Provider Farm

From our fields, for your family


July 18, 2015

Share feeling a little crowded on Fridays? Try Tuesday if you can! It tends to be quieter. We try to work the harvest so both share days are always comperable in share variety and quantity.

This Week's Share

Lots of beautiful red onions will be coming out of the field this week. We are picking these fresh (not cured) since they store best this way for us, so keep 'em in your firdge for storage.

The "hot crops" will be starting to trickle in this week. We grow all sorts of sizes and shades of eggplants. The long skinny Asian type varieties are wonderful in stir fries. We also grow the round Italian types. We have white (my favorite! Mild and not bitter at all), purple with white strips (pretty!) and purple (everydbody knows these).  Try chopping up a white one and roasting it in the oven at 450. You don't have to add oil! Then sprinkle salt on top and eat like that or mix in with pasta.

We also have our eyes on the first of our hot peppers which should start trickling in this week. We will start with hungarian hots(yellow, pretty warm) and jalapenos (dark green, starts off the season very mild but gets hotter as the season goes on).

Recipe of the Week: 

Marcie's Ratatouille

  • 4 patty pan squash
  • 2 yellow squash
  • 2 medium zucchini
  • 2 Japenese eggplant or 1 Italian eggplant
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2-4 cloves of garlic
  • 1 14.5 oz can of diced tomatoes, or fresh tomatoes
  • Basil, oregano, thyme parsley, rosemary
  • salt to taste

Cut squash and eggplant into 1' cubes. Add 1-2 tbs. olive oil to frying pan, add onions and garlic and fry until translucent (be careful not to burn!) Add squash and eggplant and cook until slightly tender. Add tomatoes and herbs to taste and cook until softened and stew like. Add salt to taste.


Peas, pluto and the perfect onion

The cutest baby watermelons.
The cutest baby watermelons.

Dear Friends

We don’t spend a lot of time stopping and smelling the roses on the farm in July. It’s a rare day indeed when we pause to contemplate the infinite. This week New Horizons, NASA’s space probe, passed within a few thousand miles of Pluto and captured some stunning pictures. I am absolutely in awe of the thought, planning and intelligence that must go into sending something on a journey that spans over 9 years and billions of miles.

Back here on Earth the farm has been rolling right along. While we haven’t been exploring our solar system we have made some amazing discoveries of our own. Deep with in the lush canopy of watermelon foliage, we have started to find the beginnings of what we hope to be a great crop of melons. Only about the size soft balls, baby watermelons are undeniably adorable. They start off striped right from the start, so they look just like watermelons, only smaller. While we’re not in the business of counting our chickens before they hatch, I can’t help but feel a thrill every time we see melons begin their final journey towards being ready. There is really nothing that says summer to me like a watermelon harvest and hopefully ours will be here in a few weeks.

Continuing with the theme of round crops that could be confused with planets, we should probably talk about our onions. Many of you have probably noticed our onion field on your way to the farm. If you’re coming from Rt. 11 or the Round-a-bout, our onions are in the field on Rt. 82 to your left right before you get to Woodbridge Rd. While it’s not a good idea to play favorites, I totally do. Onions are my favorite crop. When they’re bad, I feel terrible and when they’re good, I feel great. Well, this year I am walking tall. We have had some good onion years in the past but this year looks like it could be the best yet. While the quality of our storage crop is going to be largely dependent on the weather conditions over the next few weeks (we need it to be hot and dry so they cure properly), the white and red onions that we pick and distribute fresh are absolutely out of this world.

While we are out there saying hello to some new crops, it also time to start saying some good byes. The most notable of which being the peas. After one of the longest and most productive pea picking seasons we’ve had on the farm, it was finally time to pull the plug. Over time, the peas lose their sweet tender crunch and start to produce only starchy, woody, virtually inedible pods. This is a fundamental truth on the farm, nothing lasts forever. Bad or good whatever is going on, it’s going to be over at some point.

Moving on from most crops just involves making the decision, than firing up the mower and chopping it down. The peas are bit of different story, since we trellis them. In order to move on, we must first cut all the ties than pull out the stakes. This is typically a fairly big job but nothing too crazy. This year however this task proved to be near impossible. As you may remember, our pea trellis fell down a few weeks ago in that big storm. None of the stakes broke, they just kinda fell over, so the next day we just went back through and stood them back up. While two of us supported a section, another person pounded the stakes back in. This was super effective and pretty quick. What we failed to realize at the time though, is that since the ground was so wet and soft we able to pound the stakes about a foot deeper than we normally do.

Typically with a bit of muscle and proper body mechanics, we’re able to pull the stakes right out of the ground. That proved not to be the case this year for about half of the field.You can wiggle the stakes a bit to try and loosen them up but this also creates a risk of breaking them right at the soil level. Leaving a jagged 18” piece of wood waiting patiently to flatten our tractor tires. After a hectic and painful struggle I decided to punt on the idea of pulling the stakes. It felt like I was more likely to pull something in my back than pull these things out of the ground. Moving on to plan b, which involved a tractor loader and chain we were able to remove the rest of the stakes and finally get in and mow the peas.

Now that the peas are gone, I’m actually kind of glad. Truth be told I lack a bit of self control when it comes to eating sugar snap peas. For instance, last Saturday I sat down and somehow managed to eat close to 2 pounds in a sitting. It seemed like a great idea at the time, but I regretted it later.

Your Farmers,

Max and Kerry

On behalf of your farm crew,

Hannah, Mary, Marycia, Michelle, Erica and Larry


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