Welcome to the 3rd week of the Pitchfork & Crow Winter CSA!
Here’s what’s in the share:
- Carrots & Parsnips
- German Butterball Potatoes
- Chicories – our favorite chicories: Castelfranco and Sugarloaf! We like them in wintry salads, but they’re great thrown in tacos, soups, sautes etc.
- Cooking Greens Mix – a mix of kales, collards, chard, and mustards this week
- Spaghetti Squash
- Piacentina Winter Squash
- Dried Apples
As I begin writing this week’s update we’re awaiting the arrival of this winter’s coldest temperatures yet. We’ve been lucky thus far, with a single big cold event back in November and fairly mild weather since. Perhaps too lucky. Tuesday night’s low is the number that I keep coming back to, currently predicted at 12 degrees F.
For folks in some other parts of the world 12 degrees no big deal. Here in the Willamette Valley, where our average winter low temps are in the thirties and we always have the hope of overwintering hardier crops fairly unprotected in the field, 12 degrees is uncomfortably low. Most of our winter crops can handle the upper teens. At 18 degrees the kale should be okay uncovered in the field. Below that, it’s a gamble. We’ve covered what we can with row cover, the fabric we use to create a cold and pest barrier in the field. Now we wait until Wednesday morning to see just how low we’ll actually go.
As might be expected, this is our slowest time of year on the farm. Although our To Do list beckons, we’ve found ourselves delving into some non-farm projects too. Jeff has been making arrows and he even managed to weave a new quiver from willow and dogwood from the farm. I’ve been researching local and not-so-local hiking spots. It’s often difficult to leave the farm, but when we do I find it’s best to be prepared with outdoor adventure plans pre-researched. The photos above are from an excursion to the Little North Fork area of the North Santiam. What a gorgeous place we live in!
This next week we’ll be hunkering down to focus on 2015 crop planning. Our winter planning sessions are somewhat epic as we try to agree on what we want to grow, how much of it, and when. Soon we’ll have updated 2015 Summer CSA details available too and we’ll start accepting members for next year. With so many seed catalogs to devour and season details to nail down, we’re lucky this is the slow time of the year!
Enjoy the vegetables and we’ll see you in two weeks!
Jeff Bramlett and Carri Heisler
Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:
Parsnips & Carrots with Orange Butter
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 pound parsnips, peeled; halved lengthwise, and cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick pieces
- 1/2 pound carrots, halved lengthwise and cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick pieces
- 1/3 cup fresh orange juice
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly grated orange zest
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
In a skillet combine the water, the parsnips, the carrots, and salt to taste, simmer the vegetables for 15 minutes, or until they are just tender, and stir in the orange juice. Simmer the mixture for 5 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender, and transfer the vegetables with a slotted spoon to a bowl. Boil the liquid until it is reduced to about 2 tablespoons, remove the skillet from the heat, and stir in the zest and the butter, stirring until the butter is melted. Spoon the sauce over the vegetables.
From Epicurious via Gourmet, http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Parsnips-and-Carrots-with-Orange-Butter-10832
Linguine with Pecan Arugula Pesto
- 3/4 cup pecans (3 oz), toasted
- 1 large garlic clove
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 10 oz arugula, coarse stems discarded
- 1/2 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (1 1/2 oz)
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 lb dried linguine
Finely chop 1/4 cup pecans (preferably with a knife).
Mash garlic to a paste with salt using a mortar and pestle (or mince and mash with a large heavy knife). Blend remaining 1/2cup pecans, arugula, cheese, oil, pepper, and garlic paste in a food processor until smooth, about 1 minute.
Cook pasta in a 6- to 8-quart pot of boiling salted water until al dente, 10 to 12 minutes. Ladle out and reserve 1 1/2 cups cooking water. Drain pasta in a colander, then return to pot and toss with pesto, 1/2 cup cooking water, and chopped pecans, adding more cooking water as necessary if pasta seems dry.
From Epicurious via Gourmet, http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Linguine-with-Pecan-Arugula-Pesto-107354
Spaghetti Squash with Moroccan Spices
- 1 (3 1/2- to 4-pound) spaghetti squash
- 1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
Pierce squash (about an inch deep) all over with a small sharp knife to prevent bursting. Cook in an 800-watt microwave oven on high power (100 percent) for 6 to 7 minutes. Turn squash over and microwave until squash feels slightly soft when pressed, 8 to 10 minutes more. Cool squash for 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, melt butter in a small heavy saucepan over moderately high heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring, until golden, about 1 minute. Stir in spices and salt and remove from heat.
Carefully halve squash lengthwise (it will give off steam) and remove and discard seeds. Working over a bowl, scrape squash flesh with a fork, loosening and separating strands as you remove it from skin. Toss with spiced butter and cilantro.
Cook’s note: •Alternatively, you can bake the squash in a preheated 350°F oven for 1 to 1 1/4 hours.
From Epicurious via Gourmet, http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Spaghetti-Squash-with-Moroccan-Spices-106168