Summer CSA Share #21

Welcome to the 21st share of the Pitchfork & Crow 2021 Summer CSA!  Here’s what’s in the share this week:

  • Escarole – We like to eat escarole as a salad green under some warm rice and baked salmon topped with creamy dressing. It can be more dense than some like as a straight lettuce substitute, but holds up well to a light wilting in soups or recipes like the grilled cheese down at the bottom of this post.
  • Mizuna – A mild mustard-like green, mizuna is great raw in salads, tossed with pasta or into hot soups, or blended into pesto.
  • Broccoli
  • Merlot Napa Cabbage
  • Green Coriander – Is it bolted cilantro gone to seed? Sure, but it’s also fresh coriander! It’s got a unique taste somewhere between cilantro leaves and dried coriander. Pop off the seeds and toss them in salads, roasted vegetables, etc.!
  • Carrots!
  • Shunkyo Semi-Long Pink Radishes – Fun hot and sweet Asian radishes with edible leaves too!
  • Yellow Onion
  • Garlic
  • Matchbox Thai Hot Peppers – Good fresh or dried to add heat to any dish.
  • Shishito Peppers – The roulette peppers we love to blister in hot oil and eat straight away as a pre-dinner snack, 1 in 10 may be hot.
  • Mixed Sweet Peppers
  • Mixed Eggplant
  • Butternut Winter Squash
Photo of winter squash in the barn above a photo of long pink radishes and a photo of tomatoes.
A view over the winter squash in the barn (top), Shunkyo Semi-Long Pink radishes (bottom left), and some of the last of the tomatoes for this season from last week (bottom right).

The days are getting shorter as we transition further into the fall months. I’m sure you’ve all also noticed the fewer hours of daylight for your commute or just trying to squeeze in all the activities of life. Soon the weekly pick-ups will be finishing up in the dark. On the farm shorter days mean cooler temperatures and slower growing plants.

We’re finally able to outpace the weeds in new plantings but those plantings will be slow to size up as we head deeper into fall. Luckily we have space in high tunnels that will give the late-season planted crops of arugula, lettuce, spinach, and bok choy some protection from the elements. We’ll eventually close in the ends and/or cover the crops with floating row cover to help keep them a little warmer but it’s impressive how much happier a late-fall stand of lettuce is inside a house vs outside.

Photo of a greenhouse planted with lettuce, bok choy, and scallions above a photo of onion transplants and a photo of garlic and garlic cloves.
A fully planted house of spinach, winter lettuce, bok choy, and bunching onions (top), overwintering onions in the propagation house (bottom left), and cracking seed garlic (bottom right).

Our preparations for the upcoming late fall and winter continued this past week as we managed to get our garlic, overwintering onions, and fava beans in the ground before rains set in for good. These are all long term crops that will grow slowly over the winter and then take off next spring for harvest around the beginning of next summer’s CSA season. They also mark the official end to our outdoor plantings for this season! Our final bed of salad mix went into a high tunnel on Sunday, which left the propagation house empty of transplants for the first time since this past spring. Though it really isn’t so long until we’ll begin filling it up again for another growing season, it’s nice to have a pause in planting pressure to finish up the harvests on deck.

In the week ahead we’ll be focused on getting the last of our potatoes out of the ground and into storage. There are also fall radishes to harvest, the latest apples to pick, dry beans to finish threshing, flour corn to shell, cover crop to sow, a new high tunnel to plan for, tractor maintenance to undertake, and the list goes on.

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

Your farmers,
Carri Heisler & Jeff Bramlett

.

Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:

Chicken Fajitas with Crunchy Lime Cabbage and Avocado

  • 6 tablespoons olive oil, divided, plus additional for griddle
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 pounds skinless boneless chicken breast halves, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices
  • 1 large red bell pepper, cut into 3/4-inch-thick strips
  • 1 large red onion, halved, sliced lengthwise
  • 3 cups thinly sliced red cabbage
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro (or perhaps smashed green coriander)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated lime peel
  • 6 to 8 fajita-size flour tortillas
  • 1 avocado, halved, pitted, sliced

Whisk 3 tablespoons olive oil, garlic, and chili powder in large bowl. Add chicken, bell pepper, and onion. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss to coat. Let stand 1 hour at room temperature or chill up to 4 hours.

Toss red cabbage, cilantro, lime juice, lime peel, and 3 tablespoons olive oil in medium bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Wrap tortillas in foil and place in oven until heated through, about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, place large griddle over 2 burners and heat over medium-high heat. Brush griddle with olive oil. Spread chicken on griddle and cook until chicken is cooked through and vegetables are browned, turning frequently with tongs, about 7 minutes Total.

Divide chicken among warm tortillas; top with cabbage mixture and avocado slices.

From Epicurious.com by Tina Miller, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/chicken-fajitas-with-crunchy-lime-cabbage-and-avocado-241618

Broccoli Caesar

  • 2 oil-packed anchovy fillets (optional)
  • 1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 large egg yolk or 2 Tbsp. mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 Tbsp. grated Parmesan, plus more shaved for serving
  • 2 medium heads of broccoli (about 1 1/2 lb.)
  • 1/4 head of savoy or Napa cabbage
  • Finely grated lemon zest (for serving)
  • Freshly cracked black pepper

Using the side of a chef’s knife, mash anchovies, if using, and garlic on a cutting board until a smooth paste forms. Transfer paste to a large bowl and whisk in lemon juice, mustard, and a big pinch of salt. Add egg yolk (or mayonnaise) and whisk until smooth. Gradually add oil, whisking constantly until emulsified. Whisk in 3 Tbsp. grated Parmesan.

Trim woody ends from broccoli stems, preserving as much stem as possible. Peel any thick stems to expose tender inner cores. Cut off florets as close to the dark green flowers as possible and break into bite-size pieces. Add to bowl with dressing. Starting at the floret ends of the stems, slice very thinly crosswise and add to bowl. Thinly slice cabbage crosswise (you should have about 2 cups) and add to bowl with broccoli. Toss until broccoli and cabbage are combined and evenly coated with dressing; season with salt. Let sit 10 minutes.

Top salad with shaved Parmesan, some lemon zest, and a few healthy grinds of pepper.

From Epicurious.com by Chris Morocco, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/broccoli-caesar-salad

Yam Makeua Yang

  • 1 1/2 pounds long narrow Asian eggplants (about 5 to 6 medium)
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced shallots (about 2 large), separated into rings
  • 1/2 cup coarsely torn Vietnamese coriander leaves, or 1/4 cup coarsely torn regular fresh coriander leaves and 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint leaves (and or some green coriander seeds too)
  • 6 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 3 tablespoons Asian fish sauce (preferably naam pla)
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 to 1 small fresh red or green Thai (bird) chile or serrano chili, minced (wear rubber gloves)
  • Accompaniment:1 head Bibb lettuce, separated into leaves, rinsed, and spun dry
  • Thai Sticky Rice or Thai Jasmine Rice

Preheat broiler.

Cut eggplants diagonally into 1/4-inch-thick slices, discarding stem ends. On a lightly oiled large baking sheet arrange slices in one layer and broil 4 to 6 inches from heat until golden, about 8 minutes. Turn slices over and broil until golden, about 8 minutes. Cool eggplant slices slightly and chop coarse. In a bowl combine eggplant, shallots, and Vietnamese coriander (or alternative).

In a small bowl stir together lime juice, fish sauce, sugar, and chili and pour dressing over eggplant. Toss mixture well and let stand 30 minutes to blend flavors.

Arrange lettuce on a plate, overlapping leaves, and mound eggplant on tip. Serve eggplant with rice. Lettuce leaves can be used to pick up some salad.

From Epicurious.com, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/yam-makeua-yang-14429

Grilled Cheese with Onion Jam, Taleggio, and Escarole

  • 4 (1/2-inch-thick) center slices sourdough bread (from a 9- to 10-inch round)
  • 4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons onion or fig jam
  • 12 to 14 ounces chilled Taleggio or Italian Fontina, sliced
  • 1/4 pound escarole, center ribs discarded and leaves cut crosswise into 1-inch pieces (about 2 cups)

Brush 1 side of bread slices with oil and arrange, oil sides down, on a work surface. Spread jam on 2 slices of bread and divide cheese between remaining 2 slices. Mound escarole on top of cheese and season with salt and pepper, then assemble sandwiches.

Heat a dry 12-inch heavy skillet (not nonstick) over medium-low heat until hot. Cook sandwiches, turning once and pressing with a spatula to compact, until bread is golden-brown and cheese is melted, 6 to 8 minutes total.

From Epicurious.com by Andrea Albin, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/grilled-cheese-with-onion-jam-taleggio-and-escarole-241531

Summer CSA Share #20

Welcome to the 20th share of the Pitchfork & Crow 2021 Summer CSA!  Here’s what’s in the share this week:

  • Salad Mix
  • Broccoli
  • Mixed Cauliflower OR Lacinato Kale
  • Parsley
  • Fennel – Still not sure about fennel? Check out the two recipes down below or make a caramelized onion and fennel tart topped with cheese like we’ll be doing soon. So good!
  • ‘Delectable’ Sweet Corn – This is very likely the last of the corn for the season.
  • Banana Fingerling Potatoes
  • Beets
  • Diana Radishes
  • Blush Onion – A new-to-us variety that lands somewhere between a yellow and a red onion.
  • Aji Marchant Peppers – A versatile pepper used for pickling at the less hot yellow stage and good for frying or dried chile flakes at the hotter red stages.
  • Mixed Sweet Peppers
  • Mixed Tomatoes
  • Candystick Dessert Delicata Winter Squash
It’s harvest season!

Welcome to week 20 of the Summer CSA! Twenty down and six to go before we wrap it up for this season. It’s almost hard to believe it’s already time to say goodbye to the summer crops and welcome in the hardier fall produce. So long tomatoes, see you next year cucumbers and zucchini, it’s been a good run basil. The weather has turned cooler and roasting roots and simmering stews are just the ticket. This morning’s frost is just the first that will make for sweeter hardy greens and roots that should help feed us through the fall and into the winter season.

In anticipation of this first frost we harvested all of the peppers and will be including them in shares over the next few weeks. The ripest of the hot peppers have already headed to the dehydrators for winter eating but there are plenty more that will be headed your way. Luckily other frost sensitive crops had either already played out or are planted inside high tunnels and were safe from the frost.

Planting bunching onions (top), harvesting lettuce (bottom left), and Diana radishes washed and packed (bottom right).

It feels like we’ve been harvesting for days and days, which I guess is sort of true. Between last week’s CSA harvest and this week’s CSA harvest we also harvested all the peppers, more apples, and more potatoes. We’ve still got plenty more bulk harvest on the list but we’re making progress in that department. This past week we also managed to plant some bunching onions for winter, prep beds for garlic and overwintering onions, and clean the three remaining seed crops we grew this season.

In the week ahead we’ll hopefully be getting the garlic and onions in the ground and then it will be back to harvesting and more harvesting. That’s how October rolls around here.

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

Your farmers,
Carri Heisler & Jeff Bramlett

.

Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:

Olive Oil Roasted Tomatoes and Fennel with White Beans

  • 2 large fennel bulbs with fronds attached
  • 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt, divided
  • 2 pints grape tomatoes or cherry tomatoes
  • 4 large fresh oregano sprigs
  • 3 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 15-ounce cans cannellini (white kidney beans), drained

Preheat oven to 425°F. Chop enough fennel fronds to measure 1/2 cup. Trim fennel bulbs and cut in half vertically. Cut each bulb half ito 1/2-inch-wide wedges, leaving some ore attached to each wedge.

Heat oil in large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat until very hot, about 3 minutes. Add fennel wedges in single layer; sprinkle with 1 teaspoon coarse salt. Cook until fennel begins to brown and soften, turning occasionally, 10 to 12 minutes. Add tomatoes, oregano, garlic, and crushed red pepper; sprinkle with 1 teaspoon coarse salt and 1 teaspoon pepper. Fold together gently.

Transfer skillet to oven. Bake fennel and tomatoes until soft, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes. Mix in beans and 6 tablespoons chopped fennel fronds. Bake 5 minutes longer to heat through. Transfer mixture to large shallow bowl. Sprinkle with remaining chopped fronds. Serve warm or at room temperature.

From Epicurious.com by Ian Knauer, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/olive-oil-roasted-tomatoes-and-fennel-with-white-beans-360271

Sheet-Pan Cumin Chicken Thighs with Squash, Fennel, and Grapes

  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 acorn or delicata squash (about 1 1/2 pounds), halved lengthwise, seeded, cut into 1/4″ half moons
  • 1 fennel bulb (about 1/2 pound), cut in half lengthwise, sliced into 1/4″ wedges with core intact
  • 1/2 pound seedless red grapes (about 1 cup)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 8 skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs (about 2 pounds)
  • 1/4 cup torn fresh mint leaves

Position rack in upper third of oven and preheat to 425°F. Mix brown sugar, cumin, salt, pepper, and cayenne in a small bowl. Toss squash, fennel, and grapes with oil and half of spice mixture on rimmed baking sheet and arrange in a single layer.4

Rub chicken thighs with remaining spice mixture and arrange, skin side up, on top of fruit and vegetables. Roast until skin is browned and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of chicken registers 165°F, about 35 minutes; if chicken skin or vegetables start to burn, move pan to a lower rack to finish cooking.

Divide chicken, fruit, and vegetables among 4 plates and top with mint.

From Epicurious.com by Anna Stockwell, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/sheet-pan-cumin-chicken-thighs-with-squash-fennel-and-grapes-56390000

Italian Parsley and Beet Salad

  • 1/4 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil plus more for drizzling
  • 2 1/4 pounds assorted beets with greens (such as Chioggia, white, golden, and red; 1 1/2 pounds if already trimmed)
  • 1/4 small red onion
  • 1 1/4 cups Italian (flat-leaf) parsley leaves (from 1 bunch), torn if desired

Whisk together juices, oil, and 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and pepper in a large bowl.

Trim beets, leaving 1 inch of stems attached, then peel.

Using stems as a handle, slice beets paper-thin (less than 1/8 inch thick) with slicer (wear protective gloves to avoid staining hands), then cut slices into very thin matchsticks.

Thinly slice onion with slicer.

Toss beets, onion, and parsley with dressing and season with salt. Let stand, tossing occasionally, 30 minutes to soften beets and allow flavors to develop.

Toss again and season with salt and pepper before serving drizzled with additional oil.

From Epicurious.com by Kay Chun, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/italian-parsley-and-beet-salad-354973

Summer CSA Share #19

Welcome to the 19th share of the Pitchfork & Crow 2021 Summer CSA!  Here’s what’s in the share this week:

  • Mini Romaine Lettuce Heads
  • Lacinato Kale
  • Mixed Cauliflower/Broccoli/Romanesco
  • Rose Finn Apple Fingerling Potatoes
  • Cilantro
  • Rossa di Milano Red Onion
  • Garlic
  • Romano Beans – A mix of green and purple striped flat romano green beans this week. Note that the purple will turn green when cooked.
  • Cucumbers – This looks like the very last week of cukes for this season.
  • Tomatillos
  • Poblano Peppers – Mild chile peppers often used for chile rellenos. They turn from green to maroon as they ripen and their heat level increases.
  • Jalapeno Peppers
  • Mixed Sweet Peppers
  • Mixed Tomatoes
  • Carnival Acorn Squash

Many thanks to everyone who made it out to the farm this past Saturday for our annual fall member visit. Though not as exciting as past years when we’ve had more activities, we’re glad some of you made the trek out to pick some pumpkins from the patch, take a tractor ride, and to see the farm in person. We hope you enjoyed the visit!

We’ll have some carving pumpkins at the pick-ups for folks who couldn’t make it out.

Fall on the farm: mustards sizing up (top left), flowering sunchokes (top right), October green beans (bottom left), and digging this week’s potatoes (bottom right).

We’ve been lucky with the weather, including for Saturday’s farm visit which turned into a gorgeous fall day. We’ve had just enough rain to tamp down the dust and keep the fields damp while still making some field work possible.

Early October always feels like a magical time on the farm. The sunchokes are flowering, dew covered spider webs thread through the orchard trees in the morning, and the whole landscape has greened up after a little rain. There’s no doubt that fall reallynhas arrived. You can feel it in the air. The mornings have been foggy and I’ve begun to watch the weather in anticipation of the first frost of the season. But we’ve still had some lingering warm days, keeping the summery crops slowly producing. This year’s gamble on October beans paid off!

Filling up this empty field house with spinach and lettuce this past week.

In addition to prepping the pumpkin patch and tractor rides for the member day, we also managed to mark a few things off the fall To Do list this past week. Friday we worked on whittling down the remaining transplanting for this season. Lettuce, bok choy, and spinach went into an open field house and we’ll fill it up with bunching onions this week. It’s not often we have to transplant by hand (without using our water wheel transplanter and the tractor) and when we do it’s always a good reminder of just how tough on the back that was when it was our main method of planting.

On Sunday we harvested the last of the season’s tomatillos and then cleaned up the tomatillo bed. The plants headed to the compost pile and the landscape fabric we used to suppress weeds headed to storage until next year. This bed joins those where the melons grew and will likely be planted to garlic or overwintering onions soon.

As we face increased rain in the forecast we’ll be pushing ahead with ground prep for the garlic and onion planting that we aim to get in the ground in mid-October and sowing cover crop this week. Of course there’s also that house to finish planting, dry beans to thresh, potatoes to harvest, and many more tasks to get to as well. If you need us, we’ll be here on the farm, chipping away at that list of things needing to get done.

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

Your farmers,
Carri Heisler & Jeff Bramlett

.

Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:

Mashed Potatoes with Cilantro and Roasted Chiles

  • 2 poblano chilies
  • 4 pounds russet potatoes (about 6 large), peeled, quartered
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled, bruised
  • 1 cup warm half and half
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Char chilies over gas flame or in broiler until blackened on all sides. Wrap in paper bag and let stand 10 minutes. Peel and seed chilies; chop coarsely.

Cook potatoes and garlic in large pot of boiling salted water until very tender, about 35 minutes. Drain. Transfer potatoes and garlic to bowl. Using electric mixer, beat until mixture is smooth. Gradually beat in half and half. Add butter and beat until melted. Stir in chilies and cilantro. Season with salt and pepper.

From Epicurious.com, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/mashed-potatoes-with-cilantro-and-roasted-chilies-3121

Roasted-Tomatillo and Lime Salsa

  • 8 ounces small tomatillos (about 8), husked, rinsed
  • 1 large jalapeño chile, stemmed (or other peppers to your heat taste)
  • 10 large fresh mint leaves
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped white onion

Preheat broiler. Line baking sheet with aluminum foil. Arrange tomatillos and jalapeño chile on prepared baking sheet. Broil until tomatillos and jalapeño chile are soft and blackened in spots, about 5 minutes per side. Cool; transfer tomatillos, jalapeño chile, and any juices on baking sheet to blender. Add fresh mint and lime juice; blend to coarse puree. Transfer mixture to bowl; mix in chopped onion. Season salsa with salt.

From Epicurious.com, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/roasted-tomatillo-and-lime-salsa-108068

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.com, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/acorn-squash-with-kale-and-sausage-51203850

Summer CSA Share #18

Welcome to the 18th share of the Pitchfork & Crow 2021 Summer CSA!  Here’s what’s in the share this week:

  • Lettuce Mix
  • Mixed Cauliflower – Mostly white cauli, with some purple heads mixed in, plus a few bonus fractal romanescos too!
  • Broccoli
  • Savoy Cabbage
  • Red Potatoes
  • Yellow Onions
  • Garlic
  • Basil
  • Cucumbers – We’ve got green and yellow slicer cucumbers for you to choose from. We’re rapidly approaching the end of cuke season, so enjoy them while we’ve got them!
  • Zucchini and some Pattypans
  • Sweet Corn – This week’s corn is called ‘Sweetness’.
  • Mixed Eggplant
  • Shishito Peppers – Remember those roulette peppers where 1 in 10 might be hot? These are those! Blister them in hot oil and eat them up!
  • Mixed Sweet Peppers
  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Slicer Tomatoes
  • Asian Pears
Tsakoniki eggplant always shines at the end of the season (left) and the sweet potatoes are flowering (right).

The weather cleared up just long enough this past week for us to get the winter squash out of the field and to get the Farmall cub cultivating tractor through some young crops to clean up the weeds. The last of the seed peppers were processed and the seeds dried, the two tunnels with fall/winter greens got hoed. It wasn’t everything on the To Do list of course, but it was a productive push.

We’re very happy with the arrival of fall, even if it meant the first muddy harvest day of the season. The shortening days, the return of the rain, the cooler temperatures are all a welcome shift from the hot, dusty summer.

All the winter squash!

As mentioned above we managed to bring in the winter squash for storage. Ever wondered what 5,437 squash look like? Well, now you know! We had some weed issues in a part of the winter squash field and weren’t sure how it would impact the yield come harvest. Somehow it all seemed to even out and we ended up with about 100 more than last season.

We grew 14 different varieties of winter squash this year, including two new acorn varieties: Thelma Sanders Sweet Potato and Starry Night PMR F1. They’re sort of on the opposite ends of the acorn squash spectrum. Thelma Sanders is a buff colored open-pollinated variety handed down through generations of family and seed savers and made available commercially first by the Seed Savers Exchange. Starry Night PMR F1 is a colorful hybrid variety bred by seed breeders at Johnny’s Selected Seeds. Both are said to be tasty and have good storage potential, which are somewhat novel traits for acorn squash.

It looks like we’ll have another weather reprieve in the week ahead. The forecast is calling for mostly sunny and a high of 74 for Saturday’s CSA member farm visit. We hope you’re considering making the trek out to the farm for a look around and a trip through the pumpkin patch. Check your member email for all the details.

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

Your farmers,
Carri Heisler & Jeff Bramlett

.

Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:

Reginetti Pasta with Savoy Cabbage and Pancetta

  • 12 ounces reginetti or other short pasta
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 6 ounces thinly sliced pancetta (Italian bacon)
  • 1 small head of savoy cabbage, tough ribs removed, leaves torn
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
  • 1/2 ounce Parmesan, finely grated (about 1/2 cup)
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Poppy seeds (for serving)

Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally, until very al dente (pasta will still be opaque and very firm in the center). Drain pasta, reserving 1 1/2 cups pasta cooking liquid.

Meanwhile, heat oil in a large skillet over medium and cook pancetta, turning halfway through, until brown and crisp, about 4 minutes. Drain on paper towels.

Add cabbage to skillet and cook undisturbed until deeply browned in some spots, about 3 minutes. Toss, then cook undisturbed until deeply browned in other spots, about 2 minutes. Continue to cook and toss until cabbage is charred in some spots and bright green in others and beginning to wilt. Add butter and thyme and cook, tossing, until butter begins to brown, about 2 minutes. Add Parmesan, pasta, and 1 cup pasta cooking liquid and cook, tossing often and adding more cooking liquid to help finish cooking pasta, until pasta is al dente and sauce is thickened and emulsified and coats pasta, about 5 minutes. Add pancetta and toss to combine; taste and season with salt and pepper. Serve topped with poppy seeds.

From Epicurious.com by Dawn Perry, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/reginetti-with-savoy-cabbage-and-pancetta-51264250

Garlicky Eggplant, Tomato, ad Basil Bobolis

  • 4 medium Japanese eggplants, thinly sliced lengthwise
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 cups freshly grated mozzarella cheese
  • 2 1-pound Bobolis (baked cheese pizza crusts)
  • 1 1/2 pounds plum tomatoes, halved, seeded, chopped
  • 6 ounces fresh soft goat cheese (such as Montrachet), coarsely crumbled
  • 15 large garlic cloves, very thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2 cups thinly sliced fresh basil leaves (about 2 bunches)

Preheat broiler. Arrange eggplant slices on large baking sheet. Brush oil over both sides of eggplant. Season with salt and pepper. Broil until eggplant is tender and begins to brown, turning occasionally, about 6 minutes. Cool.

Place 2 large baking sheets in oven on separate racks and preheat to 500°F. Sprinkle 1 cup mozzarella cheese over each Boboli crust. Top with eggplant slices, chopped tomatoes, goat cheese, garlic slices and fresh basil. Sprinkle remaining mozzarella cheese over pizza. Transfer Bobolis to preheated baking sheets in oven. Bake until cheese melts and pizza edges are brown and crisp, about 12 minutes. Transfer to work surface. Let stand 10 minutes. Cut into wedges. Reassemble on platter and serve.

From Epicurious.com, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/garlicky-eggplant-tomato-and-basil-bobolis-2547

Summer Vegetable Stew

  • 1 onion, chopped fine
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 medium zucchini, rinsed and cut into 1/2-inch dice (about 3 cups)
  • 1 medium yellow squash, rinsed and cut into 1/2-inch dice (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 cup fresh corn kernels (cut from about 2 ears)
  • 2 tomatoes (about 3/4 pound), cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh orégano leaves or 1/2 teaspoon dried, crumbled
  • 1/2 cup packed fresh basil leaves, shredded

In a large deep skillet cook the onion and the garlic in the oil over moderately low heat, stirring, until the onion is softened, add the zucchini, the yellow squash, the bell pepper, and the corn, and cook the mixture over moderate heat, stirring, for 4 minutes. Add the tomatoes, the oregano, and salt and pepper to taste and simmer the stew, covered, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes. Simmer the stew, uncovered, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes more, or until the excess liquid is evaporated, sprinkle it with the basil, and serve it warm or at room temperature.

From Epicurious.com, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/summer-vegetable-stew-12527

Summer CSA Share – #17

Welcome to the 17th share of the Pitchfork & Crow 2021 Summer CSA!  Here’s what’s in the share this week:

  • Lettuce Mix
  • Mayan Jaguar Romaine Lettuce
  • Mixed Cauliflower – Mostly white cauli, with some purple heads mixed in, plus a few bonus fractal romanescos too!
  • Broccoli
  • Dill
  • Green Romano Beans
  • Cucumbers – We’ve got lots of green and yellow slicer cucumbers for you to choose from.
  • Zucchini – All the zucchinis plus some yellow pattypans this week.
  • Sweet Corn – This week’s corn is called ‘Montauk’.
  • Mixed Onions
  • Aji Marchant Hot Peppers – These peppers have an intriguing history that you can read about here. Though not too spicy when yellow and under-ripe they get hotter as they mature to red.
  • Mixed Sweet Peppers
  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Slicer Tomatoes
  • Pears
The first rain of the season!

What a lovely weekend of rain storms! After a long dry summer we were ready for some precipitation and this past weather system didn’t disappoint. The farm weather station recorded 2.43″ of rain between Friday night and Sunday afternoon when the last of the rain showers hit. It was really coming down. Seemingly right on time, we’re welcoming the official start of fall with the autumnal equinox tomorrow!

Beans! (left) and a bumblebee in the tomato house (right).

The end of September signals the big seasonal shift towards fall and eventually winter. We’re eeking out the summer crops as we watch the powdery mildew take down the summer squash and leaf mold take hold in the tomato house. We’ve still got some summery treats in store thanks to later plantings of green beans and corn. Fingers crossed this week won’t be last of either of them.

Flint corn drying down in the propagation house (left) and this year’s ketchup crop (right).

Before the rain arrived we successfully harvested our Cascade Ruby Gold flint corn and our Wolverine’s Orca dry beans. These are two fun season-long crops we’ve been growing and saving seed on for years now. It’s always rewarding to gather in these dry storage crops at the end of the summer, knowing we’ll have them for the leaner times in winter months.

I took the rainy days as a chance to preserve some extra tomatoes that had been patiently waiting in the walk-in cooler. While I managed the cooking and canning of the tomatoes inside Jeff headed out into the rain to clean up our melon patch. Now we’ve got enough ketchup to see us through the next year and a clean slate where the melons had been growing since May. A win-win!

In the week ahead we’ll be bringing in the winter squash and more potatoes, getting after a flush of weeds in the fall/winter greens in the high tunnels, and transplanting some lettuce and spinach into another high tunnel. As the fields dry out more I’m sure there will be some cultivation happening there too. We may be heading into fall, but the weeds are still growing!

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

Your farmers,
Carri Heisler & Jeff Bramlett

.

Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:

Pasta Salad with Tomatoes and Corn

  • 5 tablespoons olive oil
  • 5 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 2 large garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh corn kernels (cut from 3 ears) or frozen, thawed
  • 1 1/4 pounds plum tomatoes, chopped
  • 8 ounces penne pasta, freshly cooked
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Whisk 4 tablespoons oil, vinegar, basil and garlic in large bowl to blend. Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add corn; sauté 3 minutes. Add corn to dressing in bowl. Add tomatoes, pasta and cheese to bowl and toss to blend. Season salad with salt and pepper.

From Epicurious.com by Katie Morford, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/pasta-salad-with-tomatoes-and-corn-103246

Roasted Broccoli with Garlic and Red Pepper

  • 1 1/4 pounds broccoli crowns, cut into florets (about 8 cups)
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • Large pinch of dried crushed red pepper

Preheat oven to 450°F. Toss broccoli and 3 tablespoons oil in large bowl to coat. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Transfer to rimmed baking sheet. Roast 15 minutes. Stir remaining 1/2 tablespoon oil, garlic, and red pepper in small bowl. Drizzle garlic mixture over broccoli; toss to coat. Roast until broccoli is beginning to brown, about 8 minutes longer. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.

From Epicurious.com, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/roasted-broccoli-with-garlic-and-red-pepper-351031

Zucchini with Sour Cream and Dill

  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced sweet onion
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill leaves
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 pound zucchini (about 2 large)

In a bowl stir together all ingredients except zucchini until combined well. Cut zucchini crosswise into 1/8-inch-thick rounds and toss with sour cream mixture and salt to taste until combined well. Chill zucchini mixture, covered, at least 1 hour and up to 8.

From Epicurious.com, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/zucchini-with-sour-cream-and-dill-100769

Summer CSA Share – #16

Welcome to the 16th share of the Pitchfork & Crow 2021 Summer CSA!  Here’s what’s in the share this week:

  • Butterhead Lettuce
  • Romaine Lettuce
  • Mixed Cauliflower – All the cauliflowers colors, plus a few bonus fractal romanescos too!
  • Broccoli
  • Kohlrabi
  • German Butterball Potatoes
  • Celery
  • Cucumbers – We’ve got lots of green and yellow slicer cucumbers for you to choose from.
  • Zucchini – All the zucchinis plus some yellow pattypans this week.
  • Sweet Corn – This week’s corn is called ‘Montauk’.
  • Red Onion
  • Matchbox Thai Hot Peppers
  • Numex Suave Low Heat Habanero Peppers – Bred to have all the habanero fruity flavor but only some of the heat!
  • Mixed Sweet Peppers
  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Slicer Tomatoes
  • Mixed Melons – Last of the melons! Some Tuscan melons, orange honeydews, and watermelons.
  • Italian Plums!
The farm at sunrise (left) and cultivating at sunset (right).

It looks like we’re in for the first measurable rain for sometime this weekend. We’ve been lucky with the extended sunny weather as we’ve endeavored to get some harvest projects underway, but we’ve been looking forward to fall weather for a while now. It’s been a long hot summer and we’re ready to break out the rain boots and rain jackets.

The first rain of the season is certainly a sign of the seasonal shift, but it’s not a sign of doom like the first frost or hard freeze. It’s a signal that we should get tools and equipment put away, try to harvest the flour corn before mold sets in, and we finally get to press pause on the irrigation schedule.

Apples (top left), strawflower setting seed (top right), digging potatoes (bottom left), and harvesting lettuce (bottom right).

With the bulk of transplanting for the season behind us we turned our attention to harvesting this past week. We made a dent in the apple harvest and we’re glad to have some apples in the cooler for dehydrating for winter shares. Last year’s fruit crop was pretty sad but things are looking up this year. Though the gravensteins didn’t produce much fruit after our big pruning this past winter, most of the other trees responded well to the cut back. We also dug the first few rows of potatoes this past week. We’ve got many more rows ahead of us, but it’s nice to finally have potatoes in the mix again.

In the week ahead we’ll be harvesting that dry corn and the dry beans, digging more potatoes, thinking about winter cover crops, mowing the August brassica planting, and maybe even getting around to a little tomato canning. Oh, and remember that DMV appointment I wrote about six weeks ago when it felt like summer might never end? It’s finally happening this week!

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

Your farmers,
Carri Heisler & Jeff Bramlett

.

Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:

Broccoli, Corn, and Bacon Chowder

  • 4 bacon rashers, cut into 1cm pieces
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 French shallots, finely chopped
  • 2 celery sticks, finely chopped
  • 40g (1/4 cup) plain flour
  • 1L (4 cups) Massel chicken style liquid stock
  • 2 (about 400g) Red Delight potatoes, peeled, coarsely chopped
  • 1 1/2 tsp chopped fresh thyme
  • 3 sweet corn cobs, kernels removed
  • 350g broccoli, cut into small florets
  • 250ml (1 cup) milk
  • 60ml (1/4 cup) pouring cream

Cook the bacon stirring occasionally, in a heavy-based saucepan over medium-high heat for 3 minutes or until slightly crisp. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towel.

Heat the oil in the pan over medium heat. Cook shallot and celery, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or until soft. Add flour and cook, stirring, for 1 minute or until thick. Remove from heat. Gradually stir in stock until combined. Place over medium heat. Bring to the boil, stirring occasionally.

Add potato and thyme. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 10-12 minutes or until potato is just tender. Add corn, broccoli, milk and cream. Cook for 3-5 minutes or until the vegetables are just tender. Stir in the bacon and season with pepper.

From Taste.com.au by Sonja Bernyk, https://www.taste.com.au/recipes/broccoli-corn-bacon-chowder/2a1bb83f-f703-4c9b-92c6-35d7d82201e8

Kohlrabi and Apple Salad with Creamy Mustard Dressing

  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon coarse-grained mustard
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 bunches kohlrabi (about 2 pounds), bulbs peeled and cut into julienne strips, stems discarded, and the leaves reserved for another use
  • 1 Granny Smith apple

In a bowl whisk the cream until it holds soft peaks and whisk in the lemon juice, the mustard, the parsley, the sugar, and salt and pepper to taste. Stir in the kohlrabi strips and the apple, peeled, cored, and diced, and combine the salad well.

From Epicurious.com, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/kohlrabi-and-apple-salad-with-creamy-mustard-dressing-10693

Mexican Chopped Salad with Honey-Lime Dressing

Salad

  • 2 1/2 cups chopped romaine lettuce
  • 1 can (15.5 oz) black beans, rinsed and well drained
  • 3/4 cup chopped seeded tomato
  • 3/4 cup chopped peeled jicama (I wonder about using kohlrabi here)
  • 3/4 cup fresh corn kernels, uncooked (or frozen or canned)
  • 3/4 cup thinly sliced radishes
  • Half a ripe avocado, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/4 cup crumbled reduced-fat feta cheese

Honey-Lime Dressing

  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and minced
  • 1 tsp chopped jalapeño pepper (use canned for less heat)

Toss all salad ingredients in a large bowl. In separate bowl, mix dressing ingredients. Pour dressing over mixture and toss again. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

From Epicurious.com, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/mexican-chopped-salad-with-honey-lime-dressing-230154

Summer CSA Share – #15

Welcome to the 15th share of the Pitchfork & Crow 2021 Summer CSA!  Here’s what’s in the share this week:

  • Lettuce Mix
  • Escarole – A lettuce-like green that’s slightly hardier and can hold up to grilling or cooking though we’ve had some epic salads with it too.
  • Mixed Cauliflower – All the cauliflowers colors, plus a few bonus fractal romanescos too!
  • Broccoli
  • Basil
  • Cucumbers – We’ve got lots of green and yellow slicer cucumbers and some lemons for you to choose from.
  • Zucchini – We’ve got dark green, light green, and yellow zucchini this week.
  • Sweet Corn – This week’s corn is called ‘Sweetness’.
  • Sweet and Torpedo Onions
  • Mixed Eggplant
  • Shishito Peppers – Remember those roulette peppers where 1 in 10 might be hot? These are those! Blister them in hot oil and eat them up! Or check out the recipe for fried rice, corn, and shishitos down below.
  • Mixed Sweet Peppers
  • Jimmy Nardello Sweet Italian Frying Peppers
  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Slicer Tomatoes
  • Mixed Melons – Choose from ‘Honey Orange‘, a delicious orange fleshed honeydew but some more Tuscan melons and some ‘Lambkin’ Piel de Sapo melons and ‘Brilliant’ canary melons to choose from too.
  • Italian Plums!
Jeff: appreciating a good carving pumpkin since 2001 (left) and doing irrigation chores on Sunday afternoon (right).

First off, it seems imperative to share that farmer Jeff is celebrating a big birthday this week. He’s marking the big 5-0 on Friday! I think we can all agree that this farm wouldn’t be the same without him. He’s the doer, the driver, and the wrangler around here; the all around action guy. I wouldn’t want to be on this farming roller coaster with anyone else. I hope you’ll all join me in wishing him a happy birthday when you see him!

This past week has been a bit of a blur. Well, August was a blur really. That said, I’m including a bunch of photos from the week and will limit my commentary. Above are photos from the corn harvest and post-cauliflower harvest on Monday. Can you see Jeff in the middle of the corn patch? Also, we seem to have had a pretty good, and colorful, cauliflower week.

That photo on the bottom right may be confusing, but I was trying to document the thumb-sized bumblebee working the butterfly bush a friend gave us. It was a big one!

Much of the last week was marking the slow transition to the end of transplanting and seed sowing for the season. We put the last of the planned-for outdoor transplants in the field this weekend. From here on out most transplants will head into high tunnels for increased warmth and winter protection. With the exception of garlic, overwintering onions, and fava beans we may be done with field transplanting for the season!

This week we planted spinach, dill, cilantro, radicchio, bunching onions, chard, and Napa cabbage. We also direct-sowed some mustards outside and sowed mustards, arugula, mizuna, cilantro, tatsoi, radishes, and turnips in tunnels. I started the overwintering onions (seed shown in the lower right photo) and the final round of spinach is germinating in the propagation house (lower left photo).

Jeff was inspired to make a little video of the transplanting process:

He cut the video down for a smaller file size, but hopefully you get the idea of how our water wheel transplanter works. Jeff drives very slowly and very straight while I ride on the back planting as fast as possible. The majority of our crops are planted this way. It sure beats the early days of the farm, bending over planting for hours.

Pepper seed processing!

It was also time to begin processing seed from our small pepper seed grow-out for our friends at Adaptive Seeds this past week. The photos above show the steps to separating the mature seed from the pepper flesh. Blending the whole peppers with water made fairly quick work of the flesh. Then I was able to pour off the pepper slurry and the mature seed had sunk to the bottom of the bin. I dried the seeds out in a thin layer over a window screen. I’ll winnow out the remaining pepper skin bits in front of a fan now that the seed has dried. Fun!

In the next week we’ll be getting into the apple harvest, potato harvest (!), and cleaning up a few grassy spots in some winter crops. Fingers crossed we get the birthday boy off the farm and down to the river for at least a day and maybe even an overnight trip (gasp)!

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

Your farmers,
Carri Heisler & Jeff Bramlett

.

Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:

Provençal Tian (Eggplant, Zucchini, Squash, and Tomato Casserole) Recipe

  • About 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 3/4 pound zucchini (about 2 medium), ends trimmed and thinly sliced crosswise between 1/8 and 1/4 inch thick
  • Kosher salt
  • 3/4 pound summer squash (about 2 medium), ends trimmed and thinly sliced crosswise between 1/8 and 1/4 inch thick
  • 3/4 pound Japanese eggplant (about 2), ends trimmed and thinly sliced crosswise between 1/8 and 1/4 inch thick
  • 3 medium cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1/4 cup chopped yellow onion (from 1 small onion)
  • 1 (28-ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes, crushed by hand
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano or marjoram leaves
  • Freshly ground black pepper

In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over high heat until shimmering. Working in batches and being sure not to crowd the pan, add zucchini, season with salt, and cook, turning, until just tender and browned in spots, about 4 minutes per batch. Add more oil as needed to prevent pan from drying out, and adjust heat as needed throughout to maintain a very hot, but not heavily smoking, pan. Transfer each batch to a baking sheet and spread in an even layer to cool, then transfer cooled slices to a second baking sheet or plate. Repeat with remaining zucchini, squash, and eggplant until all vegetables are lightly browned.

In a medium saucepan, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat until shimmering. Add garlic and onion and cook, stirring, until softened, about 4 minutes. Add crushed tomatoes, bring to a simmer, and cook, stirring and adjusting heat to maintain simmer, for 15 minutes. Blend to smooth puree with a hand blender or in a countertop blender, then add marjoram or oregano. Season with salt and pepper.

In an earthenware, ceramic, or glass baking dish, spoon just enough sauce to cover bottom of dish in a thin, even layer. Arrange sautéed vegetable slices in an alternating layered pattern (see note) on top of sauce until entire dish is filled. Spoon a thin layer of sauce on top of vegetables; reserve remaining sauce for another use.

When ready to bake, preheat oven to 450°F. Bake until tian is fully heated through and lightly browned on top, about 15 minutes. Serve.

From SeriousEats.com by Daniel Gritzer, https://www.seriouseats.com/summer-vegetable-tian-ratatouille-recipe

The Ultimate Greek Salad

  • 2 ounces (55g) red onion (1/4 medium 8-ounce onion), thinly sliced pole to pole
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) red wine vinegar
  • 12 ounces (340g) mixed ripe tomatoes, cut into slices and chunks (about 2 heaping cups when cut up)
  • 12 ounces cucumber (340g; about 2 small cucumbers), peeled (or partially peeled or unpeeled, if you want some of the bitter skin); quartered lengthwise; and thinly sliced crosswise
  • 1/4 cup pitted Kalamata or other briny black olives (about 1 1/2 ounces; 40g), see note
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • Kosher or sea salt
  • 2 big pinches dried Greek or Mediterranean oregano, divided
  • 4 ounces (115g) feta cheese, preferably cut into slabs

In a small bowl, combine onion with vinegar and let soak while you prepare the other ingredients, about 15 minutes. Drain onions, reserving vinegar.

In a salad bowl or large mixing bowl, combine tomatoes, cucumber, olives, onion, olive oil, and about 2 tablespoons (30ml) of the vinegar left over from quick-pickling onion. Season with salt and one large pinch of oregano, toss gently to combine, then adjust to taste with more salt and vinegar, if desired.

Lay slabs of feta on top, sprinkle with remaining pinch of oregano, and drizzle with olive oil. Serve, soaking up juices with bread.

From SeriousEats.com by Daniel Gritzer, https://www.seriouseats.com/the-best-greek-salad-tomato-feta-summer-recipe

Quick and Easy Pork Fried Rice with Corn and Shishito Peppers

  • 2 cups cooked white rice (12 ounces; 350g) (see note)
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons (40ml) vegetable or canola oil, divided
  • 6 ounces (170g) fresh corn kernels, cut from 1 to 2 ears of corn
  • 2 scallions, sliced, whites and greens reserved separately (1 ounce; 30g)
  • 12 shishito peppers, thinly sliced, or 1 green bell pepper, finely diced (about 6 ounces; 170g)
  • 6 ounces (170g) leftover roast pork or ham, finely diced
  • 1 teaspoon (5ml) soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon (5ml) toasted sesame oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Ground white pepper
  • 1 large egg

If using day-old rice, transfer to a medium bowl and break rice up into individual grains with your hands before proceeding. Heat 1/2 tablespoon vegetable oil in a large wok over high heat until smoking. Add half of rice and cook, stirring and tossing, until rice is pale brown and toasted and has a lightly chewy texture, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a medium bowl. Repeat with another 1/2 tablespoon oil and remaining rice.

Return wok to heat and add 1/2 tablespoon oil. Add corn and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly charred on several surfaces, about 4 minutes. Transfer to bowl with rice and toss to combine.

Return all rice and corn to wok and press it up the sides, leaving a space in the middle. Add 1/2 tablespoon oil to the space. Add scallion whites, peppers, and pork and cook, stirring gently, until lightly softened and fragrant, about 1 minute. Toss with rice to combine. Add soy sauce and sesame oil and toss to coat. Season to taste with salt and white pepper.

Push rice to the side of wok and add remaining 1/2 tablespoon oil. Break egg into oil and season with a little salt. Use a spatula to scramble egg, breaking it up into small bits. Toss egg and rice together.

Add scallion greens and toss to combine. Serve immediately.

From SeriousEats.com by J. Kenji Lopez-Alt, https://www.seriouseats.com/quick-easy-pork-fried-rice-corn-shishito-pepper-recipe

Summer CSA Share – #14

Welcome to the 14th share of the Pitchfork & Crow 2021 Summer CSA!  Here’s what’s in the share this week:

  • Lettuce Mix
  • Escarole – A lettuce-like green that’s slightly hardier and can hold up to grilling or cooking though we’ve had some epic salads with it too.
  • Green Cabbage
  • Mixed Cauliflower
  • Cilantro – Such a quick crop cilantro, it’s a little bolty this week but still tasty.
  • Cucumbers – We’ve got lots of green and yellow slicer cucumbers and some lemons for you to choose from.
  • Zucchini – We’ve got dark green, light green, and yellow zucchini this week. Looking for inspiration? I heard some intriguing zucchini recipes on the latest Dinner Sisters podcast while I was harvesting zucchini today!
  • Sweet Corn – This week’s corn is called ‘Honey Select’ and is a new-to-us variety we’re trialing. It’s the only fully yellow sweet corn we’re growing this season, as all the others are bicolor.
  • Sweet Onions
  • Torpedo Onions
  • Tomatillos – A little like green tomatoes, tomatillos make excellent salsa verde and enchilada sauce. Check out this website for more details and recipes.
  • Aji Marchant Peppers – A hot pepper with an interesting history that is also tasty at the more yellow immature (and less spicy) stage.
  • Mixed Sweet Peppers
  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Slicer Tomatoes
  • Mixed Melons – Mostly ‘Honey Orange‘, a delicious orange fleshed honeydew but some more Tuscan melons and some ‘Lambkin’ Piel de Sapo melons and ‘Brilliant’ canary melons to choose from too.
Are there ever enough bees in fruit photos? (top left), Pears! (top right), Leo helping with the pear harvest (bottom left), delicata winter squash ripening up (bottom right).

The reprieve in hot weather this past week was a welcome shift as we endeavored to keep making project progress here on the farm. I even woke up Wednesday night to a short rainstorm. As I listened to the rain hitting our metal roof through the open bedroom window I couldn’t help but begin mentally scanning the farm for open truck windows, machinery left outside overnight, anything that shouldn’t be getting wet.

The only obvious issue I could come up with in my sleepy stupor was the kale seed crop drying down along the side of our house. Conflicted, because we could use some rain, I silently willed the rain to stop and imagined the seed sprouting ahead of its time. Eventually the rain did stop and I drifted back to sleep. But Thursday I woke up resolved to thresh the seed and get it inside before the next rain event. Luckily it was still dry and I got it in before any harm could be done.

While I cleaned the seed crop and then turned my attention to to harvesting the pears Jeff managed to get in some timely cultivation and mowing. The shift in weather has us motivated to keep plugging away. It won’t be so long before the rains return for real, and the days shorten, and we’re sitting in front of the wood stove making plans for next year. There’s still a lot to be done in this season though.

Onion harvest!

On Saturday and Sunday we finally managed to bring in this season’s onion crop! We’re thankful for investing in an undercutter implement (as seen in the top left photo above) and for a tractor that pulls it. The undercutter has a blade along the bottom edge and digs under the crop as we drive along the bed, lifting the onions and cutting the roots. It means no knives or digging forks are needed as we head down the bed picking up the onions and getting them into boxes for storage. Now the barn has taken on a particularly oniony aroma and if they store well, we’ll be in the onions for months to come.

Bringing in the onions!

In the week ahead we’ve got some transplanting on deck, a little propagation, more mowing, and of course the continued irrigation push. We’ll likely be harvesting apples and maybe potatoes soon. There are some weeds to tackle as always. And it’s time to start planting out the open greenhouses for fall and winter greens. Luckily we’ve got melons and sweet corn and salsa to power us through!

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

Your farmers,
Carri Heisler & Jeff Bramlett

.

Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:

Warm Escarole Salad with Goat Cheese, Hard-Boiled Eggs, and Bacon

  • 1 head of escarole, torn into large bite-size pieces (about 8 cups)
  • 2 bacon slices
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped shallots
  • 2 hard-boiled eggs, chopped
  • 15.5-ounce log soft fresh goat cheese, coarsely crumbled

Divide escarole among 6 plates. Cook bacon in medium nonstick skillet over medium heat until crisp. Transfer to paper towels to drain; reserve skillet with bacon drippings. Finely chop bacon; set aside.

Whisk olive oil and vinegar in small bowl to blend. Heat bacon drippings in skillet over medium heat. Add shallots; sauté until slightly softened, about 3 minutes. Add olive oil mixture and whisk just until heated through, about 1 minute. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Drizzle vinaigrette over escarole. Sprinkle with eggs, goat cheese, and bacon.

From Bonappetit.com, https://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/warm-escarole-salad-with-goat-cheese-hard-boiled-eggs-and-bacon

Caramelized Cabbage

  • ¼ cup double-concentrated tomato paste
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely grated
  • 1½ tsp. ground coriander
  • 1½ tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 medium head of green or savoy cabbage (about 2 lb. total)
  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • Kosher salt
  • 3 Tbsp. chopped dill, parsley, or cilantro
  • Full-fat Greek yogurt or sour cream (for serving)

Preheat oven to 350°. Mix tomato paste, garlic, coriander, cumin, and red pepper flakes in a small bowl.

Cut cabbage in half through core. Cut each half through core into 4 wedges.

Heat ¼ cup oil in a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high. Working in batches if needed, add cabbage to pan cut side down and season with salt. Cook, turning occasionally, until lightly charred, about 4 minutes per side. Transfer cabbage to a plate.

Pour remaining ¼ cup oil into skillet. Add spiced tomato paste and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until tomato paste begins to split and slightly darken, 2–3 minutes. Pour in enough water to come halfway up sides of pan (about 1½ cups), season with salt, and bring to a simmer. Nestle cabbage wedges back into skillet (they should have shrunk while browning; a bit of overlap is okay). Transfer cabbage to oven and bake, uncovered and turning wedges halfway through, until very tender, liquid is mostly evaporated, and cabbage is caramelized around the edges, 40–50 minutes.

Scatter dill over cabbage. Serve with yogurt alongside.

From Bonappetit.com by Andy Baraghani, https://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/caramelized-cabbage

Green Gazpacho

  • ¼ cup white wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1½ cups whole-milk plain Greek yogurt, divided
  • ½ cup olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 4oz. ciabatta or country-style bread, crust removed, bread torn into 1” pieces (about 2½ cups)
  • 1 medium English hothouse cucumber, halved lengthwise, seeds removed, cut into large pieces
  • 1 green bell pepper, coarsely chopped
  • 4 large tomatillos (about 12 oz.), husked, quartered
  • 4 scallions, cut into 1” pieces
  • 2 jalapeños, seeds removed, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely grated
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt, plus more
  • Piment d’Espelette or Hungarian hot paprika (for serving)

Whisk vinegar, lime juice, 1 cup yogurt, and ½ cup oil in a large bowl until smooth. Add bread, cucumber, bell pepper, tomatillos, scallions, jalapeños, garlic, and ¾ tsp. salt and toss to coat (make sure bread is well coated so it can soak up as much flavor as possible). Cover and chill at least 4 hours.

Working in batches, purée bread and vegetable mixture in a blender until very smooth; transfer to a large bowl and season gazpacho with salt.

Whisk remaining ½ cup yogurt in a small bowl, thinning with water a tablespoonful at a time, until the consistency of heavy cream; season with salt.

Serve soup in chilled bowls. Drizzle with thinned yogurt and more oil and sprinkle with piment d’Espelette.

DO AHEAD: Gazpacho can be made 1 day ahead; cover and chill. Mix well before serving.

From Bonappetit.com by Public Kitchen and Bar (Los Angeles, CA), https://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/green-gazpacho

Summer CSA Share – #13

Welcome to the 13th share of the Pitchfork & Crow 2021 Summer CSA!  Here’s what’s in the share this week:

  • Butterhead or Iceberg Lettuce
  • Romaine Lettuce
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Dill
  • Cilantro – Such a quick crop cilantro, it’s a little bolty this week but still tasty.
  • Cucumbers – We’ve got lots of green and yellow slicer cucumbers and some lemons for you to choose from.
  • Zucchini – We’ve got dark green, light green, and yellow zucchini this week.
  • Sweet Corn – This week’s corn is called ‘Sweetness’.
  • Chioggia Beets
  • Red Onions
  • Early Italian Red Garlic
  • Bulgarian Carrot Hot Peppers – Sweet, fruity, tangy, but hot! Somewhere between the heat of a jalapeno and 12 times the heat of a jalapeno. Good luck!
  • Mixed Sweet Peppers
  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Slicer Tomatoes
  • Mixed Watermelons – All sorts of watermelons to choose from this week including pink, red, and yellow-fleshed varieties. If you’re looking for a recipe you might check out Country Panzanella with Watermelon Dressing from the NY Times.
Busy bees!

The turn in weather this week was a welcome change. Cooler temps with a hint of fall in the air have us feeling like we might just make it through this summer heat. It’s been a slog here on the farm since that heatwave in June. So many long hot days. The last few mornings have been a treat, a flannel-wearing treat.

There’s a moon rising over a corner of the farm here.

This is the height of the growing season. The farm is planted to more beds of crops than at any other time during the year. From the first round of planting that happened back in April (or was it March?) we’ve been steadily planting more ground weekly. We’ve got a few nooks open, previously planted earlier in the season and now ready for another cropping or cover crop.

This is when the shift from planting to big harvests begins. Though we’ll continue to plant a few beds each week for successions of greens and winter crops, our work will focus in on the harvests of storage crops. The onions and potatoes and apples will all be brought in over the next few weeks. Soon we’ll be eyeing the winter squash. We’re officially halfway through the CSA season with plenty of good eating ahead!

As our attention turns to storage crops we’re also thinking about the Winter CSA. We’ll be posting updated details and opening up the memberships for the upcoming winter season in a week or two. We’ll be sure to keep you posted for anyone who might be looking to extend their seasonal eating into the flipside of the year.

Final big transplanting push of the season!

This past week we made our final big push of transplanting for the season. The overwintering cauliflower, purple sprouting broccoli, final fall broccoli and cauliflower and beet successions, and another round of lettuce and escarole all found a home in the field. Our planting was a week off the plan, but we’re not too worried. In the week ahead we’ll finally get to the onion harvest, work on catching up on some cultivating, and maybe begin the fruit harvest. We’ve also got a few beds of bunching onions, spinach, and herbs to sneak in the ground. Plus there’s some tomato house clean-up, mowing, and a little seed-sowing to get done. Plenty to do and never quite enough time to get it all done. Must still be August!

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

Your farmers,
Carri Heisler & Jeff Bramlett

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Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:

Roasted Beet Tzatziki Salad

Beet Tzatziki (makes 2 1/4 cups):

  • 1 cup labneh
  • 1 cup roasted grated beets
  • 1/4 cup peeled, seeded, and minced Persian (mini) cucumber
  • 1 garlic clove, finely grated
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh dill
  • 6 leaves fresh mint, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper

For the salad:

  • 1 cup Beet Tzatziki
  • 2 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and quartered
  • 1 yellow heirloom tomato, finely diced
  • 1 Persian (mini) cucumber, finely diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chile flakes
  • 2 radishes, sliced into very thin rounds
  • 1 teaspoon poppy seeds
  • 1 cup equal parts torn fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, dill fronds, and mint leaves, plus extra for garnish
  • 2 tablespoons buttermilk
  • Sea salt
  • 1 cup Pickled Beets; reserve a little liquid for garnish
  • Pinch of ground sumac, for garnish
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, for garnish

Beet Tzatziki:

In a medium bowl, combine all the ingredients.

Salad:

Spread the tzatziki on two serving plates and top with the eggs.

In a medium bowl, combine the tomato, cucumber, chile flakes, radishes, poppy seeds, fresh herbs, and buttermilk. Season with a little sea salt.

Broil or sauté the pickled beets to slightly caramelize and blister the outer surface.

Top the eggs with the cucumber-tomato salad and the hot beets. Garnish with more herbs, a pinch of sumac, a little olive oil, and the pickling liquid from the beets.

From Epicurious.com via Egg Shop: The Cookbook by Nick Korbee, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/roasted-beet-tzatziki-salad

Chopped Salad

  • 1/2 cup finely chopped red onions
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus additional as needed
  • 2 teaspoons coarsely ground fresh black pepper, plus additional as needed
  • 1/2 to 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large head iceburg lettuce, cut into 1/2-inch pieces, 6 to 8 cups
  • 1 cup Roasted Marinated Peppers , cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup pitted green olives, such as Cerignola, halved
  • 1/2 cup pitted black olives, such as Cerignola, halved
  • 1 cup haricots verts, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 cup English cucumber, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons fresh marjoram leaves
  • 1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped dill, large stems removed

In a small bowl, combine the onions, water, vinegar, salt, and pepper. Let sit at room temperature for 5 minutes to allow the flavors to develop.

Add 1/2 cup of the oil to the vinegar mixture. Add additional to taste.

In a large bowl, combine the lettuce, roasted peppers, olives, haricots verts, cucumber, and herbs. Toss with enough dressing to coat, and season to taste with additional salt and pepper. Serve any remaining dressing on the side.

From Epicurious.com via Serious Barbecue: Smoke, Char, Baste, & Brush Your Way to Great Outdoor Cooking by Adam Perry Lang with JJ Goode and Amy Vogler, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/chopped-salad-358651

Avocado Toast with Tomato-Corn Salsa

  • 3 plum tomatoes, diced
  • 2 scallions, trimmed, thinly sliced
  • 1 jalapeño, finely chopped (or maybe a Bulgarian Carrot pepper if you’re brave, or a sweet pepper to avoid the heat)
  • 1 cup fresh corn kernels (from about 2 cobs)
  • 4 tablespoons fresh lime juice (from about 2 limes)Kosher salt
  • 3 avocados, sliced
  • 6 slices crusty white bread (such as country bread), toasted

Combine tomatoes, scallions, jalapeño, corn, and lime juice in a medium bowl. Season with salt. Using a fork, gently smash avocado slices evenly onto each toast. Top each generously with tomato-corn salsa.

From Epicurious.com by Rebekah Peppler, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/avocado-toast-with-tomato-corn-salsa-56389819

Summer CSA Share – #12

Welcome to the 12th share of the Pitchfork & Crow 2021 Summer CSA!  Here’s what’s in the share this week:

  • ‘Crispino’ Iceberg Lettuce
  • Broccoli
  • Thai BasilDon’t forget that basil doesn’t appreciate cold temps and it is best stored on the counter in a glass of water, just like fresh flowers.
  • Cilantro
  • Cucumbers – We’ve got lots of green slicer cucumbers and some lemons for you to choose from.
  • Zucchini – We’ve got dark green, light green, and yellow zucchini this week.
  • Sweet Corn – This week’s corn is called ‘Montauk’.
  • Carrots – A handful carrots is better than no carrots, right?
  • Bunching Onions
  • Yellow Onions
  • Mixed Eggplant
  • Shishito Peppers – These are those Japanese frying peppers, aka ‘roulette’ peppers, where 1 in 10 might be hot. We suggest you blister them in hot oil and eat as a snack or side, but they’re tasty chopped up and added to any pepper-friendly meal.
  • Mixed Sweet Peppers
  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Slicer Tomatoes
  • Tirreno Tuscan Melons – Our favorite cantaloupe-esque melon!
Rudbeckia, prettying up the hardening off area but never quite getting planted in the field (left) and the sunrise on a smoky, hot morning last week (right).

Well, we made it through the latest heatwave, which thankfully wasn’t as hot as predicted here at the farm. We were ready to hunker down in the shade if needed, but the temps weren’t quite as bad and we managed to keep working for the most part. The reduced high temps were surely due to the increased wildfire smoke in the air, so our days took on that faint apocolyptic hazy glow we’re all coming to know so well. This is a tradeoff we’re willing to make if it means we can keep the farming on track.

Jeff cultivating (left) and Carri threshing seed (right).

After a planting push Thursday we settled into our own projects for much of the week. I spent time threshing a chicory seed crop we grew for our friends at Adaptive Seeds. Chicory seeds are particularly tricky to dislodge but luckily we’re able to borrow this electric chipper/shredder from the real seed growers to help make the process go a little faster. The whole plants get thrashed around in the machine, dislodging the seed and creating lots of smaller debris. Then the game shifts to sifting through screens and winnowing in front of a box fan to remove everything but the seed. It’s a rewarding process with a bag of clean seed upon completion.

While I tackled the seed cleaning project Jeff kept focused on the farmscape and bulk harvests. He managed to catch-up on some much needed cultivation with the Farmall Cub. When we can keep the weeds under control with the Cub things generally go a lot smoother. He also spent time in the melon patch, hauling in the ripe melons and then also harvested this weeks carrots. The heavy harvest season has certainly arrived!

Vegetable storage tip: most things are pretty happy inside a rubbermaid bin in our fridge for at minimum a week.

One night this week when Jeff was on dinner duty he pulled our vegetable bin from the fridge and suggested we share our storage method in case anyone might be interested. Back when we were members of a CSA we found the easiest way to store our share was to keep most things in a rubbermaid bin on a dedicated shelf in our fridge. Sometimes the peppers find another home and of course basil doesn’t go in the fridge, but the majority of the produce in the share stores well in enclosed bin in the fridge. When it’s time to cook a meal we pull out the bin and grab what we need.

While it doesn’t help visually, and I know some of you have good luck with cleaning/prepping vegetables ahead of time, this is a storage method that certainly extends produce life when the vegetable drawer is full and you just need to get your share in the fridge. Which is us on Wednesday nights when we fill our fridge with farm seconds after the last of the CSA harvest and distribution is done for the week and the last thing we want to do is prep vegetables.

In the week ahead we’ll be making our last big transplanting push of fall and overwintering brassicas. We’ve also got some beets, lettuce, spinach, and escarole that will likely find a spot in the field. Hopefully we’ll have time to turn our attention the great onion harvest that continues to loom in the distance. So many onions!

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

Your farmers,
Carri Heisler & Jeff Bramlett

.

Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:

Tomato, Mozzarella & Thai Basil

  • 12 slices seven-grain or sesame bread
  • 1/2 garlic clove
  • 2 cups (about 10 ounces) halved cherry or grape tomatoes
  • 1 small shallot, minced
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon unseasoned rice vinegar
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Sliced fresh mozzarella
  • Thai basil leaves

Grill bread slices and rub with garlic clove.

In a bowl, combine tomatoes, shallot, sesame oil, and rice vinegar. Season with sea salt and pepper; let sit for 15 minutes.

Put sliced fresh mozzarella on toasts. Spoon tomato mixture over mozzarella and garnish with Thai basil leaves. Season with sea salt and pepper.

From Epicurious.com via Bon Appétit, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/tomato-mozzarella-thai-basil-crostini-365789

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

Cucumber, Tomato, and Feta Salad

  • 6 cups coarsely chopped English hothouse or Persian cucumbers (about 2 pounds total)
  • 2 large tomatoes (about 1 pound total), coarsely chopped
  • 1 bunch scallions, chopped
  • 1 cup assorted pitted olives (such as Kalamata or Gaeta), halved
  • 1 7-ounce package feta, crumbled, divided
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh mint
  • 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Combine cucumbers, tomatoes, scallions, olives, half of feta, and mint in a large bowl. Whisk oil and lemon juice in a small bowl; season dressing with salt and pepper. Pour dressing over salad; toss to coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Sprinkle remaining half of feta over and serve.

From Epicurious.com via Bon Appétit, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/cucumber-tomato-and-feta-salad-365671