Winter CSA Share – #7

Welcome to the 7th share of the 2019/2020 Pitchfork & Crow Winter CSA! Here’s what’s in the share this week:

  • January King Cabbage
  • Butterhead Lettuce
  • Spinach Mix
  • Rainbow Chard
  • MustardsNeed some mustard green inspiration? Check out the recipes at the bottom of the post!
  • 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.
  • Cilantro
  • Carrots
  • German Butterball Potatoes
  • Celeriac
  • 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.
  • Bunching Onions
  • Dried Apples – We grew ’em, we picked ’em, we dried ’em!

Only 3 more Winter CSA shares before the end of the season. Come 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 of course helps fund all the spring purchases like seeds and organic fertilizer).

Harvest day! Butterhead lettuce, January King cabbage, spinach, and purple sprouting broccoli!

Somehow we’ve already made it to March! Where has the winter gone? Honestly we’re enjoying the return of the daylight (the recent time change not withstanding) and glad to be trucking along through this Winter CSA season. The mild winter weather has made the season much more enjoyable than those icy/snowy/temperatures-in-the-teens years. Although the season is certainly shifting and plants are beginning to bolt, this week’s share is chock full of deliciousness!

The plums are flowering, the tomatoes are growing, the early potatoes are planted, and the cultivating tractor is up and running!

When not harvesting we’ve been busy shifting our focus to the summer season. Jeff spent some time rebuilding the engine on our little 1947 Farmall Cub cultivating tractor and then promptly used it to dig and cover trenches for the early potato planting. We’re glad to have it back in action! He also sowed the first of the carrots and peas that will be ready for early summer shares!

Things are starting to happen in the propagation house too. The tomatoes are growing taller and the leeks and onions are all standing up. Later this week I’ll be doing a big sowing of peppers, eggplant, broccoli, cauliflower, and kale. The 2020 growing season is about to get real!

Onward and upward! We upgraded the propagation mixing station! Isn’t it the best when you’ve got the right tool for the job?

Sometimes one change in the system leads to a domino of other changes. The new germination chamber is such a change. Once it was up and running it seemed obvious to want to move the propagation mixing station closer to the germ. chamber. That move prompted a rearrangement of the soil amendments in the barn to be closer to the mixing station. Hopefully one day we’ll move the whole propagation greenhouse to higher ground and in line with the germ. chamber. A girl can dream.

For now we’ve upgraded the mixing station, shortening the distance from filling and seeding flats and getting them into the chamber. We also added a cement mixer for mixing soil amendments which will hopefully decrease the time and physical effort that goes into preparing our potting soil. I’m pretty excited to try out the new system this week with that big seed sowing project I mentioned above.

A snapshot of the farm at sunset this past week.

We keep thinking the rain is going to show up for a spring drenching, but so far we’ve had just enough rain to keep plants happy in the fields. We’ve got our fingers crossed for a mild spring to follow this mild winter. Time will tell.

In the next couple of weeks we’ll be finishing up some bulk harvesting from the field (think more carrots and beets). Also on tap is some weeding in spring crops and endeavoring to get control of a grassy section that’s taken hold in the garlic planting. Plus there’s plenty of seeds to sow, mowing to undertake, and a long list of other winter projects we haven’t quite gotten to.

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:

Spinach, Mustard Green, and Potato Soup

  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cups chopped onions
  • 2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 8 cups (or more) water
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 bunch mustard greens (about 12 ounces), stems trimmed, leaves coarsely chopped
  • 1 10-ounce package fresh spinach, stems trimmed
  • Sour cream

Heat 2 tablespoons oil in heavy large pot over medium heat. Add onions and sauté until tender and golden, about 8 minutes. Add potatoes; sauté 3 minutes. Add 8 cups water and crushed red pepper. Bring to boil. Reduce heat. Simmer until potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil in another heavy large pot over medium heat. Add garlic; sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add mustard greens and all but 1 cup spinach leaves; sauté until wilted, about 3 minutes.

Add sautéed greens to potato mixture. Working in batches, purée soup in blender until smooth. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cool. Cover and refrigerate.) Return soup to pot. Bring to simmer, thinning with more water, if desired. Season soup to taste with salt and pepper.

Cut remaining 1 cup spinach leaves into 1/3-inch-wide slices. Ladle soup into bowls. Add dollop of sour cream to each bowl. Garnish soup with sliced spinach leaves and serve.

From via Bon Appétit,


Spicy Stir Fried Chicken and Greens with Peanuts

  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce, divided
  • 2 tablespoons dry Sherry, divided
  • 3 teaspoons Asian sesame oil, divided
  • 2 teaspoons golden brown sugar, divided
  • 1 1/4 pounds skinless boneless chicken breast halves, cut crosswise into 1/3-inch-wide strips
  • 3 tablespoons peanut oil, divided
  • 4 green onions, white parts and green parts chopped separately
  • 2 teaspoons chopped seeded serrano chiles
  • 1 large bunch greens (such as spinach, mustard greens, kale, or broccoli rabe; about 1 pound), thick stems removed, spinach left whole, other greens cut into 1-inch strips (about 10 cups packed)
  • 1/4 cup chopped roasted salted peanuts

Whisk 1 tablespoon soy sauce, 1 tablespoon Sherry, 1 teaspoon sesame oil, and 1 teaspoon sugar in medium bowl. Add chicken; marinade 20 to 30 minutes.

Whisk remaining 1 tablespoon soy sauce, 1 tablespoon Sherry, 2 teaspoons sesame oil, and 1 teaspoon sugar in small bowl and reserve.

Heat 2 tablespoons peanut oil in large nonstick skillet over high heat. Add white parts of onions and chiles; stir 30 seconds. Add chicken; stir-fry just until cooked through, about 3 minutes. Transfer chicken mixture to bowl. Add 1 tablespoon peanut oil to same skillet; heat over high heat. Add greens by large handfuls; stir just until beginning to wilt before adding more. Sauté just until tender, 1 to 6 minutes, depending on type of greens. Return chicken to skillet. Add reserved soy sauce mixture; stir until heated through, about 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to serving bowl; sprinkle with green parts of onions and peanuts.

From via Bon Appétit by Molly Stevens,


Potato, Greens, and Goat Cheese Quesadillas

  • 1 1/3 cups 1/2-inch cubes peeled Yukon Gold potatoes (about 2 medium)
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 1/3 cups (packed) coarsely grated hot pepper Monterey Jack cheese (5 to 6 ounces)
  • 1 1/3 cups jarred salsa verde (tomatillo salsa)
  • 4 2/3 cups coarsely chopped stemmed mustard greens (from 1 bunch), divided
  • 4 8-inch-diameter flour tortillas
  • 3 ounces chilled fresh goat cheese, coarsely crumbled
  • Olive oil
  • (Plus how does this recipe not include cilantro?)

Place baking sheet in oven and preheat to 275°F. Steam potatoes until tender, about 8 minutes. Place in large bowl; sprinkle with salt, pepper, and chili powder. Toss to coat. Cool potatoes 15 minutes. Mix in Jack cheese. Meanwhile, blend salsa and 2/3 cup (packed) greens in mini processor until greens are finely chopped.

Arrange tortillas on work surface. Divide remaining greens between bottom half of each. Top greens with potato mixture, then goat cheese and 2 tablespoons salsa mixture for each. Fold plain tortilla halves over filling, pressing to compact. Brush with oil.

Heat large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Place 2 quesadillas, oiled side down, in skillet. Brush tops with oil. Cook until quesadillas are brown, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer to sheet in oven to keep warm. Repeat with remaining 2 quesadillas.

Cut each quesadilla into 3 or 4 wedges. Serve with remaining salsa.

From via Bon Appétit,