Welcome to the 1st week of the 2014 Pitchfork & Crow Summer CSA!
Here’s what’s in the share:
- Garlic – Music is the variety
- Yellow and Red Onions – These are the last of our storage onions. Tasty as all get out, but use them up soon as they want to sprout.
- Butterhead Lettuce
- Leek Scapes – These are the immature flower stalks of overwintered leeks. A friend recently compared them to asparagus for their taste and seasonality. I think they’re better than that! Grilled or sauteed, they’ll add flavor to any dish.
- French Breakfast Radishes
- Salad Turnips – these are lovely sliced on salads raw or cooked lightly and don’t forget about turnip greens!
- Mixed Red Potatoes – A mix of red skinned Red Dale and Mountain Red which are red both inside and out.
- Sugar Snap Peas!
- Cilantro – Self-sown from last year’s crop, the stems on this bolting cilantro are woody but the tips and flowers are amazing.
Welcome to the fifth season of the Pitchfork & Crow CSA! We’re so glad you’ve decided to join us for the next 27 weeks of eating seasonally. We’re excited to welcome back returning members and to welcome many new members, including those who have chosen the new on-farm pick-up option.
Everyone should have received an email from us this past week with CSA details and dates for this season’s upcoming on-farm events. Please let us know if you didn’t get this email and we’ll make sure you’re on the list.
We’ve just had a couple of weeks off between the end of the Winter CSA program and the start of the Summer CSA season. Of course, though we haven’t been delivering vegetables to members, we have been busy here on the farm. Our focus has primarily been the big May planting push. It’s time to get those heat-loving crops like tomatoes and squash out in the field and to also get successions of cabbage and broccoli out too.
The photos above show our tomato planting in an open-ended field house. We’ve chosen a wide selection of early slicers, heirloom slicers, cherries, and sauce varieties and we’re looking forward to them all!
We currently still transplant by hand, which involves setting out plants we’ve previously started in our propagation house and then lots of bending over as we stick those plants into the ground. Luckily, we’re able to use our 1947 Farmall Cub tractor to help out with some planting efforts. As you may be able to see above, we use discs the tractor to make trenches in the beds, lay out the transplants, and then flip the discs to use the tractor to cover the plants. We use this method for peppers, cucumbers, summer and winter squash, potatoes, and sunchokes.
Watching crops mature from tiny seeds, to small transplants, to harvest-able vegetables is always a wonder. The photos above are taken from opposite directions of the same field on different dates. The kale, chard, broccoli, and cabbage in this field was started from seed in the propagation house on March 16th, transplanted into the field April 14th, cultivated May 14th (photo on the right), and then I snapped the photo on the left May 25th. How plants can grow from seeds the size of an asterisk on the page to the food we eat is a mystery to me. But it’s a mystery I can’t help but love.
In future newsletters we’ll give you more updates on the growing season and goings-on here at the farm as well as suggestions for how to tackle the less well-known veggies. This week we’ve got some tasty ideas for leek scapes and radishes in the recipe section at the bottom of the page. You can also keep up with us on Facebook and Flickr if you’re into that sort of thing.
We thank you all for your support in our farming endeavor and look forward to sharing the next six months of vegetables with you! Let’s do this!
Enjoy the vegetables and we’ll see you next week!
Jeff Bramlett and Carri Heisler
Spinach Cheese Rice Casserole
9 or 10 ounces fresh spinach leaves
1 tablespoon water
2 leek scapes, cut into pieces
1 cup cooked brown rice
1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1/3 cup milk
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
Sauteed Radishes and Sugar Snap Peas with Dill
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 cup thinly sliced shallots
- 12 ounces sugar snap peas, trimmed, strings removed
- 2 cups thinly sliced radishes (about 1 large bunch)
- 1/4 cup orange juice
- 1 teaspoon dill seeds
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
This side dish would pair beautifully with roast lamb or salmon. To remove strings from fresh peas, just snap off the stem end and pull string lengthwise down each pod. Melt butter with oil in large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add shallots and sauté until golden, about 5 minutes. Add sugar snap peas and radishes; sauté until crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Add orange juice and dill seeds; stir 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in chopped dill. Transfer to bowl; serve.
From Epicurious via Bon Appétit, http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Sauteed-Radishes-and-Sugar-Snap-Peas-with-Dill-109402
Chicken Lettuce Cups
- 2 tablespoons light soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
- 2 tablespoons clear rice vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
- 1/3 cup minced red onion
- 1 cup chopped canned button mushrooms
- 1/2 cup water chestnuts, minced
- 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, minced
- 8 to 10 inner leaves iceberg lettuce, edges trimmed and chilled
- Handful of fresh cilantro leaves, coarsely chopped
- 1/4 cup unsalted roasted cashews, coarsely chopped
Combine the soy sauce, hoisin sauce, rice vinegar, salt, and sugar in a small bowl and mix together until the sugar dissolves.
Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a wok over high heat. Stir-fry the garlic and ginger for 10 seconds. Add the onion, mushrooms, and water chestnuts and stir-fry for 2 minutes. Remove the contents of the wok.
Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil in the wok. Swish the oil around, add the chicken, and brown for 1 minute, or until no longer pink. Add the cooked vegetable mixture back to the wok, decrease the heat, and stir in the sauce mixture. Stir for 1 minute, or until the sauce is heated and the chicken is cooked through.
Spoon the filling in equal amounts into the lettuce cups. Top each lettuce cup with cilantro and sprinkle with chopped cashews. Serve warm.
From Epicurious, by Mary Kate Tate & Nate Tate, http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Chicken-Lettuce-Cups-369491