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Posted 8/13/2012 4:46pm by Josie Hart Genter.

Look Mom, no recipe!
I’ve always envied cooks who can literally “throw something together.” Take leftovers from Thursday’s dinner, a couple stray carrots, an intrepid selection of spices, maybe a potato, and whatever else suits their fancy … and whip it all up into a glorious meal. No recipe required.
Me, I’m a recipe junkie. When friends come for dinner they always tell me what a great cook I am, but then I have to confess that I simply followed a recipe.
So it was with great pride that I whipped up my own concoction the other night. A rendition of stuffed peppers using those stunning purple bell peppers, the dish began with about 4 oz. each of ground turkey and chorizo, both sitting idly in the freezer with no plans for the future. I added jasmine rice, egg, parsley and onion — and I didn’t measure anything, just threw it all in.
On the side we had fried squash. These delightful little things, I swear, are more addictive than potato chips. All in all, a pleasant little weeknight meal.

And the beet goes on
Less successful was a foray into slow-cooker world. A chuck roast was flavored with thyme, onions and garlic and simmered in wine and beef broth. But the typical pot roast vegetables of potatoes and orange carrots were replaced with our CSA root vegetables: kohlrabi, beets, radishes and purple carrots.
I shouldn’t have experimented with a cooking technique I’ve never mastered the normal way, let alone trying to replace ingredients. The mistake? The broth tasted like beets!
Now, Ray and I love beets so much that last year they ranked among our top 5 CSA items. Who knew we could be over-beeted? Still, we were disappointed when this week’s share didn’t include beets.

French twist
The most successful meal, hands down, was pork chops paired with a combo of beet greens, chard and arugula braised in turkey broth. A home-cooked “mess o’ greens,” as it’s called in the South, never fails to fill the bill for a stickler like me who insists on having something green for dinner every night.
But the real star of this meal was the divine tarragon-cognac cream sauce that smothered the chops. Cooking with fresh herbs is like getting butter on your movie popcorn, putting cream in your coffee, or showering spaghetti and meatballs with Parmesan cheese. It just sends an already-wonderful creation clear over the top.
And cognac? Wow. The combination of tarragon and cognac made the dish taste like it came straight from a glamorous Parisian night spot. But again, I simply followed a recipe.

Posted 7/29/2012 3:05pm by Josie Hart Genter.

Kohlrabi quest continues
After a unique twist on slaw using kohlrabi, I incorporated the next batch of kohlrabi in a skillet mix-up. Other vegetables joining the party included our CSA carrots, greens and squash, all flavored with the potent yumminess of chorizo sausage.
The effort was a success, but it seemed the natural flavor of the vegetables got “mixed up” with each other and with the chorizo. Actually I think I recall learning this lesson last year: Don’t get too fussy with these vegetables because they are at once too gentle to withstand the fuss and too flavorful not to appreciate them prepared simply.
With last week’s kohlrabi, I turned to a Jamie Oliver recipe for roasted beets and carrots, throwing in the kohlrabi and also making use of our thyme and garlic. It was quite a delicious side dish for our grilled pork chops. Roasting, I decided, is the best method of preparation for kohlrabi but not beets and carrots. Again, I would have enjoyed them more just boiled and eaten on their own, maybe with a dab of salt and butter. Roasting is too powerful for these delicate delights.

Beans and greens
Beans and greens are “natural mates,” as Jamie Oliver would say. (I’m on a Jamie kick here lately.) When I was growing up we had this combo all the time in our household, as it’s pervasive in both Kentucky cuisine (my father) and Italian cuisine (my mother.). Out here in Colorado, though, I never experience this tasty twosome, neither in restaurants nor when invited to friends’ houses for dinner.
So I often cook the duo myself. I recently watched Giada make a lovely concoction of ground chicken, greens, cannellini beans and ample seasonings. It’s kind of a cross between a chili, soup and stew. I used all our various greens: two kinds of kale, two kinds of kohlrabi greens and the beet greens. I added a cut-up CSA squash, too, since there wasn’t enough of it to serve on its own.
I ended up with a meal in one pot that was healthy, inexpensive, easy to make (despite the number of ingredients), heartwarming and belly-satisfying.

‘Don’t go to any trouble’
My friend Patti is coming to stay with me for a few days, immediately followed by my sister Sandra’s visit for a week. “Don’t go to any trouble,” they both told me. Meal planning proved tricky, however, as Patti doesn’t eat dairy, wheat, pork or beef. And Sandra recently went on a strict vegetarian diet that excludes fish, chicken and dairy. “It suits my values,” she said about her new endeavor.
Lucky I have lots of vegetables on hand. After much thought I devised a plan to suit everyone’s needs — lots of greens, lentils and of course our fresh herbs and vegetables from the Chatfield gardens. For Sandra’s visit, I was looking forward to lentil soup with herbs and making a recipe for vegetarian spaghetti and “meatballs” I’ve been wanting to try.
But then Sandra emailed me to say she was off the vegetarian diet and on the paleo diet. Apparently vegetarianism agreed with her values but not her digestive system. Paleo-ism includes meat but no dairy, legumes or wheat, so I had to nix the lentil soup and vegetarian spaghetti and meatballs.
Internet research on the paleo diet turns up lots of arguments against cooked food and queries from folks asking, “Is this paleo, is that paleo?” Later when I was researching if I could substitute ginger simple syrup for honey and ginger (which I’d run out of), I saw myriad posts about whether honey is allowed on a vegetarian diet. “No,” declared one purist, “because honey is basically bee vomit.”
Honestly. These people are going to way too much trouble.

Posted 7/2/2012 2:43pm by Josie Hart Genter.

Curious crops
Is there anything better than young tender lettuce at the beginning of the growing season? I do look forward to those early-summer salads. Still, getting surprised is also a benefit of belonging to a CSA. It forces one out of a safe veggie comfort zone of salad and broccoli and into a curious world where garlic grows in long serpentine curls, where an ugly-looking vegetable like kohlrabi can produce a most amazing dish.
Determined not to let the kohlrabi get the best of me, I searched and searched online for a good recipe. Finally I settled on a broccoli-kohlrabi slaw with a hummus-inspired dressing. I figured any recipe that begins “tahini, olive oil, lemon” has to be a winner … and it certainly was. I also grated into the slaw our radishes and those peculiar garlic scapes, which have found their way into several dishes lately.

Herb medley
I had planned to use our arugula for flatbread pepperoni pizza topped with olive-oil-dressed arugula, a Friday night favorite that gets devoured even by my husband Ray, who’s typically not a big pizza fan. But when he stepped on the scale that morning and was dismayed at the number staring back at him, I figured pizza was too much of an indulgence.
That was also the day our Chatfield garden expert Leigh Rovegno emailed us shareholders about the hotness of some of the crops due to high heat, suggesting we might want to cook the arugula and spinach instead of eating them raw.
So our Friday night pizza became grilled salmon topped with lime and some dill from our share, along with a greens combo of arugula, spinach and kohlrabi leaf braised in olive oil and garlic scapes.
Normally a copious user of fresh herbs, I struggled a bit this time to use up all of our herbs. So a couscous dish that called for parsley only wound up with finely chopped parsley, tarragon and mint, a lively trio that made the whole dish sing.

Those who make things grow
Last year when I started writing the blog for the Chatfield CSA, I remembered with fondness my father’s abundant garden in Lexington, Ky., where I grew up. My dad passed away last month at age 90, just at the beginning of the growing season, which I thought appropriate for such a venerable gardener. One of the best messages I received was from my friend Dave DeLeo. He recalled my first blog post last year where I talked about my dad doing “organic gardening” long before anyone ever used that term.
“It's amazing how some people have an instinctual relationship to the earth and to growing things,” Dave wrote. “When you wrote about him in his garden, I saw someone who helps things grow and who provides nourishment and encouragement. Things like vegetables, flowers, children. Every neighborhood needs that good gardener who shares his extra delicious tomatoes and string beans.”
Funny, I feel the same way about the folks growing our wonderful vegetables and herbs at Chatfield. When Leigh emailed us about damage to some of the crops because of storms, I imagined the whole staff dismayed by the harm to plants they’d been nurturing. So thanks, guys, for tending the fields and making our garden grow!

Posted 6/21/2012 2:27pm by Josie Hart.
Dear CSA Shareholders,

The end of June is already here! If you are planning on being out of town for the week of July 4 please remember that you can always have a friend/neighbor/coworker/family member pick up your share. Any extra produce will be donated as usual, but we encourage you to share your veggies with someone who might appreciate them.

Upcoming CSA Classes and Chatfield Events

June 28: Delicious Dishes from the Garden at Chatfield 
Love the market or your CSA but unsure of how to select, store and prepare your fresh produce? Do you find your CSA share half-full of decomposing vegetables at the end of the week? Learn the best ways to handle your fresh harvest for maximum nutrition and taste, and discover dozens of new ways to use it. Recipes and tastings utilizing farm fresh, sustainably grown produce from the CSA are provided. Instructor: Susan Evans.
$17 Denver Botanic Gardens Members, $19 Non-Members, $12 Reciprocal Member (CSA Members), includes $5 materials fee. Regsiter here:

July 4: Denver Botanic Gardens at Chatfield Summer Concert Series: B52’s and Squeeze
If you haven’t heard, Chatfield is not only your source for great veggies but also for phenomenal live music! Celebrate the Fourth of July at Chatfield with the B52’s and Squeeze. Concerts at Chatfield are family friendly. There is plenty of room for your little ones to run around while you enjoy the show. For more information and ticket purchasing please visit:

July 11: Chatfield Film Night and Pot Luck Dinner
New this year! The CSA staff will be hosting a viewing of the HBO series “Weight of the Nation,” which was created in part by Kaiser Permanente. The series is made up of four parts: “Consequences,” “Choices,” “Children in Crisis,” and “Challenges.” It directly addresses the issue of obesity in our country, how it is affecting our children, and what we can do to change things for the future. We will be viewing just one section of the series and hosting a discussion afterwards. CSA Manager Leigh Rovegno will be joined by Jandel Allen-Davis, MD, vice president of government and external relations for Kaiser Permanente in Colorado, in leading the discussion. We will be sending out an evite soon for the event so please RSVP to let us know if you plan on attending. Be sure to bring a dish to share that features your favorite CSA item!

This Week’s Produce (June 25 - 29)

- Salad mix
- Arugula
- Cabbage
- Garlic!
- Herbs: cilantro, dill and parsley
- Kohlrabi root and leaves

Please note this is a tentative list and is subject to change.

Weekly Recipe: Kohlrabi Hash Browns
Originally adapted from “The Green Earth Institute”

Ingredients (cut recipe in half for a Peck sized share)
2 Kohlrabi bulbs
1 small Onion, chopped
2 Eggs slightly beaten
2 Tbs dried Bread crumbs
1 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp ground Ginger
1/4 tsp dried Red pepper flakes
1/4 C Olive oil
plain Yogurt

Shred kohlrabi and squeeze out excess moisture (using a paper towel). Combine all ingredients except oil in a large mixing bowl, and stir until well blended. Heat oil in a large skillet. Fry kohlrabi mixture in batches - sautéing until golden, about 4 minutes per side. Drain on paper towels. Serve with a bowl of plain yogurt as a condiment. Serves 4-5 people.

A Grower’s Perspective: Why So Spicy?
Written by CSA Manager Leigh Rovegno

As you may have noticed, it’s hot outside! It has been an incredibly warm spring this year which has really affected the growth and flavor of our CSA crops. The salad mix and arugula are a little extra spicy and even the broccoli has a little “kick” to it. This is because the cooler season crops such as salad greens, broccoli, and even cauliflower tend to take on a spicy flavor the hotter the temperatures get. While farming in New Hampshire I never experienced this, but I have learned that this is a common occurrence in Colorado. So, hold on tight and try cooking those spicy salad greens, broccoli and arugula to ease the burn! The good news is that our warm season crops like tomatoes, melons, peppers, eggplant and others are already flowering and starting to bear fruit! They LOVE the heat, and as long as we don’t get any more hail we are going to have a phenomenal crop of heat-loving veggies very soon!

Food Safety Note

Please note that although we have washed our produce once after harvesting it in the field, shareholders 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 5/15/2012 4:53pm by Josie Hart.

Greetings Shareholders,

We would like to take this opportunity to discuss two important reminders for the upcoming CSA season.


  •  Our first York Street distribution (downtown location) is on June 12. The times are 4:30 – 7 p.m.
  • Our first Chatfield distribution is on June 14. The times are from 4 – 7p.m.



Education Classes!

We have space available in almost all of our CSA education classes taking place at the Chatfield CSA Farm. These classes are offered to all CSA members at an extreme discount! All classes are only $7 to cover the instructor and an additional $5 for most take-home materials. Classes are designed to include your children, with a few classes specifically created for kids to learn about cooking and healthy eating. Our instructors are all experienced educators who have a passion for local food, healthy eating and artful cooking. We are highlighting our canning and preserving classes taught by our own Jenny Thomas, head CSA grower. Class topics range from tincture making, heirloom tomato dishes, herbs, cooking and local food.

Follow this link and sign up for the  CSA Class Series  today!


Posted 5/2/2012 11:46am by Josie Hart Genter.

Fruit Shares are Sold Out for 2012!

Thank you all for purchasing from our local partner, Ela Family Farms. We all look foward to tasting the first juicy Colorado peach!

 Fruit is delivered to both distribution sites and is pre-bagged. The fruit share lasts approximately 11 weeks (mid August through the end of October). Items included in the 2011 fruit share were: peaches, pears, plums, apples, cider, and fresh fruit jams.

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.

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 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 

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

-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: 

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


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


Tom Coohill 



Tuesday, February 7  |  6:30 - 9 p.m.

The Orangery at Denver Botanic Gardens

10th and York Street


Reserve your spot by February 3 – CLICK HERE.

$75 per person


  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.
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and because you probably enjoy good food.

unsubscribe from this list
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

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