Join us for the 2019 Summer CSA Season!

Happy 2019!  The countdown to summer vegetables has begun…

Our planting plan is finished and the seeds have mostly arrived.  We’ll be sowing the first seeds of the season very soon!   Now we’re ready to begin accepting members for the 2019 Summer CSA season!  Do you know where your vegetables are coming from this summer?  We’d love to have you join us for the 2019 Summer CSA season!

After a scaled-back, but very productive, 2018 CSA season we’re hoping to grow the P&C community of vegetable eaters even larger in 2019!  Both Jeff and Carri will again be full-time on the farm, bringing you all the delicious organic and seasonal produce you’ve come to love.

These are the 2019 Summer/Fall CSA program basics:

Continue reading

Winter CSA Share – #5

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

  • Mustard Greens
  • Purple Viking Potatoes
  • Arugula Rapini
  • Cabbage – Mostly the purple tinged green January King variety of cabbage this week, with some smaller red cabbages thrown in for extra choice.
  • Shunkyo Long Pink Radishes or Hakurei Salad Turnips – Shunkyo Long Pink radishes are a lovely large Asian radish, sweet and mild, even delicious at larger sizes.
  • Spinach
  • Superschmelz Kohlrabi
  • Wolverine’s Orca Dry Beans – A lovely creamy bean with an intriguing history.  Read more about the origin of on the Adaptive Seed’s website.
  • 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 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.

First off, many thanks to all of the Salem members who have been flexible enough to shift this week’s pick-up from Tuesday to Sunday so I can head off to a farmer retreat for a couple of days. I really appreciate your willingness to accommodate the schedule change! Note that the Wednesday evening on-farm pick-up will continue as originally scheduled.

Well, winter has decided to show up finally. We’ve had a lucky streak of mild weather for the past couple of months, but the wintry weather has arrived. After a chilly, but mostly dryish, harvest day yesterday we woke up to 3″ of fluffy snow blanketing the farm this morning. I’m sure glad I wasn’t planning on harvesting any last minute items from the field today. Our mild temperatures and tiny amount of snow is nothing compared to past years or compared to what folks in other parts of the country are dealing with. I’m thankful we haven’t had to begin sweeping greenhouses clear just yet.

In between winter weather scares, the past couple of weeks on the farm have felt more like spring. Well spring cleaning anyhow. We’re getting ready to start the first seeds of 2019 this week and I’ve been working to consolidate the walk-in coolers in order to use an empty cooler for germinating seeds and cleaning up the barn to free up some workspace. Jeff has been hacking away at invasive blackberry plants that have established themselves along greenhouse edges and near irrigation fixtures. Anywhere it’s difficult to mow really. We also cleared out last year’s tomato house to ready it for spring greens. Slowly but surely the farm is getting into shape for the season ahead

The propagation house will soon be filling up with tiny plant starts and the work of the season ahead will feel imminent. For now, I’m trying to enjoy the slower pace of the season at hand

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:

Southeast Asian Squash Curry

  • 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons vegetable oil, divided
  • 1 1/2 pound butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 3/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 (14-ounce) can unsweetened coconut milk (do not stir), divided
  • 1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons Thai Kitchen red curry paste
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 (2- to 3-inch) cinnamon stick
  • 3 whole cloves
  • 5 ounces baby spinach (5 cups packed)
  • 1 tablespoon Asian fish sauce, or to taste
  • 1/4 cup salted roasted cashews, chopped

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Sauté squash with cumin and 1/4 teaspoon salt until beginning to brown, about 6 minutes. Transfer to a plate.

Add remaining 2 teaspoons oil to skillet and cook onion over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add 1/4 cup coconut milk from top of can and cook, stirring, until fat starts to separate and look glossy, about 2 minutes. Add curry paste and cook, stirring, 2 minutes.

Add squash, water, cinnamon, cloves, and remaining coconut milk and simmer, covered, until squash is tender, about 8 minutes. Stir in spinach and cook, covered, until just wilted, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in fish sauce. Sprinkle with cashews.

Serve with:jasmine rice

From Epicurious.com via Gourmet by Maggie Ruggiero, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/southeast-asian-squash-curry-350259

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Roasted Kohlrabi and Butternut Squash

  • 4 medium kohlrabi (2 1/4 lb with greens or 1 3/4 lb without)
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 1/2 lb butternut squash

Put oven rack just below middle position and put baking pan on rack, then preheat oven to 450°F. (If roasting vegetables along with turkey, preheat pan for 15 minutes while turkey roasts, then roast vegetables underneath turkey.)

Trim and peel kohlrabi, then cut into 3/4-inch pieces. Toss kohlrabi with 1 tablespoon oil, 1 teaspoon thyme, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 3/4 teaspoon pepper in a bowl. Transfer kohlrabi to preheated pan in oven and roast 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, peel butternut squash, then quarter lengthwise, seed, and cut into 3/4-inch pieces. Toss squash with remaining 1 tablespoon oil, 1 teaspoon thyme, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 3/4 teaspoon pepper in same bowl.

Stir kohlrabi, turning it, then push it to one side of pan.

Add squash to opposite side of pan and roast, stirring and turning squash over halfway through roasting, until vegetables are tender and lightly browned, about 30 minutes total (after squash is added).

Toss vegetables to combine and transfer to a dish.

From Epicurious.com via Gourmet, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/roasted-kohlrabi-and-butternut-squash-236414

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Vinegar-Marinated Chicken with Buttered Greens and Radishes

  • 2 pounds skin-on bone-in chicken thighs
  • Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 8 radishes, quartered, halved if small
  • 1 bunch mustard greens, leaves torn
  • 4 tablespoons tarragon leaves, divided

Season chicken with salt and pepper and place in a large baking dish. Pour 1/4 cup vinegar over chicken and let sit 15–20 minutes. Remove chicken from marinade and pat skin dry. Reserve baking dish (no need to wipe it out).

Preheat oven to 400°F. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium. Working in batches, cook chicken, skin side down, until skin is golden brown and crisp, 8–10 minutes; turn and cook until other side is just browned, about 4 minutes. Transfer chicken to reserved baking dish; reserve skillet. Bake chicken until cooked through and an instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part registers 165°F, 10–12 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat butter in same skillet over medium-high. Add radishes, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until radishes are browned and tender, about 5 minutes. Add mustard greens and toss to coat; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until mustard greens are just wilted, about 2 minutes (they should still have some spring in their step). Add 2 tablespoons tarragon and remaining 1 tablespoon vinegar; toss to combine.

Serve greens and radishes with chicken topped with remaining 2 tablespoons tarragon.

From Epicurious.com via Bon Appétit by Alison Roman, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/vinegar-marinated-chicken-with-buttered-greens-and-radishes-56389531

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Winter CSA Share – #4

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

  • Mustard Greens
  • LaRatte Fingerling Potatoes
  • Braising Mix – a mix of lacinato kale, red dragon napa cabbage, and beet greens
  • Beets or Hakurei Salad Turnips – The gopher won this round of beets, so some of you get salad turnips instead.
  • Chicory Mix
  • Apples
  • Chesnok Red Garlic – More of that leftover seed garlic from Vermont Valley Community Farm.  This is the time for garlic to begin sprouting, so you’ll want to use it up sooner than later.
  • 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
  • Dried Apples

= 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.

Chicory mix and braising greens headed to the CSA this week (left) and packages full of seeds have been arriving (right)

As I mentioned two weeks ago, January on the farm is very much the planning month. It’s all about getting the planting plan finalized, putting in seed orders, and reviewing the budget for the season ahead. The slowdown of winter is over; it’s time to wind up the gears and get this machine moving again.

Last week I put in $1800 worth of seed orders (from 7 seed companies!), just enough to get the ball rolling. Everything from arugula to zucchini and some seed potatoes too. We’ll put in another round of seed orders in April for later planted crops. These seed orders are the first annual investment in the season ahead. Soon we’ll be paying taxes, farm insurance, and organic certification fees, which all come due in these first few months of the year, but the seed investment comes first.

After ten years of farming, we’ve pretty much found the vegetables and varieties that make for a successful season. Of course we always switch up varieties as others are dropped from commercial availability and we trial a handful of new varieties each year. There are a few new tomatoes, a couple of new onions, a new cabbage and a new broccoli. This year we’re going to try once again to successfully grow sweet potatoes after taking a couple of seasons off from that endeavor. Mostly we’re excited to work on refining systems on the farm this season, and we’re relying on our standby vegetables to continue doing their amazing vegetable thing

Coring and slicing apples (left) and apples in the dehydrator (right).

This week marks the return of the crispy apples to the Winter CSA! They’re a staple of past P&C winters and I’m happy to bring them back. In the past dried apples have been spearheaded by Jeff, but I’ve taken on the task and we can look forward to them in future shares as well. The apples are from the farm, but the varieties are unknown for the most part. I hope you like them!

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:

Spaghetti Squash with Sausage Filling

  • 1 3 3/4- to 4-pound spaghetti squash, halved lengthwise, seeded
  • 1 pound bulk pork sausage
  • 1 cup chopped green bell pepper
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups purchased marinara sauce
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Wrap squash halves in plastic wrap. Cook 1 at a time in microwave on high until tender, about 8 minutes. Pierce plastic to allow steam to escape. Cool. Meanwhile, sauté sausage, bell pepper, onion and garlic in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat until sausage browns and vegetables are tender, breaking up sausage with back of spoon, about 12 minutes. Mix in marinara sauce.

Using fork, pull out squash strands from shells, leaving shells intact. Mix squash strands into sausage mixture. Season filling to taste with salt and pepper. Spoon filling into squash shells. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover; refrigerate.)

Preheat oven to 400°F. Arrange filled squash halves on baking sheet. Sprinkle each with 1/4 cup Parmesan. Bake uncovered until heated through, about 20 minutes (30 minutes if previously chilled). Cut each squash half in two and serve.

From Epicurious.com via Bon Appétit, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/spaghetti-squash-with-sausage-filling-5673

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Chicory-Apple Salad with Brown Butter Dressing

  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 ounces sliced prosciutto
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
  • 8 cups torn mixed chicories (such as radicchio, curly endive, and/or Belgian endive)
  • 1 medium Honeycrisp apple, cut into thin wedges

Heat 1/2 cup oil in a medium skillet over medium-high. Working in batches, fry prosciutto until lightly browned and crisp, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer to paper towels to drain.

Cook butter in a small skillet over medium heat until butter foams, then browns (be careful not to let it burn), about 5 minutes. Allow browned milk solids to settle, then slowly pour off melted butter, leaving browned bits in the pan. (Reserve butter for another use.) Whisk vinegar, honey, and remaining 2 tablespoons oil into browned milk solids; season dressing with salt and pepper.

Toss chicories, apple, and dressing in a large bowl; season with salt and pepper. Serve salad topped with fried prosciutto.

From Epicurious.com via Bon Appétit by Marche (Eugene, OR), https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/chicory-apple-salad-with-brown-butter-dressing-56390055

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Smoked Sausage, Kale, and Potato Soup

  • 4 ounces smoked fully cooked sausage (such as kielbasa or hot links), sliced into rounds
  • 2 3/4 cups canned low-salt chicken broth
  • 3/4 pound small red-skinned potatoes, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 5 cups thinly sliced trimmed kale leaves (about 3/4 of medium bunch) or 3/4 of 10-ounce package frozen chopped kale, thawed, drained
  • 1/4 teaspoon caraway seeds, lightly crushed

Sauté sausage slices in heavy medium saucepan over medium-high heat until beginning to brown, about 3 minutes. Add chicken broth, sliced potatoes and white wine and bring mixture to boil. Reduce heat to medium, cover and simmer until potatoes are almost tender, about 10 minutes.

Add kale and caraway seeds to soup. Simmer soup uncovered until potatoes and kale are very tender, about 10 minutes longer. Season soup to taste with salt and pepper. Ladle soup into bowls and serve immediately.

From Epicurious.com via Bon Appétit, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/smoked-sausage-kale-and-potato-soup-3114

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Winter CSA Share – #3

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

  • Rainbow Chard
  • LaRatte Fingerling Potatoes
  • Hakurei Salad Turnips – Salad turnips are delicious raw in salads or on their own, but they’re also tasty roasted or in soups.
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Spinach/Tatsoi Mix  – Similar to the spinach mix of two weeks back, but with a little more tatsoi in added this time.
  • Cilantro
  • Shallots
  • Leeks
  • Blue Kuri or Sweet Mama Kabocha Winter Squash
  • Dried Ancho Poblano Peppers – Dried ripe poblano peppers are known as ancho poblanos and are used for making sauces and chile powder. Check out this recipe for Ancho Chile Sauce!

It’s January and in the world of CSAing that means making plans for the season ahead and swinging open the CSA membership doors to welcome folks to join up for the vegetable adventure ahead! So here we go: 2019 Summer/Fall CSA memberships are officially open! You can find all the details and a sign-up form over on the Summer CSA page.

2019 P&C Summer CSA Season at a Glance:

  • $728 for 6 months of local, seasonal, organic vegetables (26 weeks, June thru the week of Thanksgiving)
  • A mix of 8-12 vegetables and fruits each week
  • A diverse selection of vegetables, including many open-pollinated varieties
  • Two convenient pick-up options: near downtown Salem, at the Willamette Heritage Center, and in Lebanon at the farm.

After some debate about changing things up, we’ve decided to keep the CSA much the same as it has been. We’ve added a week to the season, to extend it from the beginning of June through the week of Thanksgiving, but otherwise things should look very familiar to current and past members. We’ll continue to have two market-style pick-up options, one in Salem and one here at the farm in Lebanon. We’ll continue to grow a wide range of vegetables for seasonal diversity. We’ll continue to invite you out to the farm a couple of times throughout the season and post newsletters each week to keep you up-to-date on farm happenings.

Perhaps the biggest change on the farm this next season will be the return of Jeff! As I mentioned in the last update, we’ve decided the farm could benefit from more Jeff and beginning in March he’s planning to return to the farm full-time. He’s looking forward to getting outside and growing things for you again! I’m hoping he’ll bring back the carrot mojo and I look forward to a carrot-filled 2019!

We hope you’re enjoying this current CSA season and you’ll consider joining us for the season ahead!

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:

Smashed Baby Red Potatoes with Ancho Chiles and Dry Jack Cheese

  • 2 dried ancho chiles, stemmed, halved, seeded
  • 3 pounds baby red potatoes (about 1 1/2 inches in diameter)
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 cup grated dry Jack cheese or 2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese and 1/3 cup grated sharp white cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Place chiles in small bowl; cover with hot water. Let stand until softened, about 15 minutes. Drain; chop. Transfer to mini processor; process to coarse puree (or finely chop chiles). Measure 1/4 cup puree and set aside (reserve any remaining puree for another use). DO AHEAD: Can be made 3 days ahead. Cover and chill.

Bring potatoes to boil in large saucepan. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 16 minutes. Drain. DO AHEAD: Can be made 2 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature.

Heat oil in same saucepan over medium-low heat. Add 1/4 cup chile puree and garlic; stir 30 seconds. Add potatoes; stir to coat. Using back of wooden spoon, smash potatoes until largest pieces are about 1-inch cubes. Stir to heat through. Stir in cheese, 1/2 cup parsley, and cilantro. Transfer to bowl, sprinkle with remaining 1 tablespoon parsley, and serve.

From Epicurious.com via Bon Appétit by Michael Lomanaco, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/smashed-baby-red-potatoes-with-ancho-chiles-and-dry-jack-cheese-240407


Brussels Sprouts with Shallots and Salt Pork

  • 1 cup 1/4″ cubes salt pork or pancetta (about 8 ounces)
  • 2 large shallots, peeled, quartered (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 pounds brussels sprouts, outer leaves removed, trimmed, halved
  • 1-2 tablespoons juice from jarred dill pickles

Blanch salt pork in a large saucepan of boiling water for 1 minute. Using a slotted spoon, transfer salt pork to a paper towel- lined plate to drain. Set aside. DO AHEAD: Salt pork can be blanched 1 day ahead. Cover and chill. Cook salt pork in a large heavy skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until about 3/4 cup fat is rendered, 10-12 minutes. Carefully strain drippings into a small bowl; return 2 tablespoons drippings and pork to pan.

Increase heat to medium-high and cook, stirring occasionally, until salt pork is browned and crisp, 5-6 minutes. Transfer to paper towels to drain.

Reduce heat to medium. Add 2 tablespoons drippings to skillet; add shallots, cut sides down. Cook, turning once or twice, until tender and browned, 10-12 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer shallots to a serving platter.

Increase heat to medium-high. Add 2 tablespoons more salt pork drippings to skillet. Working in 2 batches and adding 2 more tablespoons drippings between batches, cook brussels sprouts, turning occasionally, until tender and browned. Transfer brussels sprouts to platter with shallots. DO AHEAD: Shallots and brussels sprouts can be made 1 hour ahead. Let stand at room temperature. Rewarm shallots and brussels sprouts together in same skillet over medium heat before continuing.

Drizzle shallots and brussels sprouts with 1 tablespoon pickle juice. Season to taste with salt and pepper and 1 tablespoon more pickle juice, if desired. Scatter salt pork over.

From Epicurious.com via Bon Appétit by Victoria Granof, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/brussels-sprouts-with-shallots-and-salt-pork-51124240


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 Winter CSA!  Here’s what’s in the share this week:

  • Napa Cabbage
  • Magic Molly Purple Potatoes
  • Mustard Greens
  • Rutabaga
  • Spinach and Tatsoi Mix – Mostly mixed varieties of spinach, with a little tatsoi thrown in for fun.  You can eat this mix raw as a salad or saute it up.
  • Parsley
  • Red Onions
  • White Russian Garlic – We didn’t grow a garlic crop in 2018 but we did plant garlic this fall to be harvested in 2019.  This garlic is some of the leftover heads I purchased from Vermont Valley Community Farm in Wisconsin as seed stock for planting, but you can use it for cooking.  Yum!
  • Winter Squash Mix – Choose from Festival Acorn Squash, Gill’s Golden Pippin Acorn Squash, and Candystick Delicata Squash
  • Dried Plums – Italian prune plums from the farm, dried into a delicious candy-like treat!

After moving into the new house, then hosting family for Christmas, we hunkered down for some good old fashioned crop planning.

It’s been a bit of a whirlwind of moving into the new house, hosting family for Christmas, moving the rest of our stuff into the new house, and crop planning here on the farm since we last met.  We’re feeling extremely lucky to get to live in this new house.  After six years of barn living we were certainly ready for some natural light, regular heating, and flush toilets.  I’m mentioning this house stuff because getting a house on this farm would not have been possible without you!  I want you all to know that we very much appreciate your ongoing support as we’ve worked toward this goal.  As we shift our focus to the future and new goals, we hope you’ll stick around to see what’s next for this little farm.

This past weekend we hunkered down for a big 2019 crop planning session.  Did you catch that “we”?  After a year off the farm Jeff’s decided to return to the farm full-time.  We’re getting the team back together for the 10th P&C CSA season.  Just like the farm needs member support, we’ve decided it also needs Jeff at this point.  This is an exciting shift for us, though we’re making this choice knowing there’s always a possibility to make changes again in the future.  We’re making plans for a strong CSA season with some exciting additions that we’ll hopefully announce in the coming months.

Look out for 2019 CSA sign-ups coming at you in the next couple of weeks as we solidify our plans and get the website updated.

This was the first harvest with a new home base.  It was pretty great to have the barn for washing, packing, and storage and then head into the house for a quick lunch, with the raingear and mud left outside on the porch of course.  A little work/home separation!  The evening walking “commute” from the barn to the house was fun too.  This new house is such a cozy little insulated pod and that smoke from the wood stove was awfully inviting.

We’ll be finishing up the farm plan soon, and the 2019 growing season will be underway before we know it.  For now, let’s enjoy the winter vegetables on deck this week.

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:

Beef and Napa Cabbage Stir-Fry

  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar (not seasoned)
  • 2 teaspoons oyster sauce
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 pound flank steak
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
  • 3 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 1 (1-inch) piece peeled ginger, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
  • 1 pound Napa cabbage, leaves and stems separated if desired, then cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
  • Equipment: a well-seasoned 14-inch flat-bottomed wok
  • Garnish: chopped scallion

Stir together soy sauce, vinegar, oyster sauce, and cornstarch.

Pat steak dry, then halve lengthwise and cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Toss with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon pepper.

Heat wok over high heat until a drop of water evaporates immediately. Add 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, swirling to coat, then stir-fry garlic and ginger until golden and fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add beef, quickly spreading pieces in 1 layer on bottom and sides of wok. Cook, undisturbed, 2 minutes, then stir-fry until meat is just browned but still pink in center, about 1 minute. Transfer to a bowl.

Wipe wok clean, then swirl in remaining tablespoon oil and stir-fry cabbage stems over high heat until crisp-tender, about 2 minutes. Add cabbage leaves and beef with juices, then stir soy mixture and add. Stir-fry until sauce is simmering and slightly thickened, 1 to 2 minutes. Discard ginger if desired; season with salt.

From Epicurious.com via Gourmet by Andrea Albin, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/beef-and-napa-cabbage-stir-fry-240958

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Lemon-Paprika Tilapia with Potato-Rutabaga Mash

  • 1 pound Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 1-pound rutabaga, peeled, cut into 3/4-inch cubes (about 3 cups)
  • 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) butter, divided
  • 1/3 cup whole milk, warmed
  • 1 to 1 1/4 pounds tilapia fillets
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons paprika, divided
  • 1/4 cup chopped shallots
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • 2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon peel

Place potatoes and rutabaga in medium saucepan. Add enough cold water to cover by 2 inches; sprinkle generously with salt. Boil until vegetables are tender, about 18 minutes. Drain; return vegetables to pot. Stir over medium heat 1 minute to dry out slightly. Add 4 tablespoons butter; mash to coarse puree. Stir in warm milk. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Sprinkle tilapia fillets with salt and pepper and 1 teaspoon paprika. Melt remaining 2 tablespoons butter large skillet over medium-high heat. Add fish and cook until just opaque in center, about 2 minutes per side.

Divide potato-rutabaga mash among plates. Place fish alongside mash.

Add shallots to skillet and sauté until beginning to soften, about 2 minutes. Add white wine and boil until reduced by about half, about 3 minutes. Add parsley, whipping cream, lemon peel, and 1/2 teaspoon paprika; stir until thickened to sauce consistency, about 1 minute. Season sauce to taste with salt and pepper. Spoon sauce over fish and potato-rutabaga mash.

From Epicurious.com via Bon Appétit, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/lemon-paprika-tilapia-with-potato-rutabaga-mash-351534

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Roasted Acorn and Delicata Squash Salad

  • 1 medium acorn squash (1 1/2 lb), quartered lengthwise, seeded, cut into 1/3″ slices
  • 1 medium delicata squash (1 lb), halved lengthwise, seeded, cut into 1/3″ slices
  • 2 tbsp plus 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 tsp unpasteurized apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup cooked wheat berries, drained, cooled
  • 2 oz small red or green mustard leaves (about 4 cups, loosely packed)
  • 2 oz arugula leaves (about 4 cups, loosely packed)
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced red pearl onions or shallots
  • 4 oz aged goat cheese, rind removed, shaved
  • 1/4 cup Spiced Pumpkin Seeds

Preheat oven to 400°. Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. Place acorn squash slices on 1 tray and sliced delicata on the other. Toss each with 1 Tbsp oil, 1/4 tsp salt, and a pinch of pepper.

Place in oven and roast for 30 minutes; flip squash, rotate the trays, and roast for another 10-15 minutes or until just beginning to brown. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.

Whisk vinegar, 1/4 cup oil, 1/4 tsp salt, and pepper to taste in a bowl; stir in wheat berries.

Spread half of greens over a serving platter or bottom of a wide bowl, then add half of acorn squash, delicata squash, pearl onions, goat cheese, and pumpkin seeds. Drizzle with half of dressing; repeat with remaining ingredients and dressing. Toss lightly; serve immediately.

From Epicurious.com via At Home in the Whole Food Kitchen by Amy Chaplin, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/roasted-acorn-and-delicata-squash-salad-51256520

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Winter CSA Share – #1

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

  • Savoy Cabbage
  • German Butterball Potatoes
  • Arugula
  • Kohlrabi – A funny rooty vegetable, that is actually a bulbous stem as it grows above ground, excellent eaten raw or cooked.  Click here for a great rundown on various ways to prepare kohlrabi.
  • Chicory Mix – Thanks to some cold temperatures the chicories aren’t as bitter as some years.  This mix makes for a lovely winter salad, but you can also wilt the leaves if you prefer something warmer. 
  • Red Ripe Hot Poblano Pepper – The very last of the 2018 fresh peppers. You may find some imperfections, but I decided they weren’t worth wasting these beauts.
  • Cilantro
  • Yellow Onions
  • Festival Acorn Squash
  • Pie Pumpkin
  • Calico Popcorn – You can knock the kernels off the cob and into a paper bag and pop this in the microwave.  We’ve had fun watching them pop on the cob too!  Most often we’ll use these directions and pop it on the stovetop.
  • Dried Plums – Italian prune plums from the farm, dried into a delicious candy-like treat!

Chicory mix for winter salads! (left) and the only winter farm photo I could scrounge up. (right)

Welcome to the first week of the Winter CSA!  I’ve been planning and planting for the winter season for months now and I’m excited to finally share the bounty of the season with you intrepid local eaters!  This is the sixth P&C Winter CSA season.  After a hiatus last year it’s nice to be back at the year-round farming gig this season.  Winter poses all sorts of its own challenges to farming, but the winter vegetables are generally worth the hurdles.  Frost sweetened roots and greens are a cozy treat on a dark and windy day like I woke up to today.

So far December has been a willing participant in the Winter CSA.  That’s to say December has dealt out a few frosty mornings but kept the ice storms and snow storms at bay thus far.  Of course it’s too dark at the moment to assess any damage from the overnight windstorm, but I think we’re probably just fine.  The weather is usually the biggest hurdle during the Winter CSA season.  Cold temperatures and mud tend to slow field work and complicate both winter growing efforts and winter deliveries.  As we begin this season, please know I’m going to try my very hardest to bring you delicious, diverse, seasonal produce to each CSA pick-up over the next four months.  Fingers crossed those months are as kind as December has been.

As we set out on this winter eating journey don’t forget to share your cooking triumphs with other members in the P&C CSA member facebook group.  Also, if you come across any unfamiliar vegetables, chances are you can look them up on the member website (which can double as an app on your phone!).  Finally, let me 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 I’ll put any important member information as the season goes on.  Most of you are returning members and you know the CSA drill already, but there are a handful of new members this season.  Either way, let me know if you have any questions on CSA logistics, or vegetables, or whatever else might come up.  I’m looking forward to a fantastic winter season, and hope you are too!

The view from our new living room (left) and our new house, albeit without the steps which were added yesterday (right).

On a personal note, many of you know we’ve been working to get a house on the farm.  It’s been a goal since we first started leasing the place back in the fall of 2010.  This land parcel is zoned “Exclusive Farm Use” which meant we had to meet an income test of $80,000 gross income for two years in a row from farming before applying for a conditional use permit to add a house to this property.  We realize we likely would not have been able to afford this farm had there already been a house here, and the zoning had kept a house from being built in the past.  That said, it took a few years to buy the property (in 2012) and then meet the income test (2015/2016).  We were on track to begin the next steps in 2017, but that season went off the rails a little.  So, now it’s 2018 and we applied for and obtained Linn County’s permission to build last spring, got our financing in order over the summer, and this fall has been all about site prep and planning out the manufactured home we purchased.  The house was finally delivered just before Thanksgiving and we’ve got the final inspections scheduled for this week.  It looks like we’ll be spending Christmas in our new house!

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:

Savoy Cabbage and Radicchio Slaw with Blood Orange Dressing

  • 6 tablespoons fresh blood orange juice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons chopped shallot
  • 1 1 1/4-pound savoy cabbage, halved, sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • 1 1/2-pound head of radicchio (chicory), halved, sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • 1 large red bell pepper, sliced
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries

Whisk juice, vinegar, and honey in bowl. Whisk in oil, then mayonnaise and shallot. Season with salt and pepper. Pour into jar with lid; chill 2 hours. DO AHEAD Can be made 1 day ahead. Keep chilled.

Place cabbage, radicchio, and bell pepper in large bowl. Just before serving, shake dressing well and pour over vegetables; toss. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle dried cranberries over.

From Epicurious.com via Bon Appétit, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/savoy-cabbage-and-radicchio-slaw-with-blood-orange-dressing-236484

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Shaved Kohlrabi with Apple and Hazelnuts

  • 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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Roasted Acorn Squash with Chile Vinaigrette

  • 2 (1 1/2 – to 1 3/4-lb) acorn squash
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice, or to taste
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh hot red chile, including seeds
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

Put oven racks in upper and lower thirds of oven and preheat oven to 450F. Halve squash lengthwise, then cut off and discard stem ends. Scoop out seeds and cut squash lengthwise into 3/4-inch-wide wedges. Toss squash with black pepper, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 2 tablespoons oil in a bowl, then arrange, cut sides down, in 2 large shallow baking pans. Roast squash, switching position of pans halfway through roasting, until squash is tender and undersides of wedges are golden brown, 25 to 35 minutes.

While squash roasts, mince garlic and mash to a paste with remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. Transfer paste to a small bowl and whisk in lime juice, chile (to taste), cilantro, and remaining 1/4 cup oil until combined. Transfer squash, browned sides up, to a platter and drizzle with vinaigrette.

From Epicurious.com via Gourmet, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/roasted-acorn-squash-with-chile-vinaigrette-236007

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Summer CSA Share – #25

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

  • Purple Brussels Sprouts
  • Leeks
  • German Butterball Potatoes
  • Mustard Greens
  • Lacinato Kale
  • Celeriac – aka celery root, a tasty cousin of celery that tastes like celery with the rooty goodness of a potato.
  • Red Ripe Poblano Peppers
  • Parsley
  • Yellow Onions
  • Butternut Winter Squash
  • Pie Pumpkin
  • Corn Flour or Polenta – We grow Cascade Ruby Gold Flint Corn, which is a fabulous locally bred dry corn that turns into half flour and half polenta when ground up.  We use the corn flour in any recipe that calls for corn flour or cornmeal.  We cook the polenta just like rice.

With this 25th share of the season we’re wrapping it up for the Summer CSA! That’s six months of local, organic vegetables we’ve eaten through together!  I sincerely hope that you’ve enjoyed this season as a CSA member as much as I have as your farmer.  I can’t say it enough, that this wouldn’t be possible without you guys!

Back in January I kicked off this growing season with my fingers crossed, hoping for the best weather possible, for the renewed support of our members, and for the strength to carry the farm through a season with my own wits.  Now that I’m on the flip side of the season reflecting back, I realize how lucky I was with this farming season.  The weather cooperated at every turn.  I couldn’t have asked for a better group of stalwart CSA members.  Most surprising to me: I successfully planned and executed a mostly solo CSA season for 53 shares!  I planted the seeds, transplanted the starts, tilled the soil, spread the amendments, irrigated, cultivated, harvested, distributed the vegetables, kept the accounting in order, bought the supplies, paid the bills, wrote the newsletters…and did it all again and again.  I guess I’d learned something about farming over these past ten years.  Of course I wish there had been more carrots, and melons, and celery.  But gosh there were a lot of other vegetables to share with you all!

Perhaps most exciting of all is that, though I’m looking forward to a break before the Winter CSA begins, I’m also looking forward to next year’s main season!  I think we’ve got some fun things on the horizon for the CSA and the farm and I’m ready to get into hashing out those details.  Stay tuned for CSA updates in January as we embark on a new season.  Hopefully you’ll consider joining us for the tenth P&C CSA season in 2019!

Enjoy the vegetables and happy Thanksgiving! We’ll see Winter CSA members in a month!

Your farmers,
Carri Heisler and Jeff Bramlett

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Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:

Risotto with Butternut Squash and Leeks

  • 1 large butternut squash (about 2 pounds), peeled, seeded, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 6 cups (about) chicken stock or canned low-salt chicken broth
  • 3 large leeks (white and pale green parts only), thinly sliced (about 3 cups)
  • 2 cups arborio rice or medium-grain rice
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1/2 cup whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage

Preheat oven to 400°F. Place squash on large rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper; toss to coat. Roast until tender and beginning to brown, stirring occasionally, about 40 minutes.

Bring stock to simmer in heavy large saucepan. Reduce heat to very low; cover and keep stock warm.

Heat 2 tablespoons oil in another heavy large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add leeks and sauté until soft but not brown, about 10 minutes. Add rice; stir 1 minute. Add wine and simmer until absorbed, stirring constantly, about 2 minutes. Add 1/2 cup hot stock; simmer until absorbed, stirring frequently. Add remaining stock 1/2 cup at a time, allowing stock to be absorbed before adding more and stirring frequently, until rice is tender and mixture is creamy, about 25 minutes longer. Add roasted squash, cream, Parmesan cheese and sage; stir until heated through. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve warm.

From Epicurious.com via Bon Appétit by Bread and Ink Cafe, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/risotto-with-butternut-squash-and-leeks-102617

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Mixed-Greens and Sausage Soup with Cornmeal Dumplings

Dumplings:

  • 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup whole milk
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onions

Soup:

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped onion
  • 4 large garlic cloves, pressed
  • 4 Turkish bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 pound andouille sausages, sliced into 1/4-inch-thick rounds
  • 6 cups low-salt chicken broth
  • 2 14.5-ounce cans diced tomatoes in juice
  • 1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 12-ounce bag mixed turnip, mustard, and collard greens, any thick stems cut away (about 12 cups packed)

For dumplings:

Line rimmed baking sheet with plastic wrap. Whisk first 5 ingredients in medium bowl. Stir in milk and butter, then green onions. Let stand at least 1 hour and up to 2 hours. Using wet hands, shape mixture, 1 tablespoon at a time, into 18 dumplings, arranging on sheet. DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover; chill.

For soup:

Heat oil in large pot over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, bay leaves, and thyme. Sauté until onion is tender, about 5 minutes. Add sausage; sauté until fat renders, 3 to 4 minutes. Add broth, tomatoes with juice, hot sauce, and allspice; bring to simmer, stirring occasionally. DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Chill uncovered until cold, then cover and keep chilled. Return to simmer before continuing.

Add greens to simmering soup. Cook greens uncovered 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Drop in dumplings. Cover; reduce heat to low. Simmer until dumplings are tender and cooked through, 20 to 25 minutes. Season soup with salt and pepper. Ladle soup and dumplings into bowl.

From Epicurious.com via Bon Appétit by Melissa Clark, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/mixed-greens-and-sausage-soup-with-cornmeal-dumplings-362971

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Celery Root and Pecan Salad

  • 1 cup pecan halves (3 1/2 oz), toasted > and cooled
  • 1 (1 1/2-lb) celery root, peeled with a sharp knife and quartered
  • 3 tablespoons white-wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped shallot
  • 1/4 cup olive oil

Finely chop two thirds of nuts. Coarsely grate celery root in a food processor fitted with medium shredding disk.

Stir together vinegar, salt, and pepper in a large bowl until salt is dissolved, then add celery root, chopped nuts, parsley, and shallot and toss well. Drizzle salad with oil and toss again. Serve sprinkled with remaining pecans.

From Epicurious.com via Gourmet, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/celery-root-and-pecan-salad-237204

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Summer CSA Share – #24

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

  • Broccoli
  • Bunching Onions
  • Daikon Radishes
  • Bok Choy
  • Tatsoi – A slightly spicier spinach substitute, tatsoi is great raw or cooked.  Click here for a great rundown on tatsoi over at Food52.
  • Mixed Sweet Peppers
  • Cilantro
  • Eggplant
  • Green Tomatoes – Fry them, pickle them, turn them into salsa, or try this delicious sounding  green tomato sauce from Saveur.
  • Sunshine Kabocha Winter Squash – An orange kabocha with deep orange flesh that’s smooth and sweet, great for pies and soups!  Not great for long term storage though.  I suggest cooking up the meat and freezing it if you’re not going to use it up in the next week or two.

Curious about the final share contents next week?  It will likely include potatoes, leeks, butternut squash, a pie pumpkin, parsley, onions, red poblano peppers, kale, mustards, and corn flour.  Additions and subtractions are of course possible, but that’s the goal.

Drying plums this past weekend (left), the opposite side of cherry season (upper right), and the Salem CSA pick-up after the time change (lower right).

This ninth season of the P&C Summer CSA is quickly coming to an end.  Somehow we’ve made it through 24 weeks of vegetables and we’ll wrap it up officially next week with a celebration of the harvest at Thanksgiving.  Since we began this farming experiment ten years ago I’ve appreciated the Thanksgiving holiday as a way to mark the seasonal shift and reflect on the past growing season.  Plus a holiday that celebrates community and food couldn’t get any better in my book.

The community that keeps this farm afloat is very special and I hope you know we couldn’t do this without your support.  We’ll certainly be giving thanks for you all next week.  This community is made up of an amazing assortment of friends and parents and kids and grandparents and it’s a pleasure to bring food to your families.  I know 2018 has not been an easy year for everyone, including several members who have faced serious health issues this season, but I hope cooking and eating local, fresh food has been a highlight through this year.

For those of you joining us in the Winter CSA we’ll be starting again December 18th/19th with the bi-weekly shares.  Look out for an email from me in the coming weeks with all the details and dates and reminders.

Factory visit! Jeff got to talk to the roofer (top left), Jeff and our salesman Lee in the “dining room” (top right), and that’s our little house on the production line!

Another thing we’re thankful for this year is the house that’s on the horizon.  Last Friday we were able to visit the factory in Albany and see it on the production line.  They really know how to knock these things out.  Over the past week it went from bare floor to having finished walls and windows installed!  When we were visiting they were painting the interior and putting on the red metal roof.  After months of playing with floor plans and going back and forth on which upgrades we could afford it’s exciting to see it all come together.  I can’t wait to see the finishing touches like the exterior painted and kitchen cabinets installed.  Delivery may happen as soon as Friday, or may be delayed until after Thanksgiving due to ODOT rules around holiday travel on the highways.  Either way, it’s great to be in the final stages of this project.

Enjoy the vegetables and we’ll see you next week for the last pick-up of the Summer CSA season!

Your farmers,
Carri Heisler and Jeff Bramlett

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Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:

Grilled Halibut, Eggplant, and Bok Choy with Korean Barbecue Sauce

  • 4 tablespoons olive oil or vegetable oil, divided
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons minced serrano chile with seeds
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup (packed) dark brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon Asian sesame oil
  • 8 baby bok choy, halved lengthwise
  • 4 medium-size Japanese eggplants, trimmed, halved lengthwise
  • 4 6- to 7-ounce halibut fillets (each about 1 inch thick)
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in heavy small saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic and chile; sauté until fragrant and light golden, about 3 minutes. Add soy sauce, brown sugar, vinegar, and 3 tablespoons water and bring to boil, stirring until sugar dissolves. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until mixture is reduced to 3/4 cup, about 5 minutes (sauce will be thin). Remove barbecue sauce from heat; whisk in sesame oil. Transfer 1/4 cup barbecue sauce to small bowl and reserve for serving.

Prepare barbecue (medium heat). Combine bok choy and eggplant halves in large bowl. Drizzle 2 tablespoons olive oil over and toss to coat. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Brush fish with remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill vegetables and fish until vegetables are tender and slightly charred and fish is just opaque in center, turning occasionally and brushing with sauce, about 10 minutes total for vegetables and 7 minutes total for fish. Transfer vegetables and fish to plates; sprinkle with green onions. Drizzle with reserved sauce and serve.

From Epicurious.com via Bon Appétit, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/grilled-halibut-eggplant-and-baby-bok-choy-with-korean-barbecue-sauce-235590

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Daikon, Carrot, and Broccoli Slaw

  • 8 ounces daikon (Japanese white radish),* peeled, cut into 1-inch pieces (about 1/2 large)
  • 6 ounces peeled baby carrots
  • 6 ounces broccoli stems, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 cup chopped green onions
  • 1/3 cup seasoned rice vinegar
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons minced peeled fresh ginger
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Asian sesame oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chili-garlic sauce*

Fit processor with large-hole grating disk. Working with a few pieces at a time, push daikon, carrots, and broccoli stems through feed tube until all vegetables are grated. Transfer vegetables to medium bowl. Add green onions. Whisk vinegar, ginger, oil, and chili-garlic sauce in small bowl to blend; pour over vegetables and toss to coat. Season with salt and serve.

From Epicurious.com via Bon Appétit, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/daikon-carrot-and-broccoli-slaw-240679

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Tatsoi and Warm Scallop Salad with Spicy Pecan Praline

  • 1/3 cup pecans, chopped fine
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne, or to taste
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 3/4 pound sea scallops
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/2 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 large firm-ripe avocado (preferably California)
  • 7 cups tatsoi (thick, spoon-shaped Asian greens) or baby spinach  leaves, washed well and spun dry

In a bowl stir together pecans, salt, and cayenne. In a dry small heavy skillet or saucepan cook sugar over moderate heat, stirring with a fork, until melted and cook, without stirring, swirling skillet or pan, until a golden caramel. Add pecan mixture and stir to coat nuts with caramel. Spoon praline onto a sheet of foil and cool. Transfer praline to a cutting board and chop fine. Praline can be made 3 days ahead and kept in an airtight container.

Remove tough muscle from side of each scallop if necessary and halve any large scallops. On a sheet of wax paper combine flour, salt, cumin, and cayenne and dip flat sides of each scallop into mixture to coat, knocking off excess. In a skillet heat butter and olive oil over moderately high heat until foam subsides and sauté scallops, flat sides down, until golden and just cooked through, about 2 minutes on each flat side. Remove skillet from heat and cool scallops slightly.

In a large bowl whisk together lemon juice , extra-virgin olive oil, mustard, and salt and pepper to taste until emulsified. Peel and pit avocado and cut into 1/2-inch-thick wedges. Cut wedges in half crosswise and add to dressing. Add scallops with any liquid remaining in skillet, tatsoi or spinach, and praline and gently toss to coat.

From Epicurious.com via Gourmet, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/tatsoi-and-warm-scallop-salad-with-spicy-pecan-praline-12399

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Summer CSA Share – #23

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

  • Broccoli
  • Shallots
  • Purple Viking Potatoes
  • Mizuna – A lovely serrated leaved, mild mustard green great eaten raw or slightly wilted.
  • Rainbow Chard
  • Poblano Peppers
  • Dill
  • Tomatoes
  • Festival Dumpling Winter Squash – Very similar to an acorn squash, but with a sweeter flavor.
  • Green Apples – The perfect crisp and tart pie apple!

4 photos from Monday’s harvest: picking green apples (upper left), fresh dill (upper right), impressive rainbow chard leaf (lower left), view from the middle of a sea of broccoli (lower right)

Throughout the growing season it’s always a goal to take down notes on what’s worked well and what needs improvements.  There are the obvious mistakes that linger, and the triumphs that seem so amazing in the moment but easily slip from memory as the wave of the work continues on.  But of course it’s also the little efficiencies discovered, the new varieties tested, the planting tricks to remember, all of which need to be documented for future reference.

This season especially has felt like a solo examination of my own strengths and weaknesses as I attempted to run the farm and ensure a plentiful harvest each week and it feels like there is more than ever to review.  As we near the end of the Summer CSA season (just two more weeks!) it’s time to reflect on the season as a whole and begin the process of planning for the future of the farm.  A future which is looking bright at the moment!

This past week was the first in ten months with no starts to water, no irrigation to change, no planting to be done.  In an effort to mark the occasion we got off the farm for a quick overnight in the woods.  It was a welcome change in the schedule and an excellent time for Jeff and me to discuss the farm’s evolution.  I think I can say we’re both excited to be here in this place and we’re enjoying having the conversation about the future.  Oh what a difference a year can make.

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

Your farmers,
Carri Heisler and Jeff Bramlett

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Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:

Spiced Fillet of Beef with Mizuna Salad

For beef

  • 2 teaspoons whole black peppercorns
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons coriander seeds
  • 2 teaspoons dried hot red pepper flakes
  • 4 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 3 1/2 pounds center-cut beef tenderloin roast (fillet of beef), trimmed and, if necessary, tied
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

For salad

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon minced shallot
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 ounces mizuna or baby arugula, trimmed

For beef:

Preheat oven to 425°F.

Toast peppercorns, cumin, and coriander , then cool completely. Grind spices with red pepper flakes in an electric coffee/spice grinder or with a mortar and pestle. Stir in kosher salt.

Pat beef dry and sprinkle with spices on all sides, pressing to adhere. Heat oil in a large flameproof roasting pan set across 2 burners over high heat until just smoking, then brown beef on all sides, about 2 minutes.

Roast in middle of oven until an instant-read thermometer inserted diagonally 2 inches into center registers 120°F, about 25 minutes. Let beef stand in pan 25 minutes. Beef will continue to cook as it stands, reaching 130°F (medium-rare).

Make salad and slice beef:

Whisk together oil, lemon juice, shallot, and salt in a bowl, then add pepper to taste.

Untie beef if necessary, then slice. Toss mizuna with dressing and serve beef topped with salad.

From Epicurious.com via Gourmet, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/spiced-fillet-of-beef-with-mizuna-salad-107005

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Dill Potatoes

  • 1 pound fingerling potatoes
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh dill

Place the fingerling potatoes in a medium pot, add cool water to cover by 1 inch, and bring to a boil over high heat. Add salt to taste, reduce the heat, and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, until the potatoes are fork-tender. Remove the pot from the heat and drain off the water. Toss the potatoes well with the butter and the chopped dill, melting the butter. Season with additional salt to taste, and serve.

From Epicurious.com via The Chef and the Slow Cooker by Hugh Acheson, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/dill-potatoes

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Wilted Chard with Shallots and Vinegar

  • 1 bunch Swiss chard, ribs and stems separated from leaves
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 large shallots, thinly sliced into rings
  • 2 garlic cloves, grated
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons Sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar

Cut Swiss chard stems into very small pieces. Tear leaves into 2″ pieces and rinse well (you’ll want some water still clinging to the leaves).

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Add chard stems, shallots, and garlic and season with salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are starting to soften but haven’t taken on any color, about 2 minutes. Add chard leaves, season with salt, and cook, tossing occasionally, until leaves are tender and have released some liquid, about 3 minutes (stems will have a bit of crunch). Mix in vinegar; taste and season with more salt if needed.

From Epicurious.com via Bon Appétit by Jeremy Fox, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/wilted-chard-with-shallots-and-vinegar

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Summer CSA Share – #22

  • Cauliflower
  • Red Onions
  • Radishes or Salad Turnips
  • Salad Mix
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Sweet Peppers
  • Parsley
  • Tomatoes
  • Calico Popcorn – You can knock the kernels off the cob and into a paper bag and pop this in the microwave.  We’ve had fun watching them pop on the cob too!  Most often we’ll use these directions and pop it on the stove top.
  • Black Futsu Winter Squash – Related to butternut, this Japanese specialty squash ripens from a dark green to light brown with a white bloom.  The nutty taste is excellent cooked or raw and the skin is thin enough to be eaten, so no peeling required.

planting fava beans last week (upper left), fall feels in the apple orchard (upper right), overwintering onions planted (lower left), October cherry tomatoes (lower right)

This past week was a race against the rain forecasted for Thursday night.  But then Thursday night turned into Friday morning, which eventually turned into Saturday.  By the time the steady rain actually showed up Saturday night I felt like I had had a small taste of how farmers in drought-stricken places feel.  Watching the sky for rain, seeing signs of rain clouds but the rain never falls.  I’d planted our overwintering onions Thursday, then when it wasn’t quite raining yet Friday morning I got our winter favas in the ground.  Of course, once I set-up the irrigation on sunny and warm Saturday afternoon the rain showed up for reals Saturday night.  That’s the guessing game of farming.

On Saturday we had our well tested as the final step in perfecting our water rights application.  The test is for gathering data on the water capacity of this location and consists of letting the well rest for 16 hours, then taking water depth measurements for an hour to establish a baseline, then turning the water on at full strength for four hours while taking depth measurements at specified intervals, and then turning the water off and measuring how long it takes for the water depth to recover to the initial resting level.  Makes sense?

It’s a pretty straight forward test once you get all the timing intervals figured out, though it does leave a lot of time hanging around waiting for the next reading.  A friend (and CSA member) with both the knowledge of this sort of testing and the tool to do the testing came to help us out.  We filled in the downtime with pie eating, apple cider pressing, a little archery, inspecting the house site prep, and looking over Jeff’s motorized bicycle collection.  Our friend went home with eight  gallons of apple cider and we got the data we needed to submit to the state.  Definitely a win-win situation I think.

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

Your farmers,
Carri Heisler and Jeff Bramlett

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Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:

Cauliflower and Brussels Sprout Gratin with Pine Nut-Breadcrumb Topping

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Roasted Butternut Squash with Spicy Onions

Spicy onions:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium red onion, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lime zest
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons honey

Assembly:

  • 1 cup blanched hazelnuts
  • 2 large butternut squash (about 4 pounds), peeled, seeded, sliced 1/4″ thick
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh mint
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh marjoram
  • 4 ounces fresh goat cheese, crumbled

For spicy onions:

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook onion, stirring often, until lightly charred and softened but not falling apart, 5–7 minutes. Add red pepper flakes and toss to combine. Remove pan from heat and mix in lime juice and honey. Let cool, then mix in lime zest.

DO AHEAD: Spicy onions can be made 3 days ahead. Cover and chill.

For assembly:

Preheat oven to 350°F. Toast hazelnuts on a small rimmed baking sheet, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, 6–8 minutes. Let cool; coarsely chop.

Increase oven temperature to 400°F. Toss squash and 1/4 cup oil in a medium bowl; season with salt and pepper. Divide between 2 rimmed baking sheets; reserve bowl. Roast, undisturbed, until tender, 15–20 minutes.

Return squash to bowl; add hazelnuts, parsley, mint, marjoram, and spicy onions, and toss to combine.

Transfer squash mixture to a large serving platter, crumble goat cheese over, and drizzle with remaining 2 tablespoons oil.

From Epicurious.com via Bon Appétit, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/roasted-butternut-squash-with-spicy-onions-51215020

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Chicken & Squash Cacciatore, Mushrooms, Tomatoes, Olives, Bread

  • 1 onion
  • 1 leek
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 2 slices of smoked pancetta
  • 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary
  • Olive oil
  • 2 fresh bay leaves
  • 1/2 a butternut squash or sweet potatoes (1 1/4 lbs)
  • 3 1/2 ounces chestnut or cremini mushrooms
  • 2 (12-oz cans) of plum tomatoes
  • 1 cup Chianti or other good red wine
  • 4 chicken thighs, bone in
  • 8 black olives (with pits)
  • 7 ounce whole-grain bread with seeds

Preheat oven to 375°F. Peel the onion and cut into eights, trim, wash, and slice the leek, peel and slice the garlic. Place a large ovenproof casserole pan over medium heat. Finely slice the pancetta, pick and finely chop the rosemary leaves, then place both in the pan with 1 tablespoon of oil and the bay leaves. Stir regularly for 2 minutes, then add the garlic, followed by the onion and leek. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring regularly.

Meanwhile, chop the squash or sweet potato (wash first) into bite-sized chunks, leaving the skin on and discarding any squash seeds. I like to cut the stalk and face off the mushrooms because it looks nice—just add the trimmings straight to the pan, along with the whole mushrooms and chopped squash or sweet potato. Remove and discard the chicken skin and add the chicken to the pan. Pour in the wine and let it reduce slightly, then add the tomatoes and break them up with a wooden spoon. Half-fill each can with water, swirl about, pour into the pan, and mix it all together. Pit the olives, then poke them into the stew. Bring to a gentle simmer, then transfer to the oven to cook for 1 hour, or until thick, delicious, the chicken falls off the bone, and the squash or sweet potato is lovely and tender. Season to perfection, then serve with bread to mop up that tasty sauce.

From Epicurious.com via Everyday Super Food by Jamie Oliver, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/chicken-and-squash-cacciatore-mushrooms-tomatoes-olives-bread

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