Welcome to the 12th week of the Pitchfork & Crow Summer CSA! Here’s what’s in the share:
- Head Lettuce – Butterhead and Romaine heads for everyone.
- Sweet Corn – This is the last picking of this succession of corn, so just two ears this week. The next round will be on before we know it!
- Iko Iko Sweet Peppers – These yellow and purple peppers are equivalent to green bell peppers.
- Shishito Peppers – More of those ‘roulette’ peppers – 1 in 10 or so is hot. We’ve been loving them in our morning eggs.
- Bunching Onions
- Cucumbers – choose from lemons, slicers, and picklers
- Summer Squash
- Tomatoes – Pints of cherries and slicers both!
- Asian Pears
- Strawberries or More Tomatoes – Not enough strawberries to go around this week so you get the choice between a pint of berries or a pint of ‘Darby Red and Yellow‘ tomatoes.
This past April we purchased 5 weaner pigs from a local farm to raise through the season. This is our second year with pigs on the farm during the summer and they’re a lot of fun to have around. They’re certainly more animated than the vegetables and they bring new challenges to the farm. Will they stay in the hot wire fencing? How do you move them across the field?
This year we purchased a group of mixed breed weaners and it’s been interesting to see how they differ from last year’s more heritage breed. From the outset they’ve been much more interested in eating grass and excess produce. This group has also rooted in the field a lot more than last year’s group. Finally, they’ve become friendlier and they mostly let you give the pats and scratches behind the ears. In fact they’re so friendly that Jeff has decided to keep the red one in the photo above as a breeding animal and we hope to have our own piglets next spring instead of buying in a new batch of weaners.
This batch of pigs is on track to reach our target weights by the end of the month and the butcher date is scheduled. We’re ready to line up sales of pork. We’ll be selling them by the half and you can find all the details on the P&C Pork page. Send us an email ASAP if you’re interested in purchasing a half and we’ll get you on the list.
This week has been much of the same, though the weather has been fluxuating from summer-warm to fall-chilly. In fact we got rained on while picking cucumbers and summer squash yesterday. As I pulled on my raingear I questioned if it was really August.
In the past week we weeded and fertilized Brussels sprouts, weeded cauliflower, and harvested onions and the first of the Asian pears. Jeff also did plenty of ground prep including mowing and tilling and we transplanted the last round of brassicas for the season, including purple sprouting broccoli and overwintering cauliflower. I spent some time this weekend bringing in the chicory and celery seed crops and after they dry down some we’ll get to threshing the seed.
After one more big push, the planting for the season will be mostly behind us and we can focus that much more on maintaining the farm, bringing in storage crops, and soon we’ll be preparing for winter and sowing cover crops. Fall doesn’t feel so far off today. But the weather says we’ll be back in the 90s this weekend, so I don’t think summer is quite over just yet.
Enjoy the vegetables and we’ll see you next week!
Jeff Bramlett and Carri Heisler
Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:
Cucumber-Basil Agua Fresca
- 2 large English hothouse cucumbers
- 1/2 cup fresh lime juice
- 1/4 cup (packed) basil leaves
- 1/4 cup sugar or agave syrup, plus more to taste
Slice a few thin slices of cucumber; reserve for garnish. Peel and coarsely chop remaining cucumber.
Purée chopped cucumber, lime juice, basil, 1/4 cup sugar, and 2 cups water in a food processor until very smooth. Strain into a pitcher and add 2 cups water, adding more sugar or water if needed, then chill until ready to serve. Add reserved cucumber slices just before serving.
Cucumber and Avocado Soup with Tomato and Basil Salad
- 1 large English hothouse cucumber, peeled, diced (about 2 1/2 cups)
- 2 1/2 cups low-fat (1%) buttermilk
- 1 avocado, quartered, pitted, peeled
- 4 tablespoons chopped red onion
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
- 1/2 cup seeded chopped tomato
- 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
- 4 tablespoons plain nonfat yogurt
Combine cucumber and buttermilk in blender. Chop 1/4 of avocado; set aside for salad. Cut remaining avocado into chunks. Add avocado to blender; then add 2 tablespoons red onion and 1 tablespoon basil. Blend until very smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Cover; refrigerate until chilled, about 1 hour.
Mix reserved avocado, remaining 2 tablespoons onion and 1 tablespoon basil, tomato and lime juice in small bowl. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover soup and tomato salad separately and refrigerate.) Ladle cucumber soup into 4 bowls. Dollop each with 1 tablespoon yogurt; top with tomato salad and serve.
From Epicurious via Bon Appétit, http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/cucumber-and-avocado-soup-with-tomato-and-basil-salad-103759
Breakfast Taco Hobo Packs
- 2 bell peppers, stemmed, seeded, thinly sliced lengthwise
- 1 medium zucchini, halved lengthwise, sliced into 1/4″-thick half moons
- 1 small red onion, thinly sliced (about 1 cup)
- 2 medium jalapeños, seeded, thinly sliced (optional)
- 1 (14-ounce) can black beans, drained, rinsed
- 1 cup defrosted frozen corn
- 6 tablespoons tomatillo salsa
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
- 12 soft taco-size corn or flour tortillas
- 6 large eggs
- 1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese (optional)
- 1/4 cup cilantro leaves and tender stems (optional)
Cut 12 (12×16″) pieces of heavy-duty foil. Layer 2 pieces of foil on top of each other to create 6 stacks. Line top pieces of foil with parchment paper cut to the same size.
Toss peppers, zucchini, onion, jalapeños (if using), beans, corn, salsa, oil, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Divide mixture among prepared packs, arranging in the center of each piece of parchment. Bring edges of foil together to enclose each pack, covering completely, then crimp to seal packs closed.
Prepare a campfire or grill for medium, indirect heat, preferably with hardwood or hardwood charcoal. Let coals burn until covered with ash and glowing red with no black remaining.
Place packs side by side directly onto hot coals or grill and cook, rotating with tongs occasionally, about 5 minutes. Carefully remove 1 pack from heat and check if ingredients are steaming hot. If necessary, return pack to coals and continue to cook, 5–10 minutes more.
Meanwhile, wrap tortillas in foil and heat close to the coals until warm, 5–10 minutes.
Transfer packs with tongs to a flat surface and carefully open them (they will be full of hot steam). Crack 1 egg into the center of each pack and season with salt and pepper. Reseal, return to coals, and cook until egg whites are opaque but yolks are still runny, 4–5 minutes.
Carefully remove packs from coals, open, and sprinkle evenly with cheese and cilantro, if using. Serve each pack immediately with 2 warm tortillas.
Packs can be assembled and chilled for up to 2 days or frozen for up to 1 month.