Winter CSA Share – #6

Welcome to the 6th share of the 2019/2020 Pitchfork & Crow Winter CSA! Here’s what’s in the share this week:

  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Lettuce & Spinach Mix
  • 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 (PSB) – 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.
  • Purple Cape – Broccoli-like in texture but heading like cauliflower, Purple Cape is like magic when it succeeds. There aren’t a lot of things that come on in February, but Purple Cape is a champ like that. Treat it like your PSB above.
  • Parsley
  • Beets
  • Sunchokes (aka Jerusalem Artichokes) – These are roots of a sunflower variety.  We enjoy them shredded and sauteed but they’re good raw, roasted, and in soups too.  Please note that they contain high levels of the carbohydrate inulin, which is difficult for some folks to digest, but is thought to be a good alternative for diabetics looking to avoid starch.  Here’s a post about how one fellow CSA member learned to love the sunchoke back in 2017.
  • Bora King Radishes – More purple daikons, excellent for shredding into salads or dicing and roasting.
  • Hakurei Salad Turnips – Good raw in salads or roasted with other rooty vgetables.
  • Red or 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.
  • Shallots
  • 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.
  • Dried Apples – We grew ’em, we picked ’em, we dried ’em!

National CSA Day is Feb. 28th! Celebrate CSAs by signing up for a share this week. 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).

A taste of spring: signs of growth in our kitchen onions (top left), flowering arugula weeds (top right), baby tomatoes (bottom left), and purple cape cauliflower (bottom right).

We’ve been enjoying an extended version of the February fakeout these past couple of weeks. Not knowing where the weather is headed from week to week is par for the course this time of year, but the arrival of some sunshine has brightened our spirits somewhat. It looks like rain is on the horizon again. Hopefully we’ve taken advantage of these sunny days. Once the rain begins all bets are off as to when we’ll see the sun again.

The lacinato kale rapini and purple sprouting broccoli are sure signs that winter is progressing along. We’re seeing various overwintering plants bolting as they turn toward flowering and seed production, spurred on by the warmth of the last couple of weeks and ever increasing daylight hours. Soon we’ll be deep in rapini management of all the various brassica crops including kale, cabbage, brussels sprouts, and collards to avoid crossing with our Brussels sprouts and rutabaga seed crops. This management requires monitoring plants that are close to flowering and snapping off any shoots that might flower before we’re ready to harvest rapini again.

We hosted a tour for two groups of attendees from the Organic Seed Growers Conference.

We’ve had seed on our mind a lot lately, and not just because we’re in the midst of the first seedings of the season. Just after the last winter CSA pick-up two weeks ago we hosted a couple of tours from the Organic Seed Growers Conference held at OSU in Corvallis. Organic seed growers and breeders gathered from all over the world to discuss the state of organic seed, seed research, and share seed growing strategies.

We were a stop on the tour just after our friends at Adaptive Seeds, who buys some of the small amount of seed we produce each year. Though we only grow a handful of small seed crops each year the tour organizers thought our small scale would be a helpful comparison to other operations that focus solely on seed production. We talked to the tour participants about our small scale, how we overlap seed production with vegetable production, and why we keep growing seed. It was a good review for us as well. Growing seed is such a small part of our farming experience that I often forget it’s one of our endeavors.

Time to sow the leeks!

The seed theme has continued on after the tours and conference. It’s that time of year I guess. As we awaken the farm for the season we start with the seeds. The tomatoes are now showing their true leaves and the leeks and onions are just beginning to germinate. We also recently direct sowed some crops in empty high tunnel beds including some arugula, lettuce, and bok choy. It’s been awfully nice to get our hands on some seeds and play in the dirt. A welcome shift from the spreadsheets and paperwork that seem to sometimes consume winter days.

In the week ahead Jeff will be finishing up a rebuild on our little 1947 Farmall Cub tractor in anticipation of the coming need for field cultivation. I’ll be playing with more seeds and finishing up the last of the winter paperwork. The end is in sight! Together we’ll soon be tackling some orchard pruning and endeavoring to do some bulk harvesting of carrots, beets, and cabbage. Keeping it real!

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:

Roasted Beets with Parsley

  • 3 pounds beets (10 to 15 medium)
  • 1/4 cup packed fresh flat-leafed parsley leaves
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Preheat oven to 475°F.

Trim beets, leaving about 1 inch of stems attached. Wrap beets tightly in double layers of foil to make 3 packages and roast until tender, about 1 hour.

When beets are cool enough to handle, slip off skins and stems and cut each beet into about 6 wedges. Beets may be prepared up to this point 1 day ahead and chilled, covered. Transfer beets to a baking dish and cover with foil. Reduce temperature to 375°F. and reheat beets until heated through, about 20 minutes.

While beets are reheating, put parsley in a small bowl and with kitchen shears very coarsely snip.

Toss beets with butter, parsley, and salt and pepper to taste.

From via Gourmet,


Pan-Fried Jerusalem Artichokes in Sage Butter

  • 3 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound Jerusalem artichokes,* scrubbed, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick rounds
  • 3 tablespoons coarsely torn fresh sage leaves, divided
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley

Melt 1 tablespoon butter with olive oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add Jerusalem artichokes and half of sage. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Sauté until brown and just beginning to soften, turning frequently, about 10 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer Jerusalem artichokes to shallow serving bowl. Add remaining 2 tablespoons butter and sage to skillet; fry until sage darkens and begins to crisp, about 30 seconds. Add lemon juice; simmer 1 minute. Pour lemon-sage butter over Jerusalem artichokes in bowl, tossing to coat. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with parsley.

From via Bon Appétit by Bruce Aidells & Nancy Oakes,


Vegetable Kimchi

  • 2 pounds crunchy vegetables (such as radishes, asparagus, carrots, cucumbers, beets, or turnips), cut into 3/4″ pieces
  • 3 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 10 scallions, cut on a diagonal into 1″ pieces
  • 1/3 cup gochugaru (coarse Korean red pepper powder) or 4 1/2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes, finely ground
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped garlic
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped peeled ginger

In a large bowl, toss together vegetables, salt, and sugar. Let sit at room temperature 1–3 hours for juices to release. Add scallions, gochugaru, garlic, fish sauce, and ginger; toss to coat.

Divide kimchi between two 1-qt. jars, distributing liquid evenly and leaving 1″ headspace.

Eat immediately or let sit on countertop 2 days to allow fermentation to begin before refrigerating. Flavors will deepen over time.

From via Bon Appétit by Sohui Kim of Insa,



One thought on “Winter CSA Share – #6

  1. cindy ulshafer says:

    So cool that you’re on the organic seed grower tour! I would think growing seeds is a whole new ballgame beyond the huge job you have of growing organic produce. Impressive!


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