Winter CSA Share – #1

Welcome to the 1st share of the 2019/2020 Pitchfork & Crow Winter CSA!  Here’s what’s in the share this week:

  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Mustard Greens – These spicy greens can be used in salads, sautes, or soups. They can be used in place of kale, but they’ll wilt much faster when cooking.
  • Spinach Mix
  • Lacinato Kale
  • Mixed Carrots – Some of these carrots are on the small side, perfect for tossing with a little olive oil and salt and roasting up alone or with other rooty vegetables!
  • German Butterball Potatoes
  • Celery
  • Red Onion
  • Garlic
  • Rosemary
  • Kabocha Winter Squash – A dry-fleshed favorite, kabocha squash makes excellent pies and soups and is great roasted. These are a mix of varieties we grew this year including Winter Sweet and Sweet Mama.
  • Pie Pumpkin – The last of the pie pumpkins just in time for one more holiday pie!
  • Dried Apples – We grew ’em, we picked ’em, we dried ’em!
Hurrah for winter vegetables!

Welcome to the first week of the Winter CSA! We’ve had our sights set on this season’s vegetables for months now and we’re excited to kick it off with this first share of winter goodness. In my opinion winter offers up the best of local and seasonal eating along with long dark nights to spend in the kitchen cooking up good food. Frost sweetened greens can’t be beat. Roasted roots are always a winner. And soup season has never tasted so good!

As we begin this winter eating adventure, please know that we will be trying our darndest to bring you the best organic vegetables we can grow to each CSA pick-up over the next five months. As you know already, winter weather can be unpredictable and growing conditions are the most challenging through the winter months. Ice and snow can be game changers. Short cold days mean not much plant growth is happening at the moment so we’re relying on the planning and planting that happened last summer and fall. Luckily this is not our first rodeo, (in fact it’s our seventh!) and we’re getting the hang of this winter growing thing.

Here are a few reminders as we get going this winter season.

  • Don’t forget to share your cooking triumphs with other members in the P&C CSA member facebook group If you enjoyed a recipe we’d all love to hear about it!
  • Also, if you come across any unfamiliar vegetables, chances are you can look them up on the member website (which can double as an app on your phone!). There’s lots of other member resources over there that you should check out if you haven’t already.
  • Finally, let us know if you’re a member but you’re not seeing the weekly member email.  It serves as a good pick-up reminder and that’s where we’ll put any important member information as the season goes on. Remember what I said about unpredictable winter weather? That goes for pick-ups too and we’ll try to update you via email if there’s ever a hiccup on a scheduled pick-up day.

Most of you are returning members and you know the CSA drill already, but there are a handful of new members this season.  Either way, let us know if you have any questions on CSA logistics, or vegetables, or whatever else might come up.  We’re looking forward to a fantastic winter season, and hope you are too!

A little vacation fun between the two CSA seasons!

On a personal note, we’re thankful to all of our members who patiently waited out the two-week break between CSA seasons. We hope you found the time useful for using up all those lingering summer season vegetables and that you’re ready to jump back into the groove of a new CSA season!

We packed our break from harvesting full with off-farm adventures both near and far. Jeff made an extended trip to Alabama to visit his family after far too many years away. I (Carri) held down things at the farm and went on some more local hiking adventures in the forest and at the coast with our new dog Zeke. We caught up with some friends, we ate good food, and maybe we caught up on some sleep too. It was an appreciated break and we’re ready to get back to work!

Enjoy the vegetables and we’ll see you in two weeks!

Your farmers,
Carri Heisler & Jeff Bramlett

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Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:

This first recipe was suggested by longtime CSA member Megan R. as her favorite way to use mustard greens!:

Spicy Pork and Mustard Green Soup

  • 1/2 pound ground pork
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated peeled ginger
  • 1 teaspoon Sichuan peppercorns, crushed
  • 3/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds, coarsely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • Kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 bunch mustard greens, torn (about 4 cups)
  • 4 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon fish sauce (such as nam pla or nuoc nam)
  • 8 ounces wide rice noodles

Mix pork, garlic, ginger, Sichuan peppercorns, red pepper flakes, and cumin in a medium bowl. Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add pork mixture; season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring and breaking up with a spoon, until browned and cooked through, 8–10 minutes.

Add broth and bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer until flavors meld, 8–10 minutes. Add mustard greens, scallions, soy sauce, and fish sauce and cook, stirring occasionally, until greens are tender, 5–8 minutes; season with salt and black pepper.

Meanwhile, cook noodles according to package directions; drain.

Divide noodles among bowls and ladle soup over.

Also Try it With:Beet greens, kale, or turnip greens

From Epicurious.com via Bon Appétit by Alison Roman, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/spicy-pork-and-mustard-green-soup-51210260

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Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Garlic and Pancetta

  • 1 lb Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved (quartered if large)
  • 2 oz pancetta, visible fat discarded and pancetta minced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup water

Preheat oven to 450°F.

Toss together Brussels sprouts, pancetta, garlic, oil, and salt and pepper to taste in an 11- by 7-inch baking pan and spread in 1 layer.

Roast in upper third of oven, stirring once halfway through roasting, until sprouts are brown on edges and tender, about 25 minutes total. Stir in water, scraping up brown bits. Serve warm.

From Epicurious.com via Gourmet, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/roasted-brussels-sprouts-with-garlic-and-pancetta-104566

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Winter Squash with Browned Butter and Rosemary

  • 1 2-pound butternut squash, peeled, halved lengthwise, seeded, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices (or other winter squash/pumpkin)
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary

Steam squash until almost tender when pierced with fork, about 5 minutes. Cool squash slightly. Melt butter in large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Continue to cook until butter is golden brown and aromatic, about 2 minutes. Add squash and rosemary and toss until squash is tender, heated through and coated with browned butter, about 3 minutes. Season generously with salt and pepper.

From Epicurious.com via Bon Appétit, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/winter-squash-with-browned-butter-and-rosemary-102879

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