October 8 - 12 Chatfield CSA E- news
We hope you are enjoying the newsletter, please be sure to scroll all the way through the newsletter and read the Grower’s Perspective section at the end. This week we are sharing some of the feedback we collected from the mid-season surveys.
Many people have been asking when the last distribution date will be. This really depends on the weather. We will continue distributions as long as we have crops to harvest through the end of October. This means you most likely will still receive broccoli, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, beets, turnips, kohlrabi, greens, chard/kale, leeks, winter squash, pie pumpkins and some herbs in your share throughout October. The warmer weather crops including eggplant, peppers, tomatoes and basil are all slowing down. As soon as a substantial frost hits, most of the flowers will be finished as well. Last season, distributions continued until the very end of October.
The last fruit distributions are tentatively scheduled for October 15 and 18. That may be a bit early for the Fuji storage apples to be ready, so they may need an additional week to ripen. If that is the case then we will skip one week of fruit and then have fruit again at the last distributions of the season (Tuesday, October 30 and Thursday, November 1).
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.
New at CSA Distributions: Fruit Seconds
Pick up your box of bulk seconds fruit at distribution this week! Please note that if you were not able to purchase fruit seconds (apples and pears) last week (Oct. 2 or 4) you can still purchase a box of fruit at dsitribution this week (Oct. 9 or 11).
If you are purchasing bulk seconds fruit for the first time, please print out the order form that was emailed out last week and bring it to distribution along with your payment.
- Each box of fruit is $22. (See your order form for the various fruit varieties.)
Boxes of seconds fruit will be delivered for pick-up at your regular distribution and will be marked with your order information.
We prefer that payments to be made by check, but we accept cash as well. Please make checks payable to: Denver Botanic Gardens Chatfield CSA.
Also, please remember to bring cash or a check if you would like to purchase bouquets or honey at distribution.
This Week’s Produce (Oct. 8 -12)
Please note this is a tentative list and subject to change.
- Salad Mix
- Peppers (bell and hot) - (tentative)
- Cabbage or Broccoli
- Basil (tentative)
- Herbs (Parsley, Cilantro and one perennial herb)
- Heirloom and Slicing Tomatoes - (tentative)
- Head Lettuce (New!)
- Eggplant - (tentative)
- Carrots or Beets or Turnips
- Green Tomatoes
This Week’s Fruit - (Oct. 9 and 11)
This coming week fruit share members will receive Golden Delicious apples and a jug of cider. When Golden Delicious apples are picked right and eaten in season, they are truly delicious! They are known as a work horse apple in that they are good for everything....eating, saucing, baking - you name it!
Weekly Recipe: Vegetarian Stuffed Cabbage Rolls
Provided by CSA shareholder Stacey Crease, Adapted from the Wilson Farm Country Cookbook
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
1 green napa or other type of cabbage
3 cups water
1 bag of vegetarian meatballs or tempeh pieces
3 T butter or olive oil
2/3 cup coarsely chopped onion
1 grated carrot
2 cups sliced mushrooms
2 cups cooked rice
Salt, pepper, rosemary, majoram and sage to taste
1 cup vegetable broth
Remove the tough outer leaves from the cabbage. Bring the water to a boil in a 4-quart pot. Place the cabbage in the water, right side up, and blanch until the leaves soften and pull away (about 10 minutes). Run the cabbage under cold water to stop the cooking process and separate the leaves. Set the leaves aside.
Melt the butter in a frying pan. Add the onion, sauté for two minutes, then add mushrooms. Sauté until onions and mushrooms soften. Add in the vegetarian meatballs or tempeh. As they soften, break them up with a wooden spoon. Mix in your preferred seasoning (any CSA herb you have on hand). I used rosemary and sage, salt and pepper. Mix in the rice.
Make the rolls by placing 3-4 T of the stuffing in the center of a cabbage leaf, fold in the sides, and roll. Secure with a toothpick. Place seam side down in a baking dish. Keep making rolls until you have run out of stuffing. Pour broth over the rolls and cover with foil. Bake at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes. Remove the toothpicks and serve with any type of fresh or canned tomato sauce.
- Please visit our website for additional recipes that include cabbage, green tomatoes, kohlrabi, leeks and more!
Grower's Perspective: The Survey Results are In!
Written by CSA Manager, Leigh Rovegno
Thanks to all the shareholders who took the time to complete our mid-season shareholder survey. It really does help us gauge how we are doing this year and what changes we need to make for coming years. This season had some difficult lessons, but we have learned a lot! We are already trying to incorporate some of your suggestions into this year’s program (like organizing distributions from heaviest items first to lightest items last) and some suggestions will go into the design for next year’s program.
What we have learned from the CSA surveys:
- Most CSA shareholders would like to see less “strange” veggies in exchange for larger quantities of the more “normal” veggies. For example: shareholders would like to see FEWER turnips, kohlrabi, and celery overall and MORE beets, spinach, and head lettuce.
- Most CSA shareholders would prefer fewer herbs in the weekly distribution.
- Shareholders prefer having the distributions set up from heaviest items to lightest to make it easier to pack their bags. Most people enjoy distributions and the “market style approach."
- Shareholders enjoyed the newsletter and many people visit the website to read about recipes, blogs and other resources. Most people also commented that they did not have additional time in their schedule for more classes.
- Shareholders would also like to have more potlucks and gatherings throughout the season, as well as information and communication about community events.
- Shareholders would be interested in having eggs, mushrooms, and milk options available to them in coming years.
- Shareholders would like to see more bouquets available at distributions.
- Overall, shareholders would be happier to have fewer items but greater quantities of each item each week. For example, instead of having 15 items with two items per share having 10 items with four items per share.
What we have learned as a staff:
- We need to plan on having more volunteer groups earlier in the season to keep the weeds under control when we are busy with planting.
- 46 crops are perhaps too many to handle on just four acres.
- We need to start diversifying our sources of income in order to continue the program in a successful manner. This will include increasing our wholesale opportunities, hosting fund raising events focused on the CSA, and possibly adding more share options to the program (such as eggs, mushrooms, etc.).
- We want to keep the program at a manageable size rather than continue to expand in coming years. We feel that it is important to do what we do well and try not to get in over our heads (if at all possible)!
- Community events like the CSA Open House and potluck dinners are a huge part what a CSA is and we would like to host more of these in the future.
- The classes often times did not sell out; we are taking a look at what the best approach is to include educational opportunities for our community – and we are open to suggestions!
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.