Provider Farm

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July 12, 2014

This Week's Share

The basil is ready! Fragrant and flavorful, it makes wonderful pesto or trim it over any of your dishes.The high tunnel tomatoes are on their way and these two pair wonderfully.

Pay attention here...do not store basil in the fridge (the cold damages the leaves and they will turn black!)  It is best to store basil in a cup with the stems in water right on your counter.  It can last for over a week when stored this way.

Also, the eggplants are beginning to come in in earnest.  We grow several skinny and long Asian types, white eggplants and violet eggplants and the well known dark purple italian types.  They will begin as a trickle which will quickly become a flood of these lovely purple fruits.  The Asian types are my favorite, the skins are thin, tender and completly edible.  Try them in a stir fry!

Recipe of the Week: 

Basil Pesto

Ingredients: 
  • 1 lb fresh basil
  • 1/2 lb. grated parmesean cheese
  • olive oil
  • clove of garlic
  • pine nuts (or walnuts, but we prefer the pine nut flavor)
Directions: 

Put the basil, nuts and cheese in a food processor. Blend and drizzle in olive oil by taste. Don't skimp on the oil! It adds flavor and moisture and ties the flavors together. Put pesto on pasta, or just about anything really! Pesto can be frozen (divide into serving amounts) and eaten all winter!

Credit: 
Farmer Kerry

Chaos and Order

Our 60 year old Allis Chalmers G cultivating tractor cleaning up the carrots.
Our 60 year old Allis Chalmers G cultivating tractor cleaning up the carrots.

Dear Friends,

It’s that wonderful time of year again. The time of year when we sweat through our shirts by 9am and the garlic is ready to harvest. This is the time of year when we are as likely to see the sun rise from the field, out early to harvest,  as we are to watch is set from the tractor seat, trying to squeeze a few more rows of cultivation into an already full day. No matter how much we wash, our hands never seem to get clean and a good night’s sleep is an old friend we never seem to have enough time for anymore.

The fields are brimming with wonders of all shapes and sizes. Eggplants are starting to trickle in and it looks like the sweet peppers won’t be too far behind. For such a cold spring, this is the earliest I can ever remember harvesting eggplants. The winter squash is vibrant and healthy, the vines of one row just starting to spread to the next. There are signs of red tomatoes showing up in the high tunnel and it won’t be long before we will have the first red, ripe tomatoes in the share. The tomatoes come in slowly, the first ones from the tunnel are precious and rare but once the field crop kicks in towards the beginning of August we all be rich in tomatoes. We are drafting a tearful good bye letter to our sugar snap peas, they were brief, but absolutely wonderful. Alas, peas are never long for this world and heat of summer has taken its toll.

This is the season of before and after photos. On our weekly field walk  I find myself looking on in dismay at the sea of pig weed and grass rudely crowding out our late summer carrots. Weeds grow fast all the time, but in July and August their vigor and determination is hideously stunning. I may even find myself discouraged at the start of the week. How we can possibly find the time to tackle the chaotic mess that has become our field? Time and time again I am pleasantly surpassed what some skilled hands  and determination can accomplish. Our crew is fantastic at restoring order to chaotic fields. Whether with hoes, or by crawling sometimes miles in a week literally on their own two hands and knees as they tackle projects both and small and save our precious crops time and time again. Couple that with a few passes on the cultivating tractor and our carrots and beets are once again weed free, and safe to grow to their hearts content.

On a larger scale, we begin to mow and harrow our earlier spring plantings and put them to rest under a see of cover crop. Broccoli and salad mix that has outlived it’s usefulness will be chopped down and turned back into soil. These old plantings are a total mess to look at, arugula that has gone to seed, intermixed with 6 foot high lamb’s quarters and grass everywhere. It is so satisfying to shake the etch-a-sketch and set the fields back to square one. Freeing them from the chaos that has taken over. I love the transitions on the farm, the birth, growth and death that occurs thousands of times over the course of one farming season. Nothing is set in stone, everything is fluid.

On behalf of your farm crew,

Ben, Marry, Sean, Leah, Hannah and Marycia

Your Farmers

Max and Kerry

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