winter csa share – week 9 {march 27}

winter csa share week 9

Welcome to the 9th week of the Pitchfork & Crow Winter CSA!

Here’s what’s in the share:

  • Garlic
  • Yellow Onions
  • Small Leeks
  • Pea Shoots – Snip them and toss on top of quesadillas, sandwiches, pizza, or salads.
  • Carrots – These are overwintered and best for cooking.
  • Red Thumb Fingerling Potatoes
  • Cabbage and Collard Rapini w/ Collards – A bouquet of spring rapini and collards.  This rapini is the broccoli-esque flowers of cabbage and collard plants gong to seed.  It’s delicious sauteed lightly.
  • Spinach – We’re excited to share this overwintered spinach with you!  Jeff dug up and consolidated the survivors after last December’s big freeze and after some pampering on his part it might possibly be the best we’ve ever grown!
  • Delicata Winter Squash – the last of our winter squash for the winter.  We know they’re small, but enjoy them as we won’t see them again until fall!
  • Dried Apples – We grew them, we dried them, we hope you like them!

spring

Last week we passed the Spring Equinox, the official arrival of spring.  We’ve been seeing signs of spring here on the farm for some time like blossoming plum trees, blooming daffodils, and our rye grass cover crops growing taller every day.  These natural signs of the season’s change combined with a propagation house full of baby plants makes us optimistic for the upcoming growing season!

Last Saturday we welcomed Winter CSA members out to the farm for a tour and potluck.  We had a small but enthusiastic showing of folks and we’re thankful to those of you that made it out.  We always love inviting members to the farm, both for the tasty potluck goods and showing you all just what the farm looks like at different times of the year.  Although those that visited can attest to the fact that things look sparse out there, this week’s share is sporting spinach, leeks, rapini, collards, and carrots that all overwintered in the field!

lettuce

This past week we were lucky enough to have a sunny weather window that stretched out just long enough to work up some ground and get our first transplants of the year planted out. Salad mix, head lettuce, bok choy, and direct sown radishes are growing in the field and destined for your tables in May!

We also spent some time potting up our tomato starts from small cells to 3″ pots.  The germination on our tomatoes this year was really good and this may be the earliest we’ve ever been able to say we’ll have enough plants for the farm and, assuming all continues to go well, for summer CSA members to take a few home too.

spring garlic

During the dry weather we also took the opportunity to cultivate our garlic planting.  Keeping the weeds down this time of year goes a long way to having happy, healthy garlic later in the season.  We also used a fish fertilizer to foliar feed the garlic, giving it a little fertilizer boost as it starts to really get growing.  We’re thankful for our little Farmall Cub tractor that is invaluable in this type of work.  Hand hoeing five 250′ long beds isn’t our favorite task.

As we look to the work ahead, the season really seems to be ramping up.  We’re crossing our fingers for another weather window sometime soon.  Only time will tell.  In the meantime we have a partially constructed greenhouse to finish, continued seed sowing in the propagation house, and crops in the field to tend.

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

Your farmers,
Jeff Bramlett and Carri Heisler

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Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:

Rapini and Garlic

1 bunch rapini (washed and cut into 1 inch pieces)
3 garlic cloves
2 Tbsp. olive oil
~ salt
~ pepper
~ red pepper flakes (optional)
Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add some salt and place rapini in pot. Blanch for about 2-3 minutes. Drain, then submerge rapini in a bowl of cold water to stop the cooking process. Drain again and set aside.
Heat the olive oil and garlic in a large saute pan over medium heat until the garlic begins to sizzle. Add red pepper flakes with garlic and oil if desired. Add rapini and turn heat up to medium-high. Stir rapini until heated through and coated with oil and garlic. Turn off heat, season to taste and serve.

From Culinate, via Eamon Molloy, http://www.culinate.com/user/eamonm/recipes/eamons_recipes/rapini_with_garlic

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Curried Potato Leek Soup with Spinach

  • 2 medium leeks (white and pale green parts only)
  • 1 medium boiling potato such as Yukon Gold
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon curry powder
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup packed spinach leaves
  • 1/2 cup milk

Halve leeks lengthwise and cut enough crosswise into 1/4-inch pieces to measure 2 cups. In a bowl of cold water wash leeks well and lift from water into a sieve to drain. Peel potato and cut enough into 1/4-inch pieces to measure 1 cup. In a 1 1/2-quart saucepan cook leeks and potato in butter with curry powder over moderate heat, stirring, 5 minutes. Stir in 2 cups water and simmer, uncovered, 20 minutes.

While soup is cooking, cut spinach into thin strips. In a blender purée soup until completely smooth (use caution when blending hot liquids) and return to pan. Add milk and salt and pepper to taste and bring to a simmer. Remove pan from heat and stir in spinach.

From Epicurious, via Gourmet, http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Curried-Potato-and-Leek-Soup-with-Spinach-14480

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Potato Cakes with Leek and Carrots

  • 1 pound russet potatoes, peeled, coarsely grated
  • 1 cup sliced leek (white and pale green parts only)
  • 2/3 cup coarsely grated peeled carrot
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter
  • Sour cream (optional)

Wrap grated potatoes in several layers of paper towels and squeeze dry. Place potatoes in large bowl. Add leek and carrot and toss to combine. Season generously with salt and pepper.

Melt 2 tablespoons butter in each of 2 heavy medium skillets over medium-low heat. Add half of vegetable mixture (about 2 cups) to each skillet. Using metal spatula, flatten vegetables in each skillet to 7- to 8-inch-diameter cake. Cover skillets and cook cakes until crisp and brown at edges, about 12 minutes. Turn cakes over. Cook uncovered until vegetables are cooked through and cakes are crisp and brown on bottom, about 5 minutes longer. (Can be prepared 3 hours ahead. Transfer to baking sheet and let stand at room temperature. Rewarm in 375°F oven until crisp, about 10 minutes.) Transfer cakes to plates. Serve with sour cream, if desired.

From Epicurious, via Bon Appétit, http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Potato-Cakes-with-Leek-and-Carrot-4480

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