Provider Farm

From our fields, for your family


June 10, 2018

Mystic Cheese is back in the share room this week. The creamy Brie like Melinda Mae is now available for purchase. Check it out!

This Week's Share

Lots of new things in the share this week, some classics and some a little more unusual, maybe even new to some.

Boy are we always happy to see broccoli. Spring broccoli can be a bit challenging and ours was certainly whomped this spring by the cold, but there is broccoli now. The heads are a bit small but delicious as can be!

We started transplanting our basil last year instead of direct seeding to avoid a new disease that comes in to the region later in the season and we couldn't be happier with the results and the much earler basil! We'll have some in the share this week, so get your pesto making ingredients ready. Garlic scapes are also coming on and these are wonderful added to your basil pesto or try this garlic scape pesto recipe for a garlicky whollop! Garlic scapes are the curly Q's in the box and are also fantastic used as you would garlic. We always saute a few to start our dishes.

Another odd ball is the kohlrabi, which are a bit alienlike and come either in green or a brilliant purple .You can use them cooked or raw, just peel the bulb and chop it up. The leaves can be eaten like any coking green.

The big maybes of the week...we picked just the beginning of the summer squash and zucchini on Friday so they might start ripening, maybe some candy sweet baby bunched carrots if they are ready and the cilantro is just starting to size up.

Terra Firma shareholders, there are a few more items for you depending on what we see going on out there in the field this week.

Recipe of the Week: 

Kohlrabi Salad with Cilantro and Lime

  • 6 cups kohlrabi -cut into matchsticks , or grated in a food processor -about three 4 inch bulbs (or you could substitute sliced fennel, apple, jicama, cucumber, or cabbage for part of the kohlrabi for more diversity)
  • ½ C chopped cilantro ( one small bunch)
  • half of a jalapeno -minced
  • ¼ C chopped scallion
  • orange zest from one orange
  • lime zest from one lime
  • Citrus Honey Vinaigrette:
  • ¼ C olive oil
  • ¼ C fresh orange juice ( juice form one orange)
  • ⅛ C lime juice plus 1 T ( juice from one large lime)
  • ¼ C honey
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • 1 T rice wine vinegar

Trim and peel kohlrabi. Cut off two ends. Cut in half from top to bottom. Thinly slice, rotate and slice again, making ¼ inch matchsticks.
Place in large bowl with chopped cilantro, scallions, finely chopped jalapeño ( ½), lime zest and orange zest.
Whisk dressing together in a small bowl. Toss with salad. Refrigerate until serving. Garnish with zest and cilantro.


Weed wars

Weeding is the theme of June on the farm.
Weeding is the theme of June on the farm.

Dear Friends,

 The sweet summer weather decided to take a little break this week and we were hit with another blast of spring like coolness. By Friday things were warming back up but unseasonable coolness had us wondering just when things were going to kick into gear. When we uncovered our beautiful summer squash and zucchini plants a couple weeks ago we saw the first tiny little squashes. During the summer it feels like we blink and the squash is too big. We thought for sure we would be picking squash in earnest by this past Friday , but the cool weather kept them small and we find ourselves waiting a little longer. Hopefully the warm temperatures of this weekend will move them along and we will be rolling in squash before we know it.

This spring has us feeling a little off kilter. One day it feels like it’s been a soaking wet, cold spring. The next day it feels like it’s been a fairly dry, cold spring. Some things feel like they’re a bit behind where we expect them to be. Our spring carrots look great but they’re still really small for this time of year. The cabbages are also just starting to look like maybe they’re thinking about heading up.  On the other hand, other crops feel like they’re moving right along. The field tomatoes, are obviously a long way off but they look stellar. The head lettuce has been incredible and the onion field is gorgeous right now. I suppose different crops have different needs at different times. All things considered, we’re pretty happy with how the farm is coming together so far.

Hot days or not, it feels like we have crossed the threshold into the full fledged insanity of the summer. Everywhere we look there is something that needs our attention. Weeds in the onion plastic, weeds in the fennel, weeds in the carrots, weeds in the….well you get the picture. There is a lot of weeding to be done. In addition to the planting we’re still doing. And the crops that we’re monitoring for pests. And the field edges that need to be mowed and all the other fun things we add to the list every week that we never seen to get to.

It’s funny, how every season I feel like this is going to be the year that we keep every crop perfectly weeded. There is a point in the spring when it feels possible. Without a doubt every year things slip away from us and some crops get a bit weedy. Usually we’re able to keep things clean enough the crops don’t mind too much. Once the cake is baked and the crop is sizing up sometimes the weeds just grow. But in that time between when there aren’t any weeds and the time when we accept that the onion plastic is going to be weedy, or that we’re going to have to mow the weeds off the carrots before we can harvest, I freak out.

It happens every season. I see the weeds growing, and realize that we’re not going to be able to get to them all in time and I have a major internal crisis. I feel like we’re failing and that I don’t know what I’m doing. After a couple weeks I get used to the weeds and my general sunny disposition returns to me. Weed management is a major challenge of organic agriculture. It’s a war I am happy to fight and honestly I am okay to lose a battle here or there. I would certainly rather live with weeds in the potatoes to spraying herbicide.  At a certain point it’s just not worth it to spend time pulling weeds from a crop. The crop is mature enough that the yields aren’t going to be impacted too much, or worst case we can just reseed. This isn’t to say that we let the farm descend into total chaos, but if you look at the fields in July and August you’re going to see some weeds.

Your farmers,

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

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