Provider Farm

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July 5, 2012

This Week's Share

Check it out!  The list of what's in your share this week are also links to information about each crop and recipes.   Click on one and it will take you to more info about that crop.

Yahoo the peas are back!  We thought they were a gonner, but we're going to get one more pick out of the snap peas before we mow them in.  They have a few nicks in them from the hail storm, but we thought they tasted so good, you wouldn't mind.

We welcome basil to there share this week.  This wonderful aromatic herb is the taste of summer.  Put it in everything, or try out some pesto.

OMG, watch out now, our second planting of summer sqash, zukes and cukes are kicking in!  Now is the time to buy extra cukes for all you picklers out there!  Pick up extras for $1.50/lb.

Recipe of the Week: 

Basil Pesto

Ingredients: 
  • 1 lb fresh basil
  • 1/2 lb. grated parmesean cheese
  • olive oil
  • clove of garlic
  • pine nuts (or walnuts, but we prefer the pine nut flavor)
Directions: 

Put the basil, nuts and cheese in a food processor. Blend and drizzle in olive oil by taste. Don't skimp on the oil! It adds flavor and moisture and ties the flavors together. Put pesto on pasta, or just about anything really! Pesto can be frozen (divide into serving amounts) and eaten all winter!

Credit: 
Farmer Kerry

Standing on the Shoulders of Giants

Dear Friends,

Kerry with mentor Dan Kaplan in the onions

Kerry with mentor and former supervisor, Dan Kaplan checking out the onions

4th of July has come and gone and summer is in full swing here on the farm. Our cucumbers and squash continue to produce steadily, our onions are starting to bulb beautifully, our potatoes are forming their tubers and our peppers, eggplants and tomatoes continue to grow before our very eyes. We have been busy plowing under what's left of our spring plantings and getting the ground ready for fall broccoli, brussels sprouts and storage carrots. I am often surprised to hear people's surprise that we are still planting this time of year. We will in fact be  planting fall brassicas through the end of August and seeding greens and lettuce until the end of September! Early one morning I was looking over our crop plan and I realized that we still have over 4 acres of crops that need to be seeded and transplanted. So while the bulk of our planting is behind us, we do still have a ways to go.

This week we were visited by Dan Kaplan, Kerry's former farm-boss and mentor. Dan runs Brookfield Farm in Amherst, MA, a 40+ acre biodynamic vegetable CSA. It was nice to break up our routine with a visit from Dan. Walking around of fields with Dan I realized how much of our early success we owe to the farmer's who we learned from, and to the farmer's who they learned from. Kerry I both learned a ton working for CSA farms in Massachusetts, and we have brought a lot of this knowledge with us down to Southeastern Connecticut.

There are some fairly obvious things that you need to learn if you want to be a farmer, but there are also a lot of little things to figure out. As a CSA farmer you need to know how to plan, plant and care for what feels like a thousand different crops. It's not enough just to grow them though, how are you going to harvest all those different crops? And how are you going to harvest all those different crops quickly and efficiently without spending a ton of cash on different harvest tools. The answer? A pickle barrel of course! The primary harvest container on our farm is a 55 gallon plastic pickle barrel cut in half, with two rope handles. It is a simple, elegant, cheap solution, they work perfectly for our farm and we will never out grow them. Best of all? I didn't even have to think about it. There were no sleepless nights spent furiously sketching prototypes, no trial and error. Smarter, more capable farmers than myself had already solved this one for us. Sometimes we try and improve on the small farm technology we have, but I think we will let the pickle barrels be just the way they are.

It is true that our knowledge debt extends far beyond our previous farms. We owe a lot to the guy or gal who invented the first metal plow (they used to be made out of wood!) and even more to the people that first started cultivating all the fabulous plants that fill your CSA share every week. Kerry and I barely have time to keep our house clean, let alone selectively breed Brassica oleracea so it turns into cabbage, broccoli, kohlrabi, kale and brussels sprouts. We appreciate our place in this long line of farmers. We certainly are not the first, and if our apprentices are any indication we won't be the last!

On Behalf of your farm crew,

                                    Tana, Kara and Larry

                                                Your Farmers,

                                                              Max and Kerry

Speaking of the apprentices…

Of the many things to learn on a CSA farm, share room management is one of them.  There will be new faces in the share room as our apprentices begin rotating shifts so you will be getting to know them when you pick up your shares.  This week Tana will be tending the share room and getting to know you all.

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