News & Blog

Welcome to the blog.
Posted 2/2/2012 2:51pm by Josie Hart.

Dear 2011 Chatfield CSA Shareholders,

It has to come to our attention that many people are not clear on how to purchase shares for 2012. If you already have purchased your share or you have decided not to purchase a share for 2012, please disregard this message.

Our online payment system is accepting payments now! Please note that you have two payment options to renew your share: 

Payment Option A: Pay in FULL today
Pay for both your fruit and veggie shares in full right now! No need to worry about it later.

Payment Option B: Scheduled Payments
This option allows you to make a payment for half of your share price when you purchase, and the other half on or before March 15. That way the cost is split into two payments.

You can choose to pay with either credit or debit. At this time we do not have the capability to accept payments by check.

Click here to make your 2012 share payment: 
www.chatfieldcsa.org/members 

Thank you so much, and please feel free to email us through the website if you have any issues with the payment process.

 Sincerely,

Chatfield CSA Staff

 

Posted 1/30/2012 10:42am by Josie Hart.
Four courses of French-inspired cuisine with
chef Tom Coohill of Coohills Restaurant.
Is this email not displaying correctly?
View in your browser.
Presented by Denver Botanic Gardens and Catering by Design
with support from Alliance Française


FEATURING 

Tom Coohill 


 

FOUR COURSES OF FRENCH-INSPIRED CUISINE FEATURING
LOCAL, REGIONAL AND ORGANIC INGREDIENTS

Tuesday, February 7  |  6:30 - 9 p.m.

The Orangery at Denver Botanic Gardens

10th and York Street
 

SPACE IS LIMITED

Reserve your spot by February 3 – CLICK HERE.

$75 per person
 

THIS EVENT IS BYOB

  A delicate red or sweet white wine compliments the menu.
 

Psst… feel free to invite your friends.

 
© Denver Botanic Gardens, 1007 York Street, Denver, CO 80206. All rights reserved.
You are receiving this email because you subscribe to this sender’s email list –
and because you probably enjoy good food.



unsubscribe from this list
   
 
Posted 1/26/2012 12:39pm by Josie Hart.

Dear CSA Shareholders,

Each year, the Denver Botanic Gardens at York St. and Chatfield provide an opportunity for budding horticulturists to delve into a summer internship with our seasoned horticulture staff. Host families for the interns are also needed from May14 – Aug.14. In exchange for housing an intern, hosts will receive help with yard work, gardening assistance and advice from a promising new professional. If you are interested, please contact the Gardens’ human resources recruiter at 720-865-3531 or send an e-mail to sue.caravas@botanicgardens.org.

All information from Host families must be received by March 1st 2012.

 

Posted 1/16/2012 12:34pm by Josie Hart.

Dear 2012 CSA Members,

We are opening our shares to the general public today! That means anyone can go to our website and purchase a share! If you have friends or family that would like to become members, please send them to our homepage at www.chatfieldcsa.org to purchase a share.

If you need to add or change an item (such as a fruit share) to your membership, you can do so directly at www.chatfieldcsa.org/members/updatemembers 
   * Fruit shares can be purchased up until May 1 of this year.

We are currently taking volunteers for the 2012 growing season. If you or anyone you know would like to come out and work at the farm, please contact josie.hart@botanicgardens.org for more information. 

Our 2012 crop list has been chosen and we are very excited about our new selections!

Thanks!

Posted 12/12/2011 2:19pm by Josie Hart.
Dear 2011 Members,

As a reminder to our current members, Dec. 15 is the deadline for renewing your share. After that, shares will be open to the public. You have the chance to pay a $100 down payment if you would like to reserve your share and pay the rest later. After Dec.15 you can still purchase a share when it's more convenient, but we can't promise one will be available as they generally sell quickly.
 
Please use this link purchase your share: http://www.chatfieldcsa.org/members
 
Thanks everyone!
Posted 11/17/2011 12:41pm by Josie Hart.

Dear 2011 Members,

We appreciate your patience as we all wait with eagerness for our online payment service to be up and running.  Please be assured that your share for the 2012 season is currently being held.

You will still be able to officially reserve your share for next year prior to the release of any new shares. Unfortunately, we are still experiencing some technical difficulties with the credit processor, but we hope to have the system operational as soon as possible.

Due to the inconvenience, we have extended the share deposit deadline until December 15. At that time your $100 deposit to officially reserve your share is due. You may also choose to pay for your share in full at one time. 

If you are planning on purchasing a volunteer share, please contact Josie at josie.hart@botanicgardens.org prior to visiting the payment page, you will not be able to purchase this share without a special coupon code.

 Thank you again for your patience, 

 - The CSA Team 

Posted 11/5/2011 4:45pm by Josie Hart.
Dear Shareholders,

We were all hoping our new online system would up and running by Monday Nov.7. However, we are still waiting on the credit card processor company who is installing our online payment system.

Please be patient with us, the system is being tested this coming week and we will let everyone know when it is ready to go. For now, please hold on to your deposit money until further notice.

We apologize for any inconvenience – all current members have their spot reserved for next year until December 1st when your $100 deposit is due.

Thanks! We hope to see you all tonight for our CSA Thanksgiving get-together!

- The CSA Staff  

Posted 11/4/2011 6:14pm by Josie Hart Genter.

The path of food

PBS recently aired the riveting documentary The Buddha. Most fascinating to me was that as a young aesthetic monk, Buddha starved himself to near death in an effort to attain Enlightenment … before ultimately realizing that one requires food to find insight, wisdom and contentment. This must be one of those tenets so obvious it’s downright profound.

In fact, food itself is a kind of a path, as it ties us to the fabric of what is real, what we value, what we love. When I began this project of documenting my CSA experience, I had mentally returned to my roots in the Bluegrass State and memories of my father’s splendid garden. Over the course of the growing season, I had many opportunities to share our bounty with friends in Denver and with family members visiting from out of town. Ray and I had countless discussions over dinners of fresh local produce that led us to explore topics related to our heritage, our past, our parents, our children.

“Did you have squash in Hampshire?” I’d ask Ray, who grew up in post-war England where “victory gardens” were a sign of patriotism. He’d talk about his mother, who generally didn’t excel at cooking but shined when it came to homemade apple pie. Or I’d reflect on how many jars of tomatoes my mother canned, or “put up,” to last the winter and beyond. Once, after Ray mentioned his father’s runner beans, I said that in Kentucky we called them half-runners, or tobacco worm beans, prompting a big investigation into the definition of a “runner bean” as opposed to the varieties my own father grew.

Picks and lessons

It came as no surprise that the beets ranked high on our list of favorites, for Ray and I are both ardent beet lovers. Even better, I cooked and froze whatever we couldn’t eat, so there’s more to look forward to. What did surprise us was how much we cherished the fresh lettuces, spinach, greens and salad mix. Another revelation was the carrots, which we taste-tested with store-bought baby carrots and couldn’t believe the difference. Also noteworthy were the eggplant, cauliflower, purple potatoes and fresh herbs.

I learned many things over the season, mostly related to new recipes. But out of necessity I also learned a few things about storage. First, label everything before freezing. Don’t expect to be able to identify in November a random, one-off dish you prepared back in June. Second, wash and dry the produce as soon as you bring it home (admittedly, not always doable), then store in green bags to keep it fresh longer.

Finally, be patient with basil as it proliferates. As advised, I did take the time to chop the basil in olive oil in the food processor, freeze it in ice cube containers and wrap the chunks individually. But I must confess I was annoyed with the whole time-consuming process. Yesterday, though, I took out a couple of my frozen basil balls, heated them to thaw, added chopped nuts and garlic salt (too lazy to chop garlic), tossed with spaghetti and sprinkled pecorino romano on top for a quick, satisfying lunch.

Enlightenment attained

Folks who’ve tried a CSA but didn’t like it frequently cite “vegetable anxiety,” complaining of receiving too many items to use up. Did I get overwhelmed? I did at times, especially when we were going out of town and I had to arrange to give the produce to someone else. Or at other times when I just didn’t know what to do with an item I had too much of, like peppers. And sometimes I had to spend more time planning, cooking and freezing than I might have liked. Still, I think the rewards outweighed the hassles.

I had three goals when I embarked on the CSA experience: avoid throwing anything away (I threw away two turnips – does that count?); eat more vegetables and less meat (done!); and enjoy a summer full of fresh produce. The latter was accomplished in spades — one might even say to the point of attaining Enlightenment.

 

Posted 11/1/2011 12:40pm by Vicki Phillips.

Hits and misses
Lately I’ve been making fried green tomatoes using a technique dubbed with the acronym FEB, which stands for flour, egg and bread (or panko). Dredged and dipped, slid into hot peanut oil, sizzling and browning, these little tots never fail to delight. Turnips, on the other hand, continue to challenge me. Last week I had to throw out two that didn’t get eaten and finally withered. And now I have two more which I’m determined to use, perhaps in a hearty beef stew for the snowy days coming this week.

Another miss was my failed experiment at roasting pumpkin seeds. I’d spent the better part of an hour digging them out of the pumpkin, separating them from the stringy flesh, washing and drying them — only to screw up the roasting process with too high heat, or too much oil or too long of a cook time. Whatever, into the trash went the bitter-tasting, blackened seeds.

I’ve been guilty of ignoring an accumulation of what the Brits call “capsicum.” I had two weeks’ worth of peppers in the fridge: red and green, round and elongated, big and small, hot and sweet. Last night I used half of them (the older ones) for old-fashioned Italian sausage and peppers. My Neapolitan mother taught me how to make this, which seems easy but can be tricky if you don’t cook the peppers correctly.

Although two weeks old, the peppers had fared well in my fridge and produced a traditional meal as good as my mother used to make. A crusty whole-wheat roll and a glass of Cabernet rounded out this homey dinner.

East European comfort food
A recipe I clipped from a newspaper long ago begins, “Nail polish takes longer to dry than this dish takes to cook.” Thin, boneless pork loin chops are flash-fried, then a quick sauce tossed together with sour cream, white wine and dried dill. I made it Sunday night, this time using fresh dill for my best-ever execution of this recipe. I served it with our CSA red cabbage prepared East European style, braised with apples, onions, cloves, red wine and currant jelly. The pork and cabbage nourished us with a comforting yet elegant meal after arriving home from a long drive from Kearney, NE.

Fall harvest celebration
We had gone to Kearney because one of the couples in our dinner group has taken up a Kearney-Denver dual residence due to work. They invited the whole gang to come to their new house in Kearney for the weekend, the highlight of which was a multi-course feast with a fall harvest theme. My son Keith joined us from Lincoln, bringing an appetizer of pumpkin dip and apples, served in a cute little pumpkin which he’d adorned with a Cornhusker “N” and “Go Big Red.” Next came my pumpkin-squash soup, made with CSA pie pumpkin, butternut squash, delicata squash, tarragon and leeks.

Our hosts did the main course … exquisitely. Dave, who used to live in France, cooked roti de porc au caramel de cidre, or pork with cider, and Patti baked apples with raisins and cinnamon. Side dishes were Fred & Barb’s delicious roasted mélange of carrots, parsnips and onions, and my salad.

I decided on a simple salad, clean and crisp to cleanse the palate and provide a complementary mouth-feel to the richer, more complex dishes being served. I mixed our CSA salad greens and spinach and added some celery, our colorful carrots from Chatfield and a bit of fresh tarragon. For the dressing I followed Fred’s method. First, he insists that extra-virgin olive oil is far too heavy for salad dressing, so I used grapeseed oil. Second, he takes three different salts (celery, onion and garlic) and lets them sit in the vinegar for a while. Sherry vinegar lent delicacy, with a splash of balsamic to amp up the flavor.

Local and in season
Our feast was capped off by Deb & Alan’s yummy pear tart with shortbread crust. How fitting that the end of Chatfield’s growing season coincided with this special meal with our foodie friends. I was able to utilize numerous items from the final distribution and offer dishes prepared with farm-fresh ingredients.

In fact, the quality matched what I’ve found in Europe, where food always tastes better to Ray and me. We could never figure out why, chalking it up to some micro-climate phenomenon. But now that we’ve eaten produce that comes from a short distance away, is in season, was picked recently and was not mass-produced, we realize that Europeans eat like this all the time and that’s why their food tastes better. What a simple and healthy approach — kudos to the growers and gardeners at Chatfield!

 

Posted 10/28/2011 11:42am by Josie Hart.

Dear CSA Shareholders,

Once again, we’d like to thank all of you for a wonderful season and for the support and positive feedback you have given the CSA this year. We look forward to providing your families with fresh food again next season!


renewing your share and online payments

Please read through the following information carefully:

We are happy to announce that we will be switching our payment processing system to an online accounting program! The program will operate through our existing CSA website and will be very user friendly.

Starting Monday November 7, you will be able to go directly to our website and make your $100 share deposit thus reserving your share for the 2012 season. All of our 2012 share price and size information will also be available on the website as well as the 2012 shareholder contract. We will be sending you an email that includes the link to the share renewal site next week.

Hold onto your deposit money until we provide instructions on how and where to pay. If you have already submitted your deposit to us, we will hold the payment and enter it directly into our new system.

Please be patient with us! This system will be a huge improvement in maintaining our member database as well as the efficiency of the entire payment process. We understand that this is different than the way we did it last year, but this will really help us to keep things organized and give us more time to do what we do best - grow your food!

The online payment processing will be much more convenient for everyone – one of the biggest benefits for shareholders is that you will be able to schedule your own payments so you won’t have to pay for your share all at once. You will also be able to use your checking account if you don’t want to pay by credit card.

Please note that in order to reserve your share for the 2012 season you only need to pay a $100 deposit. Your share deposit is due by December 1, 2011. You will have an opportunity to schedule your additional payments online at your convenience before February 1, 2012.

Thank you for your patience with this process and please stay posted for an email at the end of next week that includes the link to the website for 2012 share renewals.


weekly recipe

Pumpkin Pie
For the crust:
Follow your favorite pie crust recipe, or buy a pre-made crust of any type.

For the filling

2 cups (1 pie pumpkin washed, cooked, peeled and pureed) pumpkin puree
1 cup sweetened condensed milk
2 tbsp cornstarch
1 tsp pumpkin spice (allspice)
1 tsp ground cinnamon
4 tbsp packed brown sugar
4 tbsp white granulated sugar
1/2 tsp salt

For the pumpkin puree:
In a pan, mix in the pumpkin puree, condensed milk, cornstarch, spices, sugar, salt and beat until there are no lumps. Then put the pan on medium heat for 3-4 minutes until the puree is warm. It shouldn’t be boiling.

To make the pie:
Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Spoon the filling into the chilled crust and level with the help of a palette knife.
Bake for about 40 minutes or until the filling is set and the top crust is a nice golden brown.
Allow to cool, cut into wedges and serve warm as is or with whipped cream, vanilla ice cream.


farm topic – gratitude


We have many people to thank for the success of our newsletter. First we’d like to thank our guest blogger, Vicki Phillips, for all the insightful and hilarious ideas on how to utilize our produce this season. Vicki, you helped many people figure out what to do with the enormous bag of veggies – as well as the inspiration to finish the entire share each week!

We also would like to thank Doris Boardman and David Rubin for their tireless editing and website assistance. Doris and David – we truly appreciate your keen eye for detail! We also thank Simon Huntley and Small Farm Central for their amazing website support.

Thank you to Larry Vickerman and the entire Chatfield staff for all of your help and support throughout the CSA season.

Thank you to Amanda Wilson, Chatfield horticulturist, and Liz Tanner for your amazingly colorful and creative cut flower bouquets and all of the fresh herbs. They helped make each CSA distribution unique and exciting!

A big thanks to Leigh Rovegno, the CSA manager, and the entire CSA staff for all of the recipes and wonderful newsletter articles.

Finally, thanks to all of you for reading!

 
mark your calendars

- The final CSA potluck is Saturday, Nov. 5 at the Green Farm Barn from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. The theme for the potluck is “A CSA Family Thanksgiving” so please feel free to bring a Thanksgiving dish to get you into the mood of the holiday!

- The volunteer appreciation event is on Friday, Dec. 16. Everyone will receive free tickets to our annual Trail of Lights event here at Chatfield. Dinner will be served at 6 p.m. in the Green Farm Barn. After dinner, families can tour the lights and then head back to the barn for hot chocolate, desserts and crazy-strong (home-brewed) beer. We are all looking forward to this fun event!


food safety note

Please note that although we have washed our produce once after harvesting it in the field, members should wash the produce at home again before eating. Our farm produce should be treated the same way as grocery store produce: always wash before eating! The best way to wash produce is by running it under cool water. Cleaning products are not necessary.