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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summer csa share – week 22

csa-share-week-22

Welcome to the 22nd week of the Pitchfork & Crow Summer CSA! Here’s what’s in the share:

  • Mixed Head Lettuce
  • Beets
  • Dragon Tongue Snap Beans
  • Sweet Corn
  • Cauliflower – The fall cauliflower is on!  Two heads each!
  • Mixed Tomatoes
  • Jimmy Nardello Sweet Peppers – These peppers look hot, but they’re not!
  • Cipollini Onion
  • Fennel
  • Kalibos Cabbage
  • Pears
  • Carnival Acorn Squash

storms-and-tomatillos

This past weekend’s storm that wasn’t as stormy as originally predicted was an excellent introduction to late fall and winter farming.  During the calm, hot days of summer it’s easy to forget how unpredictable the weather can be and how much that factor impacts this work.  Everything is a little slower, a little harder, when the weather turns wet and windy.  Luckily the really high winds didn’t materialize and all of our greenhouses and row cover stayed in place this time.  The interesting weather continued yesterday and we experienced sun, rain, hail, and thunder just during the corn harvest.  Woah!

In the week ahead we’ll be continuing to clean up after the tornado of work that was this past summer.  Think cleaning out the last of the greenhouses, taking out tomato trellising, cleaning up the propagation house.  We’ll also be trying to focus in on the projects we’ve been putting off and deciding what to tackle over the coming months.  We have several infrastructure project ideas on the horizon, now’s the time to decide how to make them a reality.

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:

Beet & Fennel Soup

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup chopped fennel bulb
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fennel seeds
  • 2 large (2 1/2-to 3-inch-diameter) beets, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 2 cups low-salt chicken broth
  • 1 cup unflavored kefir
  • Additional unflavored kefir
  • Fennel fronds (for garnish)

Heat olive oil in large saucepan over medium heat. Add chopped onion, chopped fennel, and fennel seeds. Sauté until vegetables soften, about 5 minutes. Add cubed beets and stir to coat. Add chicken broth and bring to boil. Cover; reduce heat to medium-low. Cook until beets are tender, 18 to 20 minutes. Puree soup in batches in blender. Return to same saucepan. Whisk in 1 cup unflavored kefir and season soup with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Rewarm soup.

Ladle soup into bowls. Drizzle with additional unflavored kefir; garnish with fennel fronds.

From Epicurious via , http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/beet-and-fennel-soup-with-kefir-362869

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Spice-Roasted Cauliflower with Beet Emulsion

  • 2 1/2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp crushed saffron threads
  • 1 tsp ground white pepper
  • 1 tsp ground fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground red pepper flakes
  • 1 head cauliflower, leaves removed, cut into large pieces
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup canned beets (or 1/2 cup fresh, cooked beets, pureed in a blender)
  • Juice of 1 lime

Heat butter and 1 1/2 tbsp oil in a medium sauté pan. Add all spices and season with salt. Cook about 2 minutes. Add cauliflower and honey and cook about 30 minutes, turning every 5 minutes or so on all sides. When cauliflower is tender, remove it; add beets and lime juice to pan and reduce liquid by half. Add remaining oil. Divide cauliflower among 4 plates and drizzle with beet emulsion. Serve hot.

From Epicurious via SELF, http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/spice-roasted-cauliflower-with-beet-emulsion-230322

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Apple-Filled Acorn Squash Rings with Curry Butter

  • 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) butter
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons curry powder
  • 2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, diced (about 2 1/3 cups) (or try this week’s pears)
  • 2/3 cup apple juice
  • 1/2 cup dried currants
  • 8 1-inch-thick unpeeled acorn squash rings (from 2 medium), seeded

Melt 1 tablespoon butter in heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and sauté until tender, about 12 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon curry powder; stir 1 minute. Add apples, apple juice, and currants. Sauté until liquid evaporates, about 6 minutes. Season filling to taste with salt and pepper. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)

Preheat oven to 350°F. Melt 5 tablespoons butter in small skillet over medium heat. Add 1/2 tablespoon curry powder; stir until fragrant, about 1 minute. Transfer curry butter to bowl. Brush 2 large rimmed baking sheets with some curry butter. Arrange squash in single layer on sheets. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Scoop filling into center of rings. Drizzle remaining curry butter over squash and filling (mostly on squash). Cover with foil. Bake squash rings until squash is tender when pierced with skewer, about 40 minutes. Using spatula, transfer squash rings with filling to plates.

From Epicurious via , http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/apple-filled-acorn-squash-rings-with-curry-butter-105808

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summer csa share – week 21

csa-share-week-21

Welcome to the 21st week of the Pitchfork & Crow Summer CSA! Here’s what’s in the share:

  • Romaine Head Lettuce
  • Carrots
  • Mustard Greens – Pork and beans and mustard greens, you cannot go wrong – says Jeff
  • German Butterball Potatoes
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Tomatillos
  • Korean Hot Peppers
  • Shishito Peppers 
  • St. Helens Garlic – A family heirloom variety from Washington, St. Helens garlic is hot when eaten raw but has a more subtle, nutty flavor when roasted.
  • Cilantro
  • Slicing Cucumber
  • Asian Pears

fall-tasks

Our year-round farming efforts result in year-round harvests, but October really feels like the big harvest month.  Many of the long-season crops that have been growing and maturing all summer are ready to harvest now.  We started our winter squash back in May, transplanted it into the field in June, and this past week we brought it all in from the field for winter storage.  This harvest will see us through the remainder of the Summer CSA and (with good storage and a little luck) into 2017 through much of the Winter CSA.  We brought in 11 pallet bins of winter squash this year, including 13 different varieties, and we’re excited to start sharing them with you next week.

This weekend we also planted our garlic and overwintering onions.  I spent Saturday cracking garlic heads for the 4,200 cloves we needed.  We currently grow seven different varieties of garlic and it’s always a fun project to evaluate each type in turn as we get ready to plant again.  It’s also an interesting project to figure out how much garlic we’ll want to harvest next summer including what we’ll need for the CSA and what we’ll need for planting stock next fall.  Will 4,200 heads be enough next year?  I guess it might have to be now that we’ve planted it out.

The weather looks awfully wet this weekend, so we’ll see what projects we get to in the days ahead.  Likely there’s some greenhouse work and barn organization on tap.

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:

Chicken with Tomatillo and Cilantro Sauce

  • 1 pound tomatillos, husked
  • 3 serrano chiles, stemmed (or how about this weeks Korean Hot Peppers?)
  • 2 whole skinless chicken breasts (about 2 1/2 pounds), halved
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro, plus extra for garnish
  • 1 teaspoon salt, plus extra for sprinkling
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin seeds, toasted 5 minutes in dry cast-iron pan over medium heat

Move broiler rack into position closest to flame. Set broiler to medium. Place tomatillos and chiles on a rimmed baking sheet; broil until soft and blackened in spots, about 5 minutes. Turn; broil other side 5 minutes. Remove from broiler and transfer to a food processor; blend. Increase broiler heat to high. Place chicken on same baking sheet and sprinkle with salt. Broil chicken until browned, about 9 minutes. Turn; broil other side 9 minutes. Heat oil in a large saucepan over low heat; cook onion and garlic, stirring occasionally, until soft and golden, about 5 minutes. Add pureed tomatillos and chiles; simmer uncovered, 2 minutes. Add cilantro and 1 teaspoon salt. Gently place chicken in sauce. Simmer, covered, until meat is cooked through, about 20 minutes. Sprinkle with pumpkin seeds and cilantro. Serve with Roasted Kabocha Squash With Cumin Salt .

From Epicurious via SELF a, http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/chicken-with-tomatillo-and-cilantro-sauce-243589

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Thai Coconut, Broccoli and Coriander Soup

  • 1/3 cup store-bought green curry paste
  • 1 (13.5-ounce) can coconut milk
  • 3 cups water
  • Sea salt and cracked black pepper
  • 1 pound broccoli florets, chopped
  • 2 cups baby spinach leaves, plus more to serve
  • 2 cups cilantro leaves
  • 2 scallions, shredded
  • Store-bought crispy shallots or onions, to serve

Place the curry paste in a medium saucepan over medium heat and cook, stirring, for 1 minute or until fragrant. Add the coconut milk, water, salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Add the broccoli, cover and cook for 10 minutes or until the broccoli is tender. Remove from the heat and add the spinach leaves and half the cilantro.

Using an immersion blender, blend the soup until smooth. Divide among serving bowls and top with the extra spinach, remaining cilantro, scallions and shallots.

From Epicurious via Donna Hay Magazine by Donna Hay, http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/thai-coconut-broccoli-and-coriander-soup-56390092

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Mashed Potatoes with Greens

  • 1 9- to 10-ounce smoked ham hock
  • 4 cups cold water
  • 3/4 pound kale, stems removed and reserved, leaves coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 pound mustard greens, stems discarded, leaves coarsely chopped
  • 3 pounds russet potatoes, peeled, quartered
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
  • 1 cup (about) whole milk
  • 4 green onions, chopped

Combine ham hock and 4 cups cold water in large saucepan; bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer until ham is tender, about 45 minutes. Transfer hock to plate; cool. Remove meat from bone; chop meat.

If necessary, boil ham broth until reduced to 3 cups. Add kale stems. Cover and simmer over medium heat 10 minutes. Add kale leaves. Cover and simmer 5 minutes. Add mustard greens; cover and simmer until all greens are tender, occasionally submerging greens in broth, about 20 minutes. Uncover; simmer until broth is reduced almost to glaze, about 10 minutes longer. Season with salt and pepper.

Cook potatoes in large pot of boiling salted water until tender, about 30 minutes. Drain potatoes, reserving 1/4 cup cooking liquid. Return potatoes and reserved 1/4 cup cooking liquid to pot. Add butter and 3/4 cup whole milk. Mash potatoes until almost smooth, adding more milk if dry. Season potatoes to taste with salt and pepper.

Spoon potatoes into large bowl. Make well in center of potatoes; spoon greens into well. Sprinkle with chopped ham and green onions and serve.

From Epicurious via Bon Appétithttp://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/mashed-potatoes-with-greens-104293

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summer csa share – week 20

csa-share-week-20

Welcome to the 20th week of the Pitchfork & Crow Summer CSA! Here’s what’s in the share:

  • Salad Mix
  • Carrots
  • Broccoli
  • Eggplant
  • Green Beans – A mix of green beans, purple beans, and striped Dragon’s Tongue beans this week.
  • Lacinato Kale
  • Sweet Peppers
  • Yellow Onion
  • Cucumbers
  • Tomatoes Pint of cherries or slicers
  • Melon

leeks-and-sunrise

We’ve settled into our favorite time of year on the farm.  Jeff and I both generally prefer the tempered fall weather to summer heat.  We welcome the return of the rain, signaling that irrigation season is finally coming to an end.  We’ve had some beautiful fall mornings recently, including mysterious fog shrouding the farm and some amazing sunrises.  Yesterday was the first harvest of the season that required raingear and it was a good reminder of what harvest days will look like in the coming months including mud, rain, and more mud.

We’ve definitely hit the seasonal shift from summer to fall in crops too.  The summer squash is on its way out and the winter squash is ready to be harvested.  We’re ready for the change and hope you are too.  Eating seasonally is all about enjoying what’s in season fully and we’ve had our fill of cucumbers and summer squash this year.  Bring on the leeks and Brussels sprouts!

corn-and-pumpkin

On a last note, many thanks to all the folks that made it out to the farm for the CSA potluck and cider pressing event on Saturday.  The weather was a little blustery but we stayed dry and it was perfect for kite flying.  The cider was pressed, the food was eaten, the kites were flown, the farm tours and hay rides were enjoyed and even a few t-shirts were screenprinted.  Our pumpkins are still green, but luckily the local pumpkin patch down the road opened that morning and we brought in some pumpkins to share.  We always love to share the farm with CSA members and hope you had as good a time as we did.

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:

Grilled Eggplant and Greens with Spiced Yogurt

  • 2 medium Japanese eggplants or 1 globe eggplant (about 1 pound), sliced crosswise on a diagonal 1/2″-thick
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil, divided, plus more for serving
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 large bunches hardy greens (such as kale or Swiss chard)
  • 1/2 cup fresh mint leaves
  • 3/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 teaspoon garam masala or curry powder
  • Lemon wedges (for serving)

Prepare grill for medium-high heat. Toss eggplant with turmeric and 2 tablespoons oil in a medium bowl; season with salt and pepper. Toss greens with 2 tablespoons oil in a large bowl; season with salt and pepper.

Grill eggplant, turning often, until tender and charred in spots, 5-8 minutes; transfer to a large bowl.

Grill greens, turning often, until lightly charred in spots, about 2 minutes; transfer to a cutting board and let cool slightly. Remove thick ribs and stems from greens and discard. Tear large leaves into large pieces; transfer to bowl with eggplant, add mint and 2 tablespoons oil, and toss to combine.

Mix yogurt and garam masala in a small bowl; season with salt and pepper.

Spoon yogurt onto a platter and top with eggplant, greens, and mint mixture. Drizzle with more oil and serve with lemon wedges.

From Epicurious from Bon Appétit by 

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Tangy Eggplant, Long Beans, and Cherry Tomatoes with Roasted Peanuts

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Asian fish sauce (preferably naam pla)
  • 4 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 pound long thin Asian eggplants (about 2)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 1/2 pound long beans or other green beans
  • 10 cherry tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1 tablespoon roasted peanuts

In a large bowl stir together fish sauce, sugar, and lime juice and let stand, stirring occasionally, until sugar is dissolved, about 10 minutes.

Preheat broiler.

Cut eggplants crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Lightly brush a small baking pan with some oil and arrange eggplant slices in pan. Brush eggplant with remaining oil and broil 3 to 4 inches from heat, turning it once, until tender and browned, about 8 minutes total. Add eggplant to fish-sauce mixture and toss.

Have ready a bowl of ice and cold water. Cut beans into 1 1/2-inch lengths and in a saucepan cook in boiling salted water 2 minutes. Drain beans and transfer to ice water to stop cooking. Drain beans well and add to eggplant mixture. Halve tomatoes and coarsely chop cilantro. Finely chop peanuts. Add tomatoes, cilantro, and some peanuts to eggplant mixture, tossing to combine. Vegetables may be prepared 2 hours ahead. Serve vegetables at room temperature sprinkled with remaining peanuts.

From Epicurious via Gourmet, http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/tangy-eggplant-long-beans-and-cherry-tomatoes-with-roasted-peanuts-101787

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Buttered Green Beans and Carrots

  • 2 pounds slender green beans, trimmed
  • 8 ounces carrots, peeled, cut into matchstick-size strips
  • 2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Cook green beans in large pot of boiling salted water until crisp-tender, about 6 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer green beans to bowl of ice water. Cook carrots in same boiling water until crisp-tender, about 1 minute. Transfer carrots to ice water with beans. Drain; pat vegetables dry. (Vegetables can be prepared 1 day ahead. Wrap vegetables in paper towels and refrigerate.)

Melt 2 tablespoons butter with 2 tablespoons olive oil in large pot over medium-high heat. Add vegetables and toss until hot, about 2 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

From Epicurious via Bon Appétit, http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/buttered-green-beans-and-carrots-4544

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summer csa share – week 19

csa-share-week-19

Welcome to the 19th week of the Pitchfork & Crow Summer CSA! Here’s what’s in the share:

  • Cilantro
  • Tomatillos – our favorite for making salsa verde!
  • Head Lettuce – one crisphead and one romaine
  • Beets
  • Broccoli
  • Green Beans – A mix of green beans and striped Dragon’s Tongue beans this week.
  • Bok Choy
  • Poblano Peppers
  • Jalapeno Peppers
  • Garlic
  • Sweet Corn
  • Summer Squash
  • Cucumbers
  • Tomatoes Pint of cherries or slicers
  • Gravenstein Apples

Fall CSA Farm Event Coming Up!  Hopefully you already have your calendars marked for the fall CSA member farm day on Saturday October 1st.  We’ll have cider pressing and farm tours and whatever other shenanigans we can think up.  Check the weekly member email for further details.

fall-fields

On Thursday evening a group of farming interns from the South Willamette Valley chapter of the Rogue Farm Corps is coming to the farm to learn about winter farming, crop rotation, and cover cropping.  In a three hour session we’ll be covering the basics of winter on the farm and the planning and work that goes into getting there. We’re headed into our fifth winter CSA season, so in theory we should know what we’re doing and we should be able to pass that info along.  In reality there is so much alchemy and finger crossing that goes into farming, winter farming in particular, that I’m finding it difficult to synthesize the topic. The ideals we strive to meet do not always come true on the ground.  For instance our crop rotation often comes down to simply moving big blocks of related plants around the farm based on where they’ll fit and where they’ve been the past few years, rather than the detailed eight year rotation suggested and outlined by the experts.  Hopefully we find a balance on Thursday between teaching the ideals and sharing the realities.

The rest of the week is filled up with the usual harvesting and seeding and weeding.  We’re starting to edge into project mode and last week Jeff and our employee Daniel covered one of our field houses with new plastic.  One down, two to go.  Of course we’ll be preparing for the big CSA potluck on Saturday.  We’re cleaning up the cider press and tidying the field edges.  Unfortunately we planted our pumpkins very late, so we’ll be mostly lacking in the pumpkin patch department this year, but we hope to have a good time anyhow.  The weather looks dodgy, but that’s autumn in Oregon I suppose.

Enjoy the vegetables and we’ll see you next week (or Saturday!)!

Your farmers,
Carri Heisler and Jeff Bramlett

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Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:

Charred Romaine with Tomatillo Dressing

  1. Tomatillo Dressing:
    • 1/4 medium white onion, quartered
    • 1 small tomatillo, husk removed
    • 1 jalapeño, sliced, seeds removed
    • 1 garlic clove
    • 1/4 avocado, chopped
    • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
    • 1/4 cup olive oil
    • 1 tablespoons fresh lime juice
    • Kosher salt
    • Freshly ground black pepper
  2. Salad and Assembly:
    • 1 small poblano chile
    • 2 heads of romaine lettuce, outer leaves removed, halved lengthwise
    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • Kosher salt
    • 1 avocado, chopped
    • 1/4 medium white onion, finely chopped
    • 1 tablespoons fresh lime juice
    • 2 ounces Cotija cheese, finely grated
    • 1 tablespoons chopped cilantro stems

Tomatillo Dressing:

Bring onion, tomatillo, jalapeño, garlic, and 2 cups water to a boil in a small saucepan. Reduce heat and simmer until onion is very tender, 6–8 minutes; let cool. Drain, reserving cooking liquid.

Purée onion mixture with avocado and cilantro leaves in a blender. With motor running, gradually add oil and 2 tablespoons cooking liquid and blend until combined.

Add lime juice; season with salt and pepper.

Salad and Assembly:

Prepare grill for medium-high heat. Grill poblano, turning occasionally, until charred and blistered, 6–8 minutes. Let cool. Peel and finely chop.

Drizzle cut sides of romaine with oil; season with salt. Grill, cut side down, until charred, about 3 minutes. Turn and grill just until warmed through, about 30 seconds.

Spoon dressing onto plates and top with romaine, charred side up, avocado, onion, and poblano. Drizzle with lime juice; season lightly with salt. Scatter Cotija cheese and chopped cilantro stems over.

From Epicurious via Bon Appétit by Chef Aaron Silverman, http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/charred-romaine-with-tomatillo-dressing-51248020

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Soba Noodle Soup with Roast Pork and Bok Choy

  • 1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Chinese five-spice powder
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • a 3/4-pound piece well trimmed boneless pork loin
  • 8 cups chicken broth
  • six 1/8-inch slices peeled fresh gingerroot
  • 3 star anise
  • 2 large garlic cloves
  • 1/2 pound dried soba noodles
  • 1/2 pound bok choy (about 1/2 small head)

Preheat oven to 350° F.

In a small bowl stir together hoisin, sugar, five-spice powder, and 1 teaspoon soy sauce. In a small glass baking dish brush pork with hoisin mixture and roast in middle of oven 40 minutes, or until a thermometer inserted in center registers 160° F. Let pork stand on a cutting board 15 minutes. Cut pork crosswise into thin slices and halve slices diagonally.

In a large saucepan skim any fat from surface of broth and bring broth to a boil with gingerroot, star anise, garlic, and remaining tablespoon soy sauce. Remove pan from heat and steep broth, covered, 30 minutes. Pour broth through a sieve into another large saucepan.

While broth is steeping, in a 5-quart kettle bring 3 1/2 quarts salted water to a boil and add noodles. When water returns to boil add 1 cup cold water and bring to boil again. Repeat procedure and simmer noodles 5 minutes, or until just tender. In a colander drain noodles and rinse under cold water. Drain noodles well and divide among 4 large soup bowls.

Bring broth to a boil. Cut bok choy crosswise into 1/8-inch slices and add to broth. Simmer mixture 2 minutes, or until bok choy is risp-tender. Divide pork, bok choy, and broth among bowls.

From Epicurious via Gourmet, http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/soba-noodle-soup-with-roast-pork-and-bok-choy-14014

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Long Bean, Cucumber, and Tomato Salad

  • 2 dried Thai chiles, soaked for 2 minutes in warm water, drained
  • 3 small garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1/4 lime, cut into 3 wedges
  • 1 tablespoon palm sugar or granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon dried tiny shrimp
  • 9 long beans (2 1/2 ounces) or green beans, trimmed, cut into 2 1/2″ lengths
  • 2 kirby cucumbers or 1 English hothouse cucumber, coarsely chopped into 1″ pieces
  • 2 tablespoons Thai fish sauce (nam pla)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 6 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 tablespoons crushed roasted, unsalted peanuts

Place first 4 ingredients in a clay mortar and pound with a wooden pestle until mashed into a fine paste, about 5 minutes. Add shrimp; mash until pulverized and well combined, about 2 minutes. (Alternatively, process in a mini-processor until finely chopped.)

Add long beans to mortar; lightly crush with pestle to bruise. Add cucumber pieces, fish sauce, and lime juice. Mix well. Add tomatoes, lightly crush, and mix in. (Alternatively, place beans and tomatoes in a resealable plastic bag. Roll a rolling pin over bag to bruise vegetables; transfer to a bowl with the cucumber, fish sauce, lime juice, and chile dressing.) Let marinate for 10 minutes. Stir in peanuts.

From Epicurious via Bon Appétit by , http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/long-bean-cucumber-and-tomato-salad-380632

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