Summer CSA Share – #19

Welcome to the 19th share of the Pitchfork & Crow 2020 Summer CSA!  Here’s what’s in the share this week:

  • Savoy Cabbage
  • Mixed Kale
  • Cauliflower
  • Celery
  • German Butterball Potatoes
  • Beets
  • Garlic
  • Torpedo Onion
  • Kabocha Winter Squash – Choose from orange-skinned ‘Sunshine’ or green-skinned ‘Sweet Mama’ kabocha types. With a drier flesh than pumpkins and other squashes, kabocha squash is great roasted, in soups, and makes great pie!
  • Tomatillos – One last chance for salsa verde!
  • Hot Peppers – Choose from Jalapenos and Czech Black
  • Mixed Sweet Pepper
  • Slicer Tomato
  • Cherry Tomatoes
As usual I didn’t manage to snap many photos from the CSA farm event, but there were pumpkins! And a self-guided tour with accompanying map for members to explore the farm.

Many thanks to everyone who made it out to the farm this past Saturday for our CSA pumpkin patch and open farm event! It was great to see so many members (and so many kids!) enjoying the farm on what turned out to be a beautiful fall day. We appreciate everyone respecting the physical distancing and masking needs that COVID-19 has wrought. Although it was an abbreviated event as compared to past years, it was great to see so many pumpkins find homes. Hopefully we’ll be back to potlucking and apple cidering in the future.

We continued the harvest theme before and after Saturday’s CSA event by finishing up the winter squash harvest and digging three more beds of potatoes. It’s nice to have all the winter squash safely in the barn and that field finally mowed down. Adding up the squash harvest total now that the butternut is in, it looks we grew 5,350 individual squashes this season. That’s around 300 more than last year. Fingers crossed it’s enough to see us through the next two months of the Summer CSA and at least some of the following five months of the Winter CSA.

We’re about halfway through the potato harvest and we’ve been pleasantly surprised with the yields across all the varieties thus far. It’s been a weird year on the farm, but a good one for potatoes it would seem. We’re quickly filling up the walk-in coolers! We’ll endeavor to focus and finish it up this week before more rain comes this weekend. We’ll also be saying goodbye to the eggplant to make room for lettuce and more chicories in a high tunnel. It feels like we’re beginning the wrap-up of the season, though we have plenty more left to share with you. Seven more Summer CSA weeks to go!

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

Your farmers,
Carri Heisler & Jeff Bramlett

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Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:

Spice-Roasted Cauliflower with Beet Emulsion

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

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

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

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Colcannon

  • 1 1/4 pounds (about 2 large) russet (baking) potatoes
  • 3 cups thinly sliced cabbage
  • 1/2 cup milk, scalded
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into bits and softened

Peel the potatoes and cut them into 1-inch pieces. In a saucepan cover the potatoes with salted water and simmer them, covered, for 15 minutes, or until they are tender. While the potatoes are simmering, in a steamer set over boiling water steam the cabbage for 5 minutes, or until it is tender. Drain the potatoes in a colander, force them through a ricer or the medium disk of a food mill into a bowl, and stir in the milk, the butter, the cabbage, and salt and pepper to taste.

From Epicurious.com via Gourmet, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/colcannon-11710

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Fish Taco Platter

  1. Pickled Red Onion and Jalapeños
    • 1 red onion (about 12 ounces), halved lengthwise, cut thinly crosswise
    • 5 whole small jalapeños
    • 2 cups seasoned rice vinegar
    • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
    • 1 tablespoon coarse kosher salt
  2. Baja cream
    • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
    • 1/2 cup sour cream
    • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
    • 1 teaspoon (packed) finely grated lime peel
    • Pinch of salt
  3. Tomatillo Salsa Verde
    • 12 ounces tomatillos,* husked, stemmed, divided
    • 4 green onions, white and green parts separated
    • 1 jalapeño chile
    • 2 garlic cloves, unpeeled
    • 1 1/4 cups (packed) fresh cilantro leaves
    • 1 tablespoon (or more) fresh lime juice
  4. Fish
    • 2 cups buttermilk
    • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
    • 3 tablespoons hot pepper sauce
    • 3 teaspoons coarse kosher salt, divided
    • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
    • 2 pounds skinless halibut, sea bass, or striped bass fillets, cut into 1/2×1/2-inch strips
    • 16 corn tortillas
    • 2 cups self-rising flour
    • Vegetable oil (for frying)
    • Fresh salsa
    • Guacamole

For pickled red onion and jalapeños:

Place onion and jalapeños in heatproof medium bowl. Mix vinegar, lime juice, and salt in small saucepan. Bring just to boil, stirring until salt dissolves. Pour over onion and jalapeños. Let stand at room temperature at least 1 hour and up to 8 hours. (Can be made 1 week ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)

For baja cream:

Whisk all ingredients in small bowl. (Can be made 3 days ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)

For tomatillo salsa verde:

Preheat oven to 375°F. Lightly oil roasting pan. Char half of tomatillos, white parts of green onions, and jalapeño directly over gas flame or in broiler. Transfer charred vegetables to prepared roasting pan. Add remaining tomatillos and garlic cloves to pan. Roast until all vegetables are soft, about 12 minutes. Cool.

Stem and seed jalapeño. Place all roasted vegetables, green onion tops, cilantro, and 1 tablespoon lime juice in blender. Puree until smooth, stopping to push vegetables down into blades several times. Transfer to medium bowl. Season with salt and more lime juice, if desired.

For fish:

Mix buttermilk, cilantro, pepper sauce, 1 teaspoon salt, and lime juice in large bowl. Add fish; toss. Cover; chill at least 1 hour and up to 3 hours.

Preheat oven to 300°F. Wrap tortillas in foil; place in oven to warm. Whisk flour and remaining 2 teaspoons salt in medium bowl. Add enough oil to large skillet to reach depth of 1 inch. Heat oil until thermometer registers 350°F. Working in batches, remove fish from marinade and dredge in flour. Carefully add fish to skillet, cover partially, and fry until golden brown, turning occasionally, about 4 minutes. Transfer to paper-towel-lined baking sheet to drain, then transfer to oven to keep warm.

Set up buffet with all taco fixings, along with fresh salsa and guacamole.

*Green and tomato-like with a papery husk, tomatillos are available in the produce section of some supermarkets and Latin markets.

From Epicurious.com via Bon Appétit by Bruce Aidells & Nancy Oakes, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/fish-taco-platter-233703

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Summer CSA Share – #13

Welcome to the 13th share of the Pitchfork & Crow 2020 Summer CSA!  Here’s what’s in the share this week:

  • Escarole – a lettuce-like green that’s slightly hardier and can hold up to grilling or cooking. Check out the soup recipe down below.
  • Cabbage – Choose red or green.
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Rainbow Carrots
  • Sweet Corn
  • Purple Bunching Onions
  • Garlic – We’re still making our way through that earliest ripening, least storage friendly, and sometimes fairly open garlic variety. Still tasty though!
  • Cucumbers – choose from green and white slicers, lemons, and picklers too.
  • Zucchini & Summer Squash
  • Shishito Peppers – The Japanese “roulette” pepper where 1 in 10 might be mildly hot. They’re tasty in any dish but delicious quickly blistered in hot oil, tossed with a little salt, and eaten as a snack just like that.
  • Mixed Sweet Peppers
  • Slicer Tomatoes
  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Mixed Melons – Lots of melons to choose from this week.
August field scenes!

This past week I was focused on the upcoming Winter CSA: reviewing past seasons, getting this season’s details set, updating the website etc. We’re always thinking a season ahead with sowing and planting too and it’s easy to overlook the highlights of the season at hand. This week we’re passing the halfway mark of the Summer CSA. What?! It’s true, this is the 13th week of the 26 week season. We’re at the height of summer fruits (so many melons and tomatoes!) and there’s a lot of summery goodness still to come out of the fields.

August is definitely the transition season between the constant planting of spring and the big harvests of fall. Here at the end of August we’re shifting gears, and also coming up for a breather. It’s time to make some notes about the season so that we remember the details come planning time in December, and it’s time to savor the fleeting summer season before it passes us by.

This week on the farm we’ll be doing a little planting, lots of irrigating, and of course there’s plenty of weeding and cultivating to be done. We’ll likely start the potato harvest later this week. There are pears to pick and some apples to bring in. We’ve got seed to clean and a greenhouse to clean out. And maybe even a day off the farm in the woods. I hear it’s huckleberry season out there!

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

Your farmers,
Carri Heisler & Jeff Bramlett

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Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:

White Bean and Escarole Soup with Garlic

  • 1 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 large carrot, cut into small dice
  • 5 large garlic cloves, peeled, flattened
  • 3 cups (packed) 1-inch pieces escarole (about 1/2 large head)
  • 4 cups (or more) canned vegetable broth or low-salt chicken broth
  • 3 1/4 cups cooked Great Northern beans or two 15-ounce cans cannellini (white kidney beans), rinsed, drained
  • 1 14 1/2- to 16-ounce can diced tomatoes, drained

Heat oil in heavy large Dutch over medium-low heat. Add onion, carrot and garlic and sauté until onion is golden and tender, about 7 minutes. Discard garlic. Add escarole; stir 3 minutes. Add 4 cups broth, beans and tomatoes and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer until escarole is tender and flavors blend, about 20 minutes. Thin with more broth, if desired. Season soup to taste with salt and pepper. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Bring to simmer before continuing.)

From Epicurious.com via Bon Appétit, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/white-bean-and-escarole-soup-with-garlic-1537

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Thai Noodles with Chicken

  • 1 package (2 ounces) rice noodles
  • 2 cups shredded cabbage
  • 1 cup julienned carrots
  • 1/2 cucumber, peeled, quartered and sliced lengthwise
  • 1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded and cut into thin strips
  • 1/4 cup chopped scallions
  • 2 cups chopped skinless roasted chicken
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 cup seasoned rice vinegar
  • 3 tablespoon sugar
  • 4 teaspoon fish sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon Asian chile paste
  • 1 tablespoon peanut oil

Bring lightly salted water to a boil in a medium pot; cook noodles 3 minutes. Place cabbage in a colander and drain noodles over cabbage; immediately rinse with cold water. Drain again. Toss cabbage and noodles in a bowl with carrots, cucumber, pepper, scallions and chicken. Whisk basil, mint, juice, vinegar, sugar, fish sauce, chile paste and oil in another bowl; drizzle over noodle mixture; toss and divide among 4 bowls.

From Epicurious.com via SELF, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/thai-noodles-with-chicken-237572

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Chipotle Chicken and Cauliflower Tacos

  • 215g (7½ oz.) can chipotle chilies in adobo sauce, chilies finely chopped and sauce reserved
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 500g (1 lb. 2 oz.) chicken thigh fillets, trimmed and quartered
  • 500g (1 lb. 2 oz.) cauliflower florets (about 1 head)
  • Sea salt and cracked black pepper
  • 12 small corn tortillas, lightly toasted
  • 3⅓ cups (300g/10 oz.) finely shredded purple cabbage
  • 1 cup (12g/½oz) cilantro sprigs
  • Pickled red onions, to serve
  • Lime wedges, to serve

Preheat oven to 425°F. Line 2 oven trays with non-stick baking paper.

Place the chopped chilies and reserved adobo sauce in a large bowl. Add the maple syrup, garlic and oil and mix to combine.

Place the chicken in a separate large bowl and top with half the chipotle mixture. Toss to coat. Add the cauliflower to the remaining chipotle mixture and toss to coat.

Transfer the chicken and cauliflower to the trays and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for 20 minutes or until the cauliflower is just charred on the edges, the chicken is cooked through and the sauce has thickened.

To make the lime dressing, place the yogurt, lime juice, salt and pepper in a small bowl and mix to combine.

Fill the warm tortillas with the cabbage, chicken, cauliflower and coriander. Drizzle with the lime dressing and serve with pickled onion and lime wedges.

From Epicurious.com via Week Light by Donna Hay, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/chipotle-chicken-and-cauliflower-tacos

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Summer CSA Share – #1

Welcome to the 1st share of the Pitchfork & Crow 2020 Summer CSA!  Here’s what’s in the share this week:

  • Salad Mix – Just lettuce this week.
  • Bok Choy
  • Rainbow Chard
  • Sugar Snap Peas
  • Garlic Scapes – As the hardneck garlic plants begin to develop their bulbs, they send up a flower stalk known as a scape. We harvest the scapes because they’re delicious and garlicky and also to help the plant focus on producing a larger bulb rather than seed production. You can use the scapes like you would a bunching onion
  • Sweet Spring Onions – Many of our overwintered sweet onions have decided to bolt and go to seed rather than bulb up. We’ve decided to share the best of them with you anyhow, because there’s lots of tasty mild sweet onion still to enjoy.
  • Carrots
  • Celeriac – Also known as celery root, it can added a celery flavor when added to potato dishes, soups, stews, and mashes.
  • Diana Radishes
  • Zucchini – Just the first taste this week!
  • Seascape Strawberries
  • Dried Apples
  • Tomato Plants – We have enough tomato starts for everyone to take home at least two! We’ll also have some extra pepper and eggplant starts, but those aren’t in individual pots and will need to be planted soon.

As we launch this CSA season, we want to acknowledge that we’re living in tumultuous times. It feels like we’re all grappling with important and serious issues both personally and as a society. It’s hard to know where vegetables fit in to the bigger picture today. But nevertheless we all still have to eat. Be well and stay safe friends.

Flowering cilantro, a recent sunset, tomato trellising, and a frog friend!

It’s happening! We’re finally kicking off the 2020 P&C Summer CSA season! As we get things underway we’re excited to welcome back previous members (80% of you!) and welcome new members to the group. Hopefully you’ve been reading the member emails over the past couple of weeks and preparing for the season to begin. Don’t forget to check out the Summer CSA Member Resources page for all sorts of helpful tips and answers to CSA questions.

Unfortunately, as we approach this first CSA pick-up of the season we’re also all living with the current realities of pandemic life. As we’ve addressed before we believe the CSA pick-ups can continue to be safe places for all members to get their weekly shares. Please be both patient and efficient as you and other members move through the pick-up and choose your vegetables.  This may mean building in extra time for the pick-up process and potentially waiting in your car until other members have finished their pick-up.

Spring carrots! (top left) Sugar snap peas! (top right), The potatoes are up! (bottom left) and Future tomatoes (bottom right)

Please also keep in mind the following things as we begin the pick-up process:

  • We ask that any sick or vulnerable members send someone else to the pick-up if possible.  If that’s not possible, we can bag your vegetables for you and bring them to your car.  Please give us a head’s up via email/text beforehand so we know to keep a lookout.
  • We’ll be checking off members on the sign-in sheet.  Just remind us of your name when you arrive and we’ll get you marked off to let us know your share has been picked-up.
  • Please don’t forget your bags.  As usual, we’ll have bags available this week if you do arrive without bags, but you’ll likely want to remember to bring your own.
  • Let’s all practice good physical distancing.  We ask everyone to keep in mind the recommended 6ft clearance of other people in and around the the pick-up location.
  • Want to swap out an item?  Let us know and we’ll put it in the swap box area for you.  You can take things out of the swap box without assistance. Also, please choose items quickly and efficiently to avoid excessive touching of the other vegetables.
  • For those members who split shares, the splitting table may be re-located if the weather cooperates at the Salem pick-up to allow for more space between members.  There will be a bottle of hand sanitizer on the splitting table for you to use prior to splitting shares. If you are friends or neighbors with your splitting partner it might be a good idea to split the share at home and arrange a drop-off.
  • We love CSA kids! But please make sure they’re also practicing safe distancing in the pick-up area for the safety of all members.

If we all work together the CSA pick-ups can be safe and efficient for all members. Luckily, there’s enough vegetables to go around!

Planting and covering winter squash (future pie!) (top left), farming (top right), broccoli transplants ready to be planted (bottom left), and a sunset of the winter squash field (bottom right).

As we begin the Summer CSA season, we hope you’re excited for the adventure ahead. The greens of spring will inevitably give way to the fruits of summer over time, and hopefully we’ll have a few surprises along the way.

In future newsletters we’ll give you updates from the farm and point out some of the resources we’ve made available for members. Thank you for choosing to support our farm as you also choose to eat seasonally, locally, and organically!

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

Your farmers,
Carri Heisler & Jeff Bramlett

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Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:

Asian Chicken Salad with Snap Peas and Bok Choy

  • 2 skinless boneless chicken breast halves (about 1 pound)
  • 5 fresh cilantro sprigs plus 1/3 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 whole green onion plus 2 green onions, chopped
  • 1 8-ounce package sugar snap peas
  • 3 baby bok choy, thinly sliced crosswise
  • 1 English hothouse cucumber, quartered lengthwise, thinly sliced crosswise
  • 1 red jalapeño chile, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup ponzu*
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger

Fill medium skillet with salted water; bring to boil. Add chicken breasts, cilantro sprigs, and whole green onion; reduce heat to medium and poach chicken until just cooked through, about 20 minutes. Using tongs, transfer chicken to plate; cool. Add snap peas to same skillet; increase heat to high and cook until crisp-tender, about 1 minute.

Drain; rinse snap peas under cold water to cool. Discard whole green onion and cilantro sprigs. Coarsely shred chicken. Toss chicken, chopped cilantro, chopped green onions, snap peas, and next 3 ingredients in large bowl. Whisk ponzu, vinegar, oil, and ginger in small bowl. Add dressing to salad; toss to coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

From Epicurious.com via Bon Appetit, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/asian-chicken-salad-with-snap-peas-and-bok-choy-242110

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Spring Egg-Drop Soup

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled, chopped
  • 6 small spring onions, bulbs only, coarsely chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 3 medium spring garlic bulbs, 1-2 garlic scapes, or 2 regular garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • Kosher salt
  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 pound asparagus, sliced on a diagonal 1/2″ thick
  • 1/4 pound sugar snap peas, sliced on a diagonal 1/4″ thick
  • 2/3 cup shelled fresh peas (from about 2/3 pound pods)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan plus more for serving
  • 1/4 cup torn fresh basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup torn fresh mint leaves
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons (or more) fresh lemon juice

Heat oil in a large heavy pot over medium heat. Add carrots, spring onions, and garlic and season with salt. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are soft, 15-20 minutes.

Add broth and bring to a boil. Add asparagus, sugar snap peas, and peas and cook until vegetables are crisp-tender, about 3 minutes.

Meanwhile, beat eggs in a small bowl with 1 tablespoon Parmesan, a pinch of salt, and 1 tablespoon water.

Reduce heat to low and stir basil and mint into soup. Drizzle in egg mixture in 4 or 5 spots around pot. Let stand for 1 minute so egg can set, then gently stir in 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice. Season soup with salt and more lemon juice, if desired. Serve soup topped with more Parmesan.

From Epicurious.com via Bon Appetit by April Bloomfield, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/spring-egg-drop-soup-51161050

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Pizza Bianca with Goat Cheese and Greens

  1. Crust
    • 3/4 cup warm water (105°F to 115°F)
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons dry yeast (from 1 envelope)
    • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1 3/4 cups (about) unbleached all purpose flour
  2. Seasoned oil
    • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
    • 1 large garlic clove, minced
    • 1/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
  3. Topping
    • 1 bunch Swiss chard (about 10 ounces), white ribs cut away
    • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
    • 1 large garlic clove, minced (or use a chopped garlic scape)
    • Yellow cornmeal
    • 8 ounces whole-milk mozzarella cheese, coarsely grated
    • 4 ounces soft fresh goat cheese, crumbled (about 1 cup)

For crust:

Pour 3/4 cup water into large bowl. Sprinkle yeast over; stir to blend. Let stand 10 minutes to dissolve yeast. Add oil and salt, then 1 1/2 cups flour. Stir until well blended (dough will be sticky). Turn dough out onto generously floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, adding just enough flour to prevent dough from sticking, about 5 minutes (dough will be soft). Shape dough into ball; place in large oiled bowl and turn to coat. Cover bowl with kitchen towel. Let dough rise at cool room temperature until almost doubled, about 2 hours. Punch dough down; form into ball. Return to bowl; cover with towel and let rise until doubled, about 3 hours.

Meanwhile, prepare seasoned oil:

Mix oil, garlic, and red pepper in small bowl. Let stand 1 hour.

For topping:

Cook chard in large pot of boiling salted water until just tender, about 2 minutes. Drain. Rinse under cold water; drain. Squeeze dry, then coarsely chop. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in small skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and stir 30 seconds. Add chard and stir 1 minute. Season to taste with salt.

Preheat oven to 500°F. Punch down dough. Form into ball; place on floured work surface. Cover with kitchen towel; let rest 30 minutes.

Sprinkle rimless baking sheet with cornmeal. Roll out dough on floured surface to 13-inch round. Transfer to baking sheet. Sprinkle mozzarella over dough, leaving 1-inch border. Scatter chard over mozzarella. Top with goat cheese. Brush crust edge with some of seasoned oil. Set aside 2 teaspoons seasoned oil; drizzle remaining oil over pizza.

Bake pizza until crust is brown, about 15 minutes. Remove from oven; brush edge with seasoned oil and serve.

From Epicurious.com via Bon Appetit, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/pizza-bianca-with-goat-cheese-and-greens-106098

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Mid-May Update From P&C

As we countdown these last two weeks before the beginning of the 11th P&C Summer CSA we wanted to do a little check-in here. We hope this update finds you all healthy and safe during these strange times. We’re doing well here on the farm and wanted to share some farm happenings and include a few quick recommendations of random things I (Carri) have been enjoying recently.

As many of you farm members know, we take the month of May off from harvesting to focus on planting. Of course there’s also the pre-planting work that goes into prepping ground for planting, growing up the transplants, and then keeping everything watered and weeded after we plant them.

Here are a few photos to show you what we’ve been up to here on the farm:

It was a strange year for sourcing certified potato seed but we managed to get our hands on enough seed to fill out the field. They’ve been in the ground a few weeks now and soon we’ll be hilling the baby spuds to keep them adequately buried. Luckily we put in a couple of early beds of potatoes into a greenhouse, so we’ll have fresh potatoes sooner than later.

The propagation house has been the star of the show recently. This is where all of the transplants start out before being planted out in the field. It’s filled up and emptied out multiple times already this season. Last week we gave it a little boost with a new plastic covering.

I mentioned we’ve been planting and here’s some of the evidence. Many of the season-long summer crops have made their way into the fields including peppers, eggplant, tomatoes, potatoes, onions, leeks, celeriac, tomatillos, and melons. We’ve planted successions of corn, broccoli, cauliflower, lettuce, spinach, beans, herbs, celery, cabbage, kale, chard, kohlrabi, fennel and more. The planting will continue in the next dry window with winter squash, which was just recently seeded as shown by the seeds I’m holding in the photo above.

Luckily we’re beginning to see some crops coming on too. The strawberries are off to a great start and as long as we can keep the deer and birds at bay and get some warmer weather we should have enough berries soon. Scape season is well underway and we’ve recently harvested leek scapes and garlic scapes. Leek flowers will make an appearance in shares again this spring too. The crimson clover cover crop is happily flowering, but the bees get to most enjoy that one. Luckily we all get to enjoy the snap peas that just beginning to come on and they’ll definitely be showing up in early shares.

Over the next couple of weeks we’ll continue the planting spree as the weather allows, including the flour corn in the photos above. We’ll also make the first harvest lists of the season, get back into the swing of harvesting, and before we know it we’ll be ready to bring you the first share of the 2020 CSA season! It won’t be long now!

Until then we hope you’ve been getting our recent member emails. If you’ve signed up to join us for the Summer CSA and haven’t heard from us in your email inbox recently, try checking your spam folder for emails from us. If you don’t see them there let us know by dropping us a line at farmers@pitchforkandcrow.com.

Finally, here are a few things I’ve been enjoying recently as we’ve been staying close to home and getting things done.

  • First is a podcast recommendation – Check out the Dinner Sisters podcast for weekly cooking inspiration and recipe suggestions. In most episodes these sisters choose a handful recipes from the internet, try them out at home, then compare their results on the podcast. I’ve been inspired by some recent pantry meal suggestions and an episode all about broiling.
  • Second are video recommendations – I’ve been enjoying watching snippets of the Bon Appetit magazine’s video collection at lunch. A quick hit of watching professional chefs test recipes or share tips makes lunchtime more of a breaktime. Admittedly there could be more vegetables in these videos, but there’s plenty to learn here anyhow.
  • Third is a fish recommendation – We’ve developed a love of salmon over the last year and decided it was time to start supporting salmon fisherman the way you support us. We joined the Iliamna Fish Company CSF (community supported fishery) and are looking forward to a freezer full of salmon come September. There doesn’t seem like a better time to double down on support for local producers.

We’d love to hear from you if you’ve got similar recommendations you’d like to share with us or with the whole CSA group. Have a favorite food-related podcast, Youtube series, or book? Let us know! Or what about your favorite local producers? We often get questions about local sources for various products and we’d love to pass on your favorites to other CSA members.

Okay, that’s a wrap for this farm update. See you soon!

Your farmers – Carri & Jeff

Winter CSA Share – #10

Welcome to the 10th and final share of the 2019/2020 Pitchfork & Crow Winter CSA! Here’s what’s in the share this week:

  • Cabbage
  • Giant Winter Spinach Mix
  • Bok Choy
  • Arugula
  • Overwintered Cauliflower – This is our favorite time of year to eat cauliflower. Plus let’s just all be in awe of these plants that get started in July, transplanted in August, hang out ALL WINTER LONG then head up into this gorgeous cauliflower in April. Whoa!
  • Purple Sprouting Broccoli (PSB) – This is the very last of our PSB planting for 2020. See you next year PSB! Chop it up, stems and leaves and all, and enjoy in any recipe you’d normally use broccoli florets for.
  • Cilantro – Don’t mind the bolty look of this winter cilantro. We wanted to eek out one more harvest for you and it’s tasty as ever.
  • Celeriac
  • Mixed Beets
  • Mixed Potatoes
  • Hakurei Salad Turnips – Most of you are likely familiar with the salad turnip by now. They’re delicious raw and roasted. And they’ve got bonus turnip greens!
  • Leeks – The leeks have begun sending up their springy scape, which if left alone would open into a fun flower burst. Some of the leeks we’re sending out include the scape. The scape is delicious and can be chopped up and used like a leek or even tossed into a batch of pesto.
  • Red & Yellow Onions – The onions are coming out of dormancy and wanting to fulfill their seedy potential through re-growth so you may find a green sprout in the middle. As long as the onion is firm and oniony it’s all still edible, just trim around the sprout if you prefer.
  • Wolverine’s Orca Dry Beans – A meaty bean that’s great in soups!
  • Dried Apples – We grew ’em, we picked ’em, we dried ’em!

Summer CSA Update: The 2020 Summer CSA is officially full! Shoot us an email at farmers@pitchforkandcrow.com if you’d like to be added to the waiting list. Many thanks to everyone who has decided to join us for the season ahead!

We’re planting! Transplants on the left waiting their turn for planting (left) and then they’ve found their home in the field (right).

Somehow we’ve made it to the end of the 2019/2020 Winter CSA! We never could have guessed back at the beginning of the season how the world around us would shift in these five months. We’re feeling especially grateful for our community of eaters that have chosen to show up week after week for local, organic, seasonal vegetables. Thanks for choosing us all those months ago!

As we approach this week’s pick-up we ask once again for your patience and efficiency. You know the drill by now with the six foot distancing, the washing hands, the staying home if you’re sick or vulnerable to illness. We appreciate everyone’s help with these new realities. Luckily, there’s enough vegetables for everyone and we can all afford to keep other members safe as we gather for the veggie hand-off. Please let us know if there’s anything we can do to help make your pick-up easier.

Transplants!!!

As we wrap up this season our focus has shifted to the growing season ahead. Most remaining winter crops have been mowed or are on deck to be mowed shortly. They’ll be flowering by June and it’s time to make way for new plants that will feed us all this summer.

Tomatoes are in! (top left), We’re transplanting! (top right), New trasplants need irrigation too (bottom left), and thumbs up for a day of planting! (bottom right).

Here on the farm things have been full steam ahead these past couple of weeks. We’re experiencing a warm spring so far, which has meant the fields have dried out faster, making this early season ground prep. easier and less stressful than in wetter years. The first rounds of onions, broccoli, cabbage, kale, cauliflower, chard, bok choy, spinach, and fennel all made their way into the field last week. The tomatoes also made it into their high tunnel homes. Green beans, fava beans, and carrots were direct sown into the field too. More planting and seeding ahead. We’ve only just begun the months-long planting push and we’re already looking forward to summer eats!

Cherry blossoms (top left), watermelon seeds (top right), peas and carrots coming along in a high tunnel (bottom left), and a killdeer nest (bottom right).

In addition to the big planting event, we’ve also been busy with all the other projects that make it onto the spring To Do list. We’ve been cleaning up the strawberry beds in anticipation of summer berries. The seeding has continued, including summery crops like melons, summer squash, and sweet corn! The sunny weather has been good for crops but also for weeds, so we’ve already been weeding in the peas and carrots in a high tunnel. And lots of ground prep has been happening. Jeff has been spending many of his days mowing, discing, tilling, and fertilizing ahead of the coming transplanting wave.

Although we take a break from harvesting between the Winter and Summer CSA seasons, we don’t get much of a break from the farm. We’ll be doing more of the above plus field cultivating and irrigating and on and on…

fruit blossoms!

It’s a busy time on the farm, but we’ve been enjoying our spring here too. We’ve been thankful that our work has continued uninterrupted during the stay-at-home orders. Although the farm comes with a lot of work, we also know we’re lucky to have so much space to enjoy. The blooming fruit trees definitely make our surroundings that much more enjoyable. Beginning with the plums, then through the pears, the single cherry tree, and now the varying apple varieties, the flowering fruit trees have kept up their cheery explosion over these past few weeks of uncertainty in the world.

Dry beans! Wolverine’s Orca dry beans (left) and the off-types found among the orca beans (right).

And that’s a wrap for our Winter season together. Many of you have decided to join us for the Summer season ahead, thanks! We’ll see you in a little over a month to kick off the Summer CSA season.

We’ll likely begin accepting members for the next Winter CSA in August. We’ll send out an email to current members first so you can jump in if you want to spend another Winter season eating with us.

We hope you all have a safe and healthy summer! Be well, eat good food, and we hope to see you again soon!

Enjoy the vegetables, stay healthy, and we’ll see Summer CSA members the first week of June!

Your farmers,
Carri Heisler & Jeff Bramlett

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Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:

Salmon and Bok Choy Green Coconut Curry

  • 4 (6–8-oz.) skinless salmon fillets
  • 2 tsp. kosher salt, divided
  • 1 (14-oz.) can full-fat coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup green curry paste
  • 2 tsp. finely grated peeled ginger (from one 2″ piece)
  • 1 garlic clove, finely grated
  • 1 head of bok choy (about 1 1/2 lb.)
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
  • 4 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup cilantro leaves with tender stems
  • 1/4 cup roasted salted cashews
  • 1 serrano chile, thinly sliced (optional)
  • Steamed rice (for serving; optional)

Season salmon on all sides with 1 tsp. salt. Let sit until ready to use.

Cook coconut milk, curry paste, ginger, garlic, and remaining 1 tsp. salt in a large high-sided skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until simmering, 5–6 minutes.

Meanwhile, cut bok choy stems into 1/2″-thick slices and leaves into 2″ pieces. Rinse well and drain. Add to coconut milk mixture and stir to coat. Nestle salmon fillets into bok choy in an even layer. Cover pan and cook over medium-low heat until salmon is just cooked through and flesh is opaque, 6–8 minutes. Remove from heat and pour lime juice over salmon.

Scatter scallions, cilantro, cashews, and chile (if using) over salmon and bok choy. Serve with rice alongside (if using).

From Epicurious.com via Epicurious by Anna Stockwell, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/salmon-and-bok-choy-green-coconut-curry

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Roasted Beer and Lime Cauliflower Tacos with Cilantro Coleslaw

  1. For the slaw:
    • 1/2 head of green cabbage (about 1/2 pound)
    • 1 small carrot
    • 2 tablespoons lime juice
    • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
    • 1 teaspoon olive oil
    • 1/8 teaspoon salt
    • 1/3 cup chopped cilantro
  2. For the tacos:
    • 1 head cauliflower (about 1 pound)
    • 3/4 cup beer
    • 1/4 cup vegetable broth
    • 1 tablespoon lime juice
    • 11/2 teaspoons tamari or soy sauce
    • 11/2 tablespoons chipotle hot sauce
    • 1 to 2 garlic cloves, sliced
    • 11/2 teaspoons chili powder
    • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
    • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
    • Pinch of salt
    • 1 tablespoon olive oil
    • 1/2 yellow onion, chopped
    • 6 corn tortillas
    • 1 avocado, sliced
    • Tomato salsa, for serving

Make the slaw:

Cut the cabbage into the thinnest strips you can and make sure those pieces are no longer than 2 inches. This is a great time to get good with your knife if you are looking for a silver f**king lining in all that chopping. Chop the carrot into thin matchsticks of the same length. Got that s**t down now, right? In a small bowl, mix together the lime juice, vinegar, oil, and salt. Add the dressing right before you are going to eat and toss that s**t well. Fold in the cilantro just before serving.

Make the tacos:

Crank your oven to 400°F. Chop the cauliflower into small florets no bigger than a quarter. In a saucepan over medium heat, warm the beer, broth, lime juice, tamari, hot sauce, and garlic. Add the cauliflower and simmer for about 90 seconds. Drain.

In a large bowl. toss the spices, salt, and olive oil together. Add the cauliflower and onion and stir ’til those f**kers are coated. Dump it on a rimmed baking sheet and bake until browned, stirring halfway, about 20 minutes.

To assemble the tacos, warm the tortillas in the oven or microwave for a hot minute and then pile them high with the cauliflower filling, slices of avocado, some of the slaw, and top with plenty of salsa.

From Epicurious.com via Thug Kitchen by Michelle Davis and Matt Holloway, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/roasted-beer-and-lime-cauliflower-tacos-with-cilantro-coleslaw-51253830

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Potato & Celery Root Gratin with Leeks

  • 3 cups heavy cream
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 sprig thyme plus 3 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves, divided
  • 2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) unsalted butter, divided
  • 3 leeks, white and pale-green parts only, halved lengthwise, thinly sliced crosswise
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled, very thinly sliced crosswise (1/8″ thick)
  • 1 pound celery root, peeled, very thinly sliced crosswise (1/8″ thick)
  • 2 cups grated Gruyère
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 350°F. Heat cream, garlic, and thyme sprig in a medium saucepan just until bubbles begin to form around edge of pan. Remove from heat; set aside to steep.

Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add leeks; season with salt and cook, stirring often, until tender (do not brown), 10-12 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl and set aside.

Butter a 3-quart gratin dish with remaining 1 tablespoon butter. Layer 1/3 of potato slices and 1/3 of celery root slices evenly over bottom of baking dish. Cover with 1/3 of leeks, then 1/3 of Gruyère. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and 1 teaspoon thyme leaves. Repeat layers twice more. Strain cream mixture into a medium pitcher and pour over vegetables.

Set gratin dish on a large rimmed baking sheet and cover tightly with foil. Bake for 1 hour. Carefully remove foil; continue baking until top is golden brown and sauce is bubbling, 25-30 minutes. DO AHEAD: Can be made 2 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature. Tent with foil and rewarm in a 300° oven until hot, about 20 minutes.

From Epicurious.com via Bon Appétit by Susan Spungen, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/potato-celery-root-gratin-with-leeks-368278

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Winter CSA Share – #9

Welcome to the 9th share of the 2019/2020 Pitchfork & Crow Winter CSA! Here’s what’s in the share this week:

  • Red Cabbage
  • Giant Winter Spinach Mix
  • Lettuce Mix
  • Rainbow Chard
  • Collard Rapini – Like the kale in previous shares, the collards are going to flower. Fortunately they’re tasty at this stage! Use them like you would kale.
  • Red Cabbage Rapini – It’s rapini season and we don’t want you to miss out!
  • Purple Sprouting Broccoli (PSB) – Planted last August this sprouting broccoli hangs out in the field all fall and much of the winter to only begin sprouting now, just when we could really use some broccoli. Chop it up, stems and leaves and all, and enjoy in any recipe you’d normally use broccoli florets for.
  • Carrots
  • Fingerling Potatoes
  • French Breakfast Radishes – A sure sign of spring, we bring you the humble radish.
  • Red & Yellow Onions – The onions are coming out of dormancy and wanting to fulfill their seedy potential through re-growth so you may find a green sprout in the middle. As long as the onion is firm and oniony it’s all still edible, just trim around the sprout if you prefer.
  • Tetsukabuto Winter Squash – The longest storing winter squash around! They’re a butternut/kabocha cross, are the last squash standing, and luckily they’re tasty too! I think one last pie is in order before we say goodbye to the winter squash for the season.
  • Dried Plums or Dried Cherry Tomatoes – A flashback to last fall’s fruits when we dried these, we hope you enjoy the sweet treats!
  • Dried Apples – We grew ’em, we picked ’em, we dried ’em!

We’re down to the last 10 shares available for the Summer CSA. We’re filling up much faster than in past years, so now’s the time to sign-up if you want to join us for the Summer season of local, organic vegetables . Find all the details and a sign-up form over on the Summer CSA page.

Spring is here and it couldn’t have come any sooner!

Many thanks to everyone for a smooth CSA pick-up two weeks ago. We appreciate your help in keeping yourselves and your fellow CSA members safe and healthy. Fortunately it’s time once again for a new Winter share and we’re confident this pick-up will be as straight forward as the last one.

Here are some things to keep in mind at the pick-up:

  • Please stay home if you’re sick or vulnerable and send a friend or family-member. If that’s not possible, we’ll bag up your vegetables for you and bring them to your car.
  • We’ll mark you off the sign-in sheet when you arrive. Just remind us of your name and we’ll get you checked off.
  • Let’s continue to practice physical distancing. I’m sure we’re all getting good at keeping in mind a 6ft radius. Please be both patient and efficient as you and other members move through the pick-up and choose your vegetables.  This may mean building in extra time for the pick-up process and potentially waiting in your car until other members have finished their pick-up.
  • Try to choose your vegetables visually rather than touching multiple items before selecting your choice.
  • We’ll do your swapping again. Let us know what you’d like to add to the swap box and we’ll take care of it. You can remove the item(s) you’d like from the swap box.

Thanks for your help! If we are all aware of our space and try to be efficient, there shouldn’t be any problems for everyone to get their share.

The farmscape has been stormy and moody these past couple of weeks. Manic spring weather set in that was one minute sunshine and the next hailstorm. I actually lost track of how many times it hailed last week. The intermittent rain showers kept us out of the fields, but this week ahead is promising for field work. There are a handful of clean-up projects we need to get to before the planting marathon commences. Can you believe it’s April already?!

Harvest day!

We’re beginning to feel the pull of the summer growing season as we endeavor to wrap up this winter CSA season. Jeff has been mowing the dregs of winter crops: the cabbage stalks from harvested cabbages, the last of the chicory re-growth, the final winter ravaged and pick-over Brussels sprouts stalks. The propagation greenhouse, where we grow our transplants, is filling up with the next successions of cabbage and broccoli and tomatoes and onions. Lots of onions. Soon enough we’ll be finishing off the final winter harvest and planting, planting, planting for the summer ahead.

This push and pull between seasons is perhaps most felt in the high tunnels. Those covered greenhouse spaces provide protection for winter crops and also aid heat-loving summer crops. Somehow it never quite feels like enough space for everything. When do we decide to mow that beautiful chard so the tomatoes can go in? Should we move the tomatoes to a different house so the chard can go to seed? Will we be able to get chard seed next year given the rate of seed sales now? If we move the tomatoes to save the chard, they’ll bump the eggplant to a new location, but where? Outside? It’s a multi-dimensional, continuously evolving puzzle.

The propagation house is filling up! So many baby plants, including celery (left) and lettuce (right).

When we chose to begin farming back in 2009 we really didn’t know what we were getting into. We didn’t know a lot of things, and it’s possible we wouldn’t have chosen to begin farming had we known more. But the fundamentals of that choice are feeling more relevant these days. Back then we were inspired by our CSA farmers lifestyle and choices. They were building a local community around food and land. They were choosing to do the physical work of growing food for that community. It couldn’t have seemed like more important work at the time. And I’m reminded of that original commitment today. Growing fresh produce for this community is more important than ever and we’re glad to be doing it. Thanks for your continued support!

Enjoy the vegetables, stay healthy, and we’ll see you in two weeks for the final Winter share of the season!

Your farmers,
Carri Heisler & Jeff Bramlett

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Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:

Black Bean Chili with Butternut Squash and Swiss Chard

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 1/2 cups chopped onions
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 1/2 cups 1/2-inch pieces peeled butternut winter squash
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 3 15-ounce cans black beans, rinsed, drained
  • 2 1/2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 14 1/2-ounce can diced tomatoes in juice
  • 3 cups (packed) coarsely chopped Swiss chard leaves (from 1 small bunch)

Heat oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add onions and garlic; sauté until tender and golden, about 9 minutes. Add squash; stir 2 minutes. Stir in chili powder and cumin. Stir in beans, broth, and tomatoes with juices; bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, until squash is tender, about 15 minutes. Stir in chard; simmer until chard is tender but still bright green, about 4 minutes longer. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Ladle chili into bowls and serve.

From Epicurious.com via Bon Appétit, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/black-bean-chili-with-butternut-squash-and-swiss-chard-234146

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Deviled Eggs with Radishes, Chives, and Thyme

  • 10 large eggs, hard boiled, peeled
  • 1/4 cup plain nonfat yogurt or low-fat mayonaise
  • 4 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped radishes
  • 4 teaspoons chopped fresh chives
  • 4 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
  • Additional chopped fresh chives, thyme, and radishes
  • Whole radishes

Halve eggs lenghtwise and transfer yolks to medium bowl. Mash yolks with fork. Mix in yogurt or (mayonaise) and mustard. Mix in 1/3 cup radishes, 4 teaspoons chives and thyme. Season filling to taste with salt and generous amount of pepper.

Spoon filling into egg whites, mounding center. Top with additional chives, thyme, and radishes. Arrange on platter. Garnish with whole radishes.

From Epicurious.com via Bon Appétit, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/deviled-eggs-with-radishes-chives-and-thyme-101101

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Roasted Radishes with Brown Butter, Lemon, and Radish Tops

  • 2 bunches medium radishes (such as red, pink, and purple; about 20)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Coarse kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

Preheat oven to 450°F. Brush large heavy-duty rimmed baking sheet with olive oil. Cut off all but 1/2 inch of green radish tops; reserve trimmed tops and rinse them well, checking for grit. Coarsely chop radish tops and set aside. Cut radishes lengthwise in half and place in medium bowl. Add 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil and toss thoroughly to coat. Place radishes, cut side down, on prepared baking sheet; sprinkle lightly with coarse salt. Roast until radishes are crisp-tender, stirring occasionally, about 18 minutes. Season to taste with more coarse kosher salt, if desired.

Melt butter in heavy small skillet over medium-high heat. Add pinch of coarse kosher salt to skillet and cook until butter browns, swirling skillet frequently to keep butter solids from burning, about 3 minutes. Remove skillet from heat and stir in fresh lemon juice.

Transfer roasted radishes to warmed shallow serving bowl and drizzle brown butter over. Sprinkle with chopped radish tops and serve.

From Epicurious.com via Bon Appétit by Tasha de Serio, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/roasted-radishes-with-brown-butter-lemon-and-radish-tops-364609

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Winter CSA Share – #8

Welcome to the 8th share of the 2019/2020 Pitchfork & Crow Winter CSA! Here’s what’s in the share this week:

  • Savoy Cabbage
  • Giant Winter Spinach Mix – 2 bags!
  • Red Ursa Kale
  • Collard Rapini – Like the kale in previous shares, the collards are going to flower. Fortunately they’re tasty at this stage! Use them like you would kale.
  • Purple Sprouting Broccoli (PSB) – Planted last August this sprouting broccoli hangs out in the field all fall and much of the winter to only begin sprouting now, just when we could really use some broccoli. Chop it up, stems and leaves and all, and enjoy in any recipe you’d normally use broccoli florets for.
  • Cilantro
  • (Mostly Yellow) Carrots
  • Mixed Fingerling Potatoes – An accidental mix-up means you get a fun mix of LaRatte yellow fingerlings and Rose Finn Apple pinkish fingerlings!
  • Beets – These are mostly the bullseye Chioggia variety.
  • Red & Yellow Onions – The onions are coming out of dormancy and wanting to fulfill their seedy potential through re-growth so you may find a green sprout in the middle. As long as the onion is firm and oniony it’s all still edible, just trim around the sprout if you prefer.
  • Leeks
  • Calico PopcornYou can knock the kernels off the cob and into a paper bag and pop them in the microwave. Most often we’ll use these directions and pop it on the stove top. Jeff’s been having more popping success with this batch of popcorn, likely because we’ve been storing it in our how house which is drier than the barn.
  • Dried Apples – We grew ’em, we picked ’em, we dried ’em!

Only 2 more Winter CSA shares before the end of the season. Come join us for a summer and fall of local, seasonal, and organic vegetables. Find all the details and a sign-up form over on the Summer CSA page.

All our thanks to those who have committed to the 2020 Summer CSA season! Knowing we’ll have members to feed warms our hearts (and of course helps fund all the spring purchases like seeds and organic fertilizer).

The propagation house is beginning to fill up. The first round of tomatoes (top left), rainbow chard (bottom left), and onions (bottom right).

The Winter CSA has it’s own unique set of challenges as compared to the Summer CSA season. Between the extra planning and time required for winter vegetables to the worries over winter weather, the Winter CSA always keeps us on our toes. Of all the scenarios and contingencies that we’ve tried to prepare for, a pandemic and stay-at-home orders never entered our minds.

As we undertake this week’s CSA distribution we want to first thank you for your support and second send you well wishes and third ask for your patience. Hopefully you’ve read through the email we sent out this past Saturday on how the CSA pick-up will be adjusted in light of the most recent recommendations. If not, please take a moment to read through it prior to the pick-up to know what to expect upon arrival. You can find it by clicking here.

Our number one goal is to keep members safe while getting everyone their share of this week’s harvest. We believe this is possible if everyone works together to make sure we’re all keeping our distance from one another and spending as little time as possible at the pick-up location. Here are a few more things to keep in mind in addition to those items outlined in the email:

  • We’re sure you’re washing your hands a lot these days. We’ll have a hand washing station set-up in case you’d like wash up before and/or after the pick-up process.
  • Try to choose your vegetables visually this week rather than touching multiple items before selecting your choice.
  • We love seeing kids at the pick-up, but please consider leaving them at home or in the car (if safe of course) to help keep the pick-up quick and efficient this week.
  • Try to plan your trip to the pick-up around other essential travel.
Spring has not been cancelled! Rainbows, pear blossoms, tractor cultivating, and baby radishes! It doesn’t get much better than this.

The beautiful weather these past couple of weeks has made getting this growing season underway a pleasant reality. The spring equinox was a reminder that winter really is wrapping up and warmer days are ahead. There are also radishes and garlic and pears and so much more ahead too! The world may be going a little sideways at the moment, but the vegetables just keep growing.

Things have been busy on and off the farm. I’ve been helping a little at our friends seed company packing seeds. Jeff’s been busy with all things tractoring. Good weather means field work like hilling the early potatoes, fertilizing the garlic, and mowing cover crop.

Over the past couple of months I’ve been helping out a little at our friend’s seed company filling seed packets. They had some employee hiccups this winter and I had a little extra time. It’s been interesting to hear about this pandemic situation from their perspective. My takeaway is that folks have been lots buying toilet paper, hand sanitizer, and seeds.

It would seem that this is the time of year we dive into farm work, making social distancing the norm around here. Our focus has shifted to the farm and the long days of works have begun to creep in. Jeff has been busy with all things tractoring. The dry weather window meant tilling and fertilizing ground, mowing cover crops, and cultivating the overwintered onions and garlic again. I’ve been busy on the propagation side of things, filling flats, sowing seeds, watching for the progress of tiny plants emerging from seeds.

Welcome Leopold!

On a personal note here’s an update about our farm dogs. Last fall we had to put down our best buddy Ira Hayes after 12 years together. He was a great dog who had a pretty good dog life here on the farm. We still miss him. We then brought home Zeke, a big dark German Shepard two-year old with lots of energy and zeal for life. A few weeks ago Zeke died suddenly. It was shocking and unexpected. Though we only had him four months he had become a force on the farm and his passing left a giant dog-sized hole in our lives. We headed to the county dog shelter and found Leopold. Another German Shepard mix, thought to be a little younger, who had been found as a stray by the dog control. He’s already won our hearts with his sweet and playful disposition, easy-going attitude, and love for balls. Hopefully you’ll get to meet him soon!

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

Your farmers,
Carri Heisler & Jeff Bramlett

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Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:

Beets Don’t Kale My Vibe Salad

  1. For the Beets:
    • 2 red beets, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
    • 1 small red onion, diced into 1/2-inch cubes
    • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
    • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
    • 1 tablespoon agave nectar
    • Salt and cracked pepper to taste
  2. For the Salad:
    • 6-8 cups chopped kale
    • 2-3 cups cooked wild rice, kept warm
    • 2-3 grilled chicken breasts, diced and kept warm
    • Roasted beets (above)
    • Balsamic vinaigrette
    • 4 oz good-quality goat cheese, crumbled
    • 1/2 cup raw or roasted chopped pecans

For the Beets:

Preheat the broiler. In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients and toss to coat well. Place everything on a rimmed baking sheet lined with aluminum foil and broil until the beets are well browned and the onions are caramelized, 7–8 minutes. Keep a close eye on the cooking, because all broilers are different. Once the beets have browned, carefully cover them with another sheet of foil and continue to broil for 5–7 more minutes, or until they have softened slightly. Remove from the oven and allow them to cool to room temperature. (This step can be done ahead of time.)

For the Salad:

Start by combining the kale, rice, chicken, and beets in a large salad bowl. Drizzle in the desired amount of vinaigrette, and toss well to coat all of the kale with dressing. Serve with crumbled goat cheese and pecans on top.

From Epicurious.com via Epicurious, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/beets-dont-kale-my-vibe-salad-56389570

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Curried Spinach Soup with Yogurt and Cilantro

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 large leeks (white and pale green parts only), chopped
  • 1 tablespoon plus 2 1/2 cups water
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 2 small white potatoes, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 10 ounces)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 cups (packed) fresh baby spinach leaves (about 4 ounces)
  • 2 cups low-fat (1%) milk
  • 1/2 cup plain nonfat yogurt
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Heat oil in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add leeks and 1 tablespoon water; sauté until leeks are tender, about 5 minutes. Add curry powder and stir 30 seconds. Add remaining 2 1/2 cups water, potatoes and salt and bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in spinach; simmer until just wilted, about 1 minute. Cool slightly.

Working in batches, puree soup in blender until almost smooth. Return soup to same saucepan. Add milk and bring to simmer. Season soup to taste with salt and pepper.

Ladle soup into 4 bowls. Whisk yogurt until smooth. Swirl 2 tablespoons yogurt into each bowl. Sprinkle with cilantro and serve.

From Epicurious.com via Bon Appétit, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/curried-spinach-soup-with-yogurt-and-cilantro-103239

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Wilted Cabbage with Carrots and Bacon

  • 4 bacon slices, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 medium onion, sliced thin
  • 3 1/2 cups thinly sliced cabbage (about 3/4 pound)
  • 2 carrots, grated coarse
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leafed parsley leaves (wash and dry before chopping

In a large non-stick skillet cook bacon over moderate heat until crisp and transfer with slotted spoon to paper towels to drain. In fat remaining in skillet cook garlic and onion over moderately low heat, stirring, until onion is softened. Add carrots and cabbage and cook, stirring, over moderate heat until crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in bacon and parsley and season with salt and pepper.

From Epicurious.com via Gourmet, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/wilted-cabbage-with-carrots-and-bacon-14113

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Winter CSA Share – #7

Welcome to the 7th share of the 2019/2020 Pitchfork & Crow Winter CSA! Here’s what’s in the share this week:

  • January King Cabbage
  • Butterhead Lettuce
  • Spinach Mix
  • Rainbow Chard
  • MustardsNeed some mustard green inspiration? Check out the recipes at the bottom of the post!
  • Lacinato Kale Rapini – The lacinato kale has decided it’s time to head to flower, but we know these shoots are the tastiest. Use it as you would kale or broccoli.
  • Purple Sprouting Broccoli (PSB) – Planted last August this sprouting broccoli hangs out in the field all fall and much of the winter to only begin sprouting now, just when we could really use some broccoli. Chop it up, stems and leaves and all, and enjoy in any recipe you’d normally use broccoli florets for.
  • Cilantro
  • Carrots
  • German Butterball Potatoes
  • Celeriac
  • Red & Yellow Onions – The onions are coming out of dormancy and wanting to fulfill their seedy potential through re-growth so you may find a green sprout in the middle. As long as the onion is firm and oniony it’s all still edible, just trim around the sprout if you prefer.
  • Bunching Onions
  • Dried Apples – We grew ’em, we picked ’em, we dried ’em!

Only 3 more Winter CSA shares before the end of the season. Come join us for a summer and fall of local, seasonal, and organic vegetables. Find all the details and a sign-up form over on the Summer CSA page.

All our thanks to those who have committed to the 2020 Summer CSA season! Knowing we’ll have members to feed warms our hearts (and of course helps fund all the spring purchases like seeds and organic fertilizer).

Harvest day! Butterhead lettuce, January King cabbage, spinach, and purple sprouting broccoli!

Somehow we’ve already made it to March! Where has the winter gone? Honestly we’re enjoying the return of the daylight (the recent time change not withstanding) and glad to be trucking along through this Winter CSA season. The mild winter weather has made the season much more enjoyable than those icy/snowy/temperatures-in-the-teens years. Although the season is certainly shifting and plants are beginning to bolt, this week’s share is chock full of deliciousness!

The plums are flowering, the tomatoes are growing, the early potatoes are planted, and the cultivating tractor is up and running!

When not harvesting we’ve been busy shifting our focus to the summer season. Jeff spent some time rebuilding the engine on our little 1947 Farmall Cub cultivating tractor and then promptly used it to dig and cover trenches for the early potato planting. We’re glad to have it back in action! He also sowed the first of the carrots and peas that will be ready for early summer shares!

Things are starting to happen in the propagation house too. The tomatoes are growing taller and the leeks and onions are all standing up. Later this week I’ll be doing a big sowing of peppers, eggplant, broccoli, cauliflower, and kale. The 2020 growing season is about to get real!

Onward and upward! We upgraded the propagation mixing station! Isn’t it the best when you’ve got the right tool for the job?

Sometimes one change in the system leads to a domino of other changes. The new germination chamber is such a change. Once it was up and running it seemed obvious to want to move the propagation mixing station closer to the germ. chamber. That move prompted a rearrangement of the soil amendments in the barn to be closer to the mixing station. Hopefully one day we’ll move the whole propagation greenhouse to higher ground and in line with the germ. chamber. A girl can dream.

For now we’ve upgraded the mixing station, shortening the distance from filling and seeding flats and getting them into the chamber. We also added a cement mixer for mixing soil amendments which will hopefully decrease the time and physical effort that goes into preparing our potting soil. I’m pretty excited to try out the new system this week with that big seed sowing project I mentioned above.

A snapshot of the farm at sunset this past week.

We keep thinking the rain is going to show up for a spring drenching, but so far we’ve had just enough rain to keep plants happy in the fields. We’ve got our fingers crossed for a mild spring to follow this mild winter. Time will tell.

In the next couple of weeks we’ll be finishing up some bulk harvesting from the field (think more carrots and beets). Also on tap is some weeding in spring crops and endeavoring to get control of a grassy section that’s taken hold in the garlic planting. Plus there’s plenty of seeds to sow, mowing to undertake, and a long list of other winter projects we haven’t quite gotten to.

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

Your farmers,
Carri Heisler & Jeff Bramlett

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Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:

Spinach, Mustard Green, and Potato Soup

  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cups chopped onions
  • 2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 8 cups (or more) water
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 bunch mustard greens (about 12 ounces), stems trimmed, leaves coarsely chopped
  • 1 10-ounce package fresh spinach, stems trimmed
  • Sour cream

Heat 2 tablespoons oil in heavy large pot over medium heat. Add onions and sauté until tender and golden, about 8 minutes. Add potatoes; sauté 3 minutes. Add 8 cups water and crushed red pepper. Bring to boil. Reduce heat. Simmer until potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil in another heavy large pot over medium heat. Add garlic; sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add mustard greens and all but 1 cup spinach leaves; sauté until wilted, about 3 minutes.

Add sautéed greens to potato mixture. Working in batches, purée soup in blender until smooth. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cool. Cover and refrigerate.) Return soup to pot. Bring to simmer, thinning with more water, if desired. Season soup to taste with salt and pepper.

Cut remaining 1 cup spinach leaves into 1/3-inch-wide slices. Ladle soup into bowls. Add dollop of sour cream to each bowl. Garnish soup with sliced spinach leaves and serve.

From Epicurious.com via Bon Appétit, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/spinach-mustard-green-and-potato-soup-5883

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Spicy Stir Fried Chicken and Greens with Peanuts

  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce, divided
  • 2 tablespoons dry Sherry, divided
  • 3 teaspoons Asian sesame oil, divided
  • 2 teaspoons golden brown sugar, divided
  • 1 1/4 pounds skinless boneless chicken breast halves, cut crosswise into 1/3-inch-wide strips
  • 3 tablespoons peanut oil, divided
  • 4 green onions, white parts and green parts chopped separately
  • 2 teaspoons chopped seeded serrano chiles
  • 1 large bunch greens (such as spinach, mustard greens, kale, or broccoli rabe; about 1 pound), thick stems removed, spinach left whole, other greens cut into 1-inch strips (about 10 cups packed)
  • 1/4 cup chopped roasted salted peanuts

Whisk 1 tablespoon soy sauce, 1 tablespoon Sherry, 1 teaspoon sesame oil, and 1 teaspoon sugar in medium bowl. Add chicken; marinade 20 to 30 minutes.

Whisk remaining 1 tablespoon soy sauce, 1 tablespoon Sherry, 2 teaspoons sesame oil, and 1 teaspoon sugar in small bowl and reserve.

Heat 2 tablespoons peanut oil in large nonstick skillet over high heat. Add white parts of onions and chiles; stir 30 seconds. Add chicken; stir-fry just until cooked through, about 3 minutes. Transfer chicken mixture to bowl. Add 1 tablespoon peanut oil to same skillet; heat over high heat. Add greens by large handfuls; stir just until beginning to wilt before adding more. Sauté just until tender, 1 to 6 minutes, depending on type of greens. Return chicken to skillet. Add reserved soy sauce mixture; stir until heated through, about 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to serving bowl; sprinkle with green parts of onions and peanuts.

From Epicurious.com via Bon Appétit by Molly Stevens, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/spicy-stir-fried-chicken-and-greens-with-peanuts-241891

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Potato, Greens, and Goat Cheese Quesadillas

  • 1 1/3 cups 1/2-inch cubes peeled Yukon Gold potatoes (about 2 medium)
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 1/3 cups (packed) coarsely grated hot pepper Monterey Jack cheese (5 to 6 ounces)
  • 1 1/3 cups jarred salsa verde (tomatillo salsa)
  • 4 2/3 cups coarsely chopped stemmed mustard greens (from 1 bunch), divided
  • 4 8-inch-diameter flour tortillas
  • 3 ounces chilled fresh goat cheese, coarsely crumbled
  • Olive oil
  • (Plus how does this recipe not include cilantro?)

Place baking sheet in oven and preheat to 275°F. Steam potatoes until tender, about 8 minutes. Place in large bowl; sprinkle with salt, pepper, and chili powder. Toss to coat. Cool potatoes 15 minutes. Mix in Jack cheese. Meanwhile, blend salsa and 2/3 cup (packed) greens in mini processor until greens are finely chopped.

Arrange tortillas on work surface. Divide remaining greens between bottom half of each. Top greens with potato mixture, then goat cheese and 2 tablespoons salsa mixture for each. Fold plain tortilla halves over filling, pressing to compact. Brush with oil.

Heat large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Place 2 quesadillas, oiled side down, in skillet. Brush tops with oil. Cook until quesadillas are brown, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer to sheet in oven to keep warm. Repeat with remaining 2 quesadillas.

Cut each quesadilla into 3 or 4 wedges. Serve with remaining salsa.

From Epicurious.com via Bon Appétit, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/potato-greens-and-goat-cheese-quesadillas-241607

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Winter CSA Share – #6

Welcome to the 6th share of the 2019/2020 Pitchfork & Crow Winter CSA! Here’s what’s in the share this week:

  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Lettuce & Spinach Mix
  • Lacinato Kale Rapini – The lacinato kale has decided it’s time to head to flower, but we know these shoots are the tastiest. Use it as you would kale or broccoli.
  • Purple Sprouting Broccoli (PSB) – Planted last August this sprouting broccoli hangs out in the field all fall and much of the winter to only begin sprouting now, just when we could really use some broccoli. Chop it up, stems and leaves and all, and enjoy in any recipe you’d normally use broccoli florets for.
  • Purple Cape – Broccoli-like in texture but heading like cauliflower, Purple Cape is like magic when it succeeds. There aren’t a lot of things that come on in February, but Purple Cape is a champ like that. Treat it like your PSB above.
  • Parsley
  • Beets
  • Sunchokes (aka Jerusalem Artichokes) – These are roots of a sunflower variety.  We enjoy them shredded and sauteed but they’re good raw, roasted, and in soups too.  Please note that they contain high levels of the carbohydrate inulin, which is difficult for some folks to digest, but is thought to be a good alternative for diabetics looking to avoid starch.  Here’s a post about how one fellow CSA member learned to love the sunchoke back in 2017.
  • Bora King Radishes – More purple daikons, excellent for shredding into salads or dicing and roasting.
  • Hakurei Salad Turnips – Good raw in salads or roasted with other rooty vgetables.
  • Red or Yellow Onions – The onions are coming out of dormancy and wanting to fulfill their seedy potential through re-growth so you may find a green sprout in the middle. As long as the onion is firm and oniony it’s all still edible, just trim around the sprout if you prefer.
  • Shallots
  • Garlic – garlic also wants to begin growing again and you may encounter some sprouting cloves. Eat it up, sprout and all, soon or find a spot in the garden to plant it to then harvest a small garlic bulb come the summer.
  • Dried Apples – We grew ’em, we picked ’em, we dried ’em!

National CSA Day is Feb. 28th! Celebrate CSAs by signing up for a share this week. We’ve opened up memberships to the 2020 Summer CSA and we hope you’ll join us for a summer and fall of local, seasonal, and organic vegetables. Find all the details and a sign-up form over on the Summer CSA page.

All our thanks to those who have committed to the 2020 Summer CSA season! Knowing we’ll have members to feed warms our hearts (and relieves some of the winter jitters too).

A taste of spring: signs of growth in our kitchen onions (top left), flowering arugula weeds (top right), baby tomatoes (bottom left), and purple cape cauliflower (bottom right).

We’ve been enjoying an extended version of the February fakeout these past couple of weeks. Not knowing where the weather is headed from week to week is par for the course this time of year, but the arrival of some sunshine has brightened our spirits somewhat. It looks like rain is on the horizon again. Hopefully we’ve taken advantage of these sunny days. Once the rain begins all bets are off as to when we’ll see the sun again.

The lacinato kale rapini and purple sprouting broccoli are sure signs that winter is progressing along. We’re seeing various overwintering plants bolting as they turn toward flowering and seed production, spurred on by the warmth of the last couple of weeks and ever increasing daylight hours. Soon we’ll be deep in rapini management of all the various brassica crops including kale, cabbage, brussels sprouts, and collards to avoid crossing with our Brussels sprouts and rutabaga seed crops. This management requires monitoring plants that are close to flowering and snapping off any shoots that might flower before we’re ready to harvest rapini again.

We hosted a tour for two groups of attendees from the Organic Seed Growers Conference.

We’ve had seed on our mind a lot lately, and not just because we’re in the midst of the first seedings of the season. Just after the last winter CSA pick-up two weeks ago we hosted a couple of tours from the Organic Seed Growers Conference held at OSU in Corvallis. Organic seed growers and breeders gathered from all over the world to discuss the state of organic seed, seed research, and share seed growing strategies.

We were a stop on the tour just after our friends at Adaptive Seeds, who buys some of the small amount of seed we produce each year. Though we only grow a handful of small seed crops each year the tour organizers thought our small scale would be a helpful comparison to other operations that focus solely on seed production. We talked to the tour participants about our small scale, how we overlap seed production with vegetable production, and why we keep growing seed. It was a good review for us as well. Growing seed is such a small part of our farming experience that I often forget it’s one of our endeavors.

Time to sow the leeks!

The seed theme has continued on after the tours and conference. It’s that time of year I guess. As we awaken the farm for the season we start with the seeds. The tomatoes are now showing their true leaves and the leeks and onions are just beginning to germinate. We also recently direct sowed some crops in empty high tunnel beds including some arugula, lettuce, and bok choy. It’s been awfully nice to get our hands on some seeds and play in the dirt. A welcome shift from the spreadsheets and paperwork that seem to sometimes consume winter days.

In the week ahead Jeff will be finishing up a rebuild on our little 1947 Farmall Cub tractor in anticipation of the coming need for field cultivation. I’ll be playing with more seeds and finishing up the last of the winter paperwork. The end is in sight! Together we’ll soon be tackling some orchard pruning and endeavoring to do some bulk harvesting of carrots, beets, and cabbage. Keeping it real!

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

Your farmers,
Carri Heisler & Jeff Bramlett

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Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:

Roasted Beets with Parsley

  • 3 pounds beets (10 to 15 medium)
  • 1/4 cup packed fresh flat-leafed parsley leaves
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Preheat oven to 475°F.

Trim beets, leaving about 1 inch of stems attached. Wrap beets tightly in double layers of foil to make 3 packages and roast until tender, about 1 hour.

When beets are cool enough to handle, slip off skins and stems and cut each beet into about 6 wedges. Beets may be prepared up to this point 1 day ahead and chilled, covered. Transfer beets to a baking dish and cover with foil. Reduce temperature to 375°F. and reheat beets until heated through, about 20 minutes.

While beets are reheating, put parsley in a small bowl and with kitchen shears very coarsely snip.

Toss beets with butter, parsley, and salt and pepper to taste.

From Epicurious.com via Gourmet, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/roasted-beets-with-parsley-15826

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Pan-Fried Jerusalem Artichokes in Sage Butter

  • 3 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound Jerusalem artichokes,* scrubbed, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick rounds
  • 3 tablespoons coarsely torn fresh sage leaves, divided
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley

Melt 1 tablespoon butter with olive oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add Jerusalem artichokes and half of sage. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Sauté until brown and just beginning to soften, turning frequently, about 10 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer Jerusalem artichokes to shallow serving bowl. Add remaining 2 tablespoons butter and sage to skillet; fry until sage darkens and begins to crisp, about 30 seconds. Add lemon juice; simmer 1 minute. Pour lemon-sage butter over Jerusalem artichokes in bowl, tossing to coat. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with parsley.

From Epicurious.com via Bon Appétit by Bruce Aidells & Nancy Oakes, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/pan-fried-jerusalem-artichokes-in-sage-butter-233715

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Vegetable Kimchi

  • 2 pounds crunchy vegetables (such as radishes, asparagus, carrots, cucumbers, beets, or turnips), cut into 3/4″ pieces
  • 3 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 10 scallions, cut on a diagonal into 1″ pieces
  • 1/3 cup gochugaru (coarse Korean red pepper powder) or 4 1/2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes, finely ground
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped garlic
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped peeled ginger

In a large bowl, toss together vegetables, salt, and sugar. Let sit at room temperature 1–3 hours for juices to release. Add scallions, gochugaru, garlic, fish sauce, and ginger; toss to coat.

Divide kimchi between two 1-qt. jars, distributing liquid evenly and leaving 1″ headspace.

Eat immediately or let sit on countertop 2 days to allow fermentation to begin before refrigerating. Flavors will deepen over time.

From Epicurious.com via Bon Appétit by Sohui Kim of Insa, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/vegetable-kimchi

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Winter CSA Share – #5

Welcome to the 5th share of the 2019/2020 Pitchfork & Crow Winter CSA! Here’s what’s in the share this week:

  • Red Cabbage
  • Chicory & Spinach Mix – We’ll likely enjoy this as a salad mix this week, but you may prefer to cook it if you’re not yet a fan of chicory. Don’t forget that citrus and creamy dressings both pair well with chicories.
  • Lacinato Kale Rapini – The lacinato kale has decided it’s time to head to flower, but we know these shoots are the tastiest. Use it as you would kale or broccoli.
  • Purple Sprouting Broccoli – planted last August this sprouting broccoli hangs out in the field all fall and much of the winter to only begin sprouting now, just when we could really use some broccoli. Chop it up, stems and leaves and all, and enjoy in any recipe you’d normally use broccoli florets for.
  • Carrots
  • Strawberry Paw Red Potatoes
  • Bora King Radish – a purple daikon, excellent for shredding into salads or dicing and roasting.
  • Leeks
  • Red & Yellow Onions – The onions are coming out of dormancy and wanting to fulfill their seedy potential through re-growth so you may find a green sprout in the middle. As long as the onion is firm and oniony it’s all still edible, just trim around the sprout if you prefer.
  • Garlic – garlic also wants to begin growing again and you may encounter some sprouting cloves. Eat it up, sprout and all, soon or find a spot in the garden to plant it to then harvest a small garlic bulb come the summer.
  • Mixed Winter Squash – We’re coming to the end of the winter squash train for this season. These are not long for this world so eat them up sooner than later.
  • Dried Apples – We grew ’em, we picked ’em, we dried ’em!

Summer CSA sign-up time has arrived! We’ve opened up memberships to the 2020 Summer CSA and we hope you’ll join us for a summer and fall of local, seasonal, and organic vegetables. Find all the details and a sign-up form over on the Summer CSA page.

All our thanks to those who have committed to the 2020 Summer CSA season! Knowing we’ll have members to feed warms our hearts (and relieves some of the winter jitters too).

Winter eating at its best: chicory and spinach mix and purple sprouting broccoli!

The combination of this past weekend’s wonderfully sunny weather and this season’s first harvest of purple sprouting broccoli (PSB) has me thinking we’ve turned a corner on winter. More likely we just experienced a bit of February fakeout this weekend, wherein it feels like spring has arrived. But there’s still PSB to eat so I’d say it’s a win.

Re-planting onion bulbs for seed production. Thankful for the beds we prepped last fall and the helpful worm friends for the great soil tilth.

Another sign we’re on the other side of winter is the welcomed lengthening of the daylight hours. As the sun returns outdoor work hours (without a headlamp) also increase and it finally feels like we can get through a project or two before dark descends. The lengthening of the days is not just helpful for our work and mental state though. Its also a sign to many plants that it’s time to wake up from winter dormancy. The fruit trees are starting to bud out, the garlic in the field is shooting up, and rapini season has arrived as the overwintered brassica plants begin to stretch and eventually flower.

Last Saturday I spent some time re-planting onion bulbs for seed production. The bulbs were grown by our friends at Adaptive Seeds last year and then stored through the winter. Now they’re back in the ground here at our farm, ready to begin their second season of growth as they grow flower stalks and eventually set seed this summer. We’ll harvest the seed and send it back to Adaptive Seeds for future sales.

Just like these onions for seed production, you may notice signs of growth in the onions and garlic in your kitchen. Although the sprouts are edible, you’ll want to eat them up quick!

The finished germination chamber, with flats of tomatoes germinating soon (right) and a recent sunset viewed from the germ. chamber door (left).

Just in time for the first propagation of the season, we finished up the new germination chamber. The first round of tomatoes kicked off the seed-sowing season for 2020 and they’re just beginning to show signs of life. The germ. chamber is set-up with a small heater connected to a thermostat plus a small crockpot to help keep the humidity higher. It’s a sauna for seeds! Once the seeds germinate the flats are moved over to the propagation greenhouse until they’re big enough to be planted into the field or high tunnels.

It won’t be long before we’re once again in full production mode and transplanting the first crops. Luckily there’s a little winter left before that. We’ve still got a list of projects we’d like to get to first.

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

Your farmers,
Carri Heisler & Jeff Bramlett

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Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:

Crispy Chicken and Potatoes with Cabbage Slaw

  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 1/4 teaspoons ground cumin, divided
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper, divided
  • 12 ounces baby Yukon Gold potatoes, halved (about 2 cups)
  • 8 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (about 2 pounds), trimmed of excess skin and fat, patted dry
  • 2 1/2 cups very thinly sliced red cabbage (from about 1/4 medium cabbage)
  • 1/2 cup very thinly sliced red onion (about 1/4 onion)
  • 1/4 cup chopped mint
  • 1–2 tablespoons very thinly sliced jalapeño
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon honey

Place a rack in top third of oven; preheat to 425°F. Mix 1/4 cup oil, 1 Tbsp. plus 1 tsp. cumin, 1 1/2 tsp. salt, and 1 1/2 tsp. pepper in a large bowl. Add potatoes and toss to coat. Arrange potatoes on a rimmed baking sheet. Add chicken to bowl and toss to coat. Arrange skin side up on baking sheet in between potatoes.

Roast chicken and potatoes, tossing potatoes halfway through, until potatoes are crispy, chicken skin is browned, and an instant-read thermometer inserted near bone registers 165°F, 30–35 minutes.

Meanwhile, toss cabbage, onion, mint, and jalapeño in a large bowl. Cook vinegar, honey, and remaining 2 Tbsp. oil, 1/4 tsp. salt, 1/4 tsp. pepper, and 1/4 tsp. cumin in a small saucepan over medium heat until warmed through. Pour hot dressing over cabbage mixture and toss to coat. Let sit until ready to use.

Divide remaining 4 chicken thighs, potatoes, and slaw among plates.

From Epicurious.com via Epicurious by David Tamarkin, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/crispy-chicken-and-potatoes-with-cabbage-slaw

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Chicory and Carrot Salad

  • 2 teaspoon Sherry vinegar (available at specialty foods shops and supermarkets)
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon-style mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon water
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 bunch of chicory, rinsed, spun dry, and torn into pieces (about 4 cups packed)
  • 1/2 cup coarsely grated carrot

In a bowl whisk together the vinegar, the mustard, the sugar, the water, and salt and pepper to taste, add the oil in a stream, whisking, and whisk the dressing until it is emulsified. Add the chicory and the carrot and toss the salad well.

From Epicurious.com via Gourmet, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/chicory-and-carrot-salad-12744

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Acorn Squash with Kale and Sausage

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

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

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

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