Welcome to the 14th share of the Pitchfork & Crow 2020 Summer CSA! Here’s what’s in the share this week:
- Escarole – a lettuce-like green that’s slightly hardier and can hold up to grilling or cooking though we’ve had some epic salads with it this past week too.
- Banana Fingerling Potatoes
- Sweet Corn
- Desert Sunrise Red Onions
- Mixed Snap Beans – more mixed dragon’s tongue and maxibel haricot vert beans this week.
- Cucumbers – choose from slicers, lemons, and picklers too.
- Zucchini & Summer Squash
- Thai Hot Peppers
- Jimmy Nardello Sweet Peppers – These long red peppers look hot, but they’re not!
- Slicer Tomatoes
- Cherry Tomatoes
- Mixed Watermelons
Winter CSA Sign-up is Happening! Many thanks to everyone who has already jumped into the upcoming 2020/2021 Winter CSA. After just a week of accepting memberships we’re already 65% full for the Winter season that begins in December. We appreciate the enthusiasm for winter vegetables! If you haven’t yet sign-up you can get all the details and a link to the sign-up form right here.
I remember sitting at our kitchen table last December and dreaming of summer melons. We’d roughly outlined bed quantities of each crop type that we planned to grow for the upcoming season and it was time to choose varieties. I’d made it to “M” and the 2020 melons were up next. Over the years we’ve found a handful of melon varieties that have fit our needs well. Our top two stalwarts include a Tuscan cantaloupe called Tirreno and an orange honeydew called Honey Orange. They’re both dependable and forgiving and delicious and I sure hope neither of them disappear from the seed catalogs anytime soon.
As I searched through melon varieties I was hoping to round out our melon offerings a bit more than just those two superstars. There had to be more options worth adding to the must-grow list. I think we’ve stumbled upon some winners this year. We’ve brought back the yellow and green mottled Lambkin, a unique Piel de Sapo (aka Christmas melon) variety, and added in Brilliant, a yellow canary type. Both have sweet white flesh and they’ve added a new depth to our melon offerings.
This week we’re bringing you all the ripe watermelons we could find in the patch. (At least my thumping and general intuition suggests that they’re ripe.) The cold/rainy June didn’t give the watermelons a great start but we’ve still managed a good diversity of some mighty melons to share with you. Here’s a list of the five watermelon varieties that made the list this season:
- Starlight F1 – round, red flesh, green with black stripes
- Sweet Dakota Rose – round, pink flesh, light green with black stripes
- Janosik – round, yellow flesh, dark green rind
- Klondike Blue – oblong, red flesh, light green with dark green stripes
- Fantasy F1 – oblong, red flesh, dark green with light green stripes
Hopefully that will give you an idea of which watermelon type you’re cutting into at home. Hurrah for melon season! We find it’s fast and fleeting and we hope you’re enjoying it as much as we are this season.
The big summer harvests continue this week, beyond melons. It’s a good week for cauliflower and broccoli lovers and we’re bringing you the first of the freshly dug main season 2020 potatoes. And we’ve got more delicious sweet corn headed your way. It’s starting to feel like fall is slipping in the back door. Corn chowder is definitely on the menu here.
Of course we didn’t make it through our ambitious to-do list this past week. Do we ever? We’re seeing Labor Day on the calendar and that always means it’s time to harvest pears. There’s some planting and cultivating and irrigating too of course. Somehow it’s time to seed the winter lettuce and onions. And all while dodging the upcoming return to temps in the 90s. Should be a busy week on the farm.
It’s possible that one reason we didn’t make it through all the things last week is because we prioritized a quick trip to the wilderness. We dodged most of the other hikers with a Thursday overnight to say hello to Mount Jefferson. Luckily we’ve got this week to catch up on the farm work.
Enjoy the vegetables and we’ll see you next week!
Carri Heisler & Jeff Bramlett
Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:
Southwestern Corn and Potato Soup
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 fresh jalapeño, seeded and finely chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 1/2 lb large yellow-fleshed potatoes such as Yukon Gold (about 2)
- 3 1/4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth (26 fl oz)
- 1 cup water
- 1 (10-oz) package frozen corn (not thawed)
- 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
Heat oil in a 5- to 6-quart heavy pot over moderate heat until hot but not smoking, then cook onion, jalapeño, salt, and pepper, stirring occasionally, until onion is pale golden, about 8 minutes.
Meanwhile, peel potatoes and cut into 1-inch pieces.
Add broth, water, and potatoes to onion mixture and cover pot, then bring to a boil over high heat.
Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until potatoes are very tender, 12 to 14 minutes.
Coarsely mash potatoes in pot with a potato masher. Stir in corn and simmer, uncovered, 3 minutes.
Stir in lime juice, cilantro, and salt to taste.
From Epicurious.com via Gourmet, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/southwestern-corn-and-potato-soup-234264
Tomato and Watermelon Salad
- 3 or 4 small to medium heirloom tomatoes, in assorted colors, cored and cut into 3/4-inch chunks
- 1 small English or regular cucumber, peeled, seeded, and cut into 3/4-inch cubes
- 1 cup 3/4-inch-cubed yellow or red seedless watermelon flesh
- 1 Hass avocado, halved, pitted, peeled, and cut into 3/4-inch cubes
- 1 tablespoon chopped mixed fresh herbs, in any combination: basil, tarragon, chives, and cilantro
- 1/4 teaspoon coriander seed
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoons aged balsamic vinegar
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 freshly ground black pepper
In a bowl, combine the tomatoes, cucumber, watermelon, avocado, and herbs. In a spice grinder, grind the coriander seeds to a fine powder. Add the ground coriander to the tomato mixture and toss gently.
In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and salt and pepper to taste. Pour over the tomato mixture and toss to coat evenly. Taste and adjust the seasoning before serving.
From Epicurious.com via Pintxos: Small Plates in the Basque Tradition by Gerald Hirigoyen & Lisa Weiss, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/tomato-and-watermelon-salad-352389
Angel Hair Pasta with Broccoli and Herb Butter
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted European-style butter, room temperature
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 8 ounces angel hair pasta
- 2 cups small broccoli florets
- Grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
Mix first 4 ingredients in small bowl.
Bring large pot of salted water to boil. Add 2 teaspoons olive oil. Add pasta and cook until almost tender, about 3 minutes. Add broccoli and boil until pasta is tender but still firm to bite and broccoli is crisp-tender, about 1 minute longer. Drain pasta and broccoli; transfer to large serving bowl. Add herb butter and toss well to coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve, passing Parmesan cheese separately if desired.
From Epicurious.com via Bon Appétit, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/angel-hair-pasta-with-broccoli-and-herb-butter-108539