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Posted 10/20/2018 10:31am by Josie Hart.

Dear shareholders,

Each year it seems to come so suddenly, the final week of distributions! This week we'll have plenty of onions, leeks and garlic, beets, cabbage, spaghetti squash, and some baby hakurei turnips that made it through the freeze. Our last plantings of bok choy and salad mix and head lettuce didn't quite make it through. 

On Tuesday we will be moving distribution across the street to the Congress Park parking lot, by the swimming pool because a few thousand more people than usual will be visiting York St. for Glow at the Gardens.

On a perfectly sunny and mild fall Thursday we planted next season's garlic crop:

Many, many thanks to our wonderful seasonal crew of farmers: Katie, Maddy, Chloe, Royce and Adam. And so much gratitude for all the hours put into these crops, this soil, and this farm by our amazing volunteers. The CSA is truly a collective endeavor, all made possible by you, the shareholders. Thank you!

 

 

 

Posted 10/13/2018 8:37am by Josie Hart.

Dear shareholders,

If you haven't been to Pumpkin Fest yet, come on down! It's great to see our usually quiet and tranquil farm host thousands of people, and food trucks and beer tent and kid's games and general festive energy. And as a plant person that it all centers around a winter squash is even better! With snow and bitterly cold temperatures tomorrow we are ending Pumpkin Fest a day early, so come revel in the sun today!

We're hoping for two more weeks of distributions but our final seedings of crops like radishes, hakurei turnips, lettuce and bok choy haven't sized up quite yet so depending on how cold it gets over the weekend we might have some rather spartan last pick-ups. Chatfield Farms is located down in a real low spot surrounded by the hogback on one side, high ground with housing developments on two, and then Chatfield Reservoir on the other. This arrangement can protect us from a lot of the more extreme weather, such as two recent hailstorms in which the housing developments literally had to plow the streets of hail and we didn't even get a drop of precipitation. It also has the tendency to trap cold air right above our fields so I know that our fields are usually 2 degrees colder than the predictions for the Chatfield Reservoir area, and they have been dropping the lows all the way down to 16 degrees, so that could spell trouble for our baby crops! Yesterday we nestled them under a couple of layers of rowcover, so that should help, and actually, some snow would help to insulate them a lot. 

WINTER EGG SHARE:

Our farm partner Amish Acres would like to continue providing you with farm-fresh eggs throughout the winter. If you would like to sign up for eggs, please email josie.hart@botanicgardens.org to find out more. We will not be able to provide egg shares if we have fewer than 20 shares, so invite a friend or neighbor to sign up, too!

HARVEST LIST:

  • Onions
  • Winter squash
  • Kale
  • Watermelon radishes
  • Leeks

*Please note the exact share may change due to weather or crop conditions.

 

Posted 10/5/2018 6:32pm by Josie Hart.

Dear shareholders,

Anyone that wants to harvest herbs, tomatoes or peppers before a potential frost Monday should come on down to the farm on Saturday from 8-10 a.m. Park in the gravel lot and walk over to our perennial herb garden next to the Hildebrand Ranch House. If you haven't had a chance to look through the house, we'll have it open as well. It's an amazing chance to step right into some of the history of the land where your food is grown-- one of my favorite parts of Chatfield Farms and unique to any farm I've been a part of. 

Look for the online survey out soon. Please be sure to fill it out and give us your feedback on your CSA experience. We are so grateful for your presence in our community and we love hearing from you all.

We have one final CSA cooking class coming up - please look for a separate  registration link email out next week.

WINTER EGG SHARE:

Our farm partner, Amish Acres would like to continue providing you with your farm fresh eggs throughout the winter. If you would like to sign up for eggs, please email josie.hart@botanicgardens.org to find out more. We will not be able to provide egg shares if we have fewer than 20 shares so invite a friend or neighbor to sign up too!

HARVEST LIST:

  • Cabbage
  • Spaghetti squash
  • Shallots
  • Radicchio
  • Garlic
  • Beets

*Please note the exact share may change due to weather or crop conditions.

FEATURED RECIPE: Spaghetti Squash Pad Thai

Ingredients

  • ½ cup oil
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 3 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1 ½ tablespoons ketchup
  • 3 tablespoons peanut butter
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 spaghetti squash
  • 1-2 bell or sweet peppers
  • 1 cup chopped cabbage
  • 2 carrots thinly sliced
  • Garnish (optional): 2 tablespoons chopped peanuts
  • 2 green onions
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro
  • 2 limes  
Directions
 
Cut spaghetti squash in half, rub with oil and roast in the oven at 400 for 30-40 minutes. While the spaghetti squash is cooking, chop up your veggies and cook over medium heat with some oil. If you don’t have peppers, cabbage or carrots, or prefer other vegetables, you can substitute. For the sauce, heat the ½ cup canola oil in a saucepan and fry the garlic until golden. Add sugar, fish sauce and ketchup and stir until the sugar dissolves. Add the peanut butter and stir then add the beaten eggs. Let them set slightly before stirring. With a fork scrape the “noodles” out of your spaghetti squash into a large bowl, then mix in your other vegetables and the sauce. Top with desired garnishes and serve. 
Posted 10/3/2018 11:17am by Josie Hart.


Howdy all!

There will be a special appearance this Thursday at distribution - Peg's home made grape jams/jellies. Peg has been making this jam for 30+ years and she is so happy to offer your family a jar! Bring some cash and pick some up this Thursday! 

Also - this may be the last week for flowers depending on when the frost comes. FYI.

 

Thanks all!

 

Posted 9/29/2018 10:28am by Josie Hart.

Dear shareholders,

With cooler temperatures our harvest has been slowing down and we have already started getting excited for next season. One thing we do to prep for next year is save seed from several varieties of veggies and herbs that we liked this year. Different species of plants pollinate and set seed in unique ways, so if you want to try saving seed at home, here are a few tips from Maddie to know before jumping on in. And here's a photo of Maddie imitating a watermelon radish:

 

Open pollinated varieties set seed that will produce a plant that is very similar to the parent plant or plants, or that is “true to type”. Open pollinated varieties are generally the easiest to save seed from, but some varieties need to be carefully isolated to prevent cross pollination. Crops such as squash and cucumbers have both male and female flowers on each plant and pollen must move from one to the other. In order to save seed which will produce true to type plants, you have to make sure there are no other varieties around that could pollinate the variety you want to save.

The easiest varieties to save seed from are self pollinating varieties. These varieties have both the male and female parts (the stigma and the pollen) in the same flower. Each individual plant can pollinate itself, keeping genetic variables constant. Some self pollinating crops include beans, peas, tomatoes, and lettuce.

Hybrid varieties are open pollinated varieties that have been allowed to cross pollinate within the same species – seeds saved from hybrid parents will not be true to type. Producing hybrid seed is beneficial because varieties can be selectively modified for a number of traits – for example to increase disease resistance, cold tolerance, uniformity or high yield.

There are many advantages to saving seed from plants you like and have produced well for you. After a few years of saving seed you'll be selecting for plants that are adapted to your specific environment, and you can also select for particular traits you want, such as saving seed from the first tomatoes you pick to encourage early maturity in subsequent generations.

Reminder: Our last Gleaning Day will be October 6 from 8-10.

On Wednesday, Oct. 3, from 6:30-8 p.m. at Gates Hall Denver Botanic Gardens presents Growing Healthier Together: Connecting Community Gardens and Cancer Prevention. 

The Community Activation for Prevention study (CAPS) is an innovative cancer research partnership between several universities and institutions including The University of Colorado, Denver Urban Gardens and the American Cancer Society. Learn about the relationship between gardening and health, as well as CAPS’ innovations in cancer research.  

Erin Decker, B.A., is a research assistant with the University of Colorado, an educator, and an artist. She enjoys being in nature and connecting people to good food and the natural world through play.  

Café Botanique is open to everyone and is presented by Denver Botanic Gardens’ School of Botanical Art and Illustration. The 30-minute talk starts at 6:30 p.m. and is followed by a discussion. Café Botanique generally meets on select Wednesdays, each time with a different topic relating to the Botanical Illustration curriculum. Here is the Café Botanique registration page 

HARVEST LIST:

  • Potatoes
  • Leeks
  • Green tomatoes
  • Butternut squash
  • Onions
  • Kale
  • Garlic
  • Sage or parsley
  • Watermelon radish

*Please note the exact share may change due to weather or crop conditions.

FEATURED RECIPE: Fried Green Tomatoes

This recipe is from Adam, one of our farmers and a certified Southerner from the coast of Georgia. 

Ingredients

  • 1 cup oil (vegetable or canola) or enough to cover the skillet 1/2 inch
  • green tomatoes cut into 1/4 inch slices
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 eggs 
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 1/2 cups bread crumbs
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2  teaspoon cayenne
  • 1  tablespoon garlic
  • salt and pepper
*for a more/less spicier version, add or reduce cayenne
 
Directions
 
Preheat oil to medium, medium/high in cast iron skillet (or other high-walled pan). Make sure oil is completely heated before putting in tomatoes.
 
Season tomatoes with salt and pepper on both sides. Place the flour in one dish, in another place the eggs and milk, and in the third mix the bread crumbs in with the garlic powder, cayenne, and paprika. 
 
Cover the slices tomatoes in flour, then in the eggs, then in the bread crumbs. Make sure the tomatoes are covered completely in all three steps so that the bread crumbs will stick.
 
Add the tomatoes into the pan (be careful as the oil is hot and can splash) slowly allowing each tomato space so they are not touching. Fry evenly about 2-3 minutes on each side and place to dry on a drying rack (or paper towels) so they remain crispy.
 
Dipping Sauce
 
- 3 tablespoons mayonnaise or plain yogurt 
- 1 tablespoon sriracha
- 2 cloves garlic minced or pressed
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1 teaspoon cracked pepper

*add more or less sriracha/garlic/honey to taste depending on your preference

 

Posted 9/22/2018 12:01pm by Josie Hart.

Dear shareholders,

Since fall is officially here and the rest of the summer crops are slowing, we'll have another Gleaning Day on Saturday, October 6 from 8-10 a.m. This time it will be mostly tomatoes and peppers, and we'll open up our perennial herb garden as well.

As CSA members, you know having access to local and fresh food is of high importance, yet it's easy to overlook the children and families who are food-insecure in the Denver area. Denver Botanic Gardens has several food access initiatives, such as the Farm Stands in food deserts program, participating in the SNAP/DoubleUp Food Bucks program and through donated CSA shares as well as donations of produce to hunger relief organizations. We value quality food and all people, regardless of income and neighborhood, and strive to create avenues where everyone can access healthy food.   

Some of you may have heard of the Healthy Food for Denver initiative that was gaining traction earlier this summer. The initiative needed 10,000 signatures to get on the November ballot--and was successful! We want to share a few details about the initiative so you are informed for November's vote.  

Although Colorado is experiencing growth in many sectors and has low unemployment rates, Colorado is one of the fastest growing states for childhood hunger.

The Issue:
- 68.5% of kids in Denver Public Schools qualify for free/reduced lunch
- Impacts 1 in 4 kids whose families cannot provide three meals per day
- Lack of food security directly affects children's ability to perform in school and shape habits that can extend beyond adolescence.    

The Solution:  
- Provide three healthy meals for kids throughout the year by filling in gaps between other programs
- Provide cooking, gardening and healthy eating classes while partnering with local farms and other organizations
- Schools and relevant nonprofits with aligned missions can apply for funds

Funding:  
- Increase current sales tax by .08% (less that one penny on a $10 purchase)
- Tax expires at the end of 9 years 
- Over 10 years, $100 million raised with $11.2 million in the first year
- Colorado has the 6th lowest state sales tax in the country at 2.9%  

This is just a snapshot of the initiative; visit http://healthyfoodfordenver.com/ for more information.   

HARVEST LIST:

  • Head lettuce
  • Red onions
  • Radicchio
  • Celeriac
  • Baby fennel
  • Kale
  • Garlic
  • Pumpkins or winter sweet squash

*Please note the exact share may change due to weather or crop conditions.

FEATURED RECIPE: Pumpkin pie

Winter sweet is a variety of Cucurbita maxima, the same type as Hubbards and Kabocha squash. The flesh is dry like a pie pumpkin but more flavorful. Their flavor will be most intense in October or November, since the starches in the plants will convert to sugars in storage. We have rather limited space, and so we will give them out now, and you can store them yourself in a cool place, or if you are as impatient as I am you can cook it on up now, the flavor is still quite nice.

In honor of fall, what else? Pumpkin pie! Pumpkins are Cucurbita pepo, and the variety we grow is New England Pie. For this recipe, I'm not going to get into the subject of pie crust - there are just too many strong feelings, and if I'm being honest I usually buy a premade one ... I do aspire to be the type of person who makes their own pie crust every time (it sounds so easy!) but I do make some concessions to convenience ... so now that you know my secret, on with the recipe:

Ingredients

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon cloves
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1-1/2 cups pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup cream or evaporated milk
  • 9-inch pie shell

Instructions

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Slice pumpkin in half and scoop out the seeds (rinse and save them to toast along with the pie, they’ll be great on your next salad). Cook until tender. Let it cool a little bit then separate the flesh from the skin and puree.

Mix the first 8 ingredients together. Beat in eggs. Stir in pumpkin and cream. Pour into pie shell. Bake in a 400 degree oven for 50 minutes, or until knife is clean after inserting in center of pie. Cool completely before serving.

Posted 9/16/2018 9:24am by Josie Hart.

Dear shareholders,

Though summer crops are slowing down in earnest now (our last tomato pick was 300 pounds, down from our record of 1200 pounds!) we've still got plenty of storage crops such as winter squash, onions and garlic; and our last plantings of quick crops such as bok choy and hakurei are just up under rowcover. This year we are planning on holding distributions until the week of October 23-25, so another six weeks of produce yet to come!

Last week we discovered a new snack: fennel flowers! We'll cut some stalks to give out, since they are super sweet and have a nice fennel flavor. I think they'd be great sprinkled on a salad. 

A note for Tuesday shareholders, Judiasm Your Way is happening with multiple services on 9/18, and so parking will be extremely limited.

HARVEST LIST:

  • Napa cabbage
  • Onions
  • Tomatoes
  • Peppers
  • Winter squash
  • Head lettuce
  • Fennel flowers

*Please note the exact share may change due to weather or crop conditions.

 

Posted 9/11/2018 4:24pm by Josie Hart.


This Thursday!

Sign up now to learn how to make this healing and healthy drink with CSA beets! Class will be held in the CSA outdoor kitchen. 

Image result for beet kvass

To sign up:

Don't Drop the Beet: Healing with Beet Kvass 
Thursday September 13 at Chatfield Farms from 4:30-6 p.m.
https://www.facebook.com/events/457350711396069/  

 See you there!

Posted 9/7/2018 2:41pm by Josie Hart.

Dear shareholders,

Tomorrow is Gleaning Day! We invite you and your families to come out between 8-10 a.m. to harvest some crops before they get mowed and plowed back into the ground. We'll have arugula, kale, collards, summer squash, cucumbers, melons, winter squash, basil and beans.

When you get to Chatfield Farms, park in the gravel lot and walk past the Hildebrand Ranch House and animals out to the dirt road. Take a left, walk past a pond and then our beehives on your right. Turn left into the fenced in fields just opposite our compost piles, and there will be volunteers to orient you, a list of crops and flags marking areas to be gleaned. There will be signs to guide you. Bring your own supplies, like gloves, knives for harvesting and bags or something to put your harvest into.

We'll have more honey this week if you forgot your cash or check, or want to stock up on some more. An Thursday, CSA shareholder and fermenter extraordinaire Asia Dorsey will be teaching the next class in her series:

Don't Drop the Beet: Healing with Beet Kvass 
Thursday September 13 at Chatfield Farms from 4:30-6 p.m.
https://www.facebook.com/events/457350711396069/ 

HARVEST LIST:

  • Shallots
  • Bok choy
  • Tomatoes
  • Parsley
  • Peppers
  • Spaghetti squash
  • Garlic
  • Head lettuce

*Please note the exact share may change due to weather or crop conditions.

FEATURED RECIPE: Spaghetti Squash

Spaghetti squash is a fun and easy break from pasta. Just slice it in half, scoop out the seeds, and roast in a 350 degree oven until tender. Let it cool a little bit, then take a fork and separate the strings of "spaghetti" from the skin. Since we have shallots and parsley this week, Chloe suggests trying it with a chimichurri sauce. Shallots are sweet and mild with a flavor that I think of as combining onion and garlic.

I like spaghetti squash with a sweet, fresh tomato sauce, not even cooked down too much. You could also pick a ton of basil at gleaning day to make pesto with, since there's garlic this week in the share. Really, its hard to wrong!

Posted 9/1/2018 1:30pm by Josie Hart.

Dear shareholders,

Next Saturday (September 8) is Gleaning Day! We invite you and your families to come out between 8 and 10am to harvest some crops before they get mowed and plowed back into the ground. A number of plantings are slowing down enough that it no longer makes sense for us to spend the time picking them when we still have so much work to do. This includes collards, summer squash, cucumbers, melons, winter squash, basil and beans.

Gleaning is an ancient practice that predates but is discussed in Deuteronomy and Leviticus in the Old Testament. There have been many rules and customs regarding the practice but essentially and at minimum it means that farmers should let the needy harvest the leftovers from their fields after the farmer has taken the economically viable portion of the crop. To honor this tradition we've invited UpRoot Colorado to join shareholders to glean produce to bring to families experiencing food insecurity.

When you get to Chatfield, park in the gravel lot and walk past the Hildebrand ranch house and animals out to the dirt road. Take a left and you'll walk past a pond and then our bee hives on your right. You'll take a left into the fenced in fields just opposite our compost piles, and there will be volunteers to orient you, a list of crops and flags marking areas to be gleaned. Please remember to bring your own supplies such as gloves, knives for harvest, and bags or something to harvest into.

Speaking of bees, Chatfield honey is back! Our beekeepers Bob and Josie Dolezal are excited about the quality of the honey this year, although quantity is down considerably. With the dry conditions this summer plants have had less nectar for the bees, and so the bees had to dip into the honey to keep themselves fed. 

We'll have pints for $15 and a limited number of quarts for $30 starting this week, and if you miss out this week we'll take your name down so you can hopefully get some in the coming weeks as they bottle up what they've harvested. 

HARVEST LIST:

  • Onions
  • Kale
  • Delicata squash
  • Thai Basil
  • Summer squash or Cukes
  • Potatoes
  • Peppers
  • Tomatoes

*Please note the exact share may change due to weather or crop conditions.

FEATURED RECIPE: Roasted Delicata Squash

Delicata squash is great roasted because the skin is tender enough to eat, so you don't have to peel it like other winter squashes. I generally set the oven to 400 degrees, and you can either slice the squash in half lengthwise, or if you want to minimize time the oven is on you can then slice the halves into little crescent moons. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and oil. For a wintry preparation try roasting the squash with onion slices and maple syrup and sage sprinkled on it as well, or for a more summery version try it with tomato slices and garlic.