News & Blog

Welcome to the blog.
Posted 4/18/2012 4:37pm by Josie Hart Genter.

Dear Chatfield CSA Shareholders,

Welcome to the Chatfield CSA from all of us at the farm. We welcome you not only as shareholders, but as members of our community. We have many exciting things to announce for 2012 as well as some important dates for your calendars.

CSA Open House
We are hosting our first community get-together on Sunday June 3 at Chatfield from 1-3 p.m. We strongly encourage you all to visit the farm – whether you were a shareholder last year or you have never been to the CSA, it is always changing and growing in beauty.  On June 3 you will have the opportunity to take a tour of the entire Chatfield CSA farm, meet the people growing your food (as well as other CSA shareholders), take a look at where your food is processed and learn how to best utilize your CSA share on a weekly basis. We will also offer two more community potlucks throughout the season where you can enjoy great local food with your CSA community at Green Farm Barn.

Distribution Locations and Times – Please bring your own bags!
Denver Botanic Gardens at York Street Shareholders: If you signed up for Tuesday distribution, please head to the top (street level) of the south end of the parking structure. Because this location is outside, we will alert you via email if we have to move our pickup location underground or to another location. Directions to York Street Distribution Every Tuesday 4:40 -7 p.m.

Chatfield Shareholders: If you signed up for Thursday distribution you will pick up your produce at Chatfield, the main CSA location. When you enter through our main gate, please look for parking signs – parking locations will vary depending on events happening at Chatfield. After parking please head to our washstand in the Hildebrand Ranch area. Distribution times are from 4-7 p.m. every Thursday. Directions to the Chatfield CSA

Shareholder Benefits
We also offer other benefits to CSA shareholders: a weekly newsletter with recipes and information on your CSA produce; a recipe resource from various CSAs around the country; and our website with blogs, updated photos of the farm, an active calendar and many other useful items. www.chatfieldcsa.org

New this year: The CSA Education Series. CSA members will enjoy an extremely discounted registration fee to our new classes offered at Chatfield with the generous support from Kaiser Permanente. To register for a class or to view the entire schedule, please visit CSA Class Series

Classes are $7 to CSA shareholders only, with an additional materials fee to select classes of $5. This is a great opportunity to learn more about cooking, sustainable agriculture, canning and preserving, natural herbal remedies and the best way to use your produce. All classes are designed to accommodate children, with a few classes designed just for kids who want to cook!

Also New this Year: Canning and Preserving Share for $50. Please email us at csa.chatfield@botanicgardens.org if you interested in signing up. Participants will likely receive bulk amounts of crops such as cucumbers for pickles, tomatoes for sauces, and carrots or other root vegetables mainly in July, August and September. Canning shareholders are asked to come at the last half hour of distribution so we have the staff to assist with your additional produce.  Canning shares are limited!

Fruit Shares
Ela Family Farms will be adding an informational blog to their website this year for people who have purchased a fruit share. You still have until May 1 to purchase a fruit share for $210. If you have not already done so, please go to www.chatfieldcsa.org/members 

Things are going great at the farm. We have many crops already planted and we are growing many more in our greenhouses. We would like to thank you all for being a part of the CSA this year and we look forward to seeing you June 3 for our Open House.

We encourage everyone to visit regularly and learn how we grow your food. If you are interested in becoming a volunteer with the CSA, please visit our website at:   Volunteer with the CSA


Thanks!
-The CSA Team

Posted 2/2/2012 2:51pm by Josie Hart.

Dear 2011 Chatfield CSA Shareholders,

It has to come to our attention that many people are not clear on how to purchase shares for 2012. If you already have purchased your share or you have decided not to purchase a share for 2012, please disregard this message.

Our online payment system is accepting payments now! Please note that you have two payment options to renew your share: 

Payment Option A: Pay in FULL today
Pay for both your fruit and veggie shares in full right now! No need to worry about it later.

Payment Option B: Scheduled Payments
This option allows you to make a payment for half of your share price when you purchase, and the other half on or before March 15. That way the cost is split into two payments.

You can choose to pay with either credit or debit. At this time we do not have the capability to accept payments by check.

Click here to make your 2012 share payment: 
www.chatfieldcsa.org/members 

Thank you so much, and please feel free to email us through the website if you have any issues with the payment process.

 Sincerely,

Chatfield CSA Staff

 

Posted 1/30/2012 10:42am by Josie Hart.
Four courses of French-inspired cuisine with
chef Tom Coohill of Coohills Restaurant.
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Presented by Denver Botanic Gardens and Catering by Design
with support from Alliance Française


FEATURING 

Tom Coohill 


 

FOUR COURSES OF FRENCH-INSPIRED CUISINE FEATURING
LOCAL, REGIONAL AND ORGANIC INGREDIENTS

Tuesday, February 7  |  6:30 - 9 p.m.

The Orangery at Denver Botanic Gardens

10th and York Street
 

SPACE IS LIMITED

Reserve your spot by February 3 – CLICK HERE.

$75 per person
 

THIS EVENT IS BYOB

  A delicate red or sweet white wine compliments the menu.
 

Psst… feel free to invite your friends.

 
© Denver Botanic Gardens, 1007 York Street, Denver, CO 80206. All rights reserved.
You are receiving this email because you subscribe to this sender’s email list –
and because you probably enjoy good food.



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Posted 1/26/2012 12:39pm by Josie Hart.

Dear CSA Shareholders,

Each year, the Denver Botanic Gardens at York St. and Chatfield provide an opportunity for budding horticulturists to delve into a summer internship with our seasoned horticulture staff. Host families for the interns are also needed from May14 – Aug.14. In exchange for housing an intern, hosts will receive help with yard work, gardening assistance and advice from a promising new professional. If you are interested, please contact the Gardens’ human resources recruiter at 720-865-3531 or send an e-mail to sue.caravas@botanicgardens.org.

All information from Host families must be received by March 1st 2012.

 

Posted 1/16/2012 12:34pm by Josie Hart.

Dear 2012 CSA Members,

We are opening our shares to the general public today! That means anyone can go to our website and purchase a share! If you have friends or family that would like to become members, please send them to our homepage at www.chatfieldcsa.org to purchase a share.

If you need to add or change an item (such as a fruit share) to your membership, you can do so directly at www.chatfieldcsa.org/members/updatemembers 
   * Fruit shares can be purchased up until May 1 of this year.

We are currently taking volunteers for the 2012 growing season. If you or anyone you know would like to come out and work at the farm, please contact josie.hart@botanicgardens.org for more information. 

Our 2012 crop list has been chosen and we are very excited about our new selections!

Thanks!

Posted 12/12/2011 2:19pm by Josie Hart.
Dear 2011 Members,

As a reminder to our current members, Dec. 15 is the deadline for renewing your share. After that, shares will be open to the public. You have the chance to pay a $100 down payment if you would like to reserve your share and pay the rest later. After Dec.15 you can still purchase a share when it's more convenient, but we can't promise one will be available as they generally sell quickly.
 
Please use this link purchase your share: http://www.chatfieldcsa.org/members
 
Thanks everyone!
Posted 11/17/2011 12:41pm by Josie Hart.

Dear 2011 Members,

We appreciate your patience as we all wait with eagerness for our online payment service to be up and running.  Please be assured that your share for the 2012 season is currently being held.

You will still be able to officially reserve your share for next year prior to the release of any new shares. Unfortunately, we are still experiencing some technical difficulties with the credit processor, but we hope to have the system operational as soon as possible.

Due to the inconvenience, we have extended the share deposit deadline until December 15. At that time your $100 deposit to officially reserve your share is due. You may also choose to pay for your share in full at one time. 

If you are planning on purchasing a volunteer share, please contact Josie at josie.hart@botanicgardens.org prior to visiting the payment page, you will not be able to purchase this share without a special coupon code.

 Thank you again for your patience, 

 - The CSA Team 

Posted 11/5/2011 4:45pm by Josie Hart.
Dear Shareholders,

We were all hoping our new online system would up and running by Monday Nov.7. However, we are still waiting on the credit card processor company who is installing our online payment system.

Please be patient with us, the system is being tested this coming week and we will let everyone know when it is ready to go. For now, please hold on to your deposit money until further notice.

We apologize for any inconvenience – all current members have their spot reserved for next year until December 1st when your $100 deposit is due.

Thanks! We hope to see you all tonight for our CSA Thanksgiving get-together!

- The CSA Staff  

Posted 11/4/2011 6:14pm by Josie Hart Genter.

The path of food

PBS recently aired the riveting documentary The Buddha. Most fascinating to me was that as a young aesthetic monk, Buddha starved himself to near death in an effort to attain Enlightenment … before ultimately realizing that one requires food to find insight, wisdom and contentment. This must be one of those tenets so obvious it’s downright profound.

In fact, food itself is a kind of a path, as it ties us to the fabric of what is real, what we value, what we love. When I began this project of documenting my CSA experience, I had mentally returned to my roots in the Bluegrass State and memories of my father’s splendid garden. Over the course of the growing season, I had many opportunities to share our bounty with friends in Denver and with family members visiting from out of town. Ray and I had countless discussions over dinners of fresh local produce that led us to explore topics related to our heritage, our past, our parents, our children.

“Did you have squash in Hampshire?” I’d ask Ray, who grew up in post-war England where “victory gardens” were a sign of patriotism. He’d talk about his mother, who generally didn’t excel at cooking but shined when it came to homemade apple pie. Or I’d reflect on how many jars of tomatoes my mother canned, or “put up,” to last the winter and beyond. Once, after Ray mentioned his father’s runner beans, I said that in Kentucky we called them half-runners, or tobacco worm beans, prompting a big investigation into the definition of a “runner bean” as opposed to the varieties my own father grew.

Picks and lessons

It came as no surprise that the beets ranked high on our list of favorites, for Ray and I are both ardent beet lovers. Even better, I cooked and froze whatever we couldn’t eat, so there’s more to look forward to. What did surprise us was how much we cherished the fresh lettuces, spinach, greens and salad mix. Another revelation was the carrots, which we taste-tested with store-bought baby carrots and couldn’t believe the difference. Also noteworthy were the eggplant, cauliflower, purple potatoes and fresh herbs.

I learned many things over the season, mostly related to new recipes. But out of necessity I also learned a few things about storage. First, label everything before freezing. Don’t expect to be able to identify in November a random, one-off dish you prepared back in June. Second, wash and dry the produce as soon as you bring it home (admittedly, not always doable), then store in green bags to keep it fresh longer.

Finally, be patient with basil as it proliferates. As advised, I did take the time to chop the basil in olive oil in the food processor, freeze it in ice cube containers and wrap the chunks individually. But I must confess I was annoyed with the whole time-consuming process. Yesterday, though, I took out a couple of my frozen basil balls, heated them to thaw, added chopped nuts and garlic salt (too lazy to chop garlic), tossed with spaghetti and sprinkled pecorino romano on top for a quick, satisfying lunch.

Enlightenment attained

Folks who’ve tried a CSA but didn’t like it frequently cite “vegetable anxiety,” complaining of receiving too many items to use up. Did I get overwhelmed? I did at times, especially when we were going out of town and I had to arrange to give the produce to someone else. Or at other times when I just didn’t know what to do with an item I had too much of, like peppers. And sometimes I had to spend more time planning, cooking and freezing than I might have liked. Still, I think the rewards outweighed the hassles.

I had three goals when I embarked on the CSA experience: avoid throwing anything away (I threw away two turnips – does that count?); eat more vegetables and less meat (done!); and enjoy a summer full of fresh produce. The latter was accomplished in spades — one might even say to the point of attaining Enlightenment.

 

Posted 11/1/2011 12:40pm by Vicki Phillips.

Hits and misses
Lately I’ve been making fried green tomatoes using a technique dubbed with the acronym FEB, which stands for flour, egg and bread (or panko). Dredged and dipped, slid into hot peanut oil, sizzling and browning, these little tots never fail to delight. Turnips, on the other hand, continue to challenge me. Last week I had to throw out two that didn’t get eaten and finally withered. And now I have two more which I’m determined to use, perhaps in a hearty beef stew for the snowy days coming this week.

Another miss was my failed experiment at roasting pumpkin seeds. I’d spent the better part of an hour digging them out of the pumpkin, separating them from the stringy flesh, washing and drying them — only to screw up the roasting process with too high heat, or too much oil or too long of a cook time. Whatever, into the trash went the bitter-tasting, blackened seeds.

I’ve been guilty of ignoring an accumulation of what the Brits call “capsicum.” I had two weeks’ worth of peppers in the fridge: red and green, round and elongated, big and small, hot and sweet. Last night I used half of them (the older ones) for old-fashioned Italian sausage and peppers. My Neapolitan mother taught me how to make this, which seems easy but can be tricky if you don’t cook the peppers correctly.

Although two weeks old, the peppers had fared well in my fridge and produced a traditional meal as good as my mother used to make. A crusty whole-wheat roll and a glass of Cabernet rounded out this homey dinner.

East European comfort food
A recipe I clipped from a newspaper long ago begins, “Nail polish takes longer to dry than this dish takes to cook.” Thin, boneless pork loin chops are flash-fried, then a quick sauce tossed together with sour cream, white wine and dried dill. I made it Sunday night, this time using fresh dill for my best-ever execution of this recipe. I served it with our CSA red cabbage prepared East European style, braised with apples, onions, cloves, red wine and currant jelly. The pork and cabbage nourished us with a comforting yet elegant meal after arriving home from a long drive from Kearney, NE.

Fall harvest celebration
We had gone to Kearney because one of the couples in our dinner group has taken up a Kearney-Denver dual residence due to work. They invited the whole gang to come to their new house in Kearney for the weekend, the highlight of which was a multi-course feast with a fall harvest theme. My son Keith joined us from Lincoln, bringing an appetizer of pumpkin dip and apples, served in a cute little pumpkin which he’d adorned with a Cornhusker “N” and “Go Big Red.” Next came my pumpkin-squash soup, made with CSA pie pumpkin, butternut squash, delicata squash, tarragon and leeks.

Our hosts did the main course … exquisitely. Dave, who used to live in France, cooked roti de porc au caramel de cidre, or pork with cider, and Patti baked apples with raisins and cinnamon. Side dishes were Fred & Barb’s delicious roasted mélange of carrots, parsnips and onions, and my salad.

I decided on a simple salad, clean and crisp to cleanse the palate and provide a complementary mouth-feel to the richer, more complex dishes being served. I mixed our CSA salad greens and spinach and added some celery, our colorful carrots from Chatfield and a bit of fresh tarragon. For the dressing I followed Fred’s method. First, he insists that extra-virgin olive oil is far too heavy for salad dressing, so I used grapeseed oil. Second, he takes three different salts (celery, onion and garlic) and lets them sit in the vinegar for a while. Sherry vinegar lent delicacy, with a splash of balsamic to amp up the flavor.

Local and in season
Our feast was capped off by Deb & Alan’s yummy pear tart with shortbread crust. How fitting that the end of Chatfield’s growing season coincided with this special meal with our foodie friends. I was able to utilize numerous items from the final distribution and offer dishes prepared with farm-fresh ingredients.

In fact, the quality matched what I’ve found in Europe, where food always tastes better to Ray and me. We could never figure out why, chalking it up to some micro-climate phenomenon. But now that we’ve eaten produce that comes from a short distance away, is in season, was picked recently and was not mass-produced, we realize that Europeans eat like this all the time and that’s why their food tastes better. What a simple and healthy approach — kudos to the growers and gardeners at Chatfield!