Provider Farm

From our fields, for your family


June 3, 2018

All our seedlings will be half off this week. We still have quite a few tomatoes, squash, melon sand peppers. let's get these babies some homes!

Also, the share room is now stocked with Terra Firma Farm sausage, yogurt and eggs. All of Briannes products are certified Animal Welfare Approved and raised outdoors on pasture.

This Week's Share

The beets are just about ready and we're going to start pulling them in this week. This particular variety we grow in the spring, "Early Wonder" are grown specifically for their beautiful greens and we really recomend everyone give the greens a try. They pack a nutritious punch and are really tasty used as you would any cooking green. My favorite is to cook them up with the sliced beets for a variety of textures as a side dish.

We will start to see more kale coming out of the field this week and maybe a trickle of broccoli. These crops were really whomped by the cold spring but they're coming along and appreciated Saturday's rain.

Terra Firma shareholders will receive a few more items depending on what we see out in the field, so there will be some surprises for you!

We have some beautiful butter lettuce coming in, perfect for making these lettuce wraps. I love this recipe at this time of year because it uses just about everything in the share room.

Recipe of the Week: 

Sauteed Beets and Beet Greens

  • 2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 3 large cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 4 medium beets (about 12 oz. without greens), trimmed, peeled, halved, and sliced into 1/4-inch-thick half-moons
  • 10 cups lightly packed stemmed beet greens
  • Sea salt
  • 1 Tbs. red wine vinegar
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Heat 1 Tbs. of the olive oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring often, until golden-brown, 4 to 6 minutes. Add the sliced garlic and continue to cook until the onion is very tender and browned, 1 to 2 minutes more. Add the beets and stir until coated in the oil. Add 1/4 cup water, cover, and cook until the beets are almost tender, 5 to 7 minutes. Scatter the greens over the beets and sprinkle with a couple pinches of salt. Cover and cook, stirring once or twice, until the beets and beet greens are tender, 5 to 7 minutes.
Remove from the heat and drizzle with the vinegar and the remaining 1 Tbs. olive oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve.


The Sweet Potato Story

We're so pumped the CSA is starting!
We're so pumped the CSA is starting! Yay for veggies!

Dear Friends,

What a glorious week on the farm. The weather turned warm and sunny, the crops started rolling in and the CSA is off and running. There is so much nervous energy attached to the spring, will the crops grow? How is everything going to do? While we’re still a long way from knowing how the season is going to turn out, it’s always a nice feeling when we start harvesting. Having the first harvests under our belt, it feels like we can really start to get into the groove of the season.


We are knee deep in beautiful spring crops right now. The best tasting lettuce of the year is the lettuce we pick in the beginning of June. The radishes and turnips are a welcome fresh crunch. While I love what we picked last week, one of the best things about this time of year is how much we have on the horizon. We just went out and freed the zucchini and summer squash from their row cover tunnels. The plants have put out their first flowers and even have the tiniest, little baby squash on them. It won’t be long now.


There is cabbage and broccoli starting to size up. We just built the trellis for the sugar snap peas which are growing like crazy. Even the high tunnel tomatoes are putting out their first blossoms, looking lovely in their somewhat controlled environment of the tunnel. There is so much coming right around the corner, and there is so much we haven’t even planted yet. As good as it is now, things will just keep getting better and better.


In the midst of harvesting, our major task for this week was getting our sweet potatoes in the ground. Sweet potatoes are unique for a number of reasons. Most of our other crops fall into three families: solanaceous(potatoes, tomatoes, peppers. eggplant) cucurbit (squash, melons, cukes) or brassica(broccoli, kale, arugula, Brussels sprouts, all things cabbagy). Sweet potatoes are in the morning glory family and are the only plant we grow in that family. There aren’t a ton of pests that seem to gravitate towards them (except the furry ones) and some of the common plant diseases don’t seem interested either. I am sure in the south where they grow thousands of acres of sweet potatoes, there are pest and disease considerations but up here in New England the sweets are left alone for the most part.

We don’t grow Sweet Potatoes from transplants, nor do we grow them from a piece of tuber like regular potatoes. Sweet potato plants come to us from a farm in North Carolina in the form of slips. Slips are basically a piece of living sweet potato vine with a bit of root on them. They are cut and shipped to us the same day. The slips can be the most sensitive of all the things we plant on the farm. If they get too hot they will just wilt up and die.


What confounds this process a little bit is that usually the slips seem totally dead when we get them. When we plant tomatoes or other transplants in the field it’s pretty obvious if they’re going to die right away, but the sweet potato slips don’t really offer a ton of evidence either way. They’re basically just little pieces of vine, they don’t usually have leaves or roots.


After much trial and error over the years we have developed a system that seems to work for us. We try to plant the slips within 24 hours of them arriving on the farm but due to how wet this spring has been, we didn’t even have the sweet potato field plowed until Monday. So, before we could do anything else, that needed to happen. Once the field was plowed, it was a mad dash of harrowing, bed forming, fertilizer spreading, and plastic laying to get things ready.


When the boxes full of slips showed up Thursday we were ready to burst into action. We put them in with our transplanter and then set up overhead irrigation on the planting immediately. Usually crops grown on black plastic will only be irrigated with drip tape, but we use the overhead irrigation too cool everything down and ease the shock for the sweets. Thankfully Friday was as grey as grey can get so hopefully they are all settling in nicely out there.


Now that the sweets are in, the next big planting on the horizon is the watermelons and cantaloupes. Melons are the last of our big summer crop plantings, from there we get a brief planting respite before we have to start in on the fall crops at the beginning of July. Fortunately, the weeds are growing like crazy, so we have plenty to do until then.


Your farmers,

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

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