winter csa share – week 9 {march 26}

winter share week 9

Welcome to the 9th week of the Pitchfork & Crow Winter CSA!

Here’s what’s in the share:

  • Rutabaga
  • Savoy Cabbage
  • French Breakfast Radishes!
  • Carrots – ah winter carrots: best for cooking!
  • Leeks
  • Potatoes – German Butterballs!
  • Cabbage Rapini – this stuff is amazingly tasty!  Chop, saute, and add to eggs or over pasta for deliciousness!
  • Yellow Onions
  • Purple Sprouting Broccoli
  • Butternut Winter Squash

With the arrival of the vernal equinox last week we officially made the transition into spring.  As we march towards the summer solstice I’m happy to know that the days will  be getting longer and longer.  We’ve made it through another dark winter and it’s time to welcome the light.

We can’t help but feel cautious though.  The harshness of the last two years is still fresh for us and we’re hesitant to enjoy the recent dry spells too much.  We know that any day the real spring rains might show up, and not stop until mid-June.

As we ramp up towards summer production we find ourselves discussing timing a lot.  Is it too wet to break ground?  Too cold to direct sow peas?  When should we spread lime?  And then we discuss prioritization.  Should we weed the radishes or sow more spinach?  Should we inventory and standardize the irrigation pipe or disc the fields we need for future plantings?  The weather often aids with answering these questions.  Consecutive dry days get us closer to working the ground.  Stormy days send us under cover, if possible, to sow seeds in the propagation house.

Luckily there are some hard dates on our calendar to guide our decision making.  We’re headed to the Salem Saturday Market on April 6th.  The summer CSA begins May 21st.  These dates tend to provide just enough pressure to keep us from getting too overwhelmed with things while also continuing to mark things off the to-do list.

late march

Of course nature advances at its own pace and we do what we can to follow along.  The plum trees are in full bloom and the pears and apples aren’t too far behind.  The overwintered brassicas (cabbages, kales, collards etc.) are sending up tasty rapini shoots that we can’t get enough of but know won’t last forever.  The garlic is growing, growing, growing!  These plants all know spring is here and it’s time to come out of hibernation!

This past week we finally finished erecting and covering our newest field house.  Jeff was a trooper in constructing it and it’s very nice to have that project completed.  As you can see below, covering the frame was quite an adventure and we’re happy to say no one was injured and the giant piece of plastic did not fly away!   In a couple short months it will be planted full of various types of tomatoes!

greenhouse complete

The glimpses of spring here at the farm give us hope.  As we get back into the groove of sowing seeds, working ground, transplanting starts, eventually irrigating and continual harvesting, those signs of growth remind us that the warm days of summer aren’t too far off.

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:

Eggs, Greens, and some Beans

1 can of butter beans
2 Tbsp. of freshly chopped tarragon
2 tsp. of olive oil or tea seed oil
4 eggs
2 handfuls of rapini, chopped
~ salt and pepper to taste

  1. open up can of beans, drain and give a little rinse, drain again
  2. heat a small pan with enough water to blanch the rapini, I like to add some salt to the water
  3. Meanwhile, heat a small skillet over medium heat with 1 tsp of oil, add the beans and tarragon and saute until warmed through.
  4. Fry your eggs however you like them. I prefer mine over easy with a little salt and pepper
  5. Add rapini to boiling water and cook for 1-1½ minutes, remove from water and place on plate
  6. divide beans, rapini and eggs evenly between two plates and enjoy!
  7. Oh, I like mine drizzled with some hot sauce

From Culinate via Quinn Losselyong, http://www.culinate.com/user/teaisfun/recipes/on_the_cheap_eats/eggs_greens_and_some_beans

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Rutabagas with Caramelized Onions

8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter
1 3/4 pounds onions, halved, thinly sliced
2 1/4 pounds rutabagas, peeled, cut into 1/2- to 3/4-inch pieces
2 tablespoons honey

Melt 5 tablespoons butter in heavy large skillet over medium-low heat. Add onions and sauté until brown, 40 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook rutabagas in large pot of boiling salted water until tender, about 20 minutes. Drain well.

Melt 3 tablespoons butter in large skillet over medium-low heat. Add rutabagas; sauté until heated through, about 10 minutes. Drizzle honey over. Gently stir in onions. Season with salt and pepper. (Can be made 3 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature. Rewarm over medium-low heat.)

.

Cider Glazed Roasted Root Vegetable Stew

1 Cup Yukon Potatoes, peeled and diced into 1/2 inch cubes
1 Cup Parsnips, peeled and sliced 1/2 inch thick
1 Cup Carrots, peeled and sliced 1/2 inch thick
1 Large Leek, cleaned thoroughly and sliced thinly into half-moons
1 Cup Sweet Potatoes, peeled and diced into 1/2 inch cubes
1 Cup Rutabagas, peeled and diced into 1/2 inch cubes
1 Head of Garlic
1 Cup Apple Cider
3 Tablespoon Vegetable Oil
2 Tablespoons Butter, unsalted
4 Cups Vegetable or Chicken Stock, or Water
2 Bay Leaves
1 Tablespoon Fresh Chopped Thyme
1 Tablespoon Fresh Chopped Sage
Salt and Pepper, to taste

*Also throw in winter squash, Brussels sprouts, or other such veggies you have lurking about.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut off the top third of the head of garlic. Sprinkle a little oil on top of the exposed cut and loosely wrap the garlic in foil. Place garlic in oven to roast.

In a large bowl, toss the potatoes, sweet potatoes, parsnips, carrots, and rutabagas with 3 tablespoons of oil. Spread the vegetables evenly onto a cookie sheet and place in oven. Roast for approximately 15 minutes.

In a large, heavy pot, melt the butter. Add the leeks and saute for about 3 minutes. Add the roasted root vegetables and apple cider. Continue to cook until cider has reduced by half.

Add the stock or water, thyme, bay leaves, and sage. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook for another 10 minutes.

Remove garlic from oven. Garlic should be soft and aromatic. Squeeze the garlic from the bulbs into a small bowl. Mash the garlic well with a fork. Stir the roasted garlic into the stew.

Season stew with salt and pepper. Serve hot.

From About.com via Brett Moore, http://gourmetfood.about.com/od/appetizers/r/roastvegstew.htm

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