Summer CSA Share – #2

Welcome to the 2nd share of the Pitchfork & Crow Summer CSA!  Here’s what’s in the share this week:

  • Mixed Giant Spinach
  • Hakurei Salad Turnips – As the name suggests, these turnips are delicious raw in salads but they can also be roasted or added to soups etc.
  • One-Cut Lettuce Heads
  • Mayan Jaguar Romaine Lettuce
  • Broccoli
  • Kohlrabi – The classic CSA vegetable, kohlrabi is often new to folks who are new to CSAs. Why else would you come home with such a strange looking vegetable? We like them chopped up and raw, like a carrot stick, but they can be roasted, or added to mashed potatoes, or shaved super thin into salads. I’ve heard kohlrabi and peanut butter can be a pretty great snack too.
  • 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 or Chard
  • Overwintered Torpedo Onions – These onions made it through the winter in the field from an October planting, thus overwintered. You can eat the entire length of the onion.
  • Sugar Snap Peas
  • Carrots!
  • Strawberries – Just a taste this week. We grow the varieties Seascape and Sweet Ann.
Top Left: The thunder as seen from our living room, Top Right: a field of brassicas planted over several days this week, Bottom Left: corn planting, Bottom Right: Luckily the tractor has lights, so we can keep planting in the dark!

When the third succession of broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage wasn’t ready to plant on time we put it off for a week and found other things to do. There was plenty of ground prep for future plantings and the tomatoes needed trellising and the list went on. Of course those brassicas were still waiting patiently this week, so it was time to get planting once we were finished with the first CSA harvest. We finished up the broccoli and cauliflower Thursday. Then it rained overnight so we attempted to move onto corn planting Friday, but the thunder showed up so it was back to indoor work. Then the sweet potato slips arrived in the mail and we stuck them in the ground.

Back to sweet corn and flour corn planting Saturday. Saturday night after dinner we finished up the brassica planting with cabbage and Brussels Sprouts. Sunday morning was Chard and then on to the pumpkin patch planting. After some hiccups and speed bumps and of course stopping for an occasional meal or popsicle break, we had caught up on planting by dinnertime on Sunday! Unfortunately this time of year being caught up only lasts about a week and then there’s more to push out the propagation house doors and into the field. On deck this week we’ve got some spinach and beets and popcorn!

Coming soon! Strawberries and Tomatoes!

So that was our week, how was your week? I posted a couple photos of our quick meals from this week in the P&C CSA Member Facebook group last night. It was all about quick and easy this week and I was so happy to have vegetables ready to go in the fridge when we came inside to eat.

How’d the first week of the CSA go for you? Hopefully you’re ready to re-stock on vegetables! Didn’t make it through last week’s share quite yet? Maybe it’s time to review the vegetable exit strategies over on the P&C CSA member app. It can be jolting to suddenly have a fridge full of vegetables that need to get eaten up. Finding some easy recipes for using up lots of veggies will help as the season really gets rolling.

Top Left: The arrival of our house!, Top Right: a photo of our house from just after we moved in last December., Bottom Left: Our kitchen!, Bottom Right: The view from the living room window looking east last winter.

We enjoyed meeting new members and catching up with previous members at the first CSA pick-up this past week. Longtime members who hadn’t been with us over the winter quickly reminded us that we owed them an update on our housing situation. When we first leased the farm back in 2010 we owned a house in Salem and I (Carri) had another job and there was a lot of commuting back and forth. Jeff camped out a lot on the farm during the summers as there wasn’t a house here. In 2012 we were fortunate enough to be able to buy the farm and we had a loft built in our pole barn and we moved in and sold our Salem house.

Six years later we’d finally met the county requirements for building a house on the farm and we were off! It pretty quickly became apparent that getting power to our building site and having the fancy septic system installed that the county mandated would be costly, so a manufactured home seemed to be the best solution. After almost a year of lining up the mortgage and working with the contractor for site prep. and working with the sales rep on the house purchase, we got to move into our new house just before Christmas of 2018!

After six years of living in our not-so-insulated barn, house-living has been revolutionary. We’ve got lots of windows for natural lighting and it’s well-insulated! The ceiling fan in the living room has been a dream on warm days and the wood stove really heats it up when it’s cold outside. We have flushing toilets again (gotta use that expensive septic system somehow)! And it’s the first house we’ve lived in with two bathrooms! We’ve both got offices again too. The small entry mud room has been amazing. I could go on and on.

Although we’ve settled in pretty well now, we’re still thankful daily for our little house and the improvements it has made in our lives. It’s been a longterm goal, but one that was worth the wait.

Enjoy the vegetables!

Your farmers,
Carri Heisler and Jeff Bramlett

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Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:

Shaved Kohlrabi with Apple and Hazlenuts

  • 1/2 cup blanched hazelnuts
  • 2 medium kohlrabi (about 2 pounds total), peeled, thinly sliced on a mandoline
  • 1 tart apple (such as Pink Lady or Crispin), peeled, cored, thinly sliced on a mandoline
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar or white balsamic vinegar
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup torn fresh mint leaves, plus more for serving
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 ounces Pecorino di Fossa or Parmesan, shaved (about 1/4 cup)

Preheat oven to 350°F. Toast hazelnuts on a rimmed baking sheet, tossing occasionally, until golden brown, 10–12 minutes. Let cool, then coarsely chop.

Toss kohlrabi, apple, lemon zest, lemon juice, and vinegar in a medium bowl; season with salt. Add 1/2 cup mint and gently toss to just combine.

Toss toasted hazelnuts and oil in a small bowl to coat; season with salt.

Divide kohlrabi salad among plates and top with seasoned hazelnuts, Pecorino, and more mint.

From Epicurious.com via Bon Appétit by Ignacio Mattos, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/shaved-kohlrabi-with-apple-and-hazelnuts-51214700

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Sheet-Pan Chicken Meatballs and Charred Broccoli

  • Sauce:
    • 2/3 cup ketchup
    • 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
    • 2 Tbsp. rice cooking wine or water
    • 2 Tbsp. honey
    • 4 tsp. soy sauce
    • 1 1/2″ piece ginger, peeled, finely grated
    • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • Meatballs and assembly:
    • 2 heads of broccoli (about 1 1/2 lb.)
    • 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil, divided
    • 2 1/2 tsp. kosher salt, divided
    • Crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
    • 1 lb. ground chicken
    • 1 large egg, beaten to blend
    • 4 scallions, thinly sliced (or this week’s fresh torpedo onions!)
    • 2 garlic cloves, finely grated (or garlic scapes)
    • 1 (2″) piece ginger, peeled, finely grated
    • 1/3 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
    • 1 Tbsp. toasted sesame oil
    • 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
    • Cooked rice and sesame seeds (for serving)

Sauce

Mix ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, wine (if using), honey, soy sauce, ginger, and pepper in a small saucepan. Measure out 1/4 cup mixture into a small bowl; set aside for glazing meatballs later. Bring remaining mixture to a simmer over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally and reducing heat if needed, until sauce thickens, about 5 minutes. Transfer sauce to a small bowl.

Meatballs and assembly

Place a rack in upper third of oven; preheat to 450°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil. Trim broccoli stems and remove from crown. Peel off tough outer skin; slice crosswise into 1/2″ pieces. Cut florets into 2″ pieces. Toss on prepared baking sheet with 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil, 1 tsp. salt, and a few pinches of red pepper flakes (if using). Push to the edges of baking sheet to create a space for meatballs. Brush space with remaining 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil.

Mix chicken, egg, scallions, garlic, ginger, panko, sesame oil, pepper, remaining 1 1/2 tsp. salt, and 1/4 cup water in a medium bowl. Using wet hands, form into twelve 1 1/2″-diameter meatballs. Arrange on baking sheet; brush with some of the reserved glazing mixture. Bake until meatballs are cooked through, 14–18 minutes. Remove from oven; heat broiler. Brush meatballs with remaining glazing mixture; broil until broccoli is charred and meatballs are browned in spots, about 5 minutes.

Spoon meatballs and broccoli over rice in bowl. Drizzle with sauce and sprinkle with sesame seeds.

From Epicurious.com via Bon Appétit by Deb Perelman, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/sheet-pan-chicken-meatballs-and-charred-broccoli

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Romaine Salad with Bacon and Hard-Boiled Eggs

  • 2 large eggs
  • 4 ounces bacon (4 to 5 slices), cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-wide strips
  • 1 large head romaine (1 1/4 pound), trimmed and cut into bite-size pieces (any of this week’s lettuce would hold up well in this salad I’d think)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped shallot
  • 2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste

Hard-boil eggs:

Cover eggs with cold water by 1 inch in a small heavy saucepan and bring to a boil, partially covered with lid. Reduce heat to low and cook eggs, covered completely, 10 minutes. Transfer eggs with a slotted spoon to a bowl of cold water to stop cooking and let stand until cool enough to handle, about 2 minutes.

Make salad:

While eggs are simmering, cook bacon in a 10-inch heavy skillet over moderate heat, stirring, until crisp, about 8 minutes. Transfer bacon with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain, leaving rendered fat in skillet.

Peel eggs and finely chop.

Put romaine and egg in a serving bowl.

Add oil and shallot to fat in skillet and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until shallot is softened, about 2 minutes. Add vinegar and salt and boil, swirling skillet, 10 seconds. Pour hot dressing over romaine and egg and toss to combine. Add bacon and toss salad, then season with salt and pepper.

From Epicurious.com via Gourmet, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/romaine-salad-with-bacon-and-hard-boiled-eggs-107581

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