Provider Farm

From our fields, for your family


October 9, 2016

Just a reminder to get your renewal forms in. We also still have winter shares available.

Grassfed Beef Sale

The season is coming to an end and its time to clear out the freezers. Summer is over but fire up your grill and get some steaks going and enjoy an autumn evening. This week we'll have them on sale for $1/lb off. Its cool enough now to fire up the oven and get the house nice and cozy. Roasts and slow cooking cuts (short ribs, shanks) will also be available for $1/lb off.

This Week's Share

Lots of new fall crops this week. This week we have Carnival winter squash. These are similar to acorn, roast 'em up or stuff them.

Escarole is a great fall cooking green. It is traditionally used in Italian cooking and is often paired with white beans and lots of garlic. The ribs also make a fantastic hearty salad with blue cheese, pecans and sliced pear.

The fall roots are starting to size up and this week we'll have gold ball turnips. Cook these up in a root roast, or mash them or put them in a stew.

The broccoli game is back on. Tons of gorgeous heads coming out of the field now. If the deer stay out, we should have a good supply to the end of the season. Hopefully, the cauliflower will take a hint from the broccoli and start to ripen. The next plantings are looking good, but are just dragging their feet in the ripening department.

Green cabbages are also coming in. This crop is looking fantastic this year. So many things to do with them and if you keep them well wrapped, they can store well in your fridge for a long time.

Last but not least, spinach made its fall debut this past week and will continue into this week. The spinach is looking fabulous. It has always been a difficult crop for us to grow. Its finicky and wants just the right temperature, moisture and nutrients. Well, we don't necessarily know how but we managed to get the right combination of variables this year, and have some gorgeous leaves out there.

A note about the spinach: Spinach tends to get pretty dirty in the field due to its low growth habit and all this rain we've been having. We give it a quick rinse but you're going to want to give it a good wash. When you get home, fill a big bowl with water and add your greens. The leaves should be able to move freely and not be packed in. Swish them around so any soil can fall to the bottom. Repeat a couple of times and spin it well. The dryer you get it, the longer it will store, up to several weeks in the fridge in an airtight container. Add a paper or cloth napkin to your storage container with the spinach.

Recipe of the Week: 

Baked egg rolls

  • 1/3 lb. shrimp, tofu or ground meat
  • 1 tbs. soy sauce
  • 1 tbs. dry sherry
  • 1 tsp. minced fresh ginger
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 tsp. cornstarch
  • canola or peanut oil
  • 1 small head cabbage, trimmed, cored and finely shredded.
  • 1 carrot, shredded
  • 1 c. bean sprouts
  • 4 scallions, chopped
  • 1 tsp. dark sesame oil
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • fresh ground black peppter
  • 1 lb. package egg roll skins
  • 1 egg white

Dipping Sauce

  • 6 tbs. soy sauce
  • 1/4 c. rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp. toasted sesame oil
  • 2 tsp. sugar

Combine the shrimp, tofu or meat , soy sauce, sherry, ginger, garlic, and cornstarch and let marinate for at least 10 minutes.
Heat a large wok. Add 2 tbs. oil and heat almost until smoking. Add protein and marinade mixture and stir fry until cooked through. Add carrot and cabbage and stir fry until limp, about 3 minutes. Stir in beans sprouts, scallions, salt , sesame oil and pepper to taste.
Preheat oven to 400. Preheat a baking sheet in the oven. Place an egg roll skin on a work surface with one corner pointing toward you. Add about 1/4 c. filling in the middle of the skin. Bring the corner closest to you up over the filling and tuck into a log shape then bring in the two side corners to the center. Finish by rolling up the egg roll and sealing the last corner with egg white. Continue until all the filling is used.
Remove the hot baking sheet from the oven and lightly brush with oil. Place the egg rolls on the baking sheet and brush them with oil. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until crispy and light brown.
Mix sauce ingredients together in small bowl.

Serving Up the harvest by Andrea Chesman

The heavy season

Tons of beautiful broccoli coming out of the fields.
Tons of beautiful broccoli coming out of the fields.

Dear Friends,

What a whirl wind of a week. Beautiful days, picturesque mornings, and sunny skies. On one hand things seem to be slowing down, but on the other our days feel as full as ever. This week our harvest barrels were bursting at their seams, full of beautiful broccoli and some sensational spinach. The peppers and eggplants are still sticking around, hanging on to the last fleeting taste of summer but otherwise we're in full fledged fall mode. We're starting to see our fall roots really take shape. Fall radishes and turnips are a wonderful addition to the weekly harvest. The cabbages are also coming in nicely. Sweet, tender and crisp from the cooler temperatures. One of favorite crops, the Brussels Sprouts, are right on the cusp of being ready and should hopefully be here after next week. All and all the transition into the cooler weather crops has been pretty good so far.

This week we decided to break the seal and get into our fall root bulk harvests. We started off by picking 2 beds of carrots, to check the yield and than transitioned into getting our beets in. By the end of the week we had harvested over 2,000 pounds of carrots and over 4,500 pounds of beets.  There's a reason we call this time of year 'heavy season'. For some crops like winter squash, cabbage and onions we're able to harvest into bins and let the tractors do the majority of the lifting. The roots aren't one of those crops. We harvest the roots into 5 gallon buckets, then we load them into grain sacks. Two buckets fill one grain sack and the sack can weight anywhere from 40-50 pounds depending on the crop. The sacks are brought home and stacked on pallets in our walk in cooler. Stacking root bags 8-10 feet in the air is easily one of my favorite things to do on the farm. It's a pain when the stacks fall over, but when they don't it's awesome.

While some of this will get distributed in the final month of the CSA the majority of what we're starting to pick now will be put into the cooler for over winter storage. Under good storage conditions carrots and beets can last all the way through the winter into the following June. Most of what we put into storage will be gone by March, but it's amazing to think that the produce will last for as long as it will. The trick to storing roots is keeping them cool, and keeping the humidity as high as possible. When we pick a carrot there is still life and vitality in the orange root. That's what gives it it's sweet crunch and snap. When a carrot is picked it is still respirating, and not only that but there are a predetermined amount of breathes the carrot can take before it get's floppy and listless. The trick to storing roots isn't getting them to take more breathes(that's impossible) but slowing down the rate at which they are respirating.

This is accomplished with cool temperatures and high humidity. The grain sacks not only make it easier to load and stack the roots but also have the benefit of keeping the humidity extremely high for the crop. While the relative humidity in the cooler may be around 90% in the bags themselves it's easily around 99-100% relative humidity. The other little trick we've found to great storage is to leave the roots dirty while we store them. We only wash them right before distribution. While they don't get quite as clean in February as they would if we washed them in October, the added benefit in quality and taste vastly out weight the cosmetic draw back for us.

So we're about 6,000 pounds in but we still have thousands of more pounds of carrots, beets, parsnips, radishes, cabbage, turnips, rutabagas and even everyone's favorite, kohlrabi out there.

Your farmers,

Max and Kerry

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