Welcome to the 12th week of the Pitchfork & Crow Winter CSA!
Here’s what’s in the share:
- Garlic – Chesnok Red
- Bunching Onions
- Pink Beauty Radishes
- Salad Turnips – these are lovely sliced on salads raw or cooked lightly and don’t forget about turnip greens!
- Yukon Gold Potatoes – The last of our yukon golds in storage. Tasty as ever, but eat them up soon, or plant them in your garden as they want to grow!
- Bok Choy
We’ve made it to the final share of the Winter CSA season! It’s hard to believe, but here we are in week 12 and the share has turned mighty spring-like what with so many greens and radishes and turnips. We thank you all for your support this season! Of course, we couldn’t do it without you! We hope you’ve enjoyed the CSA this season and might consider partaking again next winter. We’ll be sure to let you know when we’re ready to think about the Winter CSA details again.
For now we’re looking forward to the Summer CSA season, and for which the majority of you have decided to join us. We start up again on May 27th with summer shares in the summer pick-up location. Fingers crossed we’ll have peas then!
The busy season has set in here on the farm. Planting is happening, weeding is happening, irrigating is even happening. We finally made time to get the plastic on our newest-to-us greenhouse and after some field prep and drip irrigation set-up it’s ready for tomatoes. Good timing too, as the tomatoes are eager to get out of their pots and into the ground!
The weather and workload conspired to make a window for potato planting last weekend. After tilling with our field work tractor we use the Farmall Cub to mark beds and dig trenches where the potatoes will be planted. After fertilizer and potato chunks are placed in the trenches, we use the Cub to close up the trenches again.
We’re big fans of potatoes. Fresh potatoes are a dream, they store well, and the different varieties are so fun! We planted 32, 200ft beds of the tubers this year. Varieties include: Dark Red Norland, Adirondack Red, Carola, German Butterball, LaRatte, Magic Molly, Superior Russet, Ozette, Mountain Rose, Purple Peruvian. Many of these varieties are new to us this year, though we have some old standbys too.
Once the potatoes were in the ground, we shifted our focus to the onions, patiently waiting their turn for planting. The recent weather patterns have been a bit of a spring weather roller coaster, shifting between warm days in the 80s and rainy days in the 60s. Luckily the warm days have outnumbered the wet ones and we had a window for onion planting too.
We had mixed success with onion seed germination this year and ended up with fewer transplants than we’d hoped for. We decided perhaps it was for the best and maybe we’ll be able to better care for fewer onions and thus end up with a better harvest in the end. Only time will tell. We still ended up with 13, 250ft beds of bunching onions, sweet onions, torpedo onions, yellow and red storage onions, cipollini onions, and shallots. Whew! Many thanks to Persephone Farm for helping us out with 3 beds worth of extra yellow storage onions and shallot starts. Allia power!
Our farming efforts are highly reliant upon our tractors. We’ve chosen to farm at a scale that requires more work than two people could undertake without help from machines. Although we’re still a very small farm, getting fields mowed, disced, and tilled is more than we could do by hand at this point. Well, without many more hands, and horses too. So, we rely on our old tractors to work when we need them.
Just after the last CSA pick-up we got our newly welded important steering components back from the local welding shop and re-installed. The 1978 Field Boss was back in action, until it wasn’t. More tie rod end trouble. Jeff was experienced enough to know how to deal with it this time and he removed it, found a replacement and a shop to help modify it to fit, installed the new one, and was back to work in under four hours. That’s progress!
We’re now using this rainy spell to get a new muffler installed. That should help with noise and hopefully direct exhaust away from the driver. It has the added bonus of looking tough while driving the beast through the downtown Lebanon.
Although the days are longer and the work ongoing, we’re having a good time on the farm these days. Time sensitive work is getting done, and we’re having fun doing it. The break between the Winter and Summer CSAs will give us a chance to make some more progress before we switch to weekly CSA meetings. When the Summer CSA starts we’ll also be experiencing our first on-farm pick-ups with a handful of local folks! Exciting stuff! In the meantime we’re going to continue to focus on growing tasty vegetables, and maybe take a quick trip to the beach.
Enjoy the vegetables and we’ll see many of you in three weeks!
Jeff Bramlett and Carri Heisler
Wonton Soup with Bok Choy
- 2 lb country-style (meaty) pork ribs
- 2 lb chicken thighs, legs, and wings
- 4 scallions, coarsely chopped
- 1 (2-inch) piece peeled fresh ginger, chopped
- 12 cups water
- 1 1/2 lb bok choy, leaves halved lengthwise, then stalks and leaves thinly sliced crosswise
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
- 1/2 lb ground pork (not lean)
- 1 large egg yolk
- 2 scallions, finely chopped
- 1 (1 1/2-inch) piece peeled fresh ginger, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon rice vinegar (not seasoned)
- 1/2 teaspoon Asian sesame oil
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
- About 30 wonton wrappers, thawed if frozen
Simmer pork ribs, chicken, scallions, ginger, and water in a 6- to 8-quart tall narrow stockpot, uncovered, until meat is very tender and falling apart, 4 1/2 to 5 hours. Pour broth through a sieve into a large bowl and discard solids. Cool broth, uncovered, then chill, covered, at least 1 1/2 hours.
Stir together pork, yolk, scallions, ginger, soy sauce, vinegar, sesame oil, salt, and white pepper in a bowl in 1 direction with your hand until just combined (do not overwork, or filling will be tough).
Put 1 wonton wrapper on a work surface (keep remaining wrappers covered with plastic wrap). Spoon a rounded teaspoon of filling in center of square, then brush water around edges. Lift 2 opposite corners together to form a triangle and enclose filling, pressing edges firmly around mound of filling to eliminate air pockets and seal. Moisten opposite corners of long side. Curl moistened corners toward each other, overlapping one on top of the other, and carefully press corners together to seal. Make more wontons in same manner.
Skim any fat from broth, then bring to a simmer in a 5- to 6-quart pot. Stir in bok choy, salt, and white pepper and simmer, uncovered, until bok choy is crisp-tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Add wontons and simmer, uncovered, gently stirring, until filling is just cooked through, about 3 minutes (cut 1 open to check).
Cooks’ notes: ·Broth can be chilled up to 1 day. ·Wontons can be made 1 month ahead. Freeze in 1 layer on a plastic-wrap-lined baking sheet until firm, about 30 minutes, then transfer to a sealable plastic bag and keep frozen.
From Epicurious via Gourmet, http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Wonton-Soup-with-Bok-Choy-109023
White Bean and Radish Salad
- 2 anchovy fillets packed in oil, drained
- 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons drained capers
- 2 1/2 cups (packed) fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, divided
- 1/4 cup (or more) white wine vinegar
- Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
- 1 bunch radishes, trimmed, cut into thin wedges
- 2 scallions, thinly sliced
- 3 15-ounce cans cannellini (white kidney) beans, rinsed
- 3/4 cup oil-cured black olives, pitted, quartered
Blend anchovies, oil, capers, and 1 cup parsley in a blender until a coarse purée forms. Transfer to a large bowl, mix in 1/4 cup vinegar, and season with salt, pepper, and more vinegar, if desired.
Add radishes, scallions, beans, olives, and remaining 1 1/2 cups parsley to bowl and toss to combine.
DO AHEAD: Salad can be made 4 hours ahead. Cover and chill.
From Epicurious.com, via Bon Appetit, http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/White-Bean-and-Radish-Salad-51160660
Chard and Cheddar Omelet
- 2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 4 ounces red Swiss chard, stemmed, chopped (about 3 cups packed)
- 3/4 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
- 5 large eggs
- 3/4 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
Melt 1 tablespoon butter in 8-inch-diameter nonstick skillet over medium-low heat. Add garlic; sauté until soft, about 2 minutes. Stir in chard, cover and cook until tender, about 4 minutes. Stir in hot sauce. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to small bowl. Wipe skillet clean.
Whisk eggs, 1/4 cup cheese, salt and pepper in medium bowl to blend. Melt 1/2 tablespoon butter in same skillet over medium-high heat. Add half of egg mixture and cook until eggs are just set in center, tilting pan and lifting edge of omelet with spatula to let uncooked portion flow underneath, about 2 minutes. Scatter half of chard mixture over half of omelet. Sprinkle 1/4 cup cheese over chard. Fold omelet over cheese; slide out onto plate. Repeat with remaining butter, egg mixture, chard and cheese.
From Epicurious.com, via Bon Appetit, http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Chard-and-Cheddar-Omelet-104702