Winter CSA Share – #6

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

  • Chicory Mix
  • German Butterball Potatoes
  • Purple Sprouting Broccoli – The cold start to the PSB season means just a taste this week. More to come!
  • Red Ursa and Frilly Kale
  • Rutabaga
  • Spinach
  • Leeks
  • Red Onions – It’s time for onions to begin sprouting, so you might see some green growth in the center of your onions going forward.  No worries, as long as the onions are firm they’ll still be delicious.  You can eat or discard the green center
  • Sweet Mama Kabocha Winter Squash – A dry, sweet winter squash that makes creamy soups, luscious pies, and is excellent roasted.
  • Dried Apples

= Want to continue the vegetable fun into the summer? 2019 Summer CSA memberships are open!  Head over to the Summer CSA information page to get all the details, including a link to the sign-up form.

Same greenhouse, different viewpoint. What a difference a few days can make. From a sunny day last week to a blanket of snow yesterday.

February has been a roller coaster of a weather month. I think we’ve gotten a taste of all the winter weathers in the past few weeks. From gorgeous sunny days to rain and wind right through to snow and hail. There’s definitely been a lot of checking the ever-changing weather forecast and planning the days ahead accordingly.

Sometimes we’re able to do some quick cultivating or ground prep in February, if the ground dries out just enough. Not this year! We’ve gone the other direction here on the farm and hit max saturation resulting in some minor flooding in the lowest spots on the farm. It’s a good reminder that every year is different, and it keeps us on our toes.

Sowing leek and onion seeds (left) and harvested leeks and chicories for this week’s share (right).

While spring tillage will need to wait a little longer, we’ve begun to sow the first seeds of the season. First up are tomatoes and onions! This week’s allium seeding included onions, leeks, and shallots, some of which you will see in next winter’s CSA shares. In fact, the leeks you’re eating this week were seeded a year ago, transplanted into the field 10 months ago, weeded and watered repeatedly, and finally harvested yesterday. They’re certainly one of the longest holding crops we grow and we choose to grow several different varieties for a staggered maturity date. That’s to say the leeks that showed up in last fall’s shares were likely a different variety than the winter-hardy variety in this week’s share. It’s a all part of the planning puzzle we endeavor to piece together in the winter and execute throughout the rest of the year.

On deck for sowing this week are a plethora of greens and brassicas including cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, and lettuce. Before long the propagation house will be full of transplants, and we’ll be itching to get in the field to plant. For now we’ll wait and see what March brings our way, and enjoy the winter vegetables while we can

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:

Lentil and Vegetable Stew with Kale

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 large carrots (8 to 9 ounces), peeled, chopped (1 1/4 cups)
  • 1 medium celery root (celeriac), peeled, chopped (3 cups)
  • 1 medium rutabaga, peeled, chopped (2 cups)
  • 1 pound brown lentils, rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon herbes de Provence
  • 8 cups (or more) vegetable broth
  • 1 large bunch kale (about 9 ounces), ribs removed, leaves coarsely chopped

Heat oil in large pot over high heat. Add onion and next 3 ingredients; sprinkle with salt and pepper and sauté until beginning to soften and brown, 10 to 11 minutes. Stir in lentils and herbes de provence. Add broth and kale. Bring to boil, stirring to incorporate kale. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover with lid slightly ajar, and simmer until lentils are tender, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes. Add more broth to thin, if desired. Season with salt and pepper.

From Epicurious.com via Bon Appétit, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/lentil-and-vegetable-stew-with-kale-363950

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Pasta with Butternut Squash and Spinach

  • 6 ounces cavatappi or other spiral-shaped pasta
  • 1 small butternut squash (about 1 pound) (or sub. another type ofwinter squash)
  • 5 cups packed spinach leaves (about 1 bunch)
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan (about 1 1/2 ounces)

Fill a 4-quart kettle three fourths full with salted water and bring to a boil for cooking pasta.

Quarter, seed, and peel squash. Cut squash into 1/2-inch cubes. Coarsely chop spinach and mince garlic.

In a large heavy skillet heat oil over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking and sauté squash with salt to taste, stirring occasionally, until almost tender, about 7 minutes.

While squash is cooking, cook pasta in boiling water until al dente. Reserve 1/2 cup cooking water and drain pasta in a colander.

Add spinach and garlic to skillet with squash and cook over moderately high heat, stirring, until any liquid is evaporated. Add pasta and reserved cooking water and bring to a boil. Season pasta with lemon juice and salt and pepper. Remove skillet from heat and toss pasta with Parmesan.

From Epicurious.com via Gourmet, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/pasta-with-butternut-squash-and-spinach-14581

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Chicory Salad with Bacon, Crispy Potatoes, and Fried Egg

  • 1/2 lb sliced bacon, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 1/2 lb boiling potatoes
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped shallot
  • 1 tablespoon red-wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/2 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1/2 lb chicory, chopped (6 cups)

Cook bacon in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over moderate heat, stirring, until crisp. Transfer with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain, leaving fat in skillet.

Peel potatoes and cut into 1/2-inch cubes. Cook in bacon fat over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until golden and cooked through, about 15 minutes. Transfer with slotted spoon to paper towels to drain.

While potatoes are cooking, combine shallot and vinegar in a large bowl and let stand 10 minutes. Stir in mustard and then olive oil until combined well.

Just before serving, slowly fry eggs to desired doneness in vegetable oil with salt and pepper to taste in a large nonstick skillet over moderate heat.

Add chicory to dressing, tossing to coat. Add bacon and potatoes, tossing, and season with salt and pepper. Serve salad topped with eggs.

From Epicurious.com via Gourmet, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/chicory-salad-with-bacon-044-crispy-potatoes-044-and-fried-egg-104541

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