Winter CSA Share – #9

Welcome to the 9th share of the Pitchfork & Crow 2020/2021 Winter CSA!  Here’s what’s in the share this week:

  • Collard Rapini – Like the kale rapini from past shares, this is the first shoots the collard plants have sent up to eventually flower and make seed. 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! Like broccoli heads you can eat the stems and leaves too.
  • Cauliflower or more Purple Sprouting Broccoli
  • Savoy Cabbage
  • Mixed Spinach
  • Mixed Head Lettuce
  • Arugula Rapini
  • Cilantro
  • French Breakfast Radishes
  • German Butterball Potatoes
  • Parade Bunching Onions
  • Shallots
  • Polenta – We grow a flint corn called Cascade Ruby Gold that grinds partially into flour and partially into polenta when milled. Two weeks back we shared the flour and this week we’re sharing the polenta. We like to cook this polenta in our rice maker using the same 1 part polenta to 2 parts water ratio we use with rice. Many polenta recipes call for more liquid and longer cooking, which I’ve read will help develop the flavor more.
  • 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 is full! – All our thanks to those of you who have decided to join us for the upcoming Summer CSA season! Thanks to your early commitments we’ve filled up the Summer CSA faster than ever before, even though we added a number of shares. We’re hard at work getting plants in the ground and we’re looking forward to a fantastic season ahead!

The vetch/oat/fava cover crop (right) and the garlic (left) have been growing up thanks to the recent sunshine.

After making it through some fierce winds and rains the sky has cleared up over the past week and we’ve been able to keep the spring farm show on track without too much trouble. The sunny days have made for pleasant field conditions, both for growing crops and working farmers alike.

The cover crops have put on some really lovely lush growth, which will make an excellent green manure when they’re mowed and worked into the field soon. The garlic and overwintering onions have also shot up. Many of the overwintering brassicas like kale and kalettes and collards are well into rapini season. Thanks to the mild winter weather we’ve still got lots of plants out in the field, many of them now flowering for the bees.

The prop house dance is on! Flats come in, plants grow up, flats head out, and more flats take their place.

At the end of March the propagation house dance begins for real. Flats of transplants have grown up and are ready to head out to hardening off table and then to the field. It’s an easy life in the prop. house so we set the plants outside for a bit to acclimate to the real world before finding their home in the field. After a few days or a week of adjusting it’s time to transplant! This cycle has just begun for the season and the weekly sowing and transplanting won’t end until September.

Transplanting has begun!

Somehow we managed to get the first of the transplants in the ground on the day we had noted on our planting plan. If that’s not an alignment of the universe, I don’t know what is. Since last Thursday we’ve planted the first rounds of cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, kale, chard, fennel, bunching onions, sweet onions, and 2400 strawberries. Hurrah for more strawberries! This week the rest of the onions and shallots will join the field party and the potatoes are chitting (sitting out, growing sprouts) and they’ll be planted soon too. And we’ll be clearing out a high tunnel for the big tomato planting to commence. Goodbye bolting winter cilantro, hello tomatoes!

Of course as the prop. house dance continues on more plants will be filling it up. This week I’ll be starting the first of the sweet corn, all the melons, and the tomatillos. Fingers crossed the nighttime temperatures warm up some before these warmer season plants make their move to the field.

Enjoy the vegetables and we’ll see you in two weeks for the final Winter share of the season!

Your farmers,
Carri Heisler & Jeff Bramlett


Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:

Bacon and Egg Sandwiches with Pickled Spring Onions

  1. Pickled spring onions:
    • 4 spring onions or 6 scallions, whites only, thinly sliced
    • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
    • 2 teaspoons sugar
    • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  2. Maple bacon and spicy mayo:
    • 12 slices thick-cut bacon
    • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
    • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
    • 1 tablespoon Sriracha
  3. Fried eggs and assembly:
    • 8 slices white sandwich bread, such as Pullman
    • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
    • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
    • 4 large eggs
    • Kosher salt, ground pepper
    • 1 cup arugula leaves

For pickled spring onions:

Combine onions, vinegar, sugar, salt, and 1 tablespoon water in a small bowl and toss to combine; let stand for 30 minutes.

For maple bacon and spicy mayo:

Preheat oven to 350°F. Place bacon on a foil-lined large rimmed baking sheet; brush both sides with syrup. Bake until bacon begins to crisp but is still pliable, 20-25 minutes.

Mix mayonnaise and Sriracha in a small bowl to combine; set aside.

For fried eggs and assembly:

Spread 1 side of bread slices with plain mayonnaise. Heat a large skillet over medium-low heat. Working in batches, cook bread, mayonnaise side down, until brown and crisp, about 3 minutes. Wipe out skillet.

Melt butter in same skillet over medium heat; crack eggs into skillet. Cook, occasionally basting with butter in skillet, until whites are set, about 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Spread untoasted side of each bread slice with spicy mayo. Build sandwiches with bread, bacon, eggs, pickled spring onions, and arugula.

From via Bon Appétit by Noble Sandwich Company, Austin, TX,

Cabbage Stir-Fry With Coconut and Lemon

  • 1/4 cup unsweetened grated coconut (fresh, frozen, or dried)
  • 2 tablespoons mild-flavored oil, such as canola
  • 1 teaspoon yellow or black mustard seeds
  • 2 teaspoons chana dal (the split kernel of a variety of chickpea) and/or urad dal (black gram beans), or 2 teaspoons lightly crushed yellow split peas
  • 1–2 dried red chiles, broken in half
  • 1 small head of cabbage (about 1 1/2 pounds), trimmed, cored, finely chopped (about 8 cups)
  • 3/4 teaspoon (or more) kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro leaves
  • 1 tablespoon (or more) fresh lemon juice

Thaw frozen coconut or soak dried coconut in a little hot water to plump up.

Heat oil in a wok or large skillet over medium until shimmering. Add 1 mustard seed. When seed sizzles and pops, add remaining mustard seeds, cover, and cook until seeds start popping, about 10 seconds. When popping starts to subside, immediately add chana dal. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, tossing constantly, until dals are reddish golden brown and smell nutty, about 2 minutes. Add chiles and toss to coat. Add cabbage, salt, and turmeric and cook, stirring, until cabbage wilts but still has a little crunch, 3–5 minutes. Add coconut and cook until heated through, about 1 minute more.

Remove from heat. Stir in cilantro and lemon juice. Taste and add more lemon juice and salt if needed.

From by Chitra Agrawal,

Steak Tacos with Cilantro-Radish Salsa

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
  • 1 pound skirt or flank steak
  • Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves with tender stems, divided
  • 4 radishes, trimmed, chopped
  • 2 spring onions or 4 scallions, white and pale-green parts only, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 serrano chile or jalapeño, seeds removed if desired, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 8 corn tortillas, warmed
  • 2 ounces queso fresco or Cotija cheese, crumbled

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over high heat. Season steak with salt and pepper and cook about 5 minutes per side for medium rare. Let steak rest 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, chop half of cilantro and toss with radishes, onions, chile, lime juice, and remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a medium bowl. Season radish salsa with salt and pepper.

Slice steak and serve on tortillas topped with radish salsa, queso fresco, and remaining cilantro.

From via Bon Appétit,