Summer CSA Share #21

Welcome to the 21st share of the Pitchfork & Crow 2022 Summer CSA! Here’s what’s in the share this week:

  • Spinach
  • Purple Napa Cabbage
  • Cauliflower
  • Parsley
  • Celery
  • Carrots
  • LaRatte Fingerling Potatoes
  • Red Bunching Onions
  • Delectable” Sweet Corn
  • Zucchini – Including green zucchini and “Mexicana” zucchini. We’re rapidly approaching the end of summer squash/zucchini season. Enjoy them while you can!
  • Sweet and Shishito Peppers – The shishitos are the roulette peppers we’ve shared in the past where 1 in 10 can be hot. They’re delicious blistered in hot oil and salted as a snack or chopped up and thrown into other dishes. We’ve enjoyed them in breakfast burritos.
  • Mixed Tomatoes – The tomatoes are dwindling but we might be able to eek one more week out of them. Time will tell.
October farm photos from a drone flight this week. Looking east (top), winter kale (bottom left), looking west (bottom right).

After an extended summer stretch it looks like we’ve finally got some fall rain in the forecast later this week and into next week. Hurrah for that! Have we mentioned we’re looking forward to the end of irrigation season? Last weekend’s high of 90 here at the farm was a little much for October if you ask us. We’ve been slowly but surely working through the list of things that need to be done before the mud returns and fingers crossed we’ll be ready by the time the rain hits Friday evening.

Bunching onion harvest.

This time of year I begin looking closer at the various weather forecasts. Mid-October brings with it the threat of the first frost and this time of year we’re always planning as if it could be right around the corner. That first frost warning signals the end of many summer crops and a shift in what’s available to harvest from the field. Staying on top of the short and long range weather forecasts can help when deciding what projects to tackle next.

For daily and 10 day forecasts I’ve found the Weather Underground app to be fairly reliable for our location. It provides detailed info about when to expect rain and elevated wind throughout the day and tends to be accurate with temperature predictions. Our weather station is also linked to the Weather Underground network and glancing at the real time temps reflect what’s happening here on the farm. You can see the farm weather station here.

Longer range forecasts are of course less accurate and more susceptible to change as the dates get closer, but it’s nice to have a heads up about the possibilities that models are showing. I like to read what Rufus at the Weather Cafe has to say for forecasts that are within a few weeks. He focuses on the PNW in twice a week updates and discusses the possibilities of what might be headed our way with the caveat that models often change.

The other long range forecast I’ve found to be helpful is the seasonal climate forecast put together jointly by the Oregon Department of Agriculture and the Oregon Department of Forestry. It’s updated monthly with temperature and precipitation projections for the next three month period. These forecasts are based on historical data in years that resemble the current weather patterns. The historical years used for comparison are revised from time to time as current weather data change. This is an especially intriguing discussion as climate change factors are evaluated.

Garlic seed (top) and potato harvesting (bottom).

With an eye on the rain in the forecast we spent this past week preparing for the shift in weather. We finished bringing in the flour corn to dry down in the prop house and we harvested the dry bean plants too. They’re drying down in the old prop house and we’ll thresh out the beans once the plants are dry enough. In the meantime we shifted focus to potato harvest and managed to get three more beds harvested and into storage. Hopefully we have another window after the initial bout of rain this week so we’re not finishing up that project in too much mud.

After cracking our garlic seed this past weekend we’re ready to get our 2023 garlic crop in the ground on Thursday ahead of the rain. We’ll also be planting out overwintering onions and fava beans if we’re quick enough. These mark the last of the crops to be planted outside in the field this season. Fingers crossed the rain holds off just long enough for us to finish up.

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:

Sheet Pan Curried Chicken with Cauliflower and Grapes

  • For chicken and curry rub:
  • 6 chicken thighs, bone-in and skin-on (about 2.5 pounds total)
  • 2 tablespoons full-fat yogurt (either regular or Greek)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 teaspoons curry powder (salt-free), such as madras or maharajah
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • For rest of sheet pan and yogurt sauce:
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder (salt-free), such as madras or maharajah
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more for yogurt sauce
  • 1 head of cauliflower, cut into small florets
  • 1 cup red or black seedless grapes, left whole if small, or halved if large
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup full-fat yogurt (regular or Greek)
  • 1 large lemon
  • A few big handfuls of roughly chopped cilantro, parsley, or dill
  1. Heat oven to 425° F.
  2. Dry chicken well with paper towels. Make curry rub by whisking together yogurt, olive oil, curry powder, and salt until well integrated (it may not fully emulsify, which is fine). Notes: you may need to add a bit more olive oil if using Greek yogurt. If using a curry powder that includes salt, slightly decrease the amount of kosher salt in the rub.
  3. Season chicken evenly with the curry rub (on both sides and under the skin). Arrange in a single, even layer on a sheet pan.
  4. Roast chicken for 15 minutes. (Set a timer.)
  5. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, mix together 1 teaspoon curry powder with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add cauliflower, grapes, thyme, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper to taste. Toss well to evenly coat in the curry oil.
  6. When the timer goes off, remove the sheet pan from the oven, and add the cauliflower and grape mixture, nestling it around the chicken as evenly as possible. Roast about 20 minutes longer, or until the chicken is cooked through (target temperature is 165° F in the thickest parts) and cauliflower is tender. (Note: If the chicken is done before the cauliflower, remove it from sheet pan and continue roasting the cauliflower. Optional: slide the pan under the broiler for a few minutes to deepen the browning of the chicken and cauliflower.) Squeeze the juice from half a lemon over the chicken and cauliflower. Adjust acidity and seasoning to taste. Toss in herbs.
  7. While the chicken cooks, combine yogurt, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, and a big pinch or two of salt. Stir to combine, and adjust acidity and seasoning, to taste. Drizzle a little olive oil over the top.
  8. Serve warm with yogurt on the side, so everyone can spoon some onto their plates.

From Food52.com by EmilyC, https://food52.com/recipes/78524-sheet-pan-curried-chicken-with-cauliflower-and-grapes

Chicken Stew with Potatoes, Carrots, and Celery

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 pounds skinless boneless chicken thighs
  • 1 medium white onion, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 sprig rosemary
  • 1 sprig thyme
  • 3 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 3 ribs celery, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 32 ounces low-sodium homemade or store-bought chicken stock
  • 1 pound Yukon gold potatoes, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Chopped parsley, for garnish

In a large heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat, heat the oil. Sear the chicken for about 3 minutes on each side, until browned. Transfer to a cutting board and cut the chicken into bite-size pieces. Set aside.

In the same pot over medium heat, cook the onion and garlic, stirring, for about 3 minutes, until translucent and softened; season with salt. Add the rosemary and thyme and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 2 minutes, until fragrant. Add the carrots and celery and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 8 minutes, until translucent.

Add the flour and cook, stirring constantly, for about 3 minutes, until all of the vegetables are coated and the raw taste has cooked off. Slowly pour in the stock, stirring to break up any lumps of flour.

Add the chicken, potatoes, and pepper and stir to combine. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for about 20 minutes, until the chicken and potatoes are fully cooked and the liquid has slightly thickened. Taste and adjust the seasonings; discard the thyme and rosemary sprigs.

Divide the soup among bowls. Garnish with the parsley.

From Food52.com by Rachel Gurjar, https://food52.com/recipes/84569-best-chicken-stew-recipe

Napa Cabbage with Hot Bacon Dressing

  • 1 Napa cabbage, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced (you’ll need 6 to 8 cups)
  • 8 thick slices bacon, cut into 1/ 4-inch lardons
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 2 tablespoons red wine or cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons water
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten

Place the cabbage in a large mixing bowl. Add the bacon to a medium sauté pan and set over medium heat. Render the bacon fat and brown the bacon, adjusting the heat as needed. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon to a plate lined with paper towel, then pour off all but 2 tablespoons bacon fat (approximate, don’t measure) from the pan.

Set the pan over medium low heat. Add the flour and stir until smooth. Cook for 1 minute. Stir in the vinegar and water and bring to a boil. Season with the salt. Gradually – and slowly! – whisk this mixture into the egg.

Sprinkle the bacon on the cabbage, then pour 3/4 of the dressing over the cabbage and toss to mix. Add more dressing as desired (I like a fair amount). Serve with grilled pork chops, roasted potatoes and beer.

From Food52.com by Amanda Hesser, https://food52.com/recipes/7940-helen-getz-s-napa-cabbage-with-hot-bacon-dressing

Parsley Miso Pesto

  • 2 heaping cups fresh parsley (about 3/4 of a bunch)
  • 2 garlic cloves, sliced, plus more to taste
  • 4 teaspoons white miso, plus more to taste
  • 5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more as needed to moisten and bind the pesto

Knife method: Pile about a third of the parsley and garlic in the center of a large cutting board, and use a large, sharp chef’s knife or vegetable cleaver to chop it very fine. Add another third of the parsley and garlic, and chop again until very fine. Add the final third of the parsley and garlic, and chop again until very fine. Add the miso paste, 1 teaspoon at a time, chopping each addition into the mixture until it’s incorporated. Towards the end, you may find it easier to mash the miso into the herbs with the flat of your knife, rather than chopping. The pesto is ready when you can press it into a lump and have it more or less stick to itself.

Food processor method: In a food processor, combine parsley, garlic, and miso paste. Pulse until the mixture is finely chopped and holds together when pressed. (If you have a small processor, doing this in batches is fine.)

If you’re using immediately, combine the parsley mixture with the oil. If you did the knife method, you can do this by hand in a bowl. If you used a food processor, you can stream in the oil with the machine running.

If you aren’t using immediately, you can simply pour the oil over the herbs. The unstirred pesto can be covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated for 2 to 3 days. To freeze the pesto, transfer the solids to an airtight container and add enough olive oil to cover the surface; it’ll keep in the freezer for up to 2 months. Thaw frozen pesto overnight in the refrigerator. Just before serving, stir to combine the olive oil and solids.

From Food52.com by IEatThePeach, https://food52.com/recipes/24851-parsley-miso-pesto

Summer CSA Share #20

Welcome to the 20th share of the Pitchfork & Crow 2022 Summer CSA! Here’s what’s in the share this week:

  • Lettuce Mix
  • Spinach
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Italian or Thai Basil
  • Carrots!
  • Red Onion
  • Garlic
  • Sweetness” Sweet Corn
  • Zucchini – Including green zucchini and “Mexicana” zucchini. We’re rapidly approaching the end of summer squash/zucchini season. Enjoy them while you can!
  • Mixed Cucumbers – Including green cukes, ‘Silver Slicer’ yellow cukes, and lemon cukes. Cucumbers are on the way out!
  • Mixed Sweet Peppers
  • Aji Marchant Hot Peppers – These peppers have an intriguing history that you can read about here. Though spicy when yellow and under-ripe they get hotter as they mature to red.
  • Mixed Cherry Tomatoes
  • Slicer Tomato
  • Mixed Eggplant
Sunrise from our living room window (top left), sunchokes flowering (top right), frog in the flour corn (bottom left), and mostly empty prop house with drying flour corn (bottom right).

Jeff mentioned yesterday that it felt like the months were off this season. June felt like May, October feels like September. We’re thankful for the extended weather window while we attempt to get the remaining storage crops out of the field. We’re kind of over the 80 degree days though and would welcome shift to the 60s or 70s. Can we stop irrigating please?

We did get all of the flour corn harvested and now it’s drying down in the prop house. The onions that were drying down there are now boxed and being stored in the germ chamber where we can regulate the temperature until we’re ready to use them. Luckily we’re done using the germ chamber for germinating seeds for the moment. It’s nice to be able to use these spaces for multiple uses throughout the season, even if it takes some planning ahead.

The only photos I managed from the pumpkin patch…

Many thanks to everyone who made it out to the farm this past Saturday. Tractor rides were taken, farm tours happened, and pumpkins were picked from the patch. It was great to be able to show many of you around the farm and get to chat about what’s going on out here. If you missed the event but want to take a walk around the farm just let us know. We’d love to show you around. Also, we’ll have extra carving pumpkins at both pick-ups for anyone that needs more pumpkins.

Spinach, corn, and cauliflower on harvest day.

As we begin to think about wrapping this CSA season up we know there’s still a lot to do before we make it to the end. With six weeks remaining in the summer season, and an expectation that the rain and/or frost will make an appearance sooner or later, it’s time to squeeze as much as we can from this growing season.

Our seed garlic arrived this past weekend and soon I’ll be cracking open the heads, getting ready to plant next year’s garlic crop. We’re also about to get serious about harvesting potatoes, sweet potatoes, and dry beans. One step at a time. Eventually we’ll get through these big harvests, hopefully before it starts to rain too much. In the meantime summer shares will start to look more like fall shares soon as we get into leek and kale weather soon.

Harvest day sunset.

Enjoy the extended summer via extended summer crops! Happy eating this week!

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:

Curried Cauliflower Soup

  • 1 head cauliflower (about 2 1/4 pounds), cut into florets, or about 6 cups)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 3 onions, sliced 1-inch thick
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon hot paprika or chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 cup yogurt or labnne (optional; adjust to suit tastes)

Preheat oven to 450° F. On a baking sheet, toss cauliflower with vegetable oil and 1 teaspoon salt. Spread out and roast until the florets turn brown, about 25 minutes. Set aside 1/2 cup of the crispiest florets for garnish.

Melt butter in a pot over medium-high heat. Add onions and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in spices, cauliflower, water, and broth; cover, and bring to a boil. Uncover, lower heat, and simmer 5 minutes.

Using an immersion blender, blend the soup until a desired consistency is reached. Stir in yogurt or labne if using. Season with salt and pepper and serve in bowls, garnishing with the reserved cauliflower florets.

From Food52.com by KMartinelli, https://food52.com/recipes/11855-curried-cauliflower-soup

Unfussy Eggplant Parm

  • 1/4 cup olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 1 (28-ounce) can whole, peeled tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for sprinkling
  • 1 medium globe eggplant
  • 1/2 cup fresh breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup grated low-moisture, whole-milk mozzarella
  • 2 tablespoons grated parmesan

Get the tomato sauce going. Add the olive oil to a pot and set over medium heat. When it’s shimmery, add the tomatoes and their juices. Smush with a spoon to break up a bit. Add the salt and stir. Cook—somewhere between a simmer and boil, stirring every so often—for about 30 minutes, or until thick and jammy.

Preheat the oven to 400° F.

Cut the eggplant in half lengthwise—so, from stem to tush. Now, cut a diagonal crosshatch pattern in each: sort of like a duck breast. Figure 1/2-inch deep, 3/4-inch diamonds. Line a rimmed sheet tray with parchment or foil or a silicone mat. Place the eggplant haves on top, cut side facing up. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Rub both into the eggplant with your hands.

Roast for about 28 minutes or until tender. During the last couple minutes, add the breadcrumbs to the sheet pan to toast a little. Pull from the oven and raise the temperature to 475° F. Mix the mozzarella and parm in a small bowl to combine. Top each eggplant half with 6 tablespoons tomato sauce, spreading evenly with a spoon. Now top each with roughly a quarter of the cheese. Then each with half the breadcrumbs. Finish with the remaining cheese.

Bake until the cheese is bubbly and browned, about 4 minutes.

Let cool a little before serving. Serve with a fork and very sharp, steak-worthy knife.

From Food52.com by Emma Laperruque, https://food52.com/recipes/77386-unfussy-eggplant-parm

Genius Ratatouille From Alice Waters

  • 1 medium or 2 small eggplant, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided, plus more to taste
  • 2 medium onions, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 4 to 6 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/2 bunch basil, tied in a bouquet with kitchen twine + 6 basil leaves, chopped
  • 1 pinch dried chile flakes
  • 2 sweet peppers, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 3 medium summer squash, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 3 ripe medium tomatoes, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • Salt to taste

Toss the eggplant cubes with a teaspoon or so of salt. Set the cubes in a colander to drain for about 20 minutes.

Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a heavy-bottomed pot. Pat the eggplant dry, add to the pan, and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until golden. Add a bit more oil if the eggplant absorbs all the oil and sticks to the bottom of the pan. Remove the eggplant when done and set aside.

In the same pot, pour in 2 more tablespoons olive oil. Add onions and cook for about 7 minutes, or until soft and translucent. Add the garlic, basil bouquet, dried chile flakes, and a bit more salt.

Cook for 2 or 3 minutes, then stir in peppers. Cook for a few more minutes, then stir in summer squash. Cook for a few more minutes, then stir in tomatoes.

Cook for 10 minutes longer, then stir in eggplant and cook for 10 to 15 minutes more, until all the vegetables are soft. Remove the bouquet of basil, pressing on it to extract all its flavors, and adjust the seasoning with salt.

Stir in the chopped basil leaves and more extra virgin olive oil, to taste. Serve warm or cold.

From Food52.com by Genius Recipes, https://food52.com/recipes/14155-alice-waters-ratatouille

Summer CSA Share #19

Welcome to the 19th share of the Pitchfork & Crow 2022 Summer CSA! Here’s what’s in the share this week:

  • Lettuce Mix
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Italian Basil
  • Strawberry Paw or LaRatte Fingerling Potatoes
  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Sweetness” Sweet Corn
  • Zucchini & Summer Squash – Including green zucchini, yellow summer squash, and “Mexicana” zucchini. We’re rapidly approaching the end of summer squash/zucchini season. Enjoy them while you can!
  • Mixed Cucumbers – Including green cukes, ‘Silver Slicer’ yellow cukes, and lemon cukes. Cucumbers are on the way out!
  • Poblano & Jalapeno Peppers
  • Mixed Cherry Tomatoes
  • Mixed Slicer Tomato
  • Tomatillos – A little like green tomatoes, tomatillos make excellent salsa verde and enchilada sauce. Check out this website for more details and recipes.
  • Melon – Choose from Tuscan, Lambkin (aka Christmas), Honey Orange honeydew, and some watermelons.
The pumpkins are ready for the big day!

Hello October! We’re welcoming the shorter days, foggy mornings, and pumpkins! We’re both suckers for a good pumpkin. The recent temps could be a little lower, just saying, but the heat doesn’t linger like it does in August so we’ll take it. Though we need some rain, and we’ll appreciate it when it finally arrives, the extended sunshine has helped offset the rough start to the season back in June.

It looks like the good weather is going to hold through this coming Saturday and the annual CSA member pumpkin patch farm visit. We invite all CSA members out to the farm to grab some pumpkins, take a walk around the farm, and maybe even hop onboard for a tractor ride. You can find the details in your weekly member email.

Harvest day!

Shorter days mean more strategic harvesting. We’ve been beginning the weekly harvest on Sundays to make sure we get through the list of items appearing in your shares. But Mondays are still the biggest harvest days when we focus on bringing in the bulk of the vegetables. We start with greens, to get them into the cooler before the heat of the day strikes, and then move through the list generally from most time consuming to least time consuming. Sometimes we’ll knock off an item of unsure quantity to make sure we can mitigate the results. For example: Not enough cauliflower for everyone? We’ve got extra broccoli and can make it a choice scenario. We keep at it through the day and often we find ourselves harvesting corn as the sun is fading.

Harvest day tools include clean harvest bins, sharp knives, and tally counters we use to count most items. If you get to choose from a bin of cucumbers or broccoli or bunches of basil at the pick-up, they’ve been counted in the field and again after washing to make sure the correct number makes it to each pick-up location. Anything you receive bagged is generally weighed in the field then the bags are counted as the item is bagged. This is how we make sure there’s enough of everything but also don’t harvest more than we’ll need each week.

There’s a lot going on here at the farm that doesn’t involve counting vegetables too. Of course we keep busy growing the vegetables, but there are lots of other critters going about their own business. Over the past few weeks we’ve seen a family of quail seemingly using the farm to hunker down for hunting season, hawks swooping through hunting rodents, and lots of deer and turkeys enjoying the salad bar that is the farm. There are all the types of bees (and wasps and hornets), so many tree frogs that show up in unsuspecting places (like the pumpkin leaf in the photo above), and yesterday we saw a hummingbird drinking from a flowering tobacco plant. Noticing all of these other creatures is a bonus to the farmwork day after day. That’s just to say that it’s not all counting vegetables here on the farm.

This past week we managed to get the last greenhouse planted to lettuce, cilantro, dill, and bok choy plus some direct sown kale and tatsoi for late fall and winter harvests. It’s a relief to have the majority of the planting out of the way. Soon we’ll be getting the garlic and overwintering onions in the ground and wrapping up the planting season for the year.

This week we’ll be focused on getting things ready for the CSA farm event on Saturday. We’ll make sure the tractor is ready to pull and the trailer is ready to roll. We’ll also get the farm map updated and signs posted for the self-guided tour. And as usual, there’s plenty of mowing, cultivating, and potato, dry bean, and flour corn harvesting to get done as well.

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:

Mexican Corn Pudding Served With Smoky Chipotle Sauce

  • Butter for greasing the dish
  • 1/4 cup plain breadcrumbs to coat the bottom of the dish
  • 8 medium-sized ears of corn, kernels removed from the cob
  • 1 cup butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 6 large eggs
  • 4 ounces queso fresco
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 (4 1/2 ounce) can chopped green chiles, drained
  • FOR THE SAUCE:
  • 3 peeled cloves garlic
  • 4 medium tomatillos, husked, rinsed and cut in half
  • 2 canned chipotle chiles en adobo
  • salt to taste

PREP: Preheat the oven to 350. Butter a 9 x 13 inch baking dish and then cover the bottom with an even layer of bread crumbs. With a sharp knife, cut the corn off of the cobs into a large bowl (or the bowl of a food processor if you have one).

COMBINE: Add remaining ingredients to the corn and stir to combine. If you are using a food processor, pulse until mixture is smooth. If you do not have a food processor, puree the mixture in batches in a blender until smooth.

COOK: Pour the corn mixture into the baking pan and bake 1 hour.

WHILE CORN PUDDING COOKS, MAKE THE SAUCE: Lay garlic and tomatillos (cut-side down) in a non-stick skillet and saute over MEDIUM HIGH heat until tomatillos are brown, about 4 minutes. Turn over and brown the other side. Transfer everything to a blender. Add chiles + 1/4 cup water and blend until coarse. Season with salt to taste. Pour into a serving bowl and serve at room temperature.

SERVE: Serve corn pudding warm with smoky chipotle sauce drizzled to taste. It is nice and hot, so start off with just a little.

From Food52.com by Waverly, https://food52.com/recipes/6322-mexican-corn-pudding-served-with-smoky-chipotle-sauce

Cauliflower Pizza Bake

  • 1/2 pound (about 2 links) uncooked Italian sausage, removed from casings and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 large head of cauliflower, trimmed and cut into small, bite-sized florets
  • 1/2 cup pizza sauce, divided
  • 1/4 cup finely grated parmesan, plus more for finishing dish
  • Kosher salt + freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup black olives (I like to use the sliced, canned kind)
  • 1/4 cup slivered or halved sun-dried tomatoes packed in olive oil (drained of oil before using)
  • 2 to 3 ounces pepperoni
  • 4 ounces fresh mozzarella (sold in rounds or logs), torn into bite-sized pieces
  • A big handful of fresh basil leaves, torn

Heat oven to 425 F. Place a parchment-lined sheet pan in the oven while it heats. The hot pan will help the sausage to get nicely browned, fast!

Working quickly, transfer the sausage to the preheated sheet pan in a single, even layer. (Careful, the pan will be hot!) Drizzle the sausage with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Roast for about 6 to 8 minutes, or until the sausage is starting to brown (set a timer).

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine cauliflower florets with 1/4 cup pizza sauce, 1/4 cup grated parmesan, and 1 tablespoon olive oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and toss. You want the pizza sauce to lightly yet thoroughly coat the florets; add another tablespoon of sauce, if needed. Add olives and sun-dried tomatoes to the bowl and toss again.

When the timer for the sausage goes off, add the cauliflower mixture to the sheet pan, stirring a few times to coat the cauliflower in the sausage fat. Arrange pepperoni evenly across the top.

Roast for 15 more minutes, until the cauliflower is crisp-tender and the pepperoni has browned. (Taste a piece of cauliflower; if it isn’t approaching tender, return to the oven for a few more minutes before proceeding to Step 6. Season with a little more salt and pepper, if needed.)

Remove sheet pan from oven, and spoon 1/4 cup more sauce over the cauliflower mixture; add a little extra, if desired, for a saucier version. Arrange bites of torn mozzarella over (and in between) the cauliflower florets (avoid putting it directly on the bottom of the sheet pan). Roast in the oven for another 5 minutes, or until the sauce is warmed and cheese is melted.

Cool for about 5 minutes, then grate more parmesan on top and scatter the basil. Serve warm.

From Food52.com by EmilyC, https://food52.com/recipes/81160-cauliflower-pizza-bake

Cantaloupe & Cucumber Salad with Basil & Feta

  • 1/2 of a medium cantaloupe, cut into 1/2-inch chunks
  • 1 cucumber, cut into 1/2-inch chunks (any variety will do, but I prefer a hothouse — seedless, with a thinner skin — for this salad)
  • 6 large basil leaves, chiffonaded (see note)
  • 3 ounces feta, crumbled
  • 3 tablespoons shelled raw sunflower seeds
  • Olive oil
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Flaky sea salt
  • Ground pepper

To toast the sunflower seeds, place in a dry pan over medium heat. Toast 2 to 3 minutes, shaking the pan occasionally, until lightly browned and fragrant.

In a bowl, combine the cantaloupe, cucumber, feta, and half the basil. Drizzle with olive oil and vinegar, season with salt and pepper, and toss to coat. Serve the salad topped with the toasted sunflower seeds, flaky salt, and more pepper.

From Food52.com by Kendra Vaculin, https://food52.com/recipes/30433-cantaloupe-cucumber-salad-with-basil-feta

Summertime Potluck Puttanesca

  • 2 handfuls broccoli florets
  • 1 pound tubular pasta, such as campanelle or penne
  • 2 medium summer squash, preferably yellow, trimmed, halved lengthwise and sliced very thinly crosswise
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced (remove any green shoots first)
  • about 1/4 cups basil chiffonade (a moderate handful: 10 or so large leaves)
  • 1 teaspoon hot pepper flakes, or to taste
  • 20 kalamata olives, pitted and sliced
  • 1/4 cup capers, drained and rinsed
  • Lemon juice to taste (start with half a lemon and adjust from there)
  • 1 28-ounce can good quality crushed tomatoes (like San Marzano)
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil (it should be so salty that it tastes like sea water). Have a large bowl of ice water ready, as well. Blanch the broccoli florets for 2 minutes, then remove them with a spider or slotted spoon and shock them in ice water. Drain and set aside. Cook the pasta until al dente in the same water used to blanch the broccoli.

While the pasta is cooking, combine the broccoli florets and all the remaining ingredients in a large bowl. Drain the pasta and add it to the bowl. Adjust for salt, pepper, lemon juice, and hot pepper. The dish is equally good warm or cold, but I’d recommend allowing it to sit for at least an hour or, if planning ahead, let it sit overnight to extract the maximum flavor potential.

From Food52.com by Chris Hagan, https://food52.com/recipes/22621-summertime-potluck-puttanesca

Summer CSA Share #18

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.
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Cilantro
  • Dill
  • Celery
  • 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.
Tuesday’s sunrise.

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?

We have water rights! (left) and bok choy ready to be transplanted (right).

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!

Frog friends!

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!

Your farmers,
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

Summer CSA Share #17

Welcome to the 17th share of the Pitchfork & Crow 2022 Summer CSA! Here’s what’s in the share this week:

  • Salad Mix
  • Broccoli
  • Savoy Cabbage
  • Parsley
  • Fennel – We know members like roasted fennel, fennel pickles, and shaved fennel salads. Our favorite way to eat fennel is caramelized onion and fennel tart. We cook down the onion and fennel, toss it into a pastry galette style, top it whatever mix of cheeses we have on hand and bake until the pastry it cooked.
  • Beets Click here for a flashback to a standby recipe suggestion for beets and parsley. Scroll up on that page for a glimpse at farm life back in 2013.
  • Sweet Onions
  • 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 & Jalapeno Peppers
  • Mixed Cherry Tomatoes
  • Mixed Slicer Tomatoes
  • Pears – Asian & Bartlett
A preying mantis friend in the winter squash field (top left), zinnia enjoyment (top right), and picking beans (bottom).

Thursday marks the autumnal equinox, the point in the year when the light hours and dark hours are equal lengths. Going forward we’ll be losing daylight hours until we reach the winter solstice on December 21st. If you weren’t already feeling the seasonal shift I imagine it will start to become apparent as we’re plunged into more time in the dark. The shift has certainly been happening on the farm as plant growth has slowed and powdery mildew has begun to set in on some crops. The zucchinis are putting on fewer fruits, the cucumbers are slowing down, the tomatoes are on the decline.

Winter squash!

One harbinger of autumn for us is the ripening and harvesting of winter squash. We grew 12 different types of winter squash this season including varieties of pumpkins, kabocha, spaghetti, delicata, butternut, and acorn squash. Some will make appearances in upcoming fall shares but most will be headed to Winter CSA shares.

The wet start to the season made for rough conditions for cultivating the winter squash field right out of the gate. It wasn’t dry enough to get the cultivating tractor through the beds before a sea of grass took hold. A couple of times we made inroads through hoeing and hand weeding once the plants started to spread out and the tractor really couldn’t make a pass, but the grass wasn’t deterred and our half acre of winter squash was a mess most of the season. Needless to say we dreaded the harvest and assumed the worst.

This past week we finally made time to tackle the harvest project. Thankfully it wasn’t quite as dismal as we’d expected, though in the end it was maybe half of last year’s haul. Upside, it takes up less space in the barn. Downside of course, we’ve got less squash to share in the coming months. Thankfully we will have some to share though; there will be pumpkin pies this year!

Smoky sunset last night.

With the winter squash harvest behind us and that field mowed we can now focus on cleaning up some other areas. In the week ahead you can find us weeding, cultivating, mowing, and weed whacking in order to wrestle some semblance of control back in several areas. We’ve got a greenhouse to transplant into and an organic fertilizer run to make before that can happen. And we’ve got flint corn to harvest for future corn flour and polenta eating. The days may be getting shorter but we’ve still got plenty of things that need doing to pack into them.

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:

Baked Olive, Tomato, and Feta Dip

  • 1/4 cup tomato sauce, homemade or store-bought (a teeny amount! so the cheese doesn’t stick to the bottom! a perfect use for leftovers or the dregs of the jar)
  • 8 ounces block of feta cheese, drained
  • 1/2 cup pitted and roughly chopped Kalamata olives
  • 1 1/3 cups halved cherry tomatoes
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely grated
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • a few turns fresh ground pepper
  • toast, crackers, pita, and/or a spoon for eating

Preheat the oven to 400° F.

Pour the tomato sauce into the bottom of a small oven-safe dish (I used a 6–inch round). Place the feta in the center and press to slightly break the block apart. This is a rough-crumbly-spreading situation, not a make-a-clean-cheese-layer situation.

In a medium bowl, mix the olives, tomatoes, garlic, oregano, and pepper — you don’t need to season with salt, as the feta is salty enough on its own. Pour the mixture evenly over the cheese.

Bake for 15 minutes. Your kitchen will smell like pizza and the feta will get warm and spreadable. Top with the parsley once it’s out of the oven.

Serve to guests with toast or crackers, or stuff into a pita pocket with a fried egg and arugula for a meal for yourself.

From Food52.com by Kendra Vaculin, https://food52.com/recipes/37883-baked-olive-tomato-and-feta-dip

Cabbage, Italian Sausage, and Orzo Soup with Parmesan

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound Italian sausage (mild or spicy), bulk or with casings removed
  • 1 yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • 1 pinch freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1 large Napa or Savoy cabbage (about 2 pounds), trimmed, quartered, and thinly sliced
  • 4 cups chicken stock, homemade or low-sodium store-bought
  • 4 cups water
  • 3/4 cup orzo
  • 1 or 2 Parmesan rinds
  • 1/3 cup chopped Italian parsley
  • 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar, or to taste
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan

Heat olive oil in a large thick-bottomed pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add sausage in a single layer and brown, breaking it into bite-sized pieces and stirring occasionally, until it is just cooked through and no longer pink. Remove with a slotted spoon, leaving the rendered fat in the pot.

Add the onion and several big pinches of kosher salt and black pepper. Saute for about 4 minutes, then add the garlic and saute for another 1 minute. Lower the heat, and add the tomato paste and continue cooking, stirring constantly and scraping the bottom of the pot, until it caramelizes and starts to change in color from bright to brick red, about 3 minutes. (Don’t rush this step; the caramelized paste adds depth and complexity to the soup.)

Add the cabbage, chicken stock, water, orzo, Parmesan rind(s), and another big pinch or two of salt. Simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes, stirring and scraping the bottom of the pot occasionally to ensure nothing sticks. Add sausage and simmer for 5 to 8 minutes longer, stirring and scraping occasionally, until the orzo and cabbage are tender. Remove and discard rinds.

At the end, add parsley and red wine vinegar. Adjust salt and acidity to taste. Serve the soup in bowls, topped with grated Parmesan.

From Food52.com by EmilyC, https://food52.com/recipes/84039-sausage-cabbage-soup-recipe-with-orzo-parmesan

Quinoa with Roasted Beets and Pear

  • 2 cups cooked quinoa (I prefer red)
  • 2 medium-sized beets, scrubbed (I like a mix of colors)
  • 1/4 cup walnuts
  • 1 large pear, cubed
  • 3 ounces crumbled feta
  • 1 splash olive oil
  • 1 splash Balsamic vinegar
  • 1 pinch salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat your oven to 400° F.

Slice off the leaves at the top of the beets. Drizzle with a little olive oil, and then wrap each individually and loosely in tin foil. Place on a baking sheet and roast for 40 to 50 minutes, or until soft enough that you can easily stab one with a fork and it doesn’t give you any problems. Unwrap and set aside to let cool; once touchable, run the beets under water to slide the skin off. Cut beets into cubes.

Lower your oven temperature to 350° F. Spread walnuts out in a single layer on a baking sheet and toast for 8 minutes. Allow the nuts to cool before giving them a rough chop.

Assemble the salad by dumping everything together into a bowl because you, brilliant human, know that that’s how salads work. Quinoa, beet cubes, pear cubes, walnuts and feta, a.k.a. the dream team. Toss with a slight drizzle of balsamic, a little olive oil, and some coarse salt and freshly ground pepper. Did you know this is awesome warm or cold? It is. Bring it to work for lunch the next day because it will be bitchin’ straight from the fridge, and your coworkers will be like ughhhhhhh.

From Food52.com by Kendra Vaculin, https://food52.com/recipes/31742-quinoa-with-roasted-beets-and-pear

Summer CSA Share #16

Welcome to the 16th share of the Pitchfork & Crow 2022 Summer CSA! Here’s what’s in the share this week:

  • Head Lettuce – Choose from Mayan Jaguar romaine and green leaf lettuce.
  • Broccoli
  • Purple Cauliflower
  • Basil
  • Yukon Gem Potatoes
  • Sweet Onions
  • Sweetness” Sweet Corn – small but tasty!
  • 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.
  • Poblano Peppers – Mild chile peppers.
  • Shishito Peppers – These Japanese frying peppers are delicious quickly blistered in hot oil and tossed with a little salt. Mostly mild, 1 in 10 can be hot.
  • Mixed Cherry Tomatoes
  • Mixed Slicer Tomatoes
  • Mixed Melons – Choose from Tuscan melons, “Honey Orange” honeydews, “Lambkin” aka Christmas melons, and several watermelon varieties.

Thanks to smokey skies this past weekend, we made it through the projected 101 degree heatwave with a high of only 94. It was an eerie couple of days with ash falling and a very red sun looming overhead. Thankfully things have cleared up and we even had a tenth of an inch of rain overnight Sunday. This week’s weather forecast looks downright pleasant with highs in the 60s and 70s and a chance of rain Saturday. After so many hot days this summer we’re ready for a cool down!

After a long wait we’re finally enjoying some of the best fruits of summer, melons! Our melon patch got off to a rough start back at the end of May thanks to a series of weather events. Would we have expected any different this season? A cold, rainy May meant very little field prep time but a switch in weather at the end of the month saw our first flash of heat. We managed to get the melons in the ground during the handful of warm days. Unfortunately a wind/rain storm brought havoc the next week. Plants were pummeled and the landscaping fabric we use to control weed pressure came unstapled, tearing out watermleon transplants and flapping over on the next bed and thus taking out those plants too. Our newly planted melon patch quickly became a disaster zone.

We re-planted where we could, using the leftover transplants we had on hand and direct sowing some extra seeds. Not finding any organic watermelon transplants available to purchase we re-sowed flats of watermelons in the propagation house. A month late, we managed to re-plant the watermelon patch and crossed our fingers for melons in September. Well, here we are with some ripe watermelons plus plenty of Tuscan and honeydew melons too. Better late than never!

This past week we sowed three greenhouses to fall and winter crops including arugula, kale, radishes, turnips, cilantro, tatsoi, mizuna, mustards and more. We also dug more potatoes, cleaned out the spring pea/carrot house (finally), and transplanted the last round of salad mix and bunching onions into the field. We’ll be focusing on transplanting into that last greenhouse in the coming weeks. In the week ahead we’ll harvest the winter squash, get the storage onions into storage, and continue digging potatoes for storage too. And of course there’s more mowing, weeding, and irrigating to undertake.

As promised a couple weeks back I finally managed a couple of photos of the surprise ducklings. Jeff has counted 17! Duck mania!

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:

Grilled Corn with Basil Butter

  • Grilled Corn
  • 8 ears of corn, shucked
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • Basil Butter
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1 cup basil, loosely packed
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt

Preheat grill to medium hot.

Roll corn in a little olive oil and sprinkle with salt. When grill is hot, add corn and close the lid. Rotate the corn a few times, until some of the kernels are blistered and the rest a bright and shiny yellow. This shouldn’t take longer than 8 minutes. Be careful not to overcook, or the corn will be dry.

Meanwhile, add the butter, basil, and salt to a food processer and let it rip. You may need to scrape down the sides once or twice. When the basil is finely chopped and the butter has a light green tint, it’s done.

When the corn comes off the grill, slather it with the basil butter. Sprinkle with a little more salt if desired. Eat immediately.

Note: basil butter can be made ahead and extra basil butter will keep for about a week or two in the fridge. You can roll it into a log with plastic wrap and slice it off as you need it. It’s AMAZING on toast.

From Food52.com by Lisina, https://food52.com/recipes/21960-grilled-corn-with-basil-butter

Marcella’s Broccoli and Potato Soup

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups yellow onion, julienned
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and minced (about 1 tablespoon)
  • 2 cups Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled, medium dice
  • 2 1/2 cups broccoli florets, no stems
  • 3 1/2 cups stock, chicken or vegetable
  • 6 smallish fresh basil leaves, torn
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan, grated

In a 3 1/2-quart heavy-bottomed pot, combine the olive oil and half the butter. Place the pot over medium heat. Once the butter begins to melt, add the onions. Season them with a pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Saute the onions until they become golden. Don’t rush this step and adjust the heat as necessary to keep them from browning too fast. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant.

Add the potatoes. Stir them to coat with oil and let them sizzle away for a minute or two. Add the broccoli and do the same as you did with the potatoes. Add the stock.

Bring the stock to a boil. Taste the broth and adjust the seasoning. Go easy on the salt though because the Parmesan has lots and will act as seasoning as well.

Simmer the soup until the broccoli and potatoes are tender. The broccoli is not going to remain vibrant green, but if it is good broccoli it won’t be olive drab either.

Once the potatoes have cooked through, add the parmesan, the remaining butter, and the basil. Stir to combine and serve with more black pepper.

From Food52.com by thirschfeld, https://food52.com/recipes/24592-marcella-s-broccoli-and-potato-soup

Grilled Summer Salad with Tonnato Verde

  • Salad
  • 1 pound romano, wax, or green beans (or a mix)
  • 1 pound small escarole and/or little Gem heads, halved lengthwise through the core (Or how about Mayan Jaguar)
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 baguette, halved lengthwise
  • 1 ear fresh corn, husked
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice (from about 1 medium lemon)
  • 1 large tomato, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons drained capers
  • Tonnato Verde
  • 2 (7-ounce) cans high-quality water-or oil-packed tuna, drained
  • 4 ounces soft tofu
  • 3 salt-or oil-packed anchovy fillets, drained
  • 2 whole garlic cloves
  • 1/2 cup (packed) Italian parsley leaves
  • 1/4 cup chopped chives, plus more for garnish
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice (from about 1 medium lemon)
  • 2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • 1 tablespoon drained capers
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Make the salad: Heat a grill or grill pan over medium-high heat. Lightly grease the grates.

Toss beans and lettuce with 2 tablespoons of the oil and season with salt and pepper. Drizzle the cut side of the baguette with the remaining 1 tablespoon oil. Grill the lettuce, beans, bread, and corn, turning occasionally, until lettuce is wilted, bread is toasted, and beans and corn are nicely charred and tender—this will take about 2 minutes for the lettuce and bread, about 5 minutes for the beans, and 10 to 12 minutes for the corn. Once cooked, transfer vegetables and bread to a cutting board to cool. Coarsely chop the cooled lettuce and bread, cut the corn kernels off of the cob, and set aside. Leave the beans whole.

Meanwhile, make the tonnato verde: In a food processor, add 2 ounces of the tuna, tofu, anchovies, garlic, parsley, chives, lemon juice, Parmesan, and capers. Pulse a few times to combine. With the machine on, slowly drizzle in the oil until the mixture is well emulsified. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

To a large bowl, add the grilled lettuce and beans; season with the 2 tablespoons lemon juice, plus salt and pepper to taste, and toss to combine. Divide this mixture on 4 plates, then follow with the croutons, corn, tomatoes, capers and the remaining tuna, divided for each serving. Drizzle one-quarter of the dressing over each salad, then garnish with chives and more black pepper.

From Food52.com by Kay Chun, https://food52.com/recipes/86186-grilled-salad-recipe-with-tonnato-herb-sauce

Summer CSA Share #15

Welcome to the 15th share of the Pitchfork & Crow 2022 Summer CSA! Here’s what’s in the share this week:

  • “Florence” Leaf Lettuce
  • Broccoli
  • Cilantro
  • Fennel
  • LaRatte Fingerling Potatoes
  • “Red Long of Tropea” Torpedo Onions – Originally from southern Italy, these sweetish red onions are great raw or cooked.
  • Garlic
  • Delectable” Sweet Corn
  • Zucchini & Summer Squash – Including green & yellow zucchini, yellow summer squash, and “Mexicana” zucchini.
  • Mixed Cucumbers – Including green cukes, ‘Silver Slicer’ yellow cukes, and lemon cukes.
  • Mixed Sweet Peppers
  • Aji Marchant Hot Peppers– These peppers have an intriguing history that you can read about here. Though not too spicy when yellow and under-ripe they get hotter as they mature to red.
  • Tomatillos – A little like green tomatoes, tomatillos make excellent salsa verde and enchilada sauce. Check out this website for more details and recipes.
  • Mixed Eggplant
  • Mixed Cherry Tomatoes
  • Mixed Slicer Tomatoes
  • Tuscan or Honey Orange Melons – The Tuscans are similar to cantaloupes and the Honey Orange are orange fleshed honeydews. Both are delicious.
Frog friend in the corn (top left), Jeff harvesting corn (top right), tomatoes! (bottom left), and checking on melon ripeness (bottom right).

Labor Day has passed, and with it the unofficial end of Summer. Fortunately the vegetables in the field are still growing strong and we’ll get to continue enjoying the fruits of summer for a while longer. The wet, cold start to the season put us behind from the outset and in some ways it feels like we’re still playing catch-up with the summer even now. As kids head back to school and the days shorten noticeably it’s time to savor the summer bounty before it’s gone for good.

For instance, although the tomato plants had a rough start they’re now pumping out the tomatoes. Here’s a video Jeff made while harvesting cherry tomatoes last week:

Every year the tomatoes surprise me with how fast they grow from tiny seeds, to stout transplants, to a full-on jungle. It’s already time to be taking notes on varieties and trellising tips for next year. What a whirlwind.

Onions drying down in the prop house (top left), seeding overwintering onions (top right), onions and more onions (bottom right & left).

September 1st marks the date that we aim to seed our overwintering onions. These are cold hardy varieties bred to withstand the winter weather and short days and then bulb up the following spring for harvest in June. Seeded too early and they’ll bolt before forming a bulb. Seeded too late and they’ll be too small to transplant into the field before the rain returns.

This past week we finished up our main season onion harvest and the next day I seeded flats of overwintering onions. We try to have a steady supply of onions year round if we can. The main season bulbs are now drying down on empty benches in the prop house and will be headed out to members over the remaining fall shares and into the winter season.

Here’s a snippet of the onion harvest this past week. We use an undercutter bar that attaches to our tractor for cutting the roots of the onions to avoid digging the bulbs out with a digging fork or by hand. You may recall us using this tool for the garlic harvest too. In this video I’m standing on the top bar for a little extra weight to get the undercutter to dig under the onions. Although we still have to pick the onions up off the ground, undercutting makes the process much faster.

With the onion harvest behind us we’re looking ahead to the potato and winter squash harvest. In the week ahead we’ll be delving into those projects as well as working towards seeding greenhouses for fall/winter crops, undertaking some weeding and cultivating, mowing, and the perpetual irrigation and prop house chores. Jeff’s birthday is coming up at the end of the week too, so perhaps there will be some non-farm fun had as well.

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:

Greek Salad with Fennel

  • 1/2 small red onion
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • Juice of 1 small lemon
  • 1 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 pound Greek feta
  • 1/2 large fennel bulb, with fronds
  • 6 cups roughly chopped Romaine (2/3 small head) (or how about leaf lettuce?)
  • 1/4 cup roughly chopped roasted red pepper
  • 1/4 cup green olives, sliced
  • 1/4 cup Kalamata olives, whole

Thinly slice the onion and put the slices in a small bowl of cold water. Set aside while you prepare the rest of the salad.

In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, lemon juice and salt. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil, whisking constantly. Taste and add more salt if you like, as well as a few grinds of pepper. Chop up about 1/4 of the feta and whisk into the dressing. Set aside.

Use a mandoline or a sharp knife to slice the fennel as thinly as possible, setting aside any nice fronds first. You should have about 1 1/2 cups of fennel when you’re through.

Add the lettuce, fennel, red pepper, olives and red onion (squeezed dry) to a large bowl. Drizzle about half the dressing over the salad and toss gently to combine. Taste and add more dressing if needed. Crumble the rest of the feta over the top of the salad and toss just a couple of times to combine. Garnish the salad with the fennel fronds and serve immediately.

From Food52.com by Merrill Stubbs, https://food52.com/recipes/14896-greek-salad-with-fennel

Salsa de Papaya y Tomatillo Cruda

  • 3 medium tomatillos (226 grams) husked, rinsed, and cut into ¼-inch pieces
  • 1/4 firm-ripe papaya (226 grams), peeled, seeded, and cut into ¼-inch pieces
  • 1/4 medium white onion (98 grams), coarsely chopped
  • 3 chiles serranos (72 grams), stemmed and finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely grated
  • 6 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice (3 to 4 limes)
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint
  • Morton kosher salt

In a medium bowl, toss the tomatillos, papaya, onion, chiles serranos, garlic, lime juice, and mint to combine. Season with salt to taste. Cover the bowl with plastic and refrigerate for 1 hour to allow the flavors to come together. Serve chilled or at room temperature.

Do ahead: The salsa cruda can be made up to 1 day ahead. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

From Food52.com by Rick Martinez, https://food52.com/recipes/87904-salsa-de-papaya-y-tomatillo-cruda-recipe

Kachumber (Indian Salsa)

  • 1 yellow onion
  • 1 peeled cucumber
  • 1 tomato
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cilantro
  • 1 jalapeno
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • Salt to taste

Dice the onion, cucumber, and tomato into small pieces. Finely chop the cilantro.

Deseed and dice the jalapeno.

Mix all these ingredients in a bowl with the vinegar; salt to taste.

From Food52.com by Amreen, https://food52.com/recipes/1956-kachumber

Summer CSA Share #14

Welcome to the 14th share of the Pitchfork & Crow 2022 Summer CSA! Here’s what’s in the share this week:

  • Salad Mix
  • 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.
  • Cabbage
  • Basil
  • Chioggia Beets
  • Onion
  • Delectable” Sweet Corn
  • Mixed Romano Snap Beans – Flat podded mixed yellow and purple striped snap beans, great for any snap bean/green bean recipe. Note, the first two rounds of our green beans mysteriously didn’t germinate but there will be green beans in the future.
  • Zucchini & Summer Squash – Including green & yellow zucchini, yellow summer squash, and “Mexicana” zucchini.
  • Mixed Cucumbers – Including green cukes, ‘Silver Slicer’ yellow cukes, and lemon cukes.
  • Mixed Sweet Peppers & Jalapeno Peppers
  • Mixed Cherry Tomatoes
  • Mixed Slicer Tomatoes
  • Tuscan Melons – Very similar to cantaloupes, these range fleshed melons and tasty!
Onions drying down in the prop house (top), dragon tongue beans (bottom left), and melons (bottom right).

As we wrap up the month of August we can’t say we’re sad to see it go. August is always a pinnacle in the growing season; a clash of all the things that need doing and never quite enough time to do the doing. August is coming to terms with the realities of the season, for better or worse. August is exhaustion.

We’re ready to welcome September and shorter days and (hopefully) cooler temps. Fall is just around the corner and we’re here for it.

Jeff and our cat Sam driving the tractor (left) and Jeff harvesting zucchini (right).

Last Thursday we had our annual organic inspection. The organic certification process begins with us outlining our organic system plan (OSP) comprised of descriptions of our farming practices. We submit updates to our OSP to our certifier, Oregon Tilth, and they review it to confirm we’re in line with the National Organic Program standards. It covers everything from seed sources to purchased inputs to potential contamination issues like neighbors overspraying or the use of conventional produce packaging.

Each year we are inspected and the inspector submits a report to the reviewer to confirm that what we’ve outlined appears to be true on the ground. This year’s inspection was fairly routine. We spend a couple of hours reviewing records like seed receipts, fertilizer sources and spreading records, and harvest records. We go through a couple of exercises to show that the amount of some crop that was harvested can be traced from seed source, transplant production, and field planting. Then we spend some time walking the farm. The inspector looks for things like buffers from conventional neighbors, weed and pest control measures, all materials that come in contact with organic products, and our backstock of organic fertilizer and inputs.

No big issues were flagged this time around. We’re glad to have made it through that process for the year and it’s always nice to have an outsider confirm we’re on the right track.

Frog friend at the Salem pick-up last week (left) and Carri and the transplants ready for planting (right).

We’ll be starting September off by harvesting the main season onions and sowing the overwintering onions. We’ll also be planting some spinach, weeding some beets and celeriac, making a plan for winter cover cropping, and prepping field houses for fall/winter cropping. Of course that’s in addition to the general irrigation management, weekly cultivation, and propagation house management. The calendar may be turning but there’s still plenty of doing left to be done.

A fun note, Jeff discovered today that one of his ducks has hatched out 7-9 ducklings recently. He’d wondered where that duck had gotten to, and it now looks like she’s been busy with her new tiny flock. We’ll try to get some photos to share soon.

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:

Lemony Pasta with Sardines & Escarole

  • Kosher salt
  • 12 ounces short pasta, such as farfalle or rigatoni
  • 2 (3- to 5-ounce) tins sardines packed in olive oil
  • 2 large garlic cloves
  • 1 large lemon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons mild chile flakes, such as Aleppo, piment d’Espelette, or gochugaru, plus more for serving
  • 1 (12-ounce) head escarole or romaine, washed and roughly torn
  • 1/2 cup (about 1 ounce) chopped fresh dill (fronds and stems), mint, or basil (or a mix)
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, for serving (optional)

Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. When it comes to a boil, add a handful of salt, then cook the pasta according to the package directions.

While the pasta cooks, transfer the sardines to a small plate and the cans’ oil to a large bowl. Use a Microplane to grate the garlic and lemon zest directly into the bowl. Add the chile flakes, then use a fork to combine the mixture.

Drain the pasta and immediately transfer to the large bowl with the garlicky oil and toss aggressively.

Halve the lemon and squeeze into the bowl. Add the escarole and dill, then toss to coat. Gently toss in the sardines. Season with salt and more chile flakes to taste. Drizzle each serving with olive oil, if desired.

From Food52.com by Rebecca Firkser, https://food52.com/recipes/87542-lemony-pasta-with-sardines-and-escarole-recipe

Tomato, Cucumber, Corn, and Herb Summer Salad

  • 1 to 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 very small red onion (or shallot)
  • Juice and zest of 1 small lemon
  • 2 tablespoons Champagne (or white wine) vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons sherry (or red wine) vinegar
  • 1 ear corn
  • 1 large tomato (or a pint of cherry tomatoes)
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chives
  • 1 cup basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon flaky salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Set out a large mixing bowl. Mince the garlic and thinly slice the red onion; move them to the bowl. Add the lemon juice and zest and both vinegars. Spoon the liquid over the onion and garlic to coat so that their harshness starts to mellow.

Meanwhile, bring a pot of water to a vigorous simmer. Remove the husk from the corn. Boil the corn for 1 to 3 minutes, depending on how deep you are into corn season. (Very fresh corn barely needs to be cooked at all.) Remove the corn from the water, and run it briefly under the tap, until it is cool enough to handle. Cut the kernels from the cob, and scoop them into the mixing bowl.

Dice the tomato or cut the cherry tomatoes into halves. Cut the cucumber into thin half moons. Add both to the bowl. Pour in the olive oil. Mince the chives and chiffonade the basil and then add those, too. Finish by adding the salt and black pepper. Give everything a generous stir, and then allow the salad to sit for 5 minutes; taste it, and add more olive oil, salt, and pepper if needed. If you have time, allow the salad to sit for another 20 to 30 minutes. Serve with plenty of good bread, to mop up all the juices.

From Food52.com by Cristina Sciarra, https://food52.com/recipes/35737-tomato-cucumber-corn-and-herb-summer-salad

Best Way to Cook Beets

  • 1 bunch beets

Heat your oven to 350 degrees.

Cut off the leggy root and the tops. Then scrub the beets if they’re dirty.

Lay a large piece of foil on a baking sheet, leaving half the foil hanging off one end. Place the beets on top of the foil on the baking sheet. Sprinkle the beets with olive oil — just enough to dress them like salad greens — and season with salt and pepper. Fold the foli in half to make a packet and crimp the edges.

Bake until the beets are tender (you can check by piercing a fork through the foil). It usually takes 40 to 60 minutes, depending on the size of the beets. Let them cool in the foil packets

When the beets are cool enough to touch, remove them from the packet and peel off the skins — they should slip off like Concord grape skins.

From Food52.com by Amanda Hesser, https://food52.com/recipes/4149-the-best-way-to-cook-beets

Sheet Pan Roast Chicken and Cabbage

  • 1 teaspoon neutral oil, for greasing
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil or olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar (or other)
  • 1 tablespoon Sriracha, optional
  • 8 pieces bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs or drumsticks
  • 1 pinch kosher salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 head cabbage, 2 to 3 lbs.

Preheat the oven to 425ºF. Pour a teaspoon of neutral oil over a rimmed sheet pan. Rub to coat.

In a small bowl, stir together the sesame oil, coconut oil, soy sauce, rice vinegar, and sriracha, if using. Place chicken in a large bowl. Season all over with salt and pepper. Pour 1/4 cup of the prepared mixture over the chicken and let marinate while the oven preheats. (Chicken can marinate longer, too, but try, if time permits, to bring it to room temperature before cooking—the coconut oil will solidify in the fridge and look clumpy, which is fine.)

Cut the cabbage in half through the core. Cut again through each core and repeat this process until you are left with many wedges, no greater than 1-inch wide. Place the wedges in a large bowl, season all over with salt and pepper, and toss with the remaining dressing.

Place chicken on prepared sheet pan spreading it out evenly. Roast for 10 minutes. Remove pan from oven, and nestle cabbage wedges all around the pieces, tucking it under if necessary—it will feel like a lot of cabbage. Roast for 20 to 25 minutes more or until chicken is golden and cooked through. Remove pan from oven, transfer chicken to a platter to rest. Return cabbage to the oven to roast for 10 to 15 minutes more, or until juices have reduced and edges of cabbage wedges are caramelized.

From Food52.com by Alexandra Stafford, https://food52.com/recipes/64451-sheet-pan-roast-chicken-and-cabbage

Summer CSA Share #13

Welcome to the 13th share of the Pitchfork & Crow 2022 Summer CSA! Here’s what’s in the share this week:

  • Butterhead Lettuce
  • Red Leaf Lettuce
  • Broccoli or Cauliflower
  • Thai Basil
  • Dill
  • Kohlrabi – The classic CSA vegetable, kohlrabi is often new to folks who are new to CSAs. Why else would you come home with such a strange looking vegetable? We like them chopped up and raw, like a carrot stick, but they can be roasted, or added to mashed potatoes, or shaved super thin into salads. I’ve heard kohlrabi and peanut butter can be a pretty great snack too.
  • Munching Onions
  • Sweetness” Sweet Corn
  • Mixed Romano Snap Beans – Flat podded mixed yellow and purple striped snap beans, great for any snap bean/green bean recipe.
  • Zucchini & Summer Squash – Including green & yellow zucchini, yellow summer squash, and “Mexicana” zucchini.
  • Mixed Cucumbers – Including green cukes, ‘Silver Slicer’ yellow cukes, and lemon cukes.
  • Mixed Sweet Peppers & Poblano Peppers
  • Mixed Cherry Tomatoes
  • Mixed Slicer Tomatoes
  • Red & Yellow Farm Apples – These apples were planted on the farm before we got here, so we don’t know the varieties, but they’re tasty for fresh eating or cooking.
Summer colors!

Here we are, halfway through the Summer CSA season! Thirteen weeks down, thirteen to go. After a rough start it’s nice to have made it to the peak of tomato season. August is quickly fleeting though and only time will tell weather we’ll get an extended summer or shift to autumn weather-wise.

Farmall Cub clutch repair meant splitting the tractor in half, making the fix, and putting it back together again.

One task you hope to not be undertaking on the farm during August, the height of weeding season, is dealing with a repair on your cultivating tractor. A couple weeks back Jeff noticed an issue with the clutch on our little 1947 Farmall cub tractor. It appeared that somewhere along the way the thrust bearing had broken, requiring that the tractor be split in two to be replaced. Luckily he had the parts on hand and this past week he took a day to make the repair.

Although this tractor is designed to be split in two, it’s a complicated procedure requiring a lot of blocking and lifting and methodical removal of bolts and wires and anything else that spans the front and back halves of the tractor. The steering wheel, for instance, becomes a potential hang-up as the two ends are separated. Thanks to handy reference videos made by the company that sells replacement parts for these old tractors, Jeff was able to fairly efficiently get the tractor split, install the new clutch parts, re-unite the two tractor halves, and make the clutch adjustments in a day. Not great timing to deal with this repair in August, but he was a champ and got it done! Thankfully he was back to cultivating the next morning.

Sunrise to sunset.

In addition to weeding and cultivating and the clutch repair, we also managed to get the last of the broccoli and cauliflower transplanted this past week. We’ve got lettuce, bunching onions, dill and cilantro on deck for this week. The planting goes on.

On Thursday we’re scheduled to have our annual organic inspection. The past couple of years we’ve had inspections over Zoom, but this year we’ll be returning to an in-person inspection. Most of the inspection is spent reviewing records to ensure our inputs and methods all match our organic plan and the federal organic standards. We’ll also tour the inspector around the farm. It generally takes 3-4 hours in all. It will be nice to mark that one off the To Do list for this season. We’ll let you know the highlights next week.

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:

Minted Summer Succotash

  • 1/2 pound green beans (both haricot verts or Romano work well), trimmed and snapped in halves or thirds
  • 2 tablespoons sherry or red wine vinegar, or more to taste
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, or more to taste
  • 8 ounces dried Christmas lima beans, cooked according to package instructions (regular lima beans can be substituted)
  • 1 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 cups fresh corn kernels (from about 3 ears)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chives, coarsely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons fresh mint, coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup goat cheese, crumbled
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Lime wedges, for serving

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and prepare an ice bath in a large bowl. Add a generous amount of kosher salt, then the beans. Cook until tender but still slightly crisp in the middle (about 2 to 3 minutes for haricot verts and slightly longer for Romano beans). Transfer to the ice bath to stop the cooking and lock in the color. Drain and set aside.

Place vinegar in a small bowl, then gradually whisk in oil.

In a large bowl, combine green beans, Christmas limas, cherry tomatoes, corn, chives, mint, and 3/4 cup goat cheese. Pour dressing over salad, a little at a time, tasting as you go. Toss to coat. Season with kosher salt and pepper. Garnish with remaining 1/4 cup goat cheese. Serve at room temperature, with lime wedges on the side.

From Food52.com by EmilyC, https://food52.com/recipes/12800-minted-summer-succotash

Kohlrabi Salad

1 head kohlrabi
1/2 apple, such as Gala
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons sesame oil
1/2 bird’s eye chili
1 pinch cumin
1/2 teaspoon fish sauce
3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
Salt & freshly ground pepper to taste

With a sharp knife, cut off the “branches” of the kohlrabi. Peel it with a vegetable peeler.

Cut the kohlrabi into matchsticks either using a sharp knife of a mandolin (I used the latter). Do the same with the apple.

Toss the kohlrabi and the apple with the remaining ingredients and chill before eating.

From Food52.com by SassyRadish, https://food52.com/recipes/8689-kohlrabi-salad

Summer Bounty Frittata

2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 red onion, finely chopped
1/4 cup red bell pepper, finely chopped
1 small zucchini, chopped into 1/8 inch-thick rounds
1 ear of corn, kernels removed
A handful of cherry tomatoes, halved
A couple basil leaves, thinly sliced
6 large eggs
Salt and pepper

In a medium (around 9-inch) oven-safe skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat until it is shimmering. Stir in the onion and bell pepper and cook, stirring frequently, until they have softened and browned, around 5 minutes.

Stir in the zucchini rounds and corn kernels and cook until softening, about 3 minutes. Add the cherry tomatoes and basil leaves plus a couple pinches of salt and pepper and give a stir.

Turn the heat down to medium-low and let the veggies hang out until the tomatoes just start to soften, a minute or two. During that time, in a medium bowl, whisk the eggs with a few pinches of salt and pepper and turn your oven broiler on.

Pour the eggs over the vegetables and let the frittata cook until it is most of the way set, but the top is still uncooked, then transfer the frittata to the oven and broil just until the top is cooked. Remove from the oven. This frittata can be served warm, room temperature, or cold. It’s good with a salad and really yummy sandwiched between pieces of bread, especially with some pesto.

From Food52.com by FiveAndSpice, https://food52.com/recipes/30719-summer-bounty-frittata

Summer CSA Share #12

Welcome to the 12th share of the Pitchfork & Crow 2022 Summer CSA! Here’s what’s in the share this week:

  • Crispino Iceberg Lettuce
  • Romaine or Green Leaf Lettuce
  • Broccoli
  • Cilantro
  • Carrots
  • Bunching Onions
  • “Red Toch” Garlic – A milder garlic from the Republic of Georgia, good both raw or cooked.
  • Sweetness”& “Delectable” Sweet Corn
  • Mixed Romano Snap Beans – Flat podded mixed yellow and purple striped snap beans, great for any snap bean recipe.
  • Zucchini & Summer Squash – Including green & yellow zucchini, yellow summer squash, and “Mexicana” zucchini.
  • Mixed Cucumbers – Including green cukes, ‘Silver Slicer’ yellow cukes, and some lemon cukes.
  • Shishito Peppers – these Japanese frying peppers are delicious quickly blistered in hot oil and tossed with a little salt. Mostly mild, 1 in 10 can be hot.
  • Tomatillos – A little like green tomatoes, tomatillos make excellent salsa verde and enchilada sauce. Check out this website for more details and recipes.
  • Mixed Cherry Tomatoes
  • Mixed Slicer Tomatoes
Buckwheat cover crop (left) and the alley of zucchini, beans, and bunching onions between the buckwheat and flour corn (right).

We’re halfway through August and nearly halfway through the CSA season! After months of preparing and planting we’re now in the midst of the height of the growing season. Tomatoes are coloring up, corn is coming on fast and furious, and we’re into the third rounds of zucchini and cucumbers already. This is what we dream of in the dark of winter in January when we’re planning for the next season. Summertime!

Tomatoes! (left) and bins of vegetables headed to the Linn Benton Food Share (right).

While we try to keep up with the very many things happening on the farm it’s helpful to have some guide posts along the way. Things that mark the progress of the season and help to remind us of the bigger picture rather than be swallowed by the myriad of small details. One of these reminders is the weekly boxing of the 25 shares-worth of produce purchased by the Linn Benton Food Share. Like CSA members, the LBFS purchases shares from us (at a discounted price) in the early spring and gets weekly distributions of seasonal vegetables through the summer and fall.

Each week we separate out 25 shares of everything other CSA members get that week, weigh each type of vegetable for record keeping, and box it all up for pick-up by the LBFS. The produce is split between the Lebanon Soup Kitchen and a food pantry in town. This weekly process serves as a good reminder of the overarching goal we have of helping to feed our community as well as a visual (how many boxes from week to week) and numerical (how much weight from week to week) tally of how successful we’ve been from week to week. We’re lucky to have the support of the LBFS and appreciate their enthusiasm for supporting local producers.

Transplanting the last round of basil this past weekend.

This past week we managed to get through some of the transplanting on deck, including the final round of basil in the video above plus storage beets and purple sprouting broccoli. We’ve got one more big push this week before the weekly transplanting lets up a little for the season. We’ll be finding space in the field for the overwintering cauliflower, another round of bunching onions, next round of lettuce, and final round of fall cauliflower and broccoli. We’ve also got plenty of weeding, mowing, and cultivating to undertake. And the irrigation chores don’t end this time of year. Looks like we’ll be keeping busy.

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:

Grace Young’s Stir-Fried Iceberg Lettuce

  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon rice wine or dry sherry
  • 3/4 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground white or black pepper
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons peanut oil or other neutral oil
  • 4 scallions, cut on the diagonal into 1-inch pieces
  • 3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced or smashed
  • 1/2 medium head iceberg lettuce, cored, outermost leaves discarded, inner leaves torn into 4-inch wide pieces (or substitute 12 ounces of other greens — see headnote)
  • Kosher salt, to taste

In a small bowl, combine soy sauce, sesame oil, rice wine or sherry, sugar, and pepper; set sauce aside.

Heat a wok or 12-inch skillet over high heat. Add peanut oil, half of the scallions (including all of the white and light green pieces), and garlic and cook until garlic is golden, about 5 seconds. Add lettuce and stir-fry until lettuce softens slightly, about 1 minute. Drizzle in sauce and cook until lettuce is just coated with the sauce, about 1 minute. Season with salt, divide between 4 bowls while lettuce is just tender and still bright green, and garnish with remaining scallions.

From Food52.com by Genius Recipes, https://food52.com/recipes/27723-grace-young-s-stir-fried-iceberg-lettuce

Greek Salad

  • Dressing
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more to serve
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Salad
  • 1/2 small red onion, finely sliced, or to taste
  • 4 medium-size ripe tomatoes (total weight about 500 grams)
  • 500 grams cucumber
  • 1 handful Kalamata olives
  • 1 tablespoon capers, rinsed
  • 1/3 green bell pepper, cut crosswise into 3 circles
  • 150 grams feta cheese
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Crusty bread, for serving

Start by making the dressing, whisking all the ingredients together in a bowl. (If you want to marinate the onion first, add it to the dressing now, letting it soften there for 20 minutes.)

Cut the tomatoes into large, thick, wedges, about ¾ inch (2 centimeters) wide. Peel the cucumber and cut it into thick, diagonal slices about ¾ inch (2 centimeters) wide also, then cut these slices in half, so they are roughly the same size as the tomatoes.

Place the tomatoes, cucumber, and onion in a large bowl. Add the dressing and toss together well.

Scatter the olives and capers over the salad, layer on the slices of green bell pepper, and place a large piece of feta on top. Drizzle the entire salad with a bit more extra-virgin olive oil and finish with the dried oregano. Serve with crusty bread.

From Food52.com by Yasmin Khan, https://food52.com/recipes/86189-best-greek-salad-recipe

Chilaquiles Verde

  • 3 pounds tomatillos in the husk
  • 1 large red onion cut in 1/2-inch slices
  • 2 jalapeños
  • 8 cloves of garlic, unpeeled
  • 1 handful of cilantro leaves
  • 1 lime
  • 1 heaping spoonful of crema or sour cream
  • 1 quart chicken stock (preferably homemade)
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 12 corn tortillas
  • 1 cup (or more if you like) queso fresco in large crumbles (1/2- to 1-inch pieces), or shredded monterrey jack
  • 1/2 cup crumbled cotija cheese
  • Cilantro leaves, for garnish
  • Salt and olive oil, as needed

Lay tomatillos, onions, jalapeños, and garlic on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt.

Place the baking sheet under the broiler, until the veggies are wilted and blistered, about 10 minutes (time will vary based on the heat of your broiler). Remove the veggies and let them cool until you are able to handle them.

Remove the husks from the tomatillos, squeeze the garlic from the cloves, and remove the stem from the jalapeños. Throw the roasted veggies into a blender, along with any juices that accumulated on the baking tray. Add the cilantro leaves, the juice of the lime, and the crema. Purée until the mixture is very smooth. Taste and make any needed adjustments (more salt, acid, etc).

While the veggies are still in the oven, bring the chicken broth to a gentle simmer in a dutch oven. Add the chicken breasts and allow them to simmer until tender, about 20 minutes. Move the chicken to a cutting board and use two forks to shred it. Return the chicken and any juices to the pot.

Add the tomatillo purée to the chicken broth, taste for seasoning (note the sauce should be tangy, almost sour, so add another squeeze of lime if necessary), and bring to a simmer. Cover and let the mixture simmer for about 20 minutes.

Cut the tortillas into quarters. If your tortillas are fresh, dry them out in the oven or toaster oven. If they’re stale and dried out, add them right to the pot. Stir the mixture and let simmer for another 10 minutes. The tortillas will cause the sauce to thicken.

Uncover and stir in the queso fresco or sprinkle with the monterrey jack. Cover the pot again, allowing the cheese to melt. Uncover, sprinkle with cotija and cilantro, and serve.

Note: The chilaquiles are just as good — maybe better — the next day. A fried egg on top wouldn’t hurt either!

From Food52.com by Lisina, https://food52.com/recipes/21285-chilaquiles-verdes