Winter CSA Share #5

Welcome to the 5th share of the Pitchfork & Crow 2022/2023 Winter CSA! Here’s what’s in the share this week:

  • Mixed Radicchio Heads – 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 at least once a week. Seriously, we at it last night. 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. And don’t forget you can pesto it up too.
  • Cooking Greens Mix – A vibrant mix of kales, collards, and chard. Colorful and tasty!
  • 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 & White Daikon Radishes – Tasty raw, pickled, or roasted and we’ll have saute bits and throw it in our ramen lunch.
  • Carrots
  • Rutabaga
  • LaRatte Fingerling Potatoes
  • Bunching Onions
  • 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.
  • Thelma Sanders Sweet Potato Acorn 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.

The Summer CSA is full! Thanks to everyone’s enthusiasm for local, organic vegetables the Summer CSA filled up in record time. If you missed out on snagging a spot you can add yourself to the waitlist over on the Summer CSA page. – (Many thanks to those who have signed-on for the upcoming season. We appreciate your support!)

Spring spinach just after germinating (left) and quail (can you see them?) on their morning pass through our front yard (right).

We’ve made it to February and the 5th winter CSA share! This share marks the halfway point in our winter vegetable journey. It’s hard to believe we’re already so deep into this winter season. The days are getting longer and we’ve just passed the return of 10 hours of daylight. Soon we won’t even need lights at the CSA pick-ups. Plants in the field are putting on new growth, the garlic has jumped up, and we’re seeing good germination on the greens we sowed in a greenhouse a few of weeks back. Though our fall spinach was a bust, the spring spinach is thriving! Things are looking up.

Harvesting and washing cooing greens.

Although we welcome the slower pace of the Winter season, the winter weather has a knack for making us nervous. The wind, the rain, and the freezing temperatures all bring challenges for both field and storage crops. We’re a little haunted by the winter of 2013 when we found ourselves experiencing single digit temperatures in December, just as the Winter CSA was beginning.

We’ve had some cold weather over the past month or so and two weeks ago we had a low temp of 16 here on the farm. It’s been a few years since we’ve been below 20, which is the magic number we’re always on the lookout for. We try to choose the hardiest winter vegetable varieties but some plants can’t survive the colder temperatures. Anything below 20 degrees is a roll of the dice as to whether plants will make it through. Thankfully we ramped up to the recent cold temperatures and the plants had acclimated to the winter weather. Things in the fields looked a little sad just after that 16 degree night but we didn’t seem to lose any plants this time around. Hopefully that was our lowest temp for a while.

We took a day off and drove to the woods. Whoa.

Our winter schedule has been mostly filled with work projects here on the farm over the past couple of months. Cleaning up after the last season, organizing and creating better work spaces, harvesting winter root crops for storage. The past couple of weeks we did take some time for personal goals amidst the work of the farm. Jeff has been upping his basket making game and learning new techniques with willow processing. I’m always amazed at what he can do with willow he’s harvested from our hedgerow. I was inspired by CSA member Greta B.and I broke out my sewing machine for a couple of small quilting/blanket projects. It had been a while since I’ve used this tool, but it turns out sewing is a little like riding a bike and it comes back to you pretty quickly. And, as evidenced by the photos above, we took a trip to the forest. Though we didn’t quite make it to the snow, we did enjoy exploring a beautiful area that is not the farm.

The coming weeks will hopefully see a mix of on and off farm adventures again. It’s nearly time to start sowing seeds for the first summer crops and we’ll be getting more early greenhouse crops in the ground soon. The 2023 growing season is headed our way quickly!

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:

Pasta with Gorgonzola, Radicchio, Walnuts, and Orange

  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • kosher salt to taste
  • 1/2 to 3/4 pounds pasta, such as penne or gemelli, see notes
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 to 2 heads radicchio, preferably Treviso (if you can find it), cut into 1-inch-wide ribbons, see notes
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 ounces crumbled gorgonzola or other mild blue cheese
  • 1/2 cup chopped flat-leaf Italian parsley
  • zest of 1 orange, plus the juice (optional)
  • grated Pecorino Romano or Parmigiano Reggiano, for serving, optional

Heat a 12-inch skillet over medium heat. Add the walnuts and toast them over medium-low heat for about 4 minutes, stirring frequently so they do not burn. Remove and set aside. Wipe out skillet.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add 1 tablespoon kosher salt and return to a rolling boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente according to the package directions.

While the pasta cooks, prepare the sauce: Heat the oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add the radicchio and season with salt and pepper. Cook the radicchio until it begins to wilt and brown, about 5 minutes.

Stir in the gorgonzola and cook for 2 minutes. Add 1/2 cup of the pasta water directly from the pot and simmer for 3 minutes more. The water should emulsify the cheese and create a velvety texture.

Scoop the cooked pasta directly into the skillet (alternatively, drain, reserving plenty of the pasta cooking liquid) and toss to combine the pasta with the sauce. Add the walnuts and parsley and toss again until glossy, adding 1/4 cup of pasta water or more (up to 1 cup), as needed to loosen up the sauce. Add the zest and toss to combine. Taste. Adjust as needed with more salt and pepper. I’ve been juicing the orange directly into the pot—I like the acidity/flavor/sweetness—but this is optional.

Plate in bowls and pass the grated Pecorino Romano or Parmigiana Reggiano.

From by Alexandra Stafford,

Triple Radish Yum

  • Roasted Radishes
  • 3 large watermelon radishes (about 2 1/2- to 3-inch diameter)
  • 1 daikon radish (about 1 & 1/4 lbs)
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Chèvre Horseradish Dressing
  • fresh horseradish
  • zest from 1/2 of a lemon
  • 1 & 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup chèvre
  • salt
  • freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 400º F, with a rack in the upper third of the oven. Cover a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil, and spray with a light coat of cooking spray. Set aside.

Remove ends and peel radishes. Cut in half lengthwise, then cut into 1/2-inch thick slices. Cut each half-moon slice into halves or thirds as needed to maintain fairly evenly sized pieces. The narrower end of the daikon may be left in half moons.

Toss radish pieces with olive oil, salt, and pepper in a large bowl to coat evenly. Distribute the radish pieces in an even layer on the baking sheet. (Set bowl aside.) Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, stirring after 15 minutes. Radishes should have some browning, and retain some firmness when they are done.

While radishes are roasting, grate about 2 to 3 packed tablespoons worth of fresh horseradish using a microplane. Thoroughly combine 1 & 1/2 tablespoons of the grated horseradish with the lemon zest, lemon juice, olive oil, chèvre, and 1/8th teaspoon salt in the reserved bowl. Taste, and if the horseradish flavor is not strong enough add more.

Once radishes have finished roasting, transfer them to the bowl with the dressing. Toss to coat. Taste and add salt if needed. Transfer to serving bowl and grind some fresh black pepper over the top. Serve hot or at room temperature.

From by HardLikeArmour,

Squash Panzanella with Bagna Cauda

  • Squash Panzanella
  • 3 pounds root vegetables (such as carrots, beets, parsnips, sweet potatoes, and rutabaga)
  • 2 pounds squash (such as delicata, acorn, butternut, kuri, and kabocha)
  • 1 loaf crusty bread or 2 baguettes, torn into bite-sized pieces
  • Olive oil and salt, for roasting
  • Bagna Cauda
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 sprig rosemary
  • 1/4 teaspoon chile flakes
  • 5 anchovy fillets
  • 4 to 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
  • 3 ounces arugula (or 1 handful per person)

Heat the oven to 400°F.

Cut all of the root vegetables and squash into 1-inch chunks. Transfer to a bowl and coat with a hefty glug of olive oil and a couple big pinches of salt.

Transfer to a parchment- or foil-lined sheet pan and roast until tender on the inside and caramelized on the outside, about 40 minutes.

When the veg are just about done, toss the bread with another glug of olive oil and pinch of salt, and add to the vegetable roasting tray. Return to the oven to crisp and lightly brown the croutons while you make the bagna cauda.

In a small saucepan, heat the olive oil over low to medium heat. Add the rosemary sprig and chili flakes to fry lightly, about 30 seconds. Add the anchovies and garlic with a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook until the garlic is soft, lowering the heat as needed so it doesn’t brown. Remove and discard the rosemary sprig, then add the lemon zest and butter, and stir to combine.

When the vegetables and bread are finished roasting (after about 10 minutes), remove from the oven and transfer to a large, heat-proof mixing bowl. Pour the bagna cauda on top, then add the vinegar and arugula. Toss to combine. Taste and adjust the seasoning if needed.

Eat warm or at room temperature.

From by Abraberens,

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