Provider Farm

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October 26, 2013

This Week's Share

The much anticipated butternut squash comes out of curing and into the share this week.  This well known squash is great roasted, baked, mashed and in baked goods.  Nothing says fall like a butternut!

Recipe of the Week: 

Kale and Butternut Squash Salad

Ingredients: 
  • 8 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 medium shallot, minced
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups 1/2-inch cubed butternut squash
  • 1 bunch kale, stems removed, cut into 1/2-inch wide ribbons (about 5 cups)
  • 3/4 cup whole almonds, toasted, coarsely chopped
  • Parmesan (for shaving)
Directions: 

Preheat oven to 425°. Line a baking sheet with foil. Whisk 5 Tbsp. oil, vinegar, shallot, and Dijon mustard in a small bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside. Combine squash and 2 Tbsp. oil in a medium bowl and toss to combine; season with salt and pepper. Transfer squash to prepared baking sheet and roast, turning occasionally, until squash is tender and lightly golden, about 20 minutes. Let cool slightly.
Meanwhile, heat remaining 1 Tbsp. oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add kale and cook, tossing frequently, until bright green and slightly wilted, 1–2 minutes. Remove from heat; add 3–4 Tbsp. dressing and toss to coat. Transfer kale to a baking sheet and cool slightly, about 5 minutes.
Add reserved squash and almonds to kale; toss well and season with pepper. Divide among bowls; drizzle with more dressing, if desired. Using a vegetable peeler, shave Parmesan over.

Credit: 
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Cold Fingers and Hot Coffee

Greens tucked in with row cover to keep them warm.  (Click "show all images" at the top of the email if you can't see the photo).
Greens tucked in with row cover to keep them warm.

Dear Friends,

Maybe I tempted the fates a bit last week when I mentioned that we still hadn't had a hard frost. Well, whatever the reason we now have had several very cold nights right in a row. We are accustomed to the fact that the farm is only a few degrees cooler than what the weather forecasts predict, but waking up to find the outside temperature a solid 9 degrees colder than the forecasted over night low is a new one for us. We are getting used to the sight of frost coating the trucks, barns and fields in the morning. For the most part, we have been ready for a frost for awhile on the farm. The peppers and eggplants are not hardy enough to withstand the chill. Thanks to the wonders of modern technology and walk in coolers, we were able to clear the plants off and still have a few hundred pounds of delicious sweet peppers and eggplant safely protected from the cold. They won't last forever but they'll be great for the next two weeks or so. While the cold has taken its toll on a few things, some crops really benefit from the frost. The sweetness of the collards, kale, carrots and parsnips doesn't really start to show until they've gone through a good hard frost.

The mornings are cold and dark. We can't deny the change of the season any longer. With each passing day, more and more leaves fall from the trees, leaving the bare sticks we will get so used to seeing over the next four or five months. As the season changes, the world starts to turn inward, and we are no different. Fall is a time of introspection on the farm. We begin to turn our attention towards some of the internal affairs of the farm and ourselves. We still have a long list of tasks to be completed out in the field but the inside list is starting to grow as well. Tractors to repair, implements to modify, people to hire, data to enter, baskets of laundry to put away.  We will work outside almost the entire year. To tell you the truth, the cold never really bothers me, but as soon as the wind starts to pick up, I am ready to take shelter in the shop and replace broken bearings or change some tractor oil.

While the world turns towards hibernation, we find ourselves squeezing a few more pre-winter hours from the season. Harrowing fields under the lights of the tractor or checking the cows in the pale predawn, their breathe rising like smoke while most of them sleep. While we still get up early on the farm, instead of hitting the ground running, we find ourselves sitting in our kitchen with a cup of coffee waiting for the world to defrost and the sun to rise so we can begin the final harvests of the season.

On Behalf of your farm crew,

Ben, Emma, Larry, and Marycia

Your Farmers,

Max and Kerry

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