Provider Farm

From our fields, for your family


September 28, 2018

This is the week of share renewals and the start of winter share sales (sorry, a typo last week might have made that a bit confusing). Salem shareholders, Max or I (Kerry) will be there with sign up forms for you. You can pick one up when you come in for your share.

Terra Firma shareholders, you can pick up a form when you pick up your share and send it in with your check.

This Week's Share

One of the first real signs that winter is nearing...turnips will enter the share. We have some nice gold ball turnips fo the share this week. These are a mild turnip, quite similar in flavor to a rutabaga. These are fantastic in soups and stews, or mashed on their own with some butter. Lest you think, oh its just a turnip, we had a customer come to us specifically for this variety of turnip, no other would do, to make a particular dish of her childhood. So let the root roasts begin!

We'll also have Jester squash in the share this week. This is a new variety for us that I am quite pleased with. This is a variety of squash that resembles a yellow acorn squash with green and dark orange stripes. They are quite sweet and have a testure similar to acorn. Bake them until tender and the cut side starts to carmelize.

Hmm, where's that lettuce, right? We planted a bunch, both cutting and head, right on schedule to harvest for now, and it has been very reluctant to grow. Turns out, plants need sun, and were just not getting a heck of a lot of it these days. So, we may have some small heads this week, but we might not. We think it'll grow up  to have some soon though.

Recipe of the Week: 

Roasted Roots

  • Olive oil
  • As many different roots as you want cubed (Beets, carrots, parsnips, turnips, rutabagas, potatoes, sweet potatoes, celeriac, onions, whole garlic cloves)
  • salt
  • pepper
  • herbs of your choice

Clean your roots and chop them up into small cubes. Put them on a baking pan and poor oil over them and mix until coated. Add dry herbs if you like (rosemary and thyme are good ones). Place in the oven at 400 and roast for about 30 minutes or until tender, stirring once in a while. Remove from oven and sprinkle with pepper and salt


A year of extremes

We actually found the potatoes to be dry enough to dig a few 1000 lbs. between this week's rainstorms.
We actually found the potatoes to be dry enough to dig a few 1000 lbs. between the rainstorms this week.

Dear Friends,


Well that was a lot of rain. Amidst down pours, showers, deluges, sprinkles and storms we managed to keep things going strong on the farm. Well pretty strong. In a year that has been extreme in terms of weather, this week was perhaps one of the most extreme. Tuesday we saw 5.5 inches of rain on the farm and other parts of the state saw flooding and dangerous conditions. We didn’t really see the sun until Thursday and by Friday morning we were back to rain. Our dry fields are wet and our wettest fields are ponds. It’s supposed to dry out over the weekend and next week is supposed to be nice, so we have our fingers crossed.

Another week, another farmer review of the wet weather conditions. Are we starting to sound like a broken record yet?

Our week got off to a bit of an odd start when we went out to pick our first planting of fall beets. These beets never looked great, and we had seen a bit of deer activity earlier on so our expectations weren’t too high. Even with our low expectations, the beets were a disappointment. The deer were worse than we thought, and the crop was basically a total loss. What is usually a robust, cooler filling storage crop for us, this year looks like it’s going to be a blank space.

This isn’t the first crop we’ve lost and this won't be the last. Losing storage crops can be a nerve racking experience as we head into the fall and winter. Earlier in the season when things do poorly we have an opportunity to reseed, replant and compensate. At this point there is no time for that. However all hope is not lost. While we can’t grow more beets we can potentially trade with another organic CSA and acquire beets that way.

Every year there are some things that do well for us and some that don’t. Often times crops that do well for us, don’t do well for some of our friends with CSA farms. We’re often able to come to mutually beneficial trades, filling need for both parties involved and maintaining a solid diversity of storage crops.  While we want everything to succeed, it’s great when we can turn extra potatoes that we don’t need into a crop that we do need.

We’re lucky to be in an area where we have access to a community of other farmers and friends who are in the same boat we are. While I don’t love to have crop failures, I do really enjoy trading storage crops. It’s nice to know others are in a similar boat and that we can lean on our community to make up for our losses and help others do the same.

Your farmers,

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

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