Summer CSA Share #22

Welcome to the 22nd share of the Pitchfork & Crow 2021 Summer CSA!  Here’s what’s in the share this week:

  • Escarole – We like to eat escarole as a salad green under some warm rice and baked salmon topped with creamy dressing. It can be more dense than some like as a straight lettuce substitute, but holds up well to a light wilting in soups or other warm dishes.
  • Arugula – Spice up your salads with this peppery green, or add it to soups, put it on pizza, or make a pesto!
  • Dill
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Carrots!
  • Yukon Gem Potatoes – A new version of the Yukon Gold standby.
  • Shallots – Drier, denser, and milder than their onion cousins, shallots can be substituted in any recipe calling for onions.
  • Garlic
  • “Delectable” Sweet Corn – Okay, that’s the very last of the sweet corn, for reals.
  • Mixed Romano Beans – Late October Beans!
  • Jalapeno Peppers
  • Mixed Sweet Peppers – We are rapidly approaching the last of the sweet peppers. Enjoy!
  • Mixed Tomatoes
  • Spaghetti Squash – Now a common pasta replacement I’m betting you’ve got a go-to for spaghetti squash. In case you don’t here’s some recipe inspiration to peruse.
Photo of storm clouds above the fall farmscape.

Here we are, on the cusp of November, enjoying the fall sights at the farm. The pear tree leaves are turning orange, the corn stalks have dried down to a straw color, even the big oak trees have lost some of their green to the seasonal shift. The past few days have been a blustery and beautiful slog as the latest storms have rolled over us. And we’re here for it! Thanks to the proper gear we’re able to stay dry and cozy as we make it through a harvest day like yesterday, with the rain coming down and wind blowing and the sky an ever-changing palette of grey.

It wasn’t so long ago that the road down the middle of the farm was a dry and dusty stretch. Dust clouds would rise in every footstep. But the return of the rain is also the return of the mud puddles. At long last, we’ve arrived at mud season!

Photo of the escarole harvest and a photo of the dill harvest.
I think you’d be impressed by the wind happening in these photos, but you’ll just ave to imagine the gusts.

Though we were racing to get many things done ahead of mud season, we didn’t quite make it. We’ve still got some potatoes to dig, some winter radishes to harvest, some carrots to excavate. We made a good push this past week and the walk-in coolers are filling up with food for fall and winter shares. We added many, many bags of potatoes to the refrigerated potato mountains. We also spent some time threshing and winnowing dry beans this past weekend. Our old propagation house turned out to be a prime spot for drying down the bean plants after harvest and now they’re ready for a final sort before heading into future shares too.

In the week ahead we’ll be dodging more rainstorms as we work to finish up the field work remaining on deck. Those potatoes won’t harvest them selves unfortunately. We’ve also got some greenhouse hoeing to get to, flour corn to shell, and tractor maintenance to undertake. We’re awfully close to wrapping up this season, but not quite yet.

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:

Gratin of Yukon Gold Potatoes, Bacon, and Arugula

  • 12 ounces bacon slices, chopped
  • 2 1/2 cups whipping cream
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 3 1/2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled, thinly sliced into rounds
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 ounces arugula, trimmed, coarsely chopped
  • 2 cups grated Gruyère cheese

Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 375°F. Butter 13x9x2-inch baking dish. Cook bacon in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat until crisp. Using slotted spoon, transfer bacon to paper towels and drain.

Mix cream and milk in 4-cup measuring cup. Layer 1/3 of potatoes in prepared dish; overlap slightly. Sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Top potatoes with half of arugula. Top with 1/3 of cheese and 1/3 of bacon. Pour 1 cup cream mixture over. Repeat layering. Top with remaining potatoes. Sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, remaining cheese and bacon. Pour remaining cream mixture over.

Bake gratin uncovered until potatoes are tender and cream mixture thickens, about 1 hour 15 minutes. Let stand 15 minutes before serving. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cool slightly. Chill uncovered until cold, then cover and keep refrigerated. Rewarm, covered with foil, in 375°F oven about 30 minutes.)

From Epicurious.com, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/gratin-of-yukon-gold-potatoes-bacon-and-arugula-102674

Herby Corn Salad

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons Sherry vinegar
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 thinly sliced small shallot
  • 1/2 cup torn fresh herbs (such as dill, mint, and/or chives)
  • 3 cups raw or cooled blanched fresh corn kernels

Whisk 1/4 cup olive oil and 2 tablespoons Sherry vinegar in a large bowl; season with salt and pepper. Add 1 thinly sliced small shallot and 1/2 cup torn fresh herbs (such as dill, mint, and/or chives).

Fold in 3 cups raw or cooled blanched fresh corn kernels; season with salt and pepper.

From Epicurious.com, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/herby-corn-salad-51242030

Escarole with Bacon, Dates, and Warm Walnut Vinaigrette

  • 1 7- to 8-ounce head of escarole, coarsely torn
  • 6 Medjool dates, halved, pitted, diced
  • 1/2 cup walnut pieces, toasted
  • 5 bacon slices, cut crosswise into strips
  • 1/3 cup walnut oil or extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large shallot, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • Fine sea salt

Combine escarole, dates, and walnuts in large bowl. Cook bacon in medium skillet over medium-high heat until brown and crisp. Using slotted spoon, transfer bacon to paper towels to drain. Add bacon to bowl with salad.

Discard drippings from skillet; add walnut oil. Place over low heat. Add shallot; sauté until soft, about 3 minutes. Remove skillet from heat; add vinegar and whisk to blend. Season vinaigrette with sea salt and black pepper. Gradually add warm dressing to salad, tossing to coat. Divide among plates.

From Epicurious.com by Myra Goodman and Sarah LaCasse, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/escarole-with-bacon-dates-and-warm-walnut-vinaigrette-363709

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