Winter CSA Share – #3

Welcome to the 3rd share of the Pitchfork & Crow 2020/2021 Winter CSA!  Here’s what’s in the share this week:

  • Red Brussels Sprouts
  • January King Cabbage
  • Rainbow Chard
  • Chicory MixThis frost-sweetened mix is just asking for creamy dressing, or something citrusy perhaps, and it also holds up well to warm toppings like bacon, chicken, or (our favorite) salmon.
  • Mixed Beets
  • German Butterball Potatoes
  • Leeks
  • 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. We’re 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.
  • Thyme
  • Sweet Mama Kabocha Winter Squash
  • Mixed Winter Squash – Choose from Delicata, Carnival Acorn, and Gill’s Golden Pippin Acorn.
  • 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.

Summer CSA sign-up time has arrived! We’ve opened up memberships to the 2021 Summer CSA and we hope you’ll join us for a summer and fall of local, seasonal, and organic vegetables. Find all the details and a sign-up form over on the Summer CSA page.

Farm sunrise (left) and a frosty morning in the mustard patch (right).

Here we are, share 3 of the Winter CSA and already well into January. The end of the year is always such a blur. Even this year, when the holiday gatherings were limited, December seemed to fly by. Mostly we were hunkered down with crop planning I think. We made a point to work through our crop planning early in order to make sure we got our seed orders in early too.

Seeds were one of those highly sought after items last spring as the realities of COVID19 set in and many seed companies were inundated with orders. It quickly became apparent that our regular carefully planned out triple round of seed ordering with staggered orders in January, April, and July was not going to work out due to seed availability, seed company order capacity, and shipping timelines. We bumped up the timeline last spring and adjusted our planning this season too. Although we weren’t the earliest to get our orders in this year, we did manage to mostly secure the varieties and quantities we’d planned for. Fingers crossed that backordered items come into stock before we need them and that the seeds for later in the season that we haven’t ordered yet are still available when we do.

Drying apples (left) and chicory mix (right)!

There’s something about investing $3200 on seeds for the upcoming season that suggests it’s time to open up the Summer CSA memberships. As soon as the seed orders were in I quickly shifted into budget forecasting and website updates and we met to finalize our thoughts on the season ahead. Most things have stayed the same, but there are some changes.

We’re excited (and a little nervous) to have added a bi-weekly pick-up option to the Summer CSA. We sometimes hear from members that a whole share is too much for their needs and we hope the bi-weekly option will offer a little more flexibility and less vegetable overwhelm over the season. We worried most members might choose to switch to the bi-weekly pick-ups, which means we’d have to find many more members to fill the CSA and meet our budget goals for the year. Fortunately so far the trend has been toward the weekly share option and we’re feeling hopeful we’ll make it to our goals before the season starts.

Jeff’s made a little time for winter basket making, including a new basket for the weekly CSA share photo!

Thankfully it hasn’t been all computer time and indoor work these past couple of weeks. In between orchard pruning and harvesting Jeff has found time to make a couple of willow baskets. He’s made many baskets over the years and tries to make a few each winter when the willow and red osier dogwood trees on the farm are dormant and ready to cut. This year he decided it was time to make a new basket for the weekly CSA share photo and it turned out really nice. It’s difficult to see it peeking out in the share photo, but if you pick-up at the farm you should check it out in person.

We’ll be keeping busy in the coming weeks in between winter storms with continued orchard pruning, more harvests, a little weeding in high tunnels, and more. Next week our new propagation greenhouse kit will be delivered which will lead to all sorts of fun!

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

Your farmers,
Carri Heisler & Jeff Bramlett


Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:

Farro, Radicchio, and Roasted Beet Salad

  • 8 1- to 1 1/2-inch-diameter beets, tops trimmed to 1 inch
  • Vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 cups semi-pearled farro or wheat berries
  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 4 tablespoons red wine vinegar, divided
  • 1 garlic clove, pressed
  • 2 cups (packed) thinly sliced quartered radicchio (from about 1 medium head)
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • 1 cup crumbled feta cheese (about 4 ounces)

Preheat oven to 350°F. Arrange beets in single layer in 8 x 8 x 2-inch baking dish. Drizzle with vegetable oil. Cover with foil and roast until beets are tender, about 45 minutes. Cool. Trim beets; peel. DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover; chill.

Cook farro in large saucepan of boiling salted water until tender, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes. Drain. Transfer to large bowl. Stir 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 tablespoon vinegar, and garlic into hot farro. Cool to room temperature.

Cut each beet into 6 to 8 wedges. Add beets, radicchio, onion, and parsley to farro; toss to incorporate evenly. DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill.

From via Bon Appétit by Jeanne Kelley,

Kielbasa with Smothered Cabbage and Mashed Potatoes

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 3/4 pound smoked kielbasa (Polish sausage), cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 4 cups chopped cabbage
  • 1 onion, sliced thin
  • 3/4 pound yellow-fleshed or russet (baking) potatoes
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, cut into bits

In a large heavy skillet heat the oil over moderate heat until it is hot but not smoking and in it brown the kielbasa. Add the cabbage and the onion and cook the mixture, stirring occasionally, until the cabbage is browned. Add 1 1/2 cups water and simmer the mixture, covered partially, for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the cabbage is tender.

While the mixture is simmering, in a steamer set over boiling water steam the potatoes, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch pieces, covered, for 12 minutes, or until they are very tender, transfer them to a bowl, and mash them with a potato masher. Add the milk, scalded, 3 tablespoons hot water, the butter, and salt and pepper to taste and stir the potato mixture until the butter is melted. Serve the kielbasa mixture on the mashed potatoes.

From via Gourmet,

Seared Rainbow Chard with Leeks

  • 2 (1-lb) bunches rainbow chard or red and green Swiss chard
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 large leeks (white and pale green parts only), halved lengthwise and cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices
  • 3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt

Cut stems from chard (if leaves are large, cut out coarse portions of rib), then cut stems crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Stack chard leaves and roll into cylinders. Cut cylinders crosswise to make 1-inch-thick strips of leaves.

Heat butter and oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderately high heat until foam subsides, then sauté chard stems and leeks with sea salt and pepper to taste, stirring occasionally, until slightly soft, 3 to 5 minutes.

Add chard leaves and continue to sauté, stirring frequently, until wilted. (If greens begin to brown before they wilt, sprinkle with a few drops of water.)

From via Gourmet,

One thought on “Winter CSA Share – #3

  1. transcriberscafe says:

    I love so much reading your interesting farm goings-on updates with each share! Thank you for sharing them with us. I am sure a lot of people are reading them with interest, but you might not know. It is truly a highlight when I get them though, so just wanted to let you know (selfishly, I guess, so that you keep doing them and know that they are appreciated!). (And, wow, that’s a ton of money on seeds!)


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