Winter CSA Share #4

Welcome to the 4th share of the Pitchfork & Crow 2022/2023 Winter CSA! Here’s what’s in the share this week:

  • Chioggia Radicchio – Great for robust winter salads with punchy dressings and nuts and strong cheese and citrus. Like radicchio’s bitter friends chocolate and coffee, think about pairing it with sweet and/or fat to balance your taste for the bitter. Holds up to a little warming too. We’ll eat it with oven baked salmon, rice, and creamy dressing for a quick dinner. Soaking cut leaves in ice water for 30 minutes or more can help reduce the bitterness if needed.
  • Arugula Rapini – Lots of leaves but some flowering shoots too, the rapini may be best cooked a little.
  • Tatsoi or Baby Bok Choy
  • January King Cabbage
  • Mustards – A spicy green that can add some pep to any dish. Wilt it in hot soup or saute and eat as a side dish. Also, check out the frittata recipe down below.
  • 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.
  • Purple Top Turnips – Mild with a hint of mustard, these are great roasted with other roots.
  • Celeriac – A root that tastes like celery? Yes please. Great in soups, stews, mashes, roasted root medleys etc.
  • German Butterball Potatoes
  • Parsnips – Great roasted or mashed with other roots but our favorite winter parsnip treat has got to be parsnip cake.
  • Mixed Beets
  • Yellow Onions
  • Garlic – We ask a lot of our storage crops. We harvest them in early fall and then let them sit and wait and wait until they make an appearance in the share. We’re getting better at selecting long storing varieties but there’s just only so long garlic wants to store sometimes. That’s to say, eat your onions before they sprout because spring is just around the corner.
  • Long Pie or Kabocha Winter Squash
  • 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.

Summer CSA sign-up time has arrived! We’ve opened up memberships to the 2023 Summer CSA and we hope you’ll join us for a summer and fall of local, seasonal, and organic vegetables. Find all the details and a sign-up form over on the Summer CSA page. (Many thanks to those who have already signed-on for the upcoming season. We appreciate your enthusiasm and support!)

First of the 2023 seeds to arrive (left) and January King cabbage leaf (right).

Welcome to share #4 of this Winter CSA! We’ve got lots of roots and lots of greens headed your way. Seasonal eating is looking pretty good this week. Somehow we’re breezing through January, trying to use these winter days wisely before we jump back into the full swing of the growing season. Seeds have been arriving in our mailbox, summer CSA sign-ups are happening, and we’ve been marking things off the To Do list. Slowly but surely we’ll be ready to tackle the months of growing ahead of us.

First seeding of 2023: arugula, tatsoi, spinach, radishes, and salad turnips! Plus Jeff re-installing an end wall after prepping beds (top right).

Last week Jeff flipped a few beds in one of our greenhouses and we sowed the first seeds of 2023. If all goes to plan we’ll be sharing greens and spring roots in a couple of months. It’s always such a hopeful act to put seeds in the ground and expect food to grow from them. Especially during the dark days of winter. Thankfully the enclosed greenhouses warm the soil and and protect the young plants from harsh weather and foraging deer. It’s pretty crazy what plants can do if given a little help.

Successful 12 volt conversion on the 1947 Farmall Cub. Check out those strong headlights!

The past couple of weeks have been typical January on the farm including paperwork, sowing those first seeds, harvesting winter vegetables, and misc. projects. Since we last met we launched the Summer CSA, which means I delve into budgeting, an accounting review, website updates, and invoicing. I also completed the USDA agriculture census, which happens every five years and asks all sorts of crop and income questions about the farm. The number of crops we grow makes for a rather lengthy survey. These things feel very small farm business-y.

Jeff finished up his conversion of our cultivating tractor from 6 volt to 12 volt, and it worked! The Cub is now starting stronger than ever and the lights and gauges work again. Hurrah for cultivating! He also finished up a couple of irrigation upgrades, flipped those greenhouse beds so we could get them seeded, and did plenty of straightening up and willow hedgerow maintenance/harvest. I’m sure there was more, but this is what is coming to mind at the moment.

In the next couple of weeks we’ll be getting ready for the start of propagation season. It’s time to clear out the propagation house, inventory seed starting supplies, and make sure we’re ready to start sowing seeds for growing transplants. We’ve also got some bulk root harvesting, winter implement maintenance, field clean-up, and a little greenhouse weeding to get to.

Enjoy the vegetables and we’ll see you here again in two weeks!

Your farmers,
Carri Heisler & Jeff Bramlett

.

Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:

Arugula Pesto

  • 5 small cloves of garlic
  • 1/4 cup hazelnuts
  • Pecorino cheese
  • 2 cups arugula
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • black pepper
  • 1/4 cup good quality olive oil

Roast the garlic cloves. (I rub the cloves in a little bit of olive oil, wrap them in aluminum foil, and toss them into a 350F oven for about 20 minutes. However, if you are cooking something else in the oven the day of or night before, use the heat of that oven to roast the cloves.) Peel the cloves, and let them cool.

Toast the hazelnuts. (You can do this as you roast the garlic, if you like. I keep the hazelnuts in a 350F oven for 10-12 minutes, shaking them around in the pan once or twice during cooking. Remove them from the oven when they are light brown in spots and smell fragrant.) Wait for them to cool.

I use a microplane grater to shred the Pecorino. Grate enough to fill 1/2 cup, not at all packed. If you use a larger-holed cheese grater, stop somewhere between 1/4 cup and 1/2 cup.

Move the cooled hazelnuts to a food processor. Pulse for about 1 minute, or until the hazelnuts are reduced to the texture of sand.

Add the arugula, the garlic, the Pecorino, the lemon juice, the salt, and a healthy crack of black pepper to the food processor. Blend for about a minute, slowly adding the olive oil as it whirs. Stop when you achieve a creamy texture.

Use the pesto as you like. It lasts a good few days, covered, in the refrigerator.

From Food52.com by Cristina Sciarra, https://food52.com/recipes/19003-arugula-pesto

Frittata with Braised Mustard Greens

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 very large yellow onion, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 pinch red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 pound mustard greens, washed, stemmed and cut/torn into bite sized pieces
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 10 large eggs

Heat the oil in a large (about 12-inch) skillet over medium high heat. When the oil is shimmering, stir in the onion, garlic, and red pepper flakes. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is softened and translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in the lemon juice, and the chopped greens (as best you can. It’s hard to stir such a large pile of greens, but it will shrink as it cooks). Add a Tbs. of water if there isn’t much clinging to the greens. Cover the pan tightly and turn the heat to medium-low. Keep covered and cook, stirring occasionally, until the greens are soft and yielding, 20-30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Turn on a broiler to high. In a large bowl whisk together the eggs with a few pinches of salt and pepper. Uncover the greens, and pour the eggs gently over them. (If you followed my advice and made double the amount of greens and are using leftovers, just gently warm the greens over medium heat before adding the eggs.) Cook, uncovered until the edges of the frittata are set, about 5 minutes. Then, transfer the pan to the oven and broil until the top is lightly browned and set, another 3 or so minutes.

Take out of the oven (remember the handle is hot!). You can serve the frittata from the pan or turn it out onto a plate first. Serve warm, at room temp, or cold. Add a salad or bread if you wish.

From Food52.com by FiveAndSpice, https://food52.com/recipes/25688-frittata-with-braised-mustard-greens

Clever Parsnip Oven Soup

  • 1 small head of garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon coconut oil or ghee
  • 2 pounds (1kg) parsnips
  • 3 medium yellow onions
  • 6 cups (1.5L) vegetable broth or water
  • 1 1/2 cups (250g) (about one 15.5-oz. can) white beans, such as cannellini, great northern, or navy, drained and rinsed
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons fine sea salt (use 1 teaspoon if using broth; 2 teaspoons if using water)
  • 1 tablespoon cold-pressed olive oil, plus more for serving
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Freshly ground black pepper, for serving
  • Parsley leaves, for serving (optional)

Preheat the oven to 400° F (200° C). Slice off the stem of the garlic bulb and the portion just below the stem, revealing the open cloves. Spread the coconut oil on top, wrap the bulb tightly in aluminum foil, and set it on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast for 15 minutes.

While the garlic is roasting, peel and roughly cut the parsnips into similarly sized chunks to ensure even roasting. Chop the onions. After the garlic has roasted for 15 minutes, add the parsnips and onions to the baking sheet. Roast until tender, about 30 minutes.

Add the roasted parsnips and onions to a blender. Remove the foil from the garlic and squeeze the bulb from the bottom to extract the cloves into the blender. Add the broth, beans, salt, olive oil, and lemon juice, and blend on the highest setting until the soup is smooth and creamy. Transfer the soup to a stockpot and heat until steaming, if necessary.

Serve hot with a drizzle of olive oil and some black pepper and parsley, if using.

From Food52.com, https://food52.com/recipes/76146-clever-parsnip-oven-soup

Joshua McFadden’s Bitter Greens Salad with Melted Cheese

  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 large head radicchio (3/4 pound), cored and coarsely shredded
  • 5 ounces arugula
  • 1/4 pound Crucolo, provolone, Taleggio, or Fontina cheese, grated
  • 1/2 cup roughly chopped lightly toasted hazelnuts
  • Saba or balsamic vinegar, for drizzling

Heat the broiler to high.

Whisk the red wine vinegar with 1/4 cup olive oil in a large bowl and season generously with salt and pepper. Add the radicchio and arugula and toss to coat them nicely. Taste and adjust the seasoning.

Pile the salad on ovenproof plates or an ovenproof platter and top with the cheese. Broil the salad just until the cheese is melted, about 1 minute. Sprinkle the toasted hazelnuts on top and finish with a drizzle of saba. Serve right away.

From Food52.com by Genius Recipes, https://food52.com/recipes/70899-joshua-mcfadden-s-bitter-greens-salad-with-melted-cheese

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