Provider Farm

From our fields, for your family


November 1, 2014

The time has come, the last share of the season, and what a great season it was!  Coventry market shareholders, please come out to the farm Tuesday or Friday 2-7 and pick up a share here.

Please get your renewals in ASAP.  We still have winter shares available.

Provider Farm Thanksgiving Store:  Come on out to Provider Farm the Saturday before Thanksgiving (Nov. 22) 10-1 and get all of your Thanksgiving veggies!  Wow your family with watermelon radishes and farm grown Brussels sprouts!

Stocking up Meat Sale:  5 lbs of Meeting Place Pastures pasture raised bacon for $50.  10 lbs. Provider Farm 100% grassfed ground beef for $60.  All while supplies last!

This Week's Share

Let's hope Sundays chilly weather doesn't do in our caulflower, broccoli and greens that are sitting out there.  We did our due diligence covering up all the tender greens, but we'll have to see how they do.  I am feeling optmistic so I am listing them, so let's all cross our fingers!

I can tell you we will definetly have our beautiful parsnips in the share.  Just dug this week, we waited as long as we could to make sure they got some frosts to help sweeten them up.  They are great baked, boiled, roasted and in stews. 

We also traded up some of our onion mound with our friends at Brookfield Farm for some of their wonderful celery.  I am a big fan of our locally grown celery.  Celery in the store gets pumped full of water and thus produces a watery, tender stalk with a bland mild celery flavor.  Our local celery has a rich deep celery flavor with stalks that are thus a little more tough.  It is wonderful for stews and soups and I love munching on the stems.

Recipe of the Week: 

Creamed spinach and parsnips

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 pounds small parsnips, cut into 3/4-inch pieces
  • 2 large shallots, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup turkey stock or canned low-sodium broth
  • 1 teaspoon chopped thyme
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 1/4 pounds baby spinach (20 cups), well washed
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups half-and-half or whole milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg



In a large, deep skillet, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in the oil. Add the parsnips and cook over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, about 6 minutes. Add the shallots and cook, stirring, until softened, about 2 minutes. Add the stock and thyme and bring to a boil. Season with salt and pepper, cover and simmer over low heat until the parsnips are tender, about 8 minutes.
Meanwhile, fill a large, deep pot with 2 inches of water and bring to a boil. Add the spinach in large handfuls and blanch, stirring, just until wilted, about 10 seconds. Drain and cool under running water. Squeeze the spinach dry and coarsely chop it. Stir the spinach into the parsnips.
In a medium saucepan, melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and cook over moderately high heat until lightly browned, about 4 minutes. Whisk in the flour and cook, whisking, for 1 minute. Whisk in the half-and-half and nutmeg, season with salt and pepper and bring the sauce to a boil, whisking until thickened, about 2 minutes. Stir the sauce into the spinach and parsnips and bring to a simmer. Transfer to a bowl and serve.


The little engine that could

This is how we pick 6,000 lbs. of cabbage.
This is how we pick 6,000 lbs. of cabbage.

Dear Friends,

It's hard to believe that it’s been 23 weeks already but here we are, the final week of the 2014 CSA. The end of the season is always a bittersweet time on the farm. While we are happy to slow down a bit, take a break and catch up on some sleep, we really love running the CSA and miss it when it ends. We love filling up the tables up each and every week and watching thousands of pounds of fabulous produce walk out the door in your bags, baskets and boxes. Every year has it’s ups and downs, it’s different twists and turns. This season felt like we had a lot more ups than downs and we are all really proud of what the farm was able to produce this season. Without a doubt, this was our most productive year to date, one we can only hope to replicate as we move forward. On the bright side, our Thanksgiving Store is only 3 weeks away, the start of the Winter Share is 5 weeks away and 2015 CSA season kicks off in a mere 30 weeks!

As the season winds down, the wind picks up and the temperatures drop we are finding ourselves in full blown squirrel mode. Running from here to there trying to get all our crops into storage before it’s too late. This past week we pulled in over 6,000 pounds of beautiful storage cabbage, 2,000 pounds of parsnips and a even a few golden beets to cap off what has been an amazing harvest. Our root cellar and walk in cooler and bursting at their seams and not a moment too soon. In the next couple of days, we are supposed to get the first really cold nights of the season. A lot of the storage crops are pretty hardy but we prefer to get most of them safely inside before they freeze.

Elsewhere on the farm, the high tunnel kale and spinach are shaping up nicely. Every winter we like to to experiment with growing hardy greens in unheated greenhouses. Kale and spinach are both truly amazing plants, they can freeze and thaw and freeze and thaw and still be perfectly okay, so long as they have some protection from the deer, wind, and snow. If we were to heat the tunnels we could grow a larger variety of crops but it can get extremely expensive to heat a greenhouse in the winter. Greenhouses are some of the poorest insulated buildings that you can imagine and even keeping the thing at mere 32 degrees can be quite energy intensive when it’s 22 during the day and below 10 at night. In the winter, we stick to the kale and spinach and leave the lettuce to California.

We want to extend a robust and heartfelt thanks to our fabulous farm crew for all the work they’ve done this season growing your food. Hot, cold, rainy or whatever our crew shows up ready to work every day and for that we thank them.

And of course we want to thank all of your for your continued support of Provider Farm. Our CSA is the engine that runs our farm and without our wonderful shareholders that engine could not run. We hope you all enjoyed the season and we can’t wait to start growing for you again next year!

On behalf of our farm crew

Mary, Larry, and Marycia

Your Farmers

Max and Kerry

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