The Farm Stand New Look

by Rebecka on July 8, 2013 · 1 comment

We have been working on improving your experience at our farm stand and restaurant.  If you haven’t already, please stop by and check it out.

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We started working with Jonathan Bryant Jensen early this year to make some improvements.  Jensen, a self-employed carpenter, has been resourceful remodeling and designing built environments for the last 15 years, and he is a dedicated Gathering Together Farm customer to boot!

He was first approached by John Eveland to work on replacing the plastic paneling and installing a glass facade to the farm stand.  Jensen was able to re-purpose wood panels from dairy in Lewisburg and salvaged glass from a local glass business.  Now you can enjoy your meal with a crystal clear view of our bustling farm!

Jensen replaced our old, small and poorly functioning gutters with retired irrigation pipe. These sort of projects fit right into our farm’s vision for sustainability  and gives Jensen the work he loves best:  giving new life to the old.  Let the water flow!

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As a customer Jensen noticed the South West corner of the farm stand, where we store and sell our freezer goods was a little too dark and gloomy.   He redesigned the corner and created a built-in display for our value-added jams, sauces, and pickles and other locally produced goods.

IMG_4306A new produce island sits in a more open and bright farm stand. Jensen hand crafted this work of art with reused copper and wood.  IMG_4309

So please come in and check it out!  Our summer hours for the Farm Stand and restaurant are in full swing: Tue – Fri, 9 – 6 and Sat 9 – 5. Click here for more details.

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The best thing about rhubarb for me has always been that it is red.   In the usual Pacific Northwest Spring through to “Junuary” (A common term used by market folk) the weather is usually cool, Spring feels “late”, and the dedicated GTF market crew will do all that we can to keep the donuts from getting rained on. At sunrise when you open a market tub full of rhubarb, you are excited to see the rich and vibrant red amongst the sea of green you will need to display before the crowds start rushing downtown.

Unlike many of the market shoppers, I don’t have great memories of strawberry rhubarb pie.  I am not sure we ate much pie- at all- in my childhood. And to be honest, I always thought it strange for the combo; rhubarb and strawberries don’t have much overlap on the market shelves.  I have since tasted strawberry rhubarb pie and it is no fail tasty treat, don’t get me wrong, but it isn’t what drives me to pull rhubarb off the shelf.

For many years, I passed rhubarb up altogether, until I met and studied with Laura McCandlish, an incredible blogger, writer, and radio personality.  She has a way for turning me on to almost anything.  Several years ago in a Master Food Preserver class she demonstrated making rhubarb syrup with the same variety of rhubarb that we grow and sell at Gathering Together Farm.  The color again was incredible, a hot magenta-pink.  She suggested using it sodas and mixed drinks.  Two years ago, she used the same the syrup to make Italian ice with fresh mint.  The flavor combo was perfect, and the frozen treat hit the spot for this 8 month preggo, at the time.

I started cleaning out my freezer early this year, because unlike the usually Oregon Spring, this May feels more like July and I want to make room for the blueberry harvest.   I found two quart bags of rhubarb and was inspired to make freeze pops to break this unusual heat. I boiled them down, added mint and honey to taste, strained, and viola: the taste of a cool sweet spring in a summery spell.  Tonight I had the joy of watching three young boys gobble them down and my 2 year old son keeps dragging a chair to the freezer begging for more.

The Rhubarb Honey Mint Syrup Recipe

8-10 ribs of red-ribbed rhubarb, chopped
½ cup honey
3 Tbsp dried mint or double with fresh mint

In large sauce pan, cook the rhubarb with some water on low heat. I used about 1 cup of water.  Add mint.  As the rhubarb starts cooking and more juice collects in the pain, raise heat to medium.  When fully cooked, mash rhubarb and mint together.  Strain juice into a bowl.   Return to pot, and honey and warm until the honey is fully blended.  Taste.  This is the concentrated rhubarb syrup.  Add more honey if you like it sweeter.   It should be a nice blend of sweet and tart.

For popsicles, you can make a more concentrated pop, or light and refreshing pop.  It’s up to you.  I added a little bit of water to the syrup. Pour into molds.  If this is your first time using freezer pop molds, make sure that you warm the popsicle by running it under warm water to get it out of the mold.  Don’t rush this, you will see the pop starting to release from the sides.  Gentle tug on the pop to remove.  Enjoy!

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Gathering Seeds for a Story

by Rebecka on April 8, 2013 · 0 comments

Directors of Seed: The Untold Story spent the day collecting stories and filming Frank Morton and the Wild Garden Seed crew last month.  Find out more about this timely crowd-funded film project here.

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Happy St. Patty’s Day

by Rebecka on March 17, 2013 · 1 comment

 

“Happy St. Patty’s Day!” says Ana Patty. Early Saturday morning she was caught making shamrock cookies to celebrate the holiday at the farm.

Ana has been our Baker for two years.  Trained at Portland’s Western Culinary Institute, she brought her love for classical French baking to the farm and you may have noticed all of the flaky, buttery, hard-to-resists danishes, croissants, and hand pies filling our pastry cases.  Ana enjoys filling these yeasted puff pastries with the seasonal produce, creating what she calls a “farm pastry.”

Ana will be leaving us shortly for a grand adventure.  Last season, during her time off she traveled through Europe and fell in love with an Irishman.  She is excited to return to Ireland and she jokes that she may open up a pancake shop and call it “Patty Cakes”; but first she will look for a job as a Chef or Baker.  She knows she wants to be in a kitchen.  She has had such a wonderful experience with the GTF Kitchen Crew that she hopes to find a similar family that is fun and supportive with a shared passion for quality food.

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The countdown begins……………..

by GTF Office on February 26, 2013 · 1 comment

We have been preparing for the opening of the farmstand with a flurry of activity.  New roof for the patio, a new orientation for the farmstand to make shopping and dining a little more comfortable. AND the first batch of pepperoni is ready just in time to top the pizza on Thursday, February 28, our opening day for the 2013 season.
See you on Thursday,
jc

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