Summer CSA Share – #3

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

  • Salad Mix – a mix of four lettuces
  • Romaine Lettuce
  • Spinach
  • Fennel – A little anise flavor for your dishes this week. The fennel bulb is the star of the show here, but the fronds can be used too. The bulb can be sliced and roasted, braised, pickled, or eaten raw shaved into salads. Check out the recipes at the end of the post for some inspiration.
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower – Cauli is a tricky spring crop and we’re pretty excited about these heads. However, we did notice a lot of black beetles hiding in between the florets, something we’ve never seen before. This is to say, don’t be too surprised if a black beetle pops out to say hello. We did try to rescue most of them, but we wanted to give you a heads up.
  • Mixed Potatoes – We are rapidly coming to the end of our storage potatoes from last season. This week is a bit of a grab bag of varieties. New potatoes will be here soon!
  • Sweet Onion – These big sweets are grown from Walla Walla seed, though to be called a Walla Walla sweet onion they must be grown in the legal production zone in SE Washington, so we won’t call them that. They’re still a lovely mild sweet onion that successfully overwintered from being transplanted last October. Eat them up soon as they won’t store long.
  • Garlic Scapes – As the hardneck garlic plants begin to develop their bulbs, they send up a flower stalk known as a scape. We harvest the scapes because they’re delicious and garlicky and also to help the plant focus on producing a larger bulb rather than seed production. Note that we have fewer scapes to give out this year because I switched up our garlic varieties and we’re growing fewer hardneck types. You can use the scapes like you would a bunching onion.
  • Mixed Snap Peas
  • Zucchini & Summer Squash
  • Seascape Strawberries – The rain this week (and even today while we were harvesting for Salem) was not kind to the strawberry patch this week. We’re getting you a taste, but hopefully they’re happier (and cleaner) and next week.
Beneficial syrphid fly on a collard start in the prop house. (top left), weeding carrots (top right), transplanting sweet corn (bottom left), and the first ripe tomato of the season (bottom right).

Another whirlwind of a week is in the books here on the farm. As we head toward the summer solstice on June 20th, the ever lengthening days mean ever lengthening plants. The recent rain combined with warm weather has helped everything jump and we’re trying our best to keep up. We’re now well into the standard growing season cycle of sowing seeds, transplanting, prepping ground, transplanting, cultivating, and harvesting. Deciding which task is most important can be the challenge though. The farm is a giant multi-dimensional puzzle, and we are fitting the pieces together as best we can.

Though similarly productive, this past week was not as orderly as the week before. We transplanted the third round of sweet corn into the field, while I was simultaneously trying to get the fourth round sowed back in the propagation house. Sometimes the puzzles pieces seem to overlap. But most of the things that needed to happen got done and now we’ve got a whole new week to tackle the other things.

Planting sweet potato slips!

We welcomed the return of sweet potatoes to the farm this week. After a semi-successful effort with them in 2019 and then not being able to source plants in 2020, we were glad the slips arrived on time and not too worse for wear after spending several days in the mail en route from Kansas. Although we didn’t have trouble getting the plants this year, we did run into a hiccup with the ground cover we plant them on to help suppress weeds. Our preferred 6-foot wide rolls weren’t available and we had to go with 5-foot wide rolls, meaning we’ve got some gaps in the paths we’ll have to weed. The plants should vine out and cover the entire area before too long, so hopefully that canopy will help keep the weeds under control in those strips. Needless to say, we’re looking forward to the fall harvest!

In the week ahead you can find us here on the farm doing much of the same. There’s some lettuce to transplant, some ground to prep for the next round of brassicas (broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kale), some carrots to weed, some seed crops to harvest, some seeds to sow, and the list goes on. It must be June!

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:

Shaved Cauliflower Salad

  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lime zest
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
  • 10 ounces cauliflower florets (from about 1/2 of a small head), very thinly sliced lengthwise on a mandoline
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon nutritional yeast
  • 2 cups (1-inch-wide strips) lollo rosso lettuce or romaine
  • 2 cups torn frisée (or more lettuce)
  • 2 ounces Parmesan, finely grated, divided

Whisk lime zest, lime juice, mustard, and honey in a large bowl. Whisking constantly, gradually add oil; whisk until emulsified. Season with salt and pepper.

Add cauliflower and 1 Tbsp. nutritional yeast to dressing; toss to combine. Add lettuce, frisée, and half of Parmesan and toss again; season with salt and pepper.

Transfer salad to a platter and top with remaining Parmesan and remaining 1 tsp. nutritional yeast.

From Epicurious.com via Bon Appétit by Jeremy Strubel, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/shaved-cauliflower-salad

Roasted Cauliflower with Onions and Fennel

  • 1 medium head of cauliflower (about 1 1/4 pounds), cored, cut into 1-inch florets
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 medium onions (about 1/2 pound each), halved lengthwise, cut into 3/4-inch-wide wedges with some core still attached, peeled
  • 2 fresh fennel bulbs (about 1 pound total), halved lengthwise, cut lengthwise into 1/2-inch-wise wedges with some core still attached
  • 8 small garlic cloves, peeled
  • 15 fresh marjoram sprigs

Position rack in center of oven; preheat to 425°F. Toss cauliflower and 2 tablespoons oil in large bowl. Heat heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add cauliflower and sauté until beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Transfer cauliflower to rimmed baking sheet.

Add 2 tablespoons oil to same skillet. Add onion wedges. Cook until browned on 1 side, about 3 minutes. Using spatula, carefully transfer onions to baking sheet with cauliflower, arranging wedges browned side up. Add remaining 2 tablespoons oil to same skillet. Add fennel; sauté until fennel softens slightly and starts to brown, about 5 minutes. Transfer to same baking sheet. Scatter garlic and marjoram over vegetables. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast until vegetables are caramelized, about 25 minutes. Serve hot or at room temperature.

From Epicurious.com via Bon Appétit, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/roasted-cauliflower-with-onions-and-fennel-237336

Summer Salmon Cakes with Zucchini Fennel Slaw

  • 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice, divided
  • 3 tablespoons chopped chives
  • 1 teaspoon grainy mustard
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/4 pound skinless salmon fillet, chopped
  • 4 Ritz or saltine crackers, coarsely crushed
  • 1 medium zucchini, coarsely grated (1 1/2 cups)
  • 1/2 small fennel bulb, trimmed and thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Whisk together mayonnaise, 1 teaspoon lemon juice, chives, mustard, cayenne, and 1/4 teaspoon each of salt and pepper in a medium bowl.

Stir together salmon, crackers, 3/4 cup zucchini, and half of mayonnaise mixture in another bowl.

Add fennel and remaining zucchini and lemon juice to mayonnaise mixture in medium bowl and toss to combine slaw.

Form salmon mixture into 2 (3-inch) patties. Heat oil in a small nonstick skillet over medium heat until hot, then cook salmon cakes, carefully turning once, until golden and salmon is just cooked through, about 6 minutes total.

Serve with slaw.

From Epicurious.com via Gourmet by Melissa Roberts, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/summer-salmon-cakes-with-zucchini-fennel-slaw-354151

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