this week in your csa share {june 19}

Here it is, week 3 of the P&C CSA!  We hear the weather forecast calls for some rain.  Luckily you’ll have a full box of organic vegetables to brighten your weekend!

Here’s what’s in the box:

  • Chard
  • Parsley/Dill
  • Lettuce – 2 heads (butterhead/leaf)
  • Beets
  • Baby Multi-Colored Carrots – The first of the carrots, best for fresh eating.
  • Fennel – recipes listed last week
  • Bunching Onions
  • Strawberries! – These are from another local farm, but we thought they would help sweeten your summer solstice.

We’re now two weeks post-flood and we’ve been able to better evaluate how the vegetables are taking it.  We’ll be replacing some tomato plants that just didn’t take well to being submerged underwater for several days.  Most other crops are fairing well, better than expected actually.  Now if the weatherperson would call for some sun and warmth, I think things would be back on track.

For these two farmers, this past week has been all about weeding.  Many days were too wet to plant, and we’d been sorely neglecting the weeds anyhow.  While we do not generally relish the opportunity to crawl around hand-weeding beds of veggies for hours, it was a very productive week and fun to check in the progress of some longer-term crops that we tend to ignore until they’re ready to harvest.

Here are some progress notes we made while weeding:

–   The pumpkins have fully established themselves and are nearly ready to put on flowers.

–   Some of the zucchini have flowers and we hope little round zukes aren’t all that far off.

–   The onions are beginning to bulk up and very much appreciated being liberated from the weeds crowding their space.

–   The potatoes are officially hilled, and are growing fast.

–    The sweet potatoes survived!  We start most crops from seed, but these guys arrived via the USPS from Tennessee as live tiny potato plants called ’slips’.  Our delayed planting, cold and wet spring, and overly productive weeds haven’t killed them off yet, amazingly.

We hope you’ll visit the field for yourself this Sunday for the CSA Open House.  It was brought to our attention that Sunday is Father’s Day, for which we apologize for double-scheduling.  Perhaps we should have taken a better look at the calendar.  But we hope you’ll make it out anyhow.  We know at least one dad who wanted a farm tour for Father’s Day!

Here are the details:

CSA Open House: Sunday June 20, 3 – 5 pm

We hope you can make it out to Grand Island to visit your veggies and see the field!  We’ll have a little something to drink, a little something to eat, and tours galore!

Give us a call at (503) 999-7920 if you have any questions.

Directions to the farm from Salem:

Take Wallace Road north out of West Salem towards Dayton.  You’ll drive 14 miles or so up Wallace Rd, passing the Western Mennonite High School and the turn off for the Wheatland Ferry.  Eventually, you’ll see blue signs for “Heiser Pumpkin Patch” (another farm also on the island). Follow those signs, and turn RIGHT onto Grand Island Rd. Stay on Grand Island Rd as it goes over a bridge and drops onto the island. Stay STRAIGHT at the first four-way intersection on the island.  The entrance to the field is ¼ mile past the intersection and is on the RIGHT.  Look for our Pitchfork & Crow sign.

We hope you enjoy this week’s veggies!

Your Farmers,
Jeff Bramlett and Carri Heisler


Recipe inspiration for this week’s vegetables:

One of our CSA members, Katie Pike, suggested the following recipe for roasted beets on the P&C Facebook page.  We were excited for the suggestion and to learn it was her first time eating beets.  We love roasted beets too and we’re happy to pass along this recipe.

If you have a recipe to share, let us know!

Roasted Beets!

Chop the beets, drizzle olive oil on top and season with salt, pepper and rosemary!

Cook in a 475 oven for 40-60 minutes, and remove the skins before serving.

Yum yum.

(Thanks Katie!)


Roasted Fennel

2 fennel bulbs (thick base of stalk), stalks cut off, bulbs sliced
Olive oil
Balsamic vinegar

Preheat oven to 400°F. Rub just enough olive oil over the fennel to coat. Sprinkle on some balsamic vinegar, also to coat. Line baking dish with aluminum foil. Lay out pieces of fennel and roast for 15-20 minutes, until the fennel is cooked through and beginning to caramelize.

Recipe from Gales Meadow Farm,


Eggs in a Nest

2 cups uncooked brown rice
Olive oil – a few tbsp
1 medium onion, chopped, and garlic to taste
Carrots, chopped
½ cup dried tomatoes
1 really large bunch of chard, coarsely chopped
8 eggs

Cook rice with 4 cups water in a covered pot while other ingredients are being prepared.

Sauté onions and garlic in olive oil in a wide skillet until lightly golden.

Add carrots and dried tomatoes and sauté for a few more minutes, adding just enough water to rehydrate the tomatoes.

Mix the chard with other vegetables and cover pan for a few minutes. Uncover, stir well, then use the back of a spoon to make depressions in the cooked leaves, circling the pan like numbers on a clock.

Break an egg into each depression, being careful to keep yolks whole. Cover pan again and allow eggs to poach for 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat and serve over rice.

(This recipe makes dinner for a family of four, but can easily be cut in half.)

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life, Barbara Kingsolver with Steven L. Hopp and Camille Kingsolver

Also available here:


Asian Vegetable Rolls

2 oz. thin rice noodles
1 cup bean sprouts
10 soft lettuce leaves
1 cup carrots, finely shredded
2 to 3 green onions, finely chopped
½ cup mint leaves
½ cup cilantro leaves
8 rice paper wrappers (about 8” square)

Drop noodles into boiling water, remove from heat and let stand for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Drain, rinse with cold water and drain again.

Lay out noodles and vegetables in an assembly line. Heat a pan of water until it’s almost too hot to handle. Soak one rice paper wrapper in the hot water for 15-20 seconds, then take it out and lay it flat. Flatten out one lettuce leaf on top (this helps prevent other fillings from poking through the wrapper). Next, place a finger-sized bunch of noodles close to one side of the paper and roll that side over the noodles. Continue this same pattern for the vegetable fillings, laying each ingredient parallel to the noodles and rolling the paper over. After the mint and cilantro leaves have gone in, fold the ends of the wrapper in, then fold the remaining side over them to secure. Set roll on a platter, seam side down. Keep rolls moist until served, and separated so they don’t stick together (the wrappers will rip).

Serve whole or cut in half, with your choice of spicy dipping sauce. One simple option is to add a few tablespoons of rice vinegar and sesame oil to a half cup of soy sauce.

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life, Barbara Kingsolver with Steven L. Hopp and Camille Kingsolver

Also available here:


Sweet Sweetback’s Salad with Roasted Beet Vinaigrette

4 medium beets, scrubbed, tops trimmed, root tails left intact
Coarse sea salt
4 tablespoons plus 4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon agave nectar
Freshly ground white pepper
3 large bunches arugula, trimmed and roughly chopped (6 to 7 cups)
1 1/2 cups Candied Walnuts

Combine the beets, 3 quarts cold water, and 1 teaspoon salt in a medium pot over high heat. Boil uncovered for 20 to 30 minutes, or until the beets are easily pierced with a knife. Drain. Peel the beets by holding them under cold running water and rubbing their skins off with your fingers or a clean towel.

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Trim the tails off the bottom of the beets. Reserve two of them for the vinaigrette and compost the others. Cut the beets into 1/4-inch dice. In a medium bowl, toss the diced beets with 4 teaspoons of the olive oil. Transfer them to a parchment-lined baking sheet and roast for 15 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes to ensure even cooking. Remove the beets from the oven, transfer them back into the bowl just used, and toss with 2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar. Return to the baking sheet and cook for an additional 5 minutes. Set them aside to cool.

In a blender, combine the reserved roasted beet tails with the remaining red wine vinegar, mustard, 1/2 teaspoon agave nectar, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and white pepper to taste. Blend while slowly pouring in 4 tablespoons of olive oil. If needed, add more salt to taste.

Place the arugula pieces in a large serving bowl, add the roasted beets on top, and add the candied walnuts on top of that. Immediately before serving, toss well with just enough of the vinaigrette to coat.

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

Vegan Soul Kitchen: Fresh, Healthy, and Creative African-American Cuisine, Bryant Terry

Also available here:

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