Welcome to the 8th week of the Pitchfork & Crow Summer CSA! Here’s what’s in the share:
- Red Cabbage
- Head Lettuce
- Bunching Onions
- Shishito Peppers – Best served blistered in hot oil with salt just like this recipe. Beware: 1 in 10 is hot! It’s a game of pepper roulette.
- Corn – Just a couple bits this week. More ears headed your way soon!
- Lacinato Kale
- Cucumbers – picklers and slicers and lemons for everyone! It’s a continued cucumber extravaganza!
- Summer Squash
- Strawberries – The berries keep ripening. We keep picking them. You keep eating them in your car after the pick-up.
Want to see the farm in its summer glory? We’re hosting the Summer CSA On-Farm Potluck this Saturday from Noon-5pm. Come visit your vegetables on their turf. Check your weekly member email for the official details. Don’t see the weekly member email in your inbox? Check your spam folder and then shoot us an email to make sure you’re on the list.
The cooler temperatures this past weekend brought a little relief to these farmers. Field work is just so much easier in the 80s than in the 90s. We keep saying “this is what summer should be like!” As we search for a rhythm this summer amidst the heat and drought and weeds, I can’t help but point out the things I’m thankful for too. Here’s a few of them:
- That lettuce in the photo above is amazing. In a summer when the various beetle pests are devouring all things leaf shaped and the record setting temperatures have only just subsided, that lettuce says “Bring it!” I think I can learn a lot from that lettuce.
- Sunshine. Every season is unique and although I appreciate the cooler weather, I know that a summer full of rain and clouds and cold is not the best for growing good food. I appreciate the sunshine and the amazingly early summer produce it’s making possible.
- All things seeds. I’m generally in awe of the seeds we sow that eventually grow into the vegetables we bring you each week. This past week we harvested a couple of seed crops of our own, which is always an amazing reminder of the seed cycle and all the hard work that went into getting the seeds to us that we grow out for food.
- Farmer Jeff. I would be remiss if I didn’t include Jeff in this list. He is the workhorse of this farm and I just try to keep up most of the time. We are a team but this farm wouldn’t exist without him.
- An employee! After much discussion and budgeting and reading of employer regulations and frustration in the field, we hired our first very part-time employee this past week. In a single day we went from deciding to mow weedy beds of carrots in a fit of frustration, to choosing to try to hire someone and writing and posting a Craigslist ad, to meeting with a potential candidate, to saying “Can you start tomorrow?” And then he showed up and we weeded some of those carrots the next day! Woah!
So yeah, we welcomed the first very part-time employee to the farm this past weekend. Tim is a local guy who has worked on farms in the past and isn’t afraid of weeds. In fact he’s willing to help us tackle our weeds for 10 hours each week in exchange for some money and some vegetables. Who knew?!
Now that we’ve dipped our toe into the river of employer-land, we’re pretty excited about the possibilities. Figuring out how to afford more Tim-hours is the biggest obstacle. For now, we’re excited to have an extra pair of hands for 10 hours each week.
Enjoy the vegetables and we’ll see you next week!
Jeff Bramlett and Carri Heisler
Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:
Macaroni, Tomato, Corn, and Basil Salad
- 3/4 cup uncooked elbow macaroni (about 3 1/2 ounces)
- 4 medium tomatoes, cut into thin wedges
- 5 green onions, thinly sliced
- 1 cup thin slices halved English hothouse cucumber
- 1 cup fresh corn kernels or frozen, thawed
- 1 cup (packed) fresh basil leaves
- 1/3 cup plain nonfat yogurt
- 3 tablespoons low-fat mayonnaise
- 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled
Cook macaroni in medium saucepan of boiling salted water until just tender but still firm to bite. Drain. Rinse under cold water. Drain well. Transfer macaroni to large bowl. Add tomatoes, green onions, cucumber and corn.
Blend basil, yogurt, mayonnaise, lime juice and garlic in processor until basil is finely chopped. Add basil dressing to macaroni mixture and toss to blend. Season salad with salt and pepper. (Can be prepared 4 hours ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)
From Epicurious via Bon Appétit, http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/macaroni-tomato-corn-and-basil-salad-101962
Bratwurst and Red Cabbage
- 1 pound uncured bratwurst
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 12-ounce bottle Pilsner or other lager, divided
- 1 medium red onion, chopped
- 1/2 medium head of red cabbage, thinly sliced
- 1 medium red beet, peeled, coarsely grated
- Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
- 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
- 1/4 teaspoons ground allspice
- Freshly grated horseradish (for serving)
Prick bratwurst in several places with a knife and place in a large skillet. Add oil and half of beer, then add water until liquid comes a little over halfway up sides of sausages. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Cook, turning once, until just barely cooked through, 12–15 minutes.
Increase heat to medium-high; cook until liquid is evaporated, 5–10 minutes. Roll sausages to edge of skillet and add onion to center. Cook, turning sausages often and stirring onion occasionally, until sausages are browned and onion is soft, 5–8 minutes. Transfer sausages to a plate.
Add cabbage and beet to skillet; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring often, until cabbage is wilted, about 5 minutes. Add vinegar, brown sugar, allspice, and remaining beer. Cover; cook until tender, 20–25 minutes. Serve sausages with cabbage mixture, topped with horseradish.
From Epicurious via Bon Appétit by Claire Saffitz, http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/bratwurst-and-red-cabbage-51263820
Kale Pesto with Toasted Walnuts
- 2 cups packed torn kale leaves, stems removed
- 1 cup packed fresh basil leaves
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup toasted walnuts
- 4 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
In a food processor, combine the kale leaves, basil leaves, and salt. Pulse 10 to 12 times, until the kale leaves are finely chopped. With the motor running, drizzle in the olive oil. Scrape down the sides of the processor. Add the walnuts and garlic and process again, then add the cheese and pulse to combine. Toss with your favorite pasta and serve immediately.
From Epicurious via Epicurious by Drew Ramsey, M.D., & Jennifer Iserloh, http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/kale-pesto-with-toasted-walnuts-51207810