Welcome to the 8th 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
- Rainbow Chard
- Salad Mix – A mix of lettuces and arugula.
- Spinach Mix
- Yukon Gem Potatoes
- Carrots – After a long winter of hanging out in the ground, we suggest these carrots are going to be best cooked.
- French Breakfast Radishes
- Bunching Onions
- Red 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 sooner than later.
- Tetsukabuto Winter Squash – A cross between butternut and kabocha = the best of both worlds!
- Dried Apples
The vernal equinox on Sunday officially marked the first day of spring and the crossing into more daylight hours than dark hours. We’ve made it through another dark winter! The recent time change has a way of emphasizing the arrival of spring with the push of the clock forward and a later setting sun. Things here on the farm are about to get very busy.
Much of my (Carri’s) time is spent managing the propagation house these days. We’re into a weekly seed sowing schedule now which means a weekly session of filling flats with soil mix, getting seeds into the flats, and stacking the flats into the germination chamber. We keep the germ. chamber heated to 75-85 degrees depending on the seeds and it generally takes a few days for the first seeds to sprout.
Once the first signs of germination are noticed the flats are quickly moved into the propagation house. Heat loving crops like tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants are put on heat tables and other crops are set out on wooden benches. This time of year the nights can still get fairly chilly so we cover flats with row cover and cover the heats tables with both row cover and a plastic sheet as needed.
We aim to begin transplanting into the field at the beginning of April and it takes some crops longer to get to transplanting size than others. That means the propagation house is already filling up with the plants we’ll be transplanting in a couple of weeks plus the crops like tomatoes and peppers that will get transplanted in late April and May. A walk through the propagation house is a glimpse into our future work and our future food.
If you recall the journey of tractor repairs I mentioned two weeks ago you might wonder where we ended up. Well, we may have predicted it, but we discovered we needed to replace the radiator in addition to the numerous other parts we’d already dealt with. Down side of a radiator replacement is that our Italian tractor came with a specialized Italian radiator that was not easily found on the internet unlike the other parts thus far. Upside is that we discovered that the world headquarters for Radiator Supply House, a radiator manufacturing and repair company, is located just up the road in Sweet Home. They’re building us a new radiator as I write and we hope to be back in business with tractor work by the end of the week. Fingers crossed that’s the last tractor repair for a while.
Enjoy the vegetables and we’ll see you here again in two weeks!
Carri Heisler & Jeff Bramlett
Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:
Miso Brown Sugar Cabbage
1 tablespoon white miso
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon light brown sugar
2 teaspoons sesame oil
4 cups cabbage, shredded into 1/4-inch thick pieces (about 1/2 a head of cabbage)
1 pinch salt
In a small bowl, using a fork, mix together the miso, soy sauce and brown sugar until well combined. Set aside.
Heat a large nonstick pan over high heat. Once hot, add the sesame oil. Add all of the cabbage. You should hear a sizzle when it hits the pan. Cook, without stirring, until the cabbage bigs to char, about 1 to 2 minutes. Stir the mixture just once and then let sit for another 1 to 2 minutes to let the cabbage char a bit more. Remove the pan from the heat, add the sauce and toss to combine.
Plate onto a shallow bowl and serve warm.
From Food52.com by Grant Melton, https://food52.com/recipes/82533-miso-brown-sugar-cabbage
1 pound chard, stems and leaves
Butter, for the baking dish
1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
1 3/4 cups heavy cream
A handful of grated parmesan
Freshly ground black pepper
Heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Cut the chard leaves from the stems. Chop the stems into short lengths, then cook briefly in boiling, lightly salted water until crisply tender. Remove the stems. Drip the leaves in the boiling water briefly, until they relax. Drain, let cool, and wring out the leaves. Spread the stems and leaves in a buttered shallow ovenproof dish.
Put the mustard in a bowl and stir in the cream and a grinding of salt and black pepper. Pour the seasoned cream over the stems and leaves, cover with grated Parmesan, and bake, 35 to 40 minutes, until the top has a light crust the color of honey.
From Food52.com by Amanda Hesser, https://food52.com/recipes/22420-chard-gratin
Radish and Butter Tartine
1 slice good bread, toasted
Best-quality salted butter, at room temperature
A few small radishes, sliced
Flaky salt, like Maldon or Jacobsen
Smear the butter on one side of bread; it’s best when the bread is no longer hot, since you don’t want the butter to melt. Top with radishes, then sprinkle with good flaky salt.
From Food52.com by Marian Bull, https://food52.com/recipes/28345-radish-and-butter-tartine