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Chatfield CSA e-news for May 21 - 23

Posted 5/18/2019 1:11pm by Josie Hart.

Dear shareholders,

Welcome to the 2019 season! We are going ahead with distributions as planned, since some crops are ready and needing to be harvested, even though some we were hoping would be ready are not. Turns out that you can't make crops ready to harvest through sheer force of will! 

This week we've been moving summer crops out of the greenhouse, getting irrigation ready and fields prepped for planting. This year we are changing how we're growing many of our crops by using no-till practices whenever it fits the timing and spacing needs of the crops. This method is a huge step toward a truly sustainable practice, but as with any major change it comes with some uncertainty. 

 The excessive tillage that occurs on most vegetable farms has many unintended consequences for soils and the environment, including loss of organic matter and beneficial soil organisms, increased soil erosion, reduced soil fertility, loss of soil structure and porosity, compaction, surface crusting, formation of plow pans, reduced root growth, poor drainage, and reduced water holding capacity.

Tillage also consumes a lot of fuel, as well as time spent sitting on the tractor. For the last few years we have been reducing the amount of tillage on our farm by swapping from moldboard plowing and disc-harrowing to using a subsoiler which enabled us to till only the planting area on a permanent-bed system. There has been a lot of research on no-till systems on larger scale farms and in other, less arid regions, but we are excited to be experimenting and trying to figure out how to make it work on our scale here in Colorado!

Here's a picture Josie took of a dish from her recent birthday meal (happy birthday, Josie!) which incorporates so many of our early spring crops. It is a warm salad with chive blossoms, radishes, bok choy (which is almost ready to be harvested), asparagus, and dandelion greens in a buttermilk dressing. I don't have the recipe for it but perhaps you can recreate something similarly gorgeous based on the photo:

 HARVEST LIST:

  • Chives
  • Red mustard greens
  • Radishes
  • Green garlic

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

 DISTRIBUTION INFORMATION: 

- Please make sure you know which day you are signed up for as that will be your day each week throughout the season.
- While we try to be accommodating to each shareholder, if you forget to pick up your share, it will be donated to hunger relief organizations. Our storage is limited and we are unable to accommodate pick-ups on different days.
- Please remember to sign in for your share and bring your own bags.

-York Street: Tuesday distribution starts at 4pm and ends at 7pm. Distribution is held at the south end of the upper-level parking lot at Denver Botanic Gardens. Look for our box truck at the south end of the tree-lined parking area. We will have tables and baskets out, like a mini farmers market.

- Chatfield Farms: Thursday distribution starts at 3:30pm and ends at 7pm. Park in the upper gravel lot. Head to the Hildebrand Ranch area. Past the chickens, on your left, you will see our outdoor kitchen under the pergola. We will have tables and baskets with produce to choose, like a mini farmers market! Just follow the signs.

ADD-ON SHARE SCHEDULE:   If you purchased an additional share, you will start pick-ups in June. We’ll let you know as those shares begin.

We can't wait to celebrate good food with you all, our CSA community! From all of us, thank you for being a part of the farm.