Provider Farm

From our fields, for your family


September 26, 2012

This Week's Share

This week brings you buttercup squash.  One of my favorites, buttercup has a dry orange flesh that is nutty and creamy.  Its great roasted but also good in breads and pies.

We also have purple potatoes, to bring some contrasting color to your fall meals.

We tasted the sweet potatoes this week and they're not quite there yet, so one more week of curing in the greenhouse.  But have no fear, there are 4,000 lbs and growing in there.

Last but not least, the garlic  makes its debut from out of curing.  We have limited quantities this year, but enought to snazz up a couple of weeks of fall meals.

Share Renewals and Last Share Distribution

We will begin share renewals for current shareholders at the October 12 share distribution.  If we miss you then, we will send you your renewal information.  All current shareholders have priority to renew their share before we open sales to our waiting list.

Our last distribution day is November 2.

Shank you very much!

This week we have grass-fed beef shanks on sale for $4.00/lb.  Shanks are a cut from the leg that are great for making stock for fall soups and stews.

Recipe of the Week: 

Squash pancakes


2 cups mashed roast winter squash (butternut, acorn, etc.), peel and seeds removed
1/2 cup oil, plus additional oil or butter for frying
6 eggs
1 1/2 cups milk
2 t vanilla

2 cups whole wheat flour
2 cups white flour
2 T baking powder
2 t salt
1/4 cup sugar
1 t cinnamon
1 t nutmeg


In a large bowl, mix together the squash, oil, eggs, milk, and vanilla until thoroughly blended. Scoop the flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, and spices on top. Mix together lightly, then mix into the rest of the batter until smooth.

Heat a large skillet or griddle on medium-high and grease with oil or butter. Pour batter into circles 2-3″ across, with plenty of space between each pancake. Flip once the batter begins to bubble and turns a rich golden-brown on the bottom.

Makes about 3 dozen mediume sized pancakes

A long row and a good day

Digging sweet potatoes
Digging sweet potatoes

Dear Friends,

            It feels like September just got here, so it is a little hard to believe that next week we will find ourselves graced by October's chilly presence. In case you had any doubts, I think it is safe to say that it’s officially fall out there. The days are getting shorter and the leaves are changing color. We're not in full fledged leaf- peeping mode yet, but there are splashes of red and orange here and there adding a bit more aesthetic glory to our daily routine. We continue to pull some pretty amazing produce out of the fields in some pretty amazing quantities.

            Our fall roots are all doing well and it looks like the storage cabbage is a real winner this year. The only real dark mark on our fall crops is the late broccoli and cauliflower. The broccoli and cauliflower that you have been enjoying in your share were all planted at the Gadbois field, but we ran out of space in those fields and had to plant the later successions in the Bailey fields. Between the diamond back moths and the cabbage loopers, our crop had taken a little bit of a hit. That was until we met the Bailey Field Groundhog. Or, as I like to call him 'Public Enemy Number 1'! This ground hog appears to have an insatiable appetite for our brassicas and so far has evaded our attempts to capture him. We are hoping to continue to have broccoli and cauliflower for the rest of the season, but it may not be the steady stream we were hoping for.

            Last year Kerry and I spent many of our Sunday mornings in a cafe in Amherst trying to conceptualize the farm that we are now running. We would spend hours pouring over maps of farm land available in New England and looking through our bank statements, tallying up our meager net worth, trying to figure out how we were ever going to start Provider Farm. I can remember sitting in that cafe, overwhelmed and over caffeinated, thinking to myself that if we ever do make it into the field, the actual farm work would feel like a relief from the stress of starting a business. Well, between late blight, tractor tires flying off the tractor, weed forests and too much or too little rain, I haven't felt too much of that relief that I had imagined.  The farm seems to present a new challenge almost every day, keeping us on our toes and keeping our minds in a constant state of problem solving.

            Last week we began digging our sweet potatoes, 8 rows, about 500 feet long, about 1000 pounds of sweet potatoes per row. In order to pick sweet potatoes, we must first clear the beds of the thick, rope like vines of the sweet potato plant. We have tried mowing the vines in the past, but have come to the conclusion that the easiest way to clear the beds is just by pulling the vines by hand. Once the beds are clear we take our potato digger through the bed. The potato digger loosens the soil and brings the sweet potatoes to the surface. Once the potato digger is done doing it's job, we crawl down the row on our hands and knees putting the crop into buckets.

            With 100 feet of full sweet potato buckets behind me, 400 feet of unpicked sweet potatoes in front of me and beautiful, brilliant sky above I finally found the relief I had hoped for. Covered from hat to boot or as you may say 'head to toe' in dirt and sweat, I can't think of anything I would rather do on a fall day than pick our sweet potatoes. I don't crave a Caribbean vacation and I don't covet the iPhone 5, all I need, all I want, is a long row and a good day.

On behalf of your farm crew,

            Tana, Marycia, Dominique and Larry

                        Your Farmer's

                                    Max and Kerry

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