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Chatfield CSA e-news for September 25-27

Posted 9/22/2018 12:01pm by Josie Hart.

Dear shareholders,

Since fall is officially here and the rest of the summer crops are slowing, we'll have another Gleaning Day on Saturday, October 6 from 8-10 a.m. This time it will be mostly tomatoes and peppers, and we'll open up our perennial herb garden as well.

As CSA members, you know having access to local and fresh food is of high importance, yet it's easy to overlook the children and families who are food-insecure in the Denver area. Denver Botanic Gardens has several food access initiatives, such as the Farm Stands in food deserts program, participating in the SNAP/DoubleUp Food Bucks program and through donated CSA shares as well as donations of produce to hunger relief organizations. We value quality food and all people, regardless of income and neighborhood, and strive to create avenues where everyone can access healthy food.   

Some of you may have heard of the Healthy Food for Denver initiative that was gaining traction earlier this summer. The initiative needed 10,000 signatures to get on the November ballot--and was successful! We want to share a few details about the initiative so you are informed for November's vote.  

Although Colorado is experiencing growth in many sectors and has low unemployment rates, Colorado is one of the fastest growing states for childhood hunger.

The Issue:
- 68.5% of kids in Denver Public Schools qualify for free/reduced lunch
- Impacts 1 in 4 kids whose families cannot provide three meals per day
- Lack of food security directly affects children's ability to perform in school and shape habits that can extend beyond adolescence.    

The Solution:  
- Provide three healthy meals for kids throughout the year by filling in gaps between other programs
- Provide cooking, gardening and healthy eating classes while partnering with local farms and other organizations
- Schools and relevant nonprofits with aligned missions can apply for funds

Funding:  
- Increase current sales tax by .08% (less that one penny on a $10 purchase)
- Tax expires at the end of 9 years 
- Over 10 years, $100 million raised with $11.2 million in the first year
- Colorado has the 6th lowest state sales tax in the country at 2.9%  

This is just a snapshot of the initiative; visit http://healthyfoodfordenver.com/ for more information.   

HARVEST LIST:

  • Head lettuce
  • Red onions
  • Radicchio
  • Celeriac
  • Baby fennel
  • Kale
  • Garlic
  • Pumpkins or winter sweet squash

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

FEATURED RECIPE: Pumpkin pie

Winter sweet is a variety of Cucurbita maxima, the same type as Hubbards and Kabocha squash. The flesh is dry like a pie pumpkin but more flavorful. Their flavor will be most intense in October or November, since the starches in the plants will convert to sugars in storage. We have rather limited space, and so we will give them out now, and you can store them yourself in a cool place, or if you are as impatient as I am you can cook it on up now, the flavor is still quite nice.

In honor of fall, what else? Pumpkin pie! Pumpkins are Cucurbita pepo, and the variety we grow is New England Pie. For this recipe, I'm not going to get into the subject of pie crust - there are just too many strong feelings, and if I'm being honest I usually buy a premade one ... I do aspire to be the type of person who makes their own pie crust every time (it sounds so easy!) but I do make some concessions to convenience ... so now that you know my secret, on with the recipe:

Ingredients

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon cloves
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1-1/2 cups pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup cream or evaporated milk
  • 9-inch pie shell

Instructions

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Slice pumpkin in half and scoop out the seeds (rinse and save them to toast along with the pie, they’ll be great on your next salad). Cook until tender. Let it cool a little bit then separate the flesh from the skin and puree.

Mix the first 8 ingredients together. Beat in eggs. Stir in pumpkin and cream. Pour into pie shell. Bake in a 400 degree oven for 50 minutes, or until knife is clean after inserting in center of pie. Cool completely before serving.