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The Underground Blog

An Online Companion to The Underground News, DUG's Quarterly Newsletter

Entries in DeLaney Community Farm (19)

Tuesday
Jan252011

Community Supported Agriculture

DeLaney Community FarmCSA, or community supported agriculture, is a buzzword we're hearing a lot these days. It's frequently offered up as a solution to many of the problems with our nation's food system: produce that travels hundreds or thousands of miles before it reaches the consumer, food that's grown with pesticides, herbicides, or hormones, food that's genetically modified, environmentally destructive growing practices, etc. Community supported agriculture is an agricultural model in which the farmer and consumer share in the risks and bounty of the farm. In practical terms, this means that you pay a set amount up front, and that helps the farmer cover the cost of production. In return, you receive freshly harvested shares of the farm's produce (usually once a week) throughout the growing season. Some CSAs have farm pickups, some deliver directly to your door, and some have in-town pickup points. Most CSAs are smaller farms that cultivate a variety crops, and use organic growing practices. 

CSAs are a wonderful way to satisfy your desire for fresh, organic, locally grown produce, and a great way to support your local farmers. It's also a great way to eat seasonally, and try out new foods and recipes. There are some challenges, however, that go along with being a part of a farm community. Weather, pests, and other factors outside the farmer's control can mean lower yields or damaged crops, and that means a lighter share for the consumer. Not being able to predict quantities or varieties means that you might end up with a lot of something that you're not sure how to use, or don't like. 

This video, which features Gary Brever of Ploughshare Farm, Kate Stout of North Creek Community Farm, and Margaret Marshall of Featherstone Farm, does a great job of summarizing what you can expect as a member of a CSA:

You can also check out this post, which features an interview with Faatma Mehrmanesh, the Operation Coordinator at DUG's DeLaney Community Farm. DeLaney Community Farm is Denver Urban Gardens' community supported agriculture project in Aurora. DeLaney is different than other CSAs in that its operations are centered around a mission which includes providing healthy, locally produced food for people of all economic levels, including helping challenged populations improve their nutrition and their access to healthy food.

DeLaney's Community Partner Share program provides fresh, organic produce to partner nonprofits like Project Angel Heart and The Gathering Place, and DeLaney's WIC (Women, Infants, and Children) program allows WIC clients to work with staff for an hour in exchange for a freshly harvested share of produce. To keep costs low, DeLaney operates with a small staff, and relies on volunteers to assist in the day-to-day operations. To learn more about DeLaney Community Farm, please click here. To make a secure, online donation to the DeLaney Community Farm Partner Share Fund, please click here

Thursday
Jan132011

2011 DeLaney Programs Internship

We are looking for motivated seasonal interns with a passion for urban farming, community building, efficiency, and sustainability and a willingness to do hard work in all kinds of weather. Sustained energy is essential to the farm’s success. It is an opportunity to learn hands-on, but you will learn the most as someone who is committed to your own education as a learner.

The Farm Programs and Outreach Intern will work with the Farm Programs and Outreach Coordinator closely on activities that include, but are not limited to:

  • Design, implement, and attend WIC Taste-Testing Demonstrations & Nutrition Clinics
  • Maintain and help develop a recipe & nutrition database
  • Write a weekly blog, including seasonal recipes and updates of farm activities
  • Aid in weekly administration duties
  • Fundraising & grant research, writing, and implementation
  • Maintain shareholder “work log” book; track hours, update shareholders
  • Supervise youth, adult, and community workgroups and volunteers
  • Provide educational tours

Will work with the Operations Coordinator on activities that include, but are not limited to:

  • Seed or transplant, cultivate, and vegetables, herbs, flowers, and other crops using organic practices
  • Harvest, clean, divide and distribute produce to shareholders
  • Turn, build, and manage the compost system

Skills Needed:

  • Well organized, self-motivated, attention to detail and flexible
  • Ability to do outdoor, physically demanding work
  • High comfort level in diverse settings and diverse communities
  • Nutrition background preferred
  • Willingness to collaborate with DUG staff, Farm Staff, other interns, shareholders and community groups

Benefits:             

  • Training in organic agriculture, program administration, grant research, and community outreach
  • Working for an organization that benefits diverse communities
  • Possible credit towards course work
  • Free organic produce
  • Stipend
  • NO HOUSING OFFERED

Click here for more information, including how to apply. 

Monday
Jan032011

2011 Farm Internships

We are now accepting applications for 2011 Farm Internships. 

We are looking for motivated seasonal interns with a passion for urban farming, community building, efficiency, and sustainability and a willingness to do hard work in all kinds of weather. Sustained energy and a love of physical labor are essential to the farm’s success. We look for applicants eager to learn about plants and their production. It is an opportunity to learn hands-on, but you will learn the most as someone who is committed to your own education as a learner.

Will work with the Operations Coordinator on activities that include, but are not limited to:

  • Seed or transplant, cultivate, and vegetables, herbs, flowers, and other crops using organic practices
  • Harvest, clean, divide and distribute produce to shareholders
  • Supervise youth, adult, and community workgroups and volunteers
  • Provide educational tours
  • Construct and maintain irrigation systems
  • Work on improving weed and pest control
  • Operation of Farm Stand
  • Competently perform farm operations by the end of the season
  • Maintain enthusiasm about the work at the DeLaney Community Farm 

Skills Needed:

  • Ability to do outdoor, repetitive, sometimes boring, physically demanding work
  • Self-motivation, flexibility, creativity, attention to detail, and an awareness of personal and farm safety
  • Some knowledge of organic farming a plus, but not necessary with a good attitude and strong work ethic
  • Willingness to collaborate with DUG staff, farm staff, other interns, shareholders and community groups
  • High comfort level in diverse settings and diverse communities

Benefits:

  • Organic agriculture training and education
  • Working for an organization that benefits diverse communities
  • Free organic produce
  • Possibility of stipend
  • No housing offered

For more information, including hours and how to apply, please click here. 

Tuesday
Nov232010

Glorious Garlic

What garlic is to food, insanity is to art. - Augustus Saint-Gaudens

Garlic, the heart and soul of so many savory dishes, requires some planning on the part of farmers and gardeners. Less than a week after the season end, staff and volunteers at DeLaney Community Farm were putting garlic in the ground for the 2011 season.

Bucket of garlic, ready for planting.

Faatma plugging elephant garlic into the ground.

Letitia follows, tucking in the cloves for winter.

Danielle covers the freshly planted rows with straw.

Kevin, a DeLaney volunteers, assists with straw mulching. Volunteers like Kevin are crucial to DeLaney's success.

With the garlic field ready to go, the DeLaney farm community can look forward to a delicious harvest in 2011. Craving garlic? Celebrate this Thanksgiving with garlic roasted winter squash, a quick, easy, and mouth watering autumn dish:

Garlic Roasted Winter Squash

Makes 2 servings

This recipe is great for smaller squash varieties that can be halved and then eaten as boats. Delicata, acorn, and small butternut squash work well.

1 small winter squash, halved and seeded

4 cloves garlic

Olive oil or butter

Salt

Optional: sage, oregano, or thyme

Preheat oven to 400°F. Place the squash halves cut-side up on a baking sheet, and place two whole garlic cloves, and a sprinkle of herbs, if using, in the hollow space of each squash. Brush the flesh of the squash with olive oil or butter and then add about a tablespoon of oil or butter to the hollow space along with the garlic. Sprinkle with salt and roast until squash is tender when poked with a fork, and the garlic is soft and beginning to brown (roasting times depend on squash size). To eat, mash the garlic into the squash with a fork. 

 

Monday
Oct112010

Winter squash is here!

And you can always count on the DeLaney Farm Blog for some great recipes to fill your tummy and warm your heart. Check out Annie's recipe for Mashed Coconut-Ginger Squash, and a recipe from last year for a sage sauce that pairs well with just about every winter squash or root vegetable. 

Mashed Coconut-Ginger Squash
By Annie Miller

Ingredients:

1 large winter squash
1 cup coconut milk
2 Tbsp. chopped ginger
2-3 garlic cloves plus 2-3 garlic cloves minced
olive oil
salt & pepper
fresh cilantro, chopped (optional)

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Cut squash in half and scoop out seeds.  Put on a baking pan and drizzle with olive oil.  Put 1-2 cloves garlic in area where seeds used to be. Bake for 25-35 minutes or until soft when pierced by a fork.  Remove from oven and let cool. Scoop out squash from skin.

Heat olive oil in pan on medium and sauté chopped garlic and ginger until lightly browned.  Turn heat to low and add coconut milk and squash. Once warm, remove from heat. Season with salt and pepper and garnish with fresh cilantro (optional).

Click here for Annie's full post on eating with the seasons. 

Brown Butter Sage Sauce

This sauce is tasty, simple, and elegant, and is done in about 10 minutes. Serve with pan fried gnocchi, ravioli filled with mushrooms or butternut squash, or serve in the well of oven-roasted winter squash. 

4 T butter (Earth Balance is a great vegan alternative)
8 or so fresh sage leaves

Combine sage and butter in a small sauce pan over medium heat. Simmer butter and sage until the butter is browned and the sage leaves are slightly crispy. Spoon carefully over hot pasta, winter squash, or roasted root vegetables and serve.  

Winter squash from DeLaney Community Farm, DUG's community supported agriculture project in Aurora.