Summer CSA Share – #24

Welcome to the 24th share of the Pitchfork & Crow Summer CSA!  Here’s what’s in the share this week:

  • Spinach Mix
  • Bok Choy or Mixed Mustards
  • Parsley
  • Cabbage
  • Red Toch Garlic – Big heads of garlic originally from the Republic of Georgia.
  • Shunkyo Long Pink Radishes – An unusually sweet long radish with tasty greens too.
  • Celeriac – aka celery root, celeriac is a wonderful root that tastes of celery and adds flavor to soups and stews, makes a great puree and gratin alongside potatoes, and can be grated raw into salads.
  • Broccoli or Cauliflower
  • Bulgarian Carrot Peppers
  • Farm Apples
  • Gill’s Golden Pippin Acorn Winter Squash – Our favorite acorn, though small it’s a tasty squash that deserves a spot at the top of the winter squash list.
Harvesting bok choy out of a field house yesterday (left) and the striking Shunkyo Long Pink Radishes (right).

This week on the farm was a slow push forward on fall projects. At this point in the season we’ve got one eye on the finish line and one eye on the perpetual to do list. There’s still plenty of projects to work on, though the work has shifted from the maniacal cycle of ground prep and planting that consumes much of the summer. Now is when we take stock of the season behind us and begin to contemplate the season ahead of us. What went well? What could have been better? What can we do to set up next year for success?

In addition to too much time spent weeding field house crops we managed to eek out a few other projects this week. Often we abandon the tomato house clean-up until spring when it’s time to sow spring greens, but not this year. This past week we spent some time dismantling the twine trellising, pulling up t-posts, clearing out plant debris, and rolling up and storing the drip irrigation tubing. That house is now ready to be fertilized for winter/spring crops! Progress!

For many years we’ve talked about pre-fertilizing beds in the fall for spring planting. Often the planting windows are few and far between in our rainy spring seasons and we find ourselves pushing to work the ground too early and too wet. This dry weather of late has been weird, and a little worrisome, but also afforded us a little time to get our act together and prep some beds for early planting for once. We covered these early beds with sheets of plastic to keep the rain from leaching out the nutrients over the winter. Fingers crossed we’ll have some dryish planting space come spring. Again, progress!

A new common view, this new dog has really taken to Jeff! Can you spot him keeping up with the tractor?

Last week I introduced our new farm dog. In addition to the projects I mentioned above, this week has been all about settling into life with this new addition. We’ve all been getting to know each other’s quirks and he’s really taken to Jeff, rarely letting him out of sight if possible. Admittedly it’s been fun having a new distraction on the farm (though I think Jeff could use some alone time soon). It looks like we’ve settled on a new name and we’ve taken to calling him Zeke. You’ll be able to find the three of us trying to stay out of trouble, and marking more of those projects of that perpetual list on the farm this week.

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:

Stir-Fried Bok Choy and Cabbage

  • 1 pound bok choy
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 pound Savoy or Napa cabbage, cored and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon Asian sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon sesame seeds, toasted

Trim 1/8 inch from bottom of bok choy, then quarter lengthwise and thinly slice crosswise.

Heat a 14-inch flat-bottomed wok or 12-inch heavy skillet over high heat until a drop of water evaporates instantly. Pour vegetable oil down side of wok, swirling to coat sides. Add garlic and stir-fry 10 seconds. Add cabbage and 1/4 teaspoon salt and stir-fry 3 minutes. Add bok choy and stir-fry until ribs are crisp-tender, about 4 minutes. Serve drizzled with sesame oil and sprinkled with sesame seeds.

From Epicurious.com via Gourmet by Melissa Roberts, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/stir-fried-bok-choy-and-cabbage-352772

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Braised Chicken with Celery Root and Garlic

  • 3 lb chicken parts such as breasts and thighs (with skin and bone) and drumsticks
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 celery root (sometimes called celeriac; 1 1/4 lb), peeled with a sharp knife and cut into 3/4-inch cubes
  • 1 head garlic, cloves separated and left unpeeled
  • 1 1/4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth (10 fl oz)
  • 2 fresh thyme sprigs

Pat chicken dry and sprinkle all over with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then brown chicken, starting skin sides down, turning over once, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a plate and pour off all but 1 tablespoon fat from skillet.

Add butter to skillet and heat over moderately high heat until foam subsides, then sauté celery root and garlic, stirring frequently, until celery root is browned, about 5 minutes.

Add broth and thyme and deglaze skillet by boiling, stirring and scraping up any brown bits, 1 minute. Return chicken, skin sides up, to skillet along with any juices accumulated on plate, then reduce heat and simmer, covered, until chicken is cooked through, 15 to 20 minutes for white meat, about 25 minutes for dark meat. Transfer chicken to a serving bowl as cooked and keep warm, loosely covered with foil.

When all chicken pieces are done cooking, transfer sauce and vegetables to bowl with chicken, discarding thyme.

From Epicurious.com via Gourmet, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/braised-chicken-with-celery-root-and-garlic-231183

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Acorn Squash Stuffed with Wild Rice, Hazelnuts and Dried Cranberries

  • 7 cups water
  • 2 cups wild rice (about 12 ounces)
  • 3 small acorn squash (each about 10 to 12 ounces), cut in half, seeded
  • 2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter
  • 2 cups finely chopped onions
  • 2 teaspoons crumbled dried sage leaves
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons dried cranberries (about 3 1/2 ounces)
  • 1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons chopped toasted hazelnuts (about 3 ounces)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

Bring 7 cups water and rice to boil in heavy large saucepan. Reduce heat; cover and simmer until rice is tender, about 1 hour. Drain. Transfer rice to large bowl.

Preheat oven to 375°F. Oil baking sheet. Place squash, cut side down, on sheet. Bake until tender, about 40 minutes. Cool. Using spoon, scoop out pulp from squash, leaving 1/4-inch-thick shell; reserve shells. Transfer pulp to medium bowl. Reduce oven temperature to 350°F.

Melt butter in large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onions; sauté until very tender, about 15 minutes. Add sage; stir 2 minutes. Add rice, squash pulp and lemon juice; stir until mixed, breaking up squash pulp into smaller pieces. Mix in 1/2 cup cranberries, 1/2 cup hazelnuts and parsley. Season with salt and pepper.

Divide rice mixture among reserved squash shells. Place in roasting pan. (Can be made 6 hours ahead. Cover and chill.)

Bake squash until filling is heated through, about 25 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining 3 tablespoons cranberries and 3 tablespoons hazelnuts.

From Epicurious.com via Bon Appétit, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/acorn-squash-stuffed-with-wild-rice-hazelnuts-and-dried-cranberries-15576

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