Welcome to the 2nd share of the Pitchfork & Crow 2022/2023 Winter CSA! Here’s what’s in the share this week:
- Castelfranco Radicchio – Great for robust winter salads with punchy dressings and nuts and strong cheese and citrus. Holds up to a little warming too. We’ll eat it with oven baked salmon, rice, and creamy dressing for a quick dinner. Soaking in ice water can help reduce the bitterness if needed. Click here for some tips if you think radicchio and chicories bring too much bitter to the table.
- Romaine Lettuce Bites – Mini romaine heads, peeled down to the best leaves.
- Violetta Bok Choy
- Brussels Sprouts – Pop the sprouts off the stalk and enjoy them in your favorite recipes. We usually just cut the sprouts in half, toss with a little oil/salt/pepper, and roast at 400 degrees for ~20 minutes.
- Watermelon Radishes – Mild winter radishes, bright pink on the indie! Great on salads or roasted with other root vegetables.
- LaRatte Fingerling Potatoes
- Sweet Potatoes – In an effort to prolong their storage life we’re giving these out unwashed. You may want to give them a soak pre-scrubbing. Enjoy!
- Rainbow Carrots
- Rutabaga – Use in place of, or in addition to, potatoes in mashes or soups. We’ll likely roast ours with other roots.
- Yellow & Red Onions – a deluge of small-medium sized onions this week.
- Black Futsu Winter Squash – A Japanese heirloom squash related to butternut, it’s bright orange on the inside and some say it has a hint of hazelnut taste. Use it in an recipe calling for winter squash or butternut and check out the salad recipe included down below.
- Sweet Mama Kabocha Squash – Drier than pumpkins, kabocha squashes are tasty in everything from pies to curries.
- Wolverine’s Orca Dry Beans – Our favorite dry bean, and the only one we grow these days, these orca beans are more substantial than some dry beans and hold up well in stews or chili. Named for a Secwepemc elder Wolverine William Ignace, who you can read more about over on Adaptive Seeds website.
- Dried Apples – After a less than stellar apple growing year we decided to buy in some apples from another local farm. These are Airlie Red apples, a red-fleshed variety discovered locally in Kings Valley, that we purchased from RainShine Family Farm located west of Corvallis. We did the drying and bagging.
Notes About This Week’s Pick-Up:
- Today’s Salem CSA pick-up is being delayed until Thursday Dec. 29th from 4-6pm at the Willamette Heritage Center.
- Tomorrow’s on-farm pick-up is going ahead as scheduled.
- Salem members, please let us know if a Thursday pick-up doesn’t work for you and we’ll make other arrangements. You should have received an email, and possibly a phone message, from us today. Feel free to reply either way with questions.
Welcome to week two of the Winter CSA! After so many years of this we should be ready for winter weather, but every storm brings new and unique challenge to the table. For the first time in ten seasons we’re choosing to delay a pick-up due to weather. Driving our kite of a box truck and setting up canopies in this wind just doesn’t seem safe. We’re moving today’s Salem pick-up to Thursday. Same time, same place, just Thursday. Please let us know if Thursday doesn’t work for you and we’ll try to work out alternative options.
Thankfully the forecast for tomorrow’s pick-up here on the farm is looking less windy and there shouldn’t be any issues going forward.
So far we’ve only had minimal wind damage. We did lose a greenhouse, our old propagation house, but luckily we were only using it for storage and as a workspace and we didn’t lose any crops. Fingers crossed that’s the worst of it. Hopefully you’re all staying safe and we’ll see you soon!
We hope everyone is enjoying the holiday season! With the passing of the Winter Solstice the days are once again slowly growing longer. We’re welcoming the return of the light but still appreciating the restful schedule that winter’s short days provide.
We’ve managed to stay busy with various farm projects over the past couple of weeks but not too busy. We cleaned out the tomato house to ready it for spring crops and Jeff started installing the overhead irrigation, which didn’t happen last winter when we built that greenhouse because we use drip irrigation for tomatoes and it wasn’t yet necessary. We also spent some time harvesting winter roots for storage. Thankfully that meant we weren’t fighting the recent ice storm for vegetables and we had a head start on this week’s CSA harvest.
We took advantage of recent winter weather to hunker down and get the 2023 crop planning process underway. We spent a long day evaluating crop types and planting dates and quantities based on the past year’s experiences. I then completed an inventory of our current seed on hand, noting the quantity of any remaining seed in a spreadsheet. Next up is choosing crop varieties that fit with our plan, doing some math to decide how much seed we’ll need of each variety, and updating spreadsheets with new variety details. Eventually I’ll put in the seed orders and we’ll be off and running toward another growing season.
Enjoy the vegetables and we’ll see you here again in two weeks!
Carri Heisler & Jeff Bramlett
Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:
Black Futsu Salad with Radicchio
- 1 small Black Futsu squash, ripe (this squash is ripe when tan/orange)
- 2-3 small heads of Treviso (or radicchio), washed
- 1 “grateable” chunk of Pecorino to yield about 2/3 cup grated
- High-quality sea salt such as Jacobsen Salt or Maldon
- Fresh black pepper
For the Citronette
- 1/3 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
- 1/3-1/2 cup good quality extra virgin olive oil
- 1 shallot, very gently and finely diced
- 1 clove garlic
- 4 anchovy fillets, packed in olive oil (for a vegetarian version of this dressing, sub ½ head roasted garlic for anchovy)
Prepare the citronette – Combine the minced shallot and lemon juice in a bowl, season very lightly with salt and set aside. Finely chop the anchovy and garlic until a paste forms, combine with lemon/shallot mixture. Gently whisk in olive oil until just combined. This can be prepared up to a week ahead.
Prepare the squash – Cut the squash in half lengthwise, remove seeds. Tightly wrap and refrigerate one half for another use or tomorrow’s salad. Cut the remaining half into two or three wedges and peel/cut away all skin from their exterior. Very carefully, slice the wedges very thinly (think the thickness of 4-5 sheets of notebook paper stacked). Season with salt very lightly in a bowl and set aside.
Compose the salad – Cut the Treviso/radicchio into thin strips and toss gently in a large bowl to separate. Gently “squeeze” the sliced squash to remove any excess moisture then add to the Treviso/radicchio bowl, mix gently and season lightly with salt and pepper. Liberally dress with the anchovy citronette and transfer to a serving dish. Grate Pecorino over the top (don’t be shy!) and finish with more cracked pepper.
From EatWinterVegetables.com by Tim Wastell, https://www.eatwintervegetables.com/black-futsu-salad-with-radicchio
Winter Squash Coconut Curry
- 4 cup squash such as Winter Sweet, Sweet Mama or other “saucy” type, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
- 4 cup loosely packed and sliced bok choy
- 32 oz. coconut milk
- 1 cup water
- 1 Tbsp. fresh ginger, finely grated
- 1 Tbsp. fresh turmeric, finely grated
- 1 Tbsp. garlic, thinly sliced
- 1 Tbsp. Massaman curry paste
- ¾ cup leeks, washed and thinly sliced
- ¾ cup shallots, thinly sliced
- ¼ cup scallions, white parts thinly sliced
- 2 lime leaves, Makrut or Kaffir
- 1 stalk lemongrass, (1 Tbsp very thinly sliced, the rest left whole and hit a few times with the back of a kitchen knife to bruise)
- 2 Tbsp. neutral oil
- Sweet herbs such as Thai basil, mint, cilantro, borage and curry leaf for garnish
- Lime wedges
- Sea salt
In a medium-sized, heavy bottomed sauce pot, heat 2 Tbsp. neutral oil over medium high heat until hot but not smoking. Add the leeks, lemongrass, shallots, garlic and scallions and cook until softened but not darkly colored, stirring constantly. Add the ginger and turmeric and a pinch of sea salt and continue cooking until the mixture barely begins to stick to the bottom of the pan, then add the curry paste. Add the winter squash to the pan and stir until evenly coated with the aromatics. Add the coconut milk, water, lime leaves and lemon grass stalk, bring to almost boiling, then reduce to a bare simmer and cook until the squash is tender, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat, add the bok choy, taste and adjust seasoning if necessary, serve with lime wedges and the sweet herbs to garnish.
From EatWinterVegetables.com by Tim Wastell, https://www.eatwintervegetables.com/winter-squash-coconut-curry
Smokin’ Hot Vegan Vaquero Chili
- 8 ounces dried Vaquero beans, soaked overnight (may substitute dried pinto beans)
- 1 14.5 oz can diced fire-roasted tomatoes
- 1-2 chipotles in adobo, sliced
- 1/2 medium onion, finely diced
- 1/2 bell pepper, finely diced
- 1 carrot, finely diced
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 5 cups water
- salt to taste
- 1 ounce dark chocolate
After beans have been soaked, drain from soaking liquid and set aside. Reserve liquid for later use.
Prepare all vegetables and fry in a heavy pot with a tablespoon of canola oil. Stir and fry for about 5 minutes until vegetables have softened.
Add cumin and cayenne and fry for another minute.
Add beans, tomatoes, water and oregano, and bring to a boil. Then lower heat and simmer for 1 hour, or until beans are to your desired level of softness. Depending on your beans, you may need to add additional water. I like to add a little of the soaking liquid for more flavor and color.
Salt to taste.
Just before serving, stir chocolate into chili until melted, then mix well.
From Food52.com by Beautiful, Memorable Food, https://food52.com/recipes/15891-smokin-hot-vegan-vaquero-chili