winter csa share – week 8 {march 13}

winter csa share week 8

Welcome to the 8th week of the Pitchfork & Crow Winter CSA!

Here’s what’s in the share:

  • Garlic
  • Shallots
  • Rutabaga & Pea Micro-Greens – Snip them and toss on top of quesadillas, sandwiches, pizza, or salads.  Also, don’t bother planting the peas in hopes of peas pods as this variety doesn’t produce edible pods.  Enjoy them as pea shoots!
  • Rutabaga – What an amazing amount of food to come from the small micro-greens you’re receiving too!  Last time you’ll be seeing these for the season.  Hopefully rutabaga rapini soon!
  • Ozette Fingerling Potatoes
  • Farm Greens! – A mix of collards, kale, chard, and kale/cabbage rapini!  Spring is on its way and the few plants that survived the winter are starting to provide again!
  • Dried Apples – We grew them, we dried them, we hope you like them!
  • Dakota Black Popcorn – More popcorn, and this time we grew it!  This is the stove top recipe we use:
  • Oregon Homestead Winter Squash – We purchased this sweet meat squash from Harcombe Farm who grew it as a seed crop for Fertile Valley Seeds.  This is a large-sized Oregon heirloom that is not only well-suited to our cold, wet climate, but also deliciously sweet and dry.  Enjoy!

spring days

The last few days have reminded us just how lovely the weather can be in these parts.  The sun has been shining, the fields have been drying out, and spring is definitely in the air.  After the winter snows and the recent wind and rainstorms we’re glad to see a break for nice weather.

spring crops

The few plants in the field that survived the winter are coming back to life too.  The collards were the only greens to survive December’s freeze on a large scale but the cold left them ragged.  They’re finally looking up and they’re the base of this week’s farm greens.  We’ve also included the first of the season’s rapini.  Rapini is the sweet, tender stalks and buds of overwintered brassica plants like cabbage, kale, and collards that are going to seed.  We wait all year for the return of the rapini and we hope you enjoy it as much as we do while it lasts.

The spring crops we’ve begun sowing in the last few weeks are starting to emerge too.  The small beginnings of peas, carrots, spinach, radishes, and turnips are visible in our field houses and we’re hopeful for a shift from winter roots to spring greens soon.


In an effort to bring some greens to the shares sooner than later, we’ve begun experimenting with sprouts.  This week we’re sharing rutabaga and pea sprouts with you.  These are for trimming and adding to sautes and salads or anything else that could use a dash of green.  Do note that this variety of pea won’t produce edible pods, so you’ll want to eat up the tender shoots.

Were especially excited about the rutabaga sprouts.  We grew a rutabaga seed crop last year that produced more seed than the seed company could use.  What does one do with 7 extra pounds of rutabaga seed?  Winter sprouts!  It’s fun to bring this seed full-cycle and share a piece of the seed-saving journey with you.

new greenhouse

Since we last met we’ve been continuing to start seeds in the propagation house.  It’s starting to fill up with onions, leeks, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, spinach, lettuce, peas, bok choy, kohlrabi, fennel, parsley, celeriac, celery, cauliflower, and beets!  This week we’ll sow the first broccoli and cabbage of the season.  Things are really getting going!

After finally finishing up the orchard pruning last week we shifted focus to putting up the new-to-us greenhouse we purchased from another farm last spring.  We’re hoping to use it as our tomato house this year and we’re looking forward to another rotation space for the crops we grow in our field houses.  If all goes well we’ll have photos of a finished greenhouse in the next update.  Fingers crossed!

You’ll be able to see our progress for yourselves next weekend!  We’re fast approaching the winter CSA farm visit and potluck lunch scheduled for Saturday March 22nd.  We’re inviting members out to see the farm in early spring and to meet other Winter CSA members.  Check out the weekly email from us for further details.

Enjoy the vegetables and we’ll see you in two weeks!

Your farmers,
Jeff Bramlett and Carri Heisler

Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:

Skillet Greens with Crispy Shallots and Cider Gastrique

  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
  • 2 cups plus 1 tablespoon peanut oil
  • 2 cups thinly sliced shallots
  • Coarse kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons bacon drippings
  • 2 pounds greens (such as collards, chard, and kale), stems removed, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-wide strips

Dissolve sugar in 1 tablespoon water in small saucepan over medium heat. Increase heat; boil without stirring until amber, brushing pan sides with wet pastry brush, about 5 minutes. Add vinegar and crushed pepper (mixture will bubble vigorously). Stir until caramel bits dissolve. Cool.

Pour 2 cups oil into heavy medium saucepan. Attach deep-fry thermometer to side of pan and heat oil to 350°F. Working in batches, fry shallots until golden brown, stirring occasionally, 1 1/2 to 2 minutes per batch. Using slotted spoon, transfer shallots to paper towels. Sprinkle with coarse salt.

Heat drippings with 1 tablespoon peanut oil in large pot over medium-high heat. Add half of greens and sprinkle with coarse salt and pepper; toss until wilted. Add remaining greens; toss to wilt, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and cook until greens are tender, adding water by 1/4 cupfuls if dry, about 45 minutes. Season with coarse salt and pepper.

Rewarm gastrique. Transfer greens to large shallow bowl. Drizzle some gastrique over and sprinkle shallots over. Serve, passing remaining gastrique.

Ingredient tip: This recipe calls for a few tablespoons of bacon drippings (fat). If you don’t save drippings, fry up a few slices of bacon until you have what you need.

From Epicurious, via Bon Appétit, by Linton Hopkins,


Winter Squash and Chicken Stew with Indian Spices

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 6 chicken thighs, skin removed
  • 1 1/3 cups chopped onion
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 4 cups 1-inch pieces peeled butternut or acorn squash
  • 2 cups 1-inch pieces peeled russet potatoes
  • 1 cup canned low-salt chicken broth
  • 1 14 1/2- to 16-ounce can diced tomatoes with liquid
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

Heat 1 teaspoon oil in Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Add to Dutch oven; sauté until brown on all sides, about 8 minutes. Transfer to plate.

Heat remaining 1 teaspoon oil in same pot over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic; sauté until golden, about 5 minutes. Add curry powder, cumin, and cinnamon; stir 1 minute. Return chicken to pot. Add squash, potatoes, broth and tomatoes. Cover and simmer 15 minutes. Uncover and simmer until chicken and potatoes are cooked through and liquid is slightly reduced, about 8 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with cilantro.

From Epicurious, via Bon Appétit,


Lemon-Paprika Tilapia with Potato-Rutabaga Mash

  • 1 pound Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 1-pound rutabaga, peeled, cut into 3/4-inch cubes (about 3 cups)
  • 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) butter, divided
  • 1/3 cup whole milk, warmed
  • 1 to 1 1/4 pounds tilapia fillets
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons paprika, divided
  • 1/4 cup chopped shallots
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • 2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon peel

Place potatoes and rutabaga in medium saucepan. Add enough cold water to cover by 2 inches; sprinkle generously with salt. Boil until vegetables are tender, about 18 minutes. Drain; return vegetables to pot. Stir over medium heat 1 minute to dry out slightly. Add 4 tablespoons butter; mash to coarse puree. Stir in warm milk. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Sprinkle tilapia fillets with salt and pepper and 1 teaspoon paprika. Melt remaining 2 tablespoons butter large skillet over medium-high heat. Add fish and cook until just opaque in center, about 2 minutes per side.

Divide potato-rutabaga mash among plates. Place fish alongside mash.

Add shallots to skillet and sauté until beginning to soften, about 2 minutes. Add white wine and boil until reduced by about half, about 3 minutes. Add parsley, whipping cream, lemon peel, and 1/2 teaspoon paprika; stir until thickened to sauce consistency, about 1 minute. Season sauce to taste with salt and pepper. Spoon sauce over fish and potato-rutabaga mash.

From Epicurious, via Bon Appétit, by The Bon Appétit Test Kitchen,


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