Welcome to the 9th share of the Pitchfork & Crow Summer CSA! Here’s what’s in the share this week:
- Fresh Sweet Onions
- Salad Mix
- Sweet Corn
- Dill – An at times under-appreciated herb, dill is versatile and brightens up potato dishes, creamy salads, beet soup, and even burgers in addition to the standby pickle brine.
- Summer Squash – Choose from yellow straightneck, pattypan, and zucchini.
- Cucumbers – silver slicers and lemons
- Mixed Snap Beans – Green, purple, and yellow beans this week.
- Shishito Peppers – – Just the first handful of of these delicious little ‘roulette’ peppers. Some are hot, most are not. New to shishitos? We love them blistered in hot oil like in this recipe.
- Mixed Tomatoes – Cherries and slicers all around!
- Gravenstein Apples – Better for fresh eating than last week’s transparent apples, Gravensteins also are a great cooking apple and make good cider. Small but tasty!
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As we wrap up July it’s a good time to take a moment and look around, evaluate the moment. We’re trucking along deeper into summer and the crops are showing it. Tomatoes! Green Beans! Sweet Corn! Although I love the unique flavors of winter vegetables, we do wait months for the high summer crops to show up in force. All that sun and heat wrapped up in a tasty bite of zucchini or corn on the cob. Can’t beat it! I hope you’re enjoying this seasonal eating thing just as much as we are.
I was speaking with a farmer friend this weekend and she mentioned that they had tried a CSA program years ago as a way of marketing to their local community. They hadn’t found success with their CSA attempt, and heard mostly from the members that it was too many vegetables. This is a common thing we hear too and it’s one of the top reasons cited when folks choose not to return for another season.
Honestly, it’s a conundrum for us, this idea of too many vegetables. Our aim is to provide a well rounded mix of diverse and seasonal vegetables and fruits each week and we have a problem when it comes to deciding which one to leave out when it comes time to harvest. When crops are successful, we’re excited to share them with our members. We don’t want to overload members, and try not to include too much of a single item (though this sure has been a good lettuce year thus far, huh?) but we also want members to experience the bounty of the farm and the season.
As I was talking with my friend, I realized that there’s a shift I hear about from our most successful members. They no longer approach the CSA as a burden, but instead an opportunity. The vegetables are not precious things that cannot be wasted or else vegetable guilt will ensue. They’re just what’s for dinner, and sometimes lunch and/or breakfast. These members also embrace the routine of picking up vegetables rather than getting lost in the choice of the produce department at the grocery store.
I know our CSA is not the right fit for everyone and we’ll likely continue to hear from folks who think that share is too large. The CSA is a unique thing, especially in this moment of ultimate choice and personalization and delivery ease. We’re asking a little more from you and we’re so glad you’ve been willing to take on that challenge!
Here on the farm we’re coming up on a big week of planting. The overwintering broccoli and cauliflower plus chicories, last round of corn, and another succession of lettuce are all headed out to the field. We’re keeping an eye on new crops, waiting for the peppers to turn color and we’re just on the cusp of harvesting eggplant! Throw in a potential day of jury duty for me this week, and we’ve got a busy week ahead!
Enjoy the vegetables!
Carri Heisler and Jeff Bramlett
Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:
Cucumber and Tomato Tzatziki
- 3 cups plain yogurt (do not use low-fat or nonfat)
- 1 English hothouse cucumber (about 16 ounces), peeled, halved lengthwise, seeded
- 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh dill
- 1 large garlic clove, minced
- 1 large tomato, quartered, seeded, thinly sliced
Place strainer over large bowl. Line strainer with 3 layers of cheesecloth. Spoon yogurt into cheesecloth-lined strainer; let stand at room temperature to drain 3 hours (liquid will drain out and yogurt will thicken). Transfer yogurt to medium bowl; discard liquid.
Meanwhile, coarsely grate cucumber. Place in another strainer; let stand at room temperature until most of liquid drains out, about 3 hours. Discard liquid. Squeeze excess moisture from cucumber.
Mix cucumber, dill and garlic into yogurt. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)
Mix tomato into yogurt. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve.
From Epicurious.com via Bon Appétit, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/cucumber-and-tomato-tzatziki-5403
Creamy Broccoli and Carrot Slaw
- 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 1/2 teaspoons grated onion
- 1 1/4 teaspoons coarse-grained Dijon mustard
- 1 1/4 cups shredded peeled broccoli stems
- 3/4 cup shredded peeled carrots
Combine mayonnaise, fresh lemon juice, onion and mustard in medium bowl; whisk to blend. Add broccoli and carrots; toss to coat. Season slaw to taste with salt and pepper. Refrigerate to blend flavors, about 20 minutes.
From Epicurious.com via Bon Appétit, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/creamy-broccoli-and-carrot-slaw-2263
Grilled Mustard-Dill Burgers
- 3 tablespoons sour cream
- 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
- 10 ounces lean ground beef
Prepare barbecue (medium-high heat). Mix first 3 ingredients in medium bowl. Transfer 3 tablespoons sauce to small bowl and reserve. Add meat to remaining sauce in medium bowl and mix gently. Divide meat mixture into 2 equal portions. Flatten each to 1/2-inch-thick patty; sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Grill cut side of buns until toasted, about 1 minute. Grill patties to desired doneness, about 4 minutes per side for medium. Spread bottom half of buns with reserved sauce. Top each with burger, tomato slice, lettuce and bun top.
From Epicurious.com via Bon Appétit, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/grilled-mustard-dill-burgers-101935