Winter CSA Share – #3

Welcome to the 3rd share of the 2019/2020 Pitchfork & Crow Winter CSA! Here’s what’s in the share this week:

  • January King Cabbage – A cabbage just for January!
  • Castelfranco Radicchio Chicory – Castelfranco is another of the mildly bitter, amazingly cold-hardy radicchio varieties we grow. We like to eat it in winter salads and it’s often the basis of our winter salad mixes.
  • Spinach Mix
  • Lacinato Kale Rapini – The warm-ish weather we’ve been having lately has begun to trick plants into thinking we’re closer to spring than we really are. Our lacinato kale has been the first to show signs of going to flower, but luckily it’s tasty as all get out at this stage!
  • Carrots
  • Chioggia Beets – bullseye beets, great for roasting!
  • Sweet Potatoes – we love you sweet potatoes, but gosh we wish you weren’t so persnickety.
  • Rose Finn Apple Fingerling Potatoes – an old English potato variety great steamed, roasted, or baked.
  • Watermelon Radishes – a winter radish treat!
  • Red & Yellow Onions
  • Garlic
  • Leeks
  • Candystick Dessert Delicata Squash
  • Gill’s Golden Pippin Acorn Squash
  • Dried Apples – We grew ’em, we picked ’em, we dried ’em!

Summer CSA sign-up time has arrived! We’ve opened up memberships to the 2020 Summer CSA and we hope you’ll join us for a summer and fall of local, seasonal, and organic vegetables. Find all the details and a sign-up form over on the Summer CSA page.

Finding color in the winter landscape: sun -kissed January King cabbage and watermelon radishes bringing the pinks and purples to this week’s share.

Having one eye on the weather forecast seems to be the name of the game in farming, especially when growing through the winter season. We’ve been through enough winter growing seasons to know to expect the unexpected, but it doesn’t stop me from reading the extended forecasts like tea leaves. Most winters here in the Willamette Valley are mild enough for cold-hardy plants to survive the winter months in the field, think kale, cabbage, Brussels sprouts. We’ve got several high tunnels for the more tender greens like mustards, spinach, and lettuce. When the temperatures dip into the teens or we experience extended snow or ice storms, that’s what we call a game-changer and all bets are off as to what crops will make it through to the other side.

Since we last met two weeks back a projected winter storm has been making forecasting news and up until Sunday it still looked like we might see some real winter weather this week. Fortunately for us all, it looks like the farm is missing the worst of this one. The crop-killing single-digit temperatures and high tunnel-crushing snow that were supposed to be headed our way are holding off for another day, or week, or month. Only time will tell.

Winter on the farm: paperwork (that’s the farm’s 2019 season in a box on the left and USDA surveys in the middle) and the occasional beauty of a sunset!

We’ve been hunkered down on the farm lately, letting the winter wind storms pass by while trying to also be productive. The threat of snow this week meant beginning the share harvest early. Over the past week Jeff has juggled the early harvest with winter machine maintenance. Changing out tiller tines and mower flails, greasing the things that need greasing, cleaning up after last season in preparation for the season ahead. Though I did get in on the early harvest action this weekend, I’ve been mostly focused on the paperwork side of things. The end of the year means tax prep and filing, annual financial statements for our loan officer, filling out USDA farm surveys, farm budgeting, crop planning spreadsheets, seed order wrangling, website updates, CSA launch, and invoicing. We’ve both got lists of To Dos and we’re slowly making our way through them.

The weeks ahead will see more of the same winter work. We’ve got some small infrastructure projects on deck too. And of course we’ll be watching the weather forecasts for the next big winter storm, hoping the snow and ice stay at higher elevations.

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

Your farmers,
Carri Heisler & Jeff Bramlett


Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:

Maple-Roasted Delicata Squash with Red Onion

  • 3 medium Delicata squash (about 3 pounds), halved lengthwise, seeded, and cut into 1/4-inch thick slices (or acorn squash!)
  • 2 medium red onions, halved lengthwise and cut into 1/2-inch rings
  • 5 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
  • 4 fresh thyme sprigs
  • 1/2 teaspoon red-pepper flakes
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • Kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper

Arrange the racks in the upper and lower rungs in the oven and preheat the oven to 425°F degrees. Place the squash, red onion, garlic, thyme, and red pepper flakes in a large bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and maple syrup, and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper; toss to coat.

Spread vegetables evenly onto two large, rimmed baking sheets. Bake the squash on the upper and lower racks of the oven, tossing, rotating, and switching the pan positions half way through cooking, until tender and browned, 25 to 30 minutes. Taste and season again with more salt and pepper, if desired.

From Epicurious by Leah Koenig,


Smoked Sausage, Kale, and Potato Soup

  • 4 ounces smoked fully cooked sausage (such as kielbasa or hot links), sliced into rounds
  • 2 3/4 cups canned low-salt chicken broth
  • 3/4 pound small red-skinned potatoes, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 5 cups thinly sliced trimmed kale leaves (about 3/4 of medium bunch) or 3/4 of 10-ounce package frozen chopped kale, thawed, drained
  • 1/4 teaspoon caraway seeds, lightly crushed

Sauté sausage slices in heavy medium saucepan over medium-high heat until beginning to brown, about 3 minutes. Add chicken broth, sliced potatoes and white wine and bring mixture to boil. Reduce heat to medium, cover and simmer until potatoes are almost tender, about 10 minutes.

Add kale and caraway seeds to soup. Simmer soup uncovered until potatoes and kale are very tender, about 10 minutes longer. Season soup to taste with salt and pepper. Ladle soup into bowls and serve immediately.

From via Bon Appétit,


Potato and Autumn Vegetable Hash

  1. Herb oil:
    • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
    • 1/3 cup olive oil
    • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
    • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh Italian parsley
    • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
  2. Hash:
    • 6 1-to 1 1/4-inch-diameter golden baby beets with green tops attached (about 1 bunch)
    • 6 1- to 11/4-inch-diameter candy-cane striped (Chioggia) baby beets with green tops attached (about 1 bunch)
    • 1 2-pound butternut squash, peeled, halved, seeded, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 4 cups) (Any type of winter squash could be substituted here)
    • 1 1/2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 3 cups)
    • 1 pound garnet yams or other yams (red-skinned sweet potatoes), peeled, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 2 cups)
    • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

For herb oil:

Whisk all ingredients in small bowl. DO AHEAD: Can be made 4 days ahead. Cover and chill. Bring to room temperature and rewhisk before using.

For hash:

Preheat oven to 350°F. Cut greens and stems off all beets; discard stems. Coarsely chop enough beet greens to measure 4 loosely packed cups. Bring medium saucepan of salted water to boil. Add greens and cook just until wilted, about 1 minute. Drain well. Set aside. Scrub beets; place in 8x8x2-inch glass baking dish. Pour half of herb oil over beets; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cover baking dish with foil and roast beets until tender when pierced with small sharp knife, about 1 hour. Remove from oven and let beets stand until cool enough to handle. Peel beets; cut into 1/2-inch pieces and reserve. DO AHEAD: Beet greens and beets can be made 1 day ahead. Cover separately and chill.

Increase oven temperature to 375°F. Combine squash, potatoes, and yams in large bowl. Add remaining herb oil and toss to coat. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Spread vegetable mixture evenly on large rimmed baking sheet. Roast until vegetables are tender when pierced with knife and lightly browned around edges, stirring and turning vegetables occasionally, about 50 minutes. DO AHEAD: Can be made 2 hours ahead. Let stand uncovered at room temperature. Rewarm in 350°F oven until heated through, about 15 minutes.

Stir beets and beet greens into roasted vegetables; dot with butter cubes and continue to roast just until beets are heated through, 5 to 10 minutes. Transfer vegetable mixture to large bowl and serve.

From via Bon Appétit by Josie Le Balch,



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