this week in your csa share {august 14}

Welcome to week 11 of the P&C CSA!

Here’s what’s in the box:

  • Siskiyou Sweet Onion  – another round of sweet onions, treat ‘em like walla wallas.
  • Garlic – we planted it last October, we harvested it mid-July, and now it’s in the box!
  • Chard
  • Lettuce – more butter lettuce!
  • Carrots
  • Corn – welcome to open-pollinated corn!  It’s unpredictable but good eating when successfully fertilized.
  • New Potatoes – banana fingerlings this week
  • Slicing Cucumber
  • Parsley
  • Zucchini
  • Tomatoes – a mix of what’s ripe, some cherries, some small slicers, & some paste thrown in too.
  • Green Peppers – a mix of sweet peppers, not fully ripened for a good green pepper taste

As we drive between our house in West Salem and the farm on Grand Island it’s hard not to notice the tractors.  August is wheat, straw, and hay harvest season in these parts and the large tracts of land that are used to grow these crops require tractors to bring in the harvest.  Big tractors, and many of them.  Some are specialized combines and others pull balers behind them.  My favorite operation I’ve seen recently is a group of green John Deeres used to bale hay with large pirate flags mounted near the back, waving in the wind as they go about baling straw.  It’s fascinating to see these giants rumbling through a field in the distance, a cloud of dust following behind.

So far, we’ve decided that tractors are a part of farming.  We know of some farms who employ teams of horses and/or mules to get some jobs done, but often they have a tractor too.  This year we’ve been lucky enough to rent a tractor from the farm who we also lease our ground.  It’s a newer Landini orchard tractor, big enough to pull the discing and mowing implements we’re also lucky enough to rent, but small enough to work just a couple of acres if need be.  They also have a small Allis Chalmers Model G cultivating tractor from the 1940s that makes clearing weeds and creating planting beds look like a dream.

As we expand the farm and eventually find a more permanent spot to grow, we also have to keep in mind the fact that we’ll most likely be tractor-less.  We’ll need to invest in a tractor of our own and we’ll need a place to store it.  We won’t be able to afford anything like the Landini, but Jeff’s experience working with it this year has helped to narrow down the options for when we’re ready to buy.  Until then, we’ll continue to rent and watch the big machines from the roadside.


CSA Potluck: Sunday August 22, 5 – 8pm

We hope you can make it out to Grand Island to visit your veggies and see the field!  We’ve sent out an ‘e-invite’ for RSVPs and directions.  Please let us know if we missed inviting you.

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

Enjoy the veggies this week!

Your farmers,
Jeff Bramlett and Carri Heisler


Recipe inspiration for this week’s vegetables:

Grilled Zucchini Pizza

1 large zucchini
½ cup butter, melted
3 cloves crushed garlic
½ cup mozzarella cheese
14 oz pizza sauce

  1. Slice the Zucchini into thick rounds. Combine the melted butter and crushed garlic in a small bowl. set aside.
  2. When the coals on your barbeque are almost burned down, lay your zucchini slices on the grill. Let cook for three minutes then turn over and brush the butter/garlic mixture on each slice. Cook for three more minutes and turn over again and brush the other side with the garlic and butter.
  3. Cover the slices with pizza sauce and cheese and let cook until the cheese begins to melt.



Late Summer Lasagna

1 lb. ground beef, crumbled
2 Tbsp. olive oil
½ tsp. chile flakes
1 large yellow onion, chopped
1 large bell pepper, chopped
1 lb. zucchini (about 2 medium zucchini), sliced into half-moons
4 to 6 garlic cloves, diced
2 lb. fresh tomatoes, chopped
⅓ cup loosely packed fresh oregano leaves, or 1 tsp. dried oregano
6 to 8 oz. fresh leafy greens, such as kale, chard, or spinach, stemmed and chopped
1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste
½ tsp. sugar
~ Salt and pepper
1 package (8 or 9 ounces) lasagna noodles, either fresh, dried (precooked and drained), or no-boil
½ lb. mozzarella, shredded or chopped
1 lb. ricotta
½ cup freshly grated Parmesan
½ cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves, chiffonaded, for garnish (optional)

  1. Cook the meat: In a large skillet, brown the ground beef for a few minutes, until the meat is evenly browned. Turn off the heat and set aside.
  2. Make the sauce: Put the olive oil in a large Dutch oven. Over medium to medium-high heat, sauté the chile flakes and onion for a few minutes, then add the bell pepper and zucchini for a few more minutes. Add the garlic, then add the tomatoes and oregano. Simmer for about 15 minutes, until the tomatoes have released their juices and the sauce is watery, then add the greens, if using. Cook until the greens have wilted, then add the tomato paste and cook until the sauce thickens, about five to 10 minutes. Add the browned meat, then stir in the sugar and add salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Assemble the lasagne: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Put a little olive oil in the bottom of a 9-by-13-inch baking dish, then place one layer of noodles across the bottom of the dish. Start layering the sauce, mozzarella and ricotta, and remaining noodles in any order you like, so long as you finish with some sauce or cheese on top.
  4. Cook the lasagne: Bake for 30 to 50 minutes, depending upon the type of noodles, until the noodles are cooked through and the sauce is bubbling. Add the Parmesan at the very end, just as the dish is finishing cooking, so the cheese melts on contact with the hot dish.
  5. Serve the lasagne: Let cool for 10 to 15 minutes before cutting into squares. Pass the chiffonaded basil at the table, along with extra Parmesan, salt, and pepper if desired.

From Culinate via the Culinate Kitchen collection,


Light Corn Chowder with Fresh Basil

6 cups chicken or vegetable stock
5 medium ears corn, kernels removed and cobs reserved (about 4 cups corn)
1½ lb. red bliss potatoes, diced (about 4 cups)
4 Tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
1 medium sweet onion, diced
7 oz. smoked turkey ham, diced
¼ cup flour
4 cups whole milk
1 medium red bell pepper, diced (about 1 cup)
¼ cup fresh basil, finely chopped
~ Salt and pepper to taste

  1. Combine chicken stock, corncobs, and potatoes in a large pot; cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes.
  2. While the potatoes are cooking, melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large heavy-bottomed stockpot over high heat. Add the onion and turkey ham and cook until the onions begin to soften and the turkey is browned at the edges, about 5 minutes. Add the corn and cook until deep yellow and soft, about 5 minutes longer. Add the flour and cook, stirring constantly, until evenly distributed and just beginning to brown, about 2 minutes.
  3. When the potatoes are cooked, remove the corncobs from the stock and discard them. Add the stock and potatoes to the stockpot with the corn. Add the milk and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until thickened, about 2 minutes. Add the red pepper and basil and stir to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

From Culinate via the Keri Fisher collection,

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