Summer CSA Share – #5

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

  • Green Cabbage – Our favorite early green cabbage, an heirloomy pointy headed variety called Early Jersey Wakefield.
  • New Potatoes – These are German Butterballs put in the ground early in a greenhouse. They’re freshly dug and and the skins haven’t toughened so they’re a bit more delicate. You’ll want to use them up sooner than later as they won’t want to store long.
  • Shallots and Yellow Onions – The very last of last season’s alliums this week. Shallots are drier than most onions but can be readily substituted in recipes. Given that these have been in storage since last fall, you may see some green growth in the centers, which is edible as well. Again, use them up sooner than later.
  • Green & Red One-Cut Lettuce
  • Carrots
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Shelling Peas – One last taste of this season’s peas! Though they are the same sugar snap varieties in past shares, you’ll likely enjoy them most by popping the pods open and eating the peas inside rather than the whole husk.
  • Celery – We usually like to give the celery a good long season to soak up a lot of water and nutrients and size up for big long tasty stalks. Unfortunately a pesky gopher has another idea and has been taking these heads out one by one. We decided it would be better to share some smaller celery than no celery. Hopefully more to come in the future if we can manage to keep it from the gopher.
  • Summer Squash – Choose from yellow straightneck and zucchini.
  • Cucumbers
  • Leek Flowers – Last season’s leeks have bolted and formed these beautiful flower heads. Both a fun novelty and a tasty and unique garnish for salads, or anything really. Just tear of the flowers and sprinkle away.
  • Cherry Tomatoes! Is this the first year we’ve shared tomatoes by the 4ith of July? Maybe so! Enjoy!
Freshly weeded leeks (left) and some happy zinnias for the bees, inter-planted between the celeriac and cucumbers (right).

Hello July! Summer is in full swing now that we’ve hit July, right? Well, the farm feels like it’s on the cusp of summer greatness anyhow. The melons and winter squash are vining and spreading further each day. The first round of corn is beginning to tassel. It’s already time to mow the first round of crops to make space for the next successions.

As we slide into the dog days ahead, and vacations get planned, and schedules get filled, it may be a good time to review the CSA member resources page.

  • Check out the Member Handbook for options for what to do when you need to miss a share (hint: send a friend to pick-up or arrange ahead of time to pick-up at the farm later).
  • Re-visit the Vegetable Exit Strategies on the P&C CSA Member app site for suggestions on how to use up extra vegetables before the next share arrives.
  • Take note of the important dates including the upcoming CSA farm day on July 20th and the second payment due date on July 31st for those who chose the two payment option.

Just like the farm, the CSA is also on the cusp of summer greatness! The summer squash and cucumbers are coming in strong and the tomatoes are just beginning to turn red (or yellow or orange…). Many other summery crops are right around the corner including peppers, eggplant, green beans, tomatillos! Hopefully you’re enjoying the vegetables and are looking forward to a lot more!

Thanks to a friend having a birthday last week, we were convinced to take a day trip off the farm and over to the coast for a hike and a little beach time. The weather was fantastic, the company was unbeatable, and it was fun to visit an area north of our usual coastal haunts. The only downside was the lack of wind for kite flying. I guess we’ll have to go back and try again soon.

Enjoy the vegetables!

Your farmers,
Carri Heisler and Jeff Bramlett

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Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:

Creamy Coleslaw with Chives and Shallots

  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 6 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh chives
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons minced shallots
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 2-pound head green cabbage, thinly sliced (about 14 cups)

Blend first 9 ingredients in blender. Place cabbage in large bowl. Pour dressing over cabbage and toss to combine. Cover and refrigerate at least 3 hours and up to 8 hours, tossing occasionally.

From Epicurious.com via Bon Appétit, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/creamy-coleslaw-with-chives-and-shallots-15569

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Roseanne Cash’s Potato Salad

  • 3 pounds medium red-skinned potatoes, unpeeled, scrubbed
  • 8 dill pickle spears, coarsely chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 3 celery stalks, chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 1 medium red onion, chopped (about 1 cup) (or try shallots)
  • 5 hard-boiled eggs, peeled, chopped
  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

Cook potatoes in large pot of boiling salted water until tender, about 30 minutes. Drain; cool. Cut potatoes into 1-inch pieces and transfer to large bowl. Stir in pickles, celery, onion, eggs, mayonnaise, and mustard. Season potato salad to taste with salt and pepper. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Let stand at room temperature 1 hour before serving.)

From Epicurious.com via Bon Appétit, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/rosanne-cashs-potato-salad-109605

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Indian Potatoes, Peas, and Cauliflower

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 pound russet potatoes, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  • 4 cups cauliflower florets, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed (or fresh peas!)

Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add potatoes and ginger; sauté until potatoes are lightly browned, about 3 minutes. Mix in cauliflower, then salt, turmeric, chili powder and paprika; sauté 5 minutes. Add 1/2 cup water; cover and simmer until vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes. Add peas and simmer 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

From Epicurious.com via Bon Appétit by Prem K. Singh, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/indian-potatoes-peas-and-cauliflower-102405

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Summer CSA Share – #4

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

  • Mixed Lacinato Kale – We grow Black Magic and Dazzling Blue lacinato kale varieties. You’ll see one or both in this week’s bunches.
  • Hakurei Salad Turnips – Eat them raw or roasted, and eat the greens.
  • Torpedo Onions or Red Bunching Onions
  • Butter Lettuce
  • Romaine Lettuce
  • Carrots
  • Basque Turban Fresh Garlic – A new variety of garlic for us that comes originally from Basque country in Spain. It’s said to have “a quick heat when eaten raw, fading to an earthy finish” according to Avram over at Garlicana, a garlic farm in southern Oregon. Note that this is freshly harvested garlic and hasn’t dried out in the curing process. Because the green leaves have been cut you’ll want to store it in the fridge and use it up sooner than later.
  • Broccoli
  • Fava Beans – For the true fava experience you’ll want to shell the beans, blanch them, then remove the outer skin and eat the green inner bean. We often skip that last step and eat the shelled beans directly. Also, grilling the entire pods make them quicker to shell and the beans get steamed inside, so they don’t need to be blanched.
  • Sugar Snap Peas
  • Cilantro
  • Summer Squash – Choose from yellow straightneck and zucchini.
  • Strawberries – The berries have bounced back a little after those hot temps a couple of weeks back. We grow Seascape and Sweet Ann strawberries.
A handful of cherry tomatoes are showing their color. It won’t be long before we’re in the tomatoes! (left) and the Brussels sprouts are looking happy in the late evening light (right).

Late June is a tough time to come by on the farm. It’s the convergence of months of preparing for and starting off the growing season with summer harvests and continuing the push for fall and winter crops. The farm is full of plants that need water and cultivation and transplanting and it can feel a little never-ending as we begin sowing next spring’s purple sprouting broccoli and overwintering cauliflower. Late June on the farm often means exhaustion, long days, and at times tears when the farm is getting the best of us. This year feels different though.

Somehow we’ve kept up on the trellising and the peas and tomatoes are not languishing. Most of the crops are fairly well cultivated. We’re generally on schedule with transplanting and sowing. There haven’t been any major mechanical failures (knock on wood). Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of missed weeds and some failed crops out there. But overall, a walk down the farm road just reveals a lot of future food. It’s sure a good feeling to have hit late June and found only the rhythm of the farm.

The garlic harvest! The photo to the top right shows how we undercut the garlic roots for easy pulling. Also, we brought in the overwintered onions too!

One seasonal milestone is the garlic harvest. We plant garlic cloves in October and they magically turn into heads of garlic over the following nine months. In past years we’ve had to battle real rust problems, a fungus that results in rusty colored blisters on the garlic leaves that eventually kill the garlic plant, sometimes before it’s had a chance to properly bulb. This year we missed the rust somehow thankfully. Perhaps it was the change in plant spacing, or the change in spring fertilization, or lessening late season irrigation, or new variety choices. Or the combo of all of those things. As with most things, there were some great varieties and some that didn’t do as well, but overall it was a nice healthy garlic harvest. After taking last year off from growing garlic it’s nice to be in the garlic again!

The week ahead looks to be more of the same. We may get a short irrigation reprieve if the forecasted rain appears, but otherwise we’ll be keepin’ on keepin’ on. Like I said before, there are certainly some missed weeds out there that could use pulling.

Enjoy the vegetables!

Your farmers,
Carri Heisler and Jeff Bramlett

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Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:

Fava Beans with Red Onion and Mint

  • 3 cups peeled shelled fresh fava beans (2 1/2 pounds in pod)
  • 1 teaspoon plus 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 medium red onions, chopped
  • Fine sea salt
  • Generous handful of mint, roughly chopped (about 1/2 cup)

Cook fava beans with 1 teaspoon oil in boiling unsalted water until tender, 6 to 8 minutes, then drain.

Cook onions in remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a medium skillet over medium heat, stirring, until just crisp-tender, about 4 minutes. Add beans and cook until just heated through, then season with sea salt and pepper. Toss in mint. Serve immediately.

From Epicurious.com by Ursula Ferrigno, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/fava-beans-with-red-onion-and-mint-em-fave-con-cipolla-rossa-e-menta-em-242031

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Romaine and Broccoli Salad with Creamy Roasted Garlic Dressing

Dressing

  • 2 whole heads of garlic, unpeeled
  • Olive oil
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons minced fresh chives
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons celery salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon (scant) freshly ground black pepper

Vegetables

  • 1 18-ounce package hearts of romaine (about 3), coarsely torn
  • 1 1-pint container grape tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 cups small broccoli florets
  • 1 small English hothouse cucumber, thinly sliced
  • 1 8-ounce package thinly sliced mushrooms
  • 1 small red onion, sliced paper-thin

For dressing:

Preheat oven to 325°F. Slice top 1/2 inch from each head of garlic. Place each, cut side up, on large square of foil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper; drizzle with oil. Enclose each in foil. Roast packets directly on oven rack until garlic is tender, about 1 hour 10 minutes. Carefully open foil; cool.

Squeeze garlic into medium bowl; mash. Whisk in remaining ingredients. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover; chill.)

For vegetables:

Combine vegetables in large bowl. Add dressing; toss. Season with more salt and pepper, if desired.

From Epicurious.com via Bon Appétit by Rick Rodgers, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/romaine-and-broccoli-salad-with-creamy-roasted-garlic-dressing-233915

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Easy Green Curry with Chicken, Bell Pepper, and Sugar Snap Peas

  • 1 tablespoon virgin coconut or canola oil
  • 1/4 cup green curry paste
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely grated lime zest
  • 1 medium onion, sliced into 1/4-inch strips
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced into 1/4-inch strips
  • 1 cup homemade chicken stock or low-sodium chicken broth
  • 4 cups 1/2-inch cubed cooked chicken (from 1 [2 1/2-pound] rotisserie chicken)
  • 1/2 pound sugar snap peas, trimmed (about 2 1/2 cups)
  • 1 (14-ounce) can coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup basil leaves
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • Cooked rice or rice noodles and lime wedges (for serving)

Heat oil in a medium pot over medium. Cook curry paste, ginger, and lime zest, stirring, until heated through, about 1 minute. Add onion and salt and cook, stirring, until onion is soft, about 3 minutes. Add bell pepper and stir to combine. Add chicken stock and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer until pepper is crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. Add chicken, snap peas, and coconut milk and cook over medium, being careful not to boil, until warmed through, about 5 minutes. Stir in basil and lime juice. Serve with rice or rice noodles and lime wedges alongside.

From Epicurious.com by Anna Stockwell, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/easy-green-curry-with-chicken-bell-pepper-and-sugar-snap-peas

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Summer CSA Share – #3

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

  • Arugula Rapini – We waited to harvest this arugula in favor of spinach the past couple of weeks. Now the arugula is beginning to bolt, thanks to in part to last week’s big heatwave. Arugula rapini is just as tasty though! Check out the blended fava bean/arugula recipe at the bottom of the post. Yum!
  • Shiraz Beets – “These beets are like two items in one” exclaimed Jeff when we were harvesting them. Eat the beet roots, eat the beet tops!
  • Butter Lettuce
  • Romaine Lettuce
  • German Butterball Potatoes – The very last of last season’s potatoes! Eat them up sooner than later. New potatoes coming soon!
  • Garlic Scapes – As the hardneck garlic plants begin to develop their bulbs, they send up a flower stalk known as a scape. We harvest the scapes because they’re delicious and garlicky and also to help the plant focus on producing a larger bulb rather than seed production.
  • Broccoli
  • Fava Beans – For the true fava experience you’ll want to shell the beans, blanch them, then remove the outer skin and eat the green inner bean. We often skip that last step and eat the shelled beans directly. Also, grilling the entire pods make them quicker to shell and the beans get steamed inside, so they don’t need to be blanched.
  • Cabbage – Choose from round Red Express or the green and pointy Early Jersey Wakefield cabbages.
  • Sugar Snap Peas
  • Fennel – A little anise flavor for your dishes this week.  Here’s a delicious quick pickle recipe from CSA member Chris A.! Click here for a recipe.
  • Summer Squash – It must be summer! Choose from yellow straightneck and zucchini.
  • Popcorn – We planted the popcorn this last weekend, so it only seemed fitting to include some of last season’s popcorn in this week’s share. You can make this popcorn anyway you’d make store-bought popcorn. Put it in a paper bag for microwaving or click here for tips on stove top popping.
  • Cherries – Our once-a-year cherry treat from our single cherry tree. We got them before the starlings ate them all!
A honey bee working the chicory seed crop (left) and a shot of some cosmos inter-planted between early broccoli and lettuce plantings (right).

Friday marks the official beginning of summer with the arrival of the summer solstice. The longest day of the year is upon us once again. Back in January, as we made our plans for the growing season, it felt like summer couldn’t get here soon enough. Now we’re stepping into the depths of the season, and enjoying the warmth and sun and work as much as possible during this fleeting moment. And all those plans made in the dark days of winter are coming to fruition.

From the time we begin sowing seeds in February until now, there’s a pressure to begin and then keep up the pace. As the days lengthen, heat units increase, and plants grow faster and faster. If not timed just right some plants will want to bolt right away, thinking they’ve gone through a winter and it’s time to set seed. After the solstice the daylight hours slowly begin to wane, and the pressure of the early season eases too. The weeds seem easier to contend with as the season progresses; the crops are less likely to bolt; we begin to think about the next season and the season after that; soon we’re planting for the fall and winter harvests.

Baby red napa cabbage starts (left) and transplanting popcorn (right).

This week on the farm was a bit less manic after we caught up with lots of planting last week. We did have a fair share of planting to get through, including popcorn, spinach, Brussels sprouts for seed production, and the direct sown summer squash and cucumber successions. But we also got to focus on catching up with other tasks too. Jeff cultivated all the things that could be cultivated using our Farmall Cub cultivating tractor, and we spent some time cleaning up the winter squash planting before they begin to really sprawl. I also made a run through the peppers and eggplant to clean up some weeds and focused on trellising and pruning the indoor tomatoes. We sowed the next rounds of broccoli, cauliflower, and corn into flats in the propagation house. We irrigated. We played with row cover, uncovering and covering crops as needed. We marked things off the to-do list, and added other things to the list. Such is farming in June.

A quick river trip on Thursday evening!

On Thursday of last week we managed to stop working early enough to get the boats down to the Willamette River in Albany. We had a good short float and spent some time fishing from the bank. We caught a few small bass but they either got away or we let them go. It was a nice evening on the river and we’re looking forward to more of the same in the weeks to come this summer.

Enjoy the vegetables!

Your farmers,
Carri Heisler and Jeff Bramlett

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Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:

Roasted Beets with Fennel and Bonito Dressing

  • 2 pounds small or medium red beets, scrubbed
  • 1/2 cup olive oil, divided
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more
  • 1 teaspoon anise seed or fennel seeds
  • 1/2 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 small fennel bulb, halved lengthwise, very thinly sliced crosswise
  • 2 garlic cloves, smashed (or try garlic scapes)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup bonito flakes
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 cup trimmed mature arugula

Preheat oven to 425°F. Toss beets with 1 Tbsp. oil in an 8×8″ baking dish; season with salt. Add 1/4 cup water and cover tightly with foil. Roast beets, shaking once, until a knife slips easily through flesh, 60–75 minutes. Let cool slightly, then rub off skins with paper towels. Using 2 forks, tear beets into large pieces; toss in a large bowl with 2 Tbsp. oil.

Meanwhile, toast aniseed in a small saucepan over medium heat, tossing often until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add vinegar, sugar, 2 tsp. salt, and 1 cup water. Increase heat to medium-high and bring to a simmer, stirring to dissolve sugar and salt, about 4 minutes. Remove from heat and let steep 20 minutes. Place fennel in a small bowl and strain brine over. Cover and chill until cold, about 2 hours.

Cook garlic, butter, and 1/4 cup oil in a small saucepan over medium, stirring occasionally, until garlic is soft but not brown, about 2 minutes. Stir in bonito flakes and transfer to a blender. Purée until only a few flecks of bonito remain.

Prepare a grill for medium heat. Grill beets, turning occasionally, until lightly charred, about 5 minutes. Transfer back to bowl; toss with bonito dressing and lemon juice and season with salt.

Toss arugula and remaining 1 Tbsp. oil in a medium bowl; season with salt. Grill until lightly charred in spots, about 30 seconds. Transfer back to bowl.

Arrange beets on a platter and top with arugula and drained pickled fennel.

From Epicurious.com via Bon Appétit, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/roasted-beets-with-fennel-and-bonito-dressing

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Sugar Snap Pea and Cabbage Slaw

  • 2 1/2 pounds green cabbage (preferably Savoy), quartered, cored, and thinly sliced (14 cups)
  • 3/4 pound sugar snap peas, trimmed and thinly sliced diagonally (4 cups)
  • 3/4 cup well-shaken buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh dill
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced (or garlic scapes)
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon white distilled vinegar

Toss together cabbage and peas in a large bowl. Whisk together remaining ingredients and pour over slaw, stirring to combine well. Add salt to taste, then chill, covered, at least 2 hours.

From Epicurious.com via Gourmet by Maggie Ruggiero, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/sugar-snap-pea-and-cabbage-slaw-235032

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Arugula and Fava Bean Crostini

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

Preheat oven to 350°F with rack in middle.

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

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

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

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

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

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Summer CSA Share – #2

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

  • Mixed Giant Spinach
  • Hakurei Salad Turnips – As the name suggests, these turnips are delicious raw in salads but they can also be roasted or added to soups etc.
  • One-Cut Lettuce Heads
  • Mayan Jaguar Romaine Lettuce
  • Broccoli
  • Kohlrabi – The classic CSA vegetable, kohlrabi is often new to folks who are new to CSAs. Why else would you come home with such a strange looking vegetable? We like them chopped up and raw, like a carrot stick, but they can be roasted, or added to mashed potatoes, or shaved super thin into salads. I’ve heard kohlrabi and peanut butter can be a pretty great snack too.
  • Garlic Scapes – As the hardneck garlic plants begin to develop their bulbs, they send up a flower stalk known as a scape. We harvest the scapes because they’re delicious and garlicky and also to help the plant focus on producing a larger bulb rather than seed production. You can use the scapes like you would a bunching onion and I’ve included recipe for garlic scape pesto at the bottom of the post.
  • Cauliflower or Chard
  • Overwintered Torpedo Onions – These onions made it through the winter in the field from an October planting, thus overwintered. You can eat the entire length of the onion.
  • Sugar Snap Peas
  • Carrots!
  • Strawberries – Just a taste this week. We grow the varieties Seascape and Sweet Ann.
Top Left: The thunder as seen from our living room, Top Right: a field of brassicas planted over several days this week, Bottom Left: corn planting, Bottom Right: Luckily the tractor has lights, so we can keep planting in the dark!

When the third succession of broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage wasn’t ready to plant on time we put it off for a week and found other things to do. There was plenty of ground prep for future plantings and the tomatoes needed trellising and the list went on. Of course those brassicas were still waiting patiently this week, so it was time to get planting once we were finished with the first CSA harvest. We finished up the broccoli and cauliflower Thursday. Then it rained overnight so we attempted to move onto corn planting Friday, but the thunder showed up so it was back to indoor work. Then the sweet potato slips arrived in the mail and we stuck them in the ground.

Back to sweet corn and flour corn planting Saturday. Saturday night after dinner we finished up the brassica planting with cabbage and Brussels Sprouts. Sunday morning was Chard and then on to the pumpkin patch planting. After some hiccups and speed bumps and of course stopping for an occasional meal or popsicle break, we had caught up on planting by dinnertime on Sunday! Unfortunately this time of year being caught up only lasts about a week and then there’s more to push out the propagation house doors and into the field. On deck this week we’ve got some spinach and beets and popcorn!

Coming soon! Strawberries and Tomatoes!

So that was our week, how was your week? I posted a couple photos of our quick meals from this week in the P&C CSA Member Facebook group last night. It was all about quick and easy this week and I was so happy to have vegetables ready to go in the fridge when we came inside to eat.

How’d the first week of the CSA go for you? Hopefully you’re ready to re-stock on vegetables! Didn’t make it through last week’s share quite yet? Maybe it’s time to review the vegetable exit strategies over on the P&C CSA member app. It can be jolting to suddenly have a fridge full of vegetables that need to get eaten up. Finding some easy recipes for using up lots of veggies will help as the season really gets rolling.

Top Left: The arrival of our house!, Top Right: a photo of our house from just after we moved in last December., Bottom Left: Our kitchen!, Bottom Right: The view from the living room window looking east last winter.

We enjoyed meeting new members and catching up with previous members at the first CSA pick-up this past week. Longtime members who hadn’t been with us over the winter quickly reminded us that we owed them an update on our housing situation. When we first leased the farm back in 2010 we owned a house in Salem and I (Carri) had another job and there was a lot of commuting back and forth. Jeff camped out a lot on the farm during the summers as there wasn’t a house here. In 2012 we were fortunate enough to be able to buy the farm and we had a loft built in our pole barn and we moved in and sold our Salem house.

Six years later we’d finally met the county requirements for building a house on the farm and we were off! It pretty quickly became apparent that getting power to our building site and having the fancy septic system installed that the county mandated would be costly, so a manufactured home seemed to be the best solution. After almost a year of lining up the mortgage and working with the contractor for site prep. and working with the sales rep on the house purchase, we got to move into our new house just before Christmas of 2018!

After six years of living in our not-so-insulated barn, house-living has been revolutionary. We’ve got lots of windows for natural lighting and it’s well-insulated! The ceiling fan in the living room has been a dream on warm days and the wood stove really heats it up when it’s cold outside. We have flushing toilets again (gotta use that expensive septic system somehow)! And it’s the first house we’ve lived in with two bathrooms! We’ve both got offices again too. The small entry mud room has been amazing. I could go on and on.

Although we’ve settled in pretty well now, we’re still thankful daily for our little house and the improvements it has made in our lives. It’s been a longterm goal, but one that was worth the wait.

Enjoy the vegetables!

Your farmers,
Carri Heisler and Jeff Bramlett

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Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:

Shaved Kohlrabi with Apple and Hazlenuts

  • 1/2 cup blanched hazelnuts
  • 2 medium kohlrabi (about 2 pounds total), peeled, thinly sliced on a mandoline
  • 1 tart apple (such as Pink Lady or Crispin), peeled, cored, thinly sliced on a mandoline
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar or white balsamic vinegar
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup torn fresh mint leaves, plus more for serving
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 ounces Pecorino di Fossa or Parmesan, shaved (about 1/4 cup)

Preheat oven to 350°F. Toast hazelnuts on a rimmed baking sheet, tossing occasionally, until golden brown, 10–12 minutes. Let cool, then coarsely chop.

Toss kohlrabi, apple, lemon zest, lemon juice, and vinegar in a medium bowl; season with salt. Add 1/2 cup mint and gently toss to just combine.

Toss toasted hazelnuts and oil in a small bowl to coat; season with salt.

Divide kohlrabi salad among plates and top with seasoned hazelnuts, Pecorino, and more mint.

From Epicurious.com via Bon Appétit by Ignacio Mattos, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/shaved-kohlrabi-with-apple-and-hazelnuts-51214700

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Sheet-Pan Chicken Meatballs and Charred Broccoli

  • Sauce:
    • 2/3 cup ketchup
    • 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
    • 2 Tbsp. rice cooking wine or water
    • 2 Tbsp. honey
    • 4 tsp. soy sauce
    • 1 1/2″ piece ginger, peeled, finely grated
    • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • Meatballs and assembly:
    • 2 heads of broccoli (about 1 1/2 lb.)
    • 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil, divided
    • 2 1/2 tsp. kosher salt, divided
    • Crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
    • 1 lb. ground chicken
    • 1 large egg, beaten to blend
    • 4 scallions, thinly sliced (or this week’s fresh torpedo onions!)
    • 2 garlic cloves, finely grated (or garlic scapes)
    • 1 (2″) piece ginger, peeled, finely grated
    • 1/3 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
    • 1 Tbsp. toasted sesame oil
    • 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
    • Cooked rice and sesame seeds (for serving)

Sauce

Mix ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, wine (if using), honey, soy sauce, ginger, and pepper in a small saucepan. Measure out 1/4 cup mixture into a small bowl; set aside for glazing meatballs later. Bring remaining mixture to a simmer over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally and reducing heat if needed, until sauce thickens, about 5 minutes. Transfer sauce to a small bowl.

Meatballs and assembly

Place a rack in upper third of oven; preheat to 450°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil. Trim broccoli stems and remove from crown. Peel off tough outer skin; slice crosswise into 1/2″ pieces. Cut florets into 2″ pieces. Toss on prepared baking sheet with 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil, 1 tsp. salt, and a few pinches of red pepper flakes (if using). Push to the edges of baking sheet to create a space for meatballs. Brush space with remaining 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil.

Mix chicken, egg, scallions, garlic, ginger, panko, sesame oil, pepper, remaining 1 1/2 tsp. salt, and 1/4 cup water in a medium bowl. Using wet hands, form into twelve 1 1/2″-diameter meatballs. Arrange on baking sheet; brush with some of the reserved glazing mixture. Bake until meatballs are cooked through, 14–18 minutes. Remove from oven; heat broiler. Brush meatballs with remaining glazing mixture; broil until broccoli is charred and meatballs are browned in spots, about 5 minutes.

Spoon meatballs and broccoli over rice in bowl. Drizzle with sauce and sprinkle with sesame seeds.

From Epicurious.com via Bon Appétit by Deb Perelman, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/sheet-pan-chicken-meatballs-and-charred-broccoli

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Romaine Salad with Bacon and Hard-Boiled Eggs

  • 2 large eggs
  • 4 ounces bacon (4 to 5 slices), cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-wide strips
  • 1 large head romaine (1 1/4 pound), trimmed and cut into bite-size pieces (any of this week’s lettuce would hold up well in this salad I’d think)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped shallot
  • 2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste

Hard-boil eggs:

Cover eggs with cold water by 1 inch in a small heavy saucepan and bring to a boil, partially covered with lid. Reduce heat to low and cook eggs, covered completely, 10 minutes. Transfer eggs with a slotted spoon to a bowl of cold water to stop cooking and let stand until cool enough to handle, about 2 minutes.

Make salad:

While eggs are simmering, cook bacon in a 10-inch heavy skillet over moderate heat, stirring, until crisp, about 8 minutes. Transfer bacon with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain, leaving rendered fat in skillet.

Peel eggs and finely chop.

Put romaine and egg in a serving bowl.

Add oil and shallot to fat in skillet and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until shallot is softened, about 2 minutes. Add vinegar and salt and boil, swirling skillet, 10 seconds. Pour hot dressing over romaine and egg and toss to combine. Add bacon and toss salad, then season with salt and pepper.

From Epicurious.com via Gourmet, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/romaine-salad-with-bacon-and-hard-boiled-eggs-107581

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Summer CSA Share – #1

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

  • Mixed Giant Spinach
  • French Breakfast Radishes
  • One-Cut Lettuce Heads – As the name suggests, these lettuces produce heaps of nicely sized salad leaves with a single cut through the base of the head. We usually cut and mix these varieties for bagged salad mix, but thought you might like to see the different varieties and mix and match based on your preferences this week. Our go to quick dinner of late has been big salads topped with rice, salmon, and Cesar dressing. So good!
  • German Butterball Potatoes – We’re working through the last of 2018’s potatoes, but they’re still tasty. New potatoes will make an appearance before too long.
  • Broccoli – Two varieties of broccoli this week. As we plan out the season we choose varieties that will succeed each other in the field from a single planting. These first varieties are overlapping somewhat and you can see the more mature broccoli compared to the variety that’s just coming on.
  • Bok Choy
  • Garlic Scapes – As the hardneck garlic plants begin to develop their bulbs, they send up a flower stalk known as a scape. We harvest the scapes because they’re delicious and garlicky and also to help the plant focus on producing a larger bulb rather than seed production. You can use the scapes like you would a bunching onion and I’ve included recipe for garlic scape pesto at the bottom of the post.
  • Cauliflower – Just a taste of the earliest, and perhaps most colorful, cauliflower this week.
  • Overwintered Bunching Onions – These onions made it through the winter in the field from an October planting and now they’re ready to go to seed. Some of them will have the seed head/scape still attached. You can eat the entire length of the onion and onions flowers make for a tasty garnish.
  • Sugar Snap Peas
  • Carrots!
  • Tomato Plants – Although our tomatoes have been in the ground for over a month, I potted up some extra cherry tomatoes and they’ll be available at this week’s pick-up.
Your farmers! (left) and a shot of another worker on the farm, a bumblebee in the flowering apple trees (right)

Welcome to the tenth season of the Pitchfork & Crow Summer CSA!  We’re  so glad you’ve decided to join us for the next 26 weeks of eating seasonally.  We’re excited to welcome back returning members and to welcome new members to the group.

Our 1947 Farmall Cub cultivating tractor has been busy over the last month. It’s our #1 tool for battling weeds in the fields. Above we’re cultivating the first round of brassicas and hilling the potatoes.

Most of you should have received several emails from us over the past couple of weeks highlighting the various P&C CSA member resources. You can find links to all of the resources on the CSA Member Resources page including the updated CSA member handbook and important dates, like those for this season’s upcoming on-farm events.  Please be sure to add those dates to your calendar for future reference.  Also, be sure to let us know if you didn’t receive the reminder email and we’ll get you added to the list.

Jeff in the peas at the end of April and again today. It’s amazing how fast they grow!

In future newsletters I’ll attempt to keep you updated on farm happenings and give you a behind-the-scenes look at where your vegetables are grown.  I’ll also always include a few recipes for combinations of that week’s share items.  You can find this week’s recipes at the bottom of this post.

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

  • Check out the archive of recipes on our Recipe page that’s sorted by vegetable.
  • Join in the conversation in the P&C CSA Member Facebook group to query fellow members or suggest great recipes of your own.
  • Even more recipes plus updated storage information and loads of tips over on the P&C CSA Member App/Website.  You can find all the details on the CSA Member App page.
Here we are transplanting winter squash. That’s our water wheel transplanter on the back of the tractor. I sit in the seat and plant, plant, plant…

As we begin the Summer CSA season, we hope you’re excited for the adventure ahead.  The greens of spring will inevitably give way to the fruits of summer over time, and hopefully we’ll have a few surprises along the way.  Thank you for choosing to support our farm as you also choose to eat seasonally, locally, and organically!

Let’s get this season started!

Enjoy the vegetables!

Your farmers,
Carri Heisler and Jeff Bramlett

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Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:

Asian Chicken Salad with Snap Peas and Bok Choy

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

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

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

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

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Garlic Scape Pesto

  • 10 large garlic scapes
  • 1/3 cup unsalted pistachios (or whatever nuts you have on hand really)
  • 1/3 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • Kosher salt and black pepper
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound spaghetti

Make the pesto: Puree the garlic scapes, pistachios, Parmesan, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a food processor until very finely chopped. With the motor running, slowly pour the oil through the opening. Season the pesto with salt and pepper to taste. (The pesto keeps in the fridge, covered, for 1 week or frozen for a month.)

In a large pot of heavily salted boiling water, cook the spaghetti until al dente. Reserve 1 cup of the pasta-cooking water, then drain the pasta. Whisk together 2/3 cup of the pesto and the reserved pasta water and toss with the pasta. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve right away.

From Epicurious.com via The Farm Cookbook by Ian Knauer, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/pasta-with-garlic-scape-pesto-395769

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Tuna, White Bean, and Roasted Red Pepper with Cream Dijon Dressing

  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons Champagne vinegar or white wine vinegar
  • 5 cups mixed baby greens
  • 1 15-ounce can small white beans, rinsed, drained
  • 2/3 cup chopped drained roasted red peppers from jar
  • 1/3 cup chopped red onion
  • 1 12-ounce can chunk light tuna
  • 2/3 cup Kalamata olives or other brine-cured black olives, pitted, halved

Whisk first 4 ingredients in small bowl. Season dressing with salt and pepper. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover; chill.)

Toss greens in large bowl with enough dressing to coat. Place greens in center of 4 plates. Toss beans, red peppers and onion in medium bowl with enough dressing to coat. Top greens with bean mixture, then tuna, dividing equally. Garnish with olives and serve.

From Epicurious.com via Bon Appétit, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/tuna-white-bean-and-roasted-pepper-salad-with-cream-dijon-dressing-104808

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Winter CSA Share – #10

Welcome to the 10th and final share of the 2018/19 Pitchfork & Crow Winter CSA!  Here’s what’s in the share this week:

  • Hakurei Salad Turnips – You’re probably familiar with these tasty salad turnips by now and know you can eat them raw or cooked. But don’t forget that the greens are delicious too, especially these tender greens straight out of the greenhouse.
  • German Butterball Potatoes
  • Purple Sprouting Broccoli
  • Overwintered Cauliflower
  • Giant Winter Mixed Spinach
  • Leeks – Many of this week’s leeks include the leek scape, a center core of the leek that is the seed stalk. At this stage the scape is a tasty treat that can be used just like the rest of the leek though may take a little longer to cook.
  • Collard Rapini – As overwintered brassica plants begin the flowering process they send up tasty shoots that are a sure sign of spring. We harvest these shoots as rapini and eat them just as we would broccoli but we enjoy them even more as the seasonal treat they are.
  • Baby Bok Choy
  • Yellow Onions – It’s time for onions to begin sprouting, so you might see some green growth in the center of your onions going forward.  No worries, as long as the onions are firm and white they’ll still be delicious.  You can eat or discard the green center.
  • Salad Mix – A mix of lettuces, mizuna, and a little baby arugula
  • Dried Apples

= Want to continue the vegetable fun into the summer? 2019 Summer CSA memberships are still open!  Head over to the Summer CSA information page to get all the details, including a link to the sign-up form.

Top: I made blueberry cornbread with P&C corn flour for the CSA potluck (left) and Jeff and CSA member Eddie climbed up the giant oak during the farm open house (right). Bottom: a turkey vulture flying low of the flowering pear orchard (left) and the flowering purple cape cauliflower seed crop (right).

We lucked out with some gorgeous spring weather on Saturday afternoon for the Winter CSA member farm visit. We only wish more of you had been able to make it to the farm to enjoy it. We had a great time with longtime CSA members Eddie and Cindy walking the farm and chatting about fun farmy topics like where rapini comes from and how garlic grows. We had some extra thyme and celery starts that got potted up and went home with them too. Of course we also enjoyed some tasty treats! Many thanks for making the trek to hang out with us on the farm for a couple of hours Eddie and Cindy!

Top: Planting tomatoes (left) and cultivating spring brassicas while Jeff fertilizes in the distance (right). Bottom: All the transplants that got planted in the last week including lettuce, beets, chard, fennel, parsley, and bunching onions and 9,120 other onions! (left) and We grew baby bok choy! (right)

As we wrap up another season of the P&C Winter CSA and look ahead to the start of the Summer CSA, I’ve been reflecting on farming and the CSA model of farming quite a bit. Somehow we’re preparing for our eleventh year of farming and tenth year with the CSA. Where has the time gone? How have we spent a decade in this work already with so much still to learn? How can I be a better CSA farmer? What does the future of CSA look like in this era of technology and convenience?

As a CSA farmer, I tend to think our members have the best of intentions and that our goals are aligned. In my mind we agree we want to be eating more organic vegetables, knowing where our food comes from, supporting local businesses including farms and farmers, forging community around food, eating seasonally, and valuing and protecting local farmland. As a CSA member of a local farm for years before beginning to farm myself, I feel the CSA ticks all those boxes in the most direct way possible. But, in the day to day living these ideals can easily get lost. Dinnertime comes around every evening and it doesn’t feel like there is always time to process produce or reach for the unfamiliar vegetable in that moment. I get it.

Like other idealistic and meaningful things in our lives, supporting the CSA farming model can be difficult. If you’re new to cooking with diverse or seasonal vegetables or have picky eaters in the family or a super busy schedule it can feel wasteful and time consuming and inconvenient. So how do we adjust the model and/or our collective approach to the model to reduce those negatives and still live within our ideals? I’m not entirely sure yet, but the past community support of the CSA for our farm has been unparalleled and I’m not quite ready to give up on it. As we head into the next season I’m hoping we can figure out how to better support members through the season. I’m also hoping you’ll stick with us as we go forward. The CSA is nothing without you.

To better understand the successes and pain points of our members we’ve put together a member survey. You’ll get a link to it in this week’s member email and we’d appreciate you taking a few minutes to fill it out. It will be available for the next week and we look forward to hearing your thoughts!

Thanks for joining us for the past 5 months of winter and spring eating! We’ll see some of you the first week of June for the first Summer CSA share!

Your farmers,
Carri Heisler and Jeff Bramlett

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Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:

Oven-Roasted Flounder with Bok Choy, Cilantro, and Lime

  • 1 scallion, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped cilantro, plus small sprigs for garnish
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 3 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons finely minced peeled ginger
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound baby bok choy (2–3 bunches), cut in half lengthwise
  • 1/2 cup sake or dry white wine
  • 4 (4-ounce) fillets flounder or other delicate white fish (up to 1/2″ thick)

Arrange a rack in upper third of oven; preheat to 400°F. Combine scallion, 1/4 cup cilantro, and next 4 ingredients in a small bowl. Whisk in 1 1/2 tablespoons oil. Season cilantro-lime sauce with salt and pepper; set aside.

Heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over high heat until shimmering. Working in batches if needed, add bok choy, cut side down, and sear until golden brown, 2-4 minutes per batch. Turn bok choy cut side up and remove pan from heat. Add sake. Season flounder fillets with salt and pepper and arrange in a single layer over bok choy. Roast in oven until fish is just cooked through, 8-10 minutes.

Spoon sake sauce from skillet into the bottom of 4 shallow bowls, dividing evenly. Add bok choy to each bowl, dividing evenly; top each bowl with 1 fish fillet. Spoon some cilantro-lime sauce over fish and garnish with cilantro sprigs. Serve remaining cilantro-lime sauce alongside for drizzling.

From Epicurious.com via Bon Appétit, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/oven-roasted-flounder-with-bok-choy-cilantro-and-lime-51133820

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Curried Potato and Leek Soup with Spinach

  • 2 medium leeks (white and pale green parts only)
  • 1 medium boiling potato such as Yukon Gold
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon curry powder
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup packed spinach leaves
  • 1/2 cup milk

Halve leeks lengthwise and cut enough crosswise into 1/4-inch pieces to measure 2 cups. In a bowl of cold water wash leeks well and lift from water into a sieve to drain. Peel potato and cut enough into 1/4-inch pieces to measure 1 cup. In a 1 1/2-quart saucepan cook leeks and potato in butter with curry powder over moderate heat, stirring, 5 minutes. Stir in 2 cups water and simmer, uncovered, 20 minutes.

While soup is cooking, cut spinach into thin strips. In a blender purée soup until completely smooth (use caution when blending hot liquids) and return to pan. Add milk and salt and pepper to taste and bring to a simmer. Remove pan from heat and stir in spinach.

From Epicurious.com via Gourmet, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/curried-potato-and-leek-soup-with-spinach-14480

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Broccoli Rabe with Sweet Italian Sausage

  • 3 pounds broccoli rabe (about 3 medium bunches), trimmed (Use this week’s collard rapini and/or purple sprouting broccoli here!)
  • 1 1/2 pounds sweet Italian sausage links, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 5 garlic cloves, chopped

Cut broccoli rabe into 3-inch-long pieces. Cook in a large pot of boiling salted water (3 tablespoons salt for 6 quarts water), uncovered, until tender, about 5 minutes. Drain, then rinse under cold water to stop cooking. Squeeze out excess water from handfuls of broccoli rabe.

Meanwhile, preheat broiler.

Broil sausage in a 4-sided sheet pan 3 to 4 inches from heat, turning occasionally, until cooked through, about 5 minutes. Keep warm, covered.

While sausage broils, heat oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over medium-high heat until it shimmers, then cook garlic, stirring, until fragrant but not browned, about 1 minute.

Separate broccoli rabe, then sauté in garlic oil until coated with oil and heated through, about 4 minutes. Stir in sausage.

From Epicurious.com via Gourmet, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/broccoli-rabe-with-sweet-italian-sausage-351164

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Winter CSA Share – #9

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

  • Radishes
  • Purple Viking Potatoes
  • Purple Sprouting Broccoli
  • Cilantro
  • Cauliflower
  • Giant Winter Mixed Spinach
  • Collard Rapini – As overwintered brassica plants begin the flowering process they send up tasty shoots that are a sure sign of spring. We harvest these shoots as rapini and eat them just as we would broccoli but we enjoy them even more as the seasonal treat they are.
  • Red Ursa Kale & Rapini
  • Yellow Onions – It’s time for onions to begin sprouting, so you might see some green growth in the center of your onions going forward.  No worries, as long as the onions are firm they’ll still be delicious.  You can eat or discard the green center.
  • Mixed Winter Squash – This is the last of the winter squash folks. Enjoy choosing from the mix of kabochas, spaghetti, and a handful of butternut.
  • Dried Apples
  • Cascade Ruby Gold Polenta – This flint corn grinds down into both flour and polenta. This week everyone gets polenta. We’ve had good luck using a ‘2 cups water to 1 cup polenta’ ratio in our rice cooker. Other recipes seem to call for more liquid, more stirring, and more time overall but may result in a softer finish. This week we had some tasty fish and grits and suggest it as a fantastic pairing. Note that you’ll want to store it in your freezer for maximum freshness if you’re not planning to use it right away.

= Want to continue the vegetable fun into the summer? 2019 Summer CSA memberships are open!  Head over to the Summer CSA information page to get all the details, including a link to the sign-up form.

First off, we’re inviting Winter CSA members out for a farm visit on Saturday April 20th. Come see the vegetables in the fields, share some snacks with other CSA members, and experience the farm in early spring! Check the member email for all the details.

It’s been a whirlwind of work and weather here on the farm over the past couple of weeks. It’s hard to recall the lovely dry spell we had at the end of March when we were able to get the first transplants of the season in the ground (including 1800 strawberry plants!). We kicked off the planting season just in time, as we’ve now been hit with a deluge of spring rain. Field work has halted until we can dry out again. We’re counting the days, watching the weather forecast, looking forward to getting back into the planting mode.

As the rain returned in quantity, we’ve watched as the soil saturated again and now we’re experiencing minor flooding in the lowest spots on the farm. Unfortunately, one of the low spots includes our propagation house, where we sow seeds and grow transplants. There’s nothing quite like watering flats of transplants while standing in 6 inches of water. Of course our flooding issues are nothing compared to farmers along the rivers and creeks around the valley. Our thoughts are with all of those folks who are watching waterways rise ever closer to their spring plantings, machinery, and buildings. The rain’s got to stop sooner or later, right? Fingers crossed it doesn’t result in too much destruction before it’s finished.

In the meantime we’ve been keeping busy with indoor projects like weeding in the high tunnels and potting up celery and celeriac. We even sneaked away for a whole day of hiking and fishing at the coast last week. In the days ahead we’ll be preparing for the final Winter CSA share of the season and the CSA member farm day on April 20th. We’ll also continue the work of spring farming. We’re really getting into the swing of sowing seeds and managing transplants. Soon enough this wet weather will be behind us and we’ll be racing to get the planting end of things back on track

Enjoy the vegetables and we’ll see you in two weeks for the final Winter CSA share!

Your farmers,
Carri Heisler and Jeff Bramlett

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Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:

Indian Spiced Cauliflower and Potatoes

  • 1 (1 3/4-lb) head cauliflower, cut into 3/4-inch-wide florets
  • 1 1/4 lb Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 5 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh jalapeño, including seeds
  • 2 teaspoons minced peeled fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/2 cup water

Put oven rack in upper third of oven and place a shallow baking pan on rack. Preheat oven to 475°F.

Toss cauliflower and potatoes together in a bowl with 3 tablespoons oil, cumin seeds, and1/4 teaspoon salt. Spread in hot baking pan and roast, stirring occasionally, until cauliflower is tender and browned in spots and potatoes are just tender, about 20 minutes.

While vegetables are roasting, cook onion, garlic, jalapeño, and ginger in remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderate heat, stirring frequently, until very soft and beginning to turn golden, 8 to 10 minutes. Add ground cumin, coriander, turmeric, cayenne, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and cook, stirring constantly, 2 minutes. Stir in water, scraping up any brown bits from bottom of skillet, then stir in roasted vegetables. Cook, covered, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes.

From Epicurious.com via Gourmet, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/indian-spiced-cauliflower-and-potatoes-109118

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Cauliflower and Broccoli Flan with Spinach Bechamel

  • 2 1/2 cups cauliflower florets
  • 2 1/2 cups broccoli florets
  • 2 6-ounce bags baby spinach leaves
  • 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) butter
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup whole milk
  • 2/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Cook cauliflower and broccoli in large pot of boiling salted water until crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Drain, reserving 2/3 cup cooking liquid. Transfer vegetables to large bowl. Cool.

Rinse spinach, then toss in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until just wilted. Drain and cool. Squeeze spinach dry; finely chop.

Melt butter in heavy medium saucepan over medium heat. Add flour and whisk until smooth, about 2 minutes. Gradually whisk in milk and reserved 2/3 cup vegetable cooking liquid. Whisk constantly over medium heat until sauce thickens and boils, about 3 minutes. Stir in spinach and cheese.

Using fingers, coarsely crumble cauliflower and broccoli in bowl. Add spinach béchamel sauce; stir to blend. Season with salt and pepper. Butter 1 1/2-quart baking dish. Spread vegetable mixture in prepared dish. (Can be made 6 hours ahead. Cover and chill.)

Preheat oven to 350°F. Bake flan until puffed and heated through, about 25 minutes if at room temperature and 35 minutes if chilled. Serve hot.

From Epicurious.com via Bon Appétit, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/cauliflower-and-broccoli-flan-with-spinach-bechamel-232078

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Chinese Broccoli with Sausage and Polenta

  • 2 lb Chinese broccoli, thick ends trimmed (Purple Sprouting Broccoli or Collard/Kale Rapini would be great here!)
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/2 cups polenta (not instant) or yellow cornmeal
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons finely grated parmesan
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3/4 lb hot Italian sausage, casings removed
  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Cook broccoli:

Cut broccoli stems diagonally into 1-inch pieces and coarsely chop leaves. Cook stems in a large pot of boiling salted water until just tender, about4 minutes. Stir in leaves and cook 1 minute. Drain in a colander, then rinse under cold water to stop cooking. Do not squeeze out excess water.

Cook polenta:

Bring water with salt to a boil in a 3-quart heavy saucepan, then add polenta in a thin stream, whisking constantly. Cook over moderate heat, whisking, 2 minutes. Reduce heat to low and simmer polenta, covered, stirring for 1 minute after every 10 minutes of cooking, 45 minutes total. Stir in butter, cream, and cheese and remove from heat.

Sauté sausage and garlic while polenta cooks:

Heat oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then sauté sausage, stirring and breaking up meat into large pieces with a spoon, until browned and cooked through, about 5 minutes. Transfer with a slotted spoon to a plate. Reduce heat to moderate, then cook garlic in skillet, stirring, until golden, about 2 minutes.

Add broccoli and cook, stirring and scraping up brown bits from bottom of skillet, 2 minutes. Return sausage to skillet and toss with greens, salt, and pepper. Serve over polenta.

From Epicurious.com via Gourmet, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/chinese-broccoli-with-sausage-and-polenta-107739

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Winter CSA Share – #8

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

  • Leeks
  • LaRatte Fingerling Potatoes
  • Purple Sprouting Broccoli
  • Cooking Greens Mix – A mix of kale, chard, kale rapini, cabbage rapini, and a handful of collards and pea shoots.
  • Cauliflower or Red Cabbage – The first few heads of overwintered cauliflower were ready this week. Hopefully more to come in the coming shares. Lots of sweet red cabbage available this week too.
  • Giant Winter Mixed Spinach
  • Music Garlic – the last of the extra seed garlic I purchased last fall from Vermont Valley Community Farm. Eat it up sooner than later, as it will want to begin sprouting soon.
  • Yellow Onions – It’s time for onions to begin sprouting, so you might see some green growth in the center of your onions going forward.  No worries, as long as the onions are firm they’ll still be delicious.  You can eat or discard the green center.
  • Butternut or Doran Round Winter Squash – Regular butternut or the flattened butternut variety called Doran Round this week.
  • Dried Apples
  • Cascade Ruby Gold Corn Flour – This flint corn grinds down into both flour and polenta. This week everyone gets flour. You can use it in most recipes that calls for corn flour or corn meal. We like the classic ‘Perfect Corn Bread’ recipe from our 1960s copy of the Better Homes & Gardens New Cook Book. Click here for that recipe. Note that you’ll want to store it in your freezer for maximum freshness if you’re not planning to use it right away.

= Want to continue the vegetable fun into the summer? 2019 Summer CSA memberships are open!  Head over to the Summer CSA information page to get all the details, including a link to the sign-up form.

Thanks to some welcome sunny weather we were able to get some peas in the ground and begin prepping other ground for planting soon.

What a difference a good sunny stretch of weather can make! In the last couple of weeks we had our first extended break in the rain, but also the first rise in temperatures since winter set in. After feeling stuck in the freezing cycles for most of February a good dose of sunshine was just what we, and the vegetables, needed! The winter spinach and purple sprouting broccoli took off, the propagation house is filling up with growing plant starts, and we managed to get some work in the field done including ground prep and strawberry planting. Happy vegetables, happy farmers!

Re-covering one of our field houses with new plastic this past week. We lost the old plastic in a winter wind storm earlier this season.

Jeff mentioned that this felt like the first week of farming since he’s been back on the farm full-time. I think the combination of accomplishing a couple of big tasks on the to-do list and working around the whims of the weather definitely made for a full week of in-the-field farm work. The season ahead is off to a good start and we’re looking forward to marking more of those items off the perpetual to-do list.

Sunrise at the farm last week.

We’ve been asked about a Winter CSA farm visit, and have been waiting for some nicer weather to show up before scheduling a day. Who wants to visit the farm when it’s freezing? No fun. Anyhow, we’d like to invite Winter CSA members out to the farm for an open house on Saturday April 20th. We’ll get you more details in a couple of weeks, but mark your calendar.

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

Your farmers,
Carri Heisler and Jeff Bramlett

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Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:

Creamed Mashed Potatoes with Spinach

  • 2 lb boiling potatoes (preferably Yukon Gold)
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 4 oz baby spinach (6 cups)

Cover potatoes with salted cold water by 1 inchin a large saucepan and simmer, uncovered, until tender, 20 to 30 minutes.

While potatoes are simmering, bring cream, butter, salt, and pepper to a simmer in a small saucepan. Remove from heat and keep warm, covered.

Drain potatoes in a colander and cool slightly. Peel potatoes and mash in large saucepan.

Stir spinach into warm cream, tossing to coat, and when slightly wilted (after about 1 minute), immediately add to potatoes. Mash potatoes until almost smooth. Serve immediately.

From Epicurious.com via Gourmet, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/creamed-mashed-potatoes-with-spinach-105735

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Broccoli and Rapini with Lemon and Shallots

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, divided
  • 1 cup chopped shallots, divided
  • 3 teaspoons grated lemon peel, divided
  • 1 1/2 pounds broccoli crowns, cut into florets (or use this week’s Purple Sprouting Broccoli)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 1/2 pounds rapini (broccoli rabe), cut into 1/2-inch pieces (lots of rapini in the cooking greens this week)

Melt 1/4 cup butter with 1/2 cup shallots and 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon peel in very large skillet over medium-high heat. Sauté 2 minutes. Mix in broccoli and 1/4 cup water. Sprinkle with salt. Cover; cook until broccoli is crisp-tender and water evaporates, about 4 minutes. Transfer broccoli to bowl; cover to keep warm.

Melt remaining 1/4 cup butter with remaining shallots and lemon peel in same skillet over high heat; sauté 2 minutes. Add rapini. Sprinkle with salt, cover, and cook until rapini wilts, about 2 minutes. Uncover and sauté until tender, about 1 minute longer. Mix into broccoli. Season with salt and pepper.

From Epicurious.com via Bon Appétit, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/broccoli-and-rapini-with-lemon-and-shallots-233159

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Butternut Squash, Spinach, and Goat Cheese Pizza

  • 2 cups cubed butternut squash (1/2-inch pieces)
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon olive oil, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
  • 1 medium red onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 ball (16 ounces) store-bought whole-wheat pizza dough, at room temperature
  • 2 cups chopped fresh baby spinach
  • 4 ounces crumbled goat cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 tablespoons cornmeal

Heat oven to 400°. Heat pizza stone on bottom rack (or use an inverted 11″ x 16″ cookie sheet, not heated). Toss squash with 1 teaspoon oil, 1/8 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. On a baking sheet, cook squash until soft and lightly browned, 25 minutes, stirring halfway through; set aside. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil. Cook onion (season with remaining 1/8 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper), stirring, until light brown, 10 minutes. Add 2 tablespoons water; cook, stirring, until brown, 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Turn oven up to 450°. Sprinkle flour on a flat surface. Press dough into a 15-inch circle or 10″ x 16″ rectangle. Top with squash, onion, spinach, cheese and thyme. Dust stone or inverted sheet with cornmeal; place pizza on it. Bake until crust is crispy and cheese melts, 10 to 12 minutes.

From Epicurious.com via Self by Stephanie Clark and Willow Jarosh, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/butternut-squash-spinach-and-goat-cheese-pizza-367831

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Winter CSA Share – #7

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

  • Arugula Rapini
  • Rose Finn Apple Fingerling Potatoes
  • Purple Sprouting Broccoli
  • Cooking Greens Mix – A mix of kale, chard, turnip rapini, purple mizuna rapini, and tatsoi rapini
  • Savoy Cabbage
  • Spinach
  • Bunching Onions
  • Mustard Greens
  • Yellow Onions – It’s time for onions to begin sprouting, so you might see some green growth in the center of your onions going forward.  No worries, as long as the onions are firm they’ll still be delicious.  You can eat or discard the green center
  • Spaghetti Squash
  • Festival Winter Squash
  • Dried Apples

= Want to continue the vegetable fun into the summer? 2019 Summer CSA memberships are open!  Head over to the Summer CSA information page to get all the details, including a link to the sign-up form.

March 1st: Onions just making an appearance (left) and March 9th: Onions standing tall (right)

What a difference a week can make. When we last met I had seeded the onions and was waiting for germination. By March 1st, a week later, they were popping up, the first green things in the propagation house. And then a week after that they were already standing tall, already looking like baby onions. In the moment this progress feels slow. It’s hard to see the advances over the twice daily check-ins. But things are indeed progressing; spring is coming!

March 1st also marked the return of Jeff to the farm full-time. After fourteen months at an off-farm job he decided to come back to farming for the season ahead. He’s jumped right in to organizing the shop, clearing out unnecessary garbage, fixing irrigation leaks, machine maintenance, and more! I’ve already been reminded how many tasks are easier with two sets of hands. It’s been fun having him around more again and I think we’re both looking forward to a productive season ahead.

In the coming weeks we’ll continue to fill the propagation house with growing plants and it won’t be long before it’s time to begin transplanting in the field. The weather forecast looks good on the warming front and hopefully we’ll be able to prep some ground soon. I’m definitely looking forward to some daytime temps in the 60s! In the meantime, it’s time to eat some greens!

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

Your farmers,
Carri Heisler and Jeff Bramlett

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Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:

Braised Chicken Thighs with Squash and Mustard Greens

  • 4 pounds skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs (about 12), patted dry
  • Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 8 scallions, white and pale green parts sliced into 1-inch pieces, dark green parts thinly sliced
  • 4 dried chiles de árbol
  • 1 (2-inch) piece ginger, peeled, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1/2 cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth, divided
  • 1 acorn squash, halved lengthwise, seeds removed, sliced 1/2-inch thick
  • 1 bunch mustard greens, tough stems removed, leaves torn
  • 2 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds
  • Cooked white rice (for serving)

Lightly season chicken thighs all over with salt and pepper. Heat vegetable oil in a large Dutch oven or other heavy pot over medium-high. Working in 2 batches and pouring off all but 2 Tbsp. fat between batches, cook chicken, skin side down, until skin is browned and crisp, 8–10 minutes. Transfer to a plate, placing skin side up (chicken will not be cooked through at this point).

Cook white and pale green parts of scallions, chiles, and ginger in same pot, stirring often, until scallions and ginger are golden, about 3 minutes. Add wine, bring to a simmer, and cook until reduced to about 3 Tbsp., 5 minutes. Add soy sauce, brown sugar, sesame oil, and 1 cup broth and bring to a simmer, stirring to dissolve sugar. Return chicken to pot, placing skin side up and overlapping if needed. Partially cover pot, reduce heat, and simmer until chicken is cooked through, 25–30 minutes. Transfer chicken to a plate.

Add squash and remaining 1 cup broth to pot and push in squash so it’s mostly submerged. Arrange greens on top. Bring to a simmer, partially cover pot, and cook until squash is barely fork-tender and greens are wilted, 10–12 minutes. Uncover, increase heat to medium, and continue to cook until liquid is reduced by about two-thirds and has the consistency of thin gravy, 10–15 minutes.

Remove pot from heat and drizzle vinegar over vegetables. Taste sauce; it should be plenty salty, but season with more salt if needed. Add chicken back to pot, turning to coat in sauce, then scatter dark green parts of scallions and sesame seeds over top. Serve with rice.

Chicken can be braised 2 days ahead. Let cool; cover and chill. Reheat covered over low.

From Epicurious.com via Bon Appétit by Claire Saffitz, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/braised-chicken-thighs-with-squash-and-mustard-greens

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Company Eggs

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small onion, thinly sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
  • 2 bunches Swiss chard, thick center ribs and stems removed, leaves coarsely chopped (about 12 cups) (the cooking greens, mustards, arugula rapini, or cabbage would all substitute well here)
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 12 large eggs
  • 2 ounces sharp white cheddar, grated (about 1/2 cup)

Preheat oven to 400°F. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and garlic; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is softened, 8-10 minutes.

Add chard to skillet by the handful, tossing to wilt between additions. Cook, tossing often, until tender, 8-10 minutes. Add cream and simmer until thickened and almost evaporated, 8-10 minutes; season with salt and pepper.

Spread chard mixture evenly in a 13x9x2″ baking dish. Using the back of a spoon, make 12 small, evenly spaced divots in the chard mixture. Crack 1 egg into each divot. Season eggs with salt and pepper. Sprinkle cheese over. Bake, rotating dish once, until egg whites are almost set and yolks are still runny, 15-18 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

From Epicurious.com via Bon Appétit by Joseph Leonard, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/company-eggs-51160890

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Savoy Cabbage Wedges with Buttermilk Dressing

  • 1 small head of savoy cabbage or Napa cabbage, cut through root end into 6 wedges
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 jalapeños
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/3 cup plain whole-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon thinly sliced chives, plus more for serving
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup crumbled blue cheese

Place cabbage wedges on a rimmed baking sheet and drizzle with oil, getting between layers as much as possible. Season generously with salt. Let sit at least 1 hour and up to 12 hours.

Prepare a grill for medium-high, indirect heat (for a charcoal grill, bank coals on one side of grill; for a gas grill, leave one or two burners off). Grill jalapeños over direct heat, turning occasionally, until blistered and beginning to soften, about 5 minutes. Let cool slightly, then chop. Transfer to a medium bowl and add buttermilk, yogurt, mayonnaise, lemon zest and juice, and 1 Tbsp. chives. Mix well; season dressing with salt and pepper.

Grill cabbage, starting over direct heat, then moving to indirect and covering grill if needed to prevent scorching, until crisp-tender, 15–20 minutes.

Serve topped with dressing, blue cheese, and more chives.

From Epicurious.com via Bon Appétit by Chris Morocco, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/savoy-cabbage-wedges-with-buttermilk-dressing

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Winter CSA Share – #6

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

  • Chicory Mix
  • German Butterball Potatoes
  • Purple Sprouting Broccoli – The cold start to the PSB season means just a taste this week. More to come!
  • Red Ursa and Frilly Kale
  • Rutabaga
  • Spinach
  • Leeks
  • Red Onions – It’s time for onions to begin sprouting, so you might see some green growth in the center of your onions going forward.  No worries, as long as the onions are firm they’ll still be delicious.  You can eat or discard the green center
  • Sweet Mama Kabocha Winter Squash – A dry, sweet winter squash that makes creamy soups, luscious pies, and is excellent roasted.
  • Dried Apples

= Want to continue the vegetable fun into the summer? 2019 Summer CSA memberships are open!  Head over to the Summer CSA information page to get all the details, including a link to the sign-up form.

Same greenhouse, different viewpoint. What a difference a few days can make. From a sunny day last week to a blanket of snow yesterday.

February has been a roller coaster of a weather month. I think we’ve gotten a taste of all the winter weathers in the past few weeks. From gorgeous sunny days to rain and wind right through to snow and hail. There’s definitely been a lot of checking the ever-changing weather forecast and planning the days ahead accordingly.

Sometimes we’re able to do some quick cultivating or ground prep in February, if the ground dries out just enough. Not this year! We’ve gone the other direction here on the farm and hit max saturation resulting in some minor flooding in the lowest spots on the farm. It’s a good reminder that every year is different, and it keeps us on our toes.

Sowing leek and onion seeds (left) and harvested leeks and chicories for this week’s share (right).

While spring tillage will need to wait a little longer, we’ve begun to sow the first seeds of the season. First up are tomatoes and onions! This week’s allium seeding included onions, leeks, and shallots, some of which you will see in next winter’s CSA shares. In fact, the leeks you’re eating this week were seeded a year ago, transplanted into the field 10 months ago, weeded and watered repeatedly, and finally harvested yesterday. They’re certainly one of the longest holding crops we grow and we choose to grow several different varieties for a staggered maturity date. That’s to say the leeks that showed up in last fall’s shares were likely a different variety than the winter-hardy variety in this week’s share. It’s a all part of the planning puzzle we endeavor to piece together in the winter and execute throughout the rest of the year.

On deck for sowing this week are a plethora of greens and brassicas including cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, and lettuce. Before long the propagation house will be full of transplants, and we’ll be itching to get in the field to plant. For now we’ll wait and see what March brings our way, and enjoy the winter vegetables while we can

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

Your farmers,
Carri Heisler and Jeff Bramlett

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Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:

Lentil and Vegetable Stew with Kale

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 large carrots (8 to 9 ounces), peeled, chopped (1 1/4 cups)
  • 1 medium celery root (celeriac), peeled, chopped (3 cups)
  • 1 medium rutabaga, peeled, chopped (2 cups)
  • 1 pound brown lentils, rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon herbes de Provence
  • 8 cups (or more) vegetable broth
  • 1 large bunch kale (about 9 ounces), ribs removed, leaves coarsely chopped

Heat oil in large pot over high heat. Add onion and next 3 ingredients; sprinkle with salt and pepper and sauté until beginning to soften and brown, 10 to 11 minutes. Stir in lentils and herbes de provence. Add broth and kale. Bring to boil, stirring to incorporate kale. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover with lid slightly ajar, and simmer until lentils are tender, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes. Add more broth to thin, if desired. Season with salt and pepper.

From Epicurious.com via Bon Appétit, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/lentil-and-vegetable-stew-with-kale-363950

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Pasta with Butternut Squash and Spinach

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Chicory Salad with Bacon, Crispy Potatoes, and Fried Egg

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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