Winter CSA Share – #5

Welcome to the 5th share of the 2019/2020 Pitchfork & Crow Winter CSA! Here’s what’s in the share this week:

  • Red Cabbage
  • Chicory & Spinach Mix – We’ll likely enjoy this as a salad mix this week, but you may prefer to cook it if you’re not yet a fan of chicory. Don’t forget that citrus and creamy dressings both pair well with chicories.
  • Lacinato Kale Rapini – The lacinato kale has decided it’s time to head to flower, but we know these shoots are the tastiest. Use it as you would kale or broccoli.
  • Purple Sprouting Broccoli – planted last August this sprouting broccoli hangs out in the field all fall and much of the winter to only begin sprouting now, just when we could really use some broccoli. Chop it up, stems and leaves and all, and enjoy in any recipe you’d normally use broccoli florets for.
  • Carrots
  • Strawberry Paw Red Potatoes
  • Bora King Radish – a purple daikon, excellent for shredding into salads or dicing and roasting.
  • Leeks
  • Red & Yellow Onions – The onions are coming out of dormancy and wanting to fulfill their seedy potential through re-growth so you may find a green sprout in the middle. As long as the onion is firm and oniony it’s all still edible, just trim around the sprout if you prefer.
  • Garlic – garlic also wants to begin growing again and you may encounter some sprouting cloves. Eat it up, sprout and all, soon or find a spot in the garden to plant it to then harvest a small garlic bulb come the summer.
  • Mixed Winter Squash – We’re coming to the end of the winter squash train for this season. These are not long for this world so eat them up sooner than later.
  • 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.

All our thanks to those who have committed to the 2020 Summer CSA season! Knowing we’ll have members to feed warms our hearts (and relieves some of the winter jitters too).

Winter eating at its best: chicory and spinach mix and purple sprouting broccoli!

The combination of this past weekend’s wonderfully sunny weather and this season’s first harvest of purple sprouting broccoli (PSB) has me thinking we’ve turned a corner on winter. More likely we just experienced a bit of February fakeout this weekend, wherein it feels like spring has arrived. But there’s still PSB to eat so I’d say it’s a win.

Re-planting onion bulbs for seed production. Thankful for the beds we prepped last fall and the helpful worm friends for the great soil tilth.

Another sign we’re on the other side of winter is the welcomed lengthening of the daylight hours. As the sun returns outdoor work hours (without a headlamp) also increase and it finally feels like we can get through a project or two before dark descends. The lengthening of the days is not just helpful for our work and mental state though. Its also a sign to many plants that it’s time to wake up from winter dormancy. The fruit trees are starting to bud out, the garlic in the field is shooting up, and rapini season has arrived as the overwintered brassica plants begin to stretch and eventually flower.

Last Saturday I spent some time re-planting onion bulbs for seed production. The bulbs were grown by our friends at Adaptive Seeds last year and then stored through the winter. Now they’re back in the ground here at our farm, ready to begin their second season of growth as they grow flower stalks and eventually set seed this summer. We’ll harvest the seed and send it back to Adaptive Seeds for future sales.

Just like these onions for seed production, you may notice signs of growth in the onions and garlic in your kitchen. Although the sprouts are edible, you’ll want to eat them up quick!

The finished germination chamber, with flats of tomatoes germinating soon (right) and a recent sunset viewed from the germ. chamber door (left).

Just in time for the first propagation of the season, we finished up the new germination chamber. The first round of tomatoes kicked off the seed-sowing season for 2020 and they’re just beginning to show signs of life. The germ. chamber is set-up with a small heater connected to a thermostat plus a small crockpot to help keep the humidity higher. It’s a sauna for seeds! Once the seeds germinate the flats are moved over to the propagation greenhouse until they’re big enough to be planted into the field or high tunnels.

It won’t be long before we’re once again in full production mode and transplanting the first crops. Luckily there’s a little winter left before that. We’ve still got a list of projects we’d like to get to first.

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:

Crispy Chicken and Potatoes with Cabbage Slaw

  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 1/4 teaspoons ground cumin, divided
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper, divided
  • 12 ounces baby Yukon Gold potatoes, halved (about 2 cups)
  • 8 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (about 2 pounds), trimmed of excess skin and fat, patted dry
  • 2 1/2 cups very thinly sliced red cabbage (from about 1/4 medium cabbage)
  • 1/2 cup very thinly sliced red onion (about 1/4 onion)
  • 1/4 cup chopped mint
  • 1–2 tablespoons very thinly sliced jalapeño
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon honey

Place a rack in top third of oven; preheat to 425°F. Mix 1/4 cup oil, 1 Tbsp. plus 1 tsp. cumin, 1 1/2 tsp. salt, and 1 1/2 tsp. pepper in a large bowl. Add potatoes and toss to coat. Arrange potatoes on a rimmed baking sheet. Add chicken to bowl and toss to coat. Arrange skin side up on baking sheet in between potatoes.

Roast chicken and potatoes, tossing potatoes halfway through, until potatoes are crispy, chicken skin is browned, and an instant-read thermometer inserted near bone registers 165°F, 30–35 minutes.

Meanwhile, toss cabbage, onion, mint, and jalapeño in a large bowl. Cook vinegar, honey, and remaining 2 Tbsp. oil, 1/4 tsp. salt, 1/4 tsp. pepper, and 1/4 tsp. cumin in a small saucepan over medium heat until warmed through. Pour hot dressing over cabbage mixture and toss to coat. Let sit until ready to use.

Divide remaining 4 chicken thighs, potatoes, and slaw among plates.

From Epicurious.com via Epicurious by David Tamarkin, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/crispy-chicken-and-potatoes-with-cabbage-slaw

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Chicory and Carrot Salad

  • 2 teaspoon Sherry vinegar (available at specialty foods shops and supermarkets)
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon-style mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon water
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 bunch of chicory, rinsed, spun dry, and torn into pieces (about 4 cups packed)
  • 1/2 cup coarsely grated carrot

In a bowl whisk together the vinegar, the mustard, the sugar, the water, and salt and pepper to taste, add the oil in a stream, whisking, and whisk the dressing until it is emulsified. Add the chicory and the carrot and toss the salad well.

From Epicurious.com via Gourmet, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/chicory-and-carrot-salad-12744

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Acorn Squash with Kale and Sausage

  • 2 medium acorn squash, halved down the middle, seeds removed
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Olive oil cooking spray
  • 3 teaspoons olive oil, divided
  • 8 ounces hot Italian turkey sausage, casings removed
  • 1 large leek, white and light green parts only, halved and sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 4 cups tightly packed torn kale
  • 1/3 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 2 tablespoons grated fresh Parmesan
  • 2 tablespoons panko breadcrumbs

Heat oven to 375°. Cut a thin slice off round side of each squash half to create a stable base. Sprinkle with salt and pepper; coat with cooking spray. Place squash flesh side down on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil; bake until golden and tender, 30 minutes. Remove from oven; flip squash and set aside. Heat broiler. In a large nonstick skillet over medium heat, heat 1 teaspoon oil. Add sausage; cook, breaking into coarse pieces, until brown, 6 minutes; transfer to a bowl. To same skillet, add remaining 2 teaspoons oil and leek; cook until leek is soft, 3 minutes. Add garlic; cook, 30 seconds. Add kale and toss; add broth. Cover and cook until kale is tender, 5 minutes; stir in sausage. Divide kale-sausage filling among squash. In a bowl, combine walnuts, Parmesan and panko; sprinkle evenly over squash bowls and coat with cooking spray. Broil until panko is golden, 2 minutes.

From Epicurious.com via SELF by Larraine Perri, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/acorn-squash-with-kale-and-sausage-51203850

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