Welcome to the 27th week of the Pitchfork & Crow CSA!
Here’s what’s in the share this week:
- German Butterball Potatoes
- Brussels Sprouts
- Red Ursa Kale
- Delicata Winter Squash
- Pie Pumpkin
- Painted Mountain Corn Flour – grown, harvested, and milled by your farmers!
- Samples of Steel Bridge Coffee Beans! – Read more about this new Salem coffee-roasting business below.
Whoa, it’s the last week of the 2011 CSA season! Together we’ve eaten our way through 27 weeks of seasonal vegetables and fruits. That’s six months of local, organic food, and a whole season of supporting your local farmers! We’re thoroughly grateful to everyone who joined us for our 2nd year offering a CSA and we hope that you’re finishing the season inspired about local and seasonal vegetables and looking forward to the 2012 growing season.
As we officially wrap up the CSA this week I find I have a long list of topics I want to write about. Below are a few them:
We wanted to be sure to thank those folks who took the time to return the CSA surveys from a few weeks back. We tend to think you were all a little too nice to us, but we appreciate all of the feedback and will be taking your comments into consideration as we begin planning for next season in earnest.
Many folks had feelings, mostly positive, about the varied selection of products we’ve offered from other farms and businesses this season when we’ve wanted to make sure weekly shares were filled. We appreciate being able to support other farms when we come up short and like to think that we’re helping to introduce you to some other local eating options. That said, we want to make sure you know that we plan to keep the focus on products from our farm, which we think is primarily why you joined the CSA in the first place.
Also, we’re using some of your kind words in our newly updated business plan! Who better to speak to potential funders of our farm than you, our fantastic members?! Many thanks for your support!
This week we’re including just shy of a pound of freshly milled corn flour for all your cornbread, johnny cake, and pancake needs! We grew this corn using saved seed from last year’s crop of beautiful Painted Mountain flour corn. Though the ears are often used as a decorative “Indian corn”, the ground corn makes lovely flour for eating too. Jeff recently took the ingenious step of hooking our hand-powered grain mill up to the little Farmall Cub tractor to make the grinding go a little faster. We’re excited to share this new product with you and hope you enjoy it too! Check out Jeff’s Cornbread Fantastic recipe below.
Who roasts your coffee beans? As Jeff and I have attempted to source our food locally over the years we’ve often come up against the caffeine question. What’s the best option for a local caffeine source? We probably drink more coffee than is prudent (a sticker on our coffee pot at home says “Pitchfork & Crow: Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Caffeine!”). We haven’t yet made the choice to give it up, so instead we purchase organic shade grown, fair trade coffee from the store. We’d like to think coffee farmers are being compensated for growing coffee in an environmentally friendly way while supporting our coffee habit.
We’re excited to include free samples of Steel Bridge Coffee in your share this week. Steel Bridge Coffee is a new business venture by our friend and neighbor Joseph Penner. He’s passionate about coffee and bikes, and he’s bringing them together in a bicycle-delivered coffee roasting business! You’re getting a taste of organic, fair trade coffee fresh-roasted in West Salem. If you’re smitten, you’re in luck! Joseph is taking orders for coffee beans by the pound, delivered by bike of course, on his website here: http://www.steelbridgecoffee.com/place-an-order.html.
The main CSA season is coming to an end but we’re not quite finished yet. We’re hanging on to some lovely winter squash, an abundance of potatoes, and the greens are at their peak in the fields. We’ve taken inventory and decided a Christmas Harvest is in order! Look for an e-mail from us in December if you’re interested in ordering up some Christmas dinner veggies or want to re-supply your stores for the winter.
2012 CSA Sign-Ups!
Many folks have been curious about our plans for next year. We’ve only just begun to solidify our CSA program thoughts for 2012, but do know that we’re looking forward to the third season of the CSA! We’ll be sending out details in December and you can begin signing up then with payments accepted after the start of the new year. Also, current members will have a spot next year if you’d like one. We ask that you let us know as soon as possible if you’d like to sign up again, so we can plan for filling other share spots.
That’s all folks! We can’t thank you enough for your support during this year. The spring and summer had their challenges and we appreciate everyone for sticking with us and bolstering our attitudes throughout! We farm for you and wouldn’t have it any other way. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday, hopefully starring delicious local food!
Enjoy this week’s vegetables and see you next year!Your farmers, Jeff Bramlett and Carri Heisler
Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:
2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 medium pumpkin or 2 small sugar pumpkins (about 8 pounds total)
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Coat a baking sheet with the oil. Remove and discard pumpkin stem. Cut pumpkin in half and scrape out seeds and pulp. Discard pulp and rinse seeds well; set seeds aside to use for Pumpkin Soup.
- Place pumpkin, cut sides down, on baking sheet. Cook until pumpkin is tender (a knife goes through the skin easily), about 20 to 40 minutes, depending on size. Set aside to cool.
- When cool enough to handle, scrape pumpkin flesh from skin and place in a blender or food processor. Process until smooth.
- Spread pumpkin in an even layer on a baking sheet. Bake (anywhere from 350 to 400 degrees will work) until pumpkin is drier and thick, 30 to 40 minutes. When cool, transfer to a storage container and refrigerate until ready to use.
From culinate.com via Keri Fisher, http://www.culinate.com/recipes/collections/Contributors/Keri+Fisher/pumpkin_puree
If you came to the Pumpkin Patch event at the farm, you might have tried my version of these pumpkin pie bars!
1/2 cup (50 grams) raw unpeeled hazelnuts
1 cup (130 grams) all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup (110 grams) light brown sugar
>1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1 – 15 ounce can (425 grams) pure pumpkin (2 cups) (but you know you should just bake your pie pumpkin instead!)
3/4 cup (165 grams) light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/2 cups (360 ml) heavy cream
1/2 cup (120 ml) heavy cream
1 tablespoon (15 grams) granulated white sugar
Pumpkin Bars: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C) and place the rack in the center of the oven. Line the bottom and sides of a lightly buttered 9 x 13 inch (23 x 33 cm) baking pan with a 22 inch (56 cm) long piece of aluminum foil that has been buttered and floured.
Hazelnut Shortbread: Place the hazelnuts on a baking sheet and bake for approximately 15 minutes or until brown and fragrant and the skins are starting to peel. Remove from oven, place the hot hazelnuts in a clean dish towel, roll it up, and let the nuts ‘steam’ for about five minutes. Then briskly rub the nuts to remove most of their skins. Set aside to let the nuts cool and then coarsely chop.
Place the chopped hazelnuts, flour, and salt in the bowl of your food processor fitted with a metal blade. Process the mixture until the hazelnuts are finely ground.
In the bowl of your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy (2 – 3 minutes). Beat in the vanilla extract. Add the flour mixture and beat until a soft dough forms. Press the dough evenly and firmly onto the bottom of the foil-lined pan. Bake for about 15 minutes or until the shortbread is set and beginning to brown around the edges. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack.
Pumpkin Filling: Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk the eggs. Add the pumpkin, sugar, vanilla extract, spices, and salt and whisk to combine. Gradually stir in the cream. Pour the filling over the pre baked crust and bake for about 30 – 35 minutes, or until the filling is set in the center. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool.
Run a knife around the inside edges of the pan. Lift the pumpkin bars from the pan by holding onto the edges of the aluminum foil. Place on a cutting board, peel back the aluminum foil, and cut into 32 bars. The bars can be covered and refrigerated up to three days. Serve chilled or at room temperature.
Garnish: Whip the cream with the sugar until stiff peaks form. Place the whipped cream in a piping bag fitted with an open star tip and pipe a small rosette of cream on top of each pumpkin bar.
Makes 32 pumpkin bars.
From JoyofBaking.com via Rodgers, Rick. Autumn Gatherings. William Morrow. New York: 2008., http://www.joyofbaking.com/barsandsquares/PumpkinBars.html
First: Turn the oven on to 400 degrees, put ½ stick butter into a cast iron skillet and put it in the oven to heat up
Second: While the skillet is heating up, mix 2 cups of corn meal with ½ cup all-purpose flour, 1 tsp baking powder, and 1 tsp salt
Third: Once the dry ingredients are mixed, crack an egg into the mix and add 1 cup milk, stir with a fork until all the flour is wet, then add about 1/3-1/2 cup more of milk and stir: you want the mixture to slide out of the mixing bowl into the hot skillet
Fourth: by now the oven is pre-heated, the butter is melted and the skillet is hot. Take the skillet out of the oven and pour the melted butter into the mix, stir the butter into the mix quickly and transfer the cornmeal mix into the cast iron skillet and put it in the oven. I use a rubber spatula to get the cornmeal mix into the skillet and smooth it out.
Fifth: Set the timer for twenty minutes. when the twenty minutes is up, take the skillet out of the oven and rub butter on the top of the cornbread, coating the top with a thin layer of melted butter, turn the oven to broil and stick the cornbread back into the oven to brown the top of the cornbread. This may take just a minute! Take it out once the cornbread is browned on top and cut into pie shaped slices.
If you have some Southern blood in you, this is especially good when it is cold crumbled up in buttermilk.
From your farmer’s test kitchen!