Provider Farm

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July 21, 2019

This Week's Share

Here comes the deep summer crops! The very first tomatoes have started to come in from the high tunnel. The first ones are always such a treat. There will just be one or two per share at first for your salads, but there will be so many more. Hurrah!

Peppers and eggplants are on the way too!. We grow both Asian types and Italian types. The long slender Asian types are fantastic in stir fries, try them in the recipe of the week. If you've never had one before give it a try, they're really good! We grow white, purple and striped Italian eggplants. The differences are subtle and they can be used interchangabley. 

We grow peppers in all colors of the rainbow. First up will be our purple and green bells (both of these later ripen into red).

I should probably mention that basil downy mildew has moved into New England. We grow varieties that are resistant but if the disease comes into CT, it will kill them eventually. We have a beautiful basil crop, so if you want to make pesto, there's no time like the present!

Recipe of the Week: 

Eggplant tomato stir-fry

Ingredients: 

1-2 Asian eggplants
1 onion
2-3 tomatoes
soy sauce
rice wine vinegar
sesame oil
2 tbs olive oil
a couple cloves of garlic

Directions: 

Chop onions and garlic. Slice eggplants into thin rounds and chop onions into small cubes. Heat oil in a pan or wok. Add onions and garlic and cook stirring until translucent. Add tomatoes and cook until soft. Add eggplants and cook until tender. Season with vinegar and soy sauce. Turn heat off and add sesame oil. Serve over rice.

Credit: 
Kerry's coworker at Brookfield used to make it for breakfast

Carrots, carrots, carrots!

Tomatoes!
Tomatoes!

Dear Friends,

 

After weeks of watching wistfully as rain storms missed us to the north and the south this week we finally got our turn. We were expecting rain Wednesday. We rushed getting our last seeding of carrots in the ground before the forecasted storms, but the storms didn’t come. We watched the sky darken and heard thunder rumble in the distance. It really felt like we were going to get dumped on but Wednesday came and went with little to no actual rain. Our rain gauge showed a half inch or so. Not great but better than nothing. We went on with our day and our lives expecting to be irrigating like crazy again. We were as shocked as ever when the skies opened up Thursday after lunch and we the rain fell and fell. A nice soaking rain is exactly what we needed and exactly what we got. 

 

It is so rare to get an afternoon of gentle rain in the middle of a hot summer. Usually in July when it rains it pours. It pours and hails and the wind blows and disaster befalls the farm. We tried to get our transplanting done in the rain, sure that it wouldn’t last, I didn’t even put a rain jacket on, but as the afternoon progressed and the field got muddier and muddier we realized we were going to have to put a pin in our plans. Soaked to the bone and cold for the first time in what feels like months we decided to let the planting wait until things dried out a bit.

 

Aside from rain, the theme on the farm this week was carrots. Carrots, carrots, carrots. We bulk harvested our first planting of carrots this week. Over 2,000 pounds of perfect, sweet carrots brought in from the field and safely stored away in the cooler. Bulk picking carrots is one of my favorite tasks. When the carrots are weed free and nice it is as good as farming gets. Carrots are sweet in the spring and in the fall and not so much in the summer. To ensure we have delicious carrots all season long, we don’t really grow them during the hottest months, instead we grow a ton in the spring and keep them in our cooler during the hottest months. After trying a few different ways of doing things we have settled on this way as the very best.

 

If picking carrots wasn’t enough we also spent a solid chunk of our week weeding the teeny tiny fall carrots. These little babies will be the carrots that we harvest in September and October and store all winter long. We had over a half acre of carrots to hand weed this week. The tractor cultivators are great but they aren’t perfect and sometimes we have to help clean things up. I can honestly say that looking at this field of weedy carrots on Monday morning was the most stressed out I have been about something on the farm in years. I guess it’s nice to know the farm can still keep me up at night? 

 

Fortunately for us, all of you and most importantly our carrots, our crew is amazing. Like real super hero quality. We were able to cruise right through this weeding, getting it done well ahead of schedule. On time and on budget is a rare thing these days and when it happens it is worth remarking on. Now it is up to me and my tractor tools to keep the crop clean and ensure that we don’t have to hand weed again.

 

It didn’t end there however. Picking carrots, weeding carrots, might as well seed some too right? We do two seedings of storage carrots to stager the weeding and also give ourselves a bit of a safety net. This week I had to put in the final seeding of carrots. Another half acre of carrots in the field. Done in a flash with our electric tractor and tractor mounted seeders. Now we just have to wait for these little guys to germinate so we can weed them. And before we know it we will be running the under cutter through there, getting ready for the big fall harvests.

 

Your farmers,

 

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

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