Welcome to the 14th week of the Pitchfork & Crow Summer CSA! Here’s what’s in the share:
- Sweet Corn
- Butterhead Lettuce
- Green Beans
- Melons! – the first of the melons are here including a Tuscan muskmelon and an orange honeydew
- Sweet Peppers – More of the ‘Iko Iko’ Sweet Peppers. These purple and yellow peppers are equivalent to green peppers.
- Cucumbers – choose from slicers and picklers
- Summer Squash
- Tomatoes – Pints of cherries and slicers both!
This past week I’ve been listening to a couple of books about food and nutrition that I checked out from the library. First up was Michael Pollen’s ‘In Defense of Food‘. I’m now about halfway through T. Colin Campbell’s ‘Whole‘. Though written in different styles and from different experiences, both books attempt to make very similar conclusions: that we should be eating more whole foods, more plants, fewer food products.
These aren’t new books, or new concepts for that matter, but they have been good reminders that we are making choices each day about what foods we eat. Even here on the farm, where we are surrounded by organic vegetables and fruits, we all too often make poor food decisions for convenience. Food is fuel, and the work goes on. But as with many things, that way of eating, that way of life, isn’t sustainable and we need to recognize that these are choices we can change. I became a farmer because I valued food and understood fundamentally that we cannot live without it. I wanted to grow good food for the people in my community. Listening to these books this week have been excellent reminders of that fact, but also that we need to be eating that food more often too.
Eating is a messy and complicated part of our lives if you decide to look closely. Luckily this is the height of summer goodness and we’re harvesting a lot of it this week, hopefully easing the eating quandary. Sweet corn, basil, peppers, tomatoes, melons! An easy week to eat your CSA share.
This past week we kept busy with all the usual suspects. The weeding and mowing and tilling and irrigating and seed sowing happened, even in the midst of that ridiculous heatwave. Some seed threshing and winnowing happened too. It’s always fun to thresh out a seed crop and see what the resulting seed amount and quality is after so many months of growing a plant from seed through its life cycle and back to seed again. On Saturday we spent the evening pressing cider with friends, as evidenced by the photo above. Who wants to hand crank five giant buckets of apples through a press when you’ve got a chipper that can shred them for you?
Looking ahead this week we’ve got more weeding, more seed sowing, a little transplanting, lots of fruit picking, on-farm pig slaughtering, and a couple of our friends/CSA members are getting married (congrats Michelle and Allen!). Another whirlwind summer week!
Enjoy the vegetables and we’ll see you next week!
Carri Heisler and Jeff Bramlett
Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:
Corn and Pork Kebabs with Rosemary Green Beans and Potatoes
- eight 10-inch metal or bamboo skewers
- 4 large ears fresh corn
- 2 pork tenderloins (1 1/2 pounds total)
- 2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
- 6 1/2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 teaspoons dried hot red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 pound green beans
- 1/2 pound boiling potatoes
- 2 teaspoons fresh rosemary leaves
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
Prepare grill and if using bamboo skewers soak in water 30 minutes.
Shuck corn and cut crosswise into twenty-four 1-inch pieces. Cut pork into thirty-two 1-inch pieces. Thread 3 pieces corn and 4 pieces pork onto each skewer. In a small bowl whisk together 1 tablespoon vinegar, 4 1/2 teaspoons oil, red pepper flakes, and salt and divide red pepper mixture between 2 small bowls (to prevent the potential contamination caused by uncooked meat juices). Brush kebabs with red pepper mixture from 1 bowl and grill on a lightly oiled rack set 5 to 6 inches over glowing coals, turning occasionally, until pork is cooked through, 15 to 20 minutes. With a clean brush coat kebabs with red pepper mixture from other bowl.
While kebabs are grilling, trim and halve green beans. Cut potatoes into 1/8-inch-thick slices and finely chop rosemary. In a steamer arrange potatoes and layer green beans on top. Steam potatoes and green beans over boiling water, covered, until potatoes are tender, 6 to 8 minutes. In a large bowl whisk together remaining tablespoon vinegar, remaining 2 teaspoons oil, rosemary, garlic, and salt and pepper to taste. Add hot vegetables and toss to combine.
Serve kebabs with vegetables.
From Epicurious via Gourmet, http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/corn-and-pork-kebabs-with-rosemary-green-beans-and-potatoes-14228
Angel Hair Pasta with Broccoli and Herb Butter
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted European-style butter, room temperature
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 8 ounces angel hair pasta
- 2 cups small broccoli florets
- Grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
Mix first 4 ingredients in small bowl.
Bring large pot of salted water to boil. Add 2 teaspoons olive oil. Add pasta and cook until almost tender, about 3 minutes. Add broccoli and boil until pasta is tender but still firm to bite and broccoli is crisp-tender, about 1 minute longer. Drain pasta and broccoli; transfer to large serving bowl. Add herb butter and toss well to coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve, passing Parmesan cheese separately if desired.
From Epicurious via Bon Appétit, http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/angel-hair-pasta-with-broccoli-and-herb-butter-108539
Grilled Lime -Curry-Rubbed Hanger Steak with Fresh Melon-Cucumber Chutney
- 2 cups chopped firm-ripe honeydew melon (10 ounces)
- 1/3 seedless cucumber, peeled and chopped (about 3/4 cup)
- 1/2 cup chopped red onion
- 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
- 1 to 2 teaspoons minced fresh jalapeño including seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon curry powder
- 2 pounds (1-inch-thick) hanger steak or chuck blade steaks
Stir together honeydew, cucumber, onion, lime juice, cilantro, jalapeño, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Sprinkle with spices and let chutney stand while grilling steak.
Prepare a gas grill for direct-heat cooking over medium heat; see Grilling Procedure .
Stir together lime juice, oil, curry powder, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper. Coat steak with curry mixture.
Oil grill rack, then grill steak, covered, turning once, 9 minutes total for medium-rare. Let rest on a cutting board 5 minutes, then slice thinly across the grain. Serve steak with chutney.
Serve with: basmati or jasmine rice