News & Blog
Season Extension Workshop At DBG Chatfield Sat, Oct 4, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. Learn the ins and outs of season extension from all-star high altitude growers Penn and Cord Parmenter. A hands on afternoon portion will teach you how to build season extension structures like hoophouses and low tunnels. $34 members, $39 nonmembers
The Waste Farmers/Maxfields will be donating the soil for the season extension workshop as part of a research project The Chatfield CSA is starting on the amount of bio-nutrients found in the soil and passed onto the plant to increase the nutritional value of the crop.
Welcome to the cabbage cooking week! We have some pretty skilled CSA members that will be demonstrating how and what to do with a large cabbage. If you would like to see these ladies in action at our outdoor kitchen please head to the farm on Thursday for distribution and join in on the cabbage cooking demo.
Produce List for Sept. 29 - Oct. 3
*this list is tentative and subject to change
Weekly Recipe: Potato Leek Gratin
5 Tbs. unsalted butter
3 Tbs. minced fresh chives
4 lb. leeks, white and light green portions, cut into 1/4-inch rings
1-1/2 Tbs. kosher salt
1 tsp. minced fresh thyme
1/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
3/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper
1 cup heavy cream
6 oz. Gruyère cheese, grated (or whatever your cheese preference is)
3 oz. Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated
3 lb. russet potatoes, peeled, cut into 1/4-inch slices
Melt butter in an oven-safe skillet or frying pan. Add the leeks and salt, stirring to coat the leeks. Cover and cook, about 20 minutes. Add the thyme, nutmeg, pepper and cream, then simmer, uncovered, 15 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and let cool. Preheat oven to 400ºF. In a bowl, combine the cheeses. Layer one-third of the potatoes in the skillet and spread one-third of the leek mixture on top. Sprinkle with one-third of the cheeses, then 1 Tbs. of the chives. Repeat layering 2 more times. Cover the skillet, transfer to the oven and bake for 45 minutes. Remove the lid and continue baking until the potatoes about 30 minutes more. Let the gratin stand for 15 minutes before serving.
Grower's Perspective: Rust Belt
by Phil Cordelli
This year we're happy to be part of a study by the Colorado Department of Agriculture studying biocontrol of Canada thistle, one of the major noxious weeds in our fields. Today we spread spores of a host-specific rust fungus over a patch of Canada thistle in our far fields. One of the unique aspects of the rust is that it affects only the one species. If the rust takes hold, next fall we will collect spores to hopefully make this biocontrol more widely available through the Department of Agriculture's Palisade Insectary.
Biological controls, especially those host-specific controls such as this rust, have great advantages. For one, the control does not affect any other plants or bugs, and we would be able to cultivate the soil less, saving us time as well as helping maintain soil health and structure. If the rust proves viable for wider use, it has the potential to greatly decrease the amount of chemicals entering the environment. We're excited to be part of this research!
We are glad the weather is warming back up again so we can keep our fresh veggies coming home to your plate. Below there is a great photo from last week's Thursday distribution - the volunteer team with Josie were all pretty happy with the bounty of 15 items in one week! Thanks to our fantastic growers for all their hard work!
Produce List for Sep.8-12
*this list is tentative and subject to change
Winter Squash: acorn and delicata
Potato: all 3 varieties
Peppers - sweet and hot
Mint or Tarragon or Lemon balm
Yu choy … like a cross between bok choy and broccoli raab – brassica rapa, so related to both, as well as canola and tasty! Treat this like any other Asian green: stir frys, soups or steamed with rice.
Featured Recipe: tomato jam
Peg Montagne, CSA Core Flower/Distribution Volunteer
4 medium tomatoes - coarsely chopped
1/4 cup cider vinegar
3 Tbls. honey
1 tsp minced fresh ginger
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
2 garlic cloves
1-2 Tbls. fresh basil
In a medium saucepan combine all except basil, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil - then simmer over moderate heat until thick, stirring occasionally about 45 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and refrigerate until cool then add the basil plus salt and pepper. Keep in the fridge and use as a condiment.
Grower's Perspective: Fall Classes/Events for CSA Folks
Introduction to Water Bath Canning
At DBG Chatfield during distribution- pick up your share before or after Thurs, Sept 18, 4 – 6 p.m. Interested in learning how to use all those copious amounts of cucumbers, hot peppers, and tomatoes? Join us in our new outdoor kitchen for a hands-on simple instructional on how to preserve all your seasonal garden delights with water bath canning.
$36 CSA members
Colorado Foodways: A Celebration of our Food History At DBG Chatfield
Sat, Sept 27, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. Sample traditional Coloradan food and recipes and sip on some locally crafted drinks while listening to a live band - The High Plains Honky. Take tours of the historic Hildebrand Ranch House. Stroll the fields of organic vegetables, herbs, and flowers with our Community Supported Agriculture farm staff. All while watching the sun set over the foothills!
GET A TICKET AT HALF OFF!!! Only $21.
Email email@example.com to register at discounted price.
Season Extension Workshop At DBG Chatfield
Sat, Oct 4, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Learn the ins and outs of season extension from all-star high altitude growers Penn and Cord Parmenter. A hands on afternoon portion will teach you how to build season extension structures like hoophouses and low tunnels. $34 members, $39 nonmembers
The first of the season's Chatfield honey is now ready today at distribution. We accept cash or check. This honey is from the beehives at Chatfield where your vegetables are grown. We will have more as the season progresses.
Make checks out to:
Bob and Josie Dolezal
We also accept cash. Today we will have mushrooms and flowers for sale as well!
See you soon.
We sure hope you enjoyed all different types of tomatoes last week. We are in our normal location next Tuesday for pick up unless there are more storms. Please check your email Tuesday mornings if you are a York St. member.
Produce List: August 25-29
* As always, this list is tentative and subject to change
Featured Recipe: Gazpacho
Gazpacho Ideas from the New York Times - Some of you may have seen this already, but this fun guide has really great gazpacho ideas. Some of our members have tried several and they seem to check out as a good resource.
Fruit of the Week: Peaches (may be the last week for peaches)
Grower's Perspective: Farm Stand at Denver Human Services
by Josie Hart, CSA Manager
I have begun to see the small tender roots of the community that is growing at our DHS farm stand. I am starting to see the same faces each week. Some come to the farm stand because we've got great prices, some come because it's the only place in a pretty large radius that accepts food stamps for fresh produce and fruit and some come because they have a different home country and the farm stand is the only location they find fresh curry plants, amaranth or Thai basil.
As you all know, food is important not only to the health of your body, but emotional well-being too. Imagine if you didn't have regular access to fresh food. Many farm stand customers continually face this challenge and that is why the CSA has committed to being at Denver Human Services every Friday.
The CSU Nutrition and Expanded Food/Nutrition Education Program also does cooking demonstrations, tastings and an educational series on healthy eating/cooking for people who can also buy produce they are learning about in the class directly from us.
We don't pull produce away from CSA shareholders in order to supply the stand. We planned the acreage and crops accordingly so we have enough produce for all of our community. I hope you can feel the power behind helping others access food that you and I have the privalege of eating every day.
HAPPY LABOR DAY!!!!!!
We wanted to give you a quick list of the tomatoes we have been harvesting this season. We hope you are enjoying the bounty!
Today: We will be downstairs today in the lower level of the parking garage due to the rain storms starting at 4p.m. Please enter off York St. and look for us directly to your right as you enter on the ground level.
tomato varieties available this week:
Orange Blossom: Heirloom quality fruit, ripens early with a great taste and beautiful orange color for salsas and salads.
Martha Washington: The fruit has a pinkish skin with a melting texture and medium sweet flavor.
Beefsteak (Big Beef): Largest variety - deep red and very round. One tomato can weigh a pound or more.
Brandy Wine: A variety of beefsteak that has a pink/light red color. Very sweet and tasty in anything! A fairly large tomato great for caprese salad!
Urbanite: A pure classic "tomato" flavor and acidity. Developed by our former grower, Jenny Thomas and her farming family.
New Girl: A small red tomato that holds up great in sauce. Also a good slicing tomato for sandwiches, etc.
Cherokee Purple: green on the top and purple on the bottom – exceptional complex flavor. Slice and serve on its own or in simple tomato dishes no need to cook this beauty.
Striped German: A huge full tomato often large enough to feed a family with one fruit. Eat these right away as their skin is very thin and they tend to over ripen quickly.
Prudens Purple: A smaller purple tomato with rich flavor and thicker skin – great for roasted or cooked dishes.
Black trifele: Deep purple alomst black in color. Unique shape like two pears put together. Usually very ripe. Deep sweet flavor, good in sauces or fresah salads for a unique color and flavor.
Striped (or speckled) Roman: A very odd shaped tomato with long stripes of different color, looks like a round chile. Great paste consistancy for sauce making. (Roma)
Green Zebra: This smaller, green striped tomato is supposed to be green. It has exceptional sweetness - great for snacking. A fresh addition to the top of any taco or quesadilla as well!
sauce recipe: Anna's (or Rao's) Sauce
Phil Cordelli - CSA Head Grower
Years ago I lived in New York City and worked with community gardens throughout Manhattan. One was near a legendary Mafia-owned Italian restaurant in East Harlem named Rao's. The elderly woman who cooked the red sauce for the restaurant was named Anna and was always sitting outside the garden in a folding chair, no matter the weather. One day during tomato season she told me her sauce recipe which she had been making for the restaurant for decades.
I went back to visit the garden last winter and saw that there was a small plaque outside the garden in her spot commemorating the passing of Anna, "the mayor of 114th St." Of course there are no precise measurements in her recipe. Feel free to substitute olive oil for fatback. I don't have a saucepan big enough, so I break her rule about not using a pot.
-Drop tomatoes in boiling water for a minute, then peel off skins and chop
-Brown and discard fatback pork in a sauce pan or large frying pan, not a pot
-Sautee chopped onions until golden, then add diced garlic
-Simmer all afternoon
- Add chopped basil at the very end and you're done!
Sorry about the confusion, the CSA distribution will be held at St. John's today (1350 Washington St). There is a concert tonight at York St. and parking will be capital-T Trouble! We will see you there at our regularly scheduled hours, 4-7p.m. Hope this reaches you all in time!
I hope you are enjoying the summer's bounty as much as we are. I'm typing this in my last few moments in the office before I head home to make some chile rellenos with Michelle's goat cheese, our oregano, onions and poblanos. Or maybe I'll make a Thai dish with mushrooms, basil, eggplant, and mint ... Too many options!
Produce List: August 18-22
*as always, this list is tentative and subject to change
Grower's Prespective: How I Spent My Summer Vacation
Jamie Wickler, CSA Grower
The hour of six-o-clock quickly approaches as I rush around my garden trying to finish up harvesting for dinner. Because at 6 p.m. Mountain-Standard Time, I need to be inside watching my favorite game-show: Jeopardy! That's right, I love Jeopardy. Maybe it's Alex Trebek's hilarious responses to contestant interviews, or maybe it is the familiar theme song. To tell you the truth, what I love most about is that it marks the end of the work day. My husband and I go inside to relax. I look forward to it every weekday and some days 6 p.m. cannot come fast enough, but boy when it does I am ready for some friendly competition with my hubby.
I recently took a week's vacation to a remote cabin with no garden or farm in sight. I am going to admit that this was almost painful for me, at first. I am a busy body: I have 20 projects going at once. I'm writing this and realizing how insane and unhealthy this sounds! Thankfully, I brought the perfect book to read: "The Tao of Pooh" by Benjamin Hoff. Oh my goodness, if you have not read this book, I highly recommend it. The book uses the simple, child-like character Winnie the Pooh to explain Taoism. It helped me discover that here I am rushing around constantly doing, without ever realizing that I am never doing nothing. And the nothing is SO very important! I am in love with the idea, "doing nothing, but that does not mean that nothing is done." I honestly need to stop, enjoy my life and reflect before it goes. Enjoy the nothing! And Jeopardy!
Thanks to our Supporting Shareholders who attended the Farm-to-Fork dinner last night. It was a sucess in every way! Next year, we will expand the event and offer tickets to all other shareholders.
August 3: YORK ST. POTLUCK and COOKING CLASS! The class starts at 4 p.m. and the Potluck begins at 6 p.m. Register today!
Cooking Class Instructor: Aleece Raw
$24 CSA members
While at the class and or potluck, you can walk around the Gardens to see the Chihuly exhibition, which is a very special bonus if you haven't seen the art work illuminated at night.
Produce List: July 28 - Aug. 1
*this list is tentative and subject to change
Featured recipe: Araminta’s Beet Green Salsa Verde on Roast Carrots
*We featured this recipe at the Farm-to-Fork dinner from chef and CSA member Araminta David and all we heard was...silence. People loved the sauce and you can pour it on top of anything!
- 1 bunch beet greens cleaned, dried and coarsely chopped
- ½ cup fresh cilantro
- ¼ -½ jalapeno or hot chili pepper (depending on heat preference)
- 1 garlic clove, chopped
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 Tbsp fresh lime juice
- 1 tsp red wine vinegar
- 1 tsp fresh lime zest
- 1 tsp salt
1. Mix all in a food processor or blender. Adjust seasoning as needed.
2. Serve on roasted beets or carrots (roast, then cool first) garnished with sliced limes and cilantro sprigs.
3. Other serving ideas: fish, chicken, any vegetable, in place of pesto, mixed into guacamole, etc.
Have a great week everyone and thanks for supporting the Chatfield CSA!
Thanks to the shareholders who made it out in the heat for our potluck - we hope you enjoyed the ice cream cones! Our next event is the "Supporting Shareholder" Farm to Fork dinner on Sunday July 27th - invitation coming out soon for that. We also will have a York St. Cooking Class and Potluck: August 3 - Mitchell Hall, 3 p.m. class theme TBD.
Produce List: July 7- 11
*this list is tentative and subject to change
Featured recipe: Kale Slaw
Adapted from "The Post Punk Kitchen" website by Issa Chandra
For the kale slaw: 5-6 cups shredded kale (stems removed, chiffonade – see note)
Dressing for slaw: 2 cloves garlic or 3 scapes, 1/2 an avocado, 2 tablespoons tahini 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar (or lime), 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 cup water (plus more to thin)
Make the Kale Slaw:
In a blender, pulse the garlic to get it a bit chopped up. Add the remaining ingredients, and blend until smooth. Add extra water as needed in order to get it to a thick but pourable consistency, like a thick milkshake.
Place the shredded kale in a bowl and add the dressing, using a rubber spatula to scrape the blender and get everything out.
Use your hands to massage the dressing into the kale for about 30 seconds. Taste for salt and seasoning. This is important to any kale dish if you are not cooking the kale.
Add this kale on the top of any dish that would go with it - this recipe suggests making tacos (with curried tofu) and topping the tofu with the kale slaw. For the full recipe:
Grower's Perspective: Squash those bugs!
by Phil Cordelli, Head CSA Grower
“It was supposed to be their grand entrance this week. Alas, the summer squash and cukes will be a bit late. Each season with its infinite variables brings a new set of conditions, which results in a new balance of organisms, be they weeds or crops or animals or insects. This season it’s the squash bug population that has exploded.
Each season they arrive around now, and set up shop at the base of our cucurbits (the family of plants including cukes, squash and melons), shading themselves under the canopy of leaves and gnawing on the plants. If the plant is large enough it can withstand a few squash bug bites, but when the bugs find small plants, or the population explodes, as it did this year, they chew so much of the stem that it can no longer move enough water and nutrients up to the rest of the plant.
Growing organically, there’s not a whole lot we can do to effectively kill these tough little bugs beside handpicking them off and crushing them (and with nearly an acre of cucurbits that’s a tall order! Plus, they absolutely STINK when you do crush them, and their guts are a freaky turquoise color …). We have a weekly regiment of using organic based substances that are approved for organic gardening. So we kinda just shoo them off the plants with this, just hoping to buy enough time for the plants to gain strength to grow through the damage.
If this is too much information for you, feel free to stop reading at any time, but I do want to share some of the specifics of our growing practices, and why the offerings at distribution have the cycles they do. So, back to the cucurbits!
This season Jamie had a great idea to sow the aisles of our plastic-mulched beds with clover. As you know, nature abhors bare ground almost as much as a vacuum, so establishing a low-growing, nitrogen-fixing cover crop on this ground is a perfect solution. I kicked myself that I never thought of this before.
I suppose in retrospect I should’ve realized it was too perfect of a solution, because it turns out that when we shoo the bugs off our melons and cukes, they just hide out in the shady, clovered aisles until the sprays become inert, which happens in a day or so, or faster in bright sunlight (hello, Colorado!).
It’s still a much better solution than trying to keep bare soil out there, but it does have unintended consequences … So, the next cucumber and squash seedlings are just uncurling their necks in another field. We've got them covered, hoping the bugs just keep snacking on the first planting. Rest assured though the watermelons are looking FANTASTIC! They were established enough to power on through it all. We will too.”