Provider Farm

From our fields, for your family


July 7, 2017

The flower share from Four Root Farm will be starting this Tuesday for those of you who have signed up. They will be emailing you with info about the share. We are just the host site for them, so if you have any questions about the share, please contact them directly through this link.

Please note the listed crops below are hyperlinks. If you click on them, they will lead you to information on how to store them and recipes too. These are our best guesses as what will be available this week in the share, sometimes we'll throw in extra or have to switch something out. Salem pick ups are a choice of the items, Terra Firma pick ups are farmers choice boxes.

This Week's Share

This year we decided to transplant our basil to get a jump on a season and try to beat a basil disease  that has been around New England for the past few years and it worked great! We have lovely big plants of basil ready to go so this week, basil enters the share. Put it in  everything! I love it on morning egg sandwiches or in a coconut curry and our bunches will be big enough to make a batch of pesto.

The broccoli is finally petering out and the peas were mowed last week, so the spring crops are officially over. No worries, Max caught a glimpse of red in the high tunnel tomatoes, so it won't be long now!

Recipe of the Week: 

Basil Pesto

  • 1 lb fresh basil
  • 1/2 lb. grated parmesean cheese
  • olive oil
  • clove of garlic
  • pine nuts (or walnuts, but we prefer the pine nut flavor)

Put the basil, nuts and cheese in a food processor. Blend and drizzle in olive oil by taste. Don't skimp on the oil! It adds flavor and moisture and ties the flavors together. Put pesto on pasta, or just about anything really! Pesto can be frozen (divide into serving amounts) and eaten all winter!

Farmer Kerry

The July wave

Anthony bunching dill and crushing it in the rain.
Anthony bunching dill and crushing it in the rain.

Dear Friends,

A real whirl wind of a week. Sometimes it feels like farming in July is something that happens to us, more than it is something that we do. No matter how many seasons we farm, or how mentally prepared I believe us to be, when the wave of July truly crashes into us, we are always left stunned and shaken. In general farming can be broken down into three categories, planting, harvesting and weeding. In the spring when we have huge amounts of planting to do, there is not much weeding and no harvesting. In the fall when the harvests are huge and heavy the weeding and planting is all but over. But in July, it all happens at once.

The summer squash and cukes have kicked into gear, yielding thousands of pounds of yellow and green jewels that need to be harvest three times a week. The weeds are growing like weeds all over the farm. What were little, barely visible pig weeds and galinsoga on Monday, have grown 2 feet or more by Friday. And than there is the planting. Thousands of broccoli, Brussels sprouts, kale and cabbage need to be transplanted. Miles of carrots and beets need to be seeded. The final squash and cucumbers need to go in. Not to mention, our usual bi-weekly plantings of lettuce and salad greens. All in all, it’s enough to overwhelm even the most stalwart amongst us.

Fortunately for us and our farm crew, this isn’t our first rodeo. While we may not be mentally prepared for the crush of July, we at least are physically ready for it. We have been able to invest in good tools over the years, our trusty transplanter, a bed lifter that makes harvesting carrots easy, a high clearance cultivating tractor. More than just the tractors and tools, we have planned for all of this. Harvest roads placed between squash and cucumber rows make loading trucks simple and easy. You never have to carry a full bucket more than 15 feet. While there are always ways we can improve and new techniques we want to try, we are absolutely better prepared than we were when we started.

So we have some cool tractors and tools, a good plan and some know how, but really any farm is only going to be as good as the people you have working for you. In that regard we couldn’t ask for better. Our farm crew never ceases to amaze and impress us. Their work ethic, attention to detail, perseverance and pride in their work are all beyond compare. Whether it is agreeing to stay late to finish a planting or coming in early to get a jump start on the harvest, they give the farm everything we could ask and more. Sunny days, rainy days, cold and hot, it doesn’t matter. Every day at 7am they are all here, ready to go and we absolutely could not do it without them.

Your farmers,

Anthony, Chris, Hannah, Holly, Erica, Kelsea, Kerry, Larry, and Max


Focus on a Farmer

I will be focusing on one crew member every week as we wind our way through the summer. First up (by alphabetical order) is Anthony. Anthony comes to us having just graduated from UCONN with a BA in natural resources management. While at UCONN, he lived and worked at the UCONN student farm for two years. He also interned at Sweet Acre Farm his last semester for credit.

He is also a passionate rock climber and founded the UCONN competitive climbing team in 2014 and served as coach. He does rope climbing but is most passionate about bouldering and climbs V9's, which if you are unfamiliar with the climbing rating system, is really, really hard. He is super strong and we are really looking forward to him lifting all the heavy root bags in the fall!

This is Anthony's first year working at Provider Farm and is just getting to learn our systems. He works the harvest crew primarily and does his share of weeding (cleaning up the 1/2 acre pepper planting along with Kelsea in one afternoon this week!) He likes farming because he finds it to be meaningful work that can make a difference in the world. His favorite vegetable to eat is Brussels sprouts and his favorite vegetable to grow is eggplants. Anthony brings great positive energy to the farm and is a hard worker who learns quickly. We are so happy to have him here!

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