Welcome to the 18th share of the Pitchfork & Crow 2022 Summer CSA! Here’s what’s in the share this week:
- Escarole – A little hardier than lettuce, escarole will stand up to wilting or a little cooking. We like to use it as a base for warm pasta or salmon topped with your favorite sauce/dressing.
- Brussels Sprouts Tops – We snap the tops off our Brussels sprouts to help the plants focus on making sprouts. At some point we realized these tops are really tasty and we should all be eating them. Treat them like kale in the kitchen.
- Huckleberry Gold Potatoes – A new-to-us purple skinned, yellow flesh potato variety.
- Torpedo Onion
- “Delectable” Sweet Corn
- Romano Beans – Mixed green and purple striped beans, great for use in your favorite green bean recipes.
- Zucchini & Summer Squash – Including green zucchini, yellow summer squash, and “Mexicana” zucchini.
- Mixed Cucumbers – Including green cukes, ‘Silver Slicer’ yellow cukes, and lemon cukes.
- Sweet & Shishito Peppers
- Mixed Cherry Tomatoes
- Mixed Slicer Tomatoes
- Melon – Choose from Tuscan, Lambkin (aka Christmas), Honey Orange honeydew, and watermelons.
We’re sure looking forward to fall and some milder temperatures. Oh, the official start of fall was last week you say? It’s nearly October you say? It’s been hard to tell with highs in the upper 80s the past few days. We’re wringing out the last bits of summer, thankful for some warmth to keep the melons ripening, but hopeful for some rain in the forecast too. Can irrigation season be over already?
Fun news that came through this week, actually associated with irrigation season, is that our water rights were officially issued by the Oregon Water Resources Department (OWRD)! Our dry summers mean access to water makes growing vegetables a lot easier but there’s not always enough water to go around for everyone that wants to use it . When we started leasing this farm back in the fall of 2010 we knew water rights were crucial but the previous owners hadn’t finished the process to secure water rights when they put in the irrigation well. As land renters we started the wheels turning, hoping to know if we’d have legal access to the water before we purchased the property. It turns out the government doesn’t move that quickly.
The folks at the OWRD suggested we would likely get the water right issued from the beginning but there were some steps that had to be undertaken first. Of course there was paperwork to submit, then came 7 years of annual well tests to confirm our aquifer was holding steady from year to year and not being depleted by our summer irrigation use. We also had to hire a professional surveyor to research and map our property and irrigation use areas and demonstrate that our proposed irrigation plan matched the capacity of well. And there was the local company that messed up our flow test (an hours long wide open discharge of water to see if the rate changed over time) and it had to be re-done. (Thanks for the help with that one Jen!) It’s been a journey.
We submitted the final paperwork pieces several years ago and the OWRD said to watch out for a confirmation within the decade. I guess they’re backed up over there. That’s why we were surprised to receive a letter in the mail earlier this summer outlining our water right and asking us to confirm everything was correct and then another letter this week showing that our water right has been issued. It only took 12 years but we’re happy to be wrapping up this irrigation season with our water right in hand!
This past week saw a slowdown in our productivity. I think we’re feeling the season. Jeff did manage to prep the last greenhouse for planting and I hoed in two of the other greenhouses that are filling up with direct sown fall/winter radishes and greens. And tomato sauce was canned and we bought a life changing shelf for our kitchen. Yes, sometime you just need to buy a shelf to upgrade life. We harvested potatoes and sowed (maybe) the last round of lettuce for future transplanting. And we filled up the Winter CSA in record time! Many thanks to everyone who jumped onboard for the upcoming season!
Enjoy the vegetables and we’ll see you here next week!
Carri Heisler & Jeff Bramlett
Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:
Slightly Exotic Skillet Broccoli & Cauliflower
- 1 large onion, thinly sliced (pole to pole)
- 1 head of cauliflower, trimmed and separated into florets, large florets cut in halves
- 1 head of romanesco or broccoli, trimmed and separated into florets, large florets cut in halves
- 3/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 3 medium cloves garlic, coarsely chopped, and divided
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon brine from preserved lemons
- 1 preserved lemon, rinsed
- 12 to 15 Castelvetrano olives, pitted and coarsely chopped
- 2 small to medium red peppers, roasted, seeded, peeled, and diced
- 1 tablespoon Sherry vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 2 to 3 tablespoons cilantro leaves (or substitute Italian parsley)
Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a 12-inch cast iron or other non-stick skillet over medium-high until shimmering. Add sliced onions and cook, stirring frequently, until softened and starting to brown, about 5 minutes. Add cauliflower and romanesco/broccoli, and evenly distribute in a single layer. (The pan should be crowded, but if you cannot create a single layer remove a few florets.) Take a minute to wiggle each piece into place to get some surface contact on each floret. Turn the heat down to medium-low. Sprinkle the red pepper flakes and all but 1/2 teaspoon of the chopped garlic over the brassicas. Season with ground black pepper, and sprinkle on the brine from the preserved lemons. Set a timer for 25 minutes.
While the brassicas are cooking, prep your lemon and make your dressing. Quarter the preserved lemon, and use a spoon to scrape out the pulp. Remove the seeds from the pulp and put the pulp in your blender. Coarsely chop one quarter of the peel, and add it to the blender. Dice the remaining peel and set aside. To the blender add the reserved chopped garlic, all but 1 heaping tablespoon of the diced red pepper, sherry vinegar, cumin, and paprika. Blend until smooth. Scrape down the sides of the blender jar, then while running slowly pour in the remaining olive oil. Taste and add a splash or two more of vinegar if the dressing isn’t tangy enough. Set aside. (NOTE: This step could also be done ahead, just re-blend dressing prior to serving if any separation has occurred.)
After your timer has gone off, check a couple of florets for caramelization. If needed, cook an additional 5 or so minutes. Otherwise scatter the reserved red pepper, diced preserved lemon, and chopped olives over the brassicas. Cover the pan and allow to steam for 5 to 10 minutes as needed to cook the florets through, but still maintain some texture.
Transfer to a serving platter. Garnish with cilantro just before serving. Drizzle with dressing, and serve the rest on the side. (Note: The brassicas will be under-seasoned without the dressing.)
From Food52.com by HardLikeArmour, https://food52.com/recipes/24362-slightly-exotic-skillet-broccoli-and-cauliflower
Jane Grigson’s Celery Soup
- 1/2 pound celery, chopped (outside stalks or celeriac — about 2 cups)
- 1/2 cup chopped onion
- 1/2 cup diced potato
- 6 tablespoons butter
- 4 cups turkey or chicken stock
- 1/2 cup milk (optional, up to 1 cup)
- 1 teaspoon dill weed (2 teaspoons for fresh dill)
- 2 1/2 tablespoons cream
Stew celery, onion, and potato gently in the butter in a covered pan for 10 minutes. Don’t let the vegetables brown. Add stock or water and 1/2 teaspoon of dill weed. Simmer for 20 minutes if you have a blender, 40 minutes if you use a food mill.
Blend or purée the soup. Pour through a strainer into a clean pan (to remove the last few threads of celery), adding a little milk if too thick. Bring slowly to just under the boil, seasoning with salt, pepper and more dill weed if required.
Put the cream into the soup dish, and pour the soup in on top. Swirl round with the ladle before serving, to mix in the cream.
From Food52.com by GeniusRecipes, https://food52.com/recipes/26523-jane-grigson-s-celery-soup
Classic Waldorf Salad
- 1 cup diced apples
- 1/2 cup diced celery
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 5 leaves escarole or chicory, chopped and stems removed
- Smoked paprika, for garnish
In a medium bowl, mix apples, celery, walnuts, and mayonnaise. Arrange chopped lettuce on four plates and top with apple mixture. Sprinkle paprika on salad to finish.
From Food52.com, https://food52.com/recipes/36688-classic-waldorf-salad