Provider Farm

From our fields, for your family


July 20, 2013

Hey all!  Fridays in the shareroom continue to be much busier then Tuesdays.  Just a reminder that if you would like a much more relaxed experience with topped off baskets, Tuesdays from 2-7 are a lovely time to come and get your share (also, for the record, Tuesdays have been sunny this year, unlike most Fridays!)

Also, new in the share room, we have sausage and bacon from our friend's Marc and Cheryl at Meeting Place Pastures in Cornwall, VT.   Marc came up wtih me at Brookfield Farm and went the livestock route while I took the vegetable turn.  We got an urgent call from Marc recently, telling me he had "40 pigs in the freezer and did we want any?"  Well, I had been looking for good pastured pork for a while down here to offer you all, but all the producers can't even meet their current markes (Marc has the opposite problem, his town probably has more livestock then people and he has 180 acres of beautiful pasture, while us CT'ers  can't find enough land but have lots of hungry mouths to feed).

Lucky us!  Marc's pigs spend there lives tooling around the fields, rooting around for bugs and stuff, living out their piggish existence and soaking up the VT terroire.  I can personally attest that these pigs lived a good life and Marc is one heck of a guy, another new farmer commited to producing high quality humanely raised meats.

This Week's Share

Eggplants are rolling in now in quantity.  We have dark purple, purple and white striped, and violet Italian types (they all taste about the same) and dark purple and violet Asian types.  The crop looks fantastic and we should have them until the fall.

In the same famaily are the peppers.  We have purple peppers, Cubanelle (frying peppers) and green bells all coming in for the sweets.  For hots, we have hungarian hot wax and jalapenos.  This crop also looks fantastic, and we have lots more to come, including reds, orange, yellow and (new this year) chocolate (indicative of the color, not the flavor, unfortunatly).

Recipe of the Week: 

Momma Norrine's Famous Capri Sandwiches

  • 2 tsp. white wine vinegar (though Hannah says any old vinegar will work)
  • 8 slices tomato
  • 1 loaf French bread
  • 1 clove garlic, halved
  • 1 eggplant, cut into 1/2" slices
  • 4 slices onions
  • 2 tbs. chopped fresh basil
  • 1 tbs. chopped kalamata olives
  • provolone cheese
  • olive oil

Drizzle vinegar over tomato slices and set aside.
Slice bread loaf in half and broil until lightly browned. Rub will garlic halves and discard garlic. Oil cookie sheet and place eggplant and onions on sheet and flip slices until coated in oil. Broil for 5 minutes, flip, and broil 5 min. more. Layer onions and eggplant on bottom half of bread and top with olives and basil. Place tomato and cheese on top half of bread and broil until cheese melts. Put halves together, slice and feed your hungry crew!

Super star worker Hannah's mom (and shareholder) Norrine

Putting Out Fires

Kerry harvesting in the early morning
Kerry harvesting in the early morning

Dear Friends,

The sun came out with a furry this past week, causing us to make good use of our straw hats, water bottles and sun screen. Of course, when the mercury rises above 90 degrees a few trips to the swimming hole are never a bad idea. The excessive sun shine gave us a tremendous opportunity to catch up on the weeding around the farm. To properly take advantage of this opportunity, Kerry and I found ourselves up before dawn every day this week, trying to harvest everything before the heat of the day set in and wilted our beautiful bounty. The summer crops are cruising right along, the high tunnel still continues to provide an ample supply of tomatoes and the tomato field crop is right around the corner. In addition to red slicing tomatoes, we also have quite a few heirloom, specialty, cherry, and sauce tomatoes out there that should add some interesting diversity in the next few weeks. The watermelons and cantaloupes are right on the verge of ripening, they are done sizing up and we are just starting to see the tell tale signs of sweet and delicious melons, Hopefully they will start to ripen before the end of the month.

    As we begin to approach the height of the season, we consistently find ourselves with more things to do than there are hours in the day in which to do those things. No mater how early we wake up, or how long we push ourselves to work after the sun has set, at this time of year there are always things on the list that we never seem to get to. Every Saturday, when Kerry and I tour the farm and make our weekly to-do lists, the farm seems almost manageable. Sure there is a lot to do, but we write it all down and spread the tasks out evenly over the week and hopefully squeeze in a nap before the day is over. As soon as the week begins however, our plans always seem to begin to unravel fairly quickly. Things always take longer in reality than they do in my head.  The weeds in the beets have taken over the bed over night,  the storage cabbage is withering in the sun, the cows are out of grass, and another tractor is broken. Our neat and tidy plan for the week becomes a frantic dash to put out the fires. We prioritize the severity of each unexpected problem, load up the truck and try and minimize the damage. Keeping the fires contained is some times the best we can hope for. We'll aggressively cultivate our fall beets in an attempt to make a dent in the carpet of weeds covering them. We may lose some beets in the process but we have to sacrifice the few to save the many. As much as it hurts to look at the bed of beets afterwards and see hundred foot sections where nothing is growing because the basket weeder killed the crop, I have to remind myself that it is worth loosing one hundred feet to save one thousand.

    As we continue our perpetual saga to grow food, we often find ourselves putting band aids on broken legs and doing our best to not look to closely at the things we can't change. In the midst of our week of 'putting out fires', I came across this video (for those less tech savy, the link is embedded in the text, click "this" to see the video). I can't tell you how many times I've watch this…probably at least one hundred. I find it captivating. The desperation in that farmer's actions, their grit and determination. It really gives me some perspective about our own situation and makes me think maybe I should't use the term 'putting out fires' so loosely. While I can relate to the feeling that would move a man(or woman) to jump on their tractor and get out there and face the fire head on, I have definitely never had to try and harrow a fire break in my wheat field with the flames literally licking at the tires of my tractor. Weeding the beets doesn't seem so daunting now.

    On another note, this week we said good bye to one of farm crew members. Nick, was the last one we hired this season and the first to leave us. Nick is a top notch track star and has gone to coach a summer running camp in Maine. The great thing about college students is the semester ends just when the season gets busy, the bad thing is that they go back to school. While we wish they would all stay around forever we do understand the value of a good education. Nick brought a tremendous attitude to the farm and we will miss him.

On behalf of your farm crew,

    Ben, Emma, Hannah, Lewis, Larry and Marycia

        Your Farmer's

            Max and Kerry

Oh, and in case you're interested, I did some digging and I guess they were successful and the fire was out soon after the video was taken!

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