Winter CSA Share – #5

Welcome to the 5th share of the Pitchfork & Crow 2020/2021 Winter CSA!  Here’s what’s in the share this week:

  • Kalettes – This new-to-us brassica is a cross between kale and Brussels sprouts. Instead of a sprout small kale flowers develop along the stalk. We ate some for the first time this week and found them to be delicious and sweet! You can eat the leaves and stems of the sprouts and they can be prepared just like kale.
  • Rainbow Chard
  • Purple Sprouting Broccoli – a seasonal treat, this PSB was planted back in August and only starts forming florets now. Like broccoli heads you can eat the stems and leaves too.
  • Semi-Savoy Green Cabbage
  • Rutabaga – less turnipy than turnips, these rutabaga (aka Swedes) are especially sweet after sweetening up in the winter field. We like them roasted with other roots and ate some mashed up with potatoes this week, which made for a tasty soup the next night.
  • Banana Fingerling Potatoes – Classic yellow fingerlings.
  • Garlic
  • Yellow 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.
  • Leeks
  • Kabocha Winter Squash – Mostly pale blue Winter Sweet, but some dark green Sweet Mama too. These squash bother have dry, flaky flesh and make for tasty pies, curries, soups, and are excellent roasted. Looking for more squash inspiration? Check out the Eat Winter Squash site for lots of great ideas.
  • 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. It looks like we’ll fill up sooner than in years past, so get on the list early to reserve your share. Find all the details and a sign-up form over on the Summer CSA page.

Say hello to Kalettes!

This week we’re passing the halfway mark of the Winter CSA. With snow in the forecast again later this week, I think we’ve got plenty of winter left, but each time the sun peeks out we’re reminded spring isn’t so far off. The vegetables in the field are showing signs of spring too. The kale and some cabbages are ready to ring in rapini season and we were also able to eek out the first of the purple sprouting broccoli this week. It’s a special, and very tasty, time of year that we look forward to for months.

Now that we’ve shared the many, many stalks of Brussels sprouts with you (man it was a good year for Brussels!) we’re excited to share a new crop. Kalettes! This cross between Brussels sprouts and kale made an appearance in seed catalogs a few years ago. After disregarding them as a gimmick we were finally convinced by our friend at Working Hands Farm up in Hillsboro that we should indeed add them to the winter line-up. Sometimes it takes us a while to catch on, but I’m sure glad we finally listened. Our first meal of kale sprouts this week was delicious and we hope you agree that these are keepers.

The new propagation house is nearly complete. Just in time as boxes of seeds have been rolling into our mailbox.

Most of our focus this past week between CSA harvests was on the new propagation house. We’d finished the basic structure and end walls when we last met. We managed to pull the plastic, dig trenches for irrigation, lay irrigation lines, and move in tables before it was time to harvest again.

We’re just about ready to get the seed-starting underway. We’ve got some new heat mats headed our way and we’ll be installing a hanging hose system too. Our seeding schedule was set to start last week with some direct sown radishes, but this week we’ll really get things going with tomatoes! They’ll spend some time in the germination chamber (a room that can be heated to help seeds germinate faster) and hopefully we’ll have the new heat tables in place once they’re ready to be transferred to the propagation house.

In the week ahead we’ll be putting the finishing touches on the new prop. house and then getting back to the epic orchard pruning project. Fingers crossed that snow in the forecast doesn’t make an appearance, or if it does, that it doesn’t stick around too long.

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:

Rutabagas with Caramelized Onions

  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter
  • 1 3/4 pounds onions, halved, thinly sliced
  • 2 1/4 pounds rutabagas, peeled, cut into 1/2- to 3/4-inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons honey

Melt 5 tablespoons butter in heavy large skillet over medium-low heat. Add onions and sauté until brown, 40 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook rutabagas in large pot of boiling salted water until tender, about 20 minutes. Drain well.

Melt 3 tablespoons butter in large skillet over medium-low heat. Add rutabagas; sauté until heated through, about 10 minutes. Drizzle honey over. Gently stir in onions. Season with salt and pepper. (Can be made 3 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature. Rewarm over medium-low heat.)

From Epicurious.com via Bon Appétit, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/rutabagas-with-caramelized-onions-4677

Fingerling Potato Salad

  • 3 1/2 pounds fingerling potatoes, unpeeled, cut into 3/4″-1″ pieces
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt plus more for seasoning
  • 9 tablespoons (or more) extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 2 tablespoons brown mustard seeds
  • 3 medium leeks (white and palegreen parts only), halved lengthwise, cut crosswise into ¼” slices (about 5 cups)
  • 1 tablespoon (or more) white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Place potatoes in a large pot. Add enough cold water to cover by 3″. Stir in 1 tablespoons salt and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes. Drain. Transfer to a large rimmed baking sheet and let cool slightly.

Heat 3 tablespoons oil in a small skillet over medium-high heat. Add mustard seeds to skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until seeds start to pop, about 2 minutes. Pour oil with seeds into a large bowl.

Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add leeks, season with salt, and cook, stirring occasionally, until just tender, 10-12 minutes.

Whisk remaining 4 tablespoons oil, vinegar, Dijon mustard, and 1 tablespoon water into mustard-seed oil. Add potatoes and leeks; toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper. DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover; chill. Return to room temperature before serving, adding more oil and vinegar if dry.

From Epicurious.com via Bon Appétit by Sara Dickerman, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/fingerling-potato-salad-366411

Sea Scallops with Ham-Braised Cabbage and Kale

  • 1 large onion, chopped (2 cups)
  • 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 Turkish or 1/2 California bay leaf
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic (2 cloves)
  • 1 large head Savoy cabbage (2 to 2 1/2 pounds), quartered, cored, and coarsely chopped (12 cups loosely packed)
  • Ham stock including meat
  • 1 1/4 pounds tender green kale (1 large bunch), stems and center ribs cut out and discarded and leaves coarsely chopped (12 cups loosely packed) (or Kalettes!)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 30 large sea scallops (2 to 2 1/2 pounds total), tough muscle removed from side of each if necessary
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice, or to taste

Cook onion in 3 tablespoons oil with bay leaf in a 6- to 8-quart heavy pot over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until beginning to soften, about 3 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, 1 minute. Add cabbage and increase heat to moderately high, then sauté, stirring occasionally, until cabbage starts to wilt, about 5 minutes. Add stock (with meat from ham hocks) and simmer, partially covered, stirring occasionally, until cabbage is tender, about 30 minutes.

Stir in kale, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and simmer, partially covered, stirring occasionally, until kale is tender, about 15 minutes.

Preheat oven to 200°F.

Pat scallops dry and sprinkle both sides with remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper (total). Heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a 12-inch heavy nonstick skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then sauté scallops (without crowding), in 2 batches if necessary, turning over once, until golden and just cooked through, about 5 minutes total per batch. Transfer scallops to a shallow baking dish and keep warm in oven.

Add wine to skillet and deglaze by boiling, stirring and scraping up any brown bits from bottom of skillet, until liquid is reduced to about 2/3 cup. Stir in 1 teaspoon lemon juice, then add sauce to cabbage mixture. Season with salt, pepper, and additional lemon juice if desired. Pour any scallop juices accumulated in baking dish into cabbage mixture, then serve mixture spooned over grits and topped with scallops.

Cooks’ note:Cabbage mixture can be made 1 day ahead and cooled completely, uncovered, then chilled, covered. Reheat and add pan juices from scallops before serving.

From Epicurious.com via Gourmet, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/sea-scallops-with-ham-braised-cabbage-and-kale-230758

Winter CSA Share – #4

Welcome to the 4th share of the Pitchfork & Crow 2020/2021 Winter CSA!  Here’s what’s in the share this week:

  • Brussels Sprouts – These are likely the last of the Brussels for the season. Enjoy!
  • Lacinato Kale Rapini – As we edge ever closer to spring many of the overwintering plants in the field will be headed toward making seed. The interim stage is called rapini and is a delicious brocoli-like seasonal treat. This week some of the kale bunches include rapini, which can be eaten from stem to tip like broccoli.
  • Collards
  • Mustard Greens
  • 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. Look for recipes calling for radicchio, chicory, and castelfranco for inspiration.
  • Rainbow Carrots
  • Magic Molly Blue Potatoes
  • 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.
  • Cilantro
  • Mixed Winter Squash – Choose from Black Futsu, Spaghetti, and the last of the Long Pie Pumpkins.
  • 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.

Our new propagation greenhouse kit arrived last Tuesday! Above is the kit (top left), digging post holes (top right), setting the posts (bottom left), and attaching the end wall posts to the bows (bottom right).

It’s been a busy week here on the farm. Last Tuesday, as promised, the greenhouse kit for our new propagation house was delivered. When we first started this farming experiment back in 2009 we put up a 8′ x 16′ greenhouse in the backyard of our house in Salem. We started seeds in our kitchen, grew transplants in the backyard, and drove them out to our rented plot outside of town. When we began leasing this farm we were able to consolidate the operation and we turned an existing 20′ x 45′ greenhouse into our new prop. house.

Though not a strong structure, somehow that greenhouse has made it through a decade of high winds and snow storms. However, over the years it’s become obvious that our ideal prop. house would have better air flow within the house, improved venting during the hotter times of the year, and a double layer of plastic to allow for an insulating air layer for the cooler months. It’s been difficult to want to make these investments in our current prop. house due to the lack of strength of the structure itself and the location which happens to flood in the rainier months.

Last spring we built a dedicated room off our shop to use as a germination chamber and the new prop. house is located directly off that room. Once ready to leave the germination chamber, seeded flats will easily be transferred into the new prop. house rather than trekking them through an orchard first. We’re excited to consolidate the seeding and transplant growing into the same area again while also improving the transplant growing environment.

Prop. house building cont’d: We’ve got a structure! (top left), shutter,s fans, side boards and purlins installed (top right), installing the endwall poly carbonate sheets (bottom left), and finished endwalls (bottom right).

Not wanting to waste the beautiful weather we jumped into construction as soon as the greenhouse delivery driver was gone. On day one we rented an auger from a local rental shop and proceeded to dig 30 10″ wide x 18″ deep holes to set the posts. The best projects always seem to start with digging. The auger was a beast but the holes ended up roughly in the correct locations. On day two we set the posts in 55 bags of quikrete and got the top bows in place. Day three was interrupted by a previously scheduled dentist appointment but we managed to get the side boards in place and secured. Day four we installed the metal purlins that run the length of house and then focused on framing out the end walls. This is the first time we’ve purchased end walls with the kit and it was fun to see it come together so quickly. Day five we finished framing the end walls, installed the fans and ventilation shutters, installed the doors, and put up the poly carbonate plastic that encloses the ends.

More construction, but with rain!

I’d hope to get to the plastic-pulling stage on Saturday (day five) before the rain returned but it wasn’t in the cards. Instead we used day six to finish up cutting and securing the poly carbonate end walls, installing the wire lock channel that will be needed to keep the plastic in place, and installing the fancy door handles that came in the kit. It was a muddy day on the job site and though we could have pulled plastic in the afternoon, we decided to hold off for a drier day. Fingers crossed we don’t have to wait too long.

Once we cover the house with the two layers of poly we’ll install a fan that will inflate the space between them to provide some insulating properties. We’ll also bring water over for future irrigation needs. Then comes the ground cloth to keep weeds at bay, tables for flats of transplants to sit on, and we’ll need to set up the hardening off area outside for transplants to shift to before getting transplanted into the field. There are plenty more things to do before we’re up and running but it doesn’t feel too far off now.

Our current prop. house and the field next to it that floods during high rain events (top left), wind storm damage from a couple weeks back (top right), curly willow on a foggy morning (bottom left), and a frosty farm sunrise (bottom right).

In addition to the remaining steps of the prop. house building project our next priority is pulling new plastic on one of our high tunnels that lost plastic in the wind storm we experienced a couple of weeks back. Plastic covered greenhouses and high wind events aren’t a great pairing. Last fall we lost plastic on a high tunnel in a high wind that ripped through just after the wildfires. This time we lost plastic on a different high tunnel, one that had a much older plastic covering thankfully. Luckily we already had the prop. house kit scheduled to arrive this past week and we were able to add the new plastic to our delivery. Now we wait for another couple of dry days to get these houses covered.

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:

Brussels Sprouts and Roasted Red Onions

  • 4 pounds medium red onions (about 9)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 1/4 pounds Brussels sprouts
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter

Preheat oven to 425° F.

Trim onions, keeping root ends intact, and cut each lengthwise into 6 wedges, keeping wedges intact. In a large bowl toss onions with oil and salt and pepper to taste. In 2 shallow baking pans arrange onions in one layer and roast in upper and lower thirds of oven 20 minutes. Carefully turn onions over and switch position of pans. Roast onions 20 minutes more, or until just tender and some edges are golden brown.

Trim Brussels sprouts and have ready a large bowl of ice and cold water. In a large saucepan of boiling salted water cook sprouts until just tender, 8 to 10 minutes, and drain in colander. Transfer sprouts to ice water to stop cooking and drain in colander. Vegetables may be prepared up to this point 1 day ahead and chilled separately, covered.

In a small bowl stir together mustard and water. In a 12-inch heavy skillet cook onions and sprouts in butter over moderately high heat, stirring, until heated through and stir in mustard mixture and salt and pepper to taste.

From Epicurious.com via Gourmet, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/brussels-sprouts-and-roasted-red-onions-14464

Quinoa with Moroccan Winter Squash and Carrot Stew

  1. Stew
    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 1 cup chopped onion
    • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
    • 2 teaspoons Hungarian sweet paprika
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
    • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
    • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
    • Pinch of saffron
    • 1 cup water
    • 1 14 1/2-ounce can diced tomatoes, drained
    • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
    • 3 cups 1-inch cubes peeled butternut squash (from 1 1/2-pound squash) (or black futsu winter squash)
    • 2 cups 3/4-inch cubes peeled carrots
  2. Quinoa
    • 1 cup quinoa*
    • 1 tablespoon butter
    • 1 tablespoon olive oil
    • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
    • 1/4 cup finely chopped peeled carrot
    • 2 garlic cloves, minced
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
    • 2 cups water
    • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro, divided
    • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh mint, divided

For stew:

Heat oil in large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion; sauté until soft, stirring often, about 5 minutes. Add garlic; stir 1 minute. Mix in paprika and next 8 ingredients. Add 1 cup water, tomatoes, and lemon juice. Bring to boil. Add squash and carrots. Cover and simmer over medium-low heat until vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and chill.)

For quinoa:

Rinse quinoa; drain. Melt butter with oil in large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and carrot. Cover; cook until vegetables begin to brown, stirring often, about 10 minutes. Add garlic, salt, and turmeric; sauté 1 minute. Add quinoa; stir 1 minute. Add 2 cups water. Bring to boil; reduce heat to medium-low. Cover; simmer until liquid is absorbed and quinoa is tender, about 15 minutes.

Rewarm stew. Stir in half of cilantro and half of mint. Spoon quinoa onto platter, forming well in center. Spoon stew into well. Sprinkle remaining herbs over.

*A grain with a delicate flavor and a texture similar to couscous; available at natural foods stores.

From Epicurious.com via Bon Appétit by Bruce Aidells & Nancy Oakes, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/quinoa-with-moroccan-winter-squash-and-carrot-stew-233714

Salad Pasta

  • 1 (2.2-oz.) can oil-packed anchovy fillets
  • 1 head of garlic, cloves separated, thinly sliced
  • 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 lb. penne pasta
  • Kosher salt
  • 3 Tbsp. cold unsalted butter
  • 3 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 head of radicchio, trimmed, quartered, leaves separated (or chicory mix)
  • 1 (5-oz.) package baby arugula
  • 1 cup basil leaves, torn if large
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Combine anchovies, garlic, oil, and red pepper flakes in a large skillet. Cook over medium heat, stirring often, until anchovies have disintegrated into oil and garlic is lightly browned, 6–8 minutes.

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

Remove skillet with anchovy mixture from heat and stir in butter and lemon juice until butter is melted. Add pasta and 1/2 cup pasta cooking liquid and stir constantly until a thick glossy sauce forms, adding more pasta cooking liquid as needed.

Place radicchio in a large bowl. Add pasta and sauce and toss to coat, adding more pasta cooking liquid as needed. Add arugula and basil but don’t toss; season with salt and black pepper.

Divide pasta among plates or bowls, very gently tossing so arugula gets coated in sauce but doesn’t wilt too much.

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

Summer CSA Share – #18

Welcome to the 18th share of the Pitchfork & Crow 2020 Summer CSA!  Here’s what’s in the share this week:

  • Lettuce Mix
  • Rainbow Chard
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Basil
  • Kohlrabi – Kohlrabi is great shaved into salads or roasted with other root vegetables. And don’t forget about kohlrabi sticks and peanut butter! Plus, check out the kohlrabi fritter recipe I’ve included down below.
  • Sweet Corn
  • Large Bunching Onions
  • Mixed Onions
  • Spaghetti Squash
  • Eggplant
  • Mixed Snap Beans
  • Mixed Hot Peppers – Choose from mild habaneros and hot Carrot peppers this week.
  • Mixed Sweet Peppers
  • Slicer Tomato

CSA Members! It’s time to take a visit to the pumpkin patch! We’re inviting you out to the farm for an abbreviated fall farm visit. Come see your food growing in the field and snag some pumpkins! Check you member email for the details.

We harvested the majority of the winter squash this week. Beginning the squash harvest always feels a little overwhelming but the progress is easy to see as beds empty and the colorful fruits begin to pile up.

The process entails one of us clipping the fruits and moving them into groups and the other coming behind and picking them up and piling them into pallet bins. As they’re picked up they’re also counted so we can compare harvest quantities to past and future harvests and know how many are available to be doled out in the coming weeks and months in CSA shares. We’re up to just over 4,000 fruits so far, with only the butternut left in the field for another week of ripening.

The piles of squash in the barn make us feel a little more secure as we come ever closer to the end of the growing season. There will be food this winter!

It was a week of harvesting as we also managed to bring in the dry beans for drying down, make some more progress in the potatoes, and harvest our meager apple/pear crops. This was not a great tree fruit year for us sadly. The quality of the fruit we did harvest makes it best for preserving, which is a good thing for dried apples this winter, but not so great for fall CSA shares.

We’re pretty happy to see the sunshine return this week! After weeks of smoke followed by rainy fall-like weather we’ll take some warm temperatures and sunny days. September has been a very weird month. Hopefully this week’s sun will help us eek out some more tomatoes for you.

This week we’ll be harvesting more potatoes, bringing in the butternut, and prepping for Saturday’s CSA pumpkin patch. We look forward to seeing many of you on Saturday! There are lots of pumpkins to choose from!

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 Red Curry Soup with Chicken and Vegetables

  • 2 tablespoons corn oil
  • 1 tablespoon Thai red curry paste
  • 12 ounces skinless boneless chicken breast halves, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-wide strips
  • 4 ounces green beans, cut into 1-inch lengths
  • 2 small Japanese eggplants, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 3 cups canned low-salt chicken broth
  • 3 cups canned unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce (nam pla)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil

Heat oil in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add curry paste; stir until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add chicken; stir 2 minutes. Add green beans and eggplant pieces; stir 1 minute. Add broth, coconut milk and fish sauce; bring to boil. Reduce heat; simmer until vegetables are tender, about 12 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in basil and serve.

From Epicurious.com via Bon Appétit, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/thai-red-curry-soup-with-chicken-and-vegetables-4260

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Spaghetti Squash with Tomatoes, Basil, and Parmesan

  • a 3-pound spaghetti squash, halved lengthwise, reserving one half for  another use, and the seeds discarded
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup shredded fresh basil leaves plus additional for garnish
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 3 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan
  • 1 cup thinly sliced cherry tomatoes

In a glass baking dish arrange the squash half, cut side down, pour 1/4 cup water around it, and cover the dish tightly with microwave-safe plastic wrap. Microwave the squash at high power (100%) for 12 minutes, or until it is soft when pressed, and let it stand, covered, for 3 minutes. In a large bowl whisk together the oil, 1/4 cup of the basil, the oregano, and 2 tablespoons of the Parmesan, stir in the tomatoes, and season the mixture with salt and pepper. While the squash is still warm scrape it with a fork to form strands, add the strands to the tomato mixture, and toss the mixture until it is combined. Divide the mixture between 2 bowls, sprinkle the remaining 1 tablespoon Parmesan over it, and garnish it with the additional basil.

From Epicurious.com via Gourmet, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/spaghetti-squash-with-tomatoes-basil-and-parmesan-12841

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Kohlrabi Fritters

  • 2 medium kohlrabi bulbs, peeled and chopped (about 16 oz.)
  • 1 large egg
  • 2/3 cup (about 2 7/8 oz.) all-purpose flour, divided
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup applesauce

Step 1

Using the grating disc attachment of a food processor, process kohlrabi until finely shredded. Squeeze grated kohlrabi between paper towels to remove excess liquid. Place squeezed kohlrabi in a medium bowl. Add egg, 2 tablespoons of the flour, and 3/4 teaspoon of the salt to kohlrabi, and stir to combine.

Step 2

Heat oil in a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high. Using floured hands, pat kohlrabi mixture into 12 (3-inch) flat discs. Sprinkle remaining flour on both sides of discs. Fry fritters in two batches until golden and crisp, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a paper-towel lined plate to drain. Sprinkle with chives and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt; serve with sour cream and applesauce for dipping.

From CookingLight.com by Ivy Odom, https://www.cookinglight.com/recipes/kohlrabi-fritters

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Summer CSA Share – #17

Welcome to the 17th share of the Pitchfork & Crow 2020 Summer CSA!  Here’s what’s in the share this week:

  • Escarole
  • Brussels Sprouts Tops – We snap the tops off our Brussels sprouts to help the plants focus on making sprouts. At some point we realized these tops are really tasty and we should all be eating them. Treat them like kale in the kitchen.
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Parsley
  • Red Potatoes – Give these guys a scrub or peel them to get rid of the surface scab.
  • Sweet Corn
  • Torpedo Onion
  • Garlic
  • Mixed Snap Beans
  • Cucumber
  • Zucchini & Summer Squash
  • Numex Suave Orange Mild Habanero Peppers – A mild habanero pepper that packs the fruitiness and aroma of a hot habanero with just a little of the heat.
  • Mixed Sweet Peppers
  • Slicer Tomato
  • Cherry Tomatoes
Last Thursday’s big thunder and windstorm left us with some ripped plastic on a high tunnel and flattened corn stalks. Could have been worse! Luckily we were able to re-cover the high tunnel Saturday and plant it out Sunday. I was more excited about the planting than Leo.

After a week+ of living in the smoke we were really looking forward to the forecasted rain Thursday night. We weren’t quite expecting the lightning show that arrived at 1am along with a fierce windstorm that felt like it must be wreaking havoc outside. After 45 minutes of battering rain and wind, the storm had passed us over. Greenhouses and barns and our house all appeared to still be intact, though the electricity was out. Friday we assessed the minimal damage, mostly just wind-whipped crops, then got to work digging potatoes and planting out empty beds in high tunnels with fall and winter greens.

I finally made my way to our farthest high tunnel around 2pm, ready to finish planting, and realized the plastic had ripped along the whole east side. It looked fine from a distance but closer inspection showed the plastic wasn’t salvageable. I called Jeff and told him the news. Sudden change of plans. We quickly wrestled the 50’x100′ piece of torn plastic to the ground and got it folded up for storage.

Next Jeff ran up to the nursery supply store just before closing and bought a new piece of plastic. Saturday morning Jeff reinforced the high tunnel with an extra channel for the wire that secures the plastic and fixed some structural pieces that had broken in the storm. We pulled the new piece of plastic in the afternoon. By Sunday things were back on track and I planted the planned Napa cabbage, chard, cialntro, tatsoi, arugula, kale, and fall radishes into the newly repaired house.

It’s officially fall! And right on time we’ve had to dust off the rain gear, the pumpkins are turning orange, and the flour/polenta corn is ready for harvest!

Sometime between the arrival of the smoke on Labor Day and Thursday’s storm, it would appear the seasonal switch flipped to autumn. Instead of working through an endless summer we’re suddenly experiencing foggy mornings and had to break out the rain gear to stay dry in the fields. And the mud season has arrived too. All right o schedule with today’s autumnal equinox.

It’s time to gather all the things we’ve been meaning to gather in. In between the high tunnel repair we brought in the 600 row feet of flour/polenta flint corn for drying and 400 row feet of potatoes for storage. That’s some progress, though there are 3000 row feet of potatoes to go. This week we’ll pick-up all the winter squash, and hopefully get to the apples and dry beans and more potatoes too depending on how the weather pans out. It’s harvest season!

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:

Easy Chicken Curry with Vegetables

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3 tablespoons red Thai curry paste
  • 1 yellow onion, sliced with the grain
  • 2 chicken breasts, cut into cubes
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups broccoli florets
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped carrots
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • Zest of 1/2 lime
  • 1 1/4 cups coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup chicken stock
  • One 14-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • Lime wedges, for squeezing

Cook 1 tablespoon of the oil, the curry paste and onions in a large saute pan over medium heat, stirring often and letting sizzle, 5 to 6 minutes. Pat the chicken dry, sprinkle with salt and pepper and add the remaining oil to the pan. Cook the chicken in the onion-curry mixture until golden on all sides. Add the broccoli, carrots, basil, garlic and lime zest and cook, stirring, until the vegetables are coated, about 2 minutes. Add the coconut milk, chicken stock and tomatoes and bring to a simmer. Let the chicken simmer until cooked through and the sauce begins to thicken, about 20 minutes. Squeeze with lime juice before serving.

From FoodNetwork.com by Melissa D’Arabian, https://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/melissa-darabian/easy-chicken-curry-with-vegetables-recipe-2107356

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Bistro French Fries with Parsley and Garlic

  • 4 medium russet potatoes (about 1 3/4 pounds), unpeeled
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • Coarse salt

Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 425°F. Cut potatoes lengthwise into 1/3-inch-thick slices, then cut lengthwise into 1/3-inch-wide strips. Pat potato strips dry with paper towels. Combine potatoes and oil in large bowl; toss to coat well. Divide potatoes between 2 large baking sheets; spread in single layer. Bake until potatoes are deep golden brown, turning and rearranging potatoes frequently, about 40 minutes.

Transfer potatoes to bowl. Toss with parsley, garlic and coarse salt.

From Epicurious.com via Bon Appétit, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/bistro-french-fries-with-parsley-and-garlic-105558

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Green Bean, Corn, and Coconut Stir-Fry (Thoren)

  • 3/4 cup grated dried unsweetened coconut
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 small fresh green chile, such as serrano, Thai, or jalapeño, slit lengthwise with stem end intact
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1/4 cup water
  • Salt
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon brown mustard seeds
  • 1/8 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes
  • 15 to 20 fresh curry leaves (optional)
  • 1 pound green beans, thinly sliced crosswise (1/4 inch)
  • 3 ears corn, kernels cut from cobs

Stir together coconut, cumin, coriander, cayenne, turmeric, chile, garlic, 1/4 cup water, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a small bowl.

Heat oil in a wok or 12-inch heavy skillet (not nonstick) over medium-high heat until it shimmers, then cook mustard seeds and red pepper flakes until mustard seeds begin to pop and/or turn gray. Add curry leaves (if using), covering skillet immediately as they crackle for a few seconds.

Add green beans and corn and stir-fry 8 minutes. Add coconut mixture and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are tender, 8 to 10 minutes. If mixture becomes dry and begins to stick to bottom of wok, add a few tablespoons water. Season with salt.

From Epicurious.com via Gourmet by Maya Kaimal, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/green-bean-corn-and-coconut-stir-fry-em-thoren-em-394669

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Roasted Cauliflower with Lemon-Parsley Dressing

  • 1 head cauliflower (about 2 pounds), cut into florets, including tender leaves
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
  • 1 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Preheat oven to 425°F. Toss cauliflower and 4 tablespoons oil on a rimmed baking sheet; season with salt and pepper. Roast, tossing occasionally, until tender and golden brown, 25–30 minutes.

Meanwhile, pulse parsley, lemon juice, and remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a food processor until very finely chopped; season with salt and pepper. Toss cauliflower with lemon-parsley mixture and top with lemon zest.

DO AHEAD: Lemon-parsley mixture can be made 4 hours ahead. Cover and chill.

From Epicurious.com via Bon Appétit by Dawn Perry, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/roasted-cauliflower-with-lemon-parsley-dressing-51198450

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Summer CSA Share – #13

Welcome to the 13th share of the Pitchfork & Crow 2020 Summer CSA!  Here’s what’s in the share this week:

  • Escarole – a lettuce-like green that’s slightly hardier and can hold up to grilling or cooking. Check out the soup recipe down below.
  • Cabbage – Choose red or green.
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Rainbow Carrots
  • Sweet Corn
  • Purple Bunching Onions
  • Garlic – We’re still making our way through that earliest ripening, least storage friendly, and sometimes fairly open garlic variety. Still tasty though!
  • Cucumbers – choose from green and white slicers, lemons, and picklers too.
  • Zucchini & Summer Squash
  • Shishito Peppers – The Japanese “roulette” pepper where 1 in 10 might be mildly hot. They’re tasty in any dish but delicious quickly blistered in hot oil, tossed with a little salt, and eaten as a snack just like that.
  • Mixed Sweet Peppers
  • Slicer Tomatoes
  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Mixed Melons – Lots of melons to choose from this week.
August field scenes!

This past week I was focused on the upcoming Winter CSA: reviewing past seasons, getting this season’s details set, updating the website etc. We’re always thinking a season ahead with sowing and planting too and it’s easy to overlook the highlights of the season at hand. This week we’re passing the halfway mark of the Summer CSA. What?! It’s true, this is the 13th week of the 26 week season. We’re at the height of summer fruits (so many melons and tomatoes!) and there’s a lot of summery goodness still to come out of the fields.

August is definitely the transition season between the constant planting of spring and the big harvests of fall. Here at the end of August we’re shifting gears, and also coming up for a breather. It’s time to make some notes about the season so that we remember the details come planning time in December, and it’s time to savor the fleeting summer season before it passes us by.

This week on the farm we’ll be doing a little planting, lots of irrigating, and of course there’s plenty of weeding and cultivating to be done. We’ll likely start the potato harvest later this week. There are pears to pick and some apples to bring in. We’ve got seed to clean and a greenhouse to clean out. And maybe even a day off the farm in the woods. I hear it’s huckleberry season out there!

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:

White Bean and Escarole Soup with Garlic

  • 1 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 large carrot, cut into small dice
  • 5 large garlic cloves, peeled, flattened
  • 3 cups (packed) 1-inch pieces escarole (about 1/2 large head)
  • 4 cups (or more) canned vegetable broth or low-salt chicken broth
  • 3 1/4 cups cooked Great Northern beans or two 15-ounce cans cannellini (white kidney beans), rinsed, drained
  • 1 14 1/2- to 16-ounce can diced tomatoes, drained

Heat oil in heavy large Dutch over medium-low heat. Add onion, carrot and garlic and sauté until onion is golden and tender, about 7 minutes. Discard garlic. Add escarole; stir 3 minutes. Add 4 cups broth, beans and tomatoes and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer until escarole is tender and flavors blend, about 20 minutes. Thin with more broth, if desired. Season soup to taste with salt and pepper. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Bring to simmer before continuing.)

From Epicurious.com via Bon Appétit, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/white-bean-and-escarole-soup-with-garlic-1537

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Thai Noodles with Chicken

  • 1 package (2 ounces) rice noodles
  • 2 cups shredded cabbage
  • 1 cup julienned carrots
  • 1/2 cucumber, peeled, quartered and sliced lengthwise
  • 1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded and cut into thin strips
  • 1/4 cup chopped scallions
  • 2 cups chopped skinless roasted chicken
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 cup seasoned rice vinegar
  • 3 tablespoon sugar
  • 4 teaspoon fish sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon Asian chile paste
  • 1 tablespoon peanut oil

Bring lightly salted water to a boil in a medium pot; cook noodles 3 minutes. Place cabbage in a colander and drain noodles over cabbage; immediately rinse with cold water. Drain again. Toss cabbage and noodles in a bowl with carrots, cucumber, pepper, scallions and chicken. Whisk basil, mint, juice, vinegar, sugar, fish sauce, chile paste and oil in another bowl; drizzle over noodle mixture; toss and divide among 4 bowls.

From Epicurious.com via SELF, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/thai-noodles-with-chicken-237572

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Chipotle Chicken and Cauliflower Tacos

  • 215g (7½ oz.) can chipotle chilies in adobo sauce, chilies finely chopped and sauce reserved
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 500g (1 lb. 2 oz.) chicken thigh fillets, trimmed and quartered
  • 500g (1 lb. 2 oz.) cauliflower florets (about 1 head)
  • Sea salt and cracked black pepper
  • 12 small corn tortillas, lightly toasted
  • 3⅓ cups (300g/10 oz.) finely shredded purple cabbage
  • 1 cup (12g/½oz) cilantro sprigs
  • Pickled red onions, to serve
  • Lime wedges, to serve

Preheat oven to 425°F. Line 2 oven trays with non-stick baking paper.

Place the chopped chilies and reserved adobo sauce in a large bowl. Add the maple syrup, garlic and oil and mix to combine.

Place the chicken in a separate large bowl and top with half the chipotle mixture. Toss to coat. Add the cauliflower to the remaining chipotle mixture and toss to coat.

Transfer the chicken and cauliflower to the trays and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for 20 minutes or until the cauliflower is just charred on the edges, the chicken is cooked through and the sauce has thickened.

To make the lime dressing, place the yogurt, lime juice, salt and pepper in a small bowl and mix to combine.

Fill the warm tortillas with the cabbage, chicken, cauliflower and coriander. Drizzle with the lime dressing and serve with pickled onion and lime wedges.

From Epicurious.com via Week Light by Donna Hay, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/chipotle-chicken-and-cauliflower-tacos

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Summer CSA Share – #12

Welcome to the 12th share of the Pitchfork & Crow 2020 Summer CSA!  Here’s what’s in the share this week:

  • Butterhead Lettuce
  • Lettuce Mix
  • Collards – The mild start to the summer has resulted in some of our most beautiful collards ever. I’ve included a very basic recipe for collards and bacon below, but I’d also like to remind you that extra greens can always benefit from the pesto treatment.
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Sweet Corn
  • Sweet Onions
  • Mixed Snap Beans – Green slender haricot verts and the purple striped dragon’s tongue this week. Unfortunately those purple stripes will turn green when cooked.
  • Cucumbers – choose from green and white slicers, lemons, and picklers too.
  • Zucchini & Summer Squash
  • Czech Black Hot Peppers – A mild “hot” peppers, these guys have less heat than a jalapeno.
  • Mixed Eggplant
  • Slicer Tomatoes
  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Milan Tuscan Melon – A type of muskmelon and cantaloupe with thicker ribbing but the same sweet interior.
  • Honey Orange Melon – Technically a honeydew, but it’s orange and is sweet like a cantaloupe.
Harvest day! Snap beans, cauliflower, and some giant tomatoes.

I know there will be a time in December or January when we’re planning harvests around freezing temperatures and going outside means layering up and rain gear and warm hats. There might even be snow or ice on the ground. The sun will come up a little later and in the mornings we’ll linger over a cup of hot coffee while we wait for it to thaw things out a bit. We might then think back to those seemingly endless warm August days when the only mud was from irrigated ground and we were awash in summer fruits.

Here in August though, it just feels hot and a little exhausting. I’m still trying to savor it despite the exhaustion.

The big onion harvest!

As mentioned previously it was time to get the storage onions out of the field. Every season has its highs and lows. Some crops do better, others not so much. This year I think is the year of the onion. We managed to grow our best onion crop to date! We’ve been trying for over a decade to nail this crop and this was the year it finally happened. Good news for everyone, there will be plenty of onions to go around this fall and winter!

We start the onion harvest with a little tractor work. In the past we would use a digging fork to loosen the ground around the onions. This was a tedious and time-sucking step. Now we use our undercutter bar (as seen in the top left photo above) on the back of the tractor to pop the onions out of the ground instead. The undercutter bar digs down beneath the onions and cuts the roots of the onions and loosens the soil all in one pass of the tractor down the bed.

The dry weather has allowed us to field cure the onions, meaning they’ve dried down in the field and can head straight into storage. Once all of the beds have been undercut we box the onions and label them by variety so we know which ones to use up sooner and which will store longer. The boxes are then picked up and tractored to the barn for storage.

Jeff was a go-getter in the heat this week, prepping ground for transplanting (there he is hooking up our tiller up above) and direct sowing after the onions were out.

Once the onions were out of the way it was time to flip the beds for new crops waiting in the wings. Jeff fertilized and tilled the ground and on Sunday afternoon we transplanted some kale and chicories for seed production next spring and direct sowed some fall radishes and turnips and our last succession of snap beans. And so it continues. This week will be more cultivating and irrigating and seed sowing and weeding.

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:

Grilled Ratatouille Salad with Feta Cheese

  • 1 12- to 14-ounce eggplant, cut into 1/2 inch-thick rounds
  • 1 zucchini, quartered lengthwise
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut lengthwise into 6 strips
  • 1 medium onion, cut into 1/2 inch thick rounds
  • 3 tablespoons purchased garlic-flavored olive oil
  • 2 to 3 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2/3 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 2 tablespoons slivered fresh basil

Prepare barbecue (medium-high heat). Place eggplant, zucchini, red bell pepper and onion on baking sheet. Drizzle with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper; turn to coat. Grill vegetables until tender and tinged with brown, turning frequently, about 6 minutes for eggplant and zucchini and about 10 minutes for red bell pepper and onion.

Divide vegetables between 2 plates; drizzle with vinegar. Sprinkle cheese and basil over and serve.

From Epicurious.com via Bon Appétit, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/grilled-ratatouille-salad-with-feta-cheese-103770

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Collard Greens Miniera

  • 1 1/4 lb collard greens, halved lengthwise and stems and center ribs discarded
  • 3 slices bacon, finely chopped

Stack collard-leaf halves and roll crosswise into a cigar shape. Cut crosswise into very thin slices (no thicker than 3/4 inch) with a sharp knife.

Cook bacon in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over moderate heat, stirring, until crisp. Add collards, tossing to coat, and cook until just bright green, about 1 minute. Season with salt and serve immediately.

From Epicurious.com via Gourmet, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/collard-greens-miniera-104567

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Grilled Tuna Steaks with Cantaloupe Salsa

  • 3/4 cup coarsely chopped cantaloupe
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 4 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon minced seeded jalapeño chili (or, you know, a Czech Black pepper)

Prepare barbecue (medium-high heat). Mix cantaloupe, onion, cilantro, 2 teaspoons oil, lime juice and jalapeño chili in small bowl. Season salsa to taste with salt and pepper. Let stand 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, brush tuna steaks on both sides with remaining 2 teaspoons olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill tuna until just opaque in center, about 3 minutes per side.

Transfer tuna to plates. Spoon salsa alongside and serve.

From Epicurious.com via Bon Appétit, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/grilled-tuna-steaks-with-cantaloupe-salsa-4107

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Summer CSA Share – #11

Welcome to the 11th share of the Pitchfork & Crow 2020 Summer CSA!  Here’s what’s in the share this week:

  • Head Lettuce – Mostly butterhead with some red romaine rounding out the choice.
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Sweet Corn
  • Chioggia Beets – The heirloom bullseye beet is back!
  • Parsley – Though I’m sure you have a favorite use for parsley, one of my favorites is to riff on this Tagliatelle with Shredded Beets, Sour Cream, and Parsley recipe.
  • Yellow Onions
  • Cucumbers – choose from green and white slicers, lemons, and picklers too.
  • Zucchini & Summer Squash
  • Green’ Peppers – These are a mix of bell and Italian frying varieties in their under-ripe stage. Use them like green bell peppers.
  • Jalapeno Peppers
  • Tomatillos – Tomatillos make for tasty fresh salsa verde. I’ve referenced a recipe below that also incorporates apple. Other than eating tomatillo salsa with corn chips, my favorite use is enchilada casserole. Last week I layered up corn tortillas with tomatillo salsa, sweet corn, zucchini, cheese, and chicken for a quick dinner one night.
  • Slicer Tomatoes
  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Farm Apples
  • Milan Tuscan Melon – A type of muskmelon and cantaloupe with thicker ribbing but the same sweet interior.
Harvest day photos: a bee in the tomatillos, tall corn, and the beet harvest.

A couple of weeks back we received a note in the mail from our organic certifier, Oregon Tilth, congratulating us on ten years of organic certification. I had been rifling through the mail, organizing envelopes in order of priority and sorting the catalogs and credit card offers from the bills and CSA payments, but this note from Tilth made me pause.

First I counted the seasons. Isn’t this our eleventh season being certified? I guess we’re wrapping up some sort of tenth certification year, like a fiscal year. No matter. Then my thoughts drifted to that first year of organic certification back in 2010. It was our second year trying our hand at this large scale growing food thing. We were leasing two acres out on Grand Island, north of Salem, from the farm we’d been CSA members of for several years. Somehow we’d worked up the courage to start a CSA (and four of those original fifteen members are still with us this year). The farm has evolved so much since then it’s difficult to even remember what we were thinking. (In fact I decided to look it up so here’s a taste of August in 2010. Whoa!)

I do remember that first organic inspection though. We met in our house in West Salem to go over our records and we included our backyard greenhouse on the organic plan, because that’s where we grew our starts. (That first “greenhouse” structure now covers our wash station where we wash and hydro-cool many of the vegetables.) After hours of record reviewing we drove out to the leased acres for the tour part of the inspection. We walked the plot, discussed our growing methods, and the inspector measured out the distance between us and the neighboring farm along our only border that wasn’t certified organic on the other side. It all felt very official. This organization was deeming us an organic farm!

Our annual organic inspections have continued on much the same over the years. We’ve had that first inspector several more times through the years and it’s always fun to reminisce with him. This year’s inspection has been delayed due to the pandemic and we’re currently working to get a Zoom inspection scheduled. Hopefully soon enough we’ll have our eleventh certification renewal finished up!

Also after ten years of the CSA we’ve finally got some merch to share! We’ll have tote bags and t-shirts featuring our little 1947 Farmall Cub cultivating tractor for sale at the pick-up. We’re asking $10 for a tote bag, $15 for a shirt and we’ll take cash/check/card. Adult shirts are available in sizes S-2XL but limited in color/size combos. We have lots of youth shirts available though. Hit us up at the pick-up!

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:

Roasted Apple and Tomatillo Salsa

  • 1 pound tomatillos, husked and rinsed
  • 3 green apples, such as Granny Smith, quartered
  • 1/2 medium white onion
  • 3 garlic cloves, unpeeled
  • 1 jalapeño chile, stemmed
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Preheat the oven to 375°F.

2. Put the tomatillos, 2 of the apples, the onion, garlic, and jalapeño chile on a rimmed baking sheet. Toss with the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast until tomatillos are softened and slightly charred, about 20 minutes.

3. Peel the garlic, then transfer all of the ingredients to a blender and puree until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.

4. Chop the remaining apple into 1/4-inch cubes and stir into the salsa before serving.

From Epicurious.com via Mexican Made Easy by Marcela Valladolid, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/roasted-apple-and-tomatillo-salsa-395249

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Roasted Cauliflower with Lemon Zest, Parsley, Capers, and Jalapeno

  • 1 head cauliflower, quartered, cored, and cut into bite-size florets
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
  • Salt and freshly cracked pepper
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 large handful fresh parsley (about 1/2 cup/25 g), roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon capers
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded and thinly sliced
  • Flaky sea salt, for serving

Preheat the oven to 425°F (220°C). Spread the cauliflower on a baking sheet in a single layer. Drizzle with the oil, season generously with salt and pepper, and toss to coat. Roast the cauliflower, tossing the florets halfway through, until they are deep golden and crispy, 30 to 35 minutes total.

While the cauliflower is roasting, use a vegetable peeler to peel 3 strips of zest from the lemon. Cut each strip crosswise into very thin slices. Cut the lemon in half, reserving one half and storing the other for another use.

Transfer the roasted cauliflower to a serving bowl. Top it with the parsley, capers, jalapeño, and sliced lemon zest. Squeeze the mixture with the lemon half and drizzle it with more oil. Toss to coat all of the ingredients, and sprinkle with a pinch or two of the flaky salt.

From Epicurious.com via Cook Beautiful by Athena Calderone, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/roasted-cauliflower-with-lemon-zest-parsley-capers-and-jalapeno

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Italian Parsley and Beet Salad

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

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

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

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

Thinly slice onion with slicer.

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

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

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

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Summer CSA Share – #10

Welcome to the 10th share of the Pitchfork & Crow 2020 Summer CSA!  Here’s what’s in the share this week:

  • Lettuce Mix
  • Cabbage – Choose green or red cabbage this week.
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Sweet Corn
  • Rainbow Carrots
  • Basil
  • Bunching Onions – Some might even call them scallions.
  • Cucumbers – choose from green and white slicers, lemons, and picklers too.
  • Zucchini & Summer Squash – Zucchinis, yellow straight neck, yellow pattypans, and the new varieties Magda (a middle eastern kousa type) and Zephyr (yellow and greens summer squash!)
  • Green Peppers – These are a mix of bell and Italian frying varieties in their under-ripe stage. Use them like green bell peppers.
  • Shishito Peppers – The roulette pepper – one in ten can be warm. They’re best blistered quickly in hot oil and eaten right away, maybe with a toss of salt. Otherwise chop them up and put them in everything.
  • Slicer Tomatoes
  • Cherry Tomatoes
Sunrise and sunset – same greenhouse from opposite ends of the farm.

August. When we talk about the growing season August always inspires a little fear. The heat, the long days, the extended planting push. In August we never get quite enough sleep and are propelled only by the will to make it through to September. Well, we’ve made it to August and we’ve already made it through the biggest transplanting of the month. It’s all downhill from here, right?

I mentioned last week that we had a big transplanting party ahead of us. Well, we certainly partied! After several days of field prep and planting there are now 28 newly planted beds of fall and winter crops in the ground.

The last successions of broccoli, cauliflower, and corn went out, including the purple sprouting broccoli and overwintering cauliflower we’ll be enjoying along with Winter CSA members next February through May. The big chicory planting went in the ground for winter salads. We squeezed in some beets and kohlrabi too. Approximately 8,400 plants later and we had stacks of empty flats and lots of new irrigation lines to manage.

A few weeks back I described our transplanting process. Above is a snippet of video Jeff made of me transplanting corn (very tall corn that could have gone out a little sooner had we been ready for it). There I am, jabbing starts into the evenly spaced muddy holes made by the water wheel on our transplanter. Jab, jab, jab, jab…

New well pump installation!

Last week I also mentioned that we were having a new well pump installed. Wells and well pumps are mysterious things, but we did know that our pump had been installed in the mid-1990s and was pumping less water than when we first arrived on this property back in the fall of 2010. In an effort to avoid a mid-summer disaster when the pump died on its own, we decided an upgrade was in order. Luckily everything went smoothly and the new pump has doubled our irrigating capacity. Just like that Jeff doesn’t have to manage water 24 hours a day and I don’t have to have a constant worry that the pump is going to fail. Win Win!

In the week ahead we’ll be doing more of the same, though less transplanting is on deck. A little propagation (more chicories please!), lots of weeding, and the big onion harvest!

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:

Pasta Salad with Tomatoes and Corn

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

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

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

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Blackened Steak Salad

  1. For spice mixture
    • 1 tablespoon paprika
    • 2 teaspoons ground black pepper
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
    • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
    • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
    • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
    • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  2. For salad
    • 1/4 cup olive oil
    • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
    • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
    • 6 cups (packed) mixed baby greens
    • 1/2 green bell pepper, thinly sliced
    • 1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion
    • 2 5- to 6-ounce beef tenderloin steaks, each about 1/2 inch thick
    • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
    • 6 tablespoons crumbled blue cheese (about 3 ounces)
    • 1 tomato, quartered

For spice mixture:

Mix all ingredients in small bowl. (Can be made 1 week ahead. Store airtight at room temperature.)

For salad:

Whisk oil, vinegar and mustard in large bowl to blend. Season with salt and pepper. Add greens, bell pepper and onion and toss to coat. Divide salad between 2 plates.

Spread spice mixture on plate. Coat both sides of steaks with spice mixture. Dip both sides of steaks into melted butter. Heat heavy large skillet over high heat until very hot. Add steaks and cook to desired doneness, about 2 minutes per side for medium-rare. Transfer to cutting board; let stand 2 minutes. Thinly slice steaks crosswise. Arrange slices atop salads. Sprinkle with cheese. Garnish with tomato and serve.

From Epicurious.com via Bon Appétit by Chicago Chop House, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/blackened-steak-salad-103873

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Grilled Whole Cauliflower with Miso Mayo

  • 1 large head of cauliflower, leaves removed, stem trimmed
  • 1/2 tsp. (or more) kosher salt
  • 4 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup vinegar-based hot sauce (such as Frank’s)
  • 1 Tbsp. ketchup
  • 1 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 Tbsp. white miso
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced

Prepare a grill for medium-high heat. Sprinkle cauliflower all over with salt in a large microwave-safe bowl. Cover with plastic wrap, pierce plastic a few times with a knife to vent, and microwave on high until a paring knife easily slides into stem, about 5 minutes. Let cool slightly. (Alternatively, set a steamer basket in a large pot filled with about 1″ salted water. Cover pot and bring water to a boil. Add cauliflower, cover, and steam until a sharp paring knife easily slides into stem, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate and let cool slightly.)

Heat butter, hot sauce, ketchup, and soy sauce in a small saucepan on grill, stirring occasionally, until butter is melted, about 2 minutes. Brush cauliflower all over with sauce and grill, covered, 10 minutes. Turn cauliflower over, brush with sauce, and grill, covered, 10 minutes. Continue to grill, brushing and turning every 10 minutes and reheating sauce as needed, until cauliflower is lightly charred on all sides and fork-tender, 25–30 minutes. The sauce should be used up by now, but if not, brush any remaining sauce over. Transfer cauliflower to a plate and let cool slightly.

Whisk mayonnaise, miso, lemon juice, and pepper in a medium bowl until smooth. Spread on a plate. Set cauliflower on top and scatter scallions over.

From Epicurious.com via Epicurious by Anna Stockwell, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/grilled-whole-cauliflower-with-miso-mayo

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Summer CSA Share – #9

Welcome to the 9th share of the Pitchfork & Crow 2020 Summer CSA!  Here’s what’s in the share this week:

  • Lettuce Mix
  • Mixed Head Lettuce – Mostly big romaines this week, with some iceberg and a few red butterheads to choose from too.
  • Rainbow Chard
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Cilantro – Admittedly this round of cilantro is bolting, but it’s still tasty so we wanted to share it with you one more time. Chopped up into a bowl of salsa, you won’t even notice the bolting.
  • Sweet Corn
  • Cucumbers – choose from green and white slicers, lemons, and picklers too.
  • Zucchini & Summer Squash – Zucchinis, yellow straight neck, yellow pattypans, and a new variety called Magda, a middle eastern kousa-type.
  • Iko Iko Sweet Peppers – The first of the peppers! These are equivalent to green bell peppers at this stage.
  • Czech Black Hot Peppers – We grew these back in 2010 and I recall them being prolific. Slightly less hot than most jalapenos, these are likely mildly hot at this ripening stage.
  • Torpedo Onions
  • Slicer Tomatoes
  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Polenta – We grow a dent corn that grinds partially into flour and partially into polenta when milled. Last week we gave you corn flour and this week we’re sending you home with the polenta. We recently purchased a new stone mill, so if you’ve gotten polenta from us in the past you may notice a slightly different coarseness level. No worries, it should cook up the same. 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. For a more traditional polenta recipe check down below.
Propagation house frog friend (left) and Jeff harvesting chard (right).

Over the last couple of days I’ve been listening to an audiobook called “Why Fish Don’t Exist”. It’s a complicated swirl of a book that describes the life of David Starr Jordan, a ‘discoverer’ of fish at the turn of the last century, and also includes a personal narrative from the author’s life. It touches on a lot of topics as Jordan was also a prolific writer, naturalist, the first president of Stanford University, and a stalwart believer in the pseudo-science theory of eugenics. The author has a lot to untangle, both on the subjects she has researched and personally.

I appreciate a good historical lesson and this book did not disappoint in laying out the messy history of Jordan’s life and times. Unexpectedly it was the wrap-up at the end that I’ve been contemplating since I finished listening. The author describes the modern shift in scientific thinking regarding animal classification which has resulted in the realization that fish are not a proper classification “if organisms are grouped based upon synapomorphies (shared derived characteristics) only, and not upon symplesiomorphies (shared ancestral characteristics)” (per Wikipedia). She uses the example that a lungfish is more closely related to a cow than a trout based on its organs and physical structure. I’ll leave you to read the book for more information, but it’s quite a twist.

In this time of so much uncertainty and angst, I found some comfort in learning about this re-classification. That we are, as humans, still learning new things about this world and that we’re willing to change our perceptions based on that new knowledge is refreshing. I’m not sure any of that has anything to do with the CSA or vegetables, but it’s been on my mind and I thought I’d share.

Flowers on the farm (left) and flowers in the woods (right).

We’ll be back next week with a riveting farm update I’m sure. We’ve been busy getting early starts and keeping cool in the afternoons. We’ve been irrigating and weeding and harvesting and trying to keep up. We’re on the cusp of August and we’re deep into the work of the growing season.

We did manage a quick overnight camping trip in the woods. It was a wonderful juxtaposition to farm life. The week ahead will be a fall/overwinter crop planting party. Also, we’re getting a new well pump installed tomorrow, so fingers crossed we’ve got upgraded irrigation capacity later this week. Game on!

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:

Roasted Curried Cauliflower

  • 12 cups cauliflower florets (from about 4 pounds cauliflower)
  • 1 large onion, peeled, quartered
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 3 1/2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 1 tablespoon Hungarian hot paprika
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons salt

Preheat oven to 450°F. Place cauliflower florets in large roasting pan. Pull apart onion quarters into separate layers; add to cauliflower. Stir coriander seeds and cumin seeds in small skillet over medium heat until slightly darkened, about 5 minutes. Crush coarsely in mortar with pestle. Place seeds in medium bowl. Whisk in oil, vinegar, curry powder, paprika, and salt. Pour dressing over vegetables; toss to coat. Spread vegetables in single layer. Sprinkle with pepper.

Roast vegetables until tender, stirring occasionally, about 35 minutes. (Can be made 2 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature. Rewarm in 450°F oven 10 minutes, if desired.)

Mound vegetables in large bowl. Sprinkle with fresh cilantro. Serve warm or at room temperature.

From Epicurious.com via Bon Appétit from A.O.C. in Santa Monica, CA, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/roasted-curried-cauliflower-230653

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Grilled Polenta with Corn, Red Onion, and Cucumber

  • 4 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup polenta (coarse cornmeal) or yellow cornmeal
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • Nonstick vegetable oil spray
  • 4 ears corn, husked
  • 1 large red onion, cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
  • 2 1/2 cups chopped seeded tomatoes
  • 1 1/4 cups chopped English hothouse cucumber
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh mint

Bring 4 cups water and salt to boil in heavy large saucepan. Gradually add polenta, whisking until boiling and smooth. Reduce heat to low. Cook until very thick, whisking often, about 25 minutes (about 15 minutes for yellow cornmeal). Whisk in cheese. Spread in 8x8x2-inch glass baking dish. Cool slightly. Cover; chill at least 6 hours.

Whisk lime juice, oil and garlic in large bowl to blend. Set dressing aside.

Spray grill with oil spray; prepare barbecue (medium heat). Spray corn and onion slices with oil spray. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill until vegetables are tender, turning often, about 8 minutes for corn and 15 minutes for onion. Cool. Cut corn kernels from cobs. Coarsely chop onion. Add corn, onion, tomatoes, cucumber and mint to dressing; toss. Season with salt and pepper.

Cut polenta into 4 squares. Cut each square diagonally into 2 triangles. Spray polenta with oil spray. Grill until heated through, about 5 minutes per side.

Divide salad among 4 plates. Place 2 polenta triangles alongside each salad.

From Epicurious.com via Bon Appétit, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/grilled-polenta-with-corn-red-onion-and-cucumber-salad-103608

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Broccoli and Cheese Quiche

  1. Crust:
    • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
    • 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for surface
    • 11 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  2. Filling and assembly:
    • 1 tablespoon olive oil
    • 1/2 small shallot, chopped
    • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
    • 1 small head of broccoli (about 8 ounces), halved lengthwise, chopped (about 3 cups)
    • 1 bunch small Swiss chard, ribs and stems removed, leaves coarsely torn (about 4 cups)
    • 4 ounces feta, crumbled (about 1 cup)
    • 2 ounces sharp cheddar, grated (about 1 cup)
    • 6 large eggs
    • 3 large egg yolks
    • 1 3/4 cups heavy cream
    • 1 cup half-and-half or heavy cream or whole milk
    • 3 tablespoons chopped chives
    • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
    • Freshly ground black pepper
  3. Special Equipment
    • A 9-inch springform pan

Crust:

Whisk salt and 2 cups flour in a large bowl to combine. Work in butter with your fingers until largest pieces are pea-size. Drizzle in 1/4 cup ice water and rake with your fingers to combine. Turn dough out onto a work surface and lightly knead to work into a shaggy dough (no dry spots should remain). Flatten into a disk; wrap in plastic and chill until firm, at least 2 hours and up to 2 days ahead.

Place a rack in middle of oven; preheat to 350°F. Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface to a 14″ round. Transfer dough to pan. Lift up edges and allow dough to slump down into pan, then pat into corners and up around the sides of pan. Smooth out dough so it doesn’t have any creases or folds and trim to just below the rim. (Save any scraps for patching.) Freeze until very firm, about 20 minutes.

Line dough with 2 layers of overlapping parchment paper and fill with pie weights or dried beans (ideally right up to the rim; pillage the pantry for old dried beans and rice to get you there). Bake until crust is golden brown all the way around edges (peek below the parchment), 60–75 minutes. Carefully remove parchment and pie weights. If needed, patch any cracks with reserved dough trimmings and bake crust just until patches are opaque, about 5 minutes. Let crust cool.

Filling and assembly:

Reduce oven heat to 325°F. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium. Cook shallot and garlic, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add broccoli and cook, tossing occasionally, until crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Add Swiss chard leaves and cook, tossing often, just until wilted, about 2 minutes. Let cool. Stir in feta and cheddar.

Whisk eggs, egg yolks, cream, and half-and-half in a medium bowl just to combine. Mix in chives and salt; season with pepper. Scrape vegetable mixture into crust, then carefully pour in egg mixture. Bake quiche until filling is lightly browned and set across the surface but slightly wobbly in the center inch or two, 75–90 minutes. Let quiche cool in pan before unmolding and slicing.

Do Ahead

Quiche can be baked 2 days ahead. Cover and chill.

From Epicurious.com via Bon Appétit (Adapted from Everything I Want To Eat by Jessica Koslow), https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/broccoli-and-cheese-quiche

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Summer CSA Share – #8

Welcome to the 8th share of the Pitchfork & Crow 2020 Summer CSA!  Here’s what’s in the share this week:

  • Lettuce Mix
  • Mixed Head Lettuce – Lots of ‘Summertime’ iceburg lettuce this week as well as some red romaine and a few butterheads to choose from.
  • Kalebration Mixed Kale – Super tender kale mix straight from a high tunnel.
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Snap Beans – The ultimate mix of colorful green, purple, yellow, and purple-striped beans. Note the purple and striped beans turn green when cooked.
  • Cucumbers – choose from green and white slicers, lemons, and picklers too.
  • Zucchini & Summer Squash – Zucchinis, yellow straight neck, and yellow pattypans all around! Looking for some new summer squash inspiration? Check out the take on sloppy joes down below, and this recipe for zucchini beer bread, or this recipe for bread and butter pickles.
  • Celery
  • Yellow Onions
  • Garlic – More of that first round of garlic. Remember back when it was raining day after day and we weren’t able to get our garlic harvested? Well, this garlic is part of that fiasco. Tasty but not for storing longterm so use it up sooner than later.
  • Carrots – These are the last of the spring carrots, including all shapes and sizes.
  • Slicer Tomato
  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Yellow Transparent Apples – A delicate and soft early ripening apple best used for applesauce or baking projects. I made a delicious blueberry apple pie this past week.
  • Corn Flour – We grow a dent corn that grinds partially into flour and partially into polenta when milled. This week we’re sharing some of the freshly milled flour from last year’s dent corn harvest. Next week we’ll be sending polenta your way. I like to use this flour for cornbread and Jeff suggests frying up some corn flour crusted zucchini.
Jeff seeding the last succession of carrots (upper left), a bumblebee chilling on a sunflower (upper right), a bird’s nest in the Kalebration kale patch (bottom left), and Leo in a bed of white clover along the farm road (bottom right).

Okay, okay, I really do try not to make this space all weather commentary all the time, but hello summer! It feels like we’re suddenly making up some of those heat units we lost during the extended cool spring. The crops (and the weeds) are sure enjoying the bump in warm weather. Us farmers not so much. 90+ degree highs mean early starts and late afternoon slogs to make sure we’re still getting at least some of the things done. Luckily it looks like things might moderate a little bit later this week.

Farm scenes: The Kalettes and Brussels sprouts nestled in next to the flour corn (upper left), fall collards and kale sizing up (upper right), leeks mid-weeding (bottom left), leeks and celeriac post-weeding (bottom right).

I’ve been trying to remember to pull my phone out for photos more often to document the evolution of the growing season. It’s easy to get focused on the task at hand and the next task up and never snap a photo of any of it. The farm is mostly looking good right now, but without the photos to prove it I’d likely look back and only remember the weedy beds that are on the verge of getting away from us.

After early-season pest pressure from slugs, cucumber beetles, and flea beetles the pest life cycles seemed to have have shifted in our favor. The flea beetle boom seems to have busted and our fall brassicas are looking clean and happy for once. The slugs have relented now that the soil has been able to dry between rounds of irrigation and we’re getting better stands of lettuce too.

Jeff has been working hard to keep the weed pressure at bay. Sometimes the weeds need special attention though, and this week we made a big push to clean up the leeks and celeriac. Both crops had established well after planting but the wet weather and deluge of other tasks meant some thistle and weedy brassicas had taken over the five beds. We spent a few sessions pulling out the invaders and now the leeks and celeriac are once again visible! Jeff finished up by running our cultivating tractor through to clean up the paths and just like that, hope in fall/winter food is restored.

Rudbeckia, rudbeckia, rudbeckia, and strawflowers!

As we look ahead to the post-harvest week of farming I see some parsnips that need hand weeding attention (darn you parsnips!) and we’re ready to clean out a field house that had spring peas and carrots in it. Also, we’re between big planting pushes this week and I have my fingers crossed for an off-farm adventure day. Maybe not too adventurous though.

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:

Crunchy Asian Chicken Salad

  1. Salad:
    • 1 1/2 cups finely diced cooked chicken meat (6 ounces, about 1 1/2 breast halves)
    • 6 canned peeled water chestnuts, rinsed and chopped
    • 1 carrot, peeled and shredded
    • 1 small celery rib, finely diced
    • 1/2 cup diced apple, such as Gala or Golden Delicious (about 1/2 apple)
  2. Sauce:
    • 1 tablespoon natural peanut butter or sesame tahini
    • 1 tablespoon seasoned rice vinegar
    • 3/4 tablespoon soy sauce
    • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
    • 1 tablespoon minced fresh chives (optional)
    • 1/4 cup roasted soy nuts or coarsely chopped unsalted peanuts
    • 1 teaspoon hot sesame oil (optional)

Combine the chicken, water chestnuts, carrot, celery and apple in a bowl and stir to mix.

Whisk together the peanut butter, vinegar and soy sauce until smooth. Whisk in the mayonnaise and chives, if using, spoon the dressing over the salad, and mix well. Sprinkle with soy nuts just before serving.

From Epicurious.com via Real Food For Healthy Kids by Tracey Seaman and Tanya Wenman Steel, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/crunchy-asian-chicken-salad-243126

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Celery Soup

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

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

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

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

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

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Summer Squash Sloppy Joes

  • 1 pound ground lean beef or turkey
  • 1/2 onion, finely chopped (about 3/4 cup)
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups summer squash, diced
  • 1 6-ounce can tomato paste
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon mild chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 3 ounces cheddar cheese, thinly sliced
  • 6 hamburger buns

Preheat the broiler. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, sauté the ground beef or turkey until browned, about 7 minutes. Add the onion and sauté 2 minutes. Add the carrot and sauté 2 minutes. Add the squash and sauté 1 minute more.

2. Stir in the tomato paste and 1 1/2 cups water, stirring until the paste has dissolved. Add the garlic, chili powder, paprika, and oregano, and season with the salt and pepper. Reduce heat to medium and continue to cook until the mixture has thickened, 8 to 10 minutes.

3. Divide the cheese among the bottom halves of the hamburger buns. Transfer both halves of the buns to the broiler, open-faced, and toast until the cheese has melted and the top buns are toasted.

4. Remove the buns from the oven and fill each sandwich with the squash-and-meat mixture. Serve immediately.

Tip:The easiest way to shred zucchini is to run it through the shredding disc of your food processor. A box grater will also work, but be sure to use the largest holes.

From Epicurious.com via Cookie by Melissa Clark, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/summer-squash-sloppy-joes-239165

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