Provider Farm

From our fields, for your family


October 10, 2015

Share renewals are now past due but if you haven't sent yours in yet, no worries. Just try and get it in this week, you can bring it to the share or drop it in the mail. There are also a few winter shares left.

This Week's Share

With a frost on the horizon for next Saturday, if not tonight, this certainly will be the week of transition from summer to full on fall. The peppers and eggplants will surely be done in by the end of the week, but that just leaves more room on the table for many great fall crops to come.

This week brings in a plethora of fall radishes that Max wrote about a few weeks ago. Max loves fall radishes, and for good reason. They come in all different colors and shapes and add good crunch, color and sweetness to meals. You have already met the purple "bravo" radish. Well, this week brings the black Spanish radish. These are a curious vegetable, black skinned, spicy with a crispy white flesh. Try them in this slaw.

The watermelon radish is one of our favorite vegetables. These rather large radishes have an unpretentious white and green skin, but slice into them and you'll be awed by their dark rose flesh, not to mention their sweet crunchiness. Slices of them resemble watermelon slices.

A winter squash medley will be back in the share with hubbards and pumpkins. These squashes are rumored to make the best pies of them all. Hubbards are excellent in storage, put it in your basement and you could keep it deep into winter. Drop them on a solid concrete floor to get them open.

Recipe of the Week: 

Black Radish and Potato Salad

  • 1 lb. potatoes
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 medium black radish
  • 2 tsp. mild vinegar
  • 4 tsp. olive oil
  • 1 tsp/ smoked paprika
  • small bunch chives, chopped
  • a few sprigs of parsley, chopped
  • 10 crumbled walnuts
  • salt and pepper

Scrub potatoes and cut into chunks. Put in steamer with garlic, sprinkle with salt and steam until potatoes are just cooked through.
Scrub black radish, lightly peal if desired, and grate using large holes of grater. Place them in bowl and sprinkle with salt while potatoes cook.
When potatoes are cooked, set aside to cool slightly. Chop steamed garlic and add to radishes. Add vinegar, oil and paprika and toss to combine.
Add potatoes to bowl with herbs and pepper. Toss and adjust seasoning. Top with walnuts.


The last vestige of summer

A beautiful fall harvest. This is what we live for!
A beautiful fall harvest. This is what we live for!

Dear Friends,

Last Friday we spent a dreary afternoon shivering in our boots wondering where the sun went. As the rain drizzled down and the temperatures dipped I wondered why we ever looked forward to fall. It wasn’t until the clouds cleared and the sun came out on Sunday that we were reminded of just how glorious autumn in New England can be. If the weather on Sunday started to refresh our memory, the weather the following week really hammered the point home. Crisp mornings, and glowing afternoons. The trees that line our fields are all beginning to change to blazes of yellow, orange and red. It’s a truly special time to be on the farm and just a wonderful time to be outdoors in general.

While the fall foliage is really starting to dazzle, the fall crops are doing some dazzling of their own. This past week we enjoyed the first taste of what looks to be the best crop of Brussels Sprouts we’ve ever grown. The beautiful and robust heads of broccoli and cauliflower continue to pour in. All the different fall roots we grow are sizing up and really taking shape. Turnips and radishes that were barely the size of marbles a few weeks ago and now well past baseball size. Harvests are an utter and absolute joy right now.

At this time of year our to-do list tends to alternate between big harvest projects and big clean up projects. Taking care of the tomatoes is always one of the tasks that looms the largest on our fall list. When other crops are finished its as simple as mowing, harrowing, seeding some cover crop and saying good night. You never even have to get off the tractor. The tomatoes however present a different challenge. Since the tomatoes are all staked and trellised, before we can mow and harrow, obviously we have to remove the trellis.

Building the trellis is always one of the most exhilarating tasks in the spring. It is a hard job. Pounding in close to 1,000 stakes and than making the lowest ties on the tomatoes. Maybe one of the single hardest days of the farming season. But it means we’re one step closer to the tomato harvest and one step closer to summer.

In the fall it feels a bit different. Removal of the stakes once again represents a big job, but we’re no longer full of anxious excitement of spring. When we build the trellis we’re hoping for the best while trying our best to plan for the worst, without worrying too much. Pests, disease, hail, so much can go wrong with a crop that is so universally beloved.

The tomatoes were great this year, from start to finish. While I am still a bit sorry they’re done, its nice to clear out this last vestige of the summer. I always think mentally it’s a bit easier to deal with the clean up when you’ve had a good crop than it is when the crop is poor. Tomatoes take far more work than any other crop we grow and a lot of that work is intrinsic whether the crop is good or bad.

 The stakes and twine are gone, the tomatoes have been mowed and harrow. The tomato field is back to being just a field and the farm is one step closer to being put to bed.

Hannah, Mary, Marycia, Erica and Larry

Your Farmers

Max and Kerry

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