Provider Farm

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June 5, 2016

This Week's Share

Its probably the earliest we have ever had them, but the garlic scapes are ready. These are the funny green curly Qs you'll find in your share this week. They are actually the flower buds of our garlic and are a wonderful spring treat. They are here for just a limited time once a year so eat them up while you can! They have a mild garlic flavor and can be used just like you would garlic, sauteed into any dish, or as a vegetable themselves (grilled or put into a stir fry). One of my most favorite recipes is garlic scape pesto, the featured recipe of the week. Eat it over pasta, spread it on bread, put it into your scrambled eggs, basically, put it on everything!

The chard wins the award for the biggest come back player of the spring. It was hit hard by cut worms earlier on but has really rebounded and is sweet as can be. Chard is a relative of spinach and has a similar flavor. The leaves have a sweetness that really stands out when sauteed.

Recipe of the Week: 

Garlic Scape Pesto

Ingredients: 
  • 6-7 garlic scapes
  • 1/3 cup pumpkin seeds or pine nuts
  • 1/4 cup basil leaves, parsley, arugula or spinach (if desired)
  • 1/4 cup parmesean cheese
  • salt to taste
  • juice from half a lemon
  • olive oil, about 3/4 to 1 cup
Directions: 

Put all ingredients in a food processor and pulse to blend. With processor running, pour olive oil over the mixture. Blend until pesto is spreadable. Serve over pasta. Pesto can also be frozen.

Freedom

The crew seeding winter squash on the transplanter.
The crew seeding winter squash on the transplanter.

Dear Friends,

Week two and the farm season already feels like it is in full swing. Every year we always experience a bit a trepidation and anxiety leading up to the first share. Will we have enough food? How is it all going to work out this year? The first harvest does wonders to calm our nerves and get us back into the swing of things. The farm is looking pretty good these days.  Everywhere we look, things are on the verge of popping off in a major way. Beautiful lettuce and kale filling growing healthy and abundant.  Beets, broccoli, peas and summer squash all right on the edge of being ready. The fields are starting to fill in and our harvest totes are starting to fill up. It’s always a wonderful sight when we see the crops take shape and come to fruition.

We are in the midst of finishing one of our first major chapters of the season. Between the second week of April and second week of June, we plant the bulk of our season’s crops. It’s a long process that starts with the onions on April 14th and ends with the sweet potatoes around June 9th. This past week, we put an acre of winter squash in the ground and now we’re getting ready to plant watermelons, cantaloupes, sweet potatoes and another succession of cukes and summer squash. In years past, this pile of transplants to get in the ground would have been enough to give me heart palpitations and maybe cause some dry heaving. But thanks to our new handy-dandy water wheel planter, we are able to accomplish in 2 hours with 3 people what it used to take 7 people 5 hours to accomplish, and save our knees and backs to boot. While this certainly isn’t the end of our planting, we still have a few acres of fall crops to put in the ground, it does represent a definite milestone. For the most part, our time has either been spent preparing beds to plant into or actually doing the planting.

As we move deeper into June, the focus of the farm changes dramatically. Planting still happens but it begins to take a back seat to the two big forces that guide our lives in the summer. Weeding and harvesting. By the time late June rolls around, our days are about as predictable as predictable can be. One day, the mornings will be spent harvesting and the afternoons will be spent weeding. The next day, the morning will be spent harvesting and for the afternoons? You guessed it, weeding. This rhythm that we fall into is something I find extremely familiar and comforting. As the work begins to pile up and we have more and more tasks to do, I feel like our role as farm managers actually becomes a bit easier. The weeks are simpler to plan, the tasks will take all day and than some so it’s easier to compose a weekly task list. This is especially helpful since the days get longer, the work gets harder and we’re far more tired than we are in the spring.

Our mornings are spent in a misty, magical world, where we venture out in the early morning to pull in hundreds of pounds of spectacular produce. We encounter majestic wild life and enjoying being up and active just as the world is waking up around us. In the afternoon, under the harsh unforgiving sun, we wage a seemingly unwinnable war against our robust weed population. The afternoons are hot and bright and aside from the occasional vultures circling overhead we’re out there on our own. This might make it sound like I don’t like it kill weeds, but I can assure you that it is certainly not the case. As farmers it is our duty and privilege to protect and nurture our fragile crops and help ensure that they grow uninhibited by the lambs quarters and pig weed that would love nothing more than to steal their water, nutrients, light and dare I say it? freedom.

On behalf of our farm crew,

Hannah, Holly, Chris, Marycia, Tory and Larry

Your Farmers,

Max and Kerry

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