Summer CSA Share – #5

Welcome to the 5th share of the Pitchfork & Crow 2021 Summer CSA!  Here’s what’s in the share this week:

  • Salad Mix – a mix of four lettuces
  • Mayan Jaguar Romaine Lettuce
  • Rainbow Chard
  • Red Cabbage
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Carrots
  • Sweet Onion
  • Fresh Garlic – This is uncured garlic, mostly meaning it hasn’t yet had a chance to dry down. You can use it just like cured garlic but it will be moister. Store it out of the sunlight in a cool, drafty spot if possible.
  • Red or White Bunching Onions
  • Leek Flowers– Pluck off the tiny florets from these leek flowers and add to salads or sautes for a delicious oniony garnish.
  • Zucchini & Yellow Straightneck Summer Squash & Patty Pan Summer Squash

Hello from the other side of heat-o-rama June 2021! We hope you were all able to stay safe and cool over the past few days of record setting heat. What a weekend! Here at the farm there were very early mornings in the field, mid-afternoon naps, and evening work sessions as we endeavored to get some work done despite the weather. The farm weather station hit 106.9 on Sunday and 110.5 on Monday, and I’m sure it was hotter in the city. Whew! Today’s high of 92 never looked so good!

The newly shaded hardening off space for transplants (top left), a swallowtail butterfly rescued from the propagation house (top right), shadow of Carri moving irrigation pipe (bottom left), and Jeff fixing a sprinkler on an irrigation line (bottom right).

Before the heat arrived we covered the hardening off area outside the propagation house with shade cloth. This helped to keep the transplants a little cooler. Then it was time for a transplanting push. The latest succession of broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kale, and collards found a home in the field. Then it became an irrigation game, keeping the new transplants wet through the heat as they acclimated to their new life in the field.

A CSA member asked me last week when we would run out of things to harvest if we stopped planting now. It was an intriguing question without a precise answer. Some crops are fast growing and require multiple successions to remain available and others just get planted once but grow slower and hold well in the field for a prolonged harvest. For instance, we plant a round of lettuce every month but we only plant leeks once each year. If we stopped planting now we’d run out of lettuce in late July or early August. However, the leeks are still sizing up and though they were planted in May we won’t begin harvesting them until the fall and the same planting will carry us through the winter. Each crop fits into this puzzle a little differently. Needless to say, the transplanting continues on so we can all continue to eat well through next winter.

2021 Garlic Harvest!

Although our To Do list has been overflowing the last few weeks with weeding and cultivating and weed whacking and mowing needs, this week it was time to harvest the garlic. We had to sideline all the other things that needed doing and work around the heat to get this once a year chore done. Over the years we’ve upped our garlic harvest game and this year may have been our most successful crop and least painful harvest (despite the heat).

Where once we relied on digging forks to loosen the soil to make the garlic easier to pull, in recent years the tractor has become the imperative tool. We’ve got a couple of implements that mount to the tractor that can be used to loosen the soil and then undercut the garlic’s roots, making pulling the heads much easier. After pulling them we sort the stalks into bunches of 15, tie them up with baling twine, and then hang them in the pole barn to dry down and cure. We’re happy to mark that task off the list!

Looking ahead this week we’re glad to be done with the triple digit temps for the moment. We’ve got more transplanting on deck (more sweet corn, celery, and some herbs and escarole) and there are plenty of weeds that jumped up in this weekend’s heat to deal with. I’m looking at you watermelons, leeks, and basil! We’ll be out in the field if you need us.

Enjoy the vegetables and we’ll see you here next week!

Your farmers,
Carri Heisler & Jeff Bramlett

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Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:

Salad Ramen

  • ½ cup seasoned rice vinegar
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup fresh lime juice
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp. toasted sesame seeds
  • 1 tsp. mild red pepper flakes (such as Aleppo-style or Maras)
  • 1 tsp. toasted sesame oil
  • 20 oz. fresh or 12 oz. dried ramen noodles
  • Kosher salt
  • 5-6 cups shredded or shaved vegetables (such as radishes, carrots, scallions, cabbage, lettuce, zucchini, and/or cucumbers)

Whisk vinegar, olive oil, lime juice, soy sauce, sesame seeds, mild red pepper flakes, and sesame oil in a small bowl to combine. Set dressing aside.

Cook noodles in a large pot of boiling salted water according to package directions. Drain and rinse under cold water to stop the cooking. Transfer to a large bowl, add half of reserved dressing, and toss to coat.

Divide noodles among bowls. Top with vegetables and drizzle with remaining dressing.

From Epicurious.com via Bon Appétit by Chris Morocco, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/salad-ramen

Roasted Cauliflower with Kalamata Vinaigrette

  • 1 (2 1/2-to 3-pounds) head cauliflower
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 small garlic clove
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (to taste)
  • 1/4 cup pitted Kalamata olives, finely chopped

Preheat oven to 450°F with rack in lower third.

Cut cauliflower lengthwise into 3/4-inch-thick slices. Put in a large 4-sided sheet pan and toss with 2 tablespoon oil and 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Roast, turning once or twice, until golden and just tender, about 25 minutes.

While cauliflower roasts, mince and mash garlic to a paste with a pinch of salt, then whisk together with lemon juice, remaining 2 tablespoons oil, olives, 1/8 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Serve cauliflower drizzled with Kalamata vinaigrette.

From Epicurious.com via Gourmet by Melissa Roberts, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/roasted-cauliflower-with-kalamata-vinaigrette-354954

Frittata Bites with Chard, Sausage, and Feta

  • Nonstick vegetable oil spray
  • 1 12-ounce bunch Swiss chard, stems and center ribs removed
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 8 ounces mild Italian sausages, casings removed, sausage broken into 1-inch pieces
  • 8 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup crumbled feta cheese (about 4 1/2 ounces)
  • Fresh Italian parsley leaves

Preheat oven to 325°F. Spray 8 x 8 x 2-inch glass baking dish with nonstick spray. Bring large pot of salted water to boil. Add Swiss chard and cook just until wilted, about 2 minutes. Drain. Finely chop chard, then place in kitchen towel and squeeze dry. Set chard aside.

Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion to skillet and sauté until soft, 4 to 5 minutes. Add sausage and sauté until brown and cooked through, breaking up with fork, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from heat and cool.

Whisk eggs, cream, salt, and pepper in large bowl to blend. Add chard and cooled sausage mixture, then feta; stir to blend. Transfer mixture to prepared baking dish.

Bake frittata until set in center, 45 to 55 minutes. Transfer baking dish to rack and cool frittata 15 to 20 minutes. Place platter atop dish with frittata. Using oven mitts, hold baking dish and platter firmly together and invert frittata onto platter; place another platter atop frittata and invert again so that frittata is right side up. Cut frittata into 20 pieces. DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Place frittata pieces on rimmed baking sheet. Cover and chill. Rewarm in 325°F oven until heated through, about 10 minutes.

Transfer frittata pieces to platter. Garnish each piece with parsley; serve warm or at room temperature.

From Epicurious.com via Bon Appétit by Tori Ritchie, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/frittata-bites-with-chard-sausage-and-feta-359351

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