Provider Farm

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January 6, 2014

Welcome back from our holiday break.  We hope you had the oppurtunity to enjoy some of your winter vegetables with friends and family over the holiday table.  We enjoyed our break and the lovely down time on the farm.  Now that the year has turned to 2014, the wheels are starting to crank and we start to really think about the 2014 growing season.

This Week's Share

We have moved into picking the greenhouse kale.  This kale is less mature then the field kale, so the leaves are less curly and tenderer then the field kale.

Recipe of the Week: 

Papusas con Curtido (with pickled cabbage slaw)

Ingredients: 
  • 2 cups masa harina
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 1/3 cup warm water
  • 1 cup grated cheese: quesillo, queso fresco, Monterey Jack, or mozzarella
  • vegetable oil

 

Curtido

  • 1/2 head cabbage, shredded
  • 1 large carrot, grated
  • 1/2 onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano (preferably Mexican)
     
Directions: 

Combine masa harina, salt, and water in a mixing bowl. Knead to form a smooth, moist dough with a playdough-like consistency. If the mixture is too dry, add more water, one teaspoon at a time. If the mixture is too sticky, add more masa harina, one teaspoon at a time. Cover the bowl with a clean towel and let stand for 10 minutes.

With lightly oiled hands, form the dough into 8 balls about 2 inches in diameter. Using your thumb, make an indentation into one of the balls, forming a small cup. Fill the cup with 1 tablespoon of cheese and wrap the dough around the filling to seal it. Making sure that the filling does not leak, pat the dough back and forth between your hands to form a round disk about 1/4-inch thick. Repeat with the remaining balls.

Heat a lightly oiled skillet over medium-high. Cook the pupusas for 2-3 minutes on each side until golden brown.

Curtido

Combine the Curtido ingredients in a bowl and mix well.
Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and preferably at least a day before serving.

Serve warm with curtido on the side.

Credit: 
www.thekitchn.com

Where did the leeks go?

Welcome to the world little girl!
Welcome to the world little girl!

Dear Friends,

So far this year, it sure feels like mother nature decided to take us on a roller coaster ride of weather. There aren't too many times I can remember it being 10 below zero on Friday night only to be 55 above by Monday morning. That is a 65 degree difference over the course of the weekend! Despite this brief flirtation with some warmer weather, the theme for us has mostly been cold, cold, coooold. These nights in the single digits followed by days in the low twenties have taken the wind out of the sails of any crops we had remaining in the field. We have now completely moved onto to harvesting spinach and kale in the high tunnels and greenhouse. We are able to fit vastly more food in the fields than we are in the tunnel so we always try and push the field crops as long as possible. The switch to all indoor harvesting is a real milestone of our winter. While we are sorry to see the field kale go down, I can assure you that it is far more comfortable bunching kale in a nice warm high tunnel than out in the field on a 23 degree day.

In between the snow storms and freezing mornings, Kerry and I found a nice mild day to go out and harvest the remainder of our crop of leeks. At least that's what we thought we were going to be doing. After loading up the truck with harvest crates, sharpening the knives and driving out to the field we were dismayed to find no leeks whatsoever where only days ago there had been over 1,500. We stood in a dumbfounded stupor for a few minutes, slack jawed, trying to make sense of where our leeks went. It wasn't until we go a little closer and looked down that the mystery was unequivocally solved for us. Deer prints, millions of them, covering the beds that used to contain our leeks. We have seen deer eat lettuce before, we have seen them nibble on some cilantro, we even see them eating our cover crop every fall. But I have never seen deer eat 1,500 leeks so completely. They left no stone unturned and almost no evidence that there had ever been leeks there at all. This is in sharp contrast to last winter, when we left our leeks in the field until the middle of January. The bad news is that this of course means that there will be no more leeks in the winter share but on the bright side our onions and garlic are holding up better than we ever thought they would!

It wasn't all bad news for us over the holidays. Two days after Christmas to our delight, Victory, one of our best cows decided to have her calf. While we know it's not good to play favorites, and we try not to, we can't always help ourselves. Victory is far and away my favorite cow. She is sweet, friendly, distinct looking, and just an all around great cow. The last time she calved not only were there no problems but it only took her an hour. Not to be beat this time her labor lasted a mere forty minutes! We are delighted to welcome little baby Vixen(you know, like the reindeer) to our farm. She is another Highlander/Devon cross and as such she looks as much like teddy bear as she does a cow!

Now that we're in January we have really entered into the winter portion of our winter share. Those turnips, rutabagas and kohlrabi that we were just becoming acquainted with at the beginning of the season have now become old friends, and welcome guests to our nightly dinner table. The days are still short, but believe it or not every day they are getting longer!  We wish you all good health, happiness, and lots of turnips in the new year!

Your Farmer's

Max and Kerry

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