Welcome to the 10th week of the 2014 Pitchfork & Crow Summer CSA!
Here’s what’s in the share:
- Red Bunching Onions
- New Potatoes – Our first time digging into this season’s potato crop, this is a new variety for us called Carola. We’re told it’s a smooth, creamy variety great for baking, frying, and mashing. We haven’t tried it yet, so let us know what you think. Note that there does appear to be minimal scarring on some of these spuds, but it can be easily scraped away.
- Red Cabbage
- Summer Squash
- Cucumbers – slicers, lemons, and picklers!
- Green Beans
- Shishito Peppers – sweet, very mild heat Japanese take on Spain’s padrone peppers. Check out the recipe below for a quick blister with sea salt!
- Strawberries – wait, strawberries?! It’s true we finally have enough berries to share a taste with you. Hopefully more to come!
Many thanks to those folks who sent along kind words and thoughtful check-ins after last week’s newsletter. My intention was to express the difficulty of farming at the height of the growing season, and evidently that message was heard. So, yeah it’s hard, but we’re committed to bringing you the best produce we know how to grow. Thanks for committing to eating it.
This week we continued our battle against the mid-season weeds. The peppers and Brussels sprouts were the major targets and we knocked them out. We also got a jump on the weeds in the tomatillos, and next successions of beets, lettuce, cabbage and broccoli. Watch out leeks, carrots, and celeriac, you’re up next.
We also finished up the last bit of garlic harvest that had been lingering in the field. What a seasonal milestone to have all of the garlic harvested and curing.
This is a share filled with firsts for this season. We’ve included the first of the green beans, the first of the peppers, the first of the potatoes. The seasonal shift to summer produce is happening!
Can I just say that we love potatoes? We love growing them, harvesting them, and eating them. Call it a guilty pleasure, but you won’t find us giving up our potatoes any time soon.
We’ve noticed symphylan (similar to centipedes) pressure in areas of our fields over several seasons. These creatures like to feast on root hairs which results in stunted crops where they are present. Once their presence has been identified, there aren’t a lot of suggestions for reducing their pressure on crops, though we’ve heard growing potatoes can set them back. This year we decided to give that idea a go and we planted our potato beds in the worst symphylan field we have. As we begin to dig into the potato beds, we’ll be looking for symphylan action. Hopefully whatever we decide to grow in this field next year will be happier for the effort.
Enjoy the vegetables and we’ll see you next week!
Jeff Bramlett and Carri Heisler
Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:
Blistered Shishito Peppers
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 cups whole shishito peppers or Padrón chiles
- Flaky sea salt
Heat oil in a large cast-iron skillet or other heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Cook peppers, turning occasionally, until they begin to blister on all sides. Sprinkle with salt and serve immediately.
From Bon Appétit via Marissa Lippert, http://www.bonappetit.com/recipes/2011/12/blistered-shishito-peppers
Chilled Cucumber Soup with Smoked Salmon and Dill
- 1 1/2 tablespoons butter
- 1 cup chopped onions
- 4 cucumbers, peeled, halved, seeded, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices (about 5 cups)
- 1 8-ounce russet potato, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch dice
- 3 1/2 cups low-salt chicken broth
- 3 large fresh dill sprigs plus 6 tablespoons minced fresh dill
- 1 teaspoon (or more) salt
- 1 cup crème fraîche or sour cream
- 3 ounces smoked salmon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
Melt butter in heavy large pot over medium heat. Add onions and sauté until slightly softened, about 3 minutes. Add cucumbers and potato; stir 1 minute. Add broth, dill sprigs, and 1 teaspoon salt. Increase heat and bring to simmer. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer until cucumbers and potato are tender, stirring occasionally, about 25 minutes. Working in batches, puree soup in processor until smooth. Return to pot. Cool 15 minutes. Whisk in 1/2 cup crème fraîche and 4 tablespoons minced dill. Cover and chill until cold, about 4 hours. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Keep chilled.) Taste soup, adding more salt if desired. Ladle soup into 6 bowls. Place dollop of crème fraîche in center of each bowl; sprinkle with smoked salmon and remaining 2 tablespoons minced dill.
From Epicurious via Bon Appétit, http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Chilled-Cucumber-Soup-with-Smoked-Salmon-and-Dill-108433
Warm Green Bean Salad with Dill
- 2 pounds green beans, trimmed and halved
- 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 2 teaspoons dill seeds
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh dill
In a steamer set over boiling water steam the beans, covered, for 6 to 8 minutes, or until they are just tender. While the beans are steaming, in a blender blend together the vinegar, the oil, the dill seeds, the chopped dill, and salt and pepper to taste. Transfer the beans to a serving bowl and toss them with the dressing.
From Epicurious via Gourmet, http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Warm-Green-Bean-Salad-with-Dill-13312