Winter CSA Share #1

Welcome to the 1st share of the Pitchfork & Crow 2021/2022 Winter CSA! Here’s what’s in the share this week:

  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Napa Cabbage
  • Big Winter Spinach
  • Mini Romaine Lettuces
  • Cilantro
  • Rainbowish Carrots – Mostly orange, but you’ll find a few purple and yellow roots mixed too.
  • Fingerling Potatoes
  • Sweet Potatoes – The smaller side of our small sweet potato crop. Still tasty tubers though!
  • Purple Top White Globe Turnip
  • Purple Daikon Radishes
  • Garlic
  • Onions
  • Long Pie Pumpkin – Like an elongated pie pumpkin, more pumpkin for your pie needs!
  • Kabocha Squash – A drier, flakier orange fleshed squash great in pies, soups, and curries.
  • Dried Farm Apples!
Up above the farm, looking east.

Welcome to the first week of the Winter CSA! We’re excited to kick off our ninth winter season and hope you are too! Whether you’re a returning member who is already well versed in seasonal eating or a new member joining us for the first time, we hope you know we’ll be trying our darndest to bring you the best organic vegetables we can grow to each CSA pick-up over the next five months.

Looking down on the center of the farm.

As you know already, winter weather can be unpredictable and growing conditions are the most challenging through the winter months. Ice and snow can be game changers. Short cold days mean not much plant growth is happening at the moment so we’re relying on the planning and planting that happened last summer and fall. That’s all to say that while winter may like to keep us on our toes, there will be vegetables to eat and hopefully they’ll include a wide diversity!

Morning light, above the farm, looking west.

We often get questions about how we spent the two week break between the end of the Summer CSA season and the beginning of the Winter CSA season. No, we didn’t have big travel plans, but we did manage to leave the farm for a couple of day-long adventures. The photos up above were taken with a drone, an early Christmas present from Jeff. In addition to testing it out around the farm we took it up to the woods and over to the beach.

Can you see us?

In between our drone flying lessons we also managed to knock out some end-of-season farm projects. We disassembled the tomato trellising and cleaned out the tomato house. We put the ends on some of the high tunnels for the winter. We finished cleaning the dry beans and shelled the flour corn, thus freeing up the propagation house for spring seed-starting. We re-organized the winter squash and cleaned the barn. We ordered a new high tunnel, which will be arriving on Thursday. We found a shop that fixes hydraulic cylinders and had our tractor’s loader cylinders repaired. We did some serious cleaning of our house (though it’s hard to tell in spots now that we’ve returned to mud season). We ate pies, roasted vegetables, salmon with chicories, and homemade potstickers. It was a successful working staycation!

Enjoy the vegetables and we’ll see you here again in two weeks!

Your farmers,
Carri Heisler & Jeff Bramlett

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Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:

CHICKEN STIR-FRY WITH YAMS, RED CABBAGE, AND HOISIN

  • 2 tablespoons Asian sesame oil, divided
  • yams (red-skinned sweet potatoes; about 1 pound), peeled, cut crosswise into 1/3-inch-thick rounds, then cut into 1/3-inch-wide strips
  • red onion, cut lengthwise into 1/3-inch-thick slices
  • 8 ounces skinless boneless chicken cutlets, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-wide strips
  • 1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
  • garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 cups 1/3-inch-thick strips sliced red cabbage (about 1/4 medium head) (how about napa cabbage?)
  • 3 tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • 3/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Heat 1 tablespoon sesame oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add yams and onion; stir-fry until yams are just tender, adjusting heat if browning too quickly and adding water by tablespoonfuls if mixture is dry, about 12 minutes. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil to skillet. Add chicken, ginger, and garlic; stir-fry 1 minute. Add cabbage; stirfry until chicken is cooked through and cabbage is wilted but still slightly crunchy, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in hoisin sauce. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Mix in 1/2 cup cilantro. Transfer stir-fry to serving bowl; sprinkle with remaining cilantro.

From Epicurious.com via Bon Appétit, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/chicken-stir-fry-with-yams-red-cabbage-and-hoisin-351250

ROOT VEGETABLE TAGINE WITH SWEET POTATOES, CARROTS, TURNIPS, AND SPICE-ROASTED CHICKPEAS

  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
  • 4 1/2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt, divided
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped onion
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 1/4 cups 1/2-inch cubes peeled carrots
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 1/4 pounds red-skinned sweet potatoes, peeled, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 pound turnips (about 2 medium), peeled, cut into 3/4-inch wedges
  • 3/4 cup brine-cured green olives, pitted, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes (about 1 ounce; not oil-packed), thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon dried mint
  • 1 10-ounce box plain couscous (cooked according to package directions)
  • Spice-Roasted Chickpeas

Toast coriander, cumin, and caraway seeds in small skillet over medium heat until beginning to brown, about 2 minutes. Cool. Transfer to spice mill; process until finely ground. Transfer to small bowl. Add red pepper, turmeric, and 1/2 teaspoon salt.

Mix lemon slices, lemon juice, and 4 teaspoons coarse salt in small skillet. Bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until lemon slices are almost tender, about 10 minutes. Cool preserved lemon. Drain and chop. DO AHEAD: Spice blend and preserved lemon can be made 1 week ahead. Store spice blend airtight at room temperature. Transfer preserved lemon to small bowl; cover and chill.

Heat olive oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add onion; sprinkle with salt and sauté until beginning to soften, about 5 minutes. Add toasted spice blend, garlic, and tomato paste; stir 1 minute. Add carrots and celery; stir 2 minutes. Add chopped preserved lemon, 4 cups water, sweet potatoes, turnips, olives, and sun-dried tomatoes. Simmer with lid ajar until vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally, about 35 minutes. Stir in parsley, cilantro, and mint. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Remove from heat and let stand 10 minutes to allow flavors to blend.

Spoon couscous into large bowl, spreading out to edges and leaving well in center. Spoon vegetable tagine into well in center. Sprinkle Spice-Roasted Chickpeas over and serve.

From Epicurious.com via Bon Appétit, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Root-Vegetable-Tagine-with-Sweet-Potatoes-Carrots-Turnips-and-Spice-Roasted-Chickpeas-361252

ROASTED ROOT VEGETABLES

  • 2 1/2-pound butternut squash, peeled, seeded, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 5 cups)
  • 1 1/2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, unpeeled, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 bunch beets (about 1 1/2 pounds), trimmed but not peeled, scrubbed, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (how about carrots and/or sweet potatoes?)
  • 1 medium-size red onion, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 2 cups)
  • 1 large turnip, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 1 cup)
  • 1 head of garlic, cloves separated, peeled
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Preheat oven to 425°F. Oil 2 large rimmed baking sheets. Combine all ingredients in very large bowl; toss to coat. Divide vegetables between prepared baking sheets; spread evenly. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Roast vegetables until tender and golden brown, stirring occasionally, about 1 hour 15 minutes. (Can be prepared 2 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature. Rewarm in 350°F oven 15 minutes.)

From Epicurious.com via Bon Appétit, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/roasted-root-vegetables-104833

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