Welcome to the 7th share of the Pitchfork & Crow 2020 Summer CSA! Here’s what’s in the share this week:
- Salad Mix – Lettuce and spinach this week.
- Butterhead Lettuce
- Lacinato Kale
- Broccoli or Cauliflower
- Snap Beans – A mix of green filet beans and purple-striped Dragon’s Tongue beans. Note the striped beans turn green when cooked.
- Cucumbers – choose from green and white slicers, lemons, and picklers too.
- Zucchini & Summer Squash – Zucchinis, yellow straight neck, and yellow pattypans all around!
- Sweet Onions
- German Butterball Potatoes
- Tomatoes – A mix of slicers and cherry tomatoes. Your choice!
- Yellow Transparent Apples – A delicate and soft early ripening apple best used for applesauce.
The sun decided to show up this week, and not a moment too soon. After an extended cool and wet spring we’re welcoming summer’s appearance here on the farm. Crops seemed to jump in height overnight. And of course, so did the weeds. We kept ourselves busy this week with the usual mid-July tasks: watering, weeding, planting, seed sowing, trellising etc.
A couple of CSA members stopped by Saturday for a socially distanced farm tour after a day of hiking. We were finishing up the week’s transplanting efforts and were able to show them our water wheel transplanter set-up. I thought I’d share a little about our transplanting process here as I don’t think I’ve touched on it recently.
Each winter we make a fairly detailed planting plan that includes crops we plan to grow and the timing and quantity of each succession. We prefer to start most crops in the propagation house as starts, which we then transplant as baby plants into the field. Some crops are direct sown, where we put the seed directly in the ground, but those seedlings have to compete with weeds germinating at the same time so direct sowing is not always ideal.
As starts begin to mature in the propagation greenhouse they’re moved outside to “harden off” in the elements. Giving them a taste of outdoor life in the wind and sun helps them adjust to field life quicker. Once the ground is prepped and the starts are hardened off we’re ready to transplant them into the field.
We place the flats of starts on a pallet on the front end of the tractor. Our water wheel transplanter hooks up to the back of the tractor. The transplanter is made up of a few different elements attached to a metal frame. These include a water tank, a wheel with adjustable spikes, a tray for holding starts, and a seat. As Jeff slowly drives the tractor down a bed I sit on the transplanter and plant. Water flows from the tank down into the wheel which rides along the ground creating a little muddy hole at each evenly spaced spot where a start should be planted.
Different crops need different spacing so we can either adjust the spikes on the wheel or skip holes in the ground to save time. This week we planted broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage at 20″ spacing, head lettuce and escarole at 10″ spacing, and basil and salad mix lettuce at 5″ spacing.
That’s how we plant out a field in a day without hurting our backs. It’s a system that’s worked well for us. Not too fancy and fiddly, but definitely a step up from bending over all day.
More of the same is on deck this week. We’ll be transplanting celery and rutabagas and finishing up a big weeding project in the leeks and celeriac.
Enjoy the vegetables and we’ll see you next week!
Carri Heisler & Jeff Bramlett
Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:
Mushroom and Kale Breakfast Skillet
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp. cumin seeds
- 1/2 tsp. coriander seeds
- 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
- 2 medium onions, halved, sliced lengthwise into 1/4″-thick strips
- 1 lb. mixed wild or crimini mushrooms, sliced 1/4″ thick
- 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes
- 2 Tbsp. red or white wine vinegar
- 1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
- 1 bunch curly kale, stems removed, torn into small pieces
- 8 large eggs
- Flaky sea salt, chopped parsley and/or cilantro, Aleppo-style pepper (optional), and lemon wedges (for serving)
Heat oil in a 12″ skillet over medium-high. Crush cumin, coriander, and red pepper with a mortar and pestle or heavy skillet. Add to hot oil in skillet and stir to coat. Add onions and mushrooms and cook, stirring often, until softened and lightly browned, 6–8 minutes. Add tomatoes, vinegar, and 1 tsp. kosher salt and stir to combine. Add kale, cover skillet, and cook, uncovering and tossing occasionally, until kale is wilted, 4–6 minutes. Season with remaining 1/2 tsp. kosher salt.
Make 8 indentations in vegetable mixture. Carefully crack an egg into each. Cover skillet and cook over medium-low heat, rotating skillet on burner halfway through to ensure even cooking, until egg whites are opaque and just set, 8–10 minutes. Top with sea salt, herbs, and Aleppo-style pepper (if using). Squeeze lemon juice over.
From Epicurious.com via Epicurious by Anna Stockwell, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/mushroom-and-kale-breakfast-skillet
Asian Turkey Lettuce Wraps
- 1 tablespoon peanut oil
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 1/4 pounds lean ground turkey
- 1/2 cup purchased Asian peanut sauce
- 1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce, plus additional soy sauce for dipping
- 1 cucumber, peeled, seeded, chopped (about 1 1/4 cups)
- 1/3 cup coarsely chopped fresh mint plus 1/3 cup small mint sprigs
Heat peanut oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and sauté until beginning to brown, about 3 minutes. Add turkey and sauté until brown and cooked through, breaking up with back of spoon, about 7 minutes. Add peanut sauce, hoisin sauce, and 1 tablespoon soy sauce; heat through. (Can be made 8 hours ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Reheat in microwave or skillet, adding water by tablespoonfuls to moisten if necessary, before continuing.) Stir in cucumber and chopped mint. Season with salt and pepper.
Transfer turkey mixture to medium bowl. Place mint sprigs and lettuce leaves on platter. To make wraps, spoon turkey mixture onto lettuce leaf, add a few mint sprigs, fold in sides over filling, and roll up. Pass additional soy sauce alongside wraps for dipping.
From Epicurious.com via Bon Appétit, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/asian-turkey-lettuce-wraps-106963
Roasted Potato Wedges with Cilantro-Lime Mayonnaise
- For potatoes:
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 pounds baking potatoes (about 4 medium), each cut into 8 wedges
- For cilantro-lime mayonnaise:
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro
- 2 teaspoons grated lime zest
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
Put a 4-sided sheet pan in lower third of oven and preheat oven to 450°F.
Stir cumin, oregano, and 3/4 teaspoon salt into oil in a large bowl. Add potatoes and toss. Arrange potatoes, cut sides down, in 1 layer in hot pan and roast, turning once, until golden, about 40 minutes.
Meanwhile, make mayonnaise:
Stir together mayonnaise, sour cream, cilantro, lime zest and juice, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a small serving bowl.
Serve potatoes with mayonnaise.
From Epicurious.com via Gourmet by Melissa Roberts, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/roasted-potato-wedges-with-cilantro-lime-mayonnaise-352775