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October 24, 2012

This Week's Share

This week brings you more new fall treats, including storage kohlrabi and rutabagas.  Fall grown kohlrabi is wonderfully sweet and crisp. Slice them up for salads or just for snacks. 

Rutabagas and turnips are hearty fall New England crops, good for soups and stews and root roasts.  Turnips are a white root with a purple top, hearty and related to broccoli.  Try them in a stew, a root roast, or mashed.  Rutabagas have a light orange tint to them and are a little sweeter then turnips (I even like them raw).

The squash report...this week brings you butternut squash that everyone knows and loves.  This popular tan squash with an orange flesh is good for baking, soups and mashed.

All of these roots, cabbages, and squash are good for storage and should last quite a while, so don't be intimated taking these home.  Your share should last you well into November, or even December if you don't eat it all up right away.  The squash should be happy in a well ventilated area around 55-60 degrees.  The cabbages and roots will be fine in the fridge if stored in a bag.

Share Renewals and Last Share Day

Don't forget to turn in your renewals before Nov. 9 if you don't want to lose your share for next year.

The last share of the season is Nov. 2.

Recipe of the Week: 

Rutabaga with Caramelized Onions and Apples

Ingredients: 
  • 4 tbs butter, divided
  • 2 yellow onions
  • 2 tart cooking/baking apples (for example empire aplles)
  • 1 tbs brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tbs cider vinegar
  • 1 small to medium rutabaga
  • Kosher salt and coarsely ground black pepper to taste
Directions: 

Peel onions and cut in half. Slice thinly. Peel and core apples; slice, then julienne into matchsticks about 1/4 inch thick. Toss apples and onions together to combine. Melt 3 tablespoons butter in a large heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-low heat. When butter is melted, add onion-and-apple mixture and allow to cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, for 45 minutes to 1 hour. About 30 minutes into the cooking time, sprinkle 1 tablespoon of brown sugar over the onion mixture and gently stir in.When onions are deep golden brown and caramelized, add 1 1/2 tablespoons cider vinegar to pan to deglaze it, and stir, scraping up browned bits from bottom of pan. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes longer until vinegar is absorbed, then turn off heat and set aside. While the onion mixture is cooking, wash and peel the rutabaga. Cut into 1/2-inch to 3/4-inch dice. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and cook diced rutabaga until tender ~ about 20 minutes. Cooking time will vary according to the size of your dice, so test at 5-minutes intervals. The rutabaga is done when it is fork-tender. Drain well. Remove onion mixture from pan and melt remaining 1 tablespoon butter in the same pan. When melted, add rutabaga cubes. Season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper and cook over medium-low heat until heated through, about 10 minutes. Add onion mixture back to pan and gently stir into rutabaga cubes. Let cook for a minute or two to heat through. Serve immediately.

Servings: 
makes 4-6 servings
Credit: 
http://www.weeatreal.com/

The Impossible Dream

The new greenhouse
The new greenhouse

Dear Friends,

            It is hard for me to believe but we have come to the point of the season when even October is ending. There is less than a week in what is easily my favorite of all the months and fall is falling away from us. The temperatures have been warm and wet lately but we have already had a few hard frosts and the damage has been done. We are now focused almost exclusively on digging the last of our carrots, beets, radishes and turnips from the field. We continue to have really nice arugula and other salad greens in the share, though all the spinach we seeded has been conspicuously absent. We are hoping to get at least one big spinach harvest before the end of the share but I cannot guarantee this. Spinach is a special crop, and a difficult crop to grow for us. It is like catching smoke in your hands, just when you think you have it right where you want it, it slips away.

            The late fall is an interesting time in the CSA, while the potatoes, carrots and onions remain, the share table is full of baskets containing strange, lumpy root vegetables my mother never served me as a child. So, as you stand there holding that three pound Rutabaga, or looking at the Daikon Radish thinking 'If I take this home my husband (wife, kids, neighbors or whoever you share your share with) is certainly going to think I need therapy, remember the joy of trying new things. One of my favorite things about being a CSA grower is that it allows us to experiment with growing lesser known crops and gives us the opportunity to share their unique gifts with all of you. The fall Kohlrabi? Sweeter than candy! Watermelon Radishes? AMAZING! So go ahead try a Daikon, take that lonely Rutabaga home!

            For those of you whose lives take them on down 82 east, towards Norwich, you may have noticed the uncovered hoop house near the corner of rt. 85 and rt. 354. Well this past week we were able to achieve the impossible, and what used to be merely a skeleton, is now a fully functioning high tunnel! The framework for this tunnel was assembled years ago by David and Julia of Woodbridge Farm, before the town of Salem put an end to any further building. Upon arriving here on the farm, Kerry and I did our best due diligence to get the appropriate permits form the town to complete the tunnel.  We made a little progress before ultimately getting discouraged by zoning regulations and distracted with chard and fennel. It was not until we put Larry to the task of figuring all this out that we were given the green light. Lesson learned, if we ever need a permit for anything in Salem we are sending my father in law to the town offices.

            With permits in hand, we went to work finishing what Woodbridge started. After a few false starts and a little bit more wind than we would have liked, we were able to get the plastic on and secure. We are really excited about what this high tunnel is going to be able to do for us. We are hoping to get an extremely late planting of winter greens in the ground that we should have at the Winter Farmer's Market in February, and next season we will grow tomatoes in the spring hopefully thwarting the blight that did them in this year, and late season cucumbers in the fall before again seeding winter greens. It is amazing to me what a little bit of steel and some plastic can provide for you in the form of season extension. As the weather gets more and more unpredictable, it is nice to have the consistency that a tunnel provides.

            On behalf of your farm crew,

                        Tana, Marycia, and Larry

                                    Your Farmer's

                                                Max and Kerry

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