Lunch Menu: May 9-12, 2017

Grilled romaine, roasted peppers, gorgonzola dressing, house smoked lardons

Antipasti

chad fell’s bread & marinated olives 5

chilled beet soup, tarragon crème fraiche  6

sausage, collards and pepper soup   6

mixed greens, balsamic  6.5

baked chevre, roasted garlic, pears and country bread with drizzled honey  7.5

grilled romaine, roasted peppers, gorgonzola dressing, house smoked lardons  7.5

red oak lettuce, orange anchovy dressing, fried capers, bread crumbs 7.5

country pork terrine, pickled onions, mustard, chad fell bread  8

GTF salad- apples, cucumbers, radishes, almonds, grana padano 9.5

Pizze Rosse

garlic & basil  10.5

goat cheese & kale 11.5

bacon & leeks  11.5

 

Pizze Bianche

ham, egg, chives  11.5

mushroom, onion, arugula 11.5

potato, caper, walla walla 11.5

 

add an egg or anchovies to any pie for  $1

 

 

Duck confit on israeli couscous with jerusalem artichokes, cherries, bok choy and romesco 

Secondi

goat cheese & basil ravioli with oyster mushrooms, olives & roasted peppers   12

crepes of ricotta with spinach, romas roasted garlic and walla wallas  11

duck confit on israeli couscous with jerusalem artichokes, cherries, bok choy and romesco  12

pork ragu on creamy polenta with collard raab  11

brodetto of rockfish & clams with tomato, potato, kale & aioli  12

The Life of a GTF Tomato

  • Seed Selection—there are thousands of tomato varieties in this world, and we need the tomatoes that grow well and sell in this area. Joelene spends countless hours meeting with seed company representatives and other farmers talking about which varieties they think are best. Then she has to use her twenty years of growing experience on GTF land to choose what’s best for us, taking into consideration what sells well at markets and wholesale.
  • Seed Timing & Grafting—We seed tomatoes about every other week from January through April. We have to have successions of dozens of different varieties of tomatoes, some in hoop houses, some outside. Plus nearly all of our tomatoes destined for hoop houses must be grafted, so we have to match the timing of rootstock and scion tomatoes which grow at different rates but must have the same stem girth at the time of grafting.
  • Flat Preparation—We make our own propagation soil mix for all the transplants we grow. To do that we have to make our own compost (a very complex piece of the puzzle), and then sift it all by hand, mixing it in a cement mixer with peat moss, perlite or pumice, and our own special mixture of micro ingredients and mycorrhizal fungi. The greenhouse crew makes soil nearly all day twice a week about January—April.
    • Tomato Seeding—We seed all of our tomatoes by hand, and the flats sit on hot tables to improve germination. For grafted tomatoes, twice the number of plants must be seeded.
    • The Grafting Chamber—After many years, Joelene has finished our grafting chamber to be a deluxe resort where tomatoes can form graft unions, a place where they can have just the right amount of light, heat, and moisture. Two people graft two to three days a week for at least two months. This takes precision razor cuts, sanitation, steady hands, and many years of practice.
    • Up-potting—After the tomatoes have sealed their grafts and the graft clip pops off, it’s time to up-pot all the seedlings into larger pots, which the tomatoes grow up in for another couple weeks.
    • Succession Planning & Disease Rotation—We graft nearly all the tomatoes destined for hoop houses. This is because we don’t have quite enough houses to rotate our hot weather crops as much as we’d like, so there is more disease build up in that soil. Many of the diseases that inflict tomatoes are soil born, so that’s why we graft disease-resistant rootstock with heirloom tomato scion material. We have more land outside of hoop houses and can do a better disease rotation, so grafting isn’t as important for outdoor tomatoes.
  • House Preparation
    • Install snow protection in the winter so we don’t lose any houses to snow. Remove them in the spring.
    • Soil testing—Check for all the macro and micro nutrients, add fertility and other various amendments. It’s actually quite a bit more complicated than that, especially including mid-growth applications.
    • Till the ground and form the beds.
    • Lay out drip tape and hook up irrigation, including trench digging, pressure calculations and pipe repairs.
    • Lay plastic over the drip tape and cover edges with soil to hold in place.
    • Sterilize trellising wires and install in the houses.
  • Tomato Transplanting—All the up-potted tomatoes must be loaded onto flatbed trucks and driven out to their planting destination. For many of the things we grow we use a partially mechanized transplanting method (tractor attachments that allow people to either sit or lay down while they plant), but all of our tomatoes get transplanted by hand. It’s a whole lot of bending over, at first in the cold and muddy spring, and later in the blistering hot summer.
  • Tomato Trellising—We have metal hooks with twine hanging down from the greenhouse ceiling. The strings are attached to the tomato plants planted below, and the plants grow up the strings as the season progresses.
  • Tomato Pruning—We prune nearly all of our indeterminate tomatoes to have two main leaders, one to twine around each string hanging down from the trellis. For about ten weeks out of the year a four-person crew works about three full days a week pruning and trellising tomatoes. Trellising entails twining the new tomato growth around the strings as the plants grow. Pruning involves careful pinching and clipping of branches and suckers. Anyone who’s spent much time pruning tomatoes knows the feeling of having green sticky tomato gunk all over your arms and hair and face. We prune largely to decrease disease pressure allowing more air flow through the houses.
  • Greenhouse Shading—In the summer months it can get way too hot inside a long hoop house, so we have to provide the plants some shade. If we had all the dollars we would just buy shade cloth, but we don’t , so we have designed a mud cannon to shoot mud all over the outside of our greenhouses, thus shading our tomato plants. Before the cannon was invented, it took a crew of four people standing (barely) on the back of a flatbed throwing mud up onto the houses one Nancy’s yogurt scoop at a time while driving forward in a jerky fashion.
  • Weeding—This is the one thing that doesn’t take too much time with tomatoes, as they are planted in plastic mulch. The plastic we use is a special plastic designed to prevent weed germination, but also designed to allow lots of heat to come through. This extra heat on the root system is what really drives up our yields.
  • Pest & Disease Monitoring—The plants have to be constantly monitored to see how they’re doing, see if we need to address any pest or disease issues, or if we need to apply mud or go through and do another prune. This is a duty shared by many who are at the farm all the time. We all watch and observe and share our concerns.
  • Tomato Irrigation—Irrigation is a very delicate dance. Water too much and you get disease and dilute fruit; water too little and you’ll have stunted plants and decreased yields. And those are but a few of the problems that can arise from improper irrigation. Joelene lives at the farm and gets up with the sun every day. She spends her entire day turning water on and off all around the farm until it’s dark out, and it’s light out for a long time in the summer! She has to use decades of knowledge about farming to decide which crops need what, taking into account what the weather’s been doing for the past few weeks and what it’s projected to do. Only so much water can be drawn from individual pumps at a time, so crops have to be prioritized, and a huge mental map must exist.
  • Tomato Harvest—Our field crew of about fifteen people harvests tomatoes nearly every day for almost four months straight. It’s a lot harder than it sounds to judge when a tomato is at the perfect time to pick, especially because every variety is different, every microclimate is different, every hoop house is different, and all of our eyes are different. You don’t want it too ripe or else it won’t make it to market, but you don’t want it so green that it won’t finish ripening. And aside from that, the simple mechanics of getting your body into a greenhouse packed with tomato plants taller than you, while holding a flat of thirty pounds of tomatoes while it’s crazy humid and reaching 90 degrees outside—that’s difficult.
  • Tomato Grading—Once in the packing shed, all of our tomatoes get graded by a crew of 2-3 people. Every single tomato gets picked up, felt, looked at, and put back down into its final destination. Tomato grading takes a trained eye and hand, and is broken down into the following categories:
    • Grocery Store Order—get packed into nice boxes and delivered all over Corvallis and Portland.
    • Restaurant Order—get packed into nice boxes and delivered all over Corvallis and Portland.
    • Farmers’ Markets—get packed into yellow flats and sent to markets.
    • #2’s—get sold discounted by the box or get roasted by our food processing crew and used in our salsa, in our restaurant (pizza sauce) and sold wholesale to other restaurants.
    • Compost—another place where the whole cycle begins again.
  • Heirloom Tomatoes—Heirlooms are so huge and delicate that they have to be cradled to stay protected. When harvested, we put them in foam-lined yellow flats in a single layer, so they take up a lot of space on pallets.
  • Marketing Tomatoes—Every year the giant selection of tomato varieties we grow changes to match changes in growing conditions and market demand. This information has to get compiled by our office and given out to our marketeers and our customers, which takes a good deal of time as well.
  • Cleaning Tomato Houses—At the end of the season we have to remove all of the dead tomato plants from the trellis strings. The plants get loaded onto a flatbed and get taken to our compost pile. The strings must be cleaned of all plant material, wrapped up in an organized fashion, and unhooked from the greenhouse ceiling. Then all the plastic must be carefully pulled out of the soil and thrown away. The drip tape must be gathered together and moved out of the way for the winter, and then the whole cycle starts over again.

Though tomatoes are one of our most labor-intensive crops to produce, many of the things we grow take nearly as much work and time, such as leeks and strawberries.

This blog post was written by Laura Bennett.

Lunch Menu: May 2-5, 2017

Antipasti

oysters on the half shell, mint and lemon balm mignonette 2.5 ea

chad fell’s bread & marinated olives 5

french onion soup, croutons, gruyere 6.5

sopa caldo verde   5

mixed greens, balsamic, beets  6.5

baked chevre, roasted garlic, pears and country bread with drizzled honey  7.5

frisee, lardon, poached egg, hand torn croutons dijon  7

country pork terrine, pickled onions, mustard, chad fell bread  8

GTF salad, apples, pears, radishes, almonds and parmesan 9.5

Pizze Rosse

garlic & basil  10.5

leek & sausage 11.5

goat cheese & mushrooms  11.5

 

Pizze Bianche

potato, bacon, chive  11.5

anchovy, onion, arugula 11.5

kale & olives 11.5

 

add an egg to any pie for  $1

 

 

Secondi

spaghetti carbonara with house pork belly, kale, caramel onions, chives & endive   12

ravioli of ricotta with kalamatas, leeks & romas  11

duck leg confit on ceci puree with grilled raab and romesco  12

creamy polenta with farm soft egg, roasted peppers, spinach, parsley lemon balm pesto and balsamic reduction   11

Dinner Menu: April 27-29, 2017

Antipasti

chad fell’s bread & marinated olives  5

creamy mushroom soup 6

black bean and vegetable soup 6

mixed greens, balsamic vinaigrette  5

baked chevre, roasted garlic & caramelized onions, pears, crostini  7.5

country pork terrine, pickled rhubarb, mustard, crusty bread  7.5

frisee, lardons and poached egg with dijon vinaigrette 8

GTF salad, apples, radishes, turnips, beets, balsamic  vinaigrette, parmesean 8

Pizze Rosse

garlic & basil  10.5

bacon & blue 11.5

kalamata & leeks   11.5

 

Pizze Bianche

egg, chive, capers 11.5

kale & sausage  11.5

 

 

Secondi                       (three course meal $29)

Ravioli of roasted garlic, caramel onion, and fresh ricotta with leek & green garlic cream 16

Oregon spring king salmon, bacon braised rye & wheat berries, fresh farm greens, mint & lemon balm buerre blanc   21.5

Teres major, green garlic & potato gratin, braised greens, pickled shiitake   21.5

Duck breast, creamy polenta, kale raab & rhubarb compote  20

 

To Finish

Rhubarb-Nut Crisp, with almond and hazelnut, served hot with ice cream     6

Lemon Meringue Tartlette with rhubarb-pear sauce    6

Boysenberry and Chocolate Cheesecake, with brownie crumble and strawberry    6

Ice Cream Platter: Vanilla Bean, Rhubarb, and Rose    5