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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.

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.