Welcome to the 1st share of the Pitchfork & Crow 2022 Summer CSA! Here’s what’s in the share this week:
- Fava Greens – These are the leaves of the fava bean plant. They taste a little green beany and are great sauteed or tossed with pasta or into soups.
- Red Ursa Kale – Tender greenhouse kale, great for cooking or kale salads.
- Salad Mix – A mix of four lettuces.
- Strawberry Paw Potatoes – We’re using up the last of last season’s potato crop. Eat them up!
- Mostly Purple Radishes
- Leek Scapes – This time of year leeks produce a tall stalk that eventually become a flower. Before they become too woody they stalks are a seasonal leeky treat that can be diced up and used i place of leeks or onions.
- Shallots – Drier than most onions, shallots are a little more pungent but can be used in place of onions in any recipe.
- Dried Apples
- 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 but we also recently made corn dogs with some locally sourced beef franks and it was just like the county fair.
- Tomato Plants – We have enough tomato starts for everyone to take home at least two!
It’s happening! We’re finally kicking off the 2022 P&C Summer CSA season! As we get things underway we’re happy to welcome back previous members (85% of you!) and welcome new members to the group.
Hopefully you’ve been reading the member emails over the past couple of weeks and preparing for the season to begin. (Check your spam or promotions folders if you haven’t been seeing our emails and let us know if you don’t find them there.) By now most of your questions should have been answered by the CSA Member Handbook. Don’t forget, you can find lots of logistics reminders over on the CSA Member Resources page and extra helpful tips and info about vegetables on the Secret Member Resources page.
Leading up to the first share of each season always makes us nervous, even after all these years. Getting those first seeding dates just right so we’ve got vegetables now, but not two weeks ago and not until two weeks from now, can be tricky. It’s weather dependent and weed dependent and every year it’s different. Was it too hot or too cold or too rainy, and the crops didn’t grow well?
Last year at this time we’d missed the window on the first round of broccoli and bok choy. They’d grown too fast due to the very warm spring weather and they’d gone to flower before the season started. This year we’re in the opposite boat. The extended cold and wet spring has delayed many crops and made the start to this growing season a slog in the field. This has been the wettest, coldest, and longest spring we’ve experienced since 2009 when we started this journey.
As we begin this CSA season we want to be upfront with our expectations for the coming months. In all honesty we think the shares for the first couple of months of this season are going to be quite a bit smaller than in past years due to the poor field conditions we’ve been experiencing. Though we’ve been working hard to keep planting schedules on track and we kept hoping for a change in weather to get things growing, it just hasn’t happened. The sunny weather windows in April and May haven’t been long enough to properly dry out ground to prep for planting. We’ve had to plant into less than ideal conditions and we’re seeing the plants respond to that stress.
We’re committed to getting things back on track now that the weather is clearing for longer periods and warming up. It’s going to take some time before we’re experiencing the bounty we’ve become familiar with from past seasons. There will be vegetables from week to week, just not the mix and quantity we’d like.
We appreciate your support and hope you know we’re doing all we can to get you the vegetables we all love. That said, please let us know if you’d prefer to part ways and we’ll get you a refund. We don’t want to disappoint anyone who had chosen to join us and understand if you need to change your mind.
In the week ahead we’ll be evaluating crops and making some tough decisions about how to proceed now that the sun has arrived to the party. We believe some crops will rebound with warmer weather and drier soil. I’m sure there will be some things that won’t make the cut and will get tilled under to make room for healthier transplants waiting in the wings. We’ve got the third rounds of broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, and corn, the second rounds of dill and cilantro and summer squash, and the leeks all ready to go into the field as soon as possible. Needless to say, we’ll be keeping busy.
Enjoy the vegetables and we’ll see you here next week!
Carri Heisler & Jeff Bramlett
Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:
Spicy, Peanutty Udon with Kale
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
2 teaspoons soy sauce or tamari
1 teaspoon Sriracha
1/8 teaspoon fish sauce, plus an extra dash at the end
2 tablespoons peanut butter (any type)
3 ounces udon or soba noodles
1/2 bunch kale, deribbed and sliced into 1/2-inch pieces (1 packed cup)
Chopped scallions, for serving
Chili flakes, for serving
Chopped peanuts, for serving
Heat 1 quart of water in a saucepan to boil.
In a sauté pan over low or medium-low heat, add sesame oil, soy sauce or tamari, Sriracha, and fish sauce. Stir ingredients or rotate pan to combine and let cook for about 30 seconds. Add peanut butter, stir to combine, then turn off heat.
When water is boiling, blanch kale for about 15 seconds. Drain the kale and add it to the sauce in the sauté pan and stir to coat.
Bring clean water to boil. When the water is boiling, add the noodles and cook until al dente. Fresh noodles will cook very quickly; dry noodles will cook in 3 to 4 minutes.
Use tongs to add the noodles straight from the water to the sauté pan with the peanut sauce and the kale. The unstrained noodles will carry enough water to dilute the peanut sauce; if you decide to strain the noodles and then add them to the sauce, add 1 tablespoon water, as well. Add a dash of fish sauce to finish.
Garnish with chopped scallions, chili flakes, and chopped peanuts.
From Food52.com by Laura, https://food52.com/recipes/26169-spicy-peanutty-udon-with-kale
Spring Vegetable Jumble with Tarragon Butter
- For the vegetables:
- 8 small fingerling or new potatoes, scrubbed and halved
- 8 radishes, tops removed except for a 1/4 inch of stem, cleaned, and halved
- 8 baby carrots (actual baby carrots, not those bagged ones that are pieces of big carrots), halved, or 1 larger carrot, cut into matchsticks
- 1/2 bunch asparagus, stems removed and cut into 1-inch pieces
- Olive oil
- 1 young leek, white and light green portions only, cleaned well and cut into thin slices (or leek scapes)
- 1/2 cup English peas (fresh, if possible)
- Lemon-Tarragon Butter (recipe below)
- Sea salt and white pepper, to taste
- Fresh tarragon, to garnish (optional)
- For the Lemon-Tarragon Butter:
- 2 tablespoons minced shallot
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons heavy cream
- 4 tablespoons cold butter, cut into 1-tablespoon pieces, divided
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh tarragon
For the vegetables:
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the potatoes and lower heat to a low boil. After about 3 minutes, add the radishes and carrots. Cook for another 3 to 5 minutes, or until the vegetables are slightly tender. Add in the asparagus and cook for an additional 3 minutes. Drain the vegetables and run under cold water to stop them from cooking further. Spread them out onto a clean towel or baking sheet to hang out while you sauté the leek.
In a large sautée pan, heat a splash of olive oil over medium heat. Add the sliced leek and cook until softened. Add the potatoes, radishes, carrots, asparagus, and peas to the pan.
Stir in the Lemon-Tarragon Butter (recipe below), stirring to coat the vegetables well. Cook for about 1 to 2 minutes, until everything is just reheated. Season to taste with salt and white pepper and serve warm. Garnish with a bit more minced tarragon if desired.
For the Lemon-Tarragon Butter:
In a small saucepan, combine the shallot and lemon juice. Bring to a boil and cook for a couple of minutes, until the juice is approximately reduced by half.
Stir in the cream and reduce to a simmer for 1 minute. Then, turn down the stove to the lowest possible heat. Stir in the butter, 1 tablespoon at a time, stirring constantly as it melts and adding each one as the one before it disappears. Take off the heat and stir in the tarragon. Use immediately with the spring vegetables or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
From Food52 by fiveandspice, https://food52.com/recipes/11712-spring-vegetable-jumble-with-lemon-tarragon-butter
Garlic Scape Pesto
1 cup garlic scapes, thinly sliced crosswise (or try leek scapes!)
1/4 cup pine nuts
1/2 cup good olive oil
1/4 cup Parmesan
Salt and pepper, to taste
Add the scapes and pine nuts to the bowl of a food processor and pulse until everything is broken up a bit. Then turn the processor back on, and with it running, add the oil a little at a time until it’s fully incorporated.
Add cheese, pulse, then season with salt and pepper to taste.
This won’t brown like basil pesto will, so if you’re not using immediately, just store in a container in the fridge. It will last a week.
From Food52.com by Kenzi Wilbur, https://food52.com/recipes/22491-garlic-scape-pesto