winter csa share – week 4

winter csa week 4

Welcome to the 4th week of the Pitchfork & Crow 2015/2016 Winter CSA!

Here’s what’s in the share:

  • Superschmelz Kohlrabi – Don’t be afraid of the giant winter kohlrabi.  It’s delicious and wants to be eaten up raw, or fermented, or roasted, or in a savory pudding (recipe below). 
  • Carrots – Not as exciting as multi-colored carrots, these red cored chantenay are super sweet!
  • Red and Green Brussels Sprouts
  • Mountain Rose or Kennebec Potatoes – the Mountain Rose are red on the outside, pink on the inside!
  • Lacinato Kale
  • Garlic
  • Winter Salad Mix – a mix of castelfranco chicories and arugula this week
  • Onion
  • Delicata Winter Squash
  • Celeriac
  • Dried Plums – we grew them, we dried them, we bagged them

About the Feb. 9th/10th Pick-up:  We’ll be out of town at a farmer retreat for a portion of the first pick-up in February.  Please note the pick-up changes for your location below.

Salem Members:  We’d like to  move the Salem CSA pick-up to the previous Sunday, February 7th.  We’ll be set up at our usual spot at the Willamette Heritage Center during the usual 4pm-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.

COMP-NW Medical School Members:  We plan to deliver on Wednesday February 10th as usual, except boxes will be dropped at the school by 3pm instead of 1pm.  Please let us know if this is a problem and we can arrange for an alternative pick-up.

On-Farm Pick-Up Members:  Regularly scheduled pick-up at the farm.  We’ll see you as usual between 4pm and 6pm on Wednesday February 10th.


Happy 2016!  We welcomed the new year with some time off and a quick trip to the snow.  Luckily there was more snow up in the hills than on the farm.  Then we hunkered down to get some work done here at the farm.  We’ve spent the last week+ pouring over seed company websites and making our planting plan for the upcoming season.  Starting with arugula and ending with winter squash, we go through each of the 50 crops we grow and review the varieties, timing, number of successions, and seed availability.  It takes too many hours for the two of us to wrangle together a plan, but by the end we have a couple of epic spreadsheets that include what we’ll plant, when we’ll plant it, and what seed needs to be purchased.

After so much time spent reviewing the past season there really aren’t many big changes to this year’s plan.  We are going to try to improve our spinach growing skills, have more heirloom tomatoes, and increase the number of weeks of sweet corn and melons.  Seed orders will be going in this week and we’ll be sowing seeds again before you know it!

beans and barn

We always seem to have plenty of projects that need doing.  Before digging into the planting plan we spent a day threshing the dry beans that have been hanging out in our propagation house since October.  We use the “beat them with a stick” method of threshing beans, which involves piles of dry bean plants on tarps, big sticks, and a sunny day.  We made quite a dent in the piles and hopefully they’ll be headed your way after a little more threshing and winnowing.  Hurrah for fresh dry beans!

I’ve mentioned in previous newsletters that we have some big building plans for this winter.  Jeff has been spending some time during planning breaks to re-roof our well house, a project that has been on the back burner for years.  I think the roof was leaking our first winter here between 2010 and 2011 when we covered it with temporary plastic and we’re finally getting around a more permanent fix!  Also, the kit for our new pole barn arrived last week.  Now that our epic indoor planning work is mostly done we’re excited to get back outside and build some stuff!

Needless to say we’re looking forward to the season ahead.  We’re finalizing 2016 Summer CSA details and will begin accepting members shortly.  Details coming soon!

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:

A couple of years ago a winter CSA member clued us in to kohlrabi pudding.  It’s a delicious creamy concoction that has been a Thanksgiving potluck staple for us ever since.

Dairy Hollow House Kohlrabi Pudding

  • Cooking spray
  • 2 to 3 small kohlrabi, stem, root and ends trimmed, peeled and quartered
  • 2 large eggs
  • 4 ounces neufchâtel reduced-fat cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • ½ cup low-fat milk, buttermilk, yogurt, light sour cream, oat or rice milk, or, if feeling devil-may-care and you have it on hand, half and half or heavy cream
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon Pickapeppa sauce
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 or 4 gratings of nutmeg
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • ¾ cup (6 ounces) finely grated Parmesan cheese

1. Preheat the oven to 375°F.

2. Spray a 9-inch square baking dish or six individual 6-ounce ramekins with cooking spray. Set aside.

3. Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add the kohlrabi and cook until slightly softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Place in a food processor and puree. Measure out 3 cups of the puree, saving leftovers for another use (such as a chilled soup). Set the puree aside.

4. Place the eggs with the neufchâtel, milk, cornstarch, Pickapeppa, salt, nutmeg, and pepper in the food processor. Buzz until very smooth. Add the 3 cups puree and half of the Parmesan and buzz to incorporate. Taste and, if necessary season with more pepper.

5. Pour the pudding mixture into the prepared baking dish or into the individual ramekins. Place the dish or ramekins in a larger pan with hot water to come ½ inch up the sides of the dish or ramekins. Place the pan in the preheated oven and bake for 30 minutes.

6. Remove from the oven and sprinkle the remaining Parmesan over the top. Return to the oven and continue baking until the cheese is melted and golden and the pudding is firm, browned, and does not stick to your finger when you touch its surface, another 20 to 30 minutes. Serve, hot or warm, cut into squares or inverted out of the ramekins.

From Cookstr via Passionate Vegetarian by Crescent Dragonwagon,


Sauteed Kale with Kohlrabi

  • 1 1/4 pound kohlrabi, bulbs peeled
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated lime zest
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 2 pounds kale (2 bunches), stems and center ribs discarded
  • 5 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup salted roasted pistachios, chopped
  • Equipment: an adjustable-blade slicer

Very thinly slice kohlrabi with slicer.

Whisk together lime zest and juice, 2 tablespoons oil, and 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and pepper in a large bowl. Toss kohlrabi with dressing.

Finely chop kale. Heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Sauté garlic until pale golden, about 30 seconds. Add kale by the handful, turning and stirring with tongs and adding more kale as volume in skillet reduces. When all of kale is wilted, sauté with 1/2 teaspoon salt until just tender, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and cool to room temperature. Toss kale with kohlrabi and pistachios.

From Epicurious via Gourmet ,


Carrots and Brussels Sprouts

  • 2 tablespoons chopped shallot (from 1 medium)
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 1 pound carrots, cut diagonally into 1/2-inch-thick pieces
  • 1 pound Brussels sprouts, halved lengthwise
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar

Cook shallot in 2 tablespoons butter in a 12-inch heavy skillet over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, 1 to 2 minutes. Add carrots, Brussels sprouts, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables begin to brown, 3 to 4 minutes.

Add water and cover skillet, then cook over medium-high heat until vegetables are tender, 5 to 8 minutes. Stir in vinegar, remaining tablespoon butter, and salt and pepper to taste.