What's growing

The weather continues to taunt us, 
with frosty mornings and nights and then spring—like afternoons. 
The farm is responding well, keeping balance 
with the colder temperatures and embracing the warm days. 

Garlic is sprouting at the farm already and 
lemons are bursting off the trees at ESTATE.

lemon tree at ESTATE
So we are not idle in this winter transition time.
There is a lot of work at the three farm locations.
At ESTATE  and in the farm's Orchard, we are pruning trees
and prepping for spring planting.
Fruit Tree "Ninjai"
Matt with the tiller in the Orchard
Behind "the fig," now that the 300 asparagus plants are in the ground, 
our plan is to continue the chard that did so well and add kale.
Soon the chefs won't have to order Dino Kale, 
they can just go out back and pick what is growing. 

we can get a lot of food growing behind the fig
Alongside these leafy greens are rhubarb 
and stinging nettles continue to grow. 
Even though the chefs have to be careful when 
picking them (they wear 3 pairs of latex gloves), 
we use stinging nettles in some recipes:
They are especially tasting in ravioli filling. 
Did you know that stinging nettleshigh in protein, iron, fiber,
 Vitamin A & Care considered one of the "super foods?"
 It needs to be blanched before using it and 
don't forget those gloves as you handle it!  
The FIGkitchen uses so many fresh herbs that
John decided to expand beyond herb growing
in the raised beds and plant some in a larger section. 
raised herb beds
this large area will give us even more herbs for the kitchen
It is important for us to be self sustainable with all that we use. 
All the restaurant kitchens compost and the kitchen scraps go out to the
compost pile at the farm, enhancing the soil and of course, ultimately 
coming back to the kitchens when we harvest what we've planted. 

We also take the ash from
the pizza oven at ESTATE
and spread it on the beds at the farm.

The ash adds nutrients like
potassium and phosphorus.
Did you know that one pound of ash treats
100 feet lightly dusted?

 The winter garden at Imagery farm now has mustard, radishes, carrots
and beets (chioggia, touchstone gold and merlin varieties)
chioggia beets are the candy striped ones
in the ground along with the garlic.
And, we just planted 1200 walla walla onions!
walla walla transplants
These onions compliment the cipollins we planted. 
The name means "little onion" in Italian and they are 
actually a bulb from the hyacinth plant.  
Check out page 166 in our new book, Plats du Jour 
for a tasty recipe for parsnip and cipollini soup.

And the newest and most exciting development for the farm 
has been putting up a green house which will allow 
us to start things from seeds rather than transplants. 
John and Ray and Matt from Local Landscapers 
have a lot of plans for the greenhouse.

Check back here to learn more about our Green House project
and see our progress with the winter garden at the farm.
And keep following the blog as well as the menus 
at the restaurants to find out what's growing.

Post a question or a comment here—let us know how we are doing.

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