Summer CSA Share #12

Welcome to the 12th share of the Pitchfork & Crow 2022 Summer CSA! Here’s what’s in the share this week:

  • Crispino Iceberg Lettuce
  • Romaine or Green Leaf Lettuce
  • Broccoli
  • Cilantro
  • Carrots
  • Bunching Onions
  • “Red Toch” Garlic – A milder garlic from the Republic of Georgia, good both raw or cooked.
  • Sweetness”& “Delectable” Sweet Corn
  • Mixed Romano Snap Beans – Flat podded mixed yellow and purple striped snap beans, great for any snap bean recipe.
  • 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.
  • Shishito Peppers – these Japanese frying peppers are delicious quickly blistered in hot oil and tossed with a little salt. Mostly mild, 1 in 10 can be hot.
  • Tomatillos – A little like green tomatoes, tomatillos make excellent salsa verde and enchilada sauce. Check out this website for more details and recipes.
  • Mixed Cherry Tomatoes
  • Mixed Slicer Tomatoes
Buckwheat cover crop (left) and the alley of zucchini, beans, and bunching onions between the buckwheat and flour corn (right).

We’re halfway through August and nearly halfway through the CSA season! After months of preparing and planting we’re now in the midst of the height of the growing season. Tomatoes are coloring up, corn is coming on fast and furious, and we’re into the third rounds of zucchini and cucumbers already. This is what we dream of in the dark of winter in January when we’re planning for the next season. Summertime!

Tomatoes! (left) and bins of vegetables headed to the Linn Benton Food Share (right).

While we try to keep up with the very many things happening on the farm it’s helpful to have some guide posts along the way. Things that mark the progress of the season and help to remind us of the bigger picture rather than be swallowed by the myriad of small details. One of these reminders is the weekly boxing of the 25 shares-worth of produce purchased by the Linn Benton Food Share. Like CSA members, the LBFS purchases shares from us (at a discounted price) in the early spring and gets weekly distributions of seasonal vegetables through the summer and fall.

Each week we separate out 25 shares of everything other CSA members get that week, weigh each type of vegetable for record keeping, and box it all up for pick-up by the LBFS. The produce is split between the Lebanon Soup Kitchen and a food pantry in town. This weekly process serves as a good reminder of the overarching goal we have of helping to feed our community as well as a visual (how many boxes from week to week) and numerical (how much weight from week to week) tally of how successful we’ve been from week to week. We’re lucky to have the support of the LBFS and appreciate their enthusiasm for supporting local producers.

Transplanting the last round of basil this past weekend.

This past week we managed to get through some of the transplanting on deck, including the final round of basil in the video above plus storage beets and purple sprouting broccoli. We’ve got one more big push this week before the weekly transplanting lets up a little for the season. We’ll be finding space in the field for the overwintering cauliflower, another round of bunching onions, next round of lettuce, and final round of fall cauliflower and broccoli. We’ve also got plenty of weeding, mowing, and cultivating to undertake. And the irrigation chores don’t end this time of year. Looks like we’ll be keeping busy.

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:

Grace Young’s Stir-Fried Iceberg Lettuce

  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon rice wine or dry sherry
  • 3/4 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground white or black pepper
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons peanut oil or other neutral oil
  • 4 scallions, cut on the diagonal into 1-inch pieces
  • 3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced or smashed
  • 1/2 medium head iceberg lettuce, cored, outermost leaves discarded, inner leaves torn into 4-inch wide pieces (or substitute 12 ounces of other greens — see headnote)
  • Kosher salt, to taste

In a small bowl, combine soy sauce, sesame oil, rice wine or sherry, sugar, and pepper; set sauce aside.

Heat a wok or 12-inch skillet over high heat. Add peanut oil, half of the scallions (including all of the white and light green pieces), and garlic and cook until garlic is golden, about 5 seconds. Add lettuce and stir-fry until lettuce softens slightly, about 1 minute. Drizzle in sauce and cook until lettuce is just coated with the sauce, about 1 minute. Season with salt, divide between 4 bowls while lettuce is just tender and still bright green, and garnish with remaining scallions.

From Food52.com by Genius Recipes, https://food52.com/recipes/27723-grace-young-s-stir-fried-iceberg-lettuce

Greek Salad

  • Dressing
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more to serve
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Salad
  • 1/2 small red onion, finely sliced, or to taste
  • 4 medium-size ripe tomatoes (total weight about 500 grams)
  • 500 grams cucumber
  • 1 handful Kalamata olives
  • 1 tablespoon capers, rinsed
  • 1/3 green bell pepper, cut crosswise into 3 circles
  • 150 grams feta cheese
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Crusty bread, for serving

Start by making the dressing, whisking all the ingredients together in a bowl. (If you want to marinate the onion first, add it to the dressing now, letting it soften there for 20 minutes.)

Cut the tomatoes into large, thick, wedges, about ¾ inch (2 centimeters) wide. Peel the cucumber and cut it into thick, diagonal slices about ¾ inch (2 centimeters) wide also, then cut these slices in half, so they are roughly the same size as the tomatoes.

Place the tomatoes, cucumber, and onion in a large bowl. Add the dressing and toss together well.

Scatter the olives and capers over the salad, layer on the slices of green bell pepper, and place a large piece of feta on top. Drizzle the entire salad with a bit more extra-virgin olive oil and finish with the dried oregano. Serve with crusty bread.

From Food52.com by Yasmin Khan, https://food52.com/recipes/86189-best-greek-salad-recipe

Chilaquiles Verde

  • 3 pounds tomatillos in the husk
  • 1 large red onion cut in 1/2-inch slices
  • 2 jalapeños
  • 8 cloves of garlic, unpeeled
  • 1 handful of cilantro leaves
  • 1 lime
  • 1 heaping spoonful of crema or sour cream
  • 1 quart chicken stock (preferably homemade)
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 12 corn tortillas
  • 1 cup (or more if you like) queso fresco in large crumbles (1/2- to 1-inch pieces), or shredded monterrey jack
  • 1/2 cup crumbled cotija cheese
  • Cilantro leaves, for garnish
  • Salt and olive oil, as needed

Lay tomatillos, onions, jalapeños, and garlic on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt.

Place the baking sheet under the broiler, until the veggies are wilted and blistered, about 10 minutes (time will vary based on the heat of your broiler). Remove the veggies and let them cool until you are able to handle them.

Remove the husks from the tomatillos, squeeze the garlic from the cloves, and remove the stem from the jalapeños. Throw the roasted veggies into a blender, along with any juices that accumulated on the baking tray. Add the cilantro leaves, the juice of the lime, and the crema. Purée until the mixture is very smooth. Taste and make any needed adjustments (more salt, acid, etc).

While the veggies are still in the oven, bring the chicken broth to a gentle simmer in a dutch oven. Add the chicken breasts and allow them to simmer until tender, about 20 minutes. Move the chicken to a cutting board and use two forks to shred it. Return the chicken and any juices to the pot.

Add the tomatillo purée to the chicken broth, taste for seasoning (note the sauce should be tangy, almost sour, so add another squeeze of lime if necessary), and bring to a simmer. Cover and let the mixture simmer for about 20 minutes.

Cut the tortillas into quarters. If your tortillas are fresh, dry them out in the oven or toaster oven. If they’re stale and dried out, add them right to the pot. Stir the mixture and let simmer for another 10 minutes. The tortillas will cause the sauce to thicken.

Uncover and stir in the queso fresco or sprinkle with the monterrey jack. Cover the pot again, allowing the cheese to melt. Uncover, sprinkle with cotija and cilantro, and serve.

Note: The chilaquiles are just as good — maybe better — the next day. A fried egg on top wouldn’t hurt either!

From Food52.com by Lisina, https://food52.com/recipes/21285-chilaquiles-verdes

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