Summer CSA Share – #8

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

  • Head Lettuce – Two heads of oakleaf lettuce this week, one with red tips and one lime green.
  • Lettuce Mix
  • Lacinato Kale or Rainbow Chard
  • Broccoli Side Shoots – After the main head of broccoli is cut some broccoli plants make smaller “side shoot” florets. We’ve got a gap in broccoli for a week or two due to the heat last month but we managed a handful of side shoots for you.
  • Thai Basil – A new one for us, this week we’re bringing you a taste of licorice-flavored Thai basil. You can read about this herb here: https://www.seriouseats.com/you-should-use-thai-basil-southeast-asian.
  • Cucumbers – We’ve got green and yellow slicer cucumbers and some lemons for you to choose from.
  • Zucchini – We’ve got dark green, light green, and yellow zucchini this week.
  • Sweet Corn – Small but tasty!
  • Carrots
  • Torpedo Onion
  • Yellow Onion
  • “Green” Peppers – The peppers are just starting to make fruits and we’re bringing you immature green, purple, and yellow peppers this week. They’re all equivalent to green peppers for recipe purposes.
  • Jalapeno Peppers
  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Slicer Tomatoes
  • Yellow Transparent Apples – Admittedly apples in July is a little weird, but we’ve gotten used to these Yellow Transparents making their appearance mid-summer. They’re soft, not great for fresh eating, but they do make good sauce and longtime CSA member Maya likes putting them in muffins. I’ve also heard they can be tasty when battered and fried for a quick fried pie situation.
First corn harvest of the season (left) and the setting sun last night (right).

Some days farming gets the upper hand on us, and other days we crush it. So far July has been a mix of the two. We’re slowly making progress amidst the minor set backs.

You feel good about making an effort to weed the leeks, only to be stung by a honey bee as you head to lunch. You work hard to fertilize some fall cauliflower, only to realize you need to stop and hoe the kale right now, before you finish the fertilizing and before you finish the bed prep project you were working on before fertilizing the cauliflower. When you get through the projects and the project tangents, you celebrate!

These long days are full of things that need doing and and choices and failings and successes. And our days sometimes feel like an endless series of moving supplies and vegetables and stacks and piles and flats of transplants (so many flats) from here to over there. And we collapse into bed, and rise again with the sun (or often in the middle of the night to change irrigation in Jeff’s case), and start again, with a new day ahead to tackle all the projects some more.

That’s all to say that we’re living the farming dream over here, to the best of our ability.

Jeff tests out his new monocular during Sunday’s transplanting fun (left) and a sweat bee works the rudbeckia flower patch (right).

Looking around at the farm the persistent push seems to be working. We’re getting things done each day and the harvests are coming in. The week ahead will be much the same. We’ll weed more leeks, we’ll start more seeds, we’ll prep more beds, we’ll transplant the fifth and final succession of sweet corn. But we’ll also enjoy eating the first ears of corn of the season, small but tasty! It’s often these little miracles that keep us moving forward.

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:

Drunken Noodles

  • 2 14-ounce packages 1/4-inch-wide flat rice noodles*
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 12 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh Thai chiles*
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground chicken
  • 1/4 cup fish sauce (nam pla or nuoc nam)*
  • 1/4 cup black soy sauce*
  • 1/4 cup Golden Mountain sauce* or light soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 4 large plum tomatoes, each cut into 6 wedges
  • 4 Anaheim chiles or Italian frying peppers, or 2 green bell peppers (about 12 ounces total), cut into strips
  • 1/2 cup fresh Thai basil leaves* or regular basil leaves

Cook noodles in large pot of boiling salted water until tender but still firm to bite, stirring frequently. Drain.

Meanwhile, heat oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add garlic and Thai chiles; sauté 30 seconds. Add chicken and next 4 ingredients and sauté until chicken is cooked through, about 4 minutes. Add noodles, tomatoes, and Anaheim chiles; toss to coat. Transfer to large platter, sprinkle with basil leaves, and serve.

From Epicurious.com via Bon Appétit, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/drunken-noodles-232698

Red Leaf Lettuce, Watercress, and Cucumber Salad with Buttermilk Dressing

  1. For dressing
    • 1/2 cup well-shaken low-fat buttermilk
    • 2 tablespoons low-fat sour cream
    • 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
    • 3/4 teaspoon finely chopped fresh tarragon or 1/4 teaspoon dried tarragon, crumbled
    • 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic, mashed to a paste with 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 1/4 teaspoon dry mustard, or to taste
  2. For salad
    • 1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
    • 1 small head red leaf lettuce (1/2 pound), torn into pieces
    • 1 bunch watercress, coarse stems discarded
    • 1 cup thinly sliced seedless cucumber (usually plastic-wrapped)

Make dressing:

Whisk together all dressing ingredients in a small bowl with salt and pepper to taste.

Make salad:

Soak onion in 1 cup cold water 10 minutes, then drain well in a sieve.

Toss lettuce, watercress, and cucumber together in a bowl and divide among 6 plates. Spoon dressing over, then sprinkle salads with onion.

From Epicurious.com via Gourmet, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/red-leaf-lettuce-watercress-and-cucumber-salad-with-buttermilk-dressing-107606

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