Winter CSA Share – #8

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

  • Leeks
  • LaRatte Fingerling Potatoes
  • Purple Sprouting Broccoli
  • Cooking Greens Mix – A mix of kale, chard, kale rapini, cabbage rapini, and a handful of collards and pea shoots.
  • Cauliflower or Red Cabbage – The first few heads of overwintered cauliflower were ready this week. Hopefully more to come in the coming shares. Lots of sweet red cabbage available this week too.
  • Giant Winter Mixed Spinach
  • Music Garlic – the last of the extra seed garlic I purchased last fall from Vermont Valley Community Farm. Eat it up sooner than later, as it will want to begin sprouting soon.
  • Yellow 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.
  • Butternut or Doran Round Winter Squash – Regular butternut or the flattened butternut variety called Doran Round this week.
  • Dried Apples
  • Cascade Ruby Gold Corn Flour – This flint corn grinds down into both flour and polenta. This week everyone gets flour. You can use it in most recipes that calls for corn flour or corn meal. We like the classic ‘Perfect Corn Bread’ recipe from our 1960s copy of the Better Homes & Gardens New Cook Book. Click here for that recipe. Note that you’ll want to store it in your freezer for maximum freshness if you’re not planning to use it right away.

= 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.

Thanks to some welcome sunny weather we were able to get some peas in the ground and begin prepping other ground for planting soon.

What a difference a good sunny stretch of weather can make! In the last couple of weeks we had our first extended break in the rain, but also the first rise in temperatures since winter set in. After feeling stuck in the freezing cycles for most of February a good dose of sunshine was just what we, and the vegetables, needed! The winter spinach and purple sprouting broccoli took off, the propagation house is filling up with growing plant starts, and we managed to get some work in the field done including ground prep and strawberry planting. Happy vegetables, happy farmers!

Re-covering one of our field houses with new plastic this past week. We lost the old plastic in a winter wind storm earlier this season.

Jeff mentioned that this felt like the first week of farming since he’s been back on the farm full-time. I think the combination of accomplishing a couple of big tasks on the to-do list and working around the whims of the weather definitely made for a full week of in-the-field farm work. The season ahead is off to a good start and we’re looking forward to marking more of those items off the perpetual to-do list.

Sunrise at the farm last week.

We’ve been asked about a Winter CSA farm visit, and have been waiting for some nicer weather to show up before scheduling a day. Who wants to visit the farm when it’s freezing? No fun. Anyhow, we’d like to invite Winter CSA members out to the farm for an open house on Saturday April 20th. We’ll get you more details in a couple of weeks, but mark your calendar.

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:

Creamed Mashed Potatoes with Spinach

  • 2 lb boiling potatoes (preferably Yukon Gold)
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 4 oz baby spinach (6 cups)

Cover potatoes with salted cold water by 1 inchin a large saucepan and simmer, uncovered, until tender, 20 to 30 minutes.

While potatoes are simmering, bring cream, butter, salt, and pepper to a simmer in a small saucepan. Remove from heat and keep warm, covered.

Drain potatoes in a colander and cool slightly. Peel potatoes and mash in large saucepan.

Stir spinach into warm cream, tossing to coat, and when slightly wilted (after about 1 minute), immediately add to potatoes. Mash potatoes until almost smooth. Serve immediately.

From Epicurious.com via Gourmet, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/creamed-mashed-potatoes-with-spinach-105735

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Broccoli and Rapini with Lemon and Shallots

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, divided
  • 1 cup chopped shallots, divided
  • 3 teaspoons grated lemon peel, divided
  • 1 1/2 pounds broccoli crowns, cut into florets (or use this week’s Purple Sprouting Broccoli)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 1/2 pounds rapini (broccoli rabe), cut into 1/2-inch pieces (lots of rapini in the cooking greens this week)

Melt 1/4 cup butter with 1/2 cup shallots and 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon peel in very large skillet over medium-high heat. Sauté 2 minutes. Mix in broccoli and 1/4 cup water. Sprinkle with salt. Cover; cook until broccoli is crisp-tender and water evaporates, about 4 minutes. Transfer broccoli to bowl; cover to keep warm.

Melt remaining 1/4 cup butter with remaining shallots and lemon peel in same skillet over high heat; sauté 2 minutes. Add rapini. Sprinkle with salt, cover, and cook until rapini wilts, about 2 minutes. Uncover and sauté until tender, about 1 minute longer. Mix into broccoli. Season with salt and pepper.

From Epicurious.com via Bon Appétit, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/broccoli-and-rapini-with-lemon-and-shallots-233159

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Butternut Squash, Spinach, and Goat Cheese Pizza

  • 2 cups cubed butternut squash (1/2-inch pieces)
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon olive oil, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
  • 1 medium red onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 ball (16 ounces) store-bought whole-wheat pizza dough, at room temperature
  • 2 cups chopped fresh baby spinach
  • 4 ounces crumbled goat cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 tablespoons cornmeal

Heat oven to 400°. Heat pizza stone on bottom rack (or use an inverted 11″ x 16″ cookie sheet, not heated). Toss squash with 1 teaspoon oil, 1/8 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. On a baking sheet, cook squash until soft and lightly browned, 25 minutes, stirring halfway through; set aside. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil. Cook onion (season with remaining 1/8 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper), stirring, until light brown, 10 minutes. Add 2 tablespoons water; cook, stirring, until brown, 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Turn oven up to 450°. Sprinkle flour on a flat surface. Press dough into a 15-inch circle or 10″ x 16″ rectangle. Top with squash, onion, spinach, cheese and thyme. Dust stone or inverted sheet with cornmeal; place pizza on it. Bake until crust is crispy and cheese melts, 10 to 12 minutes.

From Epicurious.com via Self by Stephanie Clark and Willow Jarosh, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/butternut-squash-spinach-and-goat-cheese-pizza-367831

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