Provider Farm

From our fields, for your family

Shareholders

June 2, 2019

Welcome to the first share pick up of 2018. We have had quite the spring and are excited to start the share.  If you are reading this, you have successfully received our newsletter. We will use our newsletters for all our communication so please take a look every week to make sure you don't miss any important news.

Here are the logistics on share pick ups:

Provider Farm share distributions:

The first pick ups of the season are this Tuesday June 4 and Friday June 7. Local on farm pick ups are Tuesdays and Fridays 2-7 PM at 30 Woodbridge Rd. in Salem.  If you are new this season, we will be there to greet you and show you the ropes. Shareholders who pick up on the farm do not have to pick a day. You can come to either pick up day week to week. I always recommend Tuesdays as they tend to be less busy. If you can not make the pick up, have a friend or family member come pick it up. You do not need to tell us if someone is picking up for you.

Please do not use the driveway to the big yellow house. There is parking across the road and behind the barns.

We provide bags but you may want to bring a sturdy box or bag to carry everything in. As we get into the season, the share will get larger and heavier and you may want something to carry it all in. To reduce the use of plastics, we welcome you to bring your own bags instead of using ours, or reuse our bags.

For those who split a share, we ask that you either come together to pick up your share or alternate weeks, but not come separately during the week. I use the person who signed up for the share as a contact person and that is who I communicate with regarding payments and other share information. I can add your share partner to the newsletter mailing list if you email me, but it is up to those sharing a share to communicate otherwise.

Our 100% grassfed beef is available for sale at our CSA share pick ups. I am also hoping to add some pastured pork and eggs from Copper Hill Farm and Terra Firma Farm's yogurt in the next few weeks. We also have our remaining plant sale seedlings available for purchase for the next few weeks.

If you have an outstanding balance still, I will write it on the sign in sheet. You can either pay it at the share or send it in.

Terra Firma Farm shareholders:

The first pick up of the season is this Wednesday June 5. Terra Firma Farm share distributions are Wednesdays 3-7 at Terra Firma Farm's farm stand at 564 Norwich-Westerly Rd., North Stonington. If you can not make the pick up, feel free to have a friend or family member pick up. Shares are packed into boxes for you and there is a check off sheet with your name and share size. Please be sure you take the correct box size. We will take back boxes, so you can unpack and leave your box at the farm stand for us. If you can not make it on Wednesday, please communicate with Brianne preferably by text (860) 861-0724 and she can hold your box in a cooler to pick up when you can make it. Her farm store is open every day 10-7.

I (Kerry) send out the weekly newsletter to you. Brianne Casadei, owner of Terra Firma may email you specific information regarding the pick up location in addition as needed. If you have a concern or question specific to the pick up location, you can email her.

We look forward to seeing familiar faces and meeting our new shareholders!

 

This Week's Share

Welcome, welcome to the wonderful world of CSA vegetables. Did you hear the CDC news release this winter that one in ten Americans don't eat enough vegetables? Congratulations, as a member of our CSA you are well on the way to being "the one" ("Be the one"-- this was going to be my new marketing campaign, but the crew was unimpressed). Feeding people vegetables really makes me happy. I really believe in the power of vegetables to make the world a better place. It's why I farm. I can't see a whole lot wrong with a vegetable. 

But I will admit, eating vegetables can be hard. It takes work to bring home your share and scrub and chop everything, and on top of that, cook it. Don't worry, we have tips, lots and lots of tips to make this whole thing a little bit easier. You will probably start to enjoy it and then when it's all over in the fall, you will miss it when you have to head back to the drudgery of the grocery store produce aisle.

My point being, we are here for you! Hannah and Marycia staff our Salem pick ups and they know everything about these crops and how to store and cook them. When we list what is in the share every week, if you click on a specific crop, its a hyper link to information on storage and use and recipes (all of these things are on our website). We include tips on incoming crops in the newsletter and a recipe usually focusing on one of those crops. If you are still at a loss, please email me and I'll do my best to help you out. Furthermore, we're here for each other! If you find an excellent recipe, please share it to our website here. And if you have any tips you want to share with me, please do! Especially longtime shareholders, what have you found that works for you?

So let's get started. We recommend processing your share right when you get home with it. Here are a few general tips on how to process, store, and cook your share:

  • Wash your greens  by swishing them loosely in a bowl of water. Drain the water and do it again. Become good friends with your salad spinner and spin them as dry as you can. Greens store best when they are dry. Store them in an air tight container or bag with a towel in the fridge.
  • Bunched roots will store best if you remove them from the greens. Treat the greens as you would greens. Scrub the roots clean and store them in an air tight bag or container. Don't store them loose in the fridge or they will lose moisture and get soft. You can prechop them for recipes if you want to get fancy.
  • You might find at first learning to cook with all these veggies can be a challenge but I am confident everyone can do it! Start by just adding more veggies to what you are already doing. Pasta and sauce? Throw some greens in that sauce and have a green salad on the side with it.
  • Try not to focus on individual vegetable recipes, but meals that can incorporate many different types of veggies. Develop some recipes that your whole family loves and you can bang out in a half hour. These are so helpful to have in your back pocket when you want to just get take out because you're dead tired. Post them on the fridge to help you remember its quicker to cook then do drive to get food and bring it back home.
  • The internet is chock full of recipes, so if you are a loss, you can always try there. There are a ton of cooking blogs and instagram pages too where I get lots of ideas. I like Food 52, Love and Lemons, and thekitchn.

Every week I will do my best to guess what will be in the share and list it here. Sometimes I am on the nose, sometimes a crop or two I thought we would have goes by, or surprise!, something new comes into the mix before we expected it. Please note the listed crops are hyperlinks and if you click on them, you can get info on storage and preparation of each crop along with recipes.

So let's dive into the share this week! The first share of the season is always about greens--salad greens, cooking greens and lettuce. The first greens of the season are always the best in my opinion, sweet, tender, and crisp so eat em up as big salad entrees before the heat starts to add a touch of bitterness to them.

This spring has been crazy cold and wet, and though we haven't loved it, the spinach sure has! We have a beautiful crop this year. Its a cool weather loving plant, so we'll only have it for a little bit so enjoy it while its here and then it'll be gone til the fall.

Have you had a Hakurei turnip? If you haven't, you're in for a treat. These are no Thanksgiving turnips. These little ping pong ball like roots are sweet and crispy and intended to be eaten raw sliced into a salad. You're gonna love em. Save the tops and cook them up like you would any cooking green.

The overwintered carrots are going to make you very happy. We planted these way back in the fall, covered them with long low tunnels and there they sat all winter slowly growing. We diligently checked the tunnels after every storm and repaired them and now we get the rewards of the sweetest most tender carrots you will ever taste. You'll probably just scarf them down in the car on the way home but if you don't, they'll be great in a salad.

Salem shareholders have the opportunity to pick a plant from our seedling sale as well. Terra Firma shareholders will receive a potted basil plant. Don't worry, you do not need a green thumb. Eat them as is or if you pot them up or plant them out ,they will reward you handsomely with lots of basil to come.

 

 

Recipe of the Week: 

Scallion pancakes

Ingredients: 
  • 2 1/2 cups white flour
  • 1 cup warm water
  • Oil for the pancakes, such as vegetable, sesame, or shortening
  • Coarse kosher salt
  • 1 bunch scallions
  • High smoke point oil for the pan, such as vegetable, canola, or peanut oil

For a dipping sauce, use the sauce recipe from these potstickers.

Directions: 

1. Make the dough and let it rest: Mix 2 1/2 cups flour with 1 cup water until it forms a smooth dough. Knead by doubling the dough over and pressing it down repeatedly, until the dough is even more smooth and very elastic. Coat this ball of dough lightly in oil and put it back in the bowl. Cover the bowl with a damp cloth and let the dough rest for about 30 minutes.

2. Roll out the dough: Cut the dough into 4 equal parts. Lightly oil the back of a large metal baking sheet (or a smooth stone countertop or pastry board). Roll out one part of the dough on the back of the baking sheet. Roll until it is a thin rectangle at least 12 x 9 inches.

3. Chop the scallions: Finely chop the bunch of scallions. (I usually use the green tops and just the very top of the white parts.) Set them on your work surface along with a small bowl of kosher salt.

4. Top the dough: Lightly brush the top of the dough with oil, then sprinkle it evenly with chopped scallions and kosher salt.

5. Roll up the dough: Starting from the long end, roll the dough up tightly, creating one long snake of rolled-up dough.

6. Cut in half: Cut the dough snake in two equal parts.

7. Coil the dough and let it rest: Take one of these halves and coil into a round dough bundle. Let it rest for at least 15 minutes and ideally longer, while you repeat this process with the rest of the dough.

8. Roll out the coil: Pat a coiled dough bundle into a flat, smooth, round pancake. You can do this with a rolling pin or with your hands.

9. Cook the pancake for 2 minutes: Heat a 10-inch heavy skillet or sauté pan over medium-high heat, and oil it with a drizzle of canola, vegetable, or peanut oil. When the oil shimmers, pick up the pancake dough and lay it gently in the pan. It should sizzle, but not burn. Cook for 2 minutes on one side.

10. Flip and cook for an additional 2 minutes: Flip the pancake over with a spatula and cook for an additional 2 minutes on the other side, or until golden brown. Repeat steps 9-11 with the rest of the pancake dough coils.

Credit: 
thekitchn.com

The wait is over

Friday afternoon ice cream treats for 2019's excellent. We have some new faces this year. Bonnie, Bill and Tori. Marycia is back after a multiple year hiatus.
Friday afternoon ice cream treats for 2019's excellent. We have some new faces this year. Bonnie, Bill and Tori. Marycia is back after a multiple year hiatus.

Dear Friends,

 

The wait is finally over and the first share has finally arrived. This spring has been unique to say the least. After truly unprecedented amounts of rain and lingering cold, it is so satisfying to finally begin to enjoy the fruits of our labor. The fields are finally bursting with color and brimming with food. The row cover is off and the fields are shinning with brilliant shades of red and green. I love to see the farm take shape, the fields fill in, the crops grow. Especially this year, after such a hard spring it is very satisfying to see the first crops come in.


 Our life on the farm just doesn’t feel complete without the familiar rhythm of our weekly harvests. It is certainly convenient to not have to worry about harvesting and washing when we’re busy plowing, planting and in general doing all the things that the spring requires of us. On the other hand, there is something very comforting and familiar about the routine the harvest provides. There may be more to do, but it actually takes a little less planning on our part. We have a solid frame work that we have to plan the week around, and that relives some of the mental energy required to come up with an efficient and effective plan for the work week.


 There is so much about the first share that makes us happy but we are still seeing the lingering effects of a very cold and very wet spring. Everything is behind for the most part. We have just had a lack of Growing Degree Days (a way growing time is measured). As far as we can tell everything on the farm is a solid 7-10 days behind where we typically expect it to be. Looking back on old photos, it is remarkable how behind the farm is. The crops all look good for the most part, they’re just not quite where they normally are. For instance, usually we have beets ready around June 5th and this year they look like they will be at least a week or two behind that.


 

While the cold is one thing, all that rain, both last fall, through the winter and this spring is a whole other issue. We have fields that we still haven’t been able to get into to plow. Fortunately these fields were all scheduled to be later fields but we are not even sure if we will be able to get into some of them at all this season. Our wettest field is actually currently home to a nice family of ducks. We’re hoping that the drier weather we’ve had recently continues and we can start to kill weeds and have them stay dead, and all our fields dry out. As much as we may complain about a lack of rain, the truth is that we can always add water but we can’t take it away.


 

Mostly I am glad that this is our 8th year not our 1st. While the spring has presented many challenges, we fortunately have developed the experience and skills to navigate fairly well through a tumultuous start. I am so happy to be kicking off the 2019 season. I have become far too familiar with the produce department at the grocery store and I am ready for some fresh lettuce and kale.

We're looking forward to seeing you all again this week!

 

Your farmers,

Bill, Bonnie, Erica, Hannah, Kerry, Marycia, Max and Tori

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