Summer CSA Share – #2

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

  • Salad Mix – a mix of four lettuces
  • Butterhead Lettuce
  • Spinach
  • Cilantro
  • Broccoli
  • French Breakfast Radishes
  • Kohlrabi – The classic CSA vegetable, kohlrabi is often new to folks who are new to CSAs. Why else would you come home with such a strange looking vegetable? We like them chopped up and raw, like a carrot stick, but they can be roasted, or added to mashed potatoes, or shaved super thin into salads. I’ve heard kohlrabi and peanut butter can be a pretty great snack too.
  • Red Skinned or All Blue Potatoes
  • Purple Bunching Onions
  • Mixed Snap Peas
  • Zucchini
  • Seascape Strawberries
  • Polenta – We grow a flint corn called Cascade Ruby Gold that grinds partially into flour and partially into polenta when milled. Last week we shared the flour and this week we’re sharing the 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.
A swallowtail butterfly, Oregon’s state insect, hanging out in the propagation house (left) and a bumblebee working in the flowering sage (right).

Welcome to the second week of the Summer CSA! Hopefully you all ate lots vegetables this past week and are ready for more. Don’t forget to share your successes over in the P&C CSA member Facebook group. CSA members have been posting some delicious meals over there this week and I highly recommend taking a look for some inspiration. Though we’re not the best at remembering to post there, I’m always thoroughly impressed at the varied and creative meals members come up with.

Snap peas! We’re growing three varieties this season: Sugar Ann, Mega, and Cascadia.

I’m not sure where the past week has gone. After making it through the first harvest of the season we set out some goals for the rest of the week and endeavored to make them happen. Before that first harvest we’d gotten a little behind on things here on the farm while we helped send my mom off on a big move to South Carolina which also coincided with some rainy days and a hiccup with the starter on the big tractor. Thankfully my mom’s move was a success, the weather cleared (but remember when it was 97 degrees last week!), and the tractor is repaired and back to work.

We hunkered down and got to work marking things off the to-do list. We kicked things off with some lettuce transplanting. Then while Jeff focused on irrigation and ground prep, I managed to get caught up on direct sowing beans, trellising the peas and tomatoes, potting up the next round of celery, shuffling flats in the prop. house, and strawberry weeding.

Getting some plants in the ground this past weekend.

By Saturday afternoon the name of the game was more transplanting and we managed to plant out the next successions of broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, basil, chard, and this season’s Brussels sprouts, kalettes, and flour corn. Nearly half an acre and 7,000 plants later we’d made it through the planting push. Just in time for some Sunday afternoon cultivation and pea picking!

Whew! After such a full week it was almost relaxing to re-focus on harvesting again. We’re looking forward to another productive week on the farm as we find the pace of progress for this season. So far, so good! This week we’ll be weeding the other strawberry planting, pruning tomatoes, transplanting the third round of sweet corn, starting some more seeds, cultivating the winter squash and leeks, and irrigating all the things. We’ll see you on the other side next week.

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:

Thai Coconut, Broccoli, and Coriander Soup

  • 1/3 cup store-bought green curry paste
  • 1 (13.5-ounce) can coconut milk
  • 3 cups water
  • Sea salt and cracked black pepper
  • 1 pound broccoli florets, chopped
  • 2 cups baby spinach leaves, plus more to serve
  • 2 cups cilantro leaves
  • 2 scallions, shredded
  • Store-bought crispy shallots or onions, to serve

Place the curry paste in a medium saucepan over medium heat and cook, stirring, for 1 minute or until fragrant. Add the coconut milk, water, salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Add the broccoli, cover and cook for 10 minutes or until the broccoli is tender. Remove from the heat and add the spinach leaves and half the cilantro.

Using an immersion blender, blend the soup until smooth. Divide among serving bowls and top with the extra spinach, remaining cilantro, scallions and shallots.

From Epicurious.com via Donna Hay Magazine by Donna Hay, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/thai-coconut-broccoli-and-coriander-soup-56390092

Boston Lettuce with Radishes and Lemon Dressing

  • 10 radishes
  • 2 heads Boston lettuce
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon minced shallot
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup olive oil

Cut radishes into very thin slices (preferably using a manual slicer). Tear large lettuce leaves into bite-size pieces, leaving smaller leaves whole, and in a large bowl toss all lettuce with radishes.

In a small bowl whisk together lemon juice, shallot, sugar, pepper, and salt to taste and add oil in a stream, whisking until emulsified. Drizzle dressing over salad and toss until combined well.

From Epicurious.com via Gourmet, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/boston-lettuce-with-radishes-and-lemon-dressing-14047

Kohlrabi Pickles with Chile Oil

  • 1 pound small kohlrabies, peeled, halved lengthwise, thinly sliced crosswise
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 garlic clove, finely grated
  • 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons chile oil
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lime zest
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon black sesame seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon fish sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil

Toss kohlrabies and salt in a large bowl to coat; chill, tossing occasionally, 30 minutes. Drain, then toss in a clean large bowl with garlic, cilantro, vinegar, chile oil, lime zest, lime juice, sesame seeds, fish sauce, sugar, and sesame oil to combine.

From Epicurious.com via Bon Appétit by Andy Baraghani, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/kohlrabi-pickles-with-chile-oil

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 – #7

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

  • Red Ursa Kale
  • German Butterball Potatoes – These are freshly dug and most don’t have thick skins yet. They won’t store as long as potatoes with thicker skins so use them up sooner than later.
  • Fresh Sweet Onions
  • Butterhead Lettuces
  • Carrots
  • Cabbage
  • Cauliflower – Lots of smaller caulis this week. This is the week to pull out recipes like cauliflower rice and cauliflower pizza crust or maybe it’s time to try out a quick refrigerator pickle.
  • Parsley
  • Summer Squash – Choose from yellow straightneck, pattypan, and zucchini.
  • Cucumbers – picklers and slicers!
  • Mixed Snap Beans – The long slender Maxibel Haricot Vert and purple striped Dragon beans!
  • Jalapeno Peppers
  • Mixed Tomatoes – Cherries and slicers for everyone!
  • Strawberries

Hopefully you’ve marked your calendars for the first CSA member farm visit of the season! On Saturday, July 20th, we’re inviting members out to the fields to visit their vegetables and other CSA members. All the details in your weekly member email.

Moon over the pumpkin patch. We’ll see you here in October for jack-o-lanterns!

I hate to bring it up, but the mild weather so far this summer has made work on the farm generally more pleasant as compared to recent hot, hot, hot summers. I feel like I could jinx it just by pointing out how nice the overcast mornings have been for planting and harvesting, how the highs in the low 80s make even afternoon fieldwork bearable. The heat could be turned up any day, so we’re appreciating the occasional rain, the cool breezes, and enough heat to keep the summer crops on track. Just sayin’.

We’ve definitely been falling into the rhythm of summer over here. The waves of planting give way to the constant need for irrigation and the battle against the weeds goes on. We’ve recently finished up with some of the first spring plantings and were able to mow them. The shiny-ness of those first plantings had definitely worn off and it’s nice to be able to thoroughly clean up those beds. The week ahead will bring more of the same plus our organic inspection Friday and CSA farm visit Saturday! Fun times!

A map for self-guided tours at this weekend’s CSA farm day (left) and a buckwheat cover crop, a stop on the tour (right).

As I mentioned above, we’re inviting CSA members out to the farm on Saturday evening. We hope you’ll join us for an early potluck dinner, farm tours, and other shenanigans. We’ll set up the P&C screenprinting station so bring a t-shirt or a cloth bag for printing. We’ll break out the kites if the wind cooperates. There will some tomatoes to taste and compare. We’re adding a self-guided tour option for folks to explore the length of the farm on their own too! Check out the details in this week’s member email and hopefully we’ll see you Saturday.

Enjoy the vegetables!

Your farmers,
Carri Heisler and Jeff Bramlett

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Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:

Cabbage Tabbouleh

  • 1/4 cup bulgur (not quick-cooking)
  • 1/4 medium head of green cabbage, cored, very thinly sliced (about 4 cups)
  • 1/2 medium white onion, very thinly sliced
  • 2 cups very finely chopped parsley
  • 1 cup mint leaves, torn if large
  • 1 tsp. ground allspice
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
  • Kosher salt
  • Fresh green chiles (optional)

Place bulgur in a small bowl; pour in boiling water to cover by 2″. Let soak until tender, about 50 minutes; drain.

Toss cabbage, onion, parsley, mint, allspice, and half of the bulgur in a large bowl. Drizzle olive oil and lemon juice over tabbouleh and season with salt; toss again to combine.

Transfer tabbouleh to a platter and sprinkle with remaining bulgur. Serve with chiles alongside if desired (they’re meant to add some heat in between bites of the cooling tabbouleh).

From Epicurious.com via Bon Appétit by Kamal Mouzawak, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/cabbage-tabbouleh

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Bibb Lettuce, Parsley, and Mint Salad

  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium head Bibb lettuce, leaves torn if large (6 cups)
  • 1 1/3 cups packed flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 2/3 cup packed mint leaves
  • 1/2 seedless cucumber, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced

Whisk together lemon juice, oils, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Toss lettuce, herbs, and cucumber with just enough dressing to coat.

From Epicurious.com via Gourmet by Maggie Ruggiero, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/bibb-lettuce-parsley-and-mint-salad-242848

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Mushroom and Kale Breakfast Skillet

  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp. cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp. coriander seeds
  • 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 medium onions, halved, sliced lengthwise into 1/4″-thick strips
  • 1 lb. mixed wild or crimini mushrooms, sliced 1/4″ thick
  • 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes
  • 2 Tbsp. red or white wine vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 bunch curly kale, stems removed, torn into small pieces
  • 8 large eggs
  • Flaky sea salt, chopped parsley and/or cilantro, Aleppo-style pepper (optional), and lemon wedges (for serving)

Heat oil in a 12″ skillet over medium-high. Crush cumin, coriander, and red pepper with a mortar and pestle or heavy skillet. Add to hot oil in skillet and stir to coat. Add onions and mushrooms and cook, stirring often, until softened and lightly browned, 6–8 minutes. Add tomatoes, vinegar, and 1 tsp. kosher salt and stir to combine. Add kale, cover skillet, and cook, uncovering and tossing occasionally, until kale is wilted, 4–6 minutes. Season with remaining 1/2 tsp. kosher salt.

Make 8 indentations in vegetable mixture. Carefully crack an egg into each. Cover skillet and cook over medium-low heat, rotating skillet on burner halfway through to ensure even cooking, until egg whites are opaque and just set, 8–10 minutes. Top with sea salt, herbs, and Aleppo-style pepper (if using). Squeeze lemon juice over.

From Epicurious.com by Anna Stockwell, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/mushroom-and-kale-breakfast-skillet

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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:

  • Spinach – We attempted to extend our spinach game this season, and we’re pretty excited to bring you spinach in July!
  • Mixed Beets – Red Shiraz and the classic bullseye Chioggia beets this week.
  • Bunching Onions
  • Green & Red One-Cut Lettuce
  • Carrots
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Basil
  • Summer Squash – Choose from yellow straightneck and zucchini.
  • Cucumbers
  • Fennel – Did you catch the fennel and salami pasta recipe that CSA member Chris A. shared in the member Facebook group? It’s delicious and is totally going on our menu this week.
  • Cherry Tomatoes!
Chicory seeds! (left) the vacuum seeder and a flat ready for sowing (middle) and seeds on the vacuum seeder plate (right).

This past week was all about seeding and planting here on the farm. Succession planting is a must to keep the vegetables harvestable as the season continues and that means a continual plan for seeding and transplanting. I thought I’d give a little ‘behind the scenes’ look at the work this week and tools we use to plant.

To begin, Jeff generally mixes our propagation mix and fills the flats according to our propagation plan. We sow seeds into several sizes of flats depending on the crop. Smaller plants like lettuce go into flats with 128 cells, mid-size plants like broccoli go into 72 cell flats, and larger plants like peppers go into 50 cell flats. This week we sowed overwintering cauliflower, purple sprouting broccoli, kohlrabi, cabbage, chicories, and lettuce which called for 48 72s and 28 128s.

I generally do the seeding, either by hand or with our vacuum seeder, again depending on crop type. The vacuum seeder consists of a plastic box with a metal plate screwed to the top. The metal plate has small holes drilled into it that align with the cells of the flat and a lip along one side where seeds are poured onto the plate. A small shop vac is connected to one end of the box, and when turned on creates a suction. The seeds are rolled around the plate until each hole holds a seed. The box is then turned upside down over the flat and a sliding door on one end is closed to reduce the suction and the seeds drop into their respective cells. It’s a wonder and definitely makes the sowing of flats go faster.

Plants ready for planting (top left) some got planted (top right) ready for more planting (bottom left) and we planted them all! (bottom right).

Early in the season newly sown flats head into the germination chamber, a dark insulated and heated space, just until the seeds germinate. This helps get plants off to a solid start before the temperatures in the propagation greenhouse are warm enough for adequate germination. This time of year the flats we sow stay in the propagation greenhouse while the seeds germinate and for a couple more weeks as the plants grow into their first set or two of true leaves. We then set them outside to ‘harden off’ in the slightly sunny/breezy/sometimes rainy space next to the propagation house. This helps the plants acclimate to what life in the field will be like.

As I mentioned, we also did a lot of transplanting this week. The next rounds of beets, lettuce, basil, fennel, endive, bunching onions, parsley, celery, cabbage, kale, and corn went in the ground. It was 17 beds and over 8000 plants! The photos above show the time lapse of plants ready for planting as we took flats out and planted them. There are a couple of other tables not shown here that held overflow corn and fennel plants that also got transplanted.

Cabbage plants loaded on the front of the tractor ready for planting (top left), the tractor gets very long with a pallet full of plants on the front and the transplanter on the back (top right), filling up the transplanter tank (bottom left), and the transplanter seat, plants, and wheel from the rear view (bottom right).

When we first started out, we planted everything by hand, laying out plants along the bed top and bending over to place them in the ground. We upgraded things several years back and now most crops get planted using our water wheel transplanter. The transplanter attaches to the back of our tractor and is pulled along the bed. A tank holds water and some liquid organic fertilizer. As the transplanter is pulled along the water flows into a wheel with spikes that makes muddy holes at the precise spacing needed for planting. Jeff drives the tractor and I sit on the transplanter seat and plant starts into the muddy holes. This process can still be slowish and has its quirks, but is really so much better than bending over all day.

That’s the general process we go through week after week during the growing season. Of course some weeks have more transplanting or sowing than others. This week is a light one and we’ll only be sowing the next round of sweet corn and transplanting broccoli and cauliflower. Luckily that leaves more time for all the other things that need doing like cultivating, irrigating, trellising, and generally cleaning up for the upcoming CSA member farm visit on Saturday July 20th! (Details in your member email…)

Enjoy the vegetables!

Your farmers,
Carri Heisler and Jeff Bramlett

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Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:

Cast-Iron Pizza with Fennel and Sausage

  • 12 oz. store-bought pizza dough, room temperature
  • 5 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 8 oz. sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
  • 1/3 cup prepared marinara
  • 3/4 cup coarsely grated low-moisture mozzarella
  • 1/2 small fennel bulb, very thinly sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, very thinly sliced
  • Kosher salt
  • Crushed red pepper flakes and torn basil leaves (for serving)

Place a rack in top-most position of oven; preheat to 475°F. Place dough on a work surface; drizzle with 1 Tbsp. oil, turning to coat. Stretch out to a 10″ round and cover loosely with plastic wrap.

Heat 1 Tbsp. oil in a large cast-iron skillet over medium. Cook sausage, breaking up into small pieces with a wooden spoon, until browned in spots and cooked though, 5–8 minutes. Transfer sausage to a small bowl.

Remove skillet from heat and carefully lay dough inside (use spoon to help you extend dough all the way to the edges). Season with salt, then spread marinara over entire surface of dough. Top with mozzarella, then fennel, garlic, and cooked sausage. Drizzle with another 2 Tbsp. oil. Peek underneath the crust—the bottom should be golden brown and crisp from residual heat in the skillet. If it’s not, set over medium-low and cook until crust is golden brown, about 3 minutes.

Transfer skillet to oven and bake pizza on top rack until crust is golden brown around the edges and cheese is browned in spots and bubbling all over, 10–14 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes, then top with red pepper flakes and basil. Sprinkle with more salt and drizzle with remaining 1 Tbsp. oil.

From Epicurious.com via Bon Appétit by Claire Saffitz, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/cast-iron-pizza-with-fennel-and-sausage

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Lettuce and Beet Salad with Sour Cream Dressing

  • 2 medium beets (about 8 ounces)
  • 2/3 cup sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons grated onion
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 5 cups (packed) mixed torn lettuces (such as romaine, red leaf and butter lettuce)

Preheat oven to 400°F. Wrap beets tightly in foil. Bake until tender, about 1 hour. Cool; peel beets. Coarsely shred beets.

Whisk sour cream, onion, vinegar, sugar and mustard in small bowl to blend. Season with salt and pepper. Place lettuces in large bowl. Add dressing and toss to coat. Divide salad among 4 plates. Top each with beets, dividing equally.

From Epicurious.com via Bon Appétit, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/lettuce-and-beet-salad-with-sour-cream-dressing-846

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Cauliflower “Rice” Tabbouleh

  • 1/2 medium head of cauliflower (about 1 pound), coarsely chopped
  • 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 teaspoon (or more) kosher salt, divided
  • 2 cups (packed) flat-leaf parsley leaves with tender stems
  • 1 cup (packed) mint leaves
  • 2 scallions, white and pale-green parts only, sliced
  • 1 garlic clove, coarsely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 medium cucumber (about 8 1/2″ long), cut into 1/4″ pieces
  • 6 ounces cherry tomatoes, quartered

Grate cauliflower with the coarse grater disk on a food processor or the largest holes on a box grater until rice-like in texture. Transfer to a large, microwave-safe bowl and toss with 1 Tbsp. oil and 1/4 tsp. salt. Cover with plastic wrap and microwave on high 3 minutes. Carefully remove plastic wrap, spread cauliflower “rice” on a rimmed baking sheet, and let cool.

Wipe out food processor, if necessary, and fit with chopping blade. Pulse parsley, mint, scallions, garlic, lemon zest, lemon juice, 3/4 tsp. salt, and remaining 1/4 cup oil until herbs are coarsely chopped. Transfer to a large bowl and stir in red pepper flakes. Add cauliflower, cucumber, and tomatoes and gently toss to coat. Season with additional salt, if necessary.

From Epicurious.com by Katherine Sacks, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/cauliflower-rice-tabbouleh

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Summer CSA Share – #3

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

  • Arugula Rapini – We waited to harvest this arugula in favor of spinach the past couple of weeks. Now the arugula is beginning to bolt, thanks to in part to last week’s big heatwave. Arugula rapini is just as tasty though! Check out the blended fava bean/arugula recipe at the bottom of the post. Yum!
  • Shiraz Beets – “These beets are like two items in one” exclaimed Jeff when we were harvesting them. Eat the beet roots, eat the beet tops!
  • Butter Lettuce
  • Romaine Lettuce
  • German Butterball Potatoes – The very last of last season’s potatoes! Eat them up sooner than later. New potatoes coming soon!
  • Garlic Scapes – As the hardneck garlic plants begin to develop their bulbs, they send up a flower stalk known as a scape. We harvest the scapes because they’re delicious and garlicky and also to help the plant focus on producing a larger bulb rather than seed production.
  • Broccoli
  • Fava Beans – For the true fava experience you’ll want to shell the beans, blanch them, then remove the outer skin and eat the green inner bean. We often skip that last step and eat the shelled beans directly. Also, grilling the entire pods make them quicker to shell and the beans get steamed inside, so they don’t need to be blanched.
  • Cabbage – Choose from round Red Express or the green and pointy Early Jersey Wakefield cabbages.
  • Sugar Snap Peas
  • Fennel – A little anise flavor for your dishes this week.  Here’s a delicious quick pickle recipe from CSA member Chris A.! Click here for a recipe.
  • Summer Squash – It must be summer! Choose from yellow straightneck and zucchini.
  • Popcorn – We planted the popcorn this last weekend, so it only seemed fitting to include some of last season’s popcorn in this week’s share. You can make this popcorn anyway you’d make store-bought popcorn. Put it in a paper bag for microwaving or click here for tips on stove top popping.
  • Cherries – Our once-a-year cherry treat from our single cherry tree. We got them before the starlings ate them all!
A honey bee working the chicory seed crop (left) and a shot of some cosmos inter-planted between early broccoli and lettuce plantings (right).

Friday marks the official beginning of summer with the arrival of the summer solstice. The longest day of the year is upon us once again. Back in January, as we made our plans for the growing season, it felt like summer couldn’t get here soon enough. Now we’re stepping into the depths of the season, and enjoying the warmth and sun and work as much as possible during this fleeting moment. And all those plans made in the dark days of winter are coming to fruition.

From the time we begin sowing seeds in February until now, there’s a pressure to begin and then keep up the pace. As the days lengthen, heat units increase, and plants grow faster and faster. If not timed just right some plants will want to bolt right away, thinking they’ve gone through a winter and it’s time to set seed. After the solstice the daylight hours slowly begin to wane, and the pressure of the early season eases too. The weeds seem easier to contend with as the season progresses; the crops are less likely to bolt; we begin to think about the next season and the season after that; soon we’re planting for the fall and winter harvests.

Baby red napa cabbage starts (left) and transplanting popcorn (right).

This week on the farm was a bit less manic after we caught up with lots of planting last week. We did have a fair share of planting to get through, including popcorn, spinach, Brussels sprouts for seed production, and the direct sown summer squash and cucumber successions. But we also got to focus on catching up with other tasks too. Jeff cultivated all the things that could be cultivated using our Farmall Cub cultivating tractor, and we spent some time cleaning up the winter squash planting before they begin to really sprawl. I also made a run through the peppers and eggplant to clean up some weeds and focused on trellising and pruning the indoor tomatoes. We sowed the next rounds of broccoli, cauliflower, and corn into flats in the propagation house. We irrigated. We played with row cover, uncovering and covering crops as needed. We marked things off the to-do list, and added other things to the list. Such is farming in June.

A quick river trip on Thursday evening!

On Thursday of last week we managed to stop working early enough to get the boats down to the Willamette River in Albany. We had a good short float and spent some time fishing from the bank. We caught a few small bass but they either got away or we let them go. It was a nice evening on the river and we’re looking forward to more of the same in the weeks to come this summer.

Enjoy the vegetables!

Your farmers,
Carri Heisler and Jeff Bramlett

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Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:

Roasted Beets with Fennel and Bonito Dressing

  • 2 pounds small or medium red beets, scrubbed
  • 1/2 cup olive oil, divided
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more
  • 1 teaspoon anise seed or fennel seeds
  • 1/2 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 small fennel bulb, halved lengthwise, very thinly sliced crosswise
  • 2 garlic cloves, smashed (or try garlic scapes)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup bonito flakes
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 cup trimmed mature arugula

Preheat oven to 425°F. Toss beets with 1 Tbsp. oil in an 8×8″ baking dish; season with salt. Add 1/4 cup water and cover tightly with foil. Roast beets, shaking once, until a knife slips easily through flesh, 60–75 minutes. Let cool slightly, then rub off skins with paper towels. Using 2 forks, tear beets into large pieces; toss in a large bowl with 2 Tbsp. oil.

Meanwhile, toast aniseed in a small saucepan over medium heat, tossing often until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add vinegar, sugar, 2 tsp. salt, and 1 cup water. Increase heat to medium-high and bring to a simmer, stirring to dissolve sugar and salt, about 4 minutes. Remove from heat and let steep 20 minutes. Place fennel in a small bowl and strain brine over. Cover and chill until cold, about 2 hours.

Cook garlic, butter, and 1/4 cup oil in a small saucepan over medium, stirring occasionally, until garlic is soft but not brown, about 2 minutes. Stir in bonito flakes and transfer to a blender. Purée until only a few flecks of bonito remain.

Prepare a grill for medium heat. Grill beets, turning occasionally, until lightly charred, about 5 minutes. Transfer back to bowl; toss with bonito dressing and lemon juice and season with salt.

Toss arugula and remaining 1 Tbsp. oil in a medium bowl; season with salt. Grill until lightly charred in spots, about 30 seconds. Transfer back to bowl.

Arrange beets on a platter and top with arugula and drained pickled fennel.

From Epicurious.com via Bon Appétit, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/roasted-beets-with-fennel-and-bonito-dressing

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Sugar Snap Pea and Cabbage Slaw

  • 2 1/2 pounds green cabbage (preferably Savoy), quartered, cored, and thinly sliced (14 cups)
  • 3/4 pound sugar snap peas, trimmed and thinly sliced diagonally (4 cups)
  • 3/4 cup well-shaken buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh dill
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced (or garlic scapes)
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon white distilled vinegar

Toss together cabbage and peas in a large bowl. Whisk together remaining ingredients and pour over slaw, stirring to combine well. Add salt to taste, then chill, covered, at least 2 hours.

From Epicurious.com via Gourmet by Maggie Ruggiero, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/sugar-snap-pea-and-cabbage-slaw-235032

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Arugula and Fava Bean Crostini

  • 1 cup shelled fresh fava beans (1 1/4 pounds in pods) or shelled fresh or frozen edamame (soybeans; 3/4 pounds in pods)
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, divided, plus additional for drizzling
  • 1 1/2 cups packed baby arugula (1 1/2 ounces), divided
  • 3 tablespoons grated Pecorino Toscano or Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • 1/4 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 baguette
  • 1 garlic clove, halved crosswise
  • 16 mint leaves

Preheat oven to 350°F with rack in middle.

Cook fava beans in boiling water, uncovered, until tender, 3 to 4 minutes, then drain and transfer to an ice bath to stop cooking. Gently peel off skins (if using edamame, don’t peel).

Pulse fava beans in a food processor until very coarsely chopped, then transfer half of mixture to a large bowl. Add 1/4 cup oil, 1/2 cup arugula, cheese, lemon zest and juice, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper to favas in processor and purée until smooth. Add to bowl. Coarsely chop remaining cup arugula and gently fold into fava-bean mixture.

Cut 16 diagonal slices (1/3 inch thick) from baguette and put in a 4-sided sheet pan. Drizzle with remaining tablespoon oil. Bake until pale golden and crisp, 8 to 10 minutes. Rub with cut side of garlic.

Spoon fava-bean mixture onto baguette toasts, then drizzle with oil and top with mint.

From Epicurious.com via Gourmet by Kay Chun, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/arugula-and-fava-bean-crostini-352852

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Summer CSA Share – #2

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

  • Mixed Giant Spinach
  • Hakurei Salad Turnips – As the name suggests, these turnips are delicious raw in salads but they can also be roasted or added to soups etc.
  • One-Cut Lettuce Heads
  • Mayan Jaguar Romaine Lettuce
  • Broccoli
  • Kohlrabi – The classic CSA vegetable, kohlrabi is often new to folks who are new to CSAs. Why else would you come home with such a strange looking vegetable? We like them chopped up and raw, like a carrot stick, but they can be roasted, or added to mashed potatoes, or shaved super thin into salads. I’ve heard kohlrabi and peanut butter can be a pretty great snack too.
  • Garlic Scapes – As the hardneck garlic plants begin to develop their bulbs, they send up a flower stalk known as a scape. We harvest the scapes because they’re delicious and garlicky and also to help the plant focus on producing a larger bulb rather than seed production. You can use the scapes like you would a bunching onion and I’ve included recipe for garlic scape pesto at the bottom of the post.
  • Cauliflower or Chard
  • Overwintered Torpedo Onions – These onions made it through the winter in the field from an October planting, thus overwintered. You can eat the entire length of the onion.
  • Sugar Snap Peas
  • Carrots!
  • Strawberries – Just a taste this week. We grow the varieties Seascape and Sweet Ann.
Top Left: The thunder as seen from our living room, Top Right: a field of brassicas planted over several days this week, Bottom Left: corn planting, Bottom Right: Luckily the tractor has lights, so we can keep planting in the dark!

When the third succession of broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage wasn’t ready to plant on time we put it off for a week and found other things to do. There was plenty of ground prep for future plantings and the tomatoes needed trellising and the list went on. Of course those brassicas were still waiting patiently this week, so it was time to get planting once we were finished with the first CSA harvest. We finished up the broccoli and cauliflower Thursday. Then it rained overnight so we attempted to move onto corn planting Friday, but the thunder showed up so it was back to indoor work. Then the sweet potato slips arrived in the mail and we stuck them in the ground.

Back to sweet corn and flour corn planting Saturday. Saturday night after dinner we finished up the brassica planting with cabbage and Brussels Sprouts. Sunday morning was Chard and then on to the pumpkin patch planting. After some hiccups and speed bumps and of course stopping for an occasional meal or popsicle break, we had caught up on planting by dinnertime on Sunday! Unfortunately this time of year being caught up only lasts about a week and then there’s more to push out the propagation house doors and into the field. On deck this week we’ve got some spinach and beets and popcorn!

Coming soon! Strawberries and Tomatoes!

So that was our week, how was your week? I posted a couple photos of our quick meals from this week in the P&C CSA Member Facebook group last night. It was all about quick and easy this week and I was so happy to have vegetables ready to go in the fridge when we came inside to eat.

How’d the first week of the CSA go for you? Hopefully you’re ready to re-stock on vegetables! Didn’t make it through last week’s share quite yet? Maybe it’s time to review the vegetable exit strategies over on the P&C CSA member app. It can be jolting to suddenly have a fridge full of vegetables that need to get eaten up. Finding some easy recipes for using up lots of veggies will help as the season really gets rolling.

Top Left: The arrival of our house!, Top Right: a photo of our house from just after we moved in last December., Bottom Left: Our kitchen!, Bottom Right: The view from the living room window looking east last winter.

We enjoyed meeting new members and catching up with previous members at the first CSA pick-up this past week. Longtime members who hadn’t been with us over the winter quickly reminded us that we owed them an update on our housing situation. When we first leased the farm back in 2010 we owned a house in Salem and I (Carri) had another job and there was a lot of commuting back and forth. Jeff camped out a lot on the farm during the summers as there wasn’t a house here. In 2012 we were fortunate enough to be able to buy the farm and we had a loft built in our pole barn and we moved in and sold our Salem house.

Six years later we’d finally met the county requirements for building a house on the farm and we were off! It pretty quickly became apparent that getting power to our building site and having the fancy septic system installed that the county mandated would be costly, so a manufactured home seemed to be the best solution. After almost a year of lining up the mortgage and working with the contractor for site prep. and working with the sales rep on the house purchase, we got to move into our new house just before Christmas of 2018!

After six years of living in our not-so-insulated barn, house-living has been revolutionary. We’ve got lots of windows for natural lighting and it’s well-insulated! The ceiling fan in the living room has been a dream on warm days and the wood stove really heats it up when it’s cold outside. We have flushing toilets again (gotta use that expensive septic system somehow)! And it’s the first house we’ve lived in with two bathrooms! We’ve both got offices again too. The small entry mud room has been amazing. I could go on and on.

Although we’ve settled in pretty well now, we’re still thankful daily for our little house and the improvements it has made in our lives. It’s been a longterm goal, but one that was worth the wait.

Enjoy the vegetables!

Your farmers,
Carri Heisler and Jeff Bramlett

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Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:

Shaved Kohlrabi with Apple and Hazlenuts

  • 1/2 cup blanched hazelnuts
  • 2 medium kohlrabi (about 2 pounds total), peeled, thinly sliced on a mandoline
  • 1 tart apple (such as Pink Lady or Crispin), peeled, cored, thinly sliced on a mandoline
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar or white balsamic vinegar
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup torn fresh mint leaves, plus more for serving
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 ounces Pecorino di Fossa or Parmesan, shaved (about 1/4 cup)

Preheat oven to 350°F. Toast hazelnuts on a rimmed baking sheet, tossing occasionally, until golden brown, 10–12 minutes. Let cool, then coarsely chop.

Toss kohlrabi, apple, lemon zest, lemon juice, and vinegar in a medium bowl; season with salt. Add 1/2 cup mint and gently toss to just combine.

Toss toasted hazelnuts and oil in a small bowl to coat; season with salt.

Divide kohlrabi salad among plates and top with seasoned hazelnuts, Pecorino, and more mint.

From Epicurious.com via Bon Appétit by Ignacio Mattos, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/shaved-kohlrabi-with-apple-and-hazelnuts-51214700

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Sheet-Pan Chicken Meatballs and Charred Broccoli

  • Sauce:
    • 2/3 cup ketchup
    • 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
    • 2 Tbsp. rice cooking wine or water
    • 2 Tbsp. honey
    • 4 tsp. soy sauce
    • 1 1/2″ piece ginger, peeled, finely grated
    • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • Meatballs and assembly:
    • 2 heads of broccoli (about 1 1/2 lb.)
    • 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil, divided
    • 2 1/2 tsp. kosher salt, divided
    • Crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
    • 1 lb. ground chicken
    • 1 large egg, beaten to blend
    • 4 scallions, thinly sliced (or this week’s fresh torpedo onions!)
    • 2 garlic cloves, finely grated (or garlic scapes)
    • 1 (2″) piece ginger, peeled, finely grated
    • 1/3 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
    • 1 Tbsp. toasted sesame oil
    • 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
    • Cooked rice and sesame seeds (for serving)

Sauce

Mix ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, wine (if using), honey, soy sauce, ginger, and pepper in a small saucepan. Measure out 1/4 cup mixture into a small bowl; set aside for glazing meatballs later. Bring remaining mixture to a simmer over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally and reducing heat if needed, until sauce thickens, about 5 minutes. Transfer sauce to a small bowl.

Meatballs and assembly

Place a rack in upper third of oven; preheat to 450°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil. Trim broccoli stems and remove from crown. Peel off tough outer skin; slice crosswise into 1/2″ pieces. Cut florets into 2″ pieces. Toss on prepared baking sheet with 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil, 1 tsp. salt, and a few pinches of red pepper flakes (if using). Push to the edges of baking sheet to create a space for meatballs. Brush space with remaining 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil.

Mix chicken, egg, scallions, garlic, ginger, panko, sesame oil, pepper, remaining 1 1/2 tsp. salt, and 1/4 cup water in a medium bowl. Using wet hands, form into twelve 1 1/2″-diameter meatballs. Arrange on baking sheet; brush with some of the reserved glazing mixture. Bake until meatballs are cooked through, 14–18 minutes. Remove from oven; heat broiler. Brush meatballs with remaining glazing mixture; broil until broccoli is charred and meatballs are browned in spots, about 5 minutes.

Spoon meatballs and broccoli over rice in bowl. Drizzle with sauce and sprinkle with sesame seeds.

From Epicurious.com via Bon Appétit by Deb Perelman, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/sheet-pan-chicken-meatballs-and-charred-broccoli

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Romaine Salad with Bacon and Hard-Boiled Eggs

  • 2 large eggs
  • 4 ounces bacon (4 to 5 slices), cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-wide strips
  • 1 large head romaine (1 1/4 pound), trimmed and cut into bite-size pieces (any of this week’s lettuce would hold up well in this salad I’d think)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped shallot
  • 2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste

Hard-boil eggs:

Cover eggs with cold water by 1 inch in a small heavy saucepan and bring to a boil, partially covered with lid. Reduce heat to low and cook eggs, covered completely, 10 minutes. Transfer eggs with a slotted spoon to a bowl of cold water to stop cooking and let stand until cool enough to handle, about 2 minutes.

Make salad:

While eggs are simmering, cook bacon in a 10-inch heavy skillet over moderate heat, stirring, until crisp, about 8 minutes. Transfer bacon with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain, leaving rendered fat in skillet.

Peel eggs and finely chop.

Put romaine and egg in a serving bowl.

Add oil and shallot to fat in skillet and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until shallot is softened, about 2 minutes. Add vinegar and salt and boil, swirling skillet, 10 seconds. Pour hot dressing over romaine and egg and toss to combine. Add bacon and toss salad, then season with salt and pepper.

From Epicurious.com via Gourmet, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/romaine-salad-with-bacon-and-hard-boiled-eggs-107581

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Summer CSA Share – #1

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

  • Mixed Giant Spinach
  • French Breakfast Radishes
  • One-Cut Lettuce Heads – As the name suggests, these lettuces produce heaps of nicely sized salad leaves with a single cut through the base of the head. We usually cut and mix these varieties for bagged salad mix, but thought you might like to see the different varieties and mix and match based on your preferences this week. Our go to quick dinner of late has been big salads topped with rice, salmon, and Cesar dressing. So good!
  • German Butterball Potatoes – We’re working through the last of 2018’s potatoes, but they’re still tasty. New potatoes will make an appearance before too long.
  • Broccoli – Two varieties of broccoli this week. As we plan out the season we choose varieties that will succeed each other in the field from a single planting. These first varieties are overlapping somewhat and you can see the more mature broccoli compared to the variety that’s just coming on.
  • Bok Choy
  • Garlic Scapes – As the hardneck garlic plants begin to develop their bulbs, they send up a flower stalk known as a scape. We harvest the scapes because they’re delicious and garlicky and also to help the plant focus on producing a larger bulb rather than seed production. You can use the scapes like you would a bunching onion and I’ve included recipe for garlic scape pesto at the bottom of the post.
  • Cauliflower – Just a taste of the earliest, and perhaps most colorful, cauliflower this week.
  • Overwintered Bunching Onions – These onions made it through the winter in the field from an October planting and now they’re ready to go to seed. Some of them will have the seed head/scape still attached. You can eat the entire length of the onion and onions flowers make for a tasty garnish.
  • Sugar Snap Peas
  • Carrots!
  • Tomato Plants – Although our tomatoes have been in the ground for over a month, I potted up some extra cherry tomatoes and they’ll be available at this week’s pick-up.
Your farmers! (left) and a shot of another worker on the farm, a bumblebee in the flowering apple trees (right)

Welcome to the tenth season of the Pitchfork & Crow Summer CSA!  We’re  so glad you’ve decided to join us for the next 26 weeks of eating seasonally.  We’re excited to welcome back returning members and to welcome new members to the group.

Our 1947 Farmall Cub cultivating tractor has been busy over the last month. It’s our #1 tool for battling weeds in the fields. Above we’re cultivating the first round of brassicas and hilling the potatoes.

Most of you should have received several emails from us over the past couple of weeks highlighting the various P&C CSA member resources. You can find links to all of the resources on the CSA Member Resources page including the updated CSA member handbook and important dates, like those for this season’s upcoming on-farm events.  Please be sure to add those dates to your calendar for future reference.  Also, be sure to let us know if you didn’t receive the reminder email and we’ll get you added to the list.

Jeff in the peas at the end of April and again today. It’s amazing how fast they grow!

In future newsletters I’ll attempt to keep you updated on farm happenings and give you a behind-the-scenes look at where your vegetables are grown.  I’ll also always include a few recipes for combinations of that week’s share items.  You can find this week’s recipes at the bottom of this post.

Not sure what to do with a vegetable? Looking for more recipe suggestions? 

  • Check out the archive of recipes on our Recipe page that’s sorted by vegetable.
  • Join in the conversation in the P&C CSA Member Facebook group to query fellow members or suggest great recipes of your own.
  • Even more recipes plus updated storage information and loads of tips over on the P&C CSA Member App/Website.  You can find all the details on the CSA Member App page.
Here we are transplanting winter squash. That’s our water wheel transplanter on the back of the tractor. I sit in the seat and plant, plant, plant…

As we begin the Summer CSA season, we hope you’re excited for the adventure ahead.  The greens of spring will inevitably give way to the fruits of summer over time, and hopefully we’ll have a few surprises along the way.  Thank you for choosing to support our farm as you also choose to eat seasonally, locally, and organically!

Let’s get this season started!

Enjoy the vegetables!

Your farmers,
Carri Heisler and Jeff Bramlett

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Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:

Asian Chicken Salad with Snap Peas and Bok Choy

  • 2 skinless boneless chicken breast halves (about 1 pound)
  • 5 fresh cilantro sprigs plus 1/3 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 whole green onion plus 2 green onions, chopped
  • 1 8-ounce package sugar snap peas
  • 3 baby bok choy, thinly sliced crosswise
  • 1 English hothouse cucumber, quartered lengthwise, thinly sliced crosswise
  • 1 red jalapeño chile, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup ponzu*
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger

Fill medium skillet with salted water; bring to boil. Add chicken breasts, cilantro sprigs, and whole green onion; reduce heat to medium and poach chicken until just cooked through, about 20 minutes. Using tongs, transfer chicken to plate; cool. Add snap peas to same skillet; increase heat to high and cook until crisp-tender, about 1 minute.

Drain; rinse snap peas under cold water to cool. Discard whole green onion and cilantro sprigs. Coarsely shred chicken. Toss chicken, chopped cilantro, chopped green onions, snap peas, and next 3 ingredients in large bowl. Whisk ponzu, vinegar, oil, and ginger in small bowl. Add dressing to salad; toss to coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

From Epicurious.com via Bon Appetit, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/asian-chicken-salad-with-snap-peas-and-bok-choy-242110

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Garlic Scape Pesto

  • 10 large garlic scapes
  • 1/3 cup unsalted pistachios (or whatever nuts you have on hand really)
  • 1/3 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • Kosher salt and black pepper
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound spaghetti

Make the pesto: Puree the garlic scapes, pistachios, Parmesan, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a food processor until very finely chopped. With the motor running, slowly pour the oil through the opening. Season the pesto with salt and pepper to taste. (The pesto keeps in the fridge, covered, for 1 week or frozen for a month.)

In a large pot of heavily salted boiling water, cook the spaghetti until al dente. Reserve 1 cup of the pasta-cooking water, then drain the pasta. Whisk together 2/3 cup of the pesto and the reserved pasta water and toss with the pasta. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve right away.

From Epicurious.com via The Farm Cookbook by Ian Knauer, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/pasta-with-garlic-scape-pesto-395769

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Tuna, White Bean, and Roasted Red Pepper with Cream Dijon Dressing

  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons Champagne vinegar or white wine vinegar
  • 5 cups mixed baby greens
  • 1 15-ounce can small white beans, rinsed, drained
  • 2/3 cup chopped drained roasted red peppers from jar
  • 1/3 cup chopped red onion
  • 1 12-ounce can chunk light tuna
  • 2/3 cup Kalamata olives or other brine-cured black olives, pitted, halved

Whisk first 4 ingredients in small bowl. Season dressing with salt and pepper. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover; chill.)

Toss greens in large bowl with enough dressing to coat. Place greens in center of 4 plates. Toss beans, red peppers and onion in medium bowl with enough dressing to coat. Top greens with bean mixture, then tuna, dividing equally. Garnish with olives and serve.

From Epicurious.com via Bon Appétit, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/tuna-white-bean-and-roasted-pepper-salad-with-cream-dijon-dressing-104808

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