Winter CSA Share #9

Welcome to the 9th share of the Pitchfork & Crow 2021/2022 Winter CSA! Here’s what’s in the share this week:

  • Cauliflower
  • Purple Sprouting Broccoli
  • Mixed Brassica Rapini – Choose from kale, cabbage, and collard rapini bunches. Prepare it like you would sprouting broccoli or kale.
  • Arugula Rapini
  • Bok Choy
  • Spinach
  • Mixed Magic Molly & French Fingerling Potatoes
  • Carrots – After a long winter of hanging out in the ground, we suggest these carrots are going to be best cooked.
  • Red & Purple Radishes – Too many radishes? We suggest trying them roasted with other roots or cooked into soups and curries.
  • 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.
  • Onions – 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
April harvests look like purple sprouting broccoli from the field and radishes, bok choy, spinach, and arugula from a field house.

We’ve made it to the penultimate share of the 2021-2022 Winter CSA season! We’ll see you all again in two weeks for the final share of the season to wrap things up.

Spring is springing here on the farm. The plum and pear trees are flowering and the beekeepers brought some beehives back to the farm this past week just in time. The lengthening days and some recent warmer temps have got the grass, weeds, and crops all growing like crazy.

Back on January 15th we direct sowed arugula, bok choy, and spinach, all of which are making an appearance in this week’s share. It always feels like a leap of faith to put seeds in the ground and expect food to appear, and never more so than in the dead of winter. Somehow it’s worked again and we’re all going to be eating well for the next couple of weeks thanks to the miracle of seeds and soil and water and sunlight.

It’s time to get planting!

The most exciting news from the farm is that we’ve officially begun the transplanting season! After a fall/winter of chasing tractor repairs we seem to be back in business with the repairs behind us for the moment. Our tractor is an integral part of how we make this farming thing work with just two people and it’s back in action just in time. The first successions of chard, kale, broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage all found a place in the field this weekend. Fingers crossed the weather settles itself soon and we’re able to continue to make planting progress.

Here’s a little video of the first transplanting of the season. Actions shots of just how we get those plants in the ground using our water wheel transplanter, plus a lot of ball throwing with Leo.

Fertilizing blueberries (top left) propagation house scene (top right), and snap peas! (bottom).

While we attempted to patiently wait for a new radiator to be built for the tractor over the last couple of weeks we tried to make progress on other spring projects. The blueberries got some attention as we weeded and fertilized them. There was plenty to do in the propagation house between sowing seeds, moving flats out to harden off for planting, potting up celery into larger cells, and sowing more seeds. And we’re trying out a new trellising method for the peas this year and Jeff managed to get the infrastructure installed and ready for trellising.

In the next couple of weeks we’ll be transplanting onions, lettuce, kohlrabi, and fennel as the weather allows. We’ll also transplant the tomatoes into a high tunnel shortly. There’s lots of propagation to undertake as it’s time to start summer squash and zucchini and cucumbers. And we’ll be preparing for the final harvest of the Winter CSA! It’s starting to get busy over here!

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:

Roasted Sunchokes with Hazelnut Gremolata

Roasted sunchokes

  • 2 pounds sunchokes, peeled and cut into 3/4″ chunks
  • 1/4 cup olive oil

Hazelnut gremolata

  • 2 tablespoons hazelnuts, toasted and chopped
  • 3 tablespoons Italian parsley, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest, minced
  • 1 small clove garlic, pressed or finely minced
  1. Add 2 tablespoons of kosher salt to a stock pot of boiling water. Add the sunchokes and boil until tender, about 15 – 20 minutes depending on the size of your chunks. Drain the sunchokes and pour out the water in the pot. Add the sunchokes back to the warmed pot to steam off the excess water. Add the olive oil and toss, season with kosher salt and pepper.
  2. In a pre-heated 425 degree oven, cook the sunchokes on a baking sheet unti crispy. Another 15 – 20 more minutes.
  3. Toss all of the gremolata ingredients together and season with salt and pepper. Serve the sunchokes with gremolata sprinkled over top.

From Food52.com by Megantv01, https://food52.com/recipes/14599-roasted-sunchokes-with-hazelnut-gremolata

Slow-Cooker Moroccan-Spiced Lentil Soup

2 cups chopped onions
2 cups chopped carrots
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
6 cups vegetable broth
2 cups water
3 cups chopped cauliflower
1 3/4 cups French green lentils or brown lentils
1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes
2 tablespoons tomato paste
4 cups chopped fresh spinach or 10 ounces frozen chopped spinach, thawed
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons lemon juice

  1. Combine onions, carrots, garlic, oil, cumin, coriander, turmeric, cinnamon and pepper in a 5- to 6-quart slow cooker. Add broth, water, cauliflower, lentils, tomatoes and tomato paste and stir until well combined.
  2. Cover and cook until the lentils are tender, 4 to 5 hours on High or 8 to 10 hours on Low.
  3. Add spinach to the slow cooker. Stir, cover and cook on High for 30 minutes.
  4. Just before serving, stir in cilantro and lemon juice.

From Food52.com via Eating Well Soups, https://food52.com/recipes/78164-slow-cooker-moroccan-spiced-lentil-soup

Roasted Radish and Potato Salad with Black Mustard and Cumin Seed

1 large Yukon gold potato, cut into bite sized pieces
8-10 radishes, can be a variety of sizes and types (I had small – large Easter egg radishes and French breakfast radishes), ends trimmed
Extra virgin olive oil
Sea Salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon black mustard seeds
1/2 teaspoon whole cumin seeds
2 tablespoons whole milk yogurt
2 tablespoons thinly sliced green onions
2 tablespoons lemon juice mixed with ½ t salt and ½ t sugar in a small bowl, until salt and sugar are dissolved

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a medium sized bowl, combine potato pieces with a glug or two of olive oil, a good sprinkling of sea salt, and a few grinds of black pepper, tossing evenly to coat. Roast potatoes in a single layer on a foil lined baking sheet for 10 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, halve and slice any large radishes into wedges, leaving smaller ones whole. Using the same bowl that you tossed the potatoes in, combine radishes with olive oil, sea salt and black pepper; mix well to evenly coat.
  3. Once the potatoes have roasted for 10 minutes, using a wooden spatula or spoon, gently push potatoes around, being careful to keep skin intact (as best as possible). Push potatoes to one side of pan, adding radishes in a single layer to the other side. Continue to roast for another 10-12 minutes or until potatoes and radishes are tender, shaking pan midway through (at 10 minutes start checking to make sure radishes do not overcook).
  4. Meanwhile, in a small skillet, heat 1 teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil over medium heat. When hot, add black mustard seeds and whole cumin seeds and gently mix. Cook for about a minute, until fragrant, being mindful that black mustard seeds will start to pop. I used my wooden spoon to shield the seeds from popping all over the place. Remove pan from heat and set aside.
  5. Remove pan from oven and allow vegetables to completely cool (making it easy to remove from pan without sticking – especially the potatoes). Halve small radishes. Transfer roasted radishes and potatoes to a bowl. Add yogurt, black mustard/cumin seed mixture and green onions, folding with a spatula to combine. Add lemon juice mixture by the teaspoonful until you reach desired taste. I added one and a half teaspoons of lemon juice-salt-sugar mixture. Fold to combine. Cover mixture with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour to allow flavors to develop. Bring salad to room temperature before enjoying.

From Food52.com by Gingerroot, https://food52.com/recipes/6642-roasted-radish-and-potato-salad-with-black-mustard-and-cumin-seed

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