We were thrilled to receive an email from our friend and supporter, Damien Cavicchi, who’s the Executive Chef for Biltmore Catering. He sent along these beautiful pictures of our pattypan squash being showcased. His note simply read, ”Chilled, lightly pickled patty pans stuffed with Sicilian Ricotta and Sopresatta.”
Yum. Thanks, Damien!
Rogue Harbor Farm has a new logo! Over the past few months, we’ve been working with our good friend, Paul Wolff, to create a logo that harkens back to the beginnings of the farm. Our hope is that pretty soon, you’ll be seeing it in a variety of forms. Stay tuned and keep your eyes peeled!
Thanks, Paul, for sharing your incredible talents! We love our new look:
A few weeks ago our local extension office delivered the blueberry bushes we’d ordered. Twenty little plants came packaged in a box – ready to be planted and packed with sawdust. We added them to our fields last week and now they sit just across from the much older and fruitful blueberry bushes. Hopefully they’ll be inspired to grow just as quickly as they can!
Blueberries in the cooler at the Madison County Extension Office, all ready for distribution.
And…just because I (Morgan) love the way it sounds, I have to share a quick lesson from Linda: this past weekend was beautiful and warm – it really made for a perfect Easter. All of the sudden, in the past few days much cooler temperatures have set in, causing it to feel like we’re headed back toward winter. Yesterday, Linda matter-of-factly announced that we’d entered “Blackberry Winter.” Ha! How about that?!? Of course, I totally agree that blackberries, in their delicious, juicy wonder, totally deserve their own season – I’d just never heard the phrase. My vote is for a children’s book, or a cookbook, or really any book with ”Blackberry Winter” as the title. It would just beg for a read…
I wonder what little tidbit Linda will share next. Maybe there’s an “Elephant Garlic Fall.” Somehow it just wouldn’t have the same ring…
We’re pleased to share the good news that Cafe Azalea, a fabulous Asheville restaurant run by chef/owner Judd Lohof, has been selected as one of the finalists in the Best Dish NC competition! Best Dish is a statewide regional competition (dividing the state into east and west) that awards prizes for the best dishes created by chefs using local and regional products and ingredients; it’s the official restaurant contest of the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and its Goodness Grows in North Carolina marketing program. Judd is VERY supportive of local farms (including us – we actually just delivered watercress there today!), so we’re delighted for him and all the folks at Cafe Azalea on their selection as finalists.
For all the details on the competition, including a full list of the finalist restaurants, visit www.bestdishnc.com. First, second, and third-place winners won’t be announced until November, so that gives you plenty of chances to visit Cafe Azalea (or any of the other fine establishments on the nominee list) and make your own decision about who has the best dish in NC!
Which means more setting, as we take advantage of the sunny, warmer days to get cole crops out into the field. We’ve set Siberian Kale, Pak Choi, and collards this week; they’ll be ready for harvest in a few short weeks.
This little fella's ready to harvest kale now - not yet, little buddy!
The past week has been full of sowing and setting: garlic, raspberries, tomatoes, squash, Fraser Fir Christmas trees, radishes, carrots, beets, onions, and potatoes. We hope to see the fruits of our labor in the coming days and weeks!
How do you grow a potato? Plant a potato! - or a potato part...
We’ll be at the Mars Hill Market tomorrow. Come visit! We’ll have watercress, baby greens salad mix, day lillies, sage and mint plants, chives and more. We’ll also have a booth at the WNC Farmer’s Market’s Dig Into Local event. If you’re in the Asheville area, swing by and check it out!
One sure sign that spring is here (or if not really here, at least rapidly approaching): tomorrow morning, April 2nd we’ll be set up in Mars Hill at the Madison County Farmers and Artisans Market for the first market of 2011! The market will open at 9:00 am. It’s early in the growing season for us, but we’ll have several items for sale, including VERY fresh watercress, two kinds of mint, and potted plants. Rogue Harbor Farm has not sold at a farmers market in several years, so we’re very much looking forward to getting back in the swing of things.
You'll know you're at our booth when you see this sign...
Our good friend Ruth Gonzalez just gave the Mars Hill market a great writeup on her outstanding blog, Tailgate Market Fan Club. Give it a read, and subscribe to her blog – we sure have!
We’re excited to see familiar (and new!) faces at the market tomorrow! Stop by our booth and say hello.
We’re getting ready to set 100 new Christmas trees that we recently purchased from a local family friend/tree grower. In just a few years (seven, actually!) they’ll be sitting in people’s homes, welcoming the holiday season. It’s hard to believe all 100 trees were delivered wrapped in this little bundle…
100 Fraser Firs, ready for planting
Rogue Harbor Farm’s watercress and blueberries will be featured tonight at Mars Hill College’s Local Meal. The menu looks great – if you’re in the area, meet us there!
Warmer days this week have seen us harvesting the first watercress of the season. Watercress is one of our specialties at Rogue Harbor Farm, and we delight in seeing the young, new growth each spring. Our watercress is grown only in natural spring water, the same water we use for our drinking supply.
At this early point in the year our watercress is mild, tangy and only lightly peppery; for these first cuttings we focus on the tallest new growth. From now through late June, we’ll harvest several times a week, and each plant will give us multiple cuttings. Throughout the spring and into early summer, the flavor will grow progressively stronger and more peppery. Watercress isn’t fond of summer heat, but it makes a nice encore in the early fall, when we harvest several more cuttings until first frost. We package watercress in bunches, in 4 oz. clamshells (perfectly sized for individual and family use), and in 3 lb. bulk cases for restaurants and buying clubs (and some individuals who just really, really like it!).
We’ve had some press coverage of our watercress in the past. The magazine “Vegetarian Times” did a ‘Peak Season’ feature on watercress for their March 2009 issue, and interviewed Linda for it! You can view the article here.
And for much, much more on the history, use, and health benefits of this truly auspicious little plant, visit the British Watercress Alliance’s superb website. The site is absolutely brimming with recipes, facts about the plant, and fascinating historical details. We think they say it best on their history page: “The vital ingredient for growing watercress is, of course, water – pure, mineral-rich spring water, from which this peppery little super-food derives its power house of nutrients.”