Welcome to the 10th share of the Pitchfork & Crow 2022 Summer CSA! Here’s what’s in the share this week:
- Salad Mix – A mix of 4 lettuces.
- “Sangria” Red Butterhead Lettuce
- Cauliflower – We’re straddling the July and August cauliflower plantings. Though we’re happy to be getting something out of the dreaded July planting, we’re also happy to be moving on to the next succession.
- Italian Basil
- Sweet Pepper – Mixed varieties that start out yellow, green, or purple. Treat them all like green peppers.
- Zucchini & Summer Squash – Including green & yellow zucchini, yellow summer squash, and “Mexicana” zucchini.
- Mixed Cucumbers – Including green cukes, ‘Silver Slicer’ yellow cukes, and some lemon cukes.
- “Sweetness” Sweet Corn – Small but tasty!
- Mixed Tomatoes – We’ve finally got enough ripe tomatoes for everyone! Choose from slicers and cherries.
We’re happy to report we successfully made it through last week’s brutal hot temperatures. Though the highs didn’t match last year’s ridiculous 116 this heatwave seemed to last longer. There’s something about the accumulative days of highs in the upper nineties that takes a toll. We tried to work earlier, slow down in the afternoon, and stay as productive as possible. Sometimes we were successful, other times we just needed a nap.
Looking around the farm it seems as though many crops jumped up in the last week. It’s as if the plants are making up for lost time after such a cool start to the season. Unfortunately the weeds also got the memo and many beds that had seemed relatively under control are now going to take some effort to clean up. So it goes.
Last week I managed to fly the drone around to snap a few photos of the late July farmscape one hot evening. There’s a lot going on out there and it’s fun to see our efforts from the drone’s viewpoint high above the farm. I don’t think it necessarily looks like things are under control given the diversity happening, but the long rows do seem somewhat orderly and intentional. Mostly I appreciate the distance the drone’s view provides.
Our day to day work is down in the thick of it, always seeing the things that need doing, perpetually making lists and knowing there’s not enough time to tackle it all. The drone photos provide a different perspective of this place, removed just enough to glimpse the larger picture of the whole farm without the urgency of all the things that need doing. We make our living down here on the ground, but sometimes it’s good to see things from that other perspective too.
Despite the heat this past week we managed to push through and gain some ground against some of the weeds. I made some progress in the tomato house, in the leeks, in some green beans, in some zucchini, in some bunching onions. Jeff spent a good deal of time with the weed whacker, cleaning up the Brussels sprouts and winter squash and generally attempting to restore some order to difficult to mow areas.
We also managed to mostly stay on track with transplanting and the winter salad chicories, lettuce, salad mix, kohlrabi, dill, cilantro, and Napa cabbage that were ready all found a home in the fields. Only the last round of cabbage had to wait one more week. Transplanting in the heat is not advised, but so far everything seems to be getting through the transition to the field.
Though the current things that need doing meant pushing on with the work this week we did manage to make it to the river. Sometimes you just have to load up the boats the go. Hopefully we’ll be able to work in more of that as the season progresses. In the week ahead we’ll be attempting to tackle some of those weeds that jumped in the last week. We’ll also transplant the fall and overwintering cabbage. There’s propagation to undertake, some beans too sow, mowing to get through, a field house to clear out of pea debris and trellising, and the list goes on. It looks like hot times are headed our way again this weekend, so maybe we’ll even make it back to the river.
Enjoy the vegetables and we’ll see you here next week!
Carri Heisler & Jeff Bramlett
Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:
Cucumber & Red Onion Salad
- 2 cucumbers (about a pound)
- 1 small red onion or a few shallots
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon vinegar such as white balsamic, white wine, or rice
- Fresh herbs such as basil, dill, mint or parsley
- Olive oil (optional)
Peel cucumbers. Slice one cucumber crosswise and taste. If it tastes bitter, halve the cucumber lengthwise and scoop out the seeds, then slice the cucumber into 1/8- to 1/4-inch thick pieces. Otherwise, slice the cucumber into 1/8- to 1/4-inch thick rounds. Repeat with remaining cucumber.
Peel the onion or shallots, cut in half, and slice as thinly as possible. Place them in a large bowl with the cucumbers and toss with the salt. Let sit for 45 minutes.
Rinse the cucumbers and onions, drain, and taste for salt. If they are too salty, rinse and drain again. Place in a clean towel and press lightly to dry. Transfer cucumbers to a clean bowl and sprinkle with vinegar. Toss with herbs. Taste. Often I find I don’t even need to add oil, but add a splash if you wish. Serve. Note: If you want to make this ahead, add the herbs just before serving.
From Food52.com by Alexandra Stafford, https://food52.com/recipes/37674-cucumber-and-red-onion-salad
Beet & Feta Burgers
- 3 cups grated beets (about 4 to 5 beets)
- 1 onion
- 2 garlic cloves
- 2 tablespoons olive oil (we prefer cold-pressed)
- 2 organic eggs
- 1 1/2 cups rolled oats (gluten-free if you prefer)
- 7 ounces sheep’s feta cheese or firm tofu
- 1 handful fresh basil, leaves picked
- 1 pinch sea salt and black pepper
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil, ghee or olive oil, for frying
Peel and grate beets, onion, and garlic on a box grater or use a food processor with the grating blades attached.
Place the grated vegetables in a large mixing bowl.
Add olive oil, eggs, and rolled oats and mix everything well.
Add sheep’s cheese or tofu, basil, salt, and pepper and stir to combine.
Set aside for about 30 minutes, so the oats can soak up the liquid and the mixture sets (this step is important for the patties to hold together).
Try shaping a patty with your hands. If the mixture is to loose, add some more oats.
Form 6 to 8 patties with your hands.
Grill the burgers a couple of minutes on each side – or fry them in a frying pan by heating a knob of coconut oil or ghee and fry until golden on both sides.
Serve with grilled sourdough bread and toppings of your choice (lettuce, cabbage?, mango, avocado?, tomatoes?, sprouts, and onions).
From Food52.com by Green Kitchen Stories, https://food52.com/recipes/24287-beet-and-feta-burgers
Zucchini Frittata with Caramelized Onions & Goat Cheese
- 2 zucchini
- 2 small red onions
- 1 tablespoon virgin coconut or olive oil, divided
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
- 4 large eggs
- Leaves from 10 sprigs thyme, plus more for serving
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 1/4 cup milk
- Sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 130 grams goat cheese
- 4 zucchini flowers (optional)
Heat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Cut the zucchini and onion into thin slices.
In a large skillet over high heat, warm 1½ teaspoons of the oil. Cook the onion, stirring occasionally, for about 6 minutes, until soft. Add the vinegar and cook, stirring, for another 5 minutes, until slightly caramelized and fragrant. Transfer to a 12-inch overproof or cast-iron skillet.
In the same skillet over medium-high heat, warm the remaining 1½ teaspoons of the oil. Cook the zucchini, stirring and adding the garlic halfway through, for 4 to 6 minutes, until browned and soft. Transfer to the skillet with the onions and toss to combine.
In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, thyme, lemon zest, and milk. Season with salt and pepper.
Pour the egg mixture over the zucchini and onions. Crumble the goat cheese over the eggs.
Gently arrange the zucchini flowers on top, if using. Bake for about 30 minutes, until set and golden brown. Garnish with more thyme.
From Food52.com by Renee Kemps, https://food52.com/recipes/37602-zucchini-frittata-with-caramelized-red-onion-and-goat-cheese