Lunch Menu: June 13-16, 2017

Farmstand at Gathering Together FarmCarrot soup

Antipasti

chad fell’s bread & olives  5

potato & leek soup & bread   5

mixed greens with balsamic   6.5

GTF salad – cucumbers, strawberries and beets with a strawberry balsamic vinaigrette   9.5

pork pate with pickles, mustard and bread   8

 

Pizze Rosse

garlic & basil   10.5

garlic scapes, goat cheese 11

bacon, baby onion, kale   11

 

 

Pizze Bianche:

egg & scallion   11

zukes & roasted peppers  11

 

add an egg or anchovies   1

 

Farmstand at Gathering Together FarmDuck leg confit on Israeli couscous with mushrooms, carrots and basil 

Secondi

ravioli of Shea’s ricotta with baby onions, hazelnuts, croutons and dragoncello   12

duck leg confit on israeli couscous with mushrooms, carrots and basil    12

shrimp-n-grits with roasted peppers, black kale and tomatoes  12

salmon brodetto with potatoes, tomatoes and *aioli   13

pork ragu on orecchiette with rainbow chard and ricotta cheese  13

The Magic of Microgreens

Imagine a tiny little seedling, just emerged from the soil using the energy stored in a single seed. The first leaves are just beginning to unfold, and on the cellular level the tiny plant is bursting with newfound life. Cells are differentiating, nutrition levels are skyrocketing, and flavor is incredibly concentrated. There’s something so invigorating about eating one of these little life bursts, something almost magical.

Microgreens can be that final splash of color atop a gourmet dish, or they can be added onto a salad or into a green smoothie easily at home. Not only are they packed full of flavor and five times the nutritional content as the same plants in their mature form, but they’re tiny and pretty and we’re simply in love with them! Out at the farm we have microgreens on our salads for farm lunch (GTF provides a home-cooked meal for all employees three days a week), and we top most all of our dishes with microgreens in our own farm to table restaurant.

Because nearly five hundred varieties of vegetables wasn’t quite enough for us to juggle, we decided to start our own microgreen operation. For the past year we have been trying out different plant varieties and processing techniques, and now microgreens have become a solid piece of production at the farm. There are many varieties of micros that we have grown, but here are our main selections, complete with flavor profiles and followed by methods of production.

Microgreen Variety Breakdown

Amaranth – Burgundy

  • This dainty little microgreen wins the micro award, coming in at a towering 1-2 inches. It has become quite the favorite among chefs, as its deep burgundy stems and leaves provide a beautiful contrast atop many dishes.
  • Amaranth is most commonly grown for its grain, though we grow it for greens in our salad mix as well as a microgreen. It is related to beets and therefore has a very mild beet flavor.

Mustard Medley

  • We’ve been playing around with various ratios of different mustard greens for a while now, and we have finally landed on a winner—Mustard Medley #4, a combination of Arugula, Ruby Streaks Purple Mizuna, Miz America Green Mizuna, Ho Mi Dragon Tongue Mustard, and Golden Frill Mustard.
  • This microgreen has such a great wasabi-like kick to it, combined with some of the milder yet savory flavors of the more mellow mustards. Beyond the amazing flavor, the color variation in this medley is unique from all the other micros we grow.

Peas

  • Pea microgreens have very soft leaves, and a deliciously mild pea flavor. Due to their leguminous nature, these micros have especially high protein levels making them great for green smoothies.

Radish – Purple Leaf

  • This is another favorite among chefs for its deep purple color and mildly spicy flavor. The dark purple leaves fade down the stem to a lighter purple at the base, and little light green mutants shine through the sea of purple expressing the genetic diversity still present in the seed.

Radish – Purple Stem

  • These multi-colored radishes have slightly darker green leaves than the daikon radishes, only with bright pink stems. The spice level seems to be higher than the purple leaf, but milder than the daikon.

Radish – Daikon

  • This radish is my personal favorite. Both the stems and leaves are such a bright chartreuse color, the smooth, supple seedlings almost glow. Beyond the eye-popping color, daikon radish microgreens provide an intense, feel-it-in-your-nose wasabi spice reminiscent of purple roots that they could one day become.

This selection of microgreens works the best for us currently, though in the outskirts of the season it’s likely that we may play with cooler-weather crops such as micro dill and micro cilantro. We may even toy around with special kale mixes, beets, orach, chrysanthemums, and sunflowers, the possibilities are quite literally endless!

 

The Low Down on Growing Microgreens

Best office ever!!! We built cages to go over our greenhouse tables to keep mice off the microgreens. But we do like to open them up often so that the microgreens can feel free 🙂
Micro peas and beets on one of our house-made pasta dishes at our restaurant.

We make a special soil media for microgreens, heavy on peat moss, mixed with perlite and compost. This way the medium drains well and doesn’t keep the micros too wet, which can lead to dampening off.

We tamp the soil in the flats down to make a solid, flat layer that we can seed the micros onto. To seed the microgreens we simply shake seed onto the flat by hand, doing our best to sprinkle as uniformly as can be.

After we seed the flats, we cover them with a light layer of topper to protect the seeds, and water them in. We have to be careful not to water the flats in too hard, otherwise the nicely uniform seed that we worked so hard to sprinkle will get pushed around in the flat, leading to uneven germination. Microgreens are delicate little souls, they need everything to be just right.

Our pea process is a little different from the rest of the microgreens. First we have to soak them (check out the before and after soaking photo), and then we put them in flats without any topper. The flats must then be stacked and weighted down with bricks so that the peas root down into the soil and don’t pry themselves up into the air, which would make them very difficult to cut later. After a couple of days, we unstack the flats and let the peas do their thang!

We do micro beets in the cooler ends of the season, both spring and fall. Beets really hate being inside a greenhouse in a flat in the middle of summer, so they’re a special treat when we can have them. Beet microgreens have such succulent stems and leaves and a fully bright beet flavor.
Most weeks we have microgreens for sale at the farmers market, generally just PSU Saturday and Hillsdale Sunday. You can purchase greens by the pound or by the flat.
Mustard Microgreens sitting patiently on a creamed carrot soup at our restaurant.

I’d like to give a big thanks to all of the wonderful restaurants and individuals who have been taking advantage of our microgreens. Every week our order boards have been full and we’ve had to turn away customers, so we can only assume it’s time to up production. You can expect to see our microgreens atop dishes at the restaurants listed below and many more in the Portland area, as well as at our own restaurant, The Farmstand.

Thanks everyone for your support!

Here are some photos from Instagram of our microgreens at restaurants in Portland. It’s an honor to have our produce displayed so beautifully.

Lumos Wine Dinner

We’d like to announce that reservations are open for our June Wine Dinner featuring Lumos Wine Co. The dinner will be held at 6:30 PM on Saturday, June 24th.

Come out and enjoy a five-course dining experience and four wine pours from our guests at Lumos. The evening begins with a relaxing tour of our farm at 5:30 PM, included at no extra charge.

All of this for a price of $72 per person. Seating for the wine dinner is very limited, so please call the Farmstand at 541-929-4270 to reserve your place. It’s bound to be a delightful evening!

 

2017 CSA – Week 1: Greetings from Your Farmers

CSA Newsletter – Week 1


Greetings from Your Farmers

Welcome to our 20th CSA season, everyone! This year also happens to be our 30th year growing vegetables in the Willamette Valley, and it is an honor to continue providing quality produce to our community. Your contribution as a CSA member provided a much needed kick start to our off-season allowing us to do things such as purchase seed and prep ground. As many of you may know, it’s been a particularly rough winter and spring for farming with all the rain we’ve had, so we appreciate your support that much more. The next 21 weeks of vegetables is our way of saying thank you.

This year we have a new system for CSA where rather than having one coordinator who does everything, we have a small crew of people devoted to bringing you your box. Marina, who has been a part of our farming family her whole life, will be managing box packing and produce selection. Will, who you’ve all been communicating with already, is new to the farm this year and is the official CSA Coordinator. And I am the Farmers’ Market Coordinator and self-proclaimed Vegecator, ready to spread the love of vegetables with you all through this newsletter. I invite you all to view your CSA box not just as a box full of fresh, organic produce at a discounted rate, but also as an educational opportunity to learn about where your food comes from and easy ways to enjoy it. It’s going to be a journey through the seasons!

The CSA Newsletter is a way for me to share a little bit about the contents of each box, let you in on what’s going on at the farm, and share ideas about ways to prepare your weekly supply of veggies in a feasibly delicious way. We would also love to hear from you! Share your favorite recipes or preparation methods, pictures, or questions. If you are social media savvy, you can find us on Facebook and Instagram at @gatheringtogetherfarm and hashtag your pictures and comments with #gtfcsa so that we can find you! I will be sure to share tips, and recipes in future newsletters.

Thanks again for all your support. It’s going to be a delicious year!

– Laura Bennett
markets@gatheringtogetherfarm.com

Table of Box Contents

  • 1 bunch Basil ($3.00)
  • Fresh Garlic ($1.50) – Enjoy the savory wonder of garlic without having to peel it! It’s a game changer, folks.
  • 5 lbs New Potatoes ($5.25) – This week’s variety is Harvest Moon, a rich, yellow-fleshed potato with purple skin. Store in a cool, dry place & don’t scrub until you’re ready to eat them.
  • Kohlrabi ($1.50) – Remove skin with a knife or peeler. You can add thin slices or grated kohlrabi to salads, or cut spears to dip into hummus. Kohlrabi is also a great addition to coleslaws.
  • Black Kale ($3.00) – Remove stems, slice leaves thinly and sauté with garlic and onion. Top with fried eggs for a quick, delicious, and hearty breakfast.
  • 1 Sweet Onion ($1.50) – The high sugar content in these onions makes them perfect for caramelizing.
  • 2 Cucumbers ($3.00) – Eat fresh like an apple or slice into salads for a nice, sweet crunch.
  • 1 bunch Pearl Onion ($2.50) – These are delicious roasted or grilled and eaten whole.
  • 2 heads Lettuce ($4.00)
  • 1 pint Strawberries ($4.00)

Box value at the farmers’ market: $29.25

Recipes

 Roasted Potatoes & Pearl Onions

Our Eclipse pearl onions are incredibly sweet! Your CSA Coordinator Will loves them so much that he’s even been eating them raw at lunch lately. If you’re not quite that hardcore (he might be the only one) then one of the best ways to maximize their sweetness is to roast them. Mixed up with purple potatoes they will be both beautiful and delicious. There’s nothing quite like that first bite of warm, creamy, sweet onion, mixed with crispy, savory potatoes.

Ingredients

  • 1.5 pounds new potatoes
  • 1 bunch pearl onions, peeled
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons dried rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Directions

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

In a large bowl, toss together all ingredients. Spread the mixture in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake until the potatoes and onions are golden brown and cooked through, about 40 minutes. Serve immediately or cool and store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator, reheating the next day in a preheated 400 degrees F oven for 10 to 15 minutes.

Adapted from http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/giada-de-laurentiis/potatoes-and-onions-recipe-1916966

Spring Couscous Salad

Ingredients

  • 1 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth
  • 1 cup uncooked couscous
  • 1 head lettuce, sliced thinly
  • 1 medium cucumber, halved and sliced
  • 1 kohlrabi, peeled and grated
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 3 tablespoons minced fresh basil
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepperDirections
  1. In a small saucepan, bring broth to a boil. Stir in couscous. Remove from the heat; cover and let stand for 5-10 minutes or until water is absorbed. Fluff with a fork and set aside to cool slightly.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the cucumber, kohlrabi, cheese, onion and basil. Stir in couscous.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk the oil, lemon juice and seasonings. Pour over couscous mixture; toss to coat. Add more of anything to taste. Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate until chilled.

Adapted from http://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/summer-garden-couscous-salad

My Favorite Breakfast

 Ingredients

  • ¼ Sweet Onion, chopped
  • 1 head Fresh Garlic, minced
  • 1 bu. Black Kale, thinly sliced
  • 2 eggs
  • Salt & cooking oil of choice
  • Your hot sauce of choice

Directions

Chop everything up, heat up some oil in a frying pan, and start onions on their own first. After a couple minutes, add in the garlic, and after another couple minutes add in the kale. Toss around for a minute or so to wilt the kale sufficiently, sprinkle with salt and plate.

In the same pan, fry up a couple eggs however you like them. When done, place on top of your garlic & greens sauté and finish with a drizzle of hot sauce. This is such an easy breakfast to make you guys!

Adapted from: my mind…

Dinner Menu: June 8-10, 2017

Antipasti

chad fell’s bread & marinated olives  5

creamy curried carrot  6

mixed greens, balsamic vinaigrette  6.5

cold cucumber soup 6.

country pork terrine & extras 8

goat cheese with carmelized onions,  roasted garlic and pears 9

gtf salad with  beets, strawberries, roasted hazelnuts ,parmigiano cheese with balsamic vinaigrette   8

Bibb lettuce with cucumbers pumpkin seeds with orange basil  vinaigrette 8

 

Pizze Rosse

garlic & basil  10.5

zucchini & peppers 11.5

bacon & kale  11.5

 

Pizze Bianche

egg, scallions, arugula  11.5

prosciutto & olive 11.5

sausage & caramel onion 11.5

 

–add an egg or anchovies

to any pie for  $1

   

Secondi

Potato  Gnocchi with mushroom, tomato, fava beans, and sherry cream  17

Grilled Trout with beluga lentils, braised leeks, fava puree, and lemon beurre blanc   20

Flat Iron, smashed potatoes, roasted carrots and zucchini, and carrot-top chimichurri  22

Duck Breast and Roast Potato with mushrooms, zucchini, and cherry sauce 20

Bacon Wrapped Pork Tenderloin  with polenta and mustard jus 22

 

To Finish

Spiced Rice Pudding  with fresh strawberries and rhubarb gelly  6

Buckwheat Cake with  poached pears and white wine reduction  7

Rhubarb Meringue Tartlette and strawberry sauce   7

Ice Cream Platter: Milk Chocolate, Orange Chocolate Chip, and Cinnamon  6