this week at market {june 30}

Hello from Pitchfork & Crow ~

Jeff is out harvesting for the Salem Saturday Market!  Here’s a selection of what we’ll be bringing to market:

  • Carrots
  • Cooking Greens
  • Fava Beans
  • Fennel
  • Garlic Scapes
  • Head Lettuce
  • Kale
  • Kohlrabi
  • Peas
  • Salad Mix

Hello, hello!  We’re gearing up for the Salem Saturday Market and hope you’ll come visit us, even if it’s raining a bit.  It’s been a bumpy winter and spring but July is right around the corner and we’re dreaming of the warm, dry days of summer.  Our harvests are still laden with late-spring veggies like garlic scapes and peas, but the hardier summer crops are coming along in the fields.  The peppers are beginning to flower, we glimpsed the first few ripe cherry tomatoes, and even the onions are growing tall and happy.

Last weekend our friends from Persephone Farm stopped off to say hi on their way through town.  This is a busy time for all farmers and we don’t get to catch up with them as often as we do during the winter.  We had just enough time for a quick tour and check in before we were all on to our various projects, but their visit made me take notice of our fields and crops as outsiders must see them.  As we walked down the main farm road that runs the length of the property we couldn’t help but point out the weeds we were battling, the late-planted crops that aren’t quite the size we’d like them to be, and the cucumber beetles devouring our squash and cucumber plants that we failed to get covered.

Our farmer friends were gracious and reminded us repeatedly that things indeed looked better than last year.  And that’s what friends are for I think.  We respect their opinion, they’d most likely tell us if something looked completely out of control, and they help to put things in perspective.  We’re headed to Market tomorrow and we’re looking forward to seeing all of you farm friends who also help to keep our farming endeavors in perspective.

We hope to see you Saturday sometime between 9am and 3pm.  You can find us at the Salem Saturday Market near the intersection of Winter and Union streets in downtown Salem.

Thanks!
Carri Heisler and Jeff Bramlett

this week at market {june 16}

Hello from Pitchfork & Crow ~

Jeff is out harvesting for the Salem Saturday Market!  Here’s a selection of what we’ll be bringing to market:

  • Carrots
  • Fava Beans (!!)
  • Garlic Scapes
  • Green Garlic
  • Head Lettuce
  • Salad Mix
  • Salad Turnips

Howdy folks!  We’re excited to be heading to the Salem Saturday Market tomorrow with lots of lettuce, carrots, and fava beans!  These are all certainly early summer delights and we hope you enjoy them too.  The past week has been a continuation of the big planting push.  Over the weekend we finally got out our cucurbits – winter squash, summer squash, cucumbers, pumpkins.  It was a big planting that we’re looking forward to settling in and maturing as these are some of our favorite crops.  This week, while I toiled away in Lake Oswego at the day job, Jeff continued planting the next rounds of lettuce, corn, basil, and broccoli as well as Brussels sprouts.  He’s also been keeping busy keeping all of our crops well-watered with our latest big purchase of irrigation pipe.  We’re looking forward to a fantastic day at the Market tomorrow, not only for the change of pace but because we get to check in with all of you!

We hope to see you Saturday sometime between 9am and 3pm.  You can find us at the Salem Saturday Market near the intersection of Winter and Union streets in downtown Salem.

Thanks!
Carri Heisler and Jeff Bramlett

this week at market {june 2}

Hello from Pitchfork & Crow ~

We’re harvesting for the Salem Saturday Market!  Here’s a selection of what we’ll be bringing to market:

  • Carrots
  • Garlic Scapes
  • Green Garlic
  • Head Lettuce
  • Radishes
  • Salad Mix
  • Salad Turnips
  • Sunchokes (aka Jerusalem Artichokes; this is the last week for them for a while)

We’re gearing up for the Salem Saturday Market tomorrow!  It’s true, we’ll be at Market this week.  We’re bringing a plethora of spring staples: lettuce, green garlic, garlic scapes, radishes, salad turnips.  It’s salad season and we’re ready to get you stocked up on salad fixings!

The last few weeks have been busy at the farm.  We’ve been planting, watering, weeding, and planting some more.  It’s been both exhilarating and exhausting to truly get back into the swing of things.  The to-do list continues to lengthen even as we strive to mark items off but at the same time, things still seem to have some semblance of organization out there.  Of course each spring is different from the one before it.  We can try to plan for things in the winter but we always find ourselves facing some new and sometimes totally unexpected challenge come spring.  This year, farming the same ground and having one more year of experience under our belts has really helped us get a running start on the season.  We haven’t had to re-invent any major pieces of our operation and we’ve been able to improve some strategies.  When we’re able to look up from farming tasks and take in the bigger picture, I think we’re both pretty excited to see what this season has in store for us.  For now though, we’re just happy to be headed to Market to see you all tomorrow!

We hope to see you Saturday sometime between 9am and 3pm.  You can find us at the Salem Saturday Market near the intersection of Winter and Union streets in downtown Salem.

Thanks!
Carri Heisler and Jeff Bramlett

this week at market {may 12}

Hello from Pitchfork & Crow ~

We’re harvesting for the Salem Saturday Market!  Here’s a selection of what we’ll be bringing to market:

  • Cauliflower (hard to believe, but this is the last of our overwintered cauli)
  • Prize Choy
  • Radishes (Lots and lots of Cherry Belles, Pink Beauty, and French Breakfast bunches this week!)
  • Salad Mix
  • Spinach
  • Sunchokes (aka Jerusalem Artichokes)

We haven’t had much downtime since we saw you at Market last Saturday.  The beautiful weather has found us pushing hard to get through our spring plantings.  The past few days have been allium planting mania but we’re happy to say that our bunching onions, sweet onions, storage onions, shallots, and leeks have all officially made it into the field and are even being well-watered!  After last year’s total onion failure we think we’ve learned our lesson and are looking forward to a wealth of oniony goodness this season.

It’s been one of those busy, busy weeks when we wonder if we’re not a little crazy to take on so much.  The to-do list kept growing longer as we tried to avert our eyes from the various projects popping up around the farm while staying focused on the planting that needed to get done.  In the midst of it we had a tiller breakdown that sent Jeff to the tractor junkyard in town in search of parts.  Luckily if we’ve learned nothing else from farming, we have learned to deal with new and unexpected problems.  With the tiller repaired and the tractor back in action we pushed through to the end and the happier for it.  Now on to the potatoes!  Our sweet potato slips arrived yesterday and our seed potatoes are ready for planting too.

This week we’re bringing an abundance of mild radishes from our field houses.  Jeff did a big sowing a few weeks back and they’re ready for Market now.  We’ll have red Cherry Belles, pink Pink beauties, and red/white French Breakfast bunches for you to enjoy.  We’ve heard some fantastic recipes from customers in recent weeks, but one of our favorites it Radish Butter!  What could be better than fresh butter and spring radishes?

We hope to see you Saturday sometime between 9am and 3pm.  You can find us at the Salem Saturday Market near the intersection of Winter and Union streets in downtown Salem.

Thanks!
Carri Heisler and Jeff Bramlett

this week at market {may 5}

Hello from Pitchfork & Crow ~

We’re harvesting for the Salem Saturday Market!  Here’s a selection of what we’ll be bringing to market:

  • Cauliflower (our overwintered cauliflower is on!)
  • Celeriac
  • Potatoes (Only fingerlings this week)
  • Prize Choy
  • Radishes (Just a handful of bunches this week)
  • Rutabagas (aka our infamous juicing Huge-abagas!  We hear they make good fries too.)
  • Spinach (Only the best spinach we’ve ever grown!)
  • Spring Salad Mix (more lettuce!)
  • Sunchokes (aka Jerusalem Artichokes)

We’re headed to Market tomorrow with a whole lotta tasty overwintered cauliflower in tow.  Our supplies of many other offerings are dwindling but this is the week for cauliflower and we’re not about to pass it up.  We’re counting on you getting in on the cauli action too!

Over the past week we’ve kept busy planting in the field during the sunnier moments and catching up on sowing seeds during the rainier ones.  The propagation house had emptied over the past couple of weeks as we readied to transplant starts but we’ve quickly filled it up again.  With help from our visiting nieces last weekend we started our winter squash and pumpkins and the first rounds of cucumbers and summer squash.  It feels like summer must not be too far off if it’s time to sow squash seeds.  We hear there’s more dry weather just around the corner and we’re looking forward to planting out onions, leeks, and potatoes.  For now though, we’re planning for a great day at Market!

We hope to see you Saturday sometime between 9am and 3pm.  You can find us at the Salem Saturday Market near the intersection of Winter and Union streets in downtown Salem.

Thanks!
Carri Heisler and Jeff Bramlett

this week at market {april 28}

Hello from Pitchfork & Crow ~

We’re harvesting for the Salem Saturday Market!  Here’s a selection of what we’ll be bringing to market:

  • Cauliflower (our overwintered cauliflower is on!)
  • Celeriac
  • Kale Bunches
  • Potatoes (Only fingerlings this week)
  • Prize Choy
  • Radishes
  • Rapini (Kale)
  • Rutabagas (aka our infamous juicing Huge-abagas!  We hear they make good fries too.)
  • Spinach
  • Spring Salad Mix (finally, lettuce based this week!)
  • Sunchokes (aka Jerusalem Artichokes)

We’ve been at full speed this past week, planting the first crops into the field.  The tables we use for hardening off transplants have been nearly emptied and we’ve direct-seeded the next rounds of carrots, turnips and radishes as well.  Over the last several days we’ve transplanted peas, salad mix, head lettuce, spinach, beets, cabbage, broccoli, kale, fennel, and kohlrabi.  Needless to say we’ve been busy, but we’ve also had an eye on the weather.  Black storm clouds routinely threatened our progress but we luckily made it through the majority of our planned plantings and the rain and thunder storms mostly passed us over.  It’s hard to believe that soon we’ll be irrigating these crops.

As with last week’s market showing, we’ll have less to offer than we’d like.  However, this week we’re happy to bring you the results of our first lettuce harvest of the season!  We’ve mowed the chicories to make way for other crops and are diving into the gorgeous lettuce we planted in the field house last month for salad mix.  Also, we’re excited to bring the bulk of our overwintered cauliflower to market this week.  We’ve heard tales from other farmers suggesting that cauliflower that heads up after the long months of winter tastes the best, so we put in an experimental bed this past fall.  Are you ready to experience Leamington’s Winter Giant cauliflower for yourself?

We hope to see you Saturday sometime between 9am and 3pm.  You can find us at the Salem Saturday Market near the intersection of Winter and Union streets in downtown Salem.

Thanks!
Carri Heisler and Jeff Bramlett

this week at market {april 21}

Hello from Pitchfork & Crow ~

We’re harvesting for the Salem Saturday Market!  Here’s a selection of what we’ll be bringing to market:

  • Celeriac
  • Garlic (slightly sprouting, but still tasty!)
  • Italian Dandelion Chicory Bunches
  • Kale Bunches
  • Potatoes (Only Fingerlings this week)
  • Radishes (We’re bringing 90 bunches of French Breakfast radishes!!!)
  • Rapini (Brussels Sprout, Kale, Red Cabbage)
  • Rutabagas (aka our infamous juicing Huge-abagas!)
  • Spinach
  • Spring Salad Mix (escarole and radicchio based)
  • Sunchokes (aka Jerusalem Artichokes)

The weather is slated to give us another fabulous day at the Saturday market tomorrow.  We prefer a nice sunny day for market (who wants to stand out in the rain all day?) and we know we’re likely to see more of you when the sun is shining too!  It’s the rainy days in between that make farmers like us nervous.  We’re antsy to get transplants out into the fields but need a dry spell of several days before the soil is workable.  In anticipation of the “window” of dry weather, we check the weather report repeatedly and try to will the rain to let up.

This is the time of year we’ve heard referred to as the ‘hunger gap’.  Our winter storage crops are dwindling and the spring burst of growth that we enjoy as rapini is on it’s way out but the first crops aren’t quite ready for harvest and we’re still in a holding pattern, waiting to get the field fully planted for the season.  We’re lucky to have covered space in our field houses that allows us to plant some crops into dry ground earlier in the season, but the small amounts of lettuce, spinach, and radishes never go as far as we’d like.  This in-between time is probably the toughest time to eat seasonally.  As we plan for the future we hope to have more in storage, larger overwintering plantings, and even dry beans to bring to early spring markets.  This week however, you’ll notice our booth will be smaller but we’ll have the first radishes of the season!  Hurrah for radishes helping us through the ‘hunger gap’!

We hope to see you Saturday sometime between 9am and 3pm.  You can find us at the Salem Saturday Market near the intersection of Winter and Union streets in downtown Salem.

Thanks!
Carri Heisler and Jeff Bramlett

this week at market {april 14}

Hello from Pitchfork & Crow ~

We’re harvesting for the Salem Saturday Market!  Here’s a selection of what we’ll be bringing to market:

  • Cabbage (overwintered red and red/green savoy)
  • Celeriac
  • Collards
  • Cooking Greens
  • Garlic (slightly sprouting, but still tasty!)
  • Italian Dandelion Chicory Bunches
  • Kale Bunches
  • Potatoes (German Butterball & Fingerlings)
  • Rapini (Brussels Sprout, Kale, Red Cabbage)
  • Rutabagas (aka Huge-abagas!)
  • Spring Salad Mix (Chicory based)
  • Sunchokes (aka Jerusalem Artichokes)

Many thanks to everyone who made it out last weekend for the opening day of the Salem Saturday Market!  We appreciate your continued support, and that fabulous weather didn’t hurt anything I think.  Hopefully you’ll be joining us for another week of seasonal veggies tomorrow!

Our week has been a busy one, as they tend to be in the spring.  Jeff has been gathering the last of our major supplies for the growing season.  This past week we purchased enough irrigation pipe to more than double our current supply.  More pipe means less time moving pipe this summer, which we’re both looking forward to.  We also had 7 tons of organic fertilizer delivered to the farm, and next week (assuming the weather cooperates) we’re hoping for a lime delivery.  These two additions will certainly result in happier vegetables for you!

This week we also spoke to farmers taking the OSU Extension’s Growing Farms course.  We had fun sharing our three+ year adventure with other folks interested in farming.  And it was especially exciting for us because we took the same course back in 2009 which prompted us to rent that first acre outside of Stayton.  Things have changed somewhat since that first year, but I realized during our presentation that we’ve been lucky enough to have some of our same Market customers for four market seasons!  Thanks for sticking with us and we hope to see you soon!

We hope to see you Saturday sometime between 9am and 3pm.  You can find us at the Salem Saturday Market near the intersection of Winter and Union streets in downtown Salem.

Thanks!
Carri Heisler and Jeff Bramlett

this week at market {april 7}

Hello from Pitchfork & Crow ~

We’re harvesting for the first Salem Saturday Market of 2012!  Here’s a selection of what we’ll be bringing to market:

  • Arugula
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage (overwintered red and red/green savoy)
  • Celeriac
  • Collards
  • Cooking Greens
  • Garlic
  • Kale Bunches
  • Potatoes (German Butterball & Fingerlings)
  • Purple Cape Cauliflower
  • Rapini (Arugula, Brussels Sprout, Kale, Kohlrabi!)
  • Rutabagas
  • Spring Salad Mix
  • Sunchokes (aka Jerusalem Artichokes)

It’s the first weekend in April and we’re excited to celebrate the re-opening of the Salem Saturday Market!  Thanks to a mild winter and good on-farm storage, our booth will be stocked with a nice selection of storage crops and overwintered veggies.  This is the time to enjoy the tasty spring shoots of the overwintered brassicas and we’ll have Brussels sprout, kohlrabi, and kale rapini tomorrow!  We’ll also be sharing frost-sweetened collard, cabbage, and kale greens and are happy to be bringing some staple root crops including sunchokes and potatoes.

The start of the market season makes it official: the 2012 growing season is upon us.  We’ve been preparing for months and now we’re ready to get back to growing vegetables and seeing you at the Market each week.  Check out this post for an update on our winter fun.  You can also read about us in an article in the Salem Weekly this week!  It’s fun to see our little red tractor featured there.  We appreciate the support of our local community and look forward to another fantastic growing season!

We hope to see you Saturday sometime between 9am and 3pm.  You can find us at the Salem Saturday Market near the intersection of Winter and Union streets in downtown Salem.

Thanks!
Carri Heisler and Jeff Bramlett

this week at market {october 29}

Hello from Pitchfork & Crow ~

We’re gearing up for the final Salem Saturday Market of the season!  Here’s a selection of what we’ll be bringing to market:

  • Broccoli
  • Chard
  • Collards
  • Cooking Greens
  • Kale
  • Parsley
  • Peppers
  • Potatoes
  • Pumpkins!
  • Rutabagas
  • Salad Mix
  • Tomatillos
  • Winter Squash

Pumpkins, pumpkins, pumpkins!  We’re bringing the pumpkins!  We had trouble narrowing down the pumpkin varieties this past spring, and now we’re enjoying the results.  We’ve got big carving jacks and small mini pumpkins, a hulless variety for tasty seeds and pie pumpkins for tasty soups and desserts.  Come get your pumpkins for Halloween and keep them around for Thanksgiving.  No pumpkin over $4!

This is the last Salem Saturday Market of the 2011 season, so come on down and help us celebrate the growing season!  It’s been quite a year, and we appreciate your continued support.  We’re already looking forward to 2012 but first we’re ready to wrap up this Market season.
We hope to see you Saturday sometime between 9am and 3pm.  You can find us at the Salem Saturday Market near the intersection of Winter and Union streets in downtown Salem.

Thanks!
Carri Heisler and Jeff Bramlett