Provider Farm

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July 28, 2019

This Week's Share

 

The summer crops are really rolling in now. We haven't seen such a good eggplant crop in two years. It is so. many. eggplants. For all you eggplant lovers, go nuts! For all those who are not, maybe its time to give them a try again.   The peppers are beautiful and we've started picking hots too. Jalapenos, Anaheims, Serrano and poblanos to start. Typically they are mild to start, but these have already got some spicy zing to them.

 

I spied the first of sungold cherry tomatoes in the fields. These are the sweetest cherry tomatoes out there and you'll probably eat them all on the way home. These are always the first to ripen out of the field and it won't be long before the grape and pear tomatoes and all the others follow.

 

We'll start picking some of our celery now too. This is the first time in a lot of years that we've grown it. Locally farm grown lettuce is so fragrant and tasty but it is a challenging crop to grow. In July and August when it is growing extra rapidly, it falls victim to a physiological disorder called black heart (my favorite plant malady name).This is due to the rapid growth outpacing the plants ability to uptake calcium and the leaves start to ripple and in the inner stalks shrivel. To avoid losses due to this, we'll start picking it early. California celery is pumped full of water to help alleviate this problem but it also waters down the flavor. You'll find ours has a rich celery flavor that will heighten your cooking.

 

We are heading towards a lettuc hole in our harvest which is typical for this time of year. There are some lettuce heads on the cusp of readiness. Maybe this week but maybe not. Time for Mediterranean salads of chopped tomatoes, parsley and cucumbers. 

 

 

Recipe of the Week: 

Roasted Sesame Garlic Eggplant

Ingredients: 
  • 2 medium-large globe eggplants, ends trimmed and cut into 3/4-inch cubes
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 to 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons reduced-sodium tamari
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • Sesame seeds (optional garnish)
Directions: 

Preheat the oven to 400F. Line a large baking tray with parchment paper.
Spread the eggplant out over the pan, drizzle with the olive oil, and toss to coat.
Roast the eggplant for 25 to 35 minutes, tossing once, or until tender and beginning to caramelize (you want it to have lost its spongy quality).
Meanwhile, prepare the sauce. Add the garlic, rice vinegar, tamari, sesame oil, and maple syrup to a medium saucepan. Heat over medium-low and simmer for 4 minutes, or until the garlic softens and the mixture reduces a bit. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly.
Once the eggplant is ready, transfer it to a large serving bowl. Drizzle with the sauce and toss to coat. Garnish with the cilantro and sesame seeds (if using).

Credit: 
blissfulbasild.com

Big time

The Provider Farm crew crushing it!
The Provider Farm crew crushing it!

Dear Friends,

 

We went from being as dry as a bone to getting over 4 inches of rain in 5 days. Unexpected is probably the best word to describe it. Sometimes the forecast says will give an estimate of rain fall with the caveat that there can be higher amounts in thunder storms. Well that was us on Monday night, we got over 2 inches of rain in a very short amount of time and another inch throughout the day on Tuesday. In some ways it’s good, in some ways it’s kind of bad. Kerry and I both had the same reaction to ankle deep water in the onions, which was to point and give a Simpsonian laugh. I think that speaks to our maturity as farmers. We’re back to sun which is great for killing weeds but our wettest fields, which were dry are most definitely wet again. I suppose that’s just the way it goes. 

 

We’re at the point of the season where every week is a big week. This week was certainly no exception. Some weeks it’s the big bulk harvests that stand out, other weeks it’s the weed killing. While we did a lot of those things this week the thing that really stood out was how amazing our farm crew is. It goes without says that there would be no farm without the wonderful people that we have working with us. 

 

We had to push hard to get the fresh onions out of the field on Monday before the rains came in, the crew stepped up big time and we got them done. The next day we had to slog through a very muddy CSA harvest while the rain poured down, the crew stepped up again and we got it done. Wednesday we bulk picked our beets, 4,000 pounds to load from the field to the truck to the cooler, the crew stepped up big time and we got it done. Thursday, we had to excavate the sweet potatoes from a growing forest of pig weed, a truly back breaking arduous activity, again the crew stepped up and we got it done. Hot or cold, rain or shine these guys are here to get it done and that’s really great. We're sure we have good contenders for the farm olympics when that becomes a thing.

 

We depend on them for so much. They staff the CSA pick ups, drive our trucks, wash the produce, drive tractors, harvest, weed, deliver whole sale orders and so much more. All with smiles and jokes. Farming can get pretty hard sometimes but when you have a crew that can have fun even when things are the hardest you can have fun all the time. We’re really lucky to have a group of people that make this job so much fun. If you see them around, give the crew a high five for a job well done.

 

Your farmers,

 

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

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