Friday, August 19, 2016

What's up at the Coop??

What's up at the Coop? LOTS! We are always working to make this the best Coop it can be, here's a few quick updates:


--the Board (and Producers!) would like to remind you that even though the format of the ordering has changed, nature has not. Please remember to check back at various points during the cycle to see what new products have been listed or additional inventory added. Farming is a day-to-day business and many producers may not think they will have a product available, but then the weather gets better and all of a sudden one thing or another starts maturing enough to be listed. We wish this could all happen in time for listing on opening day of orders, but that isn't how it works, darn it. So do shop more than once during the cycle, you will be happily rewarded with additional yummy things to order!


--Speaking of weather, the Nebraska producers want you all to know that they have been hit on several occasions with severe hail lately. Many vegetable crops have been devastated and sometimes there is nothing left to harvest. They are going to keep at it and if their plants recover enough they will be back listing products in no time! Thank you for sending good, growing thoughts their way!


--Are you missing your favorite cheese? GREAT NEWS then! Cozy Cow is coming back but their name is now Longview Creamery, so make sure you check them out. New name, same deliciousness!


--Ruby Farm says they have cleaned, trimmed and dried this year's garlic and have several new varieties plus many of the old favorites, make sure to check them out under "Garlic" on the ordering site!


--It's late in the season, but we have a new vegetable producer from Denver joining these coming cycles: Dove Gardens will have tomatoes, squash, greens and other garden goodness for you! Make sure to check them out!


--Lastly, guess who is getting some chocolate?!?! YOU! That's right, the Coop has a new producer specializing in chocolate yummies to delight your palate! Watch for DAR Chocolate Confections coming soon!


That's it for the updates for today, remember to shop early and then shop often! Remember there are always volunteer opportunities at the Coop if you would like to give it a try!

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Should you run a magnet over your sugar bowl??? FOOD SAFETY ALERT

Seems there has been a sugar recall that you may not have heard about because the FDA ain't talkin'! A major sugar supplier reported to the FDA that there may be bits of metal in their sugar. We think it must be quite a bit of metal in quite a bit of sugar or they wouldn't have notified the FDA...but the FDA is not disclosing who the supplier is OR what products the sugar may already be in!!! Yikes! The article linked does list some items that were already recalled, but geez, who knows how many more?


http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2016/07/fda-cites-corporate-confidentiality-laws-in-secret-sugar-recall/#.V6OtPmdzXGj



Friday, July 15, 2016

Beets, Eggs, Tomatoes, Peppers -Coming Soon To A Plate Near You!

As we approach the beginning of the best of summer produce (your blog mistress picked the first two tomatoes this past weekend!), our thoughts turn to the best ways to highlight all of these amazing fresh flavors. We've pulled a couple of recipes that are not only easy and delicious, but as pleasing to the eyes as they are to the palate. Best of all, either recipe can be made with infinite variations on what you have on hand!


The first, Pickled Beet Deviled Eggs, we've made with the leftover juice from both the spicy mushrooms and the spicy bread and butter pickles offered by HPFC producer Busy D's. Not only were the eggs delicious, we were so happy to have a good use for that amazing pickling brine! We also add lots of herbs to the yolks and often a little bit of feta. Mmmmmm.


Do view the blog post from May 20th of this year for more information on eggs and handy tricks to successfully boil fresh eggs!


PICKLED BEET DEVILED EGGS
Yield: Makes 24
Total Time: 50 minutes, plus pickling time
Ingredients

      • 1 cup apple cider vinegar, plus 3 tablespoons, divided

      • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar, plus a pinch, divided

      • 2 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt, plus a pinch, divided

      • 1 small red beet, peeled and shredded

      • 12 hard-boiled eggs, peeled

      • 1/2 cup mayonnaise

      • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh herbs, such as basil, tarragon, chives, plus more for garnish

      • 1 teaspoon anchovy paste (optional)

      • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

      • 2 hot chiles, thinly sliced

      Preparation

        1. In a medium pot, mix 1 cup apple cider vinegar, 1 tablespoon sugar, 2 teaspoons salt, and 3 cups water. Add the beet and bring to a boil, then remove from heat and let cool slightly. Pour into a large heat-safe jar or bowl (including beet). Add eggs, stir, and refrigerate at least 3 hours (stirring occasionally) or overnight for a darker shade of pink.

        2. Remove eggs from liquid. Halve eggs (reserving the whites) and gently transfer the yolks to a bowl. Add 1 tablespoon vinegar, mayonnaise, herbs, and anchovy paste to the yolks. Season with 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper, then spoon or pipe the filling into the egg whites.

        3. Place the chiles, remaining 2 tablespoons vinegar, the remaining pinch each of sugar and salt in a bowl and let stand 15 minutes. Drain the chiles, then sprinkle over the deviled eggs. Sprinkle with additional herbs, if desired. Serve.


    This herbed tomato salad can also be made with feta or goat cheese. There are really so many variations, just add what you have on hand and enjoy!


    MARINATED HERBED TOMATO SALAD






      Ciliegine mozzarella is fresh mozzarella that comes in the shape of small, cherry-sized balls. Save this salad for when you have really ripe, juicy tomatoes.


      Salad Ingredients:


      6 ripe tomatoes cut into wedges


      3 bell peppers, slivered (combination of green, red and yellow)


      1 Vidalia onion, slivered


      1 cup pitted black olives, drained


      1 pound fresh mozzarella ciliegine


      Dressing:


      1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil or vegetable oil


      ¼ cup red wine vinegar


      ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley or cilantro


      ¼ cup chopped green onions


      1 teaspoon salt

      Friday, July 1, 2016

      New Farmers Market + GMO labeling law update


      For the latest update on the bill in the Senate Agricultural Committee regarding the fight for a national GMO food labeling law, here is a link to one of many articles on the subject. The short story is: as with all national bills there is much debate and even more compromise. If you are passionate about this issue, make sure you let your elected representatives know where you stand!





      If you love going to Farmer's Markets in between your Coop deliveries, there is about to be a new one in town! If you are producer looking for additional avenues for sale or a customer in the Aurora area, check out this message:
      Hello,
       
      My name is Melissa Sotelo, Council Aide to Councilwoman Gilmore. The community of Green Valley Ranch are excited to be starting a farmers market for our far northeast Denver neighborhood.  We’re located near I-70 & Tower Rd.  The farmers market will be open weekly beginning on July 13th (Wednesdays) from 5pm – 7pm.  There is no charge for the farmers to sell their local/fresh produce at this market.  The market will be held outside at our community recreation center – which has a wide open concrete patio/walkway.
       
      Would you be interested in selling your produce at our farmers market? 
       
      We’re currently scheduling farmers for the first 4 weeks (please indicate if we can count on them for 1 or more of the first 4 farmer market events).
       
      July 13
      July 20
      July 27
      Aug 3
       
      Set up will begin at 4pm to allow plenty of time for set up before the event at 5pm.  Tear down will begin around 7pm.  However, if you still have produce left and folks are still shopping, you’re welcome to keep selling beyond 7pm. 
       
      We’re expecting at least a couple of hundred people to visit our farmers market.  We’ve already begun promoting the event through online social media and would love to add your name to the list of vendors. 
       
       
      Let me know if you have,
       
       

      Melissa Sotelo | Council Aide
      District 11 –Councilwoman Stacie Gilmore
      | 720.337.7711
      Arie P. Taylor Building
      4685 Peoria Street, Suite 215
      Denver, CO 80239 Melissa.Sotelo@Denvergov.org |

      Tuesday, June 7, 2016

      Member Giveaway!!!

      We are so happy you all are taking the time to read our blog, we wanted to give you a thank you reward! The first ten members who comment with who their favorite producer is and what you like about them will receive a fancy insulated HPFC tote (yellow or blue, our choice please) AND an easy-to-fold-and-keep-with-you-always blue reuseable tote on your next order!!! Whoop!!


      This is open to members only. If you use an internet moniker that is not your real name and do not want to put your real name in the comments, please email contact the blog or the help desk at HPFC with your moniker and real name.


      As always, thank you for your membership and for supporting local, family farms!



      Monday, June 6, 2016

      Free help at your farm???

      While the first part of this message is mostly for other producers, even as a member you may know a good fit for these budding farmer-wanna-be's! Can you help?


      This couple is looking for experience working on a sheep/goat farm or ?? farm, please read her email:


      I am writing on behalf of myself and my partner, Stan. We am coming from deep in the heart of Denver. I have a day job in an office near the denver tech center. Stan does a lot of different things in the city. We are looking for a couple things:
      1) to get out of the city (for me, every other weekend is about what I can commit to with my travel and work schedule)
      2) to learn as much as I can about smaller animal husbandry (especially sheep)
      3) to explore whether this is an Avenue we want to pursue together (a farm), and if so, get more clarity what that would look like for us (personal farm, CSA medium sized, larger semi-industrial scale).

      Hope you had a fantastic weekend! 
      Cheers,
      Laila


      Please contact Ruby Farm or leave a comment below to get hooked up with these people and find out if you or your operation is a good fit for a work/learn set up. This was an unsolicited request, so we don't really know more than you do.


      For you members who are reading this and thinking: gee, that does sound like fun! Remember that Ambrosia Farm "sells" a Farm Day through the Coop, where you can learn all about chickens and turkeys and assorted other farm animals and equipment! Yes, they have GOATS! The fee is only so they can pay for your lunch and is quite reasonable. What a great activity for your school's-out-for-the-summer kids!

      Friday, May 27, 2016

      A Way to Make Kale Yummier and Some Announcements

      First some important announcements, then a fun new way to make kale.  Only three announcements so hang in there!!


      1--Do remember that for the supplemental cycle, Cycle B, there are limited distribution sites available. Most of the smaller sites are only operating during Cycle A. Remember that if you are free on Distribution Days, you can always sign up as a site manager to either cover an existing site during double-distribution periods or to create your own site! Contact info@highplainsfood.org for more information on how to become a volunteer or site manager. It's actually pretty fun!!


      2--Please respond in the comments section below: what produce would you be interested in the most during the off season? There is likely to be a new Producer who operates an organic greenhouse specializing in indoor vegetable production. What do you most wish you could be able to get fresh during the cold months? Your feedback matters!!


      3--Short notice, but if you and your family are free tomorrow, May 28th, consider heading down to the Farm and Ranch Day in Castle Rock, sponsored by the Colorado Agricultural Leadership Foundation. There are lots of fun things to do and best of all, it's FREE FREE FREE! Right up there on the list of great things happening tomorrow, our own Erin Macfarland of Harmony Foods will be there promoting the Coop! It's a great time and a great way for non-farm kids to get a better understanding of farming and food. For more info: http://www.thecalf.org/farm-and-ranch-day.html




      Okay, while we realize there was no kale these past two early cycles (darn hail!), itsacomin' and soon! Your friendly neighborhood blog mistress really hates the stuff, but I'm thinking this preparation method might turn me into a fan, we'll see. I do like the idea of bruising kale, that is for sure...My kale-adoring friends really like this, especially because it is a dressed salad that can actually be kept in the fridge as leftovers without turning into a sloppy, gross mess. Everything in this recipe is "to taste" and kale may be substituted in all or part for any other hardy green like collards, sea-kale (biera tronchuda), cabbage and other brassica leaves. Chard is likely a might too delicate for this recipe, but we haven't tried it bruised so...




      Bruised Kale Salad
       
      Ingredients


      2 bunches kale
      1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
      1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
      1/4 cup lemon juice
      3 large cloves garlic, minced
      1 tablespoon reduced-sodium soy sauce
      1 minced anchovy fillet or 1/2 teaspoon anchovy paste (optional)
      1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
      1/4 teaspoon salt

      Preparation

      Strip leaves from the stems (discard stems). Wash and dry the leaves. Tear the leaves into small pieces and place in a large bowl. Add Parmesan, oil, lemon juice, garlic, soy sauce, anchovy (if using), pepper and salt. With clean hands, firmly massage and crush the greens to work in the flavoring. Stop when the volume of greens is reduced by about half. The greens should look a little darker and somewhat shiny. Taste and adjust seasoning with more Parmesan, lemon juice, garlic, soy sauce and/or pepper, if desired.


      Recipe from EatingWell.com