Summer CSA Share – #8

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

  • Carrots
  • Salad Mix
  • Summer Squash
  • Mixed Cucumbers – choose from slicing and pickling varieties.  All are great eaten fresh.
  • Fresh Garlic
  • Radishes or Salad Turnips
  • Rainbow Chard
  • Broccoli/Cauliflower
  • Fava Beans – Ahh, the amazingness that is the fava bean.  We enjoy them  most shelled and then popped out of their inner skin.  Although they take a little extra prep time, the buttery beans are worth the effort!  No time for shelling?  Try grilling the whole pod.
  • Strawberries
  • Yellow Transparent Apples – The first apples of the season!  They will continue to ripen to a pale yellow a which point thy will bruise very easily so we’re sharing them sooner than later.  They are tart and soft, best used in apple sauce.  Jeff suggests a savory bbq sauce would be tasty.

We’re looking forward to inviting all members out to the farm this Saturday, July 15th, for the first of the season’s on-farm events.  We’ll have a potluck lunch, so bring a dish to share as well as plates and utensils for your group.  We’ll set up the P&C logo screen printing so bring a t-shirt if you want to partake.  We’ll break out the kites if the wind cooperates and we’ll definitely be taking a farm tour.  Click here for further details.

babies found in the carrot patch (left) and rainbow chard at dusk (right)

This season has thus far been a roller coaster.  We had to wait patiently for the rain to stop long enough for ground prep. and the first planting.  Then we plunged into the season, trying to catch up on work we’d have preferred to spread out over several months, but needing to get it all done at once.  This past week and a half has provided new twists to the roller coaster path that I hadn’t anticipated.  When we were called to the emergency room after my mom’s accident, priorities suddenly shifted, though the things needing doing didn’t let up.  This last week we attempted to get things back on track.

beginning the garlic harvest (left) and bringing in the Brussels sprouts seed crop (right)

This point in the season often feels like triage.  We identify what needs to be done and then focus on the most serious issues at hand.  This week we wrangled the tomato trellising into place after falling behind the week before and did some much needed weeding (there’s always more weeding to do).  We harvested the overwintered storage onions and got half the garlic in for curing.  We cut the Brussels sprouts seed crop for drying.  Our teenage nephew/employee, Kanon, weed whacked the orchards, improving today’s apple harvest immensely.  In the days ahead we’ve got more of the same lined up, plus planting, seeding, and a Saturday CSA potluck!

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

Your farmers,
Carri Heisler and Jeff Bramlett

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Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:

Grilled Rainbow Chard with Fava Beans and Oregano

  • 2 pounds Swiss chard (preferably rainbow), stems and center ribs cut out (reserve leaves for another use)
  • 1 cup shelled fresh fava beans (1 1/4 pounds in pods) or shelled fresh or frozen edamame (soybeans; 3/4 pound in pods)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 small garlic clove, thinly sliced
  • 2 teaspoons chopped oregano
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

Blanch chard stems:

Halve stems crosswise and cook in a large pot of boiling salted water (2 tablespoons salt for 4 quarts water) until just barely tender, 3 to 5 minutes (depending on thickness). Cool in an ice bath, reserving cooking water, then transfer to a plate.

Prepare fava beans:

Cook beans in boiling water 3 minutes, then drain and transfer to ice bath. Gently peel off skins (if using edamame, don’t peel).

Grill stems and assemble dish:

Prepare grill for direct-heat cooking over medium-hot charcoal (medium heat for gas); see Grilling Procedure. .

Toss chard stems with 1 tablespoon oil and 1/4 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Oil grill rack, then grill chard stems, covered only if using a gas grill, turning occasionally, until tender and lightly charred, about 7 minutes. Cut into 1-inch lengths.

Cook garlic in remaining 1/2 tablespoon oil in a medium skillet over medium heat, stirring, until just pale golden. Add oregano, beans, and chard and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Transfer to a serving dish and stir in lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste.

From Epicurious via Gourmet, http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/grilled-rainbow-chard-with-fava-beans-and-oregano-242846

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Herbed Cream Cheese Cucumber Rounds

  • 4 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 2 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh mint
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh chives
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely grated fresh lemon zest
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/8 teaspoon table salt
  • Pinch of cayenne, or to taste
  • 1/2 medium seedless cucumber (usually plastic-wrapped)
  • 3 medium radishes
  • Coarse sea salt for sprinkling
    • Special equipment: a Japanese Benriner* or other adjustable-blade slicer
    • Garnish: tiny fresh mint leaves and finely grated fresh lemon zest

Stir together cream cheese, herbs, zest, lemon juice, table salt, and cayenne.

Slice 32 (1/8-inch-thick) rounds from cucumber with slicer. Trim bottoms from radishes, then slice into 32 (1/16-inch-thick) rounds with slicer. Top each cucumber slice with a radish slice and 1/2 teaspoon herbed cream cheese. Sprinkle with coarse sea salt and serve immediately.

*Available at Asian markets and cookware shops.

From Epicurious via Gourmet, http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/herbed-cream-cheese-cucumber-rounds-107960

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Cherry-Apple Sauce

  • 5 Gala or Golden Delicious apples (about 2 pounds), peeled, cored, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened apple juice
  • 1/4 cup cherry preserves

Combine apple pieces and unsweetened apple juice in heavy large saucepan. Bring to boil, stirring occasionally. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer until apples are very tender, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat. Mix in cherry preserves. Using potato masher or fork, mash mixture to chunky puree. (Sauce can be prepared up to 2 days ahead. Cover and refrigerate.) Serve hot or cold.

From Epicurious via Bon Appétit by Jayne Cohen, http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/cherry-apple-sauce-106010

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