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Chatfield CSA E-news Oct. 1-5

Posted 9/27/2013 3:23pm by Josie Hart-Genter.

Dear Shareholders,

Happy fall! The CSA is switching gears for the colder temperatures and you'll see more of our cool weather crops at distribution. The summer favorites are winding down, but we'll still have tomatoes, peppers and basil this week.

Important Reminders:

CSA Fall Potluck- The Rain Check Edition: Sunday, October 6, 1-4 p.m.
We were so sad to miss seeing everyone at the potluck last month, but we are going to give it another shot! Join us next Sunday. We will be in the large Prairie Canopy tent on the far side of the Chatfield Visitor Center. Please park in the upper CSA parking lot.

Leaf Drop
Donate your leaves to the CSA!! Our compost pile is pretty heavy on nitrogen rich rotting tomatoes and we would love to adopt your leaves to help balance the carbon/nitrogen ratio. Please bring bags of pesticide/herbicide/fungicide/chemical-free leaves to the Chatfield distribution or to the Fall Potluck.

Permaculture Design Class at Chatfield:
Saturday, October 5, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Learn the principles, ethics and techniques of nature-inspired permaculture from Jim Gibson and Mary O'Brien. Permaculture is a design system based on the joining of indigenous wisdom practices with current ecological activism. Permaculture reminds us that "everything gardens" and teaches a sustainable worldview that presents a systematic approach for gardening, lifestyle and being. Participants will learn how to build soil fertility, integrate systems and work with nature to create more resilient designs.

Pumpkin Festival: October 11-13, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Embrace the fall season at this year’s Pumpkin Festival. This three day event is a great tradition for the entire family where thousands of pumpkins will be ripe for picking in our 10-acre patch. Families can enjoy live music by Stray Dog Colorado, face painting, pumpkin carving demonstrations,  pumpkin bowling and much more. The popular monster hand-building station will return and kids can enjoy pony rides, amusement rides, balloon twists, giant coloring murals and a cookie decorating station.

Produce list for October 1- 3
Rainbow carrots
Watermelon radishes
Red cabbage
Red potatoes
Hot and sweet peppers
Thai basil
Weekly bread: garlic rosemary
Fruit share: two bags of pears and appples

Featured recipe: Legim, a Haitian Vegetable Stew
A tropical favorite from seasonal grower, Lena Tenenbaum
I lived in Haiti for about two years and fell in love with the flavorful Haitian stews cooked over charcoal stoves. I often cooked meals with friends and neighbors and there was one dish that always made my palate sing: Legim. I've adapted the recipe, as not all ingredients are available in the U.S., skipped some processed ingredients like tomato paste, and I've made it vegetarian. Traditionally, crab or goat is added to the stew and I would definitely recommend that step for omnivores.
1/2 head of cabbage
1 onion or leek
1 lb potatoes
3 carrots
2 sweet peppers
3 tbsp olive oil
3-5 hot peppers, habanero is best, but even a sweet pepper will do if you don't want spiciness (pepper is left whole, so flavor permeates, but doesn't get very spicy)
2-4 tomatoes, chopped
1/2 can coconut milk
15 whole cloves
8 sprigs of fresh thyme, tied together OR 1 tbsp dried thyme
4-6 cups of stock (vegetable, chicken or beef) add at the beginning OR 2-3 bouillon cubes crumbled, added at end
Salt and pepper to taste

Optional ingredients to add at the beginning:
Green papaya, skinned
Chayote squash, skinned
Spinach or arugula or amaranth
Watermelon radish

Saute onions in oil until translucent in large pot. Cut up vegetables and place in a pot. They will get mashed later, so big pieces are fine. Cover with stock and add tomatoes (if using bouillon cubes, just cover with water for now and add cubes near the end). Boil until veggies are soft. Take out carrots and set aside. Strain out most of the liquid into a separate bowl and using a pestle or masher or forks, mash vegetables until lumpy. Add liquid back in as well as coconut milk. Stick cloves into peppers, keeping them whole, and let them float on top of stew with the thyme for 15 minutes or more. Taste occasionally and remove clove peppers and/or thyme when desired flavor is reached. I've found the thyme flavor boils off, so best to serve shortly after removing thyme. Slice carrots and return them to the pot. Voila! Dinner is ready!

Serve with rice, polenta, or fried plantains. Li gou!! It's delicious!!

Grower’s Perspective- Season Extension
By Lena Tenenbaum
Sing with me folks...."It's the tiiiiime of the seaaaason for....REEMAY!!!" Okay, maybe that wasn't the sixties classic you were expecting but it's the version that's been stuck in my head as the team tucks in all of our crops for the fall. We use a product called floating row cover, or reemay, which is a permeable fabric that allows sunlight and rain in and keeps bugs and cold out. It also shades fragile plants in the high heat of summer.

We create mini hoop houses by pounding pieces of rebar in to the soil and using them to anchor arches of PVC pipe that hoop over the beds. Then we drape the reemay over the hoops and anchor the system with sand bags. I'm still deciding whether this is high tech farming or so simple, it's silly. With lightweight reemay, we get quite a few degrees of temperature protection and with our first light frost already under our belt, we need all the degrees we can get. We also use greenhouse plastic at times, which is impermeable and provides even more protection.

Another trick we have up our sleeves is succession planting. We choose cold-hardy crops like kale, broccoli, cabbage, and chard and seed varieties such as carrots, beets, radishes, and spinach every few weeks so that there's always something ready for distribution.

If you're a hardcore gardener and want to try this at home, a great technique I learned gives up to 30 degrees of temperature protection. Hoop the PVCs over your garden bed, wrap them in holiday lights (non LED), and cover with greenhouse plastic. On cold nights, turn on the lights to heat your mini greenhouse. If it gets super cold, put some space blankets on the plastic, reflective side down, and enjoy greens in 0 degree weather!

Happy fall and may the harvest fun continue!!


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