Provider Farm

From our fields, for your family


October 5, 2018

Share renewal and winter share forms have been distributed at share pick up last week. If you didn't get one, don't worry you can pick it up this week, or grab a sign up form off our website. You can bring them  in when you pick up your share in Salem or send them by mail. We will open share sales to the general public on Oct. 12, so if you get them in before then, it guarentees you a spot. If you would like to change your share size, just write that on your form.

Some have discussed special circumstances around their renewals and I am always happy to be flexible for current shareholders, so if there is something holding you up from renewing, pelase just email me and we can discuss it.

Winter shares are for sale on a first come first served basis. We generally ask for full payment upon enrollment, but if you want to break that up, just let me know. 

This Week's Share

Just as we are finishing up the sweet potato harvest, the first sweets that we dug are cured and ready for eating! We have two types, a red skined orange sweet and a white sweet potato. The white sweet potatoes are by far my favorite, the sweetest of all, but the orange are tasty too for the more traditional out there. We have a good crop and they will continue to get even sweeter as the weeks go by.

Please note, sweet potatoes do not like the cold, so don't store them in the fridge with the rest of your share. They are happy on a counter or in a cupboard in your kitchen. Keep the white ones out of direct sunlight or they will turn green.

We are sad to see the last of this year's delicious fresh onions go out the door last week but this makes way for our red onions. These guys did great this year, which is really a quandry since onion drying conditions this year were terrible and usually red onions are susceptible to rot. But we'll take it! Some do have flat spots for some mystery reason but it doesn't seam to be affecting the quality so don't let that deter you. These are great for salads or cooking. They are cured and can be stored in your cabinet or on a counter.

Recipe of the Week: 

CSA soup

  • About 2 cups chopped root vegetables (if you're using celeriac, chop the tops and fry with the onions)
  • 4 cups stock
  • 1 can diced tomatoes, or 2 cups fresh chopped tomatoes
  • 1 cup chopped onions or leeks, or a combination
  • 4 cloves diced garlic
  • herb sprigs, plus some minced
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cans of beans, drained and rinsed ( I used garbanzos and kidney this last time)
  • about 1 cup chopped greens
  • couple tbs. olive oil or butter, or a mix of the two
  • dash of red wine vinegar, fish sauce (optional)

Heat your oil on medium heat in a soup pot. Add onions and leeks and fry till they soften, and add garlic. Continue to cook until fragrant being careful not to burn.
Add roots and saute about 10 minutes. Then add stock, beans, herb sprigs,a few teaspoons of salt, and tomatoes. Cook until the roots begin to soften and add greens and cook until tender. Taste and add salt and pepper to taste (tasty soup has a shocking amount of salt in it). Add a splash of vinegar to brighten the flavor if necessary and a little fish sauce will give it an umami boost. Garnish with chopped herbs.


You never know

Loading up the last of the sweets.
Loading up the last of the sweet potatoes for the year.

Dear Friends,

 It seems like we can just plan on getting at least 2 inches of rain every Tuesday. That certainly seems to be the way things are going this year. The constant rain has caused some new issues for us. Usually in the fall we can harvest what we want when we want it. This year, the field that our sweet potatoes are in has been too wet and muddy to dig sweet potatoes for much of the fall. While this wasn’t having an adverse effect on the sweets, it was making getting them out of the field problematic. There was one spot in the field in particular, affectionately named the ‘wet hole’ where the tractor would just sink in, even if the rest of the bed was dry enough to drive. With another deluge of heavy rain forecasted for Tuesday night, we really wanted to bang out the rest of the sweet potato harvest before that happened.

 Sweet potatoes are native to south and central America. They’re a long way from home here in New England. They are very sensitive to frost, and even after harvested they don’t like temperatures below 50. Regular potatoes can remain in the ground late into the fall, in fact the potato plants themselves are long dead and gone, the spuds are just chilling there in the ground waiting for us.  Sweet potatoes on the other hand need to be harvested pretty much immediately after the vines are killed. Furthermore, since the vines can’t withstand even a light frost, it can get nerve racking having the crop in the ground late into the fall. We usually like to get into the sweet potatoes immediately after we pull in the winter squash. It is rare for us to have sweets in the ground past the 3rd week of September. With all that being said, with the calendar turning to October we were anxious to finish the harvest off.

 With that in mind, we set to our task. The 6+ inches of rain we got last week made, the field muddy but drivable and we started digging Monday morning. The crop is beautiful and a real pleasure to pick. This week we had the remaining white ones to pick as well as a new variety called Bayou Belle, with bright pink skin and vibrant orange flesh. The crates filled quickly and before we knew it we had another 4,000 pounds of sweet potatoes out of the ground and on their way back to the farm to cure in the greenhouse before being safely tucked away for winter storage. And not a minute too soon, we got so much rain Tuesday night even trying to walk in the sweet potato field on Thursday I sank right too my ankles.

 Finishing off the sweet potato harvest is a huge load off our backs. With the sweets out, all of our remaining storage crops are frost safe, cold loving, hardy New England crops. Carrots, cabbage, parsnips are not only able to withstand the cold, they are actually improved by it. This fall has been unusual, consistent with the season as a whole and it doesn’t exactly feel like it’s going to get cold any time soon but you never know!

Your farmers,

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

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