summer csa share – week 6

csa share week 6

Welcome to the 6th week of the Pitchfork & Crow Summer CSA! Here’s what’s in the share:

  • Red Ursa Kale
  • Cilantro
  • Red Cabbage
  • Spring Onion
  • Romaine Lettuce – Two heads, two varieties, one red and one speckled.
  • Fresh Uncured Garlic
  • Fennel – check out the fennel salad recipe below!
  • Summer Squash – Up first we’ve got traditional zucchinis, yellow straightneck, and an Italian round zucchini known as Tondo di Piacenza.
  • Cucumbers – A plethora of choices including various varieties of picklers and slicers!
  • Beets – These were transplanted in the early spring, likely too densely planted.  Figuring out just the right beet growing technique is an ongoing project.  We’ve got successions lined up though, so hopefully happier beets will be on the way!
  • Carrots

landscape

As with any industry, there are multitudes of books and guides and how-to articles aimed at the small farmer.  These references can help us learn everything from how to organize the farm for maximum efficiency to how to grow a better garlic crop.  We have books on farm finance and farm marketing and small scale farming.  We have magazines with articles that detail harvest and handling procedures, cultivation set-ups for tractors, and pest management options.  We read and we plan and we try to figure out which options are best for our particular situation.

And then the growing season gets going and the work really gets cranking and we just try to keep moving, and working, and trying to get through another day.  In those moments I most appreciate, not the books and articles, but the Farmer to Farmer Podcast.  A podcast that features a new farmer each week with a host that asks the questions a farmer would ask and more.  Whether it’s a farm I’m familiar with or have never heard of, I always come away with new bits of information and a renewed sense that we are not the only ones playing this farm game.  Which of course I know, but it’s easy to forget in the midst of so much isolated work.  The inspiration is invaluable, and though this sounds like an advertisement, it’s really just a shout out to a highlight of each week.

That’s all I’ve got this week.  Of course there was weeding and cultivating and harvesting and irrigating and planting as usual.  We’ve already begun sowing seeds for overwintering crops like kale and cabbage!  Whoa!  We’re in that mid-season re-evaluation period and are looking to bring on some help.  Let us know if you’re interested in volunteering some time on the farm, or know anyone locally who might be interested in part-time farmwork.  Work will be physically demanding, likely involving heavy lifting and crawling as we need help weeding and eventually harvesting storage crops later in the season.  Send us an email for more details.

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:

Beet and Red Cabbage Slaw

  • 6 medium beets, trimmed
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons whole grain Dijon mustard
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons caraway seeds
  • 2/3 cup corn oil
  • 8 cups thinly sliced red cabbage (about half of large head)
  • 2/3 cup chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup (packed) chopped fresh dill
  • Lettuce leaves
  • 3 large carrots, peeled, coarsely grated (about 3 cups)

Preheat oven to 400°F. Wrap beets in foil, enclosing completely. Bake beets until tender, about 1 hour 15 minutes. Cool. Peel and coarsely grate beets. Whisk vinegar, sugar, mustard and caraway seeds in large bowl to blend. Gradually whisk in oil. Add cabbage, onion and grated beets to dressing and toss to coat. Let stand 45 minutes, tossing occasionally. Stir in dill. Season generously with salt and pepper. Line large bowl with lettuce. Mix 2 1/2 cups carrots into cabbage mixture. Spoon salad atop lettuce in bowl. Sprinkle remaining grated carrots over and serve.

From Epicurious via Bon Appétit, http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/beet-and-red-cabbage-slaw-101845

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Romaine, Red Pepper, and Fennel Salad

  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar or 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 garlic cloves, pressed
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 8 cups bite-size pieces romaine lettuce
  • 1 small fennel bulb, trimmed, sliced
  • 1 small red bell pepper, sliced
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Combine first 3 ingredients in small bowl. Gradually whisk in olive oil. Set dressing aside. Combine remaining ingredients in large bowl. Add enough dressing to season to taste. Season generously with pepper sand serve.

From Epicurious via Bon Appétit, http://www.epicurious.com/tools/searchresults?search=fennel+romaine

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Chineasy Cucumber Salad

  • 1 tablespoon Chinkiang vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Sichuan chili oil
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon turbinado sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 3 Persian or Kirby cucumbers or 1 English cucumber
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds
  • 2 tablespoons roasted unsalted peanuts, crushed
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro leaves

Whisk together the vinegar, chili oil, sesame oil, sugar, and salt in a medium bowl until the sugar dissolves. Set the dressing aside.

Halve the cucumbers lengthwise. (If using English cucumbers, remove the seeds with a small spoon and discard.) Set them cut-side down on a cutting board and lightly smash them: Give them a couple angry thwaps with the side of a cleaver (or a large chef’s knife) until the cucumbers crack in a few places. (For less drama, just press down on them with the side of the knife.) Cut the abused cucumbers crosswise into 3/4-inch-thick half-moons.

Toss the cucumbers in the dressing, portion them out onto plates, and top each serving with sesame seeds, peanuts, and cilantro.

From Epicurious via Lucky Peach Presents 101 Easy Asian Recipes by , http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/chineasy-cucumber-salad-lucky-peach-recipe

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