Provider Farm

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January 2, 2017

Happy new year! We wish you much joy and love in the new year. Longer days are on the way.

Did you make any new years resolutions? Good news, having a CSA share puts us ahead in the resolution department! Carrot sticks galore and home cooking makes for a healthy new year.Now is the time to fill each meal with vegetables with abandon!

This Week's Share

The field lettuce is frozen and done, but the spinach is sweet and delicious. Winter grown spinach is incredibly sweet and makes a fantastic salad. Caramelize some onions and pour them warm over the spinach with some blue cheese and walnuts and toss with a balsamic vinaigrette. Don't forget to wash the greens well, we don't wash them in the winter to save our fingers from the cold and so they store better. Serve it up with a hearty soup for some delicious mid-winter goodness.

Recipe of the Week: 

Mulligatawny Soup

Ingredients: 
  • 2 tbs. olive oil
  • 1/2 c. chopped onions
  • 1/4 red bell peppers, if you have them frozen from the summer share, from the store, or just leave them out
  • 1 1/2 c. chopped peeled apple
  • 1/2 c. chopped carrots
  • 1/2 c. chopped celery, chopped roots, cabbage, or any combination of them
  • 2 tbs. all purpose flour
  • 1 tbs. curry powder
  • 2 c. broth
  • 2 c water
  • 3/4 c. coconut milk
  • 1 Gourmavian chicken breast or thigh if desired
  • 1/4 c. rice, brown works great
  • 1 tbs. lemon juice
  • salt to taste
  • chopped cilantro or parsley to garnish
Directions: 

Heat oil in a soup pot and add onions, peppers and cook until softened. Add apples and vegetables and cook stirring for several minutes until they start to soften. Stir in flour and curry powder until mixed. Add broth, water, chicken and rice. Cook and simmer until rice is softened. If using, remove chicken, let cool, debone and shred back into soup. Add lemon juice and coconut milk. Be careful not to boil once coconut milk is added, or it will curdle. Salt the soup to taste and garnish with cilantro or parsley.

Credit: 
1,000 Vegetarian Recipes by Carol Gelles

Do you believe in magic?

A sea of green in the dark days of winter.
A sea of green in the dark days of winter.

Dear Friends,

We hope the holidays were as lovely and relaxing for all of you as they were for us on the farm. Shep got to enjoy his first Christmas, had lots of visits from Grandparents, and rung in the new year in style, by going to sleep at 7pm. It’s a real treat to get some quiet time on the farm. Aside from keeping the cows and chickens fed and happy, there wasn’t a whole lot of farm work going on and now we’re feeling rested, relaxed and ready to start looking forward to 2017. This is the time of year when we really start to ramp up our planning for the coming season. This is a multi-tiered process that can take weeks upon weeks to complete. It involves a fair amount of tedious computer work, and also a fair amount of dreaming and imagining. It culminates in the arrival of thousands of seeds on our front door step and then there is nothing to do but wait for spring.

We have been lucky to have had a pretty mild winter thus far. This allowed us to harvest greens and lettuce from the field for the first two winter shares and not have to dip into our high tunnel and greenhouse crops. Now that some frigid temps have moved through and the deer have gotten a bit hungrier, it looks like we will be pulling spinach and kale from the tunnels from here on out. As long as I’ve been farming, I’ve always understood that spinach and kale really thrive in the cooler seasons. It wasn’t until we moved down here and started growing in the winter that I really learned how true that is. With just the simplest, unheated shelter, kale and spinach are able to withstand the harshest conditions a New England winter can throw at them.

Early on we experimented with growing a lot of different things in the tunnels in the winter. In addition to kale and spinach, we tried lettuce, beets, arugula, radishes, scallions, claytonia, mache and chard. The claytonia and mache grew great, but unfortunately they are, in our opinion, pretty much disgusting. Claytonia tastes like grass, mache tastes like soap. We were able to grow a lot of it, but it didn’t do us much good. As for the other crops…. They all started off strong, beautiful lettuce, brilliant chard, but as soon as the temps dipped low so did their quality. The lettuce couldn’t stand the freeze and thaw, it would just melt and turn brown, same with the chard. The other crops met similar fates.

Amidst all those unsuccessful crops, stood kale and spinach. Two green beacons, shinning brightly in the bleakness of winter. Not only do they handle the freeze and thaw, but they are improved because of it. Their taste gets better and they get more tender. Not only are they easier to cook but they are even more delicious than in the actual growing season. It is not every day that best tasting, most desirable crops are the easiest to grow, and in the winter, no less! In fact it’s often the opposite. But for this, the harshest season, the most popular winter greens are far and away the easiest for us to produce. It is one of the little things about the winter share that I really love the most. After weeks of freezing cold nights, seeing a beautiful carpet of bright green spinach in the green house just feels like magic.

Happy New Year!

on behalf of our farm crew,

Hannah and Holly
 
Your Farmers

Max, Kerry and Shep

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