Provider Farm

From our fields, for your family

Shareholders

September 23, 2016

If you did not receive your share renewal forms this week, check in with Holly and Hannah. They will have copies at the register. They also have extra winter share forms.

This Week's Share

The march of the fall salad greens continues. Mizuna and tot soi are back in the shares this week. These mild greens are great in salads but also stand up to a lite saute or stir fry.

Our much anticipated carrots are back in action! Fall carrots are delicious and sweet and only get better as the days get colder. Grate them up into a slaw with our red cabbages  that are coming into the share this week. That with a roast squash and this weeks potato leek soup would make an awesome meal to welcome in the cooler fall temperatures this week.

The forcast cooler temperatures should really put a damper on the eggplants, peppers and summer squash but they will continue to trickle in until the frost comes. What will be in the share with regards to these summer crops is really going to depend on how they react to these cooler evenings,so you may or may not see some of them. We won't know till we get out there to harvest.

Recipe of the Week: 

Potato Leek Soup

Ingredients: 

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

Directions: 

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.

Credit: 
Kerry

Bye bye tomatoes, hello fall!!

Our late fall brassica field.
Our late fall brassica field.

Dear Friends,

An absolutely gorgeous week, bright sunny skies and even a long over due and most welcome rain shower on Monday! It’s been so dry this year I feel like we had finally accepted that it was just never going to actually rain again. I have grown so accustomed to our dry, dusty life of extreme drought that the sight of water falling from the sky was honestly pretty shocking. What is this strange wet substance falling from the sky??It actually took me a minute or two to remember to put on a rain coat and rain pants before venturing out to harvest. The crops all seemed thrilled to have a nice long over due drink and it was mighty refreshing to farmers and crops alike. The fall carrots, which have been right on the verge of being ready to harvest, have sweetened up considerably and are finally reaching their full potential.  We got a solid amount of rain on Monday but things have been so dry overall it really didn’t linger too long in the soil. We are all but done irrigating for the year but the entire farm could still really benefit from a few solid rainy days.

As we venture deeper into September, the profile of the share starts to change drastically. Brassica’s begin to dominate the share room. Whether in the form of broccoli and cauliflower or arugula and mizuna or turnips and radishes, brassicas are one of the fall’s major players. It’s a lovely sight as the leaves begin to change on the trees to look out at our filed and see the deep greenish blue of a healthy, robust field of brassicas. One of our favorite things about the brassicas is their ability to stand up to the cold. Whereas the cucurbits and nightshades wilt at the first sight of a frost, the brassica’s not only endure it but they excel. As the temperature dips the brassicas protect themselves from the frost by producing more sugar, to keep their cells from freezing. This is the same basic idea as the antifreeze in your car. So not only do they withstand the cold but the brassicas actually get sweeter as it gets colder.

We were in full fledged fall clean up mode this week. After a fantastic season of tomatoes, it was finally time to say goodbye for good. The crop has been slowly petering out over the past few weeks. Every time we would go out, we would get a couple less buckets. Some years the tomatoes go down over night, other years it’s a more gradual process. This year was a slow, steady decent into a tomato free fall harvest season. They are one of our absolute favorite crops so we will try and keep it going as long as possible. This week however was the end of their story.

When most crops are done, it’s as simple as taking the mower out and saying good bye. The tomatoes, however, are a bit more involved. We build the trellis for the tomatoes to keep the vines off the ground. This makes it much easier to harvest and also vastly reduces the disease pressure on the precious plants. Out in California since it never rains, they just let the tomatoes grow on the ground like cucumbers. The first time I ever saw a picture of a tomato field in California I thought it was the strangest thing in the world. Because we build the trellis in the spring, it logically follows that we have to take it down in the fall. Twine has to be cut and posts pulled before the mower than come in and wipe the slate clean. That was the big task of the week, another job absolutely crushed by our indelible farm crew.

One other exciting piece of news on the farm this week, is that Shep has officially graduated from his follow up clinic at the NICU. Once a month since Shep was discharged at the end of June, we have taken him back to the NICU in Farmington for evaluation with a neonatologist and their transitional team. This is in addition to your typical pediatrician visits. Because of Shep’s compromised lungs and low birth weight they wanted to keep a close eye on him and make sure he was doing well with his growth and development. He isn’t out of the woods when it comes to appointments and check ups with specialists, that will continue until he is at least 3 years old, but this is one less visit for him and one thing to cross off our list. We are so proud of him!

On behalf of your farm crew,

Hannah, Holly, Chris, Erica and Larry

Your Farmers,

Max and Kerry

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