Summer CSA Share – #16

Welcome to the 16th share of the Pitchfork & Crow 2020 Summer CSA!  Here’s what’s in the share this week:

  • Lettuce Mix
  • Mini Romaine Head Lettuce
  • Brussels Sprouts Tops – We snap the tops off our Brussels sprouts to help the plants focus on making sprouts. At some point we realized these tops are really tasty and we should all be eating them. Treat them like kale in the kitchen.
  • Lacinato Kale
  • Broccoli or Cauliflower
  • Fennel
  • Carrots
  • Sweet Corn
  • Mixed Small Onions
  • Mixed Eggplant – I heard a discussion of eggplant in the middle of this week’s Milk Street Radio podcast that seemed just right for the CSA. What’s the best way to cook eggplant? If you’re unsure, you might like to give it a listen by clicking here and skipping to 44:48 in the episode.
  • Cucumber
  • Zucchini & Summer Squash
  • Poblano Peppers
  • Mixed Sweet Peppers
  • Slicer Tomatoes
  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Melon

CSA pick-ups are still happening this week! We know it’s smoky out there but we think it’s important for members to have access to their weekly share of the harvest if they can make it to the pick-up. Let us know if you’d like us to bring your share to your car so you can avoid the air.

Smoke on Thursday and Friday (top) vs the following Monday (below). It’s getting better!

What an unexpectedly strange week we’ve all had. Our thoughts have been with those evacuated and those who prepared to evacuate, and especially those who lost property and more in the last week due to these fires. We know these numbers include some of our CSA members and families of CSA members. We hope everyone is staying safe as things get sorted out and the smoke (literally) clears.

Much of last week the farm was in a thick cover of smoke. It made outdoor work unpleasant and we tried to hunker down inside as much as possible. But the work doesn’t stop just because of smoke and we pushed through, trying to make progress on fall projects. Though we didn’t make as much progress as hoped (it was a one step forward two steps back sort of week) we’re set up to really plough through things this week.

A pie pumpkin growing in the flour corn (left) and a frog friend in the broccoli patch (right).

Harvesting this week’s share has been an interesting process of checking in on crops and seeing how they’ve handled the smoke cover. Growth has definitely been slow this week, which isn’t surprising as the sun has been hidden and we’ve been plunged into much cooler temperatures. The cooler temps have been good for germinating our overwintering lettuce and onion crops in the propagation house though!

This is a tricky time of year to see a slowing of plant growth. We depend on the final warm days of September to give fall and winter crops a boost as we transition to cooler weather and shorter days ahead. We’d been preparing for days in the high 80s and 90s when the smoke inversion hit and slowed things down. Time will tell how this plays out in the long term. It looks like the powdery mildew that had already begun to set in has really found purchase and we may be seeing the end of the season’s summer squash and cucumbers. Luckily there are vegetables this week to eat!

Getting in a bed of spinach this weekend!

The week ahead will be much more productive than last week. Fingers crossed we’ll be actually harvesting and planting and harvesting some more! We’ve also got our annual organic inspection via Zoom tomorrow thanks to COVID-19 precautions. Turns out our inspector was evacuated from his farm east of Eugene this past week. What a strange year!

Enjoy the vegetables and we’ll see you next week!

Your farmers,
Carri Heisler & Jeff Bramlett

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Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:

Herb-Roasted Eggplant with Tomatoes and Feta

  • 1 1 3/4-pound eggplant, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 4 large plum tomatoes, cored, quartered lengthwise
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons Sherry wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese

Preheat oven to 450°F. Place eggplant and tomatoes on rimmed baking sheet; toss with oil and vinegar. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons oregano, salt, and pepper. Roast until eggplant is tender and golden brown, stirring occasionally, about 40 minutes. Transfer eggplant and tomatoes to platter. Sprinkle with feta and 2 teaspoons oregano and serve.

From Epicurious.com via Bon Appétit by Sara Foster, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/herb-roasted-eggplant-with-tomatoes-and-feta-240367

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Corn & Salmon Chowder

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium fennel bulb with fronds, trimmed, bulb halved lengthwise and thinly sliced, 2 tablespoons fronds chopped and reserved
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped peeled carrot
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 cups canned vegetable broth
  • 1 8-ounce russet potato, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 2 cups low-fat (1%) milk
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen yellow corn kernels, thawed
  • 1 12-ounce piece skinless salmon fillet, cut into 1-inch pieces

Heat oil in heavy large pot over medium heat. Add onion, sliced fennel, carrot, garlic and bay leaf and sauté until vegetables are light golden, about 7 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and cook until vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Add broth and potato and bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until potato is tender, about 12 minutes.

Purée milk and 1 cup corn in blender. Add corn purée, remaining 1/2 cup corn and salmon to pot. Simmer uncovered over medium heat just until salmon is opaque in center, about 5 minutes. Discard bay leaf. Season with salt and pepper.

From Epicurious.com via Bon Appétit, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/corn-and-salmon-chowder-104175

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Roasted Eggplant and Crispy Kale with Yogurt

  • 2 medium Italian eggplants (about 1 1/2 pounds total), quartered lengthwise, cut crosswise into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried mango powder (amchoor; optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 6 Tuscan kale leaves, ribs and stems removed, leaves coarsely torn
  • 1 medium Persian cucumber
  • 1 cup plain whole-milk Greek yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 garlic clove, finely grated
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
  • Olive oil (for drizzling)

Preheat oven to 450°F. Toss eggplants with vegetable oil on a rimmed baking sheet; season with salt. Roast, tossing halfway through, until eggplants are charred in spots and tender, 20–25 minutes. Remove from oven, sprinkle with mango powder (if using) and cumin, and toss to coat.

Meanwhile, heat a dry large skillet, preferably cast iron, over medium-high. Add kale, arranging to fit in a single even layer (work in batches if needed), and cook, turning occasionally, until charred in spots and crisp, about 4 minutes.

Grate cucumber on the medium holes of a box grater; squeeze out excess liquid with your hands and transfer to a medium bowl. Mix in yogurt, lemon juice, and garlic; season with salt.

Toss tomatoes with a good pinch of salt and a drizzle of olive oil in a medium bowl. Spoon yogurt mixture onto a platter and layer eggplants, kale, and tomatoes on top. Drizzle with more olive oil.

From Epicurious.com via Bon Appétit from Gunpowder, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/roasted-eggplant-and-crispy-kale-with-yogurt

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