Summer CSA Share – #14

Welcome to the 14th share of the Pitchfork & Crow Summer CSA!  Here’s what’s in the share this week:

  • Sweet Corn
  • Cauliflower
  • Lettuce Mix
  • Beets
  • Cabbage
  • Basil
  • Mixed Eggplant
  • Mixed Summer Squash & Zucchini
  • Mixed Cucumbers
  • Red Onions
  • Mixed Sweet Peppers – A mix of any of our sweet peppers with some color on them including bells and Italian frying varieties. Use them all as you would a green or red bell pepper.
  • Poblano Peppers – The classic stuffing pepper, this mild chile brings the pepper flavor to any dish.
  • Aji Marchant Chile Peppers – A rare variety of pepper with an intriguing history you can read about here. Historically the immature peppers were used for pickling and the mature peppers for dried pepper powder. We shared these in their yellow stage a few weeks ago, now here they are a little more mature. They’re a hot one, and can be added to any dish for your hot pepper needs.
  • Mixed Tomatoes – Cherries and slicers all around!
  • Mixed Melons
  • Bartlett Pears

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!

Jeff, cultivating the overwintering cauliflower (left) and moving irrigation pipe in the purple sprouting broccoli/chicory field (right).

Welcome to September! There’s something about that particular calendar change that gives hope to us farmers. We’ve made it through the long, hot slog of August and fall is really coming with its cooler temperatures, fewer daylight hours, and eventually some killing frosts. Of course September could be just as hot as August, but it’s September!

This week on the farm was all about catch-up and by Sunday night we’d pretty well caught up. Having our tractor down for two weeks in August wasn’t as bad as say April or May when the season is just getting underway. But it did make for some delays in mowing, tilling, fertilizing, and planting of some late fall crops. This week was the big push to get back on track. Jeff managed to get through the majority of the tractoring which then culminated with getting some of our last field crops of the season in the ground. Soon we’ll be filling up the field houses and emptying out the propagation house. I can’t wait!

It’s certainly a colorful time of year on the farm. The pinks and reds and yellows of the randomly planted cosmos, zinnias, and sunflowers certainly catch the eye. But the crops are bringing the color too. The ripe pears and apples dot the orchard trees like late-summer tree ornaments. The peppers are getting some color and livening up the pepper patch. Even the lettuce is looking particularly bright and colorful in the morning light. It’s a big show in the fields as crops ripen to their season-long height of maturity.

Preserving the bounty! Tomatilla salsa for winter chips and enchiladas!

Most of you are likely into the rhythm of the CSA at this point. The weekly shares keep showing up and hopefully you’ve been eating through them or coming up with some strategies to preserve them for future meals. Although we see September as a light at the end of the tunnel, I know many of you are shifting into new schedules with kids (and teachers and partners and maybe even you!) headed back to school. All the kid activities might begin to take over your weeknights, and well, weekends too. As the summer wraps up and the structure of schedules falls into place, hopefully you’ll still be able to keep up with the CSA bounty to come.

This is my reminder that there are lots of member resource ideas to help you tackle your share when time seems slim. Have you looked over the ‘Vegetable Exit Strategies‘ on the member app? There are some great tips on the ‘How to Love My CSA Share‘ page too. There have also been some really delicious-looking recipes shared recently in the P&C CSA Member Facebook group that might inspire your cooking. Remember, you’re not alone on this vegetable journey this season. There are lots of other folks along for the ride too.

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:

Zucchini “Noodles” with Eggplant and Tomatoes

  • 2 medium zucchini (about 1 1/4 pounds), spiralized or cut into matchsticks
  • 2 medium yellow squash (about 1 1/4 pounds), spiralized or cut into matchsticks
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3/4 cup (packed) basil leaves, chopped, divided
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil, divided, plus more for drizzling
  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2 large long Chinese eggplants (about 3/4 pound), cut into 1/4″ slices on the bias
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, divided
  • 1/4 cup pitted cured black olives, halved, divided
  • 1 (8-ounce) ball fresh buffalo mozzarella, thinly sliced

Place zucchini and squash in a strainer set over a bowl. Sprinkle with 1 Tbsp. salt and toss to combine. Let sit 10 minutes, then shake in strainer, pressing gently, to remove any excess liquid.

Meanwhile, whisk lemon juice, honey, pepper, 1/2 cup basil, 3 Tbsp. oil, and 1/4 tsp. salt in a large bowl.

Heat remaining 2 Tbsp. oil in a large skillet over medium. Cook garlic until it begins to sizzle and turn golden brown, 5–7 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to bowl with dressing. Increase heat to medium-high, add eggplant and 1 cup tomatoes, and cook, stirring occasionally, until eggplant is browned and cooked through and tomatoes begin to burst, about 6–8 minutes. Season with remaining 1/4 tsp. salt and transfer to bowl with dressing.

Cut remaining 1 cup tomatoes in half lengthwise and add to bowl with dressing. Add zucchini and squash; gently toss to combine. Add 3 Tbsp. olives and 2 Tbsp. basil, then transfer with tongs to a platter, letting extra liquid drain and remain in bowl. Lay mozzarella on 1 end of platter and drizzle with oil. Top dish with remaining 2 Tbsp. basil and 1 Tbsp. olives.

From Epicurious.com via Epicurious by Katherine Sacks, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/zucchini-noodles-with-eggplant-and-tomatoes

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Creamy Beet Dip

  • 1 1/2 pounds beets, halved
  • Parchment paper
  • 3/4 cup light sour cream
  • Juice and zest of 1 lemon
  • Pinch ground cardamom
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 small clove garlic
  • Whole-wheat pita wedges (optional)

Heat oven to 425°F. Roast beets on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, turning once halfway through, until soft, 45 to 60 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool. Peel beets under running water. In a food processor, combine beets, sour cream, 2 teaspoons juice, cardamom, salt and garlic; blend until smooth. Transfer to a bowl and garnish with zest to taste. Serve with pita, if desired.

From Epicurious.com via SELF by Liza Schoenfein, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/creamy-beet-dip-51170810

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Sauteed Eggplant and Cabbage Salad

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 6 cups coarsely chopped green cabbage (about 1 pound)
  • 1 1-pound eggplant, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes in juice
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh mint
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Heat oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add cabbage, eggplant and onion and sauté until almost tender, about 12 minutes. Add garlic and stir 2 minutes. Stir in paprika. Add tomatoes with juices and bring to boil. Cook until mixture thickens slightly, stirring frequently, about 15 minutes. Stir in mint, parsley and lemon juice. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cool to room temperature. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Bring to room temperature before serving.)

From Epicurious.com via Bon Appétit, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/sauteed-eggplant-and-cabbage-salad-5320

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