Summer CSA Share – #12

Welcome to the 12th share of the Pitchfork & Crow 2021 Summer CSA!  Here’s what’s in the share this week:

  • ‘Crispino’ Iceberg Lettuce
  • Broccoli
  • Thai BasilDon’t forget that basil doesn’t appreciate cold temps and it is best stored on the counter in a glass of water, just like fresh flowers.
  • Cilantro
  • Cucumbers – We’ve got lots of green 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 – This week’s corn is called ‘Montauk’.
  • Carrots – A handful carrots is better than no carrots, right?
  • Bunching Onions
  • Yellow Onions
  • Mixed Eggplant
  • Shishito Peppers – These are those Japanese frying peppers, aka ‘roulette’ peppers, where 1 in 10 might be hot. We suggest you blister them in hot oil and eat as a snack or side, but they’re tasty chopped up and added to any pepper-friendly meal.
  • Mixed Sweet Peppers
  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Slicer Tomatoes
  • Tirreno Tuscan Melons – Our favorite cantaloupe-esque melon!
Rudbeckia, prettying up the hardening off area but never quite getting planted in the field (left) and the sunrise on a smoky, hot morning last week (right).

Well, we made it through the latest heatwave, which thankfully wasn’t as hot as predicted here at the farm. We were ready to hunker down in the shade if needed, but the temps weren’t quite as bad and we managed to keep working for the most part. The reduced high temps were surely due to the increased wildfire smoke in the air, so our days took on that faint apocolyptic hazy glow we’re all coming to know so well. This is a tradeoff we’re willing to make if it means we can keep the farming on track.

Jeff cultivating (left) and Carri threshing seed (right).

After a planting push Thursday we settled into our own projects for much of the week. I spent time threshing a chicory seed crop we grew for our friends at Adaptive Seeds. Chicory seeds are particularly tricky to dislodge but luckily we’re able to borrow this electric chipper/shredder from the real seed growers to help make the process go a little faster. The whole plants get thrashed around in the machine, dislodging the seed and creating lots of smaller debris. Then the game shifts to sifting through screens and winnowing in front of a box fan to remove everything but the seed. It’s a rewarding process with a bag of clean seed upon completion.

While I tackled the seed cleaning project Jeff kept focused on the farmscape and bulk harvests. He managed to catch-up on some much needed cultivation with the Farmall Cub. When we can keep the weeds under control with the Cub things generally go a lot smoother. He also spent time in the melon patch, hauling in the ripe melons and then also harvested this weeks carrots. The heavy harvest season has certainly arrived!

Vegetable storage tip: most things are pretty happy inside a rubbermaid bin in our fridge for at minimum a week.

One night this week when Jeff was on dinner duty he pulled our vegetable bin from the fridge and suggested we share our storage method in case anyone might be interested. Back when we were members of a CSA we found the easiest way to store our share was to keep most things in a rubbermaid bin on a dedicated shelf in our fridge. Sometimes the peppers find another home and of course basil doesn’t go in the fridge, but the majority of the produce in the share stores well in enclosed bin in the fridge. When it’s time to cook a meal we pull out the bin and grab what we need.

While it doesn’t help visually, and I know some of you have good luck with cleaning/prepping vegetables ahead of time, this is a storage method that certainly extends produce life when the vegetable drawer is full and you just need to get your share in the fridge. Which is us on Wednesday nights when we fill our fridge with farm seconds after the last of the CSA harvest and distribution is done for the week and the last thing we want to do is prep vegetables.

In the week ahead we’ll be making our last big transplanting push of fall and overwintering brassicas. We’ve also got some beets, lettuce, spinach, and escarole that will likely find a spot in the field. Hopefully we’ll have time to turn our attention the great onion harvest that continues to loom in the distance. So many onions!

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:

Tomato, Mozzarella & Thai Basil

  • 12 slices seven-grain or sesame bread
  • 1/2 garlic clove
  • 2 cups (about 10 ounces) halved cherry or grape tomatoes
  • 1 small shallot, minced
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon unseasoned rice vinegar
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Sliced fresh mozzarella
  • Thai basil leaves

Grill bread slices and rub with garlic clove.

In a bowl, combine tomatoes, shallot, sesame oil, and rice vinegar. Season with sea salt and pepper; let sit for 15 minutes.

Put sliced fresh mozzarella on toasts. Spoon tomato mixture over mozzarella and garnish with Thai basil leaves. Season with sea salt and pepper.

From Epicurious.com via Bon Appétit, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/tomato-mozzarella-thai-basil-crostini-365789

Thai Coconut, Broccoli, and Coriander Soup

  • 1/3 cup store-bought green curry paste
  • 1 (13.5-ounce) can coconut milk
  • 3 cups water
  • Sea salt and cracked black pepper
  • 1 pound broccoli florets, chopped
  • 2 cups baby spinach leaves, plus more to serve
  • 2 cups cilantro leaves
  • 2 scallions, shredded
  • Store-bought crispy shallots or onions, to serve

Place the curry paste in a medium saucepan over medium heat and cook, stirring, for 1 minute or until fragrant. Add the coconut milk, water, salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Add the broccoli, cover and cook for 10 minutes or until the broccoli is tender. Remove from the heat and add the spinach leaves and half the cilantro.

Using an immersion blender, blend the soup until smooth. Divide among serving bowls and top with the extra spinach, remaining cilantro, scallions and shallots.

From Epicurious.com via Donna Hay Magazine by Donna Hay, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/thai-coconut-broccoli-and-coriander-soup-56390092

Cucumber, Tomato, and Feta Salad

  • 6 cups coarsely chopped English hothouse or Persian cucumbers (about 2 pounds total)
  • 2 large tomatoes (about 1 pound total), coarsely chopped
  • 1 bunch scallions, chopped
  • 1 cup assorted pitted olives (such as Kalamata or Gaeta), halved
  • 1 7-ounce package feta, crumbled, divided
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh mint
  • 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Combine cucumbers, tomatoes, scallions, olives, half of feta, and mint in a large bowl. Whisk oil and lemon juice in a small bowl; season dressing with salt and pepper. Pour dressing over salad; toss to coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Sprinkle remaining half of feta over and serve.

From Epicurious.com via Bon Appétit, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/cucumber-tomato-and-feta-salad-365671

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