Provider Farm

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January 5, 2015

Happy new year to all!  The new year brings us weird warm weather plummeting into artic temperatures by the end of the week so we will move the share to our heated space, look right when you get to the share room and we will be inside the big glass doors.

We will still have lots of beef and pastured bacon available.  Just ask us if you would like to purchase some.  We also just got back from the butcher some new delicious beef sausages made from our own grassfed beef.  They are really good with all of these winter vegetables.

This Week's Share

Yesterday, during the bizarre 50 degree weather, Max and I loaded up the truck to pull the leeks out of the field knowing an impending Artic freeze was on the way.  Despite the air being down right balmy, when we pulled the leeks, the frozen ground would not let go of them, so I guess that is the end of the leeks for now.

I spent the last few weeks, pouring over cook books and enjoying testing some new recipes to share with you in this week's 7 day winter share dinner plan. I reccomend acompanying any of these recipes with some homemade saurkraut, the featured recipe of the week, to add a nice tart crunch to your meals.  All the recipes are hyper links so just click on them to see the recipe.

Sunday:  We'll start the week with a vegetable shepard's pie (this one is vegeterian butyou can use ground beef if you prefer for the bottom layer, the premise is the same). Kind of an all in one meal,but steam up some kale if you like!

Monday: Some down home split pea soup to start off the week.  If you have a busy monday, it can be made ahead on Sunday and just heated up.  Serve with some boiled or steamed beets on the side.

Tuesday:  Try this Farro and butternut bake, as an entree or with some baked chicken or baked white beans with olive oil and garlic, or with some of our own grassfed beef susages.  A cabbage and kohlrabi salad on the side will add some crispy crunch to the meal.

Wednesday:  This sweet potato chilli recipe is rediculously good and another good make ahead dish.  This is so good with a simple cabbage slaw on the side.

Thursday:  Its cold outside! Try this slow cooked Moroccan tagine.  The slow cooking will warm up your kitchen and the warm spices will warm you up!

Friday:  It's burrito night!  In case you couldn't tell, south of the boarder inspired cuisine is some of my favorite!  This sweet potato, potato and carrot burrito filling is super fast to make and delish!

Saturday: Maybe we're getting a little tired of stew type dishes and we have a little bit more time to cook, so how about trying a galette!  This butternut and carmelized onion tartlike creation will round out the week in style.

Recipe of the Week: 

Homemade Sauerkraut

Ingredients: 
  • 2 medium cabbage heads (about 4 to 5 total pounds, cored and finely shredded)
  • 2 tablespoons sea salt
Directions: 

Toss cabbage and salt together in a large mixing bowl and begin to squeeze the cabbage and salt together with your hands, kneading it thoroughly to break up the cellular structure of the shredded cabbage.
When the cabbage has become limp and releases its juice, transfer it to a sauerkraut crock or jars. Pack the salted cabbage into the crock tightly as you can, eliminating air bubbles.
Continue packing the cabbage into the container until the cabbage is completely submerged by liquid. Cover loosely and allow it to sit at room temperature, undisturbed, for at least 1 month and up to 6 months, testing the sauerkraut every few days until it is done to your liking. Transfer to the refrigerator or other cold storage where it should keep for at least 6 months and up to 1 year.

Notes

If scum appears floating in the brine of your homemade sauerkraut, simply spoon it off. You won't be able to remove it all, but spoon of what you can and don't worry about it. The real key to preparing homemade sauerkraut, and any fermented food, is that the solid materials rest below the liquid. Fermentation is an anaerobic process and you want to keep the cabbage under the water so it does not get exposed to microorganisms in the air.

Credit: 
nourishedkitchn.com

Winter's grip

Max washing roots during warmer days.
Max washing roots during warmer days.


Dear Friends,

The holidays have come and gone, and once again we find ourselves in the earliest days of a brand new year. Things have been fairly quiet on the farm since our last winter share pick up. We’ve spent the past couple weeks taking some time to see friends and family and explore this wonderful area we live in. The cows, horse, chores and farm in general don’t really offer us the opportunity to take a full fledged vacation, to compensate for this we have mastered the art of the staycation, this year in the form of many hikes around the area. While a bit of a break is nice, we are excited to get back into the swing of things, shake off some of the cob webs and continue to push our way through the winter.

It looks like this is going to be the most ‘wintery’ week so far of the winter share. Temperatures approaching and even dipping below zero are forecasted for the coming week and we might even get a bit of snow. As much as I enjoy 40 degree days in December, I guess I knew it couldn’t stay warm forever. We are pretty well equipped to handle the cold, I mean you can’t have a Winter Share if you’re not expecting it to get cold, but the frigid temperatures make things a little more complicated. Cold nights are one thing, but it’s the cold days that force us to change up our game plan for the week and strategize on how and when to get everything done on the warmest of the cold days.  Greens need to get picked prior to the forecast -3 degree nights ahead and its time the onions go someplace warmer then an unheated space. It’s not impossible to wash roots outside when it doesn’t rise above 20 degrees, but everything just takes a lot longer, and we vastly prefer a slightly warmer alternative.

Washing roots is typically a one person task. On a relatively warm day, we will create a list of what we need to wash for the week and gather all the bags of roots on to pallets next to the root washer. Once all the roots are stacked next to the washer, we will start washing. Dirty roots go in, clean ones one out and stacked on another pallet. The stack of roots to be washed steadily shrinks and the stack of shimmering clean roots grows. When all the roots are washed we use the fork lift on the front of the tractor to move the pallet inside. All in all we can usually wash around 700-900 pounds of roots an hour and the job is done before you know it.

On a truly cold day, the idea is the same, but the process has to change. We can’t stack all the dirty roots next to the washer, because they will freeze. At the same time, we can’t stack the clean roots next to the washer, because they will freeze. Instead, one person operates the washer, while another person is constantly brining dirty roots out to be washed and bringing in the clean roots. While effective, it is certainly less efficient, and if we can find a warm afternoon to avoid this process we will do what we can to make sure thats when we wash.

We hope you all had a great holiday and we will see you on Friday!

Your Farmers

Max and Kerry

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