Welcome to the 26th week of the Pitchfork & Crow CSA!
Here’s what’s in the share this week:
- Potatoes – fingerlings!
- Broccoli or Cauliflower
- Kohlrabi or Turnips
- Sweet Green Peppers
- Hokkaido Blue Winter Squash – With flakier flesh than many other varieties, this might be your new favorite squash!
- Red Chili Beans!
- Arugula & Spinach
As you probably know, we’re wrapping up our third year of farming, each year having been in a new location. While we’re grateful for the opportunities past landowners have given us to manage their properties, we’re also somewhat relieved to be making plans for our second year at the Lebanon farm. After a full season here we feel as though we’re just now getting to know the soil and microclimate. We’ve experienced a seasons’ worth of storms, we’ve seen crops both fail miserably and overwhelmingly thrive, and we’ve dealt with pests and predators. It’s been a year of learning, but we’re happy to know where we stand and how to begin improving yields.
Choosing to farm here for another season has allowed us to focus more energy on planning for next year and discussing our long term plans. We spent more time than we’d have liked searching for a new location this past summer and we briefly wondered if we’d even be farming next year. We tried to be flexible and seriously considered every possibility that came our way. In the end, we had a hard time compromising our vision of our future farm and our landlord offered to extend our lease, letting us put the decision off a little longer.
Ideally we would purchase a farm in the near future. We believe our farm has the best chance of succeeding if we can find it a permanent home. The land we are currently farming is for sale and I believe we would buy it if we could line-up financing. Unfortunately, as you are all too aware, this is a tough time to secure a loan. Our predicament is complicated by the fact that we’re trying to buy a small farm with no house, which instantly ups the initial down payment most banks want. Though we’ve saved a down payment, unfortunately it’s just not enough at this point.
As we head into the winter months and our work shifts more and more indoors, we’ll be further investigating our options for financing. We’ll also be solidifying our plans for the upcoming season at the Lebanon farm. In the midst of our transitions we continue to be thankful for your support! You are our community and we appreciate helping to feed you! We hope you’ll stick with us as we continue on this journey.
Enjoy this week’s vegetables!Your farmers, Jeff Bramlett and Carri Heisler
Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:
2 medium autumn squash, such as acorn, butternut, delicata, or even pumpkin (about 4 cups roasted squash flesh total)
½ cup freshly grated Parmesan or Pecorino Romano cheese, plus more for serving
½ tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
¼ tsp. dried thyme (optional)
~ Salt and pepper to taste
1 egg, lightly beaten in a small bowl
1 package wonton wrappers (about 50 wrappers)
~ Flour for dusting
1 stick (8 Tbsp.) butter
1 large handful fresh young sage leaves
½ cup chicken or vegetable stock
~ Vegetable oil, for roasting
- Roast the squash: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Put a little vegetable oil on a baking sheet. Halve the squash and discard the seeds. Place the halves cut side down on the oiled sheet and bake for 45 minutes to 1½ hours, depending on squash size (and whether you could halve them), until flesh is soft and slightly caramelized. If you’re making the dish over two nights, let the squash cool, then remove the flesh and store in the fridge overnight.
- Make the filling: Put the cooled flesh in a large bowl and crush it (with your fingers or a fork) until there are no large lumps remaining. Sprinkle the ½ cup grated cheese, nutmeg, thyme (if using), salt, and pepper over the squash and mix it all together evenly.
- Assemble the ravioli: Lightly dust two baking sheets with flour. Place a single wonton wrapper on a wooden cutting board and dollop about 2 teaspoons of filling in the middle of the wrapper. Using a pastry brush, brush a bit of the egg wash along the four edges of the wrapper around the filling. Place another wrapper over the first and carefully seal the edges, making sure no air pockets remain. (If you like, use a glass or a cookie cutter to cut the edges off the ravioli so that you have circular ravioli instead of square ones.) Place the finished raviolo on the flour-dusted baking sheet. Repeat until all the wonton wrappers are gone; you should have about 2 cups of filling left over (see Note).
- Cook the ravioli: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the ravioli in batches, about 6 to 8 at a time; they will float when done, about 3 to 5 minutes total. Scoop the ravioli out of water with a skimmer and drain them briefly on a clean dishtowel, then layer them with a little olive oil drizzled in between the layers.
- Make the sauce: While the ravioli are cooking, melt the butter in a pan over medium to medium-low heat until the butter starts to brown. Add the sage leaves and cook for a few minutes (don’t let the butter burn!) and then add the stock. Simmer the sauce to reduce it while the ravioli finish cooking.
- Since the ravioli are big and will be covered in a rich butter sauce, don’t serve more than a few ravioli per person. Place 3 to 5 ravioli on a plate and pour some of the butter-sage sauce over them. Pass the remaining grated cheese at the table.
From Culinate via Caroline Cummins, http://www.culinate.com/recipes/collections/Culinate+Kitchen/Vegetarian+Main+Dishes/squash_ravioli
Kohlrabi & Potato Gratin
1 small garlic clove, finely chopped
2 cups half-and-half
2 medium potatoes, peeled
1 to 2 kohlrabi, peeled (or turnips!)
1 cup grated Gruyere or extra sharp cheddar cheese
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon grated nutmeg
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Butter a baking dish. Crush the garlic clove into a fine paste with the side of a knife and combine it in a saucepan with the milk and cream. Slice potatoes into 3/16-inch thick rounds. Cut kohlrabi in half and then slice into rounds of the same thickness as the potatoes.
Bring the cream mixture to a simmer. Place potato and kohlrabi slices in alternating layers in the baking dish, sprinkling each layer with some of the cheese, the milk and cream mixture, salt, pepper and nutmeg. There should be two layers of potatoes and two layers of kohlrabi. Reserve ¼ of the cheese to sprinkle over the top.
Bake for 1 hour or more, until the top is golden brown and the vegetables are easily penetrated with a paring knife.
Serves 6 to 8.
From Green Earth Institute, http://www.greenearthinstitute.org/recipes/kohlrabi/kohlrabi_potato_gratin.html
Turnips with Greens
4 cups peeled turnip matchsticks
2 cups quartered and thinly sliced onions
5 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon minced fresh oregano (1 ½ to 2 teaspoons dried)
¼ teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
4 garlic cloves, minced
Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
8 cups rinsed, stemmed, and sliced greens (chard, kale, collards, turnip greens, cabbage)
Chopped fresh parsely or chives
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Oil a baking sheet.
Place the turnips and onions in a bowl and toss them with 4 tablespoons of the olive oil and the oregano. Spread evenly on the baking sheet and sprinkle with the salt and pepper.
Bake for 20 to 30 minutes, or until the ends of the turnip matchsticks are golden brown and crisp. Remove from the oven and set aside.
In a nonreactive pan, cook the garlic in the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil just until soft. Add the crushed red pepper, if using, and the greens. Cook, stirring often, for about 15 minutes, until the greens are tender. Remove from the heat.
Serve the greens in a large shallow serving bowl or on a plate, topped with the roasted turnips and onions. Garnish with chopped parsely or chives
Total Time: 1 hour
Moosewood Restaurant: New Classics, The Moosewood Collective