October 15 - 19 Chatfield CSA E-News
As the season winds down, we begin thinking about the years ahead. As many of you know, 2012 marks the last year of the original grant from Kaiser Permanente. The initial grant was provided to help build the infrastructure necessary to operate a successful CSA. We were able to purchase the proper equipment, hire qualified staff, build a washstand, and purchase the necessary materials needed to run a small sustainably operated farm.
Our goal was to be entirely financially self-sufficient by 2013. This, however, is going to be a challenge. We will not be able to operate the CSA with the same format next year without continued underwriting - in addition to share sales. We have applied for additional funding from Kaiser Permanente and we are currently waiting to hear if they will finance part of the program through 2013.
With the renewed funding, we will continue to serve our CSA shareholders and also extend the reach of our program even further to diverse communities. In 2013, it is also our goal to build relationships with other existing organizations within the local food movement to strengthen the community as a whole. Please see the Grower's Perspective section of the newsletter to better understand how you as a shareholder can help us meet these goals for next year.
Upcoming Events: CSA Fall Potluck
Please RSVP to the Fall CSA Potluck event on Friday Nov. 2 at 5 p.m. Feel free to bring family and friends; it will be a lot of fun to get so many cooks together in the same room! Please let us know if you need a copy of the e-vite sent to you again.
This Week’s Produce (Oct. 15-19)
The following crops have been destroyed by the frost and are finished for the season:
-Flowers for Bouquets
These crops all survived the frost and will continue to be available through most of October.
- Salad Mix
- Herbs (parsley, cilantro, mint, sage, oregano, rosemary, and thyme)
- Sweet Peppers (the plants didn't survive but we were able to harvest enough peppers to get us through the next couple of weeks)
- Head Lettuce
- Carrots, Beets, and Turnips
- Winter Squash
Weekly Recipe: Preserving your Produce and Fall Recipes
Prepare and Preserve Your Produce: a wealth of information on all produce (fruits, veggies herbs/spices). We are providing this link for you now because there is a lot of information on how to preserve and make your produce last – which is something we all want to do before mother nature forces us to stop harvesting!
Favorite Fall Recipes: Soup and Salad!
From CSA Shareholder Tom Hart
2 medium leeks, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 medium onion, diced
1 rib celery, diced
1 medium carrot, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 pounds fresh beets, peeled and diced
3-4 medium-sized potatoes
4 cups vegetable broth
4 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
3 tablespoons chopped fresh dill, plus more for garnish
4 tablespoons sour cream
Prep all the ingredients. Heat the butter in a large pot over medium heat. When the foam subsides, add the onions, leeks, celery, carrot, garlic, beets, potatoes and a generous sprinkling of salt and pepper. Cook, stirring often until the vegetables soften - 15-20 minutes or until beets and potaotes are thoroughly cooked in the center.
Pour in the vegetable broth and bring the soup to a simmer. Simmer gently, stirring occasionally, for 10-15 minutes. Stir in the vinegar, dill and more salt and pepper to taste.
Ladle the soup into individual bowls and top with sour cream and more dill/chives to taste. This soup pairs nicely with warmed brown bread/butter and a stout beer.
*You can easily add in a nice beef brisket (roasted ahead of time) to the broth while simmering for a meaty (traditional) version of the stew.
Adapted from CookThink.com
Kohlrabi is an intimidating-looking vegetable on the outside; its exterior skin is knobby, ruddy and rough. But remove that and you'll find the flesh inside tender, nutty and versatile.
Here's how to eat it:
- First, use a small, sharp knife to cut away the stems right where they meet the round root. Use the same knife or a vegetable peeler to remove the rest of the exterior skin (this is a bit tough).
- Now all you need to do is remove the core. (Like you would when coring cabbage or fennel)…
- Cut the kohlrabi lengthwise into quarters. Turn each quarter on its end, then slice away and discard the core (or save it to make vegetable broth).
- Now the kohlrabi is your oyster!
- Cut it into paper-thin slices and lightly dress with rice vinegar (or another sweet, light vinegar) in a bowl. Add thinly sliced green onion, grapefruit or orange and shredded carrot to the mix.
- Add in a spoonful of olive oil, a small amount of fresh tarragon and salt/pepper.
Toss the entire bowl of sliced veggies over the CSA lettuce/greens for a fantastically fresh and crunchy salad!
Grower's Perspective: Change Brings Opportunity
With or without continued financial support, the CSA program will have to change and shift in order to better meet our financial needs. We will need to reevaluate the acreage and number of shares, increase wholesale, decrease staff time, staff present at distributions, and reduce overall expenses.
The labor necessary to run the CSA is our biggest expense and it always will be. Our mission is to not only provide fresh produce to the community, but also viable jobs for people who are working hard to grow that food. Farming is a tough life both physically and financially for most if not all people who try their hand at it. Our farm is no different. The CSA staff expenses are high because we value our employees and we are lucky to be a part of a greater non-profit organization which allows us seek additional financial support to help provide health care benefits which is a luxury for most farmers.
In order to continue the program with the staff that we currently have we will require additional funding. We need your help as shareholders to further the work that we are currently doing by providing more outreach, education, and increase the reach of our produce to a more diverse audience. As a community project funded by the community and for the community, we will be calling on our shareholders to be more involved in the actual opreration of the CSA to help us to further the work that we do without increasing our staff expenses. We need volunteers for some crucial areas. If you have any extra time in your schedule, a desire to be more involved in local food, skills that would enhance the CSA and/or a commitment to be a part of this venture, please email us with your input at
Some areas in which we would love to have community organizers:
Volunteer Recruitment – Talk to friends and neighbors and get them on board!
Event Planning – You all wanted to see more potlucks/CSA events this year but we need your help to make it happen.
Fundraising – Finding possible funders to help with our program is a vast area in which we could use expertise.
Material Donations - Help us connect with local businesses to help reduce our materials expenses by getting in-kind donations.
Your Ideas - You all were great about the mid-season survey, but we also would love your input to help shape 2013 before it happens. Do you have connections or thoughts on the CSA for next year that you’d like to share?
We have worked very hard to create a successful program that meets the needs of our shareholders, and serves as an example for the greater community. We have been very fortunate so far to have the support that we’ve needed and we are very hopeful that the same support will be available to us in the future.
As always, we will allow our current shareholders to renew their shares for 2013 prior to selling any new shares. Share renewals will take place in December and January and we will be emailing all of you about that once we get closer to the time.
Thank you all so much for your support and we look forward to providing you with more cool season crops through the rest of October!
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.