Winter CSA Share – #1

Welcome to the 1st share of the Pitchfork & Crow Winter CSA!  Here’s what’s in the share this week:

  • Savoy Cabbage
  • German Butterball Potatoes
  • Arugula
  • Kohlrabi – A funny rooty vegetable, that is actually a bulbous stem as it grows above ground, excellent eaten raw or cooked.  Click here for a great rundown on various ways to prepare kohlrabi.
  • Chicory Mix – Thanks to some cold temperatures the chicories aren’t as bitter as some years.  This mix makes for a lovely winter salad, but you can also wilt the leaves if you prefer something warmer. 
  • Red Ripe Hot Poblano Pepper – The very last of the 2018 fresh peppers. You may find some imperfections, but I decided they weren’t worth wasting these beauts.
  • Cilantro
  • Yellow Onions
  • Festival Acorn Squash
  • Pie Pumpkin
  • Calico Popcorn – You can knock the kernels off the cob and into a paper bag and pop this in the microwave.  We’ve had fun watching them pop on the cob too!  Most often we’ll use these directions and pop it on the stovetop.
  • Dried Plums – Italian prune plums from the farm, dried into a delicious candy-like treat!

Chicory mix for winter salads! (left) and the only winter farm photo I could scrounge up. (right)

Welcome to the first week of the Winter CSA!  I’ve been planning and planting for the winter season for months now and I’m excited to finally share the bounty of the season with you intrepid local eaters!  This is the sixth P&C Winter CSA season.  After a hiatus last year it’s nice to be back at the year-round farming gig this season.  Winter poses all sorts of its own challenges to farming, but the winter vegetables are generally worth the hurdles.  Frost sweetened roots and greens are a cozy treat on a dark and windy day like I woke up to today.

So far December has been a willing participant in the Winter CSA.  That’s to say December has dealt out a few frosty mornings but kept the ice storms and snow storms at bay thus far.  Of course it’s too dark at the moment to assess any damage from the overnight windstorm, but I think we’re probably just fine.  The weather is usually the biggest hurdle during the Winter CSA season.  Cold temperatures and mud tend to slow field work and complicate both winter growing efforts and winter deliveries.  As we begin this season, please know I’m going to try my very hardest to bring you delicious, diverse, seasonal produce to each CSA pick-up over the next four months.  Fingers crossed those months are as kind as December has been.

As we set out on this winter eating journey don’t forget to share your cooking triumphs with other members in the P&C CSA member facebook group.  Also, if you come across any unfamiliar vegetables, chances are you can look them up on the member website (which can double as an app on your phone!).  Finally, let me know if you’re a member but you’re not seeing the weekly member email.  It serves as a good pick-up reminder and that’s where I’ll put any important member information as the season goes on.  Most of you are returning members and you know the CSA drill already, but there are a handful of new members this season.  Either way, let me know if you have any questions on CSA logistics, or vegetables, or whatever else might come up.  I’m looking forward to a fantastic winter season, and hope you are too!

The view from our new living room (left) and our new house, albeit without the steps which were added yesterday (right).

On a personal note, many of you know we’ve been working to get a house on the farm.  It’s been a goal since we first started leasing the place back in the fall of 2010.  This land parcel is zoned “Exclusive Farm Use” which meant we had to meet an income test of $80,000 gross income for two years in a row from farming before applying for a conditional use permit to add a house to this property.  We realize we likely would not have been able to afford this farm had there already been a house here, and the zoning had kept a house from being built in the past.  That said, it took a few years to buy the property (in 2012) and then meet the income test (2015/2016).  We were on track to begin the next steps in 2017, but that season went off the rails a little.  So, now it’s 2018 and we applied for and obtained Linn County’s permission to build last spring, got our financing in order over the summer, and this fall has been all about site prep and planning out the manufactured home we purchased.  The house was finally delivered just before Thanksgiving and we’ve got the final inspections scheduled for this week.  It looks like we’ll be spending Christmas in our new house!

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:

Savoy Cabbage and Radicchio Slaw with Blood Orange Dressing

  • 6 tablespoons fresh blood orange juice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons chopped shallot
  • 1 1 1/4-pound savoy cabbage, halved, sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • 1 1/2-pound head of radicchio (chicory), halved, sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • 1 large red bell pepper, sliced
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries

Whisk juice, vinegar, and honey in bowl. Whisk in oil, then mayonnaise and shallot. Season with salt and pepper. Pour into jar with lid; chill 2 hours. DO AHEAD Can be made 1 day ahead. Keep chilled.

Place cabbage, radicchio, and bell pepper in large bowl. Just before serving, shake dressing well and pour over vegetables; toss. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle dried cranberries over.

From Epicurious.com via Bon Appétit, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/savoy-cabbage-and-radicchio-slaw-with-blood-orange-dressing-236484

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Shaved Kohlrabi with Apple and Hazelnuts

  • 1/2 cup blanched hazelnuts
  • 2 medium kohlrabi (about 2 pounds total), peeled, thinly sliced on a mandoline
  • 1 tart apple (such as Pink Lady or Crispin), peeled, cored, thinly sliced on a mandoline
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar or white balsamic vinegar
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup torn fresh mint leaves, plus more for serving
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 ounces Pecorino di Fossa or Parmesan, shaved (about 1/4 cup)

Preheat oven to 350°F. Toast hazelnuts on a rimmed baking sheet, tossing occasionally, until golden brown, 10–12 minutes. Let cool, then coarsely chop.

Toss kohlrabi, apple, lemon zest, lemon juice, and vinegar in a medium bowl; season with salt. Add 1/2 cup mint and gently toss to just combine.

Toss toasted hazelnuts and oil in a small bowl to coat; season with salt.

Divide kohlrabi salad among plates and top with seasoned hazelnuts, Pecorino, and more mint.

From Epicurious.com via Bon Appétit by Ignacio Mattos, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/shaved-kohlrabi-with-apple-and-hazelnuts-51214700

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Roasted Acorn Squash with Chile Vinaigrette

  • 2 (1 1/2 – to 1 3/4-lb) acorn squash
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice, or to taste
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh hot red chile, including seeds
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

Put oven racks in upper and lower thirds of oven and preheat oven to 450F. Halve squash lengthwise, then cut off and discard stem ends. Scoop out seeds and cut squash lengthwise into 3/4-inch-wide wedges. Toss squash with black pepper, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 2 tablespoons oil in a bowl, then arrange, cut sides down, in 2 large shallow baking pans. Roast squash, switching position of pans halfway through roasting, until squash is tender and undersides of wedges are golden brown, 25 to 35 minutes.

While squash roasts, mince garlic and mash to a paste with remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. Transfer paste to a small bowl and whisk in lime juice, chile (to taste), cilantro, and remaining 1/4 cup oil until combined. Transfer squash, browned sides up, to a platter and drizzle with vinaigrette.

From Epicurious.com via Gourmet, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/roasted-acorn-squash-with-chile-vinaigrette-236007

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