News & Blog

Welcome to the blog.
Posted 9/30/2013 2:05pm by Josie Hart.

Dear Shareholders,

We wanted to remind you of a few things coming up for the CSA!

Please join us for our fall potluck, Sunday October 6th 1- 4 p.m. If you would like to do the corn maze and take a hay ride while you are here, tickets are $5/$10 for a family. Please bring a dish to share (we will have power if you want to keep yours warm) and meet us under the Prairie Canopy tent which is on the far side of the Visitor Center when you arrive in the parking lot. We will have beer, lemonade, water and ice tea as well. We hope to see you all there!

Our much coveted Chatfield honey is available for purchase starting this Thursday (10/3) at distribution. Tuesday members will have the chance to purchase honey as well next week. Pint jars and half pints are available and please don’t worry if we sell out - our bee keepers, Bob and Josie Dolezal will supply us with more!

Ela Farms, our apple growers unfortunately will not have apple seconds available for purchase this year. Because of the late snow in May the apple trees lost their blossoms in those storms making supply limited this year – in fact, it pays to be CSA members - a lot of other vendors have not received any Ela fruit this year because they are saving all fruit for their CSA/markets only.
The Chatfield CSA staff is hoping to make it through the end of October for distributions which would make the 29th and 31st the last day for both distributions. Thanks so much for enjoying the ride with us!

If you have any questions, we have had problems with our CSA email. We apologize if you have tried to contact us and we have not replied. Please send any urgent inquiries to: josie.hart@botanicgardens.org for quicker assistance!


Thanks everyone!

Posted 9/27/2013 3:23pm by Josie Hart.


Dear Shareholders,

Happy fall! The CSA is switching gears for the colder temperatures and you'll see more of our cool weather crops at distribution. The summer favorites are winding down, but we'll still have tomatoes, peppers and basil this week.

Important Reminders:

CSA Fall Potluck- The Rain Check Edition: Sunday, October 6, 1-4 p.m.
We were so sad to miss seeing everyone at the potluck last month, but we are going to give it another shot! Join us next Sunday. We will be in the large Prairie Canopy tent on the far side of the Chatfield Visitor Center. Please park in the upper CSA parking lot.

Leaf Drop
Donate your leaves to the CSA!! Our compost pile is pretty heavy on nitrogen rich rotting tomatoes and we would love to adopt your leaves to help balance the carbon/nitrogen ratio. Please bring bags of pesticide/herbicide/fungicide/chemical-free leaves to the Chatfield distribution or to the Fall Potluck.

Permaculture Design Class at Chatfield:
Saturday, October 5, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Learn the principles, ethics and techniques of nature-inspired permaculture from Jim Gibson and Mary O'Brien. Permaculture is a design system based on the joining of indigenous wisdom practices with current ecological activism. Permaculture reminds us that "everything gardens" and teaches a sustainable worldview that presents a systematic approach for gardening, lifestyle and being. Participants will learn how to build soil fertility, integrate systems and work with nature to create more resilient designs.

Pumpkin Festival: October 11-13, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Embrace the fall season at this year’s Pumpkin Festival. This three day event is a great tradition for the entire family where thousands of pumpkins will be ripe for picking in our 10-acre patch. Families can enjoy live music by Stray Dog Colorado, face painting, pumpkin carving demonstrations,  pumpkin bowling and much more. The popular monster hand-building station will return and kids can enjoy pony rides, amusement rides, balloon twists, giant coloring murals and a cookie decorating station.

Produce list for October 1- 3
Rainbow carrots
Watermelon radishes
Red cabbage
Leeks
Red potatoes
Tomatoes
Hot and sweet peppers
Thai basil
Herbs
Weekly bread: garlic rosemary
Fruit share: two bags of pears and appples

Featured recipe: Legim, a Haitian Vegetable Stew
A tropical favorite from seasonal grower, Lena Tenenbaum
I lived in Haiti for about two years and fell in love with the flavorful Haitian stews cooked over charcoal stoves. I often cooked meals with friends and neighbors and there was one dish that always made my palate sing: Legim. I've adapted the recipe, as not all ingredients are available in the U.S., skipped some processed ingredients like tomato paste, and I've made it vegetarian. Traditionally, crab or goat is added to the stew and I would definitely recommend that step for omnivores.
1/2 head of cabbage
1 onion or leek
1 lb potatoes
3 carrots
2 sweet peppers
3 tbsp olive oil
3-5 hot peppers, habanero is best, but even a sweet pepper will do if you don't want spiciness (pepper is left whole, so flavor permeates, but doesn't get very spicy)
2-4 tomatoes, chopped
1/2 can coconut milk
15 whole cloves
8 sprigs of fresh thyme, tied together OR 1 tbsp dried thyme
4-6 cups of stock (vegetable, chicken or beef) add at the beginning OR 2-3 bouillon cubes crumbled, added at end
Salt and pepper to taste

Optional ingredients to add at the beginning:
Green papaya, skinned
Chayote squash, skinned
Spinach or arugula or amaranth
Watermelon radish

Saute onions in oil until translucent in large pot. Cut up vegetables and place in a pot. They will get mashed later, so big pieces are fine. Cover with stock and add tomatoes (if using bouillon cubes, just cover with water for now and add cubes near the end). Boil until veggies are soft. Take out carrots and set aside. Strain out most of the liquid into a separate bowl and using a pestle or masher or forks, mash vegetables until lumpy. Add liquid back in as well as coconut milk. Stick cloves into peppers, keeping them whole, and let them float on top of stew with the thyme for 15 minutes or more. Taste occasionally and remove clove peppers and/or thyme when desired flavor is reached. I've found the thyme flavor boils off, so best to serve shortly after removing thyme. Slice carrots and return them to the pot. Voila! Dinner is ready!

Serve with rice, polenta, or fried plantains. Li gou!! It's delicious!!

Grower’s Perspective- Season Extension
By Lena Tenenbaum
Sing with me folks...."It's the tiiiiime of the seaaaason for....REEMAY!!!" Okay, maybe that wasn't the sixties classic you were expecting but it's the version that's been stuck in my head as the team tucks in all of our crops for the fall. We use a product called floating row cover, or reemay, which is a permeable fabric that allows sunlight and rain in and keeps bugs and cold out. It also shades fragile plants in the high heat of summer.

We create mini hoop houses by pounding pieces of rebar in to the soil and using them to anchor arches of PVC pipe that hoop over the beds. Then we drape the reemay over the hoops and anchor the system with sand bags. I'm still deciding whether this is high tech farming or so simple, it's silly. With lightweight reemay, we get quite a few degrees of temperature protection and with our first light frost already under our belt, we need all the degrees we can get. We also use greenhouse plastic at times, which is impermeable and provides even more protection.

Another trick we have up our sleeves is succession planting. We choose cold-hardy crops like kale, broccoli, cabbage, and chard and seed varieties such as carrots, beets, radishes, and spinach every few weeks so that there's always something ready for distribution.

If you're a hardcore gardener and want to try this at home, a great technique I learned gives up to 30 degrees of temperature protection. Hoop the PVCs over your garden bed, wrap them in holiday lights (non LED), and cover with greenhouse plastic. On cold nights, turn on the lights to heat your mini greenhouse. If it gets super cold, put some space blankets on the plastic, reflective side down, and enjoy greens in 0 degree weather!

Happy fall and may the harvest fun continue!!

----------

Posted 9/24/2013 12:42am by Josie Hart.

Dear shareholders,

Below you will see our produce list for this week: Sep.23 to Sep.28.

*This list is tenative and subject to change  
 
Tomatoes

Eggplant

Easter egg radishes

Winter squash

Chard

Peppers

Basil

Head lettuce or Salad mix

In addition to the produce, we will be hosting MMLocal at both distributions this week. Please read below for more information:

Eat Local, All Year Round - MM Local Harvest Shares - Sign-ups Available at your next pick up 

MM Local partners with local, organic farms (like The Chatfield CSA) to preserve their fresh produce during the peak harvest months. The Harvest Share program allows people to pre-order a mix of the delicious fruits and vegetables that MM Local preserves throughout the season.  You pick it up at one or two easy pick ups in November and January, and can continue to savor delicious local fruits and veggies, all year round.   

Learn more about MM Local and their Harvest Shares on their web site http://mmlocalfoods.com/harvestshare/.  MM Local will be sampling many of the products that will be in this year's Shares and taking sign-ups at both the York and Chatfield distributions this week!

Thanks, have a great week everyone!
 
  

 

Posted 9/14/2013 9:52am by Josie Hart.


Dear Shareholders,

The potluk has been rescheduled to Sunday, October 6, from 1 - 4 p.m. We hope you all can make it and for those in Downtown Denver, this date should provide much less traffic! We will be in the large Prairie Canopy tent on the far side of the Chatfield Visitor Center. Please park in the upper CSA parking lot and join us at 1 p.m.

recipes
We are asking that all CSA shareholders send us your season's favorite recipe. We would like to share these tasty ideas with our community and hopefully learn new ways to cook the excellent produce coming out of Chatfield. Who know's - maybe this could turn into a book at some point!  csa.chatfield@botanicgardens.org

Our fall crops are defintely in! With giant cabbages and broccolis, the cooler weather has given these crops quite a perk. We will have potatoes next week and continue to offer the warmer weather crops such as tomatoes, peppers, basil and eggplant. We have already begun the harvest process for our winter squash and it's looking like it will be a promising crop this year.

The wild plant class takes place this Saturday at 9 a.m. at Chatfield. 
It is called "Wild Things Walk: Identification and Uses of Wild Plants for Food and Medicine".

link for registration details on all Chatfield CSA classes. 
 
produce list for september 16 - 20

kale
sweet and hot peppers
cucumbers or summer squash
salad mix
easter egg radish
herb             

tomatoes plus $10 tomato bags

broccoli

cabbage 


Yukon gold potatoes

onions
 $10 bags of tomatillos


weekly bread:
 sourdough

weekly fruit: 2 small bags of pears and apples

featured recipe: BLT salad- we try to feature veggie recipes through our newsletter but this salad is so yummy we had to sneak a little bacon into the mix! Hopefully you can use up any extra tomatoes from last week!

Ingredients

4 heads of baby butterhead lettuce or 1/2 pound salad mix with arugula

8 strips of thick-cut applewood-smoked bacon

4 heirloom tomatoes

8 oz.  bleu cheese, goat cheese or sharp white cheddder

1/2 slice sourdough bread, sauteed in garlic and oil until crisp. Chop into small bits after cooking

*sea salt and coarse pepper a must on the top of this salad!   

Directions

Cook the bacon to a crisp. Drain the excess fat and let the bacon rest on paper towels. While the bacon is cooking, wash the lettuce and tomatoes. Pat dry. Separate lettuce, slice tomatoes and crumble bleu cheese. Arrange on plate. Add warm, crumbled bacon to salad. Serve immediately. You can add a buttermilk ranch or garlic mayo dressing to this salad as well, however if you use bleu cheese crumbles you wil havel a rich flavor already. Add homemade crutons.


We hope you all have a great week and please send us your recipes!
Email us at csa.chatfield@botanicgardens.org   

Posted 9/12/2013 11:27am by Josie Hart.
Dear shareholders,


We are rescheduling our favorite potluck of the year, access to the corn maze is difficult, and Chatfield overall is incredibly mucky and wet. We will find a date for the potluck in the near future so everyone can enjoy the corn maze, delicious food, free beer and friends.

Distribution tonight is still taking place, please wear your mud boots and bring a jacket! Our fruit partners, Ela Farms is severly behind their delivery schedule and may not make it out to Chatfield in time for distribution this evening due to road closures. They will work out an alternative pick up time at Chatfield this week so everyone can still get their two bags of fruit.


We will keep you all posted if there are additional changes that our shareholders need to be aware of.


We thank you all for your ongoing support of the farm and our partners.

The Chatfield CSA        


Posted 9/10/2013 2:45pm by Josie Hart.

Dear Shareholders,

Please note that our distribution will be on the bottom level of the parking garage today 9/10 due to the forecasted rain. You will see our tables on the south end of the bottom level as soon as you drive in off York St. Please drive slowly to ensure safety for all.

Don't forget to buy your storage/sauce making tomato bags! $10 for 10 pounds!

Thanks all!



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!