Summer CSA Share #11

Welcome to the 11th share of the Pitchfork & Crow 2022 Summer CSA! Here’s what’s in the share this week:

  • Salad Mix – A mix of 4 lettuces.
  • Cabbage
  • Broccoli and/or Cauliflower – This week’s broccoli was heading up over the last couple of weeks, through the worst of the recent heatwaves. It didn’t love the heat looks-wise but it’s still tasty enough to enjoy.
  • Yukon Gem Potatoes – An improvement on the classic Yukon Gold, these are great for baking, boiling, or frying.
  • Red Bunching Onions
  • “Red Toch” Garlic – A milder from the Republic of Georgia, good both raw or cooked.
  • Zucchini & Summer Squash – Including green & yellow zucchini, yellow summer squash, and “Mexicana” zucchini.
  • Mixed Cucumbers – Including green cukes, ‘Silver Slicer’ yellow cukes, and some lemon cukes.
  • Sweetness”& “Delectable” Sweet Corn – We’re straddling the first two varieties of corn this week. Both are sweet and tasty!
  • Mixed Cherry Tomatoes
  • Mixed Slicer Tomatoes
Bumble bee in the zinnia patch (left) and a frog friend that didn’t hold still long for a photo in Jeff’s hands (right).

We’re happily welcoming a reprieve from the hot temps after a couple of weeks of highs in the upper nineties here on the farm. Yesterday’s harvest weather was almost pleasant and this morning’s overcast sky and cool start almost has a hint of autumn. I’m sure August has some more twist and turns in store but we’ll take the good weather whenever we can.

Digging potatoes Sunday evening.

As has been par for the season, last week was all about working to catch-up. Lots of mowing, weed whacking, tractor cultivating, and hand weeding to try to keep at least some of the weeds in check. There was a little propagation (lettuce, spinach) and lots of irrigation management and moving pipe. We also dug the first potatoes in the outside potato patch. Hurrah for potatoes! The fall and winter cabbage found a home in the field too.

We’re at that point in the season when we’re moving through successions of crops but we’re not quite done with some as we begin to harvest from others. That means the farm is nearing full as we continue to plant for winter without flipping the earlier beds. It’s a puzzle trying to fit beds of winter crops near each other while only having a handful of limited spaces available for planting.

Jeff cultivating with our 1947 Farmall Cub (left) while Carri weeds cucumbers (right).

In the week ahead I see more weeding and cultivating and mowing in our future. We’ve also got some transplanting on deck: beets, basil, bunching onions and fall/winter broccoli and cauliflower if we can find the space. It’s time to sow fall/winter radishes and turnips too. August is the height of things that need doing on the farm and we’re feeling it. Thankfully we can see the other side of August approaching quickly and with it a gradual transition out of the constant transplanting push and into more of a maintenance mode, hopefully.

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:

Endless Summer Potato Salad

  • 6 large Yukon Gold potatoes
  • 4 cucumbers (each about 9 inches long)
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons scallions, mostly the white part, minced
  • 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 3 tablespoons champagne vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh tarragon leaves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon curly parsley, minced
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 4 ounce jar of pimentos, drained and chopped

In a large pot of water, cook the potatoes until tender but not mushy (still firm). Cool, peel, and cut into thin round slices.

Peel the cucumbers. Using a julienne tool or mandoline (Benriner), julienne the cucumbers until you get to the seeds. You’ll have long, thin slices that are the length of the cucumber. Put into a colander, sprinkle with a little salt and sweat out excess water. Save the cucumber water.

Put the reserved cucumber water, mustard, scallions, mayonnaise, vinegar, tarragon, parsley, and olive oil into a blender. Blend until it becomes a smooth emulsion. Add black pepper to taste.

Gently (I use my hands) fold the cucumbers into the potatoes.

Next, fold the sauce into the potatoes and cucumbers.

Finally, fold the minced pimento into the salad.

From Food52.com by DYMNYNO, https://food52.com/recipes/4710-endless-summer-potato-salad

Mom’s Famous Zucchini Gratin

  • 8 to 10 baby or small yellow squash and zucchini (or 3 medium-sized) sliced into 1/4-inch-thick rounds
  • 6 scallions, trimmed and cut into 1-inch lengths
  • 1 large shallot, thinly sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 2 sprigs rosemary, leaves only
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt, plus more to taste
  • 3 tablespoons crème fraîche
  • 2 slices of good whole-wheat toast, crumbled
  • 3/4 cup grated Swiss and Manchego cheese, mixed together
  • Freshly ground pepper

Place first five ingredients (squash through rosemary) in a buttered gratin pan.

Drizzle with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and sprinkle with coarse sea salt. Toss until everything is coated.

Bake at 375° F for 30 to 40 minutes. Squash should be tender but not completely limp.

Take the pan out from the oven and toss squash again. Top with with dollops of crème fraîche, then sprinkle on the breadcrumbs and the shredded cheese.

Drizzle the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil over the top. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt and freshly ground pepper. Return pan to oven and bake until the crust is nicely browned and crisp, about 20 minutes.

From Food52.com by JOANG, https://food52.com/recipes/5420-mom-s-famous-zucchini-gratin

Suspiciously Delicious Creamed Cabbage

  • 1 medium green cabbage, cored and thinly sliced
  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon (heaping) grated fresh ginger
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

In a very large pan, heat the butter over medium heat until it is melted and starting to bubble a little. Stir in the onion and garlic and cook for about 5 minutes, until softened.

Stir in the ginger and cook for about a minute. Then, add in the cabbage, stirring well to coat it with the butter and other flavors. Cook, stirring occasionally for about 15-20 minutes, until the cabbage has softened and caramelized.

Turn the heat to low and stir in the cream making sure to scrape any browned bits up from the pan bottom. Cover and cook over low for about 10 minutes. Uncover, add salt and pepper to taste. Then cook for a few more minutes, stirring once or twice, to let some of the liquid evaporate. Adjust seasonings as desired and serve.

From Food52.com by FIVEANDSPICE, https://food52.com/recipes/7533-suspiciously-delicious-cabbage

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