Winter CSA Share – #9

Welcome to the 9th share of the Pitchfork & Crow Winter CSA!  Here’s what’s in the share this week:

  • Radishes
  • Purple Viking Potatoes
  • Purple Sprouting Broccoli
  • Cilantro
  • Cauliflower
  • Giant Winter Mixed Spinach
  • Collard Rapini – As overwintered brassica plants begin the flowering process they send up tasty shoots that are a sure sign of spring. We harvest these shoots as rapini and eat them just as we would broccoli but we enjoy them even more as the seasonal treat they are.
  • Red Ursa Kale & Rapini
  • 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.
  • Mixed Winter Squash – This is the last of the winter squash folks. Enjoy choosing from the mix of kabochas, spaghetti, and a handful of butternut.
  • Dried Apples
  • Cascade Ruby Gold Polenta – This flint corn grinds down into both flour and polenta. This week everyone gets polenta. We’ve had good luck using a ‘2 cups water to 1 cup polenta’ ratio in our rice cooker. Other recipes seem to call for more liquid, more stirring, and more time overall but may result in a softer finish. This week we had some tasty fish and grits and suggest it as a fantastic pairing. 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.

First off, we’re inviting Winter CSA members out for a farm visit on Saturday April 20th. Come see the vegetables in the fields, share some snacks with other CSA members, and experience the farm in early spring! Check the member email for all the details.

It’s been a whirlwind of work and weather here on the farm over the past couple of weeks. It’s hard to recall the lovely dry spell we had at the end of March when we were able to get the first transplants of the season in the ground (including 1800 strawberry plants!). We kicked off the planting season just in time, as we’ve now been hit with a deluge of spring rain. Field work has halted until we can dry out again. We’re counting the days, watching the weather forecast, looking forward to getting back into the planting mode.

As the rain returned in quantity, we’ve watched as the soil saturated again and now we’re experiencing minor flooding in the lowest spots on the farm. Unfortunately, one of the low spots includes our propagation house, where we sow seeds and grow transplants. There’s nothing quite like watering flats of transplants while standing in 6 inches of water. Of course our flooding issues are nothing compared to farmers along the rivers and creeks around the valley. Our thoughts are with all of those folks who are watching waterways rise ever closer to their spring plantings, machinery, and buildings. The rain’s got to stop sooner or later, right? Fingers crossed it doesn’t result in too much destruction before it’s finished.

In the meantime we’ve been keeping busy with indoor projects like weeding in the high tunnels and potting up celery and celeriac. We even sneaked away for a whole day of hiking and fishing at the coast last week. In the days ahead we’ll be preparing for the final Winter CSA share of the season and the CSA member farm day on April 20th. We’ll also continue the work of spring farming. We’re really getting into the swing of sowing seeds and managing transplants. Soon enough this wet weather will be behind us and we’ll be racing to get the planting end of things back on track

Enjoy the vegetables and we’ll see you in two weeks for the final Winter CSA share!

Your farmers,
Carri Heisler and Jeff Bramlett


Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:

Indian Spiced Cauliflower and Potatoes

  • 1 (1 3/4-lb) head cauliflower, cut into 3/4-inch-wide florets
  • 1 1/4 lb Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 5 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh jalapeño, including seeds
  • 2 teaspoons minced peeled fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/2 cup water

Put oven rack in upper third of oven and place a shallow baking pan on rack. Preheat oven to 475°F.

Toss cauliflower and potatoes together in a bowl with 3 tablespoons oil, cumin seeds, and1/4 teaspoon salt. Spread in hot baking pan and roast, stirring occasionally, until cauliflower is tender and browned in spots and potatoes are just tender, about 20 minutes.

While vegetables are roasting, cook onion, garlic, jalapeño, and ginger in remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderate heat, stirring frequently, until very soft and beginning to turn golden, 8 to 10 minutes. Add ground cumin, coriander, turmeric, cayenne, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and cook, stirring constantly, 2 minutes. Stir in water, scraping up any brown bits from bottom of skillet, then stir in roasted vegetables. Cook, covered, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes.

From via Gourmet,


Cauliflower and Broccoli Flan with Spinach Bechamel

  • 2 1/2 cups cauliflower florets
  • 2 1/2 cups broccoli florets
  • 2 6-ounce bags baby spinach leaves
  • 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) butter
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup whole milk
  • 2/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Cook cauliflower and broccoli in large pot of boiling salted water until crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Drain, reserving 2/3 cup cooking liquid. Transfer vegetables to large bowl. Cool.

Rinse spinach, then toss in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until just wilted. Drain and cool. Squeeze spinach dry; finely chop.

Melt butter in heavy medium saucepan over medium heat. Add flour and whisk until smooth, about 2 minutes. Gradually whisk in milk and reserved 2/3 cup vegetable cooking liquid. Whisk constantly over medium heat until sauce thickens and boils, about 3 minutes. Stir in spinach and cheese.

Using fingers, coarsely crumble cauliflower and broccoli in bowl. Add spinach béchamel sauce; stir to blend. Season with salt and pepper. Butter 1 1/2-quart baking dish. Spread vegetable mixture in prepared dish. (Can be made 6 hours ahead. Cover and chill.)

Preheat oven to 350°F. Bake flan until puffed and heated through, about 25 minutes if at room temperature and 35 minutes if chilled. Serve hot.

From via Bon Appétit,


Chinese Broccoli with Sausage and Polenta

  • 2 lb Chinese broccoli, thick ends trimmed (Purple Sprouting Broccoli or Collard/Kale Rapini would be great here!)
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/2 cups polenta (not instant) or yellow cornmeal
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons finely grated parmesan
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3/4 lb hot Italian sausage, casings removed
  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Cook broccoli:

Cut broccoli stems diagonally into 1-inch pieces and coarsely chop leaves. Cook stems in a large pot of boiling salted water until just tender, about4 minutes. Stir in leaves and cook 1 minute. Drain in a colander, then rinse under cold water to stop cooking. Do not squeeze out excess water.

Cook polenta:

Bring water with salt to a boil in a 3-quart heavy saucepan, then add polenta in a thin stream, whisking constantly. Cook over moderate heat, whisking, 2 minutes. Reduce heat to low and simmer polenta, covered, stirring for 1 minute after every 10 minutes of cooking, 45 minutes total. Stir in butter, cream, and cheese and remove from heat.

Sauté sausage and garlic while polenta cooks:

Heat oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then sauté sausage, stirring and breaking up meat into large pieces with a spoon, until browned and cooked through, about 5 minutes. Transfer with a slotted spoon to a plate. Reduce heat to moderate, then cook garlic in skillet, stirring, until golden, about 2 minutes.

Add broccoli and cook, stirring and scraping up brown bits from bottom of skillet, 2 minutes. Return sausage to skillet and toss with greens, salt, and pepper. Serve over polenta.

From via Gourmet,