Welcome to the 5th week of the Pitchfork & Crow CSA!
Here’s what’s in the share:
- Snap Peas!
- Red Ursa Kale
- Artichokes or Bok Choy
- Salad Mix
- German Butterball Potatoes
- Garlic Scapes – The flowering portion of hardneck garlic = spring garlic tastiness!
As school is getting out for the summer and kids and teachers are settling in to their summer vacations, work on the farm is at it’s height. Spring plantings are in need of weeding and fertilizing, early summer plantings are ready to get in the ground, tomatoes and peas need trellising, and the irrigation schedule is in full rotation. Also, winter planning is being finalized and very soon we’ll begin sowing seeds of broccoli and cabbage that will make appearances in fall and winter CSA shares. All those tasks that need to be fit in between harvests for the CSA and Saturday Market and actually showing up at the CSA drop and Saturday Market (when we actually make it there).
These are the days of frantic farmer conversations about time and energy and wondering if we’ll ever learn to farm within our limits and the limits of the farm. A few years ago around this time of year I spoke with a friend who had been working on a local farm for several seasons. It was a difficult spring and we weren’t sure how the season could possibly be saved. He reminded me that in September we probably wouldn’t even remember how hard the spring had been. And he was right, to some extent. This year we’ve been a lot luckier with the weather but the work is still overwhelming at times.
Here’s a selection from our current To Do list:
- Install drip irrigation for tomatoes
- Pull row cover off squash and cucumbers
- Direct sow radishes, corn
- Mow, mow, mow
- Cultivate/weed squash, cabbage, carrots, tomatoes
- Fertilize brassicas
- Prep ground for cover cropping, sow buckwheat cover crop
- Plant everything
- Hill potatoes
- Take soil samples
- Trellis peas, tomatoes
- Tractor maintenance
- Irrigate and prep remaining irrigation pipe for new plantings
Hopefully you’ll be joining us at the farm Sunday for the open house and potluck! You can see for yourself if we’re able to make any progress on this list. Check your email for the open house details. Not on our email list? Email us at ‘email@example.com’ and we’ll forward the info!
Enjoy the vegetables!
Jeff Bramlett and Carri Heisler
Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:
For the croutons
- 1 1/2 cups 1/2-inch cubes of French or Italian bread
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
For the soup
- the white part of 2 leeks, chopped and washed well
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3 cups chicken broth
- 4 cups shelled fresh green peas or two 10-ounce packages frozen
- 4 cups chopped lettuce, rinsed and drained
- 1/2 cup fresh mint leaves
- 1/4 cup chilled heavy cream if desired
Make the croutons:
In a bowl drizzle the bread cubes with the butter, tossing them to coat them well, and in a shallow baking dish bake them in a preheated 350°F. oven, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes, or until the croutons are golden and crisp. Season the croutons with salt. The croutons may be made 1 day in advance and kept in an airtight container.
Make the soup:
In a large saucepan cook the leeks in the butter over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until they are softened, add the broth and 2 cups water, and bring the mixture to a boil. Add the peas and the lettuce and simmer the mixture, covered partially, for 10 minutes, or until the peas are tender. Stir in the mint and in a blender or food processor purée the soup in batches. The soup may be made 1 day in advance and kept covered and chilled. Return the soup to the pan, season it with salt and pepper, and reheat it over moderately low heat, stirring, until it is hot.
In a small bowl beat the cream until it is thickened slightly but still pourable and season it with salt. Ladle the soup into bowls, drizzle drops of the cream on each serving, and draw a skewer or knife through the drops, forming decorative patterns. Serve the soup with the croutons.
1 garlic clove, sliced
½ tsp. pink peppercorns, crushed
1 tarragon sprig
⅔ cup white wine vinegar
1⅓ cups water
2 tsp. pickling salt
- 1 cup milk
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter
- 1 small carrot, peeled, diced
- 1 large bay leaf
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 large bunch kale, rinsed, coarsely chopped (about 8 cups)
- 4 pounds russet potatoes, peeled, cut into 1-inch pieces
Combine milk, 2 tablespoons butter, carrot and bay leaf in medium saucepan; bring to simmer. Remove from heat; let steep while preparing kale and potatoes.
Melt 1 tablespoon butter in large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion; sauté until light brown, about 8 minutes. Add kale; cover and cook until tender, stirring often, about 25 minutes.
Meanwhile, cook potatoes in large pot of boiling salted water until tender, about 25 minutes. Drain well. Return to same pot; mash with hand masher.
Add kale mixture to potatoes. Strain in enough milk to produce moist, fluffy potatoes. Season with salt and pepper.
Melt 5 tablespoons butter in small saucepan. Mound potatoes in large bowl. Using spoon, make well in top of potatoes. Pour butter into well. Serve hot.