summer csa share – week 4

csa share week 4

Welcome to the 4th week of the Pitchfork & Crow Summer CSA! Here’s what’s in the share:

  • Red Ursa Kale
  • French Breakfast Radishes – these poor radish greens got ravaged by beetles, but the radishes are still tasty.
  • Red Spring Onions – Be sure to store fresh onions in the fridge and use them up as they won’t store like cured storage onions.  Also, use the greens like scallions.
  • Onion Flowers – Pluck the flowers off to add to salads or sautes.  Jeff wants to try to ferment these with the radishes and peas.
  • Butterhead Lettuce – Two heads, two varieties, one red and one green.  Butter lettuce is amazing!
  • Broccoli! – Tasty spring broccoli!  The varieties are all coming on at once and you’ll see some longer stemmed/larger beaded open-pollinated heads mixed in with the shorter stemmed/smaller beaded hybrid varieties we grow.  We love it all!
  • Dill
  • Summer Squash – It’s the first taste of the season this week, much more to come!  Up first we’ve got traditional zucchinis, yellow straightneck, and an Italian round zucchini known as Tondo di Piacenza.
  • Snap Peas
  • Fava Beans – Still not sure what to do with favas?  Check out the CSA member website for lots of fava info.
  • Mixed New Potatoes – Red, white, and blue new potatoes, planted in a greenhouse in February and freshly dug from the ground yesterday.
  • Seascape Strawberries – This week’s rainy weather has resulted in dirt splashing onto many of the berries.  You might want to wash them before eating, if you can wait.
  • Cherries – We have a single cherry tree on the farm of unknown variety and once again it provided just enough fruit for everyone to get a handful.

potatoes and farmers

We’re a week away from the summer solstice and the farming season is in full swing.  June feels like a big production that we’re making up as we go along.  We make an in-depth planting plan in winter and then have to figure out how to execute it come spring.  Sow the seeds, prep the beds,  transplant the plants, irrigate the crops, cultivate it all, repeat.  And squeeze in some extra weeding that the tractor may have missed, and trellising/pruning tomatoes, and hilling potatoes, and covering and uncovering things with row cover to avoid pests, and caring for the animals of course, and then harvesting and washing and distributing vegetables too.

Just making the list feels like a feat, but figuring out how to get through it all in an efficient manner is the real skill here.  June is triage on the farm.  Choose the most pressing things to be done and see them through.  Decide which things aren’t going to make it and move on.

planting

This week we transplanted the next round of sweet corn, broccoli, cauliflower, lettuce, basil, and beets and got the Brussels sprouts in the ground.  That’s around 5,400 plants in the field that were not there a week ago.  It’s an ever changing landscape.  And we started the next successions of broccoli, cauliflower, lettuce, sweet corn, and kohlrabi in the propagation house.  We’re already starting fall and winter crops, whoa.  We also direct sowed the next succession of carrots, arugula, radishes, cilantro, dill, and green beans.

Putting seeds in the ground is perhaps the most hopeful act we do.  If we’re lucky and we keep things watered and weeded, we’ll have food before we know it.

summer fruit

In the week ahead we’ll do more transplanting, more catching up with the plan, more irrigating and weeding and row covering and trellising.  It’s June and there’s work to be done.  We’ll be out in the field if you need us.

Enjoy the vegetables and we’ll see you next week!

Your farmers,
Jeff Bramlett and Carri Heisler

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Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:

Sauteed Radishes with Sugar Snap Peas with Dill

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced shallots
  • 12 ounces sugar snap peas, trimmed, strings removed
  • 2 cups thinly sliced radishes (about 1 large bunch)
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon dill seeds
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill

This side dish would pair beautifully with roast lamb or salmon. To remove strings from fresh peas, just snap off the stem end and pull string lengthwise down each pod. Melt butter with oil in large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add shallots and sauté until golden, about 5 minutes. Add sugar snap peas and radishes; sauté until crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Add orange juice and dill seeds; stir 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in chopped dill. Transfer to bowl; serve.

From Epicurious via Bon Appétit, http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/sauteed-radishes-and-sugar-snap-peas-with-dill-109402

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Smoked Sausage, Kale, and Potato Soup

  • 4 ounces smoked fully cooked sausage (such as kielbasa or hot links), sliced into rounds
  • 2 3/4 cups canned low-salt chicken broth
  • 3/4 pound small red-skinned potatoes, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 5 cups thinly sliced trimmed kale leaves (about 3/4 of medium bunch) or 3/4 of 10-ounce package frozen chopped kale, thawed, drained
  • 1/4 teaspoon caraway seeds, lightly crushed

Sauté sausage slices in heavy medium saucepan over medium-high heat until beginning to brown, about 3 minutes. Add chicken broth, sliced potatoes and white wine and bring mixture to boil. Reduce heat to medium, cover and simmer until potatoes are almost tender, about 10 minutes.

Add kale and caraway seeds to soup. Simmer soup uncovered until potatoes and kale are very tender, about 10 minutes longer. Season soup to taste with salt and pepper. Ladle soup into bowls and serve immediately.

From Epicurious via Bon Appétit, http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/smoked-sausage-kale-and-potato-soup-3114

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Rice Salad with Fava Beans and Pistachios

  • 1/2 cup wild rice
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 cup basmati rice
  • 1 dried Iranian lime (optional)
  • 1 cup fresh shelled fava beans (from about 1 pound pods) or frozen, thawed
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh dill
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/2 cup unsalted, raw pistachios
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon Iranian lime powder or 1 teaspoon finely grated lime zest

Cook wild rice in a medium pot of boiling salted water until tender and grains start to split, 35–40 minutes. Drain; let cool.

Meanwhile, combine basmati rice, lime, if using, and 1 1/2 cups water in a medium saucepan, season with salt, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer 10 minutes. Remove from heat and fluff with a fork. Cover; let sit until water is absorbed, about 5 minutes. Let cool; discard lime.

If using fresh fava beans, cook in a large saucepan of boiling salted water until tender, about 4 minutes. Drain; transfer to a bowl of ice water. Drain and peel. (If using frozen fava beans, cook 2 minutes; transfer to a bowl of ice water, then drain.)

Toss wild rice, basmati rice, dill, parsley, pistachios, oil, lemon zest and juice, lime powder, and fava beans in a large bowl; season with salt.

Do ahead: Fava beans can be cooked and peeled 2 days ahead; cover and chill. Wild and basmati rice can be cooked 2 days ahead; cover and chill.

From Epicurious via Bon Appétit  by

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