Winter CSA Share – #2

Welcome to the 2nd share of the Pitchfork & Crow 2020/2021 Winter CSA!  Here’s what’s in the share this week:

  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Lacinato Kale
  • Mustard Greens
  • Rosalba or Castelfranco Chicory – These are some of our favorite winter salad greens. The pink variety is rosalba and the speckled green is castelfranco, and we love them both. The frost-sweetened beauties are just asking for creamy dressing, or something citrusy perhaps, and they hold up well to warm toppings like bacon, chicken, or (our favorite) salmon.
  • Parsnips – We’re excited to have eeked out a parsnip crop after many years of kind of failing. We’ve been loving them roasted with other roots and parsnip cupcakes (think carrot cake) have made multiple appearances in our kitchen.
  • Rose Finn Apple Fingerling Potatoes
  • Rutabaga – A cousin of the humble turnip, rutabagas bring a depth of flavor to mixed root dishes, and these have been sweetened by many frosty nights as a bonus.
  • Garlic
  • Yellow & Red Onions – We ask a lot of our storage crops. We harvest them in early fall and then let them sit and wait and wait until they make an appearance in the share. Were getting better at selecting long storing varieties but there’s just only so long an onion wants to store sometimes. That’s to say, eat your onions before they sprout because spring is just around the corner.
  • Cilantro
  • Butternut Winter Squash
  • Spaghetti Squash
  • Dried Apples – We had a sad apple crop this year but we’ve made up for it by buying in some no-spray apples from another orchard. We did all the slicing and drying here at the farm.
Beautiful day for a winter harvest!

Welcome back for the second share of the Winter CSA season! We hope you all had a good run of holidays and are looking forward to the new year. After the many surprising happenings of 2020 I wouldn’t know where to start with predictions for 2021, but we hope it’s filled with good health and good food for all of you. Luckily we’ve already got some of that food growing and in storage here on the farm, so we’re off to a good start on that front.

This week we’re bringing you a quintessential roundup of winter vegetables. The winter weather has thus far been nice to us. Many frosty nights have sweetened up the field crops but the temperatures have stayed above twenty overnight, keeping us out of the danger zone for most of the vegetables we have outside. The long range forecast from Rufus over at the Weather Cafe suggests we may be in for cold and wind in January, so we tried to focus on harvesting crops outside of greenhouses this time around. Fingers crossed we don’t get loads of snow or ice piling up on greenhouses.

Fruit tree pruning (top) and the evidence of lots of rain (bottom).

We’ve settled into the winter rhythm of every other week harvests nicely. We appreciate the schedule of keeping up harvests through the winter months but also having some time to catch up on sleep, do more cooking, and tackle all the projects that don’t seem to get tackled during the rush of the summer growing season.

Since we last met we used many of the sunnier days to start in on pruning the fruit trees. The orchards haven’t gotten a lot of attention over the years and we think our sporadic pruning resulted in a very sad fruit harvest this past year. We’re endeavoring to wrestle the orchards into a manageable state. If you need us this winter, and it’s a non-harvest day, you best look for us among the trees.

However not all the days in the past week+ were sunny now were they? We had a deluge and plenty of wind whip through recently. Our new weather station recorded wind gusts over 30mph and two inches of rain in one day. That much rain means flooding in our lowest field, which is mostly just a dramatic photo-taking opportunity as it receded fairly quickly. This time it was also a reminder as to why we’re upgrading our propagation greenhouse as the water crept down the pathways inside.

Crop planning via Zoom for the screen sharing capabilities!

We spent the rainier days hunkered down with spreadsheets and seed catalogs as we kicked off next season’s planning marathon. This process has evolved over the years and, as with many other aspects of the farm, we’ve figured out when to work together and when to split up the tasks.

We review crop types, planting dates, and quantities and we discuss our goals for the upcoming year together. Jeff formats the spreadsheet dates and cross references quantities with our projections. I choose varieties and seed sources, which includes a seed inventory to determine what we have on hand and what we need to order. Once completed Jeff breaks out our master plan spreadsheet into propagation, direct sowing, transplanting plans that get printed and become our record keeping for the season. I break out the planting plan into a seed order by seed company and put in the orders.

I’ll be diving back into seed catalogs as we wrap up this week’s CSA distribution, just in time for the return of the rain. We’re hoping to get our seed orders in as soon as possible to make sure we get varieties and quantities we need. There will certainly be more fruit tree pruning happening in the coming weeks too. More of the same I guess.

Enjoy the vegetables and we’ll see you in two weeks!

Your farmers,
Carri Heisler & Jeff Bramlett

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Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:

Mashed Potato, Rutabaga, and Parsnip Casserole with Caramelized Onions

  • 7 cups canned low-salt chicken broth
  • 3 pounds russet potatoes, peeled, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 1/2 pounds rutabagas, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 1/4 pounds parsnips, peeled, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
  • 8 garlic cloves
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, room temperature

Butter 13 x 9×2-inch glass baking dish. Combine first 7 ingredients in large pot; bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover partially and simmer until vegetables are very tender, about 30 minutes. Drain well. Transfer vegetables to large bowl. Add 1/2 cup butter. Using electric mixer, beat mixture until mashed but still chunky. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer mashed vegetables to prepared dish.

Melt remaining 1/4 cup butter in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add sliced onions and sauté until beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low and sauté until onions are tender and golden brown, about 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Spread onions evenly over mashed vegetables. (Casserole can be prepared up to 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)

Preheat oven to 375° F. Bake casserole uncovered until heated through and top begins to crisp, about 25 minutes.

From Epicurious.com via Bon Appétit, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/mashed-potato-rutabaga-and-parsnip-casserole-with-caramelized-onions-2607

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Shredded Root Vegetable Pancakes

  • 2 cups of shredded rutabaga, parsnips, or sweet potato (from about 2 medium vegetables), shredded on the medium holes of a box grater
  • 1 medium yellow onion, grated on the medium holes of a box grater
  • 3 large egg whites, beaten
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour, plus more if needed so mixture just holds together
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1/2 cup coconut or grapeseed oil
  • Flaky sea salt
  • 1/4 cup sour cream or crème fraîche
  • 2 scallions, finely chopped

Place the grated root veggies and onion in a large kitchen towel and wring out any liquid, then add them to a medium bowl.

Stir in the egg whites. Stir in the flour, salt, and pepper to taste.

In a large skillet, heat 1/4 cup of the oil over medium-high heat. Use a scant 1/4 cup measure to scoop pancakes into the skillet, using the bottom of the measuring cup to spread the mixture into 1/2-inch-thick patties. Cook until the first side is deeply golden brown and crisp, 3 to 4 minutes, then turn the pancakes over and brown the other side, 3 to 4 minutes more. Transfer the pancakes to a wire rack to cool slightly. Work in batches so you don’t overcrowd the pan, adding more oil to the pan as needed.

Serve the pancakes topped with a few pinches of flaky sea salt, a dollop of sour cream, and a sprinkle of scallions.

From Epicurious.com via The Happy Cook by Daphne Oz, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/shredded-root-vegetable-pancakes

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Butternut Squash and Noodles with Coconut, Lime, and Cilantro Sauce

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped onions
  • 2 pounds butternut squash, peeled, seeded, cut into 1/2- to 3/4-inch pieces (about 4 1/2 cups)
  • 1 cup canned vegetable broth
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons minced seeded jalapeño chili
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 cup canned light unsweetened coconut milk*
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon Thai red curry paste*
  • 12 ounces dried futonaga udon noodles (oriental-style spaghetti)* or linguine
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • *Available at Asian markets and in the Asian foods section of some supermarkets.

Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions; sauté until golden, about 5 minutes. Add squash; sauté 4 minutes. Add broth, jalapeño and garlic; bring to boil. Cover; cook until squash is almost tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in coconut milk, lime juice and curry paste. Simmer uncovered until squash is tender and liquid is slightly reduced, about 4 minutes. Season to taste with salt.

Meanwhile, cook noodles in large pot of boiling salted water until just tender but still firm to bite. Drain noodles. Return to pot. Add squash mixture and cilantro to noodles; toss to blend. Serve.

From Epicurious.com via Bon Appétit, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/butternut-squash-and-noodles-with-coconut-lime-and-cilantro-sauce-5340

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Kale and Brussels Sprout Salad

  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon minced shallot
  • 1 small garlic clove, finely grated
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt plus more for seasoning
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 large bunches of Tuscan kale (about 1 1/2 pounds total), center stem discarded, leaves thinly sliced
  • 12 ounces brussels sprouts, trimmed, finely grated or shredded with a knife
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1/3 cup almonds with skins, coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup finely grated Pecorino

Combine lemon juice, Dijon mustard, shallot, garlic, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and a pinch of pepper in a small bowl. Stir to blend; set aside to let flavors meld. Mix thinly sliced kale and shredded brussels sprouts in a large bowl.

Measure 1/2 cup oil into a cup. Spoon 1 tablespoon oil from cup into a small skillet; heat oil over medium-high heat. Add almonds to skillet and stir frequently until golden brown in spots, about 2 minutes. Transfer nuts to a paper towel-lined plate. Sprinkle almonds lightly with salt.

Slowly whisk remaining olive oil in cup into lemon-juice mixture. Season dressing to taste with salt and pepper. DO AHEAD: Dressing, kale mixture, and toasted almonds can be prepared 8 hours ahead. Cover dressing and kale mixture separately and chill. Cover almonds and let stand at room temperature.

Add dressing and cheese to kale mixture; toss to coat. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Garnish with almonds.

From Epicurious.com via Bon Appétit by Susan Spungen, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/kale-brussels-sprout-salad-368295

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2 thoughts on “Winter CSA Share – #2

  1. dinyabba@aol.com says:

    We just ate the parsnips from November.  We just baked them in the left over fat from the Christmas beast.  Wow.  More Christmas desert.  This share looks spectacular!  Stay as warm and dry as you can.  Love to you and the farm. 

    Like

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