Provider Farm

From our fields, for your family


October 29, 2016

This is the last share of the summer CSA season and what a year it was. Thank you to all for joining us for the ride. We wish you all a wonderfully restful winter.

If you can't bear the thought of going to the grocery store just yet, there's always the...

Provider Farm 5th annual Thanksgiving Store!

Saturday, November 19, 10AM-1PM

We'll have loads of vegetables for your Thanksgiving table. Bring your family and friends, the store is open to the public.

We will continue to have our beef sale while supplies last. $1/lb off all cuts.

This Week's Share

Oh the glory of fall eating! What a wonderful time for savory meals and warm stews, especially now that we have had some mroe seasonally appropriate weather. We need the cold to sweeten up the parsnips. We've been holding off on digging them but now we will finally start bringing them in this week. A lesser known root vegetable, they have a buttery carrot like flavor thats great roasted or in soups and stews.

We'll also have rutabagas this week, a fine New England crop  that just has fall written all over it. They are sweet and mild, roast em, mash em' and soup 'em.

So what the heck happened to the sweet potatoes last week? Well, this crop has really battled the odds this year and I was looking forward to its triumphant entrance into the share. When I went to the greenhouse to bring them up to pack shares however, we noticed their was some rot. No problem, its probably just a bag or two. Well it turned out they had degraded  throughout the bags so bad we didn't feel the quality was good enough to put them in the shares. On the upside, while I was looking through them at the end of the week, the very bottom of the pile which seams to be a different variety actually looks pretty good. So hopefully if they are better and we'll have to do some sorting to see, we might have some in the share this week.

The alien like kohlrabi are back in the share this week. This is our storage type variety and are crispy and sweet as can be like a brocoapple. Peel them and eat them raw or cooked up.

Recipe of the Week: 

Mashed Potatoes, Rutabega and Parsnips

  • 1 medium sized rutabega, peeled
  • 2 large parsnips, peeled
  • 4 medium sized red potatoes or your favorite mashing potato, no need to peel
  • 4 tbs of unsalted butter 
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp salt
  • fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup of milk

Cut the rutabega and the parsnips into 1 inch size pieces. The potatoes cook faster so they should be larger, up to 2 inches. Place all root veggies in a large pot. Cover with cold water that has had a teaspoon of salt added and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down to a simmer, cover and cook for 10 minutes or until done. Test for doneness by piercing with a fork or knife to see if it slides in easily. Meanwhile while the veggies are cooking, place butter in a sauce pan and heat over low until melted. Place garlic in and saute, still over low heat for a minute or two. Turn off the heat and set aside. When done, drain the water from the vegetables. Mash with a potato masher until the veggies are broken up into smaller pieces. Add garlic infused butter, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, pepper, and milk starting with 1/4 cup. Mash a bit more until mixed and taste for seasoning and adjust to your taste.

Serves 6-8

One for the books

What a year!
What a year!

Dear Friends,

At last we have arrived at the final share of the 2016 season. It is hard to believe we are here already. It feels like just yesterday we were out sneaking peaks under the row cover of earliest greens, wondering if we were ever going to have food. Every farm season presents a unique challenge, they are all different yet they are all the same. The details differ but the story is always the same. An anxious spring, full of hope and nerves. Waiting for the fields to dry, waiting for the weather to warm up, waiting for things to grow. A tiring summer, full of food, food and more food. Long hot days spent out in the blazing sun and loads of irrigating. Finally the falls comes and with it, the light at the end of the tunnel. We do what we have to do before the inevitable freeze of winter. The snow starts to fall and the world freezes. We spend our winter thinking about spring.

Last fall when we found out we were going to have a baby, we knew this season was going to be unique. As the winter went along and things progressed normally we prepared the best that we could. We hired extra people, we bought some time saving equipment and thought we had a good handle on things. In early February, in the middle of a snow storm, our world turned upside down and we spent the next 4 and half months in a state of complete uncertainty. Between the 3 weeks Kerry in patient at UCONN Health before Shep was born and the 119 days he spent in the NICU, I can safely say we are all set with hospitals for a little while.

Having Shep in the NICU until the end of June pulled Kerry and I away from the farm in a way that we were not prepared for. We owe the entirety of our success this season to the tremendous work of our farm crew. Without their willingness to step up and pick up the slack we wouldn’t have had such a wonderful CSA season. Whether it was putting in extra effort or extra time, our crew did an amazing job of keeping things under control for us. We are absolutely grateful for all the hard work they have all put in all year long. The farm season can be a grueling endeavor for farm workers. Long days, hard work and unrelenting weather week after week. Our crew kept the pace up throughout the season, more often than not with a smile on their faces. Having their positive attitude and energy on the farm every day was such a boost for Kerry and I.

One of my favorite things about being a farmer is having a job that I can take pride in. When I was searching for a career, I really wanted something that was tangible. I wanted to make something or something that was real. Producing food absolutely fulfills that for me. Growing for a CSA is of particular importance for Kerry and I. Our goal was never just to make a living farming but to grow food for our community. Real food for real people was always what we hoped to accomplish. It is amazing to see how much produce we go through in a single CSA distribution and absolutely incredible to see how much produce we go through in a season of CSA distributions. We went through over 7,000 heads of lettuce this season Now that’s a lot of lettuce!

We would not be able to do what we do without all of you. Our CSA shareholders are what makes our farm work. The CSA is the engine that drives our farm and without shareholders we wouldn’t be able to get anywhere. We have been absolutely humbled by the tremendous support we have received from all of you this season and every other season we have been here. From packages of baby clothes, dinners bought to us, and kind of words of encouragement, we really value the relationship we are able to cultivate with our shareholders. Without all of you, none of this would be possible.

I am so proud of what we were able to accomplish this season on Provider Farm. This might not have been our best year in terms of tons produced per acre or pounds produced for row foot, but I am happier with this season than any other in years past for how the farm team rallied with competence, spirit and good humor.

On behalf or our awesome farm crew,

Chris, Erica, Hannah, Holly, and Larry

Your Farmers,
Max and Kerry

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