Provider Farm

From our fields, for your family


August 9, 2014

This Week's Share

Tomatoes are coming in in abundance now!  Now is the time for freezing and canning!  We should have lots of extra saucing tomatoes for the next few weeks.

Putting away food for the winter doesn't have to be difficult.  I'll share some of the things I have learned over the years that work for me.

My favorite things to put up for the winter are peppers, tomatoes and cooking greens.  I'd probably do more, but I am lucky to have access to our well stocked root cellar and greenhouse (you can too, if you join our winter share!)

Peppers:  Chop them up and put them in a freezer bag, squeeze out air, and freeze.

Tomatoes:  You can get fancy and make sauce and freeze that, or just chop them up and put them in a freezer bag and freeze.

Cooking greens: Chop up, blanche by putting in hot water just till they turn bright green and then plunge them into ice cold water for a few minutes, then freeze.  Or, you can saute them as you would to eat them and then freeze like that.  Kale, swiss chard and collards are all great this way!

Recipe of the Week: 

Salsa Verde



1 pound tomatillos, husked

1/2 cup finely chopped onion

1 teaspoon minced garlic

1 jalapeno chile peppers, minced

2 tablespoons chopped cilantro

1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1 1/2 teaspoons salt, or to taste

2 cups water


Place tomatillos, onion, garlic, and chile pepper into a saucepan. Season with cilantro, oregano, cumin, and salt; pour in water as needed to prevent from scaulding. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer until the tomatillos are soft, 10 to 15 minutes.
Using a blender, carefully puree the tomatillos and water in batches until smooth.

Credit: but there are a bazillion variations out there

The turning point

Our last fall brassica planting of the year.
Our last fall brassica planting of the year.

Dear Friends,

If my memory serves correctly, August is a month of big harvests and little sleep. So far it seems like this year is going to be no different. We’ve already harvested over 11,000 pounds of watermelon and cantaloupe and it’s not even the middle of the month! The melons will continue to roll in for another week at least but certainly is far fewer numbers. We have also moved from picking tomatoes inside the high tunnel to picking out in field. To give you a sense of what this means, in the high tunnel we have about 250 tomato plants and out in the field we have about 1,600!

The storage onions are begging to be pulled from the field and stored safely in the greenhouse. Kerry and I spent an hour or two on Saturday harvesting, just to see what we’re in for. In no time at all, we picked almost 2,000 pounds of big,  beautiful and most importantly dry yellow onions. We are anxious to get the rest of the crop out of the ground before the rains come midweek.

As many of you have noticed we are in a bit of a greens and lettuce lull. This is due to a combination of factors, including abnormally high pest pressure, lack of rain and some good old fashioned bad luck. We have been seeding extra to try and make up for this and you should begin to see ample lettuce mix, arugula, tat soi and mizuna in the share again soon.

This past week was a pivotal moment on the farm, a real turning point of the season. We planted our last succession of fall brassicas and I seeded the final seeding of fall roots. We will still be seeding salad mix, and planting lettuce until the end of September but for the most part, the planting portion of our season has drawn to a close. All the food we’re going to have for the rest of the year is basically in the field. All we can do now is keep them weeded, watered and as happy as possible to ensure that the rest of the season will be bountiful. This is also a huge weight off of our shoulders. The crop plan is like our road map for the season and making sure that we get everything planted on time is one of my top priorities. Any time that we can worry about one less thing we are happy to do so.

Inevitably at this time of year our attention starts to turn to next year and we begin to think about improvements we can make to the farm, things we tried this year that worked, things that didn’t. One improvement we have decided to finally make to the farm is converting one of our 1940’s Allis-Chalmers G tractors from it’s original(extremely unreliable) gasoline engine to an electric engine. These are the little orange tractors we do most of our seeding and cultivating with so they don’t need a ton of horse power. We love these machines and rely on them for a lot of different tasks but as you can imagine after 70 years of hard use they don’t always behave like we wish they did. A farmer in upstate New York has already done all of the figuring for us and has made the plans available online. In essence we will be installing an electric golf cart engine and batteries where the gas motor used to be. This will ensure that the tractor starts and runs whenever we need it to and will also be noticeably quieter for the operator.We have been thinking about doing this since we bought our first G in 2012 and are excited to finally be making the switch.

It’s not just the back to school sales and pre-season football that has us thinking fall. The nights, mornings and even days have all been cooler than we can every remember for August. The mild temperatures have us searching for our long forgotten sweatshirts and jackets about a month ahead of schedule. Enjoy summer while it’s still here

On behalf of your farm crew

Ben, Hannah, Mary, Sean and Larry

Your Farmers

Max and Kerry

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