Provider Farm

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July 27, 2013

Wow, there was quite a demand for Meeting Place Pastures pork, we're almost out!  I am working on getting a new order and will let you all know in the newsletter when it arrives.

This Week's Share

Well, we really weren't expecting all those melons you guys got to take home with your share last week (they're early! Like, two weeks early) but now that they've started, we'll continue to have melons throughout August.  The first ones to come in are: Sun jewel (a yellow oblong "crisp" melon), San juan (an early canteloupe type), Sunshine (a light and dark green striped yellow watermelon), and Sugar baby (dark green rind, red watermelon).  We've spotted a few canteloupes starting to ripen, so they will probably start to trickle in this week, especially if we get some more heat and sun out there.  We were excited to cut them open and find that they are especially sweet and flavorfull this year.  Last in will be "crimson" watermelons, your regular 'ol big red melon.  All of our melons are picked ripe and ready to eat off the vine, so no worries about trying to find the best one in the bin.  They're all good!

Some other crops are starting to wind down, our plantings of chard and kale are really slowing down, so you may notice a little gap in cooking greens this week.  Have no fear, our fall plantings are looking great in the field and will be ready for harvest soon!  Also, we are in between our second and third summer squash and cucumber plantings, so the harvest has slowed some.  The 3rd planting should kick in any day now and it looks ok (enough to satisfy everyone, probably not as awesome as the past two).

On the horizon, our field tomato crop has been holding its own despite all this water falling out of the sky and we've seen a little bit of color, so (knock on wood) we should start to see a harvest out of there soon!

Recipe of the Week: 

Watermelon Salad with Olives and Feta

Ingredients: 
  • 1 c. chopped parsley
  • 1 c. chopped mint
  • 2 lbs. cubed watermelon
  • 20 kalamata olives, smashed with pits removed
  • 1/4 thin sliced onion, red or our white onions are great too!
  • about 1/4 c. crumbled feta (Ladies of Lebanon or Oak Hill Dairy are great, and are available at the Coventry market)
  • 2 tbs. olive oil
  • 2 limes, halved
  • salt and pepper to taste
Directions: 

1. Toss herbs and arugula together in one bowl.
2. Combine watermelon with olives and onions.
3. Pour watermelon over arugula mixture and top with oil. Squeeze limes over salad and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.

Credit: 
Kerry's internet trolling inspired by Max's Cafemantic salad

What's better than a Watermelon?

Tossing watermelons.
Tossing watermelons.

 

Dear Friends,

 

Well, the heat finally broke, the rains came, the temperature dropped some more and than some more rain came. It really feels like someone accidentally hit the "Fall" switch a little early and prematurely switched the weather from Summer to Autumn. As we begin to approach August, things on the farm start to feel like they might feel manageable again soon. While this isn't to say that we're starting to slow down yet, we can just barely make out the first glimpse of light at the end of the tunnel. This is a great deal better than a few weeks ago when we felt like we were drowning in an abyss of weeds, irrigation and cabbage plantings. We have started to find the first ripe tomatoes out in the field, this means that we should soon start to see heirlooms and other interesting tomatoes joining the red slicers that we have all been enjoying for the past month. We grow quite a few different heirloom varieties and they run the gamut from pink and yellow tomato shaped tomatoes to oblong green paste tomatoes. Odds are, if you see something unusual in the tomato tray it is supposed to look like that! The winter squash is really starting to take shape and we will be harvesting butternuts and acorns before we know it. 

 

In the midst of all the clouds and rain, we discovered an unexpected treat out in the field: the first ripe watermelons of the year! A full two weeks earlier than we were expecting, there they were. Delicious, ripe, ready to eat watermelons. Our best guess is all of last weeks heat pushed them along just enough that they ripened a bit earlier than usual. The first melon harvests are always a ton of fun on the farm. Actually, even the last melon harvests are a lot of fun. Watermelons are just in general fun. It's fun to harvest them because we get to throw them. Fun Fact: Every single melon in the share has been thrown through the air and caught at least twice! 

 

So much of what we grow here in New England seems so austere to me. Seeding thousands of feet of turnips, rutabagas and potatoes I always feel like we're getting ready to feed the Red Army for the winter. While I love the smell of kale, turnips and potatoes cooking on the stove while I huddle around the fire as the falling snow blocks out what little sun there is, watermelons in July and August make us feel like we live in some tropical paradise. Quite a bit of what we grow can't really be considered palatable without cooking, we rarely see the crew line up, waiting with baited breath while we slice open the first Celeriacs of year. Watermelons though, everyone loves watermelons.  While the winter squash harvest is just five weeks away, and we are already weeding Brussels Sprouts, I think I will enjoy my tropical fantasy while I can! 

 

 

On Behalf of your farm crew,

 

Ben, Emma, Hannah, Lewis, Marycia, and Larry

 

Your Farmer's

 

Max and Kerry

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