Summer CSA Share #5

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

  • Green Leaf Lettuce Head
  • Salad Mix – a mix of four lettuces
  • Cauliflower
  • Broccoli
  • Basil
  • Sugar Snap Peas
  • Carrots
  • Kohlrabi – The classic CSA vegetable, kohlrabi is often new to folks who are new to CSAs. Why else would you come home with such a strange looking vegetable? We like them chopped up and raw, like a carrot stick, but they can be roasted, or added to mashed potatoes, or shaved super thin into salads. I’ve heard kohlrabi and peanut butter can be a pretty great snack too.
  • Bunching Onions
  • Garlic Scapes – As the hardneck garlic plants begin to develop their bulbs, they send up a flower stalk known as a scape. We harvest the scapes because they’re delicious and garlicky and also to help the plant focus on producing a larger bulb rather than seed production. You can use the scapes like you would a bunching onion or in place of garlic.
  • Zucchini – Hey, finally a little zucchini!
  • Cucumber – The first of the season!
The potatoes have loved the wet start to the season! Flowering potatoes (left) and Jeff hilling potatoes (right).

The summer solstice last week brought both the arrival of summer and the arrival of our first summer heatwave. After the long, wet, cold spring we’ve had this year we were ready for a break in the rain and we got it with the first 80 degree day quickly followed by several days above 90 degrees. A year ago we’d hit 116 this week here at the farm, so I’m not complaining.

Though it was hot (relatively speaking) it was also nice to plan for the work of the week without factoring in rain for the first time in a long time. There’s a lot to be done this time of year on the farm as we continue planting successions of crops and try to stay on top of irrigation, weeds, and general crop maintenance. That work is all made a little easier when we’re in charge of the rain schedule.

Heat delirious farmers, a glimpse of the farm, and a glamour shot of our cultivating tractor.

This past week was all about small gains. We caught up on transplanting by getting the flour corn in the ground. The potatoes got cultivated and hilled. Most of the tomatoes got pruned and trellised. Some of the winter squash got weeded. The next round of broccoli was started and we direct sowed beans. Above all we managed to work through the heat to keep checking things off the To Do list while simultaneously keeping everything on the farm irrigated.

A full prop house, kale & cauliflower transplants, and transplanting the flour corn last week.

Looking ahead, this week is going to be a busy one. It’s time to harvest the garlic crop. We’ve also got a big round of propagation scheduled as it’s time to get some overwintering crops started, like purple sprouting broccoli and chicories. There’s lots of transplanting on deck including the next rounds of broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, collards, cilantro, dill, and celery. There’s more winter squash to weed before the plants start spreading too much. The tomatoes will need more trellising. There’s lots of mowing and weed whacking to catch-up on too. Thankfully the weather is looking pleasantly warm and for the first week in months we won’t be fighting rain or a heatwave. Time to get some things done!

Enjoy the vegetables and we’ll see you here next week!

Your farmers,
Carri Heisler & Jeff Bramlett

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Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:

Cauliflower Couscous

For the lemon sauce

  • 10 large (about 1 cup loosely packed) basil leaves
  • Zest and juice of 2 lemons preferably Meyer
  • 1/2 cup fruity extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup

For the cauliflower couscous

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium red onion finely diced
  • 1 medium head cauliflower stalks and stems discarded, florets finely diced
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup lemon sauce
  • 2 tablespoons basil chiffonade

Make the lemon sauce

  • Combine the basil, lemon zest and juice, oil, and maple syrup in a blender and purée. (You can keep the sauce in a jar with a tight-fitting lid in the refrigerator for up to 7 to 10 days.)

Make the cauliflower couscous

  • Reach for a skillet or wok large that’s enough to hold all the cauliflower, place it over medium-high heat, and melt the butter in the olive oil. Add the onion and saute until the onion softens, about 2 minutes.
  • Add the cauliflower, stir thoroughly, salt and pepper liberally, and cook until the cauliflower softens, about 10 minutes.
  • Add 2 tablespoons lemon sauce and cook until the cauliflower is tender and fragrant, another 10 minutes. Adjust the salt, add the remaining 2 tablespoons sauce, mix thoroughly, and transfer to a serving bowl. Top with the basil chiffonade.

From LeitesCulinaria.com, https://leitesculinaria.com/7276/recipes-cauliflower-couscous.html

Garlic Scape Pesto

  • 1 cup garlic scapes, thinly sliced crosswise
  • 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

Kohlrabi Salad

  • 1 head kohlrabi
  • 1/2 apple, such as Gala
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 1/2 bird’s eye chili
  • 1 pinch cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon fish sauce
  • 3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • Salt & freshly ground pepper to taste

With a sharp knife, cut off the “branches” of the kohlrabi. Peel it with a vegetable peeler.

Cut the kohlrabi into matchsticks either using a sharp knife of a mandolin (I used the latter). Do the same with the apple.

Toss the kohlrabi and the apple with the remaining ingredients and chill before eating.

From Food52.com by Sassyradish, https://food52.com/recipes/8689-kohlrabi-salad

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