Provider Farm

From our fields, for your family


September 12, 2015

Were not sure what it is, the hot days, back to school, or what, but every one has tended to shift towards Friday pick ups. If you would like a less busy share pick up experience, could we convince a few of you to try Tuesday pick ups? Baskets are always full, parking is abundant and the farm is peaceful. Plus, you get to meet our all start crew member Hannah who will take good care of you!

This week there is an added bonus for coming Tuesday. My ultra talented aunt and chef extraordinaire will be doing a cooking demonstration with share vegetables throughout share pick up! She catered our wedding with the best wedding food we have ever had so we can personally attest to her incredible talent. Don't miss it!

Just a few share notes...

  • The last week of shares is November 3 and November 6 right through harvest season.
  • Share renewals will begin in a few weeks.  All current shareholders get the opportunity to hold their share for next year prior to opening shares to the waitlist. We will set up in the share room with renewal forms and make sure to catch every one of you.
  • Winter shares will also be made available at that time. We are currently counting up all our expected winter vegetable poundage to see how many we can make available this year. Current share holders get priority. Everyone who has wanted one has always received one. I do run a waitlist on our website for it if you want to double make sure, or if you know anyone who isn't currently a shareholders but wants one.
  • If you know anyone hoping to get a share for next year, I recommend they join our waitlist now to guarantee a spot.


This Week's Share

It finally feels a little more like fall and the crops seam to be responding similarly. I do believe this nonstop summer squash planting may finally fizzle out, the tomatoes are starting to show signs of decreasing, and the eggplants are starting to wain. Oh! but the peppers are showing brilliant colors like the fall leaves. I strongly recommend loading up on the long red "Italia" peppers and some white onions and roasting them together in the oven until browned and caramelized  at 450. Eat with anything, or make sandwiches with them and melted cheese. So good! I am hooked.

Enter fall. The broccoli is just going bonanza right now. We had probably the biggest pick in Provider Farm history this past week and it looks like there is much more to come. We will have extra in the share this week for $2/lb. The leeks will be coming onto the scene this week. These long white cousins of onions are sweet and mild in their oniony flavor. They are great in potato leek soup but wonderful in any dish as you would use onions. Leeks in general are good to us and the crop is looking great this year.

Recipe of the Week: 

Potato Leek Soup


3 tablespoons butter
3 leeks
6 – 8 potatoes
3 1/2 cups chicken broth (or enough to barely cover potatoes)
1 cup heavy cream
salt to taste
fresh ground black pepper to taste


Make sure leeks are thoroughly cleaned before chopping to avoid a gritty soup. Chop leeks and potatoes. Melt butter and add leeks, cooking until limp and slightly browned. Add potatoes and cook five minutes, then add broth and simmer until potatoes are tender. Remove from heat and blend with immersion blender and add cream, salt and pepper. Return to low heat and cook 15 minutes more.


The wide world of fall radishes

Look what we found!
Look what we found!

Dear Friends,

We sure had been hoping and praying for a little bit of rain. After weeks and weeks without a drop, when the skies finally decided to open up on Thursday we were absolutely thrilled! That old adage ‘when it rains, it pours’ seemed especially fitting as we were inundated with an absolute down pour. Sudden heavy rains can be problematic for the farm, especially after long periods of drought. If the fields are bone dry and hard the water tends to puddle rather than percolate. This can cause unwanted flooding and erosion.  Luckily for us, a light, gentle rain had already softened the fields and prepared them for the incoming deluge. By the time Friday morning rolled around the crops had all received a most welcome drink. The farm was sparkling, glowing bright green in the early morning gray.

We have reached the point of the season where the cake is baked so to speak. While we still have a mountain of work ahead of us, the time in which we can really impact the outcome has drawn to a close. We still have to scout for pests and diseases in our brassicas, and pull some weeds out of late lettuce and greens, but by and large, the crops are either made, or just need to grow on their own. We can’t plant more, adding extra fertilizer probably won’t help.  We can’t really do anything but harvest, or wait. This can be nerve racking if things are looking lackluster, but fortunately for us, when we walk through the fields, there is a lot of food every where we look.

The sweet potatoes have really put on some weight in the past week. It seems like they went from skinny, stringy little tubers to full fledged potatoes over night! We have pulled a few by hand, and it looks like we are going to start digging them this week. Sweet potatoes, like many winter squash varieties, need to cure after harvest before they can be eaten. Freshly harvested sweet potatoes are in fact not sweet at all. They are incredibly starchy and rather unpalatable. (Although, I do enjoy eating thin slices of raw sweet potato while we harvest, I think I am actually alone in this). Once we harvest them, a few weeks in high heat, high humidity conditions allows the starch to convert to sugar. This means we will begin the sweet potato harvest this week, but likely they won’t be ready until the early days of October.

It is amazing what has been happening underground, while we have been focusing on tomatoes and watermelons. Carrots and beets that were once but a whisper have grown into strong, bulky roots. Parsnips that have been in the ground all the way since May have finally decided to become parsnips. Rutabagas and purple top turnips are starting to size up, their leaves as dark green as ever, even while the trees start to turn red and yellow. We love root crops here at Provider Farm, and no root excites more than the storage radish. These unique and somewhat unusual radishes need to be peeled, but are so much more complex and delicious than their fresh, garden counterparts.

Those of you have that have been members in the past are no doubt familiar with the Watermelon Radish. A nondescript green and white on the outside and deep rose inside, these are clearly the king of the storage radishes. This season we have decided to delve a little deeper into the wild world of fall radishes. We have decided to add three more varieties to our fall radish mix. We are growing a black, round Spanish radish, a long cylindrical, purple daikon, and a stubbier, green fleshed ‘meat’ radish. We love to try new things on the farm, especially when it comes to storage crops. Much like the watermelon radishes, the heat makes all these new radishes spicy and frankly, kind of gross. It is not until the cooler temperatures settle in that the sweet, subtle complexity emerges. This means that unfortunately we’re all going to have to be patient and wait a little longer for this beauties to make their way into the share. But sleep easy, the fall radishes are on their way!

Fall brings out the best in so much more than just our storage radishes. It is a wonderful time of year on the farm. I am always the most hopeful in the fall, the most excited about the farm. The possibilities seem endless, the space for innovation and invention is vast and limitless.

Hannah, Mary, Marycia, Erica and Larry

Your Farmers,

Max and Kerry

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