csa share – week 4 {june 12}

Welcome to the 4th week of the Pitchfork & Crow CSA!

Here’s what’s in the share:

  • Salad Turnips
  • Garlic Scapes or Green Garlic
  • Carrots
  • Head Lettuce
  • Fava Beans
  • Potatoes – German Butterballs!
  • Red Ursa Kale

As we jumped into this third CSA season, we’ve tried to focus on the work and the relief we’ll feel when we officially own the farm.  Sometimes I forget we’re still renters with no guarantee after December that we’ll be farming this ground.  This weekend, as we planted out bed after bed of winter squash, we fantasized about finally building the squash storage room we’ve talked about ever since we first saw one on a farm tour in Portland several years ago.  That’s just one of the many projects on our post-purchase wishlist.

Many of you may know that we applied for a loan through the Farm Service Agency this past winter.  They have programs for beginning farmers to help with the purchase of a farm when a traditional bank won’t lend the necessary funds.  As with any government program, the FSA has its share of red tape.  The paperwork was fairly involved (luckily Jeff has experience and a finely honed skill for filling out government forms from his days as a special education teacher!) and several times when we thought the application was complete our contact would request another document or signature.  Finally good news came a few weeks ago when the loan was approved for the asking price.  The caveat, of course, being that an appraisal would need to be done and the loan couldn’t exceed the appraised value.  So, we continue in the holding pattern until we find out the difference between the asking price and the appraised value.

Today the Territorial Seed Company’s fall/winter catalog was waiting in the mailbox when I came home from work.  We will be finalizing our winter cropping plan this week and putting extra seed orders in asap to begin the push for overwintering plantings.  We’ll continue to focus on the work, and we’ll continue to add to the project wishlist.  We’ve only just begun this season, and if nothing else, we’re fairly certain of where we’ll be finishing it.  Thanks for joining us this summer and giving us something to focus our attention on!

Enjoy this week’s vegetables!

Your farmers,
Jeff Bramlett and Carri Heisler
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Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:

For those of you who are new to the world of fresh fava beans, welcome!  The usual prep for these beans is a little work as you have to shuck them, blanche them, and then pop off the outer covering before you get to the bean proper, but they are worth the effort!  Alternatively we’ve had them recently with the inner shells intact and they were tasty and we’ve included a recipe below for grilling the whole pod.  Seriously folks, favas are good food!  Check out the recipes below for a couple of suggestions.  We’d also love to hear what you come up with for them!

Fava Bean Dip aka Fake Guacamole

Fava beans
1 tsp. olive oil
Garlic, 2 cloves, diced (use green garlic or scapes here)
Lime juice
Cilantro
Salt
Pepper
2 Tbsp. plain goat cheese

Blanche fava beans. Shell beans from the large pod. Peel off the second layer of skin, revealing a tiny, bright green bean.

In a food processor, combine beans, olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper, lime juice and goat cheese. Add more water if needed to make it creamy.

Serve as a dip, or as filling between grilled corn tortillas.

From The Veg Table, Mary Altman

Also available here: http://www.culinate.com/user/marybethSF/recipes/the_veg_table/fava_bean_dip_aka_fake_guacamole

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Grilled Fava Beans

1 pound of fresh fava beans, still in their pods
a couple glugs of olive oil
a few pinches of salt

optional: crushed red pepper flakes, lemon zest, and or chopped fresh herbs.

In a large bowl toss the fava bean pods with olive oil and salt.

Arrange them in a single layer on a grill over medium-high heat. If you’re using a grill pan, you may need to cook them in batches. If I’m using an outdoor grill I don’t bother covering the favas, but when I use a grill pan, I typically cover the pan with a flat baking sheet to keep more of the heat in the pan and circulating.

Grill until blistered on one side – 4 to 5 minutes, then flip and grill for a few minutes more on the other side. If you aren’t sure when to pull them off, take a pod off the grill, open and taste one of the beans. You want the fava beans to be smooth and creamy when you pop them out of their skins – not undercooked. But keep in mind that they’ll keep steaming in their pods for a few minutes after they come off the grill, unless you eat them as soon as you can handle the pods without singing your fingers – which is what I encourage you to do :)

Season the grilled favas with a bit more salt (if needed) and any herbs or lemon zest if you like. To eat: tear open the puffy green pods, take a fava bean, pinch the skin and slide the bright green fava from its slipper. Eat them one at a time and be sure to lick your fingers.

Serves 2 – 4

From 101 Cookbooks; http://www.101cookbooks.com/archives/grilled-fava-beans-recipe.html

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Turnip Carrot Slaw

  • 2 pounds turnips (about 2 large ones)
  • 4 medium carrots
  • 1 bunch green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup mint leaves, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup Italian parsley, roughly chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon poppy seeds
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  1. Cut any roots or rough ends off of the turnips and carrots. Slice into smaller chunks and grate by hand or in a food processor. Spoon the turnips and carrots into a large serving bowl. Add the green onions, mint leaves and parsley and gently toss.
  2. In a small bowl or glass measuring cup, whisk the garlic, vinegar, mustard and poppy seeds together. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil and whisk until incorporated. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Pour the dressing over the slaw and gently toss. Taste for salt and pepper. Leave the slaw to sit for about an hour before serving to let the flavors mix. Serve chilled or room temperature.

From Food52 via BlueKaleRoad, http://food52.com/recipes/17652_turnip_carrot_slaw

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