Provider Farm

From our fields, for your family


July 25, 2012

We must be right smack in the middle of the summer...everybody is probably getting a little tired of squash, the peppers are about to go bonkers and we are waiting for melons eagerly! Oh, did I mention, I just saw the first back to school announcement, and the farmers have dreams of fall harvests flashing through their minds after they've hit the snooze button for the fifth time?

Yahoo for the peppers coming in strong!  And our bumper harvest of fresh onions are still coming in and what a perfect combo peppers and onions are.

This Week's Share


Fortunatly for us, we accidentally planted an extra row of cubanelle peppers so we should have lots.  Fry the onions and peppers up in some olive oil until they carmalise a little bit and put them on anything. So good!

For a little twist on the veggie recipes, here is a sweet treat for the week.  We are still picking our beets from our FIRST beet planting.  We've never seen "Early Wonder" beets grow so big and they are still so tasty, sweet and tender.  Try them in this chocolate cake.  Its really good and a great way to sneak beets into beet hater's bellies.

Recipe of the Week: 

Chocolate Beet Cake

  • 1 cup butter or margarine, softened,divided
  • 1 1/2 cups dark brown sugar, packed
  • 3 eggs
  • 4 (1 oz) squares semisweet chocolate
  • 2 cups pureed cooked beets
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • confectioner's sugar

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
In a mixing bowl, cream 3/4 cup butter and brown sugar. Add eggs; mix well. Melt chocolate with remaining butter, stir until smooth. Cool slightly. Blend chocolate mixture, beets and vanilla into the creamed mixture (mixture will appear separated).
Sift together flour, baking soda and salt; add to the creamed mixture and stir well.
Pour into a 9-inch cake pan.
Bake for 40 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Cool completely on wire rack before serving. Dust with confectioner's sugar and enjoy!


These Are a Few of Our Favorite Things

Dear Friends,

            Before I begin my weekly crop update and farm quip, I wanted to take a moment and thank you all for the tremendous response to our previous newsletter. Kerry and I have been absolutely blown away by the amount of positive feedback and support we have received from share holders (both local and NYC), friends, family and other growers. It is an indescribable feeling to nervously write a disappointing letter to your members and receive cards and emails in response, thanking us for what we do. In our minds it absolutely confirms and validates what we do for a living. We are all in this together and I have never felt that more than I do right now.

            July continues to roll right along. This month has felt abnormally loooong, I feel like we have got to be in the 7th or 8th week of the month. Despite a few showers here and there, conditions overall continue to be extremely dry. We are nowhere near as dry as other parts of the country, and we should be grateful for that. None-the-less our pump continues to run non-stop, spreading much needed water to all the different areas of the farm. Our summer crops continue to produce nicely, we are still up to our eyeballs in squash and cucumbers (meaning NOW is a good time to pickle! Don't wait until mid-august), and the eggplants and peppers are just starting to come in. We have been anxiously monitoring our melons and they are close but not quite there yet. I promise you will be the first to know when we find the first ripe watermelon. Our fall crops are established in the field and growing nicely. Our winter squash field is a solid, healthy green mat, and our onion field is filled with red and yellow onions that look more like volley balls than anything else.

            Rather than detail the struggles of keeping itty bitty beets and carrots weeded in late July I thought I would take a moment and tell you about a few of our favorite things on the farm:

Our Trusty Farm Dog Cleo: Some of you who have come to the farm during non-csa hours have likely seen our small black and white dog lounging in the driveway. More than likely if you saw her and she saw you, she greeted you with a most unfriendly, ferocious growl. That would be Cleo, our friend, companion, security guard and unofficial farm mascot. Kerry brought Cleo back from Togo, West Africa in 2007. What can I say? African dogs are just a bit different than American dogs. It's not that she is mean, Cleo just doesn't like to be looked at or touched because in Africa no one ever looked at her or touched her. She does absolutely love sleeping in the farm trucks while we weed, or if the truck is gone laying right on top of the beets we're weeding, using our hunched over bodies as her personal shade umbrella.

Jenny The Cow: While we love all our cows, and probably shouldn't pay favorites….it's hard not to with Jenny around. Jenny is a 13 year old, pure bred devon cow. She has been on the farm longer than any of us, and she is also the only one of our cows not born here. You have probably seen her, standing in the pasture, eating grass. She is the biggest of the cows with small horns that curve inwards. I am sure that if you looked at her, she would look at you. In fact I would bet that even before you looked at her, she was looking at you warily. She is a very aware cow. Even as I write this newsletter inside my house, I am pretty sure she is looking at me. Jenny is the lead cow of our herd and what a lead cow she is! She has an amazing knack of knowing exactly what pasture we're trying to move them to, even if that pasture is 500 feet away and across the road. She will always go right where we want her to and all the other cows inevitably follow.

Our Troop of Barn Swallows: In addition to the help we get from our four legged furry friends, the feathered kind chip in around here too. We are fortunate to have a healthy population of barn swallows throughout the farm. We love watching the iridescent blue and yellow swirl around us in the mornings and evenings as they guys feast on insects. Often when I take the tractor out on cloudy days, I will have a swarm of barn swallows orbiting me, as I drive back and forth down the field. It can get a bit lonely out there in the field all alone for hours on end, and it is nice to have the swallows to keep me company. We're really happy that these birds have chosen our farm as a comfortable place to live.

I could probably go on forever talking about the great things on the farm, but as always the fields are calling and there is work to be done.

            On behalf of our farm crew,

                        Kara, Tana and Larry

                                    Your Farmers,

                                                Max and Kerry

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