Welcome to the 3rd week of the Pitchfork & Crow CSA!
Here’s what’s in the share:
- Asian Greens – Prize Choy bok choy: A prize in every share!
- Radishes – Either round cherry belles or long french breakfast
- Salad Mix – a mix of leaf lettuces
- German Butterball Potatoes
- Garlic Scapes – The flowering portion of hardneck garlic = spring garlic tastiness! Recipes below.
- Cherry Tomato Plants – Our extra starts want to go home with you! Put ’em in a bigger pot, water ’em, eat tomatoes.
- Strawberries – Seascape strawberries u-picked by us at Open Oak Farm last night. These guys are waiting on they’re first organic inspection, so they aren’t officially organic, but will be soon hopefully. It’s berry season folks!
You have to be crazy to get into farming. That’s been our mantra these past few weeks. We say it to each other in the midst of hours of planting, we say it to our farmer friends who have experienced crop loss, we say it to visiting college students dreaming of an agricultural future.
We chose to farm to help feed our community, to work with nature, to live a little closer to our ideals. What we didn’t fully realize in the beginning was just how crazy the business of farming is. Perhaps it’s impossible to know the reality of this work until you’re immersed in it.
Nature is an unpredictable partner. Farmer friends who have been farming far longer than us suggest there is no normal when it comes to spring weather. Some years are sunny and warm, others are rainy and cold. There are no set dates for when to start working the ground or when to start planting. The soil is ready when it’s ready and until then, we wait (or we get impatient and pay for it later). Then there’s the pests, showing up at the most inopportune times to decimate tender newly planted crops. And of course, there are weeds. Sometimes farming just feels like a battle against nature.
Time, energy, strength of will: these are other limiting factors in this business. It seems like we’re often racing against the impending rainstorm or the darkness of night to finish a project. The darkness comes, whether we’re ready or not, and sometimes we just turn on the headlights and keep working.
But what other occupation is so rewarding? Growing food is the best job I could imagine, and is hasn’t disappointed. The unpredictable and constant work just makes things more interesting along the way.
This week we’ve been busy weeding and transplanting. Hurrah for the future tomatoes, kohlrabi, broccoli, cabbage, salad mix, Brussels sprouts, fennel, parsley, tomatillos, sweet potatoes, and melons that got planted out this weekend! Let’s do this thing!
Enjoy the vegetables!
Jeff Bramlett and Carri Heisler
Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:
I don’t think I could do Garlic Scapes any more justice than has been done in the past over on the Serious Eats site here: http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2010/06/the-crisper-whisperer-what-to-do-with-garlic-scapes-recipe.html. Pesto, grilled, hummus, the list goes on!
- 8 1/3-inch-thick rounds red onion
- 8 large shiitake mushrooms, stemmed
- 8 red radishes, trimmed, halved
- 4 baby bok choy, halved lengthwise
- 1 large orange bell pepper, cut lengthwise into 8 strips
- 1 1/4 cups Mango-Sesame Dressing, divided
- 6 boneless chicken breast halves with skin
- Nonstick vegetable oil spray
Arrange all vegetables on large rimmed baking sheet. Brush vegetables lightly on both sides with 1/3 cup Mango-Sesame Dressing; sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Arrange chicken on sheet of foil. Brush both sides of chicken with 1/3 cup dressing, then sprinkle with salt and pepper. DO AHEAD: Vegetables and chicken can be prepared 2 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature.
Coat grill rack generously with nonstick spray and prepare barbecue (medium-high heat). Grill vegetables until just tender, turning occasionally, about 8 minutes for onion rounds and 4 minutes for mushrooms, radishes, bok choy, and pepper strips. Return all vegetables to same baking sheet.
Grill chicken until cooked through, 5 to 6 minutes per side. Transfer chicken to cutting board. Let stand 5 to 10 minutes. Cool 2 chicken breasts; wrap and chill for Asian Chicken-Noodle Salad.
Arrange remaining 4 chicken breasts and vegetables on platter. Serve with remaining dressing.
- 3 pounds russet potatoes, peeled, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 4 hard-boiled eggs, peeled, yolks and whites separated
- 4 radishes, thinly sliced
- 8 sweet pickles, finely chopped
- 1 cup chopped celery
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 1 teaspoon dried mustard
- 2 tablespoons prepared mustard
- 2 tablespoons sweet pickle juice
- 1 cup light mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup milk
Cook potatoes in large pot of boiling water until just tender. Drain. Transfer potatoes to large bowl and cool.
Mince egg whites. Add whites, radishes, pickles, celery and onion to potatoes. Mash yolks in medium bowl. Add dry mustard, prepared mustard and pickle juice. Add mayonnaise and milk and blend until smooth.
Pour dressing over potatoes and toss gently. Season with salt and pepper.
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 2 to 3 anchovy fillets, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
- Coarse kosher salt
- 16 1/2-inch-thick diagonal slices baguette
- 10 radishes (such as French Breakfast), trimmed, thinly sliced on diagonal
- Additional chopped fresh chives (for garnish)
Mix butter, 2 chopped anchovy fillets, and 2 tablespoons chives in small bowl, adding 1 more chopped anchovy fillet to taste, if desired. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Spread anchovy butter over 1 side of each baguette slice. Top each baguette slice with radish slices, overlapping slightly to cover bread. Garnish with additional chopped chives and serve.