Winter CSA Share #5

Welcome to the 5th share of the Pitchfork & Crow 2021/2022 Winter CSA! Here’s what’s in the share this week:

  • Kalettes – a cross between Brussels and kale, pop off the kale florets and use them like kale, or Brussels sprouts. Roast them, saute them, salad them, you get the idea.
  • Purple Sprouting Broccoli
  • Arugula or Tatsoi Rapini – The tunnel greens are starting to go to seed. Luckily for all of us they’re super delicious at this stage. (Salem, only arugula for you!)
  • Mixed Radicchio These frost-sweetened heads are just asking for creamy dressing, or something citrusy perhaps, and it also holds up well to warm toppings like bacon, chicken, or (our favorite) salmon.
  • Spinach Mix
  • Cilantro – Leaves and roots! Check out this info on cilantro roots for prep and recipe information.
  • Red Chieftan Potatoes
  • Carrots
  • Sunchokes (aka Jerusalem Artichokes) – These are roots of a sunflower variety.  We enjoy them shredded and sauteed but they’re good raw, roasted, and in soups too.  Please note that they contain high levels of the carbohydrate inulin, which is difficult for some folks to digest.  Converting the inulin to fructose through cooking with vinegar or fermenting seems to be a good solution.
  • Bunching Onions
  • GarlicSee the note below about onions.
  • Onion – We ask a lot of our storage crops. We harvest them in early fall and then let them sit and wait and wait until they make an appearance in the share. We’re getting better at selecting long storing varieties but there’s just only so long an onion wants to store sometimes. That’s to say, eat your onions before they sprout because spring is just around the corner.
  • Black Futsu Winter Squash – A Japanese heirloom squash related to butternut, it’s bright orange on the inside and some say it has a hint of hazelnut taste. Use it in an recipe calling for winter squash or butternut.
  • Butternut Squash
  • Corn Flour– We grow a flint corn called Cascade Ruby Gold that grinds partially into flour and partially into polenta when milled. This week we’re sharing flour and next week we’ll share the polenta. You can use this flour in any recipe calling for corn flour or cornmeal. We like to use it for perfect cornbread.
  • Dried Apples

We are already over 85% full for the Summer CSA! It’s time to reserve your spot if you want to join us for a summer and fall of local, seasonal, and organic vegetables. Find all the details and a sign-up form over on the Summer CSA page.

Sunny winter sunset on the farm!

Winter is flying by and somehow here we are halfway through the Winter CSA season. We’ll be firing up the germination chamber later this week and getting the first seeds of the upcoming summer season started. Our first order of organic fertilizer is scheduled for delivery on Thursday. The 2022 growing season is about to get real!

Soil sample day (left) and digging carrots (right).

There’s been plenty of behind the scenes preparation already happening for the season ahead. Inventorying of seed orders as they arrive in the mail, budgeting for growing supplies that we’ll need in the upcoming months, sending in soil samples and analyzing the results. This is when we’re able to plan ahead, stockpile supplies, and spend time contemplating the months ahead. Before we know it we’ll be in the thick of things. I’ll be managing temperatures and watering schedules in the propagation house. Jeff will be on mowing and ground prep duty. Our days will be consumed with the acts of growing vegetables. But for this brief moment, that’s all ahead of us.

Sifting corn flour.

In between the continued planning for the upcoming growing season and getting through the paperwork of the past season (taxes and annual loan paperwork requirements mostly) we’ve been trying to stay on top of the current CSA season too. We try to include some fun pantry items throughout the winter season and those often take a little more time like the dried apples. This week we’re also bringing you corn flour, milled from the Cascade Ruby Gold flint corn we grew. It’s a fun, if fiddly, process that begins with printing labels for the bags and grinding the corn using our electric stone flour mill and ends with sifting the flour from the polenta and bagging it all up.

In the weeks ahead we’ll be straightening up the propagation house and starting those first seeds. We’ll also be prepping to plant our first round of potatoes in a greenhouse. The next season is sneaking in as we work on finishing up digging carrots and harvesting the last of the other roots from the field.

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:

Crispy Jerusalem Artichokes with Aged Balsamic Vinegar

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 pounds small Jerusalem artichokes (sunchokes), scrubbed, quartered
  • Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
  • 4 sprigs rosemary
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons aged balsamic vinegar

Heat oil in a large skillet, preferably cast iron (you’ll need a lid), over mediumhigh heat. Add Jerusalem artichokes and 1/4 cup water and season with salt and pepper. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until Jerusalem artichokes are fork-tender, 8–10 minutes.

Uncover skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until water is evaporated and Jerusalem artichokes begin to brown and crisp, 8–10 minutes longer; transfer to a platter.

Add rosemary and butter to skillet and cook, stirring often, until butter foams, then browns, about 4 minutes.

Remove skillet from heat and stir in vinegar, scraping up any browned bits. Spoon brown butter sauce and rosemary over Jerusalem artichokes.

From Epicurious via Bon Appétit, http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/crispy-jerusalem-artichokes-with-aged-balsamic-51255110

Pasta with Butternut Squash and Spinach

  • 6 ounces cavatappi or other spiral-shaped pasta
  • 1 small butternut squash (about 1 pound) (or sub. another type of winter squash)
  • 5 cups packed spinach leaves (about 1 bunch)
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan (about 1 1/2 ounces)

Fill a 4-quart kettle three fourths full with salted water and bring to a boil for cooking pasta.

Quarter, seed, and peel squash. Cut squash into 1/2-inch cubes. Coarsely chop spinach and mince garlic.

In a large heavy skillet heat oil over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking and sauté squash with salt to taste, stirring occasionally, until almost tender, about 7 minutes.

While squash is cooking, cook pasta in boiling water until al dente. Reserve 1/2 cup cooking water and drain pasta in a colander.

Add spinach and garlic to skillet with squash and cook over moderately high heat, stirring, until any liquid is evaporated. Add pasta and reserved cooking water and bring to a boil. Season pasta with lemon juice and salt and pepper. Remove skillet from heat and toss pasta with Parmesan.

From Epicurious.com via Gourmet, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/pasta-with-butternut-squash-and-spinach-14581

Chicory Salad with Bacon, Crispy Potatoes, and Fried Egg

  • 1/2 lb sliced bacon, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 1/2 lb boiling potatoes
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped shallot
  • 1 tablespoon red-wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/2 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1/2 lb chicory, chopped (6 cups)

Cook bacon in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over moderate heat, stirring, until crisp. Transfer with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain, leaving fat in skillet.

Peel potatoes and cut into 1/2-inch cubes. Cook in bacon fat over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until golden and cooked through, about 15 minutes. Transfer with slotted spoon to paper towels to drain.

While potatoes are cooking, combine shallot and vinegar in a large bowl and let stand 10 minutes. Stir in mustard and then olive oil until combined well.

Just before serving, slowly fry eggs to desired doneness in vegetable oil with salt and pepper to taste in a large nonstick skillet over moderate heat.

Add chicory to dressing, tossing to coat. Add bacon and potatoes, tossing, and season with salt and pepper. Serve salad topped with eggs.

From Epicurious.com via Gourmet, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/chicory-salad-with-bacon-044-crispy-potatoes-044-and-fried-egg-104541

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