Provider Farm

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September 5, 2015

The last week of the share is the first week of November. Still lots of great food to go!

This Week's Share

Wowie broccoli!! The fall crop is in and boy, is it beautiful and abundant. We have a full 2 acres of fall brassicas, so we should have it until the end of the season.

We have started the great potato dig of 2015! They don't really need much of an introduction as the most eaten vegetables in America. We will have our red varieties in the share, "Norland Red" and "Pontiac".

Recipe of the Week: 

Sesame Broccoli Noodle Salad

Ingredients: 
  • 1 lb. fresh noodles or 3/4 lb. angel hair pasta
  • 1 tbs. dark sesame oil
  • 1 lb. broccoli, stem peeled and diced and florets broken into small pieces
  • 1 c. julienned bell peppers, or carrots, or both
  • 2 tbs. toasted sesame seeds

Dressing

  • 2 tbs. rice vinegar
  • 2 tbs. hoisin sauce
  • 1 tbs. sherry or Chinese rice wine
  • 1 tbs. chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp. minced fresh ginger
  • 2 tbs. dark sesame oil
Directions: 

Cook noodles in boiling salted water al dente. Drain and rinse and let cool. Toss with sesame oil in bowl.
Steam broccoli until tender about 4 minutes. Drain, plunge into cold water and drain.
Add broccoli and carrots or peppers to noodles and toss.
For dressing, combine all ingredients and whisk. Pour over noodles and vegetables and toss. Garnish with sesame seeds.

Credit: 
Serving Up the Harvest by Andrea Chesman

Eulogy for the summer squash

Digging for potatoes. Dirtiest job on the farm this week!
Digging for potatoes. Dirtiest job on the farm this week!

Dear Friends,

Just like that, our whole world turned to dust. I’m not exactly sure when it happened specifically, but there is no denying it. Like Pig Pen, every where we go on the farm, we are followed by a cloud of dust. This isn’t a time of year we usually think of having a ton of irrigation to do, but this past week found us running around frantically moving sprinklers from one fall crop to the next. We can only water so much at one time, so extended dry periods become a perpetual dance of constantly moving irrigation again and again and again. One little feather in cap though, is that we recently had Larry(Kerry’s dad) figure out how to put automatic timers on all of our pumps. This way the pump shuts off automatically after a predetermined amount of time. This is great since it means no more waking up at midnight remembering we forgot to shut off the pump. It also allows us to run irrigation into the night, knowing the pump will shut off by itself at 4am and we don’t actually have to be there. I say ‘we’ but really irrigation is Kerry’s and Hannah’s job, and they have been doing a fantastic job of keeping the farm alive in the absence of rain.

While Kerry has been busy bringing the water from field to field, I have been watching summer fade away right before my eyes. It can be kind of nerve racking watching so many crops begin their downward trajectory at the same time. We really depend on the summer squash, zucchini and cucumbers to carry us through the summer season. They may not be as beloved as tomatoes, nor as exciting as watermelons, but summer squash are a real work horse vegetable for us. They probably end up in 90% of the meals we cook throughout the summer. They are consistent. Every other day, we know they’re going to be there.

In order to ensure we have a steady supply, we will plant cukes, squash and zukes three times. The last planting goes in the first week of July and starts to degrade rapidly at the beginning of September. We have experimented in the past with trying to plant a later planting and extend our squash and cucumbers but it just doesn’t work out. There is too much disease pressure that builds as the season progresses. Downey Mildew sweeps up the coast as the summer goes along and by Late August is usually well established in New England.

It can be a little bit terrifying watching the cukes and squash dry up. What’s going to fill the table? I worry and fret, chew my lip until I take a glance over at the broccoli field. Much to my delight, just as the cukes nose dive, the broccoli is just starting to kick it into high gear. When things work right, when one crop goes down we have another one ready to take its place. Cukes segue into broccoli, melons give way to winter squash, onions transition to more onions…Summer will certainly end and we will have to say goodbye to some of our favorites, but we have so much great stuff on the way. Cauliflower, Brussels Sprouts, Leeks, Potatoes, Watermelon Radishes, Sweet Potatoes just to name a few….

This of course isn’t something that just happens. This is something that we have created, and set in motion months ago when we made our crop plan. The funny thing though, is by the end of August I forget. I forget how much planning and thinking we have put into season. I end up being so caught up on our day to day task list I can’t really think about any thing else. Its easy to lose sight of the bigger picture and lose a little bit of perspective. It is at this time that I am the most grateful to the training and experience that Kerry and I both have. Prior to starting our own CSA, we learned the in’s and out’s of what it takes to run a CSA from some great farmers and for this, I am so thankful. There are so many intricacies, subtle little details that go into running a CSA that I can’t imagine trying to figure it out as we went along.

We still have a mountain of work ahead of us, but we’re moving in the right direction. We have started digging potatoes, and I think I even felt a little fall chill in the air the other day. It’s always sad when we have to start to say ‘good-bye’ to summer favorites but I relish the opportunity to reacquaint myself with the soups, stews and sweater weather.

Hannah, Mary, Marycia, Erica and Larry

Your Farmers

Max and Kerry

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