Winter CSA Share – #8

Welcome to the 8th share of the Pitchfork & Crow 2020/2021 Winter CSA!  Here’s what’s in the share this week:

  • Mixed Kale Rapini – This week’s kale rapini is a mix between green leafy and purple varieties. Rapini, or raab, is the result of overwintered plants heading into seed production. It’s delicious at this tender stage and can be eaten like kale or broccoli, stems and leaves and all.
  • Purple Sprouting Broccoli – a seasonal treat, this PSB was planted back in August and only starts forming florets now. Like broccoli heads you can eat the stems and leaves too.
  • Purple Cape or Medallion Cauliflower – Purple Cape is very similar to purple sprouting broccoli in taste and texture but it forms a head like cauliflower and thus gets categorized as a cauli. Medallion is the first of our overwintered white cauliflower to form heads.
  • Red Cabbage
  • Mizuna – A mild Asian mustard green good for salads and quickly wilting in soups and sautes.
  • Mixed Head Lettuce
  • Arugula – A little more grown-up than the arugula from two weeks back, but still delicate and tasty.
  • French Breakfast Radishes
  • Banana Fingerling Potatoes
  • Summer Island Bunching Onions
  • Yellow 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.
  • Corn Flour – We grow a flint corn called Cascade Ruby Gold that grinds partially into flour and partially into polenta when milled. This week we’re sharing flour and in two weeks we’ll share the polenta. You can use this flour in any recipe calling for corn flour or cornmeal. We like to use it for perfect cornbread.
  • Dried Apples – We had a sad apple crop this year but we’ve made up for it by buying in some apples. These are non-organic apples grown in Washington and purchased from the the Four Seasons produce market just up the road from the farm. We did all the slicing and drying here at the farm.

2021 Summer CSA spots are filling-up! As of today we only have 5 spots remaining. We hope you’ll join us for a summer and fall of local, seasonal, and organic vegetables. Find all the details, including info. on the new bi-weekly option, over on the Summer CSA page.

All our thanks to those of you who have already decided to join us for the upcoming Summer CSA season! Your early commitments are helping us get this season off to a great start! Don’t forget your first payment for the upcoming season is due by March 31st.

Purple Cape “cauliflower” (left) and happy harvesting inside a hoop house (right).

It’s college basketball tournament season and I (Carri) have been watching games between projects this past weekend. The Oregon State men’s team has been on a run after coming from behind to win the pac-12 tournament and has been a fun team to watch. Having grown up in Corvallis and gone to OSU it’s nice to cheer for the hometown team for once, but maybe more so when it’s a surprising winning streak. Why is victory sweeter when the underdog wins?

That’s also kind of how I feel about winter vegetables. In August we’re swimming in tomatoes and zucchini and salad greens; but when we’re in late March and can pull off a solid and diverse share of vegetables, the harvest is just a little more rewarding. Winter vegetables are the come-from-behind winners in my book!

The new propagation house is filling up! (top right) New temp sensor (top left), tomatoes growing up (bottom left), and baby cabbages (bottom right).

I recently came across a note card from last season where I’d tallied the germination and success rate for the tomato starts. In years past the conditions in our propagation house were adequate but not ideal and we often had trouble getting heat loving crops to germinate evenly. I’d have to re-start peppers, eggplants, and tomatoes multiple times to get enough plants to fill our planting plan. As I was tossing the outdated note card it occurred to me that I hadn’t had to re-start any tomatoes this season! The peppers and eggplants are just now germinating, but they’re also looking very promising. The biggest difference seems to be the new prop. house. Not only is the first round germination success a time and expense saver (not filling extra flats and using extra seed has its advantages) but it’s also a stress reliever. Whoa, there’s enough tomatoes of the varieties we’d planned for to plant on time? I guess I’ll have to find something else to worry about for now.

The temperature in the prop. house won’t be that new worrisome thing though. A week ago we added a new temperature sensor that’s connected to our weather station. Alerts can be set for notifications when the temperature rises above or below a set temp. It’s already been handy to get text alerts when the temp is too high and fans need to be turned on or when the temp. comes back down on its own. I can also check the temperature and humidity in the prop. house from my phone to monitor it when we’re away from the farm. Pretty fancy for this little farm.

Jeff’s been making baskets! (left) and the first of the pear blossoms (right).

While I’ve been focused on the prop. house, getting seeds to germinate, and filling up the Summer CSA, Jeff’s been busy with seemingly everything else. He’s been doing tractor maintenance and upgrades, undertaking blackberry management, planting more willow in the hedgerow, making the first ground prep. passes in the field, irrigating and mowing crops in high tunnels, arranging for organic fertilizer and compost deliveries, and the list goes on. Luckily he’s also been finding time to have some fun. Ever the hobbyist, he wasn’t wasting time with college basketball this past weekend, he was making willow baskets! The latest, shown above, is his first pack basket.

As I look across the farm it feels like we’re getting this season off to a good start. The first of the pears are blooming, joining the wild cherries and plums. The winter crops are headed to seed, the garlic is growing taller, the seasonal shift is happening. Who knows what twists and turns will come our way in the next nine months, but right now the farm feels ready to get another growing season underway. But first we’ll finish up the Winter CSA. Two more shares headed your way!

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:

Lime and Honey-Glazed Salmon with Basmati and Broccolini

  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons finely grated lime peel
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro plus additional for sprinkling
  • 4 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3/4 cup sliced shallots (about 3 large)
  • 1 1/2 cups basmati rice (9 to 10 ounces)
  • 3 1/4 cups (or more) low-salt chicken broth
  • 4 5-to 6-ounce skinless salmon fillets
  • 1 bunch broccolini, bottom inch trimmed, stalks separated if necessary (or Purple Sprouting Broccoli or Kale Rapini)

Preheat oven to 450°F. Whisk lime juice, lime peel, honey, 2 tablespoons cilantro, and soy sauce in small bowl; set aside. Heat oil in large deep ovenproof skillet or casserole (with lid) over medium-high heat. Add shallots and sauté until beginning to soften and brown, about 5 minutes. Stir in rice, then 3 1/4 cups broth; bring to boil. Cover skillet tightly with lid; place in oven and bake 10 minutes (rice will be almost cooked through and most of broth will be absorbed; mix in more broth by 1/4 cupfuls if dry).

Remove skillet from oven. Sprinkle rice lightly with salt. Sprinkle salmon with salt and pepper and arrange on rice, pressing in lightly. Tuck broccolini in around fish, with stems anchored in rice. Spoon 1 tablespoon lime mixture over each salmon fillet. Cover skillet tightly and return to oven; bake until salmon is just opaque in center and broccolini is crisp-tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Drizzle remaining lime mixture over fish and rice; sprinkle with additional chopped cilantro and serve from skillet.

From via Bon Appétit,

Rotisserie Chicken Salad with Charred Scallion Dressing

  • 5 ounce country-style bread, crusts removed, torn into 1″ pieces
  • 10 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 scallions
  • Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoons mayonnaise, preferably Hellmann’s (Best Foods)
  • 1 small rotisserie chicken, meat pulled from bones and shredded
  • 6 radishes, trimmed, cut into wedges
  • 1 head of Bibb lettuce, leaves separated
  • 1 avocado, sliced, divided

Preheat oven to 450°F. Toss bread and 3 Tbsp. oil on a rimmed baking sheet; season with salt and pepper. Bake until golden and crisp around the edges, 8–12 minutes; let croutons cool.

Meanwhile, separate scallion whites from greens. Finely chop whites; place in a large bowl. Finely chop greens. Heat 1 Tbsp. oil in a small skillet over medium. Cook greens, stirring often, until blackened around edges and crisp, about 3 minutes. Scrape into bowl with whites, then whisk in lemon juice, vinegar, mustard, and mayonnaise; season with salt and pepper. Gradually whisk in remaining 6 Tbsp. oil.

Pour half of dressing into a small bowl; set aside. Add chicken, radishes, and croutons to bowl with remaining dressing and toss to coat.

Arrange lettuce and half of avocado on a platter; season with salt and pepper. Drizzle with 3 Tbsp. reserved dressing; top with chicken salad. Tuck remaining avocado around; season with salt and pepper. Drizzle with remaining dressing.

From via Bon Appétit by Adam Rapoport,

Spiced Fillet of Beef with Mizuna Salad

For beef

  • 2 teaspoons whole black peppercorns
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons coriander seeds
  • 2 teaspoons dried hot red pepper flakes
  • 4 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 3 1/2 pounds center-cut beef tenderloin roast (fillet of beef), trimmed and, if necessary, tied
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

For salad

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon minced shallot
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 ounces mizuna or baby arugula, trimmed

For beef:

Preheat oven to 425°F.

Toast peppercorns, cumin, and coriander , then cool completely. Grind spices with red pepper flakes in an electric coffee/spice grinder or with a mortar and pestle. Stir in kosher salt.

Pat beef dry and sprinkle with spices on all sides, pressing to adhere. Heat oil in a large flameproof roasting pan set across 2 burners over high heat until just smoking, then brown beef on all sides, about 2 minutes.

Roast in middle of oven until an instant-read thermometer inserted diagonally 2 inches into center registers 120°F, about 25 minutes. Let beef stand in pan 25 minutes. Beef will continue to cook as it stands, reaching 130°F (medium-rare).

Make salad and slice beef:

Whisk together oil, lemon juice, shallot, and salt in a bowl, then add pepper to taste.

Untie beef if necessary, then slice. Toss mizuna with dressing and serve beef topped with salad.

From via Gourmet,

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