Welcome to the 4th week of the 2014 Pitchfork & Crow Summer CSA!
Here’s what’s in the share:
- Overwintered Sweet Onions
- Garlic and Leek Scapes
- Chioggia Beets – bulls eye beets, with tasty beet greens too!
- Garlic – this is the last of the cured garlic for a while, fresh garlic soon!
- Turnips – a mix of Hakurei and the purple topped Milan, which is a new one for us! And don’t forget about tasty turnip greens!
- Fava Beans or Shelling Peas
- Sugar Snap Peas
- Summer Squash or Broccoli side shoots
It’s week four of the summer CSA, and just like that we’re a month into the season! We hope you’re able to make it out to the farm this Saturday for a farm tour and potluck with other CSA members. Check your email for the full details. And no worries if you can’t make it this time, you’ve got two more chances later in the season.
The weather this past week has been mostly cool and cloudy. We even found ourselves harvesting in stormy weather yesterday including periodic rainstorms and thunder, if you can believe it. Our experience has told us that June will always surprise us. We were acclimated for summer sunshine and now the cloud cover has returned. Such is June in Oregon.
I looked in on the bees briefly this week and they seem to be happily buzzing about their business. They always remind me to think about what plants are flowering and wonder where they might be gathering their food. The flower count is low compared to when the orchards were blooming earlier in the spring. They seemed to be foraging pollen somewhere, as they were returning to the hive fully loaded. Perhaps they’re spending time in the white clover growing in low patches around the farm.
This week we’re sharing a bounty of broccoli with you. We plant several successions of broccoli throughout the season and each succession includes multiple varieties. Our first succession this season included the three varieties above: Gypsy, Packman, and Umpqua. Each variety has unique characteristics including growth habit, head size, bead size, and whether it produces side shoots once the head has been harvested. These three varieties also have around ten days between their maturity dates which helps us to have an extended harvest from a single planting. If you think your two heads of broccoli don’t look alike this week, it might be true. Can you tell which variety you got in your share this week?
We’re also bringing you more overwintered onions this week. Unlike other vegetables that we can plant many successions of throughout the season, bulbing onions are sensitive to the number of hours of daylight they receive. Every year we get two chances to grow great onions. We do a spring sowing for summer bulbs and a fall sowing for overwintering varieties that will bulb the following spring.
The overwintered slot has always been trickiest for us. If they’re started too early they’ll go to seed in the spring and won’t bulb. If they’re started too late, they may not be established well enough to make it through the cold winter. Then, of course, there’s also the need to keep the weeds to a minimum, keep them well watered, and to fertilize appropriately. We were lucky enough to hit the window this past year, and we’re excited to be sharing these gorgeous bulbs with you these past few weeks. This week we’ve got sweet onions! Grilled onions anyone?
This weekend marks the official beginning of summer with the arrival of the summer solstice. We wait all winter for summer veggies and fruits and now we’re here! We hope you’re enjoying the CSA season thus far and are looking forward to the diversity of produce ahead of us. It’s only just begun!
Enjoy the vegetables and we’ll see you next week!
Jeff Bramlett and Carri Heisler
Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:
Roasted Beet Salad with Oranges and Beet Greens
- 6 medium beets with beet greens attached
- 2 large oranges
- 1 small sweet onion, cut through root end into thin wedges
- 1/3 cup red wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon grated orange peel
Preheat oven to 400°F. Trim greens from beets. Cut off and discard stems. Coarsely chop leaves and reserve. Wrap each beet in foil. Place beets directly on oven rack and roast until tender when pierced with fork, about 1 hour 30 minutes. Cool. Peel beets, then cut each into 8 wedges. Place beets in medium bowl.
Cook beet greens in large saucepan of boiling water just until tender, about 2 minutes. Drain. Cool. Squeeze greens to remove excess moisture. Add greens to bowl with beets. Cut peel and white pith from oranges. Working over another bowl and using small sharp knife, cut between membranes to release segments. Add orange segments and onion to bowl with beet mixture. Whisk vinegar, oil, garlic, and orange peel in small bowl to blend; add to beet mixture and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper. Let stand at room temperature 1 hour. Serve.
From Epicurious via Bon Appétit, http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Roasted-Beet-Salad-with-Oranges-and-Beet-Greens-109070
Grilled Fava Beans
1 pound of fresh fava beans, still in their pods
a couple glugs of olive oil
a few pinches of salt
optional: crushed red pepper flakes, lemon zest, and or chopped fresh herbs.
In a large bowl toss the fava bean pods with olive oil and salt.
Arrange them in a single layer on a grill over medium-high heat. If you’re using a grill pan, you may need to cook them in batches. If I’m using an outdoor grill I don’t bother covering the favas, but when I use a grill pan, I typically cover the pan with a flat baking sheet to keep more of the heat in the pan and circulating.
Grill until blistered on one side – 4 to 5 minutes, then flip and grill for a few minutes more on the other side. If you aren’t sure when to pull them off, take a pod off the grill, open and taste one of the beans. You want the fava beans to be smooth and creamy when you pop them out of their skins – not undercooked. But keep in mind that they’ll keep steaming in their pods for a few minutes after they come off the grill, unless you eat them as soon as you can handle the pods without singing your fingers – which is what I encourage you to do
Season the grilled favas with a bit more salt (if needed) and any herbs or lemon zest if you like. To eat: tear open the puffy green pods, take a fava bean, pinch the skin and slide the bright green fava from its slipper. Eat them one at a time and be sure to lick your fingers.
Serves 2 – 4
From 101 Cookbooks; http://www.101cookbooks.com/archives/grilled-fava-beans-recipe.html
Sugar Snap Pea and Cabbage Slaw
- 2 1/2 pounds green cabbage (preferably Savoy), quartered, cored, and thinly sliced (14 cups)
- 3/4 pound sugar snap peas, trimmed and thinly sliced diagonally (4 cups)
- 3/4 cup well-shaken buttermilk
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh dill
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 3/4 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon white distilled vinegar
Toss together cabbage and peas in a large bowl. Whisk together remaining ingredients and pour over slaw, stirring to combine well. Add salt to taste, then chill, covered, at least 2 hours.
From Epicurious via Gourmet by Maggie Ruggiero, http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Sugar-Snap-Pea-and-Cabbage-Slaw-235032