Welcome to the 12th week of the Pitchfork & Crow CSA!
Here’s what’s in the share this week:
- Summer Squash – this is summer squash season! Time for zucchini bread, grilled zucchini, zucchini pasta, zucchini fritters…you get the idea!
- Cucumbers – a couple of slicers plus lemon and/or pickling cukes too!
- Corn – the ears are small on this early variety, but it’s sweet and tasty!
- Green Peppers –these are not hot, but more like bell peppers
- Garlic – just harvested, so this is uncured and can be stronger than stored garlic.
- Broccoli – Persephone had some excess, so we decided to get some, since our broccoli plantings are growing slowly
- Lettuce – Another addition from Persephone– wouldn’t want you to be lacking in lettuce!
This week we got a call from Farm Credit Services explaining that they will not loan us the money to purchase the farm in Lebanon. We just don’t have enough experience farming, according to them. It was somewhat expected, but still a disappointment. After the initial let down, we decided to look on the bright side, to re-evaluate our options. We’ve spent the past week looking for alternative financing and discussing other potential available land where we could move to.
We believe the farm in Lebanon is an amazing place. The berries and fruit trees are a great asset and the new insulated barn is a perfect spot for our walk-in cooler. The irrigation system is working well, and it looks like the water rights we applied for are going to go through. It is, however, an hour away from Salem. We love Salem and wish it was closer, so it could be more connected to the community. Also, the soil conditions are not ideal for growing vegetables. The soil can be improved, but it will take some time.
As we were spreading over 500 pounds of organic fertilizer and planting overwintering cabbage this past weekend, we were wondering if we would be around to harvest the efforts. This morning we received a call from an inquiry we had made regarding potential loans for beginning farmers through the Farm Service Agency. It was good news suggesting we may qualify for the program and it gave us hope that perhaps we can salvage our plans to set down roots on the Lebanon farm.
So, we continue to be in limbo for the time being, living the life of tenant farmers. In a way, it is a wonderful feeling. We are free and open to whatever unfolds and know that no matter what, we are farmers. And thanks to your support we are living our dream, cultivating healthy food for our community!
Enjoy this week’s vegetables!Your farmers, Jeff Bramlett and Carri Heisler
Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:
Lemon Cucumber and Pesto Recipe
About 3-4 medium lemon cucumbers
2 cups fresh Italian basil leaves and stems
1/2 cup olive oil
1 clove crushed garlic
1 teaspoon sea salt
fresh ground black pepper
3 Tablespoons fresh, grated parmesan cheese
1. Slice or chop cucumbers.
2. In food processor: combine basil leaves, olive oil, garlic, sea salt, black pepper and parmesan cheese. Blend ingredients till combined well.
3. Dress over cucumbers.
4. In Mortar, crush basil leaves and garlic till. Scoop up basil/garlic combo and place in bowl. Add salt, pepper, olive oil and cheese.
From White on Rice Couple, http://www.whiteonricecouple.com/gardening/lemon-cucumbers-with-pesto/
|1||ear fresh corn, shucked|
|2||medium vine-ripened tomatoes, diced|
|2||Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil|
|~||Juice of 1 lemon|
|1||garlic clove, minced|
|½||cup fresh basil leaves, plus extra leaves for garnish|
|~||Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste|
|8||oz. wild or local scallops|
- Prepare the grill.
- Cook the ear of corn in boiling water, about 8 to 10 minutes. Allow the corn to cool and cut the kernels off the cob. Place in a bowl with the diced tomatoes.
- In a food processor or blender, combine the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, and basil, and blend until smooth. Pour ¾ of the mixture into the corn-and-tomato mixture and season with salt and pepper.
- Season the scallops with salt and pepper. Grill the scallops 3 to 4 minutes on each side.
- Divide the corn-tomato mixture between 2 plates and place the scallops on top. Drizzle the plates with remaining basil oil and sprinkle extra basil pieces (torn into small pieces or cut into a chiffonade) on top.
- Serve with grilled zucchini, asparagus, potatoes, or other summertime vegetables.
From Culinate via Marissa Lippert, http://www.culinate.com/user/Marissa-RD/recipes/marissas_recipes/grilled_scallops_with_tomato-corn_relish
Chocolate brings deep flavor to this cake, while grated zucchini makes the crumb moist and fluffy.
|½||cup (1 stick) unsalted butter at room temperature, or ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus 1 pat butter or teaspoon olive oil for greasing|
|2||cups all-purpose flour|
|½||cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder|
|1||tsp. baking soda|
|½||tsp. baking powder|
|½||tsp. fine sea salt|
|1||cup (packed) light brown sugar|
|1||tsp. pure vanilla extract|
|1||tsp. instant coffee granules|
|2||cups unpeeled grated zucchini, from about 1½ medium zucchini (keep the remaining ½ zucchini for optional garnish)|
|1||cup good-quality bittersweet chocolate chips|
|~||Confectioners’ sugar or melted bittersweet chocolate (optional)|
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease a 10-inch springform pan with butter or oil.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. In a food processor, process the sugar and butter until creamy (you can also do this by hand, armed with a sturdy spatula). Add the vanilla, coffee granules, and eggs, mixing well between each addition.
- Reserve a cup of the flour mixture and add the rest to the egg mixture. Mix until just combined; the batter will be thick.
- Add the zucchini and chocolate chips to the reserved flour mixture and toss to coat. Fold into the batter and blend with a wooden spoon: don’t overmix. Pour into the prepared cake pan and level the surface with a spatula.
- Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Transfer to a rack to cool for 10 minutes, run a knife around the pan to loosen the cake, and unclasp the sides of the pan. Let cool to room temperature before serving. Sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar, glaze with melted chocolate, or decorate with a few slices of raw zucchini (you don’t have to eat them, though).
From Culinate via Chocolate & Zucchini by Clotilde Dusoulier, http://www.culinate.com/books/collections/all_books/Chocolate+*26+Zucchini/Chocolate+*26+Zucchini+Cake+%28G%C3%A2teau+Chocolat+*26+Courgette%29