summer csa share – week 10

csa share week 10

Welcome to the 10th week of the Pitchfork & Crow Summer CSA! Here’s what’s in the share:

  • Green Cabbage
  • Head Lettuce
  • Sweet Onions
  • Mountain Rose Potatoes – Red both inside and out, excellent baked, mashed or fried!
  • Iko Iko Bell Peppers – These purple and yellow bell peppers are equivalent to green bell peppers.  Their bell pepper smell is intoxicating!
  • Summer Squash
  • Corn
  • Dill
  • Cucumbers – slicers lemons, and picklers for everyone
  • Green Beans
  • Yellow Transparent Apples – Our earliest apples to ripen, these soft yellow apples make for excellent apple sauce!  They’re not great for storage, so use them up quickly, and note that they bruise easily. 
  • Tomatoes –  cherries and slicers!
  • Strawberries – The berries keep ripening.  We keep picking them.  You keep eating them in your car after the pick-up.

CSA Members: Did you choose the 2-payment option?  Please remember that your second payment is due by August 1st.  Feel free to bring a check or cash to the pick-up or drop it in the mail.

apples and weeding

Early last week some friends asked if we wanted to do a river float on Sunday.  It sounded like a wonderful idea, but in reality could we give up a whole day off the farm?  It’s a perpetual question, especially in the summer.

The  “To Do” list keeps growing and leaving the farm for a day seems impossible.  But of course  it’s not really sustainable to work every day for months and expect to remain excited and engaged with the work at hand.  Our conversations routinely come back to our hope to find some balance in this farming life.  It’s not a reality just yet, but I think we’re moving in the right direction with our recent decision to hire that first employee.

As I thought about our friend’s suggestion of a river trip I made a deal with myself that if we worked hard all week and accomplished the most pressing tasks, then come Sunday I’d be ready to take a day off.  This week we could have been found transplanting kale and rutabaga and lettuce and basil, or starting the next round of lettuce and beets, or weed-eating the orchard aisles, or harvesting and delivering an order for LifeSource Natural Foods, or invoicing new CSA members, or weeding the watermelons/beets/celery/celeriac/carrots with Tim, or trellising the pole beans, or harvesting apples, or prepping fields for cover crop, or moving pipe and irrigating crops, or feeding and watering the pigs and chickens….you get the idea.

As the weekend approached I felt good about our progress, but the weather wasn’t cooperating.  Floating the river in the rain and 70 degrees suddenly didn’t seem like the best plan.  Not to be discouraged we rallied and settled on a hike instead.

east side

We met up with our friends and headed just over the Santiam Pass to hike up to Canyon Creek Meadows and the base of 3 Fingered Jack.  This crazy summer weather meant we had long missed the peak of wildflower season but it was a great hike nonetheless.  A walk through the woods with friends was just what I needed after a long week on the farm.  The ripe huckleberries we discovered along the way were just a bonus.

Back when I was in college I spent two summers roaming the Mt. Jefferson Wilderness as a Forest Service Wilderness Guard.  It was amazing to experience the wilderness for days at a time back then and although I don’t get there very often these days, it always feels a little like going to visit an old friend.  As we hiked toward 3 Fingered Jack on Sunday I was reminded how hard that job had felt way back when.  I have fond memories of my wilderness guard experience, but when I was in the midst of it I felt unprepared and overwhelmed by the physical and mental stamina needed to spend days alone in the wilderness.  How similar that feeling is to this farming life.

Perhaps because we didn’t learn to farm from an older generation or because we jumped in with everything we had before we knew better, we often feel unprepared and overwhelmed in farming.  There’s a lot of balls to juggle and so many of them come down to our own personal physical and mental stamina.  Looking around the farm this year, I think we’re getting better at the juggling act though.  For the moment anyhow.

Enjoy the vegetables and we’ll see you next week!

Your farmers,
Jeff Bramlett and Carri Heisler

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Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:

Chilled Cucumber Soup with Smoked Salmon and Dill

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup chopped onions
  • 4 cucumbers, peeled, halved, seeded, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices (about 5 cups)
  • 1 8-ounce russet potato, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 3 1/2 cups low-salt chicken broth
  • 3 large fresh dill sprigs plus 6 tablespoons minced fresh dill
  • 1 teaspoon (or more) salt
  • 1 cup crème fraîche or sour cream
  • 3 ounces smoked salmon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

Melt butter in heavy large pot over medium heat. Add onions and sauté until slightly softened, about 3 minutes. Add cucumbers and potato; stir 1 minute. Add broth, dill sprigs, and 1 teaspoon salt. Increase heat and bring to simmer. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer until cucumbers and potato are tender, stirring occasionally, about 25 minutes. Working in batches, puree soup in processor until smooth. Return to pot. Cool 15 minutes. Whisk in 1/2 cup crème fraîche and 4 tablespoons minced dill. Cover and chill until cold, about 4 hours. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Keep chilled.) Taste soup, adding more salt if desired. Ladle soup into 6 bowls. Place dollop of crème fraîche in center of each bowl; sprinkle with smoked salmon and remaining 2 tablespoons minced dill.

From Epicurious via Bon Appétit, http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/chilled-cucumber-soup-with-smoked-salmon-and-dill-108433

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Black Bean and Zucchini Chilaquiles

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons light or extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 medium green bell pepper, diced
  • One 28-ounce can crushed or puréed tomatoes
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • One 16- to 20-ounce can black beans or 2 1/2 cups cooked black beans (from about 1 cup dried)
  • 1 medium zucchini, quartered lengthwise and thinly sliced
  • 1 small fresh hot chile pepper, seeded and minced, or one 4-ounce can chopped mild green chilies
  • 12 6-inch corn tortillas, torn or cut into several pieces
  • 8 ounces grated Cheddar cheese or Cheddar-style nondairy cheese

1. Preheat the oven to 400° F. Lightly oil a 9- by 13-inch baking pan or 2-quart round casserole.

2. Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Sauté the onion until translucent. Add the bell pepper and continue to sauté until it has softened and the onions are golden. Stir in the tomatoes, seasonings, beans, zucchini, and chile pepper. Bring to a simmer, then simmer gently for 5 minutes.

3. Layer as follows in the prepared pan. Half the tortillas, half the tomato black bean mixture, and half the cheese. Repeat. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbly. Let stand for 5 to 10 minutes, then cut into squares or wedges to serve.

From Epicurious via The Vegetarian Family Cookbook by Nava Atlas, http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/black-bean-and-zucchini-chilaquiles-355944

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Haitian Coleslaw

  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 small serrano chilies, seeded, minced (about 2 1/2 teaspoons)
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 teaspoon celery seeds
  • 8 cups (packed) shredded cabbage (about 1 1/4 pounds)
  • 2 cups (packed) shredded carrots (about 2 large)

Whisk mayonnaise, olive oil, lime juice, apple cider vinegar, mustard, chopped dill, sugar, chilies, garlic and celery seeds in medium bowl to blend.

Toss cabbage and carrots in large bowl with enough dressing to coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper. (Coleslaw can be prepared ahead. Let stand at room temperature up to 1 hour or cover and refrigerate up to 4 hours.) Serve cold or at room temperature.

From Epicurious via Bon Appétit, http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/haitian-coleslaw-103771

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summer csa share – week 9

csa hare week 9

Welcome to the 9th week of the Pitchfork & Crow Summer CSA! Here’s what’s in the share:

  • Chard
  • Salad Mix – Brand new round of salad mix!
  • Overwintered Onions
  • Eggplant
  • Jalapeno Peppers
  • Corn
  • Cilantro
  • Cucumbers
  • Broccoli or Green Beans –  We had a some broccoli from the latest succession to pair with the first of the green beans.  You decide which you prefer this week.
  • Carrots
  • Tomatoes –  cherries and slicers!
  • Plums – We don’t know what this plum variety is.  If I had to guess I’d say Methley.  Jeff says they taste like summer.  I think they taste like a sunset.  Either way they’re tasty and juicy and amazing.  Some of them may need to sit on your counter to ripen u a bit. 
  • Strawberries – The berries keep ripening.  We keep picking them.  You keep eating them in your car after the pick-up.

CSA Members: Did you choose the 2-payment option?  Please remember that your second payment is due by August 1st.  Feel free to bring a check or cash to the pick-up or drop it in the email.

printing

Many thanks to everyone who made it out to the farm for the CSA member potluck on Saturday!  Somehow even with temperatures in the high 90s we had a good turn out.  There was great food, farm tours, and screen printing fun.  Shout out to CSA member Autumn for wrangling our screen printing project and making it both awesome and fantastic!  Somehow we accidentally skipped the tomato tasting.  I blame that on the heat.  I think the kids would likely agree that the highlight was the stock tank full of water that acted as an impromptu swimming hole.  If you missed out but want to see the farm, we’ll have another event in October!

We love the opportunity to welcome CSA members to the farm.  We often say we couldn’t do this without you, and of course we couldn’t!  But “this” is more than just our weekly meet-ups for the vegetable exchange.  “This” is the farm property, and the vegetables in the field, and the work that goes into growing those vegetables.  “This” is also an ideal we’ve all bought into as a group, that locally grown organic food and local organic farms are important.  And “this” is a unique community of supporters that have chosen to support our farm.

We currently have 75 shares we fill each week.  About a quarter of the shares are split between multiple households, which brings us up to 94ish families participating in the CSA this summer season.  That’s a lot of amazing support from folks for our little farm.  Our members are teachers and artists and lawyers and accountants and parents and social workers and computer geeks and musicians and entrepreneurs and secretaries and doctors and writers and students and the list goes on.  I often think about this community of diverse people, brought together by the CSA concept, and feel thankful to be a part of it.  Thanks for joining us.  It wouldn’t be the same without you.

plums

We spent Sunday morning harvesting the first wave of plums.  We inherited all of our fruit trees on the farm when we bought the place and we haven’t brought an expert out to help us identify the different varieties.  If pressed, I’d say these are Methley plums.  What we do know is that they are delicious and juicy.  We lost a lot during the past weekend’s heatwave so we went ahead and harvested the remaining fruit.  Some of these plums will need a little more ripening on your countertop.

We’re excited to share plums with you this year.  Last year’s plum crop was dismal and we’ve been glad to watch the fruit grow and ripen this year.  Soon we’ll be harvesting and sharing  the first of the apples too.  July is slipping away just as quickly as it seemed to arrive.  We hope you’re enjoying your summer, and enjoying the bounty of the CSA this season!

Enjoy the vegetables and we’ll see you next week!

Your farmers,
Jeff Bramlett and Carri Heisler

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Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:

Gazpacho with Jalapeno and Cilantro

  • 3 1/2 cups (or more) tomato juice
  • 8 plum tomatoes (about 18 ounces), seeded, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
  • 1 English hothouse cucumber, cut into 1/4-inch pieces (about 7 ounces)
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into 1/4-inch pieces (about 1 cup)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 green onion, minced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons minced seeded jalapeño chili
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced

Combine 1 cup tomato juice, half of tomatoes, half of cucumber, and half of bell pepper in blender. Puree until smooth. Pour into large bowl. Stir in remaining tomatoes, cucumber, and bell pepper; add onion, cilantro, parsley, lemon juice, green onion, jalapeño, and garlic. Transfer 1 cup mixture to blender. Add 2 1/2 cups tomato juice to blender and puree. Pour back into large bowl and stir to combine. Thin with additional tomato juice, if desired. Season with salt and pepper. Cover; chill 2 hours. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Keep chilled.)

Serve cold.

From Epicurious via Bon Appétit, http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/gazpacho-with-jalapeno-and-cilantro-105154

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Cucumber, Tomato, and Onion Yogurt Salad

  • 1 English cucumber, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 2 plum tomatoes, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cups plain whole-milk yogurt
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon picked-over split skinned urad dal*
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh cilantro

Stir together cucumber, tomatoes, onion, and yogurt. Heat oil in a small heavy skillet over moderate heat until hot but not smoking, then cook mustard seeds, cumin, and urad dal, stirring, until mustard seeds begin to pop. Pour oil mixture over vegetables and stir until combined. Stir in cilantro and salt to taste.

*Dals are dried legumes.

Cooks’ note: · You can make pachadi 6 hours ahead and chill, covered.

From Epicurious via Gourmet, http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/cucumber-tomato-and-onion-yogurt-salad-102948

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Grilled Ratatouille Salad with Feta Cheese

  • 1 12- to 14-ounce eggplant, cut into 1/2 inch-thick rounds
  • 1 zucchini, quartered lengthwise
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut lengthwise into 6 strips
  • 1 medium onion, cut into 1/2 inch thick rounds
  • 3 tablespoons purchased garlic-flavored olive oil
  • 2 to 3 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2/3 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 2 tablespoons slivered fresh basil

Prepare barbecue (medium-high heat). Place eggplant, zucchini, red bell pepper and onion on baking sheet. Drizzle with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper; turn to coat. Grill vegetables until tender and tinged with brown, turning frequently, about 6 minutes for eggplant and zucchini and about 10 minutes for red bell pepper and onion.

Divide vegetables between 2 plates; drizzle with vinegar. Sprinkle cheese and basil over and serve.

From Epicurious via Bon Appétit, http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/grilled-ratatouille-salad-with-feta-cheese-103770

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summer csa share – week 8

csa share week 8

Welcome to the 8th week of the Pitchfork & Crow Summer CSA! Here’s what’s in the share:

  • Red Cabbage
  • Head Lettuce
  • Bunching Onions
  • Shishito Peppers – Best served blistered in hot oil with salt just like this recipeBeware: 1 in 10 is hot!  It’s a game of pepper roulette.
  • Corn – Just a couple bits this week.  More ears headed your way soon!
  • Lacinato Kale
  • Cucumbers – picklers and slicers and lemons for everyone!  It’s a continued cucumber extravaganza!
  • Basil
  • Summer Squash
  • Tomatoes
  • Strawberries – The berries keep ripening.  We keep picking them.  You keep eating them in your car after the pick-up.

Want to see the farm in its summer glory?  We’re hosting the Summer CSA On-Farm Potluck this Saturday from Noon-5pm.  Come visit your vegetables on their turf.  Check your weekly member email for the official details.  Don’t see the weekly member email in your inbox?  Check your spam folder and then shoot us an email to make sure you’re on the list.

thankful

The cooler temperatures this past weekend brought a little relief to these farmers.  Field work is just so much easier in the 80s than in the 90s.  We keep saying “this is what summer should be like!”  As we search for a rhythm this summer amidst the heat and drought and weeds, I can’t help but point out the things I’m thankful for too.  Here’s a few of them:

  • That lettuce in the photo above is amazing.  In a summer when the various beetle pests are devouring all things leaf shaped and the record setting temperatures have only just subsided, that lettuce says “Bring it!”  I think I can learn a lot from that lettuce.
  • Sunshine.  Every season is unique and although I appreciate the cooler weather, I know that a summer full of rain and clouds and cold is not the best for growing good food.  I appreciate the sunshine and the amazingly early summer produce it’s making possible.
  • All things seeds.  I’m generally in awe of the seeds we sow that eventually grow into the vegetables we bring you each week.  This past week we harvested a couple of seed crops of our own, which is always an amazing reminder of the seed cycle and all the hard work that went into getting the seeds to us that we grow out for food.
  • Farmer Jeff.  I would be remiss if I didn’t include Jeff in this list.  He is the workhorse of this farm and I just try to keep up most of the time.  We are a team but this farm wouldn’t exist without him.
  • An employee!  After much discussion and budgeting and reading of employer regulations and frustration in the field, we hired our first very part-time employee this past week.  In a single day we went from deciding to mow weedy beds of carrots in a fit of frustration, to choosing to try to hire someone and writing and posting a Craigslist ad, to meeting with a potential candidate, to saying “Can you start tomorrow?”  And then he showed up and we weeded some of those carrots the next day!  Woah!

tim

So yeah, we welcomed the first very part-time employee to the farm this past weekend.  Tim is a local guy who has worked on farms in the past and isn’t afraid of weeds.  In fact he’s willing to help us tackle our weeds for 10 hours each week in exchange for some money and some vegetables.  Who knew?!

Now that we’ve dipped our toe into the river of employer-land, we’re pretty excited about the possibilities.  Figuring out how to afford more Tim-hours is the biggest obstacle.  For now, we’re excited to have an extra pair of hands for 10 hours each week.

Enjoy the vegetables and we’ll see you next week!

Your farmers,
Jeff Bramlett and Carri Heisler

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Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:

Macaroni, Tomato, Corn, and Basil Salad

  • 3/4 cup uncooked elbow macaroni (about 3 1/2 ounces)
  • 4 medium tomatoes, cut into thin wedges
  • 5 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup thin slices halved English hothouse cucumber
  • 1 cup fresh corn kernels or frozen, thawed
  • 1 cup (packed) fresh basil leaves
  • 1/3 cup plain nonfat yogurt
  • 3 tablespoons low-fat mayonnaise
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled

Cook macaroni in medium saucepan of boiling salted water until just tender but still firm to bite. Drain. Rinse under cold water. Drain well. Transfer macaroni to large bowl. Add tomatoes, green onions, cucumber and corn.

Blend basil, yogurt, mayonnaise, lime juice and garlic in processor until basil is finely chopped. Add basil dressing to macaroni mixture and toss to blend. Season salad with salt and pepper. (Can be prepared 4 hours ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)

From Epicurious via Bon Appétit, http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/macaroni-tomato-corn-and-basil-salad-101962

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Bratwurst and Red Cabbage

  • 1 pound uncured bratwurst
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 12-ounce bottle Pilsner or other lager, divided
  • 1 medium red onion, chopped
  • 1/2 medium head of red cabbage, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium red beet, peeled, coarsely grated
  • Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoons ground allspice
  • Freshly grated horseradish (for serving)

Prick bratwurst in several places with a knife and place in a large skillet. Add oil and half of beer, then add water until liquid comes a little over halfway up sides of sausages. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Cook, turning once, until just barely cooked through, 12–15 minutes.

Increase heat to medium-high; cook until liquid is evaporated, 5–10 minutes. Roll sausages to edge of skillet and add onion to center. Cook, turning sausages often and stirring onion occasionally, until sausages are browned and onion is soft, 5–8 minutes. Transfer sausages to a plate.

Add cabbage and beet to skillet; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring often, until cabbage is wilted, about 5 minutes. Add vinegar, brown sugar, allspice, and remaining beer. Cover; cook until tender, 20–25 minutes. Serve sausages with cabbage mixture, topped with horseradish.

From Epicurious via Bon Appétit by Claire Saffitz, http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/bratwurst-and-red-cabbage-51263820

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Kale Pesto with Toasted Walnuts

  • 2 cups packed torn kale leaves, stems removed
  • 1 cup packed fresh basil leaves
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup toasted walnuts
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

In a food processor, combine the kale leaves, basil leaves, and salt. Pulse 10 to 12 times, until the kale leaves are finely chopped. With the motor running, drizzle in the olive oil. Scrape down the sides of the processor. Add the walnuts and garlic and process again, then add the cheese and pulse to combine. Toss with your favorite pasta and serve immediately.

From Epicurious via Epicurious by Drew Ramsey, M.D., & Jennifer Iserloh, http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/kale-pesto-with-toasted-walnuts-51207810

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summer csa share – week 7

csa share week 7

Welcome to the 7th week of the Pitchfork & Crow Summer CSA! Here’s what’s in the share:

  • Salad Mix
  • Head Lettuce
  • Fava Beans – This is the last of the fava beans this season.  It’s been a good year for favas and we hope you enjoyed them!
  • Yellow Onions
  • New Potatoes – The last potatoes you got from us were from storage but these are freshly dug this week.  Can you taste the difference?
  • Cucumbers – picklers and slicers and lemons for everyone!  It’s a cucumber extravaganza!
  • Carrots
  • Summer Squash
  • Tomatoes – Choose one big slicer or a pint of cherries or mixed small slicers this week.
  • Strawberries – This might be the week you want to make ice cream or smoothies.  The heat from this past week means these aren’t the sweetest but they are still tasty for July strawberries.
  • Blueberries –  In an effort to diversify our fruit offerings, and because blueberries are amazing, we u-picked these for you at Springbank Farm, a local farm here in Lebanon.   Please note that they are not certified organic but are transitional and haven’t been sprayed. 

potatoes and cukes

Can we start by agreeing that it’s been awfully hot this past week?  We’ve slogged through the heat as best we could, but I’m sure glad the forecast suggests we’re at the end of this heat wave.  After so many days with high temps above 90 degrees, a week in the 80s will seem like a dream.

In the heat of summer it can sometimes be hard to want to fire up the oven for roasted roots or baked anything.  As I mentioned last week we’ve been digging late night salads and tortillas stuffed with lettuce and eggs or tuna salad.  Simple, light, summer food.  We often listen to podcasts on the farm and last night while we were harvesting cucumbers I listened to an episode of Burnt Toast, the new Food52 podcast, about “How to Cook a Little Smarter Every Week”.  They covered some good topics like what to do with extra herbs and what staples they suggest keeping around for quick and diverse last minute meals.

I’d be curious to hear from CSA members about go-to meals, kitchen staples, and even how you tackle meal planning.  How does your commitment to the CSA effect how you approach those topics?  Share your thoughts with other folks over in the P&C CSA Member Facebook group.

blueberries

On Sunday evening we headed across town to Springbank Farm to u-pick blueberries for this week’s CSA shares.  While we know we’re lucky to have established apple, pear, and plum trees on the farm, we hope to invest in some fruit expansion efforts soon and blueberries are at the top of the list.  Until then we’re happy to take advantage of the amazing u-pick operations in the area.

In the past we’ve headed up to Salem to pick blueberries in the Minto Island Growers blueberry u-pick fields.  It’s always been a good excuse to see our MIG friends, something that doesn’t happen all too often in the summer months.  However, the heatwave had us wanting to stay closer to our walk-in cooler so we could rush the berries into the cold space as quickly as possible.  Luckily the berries were prolific and the folks at Springbank Farm were great.  We would definitely suggest local folks to head out there to stock your freezers full of berries.  Plus, for a big enough order they’ll deliver throughout the valley!

future food 4

As I’ve mentioned in recent newsletters, it feels much later into summer here on the farm.  The summer crops are soaking up the recent heat and things continue to ripen ahead of schedule.  This week we noticed watermelons beginning to size up, corn tasseling and forming ears, plums coloring from green to pink to purple, and those ever-early Yellow Transparent apples seem like they might begin falling off the tree any day.  We wait all year for the fruits of summer, and this year they aren’t disappointing us.

Enjoy the vegetables and we’ll see you next week!

Your farmers,
Jeff Bramlett and Carri Heisler

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Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:

Chopped Salad

  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 small shallot, minced
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 medium head romaine lettuce, chopped (4 to 6 cups)
  • 1 seedless cucumber, diced (3 1/2 cups)
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes, halved (1 3/4 cups)
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced (1 1/2 cups)
  • 2 celery stalks, halved lengthwise and finely chopped (1 cup)
  • 3 carrots, finely chopped (1 3/4 cups)
  • 1 small red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 cup pitted black olives, halved (suit yourself whether you prefer the medium California black olives—a 6-ounce can—or Kalamata olives)

Whisk together vinegar, sugar, shallot, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a large bowl, then add oil in a stream, whisking until combined well.

Toss remaining ingredients with dressing.

Season salad with salt and pepper.

From Epicurious via Gourmet by Gina Marie Miraglia Eriquez, http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/chopped-salad-388791

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Fresh Ricotta and Fava Bean Bruschetta

  • 1 1/2 cups shelled fresh fava beans (from about 1 1/2 pounds) or 1 1/2 cups frozen baby lima beans
  • 8 4x3x1/2-inch slices country-style bread, cut in half crosswise
  • 8 garlic cloves, cut in half crosswise
  • 15 ounces fresh ricotta cheese or whole-milk ricotta cheese
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup thinly sliced fresh basil

Cook fava beans or lima beans in medium saucepan of boiling salted water until just tender, about 1 1/2 minutes for fava beans or about 4 minutes for lima beans. Drain. Rinse under cold water; drain well. Peel fava beans if using; set aside. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)

Preheat oven to 375°F. Arrange bread pieces on baking sheet; toast in oven until light golden, about 12 minutes. Rub 1 side of each bread piece with cut side of 1 garlic half, pressing firmly to release juices into bread. Top each bread piece with 1 heaping tablespoon ricotta cheese, then fava beans, dividing equally. Place 2 bread pieces on each of 8 plates. Drizzle lightly with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Garnish with sliced basil and serve.

From Epicurious via Bon Appétit, http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/fresh-ricotta-and-fava-bean-bruschetta-104925

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Turkey Roll-Up with Blueberry Salsa

  • 1/2 cup reduced-fat mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 1 pint blueberries
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 Kiwifruit, peeled and diced
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1/4 red onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 8 butter lettuce leaves
  • 4 slices deli turkey

Combine mayonnaise and curry powder in a bowl. Place blueberries, jalapeño, kiwifruit, lime juice, red onion and salt in bowl; stir to combine. Top each of lettuce leaves with 1 tablespoon mayo mixture, 1/2 slice deli turkey and 1 tablespoon plus 1 1/2 teaspoon blueberry salsa. Roll up to serve.

From Epicurious via SELF by Jennifer Iserloh, http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/turkey-roll-ups-with-blueberry-salsa-354770

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summer csa share – week 6

csa share week 6

Welcome to the 6th week of the Pitchfork & Crow Summer CSA! Here’s what’s in the share:

  • Salad Mix – This stuff saved us this week.  Big salads with shredded carrots and creamy dressing and tuna salad wraps stuffed full of lettuce made multiple appearances on our plates.
  • Cabbage
  • Fava Beans
  • Bunching Onions
  • Fennel – Check out the fennel pickle recipe down below.  You’ll be glad you did.
  • Cucumbers – Hey, something new!  Picklers and slicers all around.  Not interested in pickling the picklers?  Then just treat them like slicers!
  • Beets
  • Summer Squash
  • Strawberries or Tomatoes – Choose your fruit!  Sweet strawberries or tangy tomatoes, you choose this week.
  • Dry Beans – These beauties have been hanging out in storage since the end of last season.  Like dry beans from the grocery store, these should be rinsed to let any debris we missed float to the surface to be discarded.

long days

During January cold snaps I sometimes try to remember back to the heat of summer.  I imagine the overwhelming heat of the summer sun, the longest days ever, the constant thoughts of iced beverages and river swimming and sweet fruits.  In a blink we’re here, in the midst of an early summer heatwave, struggling to keep hydrated and wondering why it’s still so hot at 8pm.  These 90 degree days have me trying to conjure memories of cold and rain.

This week we borrowed a friend’s undercutter bar implement for our tractor to get our garlic harvested.  In the past we’ve always spent far too much time using a digging fork to loosen the garlic from the soil.  As I mentioned last week, our garlic was hit by rust fungus this spring and was not looking particularly healthy.  We think the combination of the heat and the rust was just too much for the plants.  Anyhow, we weren’t looking forward to spending a lot of time harvesting a sad garlic crop.  Luckily the offer came to borrow this implement just in time.

The tool consists of a sharp bar that digs down 8 inches or so into the ground and is pulled along the bed under the roots of the garlic plants, loosening them as it goes and making pulling them a lot easier.  I didn’t get a photo, but here’s a video if you’re interested to see it in action.  As expected, the harvest was slim, but it’s done!  Now the garlic is curing in the rafters of the barn and we’ll begin sharing it with you shortly.

potatoes

On Saturday, while we were harvesting garlic, a couple of graduate students from Washington State University dropped by to sample insects in various crops.  Their main focus is sampling in broccoli plantings but they’ve expanded since last year’s sampling to look at lettuce and potato plantings too.  They do visual scans and take notes but also set pit traps for overnight sampling and use a backpack vacuum (think leaf blower, but it sucks instead of blows) to take samples.  It’s an impressive operation and was super interesting to see the different insect populations for each crop sampled.  Crops that are near each other have very different pest pressures, which is something we knew but hadn’t ever really contemplated.  Seeing the insects in mesh bags from each crop side-by-side was a handy visual for understanding what we’re up against.  It’s a complicated world out there in the field.

As we look ahead this week it looks like we’re in for more of the same hot weather.  We’ll be planting up a storm, and of course weeding, and irrigating, and dreaming of winter rain.

Enjoy the vegetables and we’ll see you next week!

Your farmers,
Jeff Bramlett and Carri Heisler

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Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:

Many thanks to Chris A. for sharing this Fennel Pickle recipe with us in the P&C CSA Member Facebook group!

Fennel Pickles

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons whole fennel seeds
  • 1 teaspoon whole coriander seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon whole cumin seeds
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 2 cups water
  • 2-2 1/2 cups apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 lemon cut into 4 or 5 slices
  • 1 large fennel bulb with 3 inches of stalk and fronds
  1. Toast all the seeds in a pan till fragrant
  2. Place water, vinegar, toasted seeds, sugar, salt, and lemon slices into a pot and bring to a boil.
  3. Meanwhile, slice the stalks and fronds off the bulb. Trim the stalks and use a vegetable peeler to remove the more fibrous outer skin, then slice them in half. Reserve the fronds.
  4. Slice the bulb down the middle from top to bottom. Remove the core.
  5. Separate the fennel by it’s natural layers, then slice each layer into 1-inch wide strips. I also like to take a vegetable peeler to the outermost layer since that can also tend to be a little more fibrous than the tender inner layers.
  6. Once the brine is boiling, remove it from the heat. Add the fennel and fronds.
  7. Allow to cool, uncovered.
  8. Once completely cool, store the fennel and brine (being sure to keep all the seeds but remove the lemon) in a jar or air-tight container and place in the fridge. Wait 24 hours before eating. I don’t know how long they stay good for, they never last long enough for me to find out.

From Food52, http://food52.com/recipes/21353-fennel-pickles

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Roasted Beet and Goat Cheese Salad

  • 16 ounces (about 4) medium golden and/or red beets
  • 1/4 cup grapeseed oil
  • 1/4 cup sherry vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon dark sesame oil
  • 2 cups arugula
  • 2 medium vine-ripened tomatoes, cut into thin wedges
  • 1 fennel bulb, trimmed and thinly shaved
  • 2 ounces goat cheese, crumbled

Heat oven to 375°F. Wrap beets loosely in foil and roast until tender, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Let cool, then remove skins. (You can rub them off with a paper towel.) Slice beets into thin wedges. Make dressing: Blend grapeseed oil, vinegar, honey, mustard and sesame oil in a blender on high until frothy; season with salt and pepper. Combine beets, arugula, tomatoes and fennel in a bowl; add 2 tablespoon dressing (reserve the rest); toss. Top with goat cheese.

From Epicurious via SELF by Merritt Watts and Chef Hari Pulapaka, http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/roasted-beet-and-goat-cheese-salad-360349

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Seared Mahi-Mahi with Green Gazpacho Sauce

  • 1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped English hothouse cucumber (about 1/2 large)
  • 3/4 cup coarsely chopped green onions
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
  • 5 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons (or more) white balsamic vinegar
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons chopped seeded serrano chiles
  • 4 7-to 8-ounce mahi-mahi fillets
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 6 ounces small red and yellow cherry, pear, or grape tomatoes, halved

Combine cucumber, onions, cilantro, 4 1/2 tablespoons oil, 1 1/2 tablespoons vinegar, and chiles in processor. Using on/off turns, blend mixture until finely chopped. Transfer to bowl. Season with more vinegar, if desired, and salt and black pepper.

Sprinkle fish fillets on both sides with salt, pepper, and cumin. Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add fish and cook 5 minutes. Turn over, cover, and cook until fish is just opaque in center, 4 to 5 minutes.

Divide gazpacho sauce among 4 plates. Top each with 1 fish fillet. Scatter tomatoes atop and around fish and serve.

From Epicurious via Bon Appétit, http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/seared-mahi-mahi-with-green-gazpacho-sauce-354849

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summer csa share – week 5

csa share week 5

Welcome to the 5th week of the Pitchfork & Crow Summer CSA! Here’s what’s in the share:

  • Salad Mix
  • Chard
  • Peas –  The last of the season’s peas!  These are big sugar snaps.  You get to decide to eat the pods or treat them like shelling peas and only eat the peas inside.  We think at this point they’re best sautéed.
  • Overwintered Onions – Remember back last week when I mentioned that most of our overwintered onions bolted?  Well, here we have some fine specimens to share with you.  Plenty of tasty onion, just know that the center core might be a little different.
  • Broccoli
  • Carrots
  • Flowering Pea Tendrils
  • Yukon Gold Potatoes – Some of the last of last season’s potatoes.  They’re sweetened up after time in our very cold cooler.  Often potatoes are sprayed to keep them from sprouting, but not these guys! 
  • Garlic – Our garlic crop has been decimated by the awful Rust fungus.  It’s a sad sight, but it has us appreciating last year’s garlic harvest.  This garlic is indeed from last season.  Some cloves are a little sprouty, but it’s tasty yet.  We’ll see what comes of this year’s garlic soon.
  • Summer Squash
  • Strawberries
  • Leek Flowers – Beautiful in a vase, but the flowers are tasty too!  Sauté with the peas, or sprinkle them on your salads.

*Are you a P&C CSA member?  If so, are you getting our weekly member emails?  Let us know if you need to be added to the list.  Also, check your Spam folders for past emails from us.  These emails are our best way to communicate to the whole group and we’d love to know you’re hearing from us.*

Summer has officially arrived with the passing of the Summer Solstice on Sunday, and it’s not messing around.  We’re facing some serious heat this next week.  Be safe out there in the world.

crops

Over the past couple of months we’ve filled up the farm with succession after succession of crops.  First in the field houses and then in the fields we planted and planted and planted.  Big plantings of winter squash and onions and potatoes, many successions of lettuce and carrots, hopeful plantings of rhubrarb and artichokes for harvest in future years.  And now we’re in maintenance mode.  There’s less to plant at the moment, but lots to weed and trellis and water and fertilize and harvest and prune and…

season

… somehow it’s time to begin sowing overwintering crops.  It starts with the cabbage in June for transplanting in July and continues until we’ve got the garlic and favas in the ground in October.  Each year around this time I consult the Big Willamette Winter Gardening Chart put together by our friends over at the Seed Ambassadors project.  The Chart includes details about winter hardy crops including when to start the seed, when to plant, and just how cold they’re likely to survive.  We’re lucky to have such an fantastic resource for our region!

This year -round farming gig is truly year-round.  Plans need to be made and seeds need to be sown months in advance of an expected harvest.  With the goal of beginning the winter CSA season with our storage crops in abundance and fields full of winter hardy greens, we must begin to prepare now.  Just as the summer crops are beginning to produce, winter is already lurking around the corner.

Enjoy the vegetables and we’ll see you next week!

Your farmers,
Jeff Bramlett and Carri Heisler

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Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:

Salmon with Sweet Chili Glaze, Sugar Snap Peas, and Pea Tendrils

  • Nonstick vegetable oil spray
  • 1/4 cup Asian sweet chili sauce*
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce, divided
  • 2 tablespoons finely grated peeled fresh ginger, divided
  • 6 6-ounce salmon fillets with skin
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 8 ounces sugar snap peas, trimmed
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Chinese rice wine or dry Sherry
  • 3 cups pea tendrils** or pea sprouts** (about 6 ounces)
  • 1 teaspoon Asian sesame oil

Line rimmed baking sheet with foil. Coat with nonstick spray. Whisk chili sauce, 2 tablespoons soy sauce, and 1 tablespoon ginger in small bowl. Place salmon fillets, skin side down, on prepared sheet. Spoon chili sauce marinade over and let stand at room temperature 30 minutes.

Preheat broiler. Spoon any marinade remaining on baking sheet over salmon fillets. Broil salmon without turning until browned in spots and almost opaque in center, 6 to 10 minutes, depending on thickness of fillet.

Meanwhile, heat vegetable oil in wok or heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add remaining 1 tablespoon ginger and minced garlic; stir until aromatic, about 30 seconds. Add sugar snap peas and stir until crisp-tender, about 2 minutes. Add remaining 1 tablespoon soy sauce, rice wine, and pea tendrils and stir just until wilted, about 1 minute. Drizzle with sesame oil.

Place 1 salmon fillet on each plate. Spoon warm pea mixture over salmon fillets and serve.

From Epicurious via Bon Appétit by Ivy Manning, http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/salmon-with-sweet-chili-glaze-sugar-snap-peas-and-pea-tendrils-358190

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Summer Vegetable Frittata

  • 6 large eggs
  • 6 large fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 oz prosciutto, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 lb medium zucchini (about 3), halved lengthwise and cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices
  • 5 medium Swiss chard leaves, stems discarded and leaves finely chopped (1 1/2 cups)
  • 12 scallions, trimmed and finely chopped
  • 5 zucchini blossoms*
  • 2 ozfinely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (1 cup)

Preheat broiler.

Whisk together eggs, basil, parsley, salt, and pepper in a bowl.

Cook prosciutto in oil in a 12-inch ovenproof nonstick skillet over moderate heat, stirring, until edges begin to crisp, about 2 minutes. Add zucchini and chard and cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are just tender, about 8 minutes. Add scallions and zucchini blossoms and cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until just wilted, 1 to 2 minutes. Pour egg mixture into skillet and cook, lifting up cooked egg around edge using a spatula to let as much raw egg as possible flow underneath, until edge is set, about 2 minutes (top and center will still be very loose). Sprinkle cheese evenly over top.

Broil frittata about 6 inches from heat until set, slightly puffed, and golden, 2 to 2 1/2 minutes.

Cool frittata 5 minutes, then loosen edge with a clean spatula and slide onto a large plate. Cut into wedges.

*Available at many farmers markets and specialty produce markets.

From Epicurious via Gourmet by Angelo Pellegrini, http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/summer-vegetable-frittata-109668

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Rava Dosas with Potato Chickpea Masala

For masala filling:

  • 1 1/2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes
  • 1/3 cup dried grated unsweetened coconut
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 1 (3-inch) fresh jalapeño, coarsely chopped, including seeds
  • 1 (2 1/2-inch) piece peeled ginger, coarsely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 3/4 cups water, divided
  • 1 large onion, chopped (about 3 cups)
  • 1 (15-to 19-ounces) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas (do not thaw)
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro

For rava dosas:

  • 1/2 cup semolina flour
  • 1/2 cup rice flour
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups water
  • Vegetable oil for brushing

Make Masala filling:
Peel potatoes and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces. Transfer to a bowl and cover with cold water.

Toast coconut in a 12-inch heavy skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until golden, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl and wipe out skillet. Toast cumin seeds in skillet over medium heat, shaking skillet frequently, until fragrant and just a shade darker, about 30 seconds. Transfer to another small bowl. Reserve skillet.

Purée jalapeño, ginger, and garlic in a blender with curry powder, cinnamon, turmeric, oil, 1/4 cup water, and 1 teaspoon salt until smooth. Transfer purée to skillet and cook over medium-high heat, stirring, until thickened slightly, about 1 minute. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until it begins to soften, about 8 minutes.

Drain potatoes, then add to onion mixture with cumin seeds and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until potatoes are barely tender, about 10 minutes.

Add chickpeas and remaining 1 1/2 cups water, scraping up any brown bits, then briskly simmer, covered, until potatoes are tender, 16 to 20 minutes more. Add peas and cook, covered, until just tender, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in toasted coconut and cilantro.

Make dosas while potatoes cook:
Whisk flours, cumin seeds, salt, and water in a bowl.

Generously brush a 12-inch nonstick skillet with oil and heat over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Pour 1/2 cup batter into skillet, swirling until bottom is coated. Cook, undisturbed, until dosa is set and edges are golden, about 2 minutes. Flip using a rubber spatula and cook dosa until underside is golden in spots, about 1 minute more. Transfer to a plate. Make more dosas with remaining batter, stacking and covering loosely with foil to keep warm. To serve, spoon masala filling into dosas.

From Epicurious via Gourmet by Melissa Roberts, http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/rava-dosas-with-potato-chickpea-masala-356035

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summer csa share – week 4

csa share week 4

Welcome to the 4th week of the Pitchfork & Crow Summer CSA! Here’s what’s in the share:

  • Salad Mix
  • Turnips – mostly the smooth hakurei salad turnips, but a few lucky folks will be aking home Milan turnips this week.
  • Garlic Scapes – the flowering stalk of garlic plants, dice it up and throw it in any recipe where you want to add a garlicky flavor.  Garlic scape pesto is pretty fantastic too!
  • Sweet Onions – These are overwintered!  Planted last fall they made it through the winter and, unlike the majority of their cohort, they didn’t bolt!  We’ll be sorting through the bolters soon, but for now enjoy the amazingness that is the sweet onion.
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Kohlrabi
  • Shelling Peas – The past week’s heat was hard on the peas.  We think they’re pretty great, but be warned some may be a tad starchier than perfect.
  • French Breakfast Radishes
  • Summer Squash Hold on to your hats, the summer squash is back!
  • Cherries – Our single cherry tree is awesome.  It never seems possible, but we picked enough cherries from it this morning for half pints all around!  Hurrah for the cherry tree!

june crops

Summer seems to have arrived early in these parts.  Walking the length of the farm, it looks like mid-summer.  The sight and sound of near constant irrigation sprinklers on one field after another, dried grass where they don’t quite reach.  The green of spring crops and the yellow of straw is the palette of the farm this June.  Luckily there are splashes of color too.  The red cherries hiding among the leaves of the cherry tree, the periwinkle flowers on the chicory seed crop, the red/pink/orange/yellow stems of the Rainbow chard.  It’s been all sunny and blue skies this week, easy to get lost in the midday glare of the hot sun.  We’re thankful for overcast skies this morning as we finish the week’s harvest.

fishy

This past week we had our annual organic inspection!  In March we submit the renewal paperwork that lists any changes from the previous year.  The paperwork is reviewed at the Oregon Tilth offices and an on-site inspection is scheduled.  The majority of the inspection is spent inside, reviewing paperwork and records and seed packets.  We’re asked questions about our organic fertilizer inputs, and the inspector reviews our soil tests and amendment labels to confirm we’re not over-fertilizing or using products not allowed in organic production.  We’re asked questions about groundwork, crop rotations, and cover cropping and we show our records and future plans for both.  We’re asked questions about our seeds and we share our spreadsheet and receipts for organic seed purchases and organic seed searches when we choose to use non-organic seed.  We’re asked about sales and harvest records and we show our accounting software system and our harvest lists.  And after all the paperwork has been reviewed we do a field walk to demonstrate that what we said we’re doing on paper is in fact what we’re doing in the fields.

This is our sixth season of undergoing the organic certification process and I think it was the first time we didn’t find ourselves scrambling to organize records at the last minute.  It’s possible we’re getting better at organizing the records we need as the season bumps along.

Of course we did some other stuff this week too.  As promised last week, there was weeding in the onions and carrots and strawberries.  But there was also the fixing of the grinding Farmall Cub clutch, and the direct sowing of carrots, cilantro, dill, parsnips and pumpkins, the sowing of cucumber, summer squash, cabbage, collard, lettuce, corn, basil, and kohlrabi successions!  Whew!  That’s a lot of tiny seeds in the ground or in cell trays in the propagation house.  It’s quite the magic to plant the seed, watch it grow, keep a steady work pace, and suddenly realize there’s food to harvest.  Quite the magic.

Enjoy the vegetables and we’ll see you next week!

Your farmers,
Jeff Bramlett and Carri Heisler

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Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:

Poached Wild Salmon with Peas and Morels

  • 2 6-8-ounce center-cut wild salmon fillets (each about 1 1/2″ thick)
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt plus more for seasoning
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
  • 4 ounces fresh morels; sliced, stemmed shiitake; or other mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup shelled fresh (or frozen, thawed) peas
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh chives or 2 pea tendrils

Place salmon, skin side down, in a large high-sided skillet. Add wine, 2 tablespoons salt, and cold water to cover salmon by 1/2″. Cover pan; bring liquid to a simmer over medium heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, uncover, and gently poach salmon until just cooked through and barely opaque in the center, about 6 minutes, depending on thickness. Transfer salmon and 2 tablespoons poaching liquid to a plate; tent loosely with foil.

Meanwhile, melt butter in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until they begin to soften, about 3 minutes. Add 1/2 cup salmon poaching liquid and peas and simmer until peas begin to soften, 2-3 minutes. Add cream and bring sauce to a simmer. Cook until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Using a spatula, transfer salmon, skin side up, to paper towels. Gently peel off and discard skin. Invert onto serving plates and spoon sauce over. Garnish with chives.

From Epicurious via Bon Appétit by by Melissa Hamilton and Christopher Hirsheimer, http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/poached-wild-salmon-with-peas-and-morels-395473

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Kohlrabi Fritters

  • 2 kohlrabi
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne
  • ½ cup grapeseed or vegetable oil (enough for ¼-inch depth in a large skillet)
  • ½ avocado
  • ¼ cup plain yogurt
  • ½ lemon
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • Green onions (for garnish)
  1. Cut the leaves off the kohlrabi and peel the bulb. Peel 1 carrot. Shred the vegetables in a food processor, or by hand using a grater. Squeeze the shredded vegetables in a tea cloth (or with your hands) to remove moisture, then add to a medium bowl with 1 egg, ¼ teaspoon kosher salt, and ¼ teaspoon cayenne. Mix to combine.
  2. Place ½ cup oil in a large skillet (enough for ¼-inch depth). Heat the oil over medium high heat, then place small patties of the fritter mixture into the oil. Fry on one side until browned, then fry on the other side. Remove and place on a plate lined with a paper towel to drain excess oil.
  3. In a small bowl, mix ½ avocado, ¼ cup plain yogurt, juice from ½ lemon, and ¼ teaspoon kosher salt to make the avocado cream (or blend the ingredients together in a food processor).
  4. Serve fritters with avocado cream and sliced green onions.

From A Couple Cooks via The Kitchn, http://www.acouplecooks.com/2013/01/kohrabi-fritters-with-avocado/

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Radish-Cabbage Coleslaw

  • 1 1/2 pound cabbage, cored and thinly sliced (6 cups)
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons honey mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 5 radishes, thinly sliced

Toss cabbage with salt in a large bowl and let stand, stirring occasionally, 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, whisk together oil, vinegar, honey mustard, and pepper in a small bowl until combined.

Rinse cabbage with cold water in a colander, then firmly squeeze handfuls to remove excess water and transfer cabbage to cleaned bowl. Add radishes and dressing to cabbage, tossing to combine.

From Epicurious via Gourmet, http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/radish-cabbage-coleslaw-238393

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summer csa share – week 3

csa share week 3

Welcome to the 3rd week of the Pitchfork & Crow Summer CSA! Here’s what’s in the share:

  • Arugula
  • Salad Mix
  • Carrots
  • Garlic Scapes – the flowering stalk of garlic plants, dice it up and throw it in any recipe where you want to add a garlicky flavor.  Garlic scape pesto is pretty fantastic too!
  • Leek
  • Fava Beans
  • Chioggia Beets – Two words: beet pizza!  And don’t forget those greens.  Prepare them like chard and eat them up!
  • Lacinato Kale – We’ve got a case of the flea beetles something fierce.  They’ve been munching on your kale a little, but after you cook it up a little you’ll hardly notice. 
  • Snap Peas!
  • Fennel
  • Strawberries

With the heat of the last few days, it’s hard to remember that just a week ago we were harvesting in the rain.  What a difference a week makes!  High temps lead to long work days on the farm, and the past few days have been very long indeed.    We hope you’re all being safe during this early June heatwave.  Stay cool and enjoy the veggies. 

foods

Each summer I’m amazed by the bounty available.  The strawberries!  The tomatoes!  The cucumbers!  Inevitably I try to squeeze in time to dry, can, and freeze as many of the seasonal treats that pass through the farm as I possibly can.  Of course summer is the busiest time on the farm so I’ve learned to focus my efforts on our favorites.  As the season progresses I attempt to stock our shelves with tomato sauce, dried basil, dried peppers, roasted pepper sauce, pickled beets, pickled cucumbers, dried tomatoes, ketchup, and bbq sauce.  In the freezer we’ve got frozen corn, strawberries, strawberry jam, blueberries, cherries, winter squash puree, and of course basil hazelnut pesto.  For anyone interested in preserving I can’t recommend the Ball Blue Book Guide to Preserving enough.  The basic recipes and clear instructions are a go-to for me and although I have an older edition I imagine the updated versions are just as great.

At this point in the season I realize things are ramping up toward fresh harvests of all our summer favorites.  It’s time to work through jars we haven’t yet eaten up and clear out the freezer to make room for this year’s preserving efforts.  That photo up above shows roasted red pepper sauce, dried cherry tomatoes, pickled golden beets, and dried basil headed to the top of a pizza.  Mmmm, pizza.

peas

You’ll notice an increase in the amount of snap peas in the share this week.  We’ve transitioned from our first planting of Sugar Ann peas in a field house to the next succession of Cascadia and Super Sugar Snap peas which has done well outside.  Can you tell the difference between the varieties?  As is often the case with the CSA, you are reaping the reward of a bountiful harvest!  It might be a good chance to try to preserve the snap pea goodness by pickling them, or freezing for future use.

planting

This past weekend we hunkered down here on the farm, and pressed through the big heatwave, to attempt to get caught up on our transplanting.  We managed to plant successions of Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, chard, flour corn, sweet corn, lettuce, and basil.  With that big planting out of the way we can now get back to focusing on the weeds, which incidentally have been loving this heat!  Watch out weeds, we’re coming for ya!

Enjoy the vegetables and we’ll see you next week!

Your farmers,
Jeff Bramlett and Carri Heisler

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Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:

Spring Egg-Drop Soup

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled, chopped
  • 6 small spring onions, bulbs only, coarsely chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 3 medium spring garlic bulbs, 1-2 garlic scapes, or 2 regular garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • Kosher salt
  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 pound asparagus, sliced on a diagonal 1/2″ thick
  • 1/4 pound sugar snap peas, sliced on a diagonal 1/4″ thick
  • 2/3 cup shelled fresh peas (from about 2/3 pound pods)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan plus more for serving
  • 1/4 cup torn fresh basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup torn fresh mint leaves
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons (or more) fresh lemon juice

Heat oil in a large heavy pot over medium heat. Add carrots, spring onions, and garlic and season with salt. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are soft, 15-20 minutes.

Add broth and bring to a boil. Add asparagus, sugar snap peas, and peas and cook until vegetables are crisp-tender, about 3 minutes.

Meanwhile, beat eggs in a small bowl with 1 tablespoon Parmesan, a pinch of salt, and 1 tablespoon water.

Reduce heat to low and stir basil and mint into soup. Drizzle in egg mixture in 4 or 5 spots around pot. Let stand for 1 minute so egg can set, then gently stir in 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice. Season soup with salt and more lemon juice, if desired. Serve soup topped with more Parmesan.

From Epicurious via Bon Appetit by April Bloomfield, http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/spring-egg-drop-soup-51161050

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Spring Vegetable Risotto

  • 1 cup medium-grain rice, such as Arborio, Carnaroli, or Vialone
  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 4 Tbsp unsalted butter, divided
  • 1 garlic clove, minced (use garlic scapes)
  • 1 leek, tender white part only, finely chopped
  • 1 cup packed baby spinach, finely chopped
  • 1 fennel bulb, wispy ends removed and finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio, or dry vermouth
  • 2 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup shelled fresh fava beans (see Cooks’ Note)
  • 1 cup shelled English peas
  • 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Place the rice in a sieve and rinse under a steady stream of cool water, stirring the grains. When the water runs clear, stop rinsing and shake the sieve to drain off excess water.

Coat the inside of a medium rice cooker with nonstick cooking spray. Set the rice cooker to the regular cycle or to quick cook if it’s a fuzzy-logic machine. Melt 2 Tbsp of the butter; add the garlic, leek, spinach, and fennel; and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the leek is softened. Add the wine and bring to a boil. Add the rice and chicken broth and stir to distribute the ingredients.

Cover the rice cooker and reset to the regular cycle. Set a timer for 15 minutes. When the timer goes off, stir in the fava beans and peas. Cover and allow to steam for an additional 5 minutes on the keep-warm setting or with the machine turned off. (Many rice cookers, including all fuzzy-logic machines, do this automatically.) Stir in the remaining 2 Tbsp butter and the Parmigiano. Season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.

Cooks’ Note To remove the tougher skin from fava beans, blanch them in boiling water for 1 minute, drain in a colander, and when cooled, slip off the skins.

Many times in restaurants, you will get a risotto that isn’t creamy; it happens when the cook is distracted and doesn’t watch the rice. Well-made risotto has some thickened liquid along with the rice; that’s what makes it creamy, rather than a gelatinous mass. As the rice sits on your plate, it is still cooking and will absorb the remaining liquid.

From Epicurious via The Everyday Rice Cooker by Diane Phillips, http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/spring-vegetable-risotto-56389576

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Roasted Beet and Sugar Snap Pea Salad

  • 3 medium beets, trimmed
  • 1/2 pound sugar snap peas, trimmed
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh dill or 1 tablespoon dillweed.
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 2/3-ounce packages fresh arugula, trimmed.

Preheat oven to 375°F. Wrap beets in aluminum foil. Bake until tender, about 1 hour 15 minutes. Cool. Peel beets and cut into wedges.

Cook sugar snap peas in large saucepan of boiling salted water until crisp-tender, about 1 minute. Drain. Rinse with cold water; drain well. Pat dry.

Mix mustard and vinegar in small bowl. Gradually mix in oil, then dill and sugar. (Can be prepared 4 hours ahead. Cover sugar snap peas and chill. Cover dressing and beets separately and let stand at room temperature.)

Line platter with arugula. Mix beets, sugar snap peas and dressing in medium bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Spoon atop arugula.

From Epicurious via Bon Appetit, http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/roasted-beet-and-sugar-snap-pea-salad-606

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summer csa share – week 2

csa share week 2

Welcome to the 2nd week of the Pitchfork & Crow Summer CSA! Here’s what’s in the share:

  • Onion Scapes – These are the immature flower stalks of overwintered onions.  Grilled or sauteed, they’ll add flavor to any dish.
  • Head Lettuce – A trio of original lettuce varieties from Wild Garden Seeds in Philomath, Ore this week.  Red-Earred Butterheart Butterhead for everyone and then choose between Mayan Jaguar Romaine and Blushed Butter Oak Butterhead for your second head.
  • Carrots
  • Chives
  • Fava Beans – Ahh, the amazingness that is fava bean season.  Although they take a little extra prep time, the buttery beans are worth the effort!  No time for shelling?  Try grilling the whole pod.
  • Pink Beauty Radishes
  • Hakurei Salad Turnips – We love these raw, but we’ve heard surprisingly good reviews of roasting them too!
  • Chard
  • Snap Peas
  • Kohlrabi
  • Strawberries – Double the strawberries this week, double the yum!

We hope everyone had a fantastic first week with the CSA and that you’re ready for more vegetables!  We’ve seen some amazing meals posted in the P&C CSA Member Facebook group over the last week and are looking forward to seeing what you cook up with this week’s share.

fields

Each winter we keep busy with projects around the farm and the every other week harvests for the Winter CSA.  We begin sowing some seeds and doing small plantings in February and the work steadily increases through March and April.  Then May arrives, and with it the full force of farming in spring.  As the day lengths grow and the sun sets ever later, the To Do list also lengthens.  May is a blur of sowing seeds, transplanting, irrigating, weeding, and harvesting.  And now here’s June, which from experience is much like May, but warmer.

transplanting

So this past week after the excitement of the first Summer CSA days, we’ve endeavored to mark things off the To Do list.  We trellised the tomatoes.  We weeded the beans and potatoes and celery and celeriac and kale and peppers.  We hilled the potatoes.  We trellised the peas.  We sowed the pole beans.  We prepped ground for sweet potatoes.  And we transplanted the melons and winter squash.  Whew!

That photo up above is from a few weeks back, taken by my mom, and shows our new transplanting set-up.  For folks who weren’t following us over the winter, we purchased a new tractor and water-wheel transplanter last fall.  We began using the combo this spring and though we’re still getting used to a few quirks, it’s been a fairly amazing advancement.  As you can see the tractor pulls the transplanter.  Water from the tank on top of the transplanter drains into a wheel below the tank that moves along the bed and punches holes at the set spacing (6 inches, 1 ft, 2 ft etc) effectively creating perfectly spaced muddy holes to plant transplants into.  The plants are happy to get water, and sometimes organic fertilizer, right away and our backs are happy not to be bending over for hours getting plants in the ground.  Win-win!

pigs

Again, if you haven’t been keeping up during the winter months, you may not know we added some pigs to the farm!  In April we bought four Old Spot/Duroc cross weaner pigs and have been watching them steadily grow into teenagers over the last couple of months.  We’ve trained them to hot wire fencing and they’ve been extremely well behaved thus far.  The only escape we’ve experienced was during a fence move when one pig crossed through a hot fence into an area that was no longer fenced in.  I think he was as shocked as we were and after a few seconds of staring each other down he braved the hot fence a second time to re-join the other pigs.

As you might imagine, it’s been quite the adventure this spring on the farm.  Between new animal chores and the familiar vegetable chores we’ve been certainly keeping busy.  Now to get a few more things marked off that To Do list.

Enjoy the vegetables and we’ll see you next week!

Your farmers,
Jeff Bramlett and Carri Heisler

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Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:

Shrimp and Fava Beans

  • 1 cup kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
  • 3 pounds whole fava pods, about 1 1/2 cups beans after shelling
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1 1/2 pounds medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 cup fruity white wine
  • 1 or 2 radishes, thinly sliced
  • Flat-leaf parsley leaves for garnish

Set a large pot on the stove. Put in 1 gallon water and 1 cup kosher salt. Bring to a boil. Ready a large bowl of ice water.

Tear open the fava pods and remove the beans, discarding the outer pods. Place the beans in the boiling water for 1 to 2 minutes, then remove with a slotted spoon and transfer to a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking. When cooled, remove the outer hull of each bean and place the shelled beans in a bowl, discarding the hulls. Set aside.

Place the butter and the shrimp in a wide skillet and set on the stove. Turn the heat to the lowest setting and stir as the butter melts and the shrimp begin to cook. Season with salt and pepper and add lemon juice and white wine. As the temperature rises, keep a close eye on the shrimp, stirring frequently. Remove with a slotted spoon when the shrimp are pink and slightly curled. Set aside.

Add the peeled favas to the pan and increase the heat to medium-high. Cook until the favas are heated all the way through, then taste for seasoning and adjust. Be sure to taste both the beans and the liquid. Add the radishes to the pan and turn off the heat. Return the shrimp to the pan and toss to combine. Divide the shrimp and fava mixture with the juice among 4 bowls, and garnish with parsley. Serve immediately.

From Epicurious via Root to Leaf by Steven Satterfield, http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/shrimp-and-fava-beans-56389505

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Romaine Salad with Chives and Blue Cheese

  • 1 large head of romaine lettuce, torn into bite-size pieces
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 bunch fresh chives, cut into 1 1/2-inch-long pieces
  • 1 cup crumbled blue cheese

Place lettuce in large bowl. Whisk oil, lemon juice, shallot, and mustard in small bowl to blend. Season dressing to taste with salt and pepper. Mix in chives. Drizzle dressing over lettuce and toss to coat. Sprinkle cheese over and serve.

From Epicurious via Bon Appétit, http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/romaine-salad-with-chives-and-blue-cheese-106303

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Shaved Kohlrabi with Apple and Hazelnuts

  • 1/2 cup blanched hazelnuts
  • 2 medium kohlrabi (about 2 pounds total), peeled, thinly sliced on a mandoline
  • 1 tart apple (such as Pink Lady or Crispin), peeled, cored, thinly sliced on a mandoline
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar or white balsamic vinegar
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup torn fresh mint leaves, plus more for serving
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 ounces Pecorino di Fossa or Parmesan, shaved (about 1/4 cup)

Preheat oven to 350°F. Toast hazelnuts on a rimmed baking sheet, tossing occasionally, until golden brown, 10–12 minutes. Let cool, then coarsely chop.

Toss kohlrabi, apple, lemon zest, lemon juice, and vinegar in a medium bowl; season with salt. Add 1/2 cup mint and gently toss to just combine.

Toss toasted hazelnuts and oil in a small bowl to coat; season with salt.

Divide kohlrabi salad among plates and top with seasoned hazelnuts, Pecorino, and more mint.

DO AHEAD: Hazelnuts can be toasted 1 day ahead; store airtight at room temperature.

From Epicurious via Bon Appétit by Ignacio Mattos, http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/shaved-kohlrabi-with-apple-and-hazelnuts-51214700

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summer csa share – week 1

csa share week 1

Welcome to the 1st week of the Pitchfork & Crow Summer CSA! Here’s what’s in the share:

  • Onion Scapes – These are the immature flower stalks of overwintered leeks.  Grilled or sauteed, they’ll add flavor to any dish.  Check out this blog post for more info and grilling inspiration!
  • Salad Mix
  • Leek
  • French Breakfast Radishes
  • Parsley – We treat parsley like a cooking green.  It’s great sauteed with scrambled eggs!
  • Bok Choy
  • Hakurei Salad Turnips – We love these raw, but we’ve heard surprisingly good reviews of roasting them too!
  • Spinach – We’ve been eating spinach in cheese quesadillas with a little creamy dressing.  Mmmm!
  • Snap Peas
  • Pea Shoots – Raw or wilted, these add a little spring goodness to any dish.
  • Popcorn – This week’s popcorn has me remembering my elementary school’s popcorn machine that would be brought out for carnivals and read-in days.  What could be better than a bag of fresh popcorn and a whole day to read?  These days we make our popcorn on the stove, but you could put some in a paper bag and microwave it if that’s more your style.
  • Strawberries – Just a taste this week, but hopefully the first of many weeks to come!

transplants

Welcome to the sixth season of the Pitchfork & Crow Summer CSA!  We’re  so glad you’ve decided to join us for the next 27 weeks of eating seasonally.  We’re excited to welcome back returning members and to welcome many new members to the group.

Everyone should have received an email from us this past week with a link to the CSA Member Resources page where you’ll find CSA member details, tips, and important dates, including those for this season’s upcoming on-farm events.  Please be sure to add those dates to your calendar for future reference.  Also, be sure to let us know if you didn’t receive the reminder email and we’ll get you added to the list.

spring plants

In future newsletters we’ll attempt to keep you updated on farm happenings and give you a behind-the-scenes look at where your vegetables are grown.  We’ll also always include a few recipes for combinations of that week’s share items.  You can find this week’s recipes at the bottom of this page.  Need more suggestions?  We have an archive of recipes on our Recipe page if you need further inspiration and you can always join in the conversation in the P&C CSA Member Facebook group to query fellow members or suggest great recipes of your own.

As we begin the Summer CSA season, we hope you’re excited for the adventure ahead.  The greens of the spring will inevitably give way to the fruits of the summer over time and hopefully we’ll have a few surprises along the way.  Thank you for choosing to support our farm as you also choose to eat seasonally, locally, and organically.  We leave you with this first share of the season, knowing you will create and eat good food.

Let’s get this season started!

Enjoy the vegetables and we’ll see you next week!

Your farmers,
Jeff Bramlett and Carri Heisler

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Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:

Soba with Pea Shoots, Shiitake Mushrooms, and Leeks

  • 4 small leeks, white and pale green parts only, halved lengthwise, sliced  thin crosswise, washed thoroughly, and patted dry (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/2 pound fresh shiitake mushrooms, stems discarded and caps sliced
  • 4 scallions, sliced thin  (or use onion scapes!)
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce, or to taste
  • 2 teaspoons rice vinegar, or to taste
  • an 8- or 9-ounce package soba (buckwheat noodles)
  • 1/2 pound pea shoots, washed well and spun dry

In a large skillet cook leeks in oil over moderately low heat, stirring, until softened, about 10 minutes. Stir mushrooms and cook 5 minutes. Stir in scallions, soy sauce, and vinegar and cook 1 minute.

In a kettle of salted boiling water cook noodles 5 minutes or according to package directions. Put pea shoots in a colander and drain cooked noodles over shoots to wilt them. Rinse mixture in cold water and drain well.

In a bowl toss noodles with pea shoots and stir in cooked vegetables. Season mixture with salt and pepper and serve at room temperature.

From Epicurious, via Gourmet, http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/soba-with-pea-shoots-shiitake-mushrooms-and-leeks-12060

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Sliced Baguette with Radishes and Anchovy Butter

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 to 3 anchovy fillets, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
  • Coarse kosher salt
  • 16 1/2-inch-thick diagonal slices baguette
  • 10 radishes (such as French Breakfast), trimmed, thinly sliced on diagonal
  • Additional chopped fresh chives (for garnish)

Mix butter, 2 chopped anchovy fillets, and 2 tablespoons chives in small bowl, adding 1 more chopped anchovy fillet to taste, if desired. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Spread anchovy butter over 1 side of each baguette slice. Top each baguette slice with radish slices, overlapping slightly to cover bread. Garnish with additional chopped chives and serve.

From Epicurious via Bon Appétit by Tasha De Serio, http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/sliced-baguette-with-radishes-and-anchovy-butter-364610

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Spinach and Leek Gratin with Roquefort Crumb Topping

  • 5 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons horseradish Dijon mustard, divided
  • 2 1/3 cups fresh breadcrumbs from crustless French bread
  • 1 cup crumbled Roquefort cheese (generous 4 ounces)
  • 3 9-ounce bags spinach leaves
  • 1 8-ounce leek, halved lengthwise, thinly sliced crosswise (about 3 cups)
  • 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream

Preheat oven to 400°F. Melt 3 tablespoons butter in medium skillet over medium-high heat. Mix in 2 tablespoons mustard, then breadcrumbs. Sauté until breadcrumbs are golden, about 5 minutes. Cool briefly. Mix in cheese.

Toss 1 1/2 bags spinach in large nonstick pot over high heat until wilted, about 3 minutes. Transfer to sieve set over bowl. Repeat with remaining spinach. Press on spinach to drain.

Melt remaining 2 tablespoons butter in same pot over medium-high heat. Add leek; sauté 4 minutes. Add cream, remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons mustard, and spinach. Toss until thick and blended, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to 7×11-inch baking dish. Top with breadcrumb mixture. Bake until bubbling, about 10 minutes.

From Epicurious via Bon Appétit, http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/spinach-and-leek-gratin-with-roquefort-crumb-topping-232888

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