Welcome to the 6th share of the Pitchfork & Crow 2022/2023 Winter CSA! Here’s what’s in the share this week:
- Salad Mix – Lettuce! In February! Hurrah!
- Mustard Greens Rapini
- 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.
- Bok Choy Rapini – We tried to push these baby bok choy two weeks longer than ideal. Instead of perfect tiny Asian green heads we present tender bok choy rapini. Still tasty, still enjoyable, just taller.
- Kalettes – Pop the kale 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, just like Brussels.
- Savoy Cabbage – Winter cabbage is so sweet and tasty we hope you’re eating it up. Don’t forget you can roast it for easy prep.
- Daikon Radishes – Tasty raw, pickled, or roasted and we’ll saute bits and throw it in our ramen lunch.
- Celeriac – A root vegetable with a celery flavor kick. Note: Over the years we’ve heard from two members who have had allergic reactions to celeriac, the second person noted it a couple of weeks back. The internet suggests that 6% of the general population have a celery/celeriac sensitivity. This is just to say that if you’re new to celeriac you might want to ease into it slowly, and skip it if you have a known celery allergen.
- Pinto Fingerling Potatoes
- Yellow Onion
- 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.
- Mixed Winter Squash – A mix of pumpkins, delicata, acorns, and some butternut and small kabochas too.
- 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.
March is just around the corner but February has some more surprises in stall for us. In the past I’ve mentioned that 20 degree F low temp we always have an eye out for during the winter months. It seems to be the threshold for vegetables in the field to survive to see another day. Unfortunately we’ve got a current low of 17, meaning potentially 14 here on the farm, in the weather forecast for Thursday and Friday night. The coldest nights of the season and the potential for some snow too meant evaluating what could be covered to help keep plants a few degrees warmer. After harvesting yesterday we spent some time moving row cover and sand bags ahead of today’s rain to try to help the purple sprouting broccoli, cabbage rapini, and collards make it through the upcoming cold snap. Now we wait and see just how low it goes.
Despite the fact that we’re deep into February and there’s the impending cold weather we’re happy to report that things aren’t totally bleak out here just yet. A bonus round of lettuce planted last October into a greenhouse was ready to harvest this week. Lettuce mix in the middle of winter is a special treat. Hopefully we’ll have a little more to share in two weeks. Also I started the first seeds for the summer season a couple of weeks ago. Thanks to the heated germination chamber and heat tables in our propagation house, the tomatoes have germinated well and we’re off to a good start. The seasonal seed starting cycle continues once again. Plants are magic!
Over the past week we’ve been soaking up the winter sunshine while also trying to continue to make progress on winter farm projects. We harvested carrots from the field, pruned more willow and dogwood hedgerow sections, re-built wash station tables, changed the oil in the diesel tractor, filed our business and personal taxes, finished our annual budgeting paperwork associated with our Farm Service Agency farm loans, prepped greenhouse beds for potato planting, and I’m sure there was more I’m not recalling at the moment. Fortunately we also made time to get off the farm a little and indulge in some hobby time too. Jeff’s willow weaving project this week involved constructing cages around our young fig trees to keep the deer from continuing to prune them.
Things are about to get busier as we get the propagation train rolling with the first big plantings on deck. That means mixing prop mix, filling flats, and sowing seeds and also propagation house management. Keeping things cozy, but not too hot, and watered, but not too much. We’re hoping that as this upcoming storm passes we’ll see some more dry stretches so we can get a jump on beginning the field prep. We’re in a dance with the weather here, and though the pace changes through the season, there’s no changing partners.
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:
Roasted Carrots with Mustard Greens Gremolata
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 teaspoon coriander seeds, lightly crushed with back of knife
- 1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds, lightly crushed with back of knife
- 1 pound slender carrots, trimmed and peeled
- 4 garlic cloves, peeled and lightly smashed
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup finely chopped mustard greens (to prep for chopping, wash several times in cold water and remove stems and center ribs)
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
- 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest, from 1 large or 2 small lemons
Heat oven to 400° F.
In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, honey, coriander seeds, and caraway seeds.
Place carrots and garlic cloves in an even layer in a casserole or other baking dish. Season generously with kosher salt and pepper. Add the olive oil-honey-spice mixture, and toss well to evenly coat.
Roast for about 20 to 30 minutes, or until the carrots and garlic cloves are tender and golden brown. A few times during cooking, toss the carrots and garlic around in the pan to ensure even browning. Once done, remove from oven. Finely chop the roasted garlic.
In a small bowl, combine the roasted garlic with the mustard greens, parsley, and lemon zest. Use the back of a fork to evenly incorporate the roasted garlic into the greens.
Sprinkle the carrots generously with the mustard greens gremolata. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve warm or at room temperature.
From Food52.com by EmilyC, https://food52.com/recipes/26233-roasted-carrots-with-mustard-greens-gremolata
Colonel Mustard’s Bubble and Squeak
- 2 medium russet potatoes
- 5 large mustard green leaves (I used the flat kind)
- 1/2 medium yellow onion
- 3 large cloves garlic
- 4 strips bacon
- 1/4 cup whole grain mustard
- Salt and black pepper
- Olive oil
Scrub the potatoes and cut into 1-inch cubes. Boil them in heavily salted water until they are very soft. Drain and allow them to steam and cool.
Wash the mustard greens, chop off the tough ends of the stems, and chop them (I keep most of the stem in there). Dice the onion and chop the garlic.
Heat a tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat in a medium-sized non-stick skillet. Add the bacon and cook it until crisp, then remove it to a paper towel to drain. Toss the onions into the bacon fat and cook for a couple of minutes, then add the garlic and cook until they are soft. Remove them to a bowl. Now cook down the greens until the are soft — you will need to work in batches. When the pan runs out of bacon fat, add another splash of olive oil. Put the cooked greens in with the onions and garlic. Now add the potatoes, mustard, and pepper (about 6 to 7 turns) to the greens and stir and mash everything together. Crumble up the bacon and mash that in too. Try to get the potatoes mostly mashed up, with a few chunks left. Taste for salt and pepper, and add more if you’d like.
Now add yet another dash of olive oil to the pan and put it over medium heat again. Add in the potato-ey, green-y mixture and press it into the pan to flatten it into a cake. Allow it to cook until it is nicely browned — you can use a spatula to peek under there and see how it’s coming along. When it’s brown, turn off the heat. Cover the pan with a plate (with the serving side facing the potatoes) and carefully flip the whole thing so your browned side is facing up. Admire. Eat.
From Food52.com by Aargersi, https://food52.com/recipes/27067-colonel-mustard-s-bubble-and-squeak
Cheesy Cabbage and White Bean Soup
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium onion, or 2 leeks, white parts only, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 medium head green or Savoy cabbage, shredded (about 5 cups)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more as needed
- 2 (15-ounce) cans cannellini beans, including the liquid, or 4 cups cooked white beans with a few ladlesful of their broth
- 5 cups vegetable broth, or 1 tablespoon bouillon base dissolved in 5 cups water
- 1 cup shredded Gruyère or Parmesan cheese, or 1 1⁄2 cups shredded sharp cheddar
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Fried breadcrumbs or croutons, for serving (optional)
Warm the olive oil in a soup pot over medium heat, then stir in the onions and garlic, followed by the cabbage and salt. Cook for about 5 minutes, until just starting to soften, then add the beans and broth.
Bring to a simmer, then cover and cook for 30 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender and the broth is flavorful.
Remove from the heat and add the cheese a handful at a time, stirring until it melts into the broth.
Taste and season with additional salt, as needed (depending on the saltiness of your vegetable stock or bouillon, it may need quite a bit of salt, as the beans really soak it up), and a few grinds of pepper.
Serve hot, topped with breadcrumbs or croutons, if desired.
From Food52.com by Lukas Volger, https://food52.com/recipes/82951-cheesy-cabbage-and-white-bean-soup-recipe