Summer CSA Share – #4

Welcome to the 4th share of the Pitchfork & Crow Summer CSA!  Here’s what’s in the share this week:

  • Mixed Lacinato Kale – We grow Black Magic and Dazzling Blue lacinato kale varieties. You’ll see one or both in this week’s bunches.
  • Hakurei Salad Turnips – Eat them raw or roasted, and eat the greens.
  • Torpedo Onions or Red Bunching Onions
  • Butter Lettuce
  • Romaine Lettuce
  • Carrots
  • Basque Turban Fresh Garlic – A new variety of garlic for us that comes originally from Basque country in Spain. It’s said to have “a quick heat when eaten raw, fading to an earthy finish” according to Avram over at Garlicana, a garlic farm in southern Oregon. Note that this is freshly harvested garlic and hasn’t dried out in the curing process. Because the green leaves have been cut you’ll want to store it in the fridge and use it up sooner than later.
  • Broccoli
  • Fava Beans – For the true fava experience you’ll want to shell the beans, blanch them, then remove the outer skin and eat the green inner bean. We often skip that last step and eat the shelled beans directly. Also, grilling the entire pods make them quicker to shell and the beans get steamed inside, so they don’t need to be blanched.
  • Sugar Snap Peas
  • Cilantro
  • Summer Squash – Choose from yellow straightneck and zucchini.
  • Strawberries – The berries have bounced back a little after those hot temps a couple of weeks back. We grow Seascape and Sweet Ann strawberries.
A handful of cherry tomatoes are showing their color. It won’t be long before we’re in the tomatoes! (left) and the Brussels sprouts are looking happy in the late evening light (right).

Late June is a tough time to come by on the farm. It’s the convergence of months of preparing for and starting off the growing season with summer harvests and continuing the push for fall and winter crops. The farm is full of plants that need water and cultivation and transplanting and it can feel a little never-ending as we begin sowing next spring’s purple sprouting broccoli and overwintering cauliflower. Late June on the farm often means exhaustion, long days, and at times tears when the farm is getting the best of us. This year feels different though.

Somehow we’ve kept up on the trellising and the peas and tomatoes are not languishing. Most of the crops are fairly well cultivated. We’re generally on schedule with transplanting and sowing. There haven’t been any major mechanical failures (knock on wood). Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of missed weeds and some failed crops out there. But overall, a walk down the farm road just reveals a lot of future food. It’s sure a good feeling to have hit late June and found only the rhythm of the farm.

The garlic harvest! The photo to the top right shows how we undercut the garlic roots for easy pulling. Also, we brought in the overwintered onions too!

One seasonal milestone is the garlic harvest. We plant garlic cloves in October and they magically turn into heads of garlic over the following nine months. In past years we’ve had to battle real rust problems, a fungus that results in rusty colored blisters on the garlic leaves that eventually kill the garlic plant, sometimes before it’s had a chance to properly bulb. This year we missed the rust somehow thankfully. Perhaps it was the change in plant spacing, or the change in spring fertilization, or lessening late season irrigation, or new variety choices. Or the combo of all of those things. As with most things, there were some great varieties and some that didn’t do as well, but overall it was a nice healthy garlic harvest. After taking last year off from growing garlic it’s nice to be in the garlic again!

The week ahead looks to be more of the same. We may get a short irrigation reprieve if the forecasted rain appears, but otherwise we’ll be keepin’ on keepin’ on. Like I said before, there are certainly some missed weeds out there that could use pulling.

Enjoy the vegetables!

Your farmers,
Carri Heisler and Jeff Bramlett

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Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:

Fava Beans with Red Onion and Mint

  • 3 cups peeled shelled fresh fava beans (2 1/2 pounds in pod)
  • 1 teaspoon plus 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 medium red onions, chopped
  • Fine sea salt
  • Generous handful of mint, roughly chopped (about 1/2 cup)

Cook fava beans with 1 teaspoon oil in boiling unsalted water until tender, 6 to 8 minutes, then drain.

Cook onions in remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a medium skillet over medium heat, stirring, until just crisp-tender, about 4 minutes. Add beans and cook until just heated through, then season with sea salt and pepper. Toss in mint. Serve immediately.

From Epicurious.com by Ursula Ferrigno, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/fava-beans-with-red-onion-and-mint-em-fave-con-cipolla-rossa-e-menta-em-242031

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Romaine and Broccoli Salad with Creamy Roasted Garlic Dressing

Dressing

  • 2 whole heads of garlic, unpeeled
  • Olive oil
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons minced fresh chives
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons celery salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon (scant) freshly ground black pepper

Vegetables

  • 1 18-ounce package hearts of romaine (about 3), coarsely torn
  • 1 1-pint container grape tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 cups small broccoli florets
  • 1 small English hothouse cucumber, thinly sliced
  • 1 8-ounce package thinly sliced mushrooms
  • 1 small red onion, sliced paper-thin

For dressing:

Preheat oven to 325°F. Slice top 1/2 inch from each head of garlic. Place each, cut side up, on large square of foil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper; drizzle with oil. Enclose each in foil. Roast packets directly on oven rack until garlic is tender, about 1 hour 10 minutes. Carefully open foil; cool.

Squeeze garlic into medium bowl; mash. Whisk in remaining ingredients. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover; chill.)

For vegetables:

Combine vegetables in large bowl. Add dressing; toss. Season with more salt and pepper, if desired.

From Epicurious.com via Bon Appétit by Rick Rodgers, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/romaine-and-broccoli-salad-with-creamy-roasted-garlic-dressing-233915

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Easy Green Curry with Chicken, Bell Pepper, and Sugar Snap Peas

  • 1 tablespoon virgin coconut or canola oil
  • 1/4 cup green curry paste
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely grated lime zest
  • 1 medium onion, sliced into 1/4-inch strips
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced into 1/4-inch strips
  • 1 cup homemade chicken stock or low-sodium chicken broth
  • 4 cups 1/2-inch cubed cooked chicken (from 1 [2 1/2-pound] rotisserie chicken)
  • 1/2 pound sugar snap peas, trimmed (about 2 1/2 cups)
  • 1 (14-ounce) can coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup basil leaves
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • Cooked rice or rice noodles and lime wedges (for serving)

Heat oil in a medium pot over medium. Cook curry paste, ginger, and lime zest, stirring, until heated through, about 1 minute. Add onion and salt and cook, stirring, until onion is soft, about 3 minutes. Add bell pepper and stir to combine. Add chicken stock and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer until pepper is crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. Add chicken, snap peas, and coconut milk and cook over medium, being careful not to boil, until warmed through, about 5 minutes. Stir in basil and lime juice. Serve with rice or rice noodles and lime wedges alongside.

From Epicurious.com by Anna Stockwell, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/easy-green-curry-with-chicken-bell-pepper-and-sugar-snap-peas

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