Summer CSA Share – #12

Welcome to the 12th share of the Pitchfork & Crow Summer CSA!  Here’s what’s in the share this week:

  • Romaine Lettuce
  • Sweet Corn
  • Snap Beans
  • Cauliflower
  • Mixed German Butterball & Purple Viking Potatoes
  • Basil
  • Mixed Summer Squash & Zucchini
  • Mixed Cucumbers
  • Purple Bunching Onions
  • Mixed Sweet Peppers – A mix of any of our sweet peppers with some color on them including bells, Italian frying, and paprika varieties. Use them all as you would a green or red bell pepper.
  • Shishito Peppers – More of those roulette peppers – mostly mild but once in a while you get a hot one. We like them best blistered in hot oil and eaten straight away.
  • Matchbox Thai Peppers – Just a taste of these new to us hot peppers this week. The plants are loaded with green fruit and you’ll definitely see more as the season continues.
  • Mixed Tomatoes – Cherries and slicers all around!
  • Strawberries
  • Tirreno Tuscan Melon
  • Honey Orange Honeydew Melon – an orange honeydew variety that is really more like a cantaloupe than a honeydew.

We’re now accepting members for the upcoming Winter CSA! Go check out the Winter details and sign-up to join us for more seasonal, organic vegetables December-April!

At the beginning of this farming journey, we didn’t have a specific vision for the farm. We wanted to try it all. All the varieties, all the crops, all the possibilities! Of course on that long list was keeping bees. We signed up for bee school held by the local beekeeping association and we were off.

We bought a traditional Langstroth beehive and purchased bees from a beekeeping store in Portland. The bees lived on our rented 1.5 acre where we were growing vegetables through the summer and we moved them here that fall when we started leasing this place. Sadly they didn’t make it through the winter. Unfortunately I think this is a common path for amateur beekeepers. After another round of buying bees, and once catching a swarm that was flying through, with similar outcomes both times, we put our beekeeping hats in storage and focused on growing vegetables.

A few years later a request came through a local farming listserv from a family of beekeepers that was looking for a place to keep some hives. We had some space and plenty of fruit trees that could use help with pollination so we struck a deal. For the past several years we’ve had between 20 and 40 beehives at the back of the farm for much of the year. In February they truck the hives (and bees inside) down to California to work the almond pollination. Most commercial beekeepers in the country send their bees to the almonds every winter. (Just this week I heard an interesting podcast episode on the show 99% Invisible about this and other bee topics.) The hives return to us a couple of months later, ready to work our fruit trees. We then share the farm with buzzing honey bees, as well as the native varieties, all summer long.

Over the years the beekeepers have shared honey from the hives here and it’s always fun to see what the farm tastes like in honey form. Last week they dropped off some smaller jars of honey from the farm and we’d like to offer them for sale to interested CSA members. We’ll have pints ($15) and half pints ($8) of honey at this week’s pick-up.

Although the To Do list is plenty long, it feels like we’ve been in a bit of a holding pattern on some things the past week on the farm as we wait for a part for our tractor to arrive in the mail. It’s hard to be patient when the tractor is down mid-season but of course there’s lots of non-tractoring work to accomplish this time of year. Anyhow, we took the opportunity to get off the farm Saturday for a bumpy drive in the woods and a short but rewarding hike up to Gold Butte Lookout outside of Detroit, OR. It’s back to planting, irrigating, weeding etc. this week. Hopefully that tractor part shows up soon.

Enjoy the vegetables and we’ll see you next week!

Your farmers,
Carri Heisler and Jeff Bramlett

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Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:

Cantaloupe and Cucumber Salad

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup Champagne vinegar or white wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/2 large cantaloupe, rind and seeds removed, flesh cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 large English hothouse cucumber, sliced on a diagonal 1/2 inch thick
  • 2 Fresno chiles, thinly sliced (or any of this week’s pepper offerings perhaps)
  • 1/2 cup unsalted, roasted pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1/4 cup chopped mint
  • Sumac (for serving)

Whisk oil, vinegar, coriander, salt, pepper, and cardamom in a large bowl. Add cantaloupe, cucumber, and chiles and toss to coat in dressing. Let sit, uncovered, 15 minutes.

To serve, add pumpkin seeds, cilantro, and mint to salad and toss gently to combine. Top with sumac.

From Epicurious.com via Bon Appétit by TUSK, Portland, OR, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/savory-cantaloupe-and-cucumber-fruit-salad

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Shishito Pepper Potato Hash with Fried Eggs

  • 1 pound small red new potatoes, scrubbed (about 10)
  • 1 pound shishito peppers, stemmed and left whole
  • 2/3 cup shredded Jack cheese (about 3 ounces)
  • 1 cup sliced scallions
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 4 large eggs
  • Dressed salad greens, for serving
  • Hot sauce, for serving

In a large pot fitted with a steamer basket, steam the potatoes until tender, about 20 minutes. Transfer potatoes to a large bowl until cool enough to handle. Using the palms of your hands, gently smash the potatoes. Add the shishitos, cheese, scallions, and 3/4 teaspoon salt to the bowl and, using a wooden spoon, mix gently to combine.

In a large nonstick skillet over medium heat, melt 1 tablespoon butter. Add potato mixture and fry, flipping once or twice, until cheese is melted, peppers are soft, and mixture is golden brown, about 10 minutes. Remove from pan and divide among four plates.

Wipe out the skillet and heat the remaining 2 tablespoons butter over medium-high heat. Crack in the eggs and fry to desired doneness. Top hash with fried eggs and serve immediately with greens and hot sauce.

From Epicurious.com via Epicurious by SQIRL (Los Angeles), https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/shishito-pepper-potato-hash-with-fried-eggs-51252300

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Herb-Crusted Cauliflower Steaks with Beans and Tomatoes

  • 1 large head of cauliflower (about 2 pounds)
  • 1/2 cup olive oil, divided
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
  • 8 ounces green beans, trimmed
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 3/4 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 1/3 cup chopped parsley, plus more for serving
  • 1/3 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan
  • 1 (15-ounce) can white beans, rinsed, drained
  • 1 cup golden or red cherry tomatoes (about 6 ounces), halved
  • 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

Arrange racks in middle and upper third of oven; preheat to 425°F. Remove leaves and trim stem end of cauliflower, leaving core intact. Place cauliflower core side down on a work surface. Using a large knife, slice in the center from top to bottom to yield 2 (1″) “steaks”; reserve remaining cauliflower for another use.

Place cauliflower on a rimmed baking sheet. Brush both sides with 1 Tbsp. oil; season with 1/4 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper. Roast on middle rack, turning halfway through, until cauliflower is tender and browned, about 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, toss green beans with 1 Tbsp. oil, 1/2 tsp. salt, and 1/4 tsp. pepper on another rimmed baking sheet. Arrange in a single layer, then roast in upper third of oven until green beans begin to blister, about 15 minutes.

Whisk garlic, lemon zest, 1/3 cup parsley, and remaining 6 Tbsp. oil, 1 1/4 tsp. salt, and 1/2 tsp. pepper in a medium bowl until smooth. Transfer half of mixture to another medium bowl. Add panko and Parmesan to first bowl and mix with your hands. Add white beans and tomatoes to second bowl and toss to coat. Whisk mayonnaise and mustard in a small bowl.

Remove sheets from oven. Spread mayonnaise mixture over cauliflower. Sprinkle 1/4 cup panko mixture evenly over cauliflower. Add white bean mixture to sheet with green beans and toss to combine. Return sheets to oven and continue to roast until white beans begin to crisp and panko topping starts to brown, 5–7 minutes more.

Divide cauliflower, green beans, white beans, and tomatoes among plates. Top with parsley.

From Epicurious.com via Epicurious by Katherine Sacks, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/herb-crusted-cauliflower-steaks-with-beans-and-tomatoes

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