Provider Farm

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June 21, 2014

This Week's Share

The big news of the week is that this last warm week has really bulked our harvests up allowing us to switch into our "Mix and Match" distribution method on the hard veggies table.  More choice...it's what were all about!  We're still in a little bit of a cooking green shortage so we will continue bunching them until the next planting kicks in.  We were surprised to hear lots of positive reviews on the bunched cooking greens.  What do you think about it?

The Chinese cabbage is ready!  Now, I know it is large and may be intimidating, but I assure you, it is easy to cook with.  Raw, it makes a wonderful slaw, stir fried, forget about it!  Its amazing!  You can also make some incredible potstickers with it if you want to get fancy.  Look at that recipe here.

Also, the broccoli has finally decided to do it's thing. Yahoo!  We have several plantings so we should have it for the next couple of weeks.

We're eagerly watching the peas and cukes.  They both have about 1" long fruits on them right now....

 

Recipe of the Week: 

Karen's Yummy Chinese Cabbage and Olive Salad

Ingredients: 
  • One small Chinese cabbage washed and chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped kalamata olives
  • 1/2 cup grated gruyere or parmesan cheese
  • red wine vinegar to taste
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
Directions: 

Mix the ingredients and serve.

Credit: 
Karen Romanowski

Do eggplants get jealous?

Ben getting his tomato trellis on.
Ben getting his tomato trellis on.

Dear Friends,

Glorious would probably be the most fitting description of this past week’s weather. Bright, sunny days are the best days for getting things done and that is exactly what we did. In between harvests and share distributions, we were busy as bees weeding beds of beets, hoeing watermelons and prepping land for our fall brassicas. The first crop of broccoli has finally decided to grace us with its presence and despite our fretting, it looks like a great crop. Broccoli in the spring and early summer can be fickle and fleeting so we will enjoy it while it’s here. The squash has arrived in style and every time we go out to the field, the harvest is bigger than the last one. The cukes are still small but they won’t be for too much longer, we are expecting them sooner than later. We have reached the solstice and the days are at their longest. This is prime time for us and one of my favorite parts of the season. If the farm season were an amusement park ride, it would certainly and without a doubt be a roller coaster. At this point, even though every day we ratchet it up bit by bit, we’re still in the slow climb phase, closer to the peak but not there yet. I am anxiously awaiting that moment when all we can do is throw our hands up in the air, scream and plummet towards the fall.

While everyone on the crew became reacquainted with humidity, we were able to find a not too hot afternoon to stake and tie our field tomatoes. Anyone who has ever grown tomatoes knows how important it is too keep the plants growing vertically and not let them fall all over the ground. This is important for disease control, fruit quality and also harvest ease. To accomplish this on the farm, we use a method called the ‘stake and weave’. This involves pounding a wooden tomato stake in the ground every two plants. After all the stakes are in place we come down the rows with a plastic tomato twine and build the trellis for the tomatoes. A true marvel of modern technology are the twine boxes we use. These nifty little cardboard boxes hook right onto your belt and allow us to tie our tomatoes quickly and effectively. Unlike peas and beans the tomatoes won’t climb up by themselves so we have to do the tying every week. We will tie off at the end and then move throw each row, gathering the plants into our twine as we loop it around the stake. Walking a half mile stooped over close tot he ground might be a bit uncomfortable at first(some might call it painful), with a bit of practice and the proper technique, tying tomatoes becomes a truly enjoyable task. The hardest part is actually pounding the posts into the ground and fortunately for us we only have to do that once.

Once the stakes are pounded, and the tomatoes tied, it is hard to argue with the beauty of the field. Although I could barely walk on Thursday evening when we were finished, it is hard not to take satisfaction in a job well done. In the long run, sore shoulders, tired legs and a bit of dehydration are a small price to pay for a good crop of tomatoes. As always, there is no way that we can guarantee a good crop, or even any crop at all as those members who were with us in 2012 can attest to, but we will do everything in our power to ensure that the tomatoes feel pampered, loved and happy.

As we were busy fussing over the tomatoes, primping and pampering them, I couldn’t help but wonder…do eggplants get jealous?…

On behalf of your farm crew

Ben, Coleen, Hannah, Marycia, and Mary

Your Farmers,

Max and Kerry

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