Provider Farm

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January 28, 2019

This Week's Share

Yikes, we are in for another brief and very cold cold snap. We will get everything washed and harvested before the worst of it but it does mean we'll be moving the Salem share pick up into our heated space. When you come to the share, look right from the share room and the share will be inside the big glass doors.

The crops continue to hold well in storage. If you haven't been roasting the seeds in your butternuts, I definitely recommend doing it! They have a tender shell and my three year old gobbled them up before we could even put them on a salad.

The days are becoming imperceptibly longer to us humans, but the spinach knows and is responding by slowly, slowly  growing. Hopefully, we'll see bigger and bigger bags of it in these last two shares. We have the experience to know now that a cold snap like this won't harm it, it is the hardiest of the greens. I was actually impressed our kale, and tiny freshly seed arugula did very well through the last arctic blast with just a double layer of row cover and I expect they will handle this next one just fine too.

The more anxiety inducing issue with these wild fluctuations is managing the wind that comes with them. Each storm requires a careful review of our greenhouse structures and repairing any structural issues before the next storm comes in.

Recipe of the Week: 

Crispy Oven Fries

Ingredients: 

Seasoning Mix (DO NOT USE ALL  OF THE SEASONING FOR ONE BATCH, READ INSTRUCTIONS):

  • 2 Tablespoons seasoned salt
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/8 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper

For the Fries:

  • 3 medium russet potatoes (russet are the best choice for perfect crispy fries)
  • 1-2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons grated Parmesan (optional)
Directions: 

Combine seasoning ingredients in a small bowl; set aside.
Wash and peel the potatoes (or not, we never do). Cut off the ends. With a very sharp knife, cut the potatoes into thin slices about 1/4 inch wide.
Add the fries to a large bowl and cover with cold water. Allow them to soak for at least 30 minutes but they can soak for as long as overnight. (Place in the fridge if soaking more than an hour).
After the fries have soaked, drain, rinse, and lay the fries on a towel lined cooling rack to dry while you preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Blot the tops with additional paper towels to absorb any excess moisture.
Line a baking pan with parchment paper or foil and spray with non-stick spray. Make sure the previously used bowl is dry and add the potatoes to it, add 1-2 tablespoons of oil and 1/2 – 1 Tablespoon of the seasoning mixture based on how much salt you prefer. Toss around to mix.
Evenly line the baking pan with the fries in a single layer. Don’t overlap or they fries won’t cook properly. Bake for about 30 minutes, flipping with a spatula once or twice after 15 minutes of cooking. Increase heat to 425 degrees and continue baking until the edges look a little burnt! (Max claims opening the oven multiple times will let the steam out and help keep them crispy (and you really do get a face full of steam, so watch out!)
Sprinkle the fries with the other half of the seasoning mix and Parmesan cheese (optional). Serve immediately.

Credit: 
layersofhappiness.com

Thinking of spring

Spring doesn't sound so bad right now, especially a sparkly blue sky day like this one.
Spring doesn't sound so bad right now, especially a sparkly blue sky day like this one

Dear Friends,

 This winter it’s been all freeze and thaw, freeze and thaw. Right now it feels a bit more freeze than thaw but I am sure that will change before we know it. Our crops are holding up nicely. The spinach is a never ending source of amazement to us. No matter how many winters we grow it, I am always impressed with its ability to not only bare the cold but to be made better by it. The spinach is like that person that doesn’t just survive a crisis but actually seems to thrive when things are at their worst. Not that things have been at their worst exactly, but none the less, the spinach is amazing. Most of the crops can’t even be grown in the winter, but spinach is actually way better in the winter than at any other time of year.

 

We’ve made it through January and are heading into the earliest days of February. The shortest month of the year and the last one of what we consider to be winter. Winter for us is more than just a season, it’s more than just the weather, it’s a state of mind. We take things easy in the winter. Shep and I might make waffles for breakfast any given day of the week in the winter. I spend time longer than I care to admit reading about how to make the perfect cup of Turkish Coffee. In the winter it feels like anything is possible. The farm, in so far as the farm is defined as the season to come, exists only in our imaginations and in the seed catalogs. Anything is possible and everything is possible.


 

It might snow in March, it will certainly be cold, windy and it’s dark, but it doesn’t matter. On the farm, in my mind, March is spring. When spring gets here, we get to business. We fire up the greenhouse and seed thousands and thousands of onions, broccoli, kale and more. We get to work in the spring. It’s kind of funny though, because despite the fact that I think of March as spring, it’s not really spring. But that doesn’t stop me from thinking that it is. So in my mind, we just have one very short, very dark, very cold month ahead of us, and then BOOM! Spring!


 

This is some pretty solid motivation for me, because there’s a lot to do before spring gets here. We have to get the crop plan finished up, order seeds, organize and streamline our lives, hire some people, and probably a ton of other stuff that I am forgetting right now. So while spring means it’s time to get to work, it starting to feel like it’s time to get work right now too.


 

Your farmers,


Hannah, Kerry and Max

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