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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summer csa share – week 18

csa-share-week-18

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

  • Basil – Summer is on the way out, and its taking the basil with it.  Enjoy it while it lasts and get some pesto in your freezer for winter!
  • Brussels Sprouts Tops – We top our Brussels sprouts to help encourage the sprouts along.  This is good for the plants and good for you too!  Treat the tops like kale, but with a Brussely flavor.
  • Salad Mix – Jeff’s infamous lettuce mix plus a dash of arugula and mild mustards
  • Rose Finn Apple Fingerling Potatoes
  • Cauliflower or Broccoli
  • Napa Cabbage
  • Libesapfel “Love Apple” Pimento Peppers – sweet pimento peppers!
  • Red Onions
  • Sweet Corn
  • Summer Squash
  • Tomatoes Pint of cherries or a slicer
  • Melons
  • Asian Pears

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.

tomatoes

The autumnal equinox arrives on Thursday, and the weather this week seems to be right on schedule for the seasonal shift.  This is always a jolting time of year for me.  After the rush of the spring to get all the things done followed by the crush of work and heat of summer, the shift to fall feels like hitting the breaks on a moving train.  The daylight has been decreasing since the solstice and plant growth has become noticeably slower in the cooler temps and fewer hours of light.  The powdery mildew has set into the squash and cucumbers and their days are numbered.  Staying on the planting schedule is as important as ever, but there’s much less of it to be done as we get closer and closer to the end of the growing season.

With the seasonal shift I’ve begun to think about all the empty jars I have on the shelf that should be filled with summery goodness before it’s gone.  Winter’s coming and it will be a lot better if we’ve got a deep stock of canned tomatoes and dried basil to eat from.  In that vein I want to put in a plug in for a unique CSA run by our friends at Lonesome Whistle Farm in Junction City.  They focus on growing grains and beans.  In the late fall they put together a one time pick-up of a diverse selection of grains and beans as a CSA share.  Like other CSAs you commit early and then pick-up your share of the grainy bounty in Portland or Eugene in December.  It’s a great way to support a local farm doing things a little differently and to try a great selection of unique flours, polenta, beans, and popcorn!  You can get the details here.

brussels

This past week we said goodbye to one of our employees as she heads back to school at OSU.  We’re thankful for her willingness to show up each week for her ten hours ready to help out with whatever projects we’d thought up, from weeding carrots to harvesting apples.  Not many folks are interested in so few hours and such physical work, but she was a champ and we appreciate the help.  In the week ahead we’ve got more of the same: sowing, weeding, harvesting etc.  At least the weather makes field work a little more pleasant.

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:

Napa Cabbage, Tomato, and Avocado Salad

  • 1 teaspoon finely grated fresh lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 (1-pound) Napa cabbage
  • 1 (6- to 8-ounce) firm-ripe avocado
  • 3/4 pound cherry or grape tomatoes, halved

Whisk together lemon zest, juice, mustard, salt, and pepper in a small bowl until smooth, then add oil in a stream, whisking until emulsified.

Tear enough cabbage leaves from ribs into bite-size pieces to measure 7 cups, reserving thick ribs and remaining leaves for another use.

Quarter avocado lengthwise, then pit and peel. Cut into 1/2-inch pieces.

Toss cabbage leaves, avocado, and tomatoes in a large bowl with just enough dressing to coat.

From Epicurious via Gourmet, http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/napa-cabbage-tomato-and-avocado-salad-236677

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Potato, Corn, and Cherry Tomato Salad with Basil Dressing

  • 2 tablespoons white-wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 cup packed fresh basil leaves
  • 2 1/2 pounds small red potatoes
  • the kernels cut from 6 cooked ears of corn
  • 1/2 pound cherry tomatoes, halved

In a blender or food processor blend together the vinegar, the oil, the basil, and salt and pepper to taste until the dressing is emulsified. In a large saucepan combine the potatoes with enough cold water to cover them by 2 inches, bring the water to a boil, and simmer the potatoes for 15 minutes, or until they are tender. Drain the potatoes, let them cool, and quarter them. In a large bowl combine the corn, the potatoes, the tomatoes, the dressing, and salt and pepper to taste and toss the salad gently.

From Epicurious via Gourmet, http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/potato-corn-and-cherry-tomato-salad-with-basil-dressing-12279

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Flank Steak with Melon

  • 1 large cantaloupe, peeled, seeded and diced
  • 1 medium red onion, diced
  • 1 cup Italian parsley, chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh mint, chopped
  • 2 tablespoon white balsamic (or cider) vinegar
  • 2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 pounds flank steaks
  • 2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Toss cantaloupe, onion, parsley, mint, vinegar and oil in a bowl. Set aside. Heat a grill, grill pan or large skillet over high heat. Season flank steaks on both sides with salt and pepper. Cook 5 to 8 minutes on each side for medium rare, 8 to 10 minutes per side for medium and 10 to 12 minutes per side for well done. Remove from heat and allow to rest on a clean cutting board for 5 to 7 minutes. Cut steak diagonally into 1/8-inch-thick slices and transfer to a platter. Spoon half the relish on top. Serve remaining relish on the side.

From Epicurious via SELF , http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/flank-steak-with-melon-relish-240231

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summer csa share – week 17

csa-share-week-17

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

  • Basil
  • Peacock Kale
  • Salad Mix
  • Carrots
  • Cauliflower
  • Red Cabbage
  • Mixed Roasting Peppers
  • Garlic
  • Cucumbers – choose from lemons and salt & pepper picklers
  • Summer Squash
  • Tomatoes Pints of cherries and a slicer
  • Bartlett Pears

flowers

Over the weekend Jeff celebrated his 45th birthday with a small family dinner, a day on the river with his canoe and bow, and apple pie.  It was a lowkey weekend for such a big birthday, but I think it was a good one in the end.  Birthday milestones like this always make me a little reflective and this one is no different.  Mostly I can’t help but be grateful for Jeff and the constant hard work he puts in on the farm.  I couldn’t ask for a better farming partner and know that without his dedication and willingness to push through, this farming venture wouldn’t be possible.  He works hard to feed us all the best food we can grow, so next time you see him give him a high five and a thanks.  Happy birthday Jeff!  Here’s to many more!

fall-crops

On the farm this week of course we irrigated crops, cultivated crops, harvested and washed and distributed vegetables, sowed some seeds, and generally maintained things.  Big news is that we finished the potato harvest!  We grew 8 different varieties of potatoes this year and brought in around 3 tons (yes, 6,000 pounds!) all told.  We’re excited to get the potato ground into some cover crop for the winter and to have all the potatoes in storage, safe from hard freezes and marauding rodents.  Plus, no digging potatoes out of muddy fall and winter fields this year!  Hurrah for that!

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:

Braised Rotisserie Chicken with Bacon, Tomatoes, and Kale

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 4 ounces bacon (about 4 strips), sliced crosswise into 1/4″ strips
  • 2 shallots, thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup dry white wine
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped rosemary
  • 1 (14-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup homemade chicken stock or low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 rotisserie chicken, cut into 8 pieces
  • 1 bunch curly kale, ribs and stems removed, torn into bite-sized pieces
  • Crusty bread, for serving

Heat oil in a large skillet with a lid or braising pan over medium. Cook bacon until fat starts to render, about 5 minutes. Add shallots and cook until shallots are soft and fat is rendered from bacon, 8–10 minutes.

Increase heat to high and add wine, garlic, and rosemary. Cook, stirring, until wine is reduced by half, about 1 minute. Add tomatoes, chicken stock, salt, and red pepper flakes and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and nestle chicken pieces, skin side up, in sauce. Top with kale, cover, and cook until kale is wilted, about 6 minutes. Stir kale into sauce and cook, uncovered, until chicken is warmed through, about 5 minutes more. Serve with bread.

From Epicurious b, http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/braised-rotisserie-chicken-with-bacon-tomatoes-and-kale

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Roasted Cauliflower with Garlic

  • 6 lb cauliflower (3 heads), cut into 2-inch-wide florets
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Preheat oven to 425°F.

Toss cauliflower with oil, garlic, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Spread evenly in 2 shallow baking pans and roast in upper and lower thirds of oven, stirring occasionally, until golden, 25 to 30 minutes.

From Epicurious via Gourmet, http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/roasted-cauliflower-with-garlic-105730

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Wilted Red Cabbage and Bell Pepper Slaw

  • 1/2 cup distilled white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon mustard seeds
  • 1/2 head red cabbage, shredded (about 3 cups)
  • 2 red or yellow bell peppers, cut into 1-inch julienne strips

In a saucepan bring vinegar and water to a boil with sugar, salt, and mustard and simmer, stirring occasionally, 3 minutes.

In a large heavy skillet heat oil over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking. Add mustard seeds and sauté until they begin to pop. Stir in cabbage and sauté, stirring, 1 minute. Add vinegar mixture and simmer vegetables 1 minute.

Drain vegetables in a large fine sieve set over a saucepan and transfer them to a bowl. Boil liquid over moderately high heat until reduced to about 3 tablespoons and stir into vegetables. Chill slaw, covered, at least 1 hour or overnight.

From Epicurious via Gourmet, http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/wilted-red-cabbage-and-bell-pepper-slaw-12057

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summer csa share – week 16

csa-share-week-16

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

  • Cilantro
  • Collards
  • Kennebec Potatoes
  • Salad Mix
  • Carrots
  • Melons
  • Eggplant
  • Cauliflower
  • Jalapeno Peppers
  • Jimmy Nardello SWEET Peppers
  • Tomatillos
  • Onions
  • Cucumbers – choose from slicers and picklers
  • Summer Squash
  • Tomatoes Pints of cherries or a slicer

Winter CSA Update: Many thanks to all the folks who have already signed up!  After just a week we’re already half full for the upcoming Winter CSA season.  Thinking about joining us?  You can get all the details on the Winter CSA page.

flowering fields

September arrived and fall came with it.  The weather this week has been much more pleasant for field work.  The cooler temperatures and handful of rain showers were a welcomed change from 90 degree days.  We can feel the growing season beginning to slowly wrap up.  The seeding is more manageable; the transplanting limited; the powdery mildew is starting to spread in the winter squash and it won’t be too long before we’re bringing in the season’s harvest.  The frantic pace of summer has eased and we’re looking forward to the end of season clean-up and organization sessions after the hurried growing season.  There’s cover crop to sow, crops to harvest, a couple of barns to organize efficiently and greenhouses to prep for winter.  While we’ve still got plenty of work and food growing left to wring out of this season, we’re feeling good about getting it done.

potatoes

This past week we kept at the usuals: irrigation, harvests, weeding, groundwork, seed sowing.  We hired a third super part-time employee to learn the ropes before we lose an employee to the start of the school year.  It’s amazing what you can accomplish with 5 people in the field at once and together we hoed overwintering crops, harvested the last of our onions, harvested Asian pears, and dug half of our potatoes.  The coolers are filling with food!  We’re already trying to figure out just where to put everything.  This has been a unique growing season, and it’s especially nice to see the ‘fruits of our labor’ coming in from the field.

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:

Collard Potato Salad with Mustard Dressing

  • 2 pounds small red potatoes, scrubbed
  • 1 pound collards, coarse stems discarded and the leaves washed well and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon-style mustard
  • 2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 6 slices of lean bacon, cooked until crisp, drained, and crumbled
  • 3 tablespoons thinly sliced scallion

In a kettle combine the potatoes with enough water to cover them by 2 inches, bring the water to a boil, and simmer the potatoes 15 to 20 minutes, or until they are tender. Transfer the potatoes with a slotted spoon to a colander, reserving the cooking liquid, and in the reserved cooking liquid boil the collards, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes. Drain the collards in a sieve, refresh them under cold water, and squeeze them dry in a kitchen towel. In a bowl whisk together the mustard, the vinegar, and salt and pepper to taste, add the oil in a stream, whisking, and whisk the dressing until it emulsified. Quarter the potatoes and add them to the dressing. Add the collards, pulling them apart to separate the leaves, the bacon, and the scallion and toss the salad well.

From Epicurious via Gourmet, http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/collard-potato-salad-with-mustard-dressing-11644

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Simple Shrimp, Coconut and Eggplant Curry

  • Coconut oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely grated
  • Thumb-sized piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated
  • 1 red or green chili, deseeded (if you like) and finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 eggplant, grated or finely sliced
  • 1/4 pound cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • 1 1/4 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1/2 pound raw tiger shrimp, peeled
  • 1 large handful baby spinach

Heat 1 tablespoon coconut oil in a large sauté pan and fry the onion, garlic, ginger and chili for 2 to 3 minutes to soften, stirring frequently. Stir in the spices and season well with a pinch of salt and pepper. Continue to fry over medium heat for a further minute or two until fragrant. Transfer the mixture to a mini food processor and blend until smooth, adding a splash of water if necessary to loosen the consistency to a paste.

Return the pan to the heat and put in another tablespoon of coconut oil. Add the paste and fry for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the eggplant and sauté for a minute or two, stirring to coat it with the paste, before adding the cherry tomatoes. Pour in the stock, bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 10 to 12 minutes.

Add the coconut milk and the shrimp and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, until the shrimp are pink and cooked through and the sauce has just thickened. Stir in the spinach, wilt for a minute, then season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.

From Epicurious via Cook. Nourish. Glow. by

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Skillet Chicken and Zucchini Enchiladas with Tomatillo Sauce

  • 2 tablespoons neutral vegetable oil, such as grapeseed
  • 1 cup thinly sliced onion (about 1 small onion)
  • 1 cup (1/2″ pieces) zucchini
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 (16-ounce) jars store-bought tomatillo salsa or 4 cups homemade tomatillo salsa, divided
  • 2 cups shredded cooked chicken (from 1/2 [2 1/2-pound] rotisserie chicken)
  • 8 (5-6″) corn tortillas
  • 3/4 cup grated Monterey Jack cheese
  • Sour cream, 1 sliced avocado, cilantro leaves with tender stems, and lime wedges (for serving)

Heat oil in a 12″ (preferably cast-iron) skillet over medium-high. Add onion and cook, stirring, until it starts to soften, about 2 minutes. Add zucchini, coriander, cumin, salt, and pepper. Cook, stirring, until onion and zucchini are softened and lightly browned, about 3 minutes. Stir 1 1/2 cups salsa, scraping up any brown bits from the pan. Fold in the chicken and cook until warmed through, about 1 minute. Transfer enchilada filling to a medium bowl; set skillet aside (do not wipe out).

Meanwhile, wrap tortillas in damp paper towels and microwave on high in 30-second bursts, flipping after each burst, until warmed, about 1 minute total. Alternatively, wrap in foil and heat in a 350°F oven until warmed through, 10–12 minutes.

Pour 1 cup salsa into reserved skillet. Working with one at a time, dip tortillas in salsa until coated on both sides; transfer to a large rimmed baking sheet. Divide enchilada filling among tortillas. Roll each tortilla around filling and place seam side down in skillet, arranging in a pinwheel formation.

Heat enchiladas over medium-high. Pour remaining salsa over enchiladas, making sure each is coated. Sprinkle with cheese. Cover with a lid or large baking sheet and cook until cheese is melted and enchiladas are warmed through, about 3 minutes. Top with sour cream, avocado, and cilantro. Serve with lime wedges alongside.

Cooks’ Note
Thin sour cream with a little lime juice to make it easier to drizzle.
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summer csa share – week 15

csa share week 15

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

  • Parsley
  • Sweet Corn
  • Chard
  • Salad Mix
  • Beets
  • Melons! – More melons, including muskmelons, red and yellow fleshed watermelons, and an orange honeydew
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Shishito Peppers – More those ‘roulette’ peppers, some are hot but most are not. 
  • Yellow Onion Bunches
  • Cucumbers – choose from slicers and picklers
  • Summer Squash
  • Tomatoes Pints of cherries and slicers both!
  • Bartlett Pears

Winter CSA memberships are open!  Head over to the Winter CSA information page to get all the details and a link to the sign-up form.

15 16 winter csa shares

September is looming down on us and with it thoughts of rainstorms, fall harvests, warm beverages, and long sleeves are running through my mind.  The season’s beginning back in spring is just a distant memory and though I’m sure summer has a few more tricks up its sleeve, I’m daring to dream of autumn and all it entails, including the beginning of winter vegetables.  Those photos above are all the shares from last winter’s CSA program, perhaps my favorite season for eating.

Farming is often about looking ahead, always planning for future harvests.  We’ve been preparing for Winter harvests since the beginning of spring, with the planting of leeks and onions in the dark days of February and March.  Winter squash, a staple of our winter diet, went into the field in June.  At the same time we started the overwintering cauliflower and broccoli that won’t make an appearance in CSA shares until March and April of 2017.  The big work of planting and tending winter vegetables happens in summer, alongside the summer crops we’re harvesting now.  It’s the nature of packing as much as possible into the height of the growing season to ensure enough now and enough later.

We’ve been looking ahead to winter harvests for some time.  Planting the winter hardy kale and cabbages, weeding the winter carrots, hilling the leeks that will stand through the cold months.  Now we’re ready to open up the Winter CSA memberships and invite you to look ahead to the winter months too.  Do you know where your vegetables will be coming from?  We’d love to help with that.  You can find all the details on the Winter/Spring CSA page and join us for harvests during that other half of the year ahead.

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:

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
  • 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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Tomato and Cucumber Salad with Pita Bread and Za’atar

  • 3 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 large cucumber, peeled and chopped
  • 4 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, or to taste
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Accompaniments: warm pita bread, olive oil, and Za’atar

Stir together tomatoes, cucumber, scallions, parsley, and salt and pepper to taste. Squeeze lemon juice over salad and stir. Drizzle oil over salad and stir.

From Epicurious via Gourmethttp://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/tomato-and-cucumber-salad-with-pita-bread-and-zaatar-103394

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Yellow Summer Squash and Corn Soup

  • 1 pound yellow summer squash
  • 2 ears corn
  • 3 large shallots
  • 2 large garlic cloves
  • 1 fresh jalapeño chile (or use a couple of shishito peppers)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • Garnish: corn kernels, chopped fresh jalapeño chiles, fresh cilantro leaves, sour cream, and thinly sliced yellow summer squash

Cut summer squash crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Shuck corn and, working over a bowl, cut kernels from cobs. Halve cobs. Chop shallots and mince garlic. Wearing rubber gloves, chop chile, with seeds if desired.

In a 5-quart heavy kettle combine all ingredients (including cobs) except water and cook over moderate heat, stirring, 3 minutes. Stir in water and simmer mixture until squash is very tender, about 15 minutes. Discard cobs. In a blender puree mixture in batches until smooth (use caution when blending hot liquids), transferring to another bowl. Season soup with salt and pepper. Divide soup between 2 bowls and garnish with corn, chiles, cilantro, small dollops of sour cream, and squash.

From Epicurious via Gourmet, http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/yellow-summer-squash-and-corn-soup-15249

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summer csa share – week 14

csa share week 14

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

  • Basil
  • Sweet Corn
  • Cabbage
  • Butterhead Lettuce
  • Green Beans
  • Melons! – the first of the melons are here including a Tuscan muskmelon and an orange honeydew
  • Broccoli
  • Sweet Peppers – More of the ‘Iko Iko’ Sweet Peppers. These purple and yellow peppers are equivalent to green peppers.
  • Garlic
  • Cucumbers – choose from slicers and picklers
  • Summer Squash
  • Tomatoes Pints of cherries and slicers both!

looking ahead

This past week I’ve been listening to a couple of books about food and nutrition that I checked out from the library.  First up was Michael Pollen’s ‘In Defense of Food‘.  I’m now about halfway through T. Colin Campbell’s ‘Whole‘.  Though written in different styles and from different experiences, both books attempt to make very similar conclusions: that we should be eating more whole foods, more plants, fewer food products.

These aren’t new books, or new concepts for that matter, but they have been good reminders that we are making choices each day about what foods we eat.  Even here on the farm, where we are surrounded by organic vegetables and fruits, we all too often make poor food decisions for convenience.  Food is fuel, and the work goes on.  But as with many things, that way of eating, that way of life, isn’t sustainable and we need to recognize that these are choices we can change.  I became a farmer because I valued food and understood fundamentally that we cannot live without it.  I wanted to grow good food for the people in my community.  Listening to these books this week have been excellent reminders of that fact, but also that we need to be eating that food more often too.

fruit

Eating is a messy and complicated part of our lives if you decide to look closely.  Luckily this is the height of summer goodness and we’re harvesting a lot of it this week, hopefully easing the eating quandary.  Sweet corn, basil, peppers, tomatoes, melons!  An easy week to eat your CSA share.

This past week we kept busy with all the usual suspects.  The weeding and mowing and tilling and irrigating and seed sowing happened, even in the midst of that ridiculous heatwave.  Some seed threshing and winnowing happened too.  It’s always fun to thresh out a seed crop and see what the resulting seed amount and quality is after so many months of growing a plant from seed through its life cycle and back to seed again.  On Saturday we spent the evening pressing cider with friends, as evidenced by the photo above.  Who wants to hand crank five giant buckets of apples through a press when you’ve got a chipper that can shred them for you?

Looking ahead this week we’ve got more weeding, more seed sowing, a little transplanting, lots of fruit picking, on-farm pig slaughtering, and a couple of our friends/CSA members are getting married (congrats Michelle and Allen!).  Another whirlwind summer week!

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:

Corn and Pork Kebabs with Rosemary Green Beans and Potatoes

  • eight 10-inch metal or bamboo skewers
  • 4 large ears fresh corn
  • 2 pork tenderloins (1 1/2 pounds total)
  • 2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
  • 6 1/2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons dried hot red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 pound green beans
  • 1/2 pound boiling potatoes
  • 2 teaspoons fresh rosemary leaves
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic

Prepare grill and if using bamboo skewers soak in water 30 minutes.

Shuck corn and cut crosswise into twenty-four 1-inch pieces. Cut pork into thirty-two 1-inch pieces. Thread 3 pieces corn and 4 pieces pork onto each skewer. In a small bowl whisk together 1 tablespoon vinegar, 4 1/2 teaspoons oil, red pepper flakes, and salt and divide red pepper mixture between 2 small bowls (to prevent the potential contamination caused by uncooked meat juices). Brush kebabs with red pepper mixture from 1 bowl and grill on a lightly oiled rack set 5 to 6 inches over glowing coals, turning occasionally, until pork is cooked through, 15 to 20 minutes. With a clean brush coat kebabs with red pepper mixture from other bowl.

While kebabs are grilling, trim and halve green beans. Cut potatoes into 1/8-inch-thick slices and finely chop rosemary. In a steamer arrange potatoes and layer green beans on top. Steam potatoes and green beans over boiling water, covered, until potatoes are tender, 6 to 8 minutes. In a large bowl whisk together remaining tablespoon vinegar, remaining 2 teaspoons oil, rosemary, garlic, and salt and pepper to taste. Add hot vegetables and toss to combine.

Serve kebabs with vegetables.

From Epicurious via Gourmet, http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/corn-and-pork-kebabs-with-rosemary-green-beans-and-potatoes-14228

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Angel Hair Pasta with Broccoli and Herb Butter

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted European-style butter, room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 8 ounces angel hair pasta
  • 2 cups small broccoli florets
  • Grated Parmesan cheese (optional)

Mix first 4 ingredients in small bowl.

Bring large pot of salted water to boil. Add 2 teaspoons olive oil. Add pasta and cook until almost tender, about 3 minutes. Add broccoli and boil until pasta is tender but still firm to bite and broccoli is crisp-tender, about 1 minute longer. Drain pasta and broccoli; transfer to large serving bowl. Add herb butter and toss well to coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve, passing Parmesan cheese separately if desired.

From Epicurious via Bon Appétithttp://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/angel-hair-pasta-with-broccoli-and-herb-butter-108539

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Grilled Lime -Curry-Rubbed Hanger Steak with Fresh Melon-Cucumber Chutney

For chutney:

  • 2 cups chopped firm-ripe honeydew melon (10 ounces)
  • 1/3 seedless cucumber, peeled and chopped (about 3/4 cup)
  • 1/2 cup chopped red onion
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons minced fresh jalapeño including seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

For steak:

  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 2 pounds (1-inch-thick) hanger steak or chuck blade steaks

Make chutney:

Stir together honeydew, cucumber, onion, lime juice, cilantro, jalapeño, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Sprinkle with spices and let chutney stand while grilling steak.

Grill steak:

Prepare a gas grill for direct-heat cooking over medium heat; see Grilling Procedure .

Stir together lime juice, oil, curry powder, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper. Coat steak with curry mixture.

Oil grill rack, then grill steak, covered, turning once, 9 minutes total for medium-rare. Let rest on a cutting board 5 minutes, then slice thinly across the grain. Serve steak with chutney.

Serve with:  basmati or jasmine rice

From Epicurious via Gourmet , http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/grilled-lime-curry-rubbed-hanger-steak-with-fresh-melon-cucumber-chutney-353669

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summer csa share – week 13

csa share week 13

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

  • Cilantro
  • Rainbow Carrots
  • Salad Mix
  • ‘Summertime’ Crisphead Head Lettuce
  • Green Beans
  • Eggplant
  • Broccoli
  • Green Bell Peppers
  • Sweet Onions
  • Cucumbers – choose from slicers, and picklers
  • Summer Squash
  • Tomatoes Pints of cherries and slicers both!
  • Asian Pears/Plums

Pig Update: Many thanks for the quick interest in our pork availability that we announced last week.  All the pigs are now spoken for, but please let us know if you’d like to be on the back-up list in case someone is unable to follow through with their purchase.

tomatoes and apples

The summer CSA season lasts 27 weeks, so sometime between this week and next we’ll be hitting the halfway mark!  In some ways it feels like we just started the season – wasn’t yesterday the end of May?  And in others it feels like we’re right where we should be –  I certainly feel like we’ve been working very long days for weeks on end.  The early season jitters associated with us wondering just what was going to be in the share from week to week have been replaced with a weekly paring down of the long list of available crops.  We’re smack dab in the middle of the growing season, and the produce is bumping.

We hope you’ve been enjoying the CSA thus far.  We’re looking forward to the continued diversity of crops we’ll be sharing with you over the next weeks and months, as we push through the summer heat towards the fall and through the second half of this CSA season.

parsley and sunflowers

This week we survived the heat.  We weeded  and irrigated and harvested and planted and irrigated some more.  We made it through our last major transplanting push of the season as our fall/winter chicories and some fennel and lettuce found a home in the field.  Some peppers and celeriac were weeded, apples and pears were picked, and our parsley seed crop was cut to dry for threshing.  Ground was worked for fall cover cropping and fields were mowed.  The To Do list is long this time of year, and the hot afternoons make progress slow, but we continue to push on and each finished task is celebrated.  In the cold and dark of February we’ll be thankful for the work we managed to get done now, the chicories making up winter salad mix and cover crops covering the uncroppd ground.

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

Your farmers,
Jeff Bramlett and Carri Heisler

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Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:

Fried Eggplant, Tomato, and Cucumber Salad

  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves with tender stems
  • 1/2 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves with tender stems
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 2 small green chiles, such as Thai, seeds removed, chopped, divided
  • 1/2 cup olive oil, divided
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more
  • 3/4 cup plain whole-milk Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 medium eggplants (about 1 1/2 pounds), cut into 1 1/2″ pieces
  • Vegetable oil (for frying; about 2 cups)
  • 1 pound small tomatoes (about 8), cut into wedges
  • 1/2 pound Persian cucumbers (about 3), sliced

Purée cilantro, parsley, garlic, half of chiles, and 1/4 cup olive oil in a blender or food processor until very smooth; season herb oil with salt and set aside.

Whisk yogurt, lemon juice, and remaining 1/4 cup olive oil in a small bowl; season with salt and set yogurt sauce aside.

Place eggplants in a colander set in the sink; season with 3/4 teaspoon salt. Let sit 30 minutes to drain, then pat dry.

Fit a medium pot with thermometer; pour in vegetable oil to measure 2″. Heat over medium-high heat until thermometer registers 375°.

Working in batches and returning oil to 375° between batches, fry eggplants, turning often, until golden brown and tender, about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer eggplants to paper towels to drain; season with salt. Let cool.

Combine eggplants in a large bowl with tomatoes, cucumbers, and remaining chiles; drizzle with some reserved herb oil and toss to combine. Season salad with salt.

Spoon reserved yogurt sauce onto a platter, top with salad, and drizzle with more herb oil.

Do ahead: Herb oil and yogurt sauce can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill separately.

From Epicurious via Bon Appétit b

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Blistered Green Beans with Garlic and Miso

  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 3 tablespoons white miso
  • 1 tablespoon coconut or agave nectar
  • 3 tablespoons virgin coconut oil
  • 1 1/2 pounds haricots verts or green beans, trimmed
  • Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
  • Flaky sea salt, freshly ground pepper
  • 1/3 cup coarsely chopped cilantro

Mix garlic, lime juice, miso, and coconut nectar in a small bowl to combine. Set garlic mixture aside.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Add green beans and cook, undisturbed, until beginning to blister, about 2 minutes. Toss and continue to cook, tossing often, until tender and blistered in spots, 8–12 minutes.

Remove skillet from heat, pour in garlic mixture, and toss green beans to coat. Add red pepper flakes; season with sea salt and black pepper. Transfer to a platter and top with cilantro.

From Epicurious via Bon Appétit b , http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/blistered-green-beans-with-garlic-and-miso

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Zucchini “Noodles” with Eggplant and Tomatoes

  • 2 medium zucchini (about 1 1/4 pounds), spiralized or cut into matchsticks
  • 2 medium yellow squash (about 1 1/4 pounds), spiralized or cut into matchsticks
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3/4 cup (packed) basil leaves, chopped, divided
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil, divided, plus more for drizzling
  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2 large long Chinese eggplants (about 3/4 pound), cut into 1/4″ slices on the bias
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, divided
  • 1/4 cup pitted cured black olives, halved, divided
  • 1 (8-ounce) ball fresh buffalo mozzarella, thinly sliced

Place zucchini and squash in a strainer set over a bowl. Sprinkle with 1 Tbsp. salt and toss to combine. Let sit 10 minutes, then shake in strainer, pressing gently, to remove any excess liquid.

Meanwhile, whisk lemon juice, honey, pepper, 1/2 cup basil, 3 Tbsp. oil, and 1/4 tsp. salt in a large bowl.

Heat remaining 2 Tbsp. oil in a large skillet over medium. Cook garlic until it begins to sizzle and turn golden brown, 5–7 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to bowl with dressing. Increase heat to medium-high, add eggplant and 1 cup tomatoes, and cook, stirring occasionally, until eggplant is browned and cooked through and tomatoes begin to burst, about 6–8 minutes. Season with remaining 1/4 tsp. salt and transfer to bowl with dressing.

Cut remaining 1 cup tomatoes in half lengthwise and add to bowl with dressing. Add zucchini and squash; gently toss to combine. Add 3 Tbsp. olives and 2 Tbsp. basil, then transfer with tongs to a platter, letting extra liquid drain and remain in bowl. Lay mozzarella on 1 end of platter and drizzle with oil. Top dish with remaining 2 Tbsp. basil and 1 Tbsp. olives.

From Epicurious by

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summer csa share – week 12

csa share week 12

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

  • Basil
  • Carrots
  • Head Lettuce – Butterhead and Romaine heads for everyone.
  • Sweet Corn – This is the last picking of this succession of corn, so just two ears this week.  The next round will be on before we know it!
  • Broccoli
  • Iko Iko Sweet Peppers – These yellow and purple peppers are equivalent to green bell peppers.
  • Shishito Peppers – More of those ‘roulette’ peppers – 1 in 10 or so is hot.  We’ve been loving them in our morning eggs.
  • Bunching Onions
  • Cucumbers – choose from lemons, slicers, and picklers
  • Summer Squash
  • Tomatoes Pints of cherries and slicers both!
  • Asian Pears
  • Strawberries or More Tomatoes – Not enough strawberries to go around this week so you get the choice between a pint of berries or a pint of ‘Darby Red and Yellow‘ tomatoes.

pigs

This past April we purchased 5 weaner pigs from a local farm to raise through the season.  This is our second year with pigs on the farm during the summer and they’re a lot of fun to have around.  They’re certainly more animated than the vegetables and they bring new challenges to the farm.  Will they stay in the hot wire fencing?  How do you move them across the field?

This year we purchased a group of mixed breed weaners and it’s been interesting to see how they differ from last year’s more heritage breed.  From the outset they’ve been much more interested in eating grass and excess produce.  This group has also rooted in the field a lot more than last year’s group.  Finally, they’ve become friendlier and they mostly let you give the pats and scratches behind the ears.  In fact they’re so friendly that Jeff has decided to keep the red one in the photo above as a breeding animal and we hope to have our own piglets next spring instead of buying in a new batch of weaners.

This batch of pigs is on track to reach our target weights by the end of the month and the butcher date is scheduled.  We’re ready to line up sales of pork.  We’ll be selling them by the half and you can find all the details on the P&C Pork page.  Send us an email ASAP if you’re interested in purchasing a half and we’ll get you on the list.

seeds and planting

This week has been much of the same, though the weather has been fluxuating from summer-warm to fall-chilly.  In fact we got rained on while picking cucumbers and summer squash yesterday.  As I pulled on my raingear I questioned if it was really August.

In the past week we weeded and fertilized Brussels sprouts, weeded cauliflower, and harvested onions and the first of the Asian pears.  Jeff also did plenty of ground prep including mowing and tilling and we transplanted the last round of brassicas for the season, including purple sprouting broccoli and overwintering cauliflower.  I spent some time this weekend bringing in the chicory and celery seed crops and after they dry down some we’ll get to threshing the seed.

After one more big push, the planting for the season will be mostly behind us and we can focus that much more on maintaining the farm, bringing in storage crops, and soon we’ll be preparing for winter and sowing cover crops.  Fall doesn’t feel so far off today.  But the weather says we’ll be back in the 90s this weekend, so I don’t think summer is quite over just yet.

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

Your farmers,
Jeff Bramlett and Carri Heisler

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Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:

Cucumber-Basil Agua Fresca

  • 2 large English hothouse cucumbers
  • 1/2 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 cup (packed) basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup sugar or agave syrup, plus more to taste

Slice a few thin slices of cucumber; reserve for garnish. Peel and coarsely chop remaining cucumber.

Purée chopped cucumber, lime juice, basil, 1/4 cup sugar, and 2 cups water in a food processor until very smooth. Strain into a pitcher and add 2 cups water, adding more sugar or water if needed, then chill until ready to serve. Add reserved cucumber slices just before serving.

From Epicurious by , http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/cucumber-basil-agua-fresca-56389827

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Cucumber and Avocado Soup with Tomato and Basil Salad

  • 1 large English hothouse cucumber, peeled, diced (about 2 1/2 cups)
  • 2 1/2 cups low-fat (1%) buttermilk
  • 1 avocado, quartered, pitted, peeled
  • 4 tablespoons chopped red onion
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • 1/2 cup seeded chopped tomato
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
  • 4 tablespoons plain nonfat yogurt

Combine cucumber and buttermilk in blender. Chop 1/4 of avocado; set aside for salad. Cut remaining avocado into chunks. Add avocado to blender; then add 2 tablespoons red onion and 1 tablespoon basil. Blend until very smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Cover; refrigerate until chilled, about 1 hour.

Mix reserved avocado, remaining 2 tablespoons onion and 1 tablespoon basil, tomato and lime juice in small bowl. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover soup and tomato salad separately and refrigerate.) Ladle cucumber soup into 4 bowls. Dollop each with 1 tablespoon yogurt; top with tomato salad and serve.

From Epicurious via Bon Appétit, http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/cucumber-and-avocado-soup-with-tomato-and-basil-salad-103759

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Breakfast Taco Hobo Packs

  • 2 bell peppers, stemmed, seeded, thinly sliced lengthwise
  • 1 medium zucchini, halved lengthwise, sliced into 1/4″-thick half moons
  • 1 small red onion, thinly sliced (about 1 cup)
  • 2 medium jalapeños, seeded, thinly sliced (optional)
  • 1 (14-ounce) can black beans, drained, rinsed
  • 1 cup defrosted frozen corn
  • 6 tablespoons tomatillo salsa
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
  • 12 soft taco-size corn or flour tortillas
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese (optional)
  • 1/4 cup cilantro leaves and tender stems (optional)

Cut 12 (12×16″) pieces of heavy-duty foil. Layer 2 pieces of foil on top of each other to create 6 stacks. Line top pieces of foil with parchment paper cut to the same size.

Toss peppers, zucchini, onion, jalapeños (if using), beans, corn, salsa, oil, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Divide mixture among prepared packs, arranging in the center of each piece of parchment. Bring edges of foil together to enclose each pack, covering completely, then crimp to seal packs closed.

Prepare a campfire or grill for medium, indirect heat, preferably with hardwood or hardwood charcoal. Let coals burn until covered with ash and glowing red with no black remaining.

Place packs side by side directly onto hot coals or grill and cook, rotating with tongs occasionally, about 5 minutes. Carefully remove 1 pack from heat and check if ingredients are steaming hot. If necessary, return pack to coals and continue to cook, 5–10 minutes more.

Meanwhile, wrap tortillas in foil and heat close to the coals until warm, 5–10 minutes.

Transfer packs with tongs to a flat surface and carefully open them (they will be full of hot steam). Crack 1 egg into the center of each pack and season with salt and pepper. Reseal, return to coals, and cook until egg whites are opaque but yolks are still runny, 4–5 minutes.

Carefully remove packs from coals, open, and sprinkle evenly with cheese and cilantro, if using. Serve each pack immediately with 2 warm tortillas.

Do Ahead

Packs can be assembled and chilled for up to 2 days or frozen for up to 1 month.

Cooks’ Note
Packs can be prepared in an oven. Preheat to 450°F and place packs on rimmed baking sheets. Bake until steaming hot, about 15 minutes if packs were refrigerated and about 30 minutes if baking frozen packs (no need to defrost). Carefully open packs (they will be full of hot steam), crack 1 egg into the center of each, season with salt and pepper, and reseal. Return to oven and cook until egg whites are opaque but yolks are still runny, 4–5 minutes more. Top with cheese and cilantro, if using. Serve immediately.
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summer csa share – week 11

csa share week 11

Welcome to the 11th week of the Pitchfork & Crow Summer CSA! Here’s what’s in the share:

  • Snap Beans –  mix of green, yellow, and purple beans this week!
  • Dill
  • Red Beets
  • Fingerling Potatoes
  • Salad Mix
  • Sweet Corn
  • Broccoli or Lacinato Kale
  • Sweet Onion
  • Cucumbers – Lemon and slicer cucumbers this week
  • Summer Squash
  • Tomatoes Pints of cherries and slicers both!
  • Strawberries

tomatoes and flowers

Looking around the dusty landscape of the farm on a hot afternoon, it certainly feels like August.  Our draughty summers make such an impact on land.  The irrigation sprinklers keep things green and lush, but out of their reach the grass has turned the straw-yellow of summer.

It’s a wonder that this is the high season for fruit amidst the dry and the dust.  The tomatoes are in full swing; the red and orange and yellow globes are a highlight in contrast to the rest of the landscape.  And the few flowers, planted for me and for the bees, are just splashes of color amidst the green of growing crops and the brown of everything else.

I think back to blustery spring days seeding in the propagation house, the rain turning any bare ground to mud, and I appreciate this season we’ve arrived at for its dryness, its perfect soil texture after the slightest irrigation or rain, its blue skies and intense sunny days.  The arrival of August brings the countdown to autumn, but I think I’ll try to enjoy this height of summer a little bit longer.

hiking

This week, as with most weeks, we weeded and irrigated and harvested and seeded.  What’s new this week is that we took a whole day off the farm and went on a hike.  What?  It’s true.  We left the weeds and the animal chores and the mowing and the everything else behind at the farm and we drove off to the mountains and we walked in the woods.

There is something completely restorative about walking on a trail, surrounded by very tall trees, and eventually catching a view of snowy peaked mountains in the not-so-distant landscape.  The slugs and weedy plants are not your concern in the woods.  The walking can be at any pace, with time to stop and study the trailside flora.  The sweeping views from the top are poignant reminders that this is in fact an amazing planet we get to live on.  We returned to the farm ready for the week ahead, and better for our time away.

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

Your farmers,
Jeff Bramlett and Carri Heisler

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Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:

Chilled Beet Soup with Buttermilk, Cucumbers, and Dill (Chlodnik)

  • 1 pound beets with greens (about 2 medium beets)
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 Kirby cucumbers, peeled, coarsely grated (about 1 cup)
  • 1 kosher dill pickle, coarsely grated (about 1/2 cup), plus 1/2 cup pickle brine
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk or kefir (preferably low- or full-fat)
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons chopped scallions
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 hard-boiled eggs, halved
  • 4 teaspoons finely chopped dill

Using a large knife, separate greens and stems from beets. Thoroughly wash greens and stems; set aside. Scrub beets, transfer to a medium pot, and cover with 1″ water. Cover pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium, uncover, and cook until beets are tender when pierced with a knife, about 10 minutes. Drain beets; discard cooking liquid. Let cool.

Meanwhile, chop beet greens and stems. Transfer to a large pot and add 1/2 tsp. salt and 4 cups water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium and simmer, without boiling, until greens are tender, about 5 minutes. Let cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes.

Peel and coarsely grate beets, preferably wearing gloves. Add to pot with cooled greens. Gently stir in cucumbers, pickle, pickle brine, buttermilk, sour cream, and scallions. Season with salt and pepper.

Cover pot and chill soup at least 30 minutes. Adjust seasonings, if desired. Divide soup among bowls; top with eggs and dill.

Do Ahead

Soup can be made 2 days ahead; cover and chill.

From Epicurious , http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/chilled-beet-soup-with-buttermilk-cucumbers-and-dill-chlodnik

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Potato, Cucumber and Dill Salad

  • 2 pounds baby red potatoes, sliced
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons country-style Dijon mustard
  • 6 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh dill
  • 3/4 pound pickling cucumbers, sliced
  • Fresh dill sprigs

Cook potatoes in pot of boiling water until just tender. Drain. Transfer to large bowl. Add 2 tablespoons vinegar to hot potatoes and stir gently. Combine remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons vinegar and mustard in small bowl. Gradually mix in oil. Add chopped dill. Mix into potatoes. Season with salt and pepper. (Can be made 6 hours ahead. Cover; chill. Bring to room temperature before serving.) Mix in cucumbers. Garnish with dill sprigs.

From Epicurious via Bon Appétithttp://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/potato-cucumber-and-dill-salad-2080

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Vegetable Couscous, Goat Cheese, and Beets

  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh dill
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh chives
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 (4-oz) piece soft mild goat cheese from a log
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup couscous (3 oz)
  • 1/4 cup diced (1/4 inch) red onion
  • 1/2 cup diced (1/4 inch) zucchini
  • 1/2 cup diced (1/4 inch) red bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup fresh corn kernels
  • 1 small beet (about 2 inches in diameter), trimmed
  • 1 tablespoon Sherry vinegar
  • 4 thin prosciutto slices (optional)
    1. Stir together dill, chives, and pepper on a plate, then roll cheese in herb mixture to coat sides (not ends). Wrap cheese in plastic wrap and chill.
    2. Bring water, salt, and 1 tablespoon oil to a boil in a 1-quart heavy saucepan. Stir in couscous, then cover pan and remove from heat. Let stand, covered, 5 minutes.
    3. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderate heat until hot but not smoking, then cook onion, stirring, 1 minute. Add zucchini, bell pepper, and corn and cook, stirring, until zucchini is bright green, about 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and transfer to a bowl.
    4. Fluff couscous with a fork and stir into vegetables, then season with salt and pepper.
    5. Peel beet and cut half of beet into very thin slices (less than 1/8 inch thick) with slicer (discard remainder), then stack slices and cut into thin matchsticks. Rinse beets and pat dry, then transfer to a bowl.
    6. Whisk together vinegar, remaining 2 tablespoons oil, and salt and pepper to taste. Add 1/2 tablespoon dressing to beets and toss to coat.
    7. Fill ramekin with couscous, pressing it firmly into mold with a rubber spatula. Invert ramekin onto a salad plate and carefully unmold couscous, then make 3 more couscous mounds on 3 more plates.
    8. Drape each couscous mound with 1 prosciutto slice (if using), then top with some of beets.
    9. Unwrap cheese and cut crosswise into 4 equal slices with a lightly oiled knife, then arrange 1 cheese slice alongside each couscous mound and spoon remaining dressing around mounds.

From Epicurious via Gourmet, http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/vegetable-couscous-goat-cheese-and-beets-109734

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summer csa share – week 10

csa share week 10

Welcome to the 10th week of the Pitchfork & Crow Summer CSA! Here’s what’s in the share:

  • Haricot Vert Green Beans! – Our favorite slender green bean variety.  Time to get snapping!
  • Cilantro
  • Carrots
  • Salad Mix
  • Sweet Corn
  • Sweet Onion
  • Broccoli or Cabbage
  • Eggplant or Fava Beans
  • Cucumbers – Slicers and ‘Salt & Pepper’ picklers this week
  • Summer Squash – More of the same, choose from: white pattypans, round and long zucchinis, and yellow straightneck.
  • Tomatoes Pints of cherries and slicers both!
  • Jalapeno Peppers
  • Shishito Peppers – Just the first handful of of these delicious little ‘roulette’ peppers.  Some are hot, most are not.  New to shishitos?  We love them blistered in hot oil like in this recipe.

bees

Summer seems to have arrived this week.  The hot afternoons I remember from the last couple of years are back, making fieldwork a bit more of a slog.  The heat-loving crops like peppers and eggplant are happy for the boost I think, but truth be told, we prefer the overcast mornings when it comes to getting things done in the field.  The cooler weather and even intermittent rain we’ve been experiencing so far this season hasn’t fully prepared us for the summer heat.  We’re quickly remembering how important that extra glass of water can be midday, and the wonders of the occasional quick after-lunch nap.

This is the portion of the season when we begin to wonder if the transplanting will ever end and if it’s actually even possible to keep the weeds under control.  The push of the growing season continues, and the heat just adds to the obstacles.  It’s an important time to take a step back and remember there’s more to this work than just getting through it.  We’re growing this food with intention for you, our CSA members.  You reap the rewards when we’re successful and you endure our failures alongside us.  In the day to day overwhelming amount of work on the farm, it can be easy to lose track of that end goal.  But thanks for supporting us in this work as we try our very hardest to bring you diverse and seasonal produce each week.  I feel certain that without that direct connection with our members, this farming thing would be even more difficult.

planting and blackberries

This week we added to the long list of things on the farm we’ve gotten a handle on in the past few weeks.  With the help of our great employees we weeded the Brussels sprouts, parsnips, and eggplants.  And thanks to CSA member Maya, who  I completely forgot we’d scheduled some weeding time with (so it was basically a bonus), we knocked out the weeds in the leeks on Saturday morning.  Our “Weed This ASAP” list is getting more manageable each week.

The march towards winter crops also continued this week as the fall/overwintered kale and rutabagas and overwintered cabbages all found a home in the field.  We also planted out the last round of corn and a few more melons that will hopefully make an appearance before the season concludes.  The propagation house is looking emptier and emptier these days, but the field is ever fuller.  More irrigating!  More weeding!  What’s next?

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

Your farmers,
Jeff Bramlett and Carri Heisler

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Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:

Roasted Halibut and Green Beans with Asian Cilantro Sauce

  • 2 cups loosely packed cilantro leaves (from 1 large bunch)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 green onion, chopped (about 1/4 cup)
  • 1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
  • 1/2 jalapeño chile with seeds, chopped (about 2 teaspoons)
  • 5 tablespoons safflower oil, divided
  • 2 teaspoons Asian sesame oil, divided
  • 3 teaspoons soy sauce, divided
  • 2 8-ounce halibut fillets, each about 1-inch thick
  • 2 cups green beans, halved
  • 2 cups stemmed shiitake or oyster mushrooms

Preheat oven to 450°F. Place first 5 ingredients, 3 tablespoons safflower oil, 1 teaspoon sesame oil, and 1 teaspoon soy sauce in processor; puree. Season sauce to taste with salt.

Place fish, beans, and mushrooms in single layer on rimmed baking sheet. Whisk remaining 2 tablespoons safflower oil, 1 teaspoon sesame oil, and 2 teaspoons soy sauce in bowl to blend. Pour over fish, beans, and mushrooms; toss beans and mushrooms to coat. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast until fish is opaque in center and beans are crisp-tender, about 8 minutes. Divide fish, vegetables, and sauce between plates.

From Epicurous via

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Grilled Polenta with Corn, Red Onion, and Cucumber Salad

 

  • 1 cup polenta (coarse cornmeal) or yellow cornmeal
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • Nonstick vegetable oil spray
  • 4 ears corn, husked
  • 1 large red onion, cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
  • 2 1/2 cups chopped seeded tomatoes
  • 1 1/4 cups chopped English hothouse cucumber
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh mint

Bring 4 cups water and salt to boil in heavy large saucepan. Gradually add polenta, whisking until boiling and smooth. Reduce heat to low. Cook until very thick, whisking often, about 25 minutes (about 15 minutes for yellow cornmeal). Whisk in cheese. Spread in 8x8x2-inch glass baking dish. Cool slightly. Cover; chill at least 6 hours.

Whisk lime juice, oil and garlic in large bowl to blend. Set dressing aside.

Spray grill with oil spray; prepare barbecue (medium heat). Spray corn and onion slices with oil spray. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill until vegetables are tender, turning often, about 8 minutes for corn and 15 minutes for onion. Cool. Cut corn kernels from cobs. Coarsely chop onion. Add corn, onion, tomatoes, cucumber and mint to dressing; toss. Season with salt and pepper.

Cut polenta into 4 squares. Cut each square diagonally into 2 triangles. Spray polenta with oil spray. Grill until heated through, about 5 minutes per side.

Divide salad among 4 plates. Place 2 polenta triangles alongside each salad.

From Epicurious via http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/grilled-polenta-with-corn-red-onion-and-cucumber-salad-103608

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Cucumber Carrot Salad

  • 1 garlic clove, minced and mashed to a paste
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Asian fish sauce (preferably naam pla)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 fresh Thai or serrano chili, or to taste, seeded and minced (wear rubber gloves)
  • 2 seedless cucumbers, quartered lengthwise, seeded, and cored
  • 1 carrot, shredded coarse
  • soft-leafed lettuce for serving

In a bowl stir together garlic paste, lime juice, fish sauce, sugar, and chili until sugar is dissolved.

Thinly slice cucumbers crosswise and add to garlic mixture with carrot. Toss salad well. Salad may be made 4 hours ahead and kept chilled, covered, but cucumber will wilt and give off liquid.

Serve salad in lettuce “cups.”

From Epicurious via Gourmet, http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/cucumber-carrot-salad-12065

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