Welcome to the 9th week of the Pitchfork & Crow Winter CSA! Here’s what’s in the share:
- Arugula Rapini
- Carrots – Remember, winter carrots are rough, but peel ‘em up and they’re tasty as ever.
- French Breakfast Radishes
- Red Russian Kale Rapini
- Collard Rapini
- Braising Mix – a mix of kales, chard, cabbage rapini, and mustards that will do well braised or for the more adventurous would make a lovely winter salad.
- Bunching Onions
- Purple Sprouting Broccoli – Eat the florets, eat the leaves, eat the stems, eat it up yum!
- Spaghetti Winter Squash
- Dry Bean Mix – Those of you that joined us last summer will remember these beans from summer shares. Our extra green beans left to dry, now making up this colorful mix. We’ve been enjoying them in burritos of late.
I imagine when you joined the Winter CSA, it was all winter squash and roots and hardy greens that you saw filling your shares. Thanks to the mild winter we’ve been able to include a diversity of other items, and this week is rapini madness! The overwintered kale and cabbage and collards are all ready to go to flower but bunching up those tender, sweet bolts is oh so hard to avoid. We’ve been eating rapini in stir frys, over eggs, in burritos, in pies, and of course straight out of the field! We love rapini season to bits, and hope you do too. Isn’t it fun to see and taste the differences between the arugula, kale, and collards? Which is your favorite?
Many thanks to the few folks that made it to the farm this past Saturday for the Winter CSA potluck. It was a small showing, but a great day for a farm visit. The rain held off all day and the wind was just right for kites. While we love to see a big crowd enjoying the farm, we really appreciated the opportunity to chat with those members that made it out.
Apologies again for forgetting to include a reminder two weeks ago in the newsletter. Hopefully everyone received my belated email reminder last week. We realize now that we scheduled it for the first weekend of spring break, which is a very hard thing to compete with indeed.
In the past two weeks, since we last met, we’ve been keeping busy filling up the propagation house, doing a little transplanting and seed sowing in the field and in high tunnels, and prepping the ground for transplanting into the fields. It’s been a fantastic start to the growing season and for once we feel nearly right on track with things.
We’ve potted-up most of our tomatoes from 72-cell trays into 3-inch pots and moved them out of the propagation house and into a smaller greenhouse shack. This gives the growing tomatoes enough room to size up properly and allows us to move the next successions of tomatoes and peppers to the limited space on the heat tables in the prop. house. It’s a delicate dance this time of year trying to leave the heat-loving plants on bottom heat as long as possible. The tomatoes are doing well and we’re already looking forward to the summer fruits.
I’ve been doing some research on cut flowers recently and am hoping to finalize a plan for successions of a few varieties of flowers soon. The photo above is of calendula seeds, which don’t make for the best cut flowers but do have amazing seeds that look like they washed up on a beach to me. I’d love to hear you favorite cut flower suggestions!
We transplanted strawberries for the inaugural use of our new water wheel transplanter. If you remember, we bought the transplanter late last year just after the new tractor arrived and we hadn’t had a chance to use it yet. It worked like a dream and we now have over 1000 strawberry plants growing happily in very straight rows and with very even spacing. Plus our backs were especially thankful.
For those interested, here’s a bit about how the transplanter works. It’s pulled by the tractor down the beds. As it moves along the bed, a wheel with triangular punches turns and makes holes at even intervals. A tank on top of the transplanter holds water, and sometimes fertilizer, that flows into the wheel and thus into the holes the wheel makes. The person riding on the back of the transplanter plants starts directly into the watery holes by hand. It’s a simple design that also allows for variability and customization along the way.
This week’s rain came just in time for us to focus on the CSA harvest, but soon the sun will return and we’ll be back in the field. Spring is officially here and it’s time to get farming!
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:
Squash and Root Vegetable Slaw
- 1 1/2 cups each shredded raw kabocha or butternut squash, rutabaga, and sweet potato
- 1 1/2 cups shredded raw celery root
- Fresh lemon juice
- 2 peeled, quartered, cored apples cut into matchstick-size pieces
- 1 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves
- 1/2 cup 1″ pieces chives
- 3/4 cup Granny Smith Apple Cider Vinaigrette
Combine 1 1/2 cups each shredded raw kabocha or butternut squash, rutabaga, and sweet potato in a large resealable plastic bag. Place 1 1/2 cups shredded raw celery root in a large bowl of water with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice to prevent browning; cover. Chill shredded vegetables overnight. Drain celery root. Transfer shredded vegetables to a large bowl. Add 2 peeled, quartered, cored apples cut into matchstick-size pieces (we love crisp, balanced Fuji). Add 1 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves and 1/2 cup 1″ pieces chives. Add 3/4 cup Granny Smith Apple Cider Vinaigrette; toss to coat. Add more vinaigrette, if desired. Season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.
From Epicurious via Bon Appétit by Kay Chun, http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/squash-and-root-vegetable-slaw-51124270
Orange and Radish Salad
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon orange-flavor water*
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon, or to taste
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne, or to taste
- coarse salt to taste
- 3 navel oranges
- 2 large radishes, preferably with leaves, reserving small leaves for garnish,
- *available at specialty foods shops and some supermarkets.
In a small bowl stir together lemon juice, orange-flower water, sugar, cinnamon, cayenne, and salt until sugar is dissolved.
With a serrated knife cut away orange peels and pith, discarding them, and cut oranges crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Arrange orange slices on a platter and pour lemon juice mixture over them. Let orange slices macerate 30 minutes.
Trim radishes and halve lengthwise. Cut radishes into thin half circles and scatter over orange slices. Garnish salad with radish leaves.
From Epicurious via Gourmet, http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/orange-and-radish-salad-12479
Spiced Squash Pancakes
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 shallots, minced
- 2 small jalapenos, seeded and minced
- 3 tablespoons minced peeled fresh ginger
- 3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
- 3/4 teaspoon ground coriander
- Coarse salt and ground pepper
- 3 cups Roasted Spaghetti Squash, patted dry
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
- Nonstick cooking spray
Preheat oven to 275 degrees. In a large nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium-high. Add shallots, jalapenos, and ginger and cook, stirring, until softened, 7 minutes. Stir in cumin and coriander and cook until fragrant, 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper. Let cool slightly, 5 minutes.
Transfer to a large bowl and stir in squash, eggs, and flour. Wipe out skillet, then lightly coat skillet with cooking spray; heat over medium. In batches, add batter in 1/4 cupfuls to skillet and cook until pancakes are golden brown, 6 to 8 minutes, flipping halfway through. Transfer pancakes to oven to keep warm; repeat with remaining batter.
From marthastewart.com via Everyday Food, http://www.marthastewart.com/873338/spiced-squash-pancakes#Spaghetti%20Squash%20Recipes|/275670/spaghetti-squash-recipes/@center/276955/seasonal-produce-recipe-guide|873338