News & Blog
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.”
Please join us this SUNDAY, June 29 at 3 p.m. at the CSA Washstand for our first potluck of the season! Park in the top overflow parking area and head toward the historic Hildebrand ranch area. The washstand is the last building on your left. We have a patio area and outdoor kitchen so feel free to bring your ingredients and cook right at the potluck!
We hope you have been loving the produce. This week was a whirl wind for Chatfield and the CSA and we are all ready for the 4th of July holiday week. Chatfield hosted a series of events for the American Public Garden Association's annual national conference. Josie gave a tour of various urban farms and CSA's in the metro area. Public Garden peers were also excited to visit Chatfield since it is very unique for a botanic garden. It occurred to me how incredibly lucky I am to be a part of this land on a daily basis.
Chatfield has meant something different to the Gardens' community and Denver throughout the years. But, the one thing that cannot alter the true essence of Chatfield is the raw, wild beauty of its land. The land matures in beauty and cultivation and will continue to flourish as its stewards continue to nurture everything in its borders. Ahh, Chatfield. I hope you all make a visit very soon!
We are planning the "Supporting Shareholder" dinner and will soon announce the evening's details!
*REMINDER - Please SIGN IN for your share. Also on Tuesday, July 1, Kathy Lee with Modern Gingham (fellow CSA shareholder/mother) will be at distribution sampling her delicious jams!
Produce List: June 30 - July 4
*this list is tentative and subject to change
Featured recipe: Arugula/Basil Pesto
Peg Montagne - CSA Volunteer
2 cups fresh arugula
2 cups fresh basil
1-2 cups toasted walnuts
1 ½ cups olive oil ¼ lb. hard cheese (I used raw milk Romano.)
1-2 finely diced garlic scapes
Juice from 1 lemon (and zest if you like a more intense lemon flavor)
Salt and pepper to taste
Put all ingredients in a food processer and blend to desired consistency. This makes about 12 servings. I froze half of the batch and mixed the other half with 1 lb. of cooked whole wheat pasta. You can also use this as a spread, dip or dressing for quinoa salad. Get creative and enjoy!
*Please remember to bring your egg cartons for eggs and cash if you would like to purchase add-on items.
Happy 4th of July everyone!
In this issue of the CSA newsletter, we want to highlight some of our upcoming education classes. As a CSA member, you receive a 15% discount. Just one of the ways we like to say thank you for supporting our CSA. We are waiting on a few crops to do more growing before we harvest. Thanks for being patient while these two weeks have been lighter on produce. We reduced the price of mushrooms in this lighter produce time so if you need to supplement your share you can do so with fresh mushrooms.
* NEXT WEEK 6/24 We will be at St. John's Cathedral:
1350 Washington Street Denver, Colorado 80203
Please enter the south entrance of the parking lot and leave out of the north exit to keep traffic flowing. Look for our signs on Washington Street to let you know you are getting close.
Produce list for week of June 23-27
Dill and Cilantro, possibly mint
*Weekly Wild Food: Purslane. These are edible weeds and part of a sustainable lifestyle. We will have recipes at distribution. If you are vegan, we suggest making purslane a normal part of your diet because it is so rich with omega 3 fatty acids usually found in fish and very important a healthy diet.
(Beets came in Thursday so this is more for Chatfield people.)
Featured Recipes: Pineapple Beet Ambrosia
from Food52 and CSA shareholder Tamara
(Beets came in Thursday so this is more for Chatfield people.)
3 cups cubed (1/2-inch) pineapple
1 cup cubed (1/2-inch) roasted beets
1 cup sweetened shredded coconut
1 teaspoon grated ginger
2 tablespoons raw sugar
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup sour cream
Chop beats and pineapple together. Add the other ingredients (sugar,coconuts, etc) and stir until all beets are coated. Whip cream and sour cream together for a topping. Add a small amount of sugar to taste for cream topping.
Moroccan Carrot Salad
2 tablespoons Harissa (hot sauce from Morocco, you can make it or buy it)
4 tablespoons chopped preserved lemon (about one lemon or just heat up fresh lemon juice)
4 cloves of garlic chopped
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons white vinegar
1/4 bunch cilantro
salt & pepper
Cut the carrot to rounds about 1/2 cm thick. Boil 4 cups of water and add salt. Boil the carrot for 10 min until soft but still have some bite to it. Drain, let dry and cool. Mix the carrot with the rest of the ingredients and let it sit in the fridge at least over night. Before serving check and see if the salad needs more salt or vinegar. Serve at room temperature.
*Mushrooms, goat cheese and fudge are all on sale next Week so please try to bring cash!
CSA Education Classes: Sign up now!
Wild Things Walk – Identification and Uses of Wild Plants for Food and Medicine
At DBG Chatfield,11 a.m., $24 CSA members
Explore the fascinating world of wild edible and medicinal plants. http://catalog.botanicgardens.org/selection.aspx?item=1870
Wild Edible Plant Workshop
At DBG Chatfield,11:30 a.m., $24 CSA members
Experience the new Survival Garden, which features over 30 edible wild plants. Learn how to identify these plants, along with how to prepare them to access their nutritional and medicinal benefits. http://catalog.botanicgardens.org/selection.aspx?item=2219
Cook One Day a Week
At DBG Chatfield,2:30 p.m., $30 CSA members, Free for children under 10
Learn how to efficiently make meals out of the summer bounty from your garden or CSA in this family friendly class. http://catalog.botanicgardens.org/selection.aspx?item=2235