Provider Farm

From our fields, for your family

Shareholders

December 2, 2019

Welcome to the first winter share of the season! We hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday that fired up your cooking engines because we have loads of goodies for your stoves and ovens.

Provider Farm pick ups are 2-6 PM at 30 Woodbridge Rd., Salem. The first pick up will be this Friday, Dec. 6. Please take a moment to note subsequent pick up dates on your calendar: 12/20, 1/3, 1/17, 1/31, and 2/14. In the event that we have to reschedule due to bad weather, we will announce it on facebook, on our website and through an email, so please check in if a storm is impending on a pick up day.

Please park across the street from the farm or behind the barns but do not use the driveway up to the big yellow house (there will be signs). We have bags for your produce but you may want to bring a sturdy bag or box to carry it all in because winter vegetables get heavy. In the event you can not make the Provider Farm pick up, you can text me or call (860)222-5582 or send an email to this address and arrange a time to pick up a share I will pack for you. Please try to do this before the end of the share on Friday.

Coogan Farm pick ups will be 11 AM-4 PM at the Coogan Farm Welcome Center at 162 Greenmanville Ave. Mystic, CT. The first pick up will be this Saturday, Dec. 7. Please take a moment to note subsequent pick up dates on your calendar: 12/21, 1/4, 1/18, 2/1, and 2/15.In the event that we have to reschedule due to bad weather, the share will be pushed to the Sunday immediately following the scheduled pick up date. We will announce it on facebook, on our website and through an email, so please check in if a storm is impending on a pick up day.

The door to the welcome center is accessible directly from the parking lot. Shares will be packed up in boxes which you may take home or transfer your share into your own bags. You can leave boxes for us to pick up and reuse. There is no refrigeration so shares can not be held over. If you can not make it during the pick up time, please send a friend of family member to pick up shares or text or call me (860) 222-5582 or email me at this address by the Friday before the pick up date to arrange an alternative pick up here at the farm in Salem. Shares that are not picked up will be donated at the end of the day.

This Week's Share

Welcome to the wonderful world of winter eating! I love cooking at this time of year and have been whipping up loads of stews and baked goods. I love the warmth a hot oven brings to the house and and the smells of a hot bubbling soup on the stovetop. Its just so cozy! And delicious!

Winter foods lend themselves especially well to a hot oven and soup pot. Allow me to introduce you to some of the more unusual usual suspects you will see through out the winter share. I will highlight one every newsletter so you will get just the basics here. Please note that each listed crop above is a hyperlink. If you click on it, it will lead you to information on how to store the crops and lots of recipes. You can also find the recipes directly on our website. I've been working to cultivate a good collection of recipes for the winter share and am always looking for  more! Please help us increase our collection by submitting a recipe.

Beets! We have gold and red ones. The gold  are a milder flavor and don't turn everything red. They can all be used interchangeably or together.

What is that weird gnarled root reminiscent of a Harry Potter mandrake? Why that is a celeriac of course! These are also called celery root and are a variety of celery raised specifically for that funny looking root. These are famous in French cooking and will bring out the flavors of your winter cooking. They are wonderful peeled and mashed into your mashed potatoes, or used in a soup or stew in place of, or in addition to celery.

We have all sorts of turnippy things. We have purple top turnips and rutabagas. They are fairly similar with subtle difference for each one. Try them and see what you like. The purple top turnip is purple top and white bottom and rutabagas are creamy gold with purple tops.

Parsnips may be another new one for you. These long white carrot like roots have a nutty almost floral flavor. Roasting them brings out there sweetness. They also like to grow lots of extra limbs and we don't tend to cull them like they do for grocery stores so theres lots of fun octopus like roots mixed in.

Other odd balls you might not yet be familiar with are our storage radishes. We have two types: watermelon radishes, which are a white and light green but slice them open, and a bright rose inside and purple daikon, which are a beautiful lavender with pretty sunbursts when sliced. The purple daikons are very mild and sweet, as are the watermelon radishes. They make fantastic additions to winter salads and can also be cooked in stews.

One of our most peculiar winter share treats are the storage kohlrabi. They have lime green skin with nubs where their leaf stems used to emerge but when peeled they have a bright white crispy and sweet flesh reminiscent of apple crossed with broccoli.

Our spinach is still not quite big enough to harvest but we have some beautiful red butterhead lettuce for the first share. This variety is a Hungarian heirloom variety that is grown for it's winter hardiness and it looks georgeous despite the fluctuating weather. We should have lettuce until things really freeze over and then will move into our spinach.

We have several types of cooking greens in the high tunnel including purple lacinato,a little bit of rainabow chard, and our trusty ol' curly kale. The lacinato and chard are not quite as frost hardy as curly kale, but we should have them for at least the month of December. All the kale varieties are ultra tender due to the cold temperatures and are great for salads.

Please note that greens may not be washed  in order to help them store the longest and save our fingers from freezing. The best way to wash greens is to put them loose into a big bowl of water, not too packed so that they can swish around. Swish them around then drain and wash again. Then spin them dry if possible. It is best to store them in a sealed bag with a towel as dry as possible or unwashed.

Recipe of the Week: 

Slow roasted butternut squash

Ingredients: 
  • 1 butternut squash, cut into 1" cubes
  • 1-2 tbs. olive oil (enough to coat the squash)
  • a couple tablespoons of flour
  • 1-2 tsp. thyme
  • salt and pepper
Directions: 

Preheat oven to 250. Put squash in a bowl and pour enough oil over to coat squash pieces. Stir them around in the bowl until the oil thoroughly coats the squash. Add flour, thyme, and salt and pepper and mix until the squash is coated. Pour squash onto cookie sheet and arrange in a single layer. Put the squash into the oven and then wait. Cook for 2 hours or more. Resist the urge to flip the squash until it releases from the cookie sheet. Turn the cookie tray every half hour or so so it cooks evenly. Remove when you can't wait anymore, there will be some chewy pieces and some soft pieces. You will probably just gobble it off the cookie sheet and it won't make it to your meal.

Credit: 
Kerry-A shareholder at Brookfield Farm told me about this.

Stick season

The high tunnel is full of winter greens.
The high tunnel is full of winter greens.

Dear Friends,

 

Thanksgiving has come and gone. The coolers are full and the fields are empty. The tractors are tucked away for the winter and the cows are snug and safe in the barn. It must be winter. Personally I love this time of year. I had never heard the term ‘stick season’ before I moved to New England and little did I know that it quickly would become my favorite time of year. In case any of you are unfamiliar stick season is the time when the leaves are off the trees but before it snows. I love it. I love walking in the woods in early winter, there is something so perfect about a cold, rainy day, with the stick like trees shaking and rattling. 

 

Our days are slow enough that we have time to dedicate to preparing and enjoying meals. In the height of the summer we tend to focus on quick, easy meals. Meals that are so familiar we can whip them up in no time with no recipes. In the winter I am more than happy to read about someone’s life changing trip to Baja as I scroll and scroll on my way to finally find the actual recipe for the fish tacos. I love to try new recipes and figure out ways to sneak parsnips, rutabagas and kohlrabi into everything I make. This is the time when we comb through websites and the library's new cookbooks for recipes for newsletters and our website. Trialing them is one of my favorite parts of farming!

 

We cook more, and occasionally we stumble upon something we like so much that we make it a ton. Sometimes a good new recipe will end up burrowing it’s way into our hearts and becomes a summer meal as well. That’s the best case scenario. The worst case is that I spend hours preparing something without nothing that all the reviews say it’s terrible and we end up with a giant pot of inedible chicken that tastes like orange juice(Unfortunately a true story). 

 

There are a few different stages to our winter on the farm. At this time of year we can kind of take a little step back and relax a bit. We enjoy the holidays and time with our family. Soon we will have to begin thinking about next season. We are already sort of thinking about next year, in a lot of ways we’re always thinking about next year. But it’s not as urgent as it will become. Ultimately our days will become dominated with field maps and crop plans and after that a sense of anxiety and anticipation as we hope the snow melts before we have to start the green house.

 

But that feels like a long way off. For now it’s my favorite time of year. The first winter share is beginning and I can’t wait to find new recipes to fill with rutabagas. 

 

Your farmers,

Bonne, Hannah, Kerry and Max

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