csa share – week 15 {august 28}

Welcome to the 15th week of the Pitchfork & Crow CSA!

Here’s what’s in the share:

  • Summer Squash
  • Green Beans – a french filet variety known as maxibel haricot vert!
  • Sweet Corn – a white variety called sugar pearl
  • Fennel
  • Green Peppers – just like bell peppers, but not a bell shape
  • Carrots
  • Cucumbers – lemon cukes
  • Salad Mix
  • Tomatoes – romas, cherries, and a couple of small slicers for everyone!
  • Asian Pears

This past week we heard some awful news about a small farmer we’ve crossed paths with from Junction City who was recently in an accident with his combine.  We’ve heard that he’s doing well and will make a full recovery.  We’re glad to hear he’s on the mend but his accident has reminded us to be thankful for our health and to make every effort to work safely on the farm.

As we continue the transition to both being full-time farmers we often find ourselves discussing our future finances and budgets.  As with any small business, our first few years have been filled with ramping up production and purchasing equipment for the farm.  Luckily we’ve had off-farm jobs to provide an outside income for our personal needs and to cover our healthcare costs.  Once we make the final transition though, we’ll need to budget in expenses for health insurance and set aside savings for meeting the high deductibles we’ll surely have to opt for in case we’re also faced with a trip to the ER.

The healthcare debate isn’t one we’re inclined to enter into lightly.  The reality is that farming is a physical job that can at times be dangerous, especially when machinery is involved, and thus affordable healthcare, including health insurance, is something we think about quite a bit.  This week we were reminded that we’re not invincible and accidents can happen.  I guess this is all to say, thanks once more for supporting our farming adventure, including the realities like health insurance!

Enjoy this week’s vegetables!

Your farmers,
Jeff Bramlett and Carri Heisler

Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:

Carrot and Fennel Soup

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 medium fennel bulbs, trimmed fronds reserved, thinly sliced
2 1/4 pounds / 36 ounces farmer market carrots, thickly sliced
2 large cloves garlic, thinly sliced
10 cups good-tasting vegetable broth or water
salt to taste
3 cups / 12 oz cooked wild rice
2 tablespoons blood orange olive oil or 5 tablespoons fresh orange juice
lots of freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Heat the olive oil in your largest soup pot over medium-high heat. Add the fennel and cook for 3-4 minutes, until softened a bit. Stir in the carrots and cook another 10 minutes, just long enough for them to soften a touch and start taking on a bit of color. Stir in the garlic and cook another 30 seconds. Stir in the broth. Bring to a simmer and simmer, covered, until the carrots are very tender, another 15-20 minutes or so. Stir in the wild rice, bring back to a simmer, taste and add more salt if needed

Remove from heat and stir in the blood orange olive oil or orange juice. Taste and add more if needed. Serve dusted, generously, with freshly grated Parmesan, and a sprinkling of the reserved fennel fronds.

Serves about 6.

Inspired by the Carrot & Fennel Soup in The Essential New York Times Cookbook by Amanda Hesser.

Prep time: 10 min – Cook time: 30 min

From 101 Cookbooks, http://www.101cookbooks.com/archives/carrot-and-fennel-soup-recipe.html


Grilled Corn, Tomato, and Red Potato Salad with Basil Vinaigrette


4 Ears Corn on the Cob
½ pt. Cherry Tomatoes Halved 4 oz.
Small Red Potatoes Quartered
6 leaves Basil Chiffonade for garnish


4 oz. Fresh Basil
½ tsp. Dijon Mustard
2 oz. Champagne Vinegar
4 oz. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
~ Salt
~ Pepper

  1. Clean Corn cobs and rub with Olive Oil, Salt, and Pepper.
  2. Place on grill over indirect heat, turning occasionally until slightly colored. If grill is unavailable, roast in a hot oven at 400 degrees for 10 minutes until slightly colored.
  3. Remove from heat and cut kernels off husk and place in mixing bowl.
  4. Place potatoes in a small pot of cold water. Bring to boil and boil for about 6 minutes or until the potatoes are tender but not mushy. Drain and add to mixing bowl with corn.
  5. Add cherry tomatoes to mixing bowl and basil chiffonade
  6. Add vinaigrette a little at a time and toss to coat.
  7. Loosely cover and place bowl in refrigerator to cool completely 1-2 hours before serving.
  8. Do not hold for more than 48 hours
  9. Pairs well with grilled chicken, pork chops, or broiled fish

From Culinate via Williamsburg Farmers Market Recipes, http://www.culinate.com/market/WilliamsburgFarmersMarket/recipes/wfm_recipes/grilled_corn_tomato_and_red_potato_salad_with_basil_vinaigrette


Tilghman Island Stew

3 T vegetable oil
2 c chopped onion
1 T minced garlic
4 bay leaves
2 t dried thyme
1 c sliced celery
2 T Old Bay Seasoning
1 1/2 c tomatoes with juice
4 c peeled, cubed sweet potatoes
6 c water or vegetable stock
4 c chopped kale
2 c stemmed and halved green beans
2 c fresh or frozen corn kernels
1 c chopped red bell pepper
2 c sliced zucchini
1 T soy sauce
2 T lemon juice
salt and pepper

Garnish: grated cheddar cheese and chopped parsley or scallions

Note: After chopping the sweet potatoes, immerse them in water right away to prevent discoloration. Drain before adding to the stew.

In a soup pot, warm the oil briefly on medium heat. Add the onions and sauté until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, bay leaves and thyme, then cover and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add 1/4 c water to prevent sticking, if necessary. Add the celery and Old Bay Seasoning and cook for 5 minutes.
Add the tomatoes, sweet potatoes, and water or vegetable stock. Increase the heat to a moderate boil. Stir in the kale and green beans. When the stew returns to a simmer, stir in the corn and cook until the green beans are just tender. Add the bell peppers and zucchini and cook for another 5-10 minutes, until all of the vegetables are tender. Stir in the soy sauce and lemon juice. Add salt and pepper to taste. Remove and discard the bay leaves.
Serve topped with grated cheese and fresh parsley or scallions.

From Moosewood Restaurant: New Classics, The Moosewood Collective