Summer CSA Share – #6

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

  • Chioggia Beets – mostly these classic bulls-eye beets this week, though a few bunches of red beets rounded out the harvest this week.
  • Romaine Lettuce
  • Summer Squash!
  • Hakurei Salad Turnips
  • Yellow Potatoes –  the last of the storage potatoes!  We’ll be harvesting new potatoes out of a greenhouse soon.  In meantime, enjoy the final spuds from last season.
  • Fava Tops – as the name suggests, these are the tops of the fava bean plants.  The leaves are a lovely pea-flavor and we suggest using them just like other greens (kale, chard etc.).  Fava leaf pesto anyone?
  • Sugar Snap Peas – Our second planting really came on this week!
  • Shelling Peas– The fibrous pod of these peas isn’t as easy to eat at the pod of the snap peas, so you’ll want to shell them and enjoy the sweet peas inside. 
  • Red Onion
  • Cherries – Our single cherry tree always amazes us with just enough cherries to share with you.

bird’s nest in the zucchini bed (left) and getting the row cover off the winter squash (right)

Summer showed up in force last weekend with a heatwave to start things off with a punch.  This season has been a roller coaster of weather, first rain then sun.  This week’s forecast of high 70s to mid-80s is a welcome reprieve from the high 90s that made all field work a slog.  Somehow we managed to plant some lettuce, beets, carrots, cilantro and a second round of melons (fingers crossed on that one).  We pushed through the heat to get some carrots weeded and liberated the first round of melons from the weeds as well.

The high temps were even higher inside our buttoned up propagation house, which is not ideal for germinating and growing transplants.  We’ve had trouble getting proper air flow and cooling in the house for some time so this weekend we set-up a triage location under the new barn extension and moved all the plants out of the overheated house.  We then made the bold decision to take the plastic off the propagation house and cover it only with a woven shade cloth.  This allows for much more air flow through the space, keeping plants cooler and hopefully happier.  We’re planning to build a new propagation house this fall, so we made the bet that taking the plastic off now won’t be too much trouble going forward.  We started filling up the house again, this time sowing overwintering cabbage, fennel, and rutabagas.

The plant, irrigate, cultivate, irrigate, harvest cycle is in full force here at the end of June.  This is the height of it all, and we’re attempting to keep up.  We’re sure happy to see summer squash in the mix this week.  Summer is here, and beyond belief summer crops are starting to arrive too.

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

Your farmers,
Carri Heisler and Jeff Bramlett


Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:

Romaine and Roasted-Beet Salad with Creamy Roquefort Dressing

For dressing

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 large shallot, minced
  • 1 tablespoon Sherry wine vinegar
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/3 cup crumbled Roquefort cheese
  • 3 tablespoons whipping cream

For salad

  • 6 medium beets, tops trimmed
  • 3 hearts of romaine lettuce, quartered lengthwise, ends left intact
  • 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 watercress bunch, thick stems trimmed
  • 3/4 cup walnut halves, toasted

Make dressing:

Whisk first 5 ingredients in small bowl to blend. Fold in Roquefort cheese and cream. Season dressing to taste with salt and pepper. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)

Make salad:

Preheat oven to 400°F. Wrap beets tightly in foil. Bake until tender, about 1 hour 15 minutes. Cool beets; peel and cut each into wedges.

Arrange 2 lettuce quarters crosswise on each of 6 large plates. Surround lettuce on each plate with beet wedges. Top with some onion slices and watercress sprigs. Drizzle with dressing, sprinkle with walnuts and serve.

From Epicurious via Bon Appétit,


Zucchini and Spinach Frittata

  • 6 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 zucchini (about 1/2 pound), cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • 1 large bunch spinach, washed well, spun dry, and chopped coarse (or use the fava leaves!)
  • 10 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon leaves or 1 1/2 teaspoons dried, crumbled

In a large non-stick skillet heat 2 teaspoons oil over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking and sauté zucchini until it begins to brown. Add spinach and cook, stirring occasionally, until just wilted. Season mixture with salt and pepper. Remove skillet from heat and cool vegetables slightly.

Preheat oven to 225°F. Grease a large baking sheet.

In a large bowl beat eggs lightly and stir in vegetables, tarragon, and salt and pepper to taste. In a 9-inch heavy omelet pan heat 1 teaspoon oil over moderately low heat until hot but not smoking and add 1 cup egg mixture, tilting pan to distribute evenly. Cook egg mixture until set underneath but still slightly wet in center, 3 to 4 minutes. Slide frittata halfway out of pan onto prepared baking sheet and fold second half over to make a half circle. (Eggs will continue to cook from residual heat.) Keep frittata warm in oven. Make 3 more frittata with remaining oil and egg mixture in same manner. Keep frittata warm, covered with foil, up to 1 hour.

Cut each frittata into 8 wedges.

From Epicurious via Gourmet,


Lettuce and Pea Soup

  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 5 cups sliced romaine (about 1 head)
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken broth plus, if desired, additional to thin soup
  • 1 cup cooked fresh or thawed frozen peas
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon chopped fresh marjoram leaves or 1/4 teaspoon dried, crumbled
  • a pinch freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup sour cream

In a saucepan cook onion in oil over moderate heat, stirring, until softened, about 10 minutes. Stir in romaine and cook, stirring, until wilted. Stir in 1 1/2 cups broth, peas, sugar, marjoram, nutmeg, and salt and pepper to taste and simmer soup 10 minutes.

In a blender purée soup in batches until smooth, adding additional broth to thin to desired consistency. If serving soup hot, return it to pan whisk in sour cream. Heat soup, stirring, until just heated through, but do not let it boil. If serving soup cold, transfer it to a bowl and whisk in sour cream. Set bowl in a larger bowl of ice and cold water and chill soup, stirring occasionally, 15 minutes, or until cool.