Provider Farm

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June 6, 2015

This Week's Share

The beets are looking gorgeous. We keep the tops on in the spring, they are wonderful cooked and so nutritious so don't throw them away! I like them steamed up with the beets. Use them as you would other cooking greens.

Also new to the share this week, summer squash and zucchini. They are just coming in so there won't be tons of them, but once it heats up out there, they'll be coming out of our ears!

Recipe of the Week: 

Farmer Kerry's Famous Beets and Greens with Balsamic Reduction

Ingredients: 
  • A bunch of beets with their greens
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 1 cup balsamic vinegar
Directions: 

Start the balsamic reduction by putting the vinegar in a small sauce pan and putting it on low heat. Keep a careful eye on it and let it simmer until the vinegar thickens and is reduced to a couple tablespoons. Clean the beets and beet tops well. Dirt likes to get trapped where the greens attach to the beet so I'll pay special attention to there, sometimes trimming it away. Chop the beets and greens. Heat the oil in the pan and add the beets. Cook for about 5 minutes stirring as needed. Add a cup of water and let simmer for about 10 minutes or until beets begin to soften. Add greens and cook until the greens and beets are tender. Remove from heat and poor the reduction on. Sprinkle a little salt to taste.

Sometimes we're firemen

Harvest morning in the greens.
Harvest morning in the greens.

Dear Friends,

After one of the warmest Mays on record, the first week of June came in cold and damp. The rain was a most welcome sight and for the first time since early April we didn’t have to irrigate any crops.

June is a very exciting time for the farm. Everywhere we look there is something new. The first summer squash and zucchini have just begun to trickle in, and the cucumbers are starting to put out blossoms. Peppers and Eggplants are looking jubilant under their row cover. The field tomatoes have settled in nicely and the high tunnel tomatoes are already up to our chins! As we pick kale, we notice the nearby broccoli and cabbage both starting to form heads. Even the winter squash has joined the party, just beginning to germinate and send out their first cotyledons. Everything is exciting and everything is delicious. The lettuce is sweet right now, it’s hard to eat anything else.

In between the first harvests of the season, this past week we were busy getting the last summer planting in the field.  Cantaloupes, sweet potatoes, head lettuce, carrots, beets, greens, beans, basil,  squash and cucumbers all found their way into the ground, with watermelons still on the docket to go in next week. The fields are filling up fast, right before our eyes. Before we know it, we will be planting the first fall broccoli and seeding storage crops. We do all of our plantings by hand without the assistance of mechanical transplanter so this past week was a pretty intense one for all of us here at Provider Farm, or more specifically it was pretty intense for all of our lower backs here at Provider Farm.

As the pace starts to pick up on the farm we find ourselves multi tasking more and more. Keeping track of what feels like a millions things in our heads, on clipboards and on our iPhones. It’s not uncommon to see Kerry out in the field ordering irrigation supplies in between rows of carrots or returning phone calls knee deep in bok choi. Often as things get more hectic, we hope more and more for straight forward, uneventful days. No twists, no turns, just start the day with a ‘to-do’ list and do the things on the list.

Inevitably, this is not the case. The farm has a special talent for throwing curve balls our way and we often find ourselves scrambling to adjust and adapt to whatever flames up. Emergency weeding tasks that need our immediate attention, blown brake lines in a truck, a greenhouse seeding that somehow fell through the cracks. Whatever the specific circumstance ends up being, there always seems to be some fire that pops up and needs to be put out. While we can’t plan for this and don’t really look forward to it, there is an undeniable deep satisfaction I feel when we successfully manage a crisis. The farm keeps us on our toes and keeps our minds sharp. We have to pay attention all the time or we will get burned. While we could all do with a little more ease in our daily lives, there is something to be said for living a life full of ever changing, interesting challenges.

That being said, we’re really hoping this next week is just a little boring and uneventful.

On behalf of our farm crew

Hannah, Mary, Marycia, Yani, Aaron, Erica and Larry

Your Farmers

Max and Kerry

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