The Chatfield CSA at Denver Botanic Gardens at Chatfield
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Chatfield CSA E-news for August 5-9

Posted 8/2/2013 7:10pm by Josie Hart-Genter.


Dear shareholders,
Welcome to the fruit edition of the newsletter! The CSA is harvesting some gorgeous melons for you this week! Please read our grower’s edition of the newsletter at the bottom for more information on our melons by our expert staff. Also we will have a produce guide at both distributions to help navigate between melon types, pepper types, beet varieties and so on. Our CSA staff also can always help you with varieties and other veggie questions during distribution. We also have the fruit schedule from Ela if you would like to know what types of fruit you will be receiving August 13 or 15 for the fruit shares only.

Important Reminders:
We will have this Tuesday’s August 8 distribution at St. John’s Cathedral and not at our York St. location. This does not affect Thursday’s distribution- it is only for people who pick up on Tuesday.

Please register for our CSA classes on cooking and herbs!
Saturday, August 10: Herbs in the Kitchen with Susan Evans
Come learn how to preserve your herbal harvest for year round use in elegant vinegars, herb butters, robust pesto and savory seasoning blends. Well cover the best ways to preserve and store your fresh herbs. Recipes and samples included. $17 for CSA members, $30 all others
9 – 11 a.m. in the new Outdoor Kitchen at Chatfield

Saturday, August 10: Comprehensive Canning 101 – Jam Making with Local Fruit
1 – 3 p.m. in the new Outdoor Kitchen at Chatfield
$17 CSA members, $40 non-members

Urban Farm Tour!
Denver Botanic Gardens is partnering with Slow Food Denver and Grow Local Colorado to offer tours of urban agriculture projects throughout the Denver metro area. We grouped the four tours being offered this summer and fall together by geographic area: Southeast, Downtown, Southwest, and Northwest. Each tour will take participants to three urban agriculture projects, with a catered local, seasonal lunch at the last stop. Aug 11, Aug 24, Sept 21, and Oct 5. Register online or by calling 720-865-3580.

Produce list for August 5- 9
Hot & bell peppers
Parsley & herbs

Weekly Bread: Cranberry Walnut
Weekly Wild Food: Grape Leaves and Dolmas

Predicted Fruit Schedule
Week of:
Aug. 13&15- Peaches
Aug. 20&22- Peaches
Aug. 27&29 - Peaches
Sept. 3&5- Two bags of fruit: peaches and apples or pears
Sept. 10&12- Two bags of fruit: apples and plums, pears or peaches
Sept. 17&19- Two bags of fruit: apples and pears or plums
Sept. 24&26- Two bags of fruit: apples and pears, plums or peaches
Oct. 1&3- Two bags of fruit: apples and pears
Oct. 8&10- Apples and cider
Oct. 15&17- Apples and cider
Oct. 22&24- Apples and cider
Oct. 29&31- 20 lb. box of storage apples. When kept cold, these apples will be delicious for weeks.

Featured Recipe: Fresh Mint and Melon – Perfect for Breakfast
2-3 lbs. of cantaloupe or other melon
1/4 cup honey
1/2 cup orange, apricot or apple juice or coconut water
1 1/2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint, plus small sprigs of basil for garnish
¼ cup chopped almonds
Add any dried fruit or seeds in addition
1. Halve melons, scoop out seeds and remove rind. Cut flesh into large chunks. (You should have about 6 cups.)
2. Chop nuts and add to the cantaloupe, honey and orange juice in a bowl. Cover and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled, a couple hours or just overnight.
3. Just before serving, briskly whisk the fruit and stir in mint. Serve very cold, garnished with sprigs of mint/basil, if desired.
* Top the salad with Greek yogurt.

Grower’s Perspective- Melons are Here!

Chris Krabbenhoeft, CSA Grower

Melon picking...
To me, one of the best things about being involved with a CSA is being able to get produce at the peak of its flavor. In my mind, melons are perhaps the best example of produce that, when bought from a grocery store, can never be fully appreciated for its full flavor. That’s because, a delicate fruit such as melon needs to be picked under ripe to be shipped any long distance…even within the state of Colorado. And melons off the vine won’t get any sweeter, or ripen like some other crops. For someone who gets as excited about melons as I do, picking melons at the right time becomes an incredibly important responsibility.

But melons are also one of the trickiest crops to harvest. And in the gamble that is harvesting, each type of melon wears a different poker face, with different tells to determine whether each melon has reached full sweetness and maturity. This year four varieties of melon are being grown, two cantaloupes (Sarah’s Choice and Eden’s Gem), a canary melon (Brilliant) and a Crenshaw melon (Lilly). The process of finding melons to harvest requires first identifying potentially ripe melons by a color change of the outer rind, and then seeing if those melons will “slip.” The “slip” is perhaps the trickiest part of melon harvesting and occurs when the stem effortlessly falls off the melon. However, some melons such as the canary and Crenshaw are ready at a “forced slip,” when the melon has to be separated from the plant with a little more pull. While a melon ready to “slip,” like the Sarah’s Choice melons available at distribution this week, becomes pretty easy to identify after a couple tries, the forced slip is more of a guessing game and you might have to rely more on color and scent to determine if the fruit is ripe. And a good deal of tasting melons out in the field.

That being said, I hope all our work tending the plants, warding off the pests and taste testing melons brings you great tasting melons that you just can’t get from the grocery store.

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