winter csa share – week 8

Welcome to the 8th week of the Pitchfork & Crow Winter CSA!  Here’s what’s in the share:

  • Mixed Spinach
  • Carola Yellow Potatoes – Jeff thinned the garlic Sunday, so you’ll see 2-3 garlic thinnings thrown in with the potatoes for your cooking experiments.
  • Red Beets
  • Arugula Rapini
  • Parsnips
  • Leeks
  • Garlic
  • Lower Salmon River Winter Squash – A PNW heritage variety from Idaho with flaky, dry flesh is great for pies and soups.
  • Purple Sprouting Broccoli
  • Radicchio Mix
  • Lacinato Kale Rapini – It’s officially rapini season!  The overwintered brassicas, like kale and cabbage, are starting to bolt and will eventually flower but right now they are the sweetest broccoli-like stems and leaves around.  Prepare them like broccoli and enjoy the fleeting taste of the end of winter.
  • Dried Apples – Dried by Jeff!

Winter CSA Members – At the start of the season we’d planned to host a member farm visit in March but hadn’t set an official date.  With the continuous rain and cold we’d guessed no one wanted to come see the muddy farm just yet.  We’re hoping for better weather and are thinking early April may bring a better chances for sun.   More details to come…

We’ve been hunkered down this winter, waiting out Jeff’s broken leg and the never ending rain and cold.  But the past couple of weeks have been a real turning point.  The seasons are shifting and it’s time to get back to work.  We’ve begun seeding in earnest with the first successions of broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, and more being started.  Spinach, peas, kale, mizuna, and radishes are all popping up in greenhouses just in time as the overwintered greens we’ve been enjoying for months are beginning to bolt.  It’s an exciting time on the farm, even though the landscape still looks a little bleak and wintery.

We’ve recently worked in a couple of fun visits to friends’ farms and got to geek out over their big new barns and get a good look at new tools they’ve invested in.  Though it’s hard to leave, time away from the farm often leaves me excited to get back to work with new ideas to try out.  Jeff even got off the farm for a night with a friend for an overnight camp-out in the snow!

Our biggest accomplishment in the past couple of weeks was to add an extension onto the barn we built last winter.  We originally built it as a tractor barn, but after it spent the summer filled with organic fertilizer we realized we could use a little more covered area.  We’ve added a third more space with a 12′ shed roof extension off the back.  It first felt like we were building backward because we had to take the existing siding off to add some blocking, but it came along fairly quickly after that.  It’s nice to have finished a project that been waiting since last fall.  We’ll likely add a wall and a door to the inside at some point, but we’ve got a roof as planned!

Enjoy the vegetables and we’ll see you in two weeks!

Your farmers,
Carri Heisler and Jeff Bramlett

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Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:

Parsnip Leek Potato Mash

  • 1 1/2 lb leeks (white and pale green parts only), chopped
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 lb russet (baking) potatoes
  • 2 lb parsnips, peeled, quartered lengthwise, woody cores discarded, then cut crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Wash leeks in a bowl of cold water, agitating water to loosen any sand, then lift leeks out and drain in a colander. Pat dry.

Cook leeks in 4 tablespoons butter, covered, in a4- to 5-quart heavy pot over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until slightly softened, 5 to 7 minutes.

While leeks are cooking, peel potatoes and cut into 1-inch pieces. Add potatoes, parsnips, water, salt, white pepper, and nutmeg to leeks and bring to a boil, uncovered, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are very tender and most of liquid is absorbed, about 30 minutes. Coarsely mash, then serve sprinkled with parsley and topped with remaining tablespoon butter.

From Epicurious via Gourmet, http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/parsnip-leek-potato-mash-109031

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Broccoli and Rapini with Lemon Shallots

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, divided
  • 1 cup chopped shallots, divided
  • 3 teaspoons grated lemon peel, divided
  • 1 1/2 pounds broccoli crowns, cut into florets (or use your Purple Sprouting Broccoli!)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 1/2 pounds rapini (broccoli rabe), cut into 1/2-inch pieces

Melt 1/4 cup butter with 1/2 cup shallots and 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon peel in very large skillet over medium-high heat. Sauté 2 minutes. Mix in broccoli and 1/4 cup water. Sprinkle with salt. Cover; cook until broccoli is crisp-tender and water evaporates, about 4 minutes. Transfer broccoli to bowl; cover to keep warm.

Melt remaining 1/4 cup butter with remaining shallots and lemon peel in same skillet over high heat; sauté 2 minutes. Add rapini. Sprinkle with salt, cover, and cook until rapini wilts, about 2 minutes. Uncover and sauté until tender, about 1 minute longer. Mix into broccoli. Season with salt and pepper.

From Epicurious via Bon Appétit, http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/broccoli-and-rapini-with-lemon-and-shallots-233159

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Radicchio, Grapefruit, and Spinach Salad

  • 5 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds, crushed
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 white grapefruits
  • 1 10-ounce head radicchio, torn into bite-size pieces
  • 8 ounces baby spinach leaves
  • 1/2 cup Kalamata olives or other brine-cured black olives, pitted

Combine vinegar and fennel seeds in medium bowl. Gradually whisk in oil. Season dressing with salt and pepper.

Cut all peel and white pith from grapefruits. Cut grapefruits between membranes to release segments. Stir segments into dressing. Let stand at least 15 minutes and up to 1 hour.

Toss radicchio, spinach and olives in bowl. Add grapefruit segments and dressing to coat. Season with salt and pepper.

From Epicurious via Bon Appétithttp://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/radicchio-grapefruit-and-spinach-salad-103216

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