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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.          

 

Posted 5/15/2019 4:42pm by Josie Hart.

Dear Shareholders,

Happy for this recent moisture, and the heat this week will certainly move the crops along! That combination is, of course, great for all our non-crop plant friends as well (aka weeds). So we've been busy trying to make sure our transplants and seedlings have plenty of space and light to thrive.

We are still starting distributions next week, but the first couple might be a little light, with four or five items each week since some crops are right on schedule and a few crops are behind schedule. Thanks for bearing with us as we get up to speed on the season, and fear not, as the season progresses so will the bounty of each week multiply!

 

Posted 2/11/2019 3:51pm by Josie Hart.

Greetings everyone,

Our 2019 CSA Shares sold out very quickly! For those on the waitlist that did not get in, we apologize. Below we have created a referral list of other CSA's in the area doing distributions throughout the Denver area this summer.

Purchase a local share from the following farms:


The Veg Yard (we LOVE the yard to veggie concept)  https://www.thevegyard.com/join-our-csa 

OR

Sprout City: http://sproutcityfarms.org/programs/food-access-for-all/2015-csa-programs/ 

OR

Pastures of Plenty: https://pasturesofplentyfarm.com/ 

 

If you were able to purchase a share, congrats! After selecting and purchasing a vegetable, you have access to our add-on shares. We still have spaces open for ALL add on shares including the FLOWER BOUQUET SHARE and the YAK share. Visit  LOG IN and Check out our other products.  

Cheers,

The Chatfield CSA Team

 

Posted 12/21/2018 3:55pm by Josie Hart.

Dear Friends,

Happy Holidays and a happy CSA renewal season!

We will start the shareholder renewal process on Monday, January 7th for all current CSA shareholders. If you would like to renew your CSA membership, you have the entire month of January to do so. Starting in February we will open up shares to those on the waitlist and to the general public in March . We will send out an email notification before the final week of renewals. To renew your shares, visit our homepage on or after January 7.

If you need to add a friend or family member to our waitlist, please enter their name and email on our homepage at www.chatfieldcsa.org 

We hope you had as much fun cooking and eating the produce as we did growing and harvesting it! As usual we've tried to keep our share prices reasonable, while also not undercutting other local farms. We want our shares to remain accessible to the families that have supported us, so keep in mind you can use the split payment option. If you are able to come to the farm to help out for three hours a week as a working shareholder you'll receive a reimbursement at the end of the season, making the cost of the share even more reasonable.

We also would like to encourage you to consider becoming a Supporting Shareholder. These shares include a donation which directly subsidizes one SNAP share, as well as helping provide low-cost produce through our Farm Stand in Food Desert program.

Feel free to read through the new share information here

As always if you have questions please email josie.hart@botanicgardens.org 

Thanks everyone! 

Josie and Phil and all the Chatfield Farms team

Posted 10/30/2018 12:05pm by Josie Hart.

Hello all,

Thanks to everyone who already signed up for the winter egg share. You still have one week to sign up--until November 6. After November 6 we will close the sign-up period. Don't forget to vote as well!

- To sign up please email Josie.hart@botanicgardens.org 

- Pick-ups will occur every Thursday 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. at 1007 York St. inside the Visitor Center.

- Please bring a check for the amount of $22 (Paypal option is still being worked out by our farmer, stay tuned).

- Each dozen is $5.50 ($22 monthly)

- Please do not bring in your old egg cartons (Denver can recycle them).

- First pick-up will occur THIS THURSDAY, November 1.

- You will receive ONE ADDITIONAL FREE DOZEN for the first pick-up (total of 2 dozen).

Please let me know if you have questions!

Thanks,

Josie

 

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