Winter CSA Share – #3

Welcome to the 3rd share of the Pitchfork & Crow 2020/2021 Winter CSA!  Here’s what’s in the share this week:

  • Red Brussels Sprouts
  • January King Cabbage
  • Rainbow Chard
  • Chicory MixThis frost-sweetened mix is just asking for creamy dressing, or something citrusy perhaps, and it also holds up well to warm toppings like bacon, chicken, or (our favorite) salmon.
  • Mixed Beets
  • German Butterball Potatoes
  • Leeks
  • Garlic
  • Yellow & Red Onions – We ask a lot of our storage crops. We harvest them in early fall and then let them sit and wait and wait until they make an appearance in the share. We’re getting better at selecting long storing varieties but there’s just only so long an onion wants to store sometimes. That’s to say, eat your onions before they sprout because spring is just around the corner.
  • Thyme
  • Sweet Mama Kabocha Winter Squash
  • Mixed Winter Squash – Choose from Delicata, Carnival Acorn, and Gill’s Golden Pippin Acorn.
  • Dried Apples – We had a sad apple crop this year but we’ve made up for it by buying in some no-spray apples from another orchard. We did all the slicing and drying here at the farm.

Summer CSA sign-up time has arrived! We’ve opened up memberships to the 2021 Summer CSA and we hope you’ll join us for a summer and fall of local, seasonal, and organic vegetables. Find all the details and a sign-up form over on the Summer CSA page.

Farm sunrise (left) and a frosty morning in the mustard patch (right).

Here we are, share 3 of the Winter CSA and already well into January. The end of the year is always such a blur. Even this year, when the holiday gatherings were limited, December seemed to fly by. Mostly we were hunkered down with crop planning I think. We made a point to work through our crop planning early in order to make sure we got our seed orders in early too.

Seeds were one of those highly sought after items last spring as the realities of COVID19 set in and many seed companies were inundated with orders. It quickly became apparent that our regular carefully planned out triple round of seed ordering with staggered orders in January, April, and July was not going to work out due to seed availability, seed company order capacity, and shipping timelines. We bumped up the timeline last spring and adjusted our planning this season too. Although we weren’t the earliest to get our orders in this year, we did manage to mostly secure the varieties and quantities we’d planned for. Fingers crossed that backordered items come into stock before we need them and that the seeds for later in the season that we haven’t ordered yet are still available when we do.

Drying apples (left) and chicory mix (right)!

There’s something about investing $3200 on seeds for the upcoming season that suggests it’s time to open up the Summer CSA memberships. As soon as the seed orders were in I quickly shifted into budget forecasting and website updates and we met to finalize our thoughts on the season ahead. Most things have stayed the same, but there are some changes.

We’re excited (and a little nervous) to have added a bi-weekly pick-up option to the Summer CSA. We sometimes hear from members that a whole share is too much for their needs and we hope the bi-weekly option will offer a little more flexibility and less vegetable overwhelm over the season. We worried most members might choose to switch to the bi-weekly pick-ups, which means we’d have to find many more members to fill the CSA and meet our budget goals for the year. Fortunately so far the trend has been toward the weekly share option and we’re feeling hopeful we’ll make it to our goals before the season starts.

Jeff’s made a little time for winter basket making, including a new basket for the weekly CSA share photo!

Thankfully it hasn’t been all computer time and indoor work these past couple of weeks. In between orchard pruning and harvesting Jeff has found time to make a couple of willow baskets. He’s made many baskets over the years and tries to make a few each winter when the willow and red osier dogwood trees on the farm are dormant and ready to cut. This year he decided it was time to make a new basket for the weekly CSA share photo and it turned out really nice. It’s difficult to see it peeking out in the share photo, but if you pick-up at the farm you should check it out in person.

We’ll be keeping busy in the coming weeks in between winter storms with continued orchard pruning, more harvests, a little weeding in high tunnels, and more. Next week our new propagation greenhouse kit will be delivered which will lead to all sorts of fun!

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

Your farmers,
Carri Heisler & Jeff Bramlett

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Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:

Farro, Radicchio, and Roasted Beet Salad

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

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

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

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

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

Kielbasa with Smothered Cabbage and Mashed Potatoes

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 3/4 pound smoked kielbasa (Polish sausage), cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 4 cups chopped cabbage
  • 1 onion, sliced thin
  • 3/4 pound yellow-fleshed or russet (baking) potatoes
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, cut into bits

In a large heavy skillet heat the oil over moderate heat until it is hot but not smoking and in it brown the kielbasa. Add the cabbage and the onion and cook the mixture, stirring occasionally, until the cabbage is browned. Add 1 1/2 cups water and simmer the mixture, covered partially, for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the cabbage is tender.

While the mixture is simmering, in a steamer set over boiling water steam the potatoes, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch pieces, covered, for 12 minutes, or until they are very tender, transfer them to a bowl, and mash them with a potato masher. Add the milk, scalded, 3 tablespoons hot water, the butter, and salt and pepper to taste and stir the potato mixture until the butter is melted. Serve the kielbasa mixture on the mashed potatoes.

From Epicurious.com via Gourmet, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/kielbasa-with-smothered-cabbage-and-mashed-potatoes-12807

Seared Rainbow Chard with Leeks

  • 2 (1-lb) bunches rainbow chard or red and green Swiss chard
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 large leeks (white and pale green parts only), halved lengthwise and cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices
  • 3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt

Cut stems from chard (if leaves are large, cut out coarse portions of rib), then cut stems crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Stack chard leaves and roll into cylinders. Cut cylinders crosswise to make 1-inch-thick strips of leaves.

Heat butter and oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderately high heat until foam subsides, then sauté chard stems and leeks with sea salt and pepper to taste, stirring occasionally, until slightly soft, 3 to 5 minutes.

Add chard leaves and continue to sauté, stirring frequently, until wilted. (If greens begin to brown before they wilt, sprinkle with a few drops of water.)

From Epicurious.com via Gourmet, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/seared-rainbow-chard-with-leeks-103721

Winter CSA Share – #2

Welcome to the 2nd share of the Pitchfork & Crow 2020/2021 Winter CSA!  Here’s what’s in the share this week:

  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Lacinato Kale
  • Mustard Greens
  • Rosalba or Castelfranco Chicory – These are some of our favorite winter salad greens. The pink variety is rosalba and the speckled green is castelfranco, and we love them both. The frost-sweetened beauties are just asking for creamy dressing, or something citrusy perhaps, and they hold up well to warm toppings like bacon, chicken, or (our favorite) salmon.
  • Parsnips – We’re excited to have eeked out a parsnip crop after many years of kind of failing. We’ve been loving them roasted with other roots and parsnip cupcakes (think carrot cake) have made multiple appearances in our kitchen.
  • Rose Finn Apple Fingerling Potatoes
  • Rutabaga – A cousin of the humble turnip, rutabagas bring a depth of flavor to mixed root dishes, and these have been sweetened by many frosty nights as a bonus.
  • Garlic
  • Yellow & Red Onions – We ask a lot of our storage crops. We harvest them in early fall and then let them sit and wait and wait until they make an appearance in the share. Were getting better at selecting long storing varieties but there’s just only so long an onion wants to store sometimes. That’s to say, eat your onions before they sprout because spring is just around the corner.
  • Cilantro
  • Butternut Winter Squash
  • Spaghetti Squash
  • Dried Apples – We had a sad apple crop this year but we’ve made up for it by buying in some no-spray apples from another orchard. We did all the slicing and drying here at the farm.
Beautiful day for a winter harvest!

Welcome back for the second share of the Winter CSA season! We hope you all had a good run of holidays and are looking forward to the new year. After the many surprising happenings of 2020 I wouldn’t know where to start with predictions for 2021, but we hope it’s filled with good health and good food for all of you. Luckily we’ve already got some of that food growing and in storage here on the farm, so we’re off to a good start on that front.

This week we’re bringing you a quintessential roundup of winter vegetables. The winter weather has thus far been nice to us. Many frosty nights have sweetened up the field crops but the temperatures have stayed above twenty overnight, keeping us out of the danger zone for most of the vegetables we have outside. The long range forecast from Rufus over at the Weather Cafe suggests we may be in for cold and wind in January, so we tried to focus on harvesting crops outside of greenhouses this time around. Fingers crossed we don’t get loads of snow or ice piling up on greenhouses.

Fruit tree pruning (top) and the evidence of lots of rain (bottom).

We’ve settled into the winter rhythm of every other week harvests nicely. We appreciate the schedule of keeping up harvests through the winter months but also having some time to catch up on sleep, do more cooking, and tackle all the projects that don’t seem to get tackled during the rush of the summer growing season.

Since we last met we used many of the sunnier days to start in on pruning the fruit trees. The orchards haven’t gotten a lot of attention over the years and we think our sporadic pruning resulted in a very sad fruit harvest this past year. We’re endeavoring to wrestle the orchards into a manageable state. If you need us this winter, and it’s a non-harvest day, you best look for us among the trees.

However not all the days in the past week+ were sunny now were they? We had a deluge and plenty of wind whip through recently. Our new weather station recorded wind gusts over 30mph and two inches of rain in one day. That much rain means flooding in our lowest field, which is mostly just a dramatic photo-taking opportunity as it receded fairly quickly. This time it was also a reminder as to why we’re upgrading our propagation greenhouse as the water crept down the pathways inside.

Crop planning via Zoom for the screen sharing capabilities!

We spent the rainier days hunkered down with spreadsheets and seed catalogs as we kicked off next season’s planning marathon. This process has evolved over the years and, as with many other aspects of the farm, we’ve figured out when to work together and when to split up the tasks.

We review crop types, planting dates, and quantities and we discuss our goals for the upcoming year together. Jeff formats the spreadsheet dates and cross references quantities with our projections. I choose varieties and seed sources, which includes a seed inventory to determine what we have on hand and what we need to order. Once completed Jeff breaks out our master plan spreadsheet into propagation, direct sowing, transplanting plans that get printed and become our record keeping for the season. I break out the planting plan into a seed order by seed company and put in the orders.

I’ll be diving back into seed catalogs as we wrap up this week’s CSA distribution, just in time for the return of the rain. We’re hoping to get our seed orders in as soon as possible to make sure we get varieties and quantities we need. There will certainly be more fruit tree pruning happening in the coming weeks too. More of the same I guess.

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

Your farmers,
Carri Heisler & Jeff Bramlett

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Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:

Mashed Potato, Rutabaga, and Parsnip Casserole with Caramelized Onions

  • 7 cups canned low-salt chicken broth
  • 3 pounds russet potatoes, peeled, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 1/2 pounds rutabagas, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 1/4 pounds parsnips, peeled, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
  • 8 garlic cloves
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, room temperature

Butter 13 x 9×2-inch glass baking dish. Combine first 7 ingredients in large pot; bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover partially and simmer until vegetables are very tender, about 30 minutes. Drain well. Transfer vegetables to large bowl. Add 1/2 cup butter. Using electric mixer, beat mixture until mashed but still chunky. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer mashed vegetables to prepared dish.

Melt remaining 1/4 cup butter in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add sliced onions and sauté until beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low and sauté until onions are tender and golden brown, about 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Spread onions evenly over mashed vegetables. (Casserole can be prepared up to 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)

Preheat oven to 375° F. Bake casserole uncovered until heated through and top begins to crisp, about 25 minutes.

From Epicurious.com via Bon Appétit, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/mashed-potato-rutabaga-and-parsnip-casserole-with-caramelized-onions-2607

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Shredded Root Vegetable Pancakes

  • 2 cups of shredded rutabaga, parsnips, or sweet potato (from about 2 medium vegetables), shredded on the medium holes of a box grater
  • 1 medium yellow onion, grated on the medium holes of a box grater
  • 3 large egg whites, beaten
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour, plus more if needed so mixture just holds together
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1/2 cup coconut or grapeseed oil
  • Flaky sea salt
  • 1/4 cup sour cream or crème fraîche
  • 2 scallions, finely chopped

Place the grated root veggies and onion in a large kitchen towel and wring out any liquid, then add them to a medium bowl.

Stir in the egg whites. Stir in the flour, salt, and pepper to taste.

In a large skillet, heat 1/4 cup of the oil over medium-high heat. Use a scant 1/4 cup measure to scoop pancakes into the skillet, using the bottom of the measuring cup to spread the mixture into 1/2-inch-thick patties. Cook until the first side is deeply golden brown and crisp, 3 to 4 minutes, then turn the pancakes over and brown the other side, 3 to 4 minutes more. Transfer the pancakes to a wire rack to cool slightly. Work in batches so you don’t overcrowd the pan, adding more oil to the pan as needed.

Serve the pancakes topped with a few pinches of flaky sea salt, a dollop of sour cream, and a sprinkle of scallions.

From Epicurious.com via The Happy Cook by Daphne Oz, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/shredded-root-vegetable-pancakes

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Butternut Squash and Noodles with Coconut, Lime, and Cilantro Sauce

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped onions
  • 2 pounds butternut squash, peeled, seeded, cut into 1/2- to 3/4-inch pieces (about 4 1/2 cups)
  • 1 cup canned vegetable broth
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons minced seeded jalapeño chili
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 cup canned light unsweetened coconut milk*
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon Thai red curry paste*
  • 12 ounces dried futonaga udon noodles (oriental-style spaghetti)* or linguine
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • *Available at Asian markets and in the Asian foods section of some supermarkets.

Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions; sauté until golden, about 5 minutes. Add squash; sauté 4 minutes. Add broth, jalapeño and garlic; bring to boil. Cover; cook until squash is almost tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in coconut milk, lime juice and curry paste. Simmer uncovered until squash is tender and liquid is slightly reduced, about 4 minutes. Season to taste with salt.

Meanwhile, cook noodles in large pot of boiling salted water until just tender but still firm to bite. Drain noodles. Return to pot. Add squash mixture and cilantro to noodles; toss to blend. Serve.

From Epicurious.com via Bon Appétit, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/butternut-squash-and-noodles-with-coconut-lime-and-cilantro-sauce-5340

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Kale and Brussels Sprout Salad

  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon minced shallot
  • 1 small garlic clove, finely grated
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt plus more for seasoning
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 large bunches of Tuscan kale (about 1 1/2 pounds total), center stem discarded, leaves thinly sliced
  • 12 ounces brussels sprouts, trimmed, finely grated or shredded with a knife
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1/3 cup almonds with skins, coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup finely grated Pecorino

Combine lemon juice, Dijon mustard, shallot, garlic, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and a pinch of pepper in a small bowl. Stir to blend; set aside to let flavors meld. Mix thinly sliced kale and shredded brussels sprouts in a large bowl.

Measure 1/2 cup oil into a cup. Spoon 1 tablespoon oil from cup into a small skillet; heat oil over medium-high heat. Add almonds to skillet and stir frequently until golden brown in spots, about 2 minutes. Transfer nuts to a paper towel-lined plate. Sprinkle almonds lightly with salt.

Slowly whisk remaining olive oil in cup into lemon-juice mixture. Season dressing to taste with salt and pepper. DO AHEAD: Dressing, kale mixture, and toasted almonds can be prepared 8 hours ahead. Cover dressing and kale mixture separately and chill. Cover almonds and let stand at room temperature.

Add dressing and cheese to kale mixture; toss to coat. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Garnish with almonds.

From Epicurious.com via Bon Appétit by Susan Spungen, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/kale-brussels-sprout-salad-368295

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Winter CSA Share – #1

Welcome to the 1st share of the Pitchfork & Crow 2020/2021 Winter CSA!  Here’s what’s in the share this week:

  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Lacinato Kale Tops
  • Rainbow Chard
  • Lettuce/Spinach Mix
  • Rainbow Carrots
  • Yukon Gem Potatoes – An improved version of the classic Yukon Gold, great for baking, boiling, and frying.
  • Celeriac (aka Celery Root) – A celery flavored root that’s great tossed into soups and stews or mashes and gratins or our favorite: roasted up with other roots.
  • Bunching Onions – They’re big for bunching onions, we know. But they’re still tasty from their green tips down to their roots. Well, don’t eat the roots but you get the idea.
  • Garlic
  • Yellow & Red Onions – We ask a lot of our storage crops. We harvest them in early fall and then let them sit and wait and wait until they make an appearance in the share. Were getting better at selecting long storing varieties but there’s just only so long an onion wants to store sometimes. That’s to say, eat your onions before they sprout because spring is just around the corner.
  • Rosemary
  • Long Pie Pumpkin – An heirloomy pumpkin variety from the NE thought to be a descendant from a native American line of long-storing squash. This one is new for us this year and we can attest to its lovely pie-making qualities.
  • Candystick Dessert Delicata Winter Squash
  • Dried Apples – We had a sad apple crop this year but we’ve made up for it by buying in some no-spray apples from another orchard. We did all the slicing and drying here at the farm.

Welcome to the first week of the Winter CSA! We’re excited to kick off our eighth winter season and hope you are too! This year has thrown us all a few curve balls but we’re hoping the Winter CSA is a shining light here in the darkest time of the year. Whether you’re a returning member who is already well versed in seasonal eating, or a new member looking to avoid the supermarket aisles, we hope you know we’ll be trying our darndest to bring you the best organic vegetables we can grow to each CSA pick-up over the next five months.

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

The first Winter harvest of the season!

Here are a few reminders as we get going this winter season.

  • First off, we’ve all been living in this COVID-19 world long enough now that I don’t think we need to belabor any rules and regulations. As in other places in life, we ask that everyone please be aware of spacing and respect other members. If we all try to work efficiently at choosing vegetables and moving through the pick-up we shouldn’t have any trouble making sure everyone gets their share for the week. This means the pick-up process may take a tad longer than in years past but our experience with the Summer CSA pick-ups suggest things shouldn’t back up too much.
  • Also, don’t forget to share your cooking triumphs with other members in the P&C CSA member facebook group If you enjoyed a recipe we’d all love to hear about it!
  • Finally, let us know if you’re a member but you’re not seeing the weekly member email.  It serves as a good pick-up reminder and that’s where we’ll put any important member information as the season goes on. Remember what I said about unpredictable winter weather? That goes for pick-ups too and we’ll try to update you via email if there’s ever a hiccup on a scheduled pick-up day.

Most of you are returning members and you know the CSA drill already, but there are a number of new members this season.  Either way, let us know if you have any questions on CSA logistics, or vegetables, or whatever else might come up.  We’re looking forward to a fantastic winter season, and hope you are too!

Blueberries!

Now that we’ve covered the Winter CSA logistics, here are a few updates from the farm. We often get questions about our two-week break between seasons. Do we have any fun trips planned? What sort of work is there to do on the farm in the winter? Of course each year is different and this year especially so given the advice to limit travels etc. We managed to keep busy here on the farm these past two weeks, albeit at a slower pace thankfully.

Our most exciting project was planting a small blueberry patch! Jeff had prepped beds in a rarely used corner of the farm behind some field houses earlier this fall so we were ready to jump into planting once we had the time. We planted 200 blueberry bushes, 4 varieties total (Duke, Olympia, Chandler, and Aurora), with harvest windows ranging from late June through August. They’re an investment in future summer berries and we look forward to sharing them in years to come. We also purchased ten fig trees that will find a home in the field in the spring!

Getting started on winter projects! A weather station addition, gutters, and drying apples!

Other projects of note we tackled during the break include:

  • Mounting a weather station! I’ve been dreaming of a weather station for years and Jeff finally made it happen. Now we can track rainfall, temperatures, and wind speed. It’s connected to our wifi and updates to the internet. Click here to see the weather at the farm!
  • Installing gutters on the west side of the barn! This one is exciting for members who pick-up here at the farm. Fingers crossed the new gutters eliminate the waterfall walking experience for you when it’s raining during a pick-up.
  • Drying apples! We’ve increased the number of members in the Winter CSA from 62 last year to 80 this year which means it takes an extra round of drying apples to have enough. It’s worth it for crispy apples though!
  • Buying a new propagation house greenhouse! After many years of making a greenhouse that came with the farm work for our propagation needs we’re finally investing in a new greenhouse. It will be located out of the spring flood zone, be built of stronger materials, have improved ventilation, be double-walled for fewer temperature fluctuations, and be located in line with our upgraded soil mixing and germination chamber locations. I’m looking forward to improved transplant success and a shorter trip from seed starting to transplant growing locations. The new greenhouse arrives in late January and Jeff has already been busy clearing the site.

These were the highlights I can recall from our two week hiatus. Of course there were other projects including a little planting, a little weeding, many tasty meals, and lots of winter squash pie.

Hey, that’s us, in a book!

Finally I wanted to share a fun thing that happened in the last few months. In March of 2019 we were contacted by a local author, named Karista Bennett, who was working on a cookbook highlighting local producers and products from Oregon. She planned to include pages throughout the book introducing readers to farms and chefs and wineries and she wanted to include us. I’m not entirely sure how she found us but it sounded like an easy thing to agree to.

She came out for a visit to take photos and meet us on a rainy July day in 2019. Well, all these months later she finished up the project and The Oregon Farm Table Cookbook came to life. Karista sent us a copy of the book recently and it’s a fun mix of locally inspired recipes and highlights from regional farms and food producers just as promised. If you’re looking for a new cookbook and want to learn about some hard-working and inspiring mid-valley producers this one’s for you.

Okay, surely that’s enough for one farm update. We look forward to seeing everyone this week at the pick-ups!

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

Your farmers,
Carri Heisler & Jeff Bramlett

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Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:

Miso-Harissa Delicata Squash and Brussels Sprouts Salad

  • 1/2 pound Brussels sprouts, trimmed
  • 1-pound delicata squash
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup white miso
  • 1 tablespoon harissa paste
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 3 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 1/4 cup toasted almonds, roughly chopped
  • Minced cilantro for serving

Preheat the oven to 400°F and line a baking sheet with parchment. Slice the Brussels sprouts in half lengthwise. Cut the delicata squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Slice each half into 1/2-inch-thick half-moons. You can leave the peel on the squash, as it is edible.

In a bowl, whisk together the olive oil, miso, harissa, honey, and vinegar. In a large bowl, combine the Brussels sprouts and squash with 1/3 cup of the harissa miso mixture. Use your hands to coat the vegetables evenly. Spread the vegetables out on the prepared baking sheet and roast until the squash is tender and the Brussels sprouts are slightly crisp, 25 to 30 minutes. Toss the veggies halfway through cooking.

While the veggies roast, heat a small dry skillet over medium-high. Add the almonds and toast until they are golden brown, shaking the pan often, 3 to 5 minutes. Pour them from the pan to a plate, and when they’re cool enough to handle, roughly chop them.

Divide the roasted vegetables among the bowls and sprinkle toasted almonds and minced cilantro on top. Serve with the remaining miso harissa sauce on the side.

Keep extra miso-harissa sauce in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week.

From Epicurious.com via Dishing Up the Dirt by Andrea Bemis, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/miso-harissa-delicata-squash-and-brussels-sprouts-salad

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Celery Root and Carrot Soup

  • 1/2 large celery root (celeriac), peeled, chopped
  • 1/2 pound carrots, peeled, chopped
  • 1/4 cup plain whole-milk yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated peeled ginger
  • Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
  • Celery leaves and chopped Granny Smith apple (for serving)

Place celery root and carrots in a large pot; add 6 cups water. Bring to a simmer over medium heat; cook until tender, 30–35 minutes. Let cool slightly. Purée in a blender with yogurt, honey, coriander, and ginger until smooth; season with salt and pepper.

Serve soup topped with celery leaves and apple.

From Epicurious.com via Bon Appétit by Rick Martinez, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/celery-root-and-carrot-soup

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Roasted Winter Vegetables

  • 2 lb/910 kg winter squash or pumpkin, parsnips, carrots, beets/beetroots, or a mix
  • 2 medium red or yellow onions, quartered
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Handful of fresh parsley, coarsely chopped, for garnish

Preheat the oven to 400°F/200°C/gas 6. Peel and cut the vegetables into equal sized pieces, about 1-in/2.5-cm chunks. Toss vegetables and onions in olive oil in a large bowl and season generously with salt and pepper.

Spread the pieces out in a single layer on one or two roasting pans/trays so that the vegetables don’t touch. Roast until the veggies are lightly browned and just tender, 45 minutes to 1 hour, depending on the vegetable. Remove and toss with additional olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and garnish with parsley before serving.

From Epicurious.com via The Newlywed Cookbook by Sarah Copeland, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/roasted-winter-vegetables-395551

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Summer CSA Share – #26

Welcome to the 26th and final share of the Pitchfork & Crow 2020 Summer CSA!  Here’s what’s in the share this week:

  • Redarling Brussels Sprouts
  • Lacinato Kale
  • Spinach/Tatsoi/Red Lettuce Mix
  • Mustard Greens – Slightly spicy leaves that punch up salads. We love to wilt them in brothy soups.
  • Carrots
  • AmaRosa Fingerling Potatoes -Red inside and outside, these fingerlings are tasty boiled, baked, and make colorful chips.
  • Garlic
  • Yellow & Red Onions
  • Sage
  • Celery – Just a few stalks for everyone this time. We’d hope to share full heads one more time, but a pesky gopher had another idea.
  • Pie Pumpkin
  • Butternut Squash
  • Corn Flour – – We grow a dent corn that grinds partially into flour and partially into polenta when milled. Last week you got the polenta and this week is the flour. You can use this flour in any recipe calling for corn flour or cornmeal. We like to use this corn flour for perfect cornbread and it has been excellent for fried green tomatoes.

As we wrap up the 2020 Summer CSA season and also celebrate Thanksgiving this week I wanted to take a moment to say thanks. Thank you for supporting our farm this season. Thank you for choosing to eat local and seasonal vegetables for the past six months. Thank you for showing up week after week. We know this has been an especially difficult year for many of you and we appreciate your willingness to make the CSA a part of your lives.

Here are some season stats: This year each share consisted of an average of 16lbs per week for 26 weeks. That’s 417lbs of organic vegetables for each share over the season. All combined Jeff and I distributed approximately 42,500lbs of produce this season. Through our partnership with the Linn Benton Food Share, over 6,500lbs of those organic vegetables went directly to the Lebanon Soup Kitchen, Lebanon food pantries, and the Lebanon Gleaners. Not bad for a two-person operation, if I do say so.

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

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

Harvesting mustard greens and Brussels sprouts this week.

We’ll see some of you in a few weeks for the start of the Winter CSA. We’re excited to see what the winter season has in store for us and hope you are too! For everyone else we hope you have a fantastic winter! You’ll be hearing from us in early January as we gear up for the 2021 Summer CSA! Hopefully you’ll consider joining us for another round of local, seasonal, organic vegetables.

Have a happy Thanksgiving and enjoy the vegetables! We’ll see Winter CSA members on December 15th & 16th for the beginning of the Winter season.

Your farmers,
Carri Heisler & Jeff Bramlett

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Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:

Simmered Greens with Cornmeal Dumplings

  • 1 (1-pound) piece slab bacon
  • 3 quarts water
  • 3 pound mixed greens such as collard, mustards, and turnip
  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 2 teaspoons packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup whole milk

Score bacon 2 or 3 times (do not cut all the way through), then simmer in water in a wide 6-quart pot, covered, 1 hour.

Discard any coarse stems from greens and coarsely chop leaves.

Add greens, 2 1/2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper to bacon and cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, 25 minutes.

Meanwhile, whisk together flour, cornmeal, brown sugar, baking powder, and 1/4 teaspoon salt, then blend in butter well with your fingertips. Stir in milk until just combined. Let dough stand 5 minutes.

With wet hands, roll rounded tablespoons of dough into balls.

Gently place dumplings on top of greens. Cook, covered and undisturbed, over low heat until greens are very tender and silky and dumplings are puffed and cooked through, about 20 minutes. Discard bacon. Season with salt and pepper.

From Epicurious.com via Gourmet by Edna Lewis, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/simmered-greens-with-cornmeal-dumplings-241202

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Potato, Greens, and Goat Cheese Quesadillas

  • 1 1/3 cups 1/2-inch cubes peeled Yukon Gold potatoes (about 2 medium)
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 1/3 cups (packed) coarsely grated hot pepper Monterey Jack cheese (5 to 6 ounces)
  • 1 1/3 cups jarred salsa verde (tomatillo salsa)
  • 4 2/3 cups coarsely chopped stemmed mustard greens (from 1 bunch), divided
  • 4 8-inch-diameter flour tortillas
  • 3 ounces chilled fresh goat cheese, coarsely crumbled
  • Olive oil

Place baking sheet in oven and preheat to 275°F. Steam potatoes until tender, about 8 minutes. Place in large bowl; sprinkle with salt, pepper, and chili powder. Toss to coat. Cool potatoes 15 minutes. Mix in Jack cheese. Meanwhile, blend salsa and 2/3 cup (packed) greens in mini processor until greens are finely chopped.

Arrange tortillas on work surface. Divide remaining greens between bottom half of each. Top greens with potato mixture, then goat cheese and 2 tablespoons salsa mixture for each. Fold plain tortilla halves over filling, pressing to compact. Brush with oil.

Heat large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Place 2 quesadillas, oiled side down, in skillet. Brush tops with oil. Cook until quesadillas are brown, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer to sheet in oven to keep warm. Repeat with remaining 2 quesadillas.

Cut each quesadilla into 3 or 4 wedges. Serve with remaining salsa.

From Epicurious.com via Bon Appétit, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/potato-greens-and-goat-cheese-quesadillas-241607

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Fettuccine with Brussels Sprouts and Pine Nuts

  • 3/4 pound Brussels sprouts, trimmed
  • 1/2 pound dried egg fettuccine
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons pine nuts

Slice Brussels sprouts in a food processor fitted with slicing disk.

Cook fettuccine in a pasta pot of boiling salted water (3 tablespoons salt for 6 quarts water) until al dente.

Meanwhile, heat butter and oil in a large heavy skillet over medium heat until foam subsides, then cook pine nuts, stirring, until golden, 1 to 2 minutes. Add Brussels sprouts, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper, then sauté over medium-high heat until tender and lightly browned, about 4 minutes.

Reserve 1/2 cup pasta-cooking water, then drain pasta and add to skillet, tossing with enough reserved water to moisten.

From Epicurious.com via Gourmet by Maggie Ruggiero, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/fettuccine-with-brussels-sprouts-and-pine-nuts-240591

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Winter Squash Soup with Gruyere Croutons

  1. Soup
    • 1/4 cup ( 1/2 stick) butter
    • 1 large onion, finely chopped
    • 4 large garlic cloves, chopped
    • 3 14 1/2-ounce cans low-salt chicken broth
    • 4 cups 1-inch pieces peeled butternut squash (about 1 1/2 pounds)
    • 4 cups 1-inch pieces peeled acorn squash (about 1 1/2 pounds) (or another winter squash like pie pumpkin)
    • 1 1/4 teaspoons minced fresh thyme
    • 1 1/4 teaspoons minced fresh sage
    • 1/4 cup whipping cream
    • 2 teaspoons sugar
  2. Croutons
    • 2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter
    • 24 1/4-inch-thick baguette bread slices
    • 1 cup grated Gruyère cheese
    • 1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme
    • 1 teaspoon minced fresh sage

For soup:

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

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

For croutons:

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

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

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Summer CSA Share – #25

Welcome to the 25th and penultimate share of the Pitchfork & Crow 2020 Summer CSA!  Here’s what’s in the share this week:

  • Kalibos Red Cabbage
  • Sugarloaf Chicory– Though some dislike the bitterness of chicories, we think of them as the salad greens of winter and an excellent excuse to break out the creamy salad dressing. Dressing a chicory salad with citrus or vinegar dressings, dried fruit, roasted nuts, and/or strong cheeses can help to cut the bitter. Sugarloaf in particular also makes for a tasty roasted or grilled side too.
  • Rainbow Chard
  • Rutabaga – We’ve got another odd root vegetable for you this week. A true fall and winter staple, the rutabaga brings hardiness and flavor to roasted roots and mashes of all kinds.
  • Rose Finn Apple fingerling Potatoes
  • Leeks
  • Yellow & Red Onion
  • Thyme
  • Black Futsu Winter Squash – Related to butternut, black futsu has a smooth orange flesh and thin edible skin. It’s a versatile squash that is tasty roasted, pickled, thinly shaved into salads raw, and in pies. It turns from dark green to bluish brown in storage.
  • Shishito Peppers – We’re eeking out the last of the peppers from storage. This week we’ve got the last of the shishitos, those roulette peppers where 1 in 10 might pack a little heat.
  • Polenta – – We grow a dent corn that grinds partially into flour and partially into polenta when milled. Next week we’ll send you home with some corn flour, but this week it’s polenta. We like to cook this polenta in our rice maker using the same 1 part polenta to 2 parts water ratio we use with rice. Many polenta recipes call for more liquid and longer cooking, which I’ve read will help develop the flavor more.
This week’s harvest started early with corn grinding and sifting over the weekend (left) and one of these things is not like the others; we happened upon a lone cauliflower the same shade of purple as this week’s cabbage (right).

It looks like we’re in for a blustery and wet CSA pick-up this week. Grab your rain jackets and come down for a load of tasty fall vegetables and the penultimate share for this season. That’s right, just one more week to go until we officially wrap up this summer CSA season. We’ve got vegetables for you right up until you’re prepping for Thanksgiving dinner.

Here’s a list of what we plan to include in next week’s share to help with any grocery buying you may be doing for the holiday:

  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Spinach
  • Celery
  • Potatoes
  • Carrots
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Sage
  • Pie Pumpkin
  • Butternut Squash
  • Corn Flour
Mac & cheese with winter squash and kale!

As both the weather and the vegetable selection in the share has shifted toward the fall season we hope you’re enjoying the benefits of eating seasonally. Just as we couldn’t face another zucchini it was time to start eating winter squash! We’re big fans of fall vegetables, perhaps because we find we have more time to cook and eat them.

One of my favorite ways to use up a few cups of roasted winter squash is Mac & Cheese. I make a simple roux with butter, flour, and yogurt and then whisk in a little cheese for flavor. In goes a few cups of pre-roasted squash, scraped from the skins, salt and pepper to taste. Mix that in with pasta and sauteed greens and it’s a bowl of comfort food packed with vegetables.

Don’t forget to check out the P&C CSA member Facebook group for more inspiration. Members have been sharing all sorts of delicious meals starring recent CSA offerings. If the root vegetables and winter squash are piling up in your kitchen I doubly suggest heading to the member group for ideas. Luckily we’re also nearing the end of this season so you’ll be caught up in no time.

Enjoy the vegetables and we’ll see you next week for the final share of the season!

Your farmers,
Carri Heisler & Jeff Bramlett

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Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:

Orecchiette with Sausage and Chicory

  • 1 pound orecchiette
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound sweet Italian sausage (casings removed)
  • 2 garlic cloves (thinly sliced)
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 pound chicory or escarole (coarsely chopped and washed)
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 cup chicken stock or low-sodium broth
  • ¼ cup grated pecorino (plus more for serving)
  • 2 tablespoons shredded mint

In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the pasta until al dente. Drain well. Step 2

Meanwhile, in a large, deep skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil until shimmering. Add the sausage and cook over moderately high heat, breaking it up with a wooden spoon, until browned, about 7 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the sausage to a plate. Step 3

Add the garlic, crushed red pepper and the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil to the skillet and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the chicory with any water clinging to the leaves and season with salt. Cover and cook until wilted, about 2 minutes. Uncover and cook until the chicory is tender and the liquid has evaporated, about 5 minutes longer. Step 4

Add the pasta to the skillet along with the sausage, chicken stock and pecorino and cook over moderate heat, stirring constantly, until the liquid is slightly reduced and creamy, about 3 minutes. Stir in the mint and serve right away, passing extra cheese at the table.

From Foodandwine.com by Michael White, https://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/orecchiette-sausage-and-chicory

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Vegetable Pot Pie with Wine Sauce and Polenta Crust

  1. Filling
    • 15 pearl onions
    • 2 large carrots
    • 2 russet potatoes (about 8 ounces each), peeled
    • 2 rutabagas (about 6 ounces each), peeled
    • 1 red bell pepper, seeded
    • 1 leek (white and pale green parts only), chopped
    • 10 ounces mushrooms, coarsely chopped
    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried herbs de Provence
    • 1 cup frozen peas, thawed
    • 1 cup canned vegetable broth
    • 1 cup dry red wine
    • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  2. Polenta
    • 2 cups canned vegetable broth
    • 1 cup water
    • 3/4 cup cornmeal
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1 tablespoon freshly grated Romano cheese

For filling:

Preheat oven to 425°F. Blanch pearl onions in large pot of boiling water 2 minutes. Drain onions and cool. Peel onions.

Cut carrots, potatoes, rutabagas and bell pepper into 1/2-inch pieces. Place in heavy large baking pan with onions, leek and mushrooms. Add olive oil and herbes de Provence and toss to coat. Roast until vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally, about 1 hour. Transfer vegetables to 8-inch square glass baking dish. Stir in peas. Season vegetables to taste with salt and pepper. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover tightly and refrigerate.)

Reduce oven temperature to 350°F. Mix 1 cup vegetable broth and 3/4 cup dry red wine in heavy small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to simmer. Stir remaining 1/4 cup red wine and 1 tablespoon cornstarch in small bowl until smooth. Add to broth mixture and simmer until sauce thickens slightly, stirring occasionally, about 4 minutes. Pour sauce over roasted vegetables.

For polenta:

Combine vegetable broth and 1 cup water in heavy medium saucepan over medium heat. Bring to boil. Gradually stir in cornmeal and salt. Cook until polenta thickens and pulls away from sides of pan, stirring constantly, about 10 minutes. Pour warm polenta over vegetable mixture. Using spatula, smooth top, covering vegetables completely. Sprinkle polenta with Romano cheese.

Bake pot pie until polenta is firm to touch and vegetable mixture is heated through, about 15 minutes. Preheat broiler. Broil pot pie until polenta is golden, about 4 minutes.

Spoon pot pie onto plate; serve hot.

From Epicurious.com via Bon Appétit, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/vegetable-pot-pie-with-wine-sauce-and-polenta-crust-1549

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Red Cabbage Salad with Warm Pancetta-Balsamic Dressing

  • 1/4 cup dried currants
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 6 cups thinly sliced red cabbage (from about 1/2 medium head)
  • 1 3-ounce package thinly sliced pancetta (Italian bacon), finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped shallot
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup whole almonds, toasted, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley

Place currants in small bowl. Heat vinegar in saucepan over medium heat until hot (do not boil). Pour vinegar over currants; let soak until currants soften, 15 to 20 minutes.

Place cabbage in large bowl; set aside. Heat large nonstick skillet over medium- high heat. Add pancetta; sauté until brown and crisp, about 5 minutes. Add shallot to pancetta and drippings in skillet; sauté 1 minute. Remove from heat. Stir in currant- vinegar mixture and olive oil. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Pour pancetta mixture over cabbage and toss to coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Let stand 5 to 10 minutes. Add almonds and parsley; toss to blend.

From Epicurious.com via Bon Appétit by Maria Helm Sinskey, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/red-cabbage-salad-with-warm-pancetta-balsamic-dressing-364089

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Summer CSA Share – #24

Welcome to the 24th share of the Pitchfork & Crow 2020 Summer CSA!  Here’s what’s in the share this week:

  • Spinach Mix
  • Arugula
  • Lacinato Kale
  • Parsnips – a little bit carroty, but sharper, parsnips are great roasted and in soups. I’m thinking these parsnip cupcakes may need to be tested out this week.
  • Potatoes
  • Celeriac (aka celery root) – use celeriac as a potato substitute or alongside potatoes in soups and gratins and mashes and…
  • Yellow & Red Onion
  • Garlic
  • Gill’s Golden Pippin Acorn Squash – a tasty little acorn squash that’s just the right size for a single serving.
  • Jalapeno or Czech Black Hot Peppers
  • Mixed Green Sweet Peppers
A rainbow over the farm (left) and digging parsnips with two dogs (right).

What a strange week it’s been on the farm since we last met. In between cleaning out the tomato houses on Friday, digging parsnips on Sunday, and this week’s icy harvest on Monday, we managed to meet, adopt, and ultimately return the second dog I’d mentioned we were excited about last week. Although she was the cuddliest, sweetest little shepherd/blue heeler cross I’d ever met, it became obvious pretty quickly that things weren’t going to work out.

She and Leo may have eventually worked through the hierarchy situation, but I’m pretty sure there would have been blood shed. The real deal breaker was the number of times she wandered off in search of more interesting scenes culminating with a daring trip across the busy highway which did not phase her one bit. It was a hard lesson to learn, but now we’re those people who think they can handle a new dog adoption but realize it’s not always so easy. I hope she finds the right home, maybe a place on a ranch in eastern Oregon where there’s room to roam and work to do.

We’re working to get re-focused on wrapping up this season. Just two more weeks of summer shares before we get a short break and then the every other week pick-ups of the Winter CSA begin in mid-December. This season has really flown by!

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

Your farmers,
Carri Heisler & Jeff Bramlett

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Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:

Rosemary-Rubbed Side of Salmon with Roasted Potatoes, Parsnips, and Mushrooms

  • 1 1/2 cups loosely packed fresh rosemary leaves
  • 4 teaspoons coarse kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 pound red-skinned or white-skinned potatoes, cut into 3/4-inch pieces
  • 1 pound parsnips, peeled, cut into 3/4-inch pieces
  • 1 3 1/2-to 3 3/4-pound whole side of salmon with skin
  • 1 pound crimini (baby bella) mushrooms, quartered if large, halved if small assorted salad greens
  • 1/3 cup Pinot Noir or other dry red wine

Blend rosemary, salt, and pepper in processor until finely chopped. With machine running, gradually add 4 tablespoons oil; process to coarse paste.

Position 1 rack in top third and 1 rack in bottom third of oven; preheat to 450°F. Toss potatoes, parsnips, 2 tablespoons oil, and 3 tablespoons rosemary mixture in large bowl. Transfer vegetable mixture to rimmed baking sheet, arranging in even layer. Roast vegetables on lower rack 20 minutes.

Line large rimmed baking sheet with parchment. Place salmon, skin side down, on sheet. Spread with remaining rosemary mixture. Toss mushrooms with vegetable mixture. Return vegetable mixture to lower rack; place salmon on upper rack. Roast salmon until just opaque in center and vegetables until tender, about 20 minutes.

Line platter with salad greens; place salmon on top of greens. Transfer vegetables to serving bowl. Place vegetable baking sheet over 2 burners on high heat. Add wine and bring to boil, scraping up browned bits. Drizzle juices over salmon.

From Epicurious.com via Bon Appétit by Jill Silverman Hough, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/rosemary-rubbed-side-of-salmon-with-roasted-potatoes-parsnips-and-mushrooms-362532

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Mashed Potatoes with Celery Root and Mascarpone

  • 3 1/4 pounds Yukon Gold or russet potatoes, peeled, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1 1/2 pounds celery root (celeriac), peeled, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 3 whole peeled garlic cloves plus 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 8 ounces mascarpone cheese, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter

Place potatoes, celery root and whole garlic cloves in large pot. Add enough cold water to cover vegetables. Salt the water and bring to boil. Cover partially and boil until vegetables are very tender, about 40 minutes. Drain.

Transfer vegetables to large bowl. Using electric mixer, beat mixture until almost smooth. Add minced garlic, mascarpone and butter; beat until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper. (Can be prepared 3 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature. Rewarm over medium-low heat, stirring frequently.)

From Epicurious.com via Bon Appétit, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/mashed-potatoes-with-celery-root-and-mascarpone-4382

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Burgers with Mozzarella and Spinach-Arugula Pesto

  • 8 ounces baby spinach leaves (about 10 cups packed)
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1/2 teaspoon (packed) finely grated lemon peel
  • Large pinch of dried crushed red pepper
  • 4 cups (packed) fresh arugula leaves, divided (about 5 ounces)
  • 3 tablespoons pine nuts
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons (packed) freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 3/4 pounds ground beef (20% fat)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 6 hamburger buns, split horizontally
  • 6 1/3-inch-thick slices fresh mozzarella cheese
  • 2 large beefsteak tomatoes, cut into 1/4-inch-thick rounds

Rinse spinach; drain briefly, then place in large glass bowl. Microwave spinach, uncovered, on high just until wilted, 1 to 1 1/2 minutes. Drain, then squeeze out as much liquid as possible. Combine garlic, lemon peel, and crushed red pepper in processor; blend until garlic is finely chopped. Add spinach, 2 cups (packed) arugula, pine nuts, and lemon juice; process until coarse puree forms. With machine running, gradually add oil in thin stream and blend until almost smooth. Mix in cheese. Transfer pesto to small bowl; season with salt.

Do ahead: Can be made 6 hours ahead. Cover; chill.

Combine ground beef, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, and 6 tablespoons spinach-arugula pesto in large bowl; mix lightly with fingertips or fork just until incorporated. Form meat mixture into six 3/4-inch-thick patties. Place patties on platter.

Do ahead: Beef patties can be made 6 hours ahead. Cover and refrigerate.

Prepare barbecue (medium-high heat). Grill burgers to desired doneness, about 4 minutes per side for medium-rare. Grill buns, cut side down, just until lightly toasted, about 1 minute. Build burgers with pesto, patties, mozzarella cheese, tomatoes, and arugula. Cover with bun tops.

From Epicurious.com via Bon Appétit, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/burgers-with-mozzarella-and-spinach-arugula-pesto-235619

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Summer CSA Share – #23

Welcome to the 23rd share of the Pitchfork & Crow 2020 Summer CSA!  Here’s what’s in the share this week:

  • Mixed Head Lettuce
  • Bok Choy
  • Red Napa Cabbage
  • Celery
  • Carrots
  • French Fingerling Potatoes
  • Hakurei Salad Turnips or Daikon Radishes
  • Yellow Onions
  • Delicata Winter Squash
  • Matchbox Thai Hot Peppers – little peppers that pack a punch.
  • Mixed Sweet Green Peppers
  • Green Tomatoes – Just before the first big freeze of the season we rescue all the tomatoes, ripe and green alike. Here’s your once-a-year seasonal chance to make fried green tomatoes and/or one last batch of salsa verde.
  • Ripe Tomato – Okay, one last red ripe tomato of the season.
Celery harvest (left) and a stray red Napa cabbage leaf (right).

We’re rolling with the seasonal shift this week. I think we’ve quite possibly seen the last of the broccoli and cauliflower. We had a good run with both this season and it’s time to say goodbye until spring. Luckily there are other tasty vegetables ready to be harvested out there. This week we’re bringing you red Napa cabbage and bok choy. Sounds like stir-fry!

Planting rosemary: Leo helping to burn holes in the ground cloth (left) and transplanting plugs (right).

Last year we planted an herb plot that included thyme, rosemary, and sage. I’d started all of the transplants from seed early in the season and most of them thrived over this past season. Unfortunately only about fifty percent of the rosemary took, and those that survived are being overtaken by the sage. Early this season we decided to re-plant the rosemary, giving it more space.

Thinking it might be better to just start with well grown transplants I bought two flats of rosemary plugs from an organic nursery in June. Then the summer hit and all the things needed doing and the plugs just hung out near the propagation house all season. Well, this past week we finally managed to roll out some ground cover, burn holes in it, get it over the bed, and plant the plugs! Isn’t it the best when you finally close one of those long term project loops? And we’re looking forward to a rosemary hedge one day.

Carrot harvest this week (left) and taking soil samples (right).

We had a productive week on the farm. In addition to the rosemary planting we also rescued the carrots from an illusive rodent that was using them as its personal pantry. Carrots are the best, so I understand the rodent’s interest, but I’m glad we were able to save some to share with you instead.

On Sunday afternoon I began tackling the tomato trellising and managed to remove all the trellising string from the eight rows of tomatoes. Now for t-post removal, drip tape removal, plant removal, and then planting winter food.

We also took soil samples from various locations around the farm and sent them into A&L Western Labs in Portland for analysis. The reports will let us know what type of amending we should focus on moving forward and if we have any worrying mineral deficiencies. We’re also working on establishing a blueberry(!) plot and the soil report for that space will tell us whether it is acidic enough for blueberry plants to thrive.

It looks like we’ve got rain on deck on and off for the next week. This looks like the on-set of mud season. Luckily I think we’re in a pretty good place for it. This week we’ll finish up the tomato trellis removal and begin thinking about 2021 planting plans. We’re also meeting a new dog on Thursday and if all goes well we’ll be bringing her home this weekend. Leo’s ready for a friend, and we’re ready for Leo to have a friend.

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

Your farmers,
Carri Heisler & Jeff Bramlett

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Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:

Helen Getz’s 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

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Grilled Asian Chicken with Bok Choy, Shiitake Mushrooms, and Radishes

  • 8 1/3-inch-thick rounds red onion
  • 8 large shiitake mushrooms, stemmed
  • 8 red radishes, trimmed, halved (or salad turnips or daikon)
  • 4 baby bok choy, halved lengthwise
  • 1 large orange bell pepper, cut lengthwise into 8 strips
  • 1 1/4 cups Mango-Sesame Dressing , divided
  • 6 boneless chicken breast halves with skin
  • Nonstick vegetable oil spray

Arrange all vegetables on large rimmed baking sheet. Brush vegetables lightly on both sides with 1/3 cup Mango-Sesame Dressing; sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Arrange chicken on sheet of foil. Brush both sides of chicken with 1/3 cup dressing, then sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Do ahead

Vegetables and chicken can be prepared 2 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature.

Coat grill rack generously with nonstick spray and prepare barbecue (medium-high heat). Grill vegetables until just tender, turning occasionally, about 8 minutes for onion rounds and 4 minutes for mushrooms, radishes, bok choy, and pepper strips. Return all vegetables to same baking sheet.

Grill chicken until cooked through, 5 to 6 minutes per side. Transfer chicken to cutting board. Let stand 5 to 10 minutes. Cool 2 chicken breasts; wrap and chill for Asian Chicken-Noodle Salad.

Arrange remaining 4 chicken breasts and vegetables on platter. Serve with remaining dressing.

From Epicurious.com via Bon Appétit by Selma Brown Morrow, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/grilled-asian-chicken-with-bok-choy-shiitake-mushrooms-and-radishes-359329

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Spiced Pumpkin Soup

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons butter
  • 3/4 cup chopped carrot
  • 3/4 cup chopped celery
  • 3/4 cup chopped ripe banana
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 whole clove
  • 5 cups low-salt chicken broth
  • 2 cups canned pure pumpkin (Of course you’ll roast one or more of your winter squashes and use that here.)
  • 3/4 cup canned unsweetened coconut milk*
  • 1/4 cup sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon crumbled dried sage leaves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon yellow curry powder

Melt butter in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add carrot and next 6 ingredients and sauté until vegetables are soft, about 10 minutes. Discard bay leaf. Transfer mixture to processor and blend until smooth. Return mixture to pot. Add broth and all remaining ingredients except cilantro. Boil soup over medium-high heat 15 minutes to blend flavors. Cool slightly. Working in batches, puree soup in blender until smooth. Return soup to pot. Season to taste with salt and pepper. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cool slightly, then cover and refrigerate.)

Bring soup to simmer. Divide among 8 bowls. Sprinkle with cilantro and serve.

From Epicurious.com via Bon Appétit by Lucca’s Restaurant (Chicago, IL), https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/spiced-pumpkin-soup-107258

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Summer CSA Share – #22

Welcome to the 22nd share of the Pitchfork & Crow 2020 Summer CSA! Here’s what’s in the share this week:

  • Spinach Mix
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Cauliflower
  • Broccoli
  • Fennel
  • Beets
  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Sweet Corn
  • Pie Pumpkin
  • Aji Marchant Peppers – Used at all levels of ripeness, these hot peppers are hotter when fully red ripe. Read all about them over here.
  • Mixed Sweet Pepper
  • Tomatoes – The very last of the ripe tomatoes.
Covering up the tender greens in the high tunnels ahead of freezing temperatures Sunday.

As predicted we had our first low temperatures in the 20s over the weekend. It looks like we hit 24 Sunday night. We spent Sunday afternoon covering the more vulnerable crops (lettuce, spinach, arugula, celery etc) with big sheets of row cover, a lightweight dryer sheet-like frost protector. Most vegetables still in the field are fairly hardy at this point in the season though a little extra protection doesn’t hurt. The crops growing in the high tunnels are more tender and thus more vulnerable so we made sure to get them covered up. It was 28 degrees when we uncovered the spinach and began the harvest on Monday at 9am. The row cover had done its job!

Jeff seeding cover crop: our grain drill (left) and seed mix (right).

Jeff spent much of the week prepping ground and seeding cover crop in the open areas of the fields. It’s a multi-step process that starts with sourcing some seed and ends with using our antique grain drill to get the seed in the ground. There’s also lots of mowing, discing, and tilling to get the ground ready for seeding. We’re using a blend of oats, clover, vetch, and fava beans this year. The oats will germinate first and are included primarily to help keep soil in place over the winter. The other three are slower to germinate but are all nitrogen fixers, meaning they’ll add valuable nitrogen to the soil when mowed and incorporated in the spring.

Spinach from seed (left) to leaves (right).

While Jeff worked on cover cropping I finished up a few other lingering tasks. I spent some time threshing our small dry bean crop. After a final sort of beans and debris we should have some tasty beans to share with you. I also finished up planting out one of our high tunnels. Better late than never, I think. I sowed some spinach and transplanted some chicories that may or may not become winter salad. We’ve taken to priming spinach seed with a soak in water (as seen above) for up to 24 hours prior to sowing to help wake it up for faster germination. Always experimenting.

Harvesting continues: Brussels sprouts (left) and tomatoes (right).

The weather forecast suggests we’re out of the woods as far as freezing temperatures go for a bit. This week we’ll be tackling the tomato trellising (for reals), bulk harvesting some root vegetables, cleaning up the melon patch, and making some winter infrastructure plans.

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

Your farmers,
Carri Heisler & Jeff Bramlett

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Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:

Tortellini with Italian Sausage, Fennel, and Mushroom

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large fennel bulb, trimmed, halved through core, thinly sliced lengthwise (about 3 cups), fronds chopped
  • 1 pound spicy Italian sausages, casings removed, sausage coarsely crumbled
  • 1 (8-ounce) package sliced fresh crimini (baby bella) mushrooms
  • 4 large garlic cloves, pressed
  • 1 tablespoon fennel seeds, coarsely crushed
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 cup (or more) low-salt chicken broth
  • 1 (16-ounce) package dried tortellini with pesto filling or fresh tortellini with 3-cheese filling
  • 1 (5-ounce) package fresh baby spinach leaves
  • 1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese plus additional (for serving)

Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add sliced fennel bulb, sausage, and mushrooms; sauté until sausage is brown and cooked through and fennel is almost tender, 12 to 15 minutes. Add garlic and fennel seeds; stir 1 minute. Stir in cream, then 1 cup broth; boil until liquid is reduced and very slightly thickened, 2 to 3 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook tortellini in large pot of boiling salted water until just tender but still firm to bite, stirring occasionally. Drain tortellini; return to same pot.

Add sausage mixture to tortellini in pot. Toss over medium heat until blended. Add spinach; toss gently until spinach wilts. Stir in 1/2 cup cheese; add more broth by 1/4 cupfuls to moisten if dry. Season with salt and pepper, sprinkle with chopped fennel fronds, and serve, passing additional cheese.

From Epicurious.com via Bon Appétit, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/tortellini-with-italian-sausage-fennel-and-mushroom-362553

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Roasted Beets and Citrus with Feta

  1. Vinaigrette:
    • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
    • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
    • 2 teaspoons finely grated orange peel
    • 2 teaspoons finely grated grapefruit peel
    • 1 teaspoon honey
    • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  2. Salad:
    • 4 2 1/2-inch-diameter unpeeled beets, tops trimmed
    • 1 tablespoon olive oil
    • 1 6-ounce bag baby spinach
    • 2 small pink or ruby grapefruits, all peel and pith cut away, segments cut from between membranes
    • 2 oranges, all peel and pith cut away, segments cut from between membranes
    • 3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese (4 ounces)
    • 1/4 cup chopped fresh chives

Vinaigrette:

Whisk vinegar, mustard, citrus peels, and honey in small bowl. gradually whisk in oil. Season vinaigrette with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Salad:

Preheat oven to 400°F. Toss beets and oil in large bowl; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Wrap each beet in foil. place directly on oven rack; roast until tender, 60 to 70 minutes. Open foil; cool 30 minutes. Rub skins off beets; cut each into 8 wedges. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Place spinach in large bowl; toss with 2 tablespoons vinaigrette. Divide among plates. Add beets and citrus segments to same bowl. Add 2 tablespoons vinaigrette; toss to coat. Arrange beet mixture atop spinach; sprinkle with cheese and chives. Serve, passing any remaining vinaigrette.

From Epicurious.com via Bon Appétit by Myra Goodman & Sarah LaCasse, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/roasted-beets-and-citrus-with-feta-363732

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Black Bean Pumpkin Soup

  • three 15 1/2 ounce cans black beans (about 4 1/2 cups), rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup drained canned tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 1/4 cups chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup minced shallot
  • 4 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter
  • 4 cups beef broth
  • a 16-ounce can pumpkin pureé (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1/2 cup dry Sherry
  • 1/2 pound cooked ham, cut into 1/8-inch dice
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons Sherry vinegar

In a food processor coarsely pureé beans and tomatoes.In a 6-quart heavy kettle cook onion, shallot, garlic, cumin, salt, and pepper in butter over moderate heat, stirring, until onion is softened and beginning to brown. Stir in bean pureé. Stir in broth, pumpkin, and Sherry until combined and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, 25 minutes, or until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.

Just before serving, add ham and vinegar and simmer soup, stirring, until heated through. Season soup with salt and pepper.

From Epicurious.com via Gourmet, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/black-bean-pumpkin-soup-14330

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Summer CSA Share – #21

Welcome to the 21st share of the Pitchfork & Crow 2020 Summer CSA!  Here’s what’s in the share this week:

  • Escarole – We’ve been eating big escarole salads or wilting it slightly with out go-to toppings of rice and salmon.
  • Lacinato Kale
  • Cauliflower – The cauliflower plan really worked this year!
  • Broccoli
  • Sweet Corn – Our last round of corn was delayed in planting and then set-back by the wildfire smoke, but we found some tasty morsels to share with you. One last taste of summer.
  • Yukon Gem Potatoes – Great for baking, boiling, and frying, these are a higher yielding and more disease resistant child of the well known Yukon Gold and an obscure but hearty Scottish variety.
  • Bunching Onions
  • Shallots – shallots can be subbed for their red or yellow onion cousins, though you’ll find them to be milder and denser.
  • Butternut Winter Squash
  • Eggplant – We couldn’t help but salvage the last of the eggplant as we flipped their high tunnel home for winter greens.
  • Shishito Peppers – the roulette peppers make another appearance. You may find that one in ten is hotter than these otherwise mild frying peppers. We like them diced into eggs, or anything really, or traditionally blistered in hot oil.
  • Mixed Sweet Pepper
  • Slicer or Cherry Tomatoes

A glance at the weather forecast this morning suggests that we’re in for the first cold weather of the season this week. Wednesday night we’ll have a chance of the first frost followed by lows in the high 20s over the weekend. We think of October 15th as our average first frost date, so I guess it’s right on time. We’ll be pulling peppers tomorrow and saying good bye to the tomatoes for the season. Fall has arrived!

The field dried out just enough to plant garlic and overwintering onions last Friday. This is our last big planting of the season and it always feels like an epic task. Luckily I’d used rainy days the previous week to crack the garlic heads and count the cloves out, so we were ready to jump into planting as soon as possible. After the garlic was in the ground we went right into onion planting and now the first sweet onions of 2021 are also in the ground.

With the annual autumn allium planting done we shifted to strawberries on Saturday. I’d mentioned last week that we’d been able to buy 1500 bare root Seascape strawberry plants from another farm that had ended up with too many. It was the perfect nudge to get a fall strawberry planting in the ground, something we’d had on our To Do list for months but hadn’t managed to actually do yet.

We’ve taken to growing strawberries (and several other crops) on landscape fabric. The landscape cloth helps control the weeds and is reusable for many seasons. Beginning with a fresh piece of cloth means first burning the holes to match our planting spacing. Jeff made a plywood template a few years ago and, after stretching out the fabric the length of a 200′ bed, we move template along the fabric and use a hand held propane torch to burn holes through the plastic. We then stretch the fabric over the prepared bed, tack it down with ground staples, and plant through the holes.

Luckily there were extra plants and 1750 plants later, we now have a strawberry planting for next spring.

This week we will be dodging the frosts, finishing up a little field house planting, beginning the process of tomato trellis removal, sowing cover crop (though it’s a little late), and plenty of mowing. That sounds like enough to keep us busy.

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

Your farmers,
Carri Heisler & Jeff Bramlett

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Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:

Warm Escarole Salad with Goat Cheese, Hard-Boiled Eggs, and Bacon

  • 1 head of escarole, torn into large bite-size pieces (about 8 cups)
  • 2 bacon slices
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped shallots
  • 2 hard-boiled eggs, chopped
  • 1 5.5-ounce log soft fresh goat cheese, coarsely crumbled

Divide escarole among 6 plates. Cook bacon in medium nonstick skillet over medium heat until crisp. Transfer to paper towels to drain; reserve skillet with bacon drippings. Finely chop bacon; set aside.

Whisk olive oil and vinegar in small bowl to blend. Heat bacon drippings in skillet over medium heat. Add shallots; sauté until slightly softened, about 3 minutes. Add olive oil mixture and whisk just until heated through, about 1 minute. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Drizzle vinaigrette over escarole. Sprinkle with eggs, goat cheese, and bacon.

From Epicurious.com via Bon Appétit, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/warm-escarole-salad-with-goat-cheese-hard-boiled-eggs-and-bacon-354830

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Broccoli 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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Pasta with Roasted Vegetables, Tomatoes, and Basil

  • Nonstick vegetable oil spray
  • 2 red bell peppers, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 medium eggplant, unpeeled, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 large yellow crookneck squash, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 1/2 cups 1/2-inch pieces peeled butternut squash
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound penne pasta
  • 2 medium tomatoes, cored, seeded, diced
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil or 1 1/2 teaspoons dried
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 450°F. Spray large roasting pan with nonstick spray. Combine red bell peppers, eggplant, crookneck squash and butternut squash in prepared pan. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss to coat. Bake until vegetables are tender and beginning to brown, stirring occasionally, about 25 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water until just tender but still firm to bite. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup cooking liquid.

Combine pasta, roasted vegetables, tomatoes and basil in large bowl. Add remaining 2 tablespoons oil, vinegar and garlic. Toss to combine. Season pasta to taste with salt and pepper, adding reserved cooking liquid by tablespoonfuls to moisten, if desired. Mound pasta on serving platter. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and serve.

From Epicurious.com via Bon Appétit by Lynda Hotch Balslev, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/pasta-with-roasted-vegetables-tomatoes-and-basil-3041

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Summer CSA Share – #20

Welcome to the 20th share of the Pitchfork & Crow 2020 Summer CSA!  Here’s what’s in the share this week:

  • Salad Mix – A mix of lettuces and spinach this week.
  • Collards
  • Cauliflower
  • Broccoli
  • Parsley
  • Rose Finn Apple Fingerling Potatoes – An heirloom fingerling variety that is tasty boiled, roasted, or baked.
  • Carrots
  • Leeks
  • Mixed Onions – More torpedoes or yellow storage onions.
  • Carnival Acorn Winter Squash
  • Hot Peppers – Choose from mild Habaneros or Czech Black this week.
  • Mixed Sweet Peppers
  • Slicer or Cherry Tomatoes
Collards!

We were talking with a CSA member at last week’s pick-up about their favorite seasons. It seems she’s making an effort to embrace autumn this year, though she prefers summer. She made a case for the sunshine and warmth and swimming that summer affords. Fair points all. But I think Jeff and I both agree that autumn has a lot more going for it.

We welcome the return of the rain (the end of irrigation season!), the foggy mornings, and the hearty vegetables that mark the transition from summer to winter. The weather is certainly more unpredictable for working outside but adding a layer or two is generally preferable to trying to stay cool through summer heat. And though we love long summer nights as much as the next person, the earlier sunsets this time of year make for a good excuse to head in for dinner before 9pm.

Perhaps, like enjoying eating seasonally, we can enjoy each new season for what it has to offer. Here on the farm above all this is the season of big harvests, something we always fully embrace and appreciate.

Potato harvest (left), a blustery day (top right), and time to crack seed garlic (bottom right).

After a couple days of dedicated potato harvesting last week we managed to clear the potato field ahead of the rain. The potato harvest becomes much more of a chore once mud season arrives and we’re glad to have them out of the ground ahead of it. We had a good harvest this year and now one of our walk-in coolers is full of spuds for future CSA shares. Filling up the barn with food for the future is a highlight of the fall harvest season. The unknowns of the winter ahead aren’t quite so scary with storage vegetables already harvested. There will be potatoes!

Luckily it looks like we’ll have another chance at some time in the field before the rain sets in for good. Hopefully things dry out enough for a last round of tillage and final bed prep. We’ve got garlic and overwintering onions to plant this week. And fava beans too. And we also scored 1500 bare root strawberry plants from another farm that ended up with too many that need to find a spot in the field for spring berries!

The seasonal shift is upon us as we begin wrapping up the growing season. We’re already making the long winter To Do list and thinking ahead to what’s next.

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

Your farmers,
Carri Heisler & Jeff Bramlett

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Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:

Acorn Squash with Kale and Sausage

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

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

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

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Peanut Rice Noodles with Pork and Collard Greens

  • Kosher salt
  • 12 oz. regular-width rice stick noodles
  • 1/4 cup smooth natural peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp. unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. sugar
  • 2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1 lb. ground pork
  • 1 (1 1/2″) piece ginger, peeled, cut into matchsticks
  • 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 bunch collard greens, ribs and stems removed, leaves thinly sliced

Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil. Remove from heat; add noodles. Let sit, stirring occasionally, until al dente, about 4 minutes (time may vary by brand). Drain and rinse under cold running water.

Meanwhile, whisk peanut butter, soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, red pepper flakes, and 1 cup water in a medium bowl. (Sauce will look a little broken and lumpy.)

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium. Cook pork, breaking up with 2 forks, until nearly cooked through, about 5 minutes. Add ginger and garlic; cook, stirring, until softened, about 3 minutes. Add collard greens and cook, stirring occasionally, just until wilted, about 2 minutes. Add sauce and noodles and bring to a simmer; cook, tossing occasionally, until sauce is reduced by half and coats noodles, about 3 minutes. Season with salt.

From Epicurious.com via Bon Appétit by Chris Morocco, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/peanut-rice-noodles-with-pork-and-collard-greens

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Cauliflower and Feta Omelet

  • 5 large eggs
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 medium head cauliflower, cut into 1-inch-wide florets (3 cups)
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta (2 ounces)
  • 1/4 cup packed flat-leaf parsley leaves

Beat eggs with 1/4 teaspoon salt.

Heat oil in a 10-inch heavy nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until it shimmers, then sauté cauliflower until browned and tender, 5 to 9 minutes. Reduce heat to medium, then add garlic, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper and sauté 1 minute.

Pour eggs over cauliflower. Cook, lifting edges to let uncooked egg run underneath and shaking skillet occasionally to loosen omelet, until almost set, 4 to 5 minutes. Slide out onto a large plate. Put skillet over omelet and, using pot holders, firmly hold plate and skillet together, then invert omelet back into skillet and cook 1 to 2 minutes. Slide out onto plate and sprinkle with feta and parsley.

From Epicurious.com via Gourmet by Ruth Cousineau, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/cauliflower-and-feta-omelet-241479

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