News & Blog

Welcome to the blog.
Posted 9/9/2013 3:08pm by Josie Hart.

Dear Shareholders,

We would like to highlight some of the amazing CSA events we recently had at Chatfield. Our produce buyer and donation partner, Beverly Grant -- who runs the Five Point Farmer’s stands, Mo’ Betta Greens -- hosted a fun dinner for local food and farming partners called a Celebration of Hands. The event honored all the people in our community who have been working all summer to provide Denver with food, specifically food with integrity!  Local chefs, a karaoke dj, Little Man Ice Cream with a pop up coffee bar and food donated by many wonderful organizations made the event great! We also hosted an event for the Gardens membership and research department along with members of D.U.G’s Master Gardener’s program for a night of education and delicious CSA-inspired food, prepared by Susan Evans. Susan teaches cooking classes for the CSA including the last weekend's tomato class. Thanks to our CSA staff for helping out with all of the events we have at the CSA!

Please join us this THURSDAY for the FALL POTLUCK, 5:30 – 8:30p.m.    
We will meet in the Green Farm Barn at 5:30 p.m., with dishes to share. If you have to pick up your CSA share at Chatfield first, you can your bags of produce in our walk-in cooler during the potluck. For $10 a family (or car load) or $5 individual you can go through our corn maze before it officially opens and enjoy unlimited jumps on our giant bouncing pillow! Enjoy food prepared by other CSA members and explore the beautiful place that grows your produce. Please park in the upper lot when you arrive, pick up your CSA share if you need to and head to the barn. We will provide drinks, just please bring a dish for six people to share and other picnic items. We hope to see you there!

Produce list for Sep. 9-15
*this list tentative and subject to change
Broccoli!
Beets
Eggplant
Cabbage!
Leeks!
Chard (with a few small holes)
Arugula or Head Lettuce
Watermelon Radish
Herb Choice
Tomatoes
Large canning bags of tomatoes again - $10 a bag
* Next week Yukon gold potatoes!

Weekly Bread: Cranberry Walnut

Weekly Fruit: 2 small bags of pears, peaches or apples. Now we have the smaller bags please be sure to let a volunteer help you to choose the right combination of fruit bags!

Featured recipes for the week: Gazpacho or watermelon radish salad 

Gazpacho
Susan Evans, CSA cooking instructor

Ingredients
6 ripe tomatoes, peeled and chopped
1 red onion, finely chopped
1 cucumber, peeled, seeded, chopped (you can use two lemon cukes)
1 sweet red bell pepper (or green) seeded and chopped
2 stalks celery if you have it, chopped
1-2 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh chives
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
2 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 teaspoons sugar, agave or honey
Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
6 or more drops of Tabasco sauce to taste
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
4 cups tomato juice

Combine all ingredients in blender. Blend slightly, to desired consistency. Place in non-metal, non-reactive storage container, cover tightly and refrigerate overnight, allowing flavors to blend. Toppings can include sour cream, chives, shredded cheese and croutons. You could also mound cooked shrimp or crab to ritz it up a notch – make a parmesan cluster to float on top as well.

Watermelon radish salad
From Eating Local by Janet Fletcher                                                                                    

I
ngredients
1 large bunch of arugula
1 small fennel bulb or the bottom of fennel stalks
1 large watermelon radish or two small ones
Ricotta salata cheese (3 oz)

Dressing
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon fish sauce
1 clove garlic
Sea salt/pepper

1. Put the arugula in a bowl.
2. Shave the fennel with a mandoline or veggie peeler or knife
3. Half the radish then slice thinly into bowl like fennel
4. In a separate bowl, whisk together the rest of the ingredients in a bowl for the dressing (not the cheese)
5. Toss the veggies with a small amount of dressing – only enough to lightly coat everything.
6. Shave the ricotta salata thinly into salad
7. Serve immediately

***We hope to see you all at this Thursday's potluck at The Green Farm Barn at Chatfield.

Posted 9/2/2013 3:51pm by Josie Hart.

CSA Fall Potluck Hootenanny! Sep. 12, 5:30 – 8:30 p.m.                     Corn Maze Preview!

This gathering should be a lot of fun – please join us for a sneak peak of the Corn Maze at Chatfield before anyone else goes through! Try out our giant jumping pillow (not just for kids) located in front of the Green Farm Barn where we will have our potluck. Bring your friends, family, lawn games and favorite fresh dish to share with everyone plus your picnic items. We can swap recipes, have a beer, jump on the pillow and then when the sun cools down a bit adventure out into the maze! Please pay $10 a family or $5 individual - which includes unlimited pillow jumps and corn maze. Pay at the front gate when driving in. The potluck will take place at the Green Farm Barn so please park in the main parking lot and walk over with your dish – following the signs to the barn.

**CSA INFO & REMINDERS**
Tomato seconds will be for sale during distribution at St. John’s Cathedral tomorrow for $10. If you would like additional ideas on cooking tomatoes then please sign up for:

Totally Terrific Tomatoes at Chatfield

Saturday, Sep. 7, 9 - 11 a.m.             
Come experience the vibrant beauty and flavor of one of nature's delicious, antioxidant packed foods. See how easy it is to make cool and zesty gazpacho, spicy salsa, classic caprese salad, fresh tomato sauce and more. Recipes and samples provided. Instructor: Susan Evans             $17 CSA members, $30 non-members, includes a  $10 materials fee                            Either register online and select “reciprocal member” to receive the CSA discount or call the Education registration line at 720-865-3580.


Also Modern Gingham Preserves will be selling jam and other products at distribution tomorrow, Tuesday only. www.moderngingham.com  
Please bring cash or check for both of these great opportunities.

Posted 8/30/2013 7:03pm by Josie Hart.

 

Dear shareholders,

Goodbye August! Hello September - which really means hello to tomatoes! Lots of them! We wanted to provide a little guide to the tomatoes you have been receiving at distribution so please keep reading. In addition to the extra bags of tomatoes for purchase (see below) - we also have leeks that are ready! Leeks are amazing in any tomato sauce so we will also provide all the sauce basics including garlic,onion,basil and fennel stalks. Happy sauce making! 

Important reminder: We are at St. John’s Cathedral for Tuesday’s distribution September 3. This will be the last date we are off site for the season; we appreciate your willingness to move locations so the Denver Botanic Gardens' concert series runs smoothly.

If you are headed out of town for Labor day, and won’t be picking up your share on Tuesday then please communicate with your pick up friend what to do at distribution! 

tomato seconds for sale!
If you would like to purchase bags of tomato seconds for sauce making, 10 pound bags will be on sale for $10 a piece at both distributions. Please remember your wallet! Also, please share any amazing sauce recipes you have with our community and we will print them out for members. Tomato varieties will vary, but all will be good in sauce.

CSA potluck september 12 - preview the corn maze!
Please join us Thursday September 12 for our fall potluck. We will still have distribution occurring during the potluck so there is no reason not to stop by and share food with your CSA community. Also for people who live in downtown Denver, let’s get a ride share going so we can have more of our Denver community join us for food and fun on the farm. All CSA members will be able to go through the Chatfield corn maze for just $5 dollars a family! For ride shares to the potluck please email: Josie.hart@botanicgardens.org


tomato varieties available this week:
Orange Blossom: Heirloom quality fruit, ripens early with a great taste and beautiful orange color for salsas and salads.
Martha Washington: The fruit has a pinkish skin with a melting texture and medium sweet flavor.
New Girl: A small red tomato that holds up great in sauce. Also a good slicing tomato for sandwiches, etc.
Cherokee Purple: green on the top and purple on the bottom – exceptional complex flavor. Slice and serve on its own or in simple tomato dishes no need to cook this beauty.
Striped German: A huge full tomato often large enough to feed a family with one fruit. Eat these right away as their skin is very thin and they tend to over ripen quickly.
Prudens Purple: A smaller purple tomato with rich flavor and thicker skin – great for roasted or cooked dishes.
Valencia: Deep orange or almost gold in color, smaller cylindrical shape with a meaty interior and few seeds. Holds up as a good slicing tomato.
Sweet Aroma: Red and round - strange.

produce list for september 2 – 5
*this list is tentative and subject to change

Leeks!!!   
Basil
Onions
Garlic
Tomatoes
Fennel stalks Leeks!!!                                                                            
Kale (may still have a tiny hail damage growth)
Tomatoes
Bulk tomato bags ($5)
Tomatillos                                                                                                                                 Peppers                                                                                                                           Beets                                                                                                                               Herbs

                                                                 

Weekly Bread: Multigrain with sesame
Weekly Fruit: last week of peaches! One bag please.


Featured Recipe:
Getting Saucy with Lena: The Marinara Edition
from Lena Tenenbaum, CSA grower and volunteer field coordinator

8 heirloom CSA tomatoes
1 onion, diced
1 eggplant
4 cloves of CSA garlic, chopped
1 cup of mushrooms or leeks or both
2 TBSP butter
4 TBSP olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 TBSP basil, chopped
2 TBSP parsley, chopped
2 TBSP oregano, chopped
1 -2 diced fennel stalks (you can lightly sauté these ahead of time or directly add)
Salt, pepper, and to taste

Boil tomatoes for 5 min and transfer to bowl of cold water. Remove skins and squish tomatoes into a large pot. Set to a low boil around medium heat and add basil, parsley, and oregano. Heat 2 TBSP olive oil in skillet and add onions, summer squash, and fennel seed. Sauté until translucent and add to pot. Skin and dice eggplant. Toss with salt and let it sweat in a colander for 30 min. Sauté with 2 cloves of the garlic until soft. Add to pot. Sauté mushrooms/leeks in the butter with the other 2 cloves of garlic and add to the pot. Add the balsamic vinegar and let the pot hang out on the stove simmering away, stirring occasionally for as long as possible. My best batch spent 7 hours on the stove, but I like my sauce on the thick side.


Grower’s Perspective: The beauty of storms
CSA Volunteer Field Coordinator and Grower - Lena!

We took a hit last week as Chatfield shareholders know--many of them hid out under overpasses on C-470, hunkered down in our washstand, or rode out the weather stranded in their cars in the parking lot while 50mph winds howled, an inch of rain fell in 15 minutes, and nickel sized hail pelted the earth. When I asked friends and family in Denver how they fared in the storm, they asked, "Storm? What storm? I guess it did rain a bit..."
As a CSA, we are more connected to our food system than grocery store shoppers. One weather event in Chatfield affects our shareholders all across the metro area. We all took the hit. You'll see a few more dings in your produce than you might in the market. But that's the beauty of a CSA--if we were trying to sell our produce in the market, the farm alone would take the financial hit and the blemished produce would go straight to the compost pile. However, our shareholders understand. You've all looked closer at the what, the how, and the why of your food and are graciously going to welcome less than perfect looking food into your home. But this is real food. And sometimes it has hail marks.
So bring me your bruised, your holey, your torn, and your tasty. Bring me your octopus carrots and five pound tomatoes. This is a CSA and this is the beauty that comes out of weathering a storm together!

 

 

 

 

Posted 8/27/2013 11:52am by Josie Hart Genter.

Dear Shareholders,

This is a reminder that today's distribution will be held at St. John's Cathedral at 1305 Washington St. (between 13th and 14th)

Please remember to bring your own bags, money for flowers and to sign for any additional shares like peaches! See you today between 4 - 7p.m.

Thanks!

Posted 8/23/2013 6:25pm by Josie Hart.



Dear Shareholders,

We would like to thank all of you for being a part of the CSA. We greatly appreciate all the feedback about how your CSA experience has been and what you would like to see in the coming weeks.

August is always a rewarding yet intense month for the CSA staff. The crops really ramp up, along with the heat, which can do funny things to people. Last week, the dust, heat and hard work were well worth it as we watched shareholders leaving with smiles and three enormous bags of produce. Please read the Grower's Perspective for a field update after the massive storm we had last Thursday.

Reminder: Tuesday’s distribution is at St. John’s, located at 1305 Washington St, 80206 on the west side of the cathedral near the parking lot. Please remember to pick up your melons as part of your veggie share.

The fruit share: Please remember the fruit share is only for people that paid ahead of time. The bags of peaches at distribution are not for all shareholders, even if you have bread or another add-on share. As always there is a separate sign-in sheet for fruit shares and we would like everyone to sign for their bag. Melons however are for everyone!

Produce List for August 26 – 30
*This list is tentative and subject to change
beans
beets
cucumbers
herb choice
kale - possibly
melon
onions
tomato
head lettuce - possibly 

Weekly Bread: Garlic Rosemary

Weekly Wild: Amaranth or Nasturtium flowers and leaves

Weekly Fruit: one bag of peaches

Featured Weekly Recipe: Chilled Green Beans
from: Eat Greens by Barbara Scott Goodman and Liz Trovato

½ cup white vinegar
½ cup rice wine vinegar
1 cup water
2 sliced large garlic cloves or 4-5 small ones (you can also go crazy here)
2 quarter sized pieces of ginger, thinly sliced
¾ pound green beans, rinsed and trimmed

  1. Combine vinegars, water, garlic, and ginger in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a medium low and simmer until liquid is reduced to half.
  2. Steam the beans for 2-3 minutes separately.
  3. Transfer the beans to a casserole dish and cover them with the vinegar mixture.
  4. Cover the dish and let the beans sit out overnight at room temperature
  5. Before serving, chill the beans for a couple hours or as long as you have until the beans are cold and refreshing.

Please send in more recipes that work for you and your family that you would like to share! Just email csa.chatfield@botanicgardens.org 


Grower's Perspective - from disaster zone to 'not so bad'
Phil Cordelli, Head CSA Grower

The first information I got from Michelle last night said “We are in a tropical hurricane with massive hail” and they got more dire from there: “lost all 3 tents” “… Matthew is on emergency duty figuring out the electric” … I arrived early this morning and through the darkness was reassured field 1 and the washstand still stood, though with the three tents mangled up against the side! We swept the water out of the washstand, got the onions from outside, took them inside to dry, hung up the tablecloths, and proceeded on to the check the field damage. Chard and head lettuce especially are shredded, kale shot full of holes, and the tomatoes and peppers are bruised, but the plants still stand. So, we’ll have to wait til the chard rebounds, and there may be less head lettuce and tomatoes for the next couple of weeks, but we weren’t wiped out!

Thanks to all the staff and volunteers at distribution for keeping everyone safe, and preventing a potentially much worse situation with flying tents (while I simmered tomato sauce in my slippers at home, unaware of the mayhem down at the farm)! And to all, again, thanks for riding out the ups and downs of the season with us.

Food Safety Note: Thoroughly wash in cold running water – no cleaning products are necessary.

 

Posted 8/21/2013 1:24pm by Josie Hart.

Educational Programs for the Chatfield CSA

These series of classes are offered to complement your CSA experience. Learn how to cook and preserve your weekly supply of vegetables and how to grow your own at home. These classes are offered at a 50% discount from DBG’s usual prices for classes – so take advantage!! Either register online and select “reciprocal member” to receive the CSA discount or call the Education registration line at 720-865-3580.

Totally Terrific Tomatoes
Saturday, Sep.7, 9 - 11 a.m.
Come experience the vibrant beauty and flavor of one of nature's delicious, antioxidant packed foods. See how easy it is to make cool and zesty gazpacho, spicy salsa, classic caprese salad, fresh tomato sauce and more. Recipes and samples provided.
Instructor: Susan Evans
$17 CSA members, $30 non-members, includes a $10 materials fee

Wild Things Walk – Identification and Uses of Wild Plants for Food and Medicine
Saturday, Sep. 14, 9– 11 a.m.
Explore the fascinating world of wild edibles and medicinals! Many of the wild edibles collected at Chatifeld can be seen at the CSA distributions each week.
Instructor: Susan Evans
$17 CSA members, $30 non-members

Save The Summer – Propagation Made Easy
Saturday, Sep. 21, 2 p.m. – 4 p.m.
Sad to see your beautiful summer plants go? Save them! Take cuttings from your outdoor favorites and learn how to grow them successfully inside throughout the winter to create a beautiful indoor collection of color and texture. This class will also cover how to propagate from seed to get a jump on your spring vegetable and ornamental gardens.
Instructor: Brien Darby
$17 CSA members, $30 non-members

Seed Saving Workshop
Saturday, Sep. 28, 2 – 4 p.m.
Learn how to purchase seeds, plan and plant a garden that will provide the best opportunities for home seed saving. The class will visit our heirloom garden and with an opportunity to harvest heirloom seeds to take home. This includes collection tips specific to all the common vegetable plant families.
Instructor: Brien Darby
$17 CSA members, $30 non-members, includes a $10 materials fee

Posted 8/19/2013 8:15pm by Josie Hart.


Dear Shareholders,

Due to the late timing of this newsletter - we will only be giving you the produce list for this week (tomorrow and Thursday's pick up) with some additional notes from the field. Please read the newsletter next week for a full edition.

* We have two remaining spaces for our Indian Curry Making Workshop and Meal in our outdoor kitchen space this Friday, August 23 - 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Please register by emailing Josie.hart@botanicgardens.org by this Wednesday.


** Please be sure to pick up your MELONS! We have included melons in the produce list for three weeks now, yet last week we still had leftovers so please remember your melon. This is a part of your weekly VEGGIE share.  


*** August 27, next Tuesday, we will be at St. John's Cathedral for Tuesday's distribution. We will send out a reminder with a map later this week.

produce list for august 19 – 23                                                                                     *this list is tenative and subject to change

small bag of baby potatoes!
tomatoes
eggplant (yes, finally!)
onion
head lettuce
arugula
assorted herb choice
sweet and hot peppers
cucumbers
summer squash
chard
Thai basil                                                                                                                       melons

fruit of the week: One bag of peaches

grower’s perspective: notes from the field                                                           Phil Cordelli, CSA Head Produce Grower

All the summer crops are booming now, peppers turning colors, tomatoes ripening, picking the last cantaloupe out of the field, basil chest-high. It can be hard to figure how crops move in the Colorado summer, especially with that last little rainy cloudy spell. The head lettuce sized up for this week, but for the last two weeks the eggplant have been hanging out at halfsize. We made a run through the beds two weeks ago to pick the biggies but only got about 70. So, classic CSA DILEMMA! Do we give only some people eggplant? Do we offer a choice between tomatoes OR eggplant? Do we in the tradition of Solomon give everyone a half?! We decided on giving quality eggplant instead of tiny un-ripe ones … ah, the issues which keep a CSA farmer up at night. We’re headed out tomorrow morning to make another run through the beds, hopefully we can wrangle enough for everyone! As always, thanks for sharing the ups and downs of the season with us!
-Phil

Posted 8/19/2013 8:09pm by Josie Hart.


Dear Shareholders,

Due to the late timing of this newsletter - we will only be giving you the produce list for this week (tomorrow and Thursday's pick up) with some additional notes from the field. Please read the newsletter next week for a full edition.

* We have two remaining spaces for our Indian Curry Making Workshop and Meal in our outdoor kitchen space this Friday, August 23 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Please register by emailing Josie.hart@botanicgardens.org by this Wednesday.


** Please be sure to pick up your MELONS! We have included melons in the produce list for three weeks now, yet last week we had some still left over so please remember your melon. This is a part of your weekly VEGGIE share.  


*** August 27, next Tuesday, we will be at St. John's Cathedral for distribution. We will send out a reminder with a map later this week.

produce list for august 19 – 23

small bag of baby potatoes!
tomatoes
eggplant (yes, finally!)
onion
head lettuce
arugula
assorted herb choice
sweet and hot peppers
cucumbers
summer squash
chard
Thai basil                                                                                                                        melons

fruit of the week: One large bag of peaches

grower’s perspective: notes from the field                                                           Phil Cordelli, CSA Head Produce Grower

All the summer crops are booming now, peppers turning colors, tomatoes ripening, picking the last cantaloupe out of the field, basil chest-high. It can be hard to figure how crops move in the Colorado summer, especially with that last little rainy cloudy spell. The head lettuce sized up for this week, but for the last two weeks the eggplant have been hanging out at halfsize. We made a run through the beds two weeks ago to pick the biggies but only got about 70. So, classic CSA DILEMMA! Do we give only some people eggplant? Do we offer a choice between tomatoes OR eggplant? Do we in the tradition of Solomon give everyone a half?! We decided on none … Ah, the issues which keep a CSA farmer up at night. We’re headed out tomorrow morning to make another run through the beds, hopefully we can wrangle enough for everyone! As always, thanks for sharing the ups and downs of the season with us!

Posted 8/19/2013 2:04pm by Josie Hart.


Dear Shareholders,

Due to the late timing of this newsletter - we will only be giving you the produce list for this week (tomorrow and Thursday's pick up) with some additional notes from the field. Please read the newsletter next week for a full edition.

* We have two remaining spaces for our Indian Curry Making Workshop and Meal in our outdoor kitchen space this Friday, August 23 - 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Please register by emailing Josie.hart@botanicgardens.org by this Wednesday.


** Please be sure to pick up your MELONS! We have included melons in the produce list for three weeks now, yet last week we still had leftovers so please remember your melon. This is a part of your weekly VEGGIE share.  


*** August 27, next Tuesday, we will be at St. John's Cathedral for Tuesday's distribution. We will send out a reminder with a map later this week.

produce list for august 19 – 23                                                                                     *this list is tenative and subject to change

small bag of baby potatoes!
tomatoes
eggplant (yes, finally!)
onion
head lettuce
arugula
assorted herb choice
sweet and hot peppers
cucumbers
summer squash
chard
Thai basil                                                                                                                       melons

fruit of the week: One bag of peaches

grower’s perspective: notes from the field                                                           Phil Cordelli, CSA Head Produce Grower

All the summer crops are booming now, peppers turning colors, tomatoes ripening, picking the last cantaloupe out of the field, basil chest-high. It can be hard to figure how crops move in the Colorado summer, especially with that last little rainy cloudy spell. The head lettuce sized up for this week, but for the last two weeks the eggplant have been hanging out at halfsize. We made a run through the beds two weeks ago to pick the biggies but only got about 70. So, classic CSA DILEMMA! Do we give only some people eggplant? Do we offer a choice between tomatoes OR eggplant? Do we in the tradition of Solomon give everyone a half?! We decided on giving quality eggplant instead of tiny un-ripe ones … ah, the issues which keep a CSA farmer up at night. We’re headed out tomorrow morning to make another run through the beds, hopefully we can wrangle enough for everyone! As always, thanks for sharing the ups and downs of the season with us!
-Phil

Posted 8/13/2013 2:35pm by Josie Hart.

Hello Everyone,


We wanted to remind people of a few things to make the distribution process go smoother:

Please do not come to pick up your share before 4 p.m. - we moved the time up from 4:30 p.m. to accommodate the earlier crowd but we have noticed people arriving as early as 3:00 p.m. which puts more pressure on our very small staff and volunteers to get set up even sooner.


Make sure you check before you pick up your fruit shares today to make sure you have purchased fruit. You will have to sign out for your two bags of peaches so please check your records first!


We have added an exchange table for this week - if you can't use one of the veggie options, place it on the exchange table and that will allow others to pick up more produce if they need more or if they have bigger families.

Thanks!