Winter CSA Share – #10

Welcome to the 10th and final share of the 2018/19 Pitchfork & Crow Winter CSA!  Here’s what’s in the share this week:

  • Hakurei Salad Turnips – You’re probably familiar with these tasty salad turnips by now and know you can eat them raw or cooked. But don’t forget that the greens are delicious too, especially these tender greens straight out of the greenhouse.
  • German Butterball Potatoes
  • Purple Sprouting Broccoli
  • Overwintered Cauliflower
  • Giant Winter Mixed Spinach
  • Leeks – Many of this week’s leeks include the leek scape, a center core of the leek that is the seed stalk. At this stage the scape is a tasty treat that can be used just like the rest of the leek though may take a little longer to cook.
  • 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.
  • Baby Bok Choy
  • 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 and white they’ll still be delicious.  You can eat or discard the green center.
  • Salad Mix – A mix of lettuces, mizuna, and a little baby arugula
  • Dried Apples

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

Top: I made blueberry cornbread with P&C corn flour for the CSA potluck (left) and Jeff and CSA member Eddie climbed up the giant oak during the farm open house (right). Bottom: a turkey vulture flying low of the flowering pear orchard (left) and the flowering purple cape cauliflower seed crop (right).

We lucked out with some gorgeous spring weather on Saturday afternoon for the Winter CSA member farm visit. We only wish more of you had been able to make it to the farm to enjoy it. We had a great time with longtime CSA members Eddie and Cindy walking the farm and chatting about fun farmy topics like where rapini comes from and how garlic grows. We had some extra thyme and celery starts that got potted up and went home with them too. Of course we also enjoyed some tasty treats! Many thanks for making the trek to hang out with us on the farm for a couple of hours Eddie and Cindy!

Top: Planting tomatoes (left) and cultivating spring brassicas while Jeff fertilizes in the distance (right). Bottom: All the transplants that got planted in the last week including lettuce, beets, chard, fennel, parsley, and bunching onions and 9,120 other onions! (left) and We grew baby bok choy! (right)

As we wrap up another season of the P&C Winter CSA and look ahead to the start of the Summer CSA, I’ve been reflecting on farming and the CSA model of farming quite a bit. Somehow we’re preparing for our eleventh year of farming and tenth year with the CSA. Where has the time gone? How have we spent a decade in this work already with so much still to learn? How can I be a better CSA farmer? What does the future of CSA look like in this era of technology and convenience?

As a CSA farmer, I tend to think our members have the best of intentions and that our goals are aligned. In my mind we agree we want to be eating more organic vegetables, knowing where our food comes from, supporting local businesses including farms and farmers, forging community around food, eating seasonally, and valuing and protecting local farmland. As a CSA member of a local farm for years before beginning to farm myself, I feel the CSA ticks all those boxes in the most direct way possible. But, in the day to day living these ideals can easily get lost. Dinnertime comes around every evening and it doesn’t feel like there is always time to process produce or reach for the unfamiliar vegetable in that moment. I get it.

Like other idealistic and meaningful things in our lives, supporting the CSA farming model can be difficult. If you’re new to cooking with diverse or seasonal vegetables or have picky eaters in the family or a super busy schedule it can feel wasteful and time consuming and inconvenient. So how do we adjust the model and/or our collective approach to the model to reduce those negatives and still live within our ideals? I’m not entirely sure yet, but the past community support of the CSA for our farm has been unparalleled and I’m not quite ready to give up on it. As we head into the next season I’m hoping we can figure out how to better support members through the season. I’m also hoping you’ll stick with us as we go forward. The CSA is nothing without you.

To better understand the successes and pain points of our members we’ve put together a member survey. You’ll get a link to it in this week’s member email and we’d appreciate you taking a few minutes to fill it out. It will be available for the next week and we look forward to hearing your thoughts!

Thanks for joining us for the past 5 months of winter and spring eating! We’ll see some of you the first week of June for the first Summer CSA share!

Your farmers,
Carri Heisler and Jeff Bramlett

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Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:

Oven-Roasted Flounder with Bok Choy, Cilantro, and Lime

  • 1 scallion, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped cilantro, plus small sprigs for garnish
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 3 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons finely minced peeled ginger
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound baby bok choy (2–3 bunches), cut in half lengthwise
  • 1/2 cup sake or dry white wine
  • 4 (4-ounce) fillets flounder or other delicate white fish (up to 1/2″ thick)

Arrange a rack in upper third of oven; preheat to 400°F. Combine scallion, 1/4 cup cilantro, and next 4 ingredients in a small bowl. Whisk in 1 1/2 tablespoons oil. Season cilantro-lime sauce with salt and pepper; set aside.

Heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over high heat until shimmering. Working in batches if needed, add bok choy, cut side down, and sear until golden brown, 2-4 minutes per batch. Turn bok choy cut side up and remove pan from heat. Add sake. Season flounder fillets with salt and pepper and arrange in a single layer over bok choy. Roast in oven until fish is just cooked through, 8-10 minutes.

Spoon sake sauce from skillet into the bottom of 4 shallow bowls, dividing evenly. Add bok choy to each bowl, dividing evenly; top each bowl with 1 fish fillet. Spoon some cilantro-lime sauce over fish and garnish with cilantro sprigs. Serve remaining cilantro-lime sauce alongside for drizzling.

From Epicurious.com via Bon Appétit, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/oven-roasted-flounder-with-bok-choy-cilantro-and-lime-51133820

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Curried Potato and Leek Soup with Spinach

  • 2 medium leeks (white and pale green parts only)
  • 1 medium boiling potato such as Yukon Gold
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon curry powder
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup packed spinach leaves
  • 1/2 cup milk

Halve leeks lengthwise and cut enough crosswise into 1/4-inch pieces to measure 2 cups. In a bowl of cold water wash leeks well and lift from water into a sieve to drain. Peel potato and cut enough into 1/4-inch pieces to measure 1 cup. In a 1 1/2-quart saucepan cook leeks and potato in butter with curry powder over moderate heat, stirring, 5 minutes. Stir in 2 cups water and simmer, uncovered, 20 minutes.

While soup is cooking, cut spinach into thin strips. In a blender purée soup until completely smooth (use caution when blending hot liquids) and return to pan. Add milk and salt and pepper to taste and bring to a simmer. Remove pan from heat and stir in spinach.

From Epicurious.com via Gourmet, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/curried-potato-and-leek-soup-with-spinach-14480

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Broccoli Rabe with Sweet Italian Sausage

  • 3 pounds broccoli rabe (about 3 medium bunches), trimmed (Use this week’s collard rapini and/or purple sprouting broccoli here!)
  • 1 1/2 pounds sweet Italian sausage links, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 5 garlic cloves, chopped

Cut broccoli rabe into 3-inch-long pieces. Cook in a large pot of boiling salted water (3 tablespoons salt for 6 quarts water), uncovered, until tender, about 5 minutes. Drain, then rinse under cold water to stop cooking. Squeeze out excess water from handfuls of broccoli rabe.

Meanwhile, preheat broiler.

Broil sausage in a 4-sided sheet pan 3 to 4 inches from heat, turning occasionally, until cooked through, about 5 minutes. Keep warm, covered.

While sausage broils, heat oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over medium-high heat until it shimmers, then cook garlic, stirring, until fragrant but not browned, about 1 minute.

Separate broccoli rabe, then sauté in garlic oil until coated with oil and heated through, about 4 minutes. Stir in sausage.

From Epicurious.com via Gourmet, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/broccoli-rabe-with-sweet-italian-sausage-351164

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