Winter CSA Share – #6

Welcome to the 6th share of the Pitchfork & Crow 2020/2021 Winter CSA!  Here’s what’s in the share this week:

  • Kalettes – This new-to-us brassica is a cross between kale and Brussels sprouts. Instead of a sprout small kale flowers develop along the stalk. You can eat the leaves and stems of the sprouts and they can be prepared just like kale.
  • Lacinato Kale Rapini – Rapini, or raab, is the result of overwintered plants heading into seed production. It’s delicious at this tender stage and can be eaten like kale or broccoli, stems and leaves and all.
  • Purple Sprouting Broccoli – a seasonal treat, this PSB was planted back in August and only starts forming florets now. Like broccoli heads you can eat the stems and leaves too.
  • Green Cabbage
  • Tatsoi Rapini
  • Lettuce & Spinach Mix
  • Cilantro
  • Sunchokes– These are roots of a sunflower variety.  We enjoy them shredded and sauteed but they’re good raw, roasted, and in soups too.  Please note that they contain high levels of the carbohydrate inulin, which is difficult for some folks to digest.  Converting the inulin to fructose through cooking with vinegar or fermenting seems to be a good solution.
  • German Butterball Potatoes
  • Garlic – This is the very last of our 2020 garlic crop. Enjoy!
  • Yellow Onions – We ask a lot of our storage crops. We harvest them in early fall and then let them sit and wait and wait until they make an appearance in the share. We’re getting better at selecting long storing varieties but there’s just only so long an onion wants to store sometimes. That’s to say, eat your onions before they sprout because spring is just around the corner.
  • Butternut Winter Squash
  • Dried Apples – We had a sad apple crop this year but we’ve made up for it by buying in some no-spray apples from another orchard. We did all the slicing and drying here at the farm.

Summer CSA sign-up time has arrived! Memberships to the 2021 Summer CSA are open and we hope you’ll join us for a summer and fall of local, seasonal, and organic vegetables. We’re already 80% full for the season, so get on the list early to reserve your share. Find all the details and a sign-up form over on the Summer CSA page.

A little ice, and a little maple sap.

Hopefully you’ve all made it back to some semblance of normalcy after the big ice storm from a couple of weeks back. Luckily we were situated just south of the majority of the impact. We had some ice and lost internet/power over a couple of days but otherwise things on the farm came through relatively unscathed. A quick trip through south Salem early last week showed me just how much more had happened just north of us with downed trees and downed power lines. We’re glad to have better weather for this week’s pick-ups!

The icy weather inspired us to pull out our maple tree tapping supplies. We only have one maple tree on the farm, located at the front next to our driveway. It’s a bigleaf maple, which isn’t ideal for tapping, but does produce enough sap for a taste of maple goodness. The sap has been running the past couple of weeks and we’ve collected just under a half gallon, which we’ve boiled down to a half pint of watery syrup with a hint of maple. It’s always amazing how much sap you need for a small bit of maple syrup.

Winter field crops! Sunchokes and purple sprouting broccoli for the win.

Winter is always a gamble on the farm. Each storm that passes through is just another possibility for destruction. Wind can blow plastic off greenhouses and row cover off crops and into trees. Snow and ice can accumulate quickly and crush greenhouses. Rain can result in flooding once the soils are saturated. Through it all we expect winter crops in the field to keep standing, to keep growing. And as long as the temperatures stay out of the teens, the crops do keep growing. The repeated frosts and ice and occasional snows just sweeten the greens. The storms pass, the weeks go by, and suddenly we’re here in late February and the purple sprouting broccoli is forming its purple florets and the kale is sending up rapini shoots. Despite the recent ice storm, we’re on the cusp of spring!

Top: Installing the new hose hanging kits! Bottom: Baby tomatoes (left) and Jeff in the old prop. house during some minor flooding this past week (right).

The last couple of weeks have been productive here on the farm, despite the wintry weather. Jeff made lots of progress on wrangling the plum orchard back from the blackberries and managed to do a rough pruning through all the pear trees. I used the ice storm as a good excuse to finish up the winter paperwork season and managed to file both the business and our personal taxes and complete our annual USDA Farm Service Agency business paperwork for our loans. Whew!

We’ve also made more progress in the new propagation house. After a delay in shipping for our new heating mats we decided to bring in our old heat table system for the earliest crops. These tables have heat cables incorporated into them that provide some bottom heat for crops like tomatoes and peppers that prefer things warmer than the ambient temperature of the prop. house. Also, our new hose hanging kits arrived. After some basic reconfiguration to work in our situation we now have two hanging hoses that run on pulleys along wires running the length of the house. No more dragging hoses around corners; no more hoses kinking; no more tripping over hoses!

Perhaps my favorite February milestone is the starting of seeds. While Jeff worked on the orchards and gave our Farmall Cub cultivating tractor a winter tune-up I focused on filling flats and sowing the first round of tomatoes and onions and leeks. After several days in the germination chamber we now have the babiest of tomato plants! And they’re the first plants to grace the new propagation house. How revolutionary it all feels!

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

Your farmers,
Carri Heisler & Jeff Bramlett

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Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:

Creamy Cilantro-Lime Slaw

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 3 tablespoons (or more) fresh lime juice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated lime peel
  • 1 serrano chile, seeded, minced
  • 2 garlic cloves, pressed
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 8 cups thinly sliced green cabbage
  • 4 green onions, minced (about 1/4 cup)

Whisk mayonnaise, sour cream, 3 tablespoons lime juice, lime peel, chile, and garlic in large bowl. Stir in cilantro. Add cabbage and green onions; toss to incorporate evenly. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and chill 1 hour. DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Keep chilled.

Season slaw with more lime juice, salt, and pepper, if desired, just before serving.

From Epicurious.com via Bon Appétit by Rick Rodgers, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/creamy-cilantro-lime-slaw-359790

Butternut Squash and Cheddar Bread Pudding

  • 2 pounds peeled seeded butternut squash, cut into 1-inch cubes (about 6 cups)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt plus additional for sprinkling
  • 7 large eggs
  • 2 1/4 cups half and half
  • 6 tablespoons dry white wine
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 day-old baguette (do not remove crust), torn into 1-inch pieces (about 10 cups)
  • 1 cup chopped shallots (about 4 large)
  • 2 bunches Tuscan kale (about 1 pound), ribs removed, kale coarsely chopped
  • 8 ounces extra-sharp cheddar cheese, coarsely grated

Preheat oven to 400°F. Toss squash with 1 tablespoon oil on rimmed baking sheet. Sprinkle with coarse salt; bake until squash is tender, turning with spatula occasionally, 20 to 25 minutes.

Whisk eggs in large bowl. Add half and half, wine, mustard, and 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt; whisk to blend. Add baguette pieces; fold gently into egg mixture. Let soak 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons oil in large pot over medium-high heat. Add shallots and sauté until soft, stirring frequently, about 5 minutes. Add kale; cover and cook 2 minutes. Uncover and stir until kale is wilted but still bright green, about 5 minutes (kale will be a bit crunchy).

Reduce oven temperature to 350°F.

Generously butter 13x9x2-inch baking dish. Using slotted spoon, transfer half of bread from egg mixture to prepared baking dish, arranging to cover most of dish. Spoon half of kale over bread. Spoon half of squash over bread and kale; sprinkle with half of cheese. Repeat with remaining bread, kale, squash, and cheese. Pour remaining egg mixture over bread pudding.

Cover bread pudding with foil. Bake 20 minutes. Remove foil; bake uncovered until custard is set and bread feels springy to touch, about 20 minutes longer.

Preheat broiler; broil pudding until cheese browns slightly, about 2 minutes. Cool 5 minutes and serve.

From Epicurious.com via Bon Appétit by Molly Wizenberg, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/butternut-squash-and-cheddar-bread-pudding-355792

Crispy Jerusalem Artichokes with Aged Balsamic

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

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

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

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

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

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

Winter CSA Share – #5

Welcome to the 5th share of the Pitchfork & Crow 2020/2021 Winter CSA!  Here’s what’s in the share this week:

  • Kalettes – This new-to-us brassica is a cross between kale and Brussels sprouts. Instead of a sprout small kale flowers develop along the stalk. We ate some for the first time this week and found them to be delicious and sweet! You can eat the leaves and stems of the sprouts and they can be prepared just like kale.
  • Rainbow Chard
  • Purple Sprouting Broccoli – a seasonal treat, this PSB was planted back in August and only starts forming florets now. Like broccoli heads you can eat the stems and leaves too.
  • Semi-Savoy Green Cabbage
  • Rutabaga – less turnipy than turnips, these rutabaga (aka Swedes) are especially sweet after sweetening up in the winter field. We like them roasted with other roots and ate some mashed up with potatoes this week, which made for a tasty soup the next night.
  • Banana Fingerling Potatoes – Classic yellow fingerlings.
  • Garlic
  • Yellow Onions – We ask a lot of our storage crops. We harvest them in early fall and then let them sit and wait and wait until they make an appearance in the share. We’re getting better at selecting long storing varieties but there’s just only so long an onion wants to store sometimes. That’s to say, eat your onions before they sprout because spring is just around the corner.
  • Leeks
  • Kabocha Winter Squash – Mostly pale blue Winter Sweet, but some dark green Sweet Mama too. These squash bother have dry, flaky flesh and make for tasty pies, curries, soups, and are excellent roasted. Looking for more squash inspiration? Check out the Eat Winter Squash site for lots of great ideas.
  • Dried Apples – We had a sad apple crop this year but we’ve made up for it by buying in some no-spray apples from another orchard. We did all the slicing and drying here at the farm.

Summer CSA sign-up time has arrived! We’ve opened up memberships to the 2021 Summer CSA and we hope you’ll join us for a summer and fall of local, seasonal, and organic vegetables. It looks like we’ll fill up sooner than in years past, so get on the list early to reserve your share. Find all the details and a sign-up form over on the Summer CSA page.

Say hello to Kalettes!

This week we’re passing the halfway mark of the Winter CSA. With snow in the forecast again later this week, I think we’ve got plenty of winter left, but each time the sun peeks out we’re reminded spring isn’t so far off. The vegetables in the field are showing signs of spring too. The kale and some cabbages are ready to ring in rapini season and we were also able to eek out the first of the purple sprouting broccoli this week. It’s a special, and very tasty, time of year that we look forward to for months.

Now that we’ve shared the many, many stalks of Brussels sprouts with you (man it was a good year for Brussels!) we’re excited to share a new crop. Kalettes! This cross between Brussels sprouts and kale made an appearance in seed catalogs a few years ago. After disregarding them as a gimmick we were finally convinced by our friend at Working Hands Farm up in Hillsboro that we should indeed add them to the winter line-up. Sometimes it takes us a while to catch on, but I’m sure glad we finally listened. Our first meal of kale sprouts this week was delicious and we hope you agree that these are keepers.

The new propagation house is nearly complete. Just in time as boxes of seeds have been rolling into our mailbox.

Most of our focus this past week between CSA harvests was on the new propagation house. We’d finished the basic structure and end walls when we last met. We managed to pull the plastic, dig trenches for irrigation, lay irrigation lines, and move in tables before it was time to harvest again.

We’re just about ready to get the seed-starting underway. We’ve got some new heat mats headed our way and we’ll be installing a hanging hose system too. Our seeding schedule was set to start last week with some direct sown radishes, but this week we’ll really get things going with tomatoes! They’ll spend some time in the germination chamber (a room that can be heated to help seeds germinate faster) and hopefully we’ll have the new heat tables in place once they’re ready to be transferred to the propagation house.

In the week ahead we’ll be putting the finishing touches on the new prop. house and then getting back to the epic orchard pruning project. Fingers crossed that snow in the forecast doesn’t make an appearance, or if it does, that it doesn’t stick around too long.

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

Your farmers,
Carri Heisler & Jeff Bramlett

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Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:

Rutabagas with Caramelized Onions

  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter
  • 1 3/4 pounds onions, halved, thinly sliced
  • 2 1/4 pounds rutabagas, peeled, cut into 1/2- to 3/4-inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons honey

Melt 5 tablespoons butter in heavy large skillet over medium-low heat. Add onions and sauté until brown, 40 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook rutabagas in large pot of boiling salted water until tender, about 20 minutes. Drain well.

Melt 3 tablespoons butter in large skillet over medium-low heat. Add rutabagas; sauté until heated through, about 10 minutes. Drizzle honey over. Gently stir in onions. Season with salt and pepper. (Can be made 3 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature. Rewarm over medium-low heat.)

From Epicurious.com via Bon Appétit, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/rutabagas-with-caramelized-onions-4677

Fingerling Potato Salad

  • 3 1/2 pounds fingerling potatoes, unpeeled, cut into 3/4″-1″ pieces
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt plus more for seasoning
  • 9 tablespoons (or more) extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 2 tablespoons brown mustard seeds
  • 3 medium leeks (white and palegreen parts only), halved lengthwise, cut crosswise into ¼” slices (about 5 cups)
  • 1 tablespoon (or more) white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Place potatoes in a large pot. Add enough cold water to cover by 3″. Stir in 1 tablespoons salt and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes. Drain. Transfer to a large rimmed baking sheet and let cool slightly.

Heat 3 tablespoons oil in a small skillet over medium-high heat. Add mustard seeds to skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until seeds start to pop, about 2 minutes. Pour oil with seeds into a large bowl.

Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add leeks, season with salt, and cook, stirring occasionally, until just tender, 10-12 minutes.

Whisk remaining 4 tablespoons oil, vinegar, Dijon mustard, and 1 tablespoon water into mustard-seed oil. Add potatoes and leeks; toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper. DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover; chill. Return to room temperature before serving, adding more oil and vinegar if dry.

From Epicurious.com via Bon Appétit by Sara Dickerman, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/fingerling-potato-salad-366411

Sea Scallops with Ham-Braised Cabbage and Kale

  • 1 large onion, chopped (2 cups)
  • 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 Turkish or 1/2 California bay leaf
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic (2 cloves)
  • 1 large head Savoy cabbage (2 to 2 1/2 pounds), quartered, cored, and coarsely chopped (12 cups loosely packed)
  • Ham stock including meat
  • 1 1/4 pounds tender green kale (1 large bunch), stems and center ribs cut out and discarded and leaves coarsely chopped (12 cups loosely packed) (or Kalettes!)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 30 large sea scallops (2 to 2 1/2 pounds total), tough muscle removed from side of each if necessary
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice, or to taste

Cook onion in 3 tablespoons oil with bay leaf in a 6- to 8-quart heavy pot over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until beginning to soften, about 3 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, 1 minute. Add cabbage and increase heat to moderately high, then sauté, stirring occasionally, until cabbage starts to wilt, about 5 minutes. Add stock (with meat from ham hocks) and simmer, partially covered, stirring occasionally, until cabbage is tender, about 30 minutes.

Stir in kale, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and simmer, partially covered, stirring occasionally, until kale is tender, about 15 minutes.

Preheat oven to 200°F.

Pat scallops dry and sprinkle both sides with remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper (total). Heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a 12-inch heavy nonstick skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then sauté scallops (without crowding), in 2 batches if necessary, turning over once, until golden and just cooked through, about 5 minutes total per batch. Transfer scallops to a shallow baking dish and keep warm in oven.

Add wine to skillet and deglaze by boiling, stirring and scraping up any brown bits from bottom of skillet, until liquid is reduced to about 2/3 cup. Stir in 1 teaspoon lemon juice, then add sauce to cabbage mixture. Season with salt, pepper, and additional lemon juice if desired. Pour any scallop juices accumulated in baking dish into cabbage mixture, then serve mixture spooned over grits and topped with scallops.

Cooks’ note:Cabbage mixture can be made 1 day ahead and cooled completely, uncovered, then chilled, covered. Reheat and add pan juices from scallops before serving.

From Epicurious.com via Gourmet, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/sea-scallops-with-ham-braised-cabbage-and-kale-230758

Winter CSA Share – #4

Welcome to the 4th share of the Pitchfork & Crow 2020/2021 Winter CSA!  Here’s what’s in the share this week:

  • Brussels Sprouts – These are likely the last of the Brussels for the season. Enjoy!
  • Lacinato Kale Rapini – As we edge ever closer to spring many of the overwintering plants in the field will be headed toward making seed. The interim stage is called rapini and is a delicious brocoli-like seasonal treat. This week some of the kale bunches include rapini, which can be eaten from stem to tip like broccoli.
  • Collards
  • Mustard Greens
  • Chicory MixThis frost-sweetened mix is just asking for creamy dressing, or something citrusy perhaps, and it also holds up well to warm toppings like bacon, chicken, or (our favorite) salmon. Look for recipes calling for radicchio, chicory, and castelfranco for inspiration.
  • Rainbow Carrots
  • Magic Molly Blue Potatoes
  • Garlic
  • Yellow & Red Onions – We ask a lot of our storage crops. We harvest them in early fall and then let them sit and wait and wait until they make an appearance in the share. We’re getting better at selecting long storing varieties but there’s just only so long an onion wants to store sometimes. That’s to say, eat your onions before they sprout because spring is just around the corner.
  • Cilantro
  • Mixed Winter Squash – Choose from Black Futsu, Spaghetti, and the last of the Long Pie Pumpkins.
  • Dried Apples – We had a sad apple crop this year but we’ve made up for it by buying in some no-spray apples from another orchard. We did all the slicing and drying here at the farm.

Summer CSA sign-up time has arrived! We’ve opened up memberships to the 2021 Summer CSA and we hope you’ll join us for a summer and fall of local, seasonal, and organic vegetables. Find all the details and a sign-up form over on the Summer CSA page.

Our new propagation greenhouse kit arrived last Tuesday! Above is the kit (top left), digging post holes (top right), setting the posts (bottom left), and attaching the end wall posts to the bows (bottom right).

It’s been a busy week here on the farm. Last Tuesday, as promised, the greenhouse kit for our new propagation house was delivered. When we first started this farming experiment back in 2009 we put up a 8′ x 16′ greenhouse in the backyard of our house in Salem. We started seeds in our kitchen, grew transplants in the backyard, and drove them out to our rented plot outside of town. When we began leasing this farm we were able to consolidate the operation and we turned an existing 20′ x 45′ greenhouse into our new prop. house.

Though not a strong structure, somehow that greenhouse has made it through a decade of high winds and snow storms. However, over the years it’s become obvious that our ideal prop. house would have better air flow within the house, improved venting during the hotter times of the year, and a double layer of plastic to allow for an insulating air layer for the cooler months. It’s been difficult to want to make these investments in our current prop. house due to the lack of strength of the structure itself and the location which happens to flood in the rainier months.

Last spring we built a dedicated room off our shop to use as a germination chamber and the new prop. house is located directly off that room. Once ready to leave the germination chamber, seeded flats will easily be transferred into the new prop. house rather than trekking them through an orchard first. We’re excited to consolidate the seeding and transplant growing into the same area again while also improving the transplant growing environment.

Prop. house building cont’d: We’ve got a structure! (top left), shutter,s fans, side boards and purlins installed (top right), installing the endwall poly carbonate sheets (bottom left), and finished endwalls (bottom right).

Not wanting to waste the beautiful weather we jumped into construction as soon as the greenhouse delivery driver was gone. On day one we rented an auger from a local rental shop and proceeded to dig 30 10″ wide x 18″ deep holes to set the posts. The best projects always seem to start with digging. The auger was a beast but the holes ended up roughly in the correct locations. On day two we set the posts in 55 bags of quikrete and got the top bows in place. Day three was interrupted by a previously scheduled dentist appointment but we managed to get the side boards in place and secured. Day four we installed the metal purlins that run the length of house and then focused on framing out the end walls. This is the first time we’ve purchased end walls with the kit and it was fun to see it come together so quickly. Day five we finished framing the end walls, installed the fans and ventilation shutters, installed the doors, and put up the poly carbonate plastic that encloses the ends.

More construction, but with rain!

I’d hope to get to the plastic-pulling stage on Saturday (day five) before the rain returned but it wasn’t in the cards. Instead we used day six to finish up cutting and securing the poly carbonate end walls, installing the wire lock channel that will be needed to keep the plastic in place, and installing the fancy door handles that came in the kit. It was a muddy day on the job site and though we could have pulled plastic in the afternoon, we decided to hold off for a drier day. Fingers crossed we don’t have to wait too long.

Once we cover the house with the two layers of poly we’ll install a fan that will inflate the space between them to provide some insulating properties. We’ll also bring water over for future irrigation needs. Then comes the ground cloth to keep weeds at bay, tables for flats of transplants to sit on, and we’ll need to set up the hardening off area outside for transplants to shift to before getting transplanted into the field. There are plenty more things to do before we’re up and running but it doesn’t feel too far off now.

Our current prop. house and the field next to it that floods during high rain events (top left), wind storm damage from a couple weeks back (top right), curly willow on a foggy morning (bottom left), and a frosty farm sunrise (bottom right).

In addition to the remaining steps of the prop. house building project our next priority is pulling new plastic on one of our high tunnels that lost plastic in the wind storm we experienced a couple of weeks back. Plastic covered greenhouses and high wind events aren’t a great pairing. Last fall we lost plastic on a high tunnel in a high wind that ripped through just after the wildfires. This time we lost plastic on a different high tunnel, one that had a much older plastic covering thankfully. Luckily we already had the prop. house kit scheduled to arrive this past week and we were able to add the new plastic to our delivery. Now we wait for another couple of dry days to get these houses covered.

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

Your farmers,
Carri Heisler & Jeff Bramlett

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Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:

Brussels Sprouts and Roasted Red Onions

  • 4 pounds medium red onions (about 9)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 1/4 pounds Brussels sprouts
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter

Preheat oven to 425° F.

Trim onions, keeping root ends intact, and cut each lengthwise into 6 wedges, keeping wedges intact. In a large bowl toss onions with oil and salt and pepper to taste. In 2 shallow baking pans arrange onions in one layer and roast in upper and lower thirds of oven 20 minutes. Carefully turn onions over and switch position of pans. Roast onions 20 minutes more, or until just tender and some edges are golden brown.

Trim Brussels sprouts and have ready a large bowl of ice and cold water. In a large saucepan of boiling salted water cook sprouts until just tender, 8 to 10 minutes, and drain in colander. Transfer sprouts to ice water to stop cooking and drain in colander. Vegetables may be prepared up to this point 1 day ahead and chilled separately, covered.

In a small bowl stir together mustard and water. In a 12-inch heavy skillet cook onions and sprouts in butter over moderately high heat, stirring, until heated through and stir in mustard mixture and salt and pepper to taste.

From Epicurious.com via Gourmet, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/brussels-sprouts-and-roasted-red-onions-14464

Quinoa with Moroccan Winter Squash and Carrot Stew

  1. Stew
    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 1 cup chopped onion
    • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
    • 2 teaspoons Hungarian sweet paprika
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
    • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
    • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
    • Pinch of saffron
    • 1 cup water
    • 1 14 1/2-ounce can diced tomatoes, drained
    • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
    • 3 cups 1-inch cubes peeled butternut squash (from 1 1/2-pound squash) (or black futsu winter squash)
    • 2 cups 3/4-inch cubes peeled carrots
  2. Quinoa
    • 1 cup quinoa*
    • 1 tablespoon butter
    • 1 tablespoon olive oil
    • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
    • 1/4 cup finely chopped peeled carrot
    • 2 garlic cloves, minced
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
    • 2 cups water
    • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro, divided
    • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh mint, divided

For stew:

Heat oil in large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion; sauté until soft, stirring often, about 5 minutes. Add garlic; stir 1 minute. Mix in paprika and next 8 ingredients. Add 1 cup water, tomatoes, and lemon juice. Bring to boil. Add squash and carrots. Cover and simmer over medium-low heat until vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and chill.)

For quinoa:

Rinse quinoa; drain. Melt butter with oil in large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and carrot. Cover; cook until vegetables begin to brown, stirring often, about 10 minutes. Add garlic, salt, and turmeric; sauté 1 minute. Add quinoa; stir 1 minute. Add 2 cups water. Bring to boil; reduce heat to medium-low. Cover; simmer until liquid is absorbed and quinoa is tender, about 15 minutes.

Rewarm stew. Stir in half of cilantro and half of mint. Spoon quinoa onto platter, forming well in center. Spoon stew into well. Sprinkle remaining herbs over.

*A grain with a delicate flavor and a texture similar to couscous; available at natural foods stores.

From Epicurious.com via Bon Appétit by Bruce Aidells & Nancy Oakes, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/quinoa-with-moroccan-winter-squash-and-carrot-stew-233714

Salad Pasta

  • 1 (2.2-oz.) can oil-packed anchovy fillets
  • 1 head of garlic, cloves separated, thinly sliced
  • 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 lb. penne pasta
  • Kosher salt
  • 3 Tbsp. cold unsalted butter
  • 3 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 head of radicchio, trimmed, quartered, leaves separated (or chicory mix)
  • 1 (5-oz.) package baby arugula
  • 1 cup basil leaves, torn if large
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Combine anchovies, garlic, oil, and red pepper flakes in a large skillet. Cook over medium heat, stirring often, until anchovies have disintegrated into oil and garlic is lightly browned, 6–8 minutes.

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

Remove skillet with anchovy mixture from heat and stir in butter and lemon juice until butter is melted. Add pasta and 1/2 cup pasta cooking liquid and stir constantly until a thick glossy sauce forms, adding more pasta cooking liquid as needed.

Place radicchio in a large bowl. Add pasta and sauce and toss to coat, adding more pasta cooking liquid as needed. Add arugula and basil but don’t toss; season with salt and black pepper.

Divide pasta among plates or bowls, very gently tossing so arugula gets coated in sauce but doesn’t wilt too much.

From Epicurious.com via Epicurious by Anna Stockwell, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/salad-pasta

Winter CSA Share – #3

Welcome to the 3rd share of the Pitchfork & Crow 2020/2021 Winter CSA!  Here’s what’s in the share this week:

  • Red Brussels Sprouts
  • January King Cabbage
  • Rainbow Chard
  • Chicory MixThis frost-sweetened mix is just asking for creamy dressing, or something citrusy perhaps, and it also holds up well to warm toppings like bacon, chicken, or (our favorite) salmon.
  • Mixed Beets
  • German Butterball Potatoes
  • Leeks
  • Garlic
  • Yellow & Red Onions – We ask a lot of our storage crops. We harvest them in early fall and then let them sit and wait and wait until they make an appearance in the share. We’re getting better at selecting long storing varieties but there’s just only so long an onion wants to store sometimes. That’s to say, eat your onions before they sprout because spring is just around the corner.
  • Thyme
  • Sweet Mama Kabocha Winter Squash
  • Mixed Winter Squash – Choose from Delicata, Carnival Acorn, and Gill’s Golden Pippin Acorn.
  • Dried Apples – We had a sad apple crop this year but we’ve made up for it by buying in some no-spray apples from another orchard. We did all the slicing and drying here at the farm.

Summer CSA sign-up time has arrived! We’ve opened up memberships to the 2021 Summer CSA and we hope you’ll join us for a summer and fall of local, seasonal, and organic vegetables. Find all the details and a sign-up form over on the Summer CSA page.

Farm sunrise (left) and a frosty morning in the mustard patch (right).

Here we are, share 3 of the Winter CSA and already well into January. The end of the year is always such a blur. Even this year, when the holiday gatherings were limited, December seemed to fly by. Mostly we were hunkered down with crop planning I think. We made a point to work through our crop planning early in order to make sure we got our seed orders in early too.

Seeds were one of those highly sought after items last spring as the realities of COVID19 set in and many seed companies were inundated with orders. It quickly became apparent that our regular carefully planned out triple round of seed ordering with staggered orders in January, April, and July was not going to work out due to seed availability, seed company order capacity, and shipping timelines. We bumped up the timeline last spring and adjusted our planning this season too. Although we weren’t the earliest to get our orders in this year, we did manage to mostly secure the varieties and quantities we’d planned for. Fingers crossed that backordered items come into stock before we need them and that the seeds for later in the season that we haven’t ordered yet are still available when we do.

Drying apples (left) and chicory mix (right)!

There’s something about investing $3200 on seeds for the upcoming season that suggests it’s time to open up the Summer CSA memberships. As soon as the seed orders were in I quickly shifted into budget forecasting and website updates and we met to finalize our thoughts on the season ahead. Most things have stayed the same, but there are some changes.

We’re excited (and a little nervous) to have added a bi-weekly pick-up option to the Summer CSA. We sometimes hear from members that a whole share is too much for their needs and we hope the bi-weekly option will offer a little more flexibility and less vegetable overwhelm over the season. We worried most members might choose to switch to the bi-weekly pick-ups, which means we’d have to find many more members to fill the CSA and meet our budget goals for the year. Fortunately so far the trend has been toward the weekly share option and we’re feeling hopeful we’ll make it to our goals before the season starts.

Jeff’s made a little time for winter basket making, including a new basket for the weekly CSA share photo!

Thankfully it hasn’t been all computer time and indoor work these past couple of weeks. In between orchard pruning and harvesting Jeff has found time to make a couple of willow baskets. He’s made many baskets over the years and tries to make a few each winter when the willow and red osier dogwood trees on the farm are dormant and ready to cut. This year he decided it was time to make a new basket for the weekly CSA share photo and it turned out really nice. It’s difficult to see it peeking out in the share photo, but if you pick-up at the farm you should check it out in person.

We’ll be keeping busy in the coming weeks in between winter storms with continued orchard pruning, more harvests, a little weeding in high tunnels, and more. Next week our new propagation greenhouse kit will be delivered which will lead to all sorts of fun!

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

Your farmers,
Carri Heisler & Jeff Bramlett

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Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:

Farro, Radicchio, and Roasted Beet Salad

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

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

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

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

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

Kielbasa with Smothered Cabbage and Mashed Potatoes

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 3/4 pound smoked kielbasa (Polish sausage), cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 4 cups chopped cabbage
  • 1 onion, sliced thin
  • 3/4 pound yellow-fleshed or russet (baking) potatoes
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, cut into bits

In a large heavy skillet heat the oil over moderate heat until it is hot but not smoking and in it brown the kielbasa. Add the cabbage and the onion and cook the mixture, stirring occasionally, until the cabbage is browned. Add 1 1/2 cups water and simmer the mixture, covered partially, for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the cabbage is tender.

While the mixture is simmering, in a steamer set over boiling water steam the potatoes, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch pieces, covered, for 12 minutes, or until they are very tender, transfer them to a bowl, and mash them with a potato masher. Add the milk, scalded, 3 tablespoons hot water, the butter, and salt and pepper to taste and stir the potato mixture until the butter is melted. Serve the kielbasa mixture on the mashed potatoes.

From Epicurious.com via Gourmet, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/kielbasa-with-smothered-cabbage-and-mashed-potatoes-12807

Seared Rainbow Chard with Leeks

  • 2 (1-lb) bunches rainbow chard or red and green Swiss chard
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 large leeks (white and pale green parts only), halved lengthwise and cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices
  • 3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt

Cut stems from chard (if leaves are large, cut out coarse portions of rib), then cut stems crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Stack chard leaves and roll into cylinders. Cut cylinders crosswise to make 1-inch-thick strips of leaves.

Heat butter and oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderately high heat until foam subsides, then sauté chard stems and leeks with sea salt and pepper to taste, stirring occasionally, until slightly soft, 3 to 5 minutes.

Add chard leaves and continue to sauté, stirring frequently, until wilted. (If greens begin to brown before they wilt, sprinkle with a few drops of water.)

From Epicurious.com via Gourmet, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/seared-rainbow-chard-with-leeks-103721

Winter CSA Share – #2

Welcome to the 2nd share of the Pitchfork & Crow 2020/2021 Winter CSA!  Here’s what’s in the share this week:

  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Lacinato Kale
  • Mustard Greens
  • Rosalba or Castelfranco Chicory – These are some of our favorite winter salad greens. The pink variety is rosalba and the speckled green is castelfranco, and we love them both. The frost-sweetened beauties are just asking for creamy dressing, or something citrusy perhaps, and they hold up well to warm toppings like bacon, chicken, or (our favorite) salmon.
  • Parsnips – We’re excited to have eeked out a parsnip crop after many years of kind of failing. We’ve been loving them roasted with other roots and parsnip cupcakes (think carrot cake) have made multiple appearances in our kitchen.
  • Rose Finn Apple Fingerling Potatoes
  • Rutabaga – A cousin of the humble turnip, rutabagas bring a depth of flavor to mixed root dishes, and these have been sweetened by many frosty nights as a bonus.
  • Garlic
  • Yellow & Red Onions – We ask a lot of our storage crops. We harvest them in early fall and then let them sit and wait and wait until they make an appearance in the share. Were getting better at selecting long storing varieties but there’s just only so long an onion wants to store sometimes. That’s to say, eat your onions before they sprout because spring is just around the corner.
  • Cilantro
  • Butternut Winter Squash
  • Spaghetti Squash
  • Dried Apples – We had a sad apple crop this year but we’ve made up for it by buying in some no-spray apples from another orchard. We did all the slicing and drying here at the farm.
Beautiful day for a winter harvest!

Welcome back for the second share of the Winter CSA season! We hope you all had a good run of holidays and are looking forward to the new year. After the many surprising happenings of 2020 I wouldn’t know where to start with predictions for 2021, but we hope it’s filled with good health and good food for all of you. Luckily we’ve already got some of that food growing and in storage here on the farm, so we’re off to a good start on that front.

This week we’re bringing you a quintessential roundup of winter vegetables. The winter weather has thus far been nice to us. Many frosty nights have sweetened up the field crops but the temperatures have stayed above twenty overnight, keeping us out of the danger zone for most of the vegetables we have outside. The long range forecast from Rufus over at the Weather Cafe suggests we may be in for cold and wind in January, so we tried to focus on harvesting crops outside of greenhouses this time around. Fingers crossed we don’t get loads of snow or ice piling up on greenhouses.

Fruit tree pruning (top) and the evidence of lots of rain (bottom).

We’ve settled into the winter rhythm of every other week harvests nicely. We appreciate the schedule of keeping up harvests through the winter months but also having some time to catch up on sleep, do more cooking, and tackle all the projects that don’t seem to get tackled during the rush of the summer growing season.

Since we last met we used many of the sunnier days to start in on pruning the fruit trees. The orchards haven’t gotten a lot of attention over the years and we think our sporadic pruning resulted in a very sad fruit harvest this past year. We’re endeavoring to wrestle the orchards into a manageable state. If you need us this winter, and it’s a non-harvest day, you best look for us among the trees.

However not all the days in the past week+ were sunny now were they? We had a deluge and plenty of wind whip through recently. Our new weather station recorded wind gusts over 30mph and two inches of rain in one day. That much rain means flooding in our lowest field, which is mostly just a dramatic photo-taking opportunity as it receded fairly quickly. This time it was also a reminder as to why we’re upgrading our propagation greenhouse as the water crept down the pathways inside.

Crop planning via Zoom for the screen sharing capabilities!

We spent the rainier days hunkered down with spreadsheets and seed catalogs as we kicked off next season’s planning marathon. This process has evolved over the years and, as with many other aspects of the farm, we’ve figured out when to work together and when to split up the tasks.

We review crop types, planting dates, and quantities and we discuss our goals for the upcoming year together. Jeff formats the spreadsheet dates and cross references quantities with our projections. I choose varieties and seed sources, which includes a seed inventory to determine what we have on hand and what we need to order. Once completed Jeff breaks out our master plan spreadsheet into propagation, direct sowing, transplanting plans that get printed and become our record keeping for the season. I break out the planting plan into a seed order by seed company and put in the orders.

I’ll be diving back into seed catalogs as we wrap up this week’s CSA distribution, just in time for the return of the rain. We’re hoping to get our seed orders in as soon as possible to make sure we get varieties and quantities we need. There will certainly be more fruit tree pruning happening in the coming weeks too. More of the same I guess.

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

Your farmers,
Carri Heisler & Jeff Bramlett

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Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:

Mashed Potato, Rutabaga, and Parsnip Casserole with Caramelized Onions

  • 7 cups canned low-salt chicken broth
  • 3 pounds russet potatoes, peeled, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 1/2 pounds rutabagas, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 1/4 pounds parsnips, peeled, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
  • 8 garlic cloves
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, room temperature

Butter 13 x 9×2-inch glass baking dish. Combine first 7 ingredients in large pot; bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover partially and simmer until vegetables are very tender, about 30 minutes. Drain well. Transfer vegetables to large bowl. Add 1/2 cup butter. Using electric mixer, beat mixture until mashed but still chunky. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer mashed vegetables to prepared dish.

Melt remaining 1/4 cup butter in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add sliced onions and sauté until beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low and sauté until onions are tender and golden brown, about 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Spread onions evenly over mashed vegetables. (Casserole can be prepared up to 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)

Preheat oven to 375° F. Bake casserole uncovered until heated through and top begins to crisp, about 25 minutes.

From Epicurious.com via Bon Appétit, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/mashed-potato-rutabaga-and-parsnip-casserole-with-caramelized-onions-2607

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Shredded Root Vegetable Pancakes

  • 2 cups of shredded rutabaga, parsnips, or sweet potato (from about 2 medium vegetables), shredded on the medium holes of a box grater
  • 1 medium yellow onion, grated on the medium holes of a box grater
  • 3 large egg whites, beaten
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour, plus more if needed so mixture just holds together
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1/2 cup coconut or grapeseed oil
  • Flaky sea salt
  • 1/4 cup sour cream or crème fraîche
  • 2 scallions, finely chopped

Place the grated root veggies and onion in a large kitchen towel and wring out any liquid, then add them to a medium bowl.

Stir in the egg whites. Stir in the flour, salt, and pepper to taste.

In a large skillet, heat 1/4 cup of the oil over medium-high heat. Use a scant 1/4 cup measure to scoop pancakes into the skillet, using the bottom of the measuring cup to spread the mixture into 1/2-inch-thick patties. Cook until the first side is deeply golden brown and crisp, 3 to 4 minutes, then turn the pancakes over and brown the other side, 3 to 4 minutes more. Transfer the pancakes to a wire rack to cool slightly. Work in batches so you don’t overcrowd the pan, adding more oil to the pan as needed.

Serve the pancakes topped with a few pinches of flaky sea salt, a dollop of sour cream, and a sprinkle of scallions.

From Epicurious.com via The Happy Cook by Daphne Oz, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/shredded-root-vegetable-pancakes

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Butternut Squash and Noodles with Coconut, Lime, and Cilantro Sauce

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped onions
  • 2 pounds butternut squash, peeled, seeded, cut into 1/2- to 3/4-inch pieces (about 4 1/2 cups)
  • 1 cup canned vegetable broth
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons minced seeded jalapeño chili
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 cup canned light unsweetened coconut milk*
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon Thai red curry paste*
  • 12 ounces dried futonaga udon noodles (oriental-style spaghetti)* or linguine
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • *Available at Asian markets and in the Asian foods section of some supermarkets.

Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions; sauté until golden, about 5 minutes. Add squash; sauté 4 minutes. Add broth, jalapeño and garlic; bring to boil. Cover; cook until squash is almost tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in coconut milk, lime juice and curry paste. Simmer uncovered until squash is tender and liquid is slightly reduced, about 4 minutes. Season to taste with salt.

Meanwhile, cook noodles in large pot of boiling salted water until just tender but still firm to bite. Drain noodles. Return to pot. Add squash mixture and cilantro to noodles; toss to blend. Serve.

From Epicurious.com via Bon Appétit, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/butternut-squash-and-noodles-with-coconut-lime-and-cilantro-sauce-5340

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Kale and Brussels Sprout Salad

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Winter CSA Share – #1

Welcome to the 1st share of the Pitchfork & Crow 2020/2021 Winter CSA!  Here’s what’s in the share this week:

  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Lacinato Kale Tops
  • Rainbow Chard
  • Lettuce/Spinach Mix
  • Rainbow Carrots
  • Yukon Gem Potatoes – An improved version of the classic Yukon Gold, great for baking, boiling, and frying.
  • Celeriac (aka Celery Root) – A celery flavored root that’s great tossed into soups and stews or mashes and gratins or our favorite: roasted up with other roots.
  • Bunching Onions – They’re big for bunching onions, we know. But they’re still tasty from their green tips down to their roots. Well, don’t eat the roots but you get the idea.
  • Garlic
  • Yellow & Red Onions – We ask a lot of our storage crops. We harvest them in early fall and then let them sit and wait and wait until they make an appearance in the share. Were getting better at selecting long storing varieties but there’s just only so long an onion wants to store sometimes. That’s to say, eat your onions before they sprout because spring is just around the corner.
  • Rosemary
  • Long Pie Pumpkin – An heirloomy pumpkin variety from the NE thought to be a descendant from a native American line of long-storing squash. This one is new for us this year and we can attest to its lovely pie-making qualities.
  • Candystick Dessert Delicata Winter Squash
  • Dried Apples – We had a sad apple crop this year but we’ve made up for it by buying in some no-spray apples from another orchard. We did all the slicing and drying here at the farm.

Welcome to the first week of the Winter CSA! We’re excited to kick off our eighth winter season and hope you are too! This year has thrown us all a few curve balls but we’re hoping the Winter CSA is a shining light here in the darkest time of the year. Whether you’re a returning member who is already well versed in seasonal eating, or a new member looking to avoid the supermarket aisles, we hope you know we’ll be trying our darndest to bring you the best organic vegetables we can grow to each CSA pick-up over the next five months.

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

The first Winter harvest of the season!

Here are a few reminders as we get going this winter season.

  • First off, we’ve all been living in this COVID-19 world long enough now that I don’t think we need to belabor any rules and regulations. As in other places in life, we ask that everyone please be aware of spacing and respect other members. If we all try to work efficiently at choosing vegetables and moving through the pick-up we shouldn’t have any trouble making sure everyone gets their share for the week. This means the pick-up process may take a tad longer than in years past but our experience with the Summer CSA pick-ups suggest things shouldn’t back up too much.
  • Also, don’t forget to share your cooking triumphs with other members in the P&C CSA member facebook group If you enjoyed a recipe we’d all love to hear about it!
  • Finally, let us know if you’re a member but you’re not seeing the weekly member email.  It serves as a good pick-up reminder and that’s where we’ll put any important member information as the season goes on. Remember what I said about unpredictable winter weather? That goes for pick-ups too and we’ll try to update you via email if there’s ever a hiccup on a scheduled pick-up day.

Most of you are returning members and you know the CSA drill already, but there are a number of new members this season.  Either way, let us know if you have any questions on CSA logistics, or vegetables, or whatever else might come up.  We’re looking forward to a fantastic winter season, and hope you are too!

Blueberries!

Now that we’ve covered the Winter CSA logistics, here are a few updates from the farm. We often get questions about our two-week break between seasons. Do we have any fun trips planned? What sort of work is there to do on the farm in the winter? Of course each year is different and this year especially so given the advice to limit travels etc. We managed to keep busy here on the farm these past two weeks, albeit at a slower pace thankfully.

Our most exciting project was planting a small blueberry patch! Jeff had prepped beds in a rarely used corner of the farm behind some field houses earlier this fall so we were ready to jump into planting once we had the time. We planted 200 blueberry bushes, 4 varieties total (Duke, Olympia, Chandler, and Aurora), with harvest windows ranging from late June through August. They’re an investment in future summer berries and we look forward to sharing them in years to come. We also purchased ten fig trees that will find a home in the field in the spring!

Getting started on winter projects! A weather station addition, gutters, and drying apples!

Other projects of note we tackled during the break include:

  • Mounting a weather station! I’ve been dreaming of a weather station for years and Jeff finally made it happen. Now we can track rainfall, temperatures, and wind speed. It’s connected to our wifi and updates to the internet. Click here to see the weather at the farm!
  • Installing gutters on the west side of the barn! This one is exciting for members who pick-up here at the farm. Fingers crossed the new gutters eliminate the waterfall walking experience for you when it’s raining during a pick-up.
  • Drying apples! We’ve increased the number of members in the Winter CSA from 62 last year to 80 this year which means it takes an extra round of drying apples to have enough. It’s worth it for crispy apples though!
  • Buying a new propagation house greenhouse! After many years of making a greenhouse that came with the farm work for our propagation needs we’re finally investing in a new greenhouse. It will be located out of the spring flood zone, be built of stronger materials, have improved ventilation, be double-walled for fewer temperature fluctuations, and be located in line with our upgraded soil mixing and germination chamber locations. I’m looking forward to improved transplant success and a shorter trip from seed starting to transplant growing locations. The new greenhouse arrives in late January and Jeff has already been busy clearing the site.

These were the highlights I can recall from our two week hiatus. Of course there were other projects including a little planting, a little weeding, many tasty meals, and lots of winter squash pie.

Hey, that’s us, in a book!

Finally I wanted to share a fun thing that happened in the last few months. In March of 2019 we were contacted by a local author, named Karista Bennett, who was working on a cookbook highlighting local producers and products from Oregon. She planned to include pages throughout the book introducing readers to farms and chefs and wineries and she wanted to include us. I’m not entirely sure how she found us but it sounded like an easy thing to agree to.

She came out for a visit to take photos and meet us on a rainy July day in 2019. Well, all these months later she finished up the project and The Oregon Farm Table Cookbook came to life. Karista sent us a copy of the book recently and it’s a fun mix of locally inspired recipes and highlights from regional farms and food producers just as promised. If you’re looking for a new cookbook and want to learn about some hard-working and inspiring mid-valley producers this one’s for you.

Okay, surely that’s enough for one farm update. We look forward to seeing everyone this week at the pick-ups!

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

Your farmers,
Carri Heisler & Jeff Bramlett

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Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:

Miso-Harissa Delicata Squash and Brussels Sprouts Salad

  • 1/2 pound Brussels sprouts, trimmed
  • 1-pound delicata squash
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup white miso
  • 1 tablespoon harissa paste
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 3 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 1/4 cup toasted almonds, roughly chopped
  • Minced cilantro for serving

Preheat the oven to 400°F and line a baking sheet with parchment. Slice the Brussels sprouts in half lengthwise. Cut the delicata squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Slice each half into 1/2-inch-thick half-moons. You can leave the peel on the squash, as it is edible.

In a bowl, whisk together the olive oil, miso, harissa, honey, and vinegar. In a large bowl, combine the Brussels sprouts and squash with 1/3 cup of the harissa miso mixture. Use your hands to coat the vegetables evenly. Spread the vegetables out on the prepared baking sheet and roast until the squash is tender and the Brussels sprouts are slightly crisp, 25 to 30 minutes. Toss the veggies halfway through cooking.

While the veggies roast, heat a small dry skillet over medium-high. Add the almonds and toast until they are golden brown, shaking the pan often, 3 to 5 minutes. Pour them from the pan to a plate, and when they’re cool enough to handle, roughly chop them.

Divide the roasted vegetables among the bowls and sprinkle toasted almonds and minced cilantro on top. Serve with the remaining miso harissa sauce on the side.

Keep extra miso-harissa sauce in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week.

From Epicurious.com via Dishing Up the Dirt by Andrea Bemis, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/miso-harissa-delicata-squash-and-brussels-sprouts-salad

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Celery Root and Carrot Soup

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

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

Serve soup topped with celery leaves and apple.

From Epicurious.com via Bon Appétit by Rick Martinez, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/celery-root-and-carrot-soup

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Roasted Winter Vegetables

  • 2 lb/910 kg winter squash or pumpkin, parsnips, carrots, beets/beetroots, or a mix
  • 2 medium red or yellow onions, quartered
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Handful of fresh parsley, coarsely chopped, for garnish

Preheat the oven to 400°F/200°C/gas 6. Peel and cut the vegetables into equal sized pieces, about 1-in/2.5-cm chunks. Toss vegetables and onions in olive oil in a large bowl and season generously with salt and pepper.

Spread the pieces out in a single layer on one or two roasting pans/trays so that the vegetables don’t touch. Roast until the veggies are lightly browned and just tender, 45 minutes to 1 hour, depending on the vegetable. Remove and toss with additional olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and garnish with parsley before serving.

From Epicurious.com via The Newlywed Cookbook by Sarah Copeland, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/roasted-winter-vegetables-395551

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Summer CSA Share – #26

Welcome to the 26th and final share of the Pitchfork & Crow 2020 Summer CSA!  Here’s what’s in the share this week:

  • Redarling Brussels Sprouts
  • Lacinato Kale
  • Spinach/Tatsoi/Red Lettuce Mix
  • Mustard Greens – Slightly spicy leaves that punch up salads. We love to wilt them in brothy soups.
  • Carrots
  • AmaRosa Fingerling Potatoes -Red inside and outside, these fingerlings are tasty boiled, baked, and make colorful chips.
  • Garlic
  • Yellow & Red Onions
  • Sage
  • Celery – Just a few stalks for everyone this time. We’d hope to share full heads one more time, but a pesky gopher had another idea.
  • Pie Pumpkin
  • Butternut Squash
  • Corn Flour – – We grow a dent corn that grinds partially into flour and partially into polenta when milled. Last week you got the polenta and this week is the flour. You can use this flour in any recipe calling for corn flour or cornmeal. We like to use this corn flour for perfect cornbread and it has been excellent for fried green tomatoes.

As we wrap up the 2020 Summer CSA season and also celebrate Thanksgiving this week I wanted to take a moment to say thanks. Thank you for supporting our farm this season. Thank you for choosing to eat local and seasonal vegetables for the past six months. Thank you for showing up week after week. We know this has been an especially difficult year for many of you and we appreciate your willingness to make the CSA a part of your lives.

Here are some season stats: This year each share consisted of an average of 16lbs per week for 26 weeks. That’s 417lbs of organic vegetables for each share over the season. All combined Jeff and I distributed approximately 42,500lbs of produce this season. Through our partnership with the Linn Benton Food Share, over 6,500lbs of those organic vegetables went directly to the Lebanon Soup Kitchen, Lebanon food pantries, and the Lebanon Gleaners. Not bad for a two-person operation, if I do say so.

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

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

Harvesting mustard greens and Brussels sprouts this week.

We’ll see some of you in a few weeks for the start of the Winter CSA. We’re excited to see what the winter season has in store for us and hope you are too! For everyone else we hope you have a fantastic winter! You’ll be hearing from us in early January as we gear up for the 2021 Summer CSA! Hopefully you’ll consider joining us for another round of local, seasonal, organic vegetables.

Have a happy Thanksgiving and enjoy the vegetables! We’ll see Winter CSA members on December 15th & 16th for the beginning of the Winter season.

Your farmers,
Carri Heisler & Jeff Bramlett

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Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:

Simmered Greens with Cornmeal Dumplings

  • 1 (1-pound) piece slab bacon
  • 3 quarts water
  • 3 pound mixed greens such as collard, mustards, and turnip
  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 2 teaspoons packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup whole milk

Score bacon 2 or 3 times (do not cut all the way through), then simmer in water in a wide 6-quart pot, covered, 1 hour.

Discard any coarse stems from greens and coarsely chop leaves.

Add greens, 2 1/2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper to bacon and cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, 25 minutes.

Meanwhile, whisk together flour, cornmeal, brown sugar, baking powder, and 1/4 teaspoon salt, then blend in butter well with your fingertips. Stir in milk until just combined. Let dough stand 5 minutes.

With wet hands, roll rounded tablespoons of dough into balls.

Gently place dumplings on top of greens. Cook, covered and undisturbed, over low heat until greens are very tender and silky and dumplings are puffed and cooked through, about 20 minutes. Discard bacon. Season with salt and pepper.

From Epicurious.com via Gourmet by Edna Lewis, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/simmered-greens-with-cornmeal-dumplings-241202

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Potato, Greens, and Goat Cheese Quesadillas

  • 1 1/3 cups 1/2-inch cubes peeled Yukon Gold potatoes (about 2 medium)
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 1/3 cups (packed) coarsely grated hot pepper Monterey Jack cheese (5 to 6 ounces)
  • 1 1/3 cups jarred salsa verde (tomatillo salsa)
  • 4 2/3 cups coarsely chopped stemmed mustard greens (from 1 bunch), divided
  • 4 8-inch-diameter flour tortillas
  • 3 ounces chilled fresh goat cheese, coarsely crumbled
  • Olive oil

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

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

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

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

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

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Fettuccine with Brussels Sprouts and Pine Nuts

  • 3/4 pound Brussels sprouts, trimmed
  • 1/2 pound dried egg fettuccine
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons pine nuts

Slice Brussels sprouts in a food processor fitted with slicing disk.

Cook fettuccine in a pasta pot of boiling salted water (3 tablespoons salt for 6 quarts water) until al dente.

Meanwhile, heat butter and oil in a large heavy skillet over medium heat until foam subsides, then cook pine nuts, stirring, until golden, 1 to 2 minutes. Add Brussels sprouts, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper, then sauté over medium-high heat until tender and lightly browned, about 4 minutes.

Reserve 1/2 cup pasta-cooking water, then drain pasta and add to skillet, tossing with enough reserved water to moisten.

From Epicurious.com via Gourmet by Maggie Ruggiero, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/fettuccine-with-brussels-sprouts-and-pine-nuts-240591

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Winter Squash Soup with Gruyere Croutons

  1. Soup
    • 1/4 cup ( 1/2 stick) butter
    • 1 large onion, finely chopped
    • 4 large garlic cloves, chopped
    • 3 14 1/2-ounce cans low-salt chicken broth
    • 4 cups 1-inch pieces peeled butternut squash (about 1 1/2 pounds)
    • 4 cups 1-inch pieces peeled acorn squash (about 1 1/2 pounds) (or another winter squash like pie pumpkin)
    • 1 1/4 teaspoons minced fresh thyme
    • 1 1/4 teaspoons minced fresh sage
    • 1/4 cup whipping cream
    • 2 teaspoons sugar
  2. Croutons
    • 2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter
    • 24 1/4-inch-thick baguette bread slices
    • 1 cup grated Gruyère cheese
    • 1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme
    • 1 teaspoon minced fresh sage

For soup:

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

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

For croutons:

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

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

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Summer CSA Share – #25

Welcome to the 25th and penultimate share of the Pitchfork & Crow 2020 Summer CSA!  Here’s what’s in the share this week:

  • Kalibos Red Cabbage
  • Sugarloaf Chicory– Though some dislike the bitterness of chicories, we think of them as the salad greens of winter and an excellent excuse to break out the creamy salad dressing. Dressing a chicory salad with citrus or vinegar dressings, dried fruit, roasted nuts, and/or strong cheeses can help to cut the bitter. Sugarloaf in particular also makes for a tasty roasted or grilled side too.
  • Rainbow Chard
  • Rutabaga – We’ve got another odd root vegetable for you this week. A true fall and winter staple, the rutabaga brings hardiness and flavor to roasted roots and mashes of all kinds.
  • Rose Finn Apple fingerling Potatoes
  • Leeks
  • Yellow & Red Onion
  • Thyme
  • Black Futsu Winter Squash – Related to butternut, black futsu has a smooth orange flesh and thin edible skin. It’s a versatile squash that is tasty roasted, pickled, thinly shaved into salads raw, and in pies. It turns from dark green to bluish brown in storage.
  • Shishito Peppers – We’re eeking out the last of the peppers from storage. This week we’ve got the last of the shishitos, those roulette peppers where 1 in 10 might pack a little heat.
  • Polenta – – We grow a dent corn that grinds partially into flour and partially into polenta when milled. Next week we’ll send you home with some corn flour, but this week it’s polenta. We like to cook this polenta in our rice maker using the same 1 part polenta to 2 parts water ratio we use with rice. Many polenta recipes call for more liquid and longer cooking, which I’ve read will help develop the flavor more.
This week’s harvest started early with corn grinding and sifting over the weekend (left) and one of these things is not like the others; we happened upon a lone cauliflower the same shade of purple as this week’s cabbage (right).

It looks like we’re in for a blustery and wet CSA pick-up this week. Grab your rain jackets and come down for a load of tasty fall vegetables and the penultimate share for this season. That’s right, just one more week to go until we officially wrap up this summer CSA season. We’ve got vegetables for you right up until you’re prepping for Thanksgiving dinner.

Here’s a list of what we plan to include in next week’s share to help with any grocery buying you may be doing for the holiday:

  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Spinach
  • Celery
  • Potatoes
  • Carrots
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Sage
  • Pie Pumpkin
  • Butternut Squash
  • Corn Flour
Mac & cheese with winter squash and kale!

As both the weather and the vegetable selection in the share has shifted toward the fall season we hope you’re enjoying the benefits of eating seasonally. Just as we couldn’t face another zucchini it was time to start eating winter squash! We’re big fans of fall vegetables, perhaps because we find we have more time to cook and eat them.

One of my favorite ways to use up a few cups of roasted winter squash is Mac & Cheese. I make a simple roux with butter, flour, and yogurt and then whisk in a little cheese for flavor. In goes a few cups of pre-roasted squash, scraped from the skins, salt and pepper to taste. Mix that in with pasta and sauteed greens and it’s a bowl of comfort food packed with vegetables.

Don’t forget to check out the P&C CSA member Facebook group for more inspiration. Members have been sharing all sorts of delicious meals starring recent CSA offerings. If the root vegetables and winter squash are piling up in your kitchen I doubly suggest heading to the member group for ideas. Luckily we’re also nearing the end of this season so you’ll be caught up in no time.

Enjoy the vegetables and we’ll see you next week for the final share of the season!

Your farmers,
Carri Heisler & Jeff Bramlett

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Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:

Orecchiette with Sausage and Chicory

  • 1 pound orecchiette
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound sweet Italian sausage (casings removed)
  • 2 garlic cloves (thinly sliced)
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 pound chicory or escarole (coarsely chopped and washed)
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 cup chicken stock or low-sodium broth
  • ¼ cup grated pecorino (plus more for serving)
  • 2 tablespoons shredded mint

In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the pasta until al dente. Drain well. Step 2

Meanwhile, in a large, deep skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil until shimmering. Add the sausage and cook over moderately high heat, breaking it up with a wooden spoon, until browned, about 7 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the sausage to a plate. Step 3

Add the garlic, crushed red pepper and the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil to the skillet and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the chicory with any water clinging to the leaves and season with salt. Cover and cook until wilted, about 2 minutes. Uncover and cook until the chicory is tender and the liquid has evaporated, about 5 minutes longer. Step 4

Add the pasta to the skillet along with the sausage, chicken stock and pecorino and cook over moderate heat, stirring constantly, until the liquid is slightly reduced and creamy, about 3 minutes. Stir in the mint and serve right away, passing extra cheese at the table.

From Foodandwine.com by Michael White, https://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/orecchiette-sausage-and-chicory

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Vegetable Pot Pie with Wine Sauce and Polenta Crust

  1. Filling
    • 15 pearl onions
    • 2 large carrots
    • 2 russet potatoes (about 8 ounces each), peeled
    • 2 rutabagas (about 6 ounces each), peeled
    • 1 red bell pepper, seeded
    • 1 leek (white and pale green parts only), chopped
    • 10 ounces mushrooms, coarsely chopped
    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried herbs de Provence
    • 1 cup frozen peas, thawed
    • 1 cup canned vegetable broth
    • 1 cup dry red wine
    • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  2. Polenta
    • 2 cups canned vegetable broth
    • 1 cup water
    • 3/4 cup cornmeal
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1 tablespoon freshly grated Romano cheese

For filling:

Preheat oven to 425°F. Blanch pearl onions in large pot of boiling water 2 minutes. Drain onions and cool. Peel onions.

Cut carrots, potatoes, rutabagas and bell pepper into 1/2-inch pieces. Place in heavy large baking pan with onions, leek and mushrooms. Add olive oil and herbes de Provence and toss to coat. Roast until vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally, about 1 hour. Transfer vegetables to 8-inch square glass baking dish. Stir in peas. Season vegetables to taste with salt and pepper. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover tightly and refrigerate.)

Reduce oven temperature to 350°F. Mix 1 cup vegetable broth and 3/4 cup dry red wine in heavy small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to simmer. Stir remaining 1/4 cup red wine and 1 tablespoon cornstarch in small bowl until smooth. Add to broth mixture and simmer until sauce thickens slightly, stirring occasionally, about 4 minutes. Pour sauce over roasted vegetables.

For polenta:

Combine vegetable broth and 1 cup water in heavy medium saucepan over medium heat. Bring to boil. Gradually stir in cornmeal and salt. Cook until polenta thickens and pulls away from sides of pan, stirring constantly, about 10 minutes. Pour warm polenta over vegetable mixture. Using spatula, smooth top, covering vegetables completely. Sprinkle polenta with Romano cheese.

Bake pot pie until polenta is firm to touch and vegetable mixture is heated through, about 15 minutes. Preheat broiler. Broil pot pie until polenta is golden, about 4 minutes.

Spoon pot pie onto plate; serve hot.

From Epicurious.com via Bon Appétit, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/vegetable-pot-pie-with-wine-sauce-and-polenta-crust-1549

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Red Cabbage Salad with Warm Pancetta-Balsamic Dressing

  • 1/4 cup dried currants
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 6 cups thinly sliced red cabbage (from about 1/2 medium head)
  • 1 3-ounce package thinly sliced pancetta (Italian bacon), finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped shallot
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup whole almonds, toasted, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley

Place currants in small bowl. Heat vinegar in saucepan over medium heat until hot (do not boil). Pour vinegar over currants; let soak until currants soften, 15 to 20 minutes.

Place cabbage in large bowl; set aside. Heat large nonstick skillet over medium- high heat. Add pancetta; sauté until brown and crisp, about 5 minutes. Add shallot to pancetta and drippings in skillet; sauté 1 minute. Remove from heat. Stir in currant- vinegar mixture and olive oil. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Pour pancetta mixture over cabbage and toss to coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Let stand 5 to 10 minutes. Add almonds and parsley; toss to blend.

From Epicurious.com via Bon Appétit by Maria Helm Sinskey, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/red-cabbage-salad-with-warm-pancetta-balsamic-dressing-364089

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Summer CSA Share – #24

Welcome to the 24th share of the Pitchfork & Crow 2020 Summer CSA!  Here’s what’s in the share this week:

  • Spinach Mix
  • Arugula
  • Lacinato Kale
  • Parsnips – a little bit carroty, but sharper, parsnips are great roasted and in soups. I’m thinking these parsnip cupcakes may need to be tested out this week.
  • Potatoes
  • Celeriac (aka celery root) – use celeriac as a potato substitute or alongside potatoes in soups and gratins and mashes and…
  • Yellow & Red Onion
  • Garlic
  • Gill’s Golden Pippin Acorn Squash – a tasty little acorn squash that’s just the right size for a single serving.
  • Jalapeno or Czech Black Hot Peppers
  • Mixed Green Sweet Peppers
A rainbow over the farm (left) and digging parsnips with two dogs (right).

What a strange week it’s been on the farm since we last met. In between cleaning out the tomato houses on Friday, digging parsnips on Sunday, and this week’s icy harvest on Monday, we managed to meet, adopt, and ultimately return the second dog I’d mentioned we were excited about last week. Although she was the cuddliest, sweetest little shepherd/blue heeler cross I’d ever met, it became obvious pretty quickly that things weren’t going to work out.

She and Leo may have eventually worked through the hierarchy situation, but I’m pretty sure there would have been blood shed. The real deal breaker was the number of times she wandered off in search of more interesting scenes culminating with a daring trip across the busy highway which did not phase her one bit. It was a hard lesson to learn, but now we’re those people who think they can handle a new dog adoption but realize it’s not always so easy. I hope she finds the right home, maybe a place on a ranch in eastern Oregon where there’s room to roam and work to do.

We’re working to get re-focused on wrapping up this season. Just two more weeks of summer shares before we get a short break and then the every other week pick-ups of the Winter CSA begin in mid-December. This season has really flown by!

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:

Rosemary-Rubbed Side of Salmon with Roasted Potatoes, Parsnips, and Mushrooms

  • 1 1/2 cups loosely packed fresh rosemary leaves
  • 4 teaspoons coarse kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 pound red-skinned or white-skinned potatoes, cut into 3/4-inch pieces
  • 1 pound parsnips, peeled, cut into 3/4-inch pieces
  • 1 3 1/2-to 3 3/4-pound whole side of salmon with skin
  • 1 pound crimini (baby bella) mushrooms, quartered if large, halved if small assorted salad greens
  • 1/3 cup Pinot Noir or other dry red wine

Blend rosemary, salt, and pepper in processor until finely chopped. With machine running, gradually add 4 tablespoons oil; process to coarse paste.

Position 1 rack in top third and 1 rack in bottom third of oven; preheat to 450°F. Toss potatoes, parsnips, 2 tablespoons oil, and 3 tablespoons rosemary mixture in large bowl. Transfer vegetable mixture to rimmed baking sheet, arranging in even layer. Roast vegetables on lower rack 20 minutes.

Line large rimmed baking sheet with parchment. Place salmon, skin side down, on sheet. Spread with remaining rosemary mixture. Toss mushrooms with vegetable mixture. Return vegetable mixture to lower rack; place salmon on upper rack. Roast salmon until just opaque in center and vegetables until tender, about 20 minutes.

Line platter with salad greens; place salmon on top of greens. Transfer vegetables to serving bowl. Place vegetable baking sheet over 2 burners on high heat. Add wine and bring to boil, scraping up browned bits. Drizzle juices over salmon.

From Epicurious.com via Bon Appétit by Jill Silverman Hough, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/rosemary-rubbed-side-of-salmon-with-roasted-potatoes-parsnips-and-mushrooms-362532

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Mashed Potatoes with Celery Root and Mascarpone

  • 3 1/4 pounds Yukon Gold or russet potatoes, peeled, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1 1/2 pounds celery root (celeriac), peeled, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 3 whole peeled garlic cloves plus 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 8 ounces mascarpone cheese, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter

Place potatoes, celery root and whole garlic cloves in large pot. Add enough cold water to cover vegetables. Salt the water and bring to boil. Cover partially and boil until vegetables are very tender, about 40 minutes. Drain.

Transfer vegetables to large bowl. Using electric mixer, beat mixture until almost smooth. Add minced garlic, mascarpone and butter; beat until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper. (Can be prepared 3 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature. Rewarm over medium-low heat, stirring frequently.)

From Epicurious.com via Bon Appétit, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/mashed-potatoes-with-celery-root-and-mascarpone-4382

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Burgers with Mozzarella and Spinach-Arugula Pesto

  • 8 ounces baby spinach leaves (about 10 cups packed)
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1/2 teaspoon (packed) finely grated lemon peel
  • Large pinch of dried crushed red pepper
  • 4 cups (packed) fresh arugula leaves, divided (about 5 ounces)
  • 3 tablespoons pine nuts
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons (packed) freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 3/4 pounds ground beef (20% fat)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 6 hamburger buns, split horizontally
  • 6 1/3-inch-thick slices fresh mozzarella cheese
  • 2 large beefsteak tomatoes, cut into 1/4-inch-thick rounds

Rinse spinach; drain briefly, then place in large glass bowl. Microwave spinach, uncovered, on high just until wilted, 1 to 1 1/2 minutes. Drain, then squeeze out as much liquid as possible. Combine garlic, lemon peel, and crushed red pepper in processor; blend until garlic is finely chopped. Add spinach, 2 cups (packed) arugula, pine nuts, and lemon juice; process until coarse puree forms. With machine running, gradually add oil in thin stream and blend until almost smooth. Mix in cheese. Transfer pesto to small bowl; season with salt.

Do ahead: Can be made 6 hours ahead. Cover; chill.

Combine ground beef, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, and 6 tablespoons spinach-arugula pesto in large bowl; mix lightly with fingertips or fork just until incorporated. Form meat mixture into six 3/4-inch-thick patties. Place patties on platter.

Do ahead: Beef patties can be made 6 hours ahead. Cover and refrigerate.

Prepare barbecue (medium-high heat). Grill burgers to desired doneness, about 4 minutes per side for medium-rare. Grill buns, cut side down, just until lightly toasted, about 1 minute. Build burgers with pesto, patties, mozzarella cheese, tomatoes, and arugula. Cover with bun tops.

From Epicurious.com via Bon Appétit, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/burgers-with-mozzarella-and-spinach-arugula-pesto-235619

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Summer CSA Share – #23

Welcome to the 23rd share of the Pitchfork & Crow 2020 Summer CSA!  Here’s what’s in the share this week:

  • Mixed Head Lettuce
  • Bok Choy
  • Red Napa Cabbage
  • Celery
  • Carrots
  • French Fingerling Potatoes
  • Hakurei Salad Turnips or Daikon Radishes
  • Yellow Onions
  • Delicata Winter Squash
  • Matchbox Thai Hot Peppers – little peppers that pack a punch.
  • Mixed Sweet Green Peppers
  • Green Tomatoes – Just before the first big freeze of the season we rescue all the tomatoes, ripe and green alike. Here’s your once-a-year seasonal chance to make fried green tomatoes and/or one last batch of salsa verde.
  • Ripe Tomato – Okay, one last red ripe tomato of the season.
Celery harvest (left) and a stray red Napa cabbage leaf (right).

We’re rolling with the seasonal shift this week. I think we’ve quite possibly seen the last of the broccoli and cauliflower. We had a good run with both this season and it’s time to say goodbye until spring. Luckily there are other tasty vegetables ready to be harvested out there. This week we’re bringing you red Napa cabbage and bok choy. Sounds like stir-fry!

Planting rosemary: Leo helping to burn holes in the ground cloth (left) and transplanting plugs (right).

Last year we planted an herb plot that included thyme, rosemary, and sage. I’d started all of the transplants from seed early in the season and most of them thrived over this past season. Unfortunately only about fifty percent of the rosemary took, and those that survived are being overtaken by the sage. Early this season we decided to re-plant the rosemary, giving it more space.

Thinking it might be better to just start with well grown transplants I bought two flats of rosemary plugs from an organic nursery in June. Then the summer hit and all the things needed doing and the plugs just hung out near the propagation house all season. Well, this past week we finally managed to roll out some ground cover, burn holes in it, get it over the bed, and plant the plugs! Isn’t it the best when you finally close one of those long term project loops? And we’re looking forward to a rosemary hedge one day.

Carrot harvest this week (left) and taking soil samples (right).

We had a productive week on the farm. In addition to the rosemary planting we also rescued the carrots from an illusive rodent that was using them as its personal pantry. Carrots are the best, so I understand the rodent’s interest, but I’m glad we were able to save some to share with you instead.

On Sunday afternoon I began tackling the tomato trellising and managed to remove all the trellising string from the eight rows of tomatoes. Now for t-post removal, drip tape removal, plant removal, and then planting winter food.

We also took soil samples from various locations around the farm and sent them into A&L Western Labs in Portland for analysis. The reports will let us know what type of amending we should focus on moving forward and if we have any worrying mineral deficiencies. We’re also working on establishing a blueberry(!) plot and the soil report for that space will tell us whether it is acidic enough for blueberry plants to thrive.

It looks like we’ve got rain on deck on and off for the next week. This looks like the on-set of mud season. Luckily I think we’re in a pretty good place for it. This week we’ll finish up the tomato trellis removal and begin thinking about 2021 planting plans. We’re also meeting a new dog on Thursday and if all goes well we’ll be bringing her home this weekend. Leo’s ready for a friend, and we’re ready for Leo to have a friend.

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:

Helen Getz’s Napa Cabbage with Hot Bacon Dressing

1 Napa cabbage, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced (you’ll need 6 to 8 cups)
8 thick slices bacon, cut into 1/ 4-inch lardons
1 tablespoon flour
2 tablespoons red wine or cider vinegar
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons water
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg, lightly beaten

Place the cabbage in a large mixing bowl. Add the bacon to a medium sauté pan and set over medium heat. Render the bacon fat and brown the bacon, adjusting the heat as needed. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon to a plate lined with paper towel, then pour off all but 2 tablespoons bacon fat (approximate, don’t measure) from the pan.

Set the pan over medium low heat. Add the flour and stir until smooth. Cook for 1 minute. Stir in the vinegar and water and bring to a boil. Season with the salt. Gradually – and slowly! – whisk this mixture into the egg.

Sprinkle the bacon on the cabbage, then pour 3/4 of the dressing over the cabbage and toss to mix. Add more dressing as desired (I like a fair amount). Serve with grilled pork chops, roasted potatoes and beer.

From Food52.com by Amanda Hesser, https://food52.com/recipes/7940-helen-getz-s-napa-cabbage-with-hot-bacon-dressing

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Grilled Asian Chicken with Bok Choy, Shiitake Mushrooms, and Radishes

  • 8 1/3-inch-thick rounds red onion
  • 8 large shiitake mushrooms, stemmed
  • 8 red radishes, trimmed, halved (or salad turnips or daikon)
  • 4 baby bok choy, halved lengthwise
  • 1 large orange bell pepper, cut lengthwise into 8 strips
  • 1 1/4 cups Mango-Sesame Dressing , divided
  • 6 boneless chicken breast halves with skin
  • Nonstick vegetable oil spray

Arrange all vegetables on large rimmed baking sheet. Brush vegetables lightly on both sides with 1/3 cup Mango-Sesame Dressing; sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Arrange chicken on sheet of foil. Brush both sides of chicken with 1/3 cup dressing, then sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Do ahead

Vegetables and chicken can be prepared 2 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature.

Coat grill rack generously with nonstick spray and prepare barbecue (medium-high heat). Grill vegetables until just tender, turning occasionally, about 8 minutes for onion rounds and 4 minutes for mushrooms, radishes, bok choy, and pepper strips. Return all vegetables to same baking sheet.

Grill chicken until cooked through, 5 to 6 minutes per side. Transfer chicken to cutting board. Let stand 5 to 10 minutes. Cool 2 chicken breasts; wrap and chill for Asian Chicken-Noodle Salad.

Arrange remaining 4 chicken breasts and vegetables on platter. Serve with remaining dressing.

From Epicurious.com via Bon Appétit by Selma Brown Morrow, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/grilled-asian-chicken-with-bok-choy-shiitake-mushrooms-and-radishes-359329

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Spiced Pumpkin Soup

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons butter
  • 3/4 cup chopped carrot
  • 3/4 cup chopped celery
  • 3/4 cup chopped ripe banana
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 whole clove
  • 5 cups low-salt chicken broth
  • 2 cups canned pure pumpkin (Of course you’ll roast one or more of your winter squashes and use that here.)
  • 3/4 cup canned unsweetened coconut milk*
  • 1/4 cup sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon crumbled dried sage leaves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon yellow curry powder

Melt butter in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add carrot and next 6 ingredients and sauté until vegetables are soft, about 10 minutes. Discard bay leaf. Transfer mixture to processor and blend until smooth. Return mixture to pot. Add broth and all remaining ingredients except cilantro. Boil soup over medium-high heat 15 minutes to blend flavors. Cool slightly. Working in batches, puree soup in blender until smooth. Return soup to pot. Season to taste with salt and pepper. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cool slightly, then cover and refrigerate.)

Bring soup to simmer. Divide among 8 bowls. Sprinkle with cilantro and serve.

From Epicurious.com via Bon Appétit by Lucca’s Restaurant (Chicago, IL), https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/spiced-pumpkin-soup-107258

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