winter csa share – week 6 {february 10}

winter csa week 6

Welcome to the 6th week of the Pitchfork & Crow Winter CSA!

Here’s what’s in the share:

  • Potatoes – a mix of All Blue and purple-skinned Peter Wilcox
  • Arugula
  • Carrots
  • Turnips – scarlet & white!
  • Red Onions
  • Cabbage – green inside, wrapped in fabulous purple outer leaves
  • Black Futzu Winter Squash – a tasty Japanese heirloom pumpkin
  • Corn Flour – milled Saturday night, either use it up or stick it in the freezer.  check out the tasty cornbread recipe below!
  • Dried Apples – We grew ‘em and then we dried ‘em!

Reminder: We’re off to a farmer retreat this week.  As noted previously, we’ll be delivering your veggies to your house today!  That’s right, a one-time only home delivery of your veggies in lieu of the pick-up on Tuesday.  Do you split your share?  Check with your sharing partner if you’re expecting vegetables this week and we don’t leave them at your door.

Please let us know if you have any questions!

Somehow we’ve been keeping busy without marking too many things off that list I mentioned a couple weeks back.  We did officially finish removing all of the wire, posts, and irrigation drip line from the two acres of unproductive berry ground!  Can’t wait for things to dry out a bit so we can begin turning up that space.  In the meantime it’s nice to look east toward the back of the farm with an unobstructed view of the place.

We’re including corn flour in this week’s share.  We’ve included this in the past, most recently around Thanksgiving I think.  Hopefully you’ve enjoyed some cornbread or corn-cakes and used it up.  We love this stuff, including growing the colorful ears, drying it down at the end of the season, and milling it into flour. I snapped some photos to share the milling process with you:

flour corn

This past year we grew a variety of flour corn called Painted Mountain.  The ears look like decorative “Indian corn” but once fully dried down it can be milled into a nice corn flour.  We found an antique de-kerneler at Engelberg Antiks II in downtown Salem.  We’ve fixed the “Little Giant” onto a wooden box and as we toss the cob into the top and crank the handle on the back the teeth remove the kernels, dropping them into the box below.  From there we winnow out any bits of remaining cob and dry husk in front of a fan (not shown).

The kernels are dropped into the top of our small grain mill which is mounted to the back of our 1947 Farmall Cub tractor.  The tractor has a flywheel that we connect to the mill using a belt as seen in the lower right photo above.  As the flywheel spins, it cranks the wheel on the mill, which in turn moves the steel grinding plates inside the mill.  The resulting ground flour and bran come out the bottom of the mill.  The final step is to sift the flour to remove any  bran bits.

Though it may sound time-consuming, once we get the routine in place it doesn’t take long to grind enough flour to share with you.  It’s an enjoyable process and the end-product is so tasty!  This coming year we’ll be growing a different variety called Cascade Ruby Gold Flint corn.  When ground this flint corn separates out into flour and polenta!  If all goes well, next year we’ll be able to share both corn flour and polenta with you!

Enjoy the vegetables and we’ll see you in two weeks!

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

We took some cornbread muffins to a potluck this past week and folks seemed to like them.  I generally used the recipe below, though I substituted our corn flour for the corn meal and I baked them in a muffin pan.

Cornbread

1 1/2 c buttermilk (or sour milk made with 1 1/2 c milk and 1T vinegar)
2 eggs
1T sugar
1/2 t salt
1/2 t baking soda.

Beat this together. Then stir in:
1 1/2 c corn meal (I substituted our corn flour here)
1/2 c flour
1/4 c butter, melted

Cook in an 8″ square pan or round iron skillet at 425 for 30 minutes.

From The Fresh Loaf, via christilyn, http://www.thefreshloaf.com/recipes/cornbread

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Skillet Turnips and Potatoes with Bacon

  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 8 ounces thick-cut bacon slices, cut crosswise into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 4 large garlic cloves, peeled, crushed
  • 1 1/2 pounds turnips, peeled, cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 1 1/2 pounds white-skinned potatoes, peeled, cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 1 teaspoon coarse sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh Italian parsley

Mix 1/4 cup water, vinegar, and sugar in small bowl. Combine oil and bacon in heavy large skillet; sauté over medium-high heat until fat is rendered, 3 to 4 minutes. Add onion and garlic; sauté until onion is golden, about 5 minutes. Add turnips and potatoes; sprinkle with 1 teaspoon sea salt and toss 5 minutes. Reduce heat to mediumlow, cover, and cook until vegetables are almost tender, stirring and turning vegetables occasionally, about 15 minutes.

Push vegetables to 1 side of skillet. Pour vinegar mixture into cleared space. Toss vegetables with vinegar mixture. Spread vegetables in even layer in skillet; cook until golden and slightly crisp on bottom, about 4 minutes. Turn vegetables over; spread in even layer and cook until browned and slightly crisp on bottom, about 4 minutes. Continue to turn, spread, and cook vegetables until tender, golden, and crisp around edges, 7 to 8 minutes longer. Season with more sea salt and black pepper. Transfer to bowl. Sprinkle with parsley.

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Arugula Pesto

  • 1/2 cup (2 oz/60 g) walnut pieces
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 cups (2 oz/60 g) packed arugula leaves
  • 1/2 cup (2 oz/60 g) freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 cup (8 fl oz/250 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
In a food processor, combine the walnuts, garlic, arugula, Parmesan, and 1 tsp salt and pulse to blend. With the machine running, pour in the olive oil through the food tube in a slow, steady stream and process until smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Taste and adjust the seasonings.

From Epicurious via Epicurious by Max Sussman and Eli Sussman, http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Arugula-Pesto-51116200
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