Summer CSA Share – #15

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

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

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

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

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

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

Enjoy the vegetables!

Your farmers,
Carri Heisler and Jeff Bramlett

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Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:

Broccoli and Cauliflower Casserole

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

1. Preheat the oven to 375°F.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Mexican Corn

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

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

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

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Kale, Tomato, and Lemon Magic One-Pot Spaghetti

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Summer CSA Share – #14

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

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

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

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

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

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

Enjoy the vegetables!

Your farmers,
Carri Heisler and Jeff Bramlett

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Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:

Cabbage and Corn Slaw with Cilantro and Orange Dressing

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

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

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

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

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Paneer and Broccoli Masala

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Grilled Steak and Mixed Peppers

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Summer CSA Share – #13

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Enjoy the vegetables!

Your farmers,
Carri Heisler and Jeff Bramlett

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Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:

Poblano, Potato, and Corn Gratin

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

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

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

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

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

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Grilled Ratatouille Pasta Salad

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

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

Cook pasta according to package directions.

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

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

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

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Sauteed Corn with Bacon and Scallions

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

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

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

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Summer CSA Share – #12

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

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

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

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

Enjoy the vegetables!

Your farmers,
Carri Heisler and Jeff Bramlett

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Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:

Green Pico de Gallo

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

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

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

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Pasta Salad with Tomatoes and Corn

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

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

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

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Coconut Zucchini Noodles and Spiced Meatballs

For the spiced meatballs:

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

For the noodles:

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

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

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

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

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

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Summer CSA Share – #11

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Enjoy the vegetables!

Your farmers,
Carri Heisler and Jeff Bramlett

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Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:

Beets with Pecorino, Pecans, and Shishito Peppers

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

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

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

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

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

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Creamy Cilantro-Lime Slaw

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

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

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

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

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Black Beans, Corn, and Tomatoes Vinaigrette

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

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

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

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Summer CSA Share – #10

Welcome to the 10th share of the Pitchfork & Crow Summer CSA!  Here’s what’s in the share this week:

  • Lemon Cucumbers
  • Eggplant
  • Red Butterhead Lettuce
  • Bunching Onions
  • Rainbow Chard
  • Mixed Summer Squash – choose from Dark Star zucchini, Magda cousa, and yellow straightneck summer squash
  • Sweet Corn – This week’s corn isn’t quite as sweet as the past week’s has been.  I think it would be best turned into corn chowder.
  • Basil
  • Poblano Peppers – Poblanos are often stuffed for chile rellenos but they can bring a mild chile flavor to other dishes too.
  • Tomatoes – slicers and cherries!
  • Yellow Transparent Apples – An early apple variety that turns almost white and very soft at peak ripeness.  Difficult for storage but excellent for applesauce.  Jeff made a couple of pies out of these last week before they softened up and they were delicious!

Poblano peppers (left) and Sakura F1 cherry tomatoes (right)

The reprieve in 90 degree days was short-lived last week, but those couple of days with highs in the low 80s were welcome here on the farm.  The heatwave has returned, and it doesn’t look like it will be letting up anytime soon.  Can we just skip ahead to September?  The hot weather has certainly brought on the summer crops though.  Peppers, eggplants, tomatoes: it’s nightshade week!  I should have thrown in some potatoes just to round out the family.

As we settle into August the work here on the farm continues with irrigation, planting for fall and winter harvests, and constant weeding and cultivation.  Jeff has been tinkering with our 1947 Farmall Cub cultivating tractor some more this past week, even splitting it in half to replace the clutch.  It looks like we may be back in working order and ready to get back to tractor cultivation, though somewhere along the way the starter has decided to stop working.  Luckily it’s got a hand crank that works like a charm at the moment.  It’s been all hand weeding and hoeing for me this week and I welcome the return of the tractor for weeding!

Enjoy the vegetables!

Your farmers,
Carri Heisler and Jeff Bramlett

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Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:

Sweet Italian Sausage Casserole

  • 2 tablespoons margarine
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 8 ounces sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
  • 1 cup diced (1/2-inch) eggplant
  • 1 cup diced (1/2-inch) zucchini
  • 1 cup diced (1/2-inch) red or green bell pepper (or use poblanos for a little extra spice)
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 can (28 ounces) Italian plum tomatoes, drained and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves
  • Cayenne or black pepper, to taste
  • 2 ounces grated mozzarella cheese

1. Melt the margarine with the oil in a nonstick pan over medium-low heat. Add the sausage meat and cook for 10 minutes, breaking up the meat with a spoon. Remove to a bowl with a slotted spoon; reserve.

2. To the same pot, add the eggplant, zucchini, bell pepper, onion and garlic. Stirring occasionally, cook until softened, about 10 to 15 minutes. Stir in the reserved sausage, the tomatoes, parsley, basil and cayenne. Reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes.

3. Spoon the mixture into an 8×9-inch, oven-to-table baking dish to fit and sprinkle with the mozzarella cheese. Bake in a 350°F preheated oven until the cheese melts, about 15 to 20 minutes.

From Epicurious.com via Parade, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/sweet-italian-sausage-casserole-107343

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Pita Sandwiches with Eggplant, Peppers, Tomatoes and Cucumber

sauce

  • 1 cup nonfat plain yogurt
  • 1/2 cup light mayonnaise
  • 1 7-ounce jar roasted red peppers, drained, chopped
  • 1/3 cup packed fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced
  • 1 large garlic clove, pressed

sandwiches

  • Nonstick vegetable oil spray
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar or rice vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons dried oregano
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • Fresh breadcrumbs made from French bread
  • All purpose flour
  • 1 medium eggplant (about 1 1/4 pounds), unpeeled, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices
  • 6 pita bread rounds
  • 4 plum tomatoes, sliced
  • 1 cucumber, cut diagonally into 1/4-inch-thick slices
  • 1 7-ounce jar roasted red peppers, drained, cut into strips

Whisk yogurt, mayonnaise, peppers, basil and garlic in medium bowl to blend. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate.

Preheat oven to 425°F. Spray 2 heavy large baking sheets with vegetable oil spray. Whisk olive oil, vinegar and oregano in small bowl to blend. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Whisk eggs and 2 tablespoons water in medium bowl to blend. Place breadcrumbs in shallow dish. Place flour in another shallow dish. Lightly dust each eggplant slice with flour; dip eggplant into egg mixture and then into breadcrumbs, coating completely. Place eggplant slices on prepared baking sheets. Drizzle with olive oil mixture. Let stand 15 minutes. Bake until brown on both sides and tender, turning occasionally, about 35 minutes. Remove from oven; cool eggplant on baking sheets.

Place 2 or 3 eggplant slices in each pita. Stuff each pita equally with tomatoes, cucumber and red pepper strips. Drizzle 1/3 cup sauce over filling in each pita and serve.

From Epicurious.com via Bon Appétit by Jill Browning, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/pita-sandwiches-with-eggplant-peppers-tomatoes-and-cucumber-103259

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Poblano Corn Chowder with Shrimp

    • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter, room temperature
    • 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
    • 1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
    • 3 celery stalks, coarsely chopped
    • 2 large poblano chilies, seeded, chopped
    • 2 14 3/4- to 15-ounce cans cream-style corn
    • 1 16-ounce package frozen corn kernels, thawed (or use this week’s corn)
    • 2 14-ounce cans low-salt chicken broth
    • 1 cup whipping cream
    • 2 teaspoons sugar
    • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
    • 1 pound uncooked shrimp, peeled, deveined, coarsely chopped
    • 6 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

Mix 2 tablespoons butter and flour in small bowl to blend; set aside.

Finely chop onion and celery in processor. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in large pot over medium-high heat. Add onion-celery mixture and chilies; sauté until soft, about 6 minutes. Add creamed corn and next 5 ingredients; bring to boil. Reduce heat. Whisk in butter-flour mixture and simmer 15 minutes to blend flavors. Add shrimp and 4 tablespoons cilantro; simmer until shrimp are cooked through, about 5 minutes longer. Season with salt and pepper.

Ladle chowder into bowls. Sprinkle with remaining 2 tablespoons cilantro.

From Epicurious.com via Bon Appétit, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/poblano-corn-chowder-with-shrimp-107062

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Summer CSA Share – #9

Welcome to the 9th share of the Pitchfork & Crow Summer CSA!  Here’s what’s in the share this week:

  • Potatoes
  • Cauliflower
  • Lemon Cucumbers
  • Green & Purple Beans – Note that the purple beans will turn greenish when cooked.
  • Red Butterhead Lettuce
  • Red Bunching Onions
  • Mixed Summer Squash – choose from Dark Star zucchini, Magda cousa, and yellow straightneck summer squash
  • Sweet Corn
  • Iko Iko Bell Peppers – These peppers start out as purple and yellow and then turn orange and red as they further ripen.  Although they’re more colorful, think of them like green peppers this week.
  • Tomatoes – slicers and cherries!
  • Yellow Transparent Apples – An early apple variety that turns almost white and very soft at peak ripeness.  Difficult for storage but excellent for applesauce.  Jeff made a couple of pies out of these last week before they softened up and they were delicious!

the moonrise recently (upper left), evening break time (upper right), all the tomatoes (lower right), and Jeff & Ira cooling off at the river (lower left)

Another hot week in the books.  I’m grateful for the heat reprieve in the weather forecast for the week ahead.  Enough with these 96 degree days already.  Highs in the upper 70s will seem chilly compared to the last few weeks and I can’t wait.  There’s even a slight chance of rain early next week.  The field work goes on no matter the temperatures, but it sure is easier when the the scorching heat chills out.

Several members have recently asked about the shift in the membership size of the CSA this summer and I’ve been meaning to write a bit about it.  Most of you know that I’ve undertaken this season predominately solo and that change has been reflected in the membership numbers.  Last year we had 95 shares and this year there are 53 shares making up the CSA.

The change in numbers is most obvious at the Salem pick-up, where the number of members is about half of those picking up there last year.  The other loss of members is represented by me no longer delivering pre-boxed shares locally to the medical school and hospital.  Some of those members now pick-up at the farm, so the on-farm pick-up hasn’t changed drastically.

Although the on-farm pick-up is half the Salem pick-up (12 on-farm vs 25 in Salem), from my perspective the CSA is split in half between Lebanon and Salem.  This is because another 16 shares-worth of produce is picked up each week by the Linn Benton Food Share for distribution in Lebanon and sometimes Albany through their network of food banks and soup kitchens.  This is the third year we’ve partnered with the Food Share to send fresh, organic produce directly to these locations.  They’ve purchased the shares ahead of time, just like other CSA members.  The Linn Benton Food Share has been a really fantastic organization to work with and their commitment to the local food economy is always surprising to me.  Although our small quantities don’t make the largest impact on hunger in this community, the Food Share does value the variety and freshness that is not always available from their other gleaning and bulk purchase outlets.

To recap, I’m harvesting 53 shares-worth of produce each week.  12 members pick-up on the farm, 25 members pick-up in Salem, and 16 shares are picked up by the Food Share.  That’s a little over half the number of shares we had last year.  Hopefully this has helped clear up some of the mystery behind the CSA member numbers.  I know it’s probably difficult to get a sense of the whole program as a member who picks up each week at either of the locations.  The sign-in sheets are short, there’s not usually a line, it all looks fairly simple.  I promise there’s more happening behind the scenes though.  And remember that 53 shares means 53 heads of cauliflower, 53 head of lettuce, 53 bunches of onions, 53 pints of cherry tomatoes, 106 bell peppers, 212 cucumbers etc.  Plus figuring out how to grow the produce to have available to harvest in the first place.  It’s a small victory each week and I hope you’re enjoying it as much as I am.

Enjoy the vegetables!

Your farmers,
Carri Heisler and Jeff Bramlett

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Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:

Green Beans and Cucumbers with Miso Dressing

  • 3 Persian cucumbers or 1/2 English hothouse cucumber
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 pound green beans, trimmed
  • 1 (1 1/2)-inch piece ginger, peeled, finely grated
  • 1 serrano or Fresno chile, finely grated
  • 1 garlic clove, finely grated
  • 1/3 cup unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 1/4 cup white miso
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • Toasted sesame seeds and sliced scallions (for serving)

Lightly smash cucumbers with a rolling pin, then tear into bite-size pieces. Toss with a pinch of salt in a medium bowl. Let sit to allow salt to penetrate.

Meanwhile, place green beans in a large resealable plastic bag, seal, and smash with rolling pin until most of the beans are split open and bruised. Whisk ginger, chile, garlic, vinegar, miso, olive oil, and sesame oil in a medium bowl until smooth. Add dressing to beans and toss around in bag to coat; season with salt.

Drain cucumbers and add to bag with beans. Shake gently to combine. Transfer salad to a platter and top with sesame seeds and scallions.

From Epicurious.com via Bon Appétit by Chris Morroco, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/green-beans-and-cucumbers-with-miso-dressing

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Corn and Tomato Scramble

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon cider vinegar
  • 1 1/4 pounds tomatoes, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1 bunch scallions, finely chopped, keeping white parts and greens separate
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4 cups corn kernels (from about 8 ears)

Whisk together oil, vinegar, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Toss tomatoes with dressing.

While tomatoes marinate, cook white parts of scallions in butter with 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in a 12-inch heavy skillet over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until golden, about 4 minutes. Add corn and sauté until just tender, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and cool.

Stir together corn, tomatoes, and scallion greens.

From Epicurious.com via Gourmet by Ian Knauer, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/corn-and-tomato-scramble-354230

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Cheesy Baked Pasta with Cauliflower

  • 1 pound pasta, such as medium shell or tube pasta
  • 1 (14-ounce) can cherry tomatoes, lightly crushed by hand
  • 8 ounces low-moisture whole-milk mozzarella, coarsely grated
  • 4 ounces provolone or other mildly sharp cheese (such as more of the cheddar below), coarsely grated
  • 2 ounces sharp cheddar, coarsely grated
  • 2 ounces Parmesan, grated
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 head of cauliflower, cut into 1/2″ pieces
  • Room-temperature butter or nonstick cooking oil spray (for pan)

Preheat oven to 350°F. Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until about halfway cooked (it needs to be very firm at this stage so that it doesn’t overcook when baked). Drain, reserving 1/2 cup pasta cooking liquid, and run under cold water to stop the cooking. Drain well.

Lightly crush cherry tomatoes with your hands in a large bowl. Add mozzarella, provolone, cheddar, Parmesan, cream, and reserved ½ cup pasta cooking liquid and mix to combine. Season generously with salt and pepper. Add cauliflower and cooked pasta and toss to coat. Butter (or lightly coat) a 3-qt. or 13x9x2″ baking dish with butter. Scrape in pasta mixture and spread out into an even layer. Cover dish tightly with foil and bake pasta until hot throughout and steaming when foil is lifted, 20–25 minutes.

Remove foil and increase oven temperature to 425°F. Continue to bake pasta until sauce is bubbling and top is browned and crunchy in spots, 25–30 minutes. Let cool slightly before serving.

From Epicurious.com via Bon Appétit by Chris Morocco, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/cheesy-baked-pasta-with-cauliflower

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Summer CSA Share – #8

Welcome to the 8th share of the Pitchfork & Crow Summer CSA!  Here’s what’s in the share this week:

  • Red Cabbage
  • Orange Beets
  • Cauliflower – orange and white this week
  • Mixed Cucumbers – Persian, picklers, and lemon!
  • Fennel
  • Salad Mix – a mix of several lettuces
  • Sweet Onion
  • Mixed Summer Squash – choose from Dark Star zucchini, Magda cousa, and yellow straightneck summer squash
  • Sweet Corn
  • Shishito Peppers – Just the first handful of of these delicious little ‘roulette’ peppers. Some are hot, most are not.  They are delicious however you eat them, but blistered in hot oil and tossed with a little salt is our favorite.  Click here for that recipe.
  • Tomatoes – slicers and cherries!

Jeff and the Farmall (left) blanketflowers at sunset (middle) cherry tomatoes (right)

First off, many thanks to the folks that made their way out to the farm for the open house.  It was a fun afternoon of good food, kite flying, kiddie pool fun, and a farm tour.  Hopefully you had a good time too!  We’ll do it again the first weekend in October, so if you didn’t make it this time you’ve got another chance.

This past week has been a blur of weeding and harvest and irrigating.  July is the height of the season as the planting continues, the weeds take over, and harvesting can be epic.  Lucky for me Jeff got our Farmall Cub cultivating tractor back in action and I was able to take it through some beds that otherwise would have needed the hoe.  Any efficiencies found in July are welcome!  The week ahead will be more of the same.  It’s time to dig deep and wrestle some measure of control back into the farmscape.

Enjoy the vegetables!

Your farmers,
Carri Heisler and Jeff Bramlett

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Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:

Roasted Cauliflower with Onions and Fennel

  • 1 medium head of cauliflower (about 1 1/4 pounds), cored, cut into 1-inch florets
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 medium onions (about 1/2 pound each), halved lengthwise, cut into 3/4-inch-wide wedges with some core still attached, peeled
  • 2 fresh fennel bulbs (about 1 pound total), halved lengthwise, cut lengthwise into 1/2-inch-wide wedges with some core still attached
  • 8 small garlic cloves, unpeeled
  • 15 fresh marjoram sprigs

Position rack in center of oven; preheat to 425°F. Toss cauliflower and 2 tablespoons oil in large bowl. Heat heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add cauliflower and sauté until beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Transfer cauliflower to rimmed baking sheet.

Add 2 tablespoons oil to same skillet. Add onion wedges. Cook until browned on 1 side, about 3 minutes. Using spatula, carefully transfer onions to baking sheet with cauliflower, arranging wedges browned side up. Add remaining 2 tablespoons oil to same skillet. Add fennel; sauté until fennel softens slightly and starts to brown, about 5 minutes. Transfer to same baking sheet. Scatter garlic and marjoram over vegetables. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast until vegetables are caramelized, about 25 minutes. Serve hot or at room temperature.

From Epicurious.com via Bon Appétit, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/roasted-cauliflower-with-onions-and-fennel-237336

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Blood Orange, Beet, and Fennel Salad

  • medium red beets, tops trimmed
  • 2 medium golden beets, tops trimmed
  • 3 blood oranges
  • 1 medium navel orange (preferably Cara Cara)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 small fennel bulb, very thinly sliced crosswise on a mandoline
  • 1/4 red onion, very thinly sliced on a mandoline (about 1/3 cup)
  • Good-quality extra-virgin olive, pumpkin seed, or walnut oil (for drizzling)
  • Coarse sea salt, such as fleur de sel or Maldon sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup loosely packed fresh cilantro and/or chervil leaves

Preheat oven to 400°. Wash beets, leaving some water on skins. Wrap individually in foil; place on a rimmed baking sheet and roast until beets are tender when pierced with a knife, about 1 hour. Let cool.

Meanwhile, using a sharp knife, cut all peel and white pith from all oranges; discard. Working over a medium bowl, cut between membranes of 2 blood oranges to release segments into bowl; squeeze juice from membranes into bowl and discard membranes. Slice remaining blood orange and Cara Cara orange crosswise into thin rounds. Place sliced oranges in bowl with the segments. Add lemon juice and lime juice.

Peel cooled beets. Slice 2 beets crosswise into thin rounds. Cut remaining 2 beets into wedges. Strain citrus juices; reserve. Layer beets and oranges on plates, dividing evenly. Arrange fennel and onion over beets. Spoon reserved citrus juices over, then drizzle salad generously with oil. Season to taste with coarse sea salt and pepper. Let salad stand for 5 minutes to allow flavors to meld. Garnish salad with cilantro leaves.

From Epicurious.com via Bon Appétit Test Kitchen, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/blood-orange-beet-and-fennel-salad-378345

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Beet and Red Cabbage Slaw

  • 6 medium beets, trimmed
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons whole grain Dijon mustard
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons caraway seeds
  • 2/3 cup corn oil
  • 8 cups thinly sliced red cabbage (about half of large head)
  • 2/3 cup chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup (packed) chopped fresh dill
  • Lettuce leaves
  • 3 large carrots, peeled, coarsely grated (about 3 cups)

Preheat oven to 400°F. Wrap beets in foil, enclosing completely. Bake beets until tender, about 1 hour 15 minutes. Cool. Peel and coarsely grate beets. Whisk vinegar, sugar, mustard and caraway seeds in large bowl to blend. Gradually whisk in oil. Add cabbage, onion and grated beets to dressing and toss to coat. Let stand 45 minutes, tossing occasionally. Stir in dill. Season generously with salt and pepper. Line large bowl with lettuce. Mix 2 1/2 cups carrots into cabbage mixture. Spoon salad atop lettuce in bowl. Sprinkle remaining grated carrots over and serve.

From Epicurious.com via Bon Appétit, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/beet-and-red-cabbage-slaw-101845

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Summer CSA Share – #7

Welcome to the 7th share of the Pitchfork & Crow Summer CSA!  Here’s what’s in the share this week:

  • Rainbow Chard
  • Carrots & New Potatoes
  • Cauliflower
  • Mixed Cucumbers – Persian, picklers, and lemon!
  • Romaine Lettuce
  • Basil
  • Salad Mix – a mix of several lettuces
  • Big Bunching Onions
  • Mixed Summer Squash – choose from Dark Star zucchini, Magda cousa, and yellow straightneck summer squash
  • Sweet Corn
  • Tomatoes!

Farm Open House This Saturday!  Come out and visit your vegetables in the field, meet other CSA members, and take a tour around the farm.  Click here for the details.

Zinnias adding a little color to the lettuce bed (left) and me, feeling the heatwave this weekend (right)

It’s been all about beating the heat this week. Summer suddenly showed up in force, meaning adjustments to the work schedule.  I’ve been trying to get field work done in the mornings and evenings while still attempting to be productive in the heat of the afternoons.  This is maybe the busiest time of the season as farm maintenance is center stage but planting for fall and winter succession continues on.  The long work days of summer are here, and hopefully the heat will take a breather sometime soon.

Jeff, working on our 1947 cultivating tractor (left) and a frog found in the kale (right)

I discovered last week that I’d accidentally added diesel fuel to our gas tractor the week before, so Jeff has been kind enough to take up the repair project.  It’s involved draining the fuel tank, replacing the fuel filter, and dis-assembling the engine to clean out the pistons after they’d seized up.  It’s no longer seized, but we’re not quite back to working order yet.  Lesson learned!  Pay attention to the fuel!

The week ahead looks like another hot one.  There’s plenty of field work to  be doing and some clean up for Saturday’s farm open house.  Hopefully it won’t be too hot for you to come out for a visit.

Enjoy the vegetables!

Your farmers,
Carri Heisler and Jeff Bramlett

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Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:

Romaine and Cucumber Salad with Garlic Vinaigrette

  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced and mashed to a paste with 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 2 heads of romaine, torn into bite-size pieces, rinsed, and spun dry (about 14 cups)
  • 2 cucumbers, peeled, halved lengthwise, seeded, and sliced crosswise

In a large bowl whisk together the vinegar, the garlic paste, and pepper to taste, add the oil in a stream, whisking, and whisk the vinaigrette until it is emulsified. Add the romaine and the cucumbers and toss the salad well.

From Epicurious.com via Gourmet, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/romaine-and-cucumber-salad-with-garlic-vinaigrette-12280

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Cauliflower Steaks with Coconut-Turmeric Relish

  • 1 medium head of cauliflower
  • 3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
  • Plain whole-milk Greek yogurt and Coconut-Turmeric Relish (for serving; optional)

Preheat oven to 400°F. Remove the toughest outer leaves from cauliflower (leave the tender inner leaves) and trim stem. Resting cauliflower on stem, cut in half from top to bottom, creating two lobes with stem attached. Trim off outer rounded edge of each piece to create two 1 1/2″-thick steaks; reserve trimmed off florets for making cauliflower rice or roasted cauliflower.

Heat 2 Tbsp. oil in a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high. Cook cauliflower, gently lifting up occasionally to let oil run underneath, until deep golden brown, about 5 minutes. Add remaining 1 Tbsp. oil to skillet, turn steaks over, and season with salt and pepper. Cook until second side is golden brown, about 3 minutes, then transfer skillet to oven. Roast just until stems are tender when pierced with a cake tester or toothpick, 8–12 minutes. Let cool slightly.

If using relish, swipe some yogurt over each plate and place a steak on top. Spoon one-quarter of relish over each. Season with more salt and pepper.

From Epicurious.com via Bon Appétit by Claire Saffitz, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/cauliflower-steaks-with-coconut-turmeric-relish

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Summer Vegetable Frittata

 

  • 6 large eggs
  • 6 large fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 oz prosciutto, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 lb medium zucchini (about 3), halved lengthwise and cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices
  • 5 medium Swiss chard leaves, stems discarded and leaves finely chopped (1 1/2 cups)
  • 12 scallions, trimmed and finely chopped
  • 5 zucchini blossoms*
  • 2 oz finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (1 cup)

Preheat broiler.

Whisk together eggs, basil, parsley, salt, and pepper in a bowl.

Cook prosciutto in oil in a 12-inch ovenproof nonstick skillet over moderate heat, stirring, until edges begin to crisp, about 2 minutes. Add zucchini and chard and cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are just tender, about 8 minutes. Add scallions and zucchini blossoms and cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until just wilted, 1 to 2 minutes. Pour egg mixture into skillet and cook, lifting up cooked egg around edge using a spatula to let as much raw egg as possible flow underneath, until edge is set, about 2 minutes (top and center will still be very loose). Sprinkle cheese evenly over top.

Broil frittata about 6 inches from heat until set, slightly puffed, and golden, 2 to 2 1/2 minutes.

Cool frittata 5 minutes, then loosen edge with a clean spatula and slide onto a large plate. Cut into wedges.

*Available at many farmers markets and specialty produce markets.

From Epicurious.com via Gourmet by Angelo Pellegrini, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/summer-vegetable-frittata-109668

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Summer CSA Share – #6

Welcome to the 6th share of the Pitchfork & Crow Summer CSA!  Here’s what’s in the share this week:

  • Red Ursa Kale
  • New Potatoes – Don’t forget, these new potatoes are freshly dug and don’t have much of a protective skin so they won’t store as long as other potatoes.
  • Broccoli
  • Mixed Cucumbers – Persian, picklers, and lemon!
  • Hakurei Salad Turnips
  • Parsley
  • Salad Mix – a mix of several lettuces
  • Fresh Torpedo Onions – Sweet red onions from southern Italy
  • Mixed Summer Squash – choose from Dark Star zucchini, Magda cousa, and yellow straightneck summer squash
  • Tomatoes!

Planting the next round of broccoli and cauliflower last Saturday morning (left) and irrigating after planting (right)

As with many things on the farm this week, I’ve just about run out of time to write this newsletter.  It must be July!  I’m headed out to finish this week’s harvest and then it’s on to bagging up salad mix and potatoes, snapping a picture of the share and sending out the member email, loading up the truck, and heading to Salem for tonight’s pick-up.  Things are truckign along here on the farm.  The work of sowing seeds, weeding, irrigating, transplanting, and of course harvests all continue to get done, mostly.

Our new finger weeder set-up for the 1947 Farmall Cub cultivating tractor (left) and this week’s torpedo onions (right)

I finally remembered to get a picture of our new finger weeder set-up on our cultivating tractor.  Finger weeders, as seen above, are taking the small-farming world by storm and I jumped on the bandwagon.  The rubber fingers rotate in between plants, disturbing the weeds that would otherwise be hard to get with a tractor and would need to be hoed out on foot. Jeff was a champ at helping me get them set-up on the tractor.  We found a metal bar at a local metal scrapyard and he cut it and painted it for mounting the brackets.  He then mounted everything to my specifications.  The new rig has been an asset already, I only wish I’d had it earlier in the season.

That’s a glimpse of what we’ve been up to here on the farm.  The week ahead will be all about staying cool and hydrated and keeping everything well irrigated in the fields.  It’s going to be a hot one!

Enjoy the vegetables!

Your farmers,
Carri Heisler and Jeff Bramlett

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Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:

Spicy Lamb Pizza with Parsley-Red Onion Salad

  • 2 garlic cloves, finely grated
  • ¼ cup tomato paste
  • ¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¾ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¾ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt, plus more
  • 12 ounces ground lamb
  • All-purpose flour (for dusting)
  • 8 ounces prepared pizza dough, cut in half, room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided, plus more for drizzling
  • ½ small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup parsley leaves with tender stems
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • Crushed red pepper flakes (for serving)

Place a baking sheet on a rack in lower third of oven; preheat to 500°. Mix garlic, tomato paste, cinnamon, cumin, paprika, and ¾ tsp. salt in a large bowl. Mix in lamb.

Working with 1 piece of dough and keeping remaining piece covered, gently stretch dough into a 10×8″ oval and transfer to a lightly floured parchment-lined baking sheet. (If dough springs back, cover and let rest 10 minutes, then stretch again, resting as needed.) Crumble half of the lamb mixture over dough and brush edges with 1 Tbsp. oil. Slide onto preheated baking sheet and bake until crust is golden brown, 6–8 minutes. Transfer pizza to a wire rack. Repeat with remaining dough, lamb mixture, and 1 Tbsp. oil. Drizzle pizzas with more oil.

Toss onion, parsley, and lemon juice in a bowl; season with salt. Scatter over pizzas; sprinkle with red pepper flakes.

From Bon Appétit by Andy Baraghani, https://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/spicy-lamb-pizza-with-parsley-red-onion-salad

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New Potatoes with Parmesan, Black Pepper, and Gribiche Dressing

  • 1 pound new or other small waxy potatoes, halved if large
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
  • 1 ounce finely grated Parmesan (about 1 cup), divided
  • Gribiche Dressing (for serving)

Preheat oven to 425°. Drizzle potatoes with oil on a large rimmed baking sheet and toss to coat; season with salt and pepper. Roast, tossing once, until golden brown and tender, 20–25 minutes. Remove potatoes from oven and scatter half of Parmesan over top. Roast until cheese is melted, about 1 minute. Remove from oven and toss just to evenly coat potatoes.

Transfer potatoes to a platter and top with remaining Parmesan; season with pepper. Spoon dressing over top.

From Bon Appétit by Chris Morocco, https://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/new-potatoes-with-parmesan-black-pepper-and-gribiche-dressing

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Cold Sesame Noodles with Broccoli and Kale

  • 1 large head of broccoli, cut into large florets with some stalk attached
  • 2 garlic cloves, 1 finely grated, 1 thinly sliced, divided
  • 1½ teaspoons sambal oelek
  • 1 tablespoon plus ½ cup sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar, divided
  • ¾ cup vegetable oil, divided
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more
  • 3 scallions, green parts only, thinly sliced, plus more for serving (or torpedo onion tops)
  • 1 3-inch piece ginger, peeled, cut into 1-inch matchsticks
  • 4 cups chopped  kale leaves
2 10-ounce packages fresh ramen noodles or two 3-ounce packages dried

Preheat oven to 450°. Toss broccoli with grated garlic, sambal oelek, 1 Tbsp. vinegar, and ¼ cup oil on a rimmed baking sheet; season with salt and pepper. Roast, tossing occasionally, until tender and browned in spots, 20–25 minutes.

Meanwhile, whisk scallions, ginger, sliced garlic, 1 tsp. salt, ¼ tsp. pepper, and remaining ½ cup vinegar and ½ cup oil in a large bowl. Add kale; toss to coat. Let sit at room temperature at least 15 minutes and up to 1 hour.

Cook noodles according to package directions. Drain; rinse under cold water. Add noodles and warm broccoli to kale and toss to coat. Divide among bowls and top with mint, sesame seeds, and more scallions.

From Bon Appétit, https://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/cold-sesame-noodles-with-broccoli-and-kale

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