Provider Farm

From our fields, for your family


October 8, 2017

Share renewals and winter share sign ups

Fall means winter share sign up and summer share renewals! We distributed renewal forms and winter share forms this past week. If you pick up in Salem, ask Hannah or Holly for forms if you did not receive yours. Terra Firma forms were packed into your share boxes. If you need an extra, email me and I will send you another copy.

We ask for your deposits for summer share renewals by Oct. 13, after that we will open share sales to the public. Winter shares will be available on a first come first served basis. Current shareholders have priority to purchase them however and after Oct. 13, we will start selling them to the general public as well.

Now accepting credit cards in share room!

Last week at share renewals, we piloted accepting credit cards. We worked out the kinks and will now accept credit card payments in the share room. My EBT application is still in process with the USDA but I hope that we have an EBT reader within a month or so.

This Week's Share

We have been eagerly sampling the sweet potatoes every week checking for their sweetness, and we are happy to report they are ready! We have been paying special attention to the curing conditions of the crop this year and hoping it will pay off in storage quality. Right now, they are looking great. We have both orange varieties and a delicious white variety "bonita". We have a great crops this year with lots of medium size roots, perfect for roasting whole in the oven (450 until tender, my favorite) or chopping up in your recipes. Sweet potatoes are a tropical crop in the morning glory family so they do not like to be stored cold. They would be happiest if you kept them in a cupboard loosely wrapped.

Another wonderful crop to enter the share this week is escarole. This lesser known green is very popular in Italian cooking, often braised and paired with white beans and lots of garlic or Italian sausage (which we have lots of in the freezers right now). It also makes an excellent fall salad. Just rip up the ribs and add some pears, blue cheese and toasted walnuts and top with a balsamic vinaigrette. It is one of my all time favorite salads. Serve with some roasted sweet potatoes, and oh my gosh, fallapalooza! We have lots of big beatufiul heads out there so don't be shy, give it a try!

Recipe of the Week: 

Escarole and sweet potato soup

  • 1 Parmigiano Reggiano rind
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2  sweet potatoes, chopped
  • sea salt to taste
  • pepper to taste
  • 8 cups chicken broth, low-sodium or vegetable broth if preferrred
  • 4 cups escarole, chopped
  • 1 can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 pound Italian sausage (optional)

Drizzle olive oil in pot. Add sweet potatoes and cook until the start to brown and soften. Add garlic and cook until fragrant. Add broth and Parmesan rind.
Bring to a boil and cook on low until potatoes start to soften. Add beans. If using sausage, add cooked sausage. Add escarole. Cook until escarole is cooked through and flavors meld. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Remove rind. Serve with toasted bread on top and a sprinkle of Parmesan if desired.


Knocking it out of the park

All hands on deck picking fall greens.
All hands on decking picking fall greens.

Dear Friends,

Fall continues to fall all around us. The leaves are changing, the crops are rolling in, the baseball playoffs have begun. Everywhere we look it is clear that autumn is upon us. The temperatures holding steady in the high 70’s has given this October a little bit of a surreal beginning to it, but other than that we are feeling that all too familiar feeling of fall. This past week we polished off our potato harvest. Once the final spuds were out of the ground and safely stored away in the cooler, Hannah and Holly went to work putting that field to bed. With Hannah doing the harrowing and Holly spinning seed with the cone spreader they were able to get two acres of rye and vetch seeded in a mere afternoon! Rye and vetch are a classic cover crop combination, now we just need a little bit of patience and some rain before we see a sea of green nourishing the life in the soil.

Now that the potatoes are done we have decide where to go next. Do we go for beets? What about the gold ball turnips? It would be nice to get the cabbages in but it’s not quite cool enough. There are a lot of parsnips out there but they need a good freeze before they will taste good. The carrots are a decent size, but they will be bigger in a couple of weeks, so we should probably wait a couple more weeks. With so much ready to go sometimes it can be a bit overwhelming when trying to decide what to do. The warmer temperatures this fall certainly add to the puzzle, it just doesn't feel like its time to be putting crops up for the winter when it feels like summer still.

Ultimately the clock is ticking and we just have to make a decision and get out there and fill some buckets. Even if we start with the celeriac on Monday, we can still move on to the turnips on Tuesday and be in the beets by Wednesday. Our coolers are filling up fast and soon we are going to be struggling to find space to put everything. Complaining about too many beautiful crops to harvest is like complaining about being too happy, or getting too much sleep. It’s an embarrassment of riches and it’s a problem we’re glad to have.

We are reaching that sweet spot of the season when we can really start to take stock of how far we have come, how much we have accomplished, and how much food we have grown and distributed. Every season is different and there are different things that make every year special and unique. As we reflect on the season thus far, one of the things that really stands out for me is how much time we have been able to spend with Shepard while still pulling it some really great crops.

Our cattle hauler remarked last year that his daughter had turned 18 while he had worked so much. "The days are long but the years are short" really affected our perspective on our work life balance. It is something that we are both grateful for, that we would absolutely not be able to accomplish without the tremendous help from the people who work with us. Allowing us the space in our lives to spend time with our little boy while important, detail specific, technically demanding tasks are still being completed on the farm has been a really amazing thing for us this season. Our farm crew has knocked it out of the park this season and they continue to be truly excellent bringing in the fall harvest.

Your farmers,

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

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