winter csa share – week 11

winter csa share week 11

Welcome to the 11th week of the Pitchfork & Crow 2015/2016 Winter CSA!

Here’s what’s in the share:

  • Chard
  • Pink Beauty Radishes
  • Cauliflower! – Overwintering cauliflower is the best kind of cauliflower.  Started last July and transplanted last August into the field, these plants have made it through the long months of rain and cold this winter to head up into beautiful cauliflower.  Whew!
  • Red Maria Potatoes
  • Bok Choi
  • Flowering Cilantro
  • Giant Spinach! – Spinach wraps anyone?!
  • Leek Scapes – Scapes are the flowering stalks of allium plants including leeks, garlic, and onions.  If left alone the scapes would stiffen and eventually the flowers would open and develop seed.  If harvested now they’re a delicious tender treat that you’ll want to drizzle with olive oil immediately and toss on the grill. 
  • Pea Shoots – Toss the tips in salads or saute the shoots with other veggies for a pea pod flavor, a taste of spring!
  • Hakurei Salad Turnips – The smoothest, mildest, most delicious turnip around.  You don’t have to cook them, but you can if you want.  The greens are great sauteed!
  • Arugula Rapini – A spicy addition to this week’s greens line-up.
  • Salad Mix – Lettuce has returned!  A mix of three types of leaf lettuces and mizuna this week.
  • Dried Apples

april planting

As promised at the end of the newsletter two weeks ago, we’ve been very busy out in the field getting ground prepped, starts transplanted, and already trying to stay on top of the weeds and irrigation.  Our tractor finally came back to us good as new and its arrival felt like the firing of a starting gun, the race was on!  Thanks to some cooperating weather systems and long days we’ve just about caught up with our plan.

In the photos above you can see Jeff spreading lime in the field we were getting ready to plant into.  The lime is a suggested amendment per our soil test, and should help shift the ph in this field which we understand will help make other nutrients more accessible by plants.  Over three days last week we planted out multiple varieties of peas, spinach, beets, lettuce, kohlrabi,  broccoli, cabbage, kale, and chard.  Some of our old staple varieties and some new ones, like the Dazzling Blue Kale seen on the left in the kale photo above.  Thanks to lots of coffee, water, and beer we made it through the transplanting and now have 3/4 of an acre planted out with 8,000 plants in the ground.  And we’re still mostly smiling.

With our first big outdoor planting of the season in the ground, the next rounds are coming along in the propagation house.  This weekend we started the first of our basil, summer squash, cucumbers, and melons in the midst of a summery heatwave.  Summer doesn’t feel so far off this week.


As Sunday evening turned to Sunday night we pushed through to get our strawberry plants in the ground.  One last planting for the week and one more task checked off the list before the start of a new week.

Enjoy the vegetables and we’ll see you in two weeks for the last Winter CSA pick-up!

Your farmers,
Jeff Bramlett and Carri Heisler


Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:

Three-Greens Soup with Spinach Gremolata

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 small onion (about 7 ounces), thinly sliced
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 garlic cloves, 3 thinly sliced, 1 finely grated
  • 4 cups low-salt chicken broth
  • 1 pound Yukon Gold potatoes, cut into 1/2″ pieces
  • 1/2 bunch collard greens (8 ounces), center ribs and stems removed, chopped (about 2 cups)
  • 1 bunch Swiss chard (12 ounces), center ribs and stems removed, coarsely chopped (about 8 cups)
  • 1 5-ounces bag packaged spinach (not baby), stems removed (about 4 cups), divided
  • 2 teaspoons (or more) fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon toasted pine nuts

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a small pot over medium heat. Add onion and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add thinly sliced garlic to pot. Cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Add broth, potatoes, collards, and 2 cups water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium. Simmer soup until potatoes are tender when pierced with a knife, about 10 minutes.

Add Swiss chard to pot and cook for 5 minutes. Stir in 3 cups spinach and 2 teaspoons lemon juice until spinach is wilted.

Meanwhile, chop the remaining 1 cup spinach; place in a small bowl. Add lemon zest, finely grated garlic clove, and the remaining 1 tablespoon oil to chopped spinach; toss to coat. Season spinach gremolata to taste with salt, pepper, and more lemon juice, if desired.

Season soup with salt and pepper. Divide among bowls. Mound spinach gremolata on top of soup in bowls. Garnish with pine nuts.

From Epicurious via Bon Appétit,


Minced Beef with Bok Choy and Fried Egg

2 1/2 teaspoons sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons Thai chile paste
2 1/2 teaspoons fish sauce
2 1/2 teaspoons lower-sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons canola oil, divided
3 garlic cloves, minced
12 ounces 90% lean ground beef
3/4 teaspoon crushed dried Thai chile or crushed red pepper
3 small baby bok choy, cut lengthwise into quarters (chop full size bok choy to cook evenly)
4 large eggs
2 cups cooked brown rice

1. Combine first 4 ingredients in a small bowl.

2. Heat a large cast-iron skillet or wok over high heat. Add 2 teaspoons oil; swirl to coat. Add garlic; stir-fry 10 seconds. Add beef to pan; stir-fry 2 minutes or until beef is done. Stir in soy mixture; cook 30 seconds or until sauce thickens slightly. Place on a plate; keep warm. Add 1 1/2 teaspoons oil and crushed red pepper to pan; cook for 10 seconds. Add bok choy; stir-fry 2 minutes or until crisp-tender. Place on plate with beef.

3. Wipe pan clean with a paper towel. Heat remaining 2 1/2 teaspoons oil in pan over medium heat; swirl to coat. Crack eggs, 1 at a time, into pan; cook 2 minutes. Cover pan, and cook 1 minute or until whites are set. Divide rice, beef, and bok choy among 4 bowls. Top each dish with 1 egg.

From via Cooking Light by Cheryl Slocum,


Indian Spiced Cauliflower and Potatoes

1 (1 3/4-lb) head cauliflower, cut into 3/4-inch-wide florets
1 1/4 lb Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
5 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 teaspoons minced fresh jalapeño, including seeds
2 teaspoons minced peeled fresh ginger
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 cup water

Put oven rack in upper third of oven and place a shallow baking pan on rack. Preheat oven to 475°F.

Toss cauliflower and potatoes together in a bowl with 3 tablespoons oil, cumin seeds, and1/4 teaspoon salt. Spread in hot baking pan and roast, stirring occasionally, until cauliflower is tender and browned in spots and potatoes are just tender, about 20 minutes.

While vegetables are roasting, cook onion, garlic, jalapeño, and ginger in remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderate heat, stirring frequently, until very soft and beginning to turn golden, 8 to 10 minutes. Add ground cumin, coriander, turmeric, cayenne, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and cook, stirring constantly, 2 minutes. Stir in water, scraping up any brown bits from bottom of skillet, then stir in roasted vegetables. Cook, covered, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes.

From via Gourmet,