Provider Farm

From our fields, for your family


December 4, 2017

Welcome to the first winter share of the season! 

The first pick ups will be this Friday, Dec. 8. Please take a moment to note subsequent pick up dates on your calendar: 12/22, 1/5, 1/19, 2/2, and 2/16. In the event that we have to reschedule due to bad weather, we will announce it on facebook, on our website and through an email.

Provider Farm pick ups are 2-6 PM at 30 Woodbridge Rd., Salem. Ww have been watching the weather and right now it looks like there will not be snow on Friday. The weather is looking to be warm enough, so  we will have pick up in the unheated share room until it starts to get really cold. Please park across the street from the farm or behind the barns but do not use the driveway up to the big yellow house (there will be signs). We have bags for your produce but you may want to bring a sturdy bag or box to carry it all in because winter vegetables get heavy. In the event you can not make the Provider Farm pick up, you can text me or call (860)222-5582 or send an email to this address and arrange a time to pick up a share I will pack for you. Please try to do this before the end of the share on Friday.

Terra Firma Farm pick ups will be 3-7 PM at 564 Norwich Westerly Rd. North Stonington, CT in the Terra Firma Farm farm store. This is located at the end of the driveway.  It is a white building adjoining the cow barn and creamery. Just walk up the porch and open that door. Shares will be packed up in boxes which you may take home or transfer your share into your own bags and leave the box behind for us to reuse.

Grass Fed Beef Sale!

I will continue to offer a special on our Provider Farm grass fed beef. 10 lbs of ground for $60, 10 lbs of sausage for $80 or half and half for $70. Or for smaller amounts. $1 off per lb. for either. Available at the Provider Farm pick up. You can just pick it out when you come to pick up your share.


This Week's Share

Welcome to the wonderful world of winter eating! I love cooking at this time of year and have been whipping up loads of stews and baked goods. I love the warmth a hot oven brings to the house and and the smells of a hot bubbling soup on the stovetop. Its just so cozy! And delicious!

Winter foods lend themselves especially well to a hot oven and soup pot. Allow me to introduce you to some of the more unusual usual suspects you will see through out the winter share. I will highlight one every newsletter so you will get just the basics here. Please note that each listed crop above is a hyperlink. If you click on it, it will lead you to information on how to store the crops and lots of recipes. You can also find the recipes directly on our website. I've been working to cultivate a good collection of recipes for the winter share and am always looking for  more! Please help us increase our collection by submitting a recipe.

Beets! We have gold, white and red ones. The gold and white are a milder flavor and don't turn everything red. They can all be used interchangeably or together.

What is that weird gnarled root reminiscent of  Harry Potter mandrake? Why that is a celeriac of course! These are also called celery root and are a variety of celery raised specifically for that funny looking root. These are famous in French cooking and will bring out the flavors of your winter cooking. They are wonderful peeled and mashed into your mashed potatoes, or used in a soup or stew in place of, or in addition to celery.

We have all sorts of turnippy things. We have purple top turnips, gold ball turnips, and rutabagas. They are fairly similar with subtle difference for each one. Try them and see what you like. The purple top turnip is purple top and white bottom, gold balls are golden with green tops and rutabagas are creamy gold with purple tops.

Other odd balls you might not yet be familiar with are our storage radishes. We have three types: watermelon radishes, which are a white and light green but slice them open, and a bright rose inside, purple daikon, which are a beautiful lavender with pretty sunbursts when sliced, and black Spanish which are black and the outside with crisp ripe flesh. The purple daikons are very mild and sweet, as are the watermelon radishes. The black radishes are a bit more spicy. They make fantastic additions to winter salads and can also be cooked in stews.

One of our most peculiar winter share treats are the storage kohlrabi. They have lime green skin with nubs where their leaf stems used to emerge but when peeled they have a bright white crispy and sweet flesh reminiscent of apple crossed with broccoli.

Our spinach is still not quite big enough to harvest but we will have lettuce greens, either loose lettuce mix or lettuce heads depending on how things look. Please note they will not be washed  in order to help them store the longest. The best way to wash greens is to put them in a big bowl of water, not too packed so that they can swish around. Swish them around then drain and wash again. Then spin them dry if possible. It isbest to store them as dry as possible or unwashed.

I would like to high light our sweet potatoes for this newsletter. We grow two types, orange and white. Sweet potatoes are actually a tropical crop and they like hot growing conditions. The tubors also like warm conditions for storage and are damaged if they get too cold, which is why you don't want to store them in your fridge. We had a very good crop of them this year and should have plenty through the whole share season. The orange ones are what one thinks of as a traditional sweet potato, good, sweet, and orange. But I really love our white variety called Bonita. They are really sweet and delicious. They tend to be a bit longer and narrower of a tubor. Try them just baked in a 450 degree oven until tender. I eat them skins and all, they develop a delicious carmelised layer just under the skin.

I love baking with them and made these delicious sweet potato corn muffins. Bake them up and have them with the recipe of the week!

Notes on storage: All roots and cabbage except sweet potatoes will store very well (for literally months)  if wrapped up in a bag or container in the fridge. Sweet potatoes and winter squash are just fine in a cabinet. Greens should be spun dry, wrapped  and kept in the fridge.


Recipe of the Week: 

Moroccan chickpea and sweet potato stew

  • 1 large onion
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 large sweet potatoes (about 1 ¾ pounds)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 pinches cayenne pepper
  • 1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 15 ounce can chickpeas, drained (or 1½ cups cooked)
  • 3 cups spinach
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish
  • 1 lemon, for garnish
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt, for garnish

Dice the onion and mince 3 cloves garlic. Chop the sweet potatoes into bite-sized pieces.
In a large pot, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil. Saute the onion for about 5 minutes. Add minced garlic and saute about 1 minute.
Stir in 1 teaspoon paprika, 1 teaspoon ground cumin, ½ teaspoon ground coriander, ½ teaspoon turmeric, ½ teaspoon ground ginger, ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon, ½ teaspoon kosher salt, ½ teaspoon ground black pepper, and 2 pinches cayenne pepper. Stir about 30 seconds, then add diced tomatoes and 2 cups broth.
Bring to a boil, then add sweet potatoes and drained and rinsed chickpeas. Simmer 25 to 30 minutes until the potatoes are tender.
Stir in 3 cups spinach in the last 2 minutes.
Serve garnished with chopped cilantro, fresh squeezed lemon juice, and a dollop of Greek yogurt.


Hot cocoa and kohlrabi

Spreading compost
Holly spreading compost on our cover crop. Compost is the basis of our soil fertility program here.

Dear Friends,

Some cold snaps here and there but otherwise we have been enjoying a relatively mild end to the fall. As we head into December, no matter how mild it has been, we are all too aware than winter can descend on us in a moments notice. Before we know it, there will surely be mountains of snow piled high around the farm and the world will be bleak, frozen and white.

While we sit around and day dream of snow flurries, there is still quite a bit happening on the farm these days. Our work weeks have been shortened a bit, allowing ourselves as well as Hannah and Holly to pursue some other endeavors. But while we may not be putting in the same amount of hours, we are still certainly putting in work. After a very busy week preparing orders for Thanksgiving and a nice break for the Holiday, we find ourselves back in business. We finished spreading compost on the fields last week and started working on some much needed farm and field clean up. We are still a bit dazed from the previous season and enjoying a little mental break before really putting our full mental energy into thinking about next season.

The days are short now. In my opinion, there is no better place to spend a long dark December evening than in the kitchen. The winter provides us the perfect opportunity to flex our culinary muscles. We tend to focus on quick and easy meals in the summer. Brilliant fresh vegetables turn quickly into lovely stir fries and beautiful salads. In the winter, armed with an abundance of roots we have much more time and inclination to explore and create. During the dog days of the summer the last thing we want to do is put the oven on, or have a pot bubbling on the stove all day. On these cold days, a warm kitchen is a most welcome addition to our home.

We play some games with our meals in the winter. The old stand by is called simply “Can you put roots in that?” but joining that classic we find ourselves playing a new game we call “Will Shepard eat it?” We’ve found the former a bit easier to play than the later, although we are consistently impressed by Shep’s wide and varied palate. Shep hasn’t met a carrot he didn’t like so that certainly helps make things easier. For the most part I feel the same way, cubed carrots or sweet potatoes are a welcome addition to almost any dish I can think of.

The days are short and getting shorter but this is truly a wonderful time of the year. The calendar is getting ready to flip, and the year nearing it’s end. It’s a great time to snuggle under a blanket with a mug of hot cocoa and a storage kohlrabi and watch the snow fall.

Your farmers,
Hannah, Holly, Kerry and Max

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