Welcome to the 8th share of the Pitchfork & Crow 2022/2023 Winter CSA! Here’s what’s in the share this week:
- Salad Mix – Lettuce and spinach! In March! Hurrah!
- Mustard Rapini
- Kale Rapini & Purple Sprouting Broccoli Bits
- 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.
- Mixed Beets
- Mixed Radishes & Salad Turnips
- Superschmelz Kohlrabi
- LaRatte Fingerling Potatoes
- 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.
- Dried Apples – We’re into apples from the farm now. Not as colorful as the pink apples from earlier in the season, but these are both harvested and dried by us.
It’s been a cold and blustery winter but the passing of the equinox yesterday means we’ve officially made it through to spring. Last week’s sunny weather stretch helped the plants in the field and greenhouses put on some growth and made for some happy farmers too. It dried out enough for Jeff to run the disc through the fields, the first step in ground prep for future planting. With a little luck and some more dry days we’ll be ready to plant out there before you know it.
As I’ve mentioned before, this time of year can be challenging as storage crops are dwindling and freshly harvested crops are somewhat difficult to predict from week to week. The cold winter has resulted in delayed rapini and purple sprouting broccoli production but luckily the January-sown greenhouse greens are starting to be harvestable. We’re including spinach in this week’s salad mix and bunches of tatsoi that we’re both only packets of seeds a few months ago. Crazy. And we’re happy to bring you bagged kale rapini and the small amount of purple sprouting broccoli the plants have produced thus far. Hopefully we’ll have plenty more where that came from in two weeks.
As we’re attempting to plan out the remaining two shares of this Winter CSA season we’re mostly focused on the upcoming Summer season. We begin laying the foundation for a successful growing season now by getting through the winter paperwork, gathering the supplies we’ll need, and doing equipment maintenance. This past week I finished up the winter paperwork season by submitting our organic plan updates to our organic certifier, Oregon Tilth. It’s been a few months of planning spreadsheets, seed orders, bookkeeping tasks, tax prep and filing, annual loan paperwork, and then the organic certification renewal. Whew! Between budgeting spreadsheets and various government forms I’ve also been filling flats and starting seeds. The prop house is looking greener everyday.
Thankfully Jeff has been ticking through the To Do list while I’ve been in paperwork and propagation land. He made the spring trip to St. Paul for irrigation and propagation supplies and picked up row cover for this season’s squash plantings too. He also organized the first delivery of organic fertilizer, 12 tons! And he’s been undertaking the various oil changes for trucks and tractors. Also the garlic planting dried out enough for him to run the new cultivating set-up on our Farmall Cub through to clean up some grassy areas.
The longer days mean more time for projects this time of year and there are still plenty of things on the Winter To Do list. It’s also time to double down on winter free time. It won’t be long before the farming really gets going.
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:
Beans & Greens Soup
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 red onion or leek, sliced into thin half-moons
- 1 clove garlic, peeled and smashed
- 5 cups rich chicken stock or vegetable stock
- 2 tablespoons good wine vinegar (sherry or Champagne is great)
- 1 cup cooked beans, chickpeas, or lentils
- 2 cups cleaned and roughly chopped cooking greens (kale, spinach, chard, bok choy, napa cabbage, watercress, amaranth, broccoli raab or mix of any)
- 1 dried chile, optional
- Salt and pepper
- 2 tablespoons really good extra-virgin olive oil
- Grilled bread, for serving
In a large heavy-bottomed pan, warm the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions or leeks and garlic clove and gently brown.
When lightly colored, add stock and vinegar. Bring to a light simmer and add cooked legumes. Bring back to a simmer and add greens and chile, if using.
Depending on what greens you use, you will cook the soup a little more or less. Spinach and watercress would cook in a minute or two, while kale and broccoli rabe would take more like 3 to 4 minutes (or as many as 5 to 8). You want to simmer long enough to wilt and cook the greens but not to overcook them.
Taste and adjust salt. Serve by itself or over grilled bread with a drizzle of olive oil on top
From Food52.com by Sara Jenkins, https://food52.com/recipes/66632-beans-and-greens-soup
And the Beet Goes On
- 3 beets, peeled, halved and sliced to 1/4inch thick
- 2 leeks, roughly chopped
- 1 cup Brussels sprouts, quartered (or how about kalettes?)
- 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped
- 5 ounces plain goat cheese
- 1 tablespoon chopped chives
- 1 tablespoon chopped chervil
- 1 garlic clove, finely minced or forced through garlic press
- 1 tablespoon milk
- 10 sheets phyllo dough
- 3 tablespoons butter, melted
- salt & pepper
- olive oil
Preheat oven to 400F. Place beets, leeks and Brussels sprout on sheet pan and sprinkle with 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil and rosemary. Season with salt and pepper then, using hands, toss vegetables to coat. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until vegetables are fork-tender.
While vegetables are roasting, make cheese spread: mix goat cheese, chives, chervil and garlic in a small bowl. Add up to 1 tablespoon of milk – this is to make the mixture spreadable. Season with salt and pepper plus a dash of olive oil. Set aside.
Prepare the phyllo crust: place one sheet of dough on greased sheet (or pizza) pan and brush sheet completely with melted butter. Place next sheet of dough on top, brush with butter and repeat with next 7 sheets of dough (you will have one remaining.)
Place final sheet of dough on top and brush only outer edges with butter (make about a 3-inch border.) Spread the cheese mixture in the middle, being sure the cheese touches the butter border. When vegetables have finished roasting arrange on top of cheese, being sure they are an even layer, then fold edges of dough over filling (to partially enclose the vegetables and cheese.) You can make this fold fancy or keep it in a square shape – your choice. Brush dough with additional butter and bake for 25 minutes or until pastry is golden brown. Serve hot.
From Food52.com by CookingTheGlobe, https://food52.com/recipes/10332-and-the-beet-goes-on
Rapini with Vincotto
- For the vin cotto
- 1 cup Balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- For the rapini
- 1 pound rapini (broccolini), washed
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled, left whole
- 2 peperoncino intero (about 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes, fresh ones!), halved
- generous pinch kosher salt
Pour the vinegar and sugar into a small saucepan set over medium heat. Let reduce by a half to a third, 25-30 minutes. Set aside.
Set a 6-quart pot of water to boil. When boiling, add the washed rapini and blanch for about 2 minutes. Drain, rinse under cold water, and set aside.
Set a cast iron skillet over high heat. Add the olive oil, garlic and peperoncino and let cook/season the oil for a minute or two. Add the blanched rapini (watch out, the oil might spit) and let it sear. After a minute or two, toss carefully. After 3-4 minutes more, remove from heat. The rapini should be tender yet retain a definite crunch.
Transfer the rapini, garlic and pepper to a serving platter and pour any remaining oil from the skillet over the veggies. Drizzle generously with the vin cotto. Season with more salt and some pepper if needed and/or you like.
Get out some good bread so none of the juices left on your serving platter or plate go to waste!
From Food52.com by EM-I-LIS, https://food52.com/recipes/21748-rapini-with-vin-cotto