Summer CSA Share – #20

Welcome to the 20th share of the Pitchfork & Crow Summer CSA!  Here’s what’s in the share this week:

  • Mixed Cauliflower
  • Broccoli or more Cauliflower
  • Sweet Onion
  • Cucumber – Last of the cucumbers!
  • Radishes 
  • Collards
  • Magic Molly Purple Fingerling Potatoes – These potatoes are purple inside and out and are said to keep their color even when boiled and are also great roasted.
  • Mixed Eggplant
  • Sweet Corn – This is really the last of the sweet corn for the season.  Enjoy!
  • Mixed Sweet Peppers
  • Tomatoes
  • Candystick Delicata Winter Squash

Jeff helped me plant the garlic by driving the transplanter (upper left), one of the new-to-us varieties of garlic that went into the ground this past week (upper right), collard greens! (lower left), and Carri in the collards (lower right)

Prepping for the CSA has been  a little out of order this week.  While I’m typing this Tuesday mid-morning there is lots of work being done all around the farm as a crew begins the site prep for the installation of a manufactured home.  Many of you know we’ve been slowly working toward getting a house here ever since we bought this farm in 2012.  Thanks to Oregon’s strict zoning laws it can be difficult to put a house on a piece of farmland if there was never a house on the property in the past.  After meeting the various county requirements we were approved to put a house out here last spring and have been lining up financing, a contractor, and a manufactured home purchase for the past six months.  Today marks the first day of physical work after so many months of plan submittals and approvals.

Usually I harvest most items Monday and finish up on Tuesday and Wednesday mornings for anything that can’t go into the walk-in cooler.  In an effort to steer clear of the work crew I’d started the CSA harvest on Sunday by gathering in the delicata squash and peppers.  Luckily I just needed to scavenge some tomatoes this morning before the crew arrived and have been able to let them get to it thus far.

If all goes according to plan we should have a house delivered around the end of November and move-in ready in December.  The weather has been holding out just long enough and we’re glad to be getting the ground work done before the rain sets in.  Fingers crossed the progress continues and we get to move-in to a warm house this winter!  I’ll keep you updated as we get closer.

Harvesting hot pepper seed this past weekend (photos above)

This past week was a jam-packed fall work week.  With Jeff’s help the field for the garlic was prepped with organic fertilizer and the garlic was planted!  It came to my attention that I had a deadline looming yesterday for a few pepper seed crops to be handed off to the seed company we grow a little seed for and between prepping and planting garlic I processed the seed lots.  That all leaves the winter squash harvest and planting of overwintering onions at the top of my list this week.  Onward!

Enjoy the vegetables!

Your farmers,
Carri Heisler and Jeff Bramlett

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Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:

Collard and Pecan Pesto

  • 1/2 small bunch collard greens, center ribs and stems removed
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup toasted pecans
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoons honey
  • 1/4 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Cook 1/2 small bunch collard greens, center ribs and stems removed, in a medium pot of boiling salted water until tender, about 2 minutes. Drain. Transfer to a bowl of ice water; let cool. Drain; squeeze dry with paper towels. Blend greens, 1/2 cup olive oil, 1/4 cup toasted pecans, 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar, 1/2 teaspoons honey, and 1/4 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes in a food processor until a coarse purée forms; season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.

From Epicurious.com via Bon Appétit by Andrew Knowlton, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/collard-and-pecan-pesto-51193030

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Cheesy Delicata Squash and Kale Casserole

  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup golden raisins
  • 1 large delicata squash (about 2 1/2 pounds), cut into 1/4″ half-moons
  • 5 sprigs thyme
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided, plus more for pan
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup hazelnuts, coarsely chopped
  • 8 ounces ricotta
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 8 ounces low-moisture shredded mozzarella, divided
  • 1/2 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
  • 1/2 bunch (about 6 ounces) Tuscan kale, stemmed, thinly sliced (or use this week’s collards!)

Preheat oven to 450°F. Bring vinegar and 1/3 cup water to a simmer in a small pot. Remove from heat. Add raisins, cover, and let sit until ready to use.

Divide squash, thyme, and garlic between 2 rimmed baking sheets; arrange in a single layer. Toss with 2 Tbsp. oil, 1/2 tsp. salt, and 1/2 tsp. pepper. Roast 12 minutes. Toss, then add hazelnuts to 1 section of 1 sheet. Continue to roast until hazelnuts are toasted and browned and squash is tender and cooked through, about 6 minutes more.

Whisk ricotta and cream in a medium bowl until smooth. Add 6 oz. mozzarella, 3/4 tsp. salt, and remaining 1/2 tsp. pepper and whisk to combine. Remove thyme leaves from stems and add to cheese mixture. Coarsely chop garlic, add to cheese mixture, and stir to combine.

Transfer hazelnuts to a large bowl. Add panko, 2 Tbsp. oil, and remaining 1/2 tsp. salt and toss to combine. Set aside 1/4 cup panko mixture.

Drain raisins. Add kale, squash, and raisins to remaining panko mixture in large bowl and toss to combine.

Grease 2-qt. baking dish with oil. Add half of squash mixture, then dollop with half of cheese mixture. Top with remaining squash mixture, then dollop with remaining cheese mixture. Top with remaining 2 oz. mozzarella and reserved 1/4 cup panko.

Bake casserole until mozzarella is melted and browned in spots and edges are bubbling, 12–15 minutes. Let cool slightly before serving.

From Epicurious.com via Epicurious by Katherine Sacks, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/cheesy-delicata-squash-and-kale-casserole

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Pasta with Grilled Sausage, Peppers and Eggplant

  • 1 pound sweet or hot Italian sausage links
  • 1/2 pound sweet red peppers, such as frying peppers, cubanelles or bell peppers
  • 1 medium Italian eggplant (about 8 ounces), sliced lengthwise 1/2- inch thick
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more, for brushing
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 ounces farfalle, cassarecce or other short pasta
  • 1 ounce freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (about 1/3 cup), plus more for serving
  • 1/4 cup basil leaves, torn

Light a grill and preheat for at least 10 minutes or preheat a grill pan. Arrange the grill so half cooks over high heat and the other half can cook over moderately low heat. Meanwhile, soak 1 small bamboo skewer for 10 minutes.

Prick the sausage links in a few places with a fork. Brush the peppers and eggplant slices all over with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

Oil the grill grates, then grill the sausage over moderate heat, turning frequently, until browned and cooked through, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board and let cool slightly.

Meanwhile, grill the peppers over high heat, turning occasionally, until blackened all over, 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let cool slightly.

Grill the eggplant over high heat until dark brown grill marks form, about 4 minutes. Flip and grilled until charred and the eggplant is tender, 3 to 4 minutes longer. Transfer to the cutting board.

Slice the sausages about 1/3 inch thick and transfer to a large serving bowl. Dice the eggplant and add it to the sausage. Peel the peppers, then discard the stems and seeds; slice into bite-sized strips and add it to the sausage and peppers.

Meanwhile, in a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the pasta until al dente. Reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking water and drain. Add the pasta and the 2 tablespoons olive oil to the bowl and toss. Add the 1 ounce of cheese and toss again, adding pasta water, little by little, if you need to loosen the pasta sauce. Season with salt and pepper, add the basil and transfer to bowls. Serve the pasta, passing more cheese at the table.

From Epicurious.com via Epicurious by Kristin Donnelly, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/pasta-with-grilled-sausage-peppers-and-eggplant-51241410

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Summer CSA Share – #19

Welcome to the 19th share of the Pitchfork & Crow Summer CSA!  Here’s what’s in the share this week:

  • Mixed Cauliflower
  • Shallots – A mild allium similar to onions but not as harsh, great raw, cooked, and pickled
  • Cucumbers – slicers and Salt & Pepper picklers
  • Radishes or Salad Turnips
  • Salad Mix
  • Sweet Corn – This is it, the last of the sweet corn for the season.  Enjoy!
  • Parsley
  • Shishito Peppers – Don’t forget, 1 in 10 can be hot.
  • Mixed Sweet Peppers
  • Tomatoes
  • Italian Prune Plums
  • Spaghetti Squash

First rainy harvest day of the season meant to-go coffee (top left), pumpkins gathered for the CSA member fall farm day (top right), return of the radishes (bottom left), and beautiful fall farm day (bottom right)

I’d like to start off this week by giving a shout out to all the CSA members who made an appearance at the farm on Saturday.  Many thanks for sharing what turned out to be a beautiful fall day with us!  Cider was pressed, small pumpkins found new homes, dry corn was de-cobbed, and tractor rides were taken.  We had a good time sharing the farm with you for the day and hope you enjoyed it as well.

This week marked the first rainy harvest day of the season.  With the return of the rain comes the return of the mud too.  Thankfully yesterday was a mild, misty sort of rainy day that made for pleasant harvesting and only slightly muddy boots.  The pouring rain and the icy cold days are sure to come eventually, but I appreciate the opportunity to test out the rain gear before then.  Fortunately it looks like the rain has dissipated and I anticipate a couple of dry CSA pick-up days this week.

On the farm it’s time to haul in the winter squash for winter storage.  This is always such a fun project, counting up the literal fruits of our labor.  Surveying the field it looks like it should be a good harvest, but time will tell.  It’s also time to get garlic and overwintered onions in the ground.  This week I’ll be prepping the garlic ground and popping the seed garlic for planting.  We took a year off garlic this past season and it’s nice to be bringing it back.  There is plenty of work to be done on the farm, but it’s especially nice to be getting to these quintessential autumn tasks.  Happy October!

Enjoy the vegetables!

Your farmers,
Carri Heisler and Jeff Bramlett

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Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:

Roasted Cauliflower with Lemon-Parsley Dressing

  • 1 head cauliflower (about 2 pounds), cut into florets, including tender leaves
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
  • 1 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Preheat oven to 425°F. Toss cauliflower and 4 tablespoons oil on a rimmed baking sheet; season with salt and pepper. Roast, tossing occasionally, until tender and golden brown, 25–30 minutes.

Meanwhile, pulse parsley, lemon juice, and remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a food processor until very finely chopped; season with salt and pepper. Toss cauliflower with lemon-parsley mixture and top with lemon zest.

From Epicurious.com via Gourmet, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/ruffle-edged-pasta-with-cauliflower-and-parsley-sauce-11465

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Herby Corn Salad

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons Sherry vinegar
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 thinly sliced small shallot
  • 1/2 cup torn fresh herbs (such as dill, mint, and/or chives)
  • 3 cups raw or cooled blanched fresh corn kernels

Whisk 1/4 cup olive oil and 2 tablespoons Sherry vinegar in a large bowl; season with salt and pepper. Add 1 thinly sliced small shallot and 1/2 cup torn fresh herbs (such as dill, mint, and/or chives).

Fold in 3 cups raw or cooled blanched fresh corn kernels; season with salt and pepper.

From Epicurious.com via Bon Appétit, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/herby-corn-salad-51242030

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Pickled Peppers with Shallots and Thyme

  • 1 pound sweet or mild mini bell peppers, sliced crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick rounds, seeded
  • 2 large shallots, thinly sliced, separated into rings
  • 2 cups white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 5 fresh thyme sprigs
  • 2 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
  • Pinch of coarse kosher salt

Place peppers and shallots in medium bowl.

Mix vinegar and next 6 ingredients in medium saucepan. Bring to boil over medium heat, stirring to dissolve sugar and salt. Remove brine from heat; carefully pour over peppers and shallots. Cover bowl; let stand 5 minutes. Uncover; cool to room temperature. Transfer to quart-size jar, pressing peppers into brine. Cover; chill at least 4 hours and up to 10 days.

From Epicurious.com via Bon Appétit by Molly Wizenberg, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/pickled-peppers-with-shallots-and-thyme-354855

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Summer CSA Share – #18

Welcome to the 18th share of the Pitchfork & Crow Summer CSA!  Here’s what’s in the share this week:

  • Mixed Cauliflower
  • Broccoli
  • Yellow Onions
  • Cucumbers – slicers and Salt & Pepper picklers
  • Mixed Summer Squash – choose from Dark Star zucchini and yellow pattypan summer squash
  • Tomatillos
  • Sweet Corn
  • Cilantro
  • Poblano Peppers
  • Jalapeno Peppers
  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Bartlett Pears

CSA Members: We hope we’ll see you at the farm this Saturday for the fall farm visit!  Rain or shine!  Look for all the details in this week’s member email.

Jeff harvested so many potatoes! (top left), moody skies on the farm this past weekend (top right), giant zucchini that didn’t make it out of the zucchini patch (bottom left), and colorful flour corn (bottom right).

October may be my favorite time of year on the farm.  The air has a crispness to it and the clouds have returned, and with them thoughts of rainstorms!  The long days of summer are behind us as the days shorten towards the winter ahead.  It’s the crunchy leaves, return of the mud, moody sky, bring in the harvest in-between season.  And I love it!

Jeff had endeavored to bring in the potatoes for storage before the rains really set in, and he did it!  Admittedly I helped at times but he was the force behind the great potato harvest of 2018 and I appreciate the help!  As he focused on the spuds over the last couple of weeks I worked on bringing in the dry corn, dry beans, and finishing up the bulk of the planting for the season.  The  field houses are filling up with late fall and early winter greens and we’re down to the final plantings of the season.  Garlic, overwintering onions, and fava beans will all find a spot in the field soon to round out the season’s plantings.   Not to worry though, there are seven more weeks of shares so there are plenty of vegetables to be had this season.

Enjoy the vegetables!

Your farmers,
Carri Heisler and Jeff Bramlett

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Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:

Chicken Burritos with Poblano Chiles and Corn

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 medium-size fresh poblano chiles, seeded, chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 1/2 pounds skinless boneless chicken breast halves or cutlets, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick strips
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons chili powder
  • 3/4 cup bottled red taco sauce
  • 2 cups frozen mixed white and yellow corn kernels, thawed, patted dry
  • 6 burrito-size flour tortillas
  • 2 cups (packed) grated four-cheese Mexican blend or queso fresco (about 8 ounces)
  • 1 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add poblano chiles; sauté until beginning to soften, about 3 minutes. Add chicken, cumin, and chili powder; sprinkle with salt and pepper. sauté until chicken is almost cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes. Mix in taco sauce; cook 1 minute. Stir in corn; sauté until heated through, about 1 minute. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Remove from heat; cover to keep warm.

Working with 1 tortilla at a time, heat tortillas over open flame or electric burner until beginning to soften and brown in spots, about 15 seconds per side. Spoon chicken mixture in strip down center of each tortilla; top with cheese and cilantro. Fold in sides of tortilla over filling; roll up, enclosing filling.

From Epicurious.com via Bon Appétit, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/chicken-burritos-with-poblano-chiles-and-corn-241890

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Charred Tomatillo Chermoula

  • 2 pounds small tomatillos, husks removed, rinsed
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1/3 cup olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 (2)-inch piece ginger, peeled, coarsely chopped
  • 1 jalapeño, thinly sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 2 cups coarsely chopped cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin

Prepare a grill for medium heat. Toss tomatillos on a rimmed baking sheet with 2 Tbsp. oil; season with salt. Grill, turning occasionally, until flesh is jammy and skins are blackened and blistered, 15–20 minutes. Transfer to a sieve set over a bowl and let cool; discard liquid that has drained off into bowl.

Process tomatillos, ginger, jalapeño, garlic, cilantro, cumin, and remaining 1/3 cup oil until smooth; season with salt.

From Epicurious.com via Bon Appétit by Samin Nosrat, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/charred-tomatillo-chermoula

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Chickpea Curry with Roasted Cauliflower and Tomatoes

  • 1/2 head cauliflower (about 1 pound), trimmed and cut into florets
  • 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 pints cherry tomatoes
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 large yellow onion, cut into medium dice
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 3 cups cooked chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 2 1/2 cups baby spinach
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro leaves

1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Toss cauliflower with 1 teaspoon olive oil and arrange in a single layer on one side of a rimmed baking sheet. Toss tomatoes with 1 teaspoon olive oil and arrange on other side of sheet. Season with salt and pepper. Roast until florets are browned in spots and tomatoes are soft, about 25 minutes.

2. In a medium pot, heat 2 teaspoons oil over medium-high. Cook onion, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about 10 minutes. Add garlic, ginger, and curry powder and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute.

3. Add chickpeas, tomatoes, and 2 cups water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium, cover, and simmer 8 minutes.

4. Add cauliflower and cook until warmed through and chickpeas are tender, about 8 minutes. Stir in spinach and cilantro and season with salt. To serve, divide among 4 bowls (over rice, if desired).

From Epicurious.com via Meatless, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/chickpea-curry-with-roasted-cauliflower-and-tomatoes-51190620

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Summer CSA Share – #17

Welcome to the 17th share of the Pitchfork & Crow Summer CSA!  Here’s what’s in the share this week:

  • Cauliflower
  • Broccoli
  • Sweet Onions and Torpedo Onions
  • German Butterball Potatoes
  • Cucumbers – some slicers but mostly Salt & Pepper picklers
  • Mixed Summer Squash – choose from Dark Star zucchini and yellow pattypan summer squash
  • Mixed Eggplant
  • Sweet Corn
  • Basil – Oops, the basil didn’t make it into the photo this week!
  • Mixed Sweet Peppers
  • Tomatoes – Cherries and a Slicer
  • Italian Prune Plums

First off, many thanks to everyone who signed up for the Winter CSA.  It’s full-up for the upcoming season and I appreciate being able to focus on making sure we’ll have vegetables come December rather than looking for new CSA members.  This past week I brought in the dry beans and some of the dry corn, both of which will certainly make an appearance in Winter shares.  Shoot me an email if you missed the sign-up and want to be put on the waiting list.

Second, don’t forget to mark your calendar for the upcoming farm visit on Saturday October 6th from 2-5pm.  More details to come next week, but there will be pumpkins, cider making, and hopefully tractor rides!

Third, hasn’t this fall weather been gorgeous?!  The autumnal equinox on Saturday marked the beginning of fall officially, and just in time.  It’s felt very fallish here on the farm for several weeks now.  That said I may be running out of luck with dry days at the Salem pick-up.  If you pick-up in Salem and are available to help set up market canopies around 3:30pm in the coming weeks please let me know.  I’d love to avoid the struggle of setting them up along and give everyone some shelter once the rain sets in for real.  It’s bound to happen sooner or later.

More of the same on the farm in the week ahead.  Some of the last transplanting of season is on deck, as well as bringing the last of the potatoes and dry corn.  Of course there is always weeding to catch up on and this week’s sunny forecast means I need to get back to an irrigation schedule.  The seasonal work is slowly shifting but we’ll be enjoying summery crops for a while yet.

Enjoy the vegetables!

Your farmers,
Carri Heisler and Jeff Bramlett

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Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:

Cauliflower Salad with Olives and Bread Crumbs

4 tablespoons olive oil, plus more as needed
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
1 1/2 cups bread crumbs, preferably fresh
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup cup chopped fresh parsley
1 large cauliflower (1 1/2-2 pounds), cut into bite-sized florets
1 small red onion, halved and thinly sliced
1/2 cup chopped pitted black olives
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1. Put 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When it’s hot, add the garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until it becomes fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the bread crumbs and cook, stirring occasionally, until they’re toasted, 3 to 5 minutes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, stir in the parsley, and transfer the mixture to a small bowl.

2. Wipe out the skillet, return it to medium-high heat, and add the remaining oil. When it’s hot, add the cauliflower, sprinkle with salt, add 1 cup water, and quickly cover the pan. Cook, shaking occasionally, until you can barely pierce a floret with a sharp knife, 5 to 10 minutes. Remove the cover, scatter the onion over all, and cook, undisturbed, until the water evaporates and the cauliflower starts to brown, 5 to 10 minutes. Stir once or twice and transfer the vegetables to a large bowl. Let sit for a few minutes to cool. .

3. Add the olives, vinegar, and about 1/2 cup of the crumbs. Toss, taste, and adjust the seasoning, adding more olive oil if you’d like. Toss again and serve, passing the remaining crumbs at the table.

From MarkBittman.com via How to Cook Everything Vegetarian, https://www.markbittman.com/recipes-1/2018/8/1/dylelke0zgm8awbqiwyhvjzflt25od-4s9ds-zbz7s

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Grilled Bread with Eggplant & Basil

    • 8 tablespoons olive oil, divided
    • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
    • 1 teaspoon fresh marjoram or oregano leaves
    • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
    • 1 large eggplant (about 1 pound), cut into 3/4″ pieces
    • Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
    • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
    • 8 3/4″-thick slices country-style bread
    • 1/2 cup torn fresh basil leaves
    • 1 ounce Parmesan, shaved

Heat 4 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic, marjoram, and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring often, until garlic is softened but not browned, about 2 minutes.

Add eggplant to skillet and cook, tossing occasionally, until just starting to brown, 8–10 minutes. Add 1/2 cup water; season with salt and pepper. Cook, tossing occasionally, until eggplant is very soft, 10–15 minutes. Let cool slightly; mix in lemon juice. Season with salt, pepper, and more lemon juice, if desired.

Meanwhile, prepare grill for medium-high heat. Brush both sides of bread with remaining 4 tablespoons oil and grill until lightly charred, about 2 minutes per side.

Spoon eggplant mixture on toast and top with basil and Parmesan; cut toast in half.

From Epicurious.com via Bon Appétit by Mona Talbott, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/grilled-bread-with-eggplant-basil-51241960

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Southwestern Corn and Potato Soup

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 fresh jalapeño, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 1/2 lb large yellow-fleshed potatoes such as Yukon Gold (about 2)
  • 3 1/4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth (26 fl oz)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 (10-oz) package frozen corn (not thawed)
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
  • Accompaniments: 1/2-inch cubes of California avocado; chopped fresh cilantro; tortilla chips; lime wedges

Heat oil in a 5- to 6-quart heavy pot over moderate heat until hot but not smoking, then cook onion, jalapeño, salt, and pepper, stirring occasionally, until onion is pale golden, about 8 minutes.

Meanwhile, peel potatoes and cut into 1-inch pieces.

Add broth, water, and potatoes to onion mixture and cover pot, then bring to a boil over high heat.

Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until potatoes are very tender, 12 to 14 minutes.

Coarsely mash potatoes in pot with a potato masher. Stir in corn and simmer, uncovered, 3 minutes.

Stir in lime juice, cilantro, and salt to taste.

From Epicurious.com via Gourmet, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/southwestern-corn-and-potato-soup-234264

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Summer CSA Share – #16

Welcome to the 16th share of the Pitchfork & Crow Summer CSA!  Here’s what’s in the share this week:

  • Cauliflower
  • Broccoli or more Cauliflower
  • Red Onion
  • Purple Viking Potatoes
  • Cucumbers – some slicers but mostly Salt & Pepper picklers
  • Mixed Summer Squash – choose from Dark Star zucchini, yellow pattypan, and yellow straightneck summer squash
  • Tomatillos – it’s green salsa week!
  • Sweet Corn
  • Cilantro
  • Gypsy Queen Sweet Peppers
  • Tomatoes – Cherries and a Slicer
  • Asian Pears

Things are trucking along here on the farm.  This past week’s rain was a welcome sight after the long, dry summer.  It offered a reprieve from the constant irrigation, and just in time for an irrigation system fix too.  Jeff has remained the resident hole digger and irrigation repairman for the farm and he got to work this past weekend.

A system of 3 inch pvc mainline pipe is buried the length of the farm with many, many offshoots of 1 and 2 inch pipe leading to the fields for hooking up metal handline or drip irrigation.  The system was installed by a previous owner, so we’ve been discovering the extent of it over the years we’ve been on this farm.  Standing water along the field edge when the irrigation is turned off is never a good thing and often means a failure of the pvc pipe or a glued connection.  We’d noticed some unexplained water near the irrigation valve at the back of the farm and Jeff set to work digging to uncover the problem.  Turns out a large 3 inch pvc “T” had cracked slightly and needed replacing.  After some adjustments and lots of pvc glue Jeff had the fix in place and ready for irrigation in no time.  I’m definitely thankful for his help with things like this!  Now back to our regularly scheduled farming activities: harvesting, planting, weeding, irrigating.

Enjoy the vegetables!

Your farmers,
Carri Heisler and Jeff Bramlett

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Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:

Chicken with Tomatillo and Cilantro Sauce

  • 1 pound tomatillos, husked
  • 3 serrano chiles, stemmed
  • 2 whole skinless chicken breasts (about 2 1/2 pounds), halved
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro, plus extra for garnish
  • 1 teaspoon salt, plus extra for sprinkling
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin seeds, toasted 5 minutes in dry cast-iron pan over medium heat

Move broiler rack into position closest to flame. Set broiler to medium. Place tomatillos and chiles on a rimmed baking sheet; broil until soft and blackened in spots, about 5 minutes. Turn; broil other side 5 minutes. Remove from broiler and transfer to a food processor; blend. Increase broiler heat to high. Place chicken on same baking sheet and sprinkle with salt. Broil chicken until browned, about 9 minutes. Turn; broil other side 9 minutes. Heat oil in a large saucepan over low heat; cook onion and garlic, stirring occasionally, until soft and golden, about 5 minutes. Add pureed tomatillos and chiles; simmer uncovered, 2 minutes. Add cilantro and 1 teaspoon salt. Gently place chicken in sauce. Simmer, covered, until meat is cooked through, about 20 minutes. Sprinkle with pumpkin seeds and cilantro.

From Epicurious.com via SELF by Peter Hoffman, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/chicken-with-tomatillo-and-cilantro-sauce-243589

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Curried Cauliflower and Potato Salad

  • 3 cups roasted cauliflower florets
  • 3 cups roasted Red Bliss potatoes
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 3/4 cup diced roasted red bell peppers
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup plain yogurt
  • 1/2 small red onion, julienned
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced celery
  • Juice and zest of 1 lemon
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup finely sliced green onions (white and light green parts), for garnish

Coarsely chop the cauliflower and potatoes into 1/2-inch chunks and set aside.

In a dry skillet over medium heat, toast the coriander seeds, cumin seeds, and fennel seeds until fragrant, shaking the pan frequently, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer them to a spice grinder and pulse until ground to a fine powder, then pour them into a small dish and mix in the curry powder and cayenne.

Set aside about 1 tablespoon each of the bell peppers and cilantro for garnish and place the rest in a large bowl. Add the mayonnaise, yogurt, red onion, celery, lemon juice and zest, reserved spices, and salt and black pepper to taste. Stir until smooth. Add the cauliflower and potatoes and mix well to coat evenly.

Transfer the salad to a large serving bowl. Garnish with the green onions and the reserved cilantro and bell peppers. Serve.

From Epicurious.com via Guy Fieri Family Food by Guy Fieri, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/curried-cauliflower-and-potato-salad

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Grilled Polenta with Corn, Red Onion, and Cucumber Salad

  • 4 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup polenta (coarse cornmeal) or yellow cornmeal
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • Nonstick vegetable oil spray
  • 4 ears corn, husked
  • 1 large red onion, cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
  • 2 1/2 cups chopped seeded tomatoes
  • 1 1/4 cups chopped English hothouse cucumber
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh mint

Bring 4 cups water and salt to boil in heavy large saucepan. Gradually add polenta, whisking until boiling and smooth. Reduce heat to low. Cook until very thick, whisking often, about 25 minutes (about 15 minutes for yellow cornmeal). Whisk in cheese. Spread in 8x8x2-inch glass baking dish. Cool slightly. Cover; chill at least 6 hours.

Whisk lime juice, oil and garlic in large bowl to blend. Set dressing aside.

Spray grill with oil spray; prepare barbecue (medium heat). Spray corn and onion slices with oil spray. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill until vegetables are tender, turning often, about 8 minutes for corn and 15 minutes for onion. Cool. Cut corn kernels from cobs. Coarsely chop onion. Add corn, onion, tomatoes, cucumber and mint to dressing; toss. Season with salt and pepper.

Cut polenta into 4 squares. Cut each square diagonally into 2 triangles. Spray polenta with oil spray. Grill until heated through, about 5 minutes per side.

Divide salad among 4 plates. Place 2 polenta triangles alongside each salad.

From Epicurious.com via Bon Appétit, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/grilled-polenta-with-corn-red-onion-and-cucumber-salad-103608

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Summer CSA Share – #15

Welcome to the 15th share of the Pitchfork & Crow Summer CSA!  Here’s what’s in the share this week:

  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Sweet Onions
  • Cucumber
  • Mixed Summer Squash – choose from Dark Star zucchini, Magda cousa, yellow pattypan, and yellow straightneck summer squash
  • Brussels Sprouts Tops – At the beginning of September we like to snap off the top of the Brussels sprout plants to help them focus their energy on forming sprouts.  Luckily for all of us the tops are a tasty greens treat.  Just treat them like kale and eat them with everything.
  • Sweet Corn
  • Basil
  • Jalapeno Peppers
  • Jimmy Nardello Sweet Peppers
  • Yellow & Green Beans
  • Tomatoes – Cherries and Slicers
  • Mixed Melons – Choose from Tirreno Tuscan Melons or Honey Orange Honeydew

Winter CSA memberships are open!  Head over to the Winter CSA information page to get all the details, including a link to the sign-up form.  Just 8 spots remaining as of this writing.

Evidence of a little rain overnight this week (left) and threshing and winnowing kale seed this past week (right)

I think this is my favorite time of year.  The crisp mornings, the crunch of fallen leaves underfoot, the return of the rain to the parched landscape.  And on the farm this is when all the hard work of the previous several months pays off big.  Although produce has been harvested and distributed to you guys for months now, the season-long bulk crops are ready for storage.  This past weekend Jeff helped bring in the storage onions.  Soon the second cooler will be full of potatoes.  The winter squash will be headed for storage bins shortly as well.

While I’m always impressed with each harvest from the farm, from lettuce to corn  to zucchini, the big fall harvests are maybe the most rewarding.  The time investment of caring for the plants for months, making sure they get enough water and weeding and fending off the wildlife, makes good harvests all the sweeter and poor harvests more of a gut punch.  All in all this season is shaping up to be a good one.  With each bin of onions or potatoes pulled from the field it’s an especially great feeling to think “Hey, look at what I grew!”

Enjoy the vegetables!

Your farmers,
Carri Heisler and Jeff Bramlett

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Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:

Broccoli and Cauliflower Casserole

  • 1 cauliflower head
  • 1 large broccoli head
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/4 teaspoon seasoned salt, more to taste
  • Kosher salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika, plus more for sprinkling
  • 1/3 cup seasoned breadcrumbs
  • 1 1/2 cups grated Monterey Jack cheese

1. Preheat the oven to 375°F.

2. Using your hands, break the cauliflower and broccoli into very small florets. Place them in a steamer and steam them over simmering water until slightly tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Set them aside.

3. Melt 6 tablespoons of the butter in a large skillet over medium heat, then add the onion and garlic and cook until the onion is translucent, 3 to 4 minutes. Sprinkle in the flour, stirring it into the onion mixture and cook it for a minute or so. Pour in the broth, stirring continuously, and cook the sauce, stirring occasionally, until it begins to thicken, about 3 minutes.

4. Add the cream cheese and stir until it melts completely. Then stir in the seasoned salt, kosher salt, pepper, and paprika. Turn off the heat and set the sauce aside.

5. In a small bowl, combine the breadcrumbs and the remaining 2 tablespoons melted butter and blend with a fork.

6. To assemble, butter a small (2-quart) casserole and add half the broccoli-cauliflower mixture. Pour on half the sauce, top with half the cheese, and sprinkle on a little paprika. Repeat another round of the veggies, sauce, cheese, and paprika…then top the casserole with the buttery breadcrumbs.

7. Bake the casserole for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the breadcrumbs are golden and the casserole is bubbly around the edges. Serve it nice and piping hot!

From Epicurious.com via The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Dinnertime by Ree Drummond, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/broccoli-cauliflower-casserole

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Mexican Corn

  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 10-ounce package frozen corn kernels, thawed
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 cup chopped zucchini
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 1 jalapeño chili
  • 1/2 cup purchased salsa
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

Melt butter in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add corn, red bell pepper, zucchini, green onions and jalapeño and sautê until vegetables are tender, about 6 minutes. Mix in salsa and chopped cilantro. Stir until heated through, about 1 minute. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

From Epicurious.com via Bon Appétit by Rosie Bialowas, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/mexican-corn-666

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Kale, Tomato, and Lemon Magic One-Pot Spaghetti

  • 14 ounces/400 g spaghetti or linguine
  • 14 ounces/400 g cherry tomatoes
  • Zest of 2 large unwaxed lemons
  • 7 tablespoons/100 ml olive oil
  • 2 heaping teaspoons flaky sea salt (if you are using fine-grain table salt, add a bit less)
  • 1 (14-ounce/400-g) bunch of kale or spinach (or Brussels Sprout Tops!)
  • Parmesan cheese (I use a vegetarian one) (optional)

Fill and boil a kettle of water and get all your ingredients and equipment together. You need a large, shallow pan with a lid.

Put the pasta into the pan. Quickly chop the tomatoes in half and throw them into the pan. Grate in the zest of both lemons and add the oil and salt. Add about 1 quart/1 liter of boiling water, put a lid on the pan, and bring back to a boil. Remove the lid and simmer on high heat for 6 minutes, using a pair of tongs to turn the pasta every 30 seconds or so as it cooks.

Meanwhile, remove any tough stalks from the kale or spinach and coarsely tear the leaves. Once the pasta has had 6 minutes, add the kale and continue to cook for a further 2 minutes.

Once almost all the water has evaporated, take the pan off the heat and tangle the pasta into four bowls. If you like, top with a little Parmesan.

From Epicurious.com via A Modern Way to Cook by Anna Jones, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/kale-tomato-and-lemon-magic-one-pot-spaghetti

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Summer CSA Share – #14

Welcome to the 14th share of the Pitchfork & Crow Summer CSA!  Here’s what’s in the share this week:

  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower or Broccoli Side Shoots
  • Sweet Onions
  • Mixed Summer Squash – choose from Dark Star zucchini, Magda cousa, and yellow straightneck summer squash
  • Red or Green Cabbage
  • Sweet Corn
  • Cilantro
  • Shishito Peppers
  • Mixed Sweet Peppers
  • Yellow & Green Beans
  • Tomatoes – Cherries and Slicers
  • Mixed Melons – Choose from Bozeman Watermelons, Tirreno Tuscan Melons, or Honey Orange Honeydew
  • Bartlet Pears

Winter CSA memberships are open!  Head over to the Winter CSA information page to get all the details, including a link to the sign-up form.

a bumblebee working a zinnia (left) geese flying about the Willamette River (right)

With September’s arrival it would seem the season has shifted to autumn right on schedule.  There’s a chill in the morning air and dusk is coming earlier each evening.  These changes have me thinking about the need to stock our pantry shelves.  It’s time to break out the canning pot and preserve what I can of this summer’s bounty.  Our jars of tomato sauce are looking lean.  And while I love the shelf stable qualities of canned food, there’s never enough time for everything so some things, like corn, will be headed straight to the freezer.  Don’t forget you can preserve small batches if you’ve got a backlog of CSA vegetables.  Too many tomatoes or peppers now can mean a tasty meal come December when summer’s fruits are long gone.

With the seasonal shift comes a shift in the To Do list too.  The planting is less, though it is time to sow overwintering onions, and the harvesting is ramping up.  It’s time to bring in the onions and potatoes and dry beans.  Soon enough the winter squash will be headed for storage too.  Harvest season has arrived!  Jeff helped harvest apples over the weekend so we’ll be ready to celebrate the season by pressing cider come October’s CSA farm visit.

Enjoy the vegetables!

Your farmers,
Carri Heisler and Jeff Bramlett

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Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:

Cabbage and Corn Slaw with Cilantro and Orange Dressing

  • 1/3 cup frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed
  • 1/3 cup unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 1/3 cup canola oil or vegetable oil
  • 2 (8-ounce) bags coleslaw mix (but you’ll shred your own cabbage)
  • 4 ears of fresh corn, shucked, kernels cut from cob
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled, coarsely grated
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, stemmed, cored, cut into thin strips
  • 6 medium green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Whisk orange juice concentrate, rice vinegar, and canola oil in small bowl. Season with salt and pepper. DO AHEAD Dressing can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate.

Combine slaw mix, corn kernels, carrots, red bell pepper strips, sliced green onions, and chopped cilantro in large bowl. Toss with enough dressing to coat. Season slaw to taste with salt and pepper. Let stand 15 minutes for flavors to blend. Toss again and serve.

From Epicurious.com via Bon Appétit by Pam Anderson, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/cabbage-and-corn-slaw-with-cilantro-and-orange-dressing-238803

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Paneer and Broccoli Masala

  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil, plus extra if needed
  • 1 pack paneer, around 8 oz, cut into large bite-size pieces
  • 20 fresh curry leaves (optional)
  • 2 tsp black mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp peeled and finely chopped fresh ginger
  • 2 fresh red chiles, 1 finely sliced, 1 slit down the middle but left whole
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp garam masala
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 3/4 cups coconut milk
  • 4 oz (about 1 3/4 cups) broccoli florets
  • 1 tbsp tamarind paste, or to taste
  • Sea salt, to taste
  • Sugar, to taste
  • Small handful of cilantro, to garnish

Gently heat the oil in a saucepan and fry the paneer until it’s golden brown on all sides. Remove from the pan and set aside for later.

Throw the curry leaves (if using) into the pan to crisp up. Take them out and reserve for sprinkling over at the end.

Add a little more oil to the pan if you need to and toss in the mustard and cumin seeds. Once they start sizzling, stir in the turmeric and onion. Allow to soften for a few minutes before stirring in the garlic, ginger and chiles. After a further minute, stir in the tomato paste, garam masala and coriander.

Add a splash of water to the pan and pour in the coconut milk. Bring to a simmer and toss in the broccoli and fried paneer. Stir through the tamarind and simmer for 5 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and sugar. Garnish with the crispy curry leaves and the fresh cilantro before serving with some steamed basmati to mop up the sauce.

From Epicuious.com via The Indian Family Kitchen by Anjali Pathak, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/paneer-and-broccoli-masala

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Grilled Steak and Mixed Peppers

  • 3 (1″–1 1/2″-thick) strip steaks (about 2 1/2 lb. total), patted dry
  • 2 1/2 tsp. kosher salt, divided
  • 2 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper, divided, plus more
  • 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for grill and drizzling
  • 1 lb. mini sweet mixed peppers
  • 6 oz. shishito peppers
  • Flaky sea salt

Season steaks on all sides with 2 tsp. kosher salt and 2 tsp. pepper. Let sit at room temperature 1 hour.

Prepare a grill for medium-high heat; oil grate. Grill steaks until lightly charred and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part registers 120°F, 6–8 minutes per side for medium-rare. Transfer to a cutting board and let rest 10 minutes before slicing against the grain.

Meanwhile, grill sweet peppers, turning often, until lightly charred and softened, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a platter and cover with foil. Grill shishitos, turning often, until lightly charred and softened, about 3 minutes. Transfer to platter with sweet peppers and cover with foil. Let rest 10 minutes. Drizzle with 2 Tbsp. oil, then season with 1/2 tsp. kosher salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper and toss to combine.

Transfer sliced steak to platter alongside peppers. Drizzle with oil, then season with sea salt and pepper.

From Epicurious.com via Epicurious by Anna Stockwell, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/grilled-steak-and-mixed-peppers

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Summer CSA Share – #13

Welcome to the 13th share of the Pitchfork & Crow Summer CSA!  Here’s what’s in the share this week:

  • Broccoli
  • Bunching Onions
  • Mixed Summer Squash – choose from Dark Star zucchini, Magda cousa, and yellow straightneck summer squash
  • LaRatte Fingerling Potatoes
  • Sweet Corn
  • Jimmy Nardello PeppersSweet frying peppers that are so good they made Slow Food’s Ark of Taste!
  • Poblano Peppers – The classic chile relleno stuffing pepper, these mild chiles are tasty in other dishes too.
  • Mixed Eggplant
  • Tomatoes – Cherries and Slicers!
  • Mixed Melons – Choose from Bozeman Watermelons or Tirreno Tuscan Melons
  • Asian Pears

Winter CSA memberships are open!  Head over to the Winter CSA information page to get all the details, including a link to the sign-up form.

Digging potatoes last night (top), lettuce transplants (bottom left), zinnias for the bees (bottom right)

Back in February I took a leap of faith, opening up the CSA memberships and beginning the planning process for the growing season ahead.  We had taken the winter off from farming and had made some important shifts in our lives, most notably that Jeff had taken a full-time job off the farm.  As spring drew near I decided to see if I could manage the farm without him.

So far this season has been a lot of trial and error, a lot of learning new skills, a lot of getting out there and getting the job done, and a lot of forgiving myself when things don’t quite go to plan.  But the shares have been full and I feel like I’m finding some success with this soloish farming thing thanks to your support.

Now it’s time to look ahead to the next season and take another leap of faith.  Winter is on its way and there will be winter vegetables.  The winter squash is ripening up, the leeks are growing taller, the Brussels sprouts are sprouting and the Winter CSA is open for limited memberships.  Hopefully you’ll consider joining me for another season of local, seasonal, organic vegetables!

Enjoy the vegetables!

Your farmers,
Carri Heisler and Jeff Bramlett

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Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:

Poblano, Potato, and Corn Gratin

  • 3 teaspoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 large fresh poblano chiles,* stemmed, seeded, cut into 2 x 1/4-inch strips
  • 1 1/4 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled, cut into 1/8-inch-thick rounds
  • 1 cup frozen corn kernels, thawed
  • 1 cup coarsely grated Oaxaca cheese or whole-milk mozzarella cheese, divided
  • 1 1/2 cups half and half
  • 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 400°F. Rub 9 1/2-inch-diameter deep-dish glass pie dish or cast-iron skillet with 2 teaspoons oil. Heat remaining 1 teaspoon oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add poblano strips and sauté until tender, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat.

Arrange 1/3 of potato rounds, overlapping slightly, in prepared pie dish. Sprinkle 1/3 of poblano strips over, then 1/3 of corn and 1/3 of cheese. Repeat with 1/3 of potatoes, 1/3 of poblanos, 1/3 of corn, and 1/3 of cheese. Top with remaining potatoes, poblanos, and corn, reserving remaining 1/3 of cheese. Place pie dish on rimmed baking sheet.

Whisk half and half, flour, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper in small bowl. Pour over potato mixture in pie dish; press potatoes to submerge. Cover dish tightly with foil. Bake 30 minutes. Remove foil; sprinkle remaining cheese over gratin. Continue to bake gratin until potatoes are tender and cheese is golden brown, about 25 minutes longer. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

From Epicurious.com via Bon Appétit by Marcela Valladolid, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/poblano-potato-and-corn-gratin-357891

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Grilled Ratatouille Pasta Salad

  • 2 medium zucchini (about 1 1/2 lb.), halved lengthwise
  • 1 medium or 2 small eggplants (about 1 lb.), cut into 1″ wedges
  • 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 2 1/2 tsp. kosher salt, divided
  • 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper, divided
  • 10 oz. penne or casarecce pasta
  • 1 large or 2 medium heirloom or beefsteak tomato (about 1 lb.), cut into 1″ pieces
  • 8 oz. Ciliegini (mini fresh mozzarella balls), drained, halved
  • 2 Tbsp. white balsamic or white wine vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. thyme leaves
  • 1 cup basil leaves

Prepare a grill for medium heat. Toss zucchini, eggplant, and 1/4 cup oil on a rimmed baking sheet; season with 1 tsp. salt and 1/2 tsp. pepper. Grill, turning often, until steamy, tender, and charred all over, 8–12 minutes. Return to baking sheet and let cool.

Cook pasta according to package directions.

Slice grilled vegetables into bite-size pieces and transfer to a large bowl. Add tomato, cheese, vinegar, thyme, and 1 1/2 tsp. salt, 1/2 tsp. pepper, and 1/2 cup oil and mix to combine. Drain pasta and immediately add to bowl with vegetables. Mix well to combine, then top with basil.

Do Ahead: Vegetables can be grilled 3 days ahead. Transfer (whole) to an airtight container and chill.

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

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Sauteed Corn with Bacon and Scallions

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked fresh corn kernels (cut from about 3 ears)
  • 2 scallions, chopped fine
  • 2 slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • a pinch of dried hot red pepper flakes (or fresh peppers!)

In a non-stick skillet heat the oil over moderately high heat until it is hot but not smoking and in it sauté the corn and the scallions, stirring, for 1 minute. Stir in the bacon and the red pepper flakes and sauté the mixture for 15 seconds.

From Epicurious.com via Gourmet, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/sauteed-corn-with-bacon-and-scallions-12515

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Summer CSA Share – #12

Welcome to the 12th share of the Pitchfork & Crow Summer CSA!  Here’s what’s in the share this week:

  • Lemon Cucumbers
  • Broccoli
  • Tropea “Torpedo” Onions – fresh red sweet onions
  • Mixed Summer Squash – choose from Dark Star zucchini, Magda cousa, and yellow straightneck summer squash (which accidentally got left out of this week’s photo)
  • Celery
  • Sweet Corn
  • Jalapeno Peppers
  • Green Bell Peppers
  • Tomatillos
  • Tomatoes – Cherries and Slicers!
  • Tirreno Tuscan Melons

There’s been a bit of a reprieve in the hot, hot, hot weather this past weekend.  I’m certainly thankful for the 80 degree harvest day yesterday.  So much nicer to be in the field when it’s not scorching hot.  The weather forecast for the farm suggests we just need to make it through a couple of days in the 90s before the 70s set in for a while.  I’ll take it after so many hot days this summer.  It’s just so much easier to be productive on the farm in cooler weather.

It’s always a push in August to keep planting as the fall and winter months are looming ahead.  The timeline for getting crops in the ground is less and less negotiable each week in the rush to make sure things mature before the daylight wanes and the temperatures drop.  I planted out some overwintering cauliflower last week, alongside the purple sprouting broccoli, in anticipation of sweet spring goodness in April.  Which leads to the question of the Winter CSA, which is where that cauliflower is headed of course.  I think there will be some version of a winter CSA this year but I haven’t nailed down the details just yet.  Hopefully I’ll have more information for you next week.  Until then, enjoy the summer bounty!  Peppers and tomatoes and tomatillos and sweet corn!  Summer at its best!

Enjoy the vegetables!

Your farmers,
Carri Heisler and Jeff Bramlett

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Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:

Green Pico de Gallo

  • 8 ounces tomatillos, husks removed, rinsed, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
  • 1/4 medium red onion, finely chopped
  • 2 jalapeños, seeds removed, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely grated
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped mint
  • Kosher salt

Toss tomatillo, onion, jalapeños, garlic, lime juice, cilantro, and mint in a small bowl to combine; season with salt. Cover and chill 1 hour to allow flavors to come together.

From Epicurious.com via Bon Appétit by Rick Martinez, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/green-pico-de-gallo-salsa

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Pasta Salad with Tomatoes and Corn

  • 5 tablespoons olive oil
  • 5 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 2 large garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh corn kernels (cut from 3 ears) or frozen, thawed
  • 1 1/4 pounds plum tomatoes, chopped
  • 8 ounces penne pasta, freshly cooked
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Whisk 4 tablespoons oil, vinegar, basil and garlic in large bowl to blend. Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add corn; sauté 3 minutes. Add corn to dressing in bowl. Add tomatoes, pasta and cheese to bowl and toss to blend. Season salad with salt and pepper.

From Epicurious.com via Bon Appétit by Katie Morford, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/pasta-salad-with-tomatoes-and-corn-103246

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Coconut Zucchini Noodles and Spiced Meatballs

For the spiced meatballs:

  • 1 pound ground pasture-raised lamb
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
  • 2 scallions, sliced paper-thin
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 tablespoon wheat-free tamari
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce (Red Boat is a Clean-approved brand)
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice

For the noodles:

  • 2 to 3 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup sliced onions
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 tablespoons minced lemongrass
  • 1 red chile pepper, minced (optional)
  • 1 (13.5-ounce) can unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 broccoli crown, cut into small florets (about 2 cups)
  • 3/4 to 1 pound zucchini, ends removed and sliced lengthwise with a peeler or mandoline into long pappardelle-like “noodles”
  • Sea salt to taste
  • 1/2 cup roughly chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges

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

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

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

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

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Summer CSA Share – #11

Welcome to the 11th share of the Pitchfork & Crow Summer CSA!  Here’s what’s in the share this week:

  • Lemon Cucumbers
  • Cabbage
  • Broccoli
  • Mixed Summer Squash – choose from Dark Star zucchini, Magda cousa, and yellow straightneck summer squash
  • Sweet Corn
  • Mixed Beets
  • Fava Beans
  • Shishito Peppers – More of those “roulette” peppers this week, one in ten is hot.
  • Tomatoes – slicers and cherries!
  • Honey Orange Melons – Technically a honeydew, these melons have orange flesh and taste more like a cantaloupe.

sunset through the pear trees (top left), spinach popping up (top right), beet harvest (bottom left), cabbage and broccoli plants (bottom right)

For several years we’ve seemed to have been on a list of organic farms willing to host bird and insect researchers from Washington State University.  This year a couple of grad students have been looking into the effects of birds in broccoli and whether or not birds help control insect populations.  They have a research plot of 24 broccoli plants set up, with some of the plants netted to exclude the birds.  They’ve visited a few times to collect data on what birds are present, what insects are present, and the diet of the birds.  This past week they set some baited traps with caterpillars to try to tie the birds to caterpillar predation.  The observation results are always interesting, and this time was no different.

Last week the researchers observed the following in the broccoli planting during a one-hour afternoon visit:

Insects – 138 aphids, 10 aphid mummies, 0 parasitoid wasps, 10 caterpillars, 0 syrphid larvae, 3 lepidopteran eggs, 18 spiders, 106 flea beetles, 1 cucumber beetle, and 5 lacewing eggs

Birds – 3 Barn Swallow, 1 Common Yellowthroat, 2 Vesper Sparrow, 2 Lesser Goldfinch, 1 Violet-green Swallow, 1 Savannah Sparrow, 1 Chipping Sparrow juvenile, and 1 American Robin

Evidently the caterpillars on the baited traps were mostly eaten by vespid wasps (think paper wasps and yellow jackets) and the researchers are finding that birds may not have much impact on insect populations at the individual plant level.  I still find the lists of observed insects and birds helpful though.  Of course it’s hard to miss the birds and I see various insects out there, but the observed numbers do provide some perspective.  And they said the bird list was impressive for a midday count.  I guess being surrounded by grass seed fields gives us a unique edge effect when it comes to the wildlife.

Enjoy the vegetables!

Your farmers,
Carri Heisler and Jeff Bramlett

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Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:

Beets with Pecorino, Pecans, and Shishito Peppers

  • 2 pounds mixed small or medium beets (such as Chioggia, red, and/or golden), scrubbed
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided, plus more for drizzling
  • Kosher salt
  • 4 sprigs thyme
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 8 shishito peppers
  • 1/3 cup pecans
  • 1/4 small red onion, very thinly sliced
  • Hot chili sesame oil and grated Pecorino (for serving)

Preheat oven to 400°F. Toss beets with 2 Tbsp. oil in a 13-by-9–inch baking dish; season with salt. Add thyme and 1/4 cup water. Cover with foil and roast beets until a paring knife slips easily through flesh, 60–75 minutes. Let cool slightly, then rub skins from beets with paper towels; cut into 1″ pieces. Toss in a large bowl with vinegar and 2 Tbsp. oil; season with salt.

Meanwhile, place peppers on one side of a rimmed baking sheet and pecans on the other side and roast, tossing nuts once, until peppers start to blister and pecans are slightly darkened and fragrant, 6–8 minutes. Let cool; coarsely chop.

Toss peppers, pecans, and onion with beets; season with salt. Drizzle with chili oil and top with Pecorino.

From Epicurious.com via Bon Appétit by Nick Curtola, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/beets-with-pecorino-pecans-and-shishito-peppers

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Creamy Cilantro-Lime Slaw

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

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

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

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

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Black Beans, Corn, and Tomatoes Vinaigrette

  • 1 pound dried black beans, picked over, soaked overnight in cold water to cover, and drained
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked fresh corn kernels (cut from about 3 ears of corn) or thawed frozen
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped seeded tomato
  • 3/4 cup thinly sliced scallion
  • 1/3 cup minced fresh coriander plus coriander sprigs for garnish
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (1 to 2 lemons)
  • 2 teaspoons salt

In a large saucepan combine the black beans and enough cold water to cover them by 2 inches, bring the water to a boil, and simmer the beans for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until they are just tender but not mushy. Drain the beans and in a bowl combine them with the corn, the tomato, the scallion, and the minced coriander. In a small bowl whisk together the oil, the lemon juice, and the salt, pour the dressing over the vegetables while the beans are still warm, and let the salad cool, stirring occasionally, until the beans are room temperature. The salad may be made 1 day in advance and kept covered and chilled. Serve the salad, garnished with the coriander sprigs, at room temperature or chilled slightly.

From Epicurious.com via Gourmet, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/black-beans-corn-and-tomatoes-vinaigrette-10435

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