csa share – week 7 {july 5}

Welcome to the 7th week of the Pitchfork & Crow CSA!

Here’s what’s in the share:

  • Peas  –an abundance of snap peas this week!
  • 2 Heads of Lettuce – one of our favorite new varieties called Mayan Jaguar plus a bonus head of your choice between crisp and butterhead
  • Carrots
  • Fava Beans
  • Parsley
  • French Breakfast Radishes
  • Kale – a variety called Madley from Open Oak Farm
  • Spring Onions – also from Open Oak Farm

We hope you all had a wonderful holiday weekend.  We were able to use the long weekend to catch up on our backlog of work at the farm.  It was nice to be able to focus on sowing seeds and the propagation house has begun to fill up once again.  We also set up drip irrigation for our tomatoes, which should be happier now that their leaves won’t routinely be watered by overheard sprinklers.  In among other projects we moved a lot of irrigation pipe, an essential task now that the weather is warming up.  Needless to say we were happy farmers spending time on the farm this weekend.

This past Thursday we had our organic inspection and we feel it went well.  I admit the inspection process is a little stressful, as we can only hope at that point that we submitted all of our paperwork correctly, but it’s also a good time to reflect on our farm and the organic principles and systems that are at its core.  At times we can get caught up in the moment and worry ourselves over a tough spring or our constantly shifting farm location.  The organic inspection, with its third party inspector looking over our records and on-the-ground practices, serves as a reminder that starting a farm is a long term process.  Our plans include multi-year crop rotations and building fertility over time.  We cannot expect the land to give more in return than we give it in the beginning and we hope to be fortunate enough to stay here long enough to become stewards of this farmland, rather than just seasonal workers rushing on to another piece of land next year.

A particularly nice draw of this property as we’ve mentioned in the past are the established fruit trees and berries.  Both crops appear to be coming along well this season, even given the cold, late spring weather.  We’re trying to keep the berries well watered and in a few weeks I think we’ll be enjoying them in abundance.  The apples and pears are also growing bigger each day and we’re looking forward to a bounteous harvest.  We’re making plans for a fall cider event so you might want to begin saving large plastic and glass juice bottles if you’d like to participate or donate them to the cause.  We have our eyes on a small cider press that we hope to purchase with the next round of CSA payments which have already begun coming in though they aren’t due until August 1st.  For that we’re thankful for your faith in us and hope to continue with a great season.

Enjoy this week’s vegetables!

Your farmers,
Jeff Bramlett and Carri Heisler

Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:

Shredded Carrot Salad w/ herb dressing

2 1/2 cups grated carrots
3 T olive oil
1 small clove garlic, minced (use garlic scapes if you have any leftover)
1 T fresh parsley, minced
1 tsp minced fresh cilantro (or try basil, thyme, mint, etc)
1/2 tsp salt
2 T fresh lemon juice
pinch of cayenne (optional)

Place carrots in a serving bowl and set aside.  With a whisk or in a blender, combine the ingredients for  the dressing.  Pour the dressing over the carrots and toss well.  Serve lightly chilled or at room temperature.

From Moosewood Restaurant: New Classics, The Moosewood Collective


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: http://www.animalvegetablemiracle.com/Recipes.html


Citrus Collards with Raisins Redux

Coarse sea salt
2 large bunches collard greens, ribs removed, cut into a Chiffonade, rinsed and drained
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
2/3 cup raisins
1/3 cup freshly squeezed orange juice

In a large pot over high heat, bring 3 quarts of water to a boil and add 1 tablespoons salt. Add the collards and cook, uncovered, for 8 to 10 minutes, until softened. Meanwhile, prepare a large bowl of ice water to cool the collards.

Remove the collards from the heat, drain, and plunge them into the bowl of cold water to stop cooking and set the color of the greens. Drain by gently pressing the greens against a colander.

In a medium-size sauté pan, combine the olive oil and the garlic and raise the heat to medium. Sauté for 1 minute. Add the collards, raisins, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Sauté for 3 minutes, stirring frequently.

Add orange juice and cook for an additional 15 seconds. Do not overcook (collards should be bright green). Season with additional salt to taste if needed and serve immediately. (This also makes a tasty filling for quesadillas.)

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

Also available here: http://splendidtable.publicradio.org/recipes/sides_citrus_collards.shtml