winter csa share – week 8

winter csa week 8

Welcome to the 8th week of the Pitchfork & Crow Winter CSA! Here’s what’s in the share:

  • Arugula
  • Garlic
  • Carrots – Remember, winter carrots are rough, but peel ‘em up and they’re tasty as ever.
  • Shunkyo Long Pink Radishes
  • Purple Cape Cauliflower
  • Lacinato Kale Rapini
  • Green Cabbage – This cabbage is a variety called Stanton that we grew as a trial.  Heavy, semi-savoy heads just in time for your favorite St. Patrick’s Day cabbage dishes.
  • Potatoes – An attempt at red, white, and blue potatoes.  They look rough but taste delicious.  Maybe next time we’ll get them aligned with a patriotic holiday.
  • Spinach
  • Bunching Onions
  • Purple Sprouting Broccoli – Eat the florets, eat the leaves, eat the stems, eat it up yum!
  • Butternut Winter Squash
  • Corn Flour – Jeff fired up our 1947 Farmall Cub and attached our grinder to it to mill our dried Cascade Ruby Gold corn!

Did you know it’s CSA sign-up season?  Many thanks to everybody who has already signed-up to join us for the summer season.  Your early commitment really helps us plan for the season ahead.  We still have quite a few spaces open though.  Please spread the word to your friends and family and co-workers!  We’re accepting new members for the summer season!

blooming

I’m sure you’ve all noticed the crazy amazing weather we’ve been experiencing lately.  We tend to always see a planting window in the early spring, but never anything quite this long and warm.  Truthfully we’ve been a little baffled by it all, trying to guess how to adjust our ground work and planting plans.  We hear some folks are already irrigating.  If it keeps up like this, we’re going to be in for a long, hot summer.

The fruit trees seem to think it’s spring too.  We met with a family of beekeepers recently and we’ve struck a deal for them to keep some of their hives here at the farm through the summer and fall.  Their bees are currently down in California helping to pollinate the almonds.  They can’t get back to the Willamette Valley soon enough for us.  Our plums are in full bloom and many of the pears are also already beginning to bud out.  We’re looking forward to the increase in pollinators!

sights

In the past couple of weeks we’ve continued the winter farming conference circuit.  We attended the Small Farms Conference at OSU where Jeff spoke at one session about being certified organic.  We also learned some great things about plant diseases, farm profitability, orcharding, and even how to make a clarinet out of a carrot!  We also attended a meeting at OSU focused on plant breeding for organic systems. Finally, we attended a series of workshops related to selling to institutions like school districts and hospitals.  The focus of this series has been on food safety and the documenting of food safety efforts on the farm.  It’s got us realizing that we should keep better records in that area!

mouseq

In between the field work and the meetings we’ve been making progress in the propagation house sowing seeds for future transplanting.  We were seeing excellent early germination of our tomatoes and peppers, best ever!  Until they were decimated by a sneaky mouse that began eating the tops off every plant with a seed still attached to the emerging leaves and digging up freshly sown seeds.  Determined to save the solanums, Jeff doubled his trapping efforts and eventually we caught the culprits.  I guess that’s one reason we start them so early.

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

Your farmers,
Jeff Bramlett and Carri Heisler

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Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:

Cornbread with Caramelized Apples and Onions

  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt plus more
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 medium red- or pink-skinned apples (such as Pink Lady), thinly sliced
  • 5 tablespoons sugar, divided
  • 3 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves, divided
  • 1 1/2 cups cornmeal
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk

Preheat oven to 400°F. Melt butter in an 8″ cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Pour all but 2 tablespoons butter into a small bowl; set aside.

Add onion to butter in skillet; season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is softened and beginning to brown, about 4 minutes. Add apples, 2 tablespoons sugar, and 2 teaspoons thyme and cook, stirring often, until apples are softened, about 4 minutes. Transfer onion mixture to a medium bowl and reserve skillet.

Whisk cornmeal, flour, baking powder, 1 teaspoon salt, and remaining 3 tablespoonss sugar in a large bowl. Gradually whisk in eggs, buttermilk, and 3/4 cup reserved melted butter until smooth (no lumps should remain). Fold in half of onion mixture and scrape batter into reserved skillet. Top with remaining onion mixture and remaining 1 teaspoon thyme.

Bake cornbread until golden brown and a tester inserted into the center comes out clean, 30–40 minutes. Let cool slightly before serving.

DO AHEAD: Cornbread can be made 6 hours ahead. Reheat before serving, if desired.

From Epicurious via Bon Appétit by Alison Roman, http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/cornbread-with-caramelized-apples-and-onions-51198760

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Corned Beef with Cabbage

  • 4 lb corned brisket of beef
  • 3 large carrots, cut into large chunks
  • 6 to 8 small onions
  • 1 teaspoon dry English mustard
  • large sprig fresh thyme and some parsley stalks, tied together
  • 1 cabbage
  • salt and freshly ground pepper

Put the brisket into a saucepan with the carrots, onions, mustard and the herbs. Cover with cold water, and bring gently to a boil. Simmer, covered, for 2 hours. Discard the outer leaves of the cabbage, cut in quarters and add to the pot. Cook for a further 1 to 2 hours or until the meat and vegetables are soft and tender.

Serve the corned beef in slices, surrounded by the vegetables and cooking liquid. Serve with lots of floury potatoes and freshly made mustard.

From Epicurious via Epicurious by Darina Allen, http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/corned-beef-with-cabbage-241775

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Butternut Squash Lasagna Rolls

Butternut Squash

  • 1 pound peeled butternut squash, diced
  • kosher salt

Lasagna Rolls

  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/4 cup minced shallots
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons fresh grated parmesan cheese
  • 10 ounces frozen chopped spinach, cooked according to package directions, cooled, and squeezed dry
  • 1 3/4 cups (15 ounces) fat-free ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Freshly cracked black pepper
  • 9 lasagna noodles, wheat or gluten-free, cooked
  • 9 tablespoons shredded part skim mozzarella cheese (about 3 ounces)

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

For the butternut squash
Place squash in a large pot with enough water to cover the squash by 2 inches. Add 1 teaspoon salt and bring to a boil. Cover and cook over medium-low heat until soft, about 12 to 14 minutes. Remove butternut squash with a slotted spoon and place in a blender with 1/4 cup of the liquid it was cooked in. Reserve an additional 1 cup of liquid and set aside.

For the lasanga rolls
In a medium nonstick skillet, add the oil and saut¿he shallots and garlic over medium-low heat until soft and golden, about 4 to 5 minutes. Add pureed butternut squash, season with 1/4 teaspoon salt and a pinch of fresh cracked pepper adding about 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup of the reserved liquid to thin out the sauce until smooth. Stir in the parmesan cheese and set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine the spinach, ricotta, the remaining 1/2 cup Parmesan, egg, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and the black pepper.

Ladle about 1/2 cup of the butternut sauce into the bottom of a 9 ¿13-inch baking dish.

Put a piece of wax paper on a work surface and lay the cooked lasagna noodles out on it. Make sure the noodles are dry. Spread 1/3 cup of the ricotta mixture over each noodle. Carefully roll them up and put them seam side down in the baking dish. Ladle the remaining sauce over the lasagna rolls and top each with 1 tablespoon mozzarella. Tightly cover the dish with foil.

Bake until the inside is heated through and the cheese is melted, about 40 minutes.

From Epicurious via Epicurious by Gina Homolka, with Heather K. Jones, R.D., http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/butternut-squash-lasagna-rolls-51252500

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