Summer CSA Share – #7

Welcome to the 7th share of the Pitchfork & Crow 2021 Summer CSA!  Here’s what’s in the share this week:

  • Head Lettuce – A trio of head lettuces this week including a red romaine called Pomegranate Crunch, a reddish butterhead called Sangria, and a green iceberg called Crispino. They’re all on the small size, so no reason to not get to try them all!
  • Green Cabbage – We know, they’re big! Perhaps best cooked down this week. We like to eat sauteed cabbage and onions over noodles when we’ve got a big cabbage to use up.
  • Broccoli
  • Basil – Best stored on the counter with the stems submerged in a glass of water, just like a flower bouquet. Putting basil in the fridge can result in chilling injury, resulting in black and slimy basil leaves.
  • Cucumbers! – We’ve got green and yellow slicer cucumbers for you to choose from.
  • Zucchini – We’ve got dark green, light green, and yellow zucchini this week.
  • New Potatoes – These are straight out of the ground, so fresh their skins haven’t hardened. No need to peel them. Not great for storing, we suggest using them up sooner than later and keeping them in the fridge until you do.
  • Carrots
  • Sweet Onions
  • Garlic
  • Mixed Tomatoes – Choose from slicers or cherries this week.
Future food: The first sweet corn is nearly ready (top left), the peppers are pepping (top right), the babiest butternut squash (lower left), and chicory seed aka winter salad (lower right).

I recently needed to make a visit to the DMV. As with so many aspects of our daily lives, a quick trip to the DMV has gotten more difficult thanks to COVID-19. No longer can you just stop by, take a number, wait your turn, do your business. Now you need an appointment. And appointments are harder to come by than you might think. After trying and failing to get something scheduled last week I tried again Monday and successfully got an appointment to visit the second closest office, September 16th. Luckily my business with the DMV isn’t urgent or time sensitive and doesn’t impact my daily life. But it got me to thinking ahead to mid-September and how it seems like a long time to wait to visit the DMV, two months isn’t so far away.

By then the heat of August, that is sure to be brutal, will hopefully be a memory and fall will be on our doorstep. We’ll have made it through the vast majority of the season’s planting and our focus will have shifted to the big harvests of storage crops. We’ll be just a couple of weeks shy of bringing in the winter squash. The days will be shorter and the work of the season won’t feel so urgent, so frantic. Our freezer will be full of salmon from our salmon CSA share. It will be time to get some tomatoes in jars for the winter ahead. Just two months away, yet there’s so much to be done before we get there.

Honeybees! Collecting pollen from some zinnias and drinking water from the drip in the sweet potatoes.

Like the honeybees busily collecting pollen and converging at all the irrigation drips, we’re staying focused over here and getting things done. Jeff managed to do a lot of field maintenance this past week and the farm is looking like a different place. Many of the season’s first plantings have been wiped clean, ready for another cropping or summer cover crop. It’s amazing how mowing those spent crops can help re-focus the priorities and clear the field and mind. We’re strategizing fall and winter plantings now, already thinking ahead to winter cover crops.

We also made it through another annual organic inspection, our second virtual meeting. We covered all the paperwork records including input and seed purchases, fertilizing timing, crop rotations, harvest records etc. and managed a virtual field walk. It’s always nice to be on the other side of the annual inspection. While we appreciate the third party inspection process, it’s good to have that task done for another year.

On tap this week is more of the same. A little transplanting, a little seed sowing, a little ground prep., lots of irrigating. It’s time to finally pull the peas out of the high tunnel and begin readying the space for fall and winter crops. We’ll also be sowing our fall and winter carrots. Fall will be here before we know it. And so will that DMV appointment.

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:

Minestrone with Basil

  • 1/2 cup dried red beans
  • 5 cups water
  • 2 cups shredded green cabbage
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped tomatoes
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, diced
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 1 zucchini, diced
  • 1 medium russet potato, peeled, left whole
  • 1 small russet potato, peeled, diced
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons finely chopped garlic
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup small shell pasta
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Place beans in medium bowl. Add enough cold water to cover by 2 inches; soak overnight. Drain.

Place beans in large Dutch oven. Add 5 cups water and next 11 ingredients and bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until beans are tender, stirring occasionally, about 1 hour.

Transfer 2 cups soup and whole potato to blender and puree. Return puree to soup in pot. Add pasta and 1/4 cup basil; simmer uncovered until pasta is cooked through and flavors blend, stirring occasionally, about 25 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Mix in 1/4 cup basil. Serve with Parmesan cheese.

From Epicurious.com via Bon Appétit via Caffe Trinity, San Francisco, CA, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/minestrone-with-basil-1180

Shrimp Salad with Zucchini and Basil

  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons drained capers
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1 pound uncooked large shrimp, peeled, deveined
  • 2 zucchini, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 2 cups)
  • 8 cups mixed baby greens (about 5 ounces) (or chopped lettuce)
  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese (optional)

Whisk lemon juice, capers, shallot, mustard, and dried red pepper in medium bowl. Whisk in oil, then basil. Season dressing to taste with salt and pepper.

Bring large saucepan of salted water to boil. Add shrimp and cook 1 minute. Add zucchini; continue cooking until shrimp are opaque in center and zucchini is crisp-tender, about 1 minute longer. Drain. Rinse under cold water and cool. Drain well. Transfer to large bowl. Add 1/3 cup dressing and toss to coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Toss greens in large bowl with enough dressing to coat. Divide greens among 4 plates. Arrange shrimp and zucchini atop greens. Serve, passing Parmesan cheese separately, if desired.

From Epicurious.com via Bon Appétit, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/shrimp-salad-with-zucchini-and-basil-105146

Pikliz (Haitian Pickled Vegetable Relish)

  • 2 1/2 cups thinly sliced cabbage, cut crosswise 2-3 times for shorter shreds (from about 1/4 large cabbage)
  • 1 cup julienned or grated carrots (from about 1 medium carrot)
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced shallots (from about 1 large shallot)
  • 6 Scotch bonnet peppers, stemmed, quartered
  • 3 sprigs thyme
  • 8 whole cloves
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 cups (or more) distilled white vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons fresh key lime (or regular lime) juice

Pack cabbage, carrots, shallots, peppers, thyme, cloves, and salt into a 1 1/2-quart resealable jar. Add vinegar and lime juice, seal jar, and shake until ingredients are distributed and salt is dissolved. Add more vinegar if needed to just cover vegetables. Chill, shaking gently twice daily, at least 3 days before serving.

Cooks’ Note: If you can’t find Scotch bonnet peppers, substitute habaneros.

From Epicurious.com by Nils Bernstein, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/pikliz-haitian-pickled-vegetable-relish

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