Welcome to the 22nd week of the 2014 Pitchfork & Crow Summer CSA!
Here’s what’s in the share:
- Pentland Brig Kale – another favorite variety from our friends at Adaptive Seeds
- Jimmy Nardello Sweet Peppers – many of these peppers are drying down but we still think they’re tasty. Chop them up and throw them in your stir fry or soups or dehydrate them for red pepper flakes!
- Mountain Rose Potatoes – Red on the inside and outside both! A good multi-purpose variety great baked, mashed, or fried.
- Dill – We’re thinking potatoes and dill!
- Daikon Radishes – check out the slaw recipe down below, or perhaps Sake Pickles are more your thing?
- Mixed Tomatoes
- Carnival Winter Squash – Epicurious says: “Breed an acorn squash with a sweet dumpling squash, and you get a carnival squash. While the carnival squash’s exterior resembles both of its relatives’, its yellow flesh is mellow and sweet. Use it wherever acorn squash or butternut squash is called for in a recipe.”
We’ve deemed the final CSA member farm visit a success! Many thanks to everyone who made it out on Saturday to enjoy an afternoon on the farm in the gorgeous fall weather. The potluck spread was delicious, the pumpkins were plentiful enough, and the cidering must have been a hit because our fruit cooler is a lot emptier these days. Jeff says one of his favorite parts of his job is taking kids on tractor rides and I think he got his fill on Saturday with many trips back and forth to the pumpkin patch.
Are you carving your jack-o-lanterns from the farm? Or setting up fun displays? We’re big fans of pumpkins and would love to see photos of your creations! Share them in the P&C CSA member Facebook group.
It’s been a busy week of running rainy day errands and then preparing for Saturday’s farm event. The biggest news is that we bought a tractor! Some time ago I mentioned that we were delving into the world of tractor financing in hopes of upgrading our machinery situation. We’ve had enough of leaking hydraulic fluid, difficult starting requiring constant jumping off, smoky exhaust, and frequent and expensive break-downs. After filling out many forms and signing our lives away, we secured a loan from the Farm Service Agency, the same government agency that we have our farm land loan through. And then the tractor search commenced. The tractor we had had our eye on sold while we were figuring out financing, so with our new loan in hand we began shopping around in earnest.
We’re effectively replacing our field work tractor, the 1978 White Field Boss, though we’ll keep that tractor around as a back-up. Currently we use the White for mowing, discing, tilling, spreading fertilizer, and any heavy lifting that requires either a bucket or forklift forks. With this new purchase we’re looking to increase the number of ways we use our field work tractor. In addition to all of the ground work I mentioned we’re hoping to also use it for transplanting and eventually some cultivation tasks too.
Here’s what we wanted in a new tractor:
- Narrow enough to drive down beds without running over vegetables
- Short enough to drive through field houses, no cab
- A creeper gear to drive slowly when pulling a transplanter
- Well placed exhaust pipe that isn’t too tall or blowing on person riding transplanter
- 4 wheel drive for more traction
- Enough horsepower to pull our implements
- Rear hydraulic fittings for running our disc
- Commonly available parts for easy replacement
- Under 1,000 hours
- Fit within our loan budget
- A bucket was a plus, but one that is heavy duty and can be removed quickly when needed
After weeks of searching Craigslist and the local tractor dealerships and debating which of these items on our wishlist might have to be scratched, we called up a tractor shop/small dealer in Aurora who had helped a couple of other farm friends locate tractors. It turned out he had just what we were looking for and we signed the papers on Friday on a McCormick F105xl with 615 hours. It will be delivered in a few weeks, after they install loader mounts and a loader. We sure are glad to have that project marked off the To Do list, and we’re excited to get this new machine into action!
Enjoy the vegetables and we’ll see you next week!
Jeff Bramlett and Carri Heisler
Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:
Daikon, Carrots, and Broccoli Slaw
- 8 ounces daikon (Japanese white radish),* peeled, cut into 1-inch pieces (about 1/2 large)
- 6 ounces peeled baby carrots
- 6 ounces broccoli stems, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 cup chopped green onions
- 1/3 cup seasoned rice vinegar
- 2 1/2 tablespoons minced peeled fresh ginger
- 1 1/2 tablespoons Asian sesame oil
- 1 1/2 teaspoons chili-garlic sauce*
Fit processor with large-hole grating disk. Working with a few pieces at a time, push daikon, carrots, and broccoli stems through feed tube until all vegetables are grated. Transfer vegetables to medium bowl. Add green onions. Whisk vinegar, ginger, oil, and chili-garlic sauce in small bowl to blend; pour over vegetables and toss to coat. Season with salt and serve.
* Available at most supermarkets and at Asian markets.
From Epicurious via Bon Appétit, http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Daikon-Carrot-and-Broccoli-Slaw-240679
Kale Squash Salad
- 1 1/2 pounds butternut squash, peeled and chopped into 2-inch pieces
- 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 3/4 teaspoon sea salt
- A generous pinch black pepper
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large onion, small diced, about 1 1/2 cups
- 2 large cloves garlic, minced
- 1 1/2 inches fresh ginger, finely minced, about 1/4 cup
- 1 pound kale, approximately one large bunch, (I prefer curly kale but lacinato kale will also work), washed, and chopped into 2 inch slices
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1–1 1/2 cups water
- 14 ounces crushed tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. In a large saucepan, put the squash and just enough water to cover. Cover the pan. Heat to boiling, reduce heat to medium, cook 20–30 minutes until squash is soft but not falling apart. You should be able to easily stick a butter knife through a piece of squash. Drain excess water.
3. Add cream, nutmeg and salt to the squash. Blend with an immersion blender until smooth. (Or put everything in a blender. You will need to add a little bit of water to get it to blend well.) Set aside.
4. In a 4 quart saucepan, cook onion, garlic, and ginger in olive oil till soft.
5. Add kale, red pepper, water, crushed tomatoes. Cook till kale is soft and turns a duller green.
6. Add salt and vinegar. Stir and remove from heat.
7. Fill the bottom of an 8×8 inch pan with the kale tomato mixture. Top with the creamed squash, smoothing out the top.
8. Bake 45 minutes. Cool 10 minutes before serving.
From Epicurious via Epicurious, http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Kale-Squash-Salad-51209860
Broccoli, Red Pepper, and Cheddar Chowder
- 1 small head broccoli (1/2 pound)
- 1 large boiling potato (1/2 pound)
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- l large garlic clove, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- 6 oz sharp Cheddar, coarsely grated (1 1/2 cups)
Discard tough lower third of broccoli stem. Peel remaining stem and finely chop. Cut remaining broccoli into very small (1-inch) florets. Cook florets in a large pot of boiling salted water until just tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer with a slotted spoon to a bowl of ice water to stop cooking, then drain. Reserve 3 cups cooking water for chowder.
Peel potato and cut into 1/2-inch cubes. Cook potato, onion, bell pepper, broccoli stems, and garlic in butter in a 3- to 4-quart heavy pot over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until onion is softened, 8 to 10 minutes. Add cumin, salt, pepper, and mustard and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add flour and cook, stirring, 2 minutes. Add reserved cooking water and simmer (partially covered), stirring occasionally, until potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in cream and cheese and cook, stirring, until cheese is melted, then season with salt and pepper.
Purée about 2 cups of chowder in a blender until smooth (use caution when blending hot liquids) and return to pot. Add florets and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until heated through, about 2 minutes.
From Epicurious via Gourmet, http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Broccoli-Red-Pepper-and-Cheddar-Chowder-105893