Provider Farm

From our fields, for your family


October 6, 2019

If you didn't get your renewal form or winter share forms, have no fear, we will have them at share pick ups in Salem. You can send them or bring them in when you come to get your share. 

More information about winter shares can be found here.

This Week's Share

Hurray the salad greens are back! These tender and delcious greens make for a fantastic fall salad. There really isn't too much to say about them except enjoy! More lettuce heads coming our way too.

We are excited to harvest the first of our Brussels sprouts one of our favorites! If you only can think of yucky boiled sprouts from your childhood, don't write them off yet. Try them roasted, they're amazing. Just halve any big ones, lightly oil them and put them on a cookie sheet into a 450 degree oven. Let them brown and the edges crisp. So good!

We called the frost warning's bluff.  The pepper fields are on the warmer end of town and the forcasted low wasn't too low and I was reluctant to strip the plants of peppers if they weren't going to frost so we hedged our bet and opted to do nothing. Maybe experience,maybe some luck, but even though there was spotty frost in the valley, the peppers were untouched. Tomorrow, we pick peppers!

Recipe of the Week: 

Brussel sprout and kale salad with walnuts and lemon-mustard dressing


For the salad

  • 1 cup walnuts, chopped
  • 1 pound brussels sprouts, trimmed, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1 pound Tuscan or curly kale (about 1 large bunch), thick center rib removed, leaves thinly sliced
  • 1 cup coarsely grated or chopped Parmigiano Reggiano

For the Dressing

  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice, from about 2 lemons
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped shallots, from one large shallot
  • 1 small clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Heat oven to 350 and bake walnuts for 5 minutes or so until browned. Watch carefully so they do not burn.
Combine Brussels sprouts and kale in a bowl. Whisk dressing ingredients together and pour over kale and sprouts and half of cheese and walnuts. Toss well and let sit for at least a half hour before serving. Garnish with remaining nuts and cheese just before serving.


7 miles

Did you know this is how Brussels sprouts sprout?
Did you know this is how Brussels sprouts sprout?

Dear Friends,


It was warm, unseasonably so and than it got cold. Also, somehow unseasonably so. Many jokes have been made about how if one does not like the weather in New England, they need only wait a minute because it will change. In my experiences, that little idiom has proven true more times than not. Well, sunny and warm, or cloudy and cold, either way we were back to the grind this week. With the potatoes out of the field and the looming cold fast approaching, we kept the line moving and moved on to the next crop. 


Our main task for this week was to begin the carrot harvest. I say begin because we grow a whole lot of carrots for fall and winter storage and there would really be no way we could ever complete this task in a single week. We grow over an acre of carrots for the fall. While that is about the same amount of winter squash that we grow, and just a bit more than the potatoes, there is one key difference. The winter squash is grown on one single row per 6 foot bed, the potatoes are on two rows, the carrots on the other hand are on five rows. So what does that mean exactly?Well, it means that an acre of winter squash is around 7,200 feet of squash. A little less than a mile and a half. An acre of carrots on the other hand is over 36,000 feet of carrots. Almost 7 miles of carrot rows! Now that is a lot of carrots!


We like to go big here at Provider Farm. My goal was to pick 3 beds of carrots this week. That is about half of the first planting of fall carrots, or a quarter of the crop over all. With a tractor ready to go and a beautiful day, we set out to our task. Digging carrots is one of my favorite tasks, at least when it’s good. Well this year it is good. The carrots are beautiful and virtually weed free. They are also delicious so you get lots of snacks while you harvest. I love digging sweet potatoes, but they’re not quite as satisfying to snack on. Before too long we had finished the 3 beds. When all was said and done and the bags were stacked in the cooler we counted over 70 bags. So that’s roughly 3,000 pounds. That’s a bit less than a quarter of the crop. So we’re looking at potentially bringing in 12,000 pounds of carrots before this season comes to close. 


Now that is a lot of carrots!


Your farmers,


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

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