Provider Farm

From our fields, for your family

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August 22, 2012

In with the new, out with the old...

This Week's Share

We spent a long time eyeing that potato digger apprehensively and didn't have very high expectations for it.  "Gee, do you think it'll work?"  Row one of the potatoes did not go so well, the thing kept clogging, we'd make adjustments, make some progress and then another clog and just a pile of dirt.  But as we progressed down the field and worked out the digger's kinks, we started to see a red spud pop out here and there and by the time we made it into row two, we really started to see potatoes filling our buckets. So my friends, begins the potato harvest!  This week we have "sangre" red potatoes.  Still awaiting the harvest paitiently underground, we have blue and purple varieties, "german butterball", a tasty yellow variety, and lots of white potatoes to round out the season.

 

Recipe of the Week: 

Potato Bomb

Ingredients: 

A couple lbs potatoes depending on how many you are feeding
a drizzle of olive oil
salt
pepper
onions
garlic
herbs (some good ones include thyme, parsley, oregano)
bacon or salami, if desired

Directions: 

Heat your grill to medium high.Chop potatoes into small cubes. Chop onions and garlic. Mix together in bowl with herbs, salt and pepper and drizzle olive oil and mix until well coated. Throw in some meat if desired, or experiment with other ingredients (sauerkraut is good, or red peppers). Pour potato mixture on to a sheet of tin foil big enough to fold over and fold the edges to make a closed pouch. Place on grill and roast for 15 minutes, then flip. Roast for about 15 minutes more and then check. If potatoes are tender and browned, then its ready!

Credit: 
Kerry's friend Scotti Goss grew up with her mom making "bombs"

The Pen is Mightier Than the Basket Weeder

Dear Friends,

            What a beautiful week to be outside. We hope that we're not the only ones getting to spend some time outdoors as August blesses us with some bright sunny mild days. Our crops seem to be loving the weather almost as much as we are. Our brassica fields are absolutely gorgeous right now, and we are rich in Kale like we never have been before. The last of our fall  roots went into the ground last week and we are  starting to see little tiny radish and turnip plants poke their heads out of the soil and say hello. The eggplants and peppers continue to rock right along and we have finally started to dig potatoes! This week also marks the end of melon season at Provider Farm. It is always short and sweet and we hope you are as pleased with the melon season as we were. Don't fret though, because soon watermelon's more versatile, slightly less sweet cousin will be coming to town. That's right folks, winter squash will be here before you know it.

            Last week, Max's parents came to visit the farm for the first time. They were thrilled to be here and very proud of what we have accomplished. While they were staying, Max's Aunt and Uncle came down for a visit from New Jersey. While we were showing them how to move the cows from one pasture to the next, Max's Uncle asked us a simple question:

                        "So, how do you decide what to do every day?"

            Such a simple question but a really good question. We grow over 50 distinct crops with literally hundreds of different varieties on 12 acres, we a have a heard of cattle, we provide CSA shares to over 200 families both in the Nutmeg state and Manhattan, our produce is on the shelves at local food co-ops, we attend a weekly farmer's market and to top it off, our fields are 4 miles apart with a partially completed rotary between them. I can see how from the outside, our operation seems completely overwhelming and insane. So how do we keep it together? How do we decide what to do every day?

            Every Sunday, after the farmer's market, Kerry and I load the truck up with one of our most valuable tools and head out to the fields to plan our week. What is this miracle tool? A clipboard of course! I can not explain it, but for some reason looking at a weedy field of carrots and thinking about how we have to weed them feels totally overwhelming. However, if you look at the same field with a clipboard in your hands the task becomes simple. It is just another item on your list of things to do. And once completed you get to cross it off the list. Our weekly crop walk is one of my favorite times on the farm. We have no pressure to move quickly or get anything done fast. We take our time and check on all the different crops. We taste baby carrots and unearth tiny sweet potatoes to check their progress. We poke our heads under the row cover and see how good (or bad) things look. My former boss used to refer to this as the 'peek and shriek'. Things are always scarier in the dark, once we are able to shine a light on the things we have to do the farm goes from overwhelming to manageable. When you add a pocket sized notebook to your arsenal of tools on the farm, things become even more manageable.       

            So what did I say to my uncle? I told him that we pay attention to the farm and we write stuff down. Every week we do the best we can. We make lists and so long as we are able to cross things off those lists we know we're moving forward. Sometimes things fall through the cracks and slip through our fingers….but that's life.

            On Behalf of your farm crew,

                        Tana, Kara, and Larry

                                    Your Farmers,

                                                Max and Kerry

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