Welcome to the 16th week of the Pitchfork & Crow CSA!
Here’s what’s in the share:
- Green Snap Beans – blue lake pole beans this week. we love them for their snappy snap and lack of string even at a larger size.
- Purple Peruvian Fingerling Potatoes – another new potato variety for us, evidently it is best enjoyed roasted or fried
- Walla Walla Sweet Onion
- Pickling Cucumbers
- Summer Squash
- Jimmy Nardello Sweet Frying Peppers – our favorite sweet pepper, their bright red color and thin long shape suggest heat, but no! They’re sweet!
- Tomatoes – cherries and heirlooms for everyone
- Eggplant – a mix of round Italian varieties and long Japanese varieties.
- Head Lettuce – Mayan Jaguar romaine has returned!
- Watermelon – varieties = Sugar Baby, Blacktail Mountain, and a few Bozeman!
Back in June we held the first of the season’s CSA member farm visits. Jeff thought it would be fun to have folks help us plant the flower seeds we hadn’t gotten around to sowing. He busted out our flower seed stash and some paper bags and encouraged everyone to grab some seed to throw out during the farm tour. It was a fun way to get some flowers around the farm and whenever I see the now blooming flowers I can’t help but smile. That sunflower up above is growing on the edge of Jeff’s herb garden and we pass it multiple times a day. It’s a constant reminder of the amazing community of supporters our farm has.
We hope you know how much we appreciate our CSA community. Without your support we simply wouldn’t be able to pull off this farming gig. Of course we depend on you financially to pay our bills, but you also give our work purpose and encourage us along the way. This past weekend we welcomed a couple of CSA members out to help with the ongoing potato harvest. With their help we finished harvesting another 5 beds of potatoes! Just another example of the generous community support we enjoy. For all those things we cannot thank you enough.
We’re also thankful for our larger farmer community too. This past week when our box truck broke down on our way home from the CSA pick-up, we were grateful be able to make a late night call to some local farmer friends. They suggested a shop and met us there at midnight to even lend us a truck to get back to the farm. Can’t get any better than that!
After a couple of trips to Salem to return the borrowed truck and unload the box truck, we attempted to hunker down and mark a few items off the to-do list. We’re getting into the big harvests of the year and this week we started harvesting onions, including the sweet onions in this week’s share, and we made a big dent in the pear and plum harvests with just a few trees of each left to bring in. As we finish big harvests we endeavor to get a cover crop established for the winter and Jeff started sowing a mix of rye, winter peas, and clover into open fields this week.
We also harvested the leek seed we’re growing for our friends at Adaptive Seeds. That’s a photo of Jeff snipping off a leek flower head, now dry and full of small black leek seeds. Soon we’ll be focusing on cleaning the chaff from the seed to pass it off for germination testing. This winter we’ll be growing a couple of overwintering cauliflower varieties for Adaptive Seeds and we finally got the second variety transplanted out this week.
Enjoy the vegetables!
Jeff Bramlett and Carri Heisler
Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 2 medium onions, chopped
- 2 celery ribs, halved lengthwise and cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
- 3 carrots, halved lengthwise and cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
- 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 1/4 pounds eggplant, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 (28-ounces) can whole tomatoes in juice, drained, juice reserved and tomatoes chopped, or 1 3/4 pounds fresh tomatoes, chopped
- 2 red bell peppers, cut into 3/4-inch pieces
- 3/4 pound green beans, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
- 1 1/4 pounds zucchini, halved lengthwise and cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
- 3/4 pound boiling potatoes (about 2 medium), peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
Heat oil in a 7-to 8-quart heavy pot over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Add onions, celery, carrots, and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until pale golden, about 10 minutes. Add eggplant and water and cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until eggplant is slightly softened, about 10 minutes.
Stir in tomatoes with juice and bell peppers, then reduce heat to low and cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, cook green beans in a 3- to 4-quart saucepan of well-salted boiling water until crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Transfer with a slotted spoon to a large bowl. Add zucchini to boiling water and cook until crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Transfer with slotted spoon to bowl with green beans. Add potatoes to boiling water and cook until just tender, about 10 minutes. Drain and add to beans and zucchini.
Add boiled vegetables to stew and simmer, stirring, until all vegetables are very soft, about 15 minutes. Season with 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.
Cooks’ Note: Stew can be made up to 1 week ahead and chilled (covered once cool).
From Epicurious, via Gourmet, by Gina Marie Miraglia Eriquez http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Italian-Vegetable-Stew-em-Ciambotta-em-355473
- 2 pounds medium potatoes such as purple Peruvian or Yukon Gold (about 8)
- 1/2 teaspoon chopped garlic
- 1/4 pound queso fresco or feta, crumbled (scant 1 cup)
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 1 tablespoon chopped onion
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon bottled ají amarillo or ají mirasol paste (sometimes labeled “crema”)
- Garnish: chopped pitted black Peruvian or Kalamata olives; lime wedges (preferably Key lime)
Cover potatoes with water in a medium pot and season well with salt, then briskly simmer, covered, until just cooked through, about 20 minutes. Drain and cool, then peel.
Meanwhile, mince and mash garlic to a paste with a pinch of salt, then blend with remaining ingredients in a blender until very smooth and thicker than heavy cream (if necessary, thin with milk). Season with salt.
Cut potatoes crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices.
Spoon some sauce onto 8 small plates, then top with sliced potatoes. Serve remaining sauce on the side.
Cooks’ notes: Potatoes and sauce can be prepared 1 day ahead and chilled separately. Bring to room temperature before serving (sauce will be very thick; stir and thin with additional milk if desired).
- 3/4 cup bulgur
- 1 cup boiling-hot water
- 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 1/2 lb small yellow squash, sliced 1/2 inch thick
- 1 small red onion, chopped
- 1 lb Asian eggplant or small Italian eggplant, halved lengthwise and cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices
- 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 English cucumber, quartered lengthwise and cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices
- 2 cups baby spinach
- 1/2 cup fresh basil
- 2 tablespoons tomato, caper, and olive vinaigrette
Combine bulgur and boiling-hot water in a bowl and let stand, covered, 20 minutes. Fluff with a fork and season with salt and pepper. Cool slightly.
While bulgur stands, heat 1 tablespoon oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then sauté squash and onion with salt and pepper to taste, stirring, until tender, about 5 minutes. Transfer cooked vegetables with a slotted spoon to a large plate to cool.
Add remaining 3 tablespoons oil to skillet and heat over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then sauté eggplant with salt and pepper to taste (add more oil, 1 tablespoon at a time, if necessary), stirring, until golden brown and tender, about 6 minutes. Transfer eggplant with slotted spoon to plate to cool.
Gently toss cooked vegetables with bulgur, tomatoes, cucumber, spinach, basil, vinaigrette, and salt and pepper to taste.