winter csa share – week 4

winter-csa-share-week-4

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

  • Leeks
  • Rose Finn Apple Fingerling Potatoes
  • Mixed Dry Beans – a mix of our green beans gone to seed and dry bean varieties.  Make sure to wash them and discard floaters and debris.
  • Rainbow Carrots
  • Rutabaga – these were harvested directly from the field yesterday.  That means they’ve been sweetened by the recent cold temps, but they’ve also been frozen.  They appear to have made it through unharmed, but don’t expect them to store as long as usual.  Eat them up sooner than later. 
  • Garlic
  • Candystick Delicata Winter Squash – We are nearing the end of the ideal storage life of the Pepo winter squashes including delicatas, acorns, and pumpkins.  Eat them up before they dehydrate and lose their sweetness and creamy texture.
  • Black Futsu Winter Squash – perhaps my favorite of the winter squashes, Black Futsu is a Japanese heirloom.  It’s related to butternuts and has a similar but unique flavor.  It’s a good storer and is great in pies, or however you like to use your butternuts.
  • Yellow & Red Onions
  • Castelfranco/Chioggia Chicory Mix – please, please, please eat this chicory – even if you don’t think you like chicory.  The recent cold temps have sweetened it beyond belief!  We’ve been mixing chopped chicory with pasta or rice for a warm salad and loving it!
  • Brussels Sprouts – these may take a little work because the cold temps tend to damage them a little, but it’s worth it for the sweet, tasty sprouts.  Had the weather warmed up sooner, we would have endeavored to get them off the stalk and cleaned up for you.  Unfortunately, that didn’t happen.
  • Dried Apples – Dried by Jeff!

Summer 2017 CSA Membership Open – The planting plan is set, the seeds are ordered, and we’re in it for another season!  We’d love for you to join us for 27 weeks of Summer & Fall vegetables from May through November.  All the details and a link to the sign-up form can be found over on the Summer CSA page.

snow

The last couple of winters were awfully mild, which may be why this winter feels so much more, wintry, in comparison.  The Arctic blasts seem to be on repeat causing the temperatures to hover around freezing.  It seems that we’ve been spared the worst of the weather thus far though.  The farm has been locked in the freezer for a week, but we have friends in Portland that got 12 inches of snow last week and are still waiting for the melt to happen to see how their crops have fared.  Farming in the winter is not for the faint at heart.  We thank you for your dedication to seasonal eating, even through the dark and frozen days of winter.

winter

As the weather outside did its freezing thing, we hunkered down inside and got through the upcoming season’s crop planning.  This annual project is always daunting to begin but it’s also worthwhile time spent reviewing the past season and dreaming of the possibilities in the season ahead.  We now have a giant spreadsheet detailing what crops we’ll be growing, what varieties will be included, when they’ll be started and transplanted, projections for harvest dates, and where they’ll all be growing on the farm.  We’ll be starting the first seeds of the season soon and then we’ll be off to the races.

In broken leg news, Jeff had his 6 week post-surgery check-in this past week.  The new x-rays showed that his bones are beginning to heal and the doctor thought his flexibility, level of swelling, and surgery cuts are all looking good.  He gave him permission to begin putting weight on the broken leg and walking with one or no crutches as his pain levels allow.  He’s slowly getting back in the farming game and was able to help out with the harvest more this week.  It turns out dry bags aren’t just for keeping your valuables dry on a canoeing trip, but they come in handy when you need to keep your spiffy walking cast dry too.

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

Your farmers,
Carri Heisler and Jeff Bramlett

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Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:

Carrots and Rutabagas with Lemon and Honey

  • 1 1/4 pounds rutabagas, peeled, cut into matchstick-size strips
  • 1 pound carrots, peeled, cut into matchstick-size strips
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh chives

Cook rutabagas in large pot of boiling salted water 2 minutes. Add carrots and cook until vegetables are tender, about 6 minutes. Drain.

Melt butter in large pot over medium-high heat. Add lemon juice, honey, and peel. Bring to boil. Add vegetables; cook until glazed, stirring occasionally, about 6 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Remove from heat. Mix in fresh chives.

From Epicurious via Bon Appétit, http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/carrots-and-rutabagas-with-lemon-and-honey-105812

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Maple-Roasted Delicata Squash with Red Onion

  • 3 medium Delicata squash (about 3 pounds), halved lengthwise, seeded, and cut into 1/4-inch thick slices
  • 2 medium red onions, halved lengthwise and cut into 1/2-inch rings
  • 5 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
  • 4 fresh thyme sprigs
  • 1/2 teaspoon red-pepper flakes
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • Kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper

Arrange the racks in the upper and lower rungs in the oven and preheat the oven to 425°F degrees. Place the squash, red onion, garlic, thyme, and red pepper flakes in a large bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and maple syrup, and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper; toss to coat.

Spread vegetables evenly onto two large, rimmed baking sheets. Bake the squash on the upper and lower racks of the oven, tossing, rotating, and switching the pan positions half way through cooking, until tender and browned, 25 to 30 minutes. Taste and season again with more salt and pepper, if desired.

From Epicurious by Leah Koenig, http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/maple-roasted-delicata-squash-with-red-onion-51258430

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Frisee and Endive Salad with Warm Brussels Sprouts and Toasted Pecans

  • 3 tablespoons white-wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup minced shallot
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 1 lb Brussels sprouts (preferably small), trimmed and halved lengthwise (quartered if large)
  • 1/2 cup pecan halves, halved lengthwise
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 6 oz frisée, trimmed and torn into bite-size pieces (4 cups)
  • 3 Belgian endives (1 lb), cut crosswise into 1/2-inch slices (or sub the chicory here)

Make vinaigrette:

Whisk together vinegar, water, mustard, shallot, salt, and pepper in a small bowl, then add oil in a slow stream, whisking.

Make salad:

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Melt butter in a large shallow baking pan (1 inch deep) in lower third of oven, about 3 minutes. Toss sprouts in pan with butter, pecans, and salt. Arrange sprouts, cut sides down, in 1 layer and roast in lower third of oven until undersides of sprouts are golden and nuts are fragrant, 12 to 15 minutes.

Whisk vinaigrette, then transfer warm sprouts and nuts to a large bowl and toss with frisée, endive, and enough vinaigrette to coat. Serve immediately.

From Epicurious via Gourmet, http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/frisee-and-endive-salad-with-warm-brussels-sprouts-and-toasted-pecans-107362

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Join us for the 2017 Summer CSA Season!

join-us-2017-2

Hello from Pitchfork & Crow!

Happy 2017!  The countdown to summer vegetables has begun…

Our planting plan is finished and the seeds have mostly arrived.  We’ll be sowing the first seeds of the season very soon!   Now we’re ready to begin accepting members for the 2017 Summer CSA season!  Do you know where your vegetables are coming from this summer?  We’d love to have you join us for the 2017 Summer CSA season!

These are the 2017 Summer/Fall CSA program basics:

  • 27 weeks – running from the week of May 23rd thru November 21st.
  • $702 share price – The cost of the share is $26 per week.  Using farmers market prices, last year’s share contents had an average share value of $36.
  • Four pick-up options!Salem pick-ups are on Tuesdays at the Willamette Heritage Center.  Lebanon pick-ups are on Wednesdays.  In Lebanon choose to pick-up at the Farm just outside Lebanon or at the COMP-NW campus or Lebanon Community Hospital in town.
  • Two pick-up types too! – Market-style pick-up at the farm and in Salem (Vegetables will be displayed like a market booth with quantities listed rather than prices, letting you choose your vegetables.)  Pre-boxed shares at the COMP-NW campus and Lebanon Community Hospital for quick and easy pick-ups.

You can find photos of all our past shares over on our Flickr site!

Click here to see the full Summer CSA details .  We hope you’re looking forward to summer and fall veggies as much as we are!  Let us know if you have any questions.

Thanks for your support!

Carri Heisler and Jeff Bramlett

winter csa share – week 3

winter-csa-share-week-3

Welcome to the 3rd week of the Pitchfork & Crow Winter CSA!  Here’s what’s in the share:

  • Baby Kale Mix
  • LaRatte Fingerling Potatoes
  • Watermelon Radishes
  • Red and Orange Beets
  • Garlic
  • Spaghetti Squash
  • Carnival Acorn Squash
  • Yellow Onions
  • Sugarloaf Chicory – We like chicory best in salads with creamy or citrusy dressing to balance the bitter.  I’ve heard if you tear the leaves before washing, you’ll wash out some of the bitter.  I haven’t tried it myself, but it’s worth a shot if you’re not ready to fully embrace the world of bitter greens.
  • Savoy Cabbage – sweetened by our winter weather, we ate one of these recently that was like candy.
  • Dried Apples – Dried by Jeff!

happy-new-year

Hi folks, Jeff here. Usually Carri writes the newsletter, but today (Monday, January 2) is Carri’s birthday, so I am trying to give her a break by writing a few thoughts. After all, she is doing 99% of the CSA harvest since I have the broken leg still. So, I think I will write about how wonderful Carri is and how much of the farm work she does on your farm.

It may be obvious that Carri is the driving force behind Pitchfork and Crow. She started developing her passion for local food when she signed us up for a CSA share through Oakhill Organics back in 2007. We enjoyed being in a CSA and eventually Katie and Casey from Oakhill Organics encouraged us to start our own farm. It has been a challenging journey, and I have wanted to quit almost every year, but Carri has been the stable bedrock of Pitchfork and Crow. My natural reaction to stress is to run away, while her natural strategy is to try improve the situation through problem solving. I am very thankful for her rooted-ness, and especially glad that she has kept me on track through the start-up phase, since things get better every year.

Now that we seem to be an established farm, it is only through Carri’s dedication that the business survives. I love working outside with plants and I love when people get nutritious food from the farm, but Carri’s work in actual business management is what makes the farm a success. Almost every day, starting with her morning coffee, Carri is looking at spreadsheets, analyzing the farm income, and budgeting for the business. She also answers the majority of business emails and does all the taxes and accounting. Plus, she writes and publishes the newsletter, emails it to all the members and builds/maintains the website. When we have pigs, she keeps a daily spreadsheet of how much feed they eat, how much weight they should be gaining, and how much money we have spent. It is easy to see that she is the Crow of Pitchfork and Crow. I like to say that Crows are smart, so obviously, Carri is the Crow.

Not only is Carri the business mastermind of the farm, but she does the most important farm tasks as well. In the beginning of the year, we make a detailed planting plan. After that, I rarely pay attention to the plan. Carri simply tells me how many flats she plans to start for the week. I am the one who mixes the propagation mix and fills the flats, but she is the one who actually starts the seeds and gets them going in the greenhouse. After the transplants are ready for the field, she is the one who rides on the transplanter and actually plants them into the ground. So, without Carri, we would not have many veggies, would we?

So, on Carri’s birthday, we should all be glad that she is a part of our lives. I am especially grateful of her help and patience with me during my recovery from the broken leg. This winter she has done an amazing job keeping the snow off the greenhouses, bringing in firewood, hauling food up to my lair, loading and unloading the truck, feeding the chickens, and keeping all of us supplied with vegetables she propagated, transplanted, and harvested. She really is an amazing person.

Happy Birthday Carri!

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

Your farmers,
Carri Heisler and Jeff Bramlett

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Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:

Up above Jeff mentioned the CSA we joined back in 2007.  That’s how we learned about this style of cabbage and noodles.  It helped us learn to eat whole cabbages and enjoy them, and thus be better CSA members.  Over the years we’ve continued to make versions of this recipe, though these days we generally add some bacon or ground meat. – Carri

Haluski – Cabbage and Noodles

  • 1 (16 ounce) package medium-wide egg noodles
  • 1 cup butter, divided
  • 2 large onions, chopped
  • 2 small heads cabbage, cored and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon water, or as needed (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C).
  2. Fill a large pot with lightly salted water and bring to a rolling boil. Stir in egg noodles and return to a boil. Cook noodles uncovered, stirring occasionally, until tender but still slightly firm, about 5 minutes. Drain well.
  3. Melt 1/2 cup butter in a large skillet over medium-low heat; cook and stir onions until translucent, 5 to 10 minutes.
  4. Cook and stir remaining butter and cabbage into onions until cabbage is softened but not browned, 5 to 8 more minutes. Season with salt and black pepper.
  5. Place cooked noodles and cabbage mixture in a large roasting pan and stir gently to combine. Sprinkle with more salt and black pepper if desired.
  6. Bake in the preheated oven until golden brown on top, 30 to 40 minutes.

From Allrecipes.com, http://allrecipes.com/recipe/220716/haluski—cabbage-and-noodles/print/?recipeType=Recipe&servings=12

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Vinegar-Marinated Chicken with Buttered Greens and Radishes

  • 2 pounds skin-on bone-in chicken thighs
  • Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 8 radishes, quartered, halved if small
  • 1 bunch mustard greens or kale, leaves torn
  • 4 tablespoons tarragon leaves, divided

Season chicken with salt and pepper and place in a large baking dish. Pour 1/4 cup vinegar over chicken and let sit 15–20 minutes. Remove chicken from marinade and pat skin dry. Reserve baking dish (no need to wipe it out).

Preheat oven to 400°F. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium. Working in batches, cook chicken, skin side down, until skin is golden brown and crisp, 8–10 minutes; turn and cook until other side is just browned, about 4 minutes. Transfer chicken to reserved baking dish; reserve skillet. Bake chicken until cooked through and an instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part registers 165°F, 10–12 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat butter in same skillet over medium-high. Add radishes, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until radishes are browned and tender, about 5 minutes. Add mustard greens and toss to coat; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until mustard greens are just wilted, about 2 minutes (they should still have some spring in their step). Add 2 tablespoons tarragon and remaining 1 tablespoon vinegar; toss to combine.

Serve greens and radishes with chicken topped with remaining 2 tablespoons tarragon.

From Epicurious via Bon Appétit by Alison Roman, http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/vinegar-marinated-chicken-with-buttered-greens-and-radishes-56389531

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Spaghetti Squash Fritters

1 (2-pound) spaghetti squash
1 (8-ounce) package baby spinach
1/2 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
2 tablespoons grated fresh Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
2 large egg whites
1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
5 teaspoons canola mayonnaise
2 teaspoons 2% reduced-fat milk
1 teaspoon Sriracha (hot chile sauce, such as Huy Fong)
1 teaspoon cider vinegar
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1. Cut squash in half lengthwise. Scoop out seeds; discard. Place squash halves, cut sides up, in a microwave-safe bowl. Cover with a damp paper towel. Microwave at HIGH 20 minutes or until tender. Let stand 10 minutes. Scrape inside of squash with a fork to remove spaghettilike strands to measure 4 cups.

2. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add spinach to pan; cook 2 minutes or until spinach wilts. Place squash and spinach on a clean dish towel; squeeze until barely moist. Coarsely chop squash mixture, and place in a large bowl. Add panko and next 4 ingredients (through baking powder), and toss well to combine. Place egg whites in a medium bowl; beat with a mixer at high speed until soft peaks form. Gently fold egg whites into squash mixture.

3. Fill a 1/4-cup dry measuring cup with squash mixture. Invert onto work surface; gently pat into a 3/4-inch-thick patty. Repeat procedure with remaining squash mixture, forming 10 patties total. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add 1 1/2 teaspoons oil to pan, and swirl to coat. Add 5 patties to pan; cook 3 minutes on each side or until browned. Remove patties from pan; keep warm. Repeat the procedure with remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons oil and squash patties.

4. Combine mayonnaise and remaining ingredients in a small bowl. Serve with fritters.

From Myrecipes.com via Cooking Light by Adam Hickman, http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/squash-fritters-sriracha-mayonnaise

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winter csa share – week 2

winter-csa-share-week-2

Welcome to the 2nd week of the Pitchfork & Crow Winter CSA!  Here’s what’s in the share:

  • Lacinato Kale – mixed bunches of my favorite two lacinato varieties: Dazzling Blue & Black Magic
  • Yukon Gold Potatoes
  • Celeriac (aka Celery Root) – After so many years of looking forward to celeriac season, I forget when folks are new to this particular root vegetable.  With the consistency of a potato or turnip, but an amazing celery flavor, this is one of my favorite winter eats in soups, mashed with potatoes, and roasted with its rooty friends.
  • Carrots
  • Garlic
  • Calico Popcorn – You can knock the kernels off the cob and into a paper bag and pop this in the microwave.  We’ve had fun watching them pop on the cob too!  Most often we’ll use these directions and pop it on the stovetop.
  • Pie Pumpkin
  • Doran Round Butternut Squash
  • Red Onions
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Winter Salad Mix – mixed spinach, arugula, and tatsoi this week
  • Dried Apples – Dried by Jeff!

Salem MembersDon’t forget that we’re meeting in the Willamette Univ. Sparks Center parking lot this week!  You’ll enter the parking lot from Bellevue St, across from The Ram restaurant and next to the soccer field.  Click here for a mapOur usual location is going to be overrun with Magic at the Mill enthusiasts so we’re switching spots for this one pick-up.

ice-and-snow

Tomorrow  marks the Winter Solstice!  We’ve made it through the darkest days of this year and we’ll see a little more daylight each day going forward.  Although the Solstice is the beginning of winter, I’d say winter has already arrived in full force and I look forward to the longer days ahead.

After a couple of mild winters I’m remembering what winter farming can mean in the ice and snow.  This past week has been mostly a waiting game, hoping the thaw would arrive in time for this week’s harvest.  The warm rain showed up right on schedule, melting the snow and ice and making a Monday field harvest possible.  I admit I questioned the sanity of winter farming this week as the ice lingered.  The weather gods came through though, and the winter eating season continues.

basket-weeder

Santa came to the farm early last week (ahead of the snow and ice) and brought a basket weeder!  Well, actually we bought it from our friend Marco who decided to sell it, but he did deliver.  We’ve talked about getting a basket weeder for a couple of years and when Marco was selling we couldn’t pass it up.  It’s ready to attach to our 1947 Farmall Cub cultivating tractor come spring!  We’re excited to add another tool to our weeding arsenal and use our tractor even more in an effort to minimize hoeing and hand weeding.

We hope you all have a wonderful holiday season!  This year we’re especially thankful for your support as we strive to deliver on our Winter CSA commitments in the midst of Jeff’s broken leg and the uncertain winter weather ahead.  We can’t say it often enough that we appreciate you joining us at this seasonal eating party.

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

Your farmers,
Carri Heisler and Jeff Bramlett

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Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:

Roasted Celery Root, Red Onions, Mushrooms, and Sage

  • 3 medium red onions (about 1 1/2 pounds total)
  • 3 pounds celery root (sometimes called celeriac)
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons coarse salt
  • 1 pound small white mushrooms
  • 1/2 pound assorted fresh exotic mushrooms such as chanterelles and Portobellos
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh sage leaves

Preheat oven to 400° F.

Cut onions into 1-inch pieces. With a sharp knife peel celery root and cut into 2- by 1/2-inch sticks. Divide celery root between 2 large roasting pans and toss each half with 1 tablespoon oil and 1 teaspoon salt. Roast celery root in upper and lower thirds of oven, stirring occasionally and switching position of pans halfway through roasting, 25 minutes total.

In a bowl toss mushrooms and onions with sage, remaining 3 tablespoons oil, and salt and pepper to taste. Divide mushroom mixture between pans, tossing with celery root, and roast, stirring occasionally and switching position of pans halfway through roasting, about 30 minutes total, or until all vegetables are tender and golden.

Season vegetables with salt and pepper.

From Epicurious via Gourmet, http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/roasted-celery-root-red-onions-mushrooms-and-sage-14454

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3-Ingredient Creamy Pumpkin Pasta

  • 1 pound whole wheat short pasta (such as penne, rigatoni, fusilli, or shells)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided, plus more
  • 1 1/4 cups heavy cream
  • 3/4 cup pure pumpkin purée (you can bake your pie pumpkin, or any winter squash, for this purée)
  • 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided, plus more

Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally, until al dente. Drain pasta, reserving 1 cup pasta cooking liquid.

Meanwhile, bring cream to a simmer in a large skillet over medium-high heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until reduced by half, about 4 minutes. Whisk in pumpkin purée; season with 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/2 tsp. pepper.

Add pasta and 1 cup reserved pasta cooking liquid to skillet and cook, tossing to coat, until sauce has reduced, 3–4 minutes. Season with remaining 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp pepper. Top with freshly ground pepper before serving.

From Epicurious by Dawn Perry, http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/3-ingredient-creamy-pumpkin-pasta

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Brussels Sprouts Caesar Salad

For the Caesar dressing:

  • 1/2 cup (50 g) freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 anchovy fillets, rinsed and patted dry
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup (180 ml) canola oil
  • Freshly ground black pepper

For the Brussels sprout salad:

  • 1 1/4 pounds (570 g) Brussels sprouts
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 5 strips thick-cut bacon, cut into 3/4-inch (2-cm) pieces
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 large eggs
  • 8 fresh chives, cut into 1-inch (2.5-cm) pieces

Make the dressing:

In a blender, combine the cheese, egg yolks, anchovies, garlic, vinegar, the lemon zest and juice, and Worcestershire sauce. Blend until smooth and season with the salt. With the blender running on high, slowly drizzle in the canola oil until it is completely emulsified. The dressing should be very thick. Gradually add up to 1/2 cup (120 ml) water to thin it out; it should be looser than mayonnaise, but thicker than vinaigrette. Season with pepper and refrigerate until you prepare the salad. This will make 2 cups (480 ml) dressing that will keep, refrigerated, for up to 1 week.

Make the Brussels sprouts:

Preheat the oven to 475°F (245°C) and place a clean baking sheet in the oven to warm. Trim the bottoms of half of the Brussels sprouts and quarter them lengthwise. In a large bowl, toss them with the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Transfer them to the hot baking sheet and roast until they’re golden brown, about 15 minutes, shaking the pan halfway through cooking to flip the Brussels sprouts. Set aside to cool. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and fill a large work bowl with salted ice water. Cut the stems off the other half of the Brussels sprouts and separate the leaves. Blanch the leaves in the boiling salted water for 1 1/2 minutes, until they are bright green and barely tender, then remove them immediately to the ice water. Drain and place them on a clean dish towel to dry.

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, cook the bacon until browned, about 8 minutes. Drain off the fat and add the maple syrup to the pan. Stir to coat the bacon; remove it from the heat and set aside. When it is cool, break it into pieces.

Bring a small pot of water to boil and fill a bowl or another pot with cold water with a few ice cubes. Gently lower the eggs into the boiling water with a slotted spoon. Cook at a low boil for exactly 7 minutes. Remove the eggs to the cold water, then gently crack their shells; leave them submerged until completely cooled before peeling them and setting them aside.

Assemble the salad:

In a large salad bowl, toss the roasted and blanched Brussels sprouts with 1/4 cup (60 ml) of the dressing. Taste for salt and pepper. Transfer them to a serving plate and sprinkle with the bacon and chives. Slice the eggs in half and arrange them on the salad.

From The Splendid Table via Good Fork Cookbook by Sohui Kim with Rachel Wharton, https://www.splendidtable.org/recipes/brussels-sprouts-caesar-salad

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winter csa share – week 1

winter-csa-share-week-1

Welcome to the 1st week of the Pitchfork & Crow Winter CSA!  Here’s what’s in the share:

  • Pentland Brig Kale
  • Ozette Fingerling Potatoes – Perhaps the only potato to migrate from South America, not first through Europe, but directly to the Americas via Spanish explorers, Ozette potatoes have likely been grown by tribes in  Washington State for over 200 years.  Woah.  We’re excited to be growing this unique NW variety once again.  Click here for more details.
  • Castelfranco Chicory – one of our favorite chicories around, less bitter than the most rugged, red radicchios, we like to eat our castelfranco in hearty winter salads paired with a substantial creamy or citrusy dressing.  Rumor has it that if you tear your greens, then wash them, they’ll be less bitter.
  • Rainbow Carrots
  • Leeks
  • Fennel
  • Gill’s Golden Pippin Winter Squash – A small acorn-type winter squash that quickly became our favorite acorn squash after tasting it at a friend’s dinner table.  Bonus that it is a locally adapted variety having been developed by the old Gill Brother Seed Co. out of Portland, OR sometime before the 1960s.
  • Yellow Onions
  • Romanesco
  • Fava Tops – We love fava beans, but this year we’ve come to love fava greens too!  The delicate leaves of the fava plant that have a hint of fava bean taste are great raw, sauteed, or in a quick pesto.  These greens are from our self-sown stand of favas that are way beyond winter temperature-safe and will likely be lost very soon as we get our first real cold weather of the season this week.
  • Dried Apples – Dried by Jeff!

Welcome to the first week of the Winter CSA!  We’ve been planning and planting for the winter season for months now and are excited to finally share the bounty of the season with you intrepid local eaters!  We’re getting off to quite a start as we’ll also be experiencing the first real cold snap of the year.  We’ve tried to take precautions at the farm with lots of bulk harvests, filling the coolers with roots, and lots of row covering in the fields.  Only time will tell now.

For Salem folks, it’s going to get COLD tonight!  The earlier you can make it to the pick-up the better for you and for me.  And remember, Winter pick-ups run from 4-6pm.  Thanks!

castelfranco-and-row-cover

We’re beginning our fifth winter CSA season (!) and when I think of winter harvests I have plenty of harvest days to choose from for conjuring up mental images.  The best days: sunny, cool temps, easy to work outside with light layers, and harvesting the greens of spring.  The worst days: frozen ground, frozen fingers, rain or snow, limited daylight, mud season.  Of course even those worst days have the highlights of winter veggies, a warm wood stove, and coffee breaks.

Always in these mental images I am in the field with Jeff, until this week.  This was my first CSA harvest without Jeff’s help outside.  Most folks know by now that he broke his leg in a devastating roller skating incident two weeks back.  He had surgery a week ago last Friday and now he’s holed up, healing, working on our 2017 planning, and watching endless episodes of Gunsmoke on YouTube.

He was missed this past week out in the field.  Fewer jokes were told during this harvest.  His stalwart willingness to deal with the row cover in the wind and mud and hail was also missed.  His fast pace, his encouraging smile, his amazing work ethic, were all lacking.  I’ll be glad to have my friend and partner back by my side when he’s healed.

I was reading an issue of Backpacker magazine recently and a seasoned hiker had written about her hiking beginning, saying when she first started out she spent a lot of time watching her feet as she picked her way along the trail.  At some point she realized she was no longer watching her feet, but instead was able to look around at the scenery she hiked through.  Her brain had learned to avoid the roots and rocks in the trail without her constant watching.  This first solo harvest reminded me of that story.  Somewhere along the way I’ve learned how to manage my way through a harvest alone and to do so without looking down.  Though it took longer alone than it would have with the two of us, and parts of it were perhaps less enjoyable, this past week on the farm has made me feel more capable, more useful.  I’ve been reminded that this is my work and I’m committed to it and the success of our farm.

jeff-and-garlic

Of course Jeff had to get in on the CSA game!  He pushed through the pain and dried three rounds of apples to make sure our signature winter share item made an appearance this week.  We’re taking things slowly just now.  Making lists, getting through the lists.  Jeff’s feeling a little better each day.  He’ll be back out in the field before we know it!

Many thanks to everyone for the offers of help and contributions and well wishes.  It’s amazing just knowing how many folks are rooting for us.

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

Your farmers,
Carri Heisler and Jeff Bramlett

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Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:

Fennel and Radicchio Winter Salad with Pecans

Olive oil
1 cup pecans, roughly chopped
2 small bulbs fennel
1 small head castelfranco radicchio
2 hearts of romaine
Flaky salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 ounces pecorino cheese

For the dressing:
1 lemon
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/4 cup olive oil

Heat a generous drizzle of olive oil in a medium skillet over moderately high heat. Add the chopped pecans and cook, stirring frequently, for about 4 minutes, or until they smell toasted and are developing dark spots. Set aside to cool.

Trim the fennel bulbs of their tops and stem end. Cut each bulb in half lengthwise and finely slice it using a mandoline. Cut the radicchio in half lengthwise and remove the core and stem end. Finely slice the radicchio on the mandoline as well. Chop the romained hearts crosswise into bite sized pieces and toss with the rest of the vegetables in a large bowl.

Taste and season to taste with salt and pepper. Shave in the pecorino cheese (the mandoline is great for this too). Toss the cheese into the salad, and add the cooled pecans and toss those in as well.

Whisk together the dressing ingredients and toss with the mixed salad. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.

From Kitchn by Faith Durand, http://www.thekitchn.com/recipe-fennel-and-radicchio-wi-105910

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Potato, Leek and Fennel Soup

  • 2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter
  • 2 cups sliced leeks (white and pale green parts only)
  • 2 cups sliced fennel bulb, fronds reserved for garnish
  • 4 14 1/2-ounce cans low-salt chicken broth
  • 2 pounds red-skinned potatoes, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 4 cups)

Melt butter in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add leeks and fennel and sauté until leeks are translucent, about 7 minutes. Add broth and potatoes and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer soup until potatoes are very tender, about 25 minutes. Working in batches, purée soup in blender. Return to same pot. Rewarm soup if necessary. Season with salt and pepper. Ladle soup into bowls; garnish with reserved fennel fronds and serve.

From Epicurious via Bon Appétit by Jeanne Silvestri, http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/potato-leek-and-fennel-soup-100957

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Acorn Squash with Kale and Sausage

  • 2 medium acorn squash, halved down the middle, seeds removed
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Olive oil cooking spray
  • 3 teaspoons olive oil, divided
  • 8 ounces hot Italian turkey sausage, casings removed
  • 1 large leek, white and light green parts only, halved and sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 4 cups tightly packed torn kale
  • 1/3 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 2 tablespoons grated fresh Parmesan
  • 2 tablespoons panko breadcrumbs

Heat oven to 375°. Cut a thin slice off round side of each squash half to create a stable base. Sprinkle with salt and pepper; coat with cooking spray. Place squash flesh side down on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil; bake until golden and tender, 30 minutes. Remove from oven; flip squash and set aside. Heat broiler. In a large nonstick skillet over medium heat, heat 1 teaspoon oil. Add sausage; cook, breaking into coarse pieces, until brown, 6 minutes; transfer to a bowl. To same skillet, add remaining 2 teaspoons oil and leek; cook until leek is soft, 3 minutes. Add garlic; cook, 30 seconds. Add kale and toss; add broth. Cover and cook until kale is tender, 5 minutes; stir in sausage. Divide kale-sausage filling among squash. In a bowl, combine walnuts, Parmesan and panko; sprinkle evenly over squash bowls and coat with cooking spray. Broil until panko is golden, 2 minutes.

From Epicurious via SELF by Larraine Perri, http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/acorn-squash-with-kale-and-sausage-51203850

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summer csa share – week 27

csa-share-week-27

Welcome to the 27th and final week of the Pitchfork & Crow Summer CSA! Here’s what’s in the share:

  • Brussels Sprouts
  • LaRatte Fingerling Potatoes – We ran short on time and these potatoes are unwashed.  Thanks for understanding!
  • Mizuna
  • Carrots
  • Celeriac (that didn’t make into the photo, whoops!)
  • Pie Pumpkin
  • Blue Kuri (Salem) or Buttercup (Lebanon) Winter Squash – Both varieties have dry flesh and a sweet, rich flavor.  Great roasted or for pie or soup.
  • Yellow Onion
  • Garlic
  • Collards
  • Corn Flour/ Cornmeal – We use this in the cornbread recipe below and love it!  This week’s corn flour is a mix of several types of dry corn we grew, so it should be unique and thanks to the diversity of the corn it will be an array of colors!

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Given this is our final week of the 2016 Summer CSA season, I’d meant to have a lengthy discussion of some stats we’ve kept this year and the member survey results.  Unfortunately, time is short and it’s just not going to happen this week.  Hopefully most of you got one or more of our messages via email or Facebook about Jeff’s accident last night.  I don’t think there’s a good time to break your leg, but at the end of the CSA season may be the best timing if we had to choose.

Although this final share may not be exactly what we’d hoped a week ago, we feel it’s our best effort given the circumstances.  Gladly we had worked over the weekend to get some items ready to go, like grinding the corn flour.  But really this share wouldn’t have been possible without harvest help from our friends Sarah and Jo!  These two ladies volunteered their day to harvest your Brussels sprouts, collards, and mizuna while Jeff and I attempted to track down surgeons, medical records, prescriptions, and crutches via phone and a half day drive that had us at medical offices in Springfield, Albany, and finally Corvallis.  We found success at the end of the day, and Jeff heads into surgery bright and early Friday morning.

One CSA member noted that this “sounds like a major disturbance to your winter plans” and I couldn’t have said it better.  You just never know what’s around the corner.  Please know that we’re committed to our Winter CSA members and will do whatever is necessary to transition to the Winter CSA season without a hitch.  Luckily we’ve got a couple of weeks to figure out just what that means.  For now we appreciate all the kind words and offers of help.  I feel stronger just knowing we have this community surrounding us.

Enjoy the vegetables!  We’ll see Winter CSA member in two weeks for the first pick-up of the season!

Your farmers,
Carri Heisler and Jeff Bramlett

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Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:

Perfect Cornbread

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup cornmeal
  • 2 – 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup cooking oil or melted butter
  • Honey (optional)

 

  • Preheat oven to 400F. In a medium bowl stir together flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, and salt; set aside.
  • Add the 1 tablespoon butter to a 10-inch cast-iron skillet, a 9×1 1/2-inch round baking pan, or an 8x8x2-inch square baking pan. Place in the preheated oven about 3 minutes or until butter melts. Remove pan from oven; swirl butter in pan to coat bottom and sides of pan.
  • Meanwhile, in a small bowl combine eggs, milk, and oil. Add egg mixture all at once to flour mixture. Stir just until moistened. Pour batter into hot skillet or pan. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted near center comes out clean. Cut into wedges or squares. Serve warm. If desired, drizzle with honey. Makes 8 to 10 pieces.

From Better Homes and Gardens, http://www.bhg.com/recipe/quickbreads/corn-bread/

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Citrus Collards with Raisins Redux

Coarse sea salt
2 large bunches collard greens, ribs removed, cut into a Chiffonade, rinsed and drained
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
2/3 cup raisins
1/3 cup freshly squeezed orange juice

In a large pot over high heat, bring 3 quarts of water to a boil and add 1 tablespoons salt. Add the collards and cook, uncovered, for 8 to 10 minutes, until softened. Meanwhile, prepare a large bowl of ice water to cool the collards.

Remove the collards from the heat, drain, and plunge them into the bowl of cold water to stop cooking and set the color of the greens. Drain by gently pressing the greens against a colander.

In a medium-size sauté pan, combine the olive oil and the garlic and raise the heat to medium. Sauté for 1 minute. Add the collards, raisins, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Sauté for 3 minutes, stirring frequently.

Add orange juice and cook for an additional 15 seconds. Do not overcook (collards should be bright green). Season with additional salt to taste if needed and serve immediately. (This also makes a tasty filling for quesadillas.)

From Vegan Soul Kitchen: Fresh, Healthy, and Creative African-American Cuisine, Bryant Terry

Also available here: http://splendidtable.publicradio.org/recipes/sides_citrus_collards.shtml

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Quick Winter Squash Soup with Spicy Toasted Pumpkin Seeds

  1. For soup:
    • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
    • 3 shallots, finely chopped
    • 2 (12-ounce) packages frozen winter squash purée, thawed
    • 3 cups chicken stock
  2. For pumpkin seeds:
    • 1 tablespoon olive oil
    • 3/4 cup raw green (hulled) pumpkin seeds
    • 3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
    • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  3. To finish:
    • 1 teaspoon finely grated fresh lime zest
    • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  1. Make soup:
    1. In large saucepan over moderately high heat, melt butter. Add shallots and sauté until translucent, about 3 minutes. Stir in squash and stock and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, until soup thickens, about 30 minutes.
  2. While soup simmers, make pumpkin seeds:
    1. In small skillet over moderately high heat, heat oil. Add pumpkin seeds and cook, stirring constantly, until seeds begin to pop, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in cumin and cayenne pepper and continue to cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Transfer to bowl and season with generous pinch of kosher or coarse sea salt.
  3. Finish and serve:
    1. When soup has thickened, remove from heat and stir in lime zest and juice. Season with kosher or fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Ladle into bowls, garnish with pumpkin seeds, and serve.
Tip:
1 medium lime should provide about 1 teaspoon zest and 2 tablespoons juice. Be sure to zest the lime before halving and juicing it.
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summer csa share – week 26

csa-share-week-26

Welcome to the 26th week of the Pitchfork & Crow Summer CSA! Here’s what’s in the share:

  • Red Cabbage
  • Orange Beets
  • Sugarloaf Chicory – on the sweeter end of the bitter chicories, sugarloaf can be chopped into a salad or drizzled with olive oil and roasted whole.
  • Rainbow Carrots
  • Chard
  • Rutabaga
  • Mixed Sweet Peppers
  • Onion
  • Leeks
  • Spaghetti Squash
  • Curly Parsley – We enjoyed the beet/parsley recipe down below this past week!
  • Pears – we’ve had reports of some issues with past pears.  These are the last of our pears in storage and seem to be softer and riper.

One more week to fill out our annual CSA member survey.  Please take a few minutes to tell us how the CSA season has gone for you and how we might improve the experience.  Click here to head to the survey.

Also, are you looking for for more vegetables for your Thanksgiving meal or hoping to stock up on some staple items before the end of the Summer CSA?  We’re offering a holiday harvest for pick-up next week. Check your weekly member email for the details.

Here’s our sketch of what should  be in next week’s share to help you with your order:

Brussels Sprouts, Potatoes, Carrots, Pie Pumpkin, Onion, Garlic, Celery, Collards, Corn Flour, Fall Salad Mix

november

There’s mountain snow in the weather forecast and we’re expecting our first frost of the season Friday morning.  We usually expect a frost in mid-October and plan and plant accordingly but the past few years have seen a delay in the arrival of the first frost.  As we’ve waited for the cold weather, we’ve watched our fall and winter field crops continue to grow.  We try to time our plantings of overwintering crops to be developed enough to hold through winter, but not so tall that they’re vulnerable to low temperatures.  At this point it’s a gamble and we’ll just have to wait and see how the winter weather plays out.

Ideally we would have several frost events before our first hard freeze,  helping plants acclimate over time to the cold weather ahead. Last year our first frost was followed the next night by a hard freeze, which was shocking to us and to the vegetables.  In recent weeks we’ve spent some time harvesting and washing root vegetables for storage and will be ready when the cold weather finally arrives.  For now, we’ll embrace the first frost of the season and simultaneously appreciate the the flowers and herbs that have yet to be frosted out.

futzu-and-carrots

This week has been full of chores and projects that have been patiently waiting in the wings.  Jeff and our employee Daniel began the end-of-season work of cleaning up the tomato house.  The plants are removed, the trellising dismantled, the drip tape stored away until next year.  I worked to consolidate the winter squash haul, freeing up a little space in the barn and getting a good handle on our numbers as we shift CSA seasons.  It’s also that time of year when I start spending time organizing our records and making notes about the tax season ahead.  Small farming is also small businessing, and business always means paperwork and records.  Jeff spent much of this weekend as farm mechanic, attempting to figure out why our 1947 Farmall Cub cultivating tractor suddenly decided to stop starting.  Luckily a friend and CSA member with mechanic skills was able to spend Sunday afternoon here at the farm and help out.  By Sunday evening the Cub was running better than ever.  Success!  Now we’re ready to use the tractor to grind corn for next week’s share!

Enjoy the vegetables and we’ll see you next week for the last Summer CSA pick-up!

Your farmers,
Carri Heisler and Jeff Bramlett

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Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:

Tagliatelle with Shredded Beets, Sour Cream, and Parsley

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 cups (packed) coarsely grated peeled uncooked beets (about 3 large)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 12 ounces tagliatelle or fettuccine
  • 1 8-ounce container sour cream (we made this with plain yogurt this week and it was just as tasty!)
  • 6 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley, divided

Melt butter with oil in large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add garlic; stir until pale golden, about 1 minute. Add beets and cayenne; reduce heat to medium-low and sauté just until beets are tender, about 12 minutes. Stir in lemon juice.

Meanwhile, cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water until tender but still firm to bite, stirring occasionally.

Drain pasta and return to pot. Stir in sour cream and 4 tablespoons parsley, then beet mixture. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer pasta to bowl. Sprinkle with remaining 2 tablespoons parsley and serve.

From Epicurious via Bon Appétit, http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/tagliatelle-with-shredded-beets-sour-cream-and-parsley-109365

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Spaghetti Squash with Sausage Filling

  • 1 3 3/4- to 4-pound spaghetti squash, halved lengthwise, seeded
  • 1 pound bulk pork sausage
  • 1 cup chopped green bell pepper
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups purchased marinara sauce
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Wrap squash halves in plastic wrap. Cook 1 at a time in microwave on high until tender, about 8 minutes. Pierce plastic to allow steam to escape. Cool. Meanwhile, sauté sausage, bell pepper, onion and garlic in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat until sausage browns and vegetables are tender, breaking up sausage with back of spoon, about 12 minutes. Mix in marinara sauce.

Using fork, pull out squash strands from shells, leaving shells intact. Mix squash strands into sausage mixture. Season filling to taste with salt and pepper. Spoon filling into squash shells. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover; refrigerate.)

Preheat oven to 400°F. Arrange filled squash halves on baking sheet. Sprinkle each with 1/4 cup Parmesan. Bake uncovered until heated through, about 20 minutes (30 minutes if previously chilled). Cut each squash half in two and serve.

From Epicurious via Bon Appétithttp://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/spaghetti-squash-with-sausage-filling-5673

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Root Vegetable Hash with Poached Eggs and Parsley Pesto

Pesto

  • 2 cups (packed) fresh Italian parsley leaves (from 2 bunches)
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 small garlic clove, peeled

Hash

  • Nonstick vegetable oil spray
  • 2 1/2 cups 1/2-inch dice peeled Yukon Gold potatoes (about 1 pound)
  • 2 1/2 cups 1/2-inch dice peeled parsnips
  • 2 cups 1/2-inch dice peeled rutabagas
  • 1 1/2 cups 1/2-inch dice peeled carrots
  • 1/2 cup 1/2-inch dice red bell pepper
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 green onions, sliced
  • 4 large eggs

For pesto:

Blend all ingredients in processor until almost smooth. Season with salt and pepper.

For hash:

Preheat oven to 400°F. Spray large rimmed baking sheet with nonstick spray. Toss potatoes and next 5 ingredients on prepared sheet; spread in single layer. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Roast vegetables until tender, stirring and turning occasionally, about 45 minutes. Stir in garlic; roast 5 minutes longer. Mix in green onions. Fill large skillet halfway with generously salted water; bring to boil. Reduce heat to maintain steady simmer. Crack eggs, 1 at a time, into custard cup, then slide eggs into simmering water. Poach eggs until softly set, about 3 minutes.

 

Divide hash among 4 plates. Using slotted spoon, top each serving with 1 poached egg. Drizzle with pesto.

From Epicurious via Bon Appétit by Annie Somerville,  http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/root-vegetable-hash-with-poached-eggs-and-parsley-pesto-108564

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summer csa share – week 25

csa-share-week-25

Welcome to the 25th week of the Pitchfork & Crow Summer CSA! Here’s what’s in the share:

  • Fall Salad Mix – a mix of frisee, mizuna, arugula, tatsoi, escarole, and spinach
  • Parsnips
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Hakurei Turnips
  • Broccoli or Cauliflower or Romanesco
  • Green Tomatoes
  • Red Potatoes
  • Mixed Sweet Peppers
  • Garlic
  • Meadowlark Green Curly Kale
  • Delicata Winter Squash
  • Calico Popcorn – You can knock the kernels off the cob and into a paper bag and pop this in the microwave.  We’ve had fun watching them pop on the cob too!  Most often we’ll use these directions and pop it on the stovetop.

We’re coming down to the final few weeks of the CSA, which means it’s member survey time!  Please take a few minutes to tell us how the CSA season has gone for you and how we might improve the experience.  Click here to head to the survey.

harvest

There are just two more weeks left in the Summer/Fall CSA season!  So hard to believe we’ve been at this weekly pick-up routine for five and a half months straight.  We’re still waiting on the really cold weather we usually expect this time of year, but the recent sunny days have been welcome for field work.  However, a few frosts help to sweeten up vegetables like Brussels sprouts and parsnips.  Because we’re coming down to the final few weeks of the CSA season we decided it’s better to send these tasty, if less sweet than we’d prefer, fall veggies your way rather than wait and miss out while we continue to wait for the first frost to hit.

As we begin winding down the CSA season we especially appreciate all the members who have taken some time to fill out our end-of-season survey.  Thanks for sharing your thoughts on your side of this thing.  We’ve received some great feedback already and are looking forward to diving into the survey responses fully.  I’ll be sure to include an overview in the last newsletter of the season.

shop-progress

This past week we endeavored to get some carrots and beets into the cooler ahead of the winter weather.  Although we have successfully overwintered root vegetables in the field in the past, the harvest conditions in the winter and spring are less than ideal.  We decided to hedge our bets against the weather and get those roots cleaned and stored away for Winter CSA shares.  I’m pretty sure our future selves are already thanking us. We also made some progress on the shop space in the barn.  We now have walls and doors!  The space is really coming together and working on the construction has been a fun project.  It’s got us thinking a lot about the house building we have in our future!

Enjoy the vegetables and we’ll see you next week!

Your farmers,
Carri Heisler and Jeff Bramlett

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Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:

Kale and Almond Brussels Sprouts Salad

2 tablespoons minced shallots
1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 pound Brussels sprouts, very thinly sliced
1 cup stemmed chopped kale
1/4 cup sliced almonds
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
Combine first 7 ingredients in a small bowl. Place Brussels sprouts, kale, and almonds in a large bowl; toss to combine. Add vinaigrette; toss to coat. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
From My Recipes via Cooking Light by Kate Parham, http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/kale-brussels-sprout-salad

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Green Ajvar (Green Tomato Relish)

  • 1 pound green tomatoes
  • 3 tablespoons horseradish (I prefer freshly ground but prepared will do too; just be sure to drain it )
  • 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  1. Grind vegetables using a hand meat grinder or coarsely chop and then put into food processor, pulsing 4 to 5 times.
  2. Put the tomatoes in a fine mesh strainer set inside a large bowl, pressing on them to get as much juice out of the tomatoes as possible.
  3. In another bowl, mix horseradish, Dijon mustard, sea salt, and extra-virgin olive oil. Stir in the tomatoes.
  4. The ajvar will hold in the fridge for long time.
  5. Serve as a condiment at barbecue. It is delicious with roasted meats or as a topping on your sandwich.

From Food52 by Anka, https://food52.com/recipes/34662-green-ajvar-green-tomato-relish

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Garlic Mashed Parsnips and Potatoes

6 cups cubed peeled baking potato (about 2 pounds)
3 cups sliced peeled parsnip (about 1 pound)
12 garlic cloves, halved
1 bay leaf
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil

Combine the first 4 ingredients in a Dutch oven; cover with water, and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 20 minutes or until tender. Drain, reserving 1 cup cooking liquid. Discard bay leaf.

Combine potato mixture, reserved cooking liquid, salt, and pepper in a bowl; beat at medium speed of a mixer until smooth. Drizzle oil over potatoes.

From My Recipes via Cooking Light, http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/garlic-mashed-parsnips-potatoes

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summer csa share – week 24

csa-share-week-24

Welcome to the 24th week of the Pitchfork & Crow Summer CSA! Here’s what’s in the share:

  • Fall Salad Mix – a mix of lettuce, mizuna, arugula, tatsoi, and mild mustards
  • Kohlrabi
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower – have you tried cauliflower rice yet? 
  • Cilantro
  • Tomatillos
  • Purple & Green Beans
  • Shishito & Jimmy Nardello Peppers – 10 shishitos & 1 jimmy, we’re coming to the close of pepper season.
  • Red Onion – We’ve supplemented our onion supply with some we’ve purchased from our friends at Adaptive Seeds.  They grow onions, select the best of the best for seed production, and nicely sold the others to us.  Win, win!
  • Fava Bean Leaves – rather than let the season’s eventual cold take out our lovely young volunteer fava bean crop, we decided to share the fava leaves with you.  They can be sauteed like other greens, or used as a basil substitute in fava leaf pesto.
  • Butternut Winter Squash

We’re coming down to the final few weeks of the CSA, which means it’s member survey time!  Please take a few minutes to tell us how the CSA season has gone for you and how we might improve the experience.  Click here to head to the survey.

pumpkins-and-favas

First off, many thanks to everyone for the help and understanding at last week’s Salem pick-up.  We were rear-ended on our way to the pick-up, which left us both a little fuzzy and rather late.  We appreciate folks chipping in to get things set up quickly once we arrived and dealing with the bare-bones set-up.  We also appreciate the friends who brought us dinner and helped pack-up the box truck.  It’s good to have people when accidents happen, and we thank you for being our people.

In the end we were left with a broken ramp and damaged door on the box truck and minor personal injuries.  It’s been a low key week since the accident as we’ve worked in a little downtime, including plenty of sleep.  Jeff was able to wield his power tools and make the ramp usable, though we’re now working through the insurance process for the necessary fixes.  We’re looking forward to getting things back to normal this week.

barn-shop

Over the weekend we began work on building out a shop in the pole barn we built this past winter.  Jeff is looking forward to organized tool storage and dry space for small projects.  First step was adding a floor and we quickly learned all about floor joists, joist hangers, and subfloor materials.  After planning and executing, we’ve got the floor built out and covered.  This week we’ll work on walling off the space and building sliding doors.  It’s been a while since Jeff had a proper shop space and the progress is exciting!

Enjoy the vegetables and we’ll see you next week!

Your farmers,
Carri Heisler and Jeff Bramlett

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Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:

Tomatillo-Braised Chicken Thighs

12 ounces tomatillos (about 5 medium), husks removed

6 garlic cloves
1 medium jalapeño pepper, halved and seeded (maybe try a shishito or two for a milder option)
1 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 cup unsalted chicken stock (such as Swanson)
1 1/2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
8 bone-in chicken thighs (about 1 3/4 pounds), skinned
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 cup grape tomatoes, quartered
3 tablespoons Mexican crema

Place first 3 ingredients on a jelly-roll pan; broil 9 minutes, turning after 5 minutes. Combine tomatillo mixture, cilantro, stock, and flour in a blender; process until smooth.

Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add chicken to pan, meaty side down; cook 5 minutes or until browned. Turn chicken over; top with tomatillo mixture. Partially cover pan; reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 9 minutes or until chicken is done. Sprinkle with tomatoes; top with crema.

From MyRecipes via Cooking Light by Adam Hickman, http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/tomatillo-braised-chicken-thighs

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Roasted Kohlrabi and Butternut Squash

  • 4 medium kohlrabi (2 1/4 lb with greens or 1 3/4 lb without)
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 1/2 lb butternut squash
  • Special equipment: a 17- by 12- by 1-inch shallow heavy baking pan

Put oven rack just below middle position and put baking pan on rack, then preheat oven to 450°F. (If roasting vegetables along with turkey, preheat pan for 15 minutes while turkey roasts, then roast vegetables underneath turkey.)

Trim and peel kohlrabi, then cut into 3/4-inch pieces. Toss kohlrabi with 1 tablespoon oil, 1 teaspoon thyme, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 3/4 teaspoon pepper in a bowl. Transfer kohlrabi to preheated pan in oven and roast 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, peel butternut squash, then quarter lengthwise, seed, and cut into 3/4-inch pieces. Toss squash with remaining 1 tablespoon oil, 1 teaspoon thyme, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 3/4 teaspoon pepper in same bowl.

Stir kohlrabi, turning it, then push it to one side of pan.

Add squash to opposite side of pan and roast, stirring and turning squash over halfway through roasting, until vegetables are tender and lightly browned, about 30 minutes total (after squash is added).

Toss vegetables to combine and transfer to a dish.

Cooks’ note:
Kohlrabi and butternut squash can be cut 1 day ahead and chilled in separate sealed plastic bags.
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Baked Italian-Style Cauliflower

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
4 garlic cloves, minced
6 ounces lean ground sirloin
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 1/2 cups lower-sodium marinara sauce (such as McCutcheon’s)
2 ounces pitted kalamata olives, coarsely chopped
1 1/2 pounds cauliflower, cut into florets
Cooking spray
1 ounce French bread baguette, torn into 1-inch pieces
1/4 cup (1 ounce) grated fresh pecorino Romano cheese

1. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan; swirl. Add onion; sauté 4 minutes. Add garlic; sauté for 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Stir in beef. Sprinkle with salt and peppers, and sauté 3 minutes or until browned, stirring to crumble. Stir in sauce and olives.

2. Preheat broiler.

3. Steam cauliflower 4 minutes or until crisp-tender. Place cauliflower in an 11 x 7-inch broiler-safe baking dish coated with cooking spray; top with sauce mixture.

4. Place bread in a mini chopper; pulse until coarse crumbs form. Combine crumbs and cheese; sprinkle over cauliflower mixture. Broil 4 minutes or until browned.

From MyRecipes via Cooking Light by Julianna Grimes, http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/baked-italian-style-cauliflower
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summer csa share – week 23

csa-share-week-23

Welcome to the 23rd week of the Pitchfork & Crow Summer CSA! Here’s what’s in the share:

  • Salad Mix
  • Carrots
  • Broccoli
  • Celery – best used in soups or stews
  • Cauliflower
  • Mixed Tomatoes
  • Kennebec Potatoes
  • Sweet Peppers or Poblano Peppers
  • Leeks
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Potimarron Winter Squash – a denser squash with a flaky texture, great for soups and even pie!

rainbow

The sun made an appearance for a brief moment after a grey, drizzly harvest day.  It brought with it a sliver of blue sky and an attempted double rainbow.  Not bad for a Monday.

We’re excited for this week’s selection.  Like the shift in weather, this week’s share is a shift in seasonal eating.  We’ve got a great line-up of fall vegetables headed your way including Brussels sprouts, leeks, celery, and Potimarron winter squash.  Time to fire up the oven for roasting your way through the share.  Or perhaps the damp weather calls for soup, stew, curry, or chowder.  Either way we hope you’re excited to get cooking with some new ingredients  added in with the staples.

broccoli-and-corn

This past week we’ve jumped into project mode here on the farm.  Jeff and our (super part-time) employee Daniel finished clearing out the summer crops and drip irrigation from two of our field houses and managed to replace the plastic on both.  It’s amazing what some shiny new plastic can do for a greenhouse, they almost look brand new.  Now let’s hope the winter weather in the months ahead doesn’t take too much of a toll on the new plastic.  Jeff worked on adding end walls to these houses over the weekend.  For years we’ve only had open-ended field houses but we’re hoping to extend their cold weather usefulness by adding ends to them.   Covered space is premium on the farm, especially in wet weather, but closed in dry space is that much better.

While Jeff worked on the field houses, I tackled the shelling of our flour corn.  Those of you with kids who have come to one of the fall CSA potlucks might recall our hand crank corn sheller.  It’s a beast that makes the work of getting kernels off dried corn easier, but still requires a lot of cranking.  I’m happy to report our corn is taking up a lot less storage space now that it’s off the cob.  We look forward to sharing corn flour with you in upcoming CSA shares.

Enjoy the vegetables and we’ll see you next week!

Your farmers,
Carri Heisler and Jeff Bramlett

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Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:

3-Ingredient Sweet and Smoky Brussels Sprouts

  • 4 ounces bacon (about 4 slices), cut crosswise into 1/4″ strips
  • 2 tablespoons (or more) olive oil
  • 1 pound brussels sprouts, trimmed, halved
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup dates, pitted, chopped

Cook bacon in a large skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until partially crisped, 5–7 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer bacon to paper towels, reserving fat in skillet.

Add 2 Tbsp. oil to fat and heat over medium. Working in batches and adding more oil if needed, add brussels sprouts in a single layer, cut side down, and sear, without stirring, until well-browned, about 3 minutes. Season with salt, toss to coat, then stir in bacon and dates. Stir in 3/4 cup water, increase heat to medium-high, and cook, mashing dates with the back of a wooden spoon, until dates have dissolved and brussels sprouts are well-glazed, about 2 minutes.

From Epicurious by Molly Baz, http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/3-ingredient-sweet-and-smoky-brussels-sprouts

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Cream of Cauliflower Soup

  • 2 leeks, including 2 inches of green, roots trimmed
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 celery rib, with extra leaves, coarsely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons finely minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 6 cups chicken or vegetable broth (more if necessary)
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 1 head cauliflower, cored and broken into florets
  • 1 cup half-and-half
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1. Cut leeks in half lengthwise. Wash to remove dirt. Pat dry and thinly slice crosswise.

2. Heat the oil with the butter in a heavy pot over low heat. Wilt the leeks and celery with leaves until softened, 10 minutes; add garlic during the last 5 minutes.

3. Stir in the curry powder and ginger, and cook over very low heat to permeate the vegetables, 1 minute.

4. Add the broth, lemon juice, and cauliflower florets. Raise the heat to high and bring to a boil; reduce the heat and simmer, partially covered, until the cauliflower is very tender, 15 minutes. Cool slightly.

5. Purée in a food processor until very smooth, adding half-and-half through the feed tube. Add extra broth for desired consistency. Season with salt and pepper.

From Epicurious via Parade by Sheila Lukins, http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/cream-of-cauliflower-soup-350616

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Winter Squash Agrodolce

  • 1 (2 pound) kabocha squash (such as Potimarron), peeled, seeds removed, cut into 1″ wedges
  • 2 delicata or dumpling squashes, seeds removed, cut into 1″ wedges
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
  • 2 Fresno chiles, thinly sliced
  • 3/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons golden raisins, chopped
  • 1 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes

Preheat oven to 400°F. Place kabocha and delicata squash on separate large rimmed baking sheets. Drizzle with oil; season with salt and pepper. Roast, tossing occasionally, until squashes are golden brown and tender, 30–35 minutes for kabocha and 20-25 minutes for delicata.

Meanwhile, bring chiles, vinegar, honey, raisins, red pepper flakes, and a pinch of salt to a boil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Reduce heat and simmer until syrupy, 8–10 minutes.

Brush half of warm agrodolce over warm squash. Transfer to a platter.

Just before serving, reheat remaining agrodolce, adding a splash of water if needed to loosen. Spoon over squash.

Do ahead: Dish can be made 3 hours ahead. Store tightly wrapped at room temperature.

From Epicurious via Bon Appétit by Chris Morocco, http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/winter-squash-agrodolce

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