Provider Farm

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February 11, 2019

We have reached the last winter share of the year. We thank you for joining us on this winter local eating adventure and hope you enjoyed it as much as us. We love growing for you and hope our winter veggies brought joy, wamth and nourishment to your winter days.

This Week's Share

Valentines day is upon us and a first for me, I have to send party food to Shepard's school. I fear I am already the weird parent that sends him with tupperwares of weird vegetables but I can't help myself, I am sending watermelon radish hearts along with some slightly too healthy seeming turkey sandwiches. And also maybe some beet hearts (heart beets?). Every kid deserves a taste at least of a beet that hasn't come from a can.

Going along with the red theme, I have been really into the smaller beets lately. I boil them up whole. The skins rub off easily and they are great on an appetizer table or perfect served up as a Valentines day side. I make sure to make extras and then slice up the leftovers with a little onion and vinegar and oil, which dresses up a spinach salad nicely or is good as a salad itself too. Boil extra to make this chocolate beet cake for your sweety. Save a few drops of the liquid to dye the frosting, just a bit will make a vanilla frosting bright pink.

Recipe of the Week: 

West African Peanut Soup

Ingredients: 

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger root
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 pinch ground cloves
3 medium tomatoes, chopped
1 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
4 1/2 cups water
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup chopped, unsalted dry-roasted peanuts
1 pinch cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
1 bunch chopped fresh cilantro

Directions: 

Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Saute the onion 10 minutes, until lightly browned. Mix in the garlic, ginger, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, and cloves. Stir in the tomatoes, sweet potatoes, and carrot, and continue to cook and stir about 5 minutes.
Pour water into the saucepan, and season the mixture with salt. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer 30 minutes.
Remove the soup mixture from heat. In a food processor or blender, blend the soup and peanuts until almost smooth. Season with cayenne pepper. Return to the saucepan. Whisk in the peanut butter, and cook until heated through. Serve warm topped with fresh cilantro.

Credit: 
Kerry

The same but different

We'll be clearing out the rest of the winter spinach for this week's share. Should make for some nice big bags.
We'll be clearing out the rest of the winter spinach for this week's share. Should make for some nice big bags.

Dear Friends,

A bizarre winter is a fitting end to a bizarre year. We had spring like conditions last week, bitter cold before that and finally a bit of snow. Although it seems like the temperature is shooting right back up. Surely we are in for March blizzards and all sorts of surprises.

With the winter share drawing to a close and the storage crops winding down our hearts and minds are moving towards spring. We have finished up the preliminary map of which crops are going where. I tend to put this off until late in the winter but once a it’s done I always feel better.

Now that the plan is being made, I start to get really excited for spring. Sweet potatoes where the winter squash was. Onions where the carrots were. Lettuce everywhere in between. It’s important for soil health, pest management and overall good farming practices to rotate our crops through our fields. This means we can’t just roll the same plan out every year. We have to move things in blocks based on the family of vegetables they are in.

Winter squash and watermelons are close cousins and can’t follow each other other. But sweet potatoes and regular potatoes are complete strangers. In fact sweet potatoes are the only crop we grow in the morning glory family making them very easy to rotate. Veggies tend to either be brassicas(broccoli, kale, turnips), night shades (tomatoes, peppers) or cucurbits(cucumbers, melons) making the rotation harder to figure out than you might think. While we grow tons of varieties, they share so much genetically that it makes it difficult. If we didn’t grow so many onions and carrots, both in totally separate families the whole thing would be impossible.

So as we put a bow on this year, we begin to lay the foundation for the next. And so it goes. Year after year, the same thing but also somehow completely different.

Your farmers,

Hannah, Kerry and Max

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