Provider Farm

From our fields, for your family

Shareholders

May 27, 2018

Welcome to the first share pick up of 2018. We have had quite the spring and are excited to start the share.  If you are reading this, you have successfully recieved our newsletter. We will use our newsletters for all our communication so please take a look every week to make sure you don't miss any important news.

Here are the logistics on share pick ups:

Provider Farm share distributions:

Local on farm pick ups are Tuesdays and Fridays 2-7 PM at 30 Woodbridge Rd. in Salem.  If you are new this season, we will be there to greet you and show you the ropes. Shareholders who pick up on the farm do not have to pick a day. You can come to either pick up day week to week. I always recommend Tuesdays as they tend to be less busy. If you can not make the pick up, have a friend or family member come pick it up. You do not need to tell us if someone is picking up for you.

Please do not use the driveway to the big yellow house. There is parking across the road and behind the barns.

We provide bags but you may want to bring a sturdy box or bag to carry everything in. As we get into the season, the share will get larger and heavier and you may want something to carry it all in.

For those who split a share, we ask that you either come together to pick up your share or alternate weeks, but not come separately during the week. I use the person who signed up for the share as a contact person and that is who I communicate with regarding payments and other share information. I can add your share partner to the newsletter mailing list if you email me, but it is up to those sharing a share to communicate otherwise.

Terra Firma Farm shareholders:

Terra Firma Farm share distributions are Wednesdays 3-7 at Terra Firma Farm's farm stand at 564 Norwich-Westerly Rd., North Stonington. If you can not make the pick up, feel free to have a friend or family member pick up. Shares are packed into boxes for you and there is a check off sheet with your name and share size. Please be sure you take the correct box size. We will take back boxes, so you can unpack and leave your box at the farm stand for us. If you can not make it on Wednesday, please communicate with Brianne and she can hold your box in a cooler to pick up when you canmake it.

I (Kerry) send out the weekly newsletter to you. Brianne Casadei, owner of Terra Firma may email you specific information regarding the pick up location in addition as needed. If you have a concern or question specific to the pick up location, you can email her.

We look forward to seeing familiar faces and meeting our new shareholders!

This Week's Share

Every week I will do my best to guess what will be in the share and list it here. Sometimes I am on the nose, sometimes a crop or two I thought we would have goes by, or surprise!, something new comes into the mix before we expected it. Please note the listed crops are hyperlinks and if you click on them, you can get info on storage and preperation of each crop along with recipes.

The name of the game this week is GREENS!!! Loads and loads of greens, so get your favorite salad dressing ready (this miso ginger one is one of our favorites !) We love greens in the spring, they are tender and sweet, and after months of dreary grocery store lettuce, there is nothing like that first bite of fresh lettuce out of the fields. Our red crisp radishes and sweet Hakurei turnips are all you need to compliment your salad. These turnips are not like the kinds you eat at Thanksgiving. These are intended to be eaten fresh and are sweet with a hint of spice. Their tops can be cooked up too like any sort of cooking greens.

Another more unusual spring treat for those new to the CSA is our baby bok choi. One of my favorites I look forward to in the spring, these are wonderful stir fried with some garlic and seasoned with soy sauce, sesame oil and rice vinegar. Garnish with a sprinkle of scallions. So good! And did you know? Bok choi is really nutritious, like, more nutritious then kale.

Our cooking greens (kale and chard) are still looking pretty dinky out there. This cold spring has really set them back and usually we wouldn't consider starting the share without them, but the radishes, spinach and salad greens were ready to go, so we went for it. We're hoping to eek some out of the field, but they may be smaller bunches, but very tender.

Believe it or not, we still have some really nice sweet potatoes and potatoes coming out of storage! The potatoes are a gold variety and make some fantastic mashed potatoes. We are storing them at 38 degrees and I would keep them in your fridge, because they have been waiting around all year for spring to grow, so they will sprout pretty quickly if they get a wiff of summer.

The sweet potatoes, however, love it warm and would prefer to be at 55 degrees, so you can keep them in a cupboard and they should hold quite well. Not that they'll be around for  long. This variety "Bonita" is a white fleshed sweet potato and one of the sweetest we have ever grown. Use them just like orange sweet potatoes.

Terra Firma shareholders will also receive a potted purple basil plant. You can plant it out to your garden or pot it up for a sunny spot around your house. Snip off the top just above the first true leaves to garnish something . This will encrouage branching and you will be rewarded handsomely with many more sprigs of basil throughout the season.

CSA tips

If this is your first year with us, welcome aboard! Don't be afraid to ask around the share room. Either the staff (Hannah and Holly) or other shareholders will be happy to share tips on how to use a crop you are unfamiliar with. Maybe there is a veggie you or your family simply does not like, and a new recipe might just be the trick to change minds. You can always send me an email to if you have questions. If you find something you love, please share it with us using our submit your recipe page.

When you bring your share home, we recommend you process it before putting it away in the fridge. Remove roots from their greens so the roots don't get floppy and wash up everything before tucking it away.

Greens come to you rinsed just to remove the heat from the field. You will need to wash them to make themtable ready. The best way to do this is fill a big bowl or basin with water and add the greens. They should be able to swish freely around thebowl. Swish them around so soil can drop t the bottom of the bowl. Remove to a colandar and repeat.

The key to greens storage is geting them as dry as possible and storing them so that water in the leaves is not removed by your fridge. Spin greens as dry as you can get them and store them in an airtight container with a paper towel or towel. The drier they are, the longer they will last.

If you want to get really fancy, chop things up for recipes you have planned for the week so you can grab them as you cook. I find if our veggies are ready, we are far more likely to use them and snack on them.

I'm not going to lie, learning to cook with all these veggies can be a challenge but I am confident everyone can do it! Start by just adding more veggies to what you are already doing. Pasta and sauce? Throw some greens in that sauce and have a green salad on the side with it.

Try not to focus on individual vegetable recipes, but meals that can incorporate many different types of veggies. Develop some recipes that your whole family loves and you can bang out in a half hour. These are so helpful to have in your back pocket when you want to just get take out because you're dead tired. Post them on the fridge to help you remember its quicker to cook then do drive to get food and bring it back home.

The internet is chock full of recipes, so if you are a loss, you can always try there. There are a ton of cooking blogs and instagram pages too where I get lots of ideas. I like Food 52, Love and Lemons, and thekitchn.

We also have recipes on our website and I post one every week in our newsletter that focuses on a current crop. Here's to good eating, and expanding all of our relationships with vegetables.

Recipe of the Week: 

Hot and Sour Peanutty Noodles with Bok Choy

Ingredients: 
  • 8 ounces whole-wheat spaghetti
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • 1 tablespoon canola or sunflower oil
  • 1 large shallot, sliced
  • 1 piece (about 1 inch) ginger, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 pound baby bok choy, leaves and stems separated, roughly chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced
  • 3/4 cup low-sodium vegetable stock or water
  • 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon dark sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1/2 cup chopped unsalted roasted peanuts
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (or more to taste
Directions: 

Cook pasta as directed on package with 2 teaspoons salt until just tender. Drain and rinse pasta with cool water.
In a large nonstick skillet, heat canola oil over medium-high heat. Cook shallot and ginger, stirring, until just brown, 1 minute.
Add bok choy stems, bell pepper and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring frequently, until peppers are crisp-tender, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer contents of skillet to a plate. To same skillet, add bok choy leaves, stock, soy sauce, sesame oil and vinegar. Cook, stirring, until leaves are soft and bright green, 1 to 2 minutes. Add bell pepper mixture, pasta, peanuts and pepper flakes to pan. Toss to combine; serve.

Credit: 
Epicurious

The secret to our success

Holly taking advantage of the beautiful weather last week to kill some weeds in the early broccoli.
Holly taking advantage of the beautiful weather last week to kill some weeds in the early broccoli.

Dear Friends,

 It feels like we have spent so many of the past weeks wondering if it was ever going to finally warm up. We found ourselves in the midst of what could best be described as a cold and dreary spring. We had night after night below 25 degrees in the middle of April.  We got the plow into the field later than we wanted. We spent chilly mornings freezing on the transplanter, planting lettuce, kale and broccoli with frozen fingers. Usually we’re all iced coffee and tank tops by mid-May, but not this year. As we woke up to gray day after gray day, we were expecting the crops to be as unhappy as we were. Cold and slow to grow. Inexplicably, that hasn’t really been the case.

 

While some of the crops like broccoli and cabbage are a bit behind, where we expect them to be, a lot of our spring stuff is right on schedule. Nothing lifts our sprints more than peaking under row cover and seeing beautiful heads of lettuce, robust boc choi, and neat little rows of salad greens and turnips. After a long winter of roots, roots and more roots, it has been wonderful to sink our teeth into some fresh spring deliciousness.

 

It is really amazing how fast the spring hits when it finally hits. It felt like overnight the trees popped and the hills went from brown to green. Overnight we go from project mode, struggling to find enough tasks to keep our crew busy for the whole week to planting, plowing and weeding. The list grows and grows. With every week that passes we have a ton to get in the ground. With every planting, that is one less thing to get in the ground, but once it’s in the ground it’s one more thing to water and weed. It is an exciting time on the farm. The fields are transforming before our very eyes.

 

Every year is unique and is really it’s own little story in an anthology that is our farming life. One of the things that is making this year different from any past season, is that we don’t have any new members of our crew. Aside from Kelsey, who is off attending Grad School in Australia, everyone else returned from last season.

 

A good crew is certainly the key to a successful season. We had a really great crew last year, so having them all back has us off to an incredible start. No need to explain how to do anything, everyone is able to hit the ground running and almost seems to know what were going to say before we even say it. When Kerry and I are walking the wetter fields nervously wondering if we'll ever be able to plant, this crew keeps us going.

 

Cheers to our awesome crew of Anthony, Chris, Erica, Hannah and Holly.

 

Your farmers,

Kerry and Max

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