Provider Farm

From our fields, for your family

Shareholders

October 27, 2019

Grassfed Beef Sale

With two more weeks to go of the share, it is time for my annual freezer clearing grassfed beef sale. Everything must go! Stock up your freezers for the winter. We have all cuts available. Purchase individual cuts for 10% off or pick up one of our box specials.

Ground beef box: 10 lbs. of ground beef for $65

Soup stock box: 1 bag of soup bones plus 1 lb of meaty shanks to make delicious broth for $12. Combine these with some veggies from your share to make top notch stock for your winter soups. Stock can frozen to be used all winter long.

Slow roast box: A mix of roasts, shanks and stew beef at a value of $120 for $100. Great cuts for slow roasting and warming up your kitchen on cold winter days.

Steak box: A combo of our fantastic steaks. Treat yourself! A value of $150 for $125.

While supplies last!

A New Mystic Pick up site! 

Terra Firma Farm shareholders, we have exciting news! We are currently putting the final touches on a Mystic winter share pick up location and we will email you this week with all the details.

 

Salem winter shares are still available and we welcome your CSA renewals still.

This Week's Share

Kohlrabi are back! These guys are a different variety from our early summer ones and are intended for winter storage. They can grow as big as volleyballs while maintaining a crisp tasty texture so don't be put off by their large size. They are great sliced into salads or cooked up. And don't worry, you can cut a hunk off and then wrap it up well and stash it in your fridge, where they can hold for a long time and keep you company through the winter.

We'll also have white potatoes this week. These are a nice dry potato and  make great baked potatoes and fries, or mash them up.

Recipe of the Week: 

Kohlrabi Salad with Cilantro and Lime

Ingredients: 
  • 6 cups kohlrabi -cut into matchsticks , or grated in a food processor -about three 4 inch bulbs (or you could substitute sliced fennel, apple, jicama, cucumber, or cabbage for part of the kohlrabi for more diversity)
  • ½ C chopped cilantro ( one small bunch)
  • half of a jalapeno -minced
  • ¼ C chopped scallion
  • orange zest from one orange
  • lime zest from one lime
  • Citrus Honey Vinaigrette:
  • ¼ C olive oil
  • ¼ C fresh orange juice ( juice form one orange)
  • ⅛ C lime juice plus 1 T ( juice from one large lime)
  • ¼ C honey
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • 1 T rice wine vinegar
Directions: 

Trim and peel kohlrabi. Cut off two ends. Cut in half from top to bottom. Thinly slice, rotate and slice again, making ¼ inch matchsticks.
Place in large bowl with chopped cilantro, scallions, finely chopped jalapeño ( ½), lime zest and orange zest.
Whisk dressing together in a small bowl. Toss with salad. Refrigerate until serving. Garnish with zest and cilantro.

Credit: 
feastingathoe.com

Letting go to hold on

Us in the early days at a market fueled by caffeine and adrenaline.
Us in the early days at a market fueld by caffeine and adrenaline.

Dear Friends,

 

The days are short and the dark comes quick. My alarm continues to go off at the same time every morning but the sun is slower and slower to join me in the waking world. It is a familiar pattern for us. Despite the fact that it hasn’t really been cold, there are signs that it is the end of October everywhere we look. Shep wanted to be spider man for halloween this year and he hasn’t really taken his costume off since we showed it to him. The leaves are turning and falling. The fields are consistently being transitioned from food crops to cover crops. In fact most of the farm at this point is blanketed in densely seeded rye, vetch, oats, peas, Sudan grass or some combination of the aforementioned. This time of year is an introspective time of year full of mixed feelings. 

 

The cake has been baked so to speak. It’s all over but it’s not over. There isn’t really much we can do at this point to dramatically effect the outcome of this season. Well I suppose there isn’t much we can do to effect things positively. We could certainly drop the ball at the 1 yard line, not get the harvests done and things would get worse. We can always make things worse but we’re past the point where we can really do much to make them better. There have been times in the past that I have felt a great sense of calm and relaxation at this time of year. For whatever reason that feeling of completion has not really visited us yet. We are certainly slowing down. We have been able to take a day off here and there, getting a chance to catch up on some of the activities that we don’t have time to do during the summer. But for some reason, that good fall feeling of relief has eluded us.  

 

This is partly due to the fact that we have a bunch of crops sitting in the field waiting for a hard frost. Parsnips in particular benefit from the sweetening effect of a frost as they convert their starches to sugars to act as anti-freeze. Other crops we’re just letting hang out hoping they may size up a bit more since there is no impending cold to damage them. There’s been no crunch to get them out except the calendar pages turning and no frantic harvest hustle. I’m not complaining, but it does just feel well, weird.

 

I’ve always wondered if by making our summers more bearable we would end up making the fall seem a bit less glorious. When Kerry and I first started farming at Provider Farm we would basically work all the time. The summer was a gauntlet. It was not out of the question for us to set the alarm for 4am. Get to the field by 4:30 or 5 in order to get a few hours of work done before the crew started. We would work the full day, grab a snack and then head back out often working until 7 or 8 in the evening. We would do this Monday through Friday, take it easy on Saturday and only work 10 hours then do a Sunday Farmer’s Market. We were driven out of necessity but also out of fear and stress, it felt better to do everything we could. Knowing that if something went wrong, at least we had literally given everything we had to give. 90 hour weeks are absurd and so incredibly difficult. By the time November rolled in we would collapse in a heap of Carhartt and exhaustion. There’s no better seasoning than hunger, nothing better than water when you’re thirsty and nothing sweeter than a day off when you’ve been working 7 days a week for three months. 

 

We learned some hard lessons in those early years. One of the hardest was that we couldn’t keep doing what we were doing. No matter how much you love what you do, running at the speed we were going we were heading towards an inevitable burn out. Fortunately, we were able to recognize this before we really crashed and burned. Through a lot of hard work, albeit a different sort of work, we are learning how to dial it back without feeling we are dropping any farm balls. We made our days shorter, we took a weekend day off here and there. We turned our farm into a place that people would actually want to work. With Shep’s arrival on the scene, our days got even shorter, our weekends more precious, but we still tried to maintain our farm as a place that people would want to work.

 

Given my overall happiness and our success with returning crew members I don’t think it is out of line for me to say that we have succeeded in our goal of making the farm a good place to be and a good place to work. One side effect of that though, since the season in general feels so much more manageable and so much more enjoyable, we don’t feel that same sense of relief and jubilation upon it’s completion. While I still love the fall, I am happy to love the fall a bit less if it means I love the rest of the season a whole lot more. 

 

Your farmers,

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

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