winter csa share – week 5

winter csa week 5

Welcome to the 5th week of the Pitchfork & Crow Winter CSA!

Here’s what’s in the share:

  • Arugula – two words: arugula pizza.
  • Garlic
  • Sunchokes (aka Jerusalem Artichokes) – These are roots of a sunflower variety.  We enjoy them shredded and sauteed but they’re good raw, roasted, and in soups too.  Please note that they contain high levels of the carbohydrate inulin, which is difficult for some folks to digest.
  • Carola Potatoes – Similar to Yukon Gold, these yellow potatoes are great for baking and boiling.
  • Winter Carrots – It’s been a long winter for these carrots in the field.  They’ll need trimming.
  • Tatsoi
  • Red Cabbage
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Purple Sprouting Broccoli – our earliest sprouting broccoli!  Eat the florets, eat the leaves, eat the stems, eat it up yum!
  • Carnival Winter Squash – due to our low winter squash yields this past season, we purchased this squash from the good folks at Kenagy Family Farms in Albany, OR.
  • Dried Apples

About the Next Pick-up: We’ll be out of town at a farmer retreat in two weeks so we’re moving the CSA pick-up to the previous Sunday, February 8th.  We’ll be set up at our usual spot at the Willamette Heritage Center during the usual 4:30pm-6pm time frame.  Please let us know if you can’t make it to the Sunday pick-up and we’ll make arrangements to deliver it to you.


This past week we were asked to speak to the Lebanon Garden Club.  What a great group of ladies!  They had us from the beginning when they recited their conservation pledge:

“I pledge to protect and conserve the natural resources of the planet earth and promise to promote education so we may become caretakers of the air, water, forest, land, and wildlife.”
We had fun explaining the CSA concept and talking about winter farming.  We raffled off 28 different items from the farm including vegetables and other products like popcorn and corn flour.  Hopefully the members enjoyed our discussion as much as we did, and had fun figuring out what to do with the winter foods they ended up taking home.


This winter has been fairly mild so far and we’re happily still harvesting plenty of food from the fields.  Hurrah for purple sprouting broccoli!  Last year at this time I was writing about the big snow storm that had kept us busy clearing greenhouses in fear of them collapsing and the sprouting broccoli was long since melted to the ground.  This last weekend we had a day in the high 60s and I couldn’t help but wear shorts while cultivating the overwintering onions.  What a difference a year makes!


The cool foggy weather settled back in quickly though, and it’s been back to the rain gear for this week’s harvest.  The bright spots, in addition to that one warm sunny day, have been our amazing mail days as packages of seeds have been filling our mailbox.  Seedy mail might be the best kind of mail.  So many possibilities in each envelope.

As we look forward to the season ahead we’re feeling excited to see where it takes us.  Maybe we’re finally getting the hang of this farming thing, as we begin our seventh season.  Or more likely this mild winter and our new tractor/transplanter combo has boosted our confidence to new levels.  Either way, we’re ready to get some seeds in the ground.  Spring is just around the corner and we’re ready!  Many thanks to all of our members for joining us on this journey.  We hope you’re just as enthused for the season to come!

Enjoy the vegetables and we’ll see you in two weeks!

Your farmers,
Jeff Bramlett and Carri Heisler


Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:

Grilled Halibut with Tatsoi and Spicy Thai Chiles

  • 5 tablespoons sugar
  • 5 tablespoons fish sauce*
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons minced peeled fresh ginger
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 Thai bird chiles with seeds or 1/2 large jalapeño chile with seeds, minced
  • 1 small carrot, peeled, cut into matchstick-size strips
  • 4 6- to 7-ounce halibut fillets
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
  • 1 shallot, thinly sliced
  • 3/4 pound tatsoi or baby spinach (about 12 cups packed)

Mix first 7 ingredients in medium glass bowl. Season sauce to taste with salt and pepper. (Sauce can be prepared 2 days ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)

Prepare barbecue (medium-high heat). Place carrot in medium bowl. Cover with ice water. Let stand 15 minutes, then drain well. Brush fish on all sides with 2 tablespoons oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill until just opaque in center, about 4 minutes per side.

Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon oil in large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add shallot; stir 1 minute. Add tatsoi; sprinkle with salt. Toss until tatsoi is wilted but still bright green, about 2 minutes; divide among 4 plates.

Place fish atop tatsoi. Sprinkle each fillet with carrot; drizzle each with 2 tablespoons sauce. Serve, passing remaining sauce separately.

From Epicurious via Bon Appétit,


Fried Sunchoke Chips with Rosemary Salt

  • 2 pounds unpeeled sunchokes (also called Jerusalem artichokes),* scrubbed
  • Vegetable oil (for frying)
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary

Fill large bowl with cold water. Slice sunchokes into thin rounds (about 1/16 inch thick), immediately dropping into bowl of water to prevent browning. Rinse and drain 3 times. Pat very dry with paper towels.

Pour enough oil into large deep skillet to reach depth of 1/2 inch. Submerge bulb of deep-fry thermometer into oil; lean top of thermometer against skillet rim. Heat oil to 375°F. Mix 1 tablespoon salt and rosemary in small bowl. Using fingertips, blend well, rubbing salt and rosemary together.

Working in batches, fry sunchoke slices until golden brown, stirring occasionally, 3 to 4 minutes. Using skimmer, transfer chips to paper towels to drain. Sprinkle chips with some rosemary salt. DO AHEAD: Chips can be made 2 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature.

Mound chips in bowl and serve.

From Epicurious via Bon Appétit by Kate and Scott Fogarty,


Apple-Filled Acorn Squash Rings with Curry Butter

  • 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) butter
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons curry powder
  • 2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, diced (about 2 1/3 cups) (the dried apples might be fun here)
  • 2/3 cup apple juice
  • 1/2 cup dried currants
  • 8 1-inch-thick unpeeled acorn squash rings (from 2 medium), seeded

Melt 1 tablespoon butter in heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and sauté until tender, about 12 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon curry powder; stir 1 minute. Add apples, apple juice, and currants. Sauté until liquid evaporates, about 6 minutes. Season filling to taste with salt and pepper. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)

Preheat oven to 350°F. Melt 5 tablespoons butter in small skillet over medium heat. Add 1/2 tablespoon curry powder; stir until fragrant, about 1 minute. Transfer curry butter to bowl. Brush 2 large rimmed baking sheets with some curry butter. Arrange squash in single layer on sheets. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Scoop filling into center of rings. Drizzle remaining curry butter over squash and filling (mostly on squash). Cover with foil. Bake squash rings until squash is tender when pierced with skewer, about 40 minutes. Using spatula, transfer squash rings with filling to plates.

From Epicurious via Bon Appétit,