katie grew up in the rolling hills of the Idaho Panhandle and has lived in Denver for five years, having recently completed her studies in Geography and International Studies at the University of Denver. She has worked on organic farms, advocated for sustainable food through her university and local non-profits, and conducted research on food security in Uganda. This is her second season with the CSA team at Chatfield. She helps Maddy with marketing for Veg Yard, and writes food and environmental news articles. You can find her articles here. When she's not farming, Katie can be found skiing in the Rockies, playing Bananagrams, or enjoying a good cheese board.  

My name is Maya and I’m so excited to be at Chatfield Farms this season. I’m originally from Georgia and have farmed all over the state. I’ve worked on various scales from an eight-acre CSA farm to a one-acre operation growing specialty crops for restaurants. I moved to Denver this past August from Memphis, Tennessee where I was working for a non-profit food hub. My favorite crops to grow are tomatoes and potatoes. In my free time I like to read, cook with farm food, and hike. I’m looking forward to a great season!  

Shelby is an active forager and farmer with a preference for specialty mushroom cultivation. She began her farming career as farm manager for a non-profit permaculture farm in North Georgia, which gave her an eye for systems design and closed loop food production. These two aspects of farming continue to be major interests for her. As a CSA Grower for Chatfield this season, Shelby plans to continue helping increase access to locally produced food in the Denver metro area, as well as focusing on generating lasting bonds in the community that are based on food justice and cooperative economic strategies.

HARVEST LIST:

  • Baby bok choy
  • Arugula
  • Radishes or Red mustard greens
  • Green Garlic

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

FEATURED RECIPE: Spaghetti with Green Garlic and Olive Oil

This recipe was recommended by one of our shareholders, Melanie. There are so many uses for the green garlic, since the flavor is much lighter and more mild than a cured head of garlic. Farmer Katie recommended tossing udon noodles with sauteed red mustard greens and green garlic for a quick and hearty meal.

 

Posted 5/18/2019 1:11pm by Josie Hart.

Dear shareholders,

Welcome to the 2019 season! We are going ahead with distributions as planned, since some crops are ready and needing to be harvested, even though some we were hoping would be ready are not. Turns out that you can't make crops ready to harvest through sheer force of will! 

This week we've been moving summer crops out of the greenhouse, getting irrigation ready and fields prepped for planting. This year we are changing how we're growing many of our crops by using no-till practices whenever it fits the timing and spacing needs of the crops. This method is a huge step toward a truly sustainable practice, but as with any major change it comes with some uncertainty. 

 The excessive tillage that occurs on most vegetable farms has many unintended consequences for soils and the environment, including loss of organic matter and beneficial soil organisms, increased soil erosion, reduced soil fertility, loss of soil structure and porosity, compaction, surface crusting, formation of plow pans, reduced root growth, poor drainage, and reduced water holding capacity.

Tillage also consumes a lot of fuel, as well as time spent sitting on the tractor. For the last few years we have been reducing the amount of tillage on our farm by swapping from moldboard plowing and disc-harrowing to using a subsoiler which enabled us to till only the planting area on a permanent-bed system. There has been a lot of research on no-till systems on larger scale farms and in other, less arid regions, but we are excited to be experimenting and trying to figure out how to make it work on our scale here in Colorado!

Here's a picture Josie took of a dish from her recent birthday meal (happy birthday, Josie!) which incorporates so many of our early spring crops. It is a warm salad with chive blossoms, radishes, bok choy (which is almost ready to be harvested), asparagus, and dandelion greens in a buttermilk dressing. I don't have the recipe for it but perhaps you can recreate something similarly gorgeous based on the photo:

 HARVEST LIST:

  • Chives
  • Red mustard greens
  • Radishes
  • Green garlic

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

 DISTRIBUTION INFORMATION: 

- Please make sure you know which day you are signed up for as that will be your day each week throughout the season.
- While we try to be accommodating to each shareholder, if you forget to pick up your share, it will be donated to hunger relief organizations. Our storage is limited and we are unable to accommodate pick-ups on different days.
- Please remember to sign in for your share and bring your own bags.

-York Street: Tuesday distribution starts at 4pm and ends at 7pm. Distribution is held at the south end of the upper-level parking lot at Denver Botanic Gardens. Look for our box truck at the south end of the tree-lined parking area. We will have tables and baskets out, like a mini farmers market.

- Chatfield Farms: Thursday distribution starts at 3:30pm and ends at 7pm. Park in the upper gravel lot. Head to the Hildebrand Ranch area. Past the chickens, on your left, you will see our outdoor kitchen under the pergola. We will have tables and baskets with produce to choose, like a mini farmers market! Just follow the signs.

ADD-ON SHARE SCHEDULE:   If you purchased an additional share, you will start pick-ups in June. We’ll let you know as those shares begin.

We can't wait to celebrate good food with you all, our CSA community! From all of us, thank you for being a part of the farm.          

 

Posted 5/15/2019 4:42pm by Josie Hart.

Dear Shareholders,

Happy for this recent moisture, and the heat this week will certainly move the crops along! That combination is, of course, great for all our non-crop plant friends as well (aka weeds). So we've been busy trying to make sure our transplants and seedlings have plenty of space and light to thrive.

We are still starting distributions next week, but the first couple might be a little light, with four or five items each week since some crops are right on schedule and a few crops are behind schedule. Thanks for bearing with us as we get up to speed on the season, and fear not, as the season progresses so will the bounty of each week multiply!

 

Posted 2/11/2019 3:51pm by Josie Hart.

Greetings everyone,

Our 2019 CSA Shares sold out very quickly! For those on the waitlist that did not get in, we apologize. Below we have created a referral list of other CSA's in the area doing distributions throughout the Denver area this summer.

Purchase a local share from the following farms:


The Veg Yard (we LOVE the yard to veggie concept)  https://www.thevegyard.com/join-our-csa 

OR

Sprout City: http://sproutcityfarms.org/programs/food-access-for-all/2015-csa-programs/ 

OR

Pastures of Plenty: https://pasturesofplentyfarm.com/ 

 

If you were able to purchase a share, congrats! After selecting and purchasing a vegetable, you have access to our add-on shares. We still have spaces open for ALL add on shares including the FLOWER BOUQUET SHARE and the YAK share. Visit  LOG IN and Check out our other products.  

Cheers,

The Chatfield CSA Team

 

Posted 12/21/2018 3:55pm by Josie Hart.

Dear Friends,

Happy Holidays and a happy CSA renewal season!

We will start the shareholder renewal process on Monday, January 7th for all current CSA shareholders. If you would like to renew your CSA membership, you have the entire month of January to do so. Starting in February we will open up shares to those on the waitlist and to the general public in March . We will send out an email notification before the final week of renewals. To renew your shares, visit our homepage on or after January 7.

If you need to add a friend or family member to our waitlist, please enter their name and email on our homepage at www.chatfieldcsa.org 

We hope you had as much fun cooking and eating the produce as we did growing and harvesting it! As usual we've tried to keep our share prices reasonable, while also not undercutting other local farms. We want our shares to remain accessible to the families that have supported us, so keep in mind you can use the split payment option. If you are able to come to the farm to help out for three hours a week as a working shareholder you'll receive a reimbursement at the end of the season, making the cost of the share even more reasonable.

We also would like to encourage you to consider becoming a Supporting Shareholder. These shares include a donation which directly subsidizes one SNAP share, as well as helping provide low-cost produce through our Farm Stand in Food Desert program.

Feel free to read through the new share information here

As always if you have questions please email josie.hart@botanicgardens.org 

Thanks everyone! 

Josie and Phil and all the Chatfield Farms team

Posted 10/30/2018 12:05pm by Josie Hart.

Hello all,

Thanks to everyone who already signed up for the winter egg share. You still have one week to sign up--until November 6. After November 6 we will close the sign-up period. Don't forget to vote as well!

- To sign up please email Josie.hart@botanicgardens.org 

- Pick-ups will occur every Thursday 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. at 1007 York St. inside the Visitor Center.

- Please bring a check for the amount of $22 (Paypal option is still being worked out by our farmer, stay tuned).

- Each dozen is $5.50 ($22 monthly)

- Please do not bring in your old egg cartons (Denver can recycle them).

- First pick-up will occur THIS THURSDAY, November 1.

- You will receive ONE ADDITIONAL FREE DOZEN for the first pick-up (total of 2 dozen).

Please let me know if you have questions!

Thanks,

Josie

 

Posted 10/20/2018 10:31am by Josie Hart.

Dear shareholders,

Each year it seems to come so suddenly, the final week of distributions! This week we'll have plenty of onions, leeks and garlic, beets, cabbage, spaghetti squash, and some baby hakurei turnips that made it through the freeze. Our last plantings of bok choy and salad mix and head lettuce didn't quite make it through. 

On Tuesday we will be moving distribution across the street to the Congress Park parking lot, by the swimming pool because a few thousand more people than usual will be visiting York St. for Glow at the Gardens.

On a perfectly sunny and mild fall Thursday we planted next season's garlic crop:

Many, many thanks to our wonderful seasonal crew of farmers: Katie, Maddy, Chloe, Royce and Adam. And so much gratitude for all the hours put into these crops, this soil, and this farm by our amazing volunteers. The CSA is truly a collective endeavor, all made possible by you, the shareholders. Thank you!