News & Blog

Welcome to the blog.
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?

Posted 9/28/2011 6:09pm by Josie Hart.
Hello,
Please note that we are meeting at 7am tomorrow and every harvest day until the end of the season. We're sure you all will not be too upset with this news.

Thanks for all you do, see you tomorrow or next week!
Posted 9/26/2011 10:42am by Josie Hart Genter.

Kenosha weekend

This past weekend was our annual mountain outing with the dinner group. On one weekend every September, we hike six miles of the Colorado Trail near Kenosha Pass. Then we all pile in together for an overnight stay in Alan & Deb’s cabin, located about 15 minutes from the funky little hamlet of Como, CO. On Sunday we do some more walking. Naturally, it being the dinner group, cooking and eating feature heavily over the course of the two days.

I offered to bring a vegetable dish and appetizers. The new issue of Food & Wine has an interesting recipe for Braised Root Vegetables and Cabbage with Fall Fruit that includes five items from last week’s distribution. I added squash, eggplant, beets and thyme to the mix for quite a menagerie of veggies.

Appetizers and cocktails

For the appetizers, I couldn’t decide among four different recipes from my standard repertoire. So I made all four of them — three of which required use of the Cuisinart. Ray just shook his head on Friday night, watching as I bounced around the kitchen like a basketball making all these dishes. He was a good sport, though, and washed the Cuisinart for me between completion of each appetizer.

Served along with all these apps were an assortment of crackers, baby carrots, celery and a sliced CSA cucumber. Except for one, the four appetizers enabled me to spotlight several herbs, garlic and peppers from the Chatfield gardens.

First up were roasted peppers in a garlic vinaigrette, another recipe from my friend Norma back in Atlanta. Next came parsley-garnished hummus, easy to make and always a hit. Smoked trout pâté with chives ultimately proved most popular. The one app with no Chatfield ingredients was beer cheese, reminiscent of the famous Hall’s Snappy Beer Cheese at the Kentucky restaurant Hall’s on the River.

I also brought along ingredients to make Bellinis: Prosecco and a peach puree sweetened with basil-infused simple syrup. A bit of post-hike cosmopolitan flair in a rustic mountain setting — divine.

Shepherd’s pie to the rescue

Although tasty and lovely-looking when I made it Friday night, the vegetable medley had gone all mushy by the time I reheated it Saturday night. The flavor was still there, but the texture had vanished.

I was sorely disappointed, but managed to salvage the ample leftovers we brought back home to Denver. Deb had brought to the cabin this month’s issue of Martha Stewart Living, which contained recipes for seven versions of pot pie, each with different pairings of filling and topping.

So Sunday night I used the leftover vegetables in lamb shepherd’s pie, with a fancy phyllo topping replacing mashed potatoes. Ray had three helpings Sunday night and two more last night. ’Nuff said.

 

Posted 9/23/2011 6:54pm by Josie Hart.

Dear CSA Shareholders,

We are in the last stretch of the growing season and hope to go through the end of October - if nature is willing to cooperate! We are planning our final CSA potluck for Saturday Nov.5th with a special activity so please stay tuned for details. Now that the weather is cooling off and the evenings begin earlier, our palettes are shifting to more substantial root vegetables that can be roasted and made into soups.  For the first time in months, the extra heat in your kitchen is a bonus! With that in mind, we are focusing on root vegetables for this edition of the newsletter.


root vegetables – a rainbow of colors

For some people a white beet or a purple radish is no big deal, but for many root vegetables provide enigmatic experiences at the CSA. Here is a little guide to help you utilize the roots that will be available this coming week.
Beets: The classic deep red beet is a mainstay here at the CSA, and has the strongest “earthy” flavor of all the beats. This is a great beet to pickle; because of its strong flavor it will hold up in the vinegar. You can pickle your beats in the fridge for a week or so and then use them to top off your gorgeous spinach salads with a touch of goat cheese and red onion.
White beets: A very mild flavor and smooth consistency when roasted. A great beet variety to serve as a side dish or in a roasted root medley.
Golden Beets: Our personal favorite because of the color and sweet flavor. A great beet to roast with sweet potatoes in small chunks and then stuff into tacos with lime juice!
Beets are loaded with vitamins A, B1, B2, B6 and C. The greens have a higher content of iron compared to spinach, and are also an excellent source of calcium, magnesium, copper, phosphorus, sodium and iron. While the sweet beet root has some of the minerals in its greens to a lesser degree, it is also a remarkable source of choline, folic acid, iodine, manganese, organic sodium, potassium, fiber and carbohydrates in the form of natural digestible sugars.
Turnips: More bitter than the beets but still great in a roasting pan along side a chicken or roast or with other more mild roots. They tend to sweeten up after roasting and peeling. Turnips are a member of the brassica family, along with broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, collard greens and more. It’s a family of plants packed with essential vitamins.
Radishes: We have enjoyed the Easter egg radish all season and most of you have been eating them in salads, but have you ever considered shredding them on sandwiches? Delicious.
Carrots: We are very familiar with carrots but here’s one hint: the purple carrots get much sweeter if you steam or roast them for a couple of minutes! For other great ideas, you can visit www.pickyourown.org
We hope you enjoy trying out some new recipes and different versions of the classics when eating your root veggies this coming week. Happy autumn!


this week’s produce (september 26 – 30)

• Peppers (hot and sweet)
• Onions
• Tomatoes
• Eggplant
• Beets
• Carrots
• Turnips
• Winter squash
• Cucumbers
• Salad greens, kale, chard and arugula
• Tomatillos
• Sweet basil, Thai basil, parsley and cilantro


this week’s fruit (september 27 and 29)

Two bags of fruit: apples and pears

new this week: chatfield honey!

After a much anticipated wait, we are going to sell ½ pints, pints and quarts at both Tuesday’s and Thursday’s distribution.  Bob and Josie Dozeal are our resident local bee keepers who specialize in native, all natural raw honey. They are also are CSA members, and we are very lucky to have them be a part of our CSA community.  Please try to bring exact cash with you to distribution to make things go as quickly as possible.

Honey Prices:
½ pints: $6
Pints: $11
Quarts: $20

Supplies are very  limited so if you do not end up with a jar of honey next week, the Dozal’s are in the process of collecting and selling more in a couple of weeks.  Please limit one jar per family. Thanks.

weekly recipe
Elizabeth Mullen, CSA grower

Stuffed Turnips

Ingredients
3 medium sized turnips, peeled
Peas
Chopped onion

Directions
Cut turnips in half and hollow the insides with a melon baller
Lay them out on a baking tray
Stuff them with peas and chopped onions
Add a little olive oil and salt/pepper
Bake the turnips at 350 degrees for 35-45 minutes
See the article below for additional information on this recipe.


Fresh Turnips
Larry Vickerman, Director of Chatfield

If you like the spicy tartness of a turnip, many believe that cooking turnips can ruin their unique flavor.
Take one turnip, wash and peel.
Thinly slice turnip into long strips and then cut the strips in half to form little chunks.

Top any type of salads, sandwiches, veggie wraps or your favorite coleslaw recipe for a crunchy, zesty addition.  They also are a great and easy snack just by themselves!


farm topic getting to the root of it
written by CSA Grower, Elizabeth Mullen

Autumn is here and root vegetables join us in celebrating the seasonal splendor by reaching perfection with the onset of the cool, crisp weather. It is a privilege to see the enthusiasm with which members greet prime produce and to hear ways they have put each vegetable to use. We share ideas like beet bruschetta (garnished with sautéed, seasoned and minced beet greens) that are easy to imagine and enjoy. One can’t help but notice, however, the quiet hesitation in front of the turnip bin as CSA members ask themselves, “What will I do with another turnip?”

While many members enjoy a turnip roasted alongside other seasonal picks with a lovely glaze or whipped into mashed potatoes for incomparable creaminess, many others ask for new ideas, and ways to perhaps coax a subtle universal appeal from this distinctive root. There are some of us, even more adventurous eaters, that simply have yet to be won over by the turnip. If it weren’t for my partner’s surprising fondness of the root I’m not sure we would have experimented with them as exhaustively. We shredded them into sandwiches, cut turnip fries, pickled, dehydrated and even juiced the tangy roots (surprisingly sweet forward flavor that finishes with the signature turnip bite). We peeled them to reduce the intense bitterness of larger roots, and added lemon juice to try to maintain the creamy white color in cooking. I remained skeptical.

It was not until last week and this adaptation from several recipes that turnips earned my sincere appreciation. We peeled medium-sized turnips, hollowed them with a melon baller and filled them with peas and chopped onions, a little olive oil and baked them at 350 degrees for 35-45 minutes. Seasoned with vinegar, salt and pepper, they were simple and delicious, the texture lending itself perfectly to the treatment and the radish-y flavor downplayed by adding stronger flavors. Turnip skeptics beware, this recipe could convert you, too!

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 9/23/2011 6:38pm by Josie Hart.

Dear CSA Shareholders,

We are in the last stretch of the growing season and hope to go through the end of October - if nature is willing to cooperate! We are planning our final CSA potluck for Saturday Nov.5th with a special activity so please stay tuned for details. Now that the weather is cooling off and the evenings begin earlier, our palettes are shifting to more substantial root vegetables that can be roasted and made into soups.  For the first time in months, the extra heat in your kitchen is a bonus! With that in mind, we are focusing on root vegetables for this edition of the newsletter.


root vegetables – a rainbow of colors

For some people a white beet or a purple radish is no big deal, but for many root vegetables provide enigmatic experiences at the CSA. Here is a little guide to help you utilize the roots that will be available this coming week.
Beets: The classic deep red beet is a mainstay here at the CSA, and has the strongest “earthy” flavor of all the beats. This is a great beet to pickle; because of its strong flavor it will hold up in the vinegar. You can pickle your beats in the fridge for a week or so and then use them to top off your gorgeous spinach salads with a touch of goat cheese and red onion.
White beets: A very mild flavor and smooth consistency when roasted. A great beet variety to serve as a side dish or in a roasted root medley.
Golden Beets: Our personal favorite because of the color and sweet flavor. A great beet to roast with sweet potatoes in small chunks and then stuff into tacos with lime juice!
Beets are loaded with vitamins A, B1, B2, B6 and C. The greens have a higher content of iron compared to spinach, and are also an excellent source of calcium, magnesium, copper, phosphorus, sodium and iron. While the sweet beet root has some of the minerals in its greens to a lesser degree, it is also a remarkable source of choline, folic acid, iodine, manganese, organic sodium, potassium, fiber and carbohydrates in the form of natural digestible sugars.
Turnips: More bitter than the beets but still great in a roasting pan along side a chicken or roast or with other more mild roots. They tend to sweeten up after roasting and peeling. Turnips are a member of the brassica family, along with broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, collard greens and more. It’s a family of plants packed with essential vitamins.
Radishes: We have enjoyed the Easter egg radish all season and most of you have been eating them in salads, but have you ever considered shredding them on sandwiches? Delicious.
Carrots: We are very familiar with carrots but here’s one hint: the purple carrots get much sweeter if you steam or roast them for a couple of minutes! For other great ideas, you can visit www.pickyourown.org
We hope you enjoy trying out some new recipes and different versions of the classics when eating your root veggies this coming week. Happy autumn!


this week’s produce (september 26 – 30)

• Peppers (hot and sweet)
• Onions
• Tomatoes
• Eggplant
• Beets
• Carrots
• Turnips
• Winter squash
• Cucumbers
• Salad greens, kale, chard and arugula
• Tomatillos
• Sweet basil, Thai basil, parsley and cilantro


this week’s fruit (september 27 and 29)

Two bags of fruit: apples and pears

new this week: chatfield honey!

After a much anticipated wait, we are going to sell ½ pints, pints and quarts at both Tuesday’s and Thursday’s distribution.  Bob and Josie Dozeal are our resident local bee keepers who specialize in native, all natural raw honey. They are also are CSA members, and we are very lucky to have them be a part of our CSA community.  Please try to bring exact cash with you to distribution to make things go as quickly as possible.

Honey Prices:
½ pints: $6
Pints: $11
Quarts: $20

Supplies are very  limited so if you do not end up with a jar of honey next week, the Dozal’s are in the process of collecting and selling more in a couple of weeks.  Please limit one jar per family. Thanks.

weekly recipe
Elizabeth Mullen, CSA grower

Stuffed Turnips

Ingredients
3 medium sized turnips, peeled
Peas
Chopped onion

Directions
Cut turnips in half and hollow the insides with a melon baller
Lay them out on a baking tray
Stuff them with peas and chopped onions
Add a little olive oil and salt/pepper
Bake the turnips at 350 degrees for 35-45 minutes
See the article below for additional information on this recipe.


Fresh Turnips
Larry Vickerman, Director of Chatfield

If you like the spicy tartness of a turnip, many believe that cooking turnips can ruin their unique flavor.
Take one turnip, wash and peel.
Thinly slice turnip into long strips and then cut the strips in half to form little chunks.

Top any type of salads, sandwiches, veggie wraps or your favorite coleslaw recipe for a crunchy, zesty addition.  They also are a great and easy snack just by themselves!


farm topic getting to the root of it
written by CSA Grower, Elizabeth Mullen

Autumn is here and root vegetables join us in celebrating the seasonal splendor by reaching perfection with the onset of the cool, crisp weather. It is a privilege to see the enthusiasm with which members greet prime produce and to hear ways they have put each vegetable to use. We share ideas like beet bruschetta (garnished with sautéed, seasoned and minced beet greens) that are easy to imagine and enjoy. One can’t help but notice, however, the quiet hesitation in front of the turnip bin as CSA members ask themselves, “What will I do with another turnip?”

While many members enjoy a turnip roasted alongside other seasonal picks with a lovely glaze or whipped into mashed potatoes for incomparable creaminess, many others ask for new ideas, and ways to perhaps coax a subtle universal appeal from this distinctive root. There are some of us, even more adventurous eaters, that simply have yet to be won over by the turnip. If it weren’t for my partner’s surprising fondness of the root I’m not sure we would have experimented with them as exhaustively. We shredded them into sandwiches, cut turnip fries, pickled, dehydrated and even juiced the tangy roots (surprisingly sweet forward flavor that finishes with the signature turnip bite). We peeled them to reduce the intense bitterness of larger roots, and added lemon juice to try to maintain the creamy white color in cooking. I remained skeptical.

It was not until last week and this adaptation from several recipes that turnips earned my sincere appreciation. We peeled medium-sized turnips, hollowed them with a melon baller and filled them with peas and chopped onions, a little olive oil and baked them at 350 degrees for 35-45 minutes. Seasoned with vinegar, salt and pepper, they were simple and delicious, the texture lending itself perfectly to the treatment and the radish-y flavor downplayed by adding stronger flavors. Turnip skeptics beware, this recipe could convert you, too!

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 9/16/2011 11:42am by Josie Hart.


Dear CSA Shareholders,

Welcome to our special edition of the CSA newsletter, offering BONUS information on our fantastic herbs! From herbal recipes to preserving your herbs to herbal holiday gifts; we hope you’ll enjoy getting some new ideas and information from some of our herb experts.
 

chatfield herbs – the guild

Herbs grown in the York Street Herb Garden and at the Chatfield CSA are used by the Denver Botanic Gardens Guild members to make gourmet products sold in The Shop at the Gardens and at the annual Holiday Sale. Sharon Montague, a CSA member and volunteer, has been kindly assisting the CSA with herb donations every Thursday for the guild to use later this season.

Guild members take an active role in helping to maintain the Herb Garden at York Street. Working closely with the staff at the Gardens, the Guild is responsible for cleaning out the Herb Garden in the spring, selecting herb plants for the Plant Sale in May and helping to maintain the Herb Garden throughout the summer at York Street. For over 45 years, Denver Botanic Gardens Guild has maintained an important role in educating the public about herbs and continued fundraising efforts for projects throughout the Gardens.

The proceeds support the Guild’s annual cash donation back to Denver Botanic Gardens. Be sure to come to the Holiday Sale this year to purchase some Chatfield-grown herb vinegars.

We are currently looking for volunteers who would like to work in the Chatfield herb and cutting gardens for next season. If you are interested please contact us at chatfieldcsa@botanicgardens.org


herb preserving
from Susan Evans, Chrysalis Herbs

To dry your herbs, fasten them in small bunches with a rubber band, include a strip of paper telling you what it is, and hang upside down in a cool, dry, place, out of direct sunlight. Most herbs dry quite well this way, with common exceptions being basil, cilantro and chives. The next step is very important; when your herbs have dried, take them down and put them in a sealed container. Glass jars work best, but you can also use Ziploc bags. Label, date and store in a cool dark place.

Although your hanging herbs might look nice as a decoration for your house, once they dry, they start to lose their potency so be sure to put them into their containers as soon as possible! There is also something very discouraging about pulling a dusty, cobwebbed sage leaf out of your soup!

There are some things to consider. Until you are ready to use them, keep your herbs in as whole a form as possible. Rub the leaves off the woody stems before adding to dishes. If stored correctly, most herbs retain flavor until the next growing season and beyond. To determine viability look at color - beige is not a good sign - and rub some of the herb between your fingers. It should still have some fragrance.

Herbs can also be frozen. Place loosely in bags, date and label. Basil will turn black so I always blend the fresh leaves with enough oil to make a paste and freeze it that way. Defrost, add Parmesan cheese and pine nuts, whip up in a food processor and you have pesto!

Another great way to store herbs is in herb vinegar. Just put the clean, fresh herb in a jar, cover completely with apple cider, rice or wine vinegar, let it sit for a few weeks, strain, and you have yourself a very tasty, high mineral, designer vinegar.
 

this week’s produce (september 19 – 23)

• Peppers (hot and sweet)
• Onions
• Tomatoes
• Eggplant
• Beets, carrots and squash
• Salad greens, kale, chard and arugula
• Tomatillos
• Sweet basil, Thai basil, parsley and cilantro
• Sage, tarragon, mint, dill


this week’s fruit (september 20 and 22)

Two bags of fruit:  Cresthaven peaches and Jonathan or Gala apples.
 

weekly recipe
Susan Evans, Chrysalis Herbs

Herbed Olives
¼ cup chopped parsley leaves
1 tsp. rosemary, oregano, ground pepper, marjoram
2 cloves diced fresh garlic
½ tsp. orange or lemon zest
Red pepper flakes
3 cups olives
Olive oil to cover
Mix herb, garlic, zest and pepper flakes together, toss with olives, and cover with olive oil. Store in glass container in the refrigerator.

Herb Vinegar
1 cup fresh herbs
1 pint vinegar, apple cider, wine or rice vinegar - all are good choices.
Use mason jars with lids that have white protective inner coating. The acid in vinegar will eat away metal lids.
Coarsely chop the herbs and put in a wide mouthed jar. Add the vinegar, making sure all of the herbs are completely covered. Stir with a knife to release air bubbles. Tightly seal the jar and let sit for at least 2 weeks. Strain and put in a decorative bottle.

Herb Butter
½ cup butter
1-2 tbsp. dried herbs, or 2-4 tbsp. fresh herbs.
Let butter soften at room temperature. Mix in herbs.
Herbs to use can be roasted garlic, nasturtium or pansy flowers, sage, rosemary, basil, cilantro, tarragon, chives, dill or thyme. You can use any herb you want, and make up combinations.
 

how to use herbs in day-to-day cooking

We will be offering a wide variety of herbs for this coming week. Here is some background information on the herbs to help you get the most out of the harvest, thanks to Sharon Montague.

Tarragon – Main ingredient in Béarnaise sauce and Green Goddess salad dressing. Essential in French cooking; can also be used to infuse vinegars.
Sage – Fresh is good used in breads, vegetables and herb butter; also used to make infused vinegar. Dried sage is commonly associated with turkey stuffing recipes at Thanksgiving.
Dill – Snip fresh leaves with scissors rather than ripping or cutting with a knife; fresh or dried leaves can be used in breads, dips, and fish, egg, poultry, potato dishes - and of course in pickles. A great herb to dry and bottle.
Parsley – Curly: leaves and stems can be added to salads, savory dishes and bouquet garnish. Flat-leafed: has a much stronger flavor and is considered more for culinary uses.
Thai Basil – Used in Vietnamese and Thai cooking, it has a light licorice flavor; stronger than Sweet Green Basil. It can be used to infuse vinegar or olive oil or certain types of liquor for cocktails.
Cilantro – A must for fresh salsa, and most Mexican or Indian dishes. Can also be used in soups, stews and salads.
Mint – Great to use in fresh iced tea, a garnish on desserts and a fun ingredient for fresh salsas.  Used in the famous Latin drink, the mojito. Mint is a great dried herb to use in sachets or bottled for cooking.
 

farm topic – herbs make great holiday gifts
Amanda Wilson, Chatfield Horticulturist

Not sure what to do with all the herbs you receive throughout the growing season? For a fun project that makes a wonderful holiday gift, try drying and bottling your herbs. Hand dried herbs in pretty bottles and local Chatfield honey will make up the majority of my gifts this year – unique and affordable!

To begin with, pick up all the herbs at distribution, even if normally you don’t normally do so. If you are planning on doing some drying, ask a CSA staff member if you can take extra herbs that week. This usually isn’t a problem. It may seem a bit overwhelming, or you may not be familiar with a particular herb, but this is the perfect opportunity to learn more about each one. There are several ways of drying your herbs.

A great way to dry herbs (for bottling) is to spread them on a wax paper covered cookie sheet and place them in your oven with the oven turned off. Make sure to leave the oven door slightly open to allow air flow. They can sit and dry without taking up counter space or getting in the way. Make sure to lay the herbs only one layer thick so the leaves dry evenly. This process typically takes about 4 to 5 days to completely dry out your herbs, butmay vary due to the amount of humidity in the air.

Once your herbs are dry, keep the herbs intact on the stem as much as possible and put them in your herb bottles. If you need to make the segments smaller, just trim them with scissors to fit inside the bottle. Herb bottles can be purchased at most stores, but you might want to try a thrift store to find a more eclectic selection. Picking out fun stickers from your local craft store is a nice way of labeling and decorating your herbs.

Although dried herbs make fantastic gifts - you just might want to keep them for yourself after you see how pretty all your bottles are! Come winter you will be thrilled to revisit the smell of all the Chatfield herbs we have enjoyed throughout the season.


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 9/9/2011 5:53pm by Vicki Phillips.

On vacation

We returned earlier this week from a great family getaway in Hilton Head. While there I was reminded how much better our vegetables have been this summer coming straight from the Chatfield garden.

On our last night in Hilton Head it was our turn to cook, so we went to the nearest store, a large grocery chain, for some country pork ribs, broccoli and potatoes. Back at the beach rental house, we started cooking the broccoli by steaming it. But when the grilled pork was nearly done and the broccoli had miles to go, we resorted to drastic measures. The broccoli got plunked in boiling water for 5 or 10 minutes and still it was not cooked to my liking.

Ditto with the potatoes. They baked for an hour at 450° and never did get fluffy and soft inside. Now, I don’t expect store-bought veggies to be as young and tender as our CSA goodies, but this broccoli and potatoes seemed particularly old and tough. So when I returned home and picked up my CSA share from neighbors Teri and Debi, those fresh-picked tomatoes, broccoli, peppers and potatoes were a sight for sore eyes.

Report from the veggie-sitters

Before leaving town last week I delivered my unused share to Fred & Barb and Alan & Deb. They made good use of nearly everything, with only some potatoes left for roasting.

Squash and zucchini were fried up with a nice herb blend. Tomatoes and sweet peppers were dropped into a salad with green olives and topped with shish kabob chicken. Heirloom tomatoes, hot peppers, garlic and tomatillos combined for a lively salsa.

Even Fred was stumped by the fennel. He consulted with his friend Steve, who turns out to be Italian and uses it all the time. So Fred found a way to incorporate it into one of his magnificent meat dishes. In his words, "That root thing we peeled and sautéed in butter and garlic to serve with grilled lamb chops."

Serendipitous find

I rarely turn on the TV in the morning, but yesterday morning it was on, tuned to the Food Network, of course. I was busy with chores so wasn’t watching it, but Ellie Krieger caught my attention with a vegetable tart. I sat down and watched her make the whole thing. "I have all those ingredients!"

Last night for dinner I made the tart using our eggplant, tomatoes, zucchini, purple onion and basil. With five CSA items in one healthy dish – and succulently delicious besides – I definitely hit the sweet spot where flavor meets nutrition. The dish is called Cornmeal-Crusted Roasted Ratatouille Tart.

I should watch Ellie Krieger’s show more often. As a dietitian, she’s always mindful of minimizing fat, salt and other naughty ingredients while maximizing use of vegetables, fruits and whole grains. Perfect for us CSA shareholders!

 

Posted 9/9/2011 12:18pm by Josie Hart.

Dear CSA Shareholders,

This is the last reminder to please bring in the member surveys to distribution if you still have not done so. We appreciate all the emails from members that have shared a thought, idea, link or recipe for the way we do things. Please feel free to contact us with ideas anytime! Overall, the feedback from the survey has been overwhelmingly positive, constructive and reaffirming to our CSA staff. We thank you for being a part of our community, taking the time to step outside the “produce box” and share in our summer bounty of good food, friends and health.

 

a shift in produce

There are various crops that have slowed down significantly with the cooler mid-September weather. Members should expect to start seeing a lot fewer cucumbers, summer squash and tomatoes. The majority of the heirloom tomato varieties have recently have been affected by the cooler weather and possibly a pest affliction that is still being researched. The bulk of the tomato harvest will shift to different types of winter squash such as acorn, butternut, delicata and spaghetti. We hope you had a chance to use all the slicing tomatoes for some pasta sauce or salsa! The basil crop has also been affected by the cool mornings causing the leaves to slightly yellow in color, but the flavor should be fine. Other crops that are almost finished include potatoes and melons. We will have a new arrival of leeks, and fall greens like spinach and kale that will sweeten up in the cooler weather. 


this week’s produce (september 12 – 16)

• Peppers (hot and sweet)
• Onions
• Tomatoes
• Eggplant
• Beets, carrots and turnips
• Cucumbers and squash
• Salad greens, kale, chard and arugula
• Tomatillos
• Sweet basil, Thai basil, parsley and cilantro


this week’s fruit (september 13 and 15)

Two bags of fruit: apples and pears
 

weekly recipe
adapted from Heather Johnson, allrecipes.com
 
California Grilled Squash Sandwich

Ingredients
1/4 cup mayonnaise
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/8 cup olive oil
1 cup sliced red bell peppers
1 small zucchini, sliced
1 red onion, sliced
1 small yellow squash, sliced
2 (4x6 inch) focaccia bread pieces, split horizontally
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
1 avocado 

Directions
In a bowl, mix the mayonnaise, minced garlic, and lemon juice. Set aside in the refrigerator. Preheat the grill for high heat.
Brush vegetables with olive oil on each side. Brush grate with oil. Place bell peppers and zucchini closest to the middle of the grill, and set onion and squash pieces around them. Cook for about 3 minutes, turn, and cook for another 3 minutes. The peppers may take a bit longer. Remove from grill, and set aside.
Spread some of the mayonnaise mixture on the cut sides of the bread, and sprinkle each one with feta cheese. Place on the grill cheese side up, and cover with lid for 2 to 3 minutes. This will warm the bread, and slightly melt the cheese. Watch carefully so the bottoms don't burn. Remove from grill and layer with the vegetables. Add two slices of avocados on the top and enjoy as open faced grilled sandwiches.

 

farm topic – the grower’s perspective
written by CSA intern, Sami Lester

Working on a farm, there are several aspects of the land, plants and the overall community that continue to amaze me. Personally, there are many parts of growing food that I find fascinating. The variety and vividness of the colors of the produce is one of the most exciting parts of the farm. To see the different varieties of eggplant - and how beautifully the purple and white vary - proves to be truly wonderful every time we harvest! The peppers are another example of the great colors found on the farm. The bright greens, yellows and reds are simply stunning. The colors and varieties never fail to bring excitement to any farmer, whether it’s the first or the hundredth pepper that day.

Another fascinating part of working on a vegetable farm is the incredible resiliency of the plants. Not having much prior experience with growing, I came in with the notion that one has to be delicate with the plants for fear of breaking them or exposing them to harmful conditions or outside factors. Over the season, we have dealt with pests, excessive rain (and therefore, weeds), intense sun and wind, as well as human contact, which can be rough or invasive. Our crops have prevailed through all of these things and have in fact, thrived! Of course, sometimes nature gets the best of the plants, but this year we have successfully avoided any major catastrophes. This has taught me that I don’t need to be so cautious and can take risks when it comes to gardening and growing my own food. 

Overall, there are many parts of this farm, and growing food in general, that have come to amaze me and allow me revel in the beauty of nature. As a society, it seems that we have allowed ourselves to become very isolated from growing food and understanding the natural process of how we sustain ourselves. It has been so interesting and fulfilling to see the connections between humans and this natural process through working at Chatfield. Growing food is a natural process that can work wonderfully, and when it does it becomes something that can bring great pride, excitement and an overall sense of connection to something much bigger than us as individuals: a community.



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 9/2/2011 2:30pm by Josie Hart.


Dear CSA shareholders,

We hope you are enjoying all the beautiful tomato varieties! From the dark prince heirloom to mountain princess to striped Germans, they all have their own unique flavor and colors. Last Thursday we harvested close to 1,500 tomatoes on one single day!

To everyone who filled out a member survey and sent it back in - we thank you. We still need to get quite a few back so we are sending the link again, but we also will have hard copies at distributions for your convenience.

Please take a moment to fill out the member survey. You can bring the survey to distribution with you or email it chatfield.csa@botanicgardens.org

This week, Susan Evans from Chrysalis Herbs will demonstrate how to make gazpacho, a delicious cold soup recipe that uses many of this week’s veggies. Gazpacho stays great for days in your fridge and provides a nice cool snack for hot summer days. Susan will be at the York St. distribution from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. with plenty of gazpacho to sample as you pick up your share.

this week’s produce (Sept. 5 – 9)

  • Many pepper varieties (hot and sweet)
  • Purple onions
  • Heirloom tomatoes, slicing tomatoes and cherry tomatoes
  • Potatoes
  • Eggplant and broccoli
  • Beets, carrots and turnips
  • Cucumbers and squash
  • Salad greens, kale, chard and arugula 
  • Tomatillos
  • Sweet basil, Thai basil, parsley, cilantro and dill 

this week’s fruit (Sept. 6 and Sept. 8)

Two bags of fruit: peaches and gala apples

  • We will also have fresh cut bouquets, so please bring $5 cash. 

weekly recipe
adapted from 101 cookbooks.com

Fresh Apple Salsa

Ingredients

2 tart apples, locally grown if possible
4 tablespoons lime juice
1 fresh jalapeno chile
1 fresh Anaheim chile
1/2 medium red onion, finely chopped
Handful of cilantro, roughly chopped
1/2 cup (2 ounces) walnuts, coarsely chopped and lightly toasted
2 tablespoons peeled and finely slivered fresh ginger
1/4 teaspoon salt

Directions

Cut the apples from the cores, leaving the skins intact, and cut the fruit into 1/4-inch cubes.

Toss the apple pieces with the lime juice and set aside.

Cut the chilies in half lengthwise and remove the seeds and white ribs. Slice them thinly. Add to the apples. Add the onion, cilantro, walnuts, ginger and salt and mix thoroughly.

This apple salsa goes great in panini sandwiches, on the top of pork chops and grilled chicken, or on just about any cracker and cheese combo.


farm topic – volunteering with the CSA

Growing vegetables is certainly no easy job, and here at the Chatfield CSA we need all the help we can get! With the staff/acreage ratio being at 1.5 people per acre, we certainly depend on our volunteers to make the harvest and distribution happen twice a week. We would like to take this moment to thank all of the volunteers who join us every week at all hours – harvesting, washing, counting, scrubbing, weeding, digging and carrying.

We have volunteers that get a discount on their share price for helping each week. The CSA will be adding new people to this team; if you or a family member is interested for next year please let us know. The staff in the field had a fantastic volunteer day last Thursday and we really appreciate the quality of help. There are volunteers that don’t receive a discount, but show up every week because they are dedicated and have a sincere appreciation for farming. Great work, everyone! Soon we will announce the details of our volunteer appreciation extravaganza.

If you are interested in becoming a CSA volunteer, please contact us at chatfield.csa@botanicgardens.org.


Local food festival and opening of corn maze

On Sept. 10 and 11 Denver Botanic Gardens at Chatfield will host the 3rd annual Local Foods Festival. The festival provides a fun, energetic and inspiring atmosphere for families to learn more about Colorado food resources with tastings and various lunch options from local restaurants. The CSA will have a booth selling cool season vegetable starts for your fall garden.

If that doesn’t sound tasty enough, the Local Foods Festival will coincide with the opening of the very popular Denver Botanic Gardens Corn Maze, opening on Sept. 9 - one of the largest of its kind in the country. Make a day of it! Attend the Local Foods Festival and make your way through the Corn Maze (separate admission fee). 


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.