Provider Farm

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June 30, 2019

This Week's Share

The spring crops are starting to faze out but holy cow, hold on to your hats, 'cause here we go! The zucchini, summer squash and cucumbers were indeed kicked into action by that burst of summer we had and this should just be the start of a flood of summer vegetables. I say this all the time but wow, what a wonderful time for eating.

 

I love summer squash and zucchini. It can star in just about every meal. Chop it into small cubes and fry it up with whatever else you have and scramble some eggs into it for a weekend breakfast. Roast tossed with herbs and oil or if its hot, put in on your grill. It's even excellent sweet in zucchini bread or as pancakes like the recipe of the week.

 

No store bought cucumber is as good as those picked fresh from the vine. Ours are unwaxed which is fantastic for eating. We have pickling varieties which are great for fresh eating or pickles, slicing fo salads and a new to us Japanese variety called Soyu long which were excited to give a try. We should have plenty of extras soon for pickling (we'll let you know). Don't put this off till August! There is a new disease that comes into New England that does in cucumbers pretty much by mid August. We do what we can to stave it off by using resistant varieties but that's basically the only card we have in our organic deck to fight this one.

 

The snap peas are ready! These peas are grown to be eaten pod and all. These are one of our favorite snack treats. If you do manage to get them home uneaten, they are fantastic stir fried. These don't love the heat of summer so we only get about two weeks out of them

 

Our spring planted carrots are ready and we should be rich in carrots for the rest of the season if all goes well. Our red cabbage are ready and we should have cabbage for the next few weeks. Cabbages can hold pretty well in your fridge (for like a month) if you keep them well wrapped.

Recipe of the Week: 

Zucchini Bread Pancakes

Ingredients: 
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons light brown, dark brown or granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk or 2 tablespoons each of milk and plain yogurt, whisked until smooth
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups shredded zucchini (from about 9 ounces whole, or 1 1/2 medium zucchini), heaping cups are fine
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour (half can seamlessly be swapped with a whole wheat flour)
  • 1/4 teaspoon table salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground or freshly grated nutmeg
  • Butter or oil, for coating skillet
Directions: 

In a large bowl, combine eggs, olive oil, sugar, buttermilk and vanilla until smooth. Stir in zucchini shreds. In a smaller bowl, whisk together flour, salt, baking soda, cinnamon and nutmeg. Stir dry ingredients into zucchini batter, mixing until just combined.

Preheat oven to 200°F and place a tray — foil-lined if you’re into doing fewer dishes later — on a middle rack.
Heat a large, heavy skillet (my favorite for pancakes is a cast-iron) over medium heat. Once hot, melt a pat of butter in pan and swirl it around until it sizzles. Scoop scant 1/4-cup dollops of batter (mine were about 3 tablespoons each) in pan so the puddles do not touch. Cook until bubbles appear on the surface, about 2 to 3 minutes. Flip pancakes and cook another minute or two, until golden underneath. Transfer pancakes to prepared pan to keep warm as well as ensure that they’re all cooked through when they’re served. Repeat with remaining batter. Serve warm. Repeat next weekend.

Credit: 
Smitten Kitchen

Chaos and weeds

Scouting for pests in our potatoes. Flowers on top mean the tubers are starting to form down below.
Scouting for pests in our potatoes. Flowers on top mean the tubers are starting to form down below.

Dear Friends,

 

What a wonderful and productive week on the farm! We were fortunate to have perfect weather for every task we had to do. Abundant sunshine on Monday allowed us to finally tie the tomatoes, and take care of some weed killing. The rainy day Tuesday was great to bring in the harvest and seed in the greenhouse. On Wednesday we were back to sunshine, taking care of a new flush of weeds that germinated after Tuesdays rain. Thursday and Friday we were off to the races, prepping land for fall crops, seeding cover crop over finished early crops, harvesting, weeding and even seeding our first round of storage carrots. 

 

We are entering into the busiest time of year for the farm by far. July and August are an annual gauntlet we must run. There are three main facets to farming here at Provider Farm. Most of the time we’re either weeding, harvesting or planting. Considering that all the tillage work we do to prepare land for planting falls under planting in my mind, we spend most, if not all of our lives on these three tasks. 

 

For most of the season we have to focus on one or two of these tasks at a time. In the spring we’re planting and nothing else, there are eventually some weeds but not too much and the harvest hasn’t really begun. In the fall the planting slows down and we can clean up any weedy crops and harvest harvest harvest. But July and August are the perfect storm. The time when all three vie for our attention. It’s like when a tornado meets a volcano and also Godzilla is there. We are harvesting four mornings a week for the CSA as well as packing whole sale and delivering. We have acres of fall crops to get in the ground. Oh and the weeds want nothing more than to take over and ruin everything. They’re Godzilla in this metaphor(I think it’s actually a simile).

 

Every year we think we have everything under control. Things seem good and we tell ourselves this year it’s going to be different. And every year things kind of fall apart. Usually this occurs in the form of the weeds getting out of hand. We do sometimes miss a planting and have to catch up but that not too bad. We have kind of gotten used to this cycle and have come to accept the on an organic farm you’re going to have some weeds and you’re going to have some chaos. If you can’t deal with a little bit of chaos you’re in the wrong business. Fortunately this annual trip of our lives descending into messy chaos has prepared us fairly well for parenting a three year old. 

 

That being said, things do seem really good and I am pretty sure this year it’s actually going to be different. We’ve invested heavily in some new weed killing machinery and have a top notch larger then usual crew.We’ll do what we can and accept what we can’t.

 

Your farmers,

 

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

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