Welcome to the 15th week of the 2014 Pitchfork & Crow Summer CSA!
Here’s what’s in the share:
- Bunching Onions
- Jalapeno Peppers – We’re thinking it’s salsa week!
- Jimmy Nardello Sweet Peppers – They look like they could be hot, but trust us, they’re only the best sweet pepper going!
- Tomatillos – new to tomatillos? We love them in salsa verde! Check out the recipes down below for some inspiration.
- Fingerling Potatoes
- Red Ursa Kale
- Salad Mix
- Summer Squash
- Blue Lake Pole Beans – Eat ’em up fresh, pod and all!
September has arrived, none too soon if you ask these farmers. We’re already enjoying the cooler weather. We know we have quite a few teachers, school admin. staff, and students in the CSA and we wish you all the best as the school year gets under way once again. Although the summer break may be ending, luckily for all of us, the vegetables keep on coming.
We’ve certainly been noticing the seasonal shift here on the farm. The summer crops are here, and the fall crops aren’t far behind. While we’re enjoying the plethora of the heat-loving tomatoes, peppers, and tomatillos, we’ve got an eye on the storage crops that need to find a home in the barn soon. The apples and pears all seem to be coming on early this year, and the potatoes are done growing and ready to be dug. Even the powdery mildew that usually kills our squash in late fall has already made an appearance in force and we’ve got our fingers crossed that the winter squash and pumpkins ripen up before the mildew takes them out. We’re thankful for the many crops that keep on producing through the heat, including the summer hardy salad mix we’ve got for you this week. We chose these varieties for their heat tolerance, bolt resistance, and powdery mildew avoidance and they seem to be proving their worth!
As we’ve come expect, it’s been a steady race since March to get crops sown, transplanted, watered, weeded, harvested, and distributed. Perhaps the heat over the last couple of months added to the pressure, but we’re glad to be headed into the fall with its cooler days and longer nights. Work outdoors is just so much more pleasant at 80 degrees than at 90 degrees.
We’re at the point in the season where when we walk the length of the farm we see lists of work to be done. But we’re also at the point in the season that we have to make priorities if we want crops to thrive heading into the decreased daylight of the fall and winter. It may only be the beginning of September, but we know our growing days are numbered for this season. Our succession sowing has slowed and we have only a handful of crops yet to be planted in the next couple of months including next year’s garlic crop in October. Our focus has shifted to killing weeds, continued irrigation, and groundwork to begin establishing our fall cover crops.
We’ve already begun reflecting on this season, though we’re just a couple of weeks past the halfway point of the CSA. We’re beginning to think ahead to next season and identify places where we can increase efficiency. The old adage of “work smarter, not harder” is ringing in our ears as we try to make plans for our future in farming. To that end, we’re attempting to secure funding for a new tractor, as seen above. Our goal is to no longer have to rely solely on our ever-aging 1978 field work tractor while also increasing the number of tasks we can accomplish with our equipment. With a newer, smaller-bodied tractor we can hopefully eventually use it to transplant starts and direct sow seed directly into beds in the field. What a revelation! Now to figure out how to afford the upgrade without breaking our budget, or our backs.
Enjoy the vegetables and we’ll see you next week!Your farmers,
Jeff Bramlett and Carri Heisler
Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:
Charred Tomatillo Salsa Verde
- 1/2 small white onion, halved lengthwise, keeping root intact
- 1/2 head of garlic, unpeeled, halved crosswise
- 1 jalapeño
- 1 pound husked tomatillos
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1/2 bunch cilantro, leaves and tender stems only and 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
- Kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper
Prepare grill for medium-high heat. Toss 1/2 small white onion, halved lengthwise, keeping root intact, 1/2 head of garlic, unpeeled, halved crosswise, 1 jalapeño, 1 pound husked tomatillos, and 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in a large bowl. Grill vegetables, turning often, until tender and charred, 5-8 minutes. Transfer to a plate and let cool slightly.
Squeeze garlic cloves into a food processor and pulse with onion, stemmed jalapeño, tomatillos, 1/2 bunch cilantro, leaves and tender stems only, and 1/4 cup fresh lime juice just until a chunky sauce forms; season with kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper, and more lime juice, if desired.
DO AHEAD: Salsa verde can be made 5 days ahead. Cover and chill.
From Epicurious via Bon Appétit by Alison Roman, http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Charred-Tomatillo-Salsa-Verde-51175300
Tomato and Tomatillo Gazpacho
- 1/2 pound fresh tomatillos, husked, rinsed, and quartered
- 1 1/2 pounds tomatoes, chopped, divided
- 1/2 cup chopped white onion, divided
- 1 fresh serrano chile, coarsely chopped, including seeds
- 1 garlic clove, quartered
- 2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
Puree tomatillos, half of tomatoes, and half of onion with chile, garlic, vinegar, and 1 1/4 teaspoons salt in a blender until smooth.
Force through a medium-mesh sieve into a bowl, discarding solids.
Stir in remaining tomatoes and onion, water, oil, and cilantro. Chill until cold, at least 1 hour and up to 4 hours.
From Epicurious via Gourmet by Andrea Albin, http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Tomato-and-Tomatillo-Gazpacho-354967
Roasted Halibut and Green Beans with Asian Cilantro Sauce
- 2 cups loosely packed cilantro leaves (from 1 large bunch)
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 green onion, chopped (about 1/4 cup)
- 1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
- 1/2 jalapeño chile with seeds, chopped (about 2 teaspoons)
- 5 tablespoons safflower oil, divided
- 2 teaspoons Asian sesame oil, divided
- 3 teaspoons soy sauce, divided
- 2 8-ounce halibut fillets, each about 1-inch thick
- 2 cups green beans, halved
- 2 cups stemmed shiitake or oyster mushrooms
Preheat oven to 450°F. Place first 5 ingredients, 3 tablespoons safflower oil, 1 teaspoon sesame oil, and 1 teaspoon soy sauce in processor; puree. Season sauce to taste with salt.
Place fish, beans, and mushrooms in single layer on rimmed baking sheet. Whisk remaining 2 tablespoons safflower oil, 1 teaspoon sesame oil, and 2 teaspoons soy sauce in bowl to blend. Pour over fish, beans, and mushrooms; toss beans and mushrooms to coat. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast until fish is opaque in center and beans are crisp-tender, about 8 minutes. Divide fish, vegetables, and sauce between plates.
From Epicurious via Bon Appétit, http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Roasted-Halibut-and-Green-Beans-with-Asian-Cilantro-Sauce-234134