Winter CSA Share #1

Welcome to the 1st share of the Pitchfork & Crow 2021/2022 Winter CSA! Here’s what’s in the share this week:

  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Napa Cabbage
  • Big Winter Spinach
  • Mini Romaine Lettuces
  • Cilantro
  • Rainbowish Carrots – Mostly orange, but you’ll find a few purple and yellow roots mixed too.
  • Fingerling Potatoes
  • Sweet Potatoes – The smaller side of our small sweet potato crop. Still tasty tubers though!
  • Purple Top White Globe Turnip
  • Purple Daikon Radishes
  • Garlic
  • Onions
  • Long Pie Pumpkin – Like an elongated pie pumpkin, more pumpkin for your pie needs!
  • Kabocha Squash – A drier, flakier orange fleshed squash great in pies, soups, and curries.
  • Dried Farm Apples!
Up above the farm, looking east.

Welcome to the first week of the Winter CSA! We’re excited to kick off our ninth winter season and hope you are too! Whether you’re a returning member who is already well versed in seasonal eating or a new member joining us for the first time, we hope you know we’ll be trying our darndest to bring you the best organic vegetables we can grow to each CSA pick-up over the next five months.

Looking down on the center of the farm.

As you know already, winter weather can be unpredictable and growing conditions are the most challenging through the winter months. Ice and snow can be game changers. Short cold days mean not much plant growth is happening at the moment so we’re relying on the planning and planting that happened last summer and fall. That’s all to say that while winter may like to keep us on our toes, there will be vegetables to eat and hopefully they’ll include a wide diversity!

Morning light, above the farm, looking west.

We often get questions about how we spent the two week break between the end of the Summer CSA season and the beginning of the Winter CSA season. No, we didn’t have big travel plans, but we did manage to leave the farm for a couple of day-long adventures. The photos up above were taken with a drone, an early Christmas present from Jeff. In addition to testing it out around the farm we took it up to the woods and over to the beach.

Can you see us?

In between our drone flying lessons we also managed to knock out some end-of-season farm projects. We disassembled the tomato trellising and cleaned out the tomato house. We put the ends on some of the high tunnels for the winter. We finished cleaning the dry beans and shelled the flour corn, thus freeing up the propagation house for spring seed-starting. We re-organized the winter squash and cleaned the barn. We ordered a new high tunnel, which will be arriving on Thursday. We found a shop that fixes hydraulic cylinders and had our tractor’s loader cylinders repaired. We did some serious cleaning of our house (though it’s hard to tell in spots now that we’ve returned to mud season). We ate pies, roasted vegetables, salmon with chicories, and homemade potstickers. It was a successful working staycation!

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

Your farmers,
Carri Heisler & Jeff Bramlett

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Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:

CHICKEN STIR-FRY WITH YAMS, RED CABBAGE, AND HOISIN

  • 2 tablespoons Asian sesame oil, divided
  • yams (red-skinned sweet potatoes; about 1 pound), peeled, cut crosswise into 1/3-inch-thick rounds, then cut into 1/3-inch-wide strips
  • red onion, cut lengthwise into 1/3-inch-thick slices
  • 8 ounces skinless boneless chicken cutlets, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-wide strips
  • 1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
  • garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 cups 1/3-inch-thick strips sliced red cabbage (about 1/4 medium head) (how about napa cabbage?)
  • 3 tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • 3/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Heat 1 tablespoon sesame oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add yams and onion; stir-fry until yams are just tender, adjusting heat if browning too quickly and adding water by tablespoonfuls if mixture is dry, about 12 minutes. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil to skillet. Add chicken, ginger, and garlic; stir-fry 1 minute. Add cabbage; stirfry until chicken is cooked through and cabbage is wilted but still slightly crunchy, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in hoisin sauce. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Mix in 1/2 cup cilantro. Transfer stir-fry to serving bowl; sprinkle with remaining cilantro.

From Epicurious.com via Bon Appétit, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/chicken-stir-fry-with-yams-red-cabbage-and-hoisin-351250

ROOT VEGETABLE TAGINE WITH SWEET POTATOES, CARROTS, TURNIPS, AND SPICE-ROASTED CHICKPEAS

  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
  • 4 1/2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt, divided
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped onion
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 1/4 cups 1/2-inch cubes peeled carrots
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 1/4 pounds red-skinned sweet potatoes, peeled, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 pound turnips (about 2 medium), peeled, cut into 3/4-inch wedges
  • 3/4 cup brine-cured green olives, pitted, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes (about 1 ounce; not oil-packed), thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon dried mint
  • 1 10-ounce box plain couscous (cooked according to package directions)
  • Spice-Roasted Chickpeas

Toast coriander, cumin, and caraway seeds in small skillet over medium heat until beginning to brown, about 2 minutes. Cool. Transfer to spice mill; process until finely ground. Transfer to small bowl. Add red pepper, turmeric, and 1/2 teaspoon salt.

Mix lemon slices, lemon juice, and 4 teaspoons coarse salt in small skillet. Bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until lemon slices are almost tender, about 10 minutes. Cool preserved lemon. Drain and chop. DO AHEAD: Spice blend and preserved lemon can be made 1 week ahead. Store spice blend airtight at room temperature. Transfer preserved lemon to small bowl; cover and chill.

Heat olive oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add onion; sprinkle with salt and sauté until beginning to soften, about 5 minutes. Add toasted spice blend, garlic, and tomato paste; stir 1 minute. Add carrots and celery; stir 2 minutes. Add chopped preserved lemon, 4 cups water, sweet potatoes, turnips, olives, and sun-dried tomatoes. Simmer with lid ajar until vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally, about 35 minutes. Stir in parsley, cilantro, and mint. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Remove from heat and let stand 10 minutes to allow flavors to blend.

Spoon couscous into large bowl, spreading out to edges and leaving well in center. Spoon vegetable tagine into well in center. Sprinkle Spice-Roasted Chickpeas over and serve.

From Epicurious.com via Bon Appétit, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Root-Vegetable-Tagine-with-Sweet-Potatoes-Carrots-Turnips-and-Spice-Roasted-Chickpeas-361252

ROASTED ROOT VEGETABLES

  • 2 1/2-pound butternut squash, peeled, seeded, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 5 cups)
  • 1 1/2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, unpeeled, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 bunch beets (about 1 1/2 pounds), trimmed but not peeled, scrubbed, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (how about carrots and/or sweet potatoes?)
  • 1 medium-size red onion, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 2 cups)
  • 1 large turnip, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 1 cup)
  • 1 head of garlic, cloves separated, peeled
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Preheat oven to 425°F. Oil 2 large rimmed baking sheets. Combine all ingredients in very large bowl; toss to coat. Divide vegetables between prepared baking sheets; spread evenly. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Roast vegetables until tender and golden brown, stirring occasionally, about 1 hour 15 minutes. (Can be prepared 2 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature. Rewarm in 350°F oven 15 minutes.)

From Epicurious.com via Bon Appétit, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/roasted-root-vegetables-104833

Summer CSA Share #26

Welcome to the 26th and final share of the Pitchfork & Crow 2021 Summer CSA!  Here’s what’s in the share this week:

  • Cooking Greens Mix – A braising mix of chard, collards, and four types of kale.
  • Redarling Brussels Sprouts
  • Castelfranco Radicchio Mix – Great for salads with punchy dressings like vinaigrette and toppings like citrus, strong cheese, and olives. You can also cook radicchio to bring out some of the sweetness as in the two recipes at the bottom of this post.
  • Cauliflower – Some of these got a little frost damaged this week, but they should still be tasty.
  • Celery
  • Parsley
  • Sage
  • Strawberry Paw Potatoes
  • Sweet Potatoes – We managed to grow a handful of sweet potatoes this season. Even though we didn’t water them well enough and had to re-plant most of them, thus getting them started a month late, and then the deer ate most of the leaves and the gophers and voles ate many of the tubers, we have sweet potatoes! We don’t have many, but some is better than none, right?
  • Beets – Choose from red and orange!
  • Fresh Onions
  • Garlic
  • Butternut Winter Squash
  • Pie Pumpkin
  • Polenta (aka grits) – We grow a flint corn called Cascade Ruby Gold that grinds partially into flour and partially into polenta when milled. This week we’re sharing polenta and last week we shared the flour. You can use this polenta in recipes calling for uncooked polenta or corn grits. We like to cook it in our rice cooker at a 1 cup polenta to 3 cups water ratio. It’s even better if you add some butter and cheese once cooked.

As we wrap up the 2021 Summer CSA season and also celebrate Thanksgiving this week I wanted to take a moment to say thanks. Thank you for supporting our farm this season. Thank you for choosing to eat local and seasonal vegetables for the past six months. Thank you for showing up week after week. We know things have been difficult these past couple of years and we appreciate your willingness to make the CSA a part of your lives.

Here are some season stats: This year each weekly share consisted of an average of 17.65lbs per week for 26 weeks. That’s 459lbs of organic vegetables for each weekly share over the season. All combined that means Jeff and I distributed approximately 51,408lbs of produce this season. Through our partnership with the Linn Benton Food Share, 9,180lbs of those organic vegetables went directly to the Lebanon Soup Kitchen and Lebanon food pantries. Not bad for a two-person operation, if I do say so.

We hope you’ve enjoyed this past season as much as we have. We know the CSA can seem overwhelming at times but hopefully you’ve found a rhythm to the season and had some fun in the kitchen along the way. Though we’re focused on growing and harvesting the best vegetables we can, the magic really happens in each of your kitchens as you prep. and cook and eat them. Thanks for taking our vegetables on your kitchen adventures!

Because we take a short break between seasons most of you will be headed to the produce department of the grocery store sooner than later, either in person or virtually. As you ponder your options, experiencing all the choices in the world, we hope you’ll take a bit of your CSA experience with you. Hopefully you’ll be more curious to know where that produce was grown, not just what country but what farm? How far did it travel? Is it seasonal? What were the growing practices? Who were the people that grew and harvested it?

Scenes from the final Summer CSA harvest.

We’ll see many of you in a few weeks for the start of the Winter CSA. We’re excited to see what the winter season has in store for us and hope you are too! For everyone else we hope you have a fantastic winter! Keep an eye out for an email from us in early January as we gear up for the 2022 Summer CSA! Hopefully you’ll consider joining us for another round of local, seasonal, organic vegetables.

Have a happy Thanksgiving and enjoy the vegetables! We’ll see Winter CSA members on December 14th & 15th for the beginning of the Winter season.

Enjoy the vegetables!

Your farmers,
Carri Heisler & Jeff Bramlett

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Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:

Cauliflower and Brussels Sprout Gratin with Pine Nut-Breadcrumb Topping

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Butternut Squash and Roasted-Garlic Bisque

  • 2 heads of garlic, halved crosswise
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
  • 3 cups chopped onions
  • 3/4 cup chopped carrots
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 4 pounds butternut squash, peeled, seeded, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 6 cups canned low-salt chicken broth
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon whipping cream

Preheat oven to 350°F. Rub cut surfaces of garlic with oil. Put halves back together to reassemble heads. Wrap each tightly in foil; bake until tender, about 40 minutes. Cool garlic in foil.

Melt butter in heavy large pot over medium heat. Add onions, carrots and celery; sauté until onions are beginning to soften, about 5 minutes. Add squash, broth and 2 tablespoons sage. Bring to boil. Reduce heat; simmer uncovered until squash is tender, about 25 minutes.

Meanwhile, unwrap garlic. Squeeze from skin into small bowl. Discard skin. Mash garlic with fork until smooth.

Stir garlic into soup. Working in batches, purée soup in blender until smooth. Return to pot. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Refrigerate uncovered until cold. Cover and keep refrigerated. Bring to simmer before continuing.) Stir in 1/2 cup cream. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer soup to tureen. Drizzle with remaining 1 tablespoon cream.

Sprinkle with remaining 1 tablespoon sage.

From Epicurious.com, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/butternut-squash-and-roasted-garlic-bisque-104280

Sheet-Pan Roasted Squash and Feta Salad

  • 1 large or 2 small acorn or delicata squash (about 1½ lb. total), halved lengthwise, seeded, cut into ¼” slices (or any winter squash really)
  • ¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1½ tsp. kosher salt, divided
  • 4 slices country bread, cut into 1″ cubes (about 4 cups)
  • ½ lb. Greek feta, cut into 1″ cubes
  • ¼ cup sherry or red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp. honey
  • 1 tsp. thyme leaves
  • 1 head of radicchio or ½ head of escarole, leaves separated, torn into large pieces
  • Aleppo-style pepper (for serving; optional)

Arrange a rack in top third of oven; preheat to 400°F. Toss squash, black pepper, 2 Tbsp. oil, and 1 tsp. salt on an 18×13″ rimmed baking sheet and arrange in an even layer. Roast until squash is beginning to brown on one side, 10–15 minutes. Turn squash, then arrange bread and feta over. Roast until bread is lightly toasted and feta is soft and warmed through, 8–10 minutes.

Whisk vinegar, honey, thyme, and remaining 6 Tbsp. oil and ½ tsp. salt in a large bowl until well combined. Add radicchio and hot squash mixture and toss to combine.

Transfer to a platter and sprinkle with Aleppo pepper (if using).

From Epicurious.com by Anna Stockwell, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/sheet-pan-roasted-squash-and-feta-salad

Farro, Radicchio, and Roasted Beet Salad

  • 8 1- to 1 1/2-inch-diameter beets, tops trimmed to 1 inch
  • Vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 cups semi-pearled farro or wheat berries
  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 4 tablespoons red wine vinegar, divided
  • 1 garlic clove, pressed
  • 2 cups (packed) thinly sliced quartered radicchio (from about 1 medium head)
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • 1 cup crumbled feta cheese (about 4 ounces)

Preheat oven to 350°F. Arrange beets in single layer in 8 x 8 x 2-inch baking dish. Drizzle with vegetable oil. Cover with foil and roast until beets are tender, about 45 minutes. Cool. Trim beets; peel. DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover; chill.

Cook farro in large saucepan of boiling salted water until tender, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes. Drain. Transfer to large bowl. Stir 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 tablespoon vinegar, and garlic into hot farro. Cool to room temperature.

Cut each beet into 6 to 8 wedges. Add beets, radicchio, onion, and parsley to farro; toss to incorporate evenly. DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill.

Whisk 2 tablespoons olive oil and 3 tablespoons vinegar in small bowl. Drizzle over salad. Add feta cheese; toss to coat.

From Epicurious.com by Jeanne Kelley, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/farro-radicchio-and-roasted-beet-salad-359409

Summer CSA Share #25

Welcome to the 25th share of the Pitchfork & Crow 2021 Summer CSA!  Here’s what’s in the share this week:

  • Collards or Rainbow Chard
  • Arugula – A peppery addition to soups, pasta, or salads, toss them in at the end of cooking for a quick wilting.
  • Escarole
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Thyme
  • Rose Finn Apple Fingerling Potatoes
  • Carrots
  • Purple Bunching Onions
  • Fresh Onions
  • Garlic
  • Thelma Sanders Sweet Potato Acorn Squash – An heirloom squash from Missouri, said to be creamy smooth and sweet.
  • Corn FlourWe grow a flint corn called Cascade Ruby Gold that grinds partially into flour and partially into polenta when milled. This week we’re sharing flour and next week we’ll share the polenta. You can use this flour in any recipe calling for corn flour or cornmeal. We like to use it for perfect cornbread.
Collard bunches (left) and purple bunching onions (right).

What a blustery harvest day we had yesterday! Though we only got a quarter inch of rain, it certainly felt like more as we were soaked while bunching collards and chard. Whew! The farm weather station says we had a max wind speed of 32mph and wind gust of 37.6mph yesterday. It was a windy one and we’re glad it calmed down as quickly as it started up.

Wind storms are maybe our least favorite here on the farm. Wind and greenhouse plastic can fight to the death, and it’s never pretty when the wind wins those battles. Luckily this time around the wind blew through and left all of our greenhouses intact.

Corn grinding! From left to right: flint corn kernels, flint corn milled, corn flour sifted out from the polenta, and polenta.

The wind and the rain are putting the exclamation point on the fact that we’ve made it to November. Leaves are falling, the days are shortening, and we’re just about to wrap up this Summer CSA season! In fact this is the final week for the “Group A” biweekly members.

This is the first season we’ve offered this option and it’s a little strange to be saying goodbye to some members one week early after so many years of wrapping things up the week of Thanksgiving. We’ve been harvesting 112 weekly shares this season, and 14 of them went to members who chose the option to pick-up every other week. By which I mean 28 members signed on for the biweekly pick-ups and 14 picked-up each week. It’s been an interesting experiment this biweekly option, and I think we’ll continue to offer it in the future. Though we’ve been worse at learning some biweekly member’s names, this option does seem to fill a need for those members who want to participate in the CSA but need fewer vegetables in their lives.

We want to say thank you to the biweekly members who jumped in this season. Hopefully you found the CSA to be a good fit for you and we look forward to seeing you all again in the future, including those of you we’ll see in a few weeks for the start of the Winter CSA.

A tractor fix (left) and early sunset (right).

This past week we kept busy with some indoor projects like cleaning onions, grinding corn, and updating the Winter CSA member handbook and website details. We also managed to get some early harvesting done in the field. But there’s one task that beat out the others.

Sometimes a project takes some working up to. You’ve got to mentally prepare for the worst outcome and hope for the best. This season that project has been a diesel fuel leak on our main field work tractor.

At some point this season it became apparent that we had a fuel leak and then as the season progressed so did the smoke and fumes caused by the leak. Repeated visual inspections did not help locate the leak, as everything on the tractor motor appeared to be covered in diesel. We cautiously continued the work of the season, the problem worsening. Mechanical problems like this are never easy to face. Our tractor is unique and the dealer/mechanic is up in Aurora, which is far away enough that taking the tractor in to be worked on is an expensive endeavor before they ever set eyes on the thing. Also, neither of us are mechanics, though Jeff certainly knows more about engines than I do. Thus, an ever-worsening problem such as we were facing was rather daunting.

We finally made it to a point this past week where Jeff was ready to fully investigate, preparing for the worst. He’d researched, he’d finished the majority of field work, we’d budgeted for an expensive fix. So it’s really impressive that after taking off the tractor loader and the hood, some back and forth with diesel mechanic videos on Youtube, and a couple of trips to the auto parts store he was able to diagnose and fix the problem! A leaky fuel injector was the culprit and some new hose and a clamp was all it took to fix. An expensive trip to the tractor repair shop has been averted and we’re both relieved to have the tractor in working order again.

With the tractor fixed, this week we’ll be preparing for the final week of the CSA season. Here’s our tentative harvest list for next week as you begin your Thanksgiving shopping:

  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Butternut Squash
  • Pie Pumpkin
  • Onions
  • Sage
  • Parsley
  • Potatoes
  • Mizuna
  • Garlic
  • Celery
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Chicory Mix
  • Kale Mix
  • Polenta

We’ll see the majority of you next week for the final share of the Summer CSA!

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

Your farmers,
Carri Heisler & Jeff Bramlett

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Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:

Lemony Pasta with Cauliflower, Chickpeas, and Arugula

  • 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1/4 cup drained capers, patted dry
  • 1 small or 1/2 large head of cauliflower (about 1 pound), cut into small florets
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt, plus more
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained, rinsed, patted dry
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) cold unsalted butter, divided
  • 8 ounces casarecce, gemelli, or other medium pasta
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 6 cups baby arugula

Heat 4 Tbsp. oil in a large deep-sided skillet over medium-high. Add capers and cook, swirling pan occasionally, until they burst and are crisp, about 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer capers to a paper towel-lined plate; set aside. Reserve oil in skillet.

Cook cauliflower in same skillet over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until beginning to brown, about 3 minutes. Reduce heat to low and add garlic, 1 tsp. salt, and 1/2 tsp. pepper. Cover and cook until cauliflower begins to soften, about 4 minutes. Uncover and increase heat to high. Add chickpeas, 2 Tbsp. butter, and remaining 2 Tbsp. oil and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until cauliflower and chickpeas are lightly browned, about 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally, until al dente. Drain, reserving 1 cup pasta cooking liquid.

Remove skillet from heat and add lemon juice, 1/2 cup pasta cooking liquid, and remaining 2 Tbsp. butter. Add pasta, tossing and adding more pasta cooking liquid as needed, until coated.

Divide arugula and pasta among bowls, stirring to combine. Top with reserved crispy capers.

From Epicurious.com by Anna Stockwell, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/lemony-pasta-with-cauliflower-chickpeas-and-arugula

Roasted Potatoes and Cauliflower with Chives

  • 3 large russet (baking) potatoes
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small head of cauliflower, cut into small flowerets
  • 1/3 cup thinly sliced fresh chives plus 8 whole chives for garnish if desired

Peel the potatoes, with a melon-ball cutter scoop out as many balls as possible from them, and in a jelly-roll pan toss the balls with the oil and salt and pepper to taste. Roast the potatoes in the middle of a preheated 450°F. oven, turning them occasionally, for 15 minutes. Add the cauliflower, toss the mixture well, and roast it for 10 minutes, or until the cauliflower is tender and golden in spots. Toss the vegetables with the sliced chives and salt and pepper to taste and serve them garnished with the whole chives.

From Epicurious.com, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/roasted-potatoes-and-cauliflower-with-chives-12742

Winter Squash Soup with Gruyère Croutons

Soup

  • 1/4 cup ( 1/2 stick) butter
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 4 large garlic cloves, chopped
  • 3 14 1/2-ounce cans low-salt chicken broth
  • 4 cups 1-inch pieces peeled butternut squash (about 1 1/2 pounds) (or any other winter squash)
  • 4 cups 1-inch pieces peeled acorn squash (about 1 1/2 pounds)
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons minced fresh thyme
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons minced fresh sage
  • 1/4 cup whipping cream
  • 2 teaspoons sugar

Croutons

  • 2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter
  • 24 1/4-inch-thick baguette bread slices
  • 1 cup grated Gruyère cheese
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh sage

For soup:

Melt butter in large pot over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and sauté until tender, about 10 minutes. Add broth, all squash and herbs; bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until squash is very tender, about 20 minutes.

Working in batches, puree soup in blender. Return soup to same pot. Stir in cream and sugar; bring to simmer. Season with salt and pepper. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Chill. Rewarm over medium heat before serving.)

For croutons:

Preheat broiler. Butter 1 side of each bread slice. Arrange bread, buttered side up, on baking sheet. Broil until golden, about 1 minute. Turn over. Sprinkle cheese, then thyme and sage over. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Broil until cheese melts, about 1 minute. Ladle soup into bowls. Top each with croutons and serve.

From Epicurious.com, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/winter-squash-soup-with-gruyere-croutons-2997

Summer CSA Share #24

Welcome to the 24th share of the Pitchfork & Crow 2021 Summer CSA!  Here’s what’s in the share this week:

  • Napa Cabbage
  • Mustard Greens – A spicy addition to soups, pasta, or salads, toss them in at the end of cooking for a quick wilting.
  • Cilantro
  • ‘Alpine’ Daikon Radishes – These big radishes are very mild, a little sweet, and delicious in soups, roasted, or shaved over salads.
  • Carrots!
  • Bunching Onions
  • Fresh Onions
  • Garlic
  • Bulgarian Carrot Hot Peppers – The internet says these are 12 times the heat of a jalapeno, so I’d say they’re HOT!
  • Shishito Peppers – The last of the roulette peppers for the season. I’ve heard many of you’ve gotten hot ones this year!
  • Gill’s Golden Pippin Acorn Squash – Our favorite little tasty acorn squash!
  • Green Tomatoes – Of course fried green tomatoes are classic but what about green tomato pie? Check out this site for another 13 green tomato recipe ideas. Also, some bags included a slightly more ripe tomato or two. Those can be left on a windowsill to ripen for a late-fall tomato treat.
  • Ripe Tomato – The very last ripe tomato of the season. For reals.
  • Wolverine’s Orca Dry Beans – Our favorite dry bean, and the only one we grow these days, these orca beans are more substantial than some dry beans and hold up well in stews or chili. Named for a Secwepemc elder Wolverine William Ignace, who you can read more about over on Adaptive Seeds website.
Green tomatoes (top left), cilantro harvest (top right), and dry beans (bottom photos) all headed your way this week!

How’s the time change treating you? As you go about your days adjusting schedules and getting acquainted with dark evenings please remember that daylight savings and these clock shifts have no connection to farmers. That’s a myth. Our work is not centered around the clock and goes on despite the shift. We’ll all be plunged into darkness together at this week’s pick-up.

The daylight-centered concept that’s more relevant to growing vegetables this time of year is a little different. Last Thursday we dropped below 10 hours of daylight. We’ll continue to lose minutes of daylight each day until the Winter Solstice on December 21st, when we hit a low of 8 hours and 42 minutes, the shortest day of the year. At that point we’ll begin gaining daylight slowly each day and we’ll again hit the 10 hour day length on February 7th. This time period between last Thursday and February 7th is known as the Persephone Period. (Named for the Greek goddess of spring growth and the underworld and is pronounced per-seh-fuh-nee.)

Plant growth is at a minimum during these short days. Growing vegetables year round means planning ahead, especially this time of year. We needed most things that will be growing in the ground through the winter to be nearly or fully mature as we head into the Persephone period if we’re planning on harvesting them in the coming months. We’ve been preparing all summer for these last Summer CSA harvests and first Winter CSA harvests. Plants don’t care much about clocks, but they do respond to the sun.

We tackled the weeds in the winter lettuce high tunnel this week!

This past week we managed to knock a couple of projects off the To Do list. Our collective energy for pushing ahead in these last few weeks of the season has certainly slowed and we’ve taken to celebrating every identified project as a win. This week we cleaned all the garlic, moving it from hanging in the tractor barn to stacked in the germination chamber in the process. The germ. chamber, an insulated room we normally use for germinating seeds, is pulling double duty as a storage room these days. We’ve been filling it up with our meager sweet potato harvest, onions, and now garlic.

Other things that got done include adding a couple of stacks of daikon radishes to the walk-in storage for winter shares as we continue to pull roots from the field and catching up on some accounting plus making a plan for 2022’s potato planting. Finally, we made time to clean up the high tunnel that’s currently filled with winter lettuce, spinach, bok choy, and bunching onions. The weeds had made an appearance but after an afternoon of hoeing it’s now looking much better.

In the week ahead we’ll be striving for more mini-celebrations as we tackle other projects that have been patiently waiting to be tackled. We’ll be pulling more roots from the field (beets and carrots and radishes and potatoes!), flame-weeding the garlic and overwintering onions, and grinding corn for sifting into corn flour and polenta for upcoming shares. We’ve got two more shares before we wrap up this season and we think they’re going to be very tasty!

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

Your farmers,
Carri Heisler & Jeff Bramlett

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Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:

Chinese Chicken Noodle Soup with Sesame and Green Onions

  • 1 pound skinless boneless chicken breast halves, cut crosswise into thin strips
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons dry Sherry
  • 2 tablespoons oriental sesame oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 tablespoons tahini (sesame seed paste)
  • 2 tablespoons minced peeled fresh ginger
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon seasoned rice vinegar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chili-garlic sauce
  • 4 cups chopped Napa cabbage (from 1 head)
  • 6 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 8 cups canned low-salt chicken broth
  • 1 14-ounce package fresh yakisoba noodles or Chinese pan-fry noodles
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Stir chicken, soy sauce, Sherry, and 1 tablespoon sesame oil in medium bowl to blend. Let stand 20 minutes or refrigerate up to 2 hours.

Whisk garlic, tahini, ginger, sugar, vinegar, and chili sauce in small bowl.

Heat remaining 1 tablespoon sesame oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add cabbage and green onions and sauté until cabbage is tender, about 5 minutes. Add broth and bring to boil. Add chicken with marinade and tahini-garlic mixture. Reduce heat to low and simmer until chicken is cooked through, about 5 minutes. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cool slightly; cover and refrigerate. Bring to simmer before continuing.)

Cook noodles in large pot of boiling salted water until tender, about 5 minutes. Drain. Add to soup in pot. Stir in half of cilantro. Season soup with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with remaining cilantro.

From Epicurious.com, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/chinese-chicken-noodle-soup-with-sesame-and-green-onions-106192

Goat Cheese Pizzas with Indian-Spiced Tomatoes and Mustard Greens

Topping

  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 5 large shallots, finely chopped
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
  • 2 1/2 cups crushed tomatoes with added puree
  • 2 cups chopped mustard greens

Flatbreads

  • 2 cups semolina flour (pasta flour)
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1 1/4 cups water, room temperature
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 8 ounces soft fresh goat cheese (such as Montrachet), crumbled

For Topping:

Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add shallots and next 5 ingredients; sauté 3 minutes. Add tomatoes; reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes to thicken slightly. Add greens; stir until wilted, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover; chill.)

For Flatbreads:

Mix first 4 ingredients in large bowl. Stir in 1 1/4 cups water and cilantro. Knead in bowl until smooth, about 5 minutes. Cover with kitchen towel; let rest 30 minutes. Divide dough into 4 pieces; roll each into ball. Cover loosely with plastic wrap; let rest on work surface 30 minutes. Roll out each dough ball on lightly floured surface to 9-inch round.

Heat large dry nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add 1 flatbread round to skillet; cook until bottom of bread is golden brown in spots and bread puffs slightly, about 4 minutes. Turn bread over; cook until bottom is brown in spots, about 3 minutes. Repeat with remaining dough.

Preheat oven to 450°F. Place breads on baking sheet. Spread 1/4 of topping over each. Sprinkle with cheese. Bake until heated through, about 8 minutes.

From Epicurious.com, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/goat-cheese-pizzas-with-indian-spiced-tomatoes-and-mustard-greens-105528

Apple-Filled Acorn Squash Rings with Curry Butter

  • 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) butter
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons curry powder
  • 2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, diced (about 2 1/3 cups)
  • 2/3 cup apple juice
  • 1/2 cup dried currants
  • 8 1-inch-thick unpeeled acorn squash rings (from 2 medium), seeded

Melt 1 tablespoon butter in heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and sauté until tender, about 12 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon curry powder; stir 1 minute. Add apples, apple juice, and currants. Sauté until liquid evaporates, about 6 minutes. Season filling to taste with salt and pepper. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)

Preheat oven to 350°F. Melt 5 tablespoons butter in small skillet over medium heat. Add 1/2 tablespoon curry powder; stir until fragrant, about 1 minute. Transfer curry butter to bowl. Brush 2 large rimmed baking sheets with some curry butter. Arrange squash in single layer on sheets. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Scoop filling into center of rings. Drizzle remaining curry butter over squash and filling (mostly on squash). Cover with foil. Bake squash rings until squash is tender when pierced with skewer, about 40 minutes. Using spatula, transfer squash rings with filling to plates.

From Epicurious.com, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/apple-filled-acorn-squash-rings-with-curry-butter-105808

Summer CSA Share #23

Welcome to the 23rd share of the Pitchfork & Crow 2021 Summer CSA!  Here’s what’s in the share this week:

  • Lettuce Mix
  • Curly Kale
  • Celery
  • Hakurei Salad Turnips – These Japanese salad turnips are a favorite. They’re delicious raw or roasted and you can eat the tops too. Also, some bunches have one or two stray purple radishes bunched in too.
  • Strawberry Paw Potatoes
  • Kohlrabi – You can eat kohlrabi raw shaved into salads or cut up into matchsticks, or roast it up with other root vegetables.
  • Leeks
  • Fresh Onions
  • Poblano Peppers – Usually mild chiles, we’ve come across some fairly spicy fruits this year! I’m thinking of trying out this Poblano Corn Chowder this week.
  • Low Heat Habanero Peppers – These “Numex Suave” habanero peppers have all the flavor but less of the spice.
  • Candystick Dessert Delicata Squash
  • Green Apples
Digging potatoes (top left), purple top turnips (top right), mini purple daikon radishes (bottom left), and a day’s potato digging efforts (bottom right). Winter storage crops for the win!

And suddenly it’s November! We’re down to the final month of the Summer CSA and we’ve got a solid fall vegetable line-up headed your way. It’s time to start roasting roots, simmering soups, and upping your salad game. Here on the farm the shorter days mean there’s more time to spend in the kitchen prepping, cooking, and eating. Plus it’s definitely pie season now that we’ve got a steady supply of various pumpkins and squashes rolling through.

However, just because the days are getting ever shorter, doesn’t necessarily mean the To Do list is too. We’ve been appreciating the return of the rain, though we were thankful for a short reprieve this weekend so we could get some more potatoes out of the ground. We also spent an afternoon harvesting turnips and radishes for storage. Have I mentioned that the walk-in coolers are filling up? It’s a new game of Tetris in there each time we bring another stack of vegetables from the field. Although it means a lot of moving stacks to get to other stacks, we’re feeling good about the final weeks of the Summer CSA and the start of the Winter CSA. There will be root vegetables!

Jeff harvests turnips (top left) and kohlrabi (top right). The fog rolled in last night as we finished up the salad turnip harvest.

As we look ahead this week things will look much like the past week. We’ll be bringing in more roots including the last few beds of potatoes, more daikon radishes, plus beets and carrots if we can find the space. We’ve also been undertaking an onion rescue as we re-evaluate our onion storage methods and sort through them. This all has us thinking about future storage upgrades to help maintain proper conditions for various crops. It’s that time of year when storage is limited and we begin to think perhaps it’s finally time to do something about it. That sounds like a winter project though. Let’s get through November first.

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

Your farmers,
Carri Heisler & Jeff Bramlett

.

Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:

Celery Soup

  • 1 chopped head of celery
  • 1 chopped large waxy potato
  • 1 chopped medium onion
  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • Salt
  • 3 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup fresh dill
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • Celery leaves
  • Olive oil
  • Flaky sea salt

Combine 1 chopped head of celery, 1 chopped large waxy potato, 1 chopped medium onion, and 1 stick unsalted butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat; season with salt.

Cook, stirring, until onion is tender, 8–10 minutes.

Add 3 cups low sodium chicken broth; simmer until potatoes are tender, 8–10 minutes. Purée in a blender with 1/4 cup fresh dill; strain. Stir in 1/2 cup heavy cream. Serve soup topped with celery leaves, olive oil, and flaky sea salt.

From Epicurious.com, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/celery-soup-51246210

Kohlrabi & Apple Salad with Creamy Mustard Dressing

  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon coarse-grained mustard
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 bunches kohlrabi (about 2 pounds), bulbs peeled and cut into julienne strips, stems discarded, and the leaves reserved for another use
  • 1 Granny Smith apple

In a bowl whisk the cream until it holds soft peaks and whisk in the lemon juice, the mustard, the parsley, the sugar, and salt and pepper to taste. Stir in the kohlrabi strips and the apple, peeled, cored, and diced, and combine the salad well.

From Epicurious.com, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/kohlrabi-and-apple-salad-with-creamy-mustard-dressing-10693

Cider-Braised Chicken with Apples and Kale

  • 4 chicken legs (thigh and drumstick; about 3 pounds)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 teaspoon country-style Dijon mustard
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 pink-skinned apples, cut into 1/2″ wedges
  • 1/2 medium red onion, cut into 1/2″ wedges
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh apple cider, divided
  • 1 large or 2 small bunches curly kale (about 1 pound), stemmed, torn into pieces
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons tarragon leaves (optional)

Arrange rack in upper third of oven; preheat to 450°F. Season chicken all over with 1 tsp. salt and 1/2 tsp. pepper, then rub with 1/4 cup mustard, making sure to get mustard under skin.

Heat 2 Tbsp. oil in a large heatproof high-sided skillet or heavy braising pan over medium-high. Sear chicken, skin side down, until golden-brown, about 8 minutes. Turn chicken, then arrange apples and onion around chicken. Add wine and 1 cup cider, then transfer to oven and roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part of thigh registers 165°F, about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat remaining 1/2 cup cider, 1 Tbsp. oil, and 1/2 tsp. salt in a large pot over medium; add kale, cover, and cook until wilted. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until kale is tender, about 5 minutes. Using slotted spoon, divide kale among plates.

Transfer chicken, apples, and onion to plates with a slotted spoon. Heat remaining liquid in skillet over high. Add cream and remaining 1 tsp. mustard and bring to a boil. Cook, whisking constantly, until sauce is thickened, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice.

Spoon sauce alongside chicken and kale. Garnish with tarragon, if desired.

From Epicurious.com by Anna Stockwell, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/cider-braised-chicken-with-apples-and-kale

Summer CSA Share #22

Welcome to the 22nd share of the Pitchfork & Crow 2021 Summer CSA!  Here’s what’s in the share this week:

  • Escarole – We like to eat escarole as a salad green under some warm rice and baked salmon topped with creamy dressing. It can be more dense than some like as a straight lettuce substitute, but holds up well to a light wilting in soups or other warm dishes.
  • Arugula – Spice up your salads with this peppery green, or add it to soups, put it on pizza, or make a pesto!
  • Dill
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Carrots!
  • Yukon Gem Potatoes – A new version of the Yukon Gold standby.
  • Shallots – Drier, denser, and milder than their onion cousins, shallots can be substituted in any recipe calling for onions.
  • Garlic
  • “Delectable” Sweet Corn – Okay, that’s the very last of the sweet corn, for reals.
  • Mixed Romano Beans – Late October Beans!
  • Jalapeno Peppers
  • Mixed Sweet Peppers – We are rapidly approaching the last of the sweet peppers. Enjoy!
  • Mixed Tomatoes
  • Spaghetti Squash – Now a common pasta replacement I’m betting you’ve got a go-to for spaghetti squash. In case you don’t here’s some recipe inspiration to peruse.
Photo of storm clouds above the fall farmscape.

Here we are, on the cusp of November, enjoying the fall sights at the farm. The pear tree leaves are turning orange, the corn stalks have dried down to a straw color, even the big oak trees have lost some of their green to the seasonal shift. The past few days have been a blustery and beautiful slog as the latest storms have rolled over us. And we’re here for it! Thanks to the proper gear we’re able to stay dry and cozy as we make it through a harvest day like yesterday, with the rain coming down and wind blowing and the sky an ever-changing palette of grey.

It wasn’t so long ago that the road down the middle of the farm was a dry and dusty stretch. Dust clouds would rise in every footstep. But the return of the rain is also the return of the mud puddles. At long last, we’ve arrived at mud season!

Photo of the escarole harvest and a photo of the dill harvest.
I think you’d be impressed by the wind happening in these photos, but you’ll just ave to imagine the gusts.

Though we were racing to get many things done ahead of mud season, we didn’t quite make it. We’ve still got some potatoes to dig, some winter radishes to harvest, some carrots to excavate. We made a good push this past week and the walk-in coolers are filling up with food for fall and winter shares. We added many, many bags of potatoes to the refrigerated potato mountains. We also spent some time threshing and winnowing dry beans this past weekend. Our old propagation house turned out to be a prime spot for drying down the bean plants after harvest and now they’re ready for a final sort before heading into future shares too.

In the week ahead we’ll be dodging more rainstorms as we work to finish up the field work remaining on deck. Those potatoes won’t harvest them selves unfortunately. We’ve also got some greenhouse hoeing to get to, flour corn to shell, and tractor maintenance to undertake. We’re awfully close to wrapping up this season, but not quite yet.

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

Your farmers,
Carri Heisler & Jeff Bramlett

.

Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:

Gratin of Yukon Gold Potatoes, Bacon, and Arugula

  • 12 ounces bacon slices, chopped
  • 2 1/2 cups whipping cream
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 3 1/2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled, thinly sliced into rounds
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 ounces arugula, trimmed, coarsely chopped
  • 2 cups grated Gruyère cheese

Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 375°F. Butter 13x9x2-inch baking dish. Cook bacon in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat until crisp. Using slotted spoon, transfer bacon to paper towels and drain.

Mix cream and milk in 4-cup measuring cup. Layer 1/3 of potatoes in prepared dish; overlap slightly. Sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Top potatoes with half of arugula. Top with 1/3 of cheese and 1/3 of bacon. Pour 1 cup cream mixture over. Repeat layering. Top with remaining potatoes. Sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, remaining cheese and bacon. Pour remaining cream mixture over.

Bake gratin uncovered until potatoes are tender and cream mixture thickens, about 1 hour 15 minutes. Let stand 15 minutes before serving. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cool slightly. Chill uncovered until cold, then cover and keep refrigerated. Rewarm, covered with foil, in 375°F oven about 30 minutes.)

From Epicurious.com, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/gratin-of-yukon-gold-potatoes-bacon-and-arugula-102674

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, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/herby-corn-salad-51242030

Escarole with Bacon, Dates, and Warm Walnut Vinaigrette

  • 1 7- to 8-ounce head of escarole, coarsely torn
  • 6 Medjool dates, halved, pitted, diced
  • 1/2 cup walnut pieces, toasted
  • 5 bacon slices, cut crosswise into strips
  • 1/3 cup walnut oil or extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large shallot, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • Fine sea salt

Combine escarole, dates, and walnuts in large bowl. Cook bacon in medium skillet over medium-high heat until brown and crisp. Using slotted spoon, transfer bacon to paper towels to drain. Add bacon to bowl with salad.

Discard drippings from skillet; add walnut oil. Place over low heat. Add shallot; sauté until soft, about 3 minutes. Remove skillet from heat; add vinegar and whisk to blend. Season vinaigrette with sea salt and black pepper. Gradually add warm dressing to salad, tossing to coat. Divide among plates.

From Epicurious.com by Myra Goodman and Sarah LaCasse, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/escarole-with-bacon-dates-and-warm-walnut-vinaigrette-363709

Summer CSA Share #21

Welcome to the 21st share of the Pitchfork & Crow 2021 Summer CSA!  Here’s what’s in the share this week:

  • Escarole – We like to eat escarole as a salad green under some warm rice and baked salmon topped with creamy dressing. It can be more dense than some like as a straight lettuce substitute, but holds up well to a light wilting in soups or recipes like the grilled cheese down at the bottom of this post.
  • Mizuna – A mild mustard-like green, mizuna is great raw in salads, tossed with pasta or into hot soups, or blended into pesto.
  • Broccoli
  • Merlot Napa Cabbage
  • Green Coriander – Is it bolted cilantro gone to seed? Sure, but it’s also fresh coriander! It’s got a unique taste somewhere between cilantro leaves and dried coriander. Pop off the seeds and toss them in salads, roasted vegetables, etc.!
  • Carrots!
  • Shunkyo Semi-Long Pink Radishes – Fun hot and sweet Asian radishes with edible leaves too!
  • Yellow Onion
  • Garlic
  • Matchbox Thai Hot Peppers – Good fresh or dried to add heat to any dish.
  • Shishito Peppers – The roulette peppers we love to blister in hot oil and eat straight away as a pre-dinner snack, 1 in 10 may be hot.
  • Mixed Sweet Peppers
  • Mixed Eggplant
  • Butternut Winter Squash
Photo of winter squash in the barn above a photo of long pink radishes and a photo of tomatoes.
A view over the winter squash in the barn (top), Shunkyo Semi-Long Pink radishes (bottom left), and some of the last of the tomatoes for this season from last week (bottom right).

The days are getting shorter as we transition further into the fall months. I’m sure you’ve all also noticed the fewer hours of daylight for your commute or just trying to squeeze in all the activities of life. Soon the weekly pick-ups will be finishing up in the dark. On the farm shorter days mean cooler temperatures and slower growing plants.

We’re finally able to outpace the weeds in new plantings but those plantings will be slow to size up as we head deeper into fall. Luckily we have space in high tunnels that will give the late-season planted crops of arugula, lettuce, spinach, and bok choy some protection from the elements. We’ll eventually close in the ends and/or cover the crops with floating row cover to help keep them a little warmer but it’s impressive how much happier a late-fall stand of lettuce is inside a house vs outside.

Photo of a greenhouse planted with lettuce, bok choy, and scallions above a photo of onion transplants and a photo of garlic and garlic cloves.
A fully planted house of spinach, winter lettuce, bok choy, and bunching onions (top), overwintering onions in the propagation house (bottom left), and cracking seed garlic (bottom right).

Our preparations for the upcoming late fall and winter continued this past week as we managed to get our garlic, overwintering onions, and fava beans in the ground before rains set in for good. These are all long term crops that will grow slowly over the winter and then take off next spring for harvest around the beginning of next summer’s CSA season. They also mark the official end to our outdoor plantings for this season! Our final bed of salad mix went into a high tunnel on Sunday, which left the propagation house empty of transplants for the first time since this past spring. Though it really isn’t so long until we’ll begin filling it up again for another growing season, it’s nice to have a pause in planting pressure to finish up the harvests on deck.

In the week ahead we’ll be focused on getting the last of our potatoes out of the ground and into storage. There are also fall radishes to harvest, the latest apples to pick, dry beans to finish threshing, flour corn to shell, cover crop to sow, a new high tunnel to plan for, tractor maintenance to undertake, and the list goes on.

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

Your farmers,
Carri Heisler & Jeff Bramlett

.

Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:

Chicken Fajitas with Crunchy Lime Cabbage and Avocado

  • 6 tablespoons olive oil, divided, plus additional for griddle
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 pounds skinless boneless chicken breast halves, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices
  • 1 large red bell pepper, cut into 3/4-inch-thick strips
  • 1 large red onion, halved, sliced lengthwise
  • 3 cups thinly sliced red cabbage
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro (or perhaps smashed green coriander)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated lime peel
  • 6 to 8 fajita-size flour tortillas
  • 1 avocado, halved, pitted, sliced

Whisk 3 tablespoons olive oil, garlic, and chili powder in large bowl. Add chicken, bell pepper, and onion. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss to coat. Let stand 1 hour at room temperature or chill up to 4 hours.

Toss red cabbage, cilantro, lime juice, lime peel, and 3 tablespoons olive oil in medium bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Wrap tortillas in foil and place in oven until heated through, about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, place large griddle over 2 burners and heat over medium-high heat. Brush griddle with olive oil. Spread chicken on griddle and cook until chicken is cooked through and vegetables are browned, turning frequently with tongs, about 7 minutes Total.

Divide chicken among warm tortillas; top with cabbage mixture and avocado slices.

From Epicurious.com by Tina Miller, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/chicken-fajitas-with-crunchy-lime-cabbage-and-avocado-241618

Broccoli Caesar

  • 2 oil-packed anchovy fillets (optional)
  • 1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 large egg yolk or 2 Tbsp. mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 Tbsp. grated Parmesan, plus more shaved for serving
  • 2 medium heads of broccoli (about 1 1/2 lb.)
  • 1/4 head of savoy or Napa cabbage
  • Finely grated lemon zest (for serving)
  • Freshly cracked black pepper

Using the side of a chef’s knife, mash anchovies, if using, and garlic on a cutting board until a smooth paste forms. Transfer paste to a large bowl and whisk in lemon juice, mustard, and a big pinch of salt. Add egg yolk (or mayonnaise) and whisk until smooth. Gradually add oil, whisking constantly until emulsified. Whisk in 3 Tbsp. grated Parmesan.

Trim woody ends from broccoli stems, preserving as much stem as possible. Peel any thick stems to expose tender inner cores. Cut off florets as close to the dark green flowers as possible and break into bite-size pieces. Add to bowl with dressing. Starting at the floret ends of the stems, slice very thinly crosswise and add to bowl. Thinly slice cabbage crosswise (you should have about 2 cups) and add to bowl with broccoli. Toss until broccoli and cabbage are combined and evenly coated with dressing; season with salt. Let sit 10 minutes.

Top salad with shaved Parmesan, some lemon zest, and a few healthy grinds of pepper.

From Epicurious.com by Chris Morocco, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/broccoli-caesar-salad

Yam Makeua Yang

  • 1 1/2 pounds long narrow Asian eggplants (about 5 to 6 medium)
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced shallots (about 2 large), separated into rings
  • 1/2 cup coarsely torn Vietnamese coriander leaves, or 1/4 cup coarsely torn regular fresh coriander leaves and 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint leaves (and or some green coriander seeds too)
  • 6 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 3 tablespoons Asian fish sauce (preferably naam pla)
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 to 1 small fresh red or green Thai (bird) chile or serrano chili, minced (wear rubber gloves)
  • Accompaniment:1 head Bibb lettuce, separated into leaves, rinsed, and spun dry
  • Thai Sticky Rice or Thai Jasmine Rice

Preheat broiler.

Cut eggplants diagonally into 1/4-inch-thick slices, discarding stem ends. On a lightly oiled large baking sheet arrange slices in one layer and broil 4 to 6 inches from heat until golden, about 8 minutes. Turn slices over and broil until golden, about 8 minutes. Cool eggplant slices slightly and chop coarse. In a bowl combine eggplant, shallots, and Vietnamese coriander (or alternative).

In a small bowl stir together lime juice, fish sauce, sugar, and chili and pour dressing over eggplant. Toss mixture well and let stand 30 minutes to blend flavors.

Arrange lettuce on a plate, overlapping leaves, and mound eggplant on tip. Serve eggplant with rice. Lettuce leaves can be used to pick up some salad.

From Epicurious.com, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/yam-makeua-yang-14429

Grilled Cheese with Onion Jam, Taleggio, and Escarole

  • 4 (1/2-inch-thick) center slices sourdough bread (from a 9- to 10-inch round)
  • 4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons onion or fig jam
  • 12 to 14 ounces chilled Taleggio or Italian Fontina, sliced
  • 1/4 pound escarole, center ribs discarded and leaves cut crosswise into 1-inch pieces (about 2 cups)

Brush 1 side of bread slices with oil and arrange, oil sides down, on a work surface. Spread jam on 2 slices of bread and divide cheese between remaining 2 slices. Mound escarole on top of cheese and season with salt and pepper, then assemble sandwiches.

Heat a dry 12-inch heavy skillet (not nonstick) over medium-low heat until hot. Cook sandwiches, turning once and pressing with a spatula to compact, until bread is golden-brown and cheese is melted, 6 to 8 minutes total.

From Epicurious.com by Andrea Albin, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/grilled-cheese-with-onion-jam-taleggio-and-escarole-241531

Summer CSA Share #20

Welcome to the 20th share of the Pitchfork & Crow 2021 Summer CSA!  Here’s what’s in the share this week:

  • Salad Mix
  • Broccoli
  • Mixed Cauliflower OR Lacinato Kale
  • Parsley
  • Fennel – Still not sure about fennel? Check out the two recipes down below or make a caramelized onion and fennel tart topped with cheese like we’ll be doing soon. So good!
  • ‘Delectable’ Sweet Corn – This is very likely the last of the corn for the season.
  • Banana Fingerling Potatoes
  • Beets
  • Diana Radishes
  • Blush Onion – A new-to-us variety that lands somewhere between a yellow and a red onion.
  • Aji Marchant Peppers – A versatile pepper used for pickling at the less hot yellow stage and good for frying or dried chile flakes at the hotter red stages.
  • Mixed Sweet Peppers
  • Mixed Tomatoes
  • Candystick Dessert Delicata Winter Squash
It’s harvest season!

Welcome to week 20 of the Summer CSA! Twenty down and six to go before we wrap it up for this season. It’s almost hard to believe it’s already time to say goodbye to the summer crops and welcome in the hardier fall produce. So long tomatoes, see you next year cucumbers and zucchini, it’s been a good run basil. The weather has turned cooler and roasting roots and simmering stews are just the ticket. This morning’s frost is just the first that will make for sweeter hardy greens and roots that should help feed us through the fall and into the winter season.

In anticipation of this first frost we harvested all of the peppers and will be including them in shares over the next few weeks. The ripest of the hot peppers have already headed to the dehydrators for winter eating but there are plenty more that will be headed your way. Luckily other frost sensitive crops had either already played out or are planted inside high tunnels and were safe from the frost.

Planting bunching onions (top), harvesting lettuce (bottom left), and Diana radishes washed and packed (bottom right).

It feels like we’ve been harvesting for days and days, which I guess is sort of true. Between last week’s CSA harvest and this week’s CSA harvest we also harvested all the peppers, more apples, and more potatoes. We’ve still got plenty more bulk harvest on the list but we’re making progress in that department. This past week we also managed to plant some bunching onions for winter, prep beds for garlic and overwintering onions, and clean the three remaining seed crops we grew this season.

In the week ahead we’ll hopefully be getting the garlic and onions in the ground and then it will be back to harvesting and more harvesting. That’s how October rolls around here.

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

Your farmers,
Carri Heisler & Jeff Bramlett

.

Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:

Olive Oil Roasted Tomatoes and Fennel with White Beans

  • 2 large fennel bulbs with fronds attached
  • 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt, divided
  • 2 pints grape tomatoes or cherry tomatoes
  • 4 large fresh oregano sprigs
  • 3 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 15-ounce cans cannellini (white kidney beans), drained

Preheat oven to 425°F. Chop enough fennel fronds to measure 1/2 cup. Trim fennel bulbs and cut in half vertically. Cut each bulb half ito 1/2-inch-wide wedges, leaving some ore attached to each wedge.

Heat oil in large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat until very hot, about 3 minutes. Add fennel wedges in single layer; sprinkle with 1 teaspoon coarse salt. Cook until fennel begins to brown and soften, turning occasionally, 10 to 12 minutes. Add tomatoes, oregano, garlic, and crushed red pepper; sprinkle with 1 teaspoon coarse salt and 1 teaspoon pepper. Fold together gently.

Transfer skillet to oven. Bake fennel and tomatoes until soft, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes. Mix in beans and 6 tablespoons chopped fennel fronds. Bake 5 minutes longer to heat through. Transfer mixture to large shallow bowl. Sprinkle with remaining chopped fronds. Serve warm or at room temperature.

From Epicurious.com by Ian Knauer, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/olive-oil-roasted-tomatoes-and-fennel-with-white-beans-360271

Sheet-Pan Cumin Chicken Thighs with Squash, Fennel, and Grapes

  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 acorn or delicata squash (about 1 1/2 pounds), halved lengthwise, seeded, cut into 1/4″ half moons
  • 1 fennel bulb (about 1/2 pound), cut in half lengthwise, sliced into 1/4″ wedges with core intact
  • 1/2 pound seedless red grapes (about 1 cup)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 8 skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs (about 2 pounds)
  • 1/4 cup torn fresh mint leaves

Position rack in upper third of oven and preheat to 425°F. Mix brown sugar, cumin, salt, pepper, and cayenne in a small bowl. Toss squash, fennel, and grapes with oil and half of spice mixture on rimmed baking sheet and arrange in a single layer.4

Rub chicken thighs with remaining spice mixture and arrange, skin side up, on top of fruit and vegetables. Roast until skin is browned and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of chicken registers 165°F, about 35 minutes; if chicken skin or vegetables start to burn, move pan to a lower rack to finish cooking.

Divide chicken, fruit, and vegetables among 4 plates and top with mint.

From Epicurious.com by Anna Stockwell, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/sheet-pan-cumin-chicken-thighs-with-squash-fennel-and-grapes-56390000

Italian Parsley and Beet Salad

  • 1/4 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil plus more for drizzling
  • 2 1/4 pounds assorted beets with greens (such as Chioggia, white, golden, and red; 1 1/2 pounds if already trimmed)
  • 1/4 small red onion
  • 1 1/4 cups Italian (flat-leaf) parsley leaves (from 1 bunch), torn if desired

Whisk together juices, oil, and 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and pepper in a large bowl.

Trim beets, leaving 1 inch of stems attached, then peel.

Using stems as a handle, slice beets paper-thin (less than 1/8 inch thick) with slicer (wear protective gloves to avoid staining hands), then cut slices into very thin matchsticks.

Thinly slice onion with slicer.

Toss beets, onion, and parsley with dressing and season with salt. Let stand, tossing occasionally, 30 minutes to soften beets and allow flavors to develop.

Toss again and season with salt and pepper before serving drizzled with additional oil.

From Epicurious.com by Kay Chun, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/italian-parsley-and-beet-salad-354973

Summer CSA Share #19

Welcome to the 19th share of the Pitchfork & Crow 2021 Summer CSA!  Here’s what’s in the share this week:

  • Mini Romaine Lettuce Heads
  • Lacinato Kale
  • Mixed Cauliflower/Broccoli/Romanesco
  • Rose Finn Apple Fingerling Potatoes
  • Cilantro
  • Rossa di Milano Red Onion
  • Garlic
  • Romano Beans – A mix of green and purple striped flat romano green beans this week. Note that the purple will turn green when cooked.
  • Cucumbers – This looks like the very last week of cukes for this season.
  • Tomatillos
  • Poblano Peppers – Mild chile peppers often used for chile rellenos. They turn from green to maroon as they ripen and their heat level increases.
  • Jalapeno Peppers
  • Mixed Sweet Peppers
  • Mixed Tomatoes
  • Carnival Acorn Squash

Many thanks to everyone who made it out to the farm this past Saturday for our annual fall member visit. Though not as exciting as past years when we’ve had more activities, we’re glad some of you made the trek out to pick some pumpkins from the patch, take a tractor ride, and to see the farm in person. We hope you enjoyed the visit!

We’ll have some carving pumpkins at the pick-ups for folks who couldn’t make it out.

Fall on the farm: mustards sizing up (top left), flowering sunchokes (top right), October green beans (bottom left), and digging this week’s potatoes (bottom right).

We’ve been lucky with the weather, including for Saturday’s farm visit which turned into a gorgeous fall day. We’ve had just enough rain to tamp down the dust and keep the fields damp while still making some field work possible.

Early October always feels like a magical time on the farm. The sunchokes are flowering, dew covered spider webs thread through the orchard trees in the morning, and the whole landscape has greened up after a little rain. There’s no doubt that fall reallynhas arrived. You can feel it in the air. The mornings have been foggy and I’ve begun to watch the weather in anticipation of the first frost of the season. But we’ve still had some lingering warm days, keeping the summery crops slowly producing. This year’s gamble on October beans paid off!

Filling up this empty field house with spinach and lettuce this past week.

In addition to prepping the pumpkin patch and tractor rides for the member day, we also managed to mark a few things off the fall To Do list this past week. Friday we worked on whittling down the remaining transplanting for this season. Lettuce, bok choy, and spinach went into an open field house and we’ll fill it up with bunching onions this week. It’s not often we have to transplant by hand (without using our water wheel transplanter and the tractor) and when we do it’s always a good reminder of just how tough on the back that was when it was our main method of planting.

On Sunday we harvested the last of the season’s tomatillos and then cleaned up the tomatillo bed. The plants headed to the compost pile and the landscape fabric we used to suppress weeds headed to storage until next year. This bed joins those where the melons grew and will likely be planted to garlic or overwintering onions soon.

As we face increased rain in the forecast we’ll be pushing ahead with ground prep for the garlic and onion planting that we aim to get in the ground in mid-October and sowing cover crop this week. Of course there’s also that house to finish planting, dry beans to thresh, potatoes to harvest, and many more tasks to get to as well. If you need us, we’ll be here on the farm, chipping away at that list of things needing to get done.

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

Your farmers,
Carri Heisler & Jeff Bramlett

.

Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:

Mashed Potatoes with Cilantro and Roasted Chiles

  • 2 poblano chilies
  • 4 pounds russet potatoes (about 6 large), peeled, quartered
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled, bruised
  • 1 cup warm half and half
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Char chilies over gas flame or in broiler until blackened on all sides. Wrap in paper bag and let stand 10 minutes. Peel and seed chilies; chop coarsely.

Cook potatoes and garlic in large pot of boiling salted water until very tender, about 35 minutes. Drain. Transfer potatoes and garlic to bowl. Using electric mixer, beat until mixture is smooth. Gradually beat in half and half. Add butter and beat until melted. Stir in chilies and cilantro. Season with salt and pepper.

From Epicurious.com, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/mashed-potatoes-with-cilantro-and-roasted-chilies-3121

Roasted-Tomatillo and Lime Salsa

  • 8 ounces small tomatillos (about 8), husked, rinsed
  • 1 large jalapeño chile, stemmed (or other peppers to your heat taste)
  • 10 large fresh mint leaves
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped white onion

Preheat broiler. Line baking sheet with aluminum foil. Arrange tomatillos and jalapeño chile on prepared baking sheet. Broil until tomatillos and jalapeño chile are soft and blackened in spots, about 5 minutes per side. Cool; transfer tomatillos, jalapeño chile, and any juices on baking sheet to blender. Add fresh mint and lime juice; blend to coarse puree. Transfer mixture to bowl; mix in chopped onion. Season salsa with salt.

From Epicurious.com, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/roasted-tomatillo-and-lime-salsa-108068

Acorn Squash with Kale and Sausage

  • 2 medium acorn squash, halved down the middle, seeds removed
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Olive oil cooking spray
  • 3 teaspoons olive oil, divided
  • 8 ounces hot Italian turkey sausage, casings removed
  • 1 large leek, white and light green parts only, halved and sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 4 cups tightly packed torn kale
  • 1/3 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 2 tablespoons grated fresh Parmesan
  • 2 tablespoons panko breadcrumbs

Heat oven to 375°. Cut a thin slice off round side of each squash half to create a stable base. Sprinkle with salt and pepper; coat with cooking spray. Place squash flesh side down on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil; bake until golden and tender, 30 minutes. Remove from oven; flip squash and set aside. Heat broiler. In a large nonstick skillet over medium heat, heat 1 teaspoon oil. Add sausage; cook, breaking into coarse pieces, until brown, 6 minutes; transfer to a bowl. To same skillet, add remaining 2 teaspoons oil and leek; cook until leek is soft, 3 minutes. Add garlic; cook, 30 seconds. Add kale and toss; add broth. Cover and cook until kale is tender, 5 minutes; stir in sausage. Divide kale-sausage filling among squash. In a bowl, combine walnuts, Parmesan and panko; sprinkle evenly over squash bowls and coat with cooking spray. Broil until panko is golden, 2 minutes.

From Epicurious.com, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/acorn-squash-with-kale-and-sausage-51203850

Summer CSA Share #18

Welcome to the 18th share of the Pitchfork & Crow 2021 Summer CSA!  Here’s what’s in the share this week:

  • Lettuce Mix
  • Mixed Cauliflower – Mostly white cauli, with some purple heads mixed in, plus a few bonus fractal romanescos too!
  • Broccoli
  • Savoy Cabbage
  • Red Potatoes
  • Yellow Onions
  • Garlic
  • Basil
  • Cucumbers – We’ve got green and yellow slicer cucumbers for you to choose from. We’re rapidly approaching the end of cuke season, so enjoy them while we’ve got them!
  • Zucchini and some Pattypans
  • Sweet Corn – This week’s corn is called ‘Sweetness’.
  • Mixed Eggplant
  • Shishito Peppers – Remember those roulette peppers where 1 in 10 might be hot? These are those! Blister them in hot oil and eat them up!
  • Mixed Sweet Peppers
  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Slicer Tomatoes
  • Asian Pears
Tsakoniki eggplant always shines at the end of the season (left) and the sweet potatoes are flowering (right).

The weather cleared up just long enough this past week for us to get the winter squash out of the field and to get the Farmall cub cultivating tractor through some young crops to clean up the weeds. The last of the seed peppers were processed and the seeds dried, the two tunnels with fall/winter greens got hoed. It wasn’t everything on the To Do list of course, but it was a productive push.

We’re very happy with the arrival of fall, even if it meant the first muddy harvest day of the season. The shortening days, the return of the rain, the cooler temperatures are all a welcome shift from the hot, dusty summer.

All the winter squash!

As mentioned above we managed to bring in the winter squash for storage. Ever wondered what 5,437 squash look like? Well, now you know! We had some weed issues in a part of the winter squash field and weren’t sure how it would impact the yield come harvest. Somehow it all seemed to even out and we ended up with about 100 more than last season.

We grew 14 different varieties of winter squash this year, including two new acorn varieties: Thelma Sanders Sweet Potato and Starry Night PMR F1. They’re sort of on the opposite ends of the acorn squash spectrum. Thelma Sanders is a buff colored open-pollinated variety handed down through generations of family and seed savers and made available commercially first by the Seed Savers Exchange. Starry Night PMR F1 is a colorful hybrid variety bred by seed breeders at Johnny’s Selected Seeds. Both are said to be tasty and have good storage potential, which are somewhat novel traits for acorn squash.

It looks like we’ll have another weather reprieve in the week ahead. The forecast is calling for mostly sunny and a high of 74 for Saturday’s CSA member farm visit. We hope you’re considering making the trek out to the farm for a look around and a trip through the pumpkin patch. Check your member email for all the details.

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

Your farmers,
Carri Heisler & Jeff Bramlett

.

Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:

Reginetti Pasta with Savoy Cabbage and Pancetta

  • 12 ounces reginetti or other short pasta
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 6 ounces thinly sliced pancetta (Italian bacon)
  • 1 small head of savoy cabbage, tough ribs removed, leaves torn
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
  • 1/2 ounce Parmesan, finely grated (about 1/2 cup)
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Poppy seeds (for serving)

Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally, until very al dente (pasta will still be opaque and very firm in the center). Drain pasta, reserving 1 1/2 cups pasta cooking liquid.

Meanwhile, heat oil in a large skillet over medium and cook pancetta, turning halfway through, until brown and crisp, about 4 minutes. Drain on paper towels.

Add cabbage to skillet and cook undisturbed until deeply browned in some spots, about 3 minutes. Toss, then cook undisturbed until deeply browned in other spots, about 2 minutes. Continue to cook and toss until cabbage is charred in some spots and bright green in others and beginning to wilt. Add butter and thyme and cook, tossing, until butter begins to brown, about 2 minutes. Add Parmesan, pasta, and 1 cup pasta cooking liquid and cook, tossing often and adding more cooking liquid to help finish cooking pasta, until pasta is al dente and sauce is thickened and emulsified and coats pasta, about 5 minutes. Add pancetta and toss to combine; taste and season with salt and pepper. Serve topped with poppy seeds.

From Epicurious.com by Dawn Perry, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/reginetti-with-savoy-cabbage-and-pancetta-51264250

Garlicky Eggplant, Tomato, ad Basil Bobolis

  • 4 medium Japanese eggplants, thinly sliced lengthwise
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 cups freshly grated mozzarella cheese
  • 2 1-pound Bobolis (baked cheese pizza crusts)
  • 1 1/2 pounds plum tomatoes, halved, seeded, chopped
  • 6 ounces fresh soft goat cheese (such as Montrachet), coarsely crumbled
  • 15 large garlic cloves, very thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2 cups thinly sliced fresh basil leaves (about 2 bunches)

Preheat broiler. Arrange eggplant slices on large baking sheet. Brush oil over both sides of eggplant. Season with salt and pepper. Broil until eggplant is tender and begins to brown, turning occasionally, about 6 minutes. Cool.

Place 2 large baking sheets in oven on separate racks and preheat to 500°F. Sprinkle 1 cup mozzarella cheese over each Boboli crust. Top with eggplant slices, chopped tomatoes, goat cheese, garlic slices and fresh basil. Sprinkle remaining mozzarella cheese over pizza. Transfer Bobolis to preheated baking sheets in oven. Bake until cheese melts and pizza edges are brown and crisp, about 12 minutes. Transfer to work surface. Let stand 10 minutes. Cut into wedges. Reassemble on platter and serve.

From Epicurious.com, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/garlicky-eggplant-tomato-and-basil-bobolis-2547

Summer Vegetable Stew

  • 1 onion, chopped fine
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 medium zucchini, rinsed and cut into 1/2-inch dice (about 3 cups)
  • 1 medium yellow squash, rinsed and cut into 1/2-inch dice (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 cup fresh corn kernels (cut from about 2 ears)
  • 2 tomatoes (about 3/4 pound), cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh orégano leaves or 1/2 teaspoon dried, crumbled
  • 1/2 cup packed fresh basil leaves, shredded

In a large deep skillet cook the onion and the garlic in the oil over moderately low heat, stirring, until the onion is softened, add the zucchini, the yellow squash, the bell pepper, and the corn, and cook the mixture over moderate heat, stirring, for 4 minutes. Add the tomatoes, the oregano, and salt and pepper to taste and simmer the stew, covered, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes. Simmer the stew, uncovered, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes more, or until the excess liquid is evaporated, sprinkle it with the basil, and serve it warm or at room temperature.

From Epicurious.com, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/summer-vegetable-stew-12527