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.
- ‘Alpine’ Daikon Radishes – These big radishes are very mild, a little sweet, and delicious in soups, roasted, or shaved over salads.
- Bunching Onions
- Fresh Onions
- 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.
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.
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!
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.
Goat Cheese Pizzas with Indian-Spiced Tomatoes and Mustard Greens
- 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
- 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
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.)
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.
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.