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:

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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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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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