Provider Farm

From our fields, for your family

Shareholders

August 17, 2019

Tomtato bonanza! Seconds for sauce are now available for $1/lb. Terra Firma folks can email me an order with the amount you would like and I will send them along with your share. The pickler cukes are holding up strong still and they are available for $1.50/lb. too.

In honor of labor day and the last days of the summer vacation season, we will have a beef sale this week and next.  10 lbs of ground beef will be $65. Take $1.00 off per pound for all other cuts. We have lots of great steak cuts for your labor day cook outs.

This Week's Share

Holy tomatoes! They are cranking now out of the field and we are dripping in gobs of them. An embarrassment of riches! Now is the time to eat all things tomatoes. Sauce, salsas, sandwiches, salads, roasted, grilled. If you can't get to all the maters in your share, let talk about that. First of all, eat those heirlooms up right away especially those big striped germans, followed by the green and purple Cherokees because those aren't going to hold long. The orange and pinks will hold better and finally the red hybrids so use them in that order.

 

But what if you find you still can't eat them quick enough? Here is any easy tip: chop them up real fast, put them in a freezer bag, squeeze the air out and lay the bags flat in the freezer where you will be excited to see them come winter. Easy as pie. Can't even do that? you can put the whole darned tomatoes in the freezer, but that will take up more space that way. 

 

Wanna make sauce but can't quite get to it? While the fridge degrades the texture for fresh eating, that doesn't matter when you're just going to make sauce, so just put all your tomatoes in the fridge where they will hold long enough for that time when you can meal prep a big pot of sauce. 

 

These cooler nights and hints of fall remind me we need to talk to you about something. Life after CSA season! Now is a good time to put some food up for less abundant times. Putting things up can be as complicated as canning and dehydrating or as simple as freezing some stuff. Like you, we are busy people so I've really narrowed things down to the quickest things I can do and I'll share my tips for you! 

 

I typically freeze things because I just can't get it together to do a big canning session. Canning is by far the best way to put up tomatoes for flavor (and theres ton of info online if you want to do that) but really freezing isn't half bad when you're using them for sauce and soups. I always freeze a bunch of chopped and some sauce. You can also slow roast and freeze those if you want to get fancy. Cooked tomatillo salsa freezes great too!

 

Next thing I always do is peppers once the red and yellow peppers start rolling in. They are easy peasy, just core and seed them and chop them up and toss them in a freezer bag. They are fantastic in stir fries and all sorts of cooked dishes, or just a pepper popsicle nibble. I'll also do a bag of hots.

 

I always like to get some cooking greens up for the winter. You can blanch them or just sauté them and freeze them up ready to be defrosted and eaten. Our winter share has greens but there is the hungry time of April and May when things get a little desperate.

 

Having a hard time using up those herbs? Pestos freeze up great. You can also buzz them in a food processor with oil and freeze them in ice cube portions. The oil helps retain the flavors of the herbs. You can also hang parsley to dry.

 

Since we have our winter share and we continue to eat from the farm all winter long, these are the few things I find necessary to do to go along with our storage crops. If you won't be doing the winter share, onions also freeze very well. 

 

I tend to stick to things that I don't find are compromised in terms of texture from freezing, but summer squash, celery, eggplant, broccoli also can also be frozen. What do you like to put up? Any favorite recipes or methods?

 

Hmm...well things are shaping up to be very busy for the next few weeks.  The melons have decided its time to ripen up and we were delighted to pull the first of the yellow watermelons out of the field on Friday. I think you will be delighted too, they have some of the best flavor of melons we have ever grown. We also spotted the very first cantaloupe and it was spot on delicious! We hope they start to pour in next week,  but they have puzzled us thus far so only time will tell.  

 

I would be remiss not to mention that the Sun jewel melons however, have started to come in in despite the lackadaisical attitude of the watermelons. These are an "Asian crisp" type melon. Long and yellow looking like an inflated yellow cucumber, these are crisp and floral when ripe.

 

While the melons are taking their time, the winter squash is not and it is right on schedule, which means the spaghetti squash is ready to bring in! I also spied the first of the broccoli heads forming in the field so that is next up. And, Hannah mowed off the red potatoes, so we're thinking about that soon. Oh my, we are going to busy.

Recipe of the Week: 

The easiest tomato sauce in the world

Ingredients: 
  • tomatoes, chopped. you can squeeze out some of the excess water and seeds if you like prior to chopping
  • olive oil
  • salt
  • fresh basil, parsley to, if you want
  • oregano
  • one onion, chopped
  • a couple cloves of garlic, chopped
Directions: 

Fry up your onions and garlic an a healthy glug of olive oil. When they are translucent, add the tomatoes. Cook them till softened. Then grind it up with an immersion blender or food processor (don't burn yourself!)
Put the sauce back on the heat and season with herbs, some salt and a grind of pepper. Cook until desired thickness is reached. Correct salt to taste and enjoy!

Credit: 
Kerry

The bridge season

That is 3,000 lbs of carrots in those bags. Not bad for a morning's work!
That is 3,000 lb. of carrots in those bags. Not bad for a morning's work.

Dear Friends,

 

A beautiful week. At times the chilly foggy mornings were more reminiscent of autumn than summer. Everywhere we look we see signs of fall, the potato vines are dying back and the skins curing. The spaghetti squash is ready to come out of the field. The sweet potatoes are sizing up. Much of our land is covered in sparkling green cover crops. It really would feel like fall if it weren’t for the watermelons and cantaloupes finally getting the memo and beginning to do their thing. After so much wondering, finding ripe watermelons has got to be one of the best feelings on the farm.

 

This was one of those weeks not defined by one big project but instead by our ability to execute in all phases of the farm. With the tomatoes booming, the harvest for the CSA take longer than ever. We spent much of the week picking some really nice crops for the weekly share. On top of that we bulk picked our second planting of carrots and beets. The carrots have really stood out this year. Maybe it’s the weather? Maybe it’s the fact that we’ve actually been able to keep the weeds under control? Who knows exactly the reason why, but regardless they have been incredible. We pulled in over 3,000 pounds this week alone!

 

When we weren’t busy with the harvests, we were weeding lettuce and fall brassicas. In a few weeks the weed pressure will drop off considerably as the days shorten and the temps cool down but for now we still have to make sure we really keep our feet on the gas and don't slack off with the weeding. It wouldn’t be summer if we didn’t have to plant as well as weed and harvest. Lettuce, boc choi and the last of the broccoli all went in this week. In addition to all of that, we were able to flip a considerable amount of land into cover crop.

 

Cover cropping is easily one of my favorite tasks on the farm, and it’s not just because it’s primarily a tractor task. Once the cover is down, we’re basically done with that field for the year. We seed a cover crop like oats and peas or buckwheat and let it grow up, and all we have to do is drive by and think about how nice it looks. While our work might be done, the cover crop actually does a considerable amount of work for us. They smother weeds, they build soil organic matter, they create a habitat for beneficial insects above ground and below ground, they hold on to precious nutrients, keeping them from leeching away. They do so much for us and we don’t even have to pay them!

 

It’s getting close to back to school time, on one hand it feels like the summer is fading. On the other hand we are swimming in melons, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant and so many other staples of summer, so we’ll just forget for a moment that august is almost over.

 

Your farmers,

 

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

Browse newsletter archive