Winter CSA Share – #9

Welcome to the 9th share of the 2019/2020 Pitchfork & Crow Winter CSA! Here’s what’s in the share this week:

  • Red Cabbage
  • Giant Winter Spinach Mix
  • Lettuce Mix
  • Rainbow Chard
  • Collard Rapini – Like the kale in previous shares, the collards are going to flower. Fortunately they’re tasty at this stage! Use them like you would kale.
  • Red Cabbage Rapini – It’s rapini season and we don’t want you to miss out!
  • 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.
  • Carrots
  • Fingerling Potatoes
  • French Breakfast Radishes – A sure sign of spring, we bring you the humble radish.
  • 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.
  • Tetsukabuto Winter Squash – The longest storing winter squash around! They’re a butternut/kabocha cross, are the last squash standing, and luckily they’re tasty too! I think one last pie is in order before we say goodbye to the winter squash for the season.
  • Dried Plums or Dried Cherry Tomatoes – A flashback to last fall’s fruits when we dried these, we hope you enjoy the sweet treats!
  • Dried Apples – We grew ’em, we picked ’em, we dried ’em!

We’re down to the last 10 shares available for the Summer CSA. We’re filling up much faster than in past years, so now’s the time to sign-up if you want to join us for the Summer season of local, organic vegetables . Find all the details and a sign-up form over on the Summer CSA page.

Spring is here and it couldn’t have come any sooner!

Many thanks to everyone for a smooth CSA pick-up two weeks ago. We appreciate your help in keeping yourselves and your fellow CSA members safe and healthy. Fortunately it’s time once again for a new Winter share and we’re confident this pick-up will be as straight forward as the last one.

Here are some things to keep in mind at the pick-up:

  • Please stay home if you’re sick or vulnerable and send a friend or family-member. If that’s not possible, we’ll bag up your vegetables for you and bring them to your car.
  • We’ll mark you off the sign-in sheet when you arrive. Just remind us of your name and we’ll get you checked off.
  • Let’s continue to practice physical distancing. I’m sure we’re all getting good at keeping in mind a 6ft radius. Please be both patient and efficient as you and other members move through the pick-up and choose your vegetables.  This may mean building in extra time for the pick-up process and potentially waiting in your car until other members have finished their pick-up.
  • Try to choose your vegetables visually rather than touching multiple items before selecting your choice.
  • We’ll do your swapping again. Let us know what you’d like to add to the swap box and we’ll take care of it. You can remove the item(s) you’d like from the swap box.

Thanks for your help! If we are all aware of our space and try to be efficient, there shouldn’t be any problems for everyone to get their share.

The farmscape has been stormy and moody these past couple of weeks. Manic spring weather set in that was one minute sunshine and the next hailstorm. I actually lost track of how many times it hailed last week. The intermittent rain showers kept us out of the fields, but this week ahead is promising for field work. There are a handful of clean-up projects we need to get to before the planting marathon commences. Can you believe it’s April already?!

Harvest day!

We’re beginning to feel the pull of the summer growing season as we endeavor to wrap up this winter CSA season. Jeff has been mowing the dregs of winter crops: the cabbage stalks from harvested cabbages, the last of the chicory re-growth, the final winter ravaged and pick-over Brussels sprouts stalks. The propagation greenhouse, where we grow our transplants, is filling up with the next successions of cabbage and broccoli and tomatoes and onions. Lots of onions. Soon enough we’ll be finishing off the final winter harvest and planting, planting, planting for the summer ahead.

This push and pull between seasons is perhaps most felt in the high tunnels. Those covered greenhouse spaces provide protection for winter crops and also aid heat-loving summer crops. Somehow it never quite feels like enough space for everything. When do we decide to mow that beautiful chard so the tomatoes can go in? Should we move the tomatoes to a different house so the chard can go to seed? Will we be able to get chard seed next year given the rate of seed sales now? If we move the tomatoes to save the chard, they’ll bump the eggplant to a new location, but where? Outside? It’s a multi-dimensional, continuously evolving puzzle.

The propagation house is filling up! So many baby plants, including celery (left) and lettuce (right).

When we chose to begin farming back in 2009 we really didn’t know what we were getting into. We didn’t know a lot of things, and it’s possible we wouldn’t have chosen to begin farming had we known more. But the fundamentals of that choice are feeling more relevant these days. Back then we were inspired by our CSA farmers lifestyle and choices. They were building a local community around food and land. They were choosing to do the physical work of growing food for that community. It couldn’t have seemed like more important work at the time. And I’m reminded of that original commitment today. Growing fresh produce for this community is more important than ever and we’re glad to be doing it. Thanks for your continued support!

Enjoy the vegetables, stay healthy, and we’ll see you in two weeks for the final Winter share of the season!

Your farmers,
Carri Heisler & Jeff Bramlett

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Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:

Black Bean Chili with Butternut Squash and Swiss Chard

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 1/2 cups chopped onions
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 1/2 cups 1/2-inch pieces peeled butternut winter squash
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 3 15-ounce cans black beans, rinsed, drained
  • 2 1/2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 14 1/2-ounce can diced tomatoes in juice
  • 3 cups (packed) coarsely chopped Swiss chard leaves (from 1 small bunch)

Heat oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add onions and garlic; sauté until tender and golden, about 9 minutes. Add squash; stir 2 minutes. Stir in chili powder and cumin. Stir in beans, broth, and tomatoes with juices; bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, until squash is tender, about 15 minutes. Stir in chard; simmer until chard is tender but still bright green, about 4 minutes longer. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Ladle chili into bowls and serve.

From Epicurious.com via Bon Appétit, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/black-bean-chili-with-butternut-squash-and-swiss-chard-234146

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Deviled Eggs with Radishes, Chives, and Thyme

  • 10 large eggs, hard boiled, peeled
  • 1/4 cup plain nonfat yogurt or low-fat mayonaise
  • 4 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped radishes
  • 4 teaspoons chopped fresh chives
  • 4 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
  • Additional chopped fresh chives, thyme, and radishes
  • Whole radishes

Halve eggs lenghtwise and transfer yolks to medium bowl. Mash yolks with fork. Mix in yogurt or (mayonaise) and mustard. Mix in 1/3 cup radishes, 4 teaspoons chives and thyme. Season filling to taste with salt and generous amount of pepper.

Spoon filling into egg whites, mounding center. Top with additional chives, thyme, and radishes. Arrange on platter. Garnish with whole radishes.

From Epicurious.com via Bon Appétit, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/deviled-eggs-with-radishes-chives-and-thyme-101101

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Roasted Radishes with Brown Butter, Lemon, and Radish Tops

  • 2 bunches medium radishes (such as red, pink, and purple; about 20)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Coarse kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

Preheat oven to 450°F. Brush large heavy-duty rimmed baking sheet with olive oil. Cut off all but 1/2 inch of green radish tops; reserve trimmed tops and rinse them well, checking for grit. Coarsely chop radish tops and set aside. Cut radishes lengthwise in half and place in medium bowl. Add 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil and toss thoroughly to coat. Place radishes, cut side down, on prepared baking sheet; sprinkle lightly with coarse salt. Roast until radishes are crisp-tender, stirring occasionally, about 18 minutes. Season to taste with more coarse kosher salt, if desired.

Melt butter in heavy small skillet over medium-high heat. Add pinch of coarse kosher salt to skillet and cook until butter browns, swirling skillet frequently to keep butter solids from burning, about 3 minutes. Remove skillet from heat and stir in fresh lemon juice.

Transfer roasted radishes to warmed shallow serving bowl and drizzle brown butter over. Sprinkle with chopped radish tops and serve.

From Epicurious.com via Bon Appétit by Tasha de Serio, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/roasted-radishes-with-brown-butter-lemon-and-radish-tops-364609

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