Provider Farm

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June 20, 2020

Happy summer solstice! Long days and heat means the crops are really growing now.

This Week's Share

The share is a choice of these crops listed.

Please read! Make sure you sign you for a slot for the next three weeks using the form that went out last week. Your slot from last week will not carry over to the next three weeks. Click here for the form.

You can sign up any time. If you need to change your selection, pick a new slot. Then you can delete your old slot.

 

Salem Boxed Share notes: 

Please make sure you are taking the correct box size when you pick up. There are signs indicating each box size next to the boxes. 

Lots of great things coming in this week.

Beautiful beets are on the way. We have both orange and red and harvest them with the tops for the first few weeks. Don't throw those tops away, they are tasty cooked up with the beets and super healthy.

Fennel is one of my favorite crops, but I will admit, one I have learned to love only in the past few years. It is traditionally used in Italian cooking and is great in spaghetti sauce. But it is also really tasty sliced thinly into a salad. The fronds are great for stock.

There is a lot on the horizon this week. We'll have to wait and see if they will be ready this week. Cucumbers surely will come in this week, pickling cukes first. These small cukes are great for pickles but also really good for salads. Sometimes the tip that connects to the vines is a little bitter, just peel there and crunch away.

We are watching the sprouting cauliflower, a crop new to the US. This is grown more for the elongated stems then the curd They are so good roasted or used any way you would cauliflower, just remember, don't discard those yummy tender stems.

Chinese cabbages is heading up. Although you may not have met this cabbage before, this is cabbage to a huge population of the world. Great in stir fries and dumplings, or try it raw in this salad.

Recipe of the Week: 

Fusilli with creamy zucchini and basil sauce

Ingredients: 
  • 1 lb zucchini, match sticked
  • 1 lb fusilli
  • 3 tbs. butter
  • 2 tbs. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. flour dissolved in 1/3 c. milk
  • salt
  • 2/3 c. roughly chopped basil
  • 1 egg yolk, beaten lightly
  • 1/2 c. grated parmesan
  • 1/4 c. grated romano pecorino
Directions: 

Heat the oil in a skillet and fry zucchini sticks until browned. Cook in batches until done and set aside.
Prepared fusilli according to package directions.
Melt 2 tb. butter in a frying pan and add milk and flour combo until it begins to thicken. remove from heat and whisk in remaining butter and then egg yolk. Add all the cheese and salt to taste. Toss sale with basil, pasta and zucchini.

Credit: 
Marcella Hazen via @kgfarmer on instagram

Making it rain

One of our watering methods, a big irrigation gun on a reel that rolls itself up.
One of our watering methods, a big irrigation gun on a reel that rolls itself up.

Dear Friends,

 

It’s officially summer and it’s finally starting to feel like it. The humidity is rising, its been heating up and there’s no rain in sight. Despite all the extra work involved with moving water around and keeping all the crops happy, I vastly prefer things on the dry side. It makes the weed killing and field work go so much smoother. Plus the old adage that you can always add water but you can’t take it away proves to be true time and time again. Wet weather also leads to much higher disease pressure and the less of that I have to deal with, the better.

 

Of course the dry weather isn’t good for everyone. Kerry and Hannah and the rest of the crew have been frantically running around moving irrigation from field to field. Making sure that the crops are as happy as we can make them and well watered. We have a few different ways off adding water to the fields ranging from simple and straight forward to fairly complex. Our most basic way involves setting up lines of sprinklers. The sprinklers are attached to 25 foot sections of 2 inch hose, the sections of hose hook together so there ends up being a sprinkler every 25 feet. These sprinkler lines can water 6 beds at a time and are fairly versatile and easy to set up. They’re cost effective and work well for bare ground crops.

 

For the crops we grow on plastic, we lay down drip tape when we lay plastic. This is a very thin, perforated plastic tube that drips water out slowly in the the immediate vicinity of the crop. It can be a bit of a pain to work with but it works great for crops like tomatoes where we are worried about foliar diseases. It also uses drastically less water than overhead irrigation. The tape is really only appropriate for crops grown on plastic because otherwise it would get in the way of our tractor cultivation and severely reduce our ability to kill weeds mechanically. 

 

The final way we have to water and by far the most complicated and exciting is our irrigation gun. This marvel of modern engineering is a single high powered sprinkler jet on wheels on a massive reel of hose. We use a tractor to pull the gun out the entire length of the field. When we turn it on the gun spins, blasting water over a massive 24 beds at a time. The reel is turbine powered and as the water flows through it, it actually winds itself back up. So over the course of 12 hours or so the gun moves itself along the field watering almost an acre at a time. Being the most complicated means it has the most room for error to occur and can be a bit of headache. It also requires massive water pressure so we have to use a small booster pump right before the reel to get things to work. All of that being said, when it works it’s amazing. It stays out of the way and can really save a ton of time and energy.

 

We are very fortunate to have enough water to keep all our fields irrigated and with things going the way they are and no rain in sight, we will be doing a lot of irrigation going forward. 

 

Your farmers,

 

Bonnie, Erica, Hannah, Jordan, Kerry, Larry, Marycia, Max, Meredith, and Tori

 

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