Provider Farm

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June 17, 2018

Just a head's up to Terra Firma shareholders: The Fourth of July falls on a Wendesday this year. We WILL have a share pick up at Terra Firma Farm that day. If you can't make it, just let Brianne know and she can hold your share so you can pick it up another day.

This Week's Share

The heat is cranking and you know what likes that? Summer squash and zucchini plants! They took their time to get started producing, but they should be loaded this week with lots of squash. This year we are growing  your standard green zucchini and zephyr, our yellow squash variety. Zephyr is yellow with light green tips and we think it is the tastiest of all yellow summer squash,  We have also added some new varieties for fun: Flamino, an Italian heirloom costata type striped squash known to be exceptionally flavorful and goldmine, a yellow zucchini with white stripes. Both can be used as you would zucchini. Try them on the grill, just brush with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper and cook them until tender. Easy and really good!

We also have an exceptional cilantro crop right now. I remember the first time I tasted cilantro as a teenager, and I thought "wow, that tastes really strange" but I was determined to like it, and after numerous tries, I really learned to love it. So even if you think it tastes to strong, give it a couple tries!  I can't imagine life without it now, it is so good in so many condiments, or sprinkled on pretty much anything. I love to make this cilantro chutney and serve it with a quick curry.

Will the carrots ever size up? This is the question we have all been asking ourselves. They certainly win the "foot dragger of the year" award and must be the most set back by the spring. They are starting to put on some girth so we hope to see them soon. Also on the horizon but we're not quite sure when, is Chinese cabbage, check out this Chinese cabbage salad to start to get the gears spinning about how you'll cook it.

 

Recipe of the Week: 

Marinated zucchini

Ingredients: 
  • 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 pound very small zucchini, trimmed and halved lengthwise
  • Salt
  • 1/2 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • Pepper
  • A small handful fresh basil leaves, sliced
Directions: 

Working in batches as needed, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a heavy medium skillet over medium-high heat. Arrange the zucchini cut side down in one layer in the hot skillet and cook until browned, about 3 minutes. Use a fork or tongs to turn the zucchini over, then cook them until tender, about 2 minutes, reducing the heat if the zucchini get too dark. Transfer the zucchini to a shallow dish and sprinkle with salt.
Whisk together the garlic, vinegar, and remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Pour the vinaigrette over the zucchini and add the basil. Gently toss everything together and adjust the seasonings. Let the zucchini marinate at room temperature for about 1 hour before serving. Alternately, let marinate longer in the refrigerator. Tightly covered, marinated zucchini will keep for up to a week in the refrigerator.

Credit: 
Smitten Kitchen

Spinning plates

In go the watermelons! August melons are on their way!
In go the watermelons! August melons are on their way!

Dear Friends,

 By the time you read this, you will have no doubtably went through what the weatherman is assuring me is bound to be a hot and muggy Father’s Day Weekend. But as I write this on Friday evening, I can assure that this past week was in fact freezing cold. Now you may be remembering a lovely week full of beautiful, mild, comfortable days and this, as a human being, I agree that this is true. But as a farmer that wants his heat loving summer crops to grow, I was freezing. They tell me it's about to get really hot, and I for one, can’t wait.

 

 All of a sudden, the farm is dry as a bone. It kind of snuck up on us since it hasn’t been so warm, but things are getting dusty out there. It feels like just a second ago it was so wet, we couldn’t get into the field, and now we’re kicking up dust with everything we do. This is a blessing and curse really. The dry weather makes it far easier to accomplish tasks that are constrained by rain. It also leads to healthier crops. While plants need water to grow, too much water encourages all sorts of other unwanted growth. Mostly of the bacterial and fungal variety and in a wet year, before we know it, our farm is a Petri dish of plant disease. So in a lot of ways, we do really prefer the dry.

 

 On the other hand, it means we have to add irrigation to our already robust list of tasks to do each week. Getting the farm irrigated feels a lot like keeping plates spinning. Watering crops takes time, like hours and hours. We don’t have to be actively involved in most of those hours, when we’re irrigating one thing, we can’t be irrigating another. So there’s a lot of setting up, firing up the pump, letting it run for 6 hours, moving it and repeating the whole process. We can only get a few rounds in during a day so there is a lot of planning and juggling involved. Couple that with the fact that when the irrigation is set up and running, we can’t do other things in the field like weed and cultivate. While irrigating adds another wrinkle to our weekly plan, I am thankful that we have the capability to water all our fields and super thankful for Kerry and Hannah who do all the heavy lifting of making sure the water gets from the ponds and well to the fields.

 

 This past week, we finally got around to getting the watermelons and cantaloupes in the ground. This was our last big planting of ‘summer’ crops. That isn’t to say we’re done planting. Far from it. We have already started seeding the fall brassicas in the green house. In addition to the weekly plantings of greens, lettuce, herbs etc, we still have acres of fall broccoli, cauliflower, kale and Brussels sprouts to get in. Not to mention, all the fall roots we will be direct seeding in a few weeks. There is certainly a long way to go, but still it feels good to have all the hot crops planted out in the field and we get to enjoy a brief planting "break" to get everything else done.

 

 The fields are filling up and the farm is starting to feel like it’s taking shape. The brown grey landscape of our empty fields has transformed into brilliant greens and purples. It’s a nice time on the farm. I feel like we’re finally hitting our stride and things are falling into place. There’s a lot of work to do out there, but all we have to do is get out there and do it.

 

 

Your farmers,

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

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