Summer CSA Share – #14

Welcome to the 14th share of the Pitchfork & Crow 2021 Summer CSA!  Here’s what’s in the share this week:

  • Lettuce Mix
  • Escarole – A lettuce-like green that’s slightly hardier and can hold up to grilling or cooking though we’ve had some epic salads with it too.
  • Green Cabbage
  • Mixed Cauliflower
  • Cilantro – Such a quick crop cilantro, it’s a little bolty this week but still tasty.
  • Cucumbers – We’ve got lots of 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. Looking for inspiration? I heard some intriguing zucchini recipes on the latest Dinner Sisters podcast while I was harvesting zucchini today!
  • Sweet Corn – This week’s corn is called ‘Honey Select’ and is a new-to-us variety we’re trialing. It’s the only fully yellow sweet corn we’re growing this season, as all the others are bicolor.
  • Sweet Onions
  • Torpedo Onions
  • Tomatillos – A little like green tomatoes, tomatillos make excellent salsa verde and enchilada sauce. Check out this website for more details and recipes.
  • Aji Marchant Peppers – A hot pepper with an interesting history that is also tasty at the more yellow immature (and less spicy) stage.
  • Mixed Sweet Peppers
  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Slicer Tomatoes
  • Mixed Melons – Mostly ‘Honey Orange‘, a delicious orange fleshed honeydew but some more Tuscan melons and some ‘Lambkin’ Piel de Sapo melons and ‘Brilliant’ canary melons to choose from too.
Are there ever enough bees in fruit photos? (top left), Pears! (top right), Leo helping with the pear harvest (bottom left), delicata winter squash ripening up (bottom right).

The reprieve in hot weather this past week was a welcome shift as we endeavored to keep making project progress here on the farm. I even woke up Wednesday night to a short rainstorm. As I listened to the rain hitting our metal roof through the open bedroom window I couldn’t help but begin mentally scanning the farm for open truck windows, machinery left outside overnight, anything that shouldn’t be getting wet.

The only obvious issue I could come up with in my sleepy stupor was the kale seed crop drying down along the side of our house. Conflicted, because we could use some rain, I silently willed the rain to stop and imagined the seed sprouting ahead of its time. Eventually the rain did stop and I drifted back to sleep. But Thursday I woke up resolved to thresh the seed and get it inside before the next rain event. Luckily it was still dry and I got it in before any harm could be done.

While I cleaned the seed crop and then turned my attention to to harvesting the pears Jeff managed to get in some timely cultivation and mowing. The shift in weather has us motivated to keep plugging away. It won’t be so long before the rains return for real, and the days shorten, and we’re sitting in front of the wood stove making plans for next year. There’s still a lot to be done in this season though.

Onion harvest!

On Saturday and Sunday we finally managed to bring in this season’s onion crop! We’re thankful for investing in an undercutter implement (as seen in the top left photo above) and for a tractor that pulls it. The undercutter has a blade along the bottom edge and digs under the crop as we drive along the bed, lifting the onions and cutting the roots. It means no knives or digging forks are needed as we head down the bed picking up the onions and getting them into boxes for storage. Now the barn has taken on a particularly oniony aroma and if they store well, we’ll be in the onions for months to come.

Bringing in the onions!

In the week ahead we’ve got some transplanting on deck, a little propagation, more mowing, and of course the continued irrigation push. We’ll likely be harvesting apples and maybe potatoes soon. There are some weeds to tackle as always. And it’s time to start planting out the open greenhouses for fall and winter greens. Luckily we’ve got melons and sweet corn and salsa to power us through!

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:

Warm Escarole Salad with Goat Cheese, Hard-Boiled Eggs, and Bacon

  • 1 head of escarole, torn into large bite-size pieces (about 8 cups)
  • 2 bacon slices
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped shallots
  • 2 hard-boiled eggs, chopped
  • 15.5-ounce log soft fresh goat cheese, coarsely crumbled

Divide escarole among 6 plates. Cook bacon in medium nonstick skillet over medium heat until crisp. Transfer to paper towels to drain; reserve skillet with bacon drippings. Finely chop bacon; set aside.

Whisk olive oil and vinegar in small bowl to blend. Heat bacon drippings in skillet over medium heat. Add shallots; sauté until slightly softened, about 3 minutes. Add olive oil mixture and whisk just until heated through, about 1 minute. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Drizzle vinaigrette over escarole. Sprinkle with eggs, goat cheese, and bacon.

From Bonappetit.com, https://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/warm-escarole-salad-with-goat-cheese-hard-boiled-eggs-and-bacon

Caramelized Cabbage

  • ¼ cup double-concentrated tomato paste
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely grated
  • 1½ tsp. ground coriander
  • 1½ tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 medium head of green or savoy cabbage (about 2 lb. total)
  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • Kosher salt
  • 3 Tbsp. chopped dill, parsley, or cilantro
  • Full-fat Greek yogurt or sour cream (for serving)

Preheat oven to 350°. Mix tomato paste, garlic, coriander, cumin, and red pepper flakes in a small bowl.

Cut cabbage in half through core. Cut each half through core into 4 wedges.

Heat ¼ cup oil in a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high. Working in batches if needed, add cabbage to pan cut side down and season with salt. Cook, turning occasionally, until lightly charred, about 4 minutes per side. Transfer cabbage to a plate.

Pour remaining ¼ cup oil into skillet. Add spiced tomato paste and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until tomato paste begins to split and slightly darken, 2–3 minutes. Pour in enough water to come halfway up sides of pan (about 1½ cups), season with salt, and bring to a simmer. Nestle cabbage wedges back into skillet (they should have shrunk while browning; a bit of overlap is okay). Transfer cabbage to oven and bake, uncovered and turning wedges halfway through, until very tender, liquid is mostly evaporated, and cabbage is caramelized around the edges, 40–50 minutes.

Scatter dill over cabbage. Serve with yogurt alongside.

From Bonappetit.com by Andy Baraghani, https://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/caramelized-cabbage

Green Gazpacho

  • ¼ cup white wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1½ cups whole-milk plain Greek yogurt, divided
  • ½ cup olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 4oz. ciabatta or country-style bread, crust removed, bread torn into 1” pieces (about 2½ cups)
  • 1 medium English hothouse cucumber, halved lengthwise, seeds removed, cut into large pieces
  • 1 green bell pepper, coarsely chopped
  • 4 large tomatillos (about 12 oz.), husked, quartered
  • 4 scallions, cut into 1” pieces
  • 2 jalapeños, seeds removed, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely grated
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt, plus more
  • Piment d’Espelette or Hungarian hot paprika (for serving)

Whisk vinegar, lime juice, 1 cup yogurt, and ½ cup oil in a large bowl until smooth. Add bread, cucumber, bell pepper, tomatillos, scallions, jalapeños, garlic, and ¾ tsp. salt and toss to coat (make sure bread is well coated so it can soak up as much flavor as possible). Cover and chill at least 4 hours.

Working in batches, purée bread and vegetable mixture in a blender until very smooth; transfer to a large bowl and season gazpacho with salt.

Whisk remaining ½ cup yogurt in a small bowl, thinning with water a tablespoonful at a time, until the consistency of heavy cream; season with salt.

Serve soup in chilled bowls. Drizzle with thinned yogurt and more oil and sprinkle with piment d’Espelette.

DO AHEAD: Gazpacho can be made 1 day ahead; cover and chill. Mix well before serving.

From Bonappetit.com by Public Kitchen and Bar (Los Angeles, CA), https://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/green-gazpacho

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