Provider Farm

From our fields, for your family


November 30, 2015

The first winter share distribution will be this Friday Dec. 4, 2-6 pm here on the farm at 30 Woodbridge Rd. Since the weather is looking to be warm (for December) we will have it in the unheated shareroom. For parking, please don't pull up the main driveway to the big yellow house. You can either park on the pull off across the street, on the road or behind the barns. We supply bags but you are welcome to bring your own and might want to bring a sturdy canvas bag, basket or box because winter vegetables can be heavy!

Please take a moment to note the remaining pick up days on your calendar. Please note there is a two week break over the holidays:

12/18, 1/8, 1/22, 2/5, 2/19

This Week's Share

Welcome to the wide world of New England local winter eating! The veggies you'll be getting in your winter shares are perfectly fitting for winter time eating, they're great for baking and roasting, soups and stews that warm body and mind and keep you cozy through these short days and long nights.

Lets talk beets, our featured crop of the week. These earthy rich flavored roots are incredibly nutritious, and one of the vegetables that can elicit mixed reactions. They are also incredibly versatile. They can be grated raw into salads or made into their very own salad. A traditional Slovenian dish my grandpa would make with beets from his garden was dressing cooked beet slices and thin onion slices with oil and red wine vinegar, salt, pepper and a little bit of sugar. Eat it with anything. I am pretty sure I was trained to eat beets at a young age through this simple salad.

Turning to the cooking, I think the easiest way to prepare beets is to give them a quick peel around the tops where they once had leaves, slice them and steam them up. I'll serve them with anything that needs a vegetable side (and then leftovers go into my Slovenian salad). They can also be baked like a potato, just wrap them in tin foil and place them in the oven until they are tender. Even ardent beet haters can be tricked into eating them if you mix them into a root roast with other vegetable (recipe is here)

Beets can also be included in desert in this Chocolate Beet Cake recipe. Nobody will know!

Recipe of the Week: 

Beet Burgers

  • 2 cups grated beets
  • 2 cups grated carrots
  • ½ cup grated onions
  • 1 cup cooked rice
  • 1 cup toasted sunflower seeds
  • ½ cup toasted sesame seeds
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • 3 tbsp flour
  • ¼ cup oil
  • minced fresh/dried garlic, cayenne, & fresh/dried parsley to taste

Toast sunflower and sesame seeds in dry skillet or hot oven several minutes, tossing often. Mix ingredients, form into patties, and bake at 350 degrees. Unless patties are very large, it should not be necessary to turn them. Makes 6-8 burgers.

Farmer Karen at Brookfield Farm

The joys of New England seasonal eating

Winter spinach looking good in the greenhouse.
Winter spinach looking good in the greenhouse.

Dear Friends,

Aside from a couple nights in the low 20’s and the growing din of Christmas music it’s a little hard to tell winter has arrived. Not that we’re complaining, the wintery weather can take as long as it needs to show up and that is just fine by us.   While we might not be building snowmen just yet, the first winter share of the season has arrived right on time. As the cold approaches, and the nights stretch on longer and longer, there is no better time to take solace in your soup pot. By and large our fall crops preformed remarkably well this year so we are looking forward to an ample and robust winter season. 

Washing and preparing all the vegetables for the winter share can either be an easy, enjoyable endeavor, or a proverbial nightmare. The difference really comes down to what the weather decides to do, and more specifically the temperature. Above 32 degrees and we are on easy street, from 32 to about 20 things are a bit more difficult but it’s still not too bad. Below 20? well that’s when things get a little bit rough out there. I am sure that we will have a few bitter cold wash days this season, we always do, but with a predicted high of 43 on Friday, I really have to say, I will take it as long as we can get it.

One of our favorite things about the winter share is the creativity it allows us in the kitchen. One may not imagine winter New England vegetables and think endless options but we certainly do. Roasted roots are great, but they are really and truly only the beginning. Lo Mein with kohlrabi and 3 different radishes, Beet burgers, carrot sticks and peanut butter…there is so much we do with our root crops I never would have dreamed of a few years ago.

One of the beautiful things about eating locally, is it really does put you in touch with the seasons. Summer vegetables can usually be chopped up and prepared with out much heat (tomato salad anyone?) or maybe just by firing up your outdoor grill. Winter vegetables lend themselves well to the cold days and short nights. They require turning on the oven, warming the house, wrapping your hands around warm bowls, and hot baked potatoes. Well past the holidays and the light bringing traditions that come with them, winter vegetables bring fire and light into the house. What is more cozy then that?

In the summer things are constantly changing, new and exciting veggies are available every week. We don’t have to work to hard to keep our meals new and exciting since the ingredients are constantly changing. In the winter things are a little different. The cast of characters available to us is relatively consistent. For the uninspired chef this can lead down a bleak path. Before too long this lonesome soul finds themselves sitting in the dark, eating a rutabaga, waiting for the sun to return with their cucumbers. But this sad situation is far from inevitable. For the creative, the adventurous, the bold, for these creative cooks the winter offers unlimited options! The ingredients might not change too often but this way you know what you’re working with.

Fortunately for us, now is the time when we do have a little more time and spend a considerable amount of it thinking about what's for dinner. Browsing the internet and our favorite cooking blogs, getting cookbooks from the library (they're always inspiring), reading cooking magazines, experimenting in the kitchen…wow,we spend a lot of time thinking about food! We will do our best to share the best of our favorite recipes this winter, and we encourage you to do the same. Have an old stand by recipe you make every week? Let us know! If you try something new and it’s amazing, tell us about! Help us, help you and your fellow share holders eat the 20,000 pounds of roots, squash, onions and garlic we have squirreled away for this years share.

Your farmers,

Max and Kerry

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