Seasonal Overlap

vegetable bed in the Orchard
the Insectary in full bloom
As of September 22 Autumn begins.  
We are really feeling the change of season at the farm. 
The light is different, days are shorter and mornings are cooler.
 We are in that moment of seasonal overlap when our basil and tomatoes 
are still going crazy alongside the squash beds. 

A very busy time for all of us who work the farm, 
including the bees who make frequent visits to our crops 
from the nearby Insectary created by the Benziger family
 as part of their biodynamic concept for Imagery Estate Winery

see the bee upper left above the blossoms as he zooms in
landing on the top sunchoke blossom
moving to the one to the right of the top one
and a closer look at our Busy Bee at work! 
Sunchokes are also called Jerusalem artichokes, 
although that is a bit of a misnomer. 
They are not related to an artichoke, although their taste can remind you of one. 
And, no they are not from Jerusalemone theory 
is that "the name is probably derived from the Italian name 
for a sunflower, girasole, which means turning to the sun." 
Do you know they can grow to be 10 feet tall?

harvested sunchokes 
Executive Chef John Toulze has gotten very creative with sunchokes. 
Besides creating sunchoke chips, which we are lovin' more than potato chips,
they were center stage during the girl & the fig dinner 
at the James Beard House this spring roasted 
and served alongside pan roasted black cod.

photo by Phil Gross for the James Beard House
Dish from Plats du Jour: the girl & the fig's Journey Through the Seasons in Wine Country.

Creativity and flexibility is the key for John and the other chefs 
as they harvest the fruits of summer and the early bounty of Fall. 
In a recent interview with The Huffington Post, John said: 
"Nature does not always work in accordance with a chef's schedule. 
You can't predict much," he says. "Normally, rhubarb means 
spring, strawberry is spring and summer, delicata squash is fall. 
There was point last year I was harvesting all those in the same time."

This flexibility about what seasonality really means 
is why you can still find the popular heirloom tomato & watermelon salad 
on the menu at the girl & the fig on the first day of Autumn. 

What Summer farm inspired dish will you soon miss most?
And what Fall delicacy are you looking forward to making?

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