Winter CSA Share #6

Welcome to the 6th share of the Pitchfork & Crow 2021/2022 Winter CSA! Here’s what’s in the share this week:

  • Savoy Cabbage – Wrinkled, crinkled, sweet and tasty. Winter cabbage is the best!
  • Purple Sprouting Broccoli
  • Cooking Greens Mix – A mix of braising greens including lacinato kale, curly kale, rainbow chard, and collard greens.
  • Salad Mix – A mix of lettuces and spinach.
  • Parsley
  • German Butterball Potatoes
  • Carrots
  • Rutabaga– Less pungent than most turnips, but similar, we like rutabagas mashed with potatoes or oven roasted with their rooty friends.
  • Kohlrabi – Giant kohlrabi are a winter wonder. Generally not pithy, they’re frost-sweetened and just the ticket for kohlrabi and peanut butter snacks.
  • Bunching Onions
  • GarlicSee the note below about onions.
  • Shallots
  • Red Onion – We ask a lot of our storage crops. We harvest them in early fall and then let them sit and wait and wait until they make an appearance in the share. We’re getting better at selecting long storing varieties but there’s just only so long an onion wants to store sometimes. That’s to say, eat your onions before they sprout because spring is just around the corner.
  • Mixed Winter Squash – Choose from acorns, delicata, spaghetti, kabocha, and butternut.
  • Polenta (aka grits) – We grow a flint corn called Cascade Ruby Gold that grinds partially into flour and partially into polenta when milled. This week we’re sharing polenta and last time we shared the flour. You can use this polenta in recipes calling for uncooked polenta or corn grits. We like to cook it in our rice cooker at a 1 cup polenta to 3 cups water ratio. It’s even better if you add some butter and cheese once cooked.
  • Dried Apples

Amazingly we are somehow over 97% full for the Summer CSA! It’s time to reserve your spot if you want to 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.

Sunset at the on-farm CSA pick-up two weeks back. This maple tree is slated to be cut by the power company soon so I’ve been trying to enjoy it while it’s still with us.

We may be over halfway through winter, but that doesn’t mean the winter weather is done with us. We’ve got some cold nights on deck this week including tonight’s current projected low of 18, which is actually better than the 13 that was projected a few days back. Winter farming is always a gamble and it looks like we landed in some especially unpredictable territory this week. We get nervous when the temps drop below 20, but we’ll know soon enough which of our surviving field crops takes a hit in these cold temperatures. Fingers crossed the past winter weather has toughened up the remaining plants to take this cold snap in stride.

Fall-planted spinach ready for another harvest (left) and Jeff planting early potatoes (right).

Despite this week’s return to chilly temperatures, things here on the farm have been feeling rather springy lately. The fall-sown spinach and lettuce that you’ve seen in shares planted in one of our high tunnels has been re-growing nicely thanks to some warm sunny days. The newly sown radishes, arugula, and spinach in another tunnel are putting on their first true leaves. Jeff prepped three other tunnels this past week and we filled up two with potatoes, mizuna, radishes, lettuce, and kale. The third house will be planted out with carrots and peas next week. So many tasty treats in our future!

Tomato seeds (left) and baby tomato plants (right).

After several months of an empty propagation house it was time to start growing transplants for the upcoming season. We start things off with tomatoes because they’ll be headed into the new high tunnel in April and can use a good head start. After many days in the warm germination chamber we’ve had high germination rates and now they’re happily growing stronger having been moved to the heat tables in the propagation house. Forty-five flats of onions and leeks are now filling the shelves in the germ. chamber. This cycle of mixing prop. mix, filling flats, sowing seeds, waiting for germination, and moving flats into the prop. house until they’re ready for transplanting will continue on through October when we finish up the last of the transplanting in 2022. The propagation fun is just beginning.

In the next couple of weeks we’ll be continuing to add flats of baby transplants to the propagation house. We’re about a month out from transplanting in the field if the weather cooperates so we’ve got lots of seeds to get started. We’ve also got a tractor repair to undertake, a high tunnel to sow seeds in, and some orchard and blueberry maintenance to get done. We’ll be keeping busy!

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

Your farmers,
Carri Heisler & Jeff Bramlett

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Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:

Desperation Minestrone Soup

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small yellow onion, diced
2 cups finely chopped “pantry” vegetables (carrots, fennel, leeks, potatoes, cauliflower, cabbage, winter squash, etc.)
2 large garlic cloves, minced
one 15-ounce can diced or crushed tomatoes
8 cups vegetable or chicken stock
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
one 15-ounce can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup green vegetables (zucchini, green beans, peas, leafy greens, broccoli, etc.), finely chopped
1/2 cup gluten-free elbows, orzo, or orecchiette (optional)
1/2 cup herbs (basil, chives, parsley, tarragon, or a combination), roughly chopped or torn
Shaved Parmesan or Pecorino, for serving (optional)

Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven or stockpot. Sauté the onions and pantry vegetables over medium-high heat until soft, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant, another minute. Pour in the tomatoes and simmer until the liquid is reduced and the tomato chunks have softened, about 5 minutes. Add the stock, salt, and red pepper flakes to the pot. Bring to a boil.

Stir in the beans, green vegetables, and pasta (if using), then reduce the heat to medium-low. Simmer for 10 minutes, or until the pasta is cooked through. Off the heat, stir in herbs and taste for seasoning. Garnish with a drizzle of olive oil and shaved Parmesan or Pecorino for a salty bite.

From Food52.com via The Wellness Project by Phoebe Lapine, https://food52.com/recipes/73204-desperation-minestrone-soup

Irish Banger Skillet

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound Irish banger sausage
1/2 pound red skinned potatoes, sliced thinly crosswise
1 medium onion, sliced thinly crosswise
1/2 head green cabbage, cored and thinly sliced
3 carrots, peeled and sliced on a diagonal into 1/2″ pieces
1 1/2 cups low sodium chicken or vegetable broth, divided
2 teaspoons fresh thyme, divided
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

In a 10-inch skillet with a tight fitting lid, heat the olive oil over medium high heat. When the oil starts to glisten and moire, carefully add the sausages and cook, turning occasionally until browned. Transfer the sausages to a plate. Into the pan, over a medium heat, layer in half of the onion, potatoes and cabbage. Layer the remaining onions, potatoes and cabbage. Sprinkle with carrots and add 1 teaspoon of the thyme. Pour 3/4 cup of broth over the vegetables, sprinkle with salt and pepper and cover tightly. Simmer for 10 minutes.

After the vegetables have cooked for 10 minutes, nestle the sausages into the potato mixture, along with any accumulated juices. Add the remaining broth and thyme, cover and cook for an additional 10 minutes, or until potatoes and carrots are very tender. Remove the sausages and cut them into chunks. Return the sausages to the pan and serve.

From Food52.com by Garlic and Zest, https://food52.com/recipes/41662-irish-banger-skillet

Kohlrabi Salad

1 head kohlrabi
1/2 apple, such as Gala
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons sesame oil
1/2 bird’s eye chili
1 pinch cumin
1/2 teaspoon fish sauce
3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
Salt & freshly ground pepper to taste

With a sharp knife, cut off the “branches” of the kohlrabi. Peel it with a vegetable peeler.

Cut the kohlrabi into matchsticks either using a sharp knife of a mandolin (I used the latter). Do the same with the apple.

Toss the kohlrabi and the apple with the remaining ingredients and chill before eating.

From Food52.com by Sassyradish, https://food52.com/recipes/8689-kohlrabi-salad

Winter CSA Share #5

Welcome to the 5th share of the Pitchfork & Crow 2021/2022 Winter CSA! Here’s what’s in the share this week:

  • Kalettes – a cross between Brussels and kale, pop off the kale florets and use them like kale, or Brussels sprouts. Roast them, saute them, salad them, you get the idea.
  • Purple Sprouting Broccoli
  • Arugula or Tatsoi Rapini – The tunnel greens are starting to go to seed. Luckily for all of us they’re super delicious at this stage. (Salem, only arugula for you!)
  • Mixed Radicchio These frost-sweetened heads are just asking for creamy dressing, or something citrusy perhaps, and it also holds up well to warm toppings like bacon, chicken, or (our favorite) salmon.
  • Spinach Mix
  • Cilantro – Leaves and roots! Check out this info on cilantro roots for prep and recipe information.
  • Red Chieftan Potatoes
  • Carrots
  • 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.  Converting the inulin to fructose through cooking with vinegar or fermenting seems to be a good solution.
  • Bunching Onions
  • GarlicSee the note below about onions.
  • Onion – We ask a lot of our storage crops. We harvest them in early fall and then let them sit and wait and wait until they make an appearance in the share. We’re getting better at selecting long storing varieties but there’s just only so long an onion wants to store sometimes. That’s to say, eat your onions before they sprout because spring is just around the corner.
  • Black Futsu Winter Squash – A Japanese heirloom squash related to butternut, it’s bright orange on the inside and some say it has a hint of hazelnut taste. Use it in an recipe calling for winter squash or butternut.
  • Butternut Squash
  • Corn Flour– We grow a flint corn called Cascade Ruby Gold that grinds partially into flour and partially into polenta when milled. This week we’re sharing flour and next week we’ll share the polenta. You can use this flour in any recipe calling for corn flour or cornmeal. We like to use it for perfect cornbread.
  • Dried Apples

We are already over 85% full for the Summer CSA! It’s time to reserve your spot if you want to 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.

Sunny winter sunset on the farm!

Winter is flying by and somehow here we are halfway through the Winter CSA season. We’ll be firing up the germination chamber later this week and getting the first seeds of the upcoming summer season started. Our first order of organic fertilizer is scheduled for delivery on Thursday. The 2022 growing season is about to get real!

Soil sample day (left) and digging carrots (right).

There’s been plenty of behind the scenes preparation already happening for the season ahead. Inventorying of seed orders as they arrive in the mail, budgeting for growing supplies that we’ll need in the upcoming months, sending in soil samples and analyzing the results. This is when we’re able to plan ahead, stockpile supplies, and spend time contemplating the months ahead. Before we know it we’ll be in the thick of things. I’ll be managing temperatures and watering schedules in the propagation house. Jeff will be on mowing and ground prep duty. Our days will be consumed with the acts of growing vegetables. But for this brief moment, that’s all ahead of us.

Sifting corn flour.

In between the continued planning for the upcoming growing season and getting through the paperwork of the past season (taxes and annual loan paperwork requirements mostly) we’ve been trying to stay on top of the current CSA season too. We try to include some fun pantry items throughout the winter season and those often take a little more time like the dried apples. This week we’re also bringing you corn flour, milled from the Cascade Ruby Gold flint corn we grew. It’s a fun, if fiddly, process that begins with printing labels for the bags and grinding the corn using our electric stone flour mill and ends with sifting the flour from the polenta and bagging it all up.

In the weeks ahead we’ll be straightening up the propagation house and starting those first seeds. We’ll also be prepping to plant our first round of potatoes in a greenhouse. The next season is sneaking in as we work on finishing up digging carrots and harvesting the last of the other roots from the field.

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

Your farmers,
Carri Heisler & Jeff Bramlett

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Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:

Crispy Jerusalem Artichokes with Aged Balsamic Vinegar

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 pounds small Jerusalem artichokes (sunchokes), scrubbed, quartered
  • Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
  • 4 sprigs rosemary
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons aged balsamic vinegar

Heat oil in a large skillet, preferably cast iron (you’ll need a lid), over mediumhigh heat. Add Jerusalem artichokes and 1/4 cup water and season with salt and pepper. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until Jerusalem artichokes are fork-tender, 8–10 minutes.

Uncover skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until water is evaporated and Jerusalem artichokes begin to brown and crisp, 8–10 minutes longer; transfer to a platter.

Add rosemary and butter to skillet and cook, stirring often, until butter foams, then browns, about 4 minutes.

Remove skillet from heat and stir in vinegar, scraping up any browned bits. Spoon brown butter sauce and rosemary over Jerusalem artichokes.

From Epicurious via Bon Appétit, http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/crispy-jerusalem-artichokes-with-aged-balsamic-51255110

Pasta with Butternut Squash and Spinach

  • 6 ounces cavatappi or other spiral-shaped pasta
  • 1 small butternut squash (about 1 pound) (or sub. another type of winter squash)
  • 5 cups packed spinach leaves (about 1 bunch)
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan (about 1 1/2 ounces)

Fill a 4-quart kettle three fourths full with salted water and bring to a boil for cooking pasta.

Quarter, seed, and peel squash. Cut squash into 1/2-inch cubes. Coarsely chop spinach and mince garlic.

In a large heavy skillet heat oil over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking and sauté squash with salt to taste, stirring occasionally, until almost tender, about 7 minutes.

While squash is cooking, cook pasta in boiling water until al dente. Reserve 1/2 cup cooking water and drain pasta in a colander.

Add spinach and garlic to skillet with squash and cook over moderately high heat, stirring, until any liquid is evaporated. Add pasta and reserved cooking water and bring to a boil. Season pasta with lemon juice and salt and pepper. Remove skillet from heat and toss pasta with Parmesan.

From Epicurious.com via Gourmet, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/pasta-with-butternut-squash-and-spinach-14581

Chicory Salad with Bacon, Crispy Potatoes, and Fried Egg

  • 1/2 lb sliced bacon, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 1/2 lb boiling potatoes
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped shallot
  • 1 tablespoon red-wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/2 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1/2 lb chicory, chopped (6 cups)

Cook bacon in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over moderate heat, stirring, until crisp. Transfer with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain, leaving fat in skillet.

Peel potatoes and cut into 1/2-inch cubes. Cook in bacon fat over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until golden and cooked through, about 15 minutes. Transfer with slotted spoon to paper towels to drain.

While potatoes are cooking, combine shallot and vinegar in a large bowl and let stand 10 minutes. Stir in mustard and then olive oil until combined well.

Just before serving, slowly fry eggs to desired doneness in vegetable oil with salt and pepper to taste in a large nonstick skillet over moderate heat.

Add chicory to dressing, tossing to coat. Add bacon and potatoes, tossing, and season with salt and pepper. Serve salad topped with eggs.

From Epicurious.com via Gourmet, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/chicory-salad-with-bacon-044-crispy-potatoes-044-and-fried-egg-104541

Winter CSA #4

Welcome to the 4th share of the Pitchfork & Crow 2021/2022 Winter CSA! Here’s what’s in the share this week:

  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Lacinato Kale
  • Rainbow Chard
  • Mixed Radicchio These frost-sweetened heads are just asking for creamy dressing, or something citrusy perhaps, and it also holds up well to warm toppings like bacon, chicken, or (our favorite) salmon.
  • Lettuce Mix
  • Yukon Gem Potatoes
  • Celeriac – A rooty vegetable that tastes like celery? Yes please! Not sure what to do with it? Check out the gratin recipe down below for some inspiration.
  • Mixed Daikon Radishes – Some purple, some larger white, all tasty.
  • Leeks
  • GarlicSee the note below about onions.
  • Onion – We ask a lot of our storage crops. We harvest them in early fall and then let them sit and wait and wait until they make an appearance in the share. We’re getting better at selecting long storing varieties but there’s just only so long an onion wants to store sometimes. That’s to say, eat your onions before they sprout because spring is just around the corner.
  • Gill’s Golden Pippin Acorn Squash
  • Thelma Sanders Sweet Potato Squash
  • Ancho Poblano Dried Peppers – Ancho chiles are fully ripe and dehydrated poblano peppers. They can be ground into a chile powder or blended with roasted onions, garlic, and tomatoes into enchilada sauce, or simply tossed into a soup or stew for chile flavoring.
  • Dried Apples

Summer CSA sign-up time has arrived! We’ve opened up memberships to the 2022 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.

A sunny winter day drone shot (left) and the arrival of the our first four seed orders (right).

Hello again! We’ve made it to the end of January already! The days are getting longer and the sun has made a few recent appearances. The darkest days of the season are behind us!

The winter seems to be flying by as we work toward prepping for the growing season ahead while also keeping the current season on track. Boxes of seeds are arriving in the mail daily and we put the first seeds of 2022 in the ground last week. Just a little spinach and bok choy and arugula and some radishes. We’re off to a good start!

Greenhouse building progress from the drone’s view.

Although we’ve kept busy drying apples and doing taxes and getting in some tractor maintenance and prepping a greenhouse for sowing those first seeds of the year, mostly we’ve been focused on wrapping up the greenhouse build we began last month. We’re excited to have more covered growing space this next year. One more high tunnel gives us another option for rotating summer crops and fitting in more winter crops. Just a little more space to ease those points in the season when it’s time to get the tender winter greens established but we’re still harvesting tomatoes and eggplant or to keep harvesting those tender winter crops when it’s already time to put the next season’s tomatoes in the ground.

The latest greenhouse is nearly complete! Using the tractor to raise the bows into place (top left), the top and bottom boards are attached (top right), Jeff attaching the top purlin (bottom left) and the plastic is on! (bottom right).

We had previously set the footings so we were ready to add the bows, side boards, purlins, end bracing, wire lock, and plastic. Luckily the company we bought the kit from provides a manual to reference and it’s a very basic structure. Plus it’s not our first high tunnel to put up so we were familiar with the basic steps and necessary tools.

At 30’x96′ it’s much larger than the new propagation greenhouse we put up last year which is only 20’x48′, but that project involved full end wall construction, exhaust and circulating fans, double layered plastic with an inflation fan, plus interior finishing with ground cover, tables, and hanging hoses. This new greenhouse is much less involved as we’re just constructing the frame and covering it with plastic. We will add hanging sprinklers for irrigation eventually and we have the option of enclosing the ends as needed but neither of those things will happen right away.

Pulling the plastic!

You can see videos of earlier construction progress over on the farm’s instagram page. Now that we’ve pulled the plastic we’re waiting for the ground to dry out some. We plan to put the tomatoes in here in April and as the ground dries and becomes workable we’ll till and spread compost, organic fertiizer, and other amendments to make sure it’s ready for planting.

In the coming weeks we’ll be staying busy harvesting the last of the celeriac and carrots still in the field and continuing on those indoor maintenance and paperwork tasks as the weather dictates. We’ve already seen some signs of early spring growth and it’s time to get serious about harvesting root crops before they bolt. Rapini and sprouting broccoli season is right around the corner!

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

Your farmers,
Carri Heisler & Jeff Bramlett

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Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:

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, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/potato-celery-root-gratin-with-leeks-368278

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

Kale and Brussels Sprout Salad

  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon minced shallot
  • 1 small garlic clove, finely grated
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt plus more for seasoning
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 large bunches of Tuscan kale (about 1 1/2 pounds total), center stem discarded, leaves thinly sliced
  • 12 ounces brussels sprouts, trimmed, finely grated or shredded with a knife
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1/3 cup almonds with skins, coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup finely grated Pecorino

Combine lemon juice, Dijon mustard, shallot, garlic, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and a pinch of pepper in a small bowl. Stir to blend; set aside to let flavors meld. Mix thinly sliced kale and shredded brussels sprouts in a large bowl.

Measure 1/2 cup oil into a cup. Spoon 1 tablespoon oil from cup into a small skillet; heat oil over medium-high heat. Add almonds to skillet and stir frequently until golden brown in spots, about 2 minutes. Transfer nuts to a paper towel-lined plate. Sprinkle almonds lightly with salt.

Slowly whisk remaining olive oil in cup into lemon-juice mixture. Season dressing to taste with salt and pepper. DO AHEAD: Dressing, kale mixture, and toasted almonds can be prepared 8 hours ahead. Cover dressing and kale mixture separately and chill. Cover almonds and let stand at room temperature.

Add dressing and cheese to kale mixture; toss to coat. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Garnish with almonds.

From Epicurious.com by Susan Spungen, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/kale-brussels-sprout-salad-368295

Winter CSA #3

Welcome to the 3rd share of the Pitchfork & Crow 2021/2022 Winter CSA! Here’s what’s in the share this week:

  • January King Cabbage
  • Lacinato Kale
  • Arugula Rapini – The greenhouse arugula is trying to go to seed but it’s still peppery and tasty. Just trim any woody stem ends and toss with pasta, into salads, or saute.
  • Rosalba Radicchio – A blush pink winter salad treat that stands up to all the creamy dressings, citrus dressings, and hearty toppings you can find.
  • Spinach Mix
  • Tatsoi – An Asian green that lands somewhere between spinach and bok choy. Eat it in salads or cooked.
  • Rainbowish Carrots – Mostly orange, but you’ll find a few purple and yellow roots mixed too.
  • Magic Molly Purple Potatoes – Though purple mashed potatoes may be fun, we prefer these as oven fries.
  • Kohlrabi – Giant kohlrabi are a winter wonder. Generally not pithy, they’re frost-sweetened and just the ticket for kohlrabi and peanut butter snacks. Check out the Kohlrabi Pudding recipe down below that a winter CSA member shared with us years ago. (Vegans will have your work cut out finding dairy alternatives for this one though.)
  • Beet
  • Watermelon Radishes – The bright pink centers bring some color to winter salads and roasted root dishes, but they’re spicy too!
  • Garlic
  • Onion
  • Candystick Dessert Delicata Squash
  • Long Pie Pumpkin or a regular Pie Pumpkin
  • Dried Apples

Summer CSA sign-up time has arrived! We’ve opened up memberships to the 2022 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.

Hurrah for winter vegetables!

Welcome to a new year of vegetables! 2022 is off to an exciting, if saturated, start. The blustery weather over the past week made for an opportune time to hunker down and get our crop planning finished up and seed orders placed.

Both the large and small seed companies that we purchase seeds from have been consistently overwhelmed by demand the past couple of seasons and we’d already been hearing about some varieties selling out. This past summer’s drought has impacted some seed availability too. Evidently a good percentage of carrot seed is grown in central and eastern Oregon and Washington and the lack of water has limited the seed availability of many standard carrot varieties. I’m sure that’s not the only crop impacted by last year’s weather and the ongoing supply chain issues.

In the past we’d break up the seed ordering into multiple rounds based on when we needed the seed on hand, but the increased demands and limited quantities we keep hearing about meant ordering everything we think we need for the entire season. It felt good to lock in our plan for the season ahead and get those orders in, even if it meant spending $3000 right out of the gate.

The winter farmscape, including our lowest point that often floods in the winter.

While we found projects to finish under cover (seed orders for Carri, tractor maintenance for Jeff) the weather blew lots of rain and wind through these parts. The farm weather station reported another three inches of rain fell last week and we had consistent wind gusts in the high thirties and steady wind in the high twenty miles per hour. Somehow we didn’t lose any greenhouse plastic this time around. Hurrah for that! We did experience some minor flooding in the lowest spots on the farm but they’ve already drained away after a day or two without rain.

We took a day off to visit the river and some big trees.

In between rain and wind and snow storms we drove up to Cascadia Park to spend my (Carri’s) birthday in the woods. We hiked around, marveled at the big trees, and Jeff tried his hand at gold panning in the river, a new hobby he’s been researching of late. Though he didn’t strike it rich it was nice to get off the farm and into the woods for a day.

With some clear weather coming up in the forecast we’re hoping to get back to that greenhouse building project again. Fingers crossed we’ve got the structure up by the next time we meet in two weeks.

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

Your farmers,
Carri Heisler & Jeff Bramlett

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Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:

Winter Salad with Lemon-Yogurt Dressing

Dressing:

  • 1 cup plain whole-milk yogurt
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • 1/4 cup avocado oil or canola oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 garlic clove, pressed
  • Fine sea salt

Salad:

  • 8 cups coarsely chopped romaine lettuce (about 8 large leaves) (try radicchio and/or spinach too)
  • 1 1/2 cups 1/2-inch cubes peeled jicama
  • 2 small carrots, thinly sliced into rounds
  • 1 avocado, halved, pitted, peeled, sliced
  • 1 cup sliced celery
  • 1 cup 1/2-inch cubes peeled kohlrabi or peeled broccoli stems
  • 3/4 cup canned garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained
  • 3/4 cup halved pitted Kalamata olives
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced radishes
  • 1/2 cup roasted sunflower seeds

Whisk first 5 ingredients in small bowl. Season dressing to taste with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Toss lettuce and next 8 ingredients in large bowl. Add dressing and toss to coat. Divide salad among plates; sprinkle with sunflower seeds.

From Epicurious.com by Myra Goodman and Sarah LaCasse, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/winter-salad-with-lemon-yogurt-dressing-363722

Dairy Hollow House Kohlrabi Pudding

  • Cooking spray
  • 2 to 3 small kohlrabi, stem, root and ends trimmed, peeled and quartered
  • 2 large eggs
  • 4 ounces neufchâtel reduced-fat cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • ½ cup low-fat milk, buttermilk, yogurt, light sour cream, oat or rice milk, or, if feeling devil-may-care and you have it on hand, half and half or heavy cream
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon Pickapeppa sauce
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 or 4 gratings of nutmeg
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • ¾ cup (6 ounces) finely grated Parmesan cheese

1. Preheat the oven to 375°F.

2. Spray a 9-inch square baking dish or six individual 6-ounce ramekins with cooking spray. Set aside.

3. Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add the kohlrabi and cook until slightly softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Place in a food processor and puree. Measure out 3 cups of the puree, saving leftovers for another use (such as a chilled soup). Set the puree aside.

4. Place the eggs with the neufchâtel, milk, cornstarch, Pickapeppa, salt, nutmeg, and pepper in the food processor. Buzz until very smooth. Add the 3 cups puree and half of the Parmesan and buzz to incorporate. Taste and, if necessary season with more pepper.

5. Pour the pudding mixture into the prepared baking dish or into the individual ramekins. Place the dish or ramekins in a larger pan with hot water to come ½ inch up the sides of the dish or ramekins. Place the pan in the preheated oven and bake for 30 minutes.

6. Remove from the oven and sprinkle the remaining Parmesan over the top. Return to the oven and continue baking until the cheese is melted and golden and the pudding is firm, browned, and does not stick to your finger when you touch its surface, another 20 to 30 minutes. Serve, hot or warm, cut into squares or inverted out of the ramekins.

From Cookstr via Passionate Vegetarian by Crescent Dragonwagon, http://www.cookstr.com/recipes/dairy-hollow-house-kohlrabi-pudding

Silky-Coconut Pumpkin Soup (Keg Bouad Mak Fak Kham)

  • 3 to 4 shallots, unpeeled
  • 1 1/2 pounds pumpkin (untrimmed), or butternut squash or 1 1/4 pounds peeled pumpkin
  • 2 cups canned or fresh coconut milk
  • 2 cups mild pork or chicken broth
  • 1 cup loosely packed coriander leaves1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons Thai fish sauce, or to taste
  • Generous grindings of black pepper
  • 1/4 cup minced scallion greens (optional)

In a heavy skillet, or on a charcoal or gas grill, dry-roast or grill the shallots, turning occasionally until softened and blackened. Peel, cut the shallots lengthwise in half, and set aside.

Peel the pumpkin and clean off any seeds. Cut into small 1/2-inch cubes. You should have 4 1/2 to 5 cups cubed pumpkin.

Place the coconut milk, broth, pumpkin cubes, shallots, and coriander leaves in a large pot and bring to a boil. Add the salt and simmer over medium heat until the pumpkin is tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in the fish sauce and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes. Taste for salt and add a little more fish sauce if you wish. (The soup can be served immediately, but has even more flavor if left to stand for up to an hour. Reheat just before serving.)

Serve from a large soup bowl or in individual bowls. Grind black pepper over generously, and, if you wish, garnish with a sprinkling of minced scallion greens. Leftovers freeze very well.

From Epicurious.com by Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/silky-coconut-pumpkin-soup-keg-bouad-mak-fak-kham-104372

Penne with Radicchio, Spinach, and Bacon

  • 1 whole head of garlic (with about 12 to 14 cloves)
  • 6 teaspoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 pound penne
  • 8 ounces bacon (about 8 slices), cut crosswise into 1/3-inch-wide strips
  • 1 large onion, chopped (about 2 cups)
  • 1 cup low-salt chicken broth
  • 6 cups (packed) coarsely torn radicchio leaves (from about 2 medium heads)
  • 3 cups (packed) baby spinach leaves, torn in half (about 10 ounces)
  • 1 cup (packed) fresh basil leaves, torn in half (about 10 ounces)
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese plus additional for serving
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper

Preheat oven to 375°F. Cut off top 1/2 inch of garlic head, exposing cloves. Place garlic head, cut side up, on sheet of foil and drizzle with 1/2 teaspoon olive oil. Wrap garlic in foil. Roast until garlic is soft, about 40 minutes. Let stand until cool enough to handle. Squeeze garlic into small bowl.

Cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water until just tender but still firm to bite, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile, cook bacon strips and chopped onion in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat until golden brown, stirring occasionally, about 12 minutes. Add chicken broth, remaining 5 1/2 teaspoons olive oil, and roasted garlic. Bring mixture to simmer, stirring occasionally. Add radicchio, spinach, and basil and stir to combine. Simmer just until radicchio and spinach wilt, about 1 minute.

Drain pasta and return to same pot. Add radicchio-spinach mixture to pasta. Add 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese and crushed red pepper; toss to coat. Season pasta to taste with salt and pepper and serve, passing additional Parmesan cheese alongside.

From Epicurious.com by Myra Goodman and Sarah LaCasse, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/penne-with-radicchio-spinach-and-bacon-241093

Winter CSA Share #2

Welcome to the 2nd share of the Pitchfork & Crow 2021/2022 Winter CSA! Here’s what’s in the share this week:

  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Rainbow Chard
  • Rosalba Radicchio – A blush pink winter salad treat that stands up to all the creamy dressings, citrus dressings, and hearty toppings you can find.
  • Lettuce Mix
  • Fava Leaves – These are leaves from the fava plants that would eventually produce fava beans. The leaves taste a little green-beany and are tasty in salads, sauteed, or made into pesto.
  • Rainbowish Carrots – Mostly orange, but you’ll find a few purple and yellow roots mixed too.
  • Strawberry Paw Red-Skinned Potatoes
  • Rutabaga – Less pungent than most turnips, but similar, we like rutabagas mashed with potatoes or oven roasted with their rooty friends.
  • Celeriac – A celery flavored root! Eat it roasted, mashed, in soups or stews, or in savory pies.
  • Purple Daikon Radishes
  • Bunching Onions – Call them scallions, green onions, or whatever, just eat them!
  • Garlic
  • Yellow Onion
  • Butternut Squash
  • Starry Night Acorn Squash – A new-to-us acorn squash said to be sweet and smooth.
  • Wolverine’s Orca Dry Beans – Our favorite dry bean, and the only one we grow these days, these orca beans are more substantial than some dry beans and hold up well in stews or chili. Named for a Secwepemc elder Wolverine William Ignace, who you can read more about over on Adaptive Seeds website.
  • Dried Farm Apples!

Many thanks to everyone who responded to our winter weather watch email.  It was really helpful to know our message about a possible CSA pick-up delay had gotten through to most members.  We think the weather has cleared enough for us to go ahead with the pick-ups as previously planned. 

Notes about this week’s pick-up:

  • Come to the Salem or Farm pick-up as early as 2pm this week for more daylight driving. We’ll stay until everyone picks-up or 6pm, whichever comes first.
  • Shoot us an email at farmers@pitchforkandcrow.com if you can’t safely make it to your pick-up and we’ll make alternative arrangements for Saturday.
Snow day number two!

We’re really bringing the winter to the Winter CSA this week! We’ve been keeping an eye on the forecast since the last pick-up, hoping for clear days to make progress on our newest high tunnel building project. Instead we got 3.5 inches of rain in 48 hours last week and now 5 inches of snow! As the cold temperatures and snow called for in the ten day forecast solidified and appeared to be the real deal we made plans to get extra storage crops out of the field. Carrots, rutabaga, kohlrabi, and celeriac all found space in the very full walk-in coolers.

Impending winter weather meant a week full of early harvesting and row covering crops in the field.

As the week progressed it became apparent that we needed to harvest early for the CSA too. We harvested the hearty roots earlier in the week followed by the more tender greens this weekend just ahead of this lovely blanket of snow. That’s how we ended up harvesting on both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day for the first time in nine seasons of Winter CSAing. Thanks to this early planning and work we’re bring you a full share of the winter bounty!

Snow day!

Over the years we’ve generally lucked out with winter weather. There have been a couple of big snowstorms and a couple of very low temperature events in memory, but overall the valley is a pretty okay place to be undertaking this winter farming adventure. Our luck has held again this time around and we were gifted with just 5 inches of powdery light snow on Sunday that required a single round of sweeping the greenhouses. We’d invested in a couple of handy roof rakes several years back and it took just an hour and a half to clear the six houses that required clearing.

First step of building a new high tunnel done. The footings are set and ready for the bows to be added when we get another spell of less wintry weather.

We’re looking forward to getting this share in the books and hope we can get everyone through the pick-ups safely. As the snow melts and the farmscape returns to normal, we plan on making more progress on the high tunnel building project, finishing up our seed inventory and 2022 crop plan, and maybe even getting off the farm for a belated holiday celebration.

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

Your farmers,
Carri Heisler & Jeff Bramlett

.

Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:

Celery Root and Carrot Soup

  • 1/2 large celery root (celeriac), peeled, chopped
  • 1/2 pound carrots, peeled, chopped
  • 1/4 cup plain whole-milk yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated peeled ginger
  • Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
  • Celery leaves and chopped Granny Smith apple (for serving)

Place celery root and carrots in a large pot; add 6 cups water. Bring to a simmer over medium heat; cook until tender, 30–35 minutes. Let cool slightly. Purée in a blender with yogurt, honey, coriander, and ginger until smooth; season with salt and pepper.

Serve soup topped with celery leaves and apple.

From Epicurious.com, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/celery-root-and-carrot-soup

Roasted Autumn Vegetables

  • Nonstick vegetable oil spray
  • 1 1/2 pounds butternut squash, peeled, cut into 3×1/2-inch wedges
  • 1 1/2 pounds rutabagas, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch-thick wedges
  • 1 1/4 pounds red-skinned sweet potatoes (yams), cut into 2×3/4-inch wedges
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh chives
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray large rimmed baking sheet with nonstick spray. Combine squash, rutabagas, and sweet potatoes in large bowl. Add oil and cayenne and toss to coat. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Spread vegetable mixture on prepared baking sheet. Roast until vegetables are tender, stirring and turning occasionally, about 1 hour. (Vegetables can be prepared 4 hours ahead. Let stand on baking sheet at room temperature. Rewarm in 350°F oven until heated through, about 15 minutes.)

Transfer vegetable mixture to bowl. Add red onion, chives, and vinegar; toss to blend. Season with salt and pepper.

From Epicurious.com, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/roasted-autumn-vegetables-231105

Shredded Brussels Sprouts and Scallions

  • a 10-ounce container Brussels sprouts (about 26), trimmed
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 scallions, sliced thin diagonally
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lime juice, or to taste

Cut sprouts in half and slice thin lengthwise. In a heavy skillet melt butter over moderately high heat until foam subsides and sauté sprouts and scallions, stirring, until tender and lightly browned, about 8 minutes. In a bowl toss vegetables with lime juice and salt and pepper to taste.

From Epicurious.com, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/shredded-brussels-sprouts-and-scallions-11807

Chicory, Bacon, and Poached Egg Salad

  • 4 oz. Parmesan
  • 1 medium shallot, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. honey
  • 7 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
  • 8 oz. slab or thick-cut bacon, cut into 1/2″ pieces
  • 2 (8″-long) sprigs rosemary
  • 1 lb. mixed wild mushrooms (such as shiitake, maitake, and/or oyster), woody stems removed
  • 1 lb. chicory (such as radicchio, escarole, and/or frisée), leaves torn into 3″ pieces
  • 4 large eggs

Finely grate half of the Parmesan into a large bowl. Add shallot, vinegar, honey, and 5 Tbsp. oil and whisk well; season dressing with salt and pepper.

Cook bacon in a large skillet over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until brown and beginning to crisp, about 5 minutes. Add rosemary and cook, turning once, until crisp, about 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer bacon and rosemary to paper towels.

Add remaining 2 Tbsp. oil to skillet and heat over medium-high. Arrange mushrooms in pan in a single layer and cook, undisturbed, until golden brown underneath, about 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, toss, and continue to cook, tossing often, until golden brown all over, about 5 minutes. Transfer to bowl with dressing, but don’t toss. Strip rosemary leaves off stems into bowl and add chicory.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Reduce heat so water is at a bare simmer. Crack an egg into a small bowl; gently slide egg into water. Quickly repeat with remaining eggs. Poach, rotating eggs gently with a large slotted spoon, until whites are set but yolks are still runny, about 3 minutes. Using spoon, transfer eggs to paper towels. Season with salt and pepper.

Toss salad to coat leaves; season with salt and divide among plates. Shave remaining Parmesan over and top with bacon and poached eggs.

From Epicurious.com, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/chicory-bacon-and-poached-egg-salad

Winter CSA Share #1

Welcome to the 1st share of the Pitchfork & Crow 2021/2022 Winter CSA! Here’s what’s in the share this week:

  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Napa Cabbage
  • Big Winter Spinach
  • Mini Romaine Lettuces
  • Cilantro
  • Rainbowish Carrots – Mostly orange, but you’ll find a few purple and yellow roots mixed too.
  • Fingerling Potatoes
  • Sweet Potatoes – The smaller side of our small sweet potato crop. Still tasty tubers though!
  • Purple Top White Globe Turnip
  • Purple Daikon Radishes
  • Garlic
  • Onions
  • Long Pie Pumpkin – Like an elongated pie pumpkin, more pumpkin for your pie needs!
  • Kabocha Squash – A drier, flakier orange fleshed squash great in pies, soups, and curries.
  • Dried Farm Apples!
Up above the farm, looking east.

Welcome to the first week of the Winter CSA! We’re excited to kick off our ninth winter season and hope you are too! Whether you’re a returning member who is already well versed in seasonal eating or a new member joining us for the first time, we hope you know we’ll be trying our darndest to bring you the best organic vegetables we can grow to each CSA pick-up over the next five months.

Looking down on the center of the farm.

As you know already, winter weather can be unpredictable and growing conditions are the most challenging through the winter months. Ice and snow can be game changers. Short cold days mean not much plant growth is happening at the moment so we’re relying on the planning and planting that happened last summer and fall. That’s all to say that while winter may like to keep us on our toes, there will be vegetables to eat and hopefully they’ll include a wide diversity!

Morning light, above the farm, looking west.

We often get questions about how we spent the two week break between the end of the Summer CSA season and the beginning of the Winter CSA season. No, we didn’t have big travel plans, but we did manage to leave the farm for a couple of day-long adventures. The photos up above were taken with a drone, an early Christmas present from Jeff. In addition to testing it out around the farm we took it up to the woods and over to the beach.

Can you see us?

In between our drone flying lessons we also managed to knock out some end-of-season farm projects. We disassembled the tomato trellising and cleaned out the tomato house. We put the ends on some of the high tunnels for the winter. We finished cleaning the dry beans and shelled the flour corn, thus freeing up the propagation house for spring seed-starting. We re-organized the winter squash and cleaned the barn. We ordered a new high tunnel, which will be arriving on Thursday. We found a shop that fixes hydraulic cylinders and had our tractor’s loader cylinders repaired. We did some serious cleaning of our house (though it’s hard to tell in spots now that we’ve returned to mud season). We ate pies, roasted vegetables, salmon with chicories, and homemade potstickers. It was a successful working staycation!

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

Your farmers,
Carri Heisler & Jeff Bramlett

.

Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:

CHICKEN STIR-FRY WITH YAMS, RED CABBAGE, AND HOISIN

  • 2 tablespoons Asian sesame oil, divided
  • yams (red-skinned sweet potatoes; about 1 pound), peeled, cut crosswise into 1/3-inch-thick rounds, then cut into 1/3-inch-wide strips
  • red onion, cut lengthwise into 1/3-inch-thick slices
  • 8 ounces skinless boneless chicken cutlets, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-wide strips
  • 1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
  • garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 cups 1/3-inch-thick strips sliced red cabbage (about 1/4 medium head) (how about napa cabbage?)
  • 3 tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • 3/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Heat 1 tablespoon sesame oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add yams and onion; stir-fry until yams are just tender, adjusting heat if browning too quickly and adding water by tablespoonfuls if mixture is dry, about 12 minutes. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil to skillet. Add chicken, ginger, and garlic; stir-fry 1 minute. Add cabbage; stirfry until chicken is cooked through and cabbage is wilted but still slightly crunchy, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in hoisin sauce. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Mix in 1/2 cup cilantro. Transfer stir-fry to serving bowl; sprinkle with remaining cilantro.

From Epicurious.com via Bon Appétit, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/chicken-stir-fry-with-yams-red-cabbage-and-hoisin-351250

ROOT VEGETABLE TAGINE WITH SWEET POTATOES, CARROTS, TURNIPS, AND SPICE-ROASTED CHICKPEAS

  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
  • 4 1/2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt, divided
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped onion
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 1/4 cups 1/2-inch cubes peeled carrots
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 1/4 pounds red-skinned sweet potatoes, peeled, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 pound turnips (about 2 medium), peeled, cut into 3/4-inch wedges
  • 3/4 cup brine-cured green olives, pitted, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes (about 1 ounce; not oil-packed), thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon dried mint
  • 1 10-ounce box plain couscous (cooked according to package directions)
  • Spice-Roasted Chickpeas

Toast coriander, cumin, and caraway seeds in small skillet over medium heat until beginning to brown, about 2 minutes. Cool. Transfer to spice mill; process until finely ground. Transfer to small bowl. Add red pepper, turmeric, and 1/2 teaspoon salt.

Mix lemon slices, lemon juice, and 4 teaspoons coarse salt in small skillet. Bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until lemon slices are almost tender, about 10 minutes. Cool preserved lemon. Drain and chop. DO AHEAD: Spice blend and preserved lemon can be made 1 week ahead. Store spice blend airtight at room temperature. Transfer preserved lemon to small bowl; cover and chill.

Heat olive oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add onion; sprinkle with salt and sauté until beginning to soften, about 5 minutes. Add toasted spice blend, garlic, and tomato paste; stir 1 minute. Add carrots and celery; stir 2 minutes. Add chopped preserved lemon, 4 cups water, sweet potatoes, turnips, olives, and sun-dried tomatoes. Simmer with lid ajar until vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally, about 35 minutes. Stir in parsley, cilantro, and mint. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Remove from heat and let stand 10 minutes to allow flavors to blend.

Spoon couscous into large bowl, spreading out to edges and leaving well in center. Spoon vegetable tagine into well in center. Sprinkle Spice-Roasted Chickpeas over and serve.

From Epicurious.com via Bon Appétit, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Root-Vegetable-Tagine-with-Sweet-Potatoes-Carrots-Turnips-and-Spice-Roasted-Chickpeas-361252

ROASTED ROOT VEGETABLES

  • 2 1/2-pound butternut squash, peeled, seeded, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 5 cups)
  • 1 1/2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, unpeeled, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 bunch beets (about 1 1/2 pounds), trimmed but not peeled, scrubbed, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (how about carrots and/or sweet potatoes?)
  • 1 medium-size red onion, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 2 cups)
  • 1 large turnip, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 1 cup)
  • 1 head of garlic, cloves separated, peeled
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Preheat oven to 425°F. Oil 2 large rimmed baking sheets. Combine all ingredients in very large bowl; toss to coat. Divide vegetables between prepared baking sheets; spread evenly. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Roast vegetables until tender and golden brown, stirring occasionally, about 1 hour 15 minutes. (Can be prepared 2 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature. Rewarm in 350°F oven 15 minutes.)

From Epicurious.com via Bon Appétit, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/roasted-root-vegetables-104833

Summer CSA Share #26

Welcome to the 26th and final share of the Pitchfork & Crow 2021 Summer CSA!  Here’s what’s in the share this week:

  • Cooking Greens Mix – A braising mix of chard, collards, and four types of kale.
  • Redarling Brussels Sprouts
  • Castelfranco Radicchio Mix – Great for salads with punchy dressings like vinaigrette and toppings like citrus, strong cheese, and olives. You can also cook radicchio to bring out some of the sweetness as in the two recipes at the bottom of this post.
  • Cauliflower – Some of these got a little frost damaged this week, but they should still be tasty.
  • Celery
  • Parsley
  • Sage
  • Strawberry Paw Potatoes
  • Sweet Potatoes – We managed to grow a handful of sweet potatoes this season. Even though we didn’t water them well enough and had to re-plant most of them, thus getting them started a month late, and then the deer ate most of the leaves and the gophers and voles ate many of the tubers, we have sweet potatoes! We don’t have many, but some is better than none, right?
  • Beets – Choose from red and orange!
  • Fresh Onions
  • Garlic
  • Butternut Winter Squash
  • Pie Pumpkin
  • Polenta (aka grits) – We grow a flint corn called Cascade Ruby Gold that grinds partially into flour and partially into polenta when milled. This week we’re sharing polenta and last week we shared the flour. You can use this polenta in recipes calling for uncooked polenta or corn grits. We like to cook it in our rice cooker at a 1 cup polenta to 3 cups water ratio. It’s even better if you add some butter and cheese once cooked.

As we wrap up the 2021 Summer CSA season and also celebrate Thanksgiving this week I wanted to take a moment to say thanks. Thank you for supporting our farm this season. Thank you for choosing to eat local and seasonal vegetables for the past six months. Thank you for showing up week after week. We know things have been difficult these past couple of years and we appreciate your willingness to make the CSA a part of your lives.

Here are some season stats: This year each weekly share consisted of an average of 17.65lbs per week for 26 weeks. That’s 459lbs of organic vegetables for each weekly share over the season. All combined that means Jeff and I distributed approximately 51,408lbs of produce this season. Through our partnership with the Linn Benton Food Share, 9,180lbs of those organic vegetables went directly to the Lebanon Soup Kitchen and Lebanon food pantries. Not bad for a two-person operation, if I do say so.

We hope you’ve enjoyed this past season as much as we have. We know the CSA can seem overwhelming at times but hopefully you’ve found a rhythm to the season and had some fun in the kitchen along the way. Though we’re focused on growing and harvesting the best vegetables we can, the magic really happens in each of your kitchens as you prep. and cook and eat them. Thanks for taking our vegetables on your kitchen adventures!

Because we take a short break between seasons most of you will be headed to the produce department of the grocery store sooner than later, either in person or virtually. As you ponder your options, experiencing all the choices in the world, we hope you’ll take a bit of your CSA experience with you. Hopefully you’ll be more curious to know where that produce was grown, not just what country but what farm? How far did it travel? Is it seasonal? What were the growing practices? Who were the people that grew and harvested it?

Scenes from the final Summer CSA harvest.

We’ll see many of you in a few weeks for the start of the Winter CSA. We’re excited to see what the winter season has in store for us and hope you are too! For everyone else we hope you have a fantastic winter! Keep an eye out for an email from us in early January as we gear up for the 2022 Summer CSA! Hopefully you’ll consider joining us for another round of local, seasonal, organic vegetables.

Have a happy Thanksgiving and enjoy the vegetables! We’ll see Winter CSA members on December 14th & 15th for the beginning of the Winter season.

Enjoy the vegetables!

Your farmers,
Carri Heisler & Jeff Bramlett

.

Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:

Cauliflower and Brussels Sprout Gratin with Pine Nut-Breadcrumb Topping

  • 1 1/2 pounds brussels sprouts, trimmed, quartered lengthwise through core
  • 1 1 1/2-to 1 3/4-pound head of cauliflower, trimmed, cut into small florets
  • 2 3/4 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup chopped shallots
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
  • 11/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup plain dry breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts, lightly toasted
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • 3 cups grated Parmesan cheese, divided

Fill large bowl with ice and cold water. Cook brussels sprouts in large pot of generously salted boiling water 2 minutes. Add cauliflower to same pot; cook until vegetables are crisp-tender, about 3 minutes longer. Drain. Transfer vegetables to bowl of ice water to cool. Drain well.

Combine cream, shallots, and sage in large saucepan. Bring to boil. Reduce heat; simmer until mixture is reduced to 21/2 cups, about 10 minutes. Season with salt. Remove from heat. Cool slightly.

Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add breadcrumbs; stir until beginning to brown, about 2 minutes. Transfer to bowl; cool. Stir in pine nuts and parsley. Season with salt and pepper.

Butter 13x9x2-inch glass baking dish; arrange half of vegetables in dish. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, then 1 1/2 cups Parmesan. Arrange remaining vegetables evenly over, then sprinkle with remaining 1 1/2 cups Parmesan. Pour cream mixture evenly over. DO AHEAD: Breadcrumb topping and gratin can be made 1 day ahead. Cover separately and chill. Bring to room temperature before continuing.

Preheat oven to 375°F. Cover gratin with foil. Bake covered 40 minutes. Uncover; sprinkle breadcrumb topping over and bake uncovered 15 minutes longer.

From Epicurious.com by Lora Zarubin, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/cauliflower-and-brussels-sprout-gratin-with-pine-nut-breadcrumb-topping-350452

Butternut Squash and Roasted-Garlic Bisque

  • 2 heads of garlic, halved crosswise
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
  • 3 cups chopped onions
  • 3/4 cup chopped carrots
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 4 pounds butternut squash, peeled, seeded, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 6 cups canned low-salt chicken broth
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon whipping cream

Preheat oven to 350°F. Rub cut surfaces of garlic with oil. Put halves back together to reassemble heads. Wrap each tightly in foil; bake until tender, about 40 minutes. Cool garlic in foil.

Melt butter in heavy large pot over medium heat. Add onions, carrots and celery; sauté until onions are beginning to soften, about 5 minutes. Add squash, broth and 2 tablespoons sage. Bring to boil. Reduce heat; simmer uncovered until squash is tender, about 25 minutes.

Meanwhile, unwrap garlic. Squeeze from skin into small bowl. Discard skin. Mash garlic with fork until smooth.

Stir garlic into soup. Working in batches, purée soup in blender until smooth. Return to pot. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Refrigerate uncovered until cold. Cover and keep refrigerated. Bring to simmer before continuing.) Stir in 1/2 cup cream. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer soup to tureen. Drizzle with remaining 1 tablespoon cream.

Sprinkle with remaining 1 tablespoon sage.

From Epicurious.com, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/butternut-squash-and-roasted-garlic-bisque-104280

Sheet-Pan Roasted Squash and Feta Salad

  • 1 large or 2 small acorn or delicata squash (about 1½ lb. total), halved lengthwise, seeded, cut into ¼” slices (or any winter squash really)
  • ¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1½ tsp. kosher salt, divided
  • 4 slices country bread, cut into 1″ cubes (about 4 cups)
  • ½ lb. Greek feta, cut into 1″ cubes
  • ¼ cup sherry or red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp. honey
  • 1 tsp. thyme leaves
  • 1 head of radicchio or ½ head of escarole, leaves separated, torn into large pieces
  • Aleppo-style pepper (for serving; optional)

Arrange a rack in top third of oven; preheat to 400°F. Toss squash, black pepper, 2 Tbsp. oil, and 1 tsp. salt on an 18×13″ rimmed baking sheet and arrange in an even layer. Roast until squash is beginning to brown on one side, 10–15 minutes. Turn squash, then arrange bread and feta over. Roast until bread is lightly toasted and feta is soft and warmed through, 8–10 minutes.

Whisk vinegar, honey, thyme, and remaining 6 Tbsp. oil and ½ tsp. salt in a large bowl until well combined. Add radicchio and hot squash mixture and toss to combine.

Transfer to a platter and sprinkle with Aleppo pepper (if using).

From Epicurious.com by Anna Stockwell, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/sheet-pan-roasted-squash-and-feta-salad

Farro, Radicchio, and Roasted Beet Salad

  • 8 1- to 1 1/2-inch-diameter beets, tops trimmed to 1 inch
  • Vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 cups semi-pearled farro or wheat berries
  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 4 tablespoons red wine vinegar, divided
  • 1 garlic clove, pressed
  • 2 cups (packed) thinly sliced quartered radicchio (from about 1 medium head)
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • 1 cup crumbled feta cheese (about 4 ounces)

Preheat oven to 350°F. Arrange beets in single layer in 8 x 8 x 2-inch baking dish. Drizzle with vegetable oil. Cover with foil and roast until beets are tender, about 45 minutes. Cool. Trim beets; peel. DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover; chill.

Cook farro in large saucepan of boiling salted water until tender, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes. Drain. Transfer to large bowl. Stir 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 tablespoon vinegar, and garlic into hot farro. Cool to room temperature.

Cut each beet into 6 to 8 wedges. Add beets, radicchio, onion, and parsley to farro; toss to incorporate evenly. DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill.

Whisk 2 tablespoons olive oil and 3 tablespoons vinegar in small bowl. Drizzle over salad. Add feta cheese; toss to coat.

From Epicurious.com by Jeanne Kelley, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/farro-radicchio-and-roasted-beet-salad-359409

Summer CSA Share #25

Welcome to the 25th share of the Pitchfork & Crow 2021 Summer CSA!  Here’s what’s in the share this week:

  • Collards or Rainbow Chard
  • Arugula – A peppery addition to soups, pasta, or salads, toss them in at the end of cooking for a quick wilting.
  • Escarole
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Thyme
  • Rose Finn Apple Fingerling Potatoes
  • Carrots
  • Purple Bunching Onions
  • Fresh Onions
  • Garlic
  • Thelma Sanders Sweet Potato Acorn Squash – An heirloom squash from Missouri, said to be creamy smooth and sweet.
  • Corn FlourWe grow a flint corn called Cascade Ruby Gold that grinds partially into flour and partially into polenta when milled. This week we’re sharing flour and next week we’ll share the polenta. You can use this flour in any recipe calling for corn flour or cornmeal. We like to use it for perfect cornbread.
Collard bunches (left) and purple bunching onions (right).

What a blustery harvest day we had yesterday! Though we only got a quarter inch of rain, it certainly felt like more as we were soaked while bunching collards and chard. Whew! The farm weather station says we had a max wind speed of 32mph and wind gust of 37.6mph yesterday. It was a windy one and we’re glad it calmed down as quickly as it started up.

Wind storms are maybe our least favorite here on the farm. Wind and greenhouse plastic can fight to the death, and it’s never pretty when the wind wins those battles. Luckily this time around the wind blew through and left all of our greenhouses intact.

Corn grinding! From left to right: flint corn kernels, flint corn milled, corn flour sifted out from the polenta, and polenta.

The wind and the rain are putting the exclamation point on the fact that we’ve made it to November. Leaves are falling, the days are shortening, and we’re just about to wrap up this Summer CSA season! In fact this is the final week for the “Group A” biweekly members.

This is the first season we’ve offered this option and it’s a little strange to be saying goodbye to some members one week early after so many years of wrapping things up the week of Thanksgiving. We’ve been harvesting 112 weekly shares this season, and 14 of them went to members who chose the option to pick-up every other week. By which I mean 28 members signed on for the biweekly pick-ups and 14 picked-up each week. It’s been an interesting experiment this biweekly option, and I think we’ll continue to offer it in the future. Though we’ve been worse at learning some biweekly member’s names, this option does seem to fill a need for those members who want to participate in the CSA but need fewer vegetables in their lives.

We want to say thank you to the biweekly members who jumped in this season. Hopefully you found the CSA to be a good fit for you and we look forward to seeing you all again in the future, including those of you we’ll see in a few weeks for the start of the Winter CSA.

A tractor fix (left) and early sunset (right).

This past week we kept busy with some indoor projects like cleaning onions, grinding corn, and updating the Winter CSA member handbook and website details. We also managed to get some early harvesting done in the field. But there’s one task that beat out the others.

Sometimes a project takes some working up to. You’ve got to mentally prepare for the worst outcome and hope for the best. This season that project has been a diesel fuel leak on our main field work tractor.

At some point this season it became apparent that we had a fuel leak and then as the season progressed so did the smoke and fumes caused by the leak. Repeated visual inspections did not help locate the leak, as everything on the tractor motor appeared to be covered in diesel. We cautiously continued the work of the season, the problem worsening. Mechanical problems like this are never easy to face. Our tractor is unique and the dealer/mechanic is up in Aurora, which is far away enough that taking the tractor in to be worked on is an expensive endeavor before they ever set eyes on the thing. Also, neither of us are mechanics, though Jeff certainly knows more about engines than I do. Thus, an ever-worsening problem such as we were facing was rather daunting.

We finally made it to a point this past week where Jeff was ready to fully investigate, preparing for the worst. He’d researched, he’d finished the majority of field work, we’d budgeted for an expensive fix. So it’s really impressive that after taking off the tractor loader and the hood, some back and forth with diesel mechanic videos on Youtube, and a couple of trips to the auto parts store he was able to diagnose and fix the problem! A leaky fuel injector was the culprit and some new hose and a clamp was all it took to fix. An expensive trip to the tractor repair shop has been averted and we’re both relieved to have the tractor in working order again.

With the tractor fixed, this week we’ll be preparing for the final week of the CSA season. Here’s our tentative harvest list for next week as you begin your Thanksgiving shopping:

  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Butternut Squash
  • Pie Pumpkin
  • Onions
  • Sage
  • Parsley
  • Potatoes
  • Mizuna
  • Garlic
  • Celery
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Chicory Mix
  • Kale Mix
  • Polenta

We’ll see the majority of you next week for the final share of the Summer CSA!

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

Your farmers,
Carri Heisler & Jeff Bramlett

.

Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:

Lemony Pasta with Cauliflower, Chickpeas, and Arugula

  • 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1/4 cup drained capers, patted dry
  • 1 small or 1/2 large head of cauliflower (about 1 pound), cut into small florets
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt, plus more
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained, rinsed, patted dry
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) cold unsalted butter, divided
  • 8 ounces casarecce, gemelli, or other medium pasta
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 6 cups baby arugula

Heat 4 Tbsp. oil in a large deep-sided skillet over medium-high. Add capers and cook, swirling pan occasionally, until they burst and are crisp, about 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer capers to a paper towel-lined plate; set aside. Reserve oil in skillet.

Cook cauliflower in same skillet over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until beginning to brown, about 3 minutes. Reduce heat to low and add garlic, 1 tsp. salt, and 1/2 tsp. pepper. Cover and cook until cauliflower begins to soften, about 4 minutes. Uncover and increase heat to high. Add chickpeas, 2 Tbsp. butter, and remaining 2 Tbsp. oil and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until cauliflower and chickpeas are lightly browned, about 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally, until al dente. Drain, reserving 1 cup pasta cooking liquid.

Remove skillet from heat and add lemon juice, 1/2 cup pasta cooking liquid, and remaining 2 Tbsp. butter. Add pasta, tossing and adding more pasta cooking liquid as needed, until coated.

Divide arugula and pasta among bowls, stirring to combine. Top with reserved crispy capers.

From Epicurious.com by Anna Stockwell, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/lemony-pasta-with-cauliflower-chickpeas-and-arugula

Roasted Potatoes and Cauliflower with Chives

  • 3 large russet (baking) potatoes
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small head of cauliflower, cut into small flowerets
  • 1/3 cup thinly sliced fresh chives plus 8 whole chives for garnish if desired

Peel the potatoes, with a melon-ball cutter scoop out as many balls as possible from them, and in a jelly-roll pan toss the balls with the oil and salt and pepper to taste. Roast the potatoes in the middle of a preheated 450°F. oven, turning them occasionally, for 15 minutes. Add the cauliflower, toss the mixture well, and roast it for 10 minutes, or until the cauliflower is tender and golden in spots. Toss the vegetables with the sliced chives and salt and pepper to taste and serve them garnished with the whole chives.

From Epicurious.com, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/roasted-potatoes-and-cauliflower-with-chives-12742

Winter Squash Soup with Gruyère Croutons

Soup

  • 1/4 cup ( 1/2 stick) butter
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 4 large garlic cloves, chopped
  • 3 14 1/2-ounce cans low-salt chicken broth
  • 4 cups 1-inch pieces peeled butternut squash (about 1 1/2 pounds) (or any other winter squash)
  • 4 cups 1-inch pieces peeled acorn squash (about 1 1/2 pounds)
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons minced fresh thyme
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons minced fresh sage
  • 1/4 cup whipping cream
  • 2 teaspoons sugar

Croutons

  • 2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter
  • 24 1/4-inch-thick baguette bread slices
  • 1 cup grated Gruyère cheese
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh sage

For soup:

Melt butter in large pot over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and sauté until tender, about 10 minutes. Add broth, all squash and herbs; bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until squash is very tender, about 20 minutes.

Working in batches, puree soup in blender. Return soup to same pot. Stir in cream and sugar; bring to simmer. Season with salt and pepper. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Chill. Rewarm over medium heat before serving.)

For croutons:

Preheat broiler. Butter 1 side of each bread slice. Arrange bread, buttered side up, on baking sheet. Broil until golden, about 1 minute. Turn over. Sprinkle cheese, then thyme and sage over. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Broil until cheese melts, about 1 minute. Ladle soup into bowls. Top each with croutons and serve.

From Epicurious.com, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/winter-squash-soup-with-gruyere-croutons-2997

Summer CSA Share #24

Welcome to the 24th share of the Pitchfork & Crow 2021 Summer CSA!  Here’s what’s in the share this week:

  • Napa Cabbage
  • Mustard Greens – A spicy addition to soups, pasta, or salads, toss them in at the end of cooking for a quick wilting.
  • Cilantro
  • ‘Alpine’ Daikon Radishes – These big radishes are very mild, a little sweet, and delicious in soups, roasted, or shaved over salads.
  • Carrots!
  • Bunching Onions
  • Fresh Onions
  • Garlic
  • Bulgarian Carrot Hot Peppers – The internet says these are 12 times the heat of a jalapeno, so I’d say they’re HOT!
  • Shishito Peppers – The last of the roulette peppers for the season. I’ve heard many of you’ve gotten hot ones this year!
  • Gill’s Golden Pippin Acorn Squash – Our favorite little tasty acorn squash!
  • Green Tomatoes – Of course fried green tomatoes are classic but what about green tomato pie? Check out this site for another 13 green tomato recipe ideas. Also, some bags included a slightly more ripe tomato or two. Those can be left on a windowsill to ripen for a late-fall tomato treat.
  • Ripe Tomato – The very last ripe tomato of the season. For reals.
  • Wolverine’s Orca Dry Beans – Our favorite dry bean, and the only one we grow these days, these orca beans are more substantial than some dry beans and hold up well in stews or chili. Named for a Secwepemc elder Wolverine William Ignace, who you can read more about over on Adaptive Seeds website.
Green tomatoes (top left), cilantro harvest (top right), and dry beans (bottom photos) all headed your way this week!

How’s the time change treating you? As you go about your days adjusting schedules and getting acquainted with dark evenings please remember that daylight savings and these clock shifts have no connection to farmers. That’s a myth. Our work is not centered around the clock and goes on despite the shift. We’ll all be plunged into darkness together at this week’s pick-up.

The daylight-centered concept that’s more relevant to growing vegetables this time of year is a little different. Last Thursday we dropped below 10 hours of daylight. We’ll continue to lose minutes of daylight each day until the Winter Solstice on December 21st, when we hit a low of 8 hours and 42 minutes, the shortest day of the year. At that point we’ll begin gaining daylight slowly each day and we’ll again hit the 10 hour day length on February 7th. This time period between last Thursday and February 7th is known as the Persephone Period. (Named for the Greek goddess of spring growth and the underworld and is pronounced per-seh-fuh-nee.)

Plant growth is at a minimum during these short days. Growing vegetables year round means planning ahead, especially this time of year. We needed most things that will be growing in the ground through the winter to be nearly or fully mature as we head into the Persephone period if we’re planning on harvesting them in the coming months. We’ve been preparing all summer for these last Summer CSA harvests and first Winter CSA harvests. Plants don’t care much about clocks, but they do respond to the sun.

We tackled the weeds in the winter lettuce high tunnel this week!

This past week we managed to knock a couple of projects off the To Do list. Our collective energy for pushing ahead in these last few weeks of the season has certainly slowed and we’ve taken to celebrating every identified project as a win. This week we cleaned all the garlic, moving it from hanging in the tractor barn to stacked in the germination chamber in the process. The germ. chamber, an insulated room we normally use for germinating seeds, is pulling double duty as a storage room these days. We’ve been filling it up with our meager sweet potato harvest, onions, and now garlic.

Other things that got done include adding a couple of stacks of daikon radishes to the walk-in storage for winter shares as we continue to pull roots from the field and catching up on some accounting plus making a plan for 2022’s potato planting. Finally, we made time to clean up the high tunnel that’s currently filled with winter lettuce, spinach, bok choy, and bunching onions. The weeds had made an appearance but after an afternoon of hoeing it’s now looking much better.

In the week ahead we’ll be striving for more mini-celebrations as we tackle other projects that have been patiently waiting to be tackled. We’ll be pulling more roots from the field (beets and carrots and radishes and potatoes!), flame-weeding the garlic and overwintering onions, and grinding corn for sifting into corn flour and polenta for upcoming shares. We’ve got two more shares before we wrap up this season and we think they’re going to be very tasty!

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

Your farmers,
Carri Heisler & Jeff Bramlett

.

Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:

Chinese Chicken Noodle Soup with Sesame and Green Onions

  • 1 pound skinless boneless chicken breast halves, cut crosswise into thin strips
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons dry Sherry
  • 2 tablespoons oriental sesame oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 tablespoons tahini (sesame seed paste)
  • 2 tablespoons minced peeled fresh ginger
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon seasoned rice vinegar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chili-garlic sauce
  • 4 cups chopped Napa cabbage (from 1 head)
  • 6 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 8 cups canned low-salt chicken broth
  • 1 14-ounce package fresh yakisoba noodles or Chinese pan-fry noodles
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Stir chicken, soy sauce, Sherry, and 1 tablespoon sesame oil in medium bowl to blend. Let stand 20 minutes or refrigerate up to 2 hours.

Whisk garlic, tahini, ginger, sugar, vinegar, and chili sauce in small bowl.

Heat remaining 1 tablespoon sesame oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add cabbage and green onions and sauté until cabbage is tender, about 5 minutes. Add broth and bring to boil. Add chicken with marinade and tahini-garlic mixture. Reduce heat to low and simmer until chicken is cooked through, about 5 minutes. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cool slightly; cover and refrigerate. Bring to simmer before continuing.)

Cook noodles in large pot of boiling salted water until tender, about 5 minutes. Drain. Add to soup in pot. Stir in half of cilantro. Season soup with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with remaining cilantro.

From Epicurious.com, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/chinese-chicken-noodle-soup-with-sesame-and-green-onions-106192

Goat Cheese Pizzas with Indian-Spiced Tomatoes and Mustard Greens

Topping

  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 5 large shallots, finely chopped
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
  • 2 1/2 cups crushed tomatoes with added puree
  • 2 cups chopped mustard greens

Flatbreads

  • 2 cups semolina flour (pasta flour)
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1 1/4 cups water, room temperature
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 8 ounces soft fresh goat cheese (such as Montrachet), crumbled

For Topping:

Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add shallots and next 5 ingredients; sauté 3 minutes. Add tomatoes; reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes to thicken slightly. Add greens; stir until wilted, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover; chill.)

For Flatbreads:

Mix first 4 ingredients in large bowl. Stir in 1 1/4 cups water and cilantro. Knead in bowl until smooth, about 5 minutes. Cover with kitchen towel; let rest 30 minutes. Divide dough into 4 pieces; roll each into ball. Cover loosely with plastic wrap; let rest on work surface 30 minutes. Roll out each dough ball on lightly floured surface to 9-inch round.

Heat large dry nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add 1 flatbread round to skillet; cook until bottom of bread is golden brown in spots and bread puffs slightly, about 4 minutes. Turn bread over; cook until bottom is brown in spots, about 3 minutes. Repeat with remaining dough.

Preheat oven to 450°F. Place breads on baking sheet. Spread 1/4 of topping over each. Sprinkle with cheese. Bake until heated through, about 8 minutes.

From Epicurious.com, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/goat-cheese-pizzas-with-indian-spiced-tomatoes-and-mustard-greens-105528

Apple-Filled Acorn Squash Rings with Curry Butter

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

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

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

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

Summer CSA Share #23

Welcome to the 23rd share of the Pitchfork & Crow 2021 Summer CSA!  Here’s what’s in the share this week:

  • Lettuce Mix
  • Curly Kale
  • Celery
  • Hakurei Salad Turnips – These Japanese salad turnips are a favorite. They’re delicious raw or roasted and you can eat the tops too. Also, some bunches have one or two stray purple radishes bunched in too.
  • Strawberry Paw Potatoes
  • Kohlrabi – You can eat kohlrabi raw shaved into salads or cut up into matchsticks, or roast it up with other root vegetables.
  • Leeks
  • Fresh Onions
  • Poblano Peppers – Usually mild chiles, we’ve come across some fairly spicy fruits this year! I’m thinking of trying out this Poblano Corn Chowder this week.
  • Low Heat Habanero Peppers – These “Numex Suave” habanero peppers have all the flavor but less of the spice.
  • Candystick Dessert Delicata Squash
  • Green Apples
Digging potatoes (top left), purple top turnips (top right), mini purple daikon radishes (bottom left), and a day’s potato digging efforts (bottom right). Winter storage crops for the win!

And suddenly it’s November! We’re down to the final month of the Summer CSA and we’ve got a solid fall vegetable line-up headed your way. It’s time to start roasting roots, simmering soups, and upping your salad game. Here on the farm the shorter days mean there’s more time to spend in the kitchen prepping, cooking, and eating. Plus it’s definitely pie season now that we’ve got a steady supply of various pumpkins and squashes rolling through.

However, just because the days are getting ever shorter, doesn’t necessarily mean the To Do list is too. We’ve been appreciating the return of the rain, though we were thankful for a short reprieve this weekend so we could get some more potatoes out of the ground. We also spent an afternoon harvesting turnips and radishes for storage. Have I mentioned that the walk-in coolers are filling up? It’s a new game of Tetris in there each time we bring another stack of vegetables from the field. Although it means a lot of moving stacks to get to other stacks, we’re feeling good about the final weeks of the Summer CSA and the start of the Winter CSA. There will be root vegetables!

Jeff harvests turnips (top left) and kohlrabi (top right). The fog rolled in last night as we finished up the salad turnip harvest.

As we look ahead this week things will look much like the past week. We’ll be bringing in more roots including the last few beds of potatoes, more daikon radishes, plus beets and carrots if we can find the space. We’ve also been undertaking an onion rescue as we re-evaluate our onion storage methods and sort through them. This all has us thinking about future storage upgrades to help maintain proper conditions for various crops. It’s that time of year when storage is limited and we begin to think perhaps it’s finally time to do something about it. That sounds like a winter project though. Let’s get through November first.

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

Your farmers,
Carri Heisler & Jeff Bramlett

.

Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:

Celery Soup

  • 1 chopped head of celery
  • 1 chopped large waxy potato
  • 1 chopped medium onion
  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • Salt
  • 3 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup fresh dill
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • Celery leaves
  • Olive oil
  • Flaky sea salt

Combine 1 chopped head of celery, 1 chopped large waxy potato, 1 chopped medium onion, and 1 stick unsalted butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat; season with salt.

Cook, stirring, until onion is tender, 8–10 minutes.

Add 3 cups low sodium chicken broth; simmer until potatoes are tender, 8–10 minutes. Purée in a blender with 1/4 cup fresh dill; strain. Stir in 1/2 cup heavy cream. Serve soup topped with celery leaves, olive oil, and flaky sea salt.

From Epicurious.com, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/celery-soup-51246210

Kohlrabi & Apple Salad with Creamy Mustard Dressing

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

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

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

Cider-Braised Chicken with Apples and Kale

  • 4 chicken legs (thigh and drumstick; about 3 pounds)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 teaspoon country-style Dijon mustard
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 pink-skinned apples, cut into 1/2″ wedges
  • 1/2 medium red onion, cut into 1/2″ wedges
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh apple cider, divided
  • 1 large or 2 small bunches curly kale (about 1 pound), stemmed, torn into pieces
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons tarragon leaves (optional)

Arrange rack in upper third of oven; preheat to 450°F. Season chicken all over with 1 tsp. salt and 1/2 tsp. pepper, then rub with 1/4 cup mustard, making sure to get mustard under skin.

Heat 2 Tbsp. oil in a large heatproof high-sided skillet or heavy braising pan over medium-high. Sear chicken, skin side down, until golden-brown, about 8 minutes. Turn chicken, then arrange apples and onion around chicken. Add wine and 1 cup cider, then transfer to oven and roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part of thigh registers 165°F, about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat remaining 1/2 cup cider, 1 Tbsp. oil, and 1/2 tsp. salt in a large pot over medium; add kale, cover, and cook until wilted. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until kale is tender, about 5 minutes. Using slotted spoon, divide kale among plates.

Transfer chicken, apples, and onion to plates with a slotted spoon. Heat remaining liquid in skillet over high. Add cream and remaining 1 tsp. mustard and bring to a boil. Cook, whisking constantly, until sauce is thickened, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice.

Spoon sauce alongside chicken and kale. Garnish with tarragon, if desired.

From Epicurious.com by Anna Stockwell, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/cider-braised-chicken-with-apples-and-kale