Welcome to the 11th week of the Pitchfork & Crow Summer CSA! Here’s what’s in the share:
- Lacinato Kale
- Salad Mix
- Torpedo Onions
- Beets – The tops weren’t the happiest so we went ahead and topped them for you. Enjoy the roots and look forward to beet greens next time.
- Poblano Peppers – These are classic stuffing peppers but are tasty no matter how you choose to use them. Check out the recipes down below for inspiration. Note that they may be on the hot side of the pepper heat scale.
- Summer Squash
- Tomatoes – A big heirloom slicer and your choice of cherries or small sauce tomatoes.
- Cucumbers – Lemons or picklers, you choose!
- Green Beans
CSA Members: Did you choose the 2-payment option? Please remember that your second payment was due by August 1st. Feel free to bring a check or cash to the pick-up or drop it in the mail.
Bulk Tomatoes: We’ll have 15lbs of small sauce tomatoes available for purchase at today’s pick-up in Salem. Let us know if you’re interested! They’re $1.50/lb, take them all for $20.
Over the last week our neighbor has been combining his clover seed crop. This field surrounds us on two sides and it’s hard not to be aware when there’s activity next door. We’ve watched this crop with interest all winter and spring as it’s a new-to-us variety of clover called Arrowleaf. After having cut the clover into windrows and let it fully dry down, he’s been slowly driving the combine in circles along the strips of dried clover. Simplified, the combine grabs up the dried plants, threshes out the seed for storage in a tank inside the combine, and then spits the excess chaff out the back.
It’s an impressive process to watch, and a stark reminder of the differences between our farming and our neighbor’s farming. Last Friday while we weeded the carrots, our neighbor drove the combine. Saturday while we weeded the leeks and picked apples and mowed various things that needed mowing, our neighbor drove the combine. Yesterday while we harvested the beans and beets and cucumbers etc., our neighbor drove the combine. Our small scale and huge diversity is hard to miss in contrast with the neighbor’s single crop in a field twice the size of our farm.
Soon we’ll be buying bags of cover crop seed for fall sowing, including clover seed. We’ll be lucky to buy Oregon-grown seed, much like the seed grown next door. We’re glad to support the local seed economy, but also glad someone else is willing to drive the combine day after day.
As part of our highly diversified farming efforts, we’ve endeavored to plant more flowers around the farm this season. We’ve heard that having flowers mixed in with vegetable plantings increases the benefits derived from beneficial insects. The various types of bees seem to especially appreciate the flowers. And we have so many bees! At this point in the season I imagine flowering is limited and bee forage is harder to come by than earlier in the summer.
When I walk the length of the farm and see the colorful splash of flowers in our fields, I can’t help but appreciate the beauty of the flowers and bees busily working away in them. It makes me think we’re doing something right.
Enjoy the vegetables and we’ll see you next week!
Jeff Bramlett and Carri Heisler
Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:
Keilbasa with Onions and Poblanos
- 1 large onion, cut into 1/2-inch slices
- 2 poblano chiles or green bell peppers, seeded, cut into 1/2-inch strips
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
- 1 1/2 pounds kielbasa sausages, cut on a diagonal into 4-inch pieces, halved lengthwise
- Mustard, sauerkraut, and crusty bread
Place a 16×12″ sheet of heavy-duty foil on a large rimmed baking sheet. Toss onion and chiles with oil in a large bowl; season generously with salt and pepper. Mound vegetables in center of prepared baking sheet; top with sausages. Place another large sheet of foil over. Fold and crimp all edges tightly to form a sealed packet. DO AHEAD: Can be made 4 hours ahead. Chill. Let stand at room temperature for 15 minutes before continuing.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Alternatively, build a medium fire in a charcoal grill, or heat a gas grill to medium-high. Bake or transfer packet to grill and cook until onions and peppers are softened (open the packet carefully to check; steam will escape), about 25 minutes.
If using an oven, turn on broiler. Carefully cut open packet. Arrange sausages on top if necessary. Broil until sausages are browned and crisp, about 5 minutes. If grilling, remove sausages from packet and grill until browned and crisp, about 5 minutes. Serve with mustard, sauerkraut, and bread alongside.
From Epicurious via Bon Appétit, http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/keilbasa-with-onions-and-poblanos-395899
Green Bean, Spinach, and Beet Salad
- 2 fresh poblano chiles
- 1/4 cup fresh orange juice
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 2 garlic cloves
- 2 small beets
- 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 1 1/2 pounds green beans, trimmed, cut diagonally into 1-inch pieces
- 3 cups baby spinach leaves
- 1 small white onion, sliced paper-thin
- 5 large radishes, sliced paper-thin
Char chiles directly over gas flame or in broiler until blackened on all sides. Enclose in paper bag 10 minutes. Peel, seed, and coarsely chop chiles.
Combine chiles, orange juice, oil, vinegar, and garlic in blender. Blend until mixture is smooth and thick. Season dressing to taste with salt and pepper. Cover; chill until dressing is cold, at least 1 hour and up to 1 day.
Preheat oven to 400°F. Wrap each beet tightly in foil; place directly on oven rack. Roast beets until tender when pierced with knife, about 50 minutes. Unwrap beets and cool completely, then peel. Coarsely grate beets into medium bowl. Toss with lime juice. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover and let stand at room temperature at least 1 hour.
Cook green beans in large pot of boiling salted water until crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. Drain; transfer to large bowl of ice water to cool. Drain again and pat dry.
Toss green beans, spinach, onion, and radishes in large bowl with enough dressing to coat. Season with salt and pepper. Divide salad among plates; top with beets.
From Epicurious via Bon Appétit, http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/green-bean-spinach-and-beet-salad-108034
Grilled Kale Salad with Ricotta and Plums
- 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
- 1 teaspoon honey
- Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
- 4 medium plums, halved, pitted, thinly sliced
- 12 large or 16 small curly kale leaves
- 3/4 cup fresh ricotta
Whisk 3 tablespoons oil, vinegar, thyme, and honey in a medium bowl. Season vinaigrette to taste with salt and pepper. Add plums and toss to coat; transfer plums to a plate.
Build a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill, or heat a gas grill to high. Brush kale leaves with remaining 1 tablespoon oil; season with salt. Grill kale, turning once, until crispy and charred at edges, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a work surface; let stand until cool enough to handle. Remove large center stems with a knife and discard (just trim the tough ends from smaller, more tender kale stems).
Divide ricotta among plates; season with salt and pepper. Stir vinaigrette again. Tear larger kale leaves into pieces (leave smaller leaves whole). Place leaves in a large bowl and toss with some of the vinaigrette. Divide leaves among plates. Top with plums and drizzle some vinaigrette over.
From Epicurious via Bon Appétit, http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/grilled-kale-salad-with-ricotta-and-plums-51104400