Provider Farm

From our fields, for your family


November 4, 2017

We have arrived at the last share of the season this week. What a wild ride! Thank you for coming along with us!

We will continue with our beef sale until we are sold out.

We'll have loads of veggies for your Thanksgiving table at our...

6th Annual Thanksgiving Store

Saturday Nov. 18, 10-1 PM

Open to the public so bring your friends and family! 10% off for current shareholders.

Loads of roots of all kinds (potatoes, sweet potatoes (two kinds!), carrots, celeriac, parsnips, turnips, rutabagas, and beets), onions and leeks and lots of greens. Wow your friends with beautiful watermelons radishes and purple daikon sunbursts, impress your family with your knowledge of celeriac preparation and festoon your holiday table with delicious vegetable dishes of all types. Even the most carnivorous will be impressed and ask for seconds.

Our floral designer friends at Four Root Farm will also be bringing their own hand made wreaths to sell at our store. You can pre order them at their website.

This Week's Share

The peppers and eggplants finally bit the dust in the frost last week! What a year for them! Even the eggplants stepped it up during the warm fall.

Last but not least, our red cabbages enter the CSA scene this week. These ruby beauties will bring a brilliant violet to your salads and slaws. These will hold well wrapped in a bag in the fridge for at least a month.

What a growing season its been! We still have loads of roots in the field and are letting the parnsips sweeten in this weeks freezes.

Recipe of the Week: 

Date, feta and red cabbage salad

  • 1 to 1 1/4 pounds red cabbage (1 small head or half of a large one), sliced very thin
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons lime or lemon juice (I use lime)
  • Salt and red pepper flakes (I used the mild Aleppo variety) to taste
  • About 1/2 cup pitted dates, coarsely chopped or sliced
  • 4 ounces feta, crumbled into chunks
  • 1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 teaspoons well-toasted sesame seeds

Toss cabbage with olive oil and first tablespoons of lime juice, plus salt and pepper, coating leaves evenly. Taste and add more lime juice, salt and pepper to taste. I do this a few times, making sure I really get this base well seasoned because it will be hard to do it as well later.

Toss dressed cabbage gently with half of dates and feta. Sprinkle with remaining dates, then feta, then parsley and sesame seeds. Dig in.

Smitten Kitchen

Miles to go before we sleep

Harvesting cabbages
The crew bringing in 1,000s of pounds of cabbages.

Dear Friends,

And just like that, it’s the last CSA distribution of the season. Maybe it’s because it’s been so warm, maybe it’s because we still have so much food out in the field, maybe it’s simply the adjustment to life with a toddler. But for some reason, the end of this CSA season feels a little unusual. I wouldn’t say it’s anticlimactic just that it doesn’t feel like it should be over. I am genuinely surprised to wake up in the dark every morning and equally as surprised to see the sun set so early every evening. I honestly can’t believe the baseball season is over and I still find myself checking the internet each morning to see how the Sox did last night. For whatever reason, I am not quite ready to call it a day. Usually I am all too eager to kick off my boots and sleep for three days. This season, despite the date on the calendar, I feel fired up and ready to go. It’s a good thing too because we still have a long way to go before we can take our eye off the ball.

However I may be feeling internally, the season is certainly changing. We have to harvest less and less for the daily CSA harvest and instead are focusing on large bulk harvests. Since the day to day harvest is taking less time we were able to confine it to three days a week instead of the typical four. This gave us two whole days, wide open, with nothing to do but bring in thousands of pound of carrots, beets and cabbages. We woke up to a frost covered world Wednesday morning and decided to celebrate by crawling along the cold ground all day harvesting carrots. We use the tractor to loosen the soil but we still have to pull the carrots from the ground by hand. There is something about the cold ground that really sucks the warmth and the energy right out of you. It was a bit more than a  two cup of coffee kind of day but by the end of it we brought in about 4,000 pounds of great looking carrots. We have one more planting of carrots still to be picked that is equal in size. Carrots are a huge part of our fall and winter so we are thrilled with the nice crop.

After the first planting of carrots were in, we turned our attention to the beets. This planting of beets looked great two weeks ago but since than has had some unwelcome attention from what I can only assume is about a billion voles. Probably the worst thing about rodents is that they don’t eat one beet all the way and than move on, they nibble here and there so they do far more damage than they do consumption. Despite the unwanted attention we still pulled in more than enough.

With those two root harvests done we decided to turn our attention to the cabbages. The cabbage harvest might be my favorite harvest. It’s hard on the body, but it’s fast and it’s fun. First we come through and cut every head and place them in windrows. After all the heads, some 3,000 - 4,000 in total are cut and piled in rows, we let them dry for a few hours. This allows the stem to cauterize so they will store well. Once they have had some time to themselves we come through and bin them up. “Bin them up” means we throw them to people standing in bins on the trailer. The actual throwing of the cabbages is the hard on the body part, but we make sure to switch after every bin. Keeping a fresh thrower is crucial to a smooth harvest and before we knew it we had 7 bins of cabbage tucked away in the barn. Not bad for a couple days worth of work!

Our 6th season has come to a close. It’s crazy to me that is has been six years since we first began farming in Salem. In some ways it feels like it has been way longer than that and in some ways it has flown by. There are children we have watched go from infants to full on kids. There are families we have seen move away and new families we have seen come to town. Kerry and I really had no idea what we were getting ourselves into when we decided to move down here but I feel like we got so incredibly lucky in finding our farm. Southeastern Connecticut is truly a hidden gem and I wouldn’t want to be farming any where else. Thank you all so much for another season, we could not do this without the support of our share holders!

Speaking of people we couldn’t do this without we must again extend the utmost thanks to our fabulous farm crew Hannah, Holly, Chris, Erica, Anthony, Larry, and Kelsea. They are the force that makes sure crops are weeded, the food is picked and the share room is stocked and full every week. Thank you guys again for all that you do.
Your farmers,
Max and Kerry

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