Opening Weekend at the Farm Stand

The Gathering Together farm stand/restaurant opened for the season on Thursday, February 23, and the staff was pleasantly surprised by how many of our local customers stopped by for produce, pastries, and a hot meal. Alison, the new farm stand manager, spent the past few weeks cleaning, rearranging, and sprucing up the building and garden room, so the place looked great.

Quite a few folks who have turned out in the past two days asked about the farm and flood damage, and we’re happy to report that we are back on track and have most everything cleaned up. Our customers’ support at our farmers’ markets and here on the farm has certainly helped us recover more quickly from  the financial losses associated with the damage, and for that, we thank you.

Spring is generally quieter in the farm stand than on hot summer days, but judging by the turnout this weekend, that may not hold true this year. If your appetite and schedule will allow it, JC (the chef) recommends dining before or after the busy noon-to-one o’clock lunch hour. This will give both the kitchen crew and our lunch guests the to opportunity to take their time preparing and enjoying the food. Larger parties are always welcome to call in reservations ahead of time (541-929-4270).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All the flowers in the table settings came from our neighbors at Greengable Gardens.

This month’s featured artist in the farm stand is Carol Chapel who lives just down the road and stops in at the farms often. Carol’s nature and agriculture-inspired works fit quite nicely into the decor.

The farm stand is newly stocked with organic produce and other local goods. Currently available are GTF’s own cipollini onions, parsnips, beets, rutabagas, onions, carrots, potatoes, and watercress.

Alison supplements the produce selection with fruits and vegetables from Organically Grown Company and a few neighboring farms.

We also offer several books and cookbooks written by local authors.

Local wine and beer is available…

…as are fresh eggs from Provenance Farm.

Other goods sold in the farm stand include locally grown/milled flour, coffee and teas, frozen pork, chicken and fish, T shirts, honey, jams, and pickles.

The coffee is always fresh and always hot.

GTF’s signature potato doughnuts are back.

Plus, Ana (the pastry chef) baked some not-too-sweet maple-coconut-date granola, if doughnuts aren’t really your thing.

The menu from the GTF kitchen changes weekly (sometimes daily) depending upon availability of seasonal ingredients, but here’s a quick guide to this weekend’s fare.

February 23-25 Lunch Menu

to start:

house coppa with capers and whole grain mustard
mixed greens with balsamic vinaigrette
GTF salad beets, toasted almonds, and goat cheese with balsamic vinaigrette
roasted vegetable and barley soup with artisan bread
curried carrot soup with artisan bread
 

pizze:

garlic/tomato/mozzarella
pepperoni/tomato/mozzarella
broccoli/leek/tomato/mozzarella
 

secondi:

cavatelli with roasted shallot, olive, and spinach
creamy polenta with vegetables and poached egg
brodetto of clams, mussels, and rockfish
country pork pâté sando with potato and watercress salad
 

JC finishes off a couple orders of brodetto.

Ricky preps pizza dough.

Pizza are made to order with mozzarella and house-made tomato sauce…

…and baked in the wood-fired oven.

Here’s the broccoli/leek/tomato/mozzarella pizza.

The polenta got rave reviews. This one’s in the works pre-poached egg.

JC is particularly proud of the pork pâte sandwich…

…and the house coppa with capers and mustard.

We’d like to thank everyone who came out for opening weekend and encourage other locals to stop in soon. We are currently open Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

 

Valentine’s Dinner at the GTF Farm Stand

The Gathering Together Farm restaurant hosted a Valentine’s Day dinner this past week. Chef JC and his kitchen crew went all out to delight the senses of a small gathering of people celebrating their love for each other and of good food.

The Menu:

sweetbreads terrine with sour cherry mostarda

scallop terrine with citrus, fennel, and bok choi

heartbeet risotto with trotter croquetta

duck breast with braising greens and rutabaga

chocolate soufflé

optional wine pairing

sweetbreads terrine with sour cherry mostarda

baby leaves of bok choi

scallop terrine with citrus, fennel, and bok choi

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Alison (above left) is the farmstand manager and serves meals along with Tamara (above right).

JC grates parmesan to garnish the risotto.

JC slices beets.

well seasoned beets

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

JC (above left) plates up the heartbeet risotto. JC develops most of the restaurant menu items himself, using the best local and seasonal ingredients as inspiration.

Ricky (above right) is second in command in the farm stand kitchen.

 heartbeet risotto with trotter croquetta

searing duck breasts

duck breasts

JC deglazes the pans and saves the sauce for later.

braising greens: mustards, chard, and kale

goat cheese croquettas in the making for a vegetarian guest

flowers from our neighbors at Greengable Gardens

not-quite-assembled macarons made by pastry chef Ana (not pictured) to accompany the chocolate soufflé

The kitchen crew would like to thank everyone who joined us for this special meal. Regular dinners at the GTF farm stand will begin in April, but until then we’d love to see you at Thursday or Friday lunches or Saturday breakfasts at the farm stand, which opens for the season this coming week (February 24, 2012).

Working Hands

Pretty hands don’t exist in the kitchen. There are no manicures. No pampered skin, nor painted nails. Instead there are calluses and burns. A half-moon- shaped cut that slices through the nail-bed to the quick requiring a trip to the Emergency Room and three stitches put in with strong black thread. Jergens would be appalled.

Kitchen hands bear the marks of the trade. They know their way around a knife, move from left to right down the board and down the line. They reach into hot pans and hot ovens, retrieving baguettes without fireproof protection, prodding cuts of meat to test for doneness. A medium rare steak should feel like the web of muscle between the thumb and forefinger. Or like your plump lower lip. Full and filled with appeal.

The Gathering Together Farm kitchen crew has hands that speak of their lives. JC’s ring shines on his left hand as he preps onions for filling, dices veg for roasting, takes apart a pig for charcuterie. Ricky’s hands tell of late night music gigs, endless hours holding a guitar, a banjo, a spatula. Ana’s are feminine, but strong. They bear the pinch marks of the Hobart mixer, and the burns from hot oil that she uses to cook fresh potato donuts. Ben’s are made to make pasta: deft fingers creating classic shapes to impart texture from the old countries.

Here, hands shape, and are shaped by, work.