Summer CSA Share – #1

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

  • Mixed Giant Spinach
  • French Breakfast Radishes
  • One-Cut Lettuce Heads – As the name suggests, these lettuces produce heaps of nicely sized salad leaves with a single cut through the base of the head. We usually cut and mix these varieties for bagged salad mix, but thought you might like to see the different varieties and mix and match based on your preferences this week. Our go to quick dinner of late has been big salads topped with rice, salmon, and Cesar dressing. So good!
  • German Butterball Potatoes – We’re working through the last of 2018’s potatoes, but they’re still tasty. New potatoes will make an appearance before too long.
  • Broccoli – Two varieties of broccoli this week. As we plan out the season we choose varieties that will succeed each other in the field from a single planting. These first varieties are overlapping somewhat and you can see the more mature broccoli compared to the variety that’s just coming on.
  • Bok Choy
  • Garlic Scapes – As the hardneck garlic plants begin to develop their bulbs, they send up a flower stalk known as a scape. We harvest the scapes because they’re delicious and garlicky and also to help the plant focus on producing a larger bulb rather than seed production. You can use the scapes like you would a bunching onion and I’ve included recipe for garlic scape pesto at the bottom of the post.
  • Cauliflower – Just a taste of the earliest, and perhaps most colorful, cauliflower this week.
  • Overwintered Bunching Onions – These onions made it through the winter in the field from an October planting and now they’re ready to go to seed. Some of them will have the seed head/scape still attached. You can eat the entire length of the onion and onions flowers make for a tasty garnish.
  • Sugar Snap Peas
  • Carrots!
  • Tomato Plants – Although our tomatoes have been in the ground for over a month, I potted up some extra cherry tomatoes and they’ll be available at this week’s pick-up.
Your farmers! (left) and a shot of another worker on the farm, a bumblebee in the flowering apple trees (right)

Welcome to the tenth season of the Pitchfork & Crow Summer CSA!  We’re  so glad you’ve decided to join us for the next 26 weeks of eating seasonally.  We’re excited to welcome back returning members and to welcome new members to the group.

Our 1947 Farmall Cub cultivating tractor has been busy over the last month. It’s our #1 tool for battling weeds in the fields. Above we’re cultivating the first round of brassicas and hilling the potatoes.

Most of you should have received several emails from us over the past couple of weeks highlighting the various P&C CSA member resources. You can find links to all of the resources on the CSA Member Resources page including the updated CSA member handbook and important dates, like those for this season’s upcoming on-farm events.  Please be sure to add those dates to your calendar for future reference.  Also, be sure to let us know if you didn’t receive the reminder email and we’ll get you added to the list.

Jeff in the peas at the end of April and again today. It’s amazing how fast they grow!

In future newsletters I’ll attempt to keep you updated on farm happenings and give you a behind-the-scenes look at where your vegetables are grown.  I’ll also always include a few recipes for combinations of that week’s share items.  You can find this week’s recipes at the bottom of this post.

Not sure what to do with a vegetable? Looking for more recipe suggestions? 

  • Check out the archive of recipes on our Recipe page that’s sorted by vegetable.
  • Join in the conversation in the P&C CSA Member Facebook group to query fellow members or suggest great recipes of your own.
  • Even more recipes plus updated storage information and loads of tips over on the P&C CSA Member App/Website.  You can find all the details on the CSA Member App page.
Here we are transplanting winter squash. That’s our water wheel transplanter on the back of the tractor. I sit in the seat and plant, plant, plant…

As we begin the Summer CSA season, we hope you’re excited for the adventure ahead.  The greens of spring will inevitably give way to the fruits of summer over time, and hopefully we’ll have a few surprises along the way.  Thank you for choosing to support our farm as you also choose to eat seasonally, locally, and organically!

Let’s get this season started!

Enjoy the vegetables!

Your farmers,
Carri Heisler and Jeff Bramlett

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Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:

Asian Chicken Salad with Snap Peas and Bok Choy

  • 2 skinless boneless chicken breast halves (about 1 pound)
  • 5 fresh cilantro sprigs plus 1/3 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 whole green onion plus 2 green onions, chopped
  • 1 8-ounce package sugar snap peas
  • 3 baby bok choy, thinly sliced crosswise
  • 1 English hothouse cucumber, quartered lengthwise, thinly sliced crosswise
  • 1 red jalapeño chile, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup ponzu*
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger

Fill medium skillet with salted water; bring to boil. Add chicken breasts, cilantro sprigs, and whole green onion; reduce heat to medium and poach chicken until just cooked through, about 20 minutes. Using tongs, transfer chicken to plate; cool. Add snap peas to same skillet; increase heat to high and cook until crisp-tender, about 1 minute.

Drain; rinse snap peas under cold water to cool. Discard whole green onion and cilantro sprigs. Coarsely shred chicken. Toss chicken, chopped cilantro, chopped green onions, snap peas, and next 3 ingredients in large bowl. Whisk ponzu, vinegar, oil, and ginger in small bowl. Add dressing to salad; toss to coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

From Epicurious.com via Bon Appetit, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/asian-chicken-salad-with-snap-peas-and-bok-choy-242110

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Garlic Scape Pesto

  • 10 large garlic scapes
  • 1/3 cup unsalted pistachios (or whatever nuts you have on hand really)
  • 1/3 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • Kosher salt and black pepper
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound spaghetti

Make the pesto: Puree the garlic scapes, pistachios, Parmesan, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a food processor until very finely chopped. With the motor running, slowly pour the oil through the opening. Season the pesto with salt and pepper to taste. (The pesto keeps in the fridge, covered, for 1 week or frozen for a month.)

In a large pot of heavily salted boiling water, cook the spaghetti until al dente. Reserve 1 cup of the pasta-cooking water, then drain the pasta. Whisk together 2/3 cup of the pesto and the reserved pasta water and toss with the pasta. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve right away.

From Epicurious.com via The Farm Cookbook by Ian Knauer, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/pasta-with-garlic-scape-pesto-395769

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Tuna, White Bean, and Roasted Red Pepper with Cream Dijon Dressing

  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons Champagne vinegar or white wine vinegar
  • 5 cups mixed baby greens
  • 1 15-ounce can small white beans, rinsed, drained
  • 2/3 cup chopped drained roasted red peppers from jar
  • 1/3 cup chopped red onion
  • 1 12-ounce can chunk light tuna
  • 2/3 cup Kalamata olives or other brine-cured black olives, pitted, halved

Whisk first 4 ingredients in small bowl. Season dressing with salt and pepper. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover; chill.)

Toss greens in large bowl with enough dressing to coat. Place greens in center of 4 plates. Toss beans, red peppers and onion in medium bowl with enough dressing to coat. Top greens with bean mixture, then tuna, dividing equally. Garnish with olives and serve.

From Epicurious.com via Bon Appétit, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/tuna-white-bean-and-roasted-pepper-salad-with-cream-dijon-dressing-104808

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