Welcome to the 5th week of the Pitchfork & Crow Winter CSA!
Here’s what’s in the share:
- Butterball Potatoes
- Cooking Greens Mix – including a mix of lacinato kale, collards, radicchio, and spicy mustards
- Yellow Carrots
- Brussels Sprouts – purple & green this week!
- Delicata Winter Squash
- Mustards –
- Dried Apples – We grew ‘em and then we dried ‘em!
At the beginning of the month we made a long (really very long) list of winter projects we hoped to complete before we get into the routine work of the season ahead. We crossed a big one off the list this past week when we finished removing posts from the 2+ acres of unproductive berry fields.
These photos above give a sense of our work for several days. We took turns driving the tractor through the rows and hooking a chain from the tractor to each post. The tractor driver would use the bucket to lift out the posts and the other person would stack the newly freed post on a pallet on the forks on the back of the tractor. Repeat 400 times. There’s still some irrigation drip line to deal with, but having the posts out feels like a huge accomplishment. So much space that will no longer be a giant weed bank but instead will one day be used to grow veggies! We’ll be working it up and sowing cover crops for some time to get rid of the berry vines (mostly invasive Himalayan blackberries).
Not on our “To Do” list but a fun project nonetheless was building an egg mobile. We’ve been buying eggs from our neighbors this winter as our three hens weren’t laying due to the decreased daylight. We found out our neighbors were moving and they offered to give us their remaining flock of six hens and two roosters. We accepted and got down to building housing big enough for a combined flock of 11. We knew they’d need to be corralled into a fenced area and we liked the idea of moving them around the farm into fields in cover crops so we set about building something mobile.
As you can see in the following photos, we purchased an old trailer made out of the backend of a Ford Courier pick-up as the base for our mobile chicken house:
We proceeded to build a frame inside the bed of the pick-up that sports a shed roof, a hinged window and door above the tailgate for chicken entering/exiting, and a drop down door along the wall with the nesting boxes for egg collecting. Inside we built roosting bars and nesting boxes.
Here’s the finished product, now known at the “Chicken Courier”:
On Saturday morning we picked up the new flock across the street and introduced them to their new home. So far so good!
Reminder: In two weeks we’ll be headed out of town for a farmer retreat. There won’t be a veggie pick-up that week because we’ll be delivering to your house the previous Sunday. That’s right, a one-time only home delivery of your veggies on Feb. 10th in lieu of the pick-up on the 12th.
More info at today’s pick-up. Please let us know if you have any questions!
Enjoy the vegetables and we’ll see you in two weeks!Your farmers, Jeff Bramlett and Carri Heisler .
Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:
- 1 1/4 pounds rutabagas, peeled, cut into matchstick-size strips
- 1 pound carrots, peeled, cut into matchstick-size strips
- 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh chives
Cook rutabagas in large pot of boiling salted water 2 minutes. Add carrots and cook until vegetables are tender, about 6 minutes. Drain.
Melt butter in large pot over medium-high heat. Add lemon juice, honey, and peel. Bring to boil. Add vegetables; cook until glazed, stirring occasionally, about 6 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Remove from heat. Mix in fresh chives.
From Epicurious, via Bon Appétit, http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Carrots-and-Rutabagas-with-Lemon-and-Honey-105812
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 2 thick slices bacon
- 4 cups Brussels sprouts (about 1 pound), trimmed, halved
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup golden raisins
- 1 medium shallot, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup low-salt chicken broth
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
Heat oil in a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Add bacon and cook, turning occasionally, until crisp, about 5 minutes. Using tongs, transfer bacon to paper towels to drain. Let cool. Coarsely crumble. (Make sure crumbled bacon is unreachable by children, or it will disappear before you need it again.)
While bacon cools, add brussels sprouts to drippings in skillet; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring often, until well browned in spots and beginning to soften, 5-7 minutes. Reduce heat to low and add raisins, shallot, and butter; cook, stirring often, until shallot is soft, about 3 minutes. Add broth to skillet; increase heat and bring to a boil, scraping up browned bits from bottom of pan. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until broth has evaporated, 1-2 minutes. Stir in vinegar and crumbled bacon. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
From Epicurious, via Bon Appétit, http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Brussels-Sprouts-with-Bacon-and-Raisins-394671
- 1 medium delicata squash (12-14 ounces), halved, seeded, cut into 3/4″ cubes
- 2 tablespoons plus 1/3 cup olive oil
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup skinned hazelnuts
- 1/2 cup hazelnut oil
- 1/2 cup Sherry vinegar
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1 6-7-ounce bunch mustard greens, center ribs and stems removed from tough greens, cut into 2″ pieces (about 5 cups)
Place racks in top and bottom thirds of oven; preheat to 400°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil. Toss squash with 2 tablespoons olive oil in a medium bowl; season to taste with salt and pepper. Spread out squash on prepared sheet and roast, turning occasionally, until tender and golden in spots, 18–20 minutes.
Meanwhile, spread out hazelnuts on a small rimmed baking sheet and toast in oven until beginning to turn golden brown, 8–10 minutes. Let cool on sheet.
Chop hazelnuts; place in a small bowl. Whisk in remaining 1/3 cup olive oil, hazelnut oil, vinegar, and sugar. Season vinaigrette to taste with salt and pepper.
Place roasted squash and mustard greens in a large bowl; toss to combine. Drizzle vinaigrette over and season with salt and pepper; toss to coat.