Provider Farm

From our fields, for your family


September 14, 2019

This Week's Share

Celeriac, is it from another planet? It kinda looks that way. This knobby ugly duckling is related to celery. Sometimes it comes with its celery like stalks on top which are edible and good for cooking. When you cut into the root, it reveals white insides with a mild celery flavor which lends itself well to soups and stews. My favorite thing to do is mash it with your potatoes or try it in a good old fashioned root roast with all our other fall root veggies.

We'll also have delicata squash, a tasty winter squash with a tender skin. They are quick cooking and so sweet, just scrape out their seeds and roast in the oven for 20 or so minutes. Best all the skin is so tender, it is completely edible, which makes it great for a sauté or chopping whole into dishes (no peeling!) I think the skin actually makes it better. Also, don't forget to roast up their seeds. They have a thin hull and are great for snacking. My kid can't get enough.


Recipe of the Week: 

Turkish style celeriac in olive oil

  • 2 large celeriac (with stalks and leaves)
  • 1 large carrot (peeled and sliced)
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 lemon (juiced)
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1/2 cup olive oil (extra virgin)
  • Fesh chpped dill to garnish

First, cut the stalks from your celeriac and sort them, saving the fresh, green stalks and some leaves. Next, peel the celeriac using a sturdy paring knife.

Cut each peeled celeriac in half, then slice the halves about ½ inch thick. Line the bottom of a large, covered saucepan with the sliced celeriac and drizzle the lemon juice over the top. This will keep them from turning dark while you work.

Peel the carrot and cut in slices about ¼ inch thick and arrange them on top of the celeriac. Peel the onion and cut it in quarters. Coarsely slice each quarter and separate the rings. Arrange the onion over the top.

Coarsely chop the green stalks and leaves you've set aside and add them to the pan. Add the salt, pepper, sugar and ¼ cup of the olive oil.

Add about 1/2 cup water. Turn the heat on high and bring the pan to a boil. Turn the heat to low, cover the pan and let the vegetables simmer until all are tender and the liquid is reduced.

If the liquid seems too much, remove the lid and turn up the heat to evaporate the extra liquid quickly. Let the vegetables cool down to room temperature in the pan.

Gently remove the vegetables from the pan and arrange them on your serving plate. Drizzle the remaining 1/4 cup olive oil over the top and sprinkle with fresh dill.


Sometimes you win some, sometimes you loose some

We harvested loads of sweet potatoes this week and they are looking top notch!
We harvested loads of sweet potatoes this week and they are looking top notch!

Dear friends,


A week that seemed to really epitomize September. A lot of sweet potato and potato harvesting, a lot of farm clean up, cover cropping, planting winter kale, planting late lettuce. Cool days, hot and humid days, actual cold days, and just one perfect fall afternoon. September is usually a bit of everything. It can be as hot as ever, sweaty and brutal or it can be legitimately cold, rainy and also brutal. There are some weeks on the farm when we just kind of march the ball down the field. We accomplished a ton, we definitely move things forward, but there wasn’t a lot of flash and pizazz. While we will certainly be glad that this week happened, it probably won’t be one to remember and that is just fine by me. 


There is a lot going right on the farm this season and overall this has really been one of our better years. However, one area that hasn’t been going very well is our fall greens. Now obviously our kale, collards and chard are all doing fantastic but our salad mix has been a little lacking. There are a few reasons for this and as per usual  with problems on the farm, most of them can boil down to some poor decision making on our part combined with a bit of bad luck.


We have been wanting to move away from mechanically seeding, cultivating and then hand weeding our salad greens. It takes a lot of land to grow them and a lot of time to keep up with weeding all the greens. A lot of farmers that we know who grow greens really well densely seed their greens and use pre emergent flame weeding to end up with totally weed free lush beds of salad. In case you’re unfamiliar, flame weeding is exactly what it sounds like. We have a propane tank mounted on a back pack and wand that shoots fire. We walk down the beds and use the fire to kill weeds when they are tiny and just emerged from the soil. This is especially useful in case we ever run out of fuel for our grill we can just use the flame weeder tank. 


This sounded really great to us, we would save time, save land and have a better product so in the spring we did an experiment to see if it would work for us. We let weeds grow for a week or two in a 30 foot section of bed and than killed them with the flame weeder before seeding arugula very densely with a push seeder. The results weren’t perfect but they were very promising so we decided to switch our fall. 


When I decide I am going to do something I tend to really go for it. We made the switch for the first four seedings and unfortunately it just hasn’t worked out well. The greens are small and mostly discolored, pretty much totally unharvestable. Making matters worse, by the time we figured out it wasn’t going well we had already done a bunch of successions. We do have regularly seeded greens on their way but they are still a little way away. 


Alright, well we all make mistakes right? So what about the lettuce you’re probably asking, how did Max screw up the lettuce? This one is actually a bit less my fault and more a series of unfortunate events of a planting gap and a deer incursion followed by a lettuce planting in a slow cold field. That too has been corrected and there will be more lettuce on it’s way as soon as it sizes up. Fortunately the fall greens are absolutely splendid right now so we'll have to do as our mommas say and eat our leafy greens for now.


Your farmers,


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

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