News & Blog

Welcome to the blog.
Posted 6/24/2013 5:53pm by Josie Hart.

Dear CSA add-on share members,

If you have purchased a bread, egg, coffee or mushroom share with us this season (we won't start fruit until August), we ask for your patience tomorrow picking up each item. We have been missing a couple shares each distribution, so tomorrow we will individually check you in for each share type.

This should only take a few extra minutes and it will really help us out to ensure the correct people are receiving the shares they paid for and of course are planning on receiving!

After tomorrow we will resume one check-in list for all add-on shares so things go as quickly and orderly as possible.

Thanks again, see you at Denver Botanic Gardens from 4 - 7 p.m. on the south end of the top parking lot!

Posted 6/17/2013 4:47pm by Josie Hart.

Hello York St. shareholders,

Please keep in mind that our distribution tomorrow will be at St. John's Cathedral, located at 3140 Washington St. Denver, 80203


This is about 5 minutes from Denver Botanic Gardens.  You can park in the front parking lot on the WEST side of the building. We will be on the lawn right in front of the west parking lot. If it is raining, we will be up against the building under shelter. 


The times are the same 4-7 p.m. - also please remember your bags, what type of shares you purchased and we will see you all there!

Thanks.

Posted 6/4/2013 1:42pm by Josie Hart.

Dear Shareholders,

Happy June to all of you! Please read through the following information thoroughly. We have answered most of the questions you may have regarding the start of our distributions next week, but feel free to ask us additional questions at csa.chatfield@botanicgardens.org.  

Coming up: CSA Open House, Saturday 1- 3 p.m.
The CSA Open House and Meet Your Farmer Event! We will give tours of the farm from a CSA grower; enjoy our very own grilled veggies, and provide information for CSA the season. We also have some early cool season crops that we are harvesting because of the heat so you will be able to come home with a sneak preview of our produce. The historic Hildebrand Ranch Area will be open for tours, kids will have some fun activities and you will have an opportunity to ask any questions before we get going for the season. If you have not RSVP’d, please do so. We will see you there!

CSA Distribution Information: First distribution dates are June 11 for York St. and June 13 for Chatfield.
PLEASE read through this information for both distribution sites.

• Distribution at both locations will start at 4 p.m.; for the first couple of distributions we may be fine tuning the process - we have a lot less staff this year than previous years so please be patient with us if we are not ready! We moved the up the start time to be accommodating to all of your busy schedules but we may need more time in the beginning.
• Bring your own bags. We have a limited amount of bags to loan.
• Make sure you check your account to review the items you have/have not purchased. Check in when you arrive by signing your name on the appropriate sheet(s) depending on what type of shares you are collecting.
• If you are picking up eggs, please bring an empty egg carton over to the add-on table first and then pick up your veggies. This will allow our staff time to put your eggs together if things are busy. We also have plenty of empty cartons to loan you the first time but can’t provide cartons every time.
• We suggest using large zip-lock bags (for greens/herbs) that can seal tightly for items that perish quickly.
• If you are splitting your share, we recommend that you divide your share by weeks rather than having multiple people come to divide their share at one time. This has caused a lot of confusion in the past, and it delays the distribution process for other shareholders. It is much easier for everyone if the share is picked up in its entirety each week and then split after distribution.
• Distribution ends at 7 p.m., so please come with enough time to finish by then.
• Please note we will have a comment box for concerns/suggestions on your CSA experience.
• Although much of the CSA produce is washed before it is brought to distribution, we still heavily encourage shareholders to wash all produce before consuming it. We also recommend that you try and prep all of your veggies (wash, remove leaves, seal in a bag) as soon as you get home.
• Each week the variety of produce will vary depending on the time of year, the weather and other environmental factors. Please check the weekly e-news for each week’s anticipated list of produce. You can also visit the CSA website (www.chatfieldcsa.org) and look under the OUR PRODUCE tab which offers a Harvest Calendar showing what we grow. Also under the produce tab is a Snapshot of Your Weekly Share which shows examples of what to expect at each month’s distribution based on 2011 harvests.

YORK STREET: TUESDAYS, 4 - 7 P.M.
Primary Distribution Location: In good weather (and non-concert Tuesdays), York Street distributions will take place at the south end of the parking structure on the top deck. We will be set up in all of the shaded parking spots along the south end. Once you have checked in you are welcome to go through distribution in any order.
Bad Weather Distribution Location: In bad weather (heavy rain, lightning, etc.) the York Street distributions will be located on the lower deck of the parking garage in the "van-only" parking area. We will send York Street shareholders an email ahead of time whenever possible to notify you if we plan on using this location.

CHATFIELD: THURSDAYS, 4 - 7 P.M.
Chatfield distributions will take place at the CSA Washstand in the Hildebrand Ranch area of the Chatfield site. Please look for parking signs marked CSA Distributions and Classes. We have a number of weddings taking place on Thursdays, so please look for signage.
You will need to walk through the ranch area to get to the washstand so please be prepared to walk even if it is raining, etc. We cannot allow people to drive through the ranch area for any reason. We recommend bringing a rolling cooler/wagon/stroller to help get your produce to the car once we reach the peak of the season. Your bags will get very heavy once the melons, tomatoes, and squash start coming in!

This year, to make more room at Chatfield distributions we will have a large tent set up adjacent to the washstand where some of the distribution items will be located. Please make sure that you collect all of your produce items from inside the washstand and the tent area. Produce can be collected in any order once you have checked in.

Thank you, everyone. We are really looking forward to another amazing season of bountiful produce and support of local farming!

 

Posted 3/7/2013 9:37pm by Josie Hart.


Dear 2013 Chatfield CSA Shareholders,

The CSA Team welcomes you and is excited to be growing food for you and your family! We are hopeful that the recent moisture continues to nurture the soil, providing us with a great growing season. Get ready to come and visit the farm, attend the community events or classes, and as always, savor the fresh produce!

We would like to wish Jenny (Thomas) Parsons, our lead grower, well on her next farming adventure in Panama. Jenny is leaving the CSA at the end of the month. If you would like to say goodbye in person, she will be hosting the film tonight, Friday, March 8 at the Chatfield barn at 5:30 p.m. We have an excellent set of prospective growers to fill the enormous shoes Jenny left behind. Thank you, Jenny, for your amazing energy and immeasurable contribution to making the Chatfield CSA what it is today.

A Personal Note from Jenny:

Dear Chatfield CSA Shareholders,
I wanted to let all of you know that I will be leaving the Chatfield CSA at the end of March. My husband and I are going to be moving to Volcan, Panama to work on my family’s farm. We have a 150-acre farm that my family has been farming since the 1970s, where we grow ferns, flowers, strawberries and vegetables. We are looking into getting cattle to use the manure for compost, and starting a small local cheese company. We have also contemplated the idea of starting a small tomato canning company since Panama seems to lack locally grown and canned tomato products. As you can see, this is an amazing opportunity for us to be closer to family and follow our hearts. I am very sad to be leaving such an amazing community of people that has really made our three years in Colorado so wonderful. I especially want to thank the CSA team, Leigh Rovegno and Josie Hart-Genter, for teaching me so much and allowing me to grow as a person. Thank you all for this wonderful opportunity.
Sincerely, Jenny


In April, you will receive an email including a list of the 2013 CSA events, classes, and distributions to add to your calendar. Please try and take advantage of some of these offerings – they are a vital part of the community experience, and we value everyone’s presence. If you are interested in contributing to the event planning, please contact us! We would love to have help with planning the 2013 gatherings. Email us at csa.chatfiled@botanicgardens.org for more information on assisting with CSA Events.

We have added several options to your vegetable share this year, which increases your ability to support healthy, local food producers and save time in the store.

You can purchase any of these add-on options until June 1, 2013 through our website:

  Artisan Bread: One large loaf of bread weekly with a variety of types.            

  One whole-bean pound of locally roasted coffee from Pablos in Denver.

  A half-pound bag of gourmet mushrooms weekly – varieties include shiitake,    cremini, lion’s mane, portabella, etc.                                    

  One dozen free range, organic local eggs – varieties include chicken and duck.

To purchase these add-on shares, please visit our website and update your membership or follow this link: http://www.chatfieldcsa.org/members/updatemembership

We look foward to meeting all of you at our two distributions, and we're excited to participate in another year filled with good food and good friends. Please look for our monthly email updates, which  provide you with vital information about the CSA and various options as a CSA shareholder.

Cheers to Spring!
The CSA Team

Posted 12/10/2012 1:08pm by Josie Hart Genter.

2013 Shares are on sale NOW!
Yes, it’s true! Chatfield CSA Shares are now on sale for the 2013 season! As a 2012 shareholder you have the opportunity to renew your share prior to any new shares being sold. The deadline to renew your share (January 3) is coming up quick, so act fast to be sure to reserve your place in the program for next year. The CSA team is very excited about this coming season for a number of reasons. Please read through the following for more information regarding next year’s program.
- The CSA will not be growing in size this year! We are sticking with the same shareholder size and same acreage so we can assure that the quality of both the produce and the distribution experience remains excellent.
- Kaiser Permanente has agreed to help fund the CSA program for one more year! We are extraordinarily grateful to them and their support of the program. Their contribution will be slightly less than in past years, which is why we have had to increase our share prices and add new sources of revenue to help support the program. The CSA Staff will continue to seek out funding opportunities for beyond 2013 to help maintain the current size and success of the program.

- Crop varieties will be slightly narrowed down based on shareholder responses from the 2012 season so that we can focus on the favorites and reduce the not-so-favorite crops (turnips)!
-  We’ve added additional share options this year!  You can now purchase all local, gourmet and mostly organic choices for eggs, coffee, bread and mushrooms in addition to your vegetables. I can’t wait to have my first locally roasted cup of Pablo’s coffee (offered at a much reduced price from the retail cost) with a slice of cranberry walnut bread! We will continue to offer fruit, honey and fresh cut bouquets as well. You can purchase these items now when you buy your vegetable share or add them on later before the season begins.

-  Canning and Preserving Classes will be available earlier in the season so you can get a jump on preserving your produce for the winter. The new Chatfield class line-up for 2013 will be available closer to the beginning of the season so stay tuned.

- We are looking to create a “Volunteer Event Committee” to help with the planning and implementation of our monthly CSA potlucks and other events.  Please email us at: csa.chatfield@botanicgardens.org if you are interested in helping out and having some fun! 

- The CSA staff is looking forward to hosting more events in general this year including “Weed Dating” (a farmer’s version of Speed Dating), Local Food Film Nights, and other farm dinner events. We have had a generous donation from the Denver Botanic Gardens’ Herb Guild that will allow us to build an Outdoor Kitchen in the washstand area which will allow us to host more classes and events. The Farm Open House will again be available this year for people to come and see the farm at the beginning of the season.
Existing shareholders, please note that your renewal period is from December 3 – January 3 to purchase your share with just $100 down. On Jan. 7, we will release any available shares to our waitlist (we have over 120 people on the waitlist!) and we will not be able to guarantee your place for the 2013 season. Shares will then be released to the general public in mid-January. If you need to break the total payment into smaller payments, you may do so in 3 additional equal payments or pay in full.
We can’t wait to once again adorn our kitchen tables with the bounty of the farm, and we hope to see many familiar faces in 2013. If you are interested in our volunteer options, have purchasing questions, or other concerns please don’t hesitate to contact us! Send us an email at:  csa.chatfield@botanicgardens.org
 

Posted 10/18/2012 1:38pm by Josie Hart Genter.


Dear Shareholders,

Wow! The time passes so quickly when you are eating fresh and local! The sad reality of having to purchase grocery store produce again is probably slowly sneaking into your conciousness...soon you will be dreaming of CSA sweet peppers and basil while the snow falls outside!

*The final dates for our CSA distribution will be on Tuesday, October 30 for York Street and Thursday, November 1 for Chatfield.


Important News:
Fruit Shares End This Week
This is the last week of local Colorado fruit but we are going out with a bang! Every fruit share member will receive a mixed 20 lb storage box of fuji and braeburn apples to store, can or eat right away (choose your own adventure)!

Please remember to RSVP to the Fall CSA Potluck event on Friday, Nov. 2 at 5 p.m. Feel free to bring family and friends; it will be a lot of fun to get so many cooks together in the same room! Please let us know if you need a copy of the e-vite sent to you again. 


This Week’s Produce
(Oct. 22 - 26)

The following crops will continue to be available through most of October.
- Salad Mix
- Arugula
- Kale
- Herbs (Mint, Sage, Oregano, Rosemary and Thyme)
- Leeks
- Head Lettuce 
- Carrots, Beets and Turnips
- Kohlrabi
- Cauliflower
- Broccoli
- Winter Squash
- Fennel
- Radishes
 

Weekly Recipe: Carrots and Turnips
Curry and Carrot Soup - Vegan
Adapted from Jolinda Hackett, Vegetarian Food Writer

Ingredients:

•2-3 large carrots, chopped small
•1 onion, chopped small
•1 tsp fresh ginger, minced
•1 1/2 tsp curry powder
•1 3/4 cup vegetable broth
•1 14 ounce can coconut milk
•Sea salt, to taste

Preparation:
Simmer the carrots, onions, ginger and curry powder in vegetable broth for 20-25 minutes, until carrots are soft.

Allow to cool slightly, and then puree in blender, working in batches if eneded. Return to heat and stir in coconut milk until well combined. Season generously with sea salt, to taste.

* This carrot soup will thicken as it cools, so when you heat it up you may need to add a little more liquid.

Vegetarian Gluten-Free Mashed Turnips
 

Like mashed potatoes? Try these similar mashed turnips! Turnips are a great source of vitamin C, and this simple recipe mashes the roots together with traditional mashed potato ingredients, including sour cream and fresh parsley.
This gluten-free recipe is courtesy of Ener-G Foods.

Ingredients:
•2 large turnips
•1 tbsp sour cream or dairy-free sour cream substitute
•2 tbsp butter or vegan margarine
•pinch pepper, to taste
•minced fresh parsley, to taste

Preparation:
Peel turnips. Cut into small chunks and boil for 9 minutes. Drain. Add remaining ingredients. Mash this mixture while turnips are still warm.
 

Grower's Perspective: CSA Staff Recognition and Appreciation
Written by CSA Manager, Leigh Rovegno

This year, we have had an absolutely incredible staff who have worked their tails off through wind, hail, rain and a lot of very hot days to provide our shareholders with locally grown produce. I would like to take a moment to honor our volunteers and recognize them for their unique contributions to the program this season.


Jenny Thomas: CSA Head Grower/Superwoman
There are no words that truly capture Jenny's positive spirit, her speed and acuracy, her ability to plan, prepare, and follow through with any task...her ability to make just about anything from scratch (even in the middle of the season when she is working 70 hours a week)! She has made the Chatfield CSA the unique and personable experience that it has become for our shareholders. Jenny has taught me so much through out our 3 years together and I am sure she will continue to teach me new things each coming year!  

Josie Hart-Genter: CSA Community Coordinator/Mama Josie

After being out on maternity leave through part of the season Josie returned to us with such vigor and excitement it was admirable! She has been shifted around into many roles within the CSA including volunteer management, event planning, newsletter writing, website editor, distribution assistant, farm camp director, class coordinator and planner, field harvester, planter, and much much more. Josie's unique skill set brings so much to the program and she is always willing to help where help is most needed.

Jackie Beavers: CSA Grower's Assistant/The Question Queen
Jackie came to the CSA program this year with very little farming experience or knowledge but an incredible passion to learn. Her smile is contageous and her spirit is immeasurable. Jackie always asks the best questions and makes you think one step further. She has been one tough-son-of-a-you-know-what all season and her bicepts are proof to show it!


Chad Dahne: CSA Grower's Assistant/Snake Wrangler/Professional Jar Opener
Chad is one of the bravest men I know. Not only can he wrangle a rattlesnake but he also cooks and bakes! Chad has survived an entire summer surrounded by the farm women of Chatfield and he has made us all laugh even on the most difficult days. He has taught us many ways to increase our efficiency and is always thinking outside of the box.


Kacie Warner: CSA Grower's Assistant/DC Diva
Kacie joined the CSA crew in April from Washington, D.C. and helped us get the season started. She was a huge help in filling in for Josie while she was out on maternity leave while still working in the field. Kacie has been a great reminder to us of of the bigger picture of the local food movement and is always coming up with great ideas for Chatfield and the CSA to pursue in the future.

Matt Pfeifer: CSA Grower's Intern/The Green Bean Guy 
Matt was always excited to help with distribution and discuss how the carrots looked like sloth toes, or the garlic guy we bought seed from collected garlic like some people collected beanie babies. He was a huge help in the field and always had the most interesting stories to share! He is most known for "the bean trick" at York Street distributions which always kept the kids entertained.

DeJa Walker: CSA Grower's Intern/The Crazy Corn Lady
DeJa returned to us this year for a second season as a CSA intern. She, as always, filled us all with joy through thick and thin. She got lost in the weedy watermelons, was almost bit by a rattlesnake, and wore her dirty overalls with pride every day. She has now returned to teaching at Johnson and Wales University where she educates her students about the importance of sourcing their baking materials locally.

Amanda Wilson, Chatfield Horticulturist and Autumn Long, Seasonal  Gardener
AKA The Flower and Herb Goddesses 
Amanda has been with Chatfield much longer than the CSA has existed and she has been one of its biggest supporters. She helped to make it happen! This year, she and Autumn arranged the beautiful bouquets for sale at distributions and harvested all of the herbs. They are an amazing team and at a glance, you might think they were twins!

Brien Darby, Denver Botanic Gardens Propagation/CSA Plant Mama
Brien is not an official CSA staff member but without her we would be lost in this world! She is responsible for raising all of our little plant babies from seed to when they are ready to be transplanted into our fields. She has an amazing sense of organization and her germination rate is simply admirable! She deserves a great deal of credit for all of the work that is done in the winter and spring to help us get ready for the season. We love you Brien!! 


A GIANT THANK YOU to each of you who have helped us make the season unique and a lot of fun. Without you, we couldn't do what we do!  

 
Food Safety Note

Please note that although we have washed our produce once after harvesting it in the field, members should wash the produce at home again before eating. Our farm produce should be treated the same way as grocery store produce: always wash before eating! The best way to wash produce is by running it under cool water. Cleaning products are not necessary.

Posted 10/17/2012 5:11pm by Josie Hart Genter.

Vicki’s Vegetable Ventures
October 15, 2012

Company in the kitchen
It’s easy to understand the pleasure and satisfaction derived from serving a wonderful meal to your family. But sometimes, the cooking process also allows you to connect with loved ones not even present at the dining table — those who are with you in spirit, with you in the kitchen while you’re cooking.
Such was the case last night when I cooked a meal that brought to mind two loved ones. I thought of my dear departed mother-in-law Gladys. She was a loveable British woman who’d often say, “Same meat, different gravy,” an English expression referring to the same thing presented differently.

Clever sauce technique
And I was reminded of my sweet daughter-in-law Amber, who gave me her Czech mother’s recipe for Svíčková (pronounced SVEETS-ko-va). In this traditional Czech dish, beef is roasted slowly with herbs, spices and aromatic root vegetables. Instead of straining out and discarding the aromatic root vegetables, they’re pureed and added to a cream sauce for a triple benefit: to thicken, flavor and color the sauce. The color comes from the carrots, which give the sauce a pretty orange hue.
I employed the same technique with chicken, rendering the most sumptuous, colorful sauce ever to smother a chicken. The result was something like Svíčková with the “same gravy, different meat.” Our CSA broccoli and purple cauliflower only enhanced our Sunday dinner’s color explosion.

More fall color
The vibrantly colored, voluptuously ribbed squashes we picked up last week looked like models for an artist’s still-life. I wouldn’t know how to paint these beauties, but cooking them was easy.
First I cut them in half and roasted them in a hot oven till almost tender. Meanwhile, in a skillet on stovetop, I sautéed lots of diced leeks and peppers, and then browned some ground lamb seasoned with Moroccan spices of cinnamon, allspice and chili powder.
Out from the oven came the squashes, which got filled with the lamb concoction and returned to the oven for a bit to allow the flavors to meld. Minced parsley and chives garnished the finished creation, which were plated alongside braised kale. Two different squashes, leeks, peppers, parsley, chives and kale – a total of seven CSA items went into this unbelievably tasty and colorful ensemble. In fact, the plates also looked worthy of an artist’s rendition!

Posted 10/12/2012 7:57am by Josie Hart.



Dear Shareholders,

As the season winds down, we begin thinking about the years ahead. As many of you know, 2012 marks the last year of the original grant from Kaiser Permanente. The initial grant was provided to help build the infrastructure necessary to operate a successful CSA. We were able to purchase the proper equipment, hire qualified staff, build a washstand, and purchase the necessary materials needed to run a small sustainably operated farm.

Our goal was to be entirely financially self-sufficient by 2013. This, however, is going to be a challenge. We will not be able to operate the CSA with the same format next year without continued underwriting - in addition to share sales. We have applied for additional funding from Kaiser Permanente and we are currently waiting to hear if they will finance part of the program through 2013.

With the renewed funding, we will continue to serve our CSA shareholders and also extend the reach of our program even further to diverse communities. In 2013, it is also our goal to build relationships with other existing organizations within the local food movement to strengthen the community as a whole. Please see the Grower's Perspective section of the newsletter to better understand how you as a shareholder can help us meet these goals for next year. 


Upcoming Events: CSA Fall Potluck
Please RSVP to the Fall CSA Potluck event on Friday Nov. 2 at 5 p.m. Feel free to bring family and friends; it will be a lot of fun to get so many cooks together in the same room! Please let us know if you need a copy of the e-vite sent to you again. 

This Week’s Produce (Oct. 15-19)
The following crops have been destroyed by the frost and are finished for the season:
-Tomatoes
-Dill
-Lemon Balm
-Flowers for Bouquets
-Basil
-Tomatillos
-Eggplant

These crops all survived the frost and will continue to be available through most of October.
- Salad Mix
- Arugula
- Chard/Kale
- Cabbage
- Herbs (parsley, cilantro, mint, sage, oregano, rosemary, and thyme)
- Leeks
- Sweet Peppers (the plants didn't survive but we were able to harvest enough peppers to get us through the next couple of weeks) 
- Head Lettuce 
- Carrots, Beets, and Turnips
- Kohlrabi
- Cauliflower
- Broccoli
- Winter Squash
- Fennel
- Radishes


Weekly Recipe: Preserving your Produce and Fall Recipes
Prepare and Preserve Your Produce:
 a wealth of information on all produce (fruits, veggies herbs/spices). We are providing this link for you now because there is a lot of information on how to preserve and make your produce last – which is something we all want to do before mother nature forces us to stop harvesting!

Favorite Fall Recipes: Soup and Salad!

Borscht
From CSA Shareholder Tom Hart
2 medium leeks, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 medium onion, diced
1 rib celery, diced
1 medium carrot, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 pounds fresh beets, peeled and diced
3-4 medium-sized potatoes
4 cups vegetable broth
4 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
3 tablespoons chopped fresh dill, plus more for garnish
4 tablespoons sour cream

Prep all the ingredients. Heat the butter in a large pot over medium heat. When the foam subsides, add the onions, leeks, celery, carrot, garlic, beets, potatoes and a generous sprinkling of salt and pepper. Cook, stirring often until the vegetables soften - 15-20 minutes or until beets and potaotes are thoroughly cooked in the center.

Pour in the vegetable broth and bring the soup to a simmer. Simmer gently, stirring occasionally, for 10-15 minutes. Stir in the vinegar, dill and more salt and pepper to taste.

Ladle the soup into individual bowls and top with sour cream and more dill/chives to taste. This soup pairs nicely with warmed brown bread/butter and a stout beer.

*You can easily add in a nice beef brisket (roasted ahead of time) to the broth while simmering for a meaty (traditional) version of the stew.


Kohlrabi Salad
Adapted from CookThink.com

Kohlrabi is an intimidating-looking vegetable on the outside; its exterior skin is knobby, ruddy and rough. But remove that and you'll find the flesh inside tender, nutty and versatile.

Here's how to eat it:
- First, use a small, sharp knife to cut away the stems right where they meet the round root. Use the same knife or a vegetable peeler to remove the rest of the exterior skin (this is a bit tough). 
- Now all you need to do is remove the core. (Like you would when coring cabbage or fennel)… 
- Cut the kohlrabi lengthwise into quarters. Turn each quarter on its end, then slice away and discard the core (or save it to make vegetable broth). 
- Now the kohlrabi is your oyster!
- Cut it into paper-thin slices and lightly dress with rice vinegar (or another sweet, light vinegar) in a bowl. Add thinly sliced green onion, grapefruit or orange and shredded carrot to the mix.
- Add in a spoonful of olive oil, a small amount of fresh tarragon and salt/pepper.

Toss the entire bowl of sliced veggies over the CSA lettuce/greens for a fantastically fresh and crunchy salad!


Grower's Perspective: Change Brings Opportunity
With or without continued financial support, the CSA program will have to change and shift in order to better meet our financial needs. We will need to reevaluate the acreage and number of shares, increase wholesale, decrease staff time, staff present at distributions, and reduce overall expenses.

The labor necessary to run the CSA is our biggest expense and it always will be. Our mission is to not only provide fresh produce to the community, but also viable jobs for people who are working hard to grow that food. Farming is a tough life both physically and financially for most if not all people who try their hand at it. Our farm is no different. The CSA staff expenses are high because we value our employees and we are lucky to be a part of a greater non-profit organization which allows us seek additional financial support to help provide health care benefits which is a luxury for most farmers.

In order to continue the program with the staff that we currently have we will require additional funding. We need your help as shareholders to further the work that we are currently doing by providing more outreach, education, and increase the reach of our produce to a more diverse audience. As a community project funded by the community and for the community, we will be calling on our shareholders to be more involved in the actual opreration of the CSA to help us to further the work that we do without increasing our staff expenses. We need volunteers for some crucial areas. If you have any extra time in your schedule, a desire to be more involved in local food, skills that would enhance the CSA and/or a commitment to be a part of this venture, please email us with your input at csa.chatfield@botanicgardens.org

Some areas in which we would love to have community organizers:
Volunteer Recruitment – Talk to friends and neighbors and get them on board!
Event Planning – You all wanted to see more potlucks/CSA events this year but we need your help to make it happen.
Fundraising – Finding possible funders to help with our program is a vast area in which we could use expertise.
Material Donations -  Help us connect with local businesses to help reduce our materials expenses by getting in-kind donations.
Your Ideas - You all were great about the mid-season survey, but we also would love your input to help shape 2013 before it happens. Do you have connections or thoughts on the CSA for next year that you’d like to share?  

We have worked very hard to create a successful program that meets the needs of our shareholders, and serves as an example for the greater community. We have been very fortunate so far to have the support that we’ve needed and we are very hopeful that the same support will be available to us in the future.

As always, we will allow our current shareholders to renew their shares for 2013 prior to selling any new shares. Share renewals will take place in December and January and we will be emailing all of you about that once we get closer to the time.

Thank you all so much for your support and we look forward to providing you with more cool season crops through the rest of October!
 

Food Safety Note
Please note that although we have washed our produce once after harvesting it in the field, members should wash the produce at home again before eating. Our farm produce should be treated the same way as grocery store produce: always wash before eating! The best way to wash produce is by running it under cool water. Cleaning products are not necessary.

Posted 10/5/2012 9:32am by Josie Hart.

Dear Shareholders,

We hope you are enjoying the newsletter, please be sure to scroll all the way through the newsletter and read the Grower’s Perspective section at the end. This week we are sharing some of the feedback we collected from the mid-season surveys.  

SNOW!
Don't worry, it doesn't mean we're finished for the season. Crops like
broccoli, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, beets, turnips, kohlrabi, greens, chard/kale, leeks, winter squash, pie pumpkins and some of the herbs will continue to produce through this colder weather.  The warmer weather crops (eggplant, peppers, tomatoes, basil, and annual herbs), however, may be too frosty to harvest again. The flower bouquets may also be done for the season depending on how much snow/frost we get this weekend. We will continue to provide updates on the crops in the newsletter and at distribution as the season winds down.

Distributions as long as we have crops to harvest through the end of October. 
Last season, distributions continued until the very end of October. 

The last fruit distributions are tentatively scheduled for October 15 and 18. That may be a bit early for the Fuji storage apples to be ready, so they may need an additional week to ripen. If that is the case then we will skip one week of fruit and then have fruit again at the last distributions of the season (Tuesday, October 30 and Thursday, November 1).


Upcoming Events:
CSA Fall Potluck

Please RSVP to the Fall CSA Potluck event on Friday Nov. 2 at 5 p.m. Feel free to bring family and friends; it will be a lot of fun to get so many cooks together in the same room! Please let us know if you need a copy of the e-vite sent to you again.


New
 at CSA Distributions: Fruit Seconds

Pick up your box of bulk seconds fruit at distribution this week! Please note that if you were not able to purchase fruit seconds (apples and pears) last week (Oct. 2 or 4) you can still purchase a box of fruit at dsitribution this week (Oct. 9 or 11).

If you are purchasing bulk seconds fruit for the first time, please print out the order form that was emailed out last week and bring it to distribution along with your payment.

- Each box of fruit is $22. (See your order form for the various fruit varieties.)

Boxes of seconds fruit will be delivered for pick-up at your regular distribution and will be marked with your order information.

We prefer that payments to be made by check, but we accept cash as well. Please make checks payable to: Denver Botanic Gardens Chatfield CSA.

Also, please remember to bring cash or a check if you would like to purchase bouquets or honey at distribution.


This Week’s Produce
(Oct. 8 -12)

Please note this is a tentative list and subject to change.
- Salad Mix
- Arugula
- Chard/Kale
- Peppers (bell and hot) - (tentative) 
- Cabbage or Broccoli
- Basil (tentative)
- Herbs (Parsley, Cilantro and one perennial herb)
- Heirloom and Slicing Tomatoes - (tentative)
- Leeks
- Head Lettuce (New!)
- Eggplant - (tentative)
- Carrots or Beets or Turnips
- Green Tomatoes
- Kohlrabi


This Week’s Fruit - (Oct. 9 and 11)

This coming week fruit share members will receive Golden Delicious apples and a jug of cider. When Golden Delicious apples are picked right and eaten in season, they are truly delicious! They are known as a work horse apple in that they are good for everything....eating, saucing, baking - you name it!


Weekly Recipe: Vegetarian Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

Provided by CSA shareholder Stacey Crease, Adapted from the Wilson Farm Country Cookbook
Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Ingredients:
1 green napa or other type of cabbage
3 cups water
1 bag of vegetarian meatballs or tempeh pieces 
3 T butter or olive oil
2/3 cup coarsely chopped onion
1 grated carrot
2 cups sliced mushrooms
2 cups cooked rice
Salt, pepper, rosemary, majoram and sage to taste
1 cup vegetable broth

Directions:
Remove the tough outer leaves from the cabbage. Bring the water to a boil in a 4-quart pot. Place the cabbage in the water, right side up, and blanch until the leaves soften and pull away (about 10 minutes). Run the cabbage under cold water to stop the cooking process and separate the leaves. Set the leaves aside.

Melt the butter in a frying pan. Add the onion, sauté for two minutes, then add mushrooms. Sauté until onions and mushrooms soften. Add in the vegetarian meatballs or tempeh. As they soften, break them up with a wooden spoon. Mix in your preferred seasoning (any CSA herb you have on hand). I used rosemary and sage, salt and pepper. Mix in the rice.

Make the rolls by placing 3-4 T of the stuffing in the center of a cabbage leaf, fold in the sides, and roll. Secure with a toothpick. Place seam side down in a baking dish. Keep making rolls until you have run out of stuffing. Pour broth over the rolls and cover with foil. Bake at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes. Remove the toothpicks and serve with any type of fresh or canned tomato sauce.

- Please visit our website for additional recipes that include cabbage, green tomatoes, kohlrabi, leeks and more! 


Grower's Perspective: 
The Survey Results are In!
Written by CSA Manager, Leigh Rovegno

Thanks to all the shareholders who took the time to complete our mid-season shareholder survey. It really does help us gauge how we are doing this year and what changes we need to make for coming years. This season had some difficult lessons, but we have learned a lot! We are already trying to incorporate some of your suggestions into this year’s program (like organizing distributions from heaviest items first to lightest items last) and some suggestions will go into the design for next year’s program.

What we have learned from the CSA surveys:
- Most CSA shareholders would like to see less “strange” veggies in exchange for larger quantities of the more “normal” veggies. For example: shareholders would like to see FEWER turnips, kohlrabi, and celery overall and MORE beets, spinach, and head lettuce.
- Most CSA shareholders would prefer fewer herbs in the weekly distribution.
- Shareholders prefer having the distributions set up from heaviest items to lightest to make it easier to pack their bags. Most people enjoy distributions and the “market style approach."
- Shareholders enjoyed the newsletter and many people visit the website to read about recipes, blogs and other resources. Most people also commented that they did not have additional time in their schedule for more classes.
- Shareholders would also like to have more potlucks and gatherings throughout the season, as well as information and communication about community events.
- Shareholders would be interested in having eggs, mushrooms, and milk options available to them in coming years.
- Shareholders would like to see more bouquets available at distributions.
- Overall, shareholders would be happier to have fewer items but greater quantities of each item each week. For example, instead of having 15 items with two items per share having 10 items with four items per share.

What we have learned as a staff:
- We need to plan on having more volunteer groups earlier in the season to keep the weeds under control when we are busy with planting.
- 46 crops are perhaps too many to handle on just four acres.
- We need to start diversifying our sources of income in order to continue the program in a successful manner. This will include increasing our wholesale opportunities, hosting fund raising events focused on the CSA, and possibly adding more share options to the program (such as eggs, mushrooms, etc.).
- We want to keep the program at a manageable size rather than continue to expand in coming years. We feel that it is important to do what we do well and try not to get in over our heads (if at all possible)!
- Community events like the CSA Open House and potluck dinners are a huge part what a CSA is and we would like to host more of these in the future.
- The classes often times did not sell out; we are taking a look at what the best approach is to include educational opportunities for our community – and we are open to suggestions!


Food Safety Note

Please note that although we have washed our produce once after harvesting it in the field, members should wash the produce at home again before eating. Our farm produce should be treated the same way as grocery store produce: always wash before eating! The best way to wash produce is by running it under cool water. Cleaning products are not necessary.

Posted 10/4/2012 5:54pm by Josie Hart.

Dear Shareholders,

We hope you are enjoying the newsletter, please be sure to scroll all the way through the newsletter and read the Grower’s Perspective section at the end. This week we are sharing some of the feedback we collected from the mid-season surveys.  

Many people have been asking when the last distribution date will be. This really depends on the weather. We will continue distributions as long as we have crops to harvest through the end of October. This means you most likely will still receive broccoli, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, beets, turnips, kohlrabi, greens, chard/kale, leeks, winter squash, pie pumpkins and some herbs in your share throughout October.  The warmer weather crops including eggplant, peppers, tomatoes and basil are all slowing down.  As soon as a substantial frost hits, most of the flowers will be finished as well. Last season, distributions continued until the very end of October. 

The last fruit distributions are tentatively scheduled for October 15 and 18. That may be a bit early for the Fuji storage apples to be ready, so they may need an additional week to ripen. If that is the case then we will skip one week of fruit and then have fruit again at the last distributions of the season (Tuesday, October 30 and Thursday, November 1).


Upcoming Events:
CSA Fall Potluck

Please RSVP to the Fall CSA Potluck event on Friday Nov. 2 at 5 p.m. Feel free to bring family and friends; it will be a lot of fun to get so many cooks together in the same room! Please let us know if you need a copy of the e-vite sent to you again.


New
 at CSA Distributions: Fruit Seconds

Pick up your box of bulk seconds fruit at distribution this week! Please note that if you were not able to purchase fruit seconds (apples and pears) last week (Oct. 2 or 4) you can still purchase a box of fruit at dsitribution this week (Oct. 9 or 11).

If you are purchasing bulk seconds fruit for the first time, please print out the order form that was emailed out last week and bring it to distribution along with your payment.

- Each box of fruit is $22. (See your order form for the various fruit varieties.)

Boxes of seconds fruit will be delivered for pick-up at your regular distribution and will be marked with your order information.

We prefer that payments to be made by check, but we accept cash as well. Please make checks payable to: Denver Botanic Gardens Chatfield CSA.

Also, please remember to bring cash or a check if you would like to purchase bouquets or honey at distribution.


This Week’s Produce
(Oct. 8 -12)

Please note this is a tentative list and subject to change.
- Salad Mix
- Arugula
- Chard/Kale
- Peppers (bell and hot) - (tentative) 
- Cabbage or Broccoli
- Basil (tentative)
- Herbs (Parsley, Cilantro and one perennial herb)
- Heirloom and Slicing Tomatoes - (tentative)
- Leeks
- Head Lettuce (New!)
- Eggplant - (tentative)
- Carrots or Beets or Turnips
- Green Tomatoes
- Kohlrabi


This Week’s Fruit - (Oct. 9 and 11)

This coming week fruit share members will receive Golden Delicious apples and a jug of cider. When Golden Delicious apples are picked right and eaten in season, they are truly delicious! They are known as a work horse apple in that they are good for everything....eating, saucing, baking - you name it!


Weekly Recipe: Vegetarian Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

Provided by CSA shareholder Stacey Crease, Adapted from the Wilson Farm Country Cookbook
Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Ingredients:
1 green napa or other type of cabbage
3 cups water
1 bag of vegetarian meatballs or tempeh pieces 
3 T butter or olive oil
2/3 cup coarsely chopped onion
1 grated carrot
2 cups sliced mushrooms
2 cups cooked rice
Salt, pepper, rosemary, majoram and sage to taste
1 cup vegetable broth

Directions:
Remove the tough outer leaves from the cabbage. Bring the water to a boil in a 4-quart pot. Place the cabbage in the water, right side up, and blanch until the leaves soften and pull away (about 10 minutes). Run the cabbage under cold water to stop the cooking process and separate the leaves. Set the leaves aside.

Melt the butter in a frying pan. Add the onion, sauté for two minutes, then add mushrooms. Sauté until onions and mushrooms soften. Add in the vegetarian meatballs or tempeh. As they soften, break them up with a wooden spoon. Mix in your preferred seasoning (any CSA herb you have on hand). I used rosemary and sage, salt and pepper. Mix in the rice.

Make the rolls by placing 3-4 T of the stuffing in the center of a cabbage leaf, fold in the sides, and roll. Secure with a toothpick. Place seam side down in a baking dish. Keep making rolls until you have run out of stuffing. Pour broth over the rolls and cover with foil. Bake at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes. Remove the toothpicks and serve with any type of fresh or canned tomato sauce.

- Please visit our website for additional recipes that include cabbage, green tomatoes, kohlrabi, leeks and more! 


Grower's Perspective: 
The Survey Results are In!
Written by CSA Manager, Leigh Rovegno

Thanks to all the shareholders who took the time to complete our mid-season shareholder survey. It really does help us gauge how we are doing this year and what changes we need to make for coming years. This season had some difficult lessons, but we have learned a lot! We are already trying to incorporate some of your suggestions into this year’s program (like organizing distributions from heaviest items first to lightest items last) and some suggestions will go into the design for next year’s program.

What we have learned from the CSA surveys:
- Most CSA shareholders would like to see less “strange” veggies in exchange for larger quantities of the more “normal” veggies. For example: shareholders would like to see FEWER turnips, kohlrabi, and celery overall and MORE beets, spinach, and head lettuce.
- Most CSA shareholders would prefer fewer herbs in the weekly distribution.
- Shareholders prefer having the distributions set up from heaviest items to lightest to make it easier to pack their bags. Most people enjoy distributions and the “market style approach."
- Shareholders enjoyed the newsletter and many people visit the website to read about recipes, blogs and other resources. Most people also commented that they did not have additional time in their schedule for more classes.
- Shareholders would also like to have more potlucks and gatherings throughout the season, as well as information and communication about community events.
- Shareholders would be interested in having eggs, mushrooms, and milk options available to them in coming years.
- Shareholders would like to see more bouquets available at distributions.
- Overall, shareholders would be happier to have fewer items but greater quantities of each item each week. For example, instead of having 15 items with two items per share having 10 items with four items per share.

What we have learned as a staff:
- We need to plan on having more volunteer groups earlier in the season to keep the weeds under control when we are busy with planting.
- 46 crops are perhaps too many to handle on just four acres.
- We need to start diversifying our sources of income in order to continue the program in a successful manner. This will include increasing our wholesale opportunities, hosting fund raising events focused on the CSA, and possibly adding more share options to the program (such as eggs, mushrooms, etc.).
- We want to keep the program at a manageable size rather than continue to expand in coming years. We feel that it is important to do what we do well and try not to get in over our heads (if at all possible)!
- Community events like the CSA Open House and potluck dinners are a huge part what a CSA is and we would like to host more of these in the future.
- The classes often times did not sell out; we are taking a look at what the best approach is to include educational opportunities for our community – and we are open to suggestions!


Food Safety Note

Please note that although we have washed our produce once after harvesting it in the field, members should wash the produce at home again before eating. Our farm produce should be treated the same way as grocery store produce: always wash before eating! The best way to wash produce is by running it under cool water. Cleaning products are not necessary.