Provider Farm

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June 12, 2016

This Week's Share

This weeks share is brought to you by the letter "B" as in Broccoli and Beets. Both of these crops are looking beautiful. Spring broccoli is a real flash in the pan crop so load up on it while you can. We will have a ton of it all at once and then it will be gone until the fall.

Beets, on the other hand, we should have for the rest of the season. We harvest spring beets with their greens on. Don't throw them away! They are completely edible and one of the most nutritious foods out there. Cook them up as you would any cooking greens.

Also new to the share this week is the alien looking kohlrabi. A most unusual looking vegetable, peel and chop up the crunchy, sweet bulb like stem into salads and cook up the greens. Two veggies in one!

Recipe of the Week: 

Broccoli Slaw

Ingredients: 
  • 2 heads broccoli
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced almonds, toasted
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 small red onion, finely chopped
  • Buttermilk Dressing:
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk, well-shaken
  • 1/3 cup maynnaise
  • 2 tbs cider vinegar
  • 1 tbs sugar
  • 3 tbs finely chopped shallot
Directions: 

Trim broccoli and cut it into large chunks. From here, you can either feed it through your food processor’s slicing blade, use a mandoline to cut it into thin slices, or simply hand chop it into smaller pieces. Use the stem and the florets
Toss the sliced broccoli with the almonds, cranberries and red onion in a large bowl. Meanwhile, whisk the dressing ingredients in a smaller one, with a good pinch of salt and black pepper. Pour the dressing over the broccoli and toss it well. Season well with salt and pepper to taste.

Servings: 
4-6
Credit: 
From smittenkitchen.com

Right where we want to be

The potato field is looking good.
The potato field is looking good.

Dear Friends,

Some passing thunderstorms and what almost feels like a cold front rolled through the farm last week. Wednesday afternoon went from bright and sunny to storm clouds in a matter of minutes. I was out in our far fields doing a bit of tractor work when it started to rain. I quickly decided to abandon what I was doing and take cover in the barn. I am so glad I got under cover when I did, as we proceeded to get over half an inch of rain in a very short amount of time. Back on the home farm, hail pelted our roof, our cows, some teeny tiny carrots and a few hundred heads of lettuce. While the lettuce looks a little trashed, I think everyone will survive. We are lucky that the hail was concentrated where it was and avoided the bulk of our fields. By Thursday morning when we awoke, it was chilly and breezy. It almost felt like fall. The chill and the wind persisted all day and by the end of the day I felt pretty thread bare and worn out. Fortunately, things returned a bit more to normal on Friday and we could resume our ice coffee consumption and take our  winter hats and sweatshirts back off.

This is such an exciting time of year on the farm. I feel like I say that about every time of year., But this really is an exciting time! The fields are really filling up and they are really filling out. Everywhere we look there is an explosion of color and shapes. So much broccoli coming in. Beets finally sizing up, their tops glowing green and red. Squash and cukes getting ready to flower and fruit. My weekly crop walks are probably at their longest right now. There is so much to look at, so much to assess and so many pests to scout for. This is a very critical time for many of our crops. You want to make sure that things like melons and winter squash get off to a good start, that potatoes aren't getting devoured, that your peppers and eggplants aren't drying up out in our driest field. Not to count of our chickens before they hatch, but I would say that as of right now, the farm is doing pretty alright. We're right where we hope to be at this time of year and that's a good feeling.

While this cooler than normal weather has left us scratching our heads a bit, it has also cut us some major slack this week. If you recall, last week I wrote about how much planting we had on the schedule for this past week. The cool weather provided excellent conditions for us as we busied ourselves planting thousands and thousands of sweet potatoes, melons, squash and lettuce. The sweet potatoes can be particularly heat sensitive at time of planting. Sweet potatoes are unique. To plant sweet potatoes, you don’t plant a piece of tuber like you do a regular potato but you also don’t plant a full living transplant like a tomato. Instead, we plant slips. So what exactly is a sweet potato slip? Well it’s a living piece of sweet potato vine that may have foliage on it but it doesn’t have to. You plant these little bits of stem, 12 inches apart, 2 rows per bed. After a little bit of time, the slip will start to send out roots, and a little later, it will start to grow leaves. Before you know it, you have an entire field of vigorous sweet potato vines.

I  can remember in the past, planting sweet potato slips on sunny, hot days. Days when the slips would start wilting the second we set them out. The slips hardly look alive to begin with, so seeing them wilting under the unforgiving sun can be terrifying. We often have to scramble to set up water as fast as we can to try and keep the sweet potatoes alive until the sun sets and they can establish themselves. This year, between the added water at planting from the Water Wheel transplanter and the extremely mild weather, the sweet potatoes went in simple and smooth. We still set up irrigation in a timely matter, but it lacked the desperate urgency of years past.

On behalf of our farm crew,

Hannah, Holly, Chris, Marycia, Tory and Larry

Your Farmers,

Max and Kerry

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