Welcome to the 23rd week of the Pitchfork & Crow CSA!
Here’s what’s in the share:
- Small Sweet Onions
- Green Tomatoes
- Shelly Beans or Blue Lake Shelling Beans – Several years ago a market vender shared some bean seeds with us which she called “Shelly Beans”. We still call them that, though a quick search suggests they’re probably cranberry beans. Unfortunately we don’t have enough this year for everyone. We’re supplementing with the fresh shelling white beans of the mature Blue Lake Pole beans. Treat both varieties like the fresh shelling beans from a couple weeks back and eat them up soon.
- Hot Peppers – Numex Big Jim this week!
- Pea Shoots – we like the tender bits the best, so watch out for the woody stems towards the bottom
- Winter Squash – choose either buttercups or red kuris, both varieties have sweet, dry, orange flesh and are excellent roasted, in soups and the like.
- Apples – Nope, we don’t know the variety even though they’re from the back orchard. We like them for their crispness and sweetness. They seem to have a higher number of bug spots than other varieties, so just know that we didn’t spray them and keep an eye out for fruit friends.
This is a big week for machines on the farm. This past weekend our neighbor helped us finish repairs on our Farmall Cub cultivating tractor. When the clutch went out a couple of months back he had offered up his expertise and shop space. We’re beyond grateful for his help and are glad to have the Cub working again.
Tomorrow we’ll hopefully be picking up the box truck from the shop with a rebuilt engine! It’s been a long 7 weeks of loading and unloading the Vandura and we’re looking forward to using the box truck’s ramp once again.
We have a list of other mechanical fixes needed around the farm, but these are two big ones we’re happy to have crossed off the list.
The weather this past week has been gorgeous. Foggy mornings have cleared into warm afternoons here on the farm. Despite the sunny days, the nighttime temps have been dipping into the thirties recently and we’ve seen our first light frosts. Luckily Jeff was able to harvest the last of the peppers from the field before much frost damage occurred. We now have the last of the shishitos drying above the wood stove and the rest tucked away in the cooler. Hurrah for an extended pepper season!
The shift in seasons has resulted in the halt of tomato production too. Last week I used up the last of the overripe tomatoes in a batch of ketchup. We’re left with the green tomatoes making an appearance in this week’s share. We tend to be hesitant when it comes to unripe tomatoes, but we’re interested in testing out the classic Fried Green Tomato recipe and we thought you might like to try it out too.
In spite of the to-do lists we did get away from the farm this week for a hike up in the Santiam State Forest outside of Gates. It was just the thing we needed to gain a little perspective. The panoramic views at the top included a glimpse of Mount St. Helens, Mt. Adams, Mt. Hood, Mt. Jefferson, Three Fingered Jack, Mt. Washington, the Three Sisters to the east and even Marys Peak to the west out in the Coast Range. Jeff brought along his bow and arrows for stump shooting and I brought along my camera with the best zoom lens for mountain shots.
With the shift of the seasons comes a shift in the work on the farm. Our schedules are a little more flexible (hence the hiking trip) with the major harvests and plantings done for the season. We’re quickly filling our to-do lists with infrastructure improvements and general on-farm clean-up, necessary after such a busy growing season. We’re hoping to work in some more off-farm adventures too.
Enjoy the vegetables!
Jeff Bramlett and Carri Heisler
Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:
- 2 tablespoons canola or other vegetable oil
- 1 cup chopped onions
- 2 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
- 2 1/2 cups peeled and cubed winter squash*
- 2 celery stalks, diced
- 1/2 cup peeled and diced carrots
- 2 1/2 cups cubed potatoes
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 6 cups water
- 4 cups chopped kale (sub in chard, yes?!)
- 1 1/2 cups cooked or canned cannellini beans (15-ounce can, drained) (try your shelly beans!)
*We recommend a firm, rich winter squash, such as acorn, delicata, or buttercup.
Warm the oil in a large soup pot on medium heat. Add the onions and garlic, and sauté for 5 minutes. Add the squash, celery, carrots, potatoes, oregano, salt, pepper, and water and cook for 10 minutes or until the potatoes are almost done. Add the kale and beans and simmer for another 5 to 7 minutes, until the kale is tender and the beans are hot.
- 4 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 tablespoon rice cooking wine
- 2 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoon corn starch
- 4 tablespoons safflower oil
- 12 cloves garlic, sliced
- 12 ounces pea shoots
Step 1: In a small bowl, whisk together soy sauce, rice wine, sugar, and cornstarch and set aside.
Step 2: Heat a wok over high heat until smoking. Add oil. When oil shimmers add garlic and cook, stirring constantly, for 15 seconds.
Step 3: Add pea shoots and continue stirring until pea shoots wilt, about 2 minutes.
Step 4: Add soy sauce mixture to wok and continue stirring, 1 minute more. Serve immediately.
From MarthaStewart.com, http://www.marthastewart.com/851898/pea-shoots-garlic
- 4 large, firm green tomatoes, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch slices
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 1 cup finely ground cornmeal
- 1 teaspoon paprika or pimentón (a Spanish smoked paprika, available at latienda.com)
- 2 eggs
- Vegetable oil
1. Sprinkle the tomato slices with the salt and pepper; set aside.
2. Combine the cornmeal and paprika in a shallow bowl. In another bowl, beat the eggs.
3. Cover the bottom of a heavy skillet with 1/2 inch of oil, then place it over medium-high heat.
4. Coat the tomato slices in the egg, then dredge them in the cornmeal mixture.
5. Fry as many tomatoes as fit comfortably in the pan until nicely browned, about 2 minutes a side.
6. Transfer them to a paper towel-lined platter. Repeat until all the tomatoes are cooked.