Provider Farm

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July 22, 2018

This Week's Share

The Italian eggplants are ready and will start to flow into the share. Check out the white ones, they are delicious with tender skins and can be used any way you would use the purple type. Don't forget eggplants don't like the cold and they will start to turn brown eventually in your fridge. They are still ok to eat but not as pretty.

The pepper  field is looking beautful and we should start to see them in no time, both bells and hots. I also spotted the first of the sungold cherry tomatoes ripening in the field. It won't be long now! This crazy forcast of non stop rain is a little worrisome in terms of the disease it could bring. We are doing what we can to keep our tomato plants healthy and hoping for the best!

We're in a little bit of a lettuce gap but more is to come! In the meanwhile, its kale salads from the new planting, the leaves are tender and perfect for salads.

Recipe of the Week: 

Charred eggplant and walnut pesto pasta salad

Ingredients: 
  • Salt
  • 1/2 pound pasta (I used Setaro’s organietti, but other radiatore shapes are great here)
  • 1 medium eggplant (1 pound)
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Additional sherry or red wine vinegar
  • 2 ounces ricotta salata, crumbled
  • 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley or basil
  • 3/4 cup (2 3/4 ounces) walnuts, toasted and cooled first for best flavor
  • 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 small garlic clove, peeled
  • 2 sprigs of thyme, cleaned
  • Salt
  • 2 teaspoons sherry vinegar, plus more at end
  • 1/4 cup olive oil, plus more at end
  • 2 tablespoons (about 3) minced sun-dried tomatoes (oil or dry-packed will both work)
  • Freshly ground black pepper and/or red pepper flakes
Directions: 

Cook pasta: In very well salted water until 1 to 2 minutes before doneness and drain.

Prepare eggplant: Trim eggplant and slice into 1/2-inch coins. Brush both sides with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Heat grill to medium-high. Arrange eggplant in one layer and cook until charred underneath, about 8 minutes. (If it’s sticking to the grill, it wants to cook longer.) Flip pieces over and cook until charred on second side, about 5 to 8 minutes more. Set aside to cool slightly then chop into chunks.

No grill? Heat oven to 425. Trim eggplant and slice into 1/2-inch coins. Coat a baking sheet generously with olive oil, arrange eggplant on top and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast, without disturbing, for 15 to 20 minutes. Carefully flip each piece: the undersides should be blistery, dark and a bit puffy and should release easily; if they don’t want to, cook them a few minutes longer. Flip each piece, sprinkle again with salt and pepper, and roast on the second side for 10 to 12 minutes, or until charred underneath again.

Make dressing: In food processor, coarsely grind walnuts, cheese, garlic, thyme, salt and freshly ground black pepper and/or red pepper flakes. Stir in oil and tomatoes, then whisk in vinegar to taste.

Assemble salad: Toss cooked pasta with walnut dressing and additional vinegar and oil to loosen (I used about 1 tablespoon extra oil and 2 tablespoons extra vinegar in total). Chop eggplant into chunks, add to bowl and toss again. Adjust seasonings to taste, then stir in cheese and herbs.

Credit: 
Smitten Kitchen

Just a lot of juggling.

Multi tasking in July.
Multi tasking in July.

Dear Friends,

We’re certainly in the thick of things now. Last week we brought in the garlic, bulk harvested our first round of carrots and transplanted half an acre of brassicas. This week we brought in 3,000 pounds of fresh white onions and seeded 2/3 an acre of storage roots and that doesn’t include our regularly scheduled CSA harvest.

With all that harvesting, irrigating and planting going on, it can be hard to find the time to kill weeds. Or really do much of anything. Just a lot of juggling. We have long since moved past what the Farm would ideally look like and instead are in triage mode. There are only so many hours in the day and only so many days in the week so we can’t get to all the things that we want to get to. It be easy to get down on the farm at this time of year but thanks to the wonders of the internet, we connect with other farms all over the country, and see that they too have a case of the Julys.

There is a lot of prioritizing going on. While we try and hit the most important jobs first. Sometimes the best thing to do is get a lot of fast jobs done quickly before they take a turn for the worst and than get back to the big tasks rather than letting big jobs bog us down. If we can get all the lettuce and scallions hoed in a couple hours it’s better to just knock that out and be done, rather than let it turn into a bigger job or one  that we never get to.

With all work to be done, managing our life with a toddler has been a new challenge. Gone are the days when Kerry and I could work long into the evening banging out Tractor work. It’s true that one of us can work at night while the other takes care of shep’s dinner and bed time, but than you don’t really get to see him at all. One nice compromise we have found is that Shep absolutely loves the tractors.

While two year olds aren’t known for long attention spans and Shep is no different, put that kid on a Tractor and he is happy as a clam. Our electric Allis-Chalmers G cultivating Tractor is especially great for this since it is so quiet. Shep doesn’t have to wear hearing protection and he can really see what is going on. We may not be anywhere near as productive cultivating squash with him on our lap as we would be without him there, but I wouldn’t change it for the world.

Your farmers,

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

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