Winter CSA Share #10

Welcome to the 10th, and final, share of the Pitchfork & Crow 2021/2022 Winter CSA! Here’s what’s in the share this week:

  • Cauliflower
  • Purple Sprouting Broccoli
  • Tatsoi – Somewhere between spinach and bok choy, this Asian green is great in salads and soups alike.
  • Rainbow Chard
  • Teenage Red Ursa Kale – Not baby kale, not full-sized adult kale, but right in the middle. Tender enough for salads and fast wilting for soups.
  • Spinach
  • Yukon Gem Potatoes
  • Parsnips
  • Red & Purple Radishes – Too many radishes? We suggest trying them roasted with other roots or cooked into soups and curries.
  • Leeks
  • 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.
  • Dried Cherry Tomatoes
  • Dried Apples
Rainbow Chard and Cauliflower headed to this week’s share!

We’ve made it to the final share of the Winter CSA season! Last week’s cold snap certainly reinforced the “Winter” part of the Winter CSA but the freezing temps, various hailstorms, and dusting of snow didn’t phase the crops in the field. We’re excited to be bringing you an abundance of goodness for this final share of the season.

Many thanks for joining us this season. We hope you enjoyed the past five months of local, seasonal eating. The weeks since we started back in December have flown by and it’s hard to believe we’re already wrapping up another season.

We’ll see most of you at the beginning of June for the start of the Summer CSA season and we hope to see everyone again next winter. We’ll be sure to reach out to all of you in late summer when we’re ready to sign-up members for next year’s Winter CSA.

Setting up pea trellising (left) and Jeff fixing a leak in the 6″pvc irrigation mainline after digging that giant hole (right).

April is usually when the planting begins ramping up here on the farm. Cold hardy crops make it into the field and the tomatoes get planted in a high tunnel. The rain and chilly overnight lows of the past two weeks meant a pause in planting while we waited for warmer temps and a dry spell and we tried to focus on other projects. We managed to get the trellising installed for the snap peas, stay on top of propagation and seed sowing, get a field prepped for planting between rain storms, and fix a leak in the mainline of our irrigation system among other things. We also weeded the early high tunnel carrots:

Weeding carrots, slow but rewarding!
Tomato planting day!

Once the overnight lows were once again out of the thirties on Sunday we hopped to it and planted the tomatoes!

528 tomato plants and 100 t-posts later, we’re ready for tomato trellising and eventually tomatoes!

The propagation house is filling up again (left) and fennel, onions, and kohlrabi starts hardening off outside and ready to be transplanted (right).

With the last Winter CSA harvest finished we’re now looking ahead to the Summer CSA and the work that needs to happen before it begins. Although we will be taking a break from harvesting for the next five weeks we’ve got plenty of other things to keep us busy. There’s ground to prep, transplants to plant, seeds to sow, grass to mow, blueberries to mulch, irrigation pipe to move, and the list goes on.

Thanks again for joining us for this past winter of vegetables! We couldn’t do this without you and we’re routinely humbled by your willingness to sign on to this adventure in eating. Thanks for letting us grow your food!

Enjoy the vegetables and we’ll see you many of you the first week of June for the start of the Summer CSA!

Your farmers,
Carri Heisler & Jeff Bramlett

.

Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:

Clever Oven Parsnip Soup

1 small head of garlic
1/2 teaspoon coconut oil or ghee
2 pounds (1kg) parsnips
3 medium yellow onions
6 cups (1.5L) vegetable broth or water
1 1/2 cups (250g) (about one 15.5-oz. can) white beans, such as cannellini, great northern, or navy, drained and rinsed
1 to 2 teaspoons fine sea salt (use 1 teaspoon if using broth; 2 teaspoons if using water)
1 tablespoon cold-pressed olive oil, plus more for serving
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
Freshly ground black pepper, for serving
Parsley leaves, for serving (optional)

Preheat the oven to 400° F (200° C). Slice off the stem of the garlic bulb and the portion just below the stem, revealing the open cloves. Spread the coconut oil on top, wrap the bulb tightly in aluminum foil, and set it on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast for 15 minutes.

While the garlic is roasting, peel and roughly cut the parsnips into similarly sized chunks to ensure even roasting. Chop the onions. After the garlic has roasted for 15 minutes, add the parsnips and onions to the baking sheet. Roast until tender, about 30 minutes.

Add the roasted parsnips and onions to a blender. Remove the foil from the garlic and squeeze the bulb from the bottom to extract the cloves into the blender. Add the broth, beans, salt, olive oil, and lemon juice, and blend on the highest setting until the soup is smooth and creamy. Transfer the soup to a stockpot and heat until steaming, if necessary.

Serve hot with a drizzle of olive oil and some black pepper and parsley, if using.

From Food52.com via Naturally Nourished by Sarah Britton, https://food52.com/recipes/76146-clever-parsnip-oven-soup

Fried Cauliflower Sandwich

1/2 head cauliflower
2 cups lacinato kale (or similar)
2 cloves garlic
6 tablespoons olive oil (approximately)
Salt, to taste
2 ciabatta rolls (or similar good, crusty white bread)
2 tablespoons pickled banana pepper rings
4 slices provolone cheese

Trim the cauliflower, leaving the core intact, and cut into 1/4-inch slices (don’t worry if they don’t stay perfectly intact — as long as the have a relatively “flat” side they should brown up nicely). Set aside.

Slice the kale into thin ribbons and peel and mince the garlic. Set aside.

Pour enough oil in a heavy fry pan so that it completely coats the pan’s bottom and will slightly edge up the sides of the cauliflower pieces when you add them. Heat the oil over medium-high heat. When it’s very hot, add the cauliflower slices and let them sizzle, untouched, for 4 to 5 minutes (you may need to adjust heat so that they cook long enough to get brown and cook through). Flip the slices and cook them for another 3 to 4 minutes. Remove to a plate and sprinkle with a little salt.

Turn off the heat and add the kale and garlic to pan. Cook in the residual pan heat for a minute or two until the greens are wilted, then scrape onto a plate.

Turn the oven broiler on. Split and toast the ciabatta rolls. Take the two bottom halves and layer on the fried cauliflower slices, then the greens, and lastly, the peppers. Top with 2 slices of cheese and broil in oven just until melted. Top with the other ciabatta halves and enjoy.

Note: I highly recommend using a cast-iron skillet if you have one. If you don’t, they cost about $12 at your local hardware store. Otherwise, choose a very heavy pan so you get a nice crust on the cauliflower.

From Food52.com by Laurie from crunchygooey.blog, https://food52.com/recipes/24731-fried-cauliflower-sandwich

Roasted Sausage, Swiss Chard, and Cannellini Beans

1 bunch Swiss chard, stems and ribs removed and leaves roughly torn into 2-inch pieces
1 can cannellini beans (16 or 19 ounces, or about 2 cups), drained and rinsed
Finely grated zest and 1 tablespoon juice from one lemon (reserving extra juice for finishing dish)
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon smoked Spanish paprika
3 tablespoons olive oil
16 ounces (about 3 or 4 links) good-quality chicken or pork sausage, removed from casings and cut into 3/4-inch pieces (can also use pre-cooked sausage, sliced into small pieces)
Finely grated Parmesan or pecorino, to serve

Heat oven to 400° F.

Combine chard and cannellini beans in a large casserole, baking dish, or ovenproof skillet. It will look like a lot of chard, but it will considerably cook down. Season with a few pinches of salt and pepper.

In a small bowl, whisk together lemon juice and zest, Dijon mustard, smoked Spanish paprika, and olive oil. Add to chard and cannellini beans and toss well with hands to evenly coat. Evenly distribute the chard and beans in a single layer—or as close as you can get to a single layer. Nestle the pieces of sausage on top of the chard and beans.

Roast for about 20 to 25 minutes, or until the chard is tender with crispy edges and the sausage is no longer pink. For extra security, you can toss about halfway through the cooking time to ensure even cooking.

Taste and add more salt, pepper, or lemon juice if needed. Top with grated parmesan or pecorino. Serve warm.

From Food52.com by EmilyC, https://food52.com/recipes/35346-roasted-sausage-chard-and-cannellini-beans

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