News & Blog

Welcome to the blog.
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!

 

Posted 10/28/2011 11:42am by Josie Hart.

Dear CSA Shareholders,

Once again, we’d like to thank all of you for a wonderful season and for the support and positive feedback you have given the CSA this year. We look forward to providing your families with fresh food again next season!


renewing your share and online payments

Please read through the following information carefully:

We are happy to announce that we will be switching our payment processing system to an online accounting program! The program will operate through our existing CSA website and will be very user friendly.

Starting Monday November 7, you will be able to go directly to our website and make your $100 share deposit thus reserving your share for the 2012 season. All of our 2012 share price and size information will also be available on the website as well as the 2012 shareholder contract. We will be sending you an email that includes the link to the share renewal site next week.

Hold onto your deposit money until we provide instructions on how and where to pay. If you have already submitted your deposit to us, we will hold the payment and enter it directly into our new system.

Please be patient with us! This system will be a huge improvement in maintaining our member database as well as the efficiency of the entire payment process. We understand that this is different than the way we did it last year, but this will really help us to keep things organized and give us more time to do what we do best - grow your food!

The online payment processing will be much more convenient for everyone – one of the biggest benefits for shareholders is that you will be able to schedule your own payments so you won’t have to pay for your share all at once. You will also be able to use your checking account if you don’t want to pay by credit card.

Please note that in order to reserve your share for the 2012 season you only need to pay a $100 deposit. Your share deposit is due by December 1, 2011. You will have an opportunity to schedule your additional payments online at your convenience before February 1, 2012.

Thank you for your patience with this process and please stay posted for an email at the end of next week that includes the link to the website for 2012 share renewals.


weekly recipe

Pumpkin Pie
For the crust:
Follow your favorite pie crust recipe, or buy a pre-made crust of any type.

For the filling

2 cups (1 pie pumpkin washed, cooked, peeled and pureed) pumpkin puree
1 cup sweetened condensed milk
2 tbsp cornstarch
1 tsp pumpkin spice (allspice)
1 tsp ground cinnamon
4 tbsp packed brown sugar
4 tbsp white granulated sugar
1/2 tsp salt

For the pumpkin puree:
In a pan, mix in the pumpkin puree, condensed milk, cornstarch, spices, sugar, salt and beat until there are no lumps. Then put the pan on medium heat for 3-4 minutes until the puree is warm. It shouldn’t be boiling.

To make the pie:
Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Spoon the filling into the chilled crust and level with the help of a palette knife.
Bake for about 40 minutes or until the filling is set and the top crust is a nice golden brown.
Allow to cool, cut into wedges and serve warm as is or with whipped cream, vanilla ice cream.


farm topic – gratitude


We have many people to thank for the success of our newsletter. First we’d like to thank our guest blogger, Vicki Phillips, for all the insightful and hilarious ideas on how to utilize our produce this season. Vicki, you helped many people figure out what to do with the enormous bag of veggies – as well as the inspiration to finish the entire share each week!

We also would like to thank Doris Boardman and David Rubin for their tireless editing and website assistance. Doris and David – we truly appreciate your keen eye for detail! We also thank Simon Huntley and Small Farm Central for their amazing website support.

Thank you to Larry Vickerman and the entire Chatfield staff for all of your help and support throughout the CSA season.

Thank you to Amanda Wilson, Chatfield horticulturist, and Liz Tanner for your amazingly colorful and creative cut flower bouquets and all of the fresh herbs. They helped make each CSA distribution unique and exciting!

A big thanks to Leigh Rovegno, the CSA manager, and the entire CSA staff for all of the recipes and wonderful newsletter articles.

Finally, thanks to all of you for reading!

 
mark your calendars

- The final CSA potluck is Saturday, Nov. 5 at the Green Farm Barn from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. The theme for the potluck is “A CSA Family Thanksgiving” so please feel free to bring a Thanksgiving dish to get you into the mood of the holiday!

- The volunteer appreciation event is on Friday, Dec. 16. Everyone will receive free tickets to our annual Trail of Lights event here at Chatfield. Dinner will be served at 6 p.m. in the Green Farm Barn. After dinner, families can tour the lights and then head back to the barn for hot chocolate, desserts and crazy-strong (home-brewed) beer. We are all looking forward to this fun event!


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 10/21/2011 11:37am by Josie Hart.


Dear CSA Shareholders,

Our wonderful season is coming to an end. Sadly, we will be returning to the grocery store once again for our weekly veggies – some local, but most will be trucked in from far off places that seem absolutely foreign when compared to Chatfield! However, waiting for next season will make the first taste of CSA lettuce that much sweeter! Please remember to mark your calendar for the final CSA member/volunteer potluck scheduled for Saturday, November 5. Our final CSA distributions of the season are Tuesday, October 25 and Thursday, October 27.

It has truly been a pleasure working with you this season! Cheers to supporting a community brought together by local food!



this week’s produce (October 24-28) (Our last week)

• Peppers (hot and sweet)
• Cabbage
• Beets, carrots, turnips
• Gourds and pie pumpkins
• Salad greens, spinach and arugula
• Parsley, cilantro and dill
• Leeks



this week’s
fruit


One large bag of late season apples.


weekly recipe
Josie Hart-Genter, CSA Community Coordinator

Sweet Pepper, Leek and Goat Cheese Frittata

Beforehand: Chop the sweet peppers, chop one leek into round slices and chop any fresh herbs you have - about two tablespoons. Slice one clove of garlic into very small pieces. If you like eggplant you can also add ½ an eggplant diced to the veggie mixture.

After everything is chopped, add the garlic first with the butter or oil for a quick minute. Add all veggies into a skillet with a little more olive oil or butter and gently sauté.

Beat the eggs and season well. Pour the eggs over the veggie mixture and cook for 5-6 minutes until almost set. Dot the goat cheese and scatter herbs over the top and slide a lid over the pan for 2-3 minutes until golden. Keep the heat low so you don't burn the bottom.

Cut into wedges and serve with salad.

  

farm topic – apple pie and my mother
Josie Hart-Genter, Community Coordinator

My mother and I have shared a bushel together for two years now, and each week we are brought together by vegetables. The beauty of the vegetables laying on her counter every Thursday is one of our favorite weekly experiences, sometimes we just sit and stare at all the colors and shapes for a couple of minutes before doing anything with them. This would be one of the few moments in the week where we both just appreciated something together and didn’t have to speak too much or have a point to the conversation. After awhile, she washes the harvest – refusing to put anything in the veggie drawer (how can she hide it all away), she displays her bounty on the front shelves of the fridge for everyone to see (including her) every time the fridge door opens. A true reminder of how full and rich our lives are! 

Actually, food has always brought my mother and I together from the very beginning and given us a reason to celebrate. Some of my first memories are of making pie crusts or pizza dough on a kitchen stool, level with her at the counter. Because of her passion to use only fresh, local, natural ingredients and to create everything from scratch, the experience of cooking was something that took a lot of our time and included the whole family. Thanks to her, I developed a love for all types of food at an early age – making the CSA a perfect fit for our way of life.

Now that I am the mom, putting my daughter on a stool to make the dough, I reflect on how amazing a simple bag of fresh vegetables can be for a family who cooks and eats together. I give thanks to my mom every time I hear my daughter say “Mom, I want more cauliflower please… and some lemon cucumbers because they’re my favorite,” and to my co-workers at the CSA who labored to provide our family the food that brings us together each evening. Long live mother and daughter apple pie! 

 
mark your calendars

- The final CSA potluck is Saturday, Nov. 5 at the Green Farm Barn from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.
- The CSA volunteer appreciation event will be Friday, Dec. 16. Details to follow.


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 10/21/2011 10:20am by Vicki Phillips.

On vegetarianism

Vegetarians intrigue me. I simultaneously admire them yet feel a bit sorry for them for missing out on so many wonderful dishes. I’m always curious as to whether they stopped eating meat because of animal-rights issues or health issues. If the situation is appropriate and it doesn’t seem rude, I ask.

Both my sisters have had on-again, off-again relationships with vegetarianism. They don’t like the idea of eating meat, yet feel awful without it. Two of my good friends are vegetarians: Helen and Marsha. For Helen it was a gradual thing. Over time she slowly began eating less and less meat, decided she felt better without it, and ultimately quit altogether.

Camping pouches

Marsha has been a vegetarian for ages. I gave her some of my vegetables recently when we went out of town. For dinner one night she made breakfast tacos with spinach, jalapeno peppers, red onion and cilantro. Throughout the week she made smoothies with spinach. She concocted a marinara sauce using parsley, oregano and basil. And in a final display of eco-chic, Marsha prepared “vegetarian camping pouches” with carrots, herbs, tomatoes, kale and red peppers.

"It’s a great meal for camping," she reports. "You chop up veggies, tofu, herbs, olive oil, soy … whatever you like. Wrap them in aluminum foil so nothing leaks and throw them over the campfire. They can be prepared well ahead (days) of a camping trip. You can use anything that’s in the fridge that won’t spoil in the cooler."

I do admire Marsha’s commitment. But still, I don’t think I could ever become a vegetarian. As much as I’ve enjoyed all these fresh vegetables this summer, I would miss meatballs, roast pork, grilled lamb chops, fried chicken … and on and on.

On the other hand, I know that the CSA experience has indoctrinated me to a different way of meal-planning. I think of what vegetables we need to use up, then figure out what meat to serve as accompaniment. Seems like a simple tweak, but it has significantly altered mine and Ray’s diets. We’ve even lost a few pounds over the summer!

Freezer surprises

My freezer is stuffed to the brim. Over the past few months, so many dishes had to be frozen because I knew that even more produce would soon arrive.

This past weekend I attempted to take inventory but found the task difficult because some items are labeled and some are not. In my haste to get something in the freezer, I’d throw it in a freezer bag and say, "Oh I’ll remember what this is; no need to label it." Thus, some surprises are in store. But everything will be tasty – that much I do know!

 

Posted 10/20/2011 12:27pm by Josie Hart.



Presented by Denver Botanic Gardens and Catering by Design
with support from Slow Food Denver

FEATURING 

Alex Seidel 

from Fruition Restaurant and Fruition Farms
 

FOUR COURSES OF SEASONAL, LOCAL FARE

Wednesday, November 2  |  6:30 - 9 p.m.

The Orangery at Denver Botanic Gardens

10th and York Street
 

SPACE IS LIMITED

Reserve your spot by October 28 – CLICK HERE.

$75 per person
 

THIS EVENT IS BYOB

  A pinot grigio or a light wheat beer 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.

 

Posted 10/14/2011 10:55am by Josie Hart.



Dear CSA Shareholders,

Despite some pretty substantial frosts our plants continue to amaze us with their bounty. We still have multiple varieties of peppers this late in the season! We are already planning for next year and we will begin the share renewal process next week.

We hope you all can make it to our final CSA potluck for the season on Nov. 5 from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Feel free to bring friends and family - and your appetite!


this week’s produce (October 17-21)

• Peppers (hot and sweet)
• Eggplant, broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage
• Beets, carrots, turnips – delicata and butternut winter squash
• Salad greens, spinach, and arugula
• Parsley and cilantro
• Leeks


this week’s fruit (October 18 and 20)

One bag of apples and one cider. 


weekly recipe
adapted from Creative Squash Cookery by Mary Mazzia

Delicata Squash Cookies

1 cup cooked, mashed delicata squash
1 cup brown sugar or honey/agave substitute
½ cup oil
2 cups sifted flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
½ teaspoon of each: cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice
¼ tsp. ginger
1 cup raisins
¼ chopped nuts (not a necessity)

Mix dry ingredients and then wet ingredients together. Drop by spoonfuls on a greased cookie sheet and then bake at 400° F for 10 minutes.
 

farm topic – return of the gatherers
Leigh Rovegno, Horticulture and CSA Manager

Throughout the last two seasons of the CSA there has been an undeniable trend emerging: Women/ladies/farm girls have become our main source of labor that make your veggies, herbs and flowers possible each week. When I started dreaming about the possibility of starting a CSA at Chatfield I never thought that I would be working with predominantly women in the field running the tractors, hauling rocks, digging holes, planting plants and harvesting hundreds of pounds of produce each week. 

As I look back on the season I see the many faces of mothers, daughters, nurses, pilots, water engineers, accountants, students, baristas, urban gardeners, archaeologists, teachers and more. We all share a love of good food and an appreciation of the harvest. Each week we exchange recipe ideas, celebrate our canning, cooking and baking adventures, and brag about how we have utilized each piece of produce from that week's bounty. We share stories from our pasts and dream about the future.

I can't help but imagine that this is where we all come from; the spirit of the gatherers in the fields who labored to bring home food for their families. It's where we all come from and what we've now returned to; gathering together around the joy of food. I am incredibly grateful to be able to share this experience with so many wonderful people. I have learned so much from each and every one of you.

Thank you!


mark your calendars

- The final CSA potluck is Saturday, Nov. 5 at the Green Farm Barn from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. 
- The CSA volunteer appreciation event will be Friday, Dec. 16. Details to follow.



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 10/7/2011 2:58pm by Josie Hart.

Dear CSA Shareholders,

October is here! It's the last month of the CSA for the season; there are only three weeks of distributions remaining. The updated 2012 contract will be out shortly and we hope to see you all next year. Thanks to all of our volunteers whose hard work made 2011 so successful and especially to all of you, our members! Thanks for supporting agriculture and helping to build a community around local, honest food.


this week’s produce (October 10-14)

• Peppers (hot and sweet)
• Tomatoes
• Eggplant, broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage
• Beets, carrots, turnips and winter squash
• Salad greens, kale, chard and arugula
• Tomatillos
• Sweet basil, thai basil, lemon balm, parsley and cilantro
• Leeks


this week’s fruit (October 11 and 13)

Due to the Fuji and Braeburn apple crop being very light this year, your 20 lb box of storage apples is not going to be the full 20 pounds as originally anticipated. Therefore, the amount of apples you received last week and this week will be more than normal. You will see plenty of apples along with pears and cider to make up for the smaller storage box of apples at the end. Our fruit growers are very dedicated to making sure you get the full retail value of your fruit share each week.
 

weekly recipe
Liz Tanner, Chatfield gardener – recipe adapted from herbalmusings.com

Lemon Balm Chicken

4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
2 cups fresh lemon balm leaves
1/2 cup sliced red onion
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 1/2 cups sliced mushrooms
1/2 cup coarse mustard
1 T Worcestershire sauce
Juice of 2 lemons
1 T olive oil
1 T butter

Marinate the chicken breasts in the lemon juice for 1-2 hours, set aside. Heat the butter and oil in a large skillet. Sauté the mushrooms and red onion just until tender then set aside. Add the chicken and lemon juice to the pan, cover and cook over low-medium heat 15-20 minutes, turning once, until lightly browned. Remove the chicken and keep warm. And the wine, mustard and Worcestershire sauce to the pan and bring to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, until the sauce thickens. Return the chicken and vegetables to the pan. Layer the lemon balm leaves on top of the mixture and continue to simmer until the leaves are just wilted. Serve at once over a hot bed of rice.


farm topic – growing winter herbs
Liz Tanner, Chatfield gardener

Now that it’s fall and the weather is cooling off, consider storing your CSA herbs for winter teas. As we learned earlier this summer, drying herbs is easy to do by simply hanging them in small bunches around the house; they can also be frozen. Some of the best herbs for tea making are mint and lemon balm. If using dried leaves, put a rounded teaspoon into a tea infuser or strainer. Pour about 2 cups of hot water over the leaves and into a pot; let steep for 2-3 minutes. If you have fresh leaves, use about 12-15 leaves and let the water steep for about 3-4 minutes. Both mint and lemon balm teas are caffeine free and help soothe sore throats.

Mint and lemon balm are also both very easy to grow at home in a windowsill. Now is a great time to plant a pot full of herbs so that you can continue to have fresh herbs throughout the winter when you are missing those from the CSA. Choose a relatively large pot with a good drainage hole and fill with potting soil. You can start both plants from seed if you give them a space with enough direct sunlight. If you don’t have access to a sunny window, you can use artificial grow lights instead, easily found at any garden supply store. Mint and lemon balm do very well as houseplants and tend to be very hardy. Make sure to give them enough water and light, and you will enjoy fresh teas all winter long!
 

mark your calendars

· Correction from last week’s newsletter: the final CSA potluck is Nov. 5 at the Green Farm Barn from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.
· The CSA volunteer appreciation event will be Friday Dec. 16. Details to follow.


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 10/5/2011 3:08pm by Vicki Phillips.

New squash friend

Delicata squash — ever heard of it? I certainly hadn’t, so I followed the advice from the Chatfield newsletter about roasting not only delicata but all winter squashes. Cut in half, remove seeds and strings, put in a pan with some olive oil, then roast at 400° for about 45 minutes. Wow. It was the highlight from last week’s distribution.

Experimenting with turnips

As the growing season at Chatfield winds down, I’ve been reflecting on the CSA experience and deciding which items have proved most challenging. The kohlrabi springs to mind, as do the fennel sprigs and tomatillos. The first got roasted, the second and third safely stored in the freezer to revisit and reconsider later this winter.

The turnips were also trying. As a child I hated turnips, but my taste buds ought to have matured enough by now to enjoy them. So I tried this trying vegetable a few different ways. Earlier this summer I incorporated them into a cauliflower gratin. Everyone loved this dish, but who wouldn’t with all that cheese?

More recently I added turnips to braised meat dishes: first corned beef cabbage and then beer-braised brisket. Both these meals were also successful, but again, the turnips were seasoned with the juice of the braised meat and served with other vegetables. It wasn’t as though we chowed down on a turnip all by itself, evoking Scarlett O’Hara digging up a carrot and scarfing it down directly from the earth.

I also tried roasting this root vegetable, which does allow the full turnip flavor to emerge. However, I must confess that the essence of the turnip is not my favorite. But this week I finally hit upon a way to prepare turnips that’s really tasty.

What’s not to like?

I cut a rather large turnip into extremely thin slices — some were even shoestring’ed — and added salt and Hungarian paprika. Then I fried them. In peanut oil. On high heat. Till they got super crispy. I ate the whole plateful.

Which reminds me of a story my neighbor (who’s a private chef) tells about the time she was one of the cooks at a TV-show taping that featured Rachael Ray. The episode was shot at a restaurant here in Denver, where my neighbor and the other cooks prepared gnocchi.

On-camera, Rachael described the gnocchi as “pillows of heaven.” Off-camera, my neighbor thanked her for complimenting the gnocchi. Then came the reply, “Potatoes, salt and fat — what’s not to like?”

So I shall reprise that quip in regard to fried turnips. Turnips, salt and fat — what’s not to like?