Provider Farm

From our fields, for your family


September 13, 2014

Renewals and winter share sales will start the week of September 22.  We  will be handing out forms at the share that week.  If we miss you, we will send them in the mail.  We ask for a $50 deposit with your renewals and they will be due by Oct. 17.   Shares will then open to the waiting list.

Current shareholders have priority to sign up for winter shares the week of Septemeber 22.  They will sold on a first come, first served basis.

This Week's Share

As the tomatoes and eggplants start to peter out, we're looking at a flood of awesome fall crops.  The broccoli has been stunning, and the cauliflower is just starting to ripen. 

Next on our allium docket is the glorious leek.  These look remotely like a large scallion and are great sauteed up as you would use onions, and great in the classic fall treat potato leek soup.

While we wait patiently for the butternuts to cure (right now they will only taste like starchy not goodness, they have to sit a couple weeks while their starches turn to sweet yum), there are some really wonderful squash ready to go!  We have my favorite winter squash in the share, the wonderful delicata.  These are super sweet and very easy and quick to cook up.  Just slice in half, scoop out the seeds and roast face down on a pan at 450 for 25 minutes or so. Don't worry about peeling them, their skin is tender and completely edible.

Recipe of the Week: 

A big fall harvest salad with delicata squash and kale


For the squash
2 delicata squash
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
1/2 teaspoon chipotle powder
1/4 teaspoon sea salt

For the salad
1/2 cup red quinoa
3/4 cup water
1 bunch curly purple kale, stemmed and coarsely chopped
Zest and juice of 1 lime
5 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons maple syrup
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ancho powder
2 small garlic cloves, pressed or minced
Sea salt
1/2 cup shelled pepitas
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup crumbled cotija cheese


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Slice the delicate squash in half lengthwise. Remove the seeds and reserve. (Roast the seeds, tossed in salt, at 300 degrees in a toaster oven until crisped and golden.)

Slice the squash halves into crescents. In a large mixing bowl, combine the 3 tablespoons of olive oil with the paprika, chipotle powder, and sea salt. Toss the squash with the oil mix. Arrange the squash in a single layer on a baking sheet. Roast until browned and tender, turning once, about 15 minutes. Set aside.

In a small pot with a lid, add the quinoa, water, and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, covered, then reduce heat to low and simmer until the water has been absorbed, about 15 minutes. Set aside to cool

While the squash roasts, prepare the dressing. Whisk together the lime juice and zest, 5 tablespoons olive oil, maple syrup, cumin, ancho chile powder, garlic cloves and a pinch of sea salt. In a large mixing bowl, toss the dressing with the kale, working it into the leaves with your fingers. Set aside.

Toast the pepitas in a dry skillet over medium heat, stirring frequently, until they begin to brown and pop, about 4 to 5 minutes. Set aside to cool.

To make the salad, combine the quinoa, pepitas, and cotija cheese with the dressed kale. Top with the delicata squash and cranberries. Serve at room temperature.


Be here, now

Pickin' potatoes!
Pickin' potatoes!

Dear Friends,

Oats, peas, and rye cover crops are all sprouting in place of onions, melons and early broccoli. Our potatoes are safe and sound, settling into their life in storage. Everywhere I look things are changing. The share room table is in the midst of a transformation, in place of zucchini there are potatoes. In place of summer squash, we have broccoli and cauliflower. The summer carrots and beets are being replaced by fall carrots and beets…well, I guess that one’s not really a radical transformation.

The summer crops are finally starting to wind down, this week was the first time all season we picked less tomatoes than the previous week. Now that peak tomato season is over, we will hold on with white knuckled desperation, trying to extend the tomato season as long as possible. The peppers are still going strong, we can’t remember a time when we’ve ever had more beautiful colored peppers! The eggplant are slowing down but we should have them to some extent until the first frost.

While we prepare to say goodbye to some summer time friends, we have a lot of exciting fall crops waiting in the wings. The fall cabbage is shaping up nicely and we will have red heads in the share again soon. The minor roots: parsnips, watermelon radishes, rutabagas and purple top turnips are all doing their best to form massive subterranean roots. We have even glimpsed the tiniest little Brussels Sprouts taking shape out there in our sea of brassicas. Brussels Sprouts are a personal favorite of ours and we can’t wait!

As farmers, its awfully hard to "be here, now" while we're thinking one season ahead of ourselves. At this time of year, whilst we sip pumpkin lattes, it is time to face the inevitable truth, winter is coming. We love to push the limits of what you can produce locally in New England and extend the season as deep into the winter as possible. If we want kale in January, we're planning for it now. This past week, we ripped the tomatoes out of our high tunnel and planted a couple different types of kale. In another few weeks, we will begin seeding spinach in our greenhouse. These fresh green crops will couple nicely with the different crops we are able to put into storage. Potatoes, carrots, beets, parsnips and turnips from our root cellar. Sweet potatoes and winter squash from our dry-warm room. Onions and garlic from our dry-cold room. Put these things together and we have the first step to a year round, local food supply.

Aside from harvesting and planting, getting ready for winter also means putting the fields to rest. The land is our most precious resource, it gives us so much, so we do what we can to take the best possible care of it that we can. In the fall this involves making sure to get a good stand of  cover crop established early. We use different small grains and legumes for winter cover. These cover crops serve many purposes, their roots hold the soil in place and protect against winter erosion, they add organic matter back to the soil in the spring, and the legumes perform the wondrous task of capturing nitrogen out of the air and adding it to the ground (what will mother nature think of next ?!?). There is no sight as beautiful to me as the fields blanked with healthy lush cover crops on a crisp autumn morning.

While the days are getting shorter and we are starting to slow down a bit there is still plenty of work to be done.

On behalf of your farm crew

Ben, Mary, and Marycia

Your farmers

Max and Kerry

Browse newsletter archive