Provider Farm

From our fields, for your family


October 22, 2016

Can you believe it? Its the second to last week of share distributions. The last on farm pick ups will be Tuesday, November 1 and Friday , November 4 and the last Terra Firma Farm pick up will be Wednesday, November 2.

Our beef sale continues but expands to all cuts including sausage and ground beef! $1 off per lb all cuts!

Provider Farm's 5th annual Thanksgiving Store!

Load up on lots of fall goodies for your Thanksgiving table. Wow your friends and family with beautiful watermelon radishes and tasty Brussel sprouts. We'll have all the fixings for your Thanksgiving table including roots, broccoli, onions, leeks, greens and squash.

Saturday, November 19 9AM-1PM.

Tell your friends, the Thanksgiving store is open to the public.

This Week's Share

The Brussels sprout crop has sized up and is ready to go. These are one of our favorites and unusual too.The sprouts grow along the stem of the plant right where the leaves attach. We distribute them on the stalks, so just pluck them off when you bring them home. Maligned by some probably because they've been served over boiled mushy sprouts, we love them sauteed or roasted until browned in the oven.

Holy moly, I cooked up a Butternut this weekend to make into a pie and it was so tasty, I ate half of it before I could even get to making the pie. Roast these up plain or put them in a stew, or make a pie. Delish!

The sweet potatoes are done curing in the greenhouse. Curing is required to sweeten the tuber. They come out of the ground starchy and not sweet at all and they have to sit for a couple weeks in a warm humid environment to sweeten up. The crop has been challenged the whole season and it continues to be so, they are not storing great. But they still taste good. Bring them home and roast 'em up while we have them. Sweet potatoes do not like to be cold, store them on your counter.

*UPDATE 10/25* Unfortunately when we went to put the sweet potatoes out for the share, we realized they have degraded much more then we thought. The quality is too poor to put them in the share unfortunately and its a total crop loss. There's always next year...

Recipe of the Week: 

Crock pot Chickpea, butternut and red lentil stew

  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 tbsp olive or canola oil
  • 1 large carrot, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
  • 2-3 tsp garam masala
  • 1 butternut squash (about 3 lbs–average sized), peeled and chopped
  • 1 28-oz can diced tomatoes in tomato juice
  • 1 quart vegetable broth
  • 1 cup red lentils
  • 2 15-oz cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1-2 tsp sea salt (to taste)
  • fresh minced cilantro for serving

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the onion, carrot and jalapeno and saute for about six minutes. Add the minced garlic and saute for 30 more seconds, and then add the garam masala, stirring well to coat. Take off heat.
Place the chickpeas, butternut squash, canned diced tomatoes, red lentils, vegetable broth and onion mixture in your slow cooker. Turn the heat on LOW and cook for 8-10 hours…the longer you cook, the thicker your stew will be.
Season with sea salt to taste and serve with minced cilantro on top. This stew freezes extremely well and will keep in the fridge for up to five days.


You can't stop a moving train

Bringing home 5,000 lbs of cabbage
Bringing home 5,000 lbs of cabbage

Dear Friends,

Looks like fall but it sure felt like summer out there this week. I thought we had seen the last of the heat and humidity but I suppose I was mistaken. In all our years of doing this I can’t remember ever having a week even half as hot and sticky heading into the penultimate share as this past one. While in some ways it’s nice to have one last blast of t-shirt and short weather, in other ways we kind of want things to hurry up and cool down already. There are several crops that really rely on the cold to bring out their best flavor. For example, we really want the parsnips to go through a few solid frosts before we pick them. The cold brings out a sweetness in the parsnips that we drastically prefer to their unfrosted flavor. Other crops like kale, Brussels sprouts, kohlrabi and watermelon radishes are also made sweeter by the cold. It looks like by the beginning of next week things are going to start to get chilly again and we will be able to resume our fall schedule.

Whether it feels like it or not, we have to remind ourselves that winter is in fact coming and we have to keep the harvest train moving. With that in mind, this week we set our sights on the storage cabbages. Cabbage is a pretty amazing crop. A tightly wound ball of leaves that has the ability to store all winter and still be eaten raw is a true gift. The reality of trying to eat local produce all winter in New England can get a little bit drab and feel somewhat austere. A little bit of crisp cabbage coleslaw can really brighten up those dark winter nights. While cabbage might not seem like the most glamorous crop I can assure you that it is by far one of the most amazing, at least in my book. It’s great for so many things.

Harvesting the cabbage and putting it away for the winter is a unique process. In the beginning it mimics the winter squash. We cut the heads and place them into windrows, than come through and pick them up into bulk bins. Like many of the other heavier vegetables the cabbages get to fly through the air. Just like watermelons, we’ve found the quickest and easiest way to get them from the field into the bins is to place a little game of cabbage throw and catch. With 2 throwers and 2 catchers we were able to pick up thousands of pounds of cabbage in a little over an hour.  This year we filled 7 bulk bins! That’s a lot of cabbages! After the cabbage is all binned up it time to take them home to the farm.

Cabbage likes to be cold and humid like the root crops, so we store them in the cooler. As it sits in storage over the winter the outer leaves tend to degrade. In order to make the cabbages presentable we don’t wash the heads like we do carrots, instead we peel them. As we peel away the bad leaves we are greeted by beautiful heads of slightly smaller cabbage underneath. An interesting technique we picked up from Kerry’s old boss at Brookfield Farm is to wrap the heads of cabbage in newspaper prior to putting them in the cooler. This greatly reduces the amount of peeling each head needs and keeps the quality higher all winter. It felt a little silly the first time we did it, but the results were amazing. It takes a little bit more time to get them into the cooler, but it saves so much time later on that we feel like it’s absolutely worth it. Plus,  every time we open them up, its a bit like Christmas.

Your Farmers,

Max and Kerry

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