Summer CSA Share – #18

Welcome to the 18th share of the Pitchfork & Crow CSA!  Here’s what’s in the share this week:

  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Romaine Head Lettuce
  • Summer Squash
  • Mixed Cucumbers – Slicers, lemons, and picklers
  • Mixed Melons
  • Broccoli
  • Shallots
  • Shishito Peppers
  • Lacinato Kale
  • Mixed Tomatoes – slicers and mixed pints
  • Garlic
  • Sweet Corn
  • ‘Stripetti’ Spaghetti Squash

The first autumn rain of the season is a big deal on the farm.  Summer rainstorms are usually fleeting and followed by more high temps, so the only preparation generally required is moving tractors under cover and rolling up car windows.  The first deluge of fall is a season changer.

Seeing a big rain in the forecast in September sets a countdown for harvesting the season-long storage crops like flour corn and dry beans that have matured and already dried down in the field.  We were generally successful at getting those crops in on Friday with the help of our employee/nephew before the rain arrived.  The popcorn isn’t quite ready so it’s waiting out the damp, hopefully to dry enough in the sunny days next week to resist molding.  We also harvested just under half of our winter squash on Sunday afternoon.  Seeing these dry storage crops doomed to a rainstorm have so many weeks of dry weather and hot days is a real motivator to get them safely under cover.

In between prepping for the rain, we also spent a chunk of the week trying to contain the three not-so-little pigs.  Some trouble with the electric fence charger eventually led to an uncharged fence and three curious pigs outside of the fence.  We eventually corralled them into a hog panel enclosure and Jeff was finally able to get the fence charged again.  But about 5 minutes after we’d let them back into the larger area they’d escaped once again, showing no fear of the electric charge.  After much cajoling  and enticing and general reasoning with the pigs we once again got them contained inside the hog panels.  There’s not much like the feeling in the pit of your stomach when a large farm animal is trotting across an open field toward total freedom with no interest in listening to your pleas to turn around.  I was perhaps the most surprised when they were once again safely fenced in.

That said, it’s time to think about buyers for these three pigs.  We’ll be selling them by the half and the on-farm slaughter date is set for October 17th.  If you think you might be interested, check out the details here and send us an email if you’d like to reserve a half.

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:

Spaghetti Squash with Sausage Filling

  • 1 3 3/4- to 4-pound spaghetti squash, halved lengthwise, seeded
  • 1 pound bulk pork sausage
  • 1 cup chopped green bell pepper
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups purchased marinara sauce
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Wrap squash halves in plastic wrap. Cook 1 at a time in microwave on high until tender, about 8 minutes. Pierce plastic to allow steam to escape. Cool. Meanwhile, sauté sausage, bell pepper, onion and garlic in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat until sausage browns and vegetables are tender, breaking up sausage with back of spoon, about 12 minutes. Mix in marinara sauce.

Using fork, pull out squash strands from shells, leaving shells intact. Mix squash strands into sausage mixture. Season filling to taste with salt and pepper. Spoon filling into squash shells. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover; refrigerate.)

Preheat oven to 400°F. Arrange filled squash halves on baking sheet. Sprinkle each with 1/4 cup Parmesan. Bake uncovered until heated through, about 20 minutes (30 minutes if previously chilled). Cut each squash half in two and serve.

From Epicurous via


Kale, Tomato. and Lemon Magic One-Pot Spaghetti

  • 14 ounces/400 g spaghetti or linguine
  • 14 ounces/400 g cherry tomatoes
  • Zest of 2 large unwaxed lemons
  • 7 tablespoons/100 ml olive oil
  • 2 heaping teaspoons flaky sea salt (if you are using fine-grain table salt, add a bit less)
  • 1 (14-ounce/400-g) bunch of kale or spinach
  • Parmesan cheese (I use a vegetarian one) (optional)

Fill and boil a kettle of water and get all your ingredients and equipment together. You need a large, shallow pan with a lid.

Put the pasta into the pan. Quickly chop the tomatoes in half and throw them into the pan. Grate in the zest of both lemons and add the oil and salt. Add about 1 quart/1 liter of boiling water, put a lid on the pan, and bring back to a boil. Remove the lid and simmer on high heat for 6 minutes, using a pair of tongs to turn the pasta every 30 seconds or so as it cooks.

Meanwhile, remove any tough stalks from the kale or spinach and coarsely tear the leaves. Once the pasta has had 6 minutes, add the kale and continue to cook for a further 2 minutes.

Once almost all the water has evaporated, take the pan off the heat and tangle the pasta into four bowls. If you like, top with a little Parmesan.

From Epicurous via A Modern Way to Cook by Anna Jones,


Chicken, Corn, and Noodle Soup with Saffron

  • 9 cups canned low-salt chicken broth
  • 1 3-pound cut-up chicken; neck, gizzard and heart reserved
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 cups chopped onions
  • 1 cup diced peeled carrots
  • 3/4 cup diced celery
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon crumbled saffron threads
  • 2 ounces dried wide egg noodles
  • 1 cup frozen corn kernels
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons minced celery leaves

Combine broth, chicken pieces, neck, gizzard and heart in large pot. Bring to boil. Reduce heat; cover partially and simmer until chicken is cooked through, about 20 minutes. Using tongs, remove chicken pieces and giblets from broth. Cool slightly. Remove skin from breasts and leg-thigh pieces. Cut enough chicken meat to measure 1 cup. Reserve remaining cooked chicken for another use. Strain broth into large bowl. Chill broth until fat solidifies on surface, about 6 hours. (Broth can be made 2 days ahead. Keep chilled.) Scrape fat from surface of broth and discard.

Melt butter in heavy large pot over medium-low heat. Add onions, carrots, celery, garlic, and thyme. Cover; cook until vegetables soften, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Add broth and bring to boil. Reduce heat; simmer until vegetables are almost tender, about 15 minutes. Add saffron. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover; chill. Bring to boil before continuing.) Add noodles; simmer 5 minutes. Add 1 cup chicken and corn; simmer until noodles are tender, about 5 minutes. Add parsley and celery. Season with salt and pepper.

From Epicurous via