Summer CSA Share – #7

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

  • Salad Mix – Lettuce and spinach this week.
  • Butterhead Lettuce
  • Lacinato Kale
  • Broccoli or Cauliflower
  • Snap Beans – A mix of green filet beans and purple-striped Dragon’s Tongue beans. Note the striped beans turn green when cooked.
  • Cucumbers – choose from green and white slicers, lemons, and picklers too.
  • Zucchini & Summer Squash – Zucchinis, yellow straight neck, and yellow pattypans all around!
  • Cilantro
  • Sweet Onions
  • German Butterball Potatoes
  • Tomatoes – A mix of slicers and cherry tomatoes. Your choice!
  • Yellow Transparent Apples – A delicate and soft early ripening apple best used for applesauce.
Some tomatoes and flowers are adding a little summer color to the farmscape!

The sun decided to show up this week, and not a moment too soon. After an extended cool and wet spring we’re welcoming summer’s appearance here on the farm. Crops seemed to jump in height overnight. And of course, so did the weeds. We kept ourselves busy this week with the usual mid-July tasks: watering, weeding, planting, seed sowing, trellising etc.

We’re still waiting for the tomatoes to really come on, but the kale has sure enjoyed the cooler weather!

A couple of CSA members stopped by Saturday for a socially distanced farm tour after a day of hiking. We were finishing up the week’s transplanting efforts and were able to show them our water wheel transplanter set-up. I thought I’d share a little about our transplanting process here as I don’t think I’ve touched on it recently.

Each winter we make a fairly detailed planting plan that includes crops we plan to grow and the timing and quantity of each succession. We prefer to start most crops in the propagation house as starts, which we then transplant as baby plants into the field. Some crops are direct sown, where we put the seed directly in the ground, but those seedlings have to compete with weeds germinating at the same time so direct sowing is not always ideal.

As starts begin to mature in the propagation greenhouse they’re moved outside to “harden off” in the elements. Giving them a taste of outdoor life in the wind and sun helps them adjust to field life quicker. Once the ground is prepped and the starts are hardened off we’re ready to transplant them into the field.

We place the flats of starts on a pallet on the front end of the tractor. Our water wheel transplanter hooks up to the back of the tractor. The transplanter is made up of a few different elements attached to a metal frame. These include a water tank, a wheel with adjustable spikes, a tray for holding starts, and a seat. As Jeff slowly drives the tractor down a bed I sit on the transplanter and plant. Water flows from the tank down into the wheel which rides along the ground creating a little muddy hole at each evenly spaced spot where a start should be planted.

Different crops need different spacing so we can either adjust the spikes on the wheel or skip holes in the ground to save time. This week we planted broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage at 20″ spacing, head lettuce and escarole at 10″ spacing, and basil and salad mix lettuce at 5″ spacing.

That’s how we plant out a field in a day without hurting our backs. It’s a system that’s worked well for us. Not too fancy and fiddly, but definitely a step up from bending over all day.

More of the same is on deck this week. We’ll be transplanting celery and rutabagas and finishing up a big weeding project in the leeks and celeriac.

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

Your farmers,
Carri Heisler & Jeff Bramlett

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Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:

Mushroom and Kale Breakfast Skillet

  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp. cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp. coriander seeds
  • 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 medium onions, halved, sliced lengthwise into 1/4″-thick strips
  • 1 lb. mixed wild or crimini mushrooms, sliced 1/4″ thick
  • 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes
  • 2 Tbsp. red or white wine vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 bunch curly kale, stems removed, torn into small pieces
  • 8 large eggs
  • Flaky sea salt, chopped parsley and/or cilantro, Aleppo-style pepper (optional), and lemon wedges (for serving)

Heat oil in a 12″ skillet over medium-high. Crush cumin, coriander, and red pepper with a mortar and pestle or heavy skillet. Add to hot oil in skillet and stir to coat. Add onions and mushrooms and cook, stirring often, until softened and lightly browned, 6–8 minutes. Add tomatoes, vinegar, and 1 tsp. kosher salt and stir to combine. Add kale, cover skillet, and cook, uncovering and tossing occasionally, until kale is wilted, 4–6 minutes. Season with remaining 1/2 tsp. kosher salt.

Make 8 indentations in vegetable mixture. Carefully crack an egg into each. Cover skillet and cook over medium-low heat, rotating skillet on burner halfway through to ensure even cooking, until egg whites are opaque and just set, 8–10 minutes. Top with sea salt, herbs, and Aleppo-style pepper (if using). Squeeze lemon juice over.

From Epicurious.com via Epicurious by Anna Stockwell, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/mushroom-and-kale-breakfast-skillet

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Asian Turkey Lettuce Wraps

  • 1 tablespoon peanut oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 1/4 pounds lean ground turkey
  • 1/2 cup purchased Asian peanut sauce
  • 1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce, plus additional soy sauce for dipping
  • 1 cucumber, peeled, seeded, chopped (about 1 1/4 cups)
  • 1/3 cup coarsely chopped fresh mint plus 1/3 cup small mint sprigs

Heat peanut oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and sauté until beginning to brown, about 3 minutes. Add turkey and sauté until brown and cooked through, breaking up with back of spoon, about 7 minutes. Add peanut sauce, hoisin sauce, and 1 tablespoon soy sauce; heat through. (Can be made 8 hours ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Reheat in microwave or skillet, adding water by tablespoonfuls to moisten if necessary, before continuing.) Stir in cucumber and chopped mint. Season with salt and pepper.

Transfer turkey mixture to medium bowl. Place mint sprigs and lettuce leaves on platter. To make wraps, spoon turkey mixture onto lettuce leaf, add a few mint sprigs, fold in sides over filling, and roll up. Pass additional soy sauce alongside wraps for dipping.

From Epicurious.com via Bon Appétit, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/asian-turkey-lettuce-wraps-106963

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Roasted Potato Wedges with Cilantro-Lime Mayonnaise

  1. For potatoes:
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
    • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
    • 3 tablespoons olive oil
    • 2 pounds baking potatoes (about 4 medium), each cut into 8 wedges
  2. For cilantro-lime mayonnaise:
    • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
    • 1/4 cup sour cream
    • 2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro
    • 2 teaspoons grated lime zest
    • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

Roast potatoes:

Put a 4-sided sheet pan in lower third of oven and preheat oven to 450°F.

Stir cumin, oregano, and 3/4 teaspoon salt into oil in a large bowl. Add potatoes and toss. Arrange potatoes, cut sides down, in 1 layer in hot pan and roast, turning once, until golden, about 40 minutes.

Meanwhile, make mayonnaise:

Stir together mayonnaise, sour cream, cilantro, lime zest and juice, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a small serving bowl.

Serve potatoes with mayonnaise.

From Epicurious.com via Gourmet by Melissa Roberts, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/roasted-potato-wedges-with-cilantro-lime-mayonnaise-352775

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Summer CSA Share – #6

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

  • Salad Mix – Just lettuce this week.
  • Cabbage – choose from red or green
  • Broccoli – lots of broccoli this week!
  • Cucumbers – choose from green and white slicers, lemons, and picklers too.
  • Zucchini & Summer Squash – Zucchinis, yellow straight neck, and yellow pattypans all around!
  • Celery
  • Torpedo Onions
  • Leek Flowers – Pluck off the tiny florets from these leek flowers and add to salads or sautes for a delicious oniony garnish.
  • Radishes
  • Beets – don’t forget to eat the greens too!
  • Strawberries
  • Tomatoes – A mix of slicers and cherry tomatoes. Your choice!
Leek flowers (left) and fennel flowers (right)

Last night Jeff showed me a series of photos he’d taken of the farm back at the beginning of June. Gosh, what a difference a month makes. June is a blur of planting and cultivating and the first harvests of the season. In those photos the winter squash was just getting established, the second round of corn just planted, the tomatoes just half a t-post high. Today the winter squash is beginning to set fruit, the third round of corn is now in the ground, and many of the tomato varieties have topped out their t-post trellises.

June is the culmination of all the winter planning and early spring seed sowing. The days were lengthening to match the to-do lists and somehow we managed once again to do enough to make it through to the other side with vegetables today and more on the horizon. While June is the on-ramp to the season, July is the open highway. We’re up to speed now and just need to keep this rig on the road.

Every winter, between the wrapping of one season and the crush of the next, I dream of a couple of projects for the season ahead. First I always think that this is the year I’ll figure out how to grow flowers. Second I spend too much time thinking about farm merch design possibilities. While I still haven’t figured out all the flower logistics, thanks to a new CSA member with a screen printing shop, that second project is finally coming to fruition!

The design features our little 1947 Farmall Cub cultivating tractor, which is a big part of the team here, and our tagline: “life, liberty, and the pursuit of vegetables!” If you’re in the market for a tractor-themed t-shirt or tote bag we’re taking pre-orders for the first run for delivery later this month at a future CSA pick-up. Pre-orders are due by Friday July 10th. We will have some extras available for future purchases but colors and sizes will be limited. Click here to head to the order form.

The babiest watermelon (left) and Leo helping with this past week’s seeding (right).

As we look ahead this week we’ve got lots more of the same on deck. I’ll be seeding the fourth round of sweet corn, several plantings need to be cultivated using our Cub tractor (you know, the one on the shirt), and we’ve still got a big transplanting push. If you need us, we’ll be out in the field.

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

Your farmers,
Carri Heisler & Jeff Bramlett

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Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:

Beet and Red Cabbage Slaw

  • 6 medium beets, trimmed
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons whole grain Dijon mustard
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons caraway seeds
  • 2/3 cup corn oil
  • 8 cups thinly sliced red cabbage (about half of large head)
  • 2/3 cup chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup (packed) chopped fresh dill
  • Lettuce leaves
  • 3 large carrots, peeled, coarsely grated (about 3 cups)

Preheat oven to 400°F. Wrap beets in foil, enclosing completely. Bake beets until tender, about 1 hour 15 minutes. Cool. Peel and coarsely grate beets. Whisk vinegar, sugar, mustard and caraway seeds in large bowl to blend. Gradually whisk in oil. Add cabbage, onion and grated beets to dressing and toss to coat. Let stand 45 minutes, tossing occasionally. Stir in dill. Season generously with salt and pepper. Line large bowl with lettuce. Mix 2 1/2 cups carrots into cabbage mixture. Spoon salad atop lettuce in bowl. Sprinkle remaining grated carrots over and serve.

From Epicurious.com via Bon Appétit, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/beet-and-red-cabbage-slaw-101845

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Big Green Salad

  • 2 medium heads romaine (or salad mix)
  • 1/2 seedless cucumber
  • 2 celery ribs, thinly sliced
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon mild honey
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

Tear romaine into bite-size pieces and put in a salad bowl. Halve cucumber lengthwise, then thinly slice diagonally and add to romaine along with celery.

Whisk together remaining ingredients with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a small bowl until emulsified. Add to salad and toss to coat.

From Epicurious.com via Gourmet by Ian Knauer, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/big-green-salad-241515

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Coconut Zucchini Noodles and Spiced Meatballs

  1. For the spiced meatballs:
    • 1 pound ground pasture-raised lamb
    • 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
    • 2 scallions, sliced paper-thin
    • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
    • 1 tablespoon wheat-free tamari
    • 1 tablespoon fish sauce (Red Boat is a Clean-approved brand)
    • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  2. For the noodles:
    • 2 to 3 tablespoons coconut oil
    • 1/2 cup sliced onions
    • 2 garlic cloves
    • 2 tablespoons minced lemongrass
    • 1 red chile pepper, minced (optional)
    • 1 (13.5-ounce) can unsweetened coconut milk
    • 1/4 cup water
    • 1 broccoli crown, cut into small florets (about 2 cups)
    • 3/4 to 1 pound zucchini, ends removed and sliced lengthwise with a peeler or mandoline into long pappardelle-like “noodles”
    • Sea salt to taste
    • 1/2 cup roughly chopped fresh cilantro
    • 1 lime, cut into wedges

First, prepare the meatballs. In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients for the meatballs and mix them thoroughly with your hands or a wooden spoon. Wet your hands, then form even-size balls. I usually go for about the size of a golf ball.

Heat a 4-quart Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Melt the coconut oil, and once it’s nice and hot, add the meatballs. Cook them for 30 to 45 seconds on each side, until they are all nicely browned. When they are about halfway done browning, make some space in the center of the pan and add the onions, garlic, lemongrass, and optional red chile. Continue to cook the mixture for 1 to 2 minutes, then move the meatballs back into the center of the pan and add the coconut milk and water. Cover the pan and simmer for about 5 more minutes before adding the broccoli. Within a few minutes the broccoli should be tender and the coconut milk reduced and starting to thicken. Carefully fold in the zucchini noodles and allow them to cook in the liquid. Cook them just until the zucchini is tender. Salt to taste.

Serve with a garnish of cilantro and a squeeze of lime.

From Epicurious.com via Clean Eats from Alejandro Junger, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/coconut-zucchini-noodles-and-spiced-meatballs

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Summer CSA Share – #5

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

  • Salad Mix – A mix of spinach and lettuce again.
  • Mixed Head Lettuce – Some butterhead, some romaine, you choose.
  • Rainbow Chard
  • Sugar Snap Peas – That’s a wrap on our pea season! Enjoy this last taste.
  • Cucumbers – They’re here!
  • Zucchini & Summer Squash – Zucchinis, yellow straightneck, and yellow pattypans all around!
  • Basil – We’re hoping to promote new and better growth by harvesting the basil now.
  • Bunching Onions – More mature than last time, you can still eat the greens and bulbs.
  • Carrots
  • German Butterball New Potatoes – Freshly dug taters straight out of a greenhouse, these are the first potatoes of 2020 just in time for 4th of July potato salad!
  • Strawberries or Tomatoes – Seascape strawberries or a mix of slicers and cherry tomatoes. Your choice!
Summer Squash and cucumbers (left) and winter squash (right).

On our weekly trips to Salem for the Tuesday CSA pick-up we pass a giant blueberry farm. It’s hard not to be impressed with the size and look of the place. The plants look well tended, there are few weeds to speak of, the blocks of different varieties of blueberry bushes create an agricultural quilt on the landscape. Next door a large field of hazelnut trees has been planted and they too look impressive from the freeway.

In that moment, passing those expansive tidy fields, I often have a fleeting thought about how nice it would be to focus on a single crop. To know everything about what it takes to grow a great blueberry or hazelnut. To take the long view on a single crop. To plant once a year, or once a decade. But in the same moment I remember the upfront investment needed to put in a long term perennial planting like that and I feel the constraints of a monoculture. How does anyone afford to plant trees that won’t fruit for years? What happens when an insect arrives that makes all the blueberries unsalable? The realities of funding and markets and losses quickly set in.

The diversified annual vegetable system we’re working within here means lots of crops, lots of planting successions each season, and lots of back-up plans. We’re definitely better at growing some of the 60+ crops we grow than others, but they each play a role in the larger picture that help us to face whatever the growing season chooses to throw our way.

For instance last year we had a great beet growing year. And lettuce! So much lettuce! This year we’re still waiting for the first round of beets to size up and slugs have taken out loads of our lettuce starts. Luckily we’re not just growing those two crops at the moment. Thanks to the range of crops we plant we’re still able to fill your shares each week, even if they may look a little different than last year.

Thanks for choosing to take the seasonal ride with us! Although your shares from week to week aren’t totally predictable, there will be vegetables to share. And while we may mourn the loss of a crop there’s always a highlight to focus on too. We may not have beets just yet, but it’s shaping up to be a great onion season.

A glimpse of the potato field (left) and potato flowers (right).

Our best intentions do not always come to fruition. Last week I’d hope to make a serious dent in the in-row weeds growing in the winter squash, but it didn’t happen. Jeff managed to weed several beds and cultivate lots of other crops, but I found my time taken up in trellising and pruning tomatoes, propagation house management, weeding the peppers and eggplants etc. I’ll predict that this is the week that the winter squash gets more attention. We’ll also be busy prepping beds, planting out fall brassicas, starting more brassicas, irrigating, cultivating, and the list goes on.

Finally, just a little snapshot of some of the flowers we have growing in the field this year. Mostly they’re for the bees, and for our kitchen table. Maybe one day we’ll figure out how to find enough time to add them to the CSA too.

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

Your farmers,
Carri Heisler & Jeff Bramlett

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Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:

Grilled Zucchini and Summer Squash Salad with Basil-Parmesan Dressing

  • 4 medium-large zucchini, trimmed, halved lengthwise
  • 4 medium-large yellow crookneck squash, trimmed, halved lengthwise
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (about 1 ounce)
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

Prepare barbecue (medium heat). Place zucchini and crookneck squash on large baking sheet; brush all over with 3 tablespoons oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill vegetables until tender and brown, turning occasionally, about 10 minutes. Transfer to plate and cool.

Cut vegetables diagonally into 1-inch-wide pieces. Place in large bowl. Add basil, Parmesan cheese, balsamic vinegar and remaining 2 tablespoons oil and toss to blend. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve.

From Epicurious.com via Bon Appétit, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/grilled-zucchini-and-summer-squash-salad-with-basil-parmesan-dressing-101846

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Greek Salad Pita Sandwiches

  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons chopped pitted Kalamata olives or other brine-cured black olives
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 3 cups (loosely packed) thinly sliced romaine lettuce
  • 2 cups diced seeded tomatoes
  • 1 cucumber, peeled, halved, seeded, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
  • 1 cup crumbled feta cheese (about 4 ounces)
  • 6 6-inch pita breads, top 1 1/2 inches trimmed

Whisk first 4 ingredients in large bowl to blend. Add next 4 ingredients and toss to combine. Season salad with salt and pepper. Carefully open pita breads at cut end. Fill each with salad and serve.

From Epicurious.com via Bon Appétit, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/greek-salad-pita-sandwiches-105358

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Summer Vegetable Frittata

  • 6 large eggs
  • 6 large fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 oz prosciutto, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 lb medium zucchini (about 3), halved lengthwise and cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices
  • 5 medium Swiss chard leaves, stems discarded and leaves finely chopped (1 1/2 cups)
  • 12 scallions, trimmed and finely chopped
  • 5 zucchini blossoms*
  • 2 oz finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (1 cup)

Preheat broiler.

Whisk together eggs, basil, parsley, salt, and pepper in a bowl.

Cook prosciutto in oil in a 12-inch ovenproof nonstick skillet over moderate heat, stirring, until edges begin to crisp, about 2 minutes. Add zucchini and chard and cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are just tender, about 8 minutes. Add scallions and zucchini blossoms and cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until just wilted, 1 to 2 minutes. Pour egg mixture into skillet and cook, lifting up cooked egg around edge using a spatula to let as much raw egg as possible flow underneath, until edge is set, about 2 minutes (top and center will still be very loose). Sprinkle cheese evenly over top.

Broil frittata about 6 inches from heat until set, slightly puffed, and golden, 2 to 2 1/2 minutes.

Cool frittata 5 minutes, then loosen edge with a clean spatula and slide onto a large plate. Cut into wedges.

From Epicurious.com via Gourmet by Angelo Pellegrini, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/summer-vegetable-frittata-109668

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Summer CSA Share – #4

Welcome to the 4th share of the Pitchfork & Crow 2020 Summer CSA!  Here’s what’s in the share this week:

  • Salad Mix – A mix of spinach and lettuce this week.
  • Mayan Jaguar Romaine Lettuce
  • Mixed Kale – We’re experimenting with a new kale mix called Kalebration. It’s definitely a kale party! Also, it’s growing in a greenhouse and is super tender.
  • Sugar Snap Peas
  • Fava Beans – For the true fava experience you’ll want to shell the beans, blanch them, then remove the outer skin and eat the green inner bean. We often skip that last step and eat the shelled beans directly. Also, grilling the entire pods make them quicker to shell and the beans get steamed inside, so they don’t need to be blanched.
  • Fresh Garlic – Our earliest maturing garlic varieties took a hit when we weren’t able to get them out of the field on time due to the persistent rain. We’re sending you the worst of it and hope you use it up sooner than later as it won’t want to store long without good wrapper paper.
  • Fresh Sweet Onions
  • Kohlrabi
  • Mixed Potatoes – It’s the very last of the 2019 storage potatoes. Onward to 2020 potatoes soon!
  • Zucchini
  • Mostly Seascape Strawberries – Most of our berries are Seascape, but some are from last year’s planting of Sweet Ann.
Zeolights calendula brightening up the field (left) and the babiest birds found amongst the fennel bulbs (right).

Somehow we’ve passed the Summer Solstice and are quickly headed for July! Today’s weather hollers mid-summer, and I’m sure we’ll soon be wilting just like the delicate western Oregon dwellers that we are. Thankfully the 90 degree temperature won’t be sticking around long, and we’ll be back in the 70s soon.

We hope you’ve all been enjoying the first few weeks of the CSA. We’ve been glad to have lettuce in the fridge again and have happily returned to our summer routine of lettuce, topped with warm rice, topped with salmon and some Caesar dressing. It’s fast and filling and just what we need after a long day on the farm.

Recently we were inspired by posts in the CSA member Facebook group and went the fried rice route with many of the vegetables we had lingering in the produce drawer. The fennel, carrot, snap pea, fava bean, zucchini, and onion medley was delicious. And last night, inspired by a conversation with a CSA member last week, Jeff whipped up some sort of rice and fava bean fritter that was maybe falafel adjacent but definitely tasty.

Thanks for sharing so many great ideas in the FB group. It’s great to see where these vegetables end up and obviously we can use a little inspiration now and again too.

Not sure what to do with a vegetable? Looking for more recipe suggestions? 

  • Check out the archive of recipes on our Recipe page that’s sorted by vegetable.
  • Join in the conversation in the P&C CSA Member Facebook group to query fellow members or suggest great recipes of your own.
  • Even more recipes plus updated storage information and loads of tips over on the P&C CSA Member App/Website.  You can find all the details on the CSA Member App page.
The garlic is in! The overwintered onions are in! Hurrah for alliums!

This past week dried out just enough that we were finally able to tackle the annual garlic and overwintered onion harvest. Planted back October these allium plants hang out all winter, developing their roots and slowly growing larger, until they take off in the late spring. The leaves get bigger and they eventually bulb up, then as they begin to dry down it’s time to harvest.

We’ve been dialing in our garlic growing efforts over the years and have found that giving them a little more space than normal and selecting for earlier maturing varieties helps us tackle the rust problem we experience in wet years. Allium rust is a fungus that appears a rust colored spots on the garlic leaves and can fairly quickly end the plant’s growth. Evidently it’s spread as infected soil is splashed up onto plants when we irrigate or when it rains. Although the rust definitely made an appearance this year, our garlic crop seems less affected than in some years, so maybe we figuring it out just a little. If only the extended rains hadn’t taken such a toll on the earliest maturing varieties. I guess you win some and you lose some. Of course there’s never enough garlic in this world so we hope you enjoy it for the precious item that it is.

With the garlic harvest out of the way we’ll be turning our attention to the weeds in earnest this week. Jeff managed some tractor cultivation last Sunday while I harvested onions, but there’s plenty more to do. I’m looking at you pigweed in the winter squash.

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

Your farmers,
Carri Heisler & Jeff Bramlett

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Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:

Gorgonzola, Fava Bean, and Potato Canapes

  • 1/3 cup walnuts
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3/4 cup shelled fresh fava beans* or lima beans (about 3/4 pound in pods)
  • 10 small purple potatoes* or small red potatoes (each about 2 inches in diameter; about 1 1/2 pounds)
  • 6 ounces Gorgonzola cheese, softened
  • 6 ounces cream cheese (about 3/4 cup), softened

Finely chop walnuts. In a small heavy skillet cook walnuts in oil over moderate heat, stirring, until golden and transfer with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain.

Have ready a bowl of ice and cold water. In a kettle of boiling salted water blanch beans 1 minute and immediately transfer with slotted spoon to ice water to stop cooking. Drain beans and gently peel away outer skins.

Return kettle of water to a boil and cut potatoes into 1/4-inch-thick rounds. Cook potatoes 8 minutes, or until just tender, and transfer with slotted spoon to ice water to stop cooking. Drain potatoes in a colander and pat dry with paper towels.

In a small bowl stir together Gorgonzola and cream cheese until combined well. (Canapé ingredients may be prepared up to this point 2 days ahead. Keep toasted walnuts in an airtight container at room temperature. Chill beans and potatoes separately in sealable plastic bags and chill Gorgonzola cream covered with plastic wrap.)

From Epicurious.com via Gourmet, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/gorgonzola-fava-bean-and-purple-potato-canapes-100688

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Kohlrabi Pickles with Chile Oil

  • 1 pound small kohlrabies, peeled, halved lengthwise, thinly sliced crosswise
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 garlic clove, finely grated
  • 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons chile oil
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lime zest
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon black sesame seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon fish sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil

Toss kohlrabies and salt in a large bowl to coat; chill, tossing occasionally, 30 minutes. Drain, then toss in a clean large bowl with garlic, cilantro, vinegar, chile oil, lime zest, lime juice, sesame seeds, fish sauce, sugar, and sesame oil to combine.

From Epicurious.com via Bon Appétit by Andy Baraghani, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/kohlrabi-pickles-with-chile-oil

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Penne with Smoked Trout and Sugar Snap Peas

  • 1 lb penne rigate
  • 3/4 lb sugar snap peas, trimmed and halved diagonally
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1 (1/2-lb) whole smoked trout, head, skin, bones, and tail discarded and flesh coarsely flaked
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated fresh lemon zest
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh dill
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Cook pasta in a large pot of 2 minutes less than package instructions indicate, then add sugar snaps and cook until sugar snaps are tender, about 2 minutes more. Reserve 1/4 cup cooking water, then drain pasta and sugar snaps in a colander and return to pot.

Boil cream in a 1- to 1 1/2-quart heavy saucepan, uncovered, 2 minutes, then add to pasta along with trout, zest, reserved cooking water, dill, salt, and pepper and toss until combined.

From Epicurious.com via Gourmet, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/penne-with-smoked-trout-and-sugar-snap-peas-109638

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Summer CSA Share – #3

Welcome to the 3rd share of the Pitchfork & Crow 2020 Summer CSA!  Here’s what’s in the share this week:

  • Salad Mix – A mix of spinach and lettuce this week.
  • Butterhead Lettuce
  • Arugula Rapini
  • Broccoli or Cauliflower – Just a bit this week, but hopefully before too long we’ll have more to share.
  • Sugar Snap Peas
  • Fava Beans – For the true fava experience you’ll want to shell the beans, blanch them, then remove the outer skin and eat the green inner bean. We often skip that last step and eat the shelled beans directly. Also, grilling the entire pods make them quicker to shell and the beans get steamed inside, so they don’t need to be blanched.
  • Garlic Scapes
  • Fresh Torpedo Onions
  • Fennel – A little anise flavor for your dishes this week.  Here’s a delicious quick pickle recipe from CSA member Chris A.! Click here for a recipe.
  • Carrots
  • Diana Radishes & Hakurei Salad Turnips – The slugs got a lot of the salad turnips this time around, so we’ve got a mix of radishes and turnips this week.
  • Zucchini
  • Mostly Seascape Strawberries – Most of our berries are Seascape, but some are from last year’s planting of Sweet Ann.
  • Dried Apples

I feel like we’re in a bit of a fog this week. A CSA member was reminiscing this past week about the June 10 years ago when it just kept raining. She had an outdoor wedding planned for July and as the date got closer they weren’t sure they’d have a dry day for the ceremony. I think things cleared up in time for them, but this season’s weather sure feels similar. It just keeps raining.

The spigot got turned on back in May and we’ve had a minimum of field time to get things planted and cultivated relatively on schedule. We’ve been jamming in as much field work as possible into the non-rainy, non-harvest days recently and it’s getting a little tiring. Thankfully the forecast looks much sunnier for the upcoming week. We have high hopes of doing all the outside things that need doing.

In an effort to tackle all the things, we often split up. I’ll work on filling flats and starting seeds while Jeff preps beds for upcoming plantings. Or I’ll trellis the tomatoes and peas while Jeff cultivates a field using our little cultivating tractor. We generally come together for harvesting and planting. In order to maximize the short dry windows lately we found ourselves working together a bit more. Some things are just easier with two people, like rolling and hefting giant sheets of row cover that had been protecting the winter squash while they got established after transplanting.

In the week ahead we’ll be tackling the remaining weeds in the winter squash, transplant beets and chard, cultivate everything, prep for upcoming plantings, plant rosemary, get ready for sweet potato slips to arrive, and harvest the garlic. This will definitely be a all hands on deck sort of week.

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

Your farmers,
Carri Heisler & Jeff Bramlett

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Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:

Saute of Fresh Fava Beans, Onions, and Fennel

  • 3 pounds fresh fava beans, shelled, or 3 cups frozen baby lima beans, thawed
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 fresh fennel bulb, trimmed, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds, coarsely ground in spice grinder
  • 1 1/3 cups (about) canned low-salt chicken broth
  • 4 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
  • 1/2 cup chopped pancetta*
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried savory
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Cook fava beans in boiling salted water 2 minutes. Drain, cool and peel outer skins (do not cook or peel lima beans).

Heat oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and fennel bulb; sauté 5 minutes. Add favas or lima beans and fennel seeds; sauté 3 minutes. Add 1 cup broth and 2 tablespoons dill; bring to boil. Reduce heat; simmer 10 minutes to blend flavors. Stir in pancetta and savory, adding more broth if mixture is dry. Simmer until favas are tender, about 15 minutes longer. Mix in lemon juice and 2 tablespoons dill. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve warm or at room temperature. (Can be made 2 days ahead. Cover and chill. Bring to room temperature before serving.)

From Epicurious.com via Bon Appétit, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/saute-of-fresh-fava-beans-onions-and-fennel-106490

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Arugula and Fava-Bean Crostini

  • 1 cup shelled fresh fava beans (1 1/4 pounds in pods) or shelled fresh or frozen edamame (soybeans; 3/4 pounds in pods)
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, divided, plus additional for drizzling
  • 1 1/2 cups packed baby arugula (1 1/2 ounces), divided
  • 3 tablespoons grated Pecorino Toscano or Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • 1/4 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 baguette
  • 1 garlic clove, halved crosswise
  • 16 mint leaves

Preheat oven to 350°F with rack in middle.

Cook fava beans in boiling water, uncovered, until tender, 3 to 4 minutes, then drain and transfer to an ice bath to stop cooking. Gently peel off skins (if using edamame, don’t peel).

Pulse fava beans in a food processor until very coarsely chopped, then transfer half of mixture to a large bowl. Add 1/4 cup oil, 1/2 cup arugula, cheese, lemon zest and juice, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper to favas in processor and purée until smooth. Add to bowl. Coarsely chop remaining cup arugula and gently fold into fava-bean mixture.

Cut 16 diagonal slices (1/3 inch thick) from baguette and put in a 4-sided sheet pan. Drizzle with remaining tablespoon oil. Bake until pale golden and crisp, 8 to 10 minutes. Rub with cut side of garlic.

Spoon fava-bean mixture onto baguette toasts, then drizzle with oil and top with mint.

From Epicurious.com via Gourmet by Kay Chun, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/arugula-and-fava-bean-crostini-352852

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Greek-Italian Chopped Salad

  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 small garlic clove, minced
  • 6 cups chopped romaine lettuce (or any lettuce or spinach!)
  • 1 15 1/2-ounce can garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 cup very thinly sliced red onion
  • 1 cup very thinly sliced fresh fennel bulb
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese (about 3 ounces)
  • 2 ounces thinly sliced Italian Genoa salami, cut into strips
  • 1/4 cup sliced pitted Kalamata olives

Whisk oil, vinegar, oregano, and garlic in small bowl to blend. Season dressing to taste with salt and pepper.

Combine lettuce, garbanzo beans, bell pepper, red onion, fennel, feta cheese, salami, and sliced olives in large bowl. Pour dressing over; toss to coat. Mound salad on platter and serve.

From Epicurious.com via Bon Appétit by Steve Silverman, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/greek-italian-chopped-salad-108234

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Summer CSA Share – #2

Welcome to the 2nd share of the Pitchfork & Crow 2020 Summer CSA!  Here’s what’s in the share this week:

  • Adult Spinach
  • Bok Choy
  • Lacinato Kale
  • Broccoli or Cauliflower – Just a bit this week, but hopefully before too long we’ll have more to share.
  • Sugar Snap Peas
  • Leek Scapes – Like last week’s garlic scapes, these leek scapes came from our overwintered leeks that have bolted and are ready to flower. We harvested them for tasty leeky goodness. Chop them up and use them in place of leeks or garlic.
  • Bunching Onions – Call them scallions or green onions if you want, they’re all the same to us. Cut off the roots and eat the rest.
  • Kohlrabi – The classic CSA vegetable, kohlrabi is often new to folks who are new to CSAs. Why else would you come home with such a strange looking vegetable? We like them chopped up and raw, like a carrot stick, but they can be roasted, or added to mashed potatoes, or shaved super thin into salads. I’ve heard kohlrabi and peanut butter can be a pretty great snack too.
  • LaRatte Fingerling Potatoes – These are some of the last of 2019’s harvest from storage. We’ll be into new potatoes soon enough, but enjoy these storage sweetened taters this week.
  • Zucchini
  • Seascape Strawberries
Hurrah for peas! So many peas. Even the birds love the peas!

And now for week two! We hope you ate lots of delicious vegetable filled meals this last week and are ready for more. Maybe strawberries and shortcake saw you through another day of pandemic life, or you grabbed some sugar snap peas to snack on when you ventured outside to a protest or on a hike. Either way, we’re glad you’ve chosen to join us for this CSA season. Hopefully we can be a bright spot in your week as you figure out how to navigate all the other things life is throwing your way right now.

Our thanks to everyone for a successful first week of summer pick-ups in the era of COVID-19. We appreciate your patience and kindness as we all made it through the process. Thanks for keeping your distance and respecting each other’s space.

We managed some planting before the rain returned!

June is crunch time on the farm. In May we began the ramp up of farm work with a whole lot of planting and cultivating. Those tasks continue in June as we add back the harvesting days and double down on crop maintenance. As we head towards the summer solstice in a couple of weeks the days will continue to lengthen, and the weeds will continue to grow.

Between the rain storms we’re planting, and trellising, and irrigating, and cultivating, and sowing seeds, and the list goes on. This past week was a big planting push as we transplanted the next round of cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, lettuce, and spinach plus the Brussels sprouts, and kalettes! Hopefully we’ll find a dry window to get more beets and chard in the ground this week, and a succession of green beans, the dry beans, and the carving pumpkins for fall jack-o-lantern fun!

So far we’re off to a great start to the season, though the mild winter seems to have resulted in lots of slug and early flea beetle pressure. Overall the fields are looking good and we’re excitedly watching crops grow for future tasty goodness. Before we know it we’ll be flush with sweet corn and tomatoes and melons!

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

Your farmers,
Carri Heisler & Jeff Bramlett

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Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:

Sauteed Kale with Kohlrabi

  • 1 1/4 pound kohlrabi, bulbs peeled
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated lime zest
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 2 pounds kale (2 bunches), stems and center ribs discarded
  • 5 garlic cloves, finely chopped (or try some scapes here instead)
  • 1/3 cup salted roasted pistachios, chopped

Very thinly slice kohlrabi with slicer.

Whisk together lime zest and juice, 2 tablespoons oil, and 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and pepper in a large bowl. Toss kohlrabi with dressing.

Finely chop kale. Heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Sauté garlic until pale golden, about 30 seconds. Add kale by the handful, turning and stirring with tongs and adding more kale as volume in skillet reduces. When all of kale is wilted, sauté with 1/2 teaspoon salt until just tender, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and cool to room temperature. 3Toss kale with kohlrabi and pistachios.

From Epicurious.com via Gourmet by Ian Knauer, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/sauteed-kale-with-kohlrabi-354974

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Spicy Salmon Teriyaki with Steamed Bok Choy

  • 5 Tbsp. unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 3 Tbsp. low-sodium soy sauce or tamari
  • 2 Tbsp. hot chili paste (such as sambal oelek)
  • 2 Tbsp. honey
  • 1 lb. skinless salmon fillet, cut into 3×1 1/2″ strips
  • 1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt, divided, plus more
  • 3 Tbsp. cornstarch
  • 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 4 small heads baby bok choy (about 1 lb.), trimmed, quartered
  • Steamed rice (for serving; optional)
  • 3 scallions, very thinly sliced on a diagonal
  • 1 tsp. toasted sesame seeds

Whisk vinegar, soy sauce, chili paste, and honey in a small bowl; set aside.

Season salmon with 1 tsp. salt. Place on a plate and sprinkle with cornstarch, turning to coat. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high. Cook salmon in a single layer, undisturbed, until golden brown underneath, 2–3 minutes. Turn and cook until other side is lightly golden, about 2 minutes. Pour sauce over salmon and continue to cook, gently turning salmon halfway through, until sauce is thickened slightly and clinging to salmon, about 1 minute. (Sauce will bubble aggressively when first added and will then calm down.)

Meanwhile, set a steamer basket in a large pot filled with about 1″ salted water. Cover pot and bring water to a boil. Place bok choy in steamer basket, cover pot, and steam until just tender, 5–7 minutes. Season with remaining 1/2 tsp. salt.

Place rice (if using) and bok choy on a platter. Arrange salmon over and drizzle bok choy and salmon with any remaining sauce in skillet. Top with scallions and sesame seeds.

From Epicurious.com via Epicurious by Anna Stockwell, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/spicy-salmon-teriyaki-with-steamed-bok-choy

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Mashed Potatoes with Spinach and Cheese

  • 4 6-ounce bags fresh baby spinach
  • 4 pounds white-skinned potatoes, peeled, cut into 2-inch pieces (here’s a chance to use up some celeriac too, if you’ve still got one kicking around)
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
  • 1 1/4 cups (or more) warm whole milk
  • 3 cups grated Gruyre cheese (about 12 ounces)

Bring large pot of salted water to boil. Add baby spinach from four 6-ounce bags and cook 1 minute. Drain well. Squeeze out as much water as possible from spinach. Set spinach aside.

Cook potatoes in large pot of boiling salted water until very tender, about 30 minutes. Drain well. Return potatoes to pot and mash until almost smooth. Set pot over low heat. Add butter and stir until melted. Gradually add 1 1/4 cups milk, mashing until smooth. Add cheese and reserved spinach and stir until cheese melts. Thin with more milk, if desired. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer potatoes to bowl.

From Epicurious.com via Bon Appétit, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/mashed-potatoes-with-spinach-and-cheese-104725

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Summer CSA Share – #1

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Your farmers,
Carri Heisler & Jeff Bramlett

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Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:

Asian Chicken Salad with Snap Peas and Bok Choy

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

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

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

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

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Spring Egg-Drop Soup

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Pizza Bianca with Goat Cheese and Greens

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

For crust:

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

Meanwhile, prepare seasoned oil:

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

For topping:

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

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

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

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

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

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Winter CSA Share – #10

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

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

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

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

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

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

Transplants!!!

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

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

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

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

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

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

fruit blossoms!

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

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

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

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

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

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

Your farmers,
Carri Heisler & Jeff Bramlett

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Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:

Salmon and Bok Choy Green Coconut Curry

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Roasted Beer and Lime Cauliflower Tacos with Cilantro Coleslaw

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

Make the slaw:

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

Make the tacos:

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

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

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

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

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Potato & Celery Root Gratin with Leeks

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Winter CSA Share – #9

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Harvest day!

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

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

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

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

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

Your farmers,
Carri Heisler & Jeff Bramlett

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Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:

Black Bean Chili with Butternut Squash and Swiss Chard

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

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

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

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Deviled Eggs with Radishes, Chives, and Thyme

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

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

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

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

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Roasted Radishes with Brown Butter, Lemon, and Radish Tops

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

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

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

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

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

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Winter CSA Share – #8

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Welcome Leopold!

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

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

Your farmers,
Carri Heisler & Jeff Bramlett

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Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:

Beets Don’t Kale My Vibe Salad

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

For the Beets:

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

For the Salad:

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

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

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Curried Spinach Soup with Yogurt and Cilantro

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

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

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

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

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

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Wilted Cabbage with Carrots and Bacon

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

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

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

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