Provider Farm

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September 7, 2018

With the new school year, people picking up on Tuesdays tend to decrease. Just a friendly request that if you can pick up on Tuesdays, please do so that Fridays don't get overloaded.

Also, this is the time of year when everyone starts asking about winter shares and renewals. We wills tart renewals and winter share sales at the end of Spetember.

This Week's Share

Wowie fall has arrived in the share! Leeks are coming at you. These are wonderful used in any recipe as you would onions, just chop up the white part and saute in butter or oil. Make sure you give them a good rinse between the layers where they start to turn green, sometimes soil can get lodged there. Try out a classic potato leek soup with them now that cooler days are here.

Yahoo! The garlic is finely cured and sorted and ready for the share. You'll have your first taste this week. It is nice and big and high quality and should store really well if you don't eat it up right away.

The broccoli is just starting to trickle in. The first planting isn't the nicest we've ever grown (apparently were not alone, it is a reportedly a very difficult brocoli and cauliflower year across the northeast) but it still tastes good. We will probably have a moderate amount in at first but quanitities shoudl increase. The next round looks quite nice though.

The tomatoes are just barely holding on and may be done very soon, if not this week.

Wowie, we pulled in a huge haul of winter squash last week. Most of it looks fantastic and will be squirreled away in the barn to cure for the next few weeks. This is an important biolgical process that prepares the squash for storage but also converts starches into sugars making the squash extra tasty! Our delicata squash are the only ones that do not look so hot and are rapidly degrading so we are going to distribute them next week for all the delicata lovers out there with the caveate that you should not store them but cook them right away.

We dug a different variety of potatoes this week. This variety tends to be smaller and long and flat, somewhat similar to a fingerling. They are beautifully gold and creamy and we've been roasting them like crazy. I bet they would make a fantastic potato leek soup.

Recipe of the Week: 

Potato Leek Soup

Ingredients: 

3 tablespoons butter
3 leeks
6 – 8 potatoes
3 1/2 cups chicken broth (or enough to barely cover potatoes)
1 cup heavy cream
salt to taste
fresh ground black pepper to taste

Directions: 

Make sure leeks are thoroughly cleaned before chopping to avoid a gritty soup. Chop leeks and potatoes. Melt butter and add leeks, cooking until limp and slightly browned. Add potatoes and cook five minutes, then add broth and simmer until potatoes are tender. Remove from heat and blend with immersion blender and add cream, salt and pepper. Return to low heat and cook 15 minutes more.

Credit: 
Kerry

A joy of farming

We dug up a bunch of sweet potatoes to see how they are growing and they are looking good!
We dug up a bunch of sweet potatoes to see how they are growing and they are looking good!

Dear Friends,

 

They say March is in like a Lion and out like Lamb. Well it seems this summer has been in like a Lamb and out like a Lion. The heat and humidity this week was relentless, I can honestly say I have never sweat more in my entire life. Of course this should come as no surprise to us. Every year we harvest the winter squash in early September and every year it is really hot. I can’t remember a single winter squash harvest that wasn’t a thousand degrees. We may have been sweating buckets and worried about heat stroke, but the harvest was actually pretty enjoyable. Anytime the crop is nice the harvest is nice and this year's squash crop looks pretty great. We pulled in 19 bulk bins of butternut, acorns, hubbards, delicate and pie pumpkins. It’s quite the haul if I do say so myself. We tried some new squash this season including a giant pie pumpkin called a Georgia Candy Roaster that looks like an oversized banana and a mini butternut called Honey Nut that is supposed to be super sweet.


The Winter Squash is in the barn curing for the next few weeks and we’re ready to move on. The next big harvest on the horizon is the sweet potatoes. The sweet potato harvest goes very similar to the potato harvest except for a few key differences. One is that the sweet potatoes have to cure for 3-4 weeks post harvest, before they can be eaten. This is because they’re not sweet when you first pick them. They are starchy and not very tasty and require 4 weeks at 90 degrees and high humidity to convert that starch to sugar and turn them into the sweet wonderful potato we all know and love. Another difference is that they are very fragile before they cure. The skins are very delicate and they are prone to bruising and scraping. Because of this we have to take extra precautions not to damage the crop. We’re excited to get things going in the sweets and see what that crop looks like.


 While the harvests are rolling along, we’re also getting into the farm clean up portion of the season. Old crops are being mowed off and harrowed in. We’ve got acres of open land in need of cover crop seed. Metal hoops, soil bags and row cover all needs to be cleared from the field. It’s the time of year when we start to shake the etch a sketch. The unique attributes of the season are going to be erased under the harrow. The summer squash patch we spent so much time in this summer will be nothing but a memory, a blanket of oats and peas.


 The impermanence is one of my favorite things about vegetable farming. It’s like making those intricate drawings in sand, or drawing on the side of the barn in chalk with your two year old. You put in the work, and the time and ultimately you watch the change of the season and the rain wash it all away. Our mistakes are temporary, our failures forgotten (except for some notes here and there). It is a joy of farming. Our failures are forgotten as soon as we harrow them away but we get to enjoy the successes of our season in our soup pots and on our dinner plates all winter long.

 

Your farmers,

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

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