from the farm: rise and shine

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The farm is waking up!  I know it’s early to get excited, but it does feel as if spring has sprung.  Or at least like spring is beginning to stir, slowly roll over, and stretch her arms a bit.  In place of grey days this week, we’ve been soaking up sunshine.  It feels divine.

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Everywhere in the valley there are signs of life.  Freshly cut piles of prunings line the vineyard rows, new buds are breaking, and in the early morning hours, the faint and fecund smell of manure and damp earth is in the air.

At the fig farm, our cover crops are coming along well. The last few rows of winter vegetables are still yielding; in particular, the cauliflowers and broccolini crops appear to be very happy with change in the season.

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A few words on broccolini:

You probably already know broccolini as the taller, thinner, (arguably more refined) cousin to broccoli.  It was created by cross-breeding broccoli with a type of kale (via a natural method of cross-pollination), lending it a lightly sweet and peppery flavor that I personally cannot get enough of.

It’s growing requirements are similar to broccoli, one bonus being that since the side-stalks of the broccolini are what’s desired, frequent harvests throughout the season are possible – so it provides a more continuous yield.  This is an ideal scenario for the culinary garden!

(For more details on how and when to grow in Sonoma County, click here.)

030Back in the girl & the fig kitchen, Chef Jeremy has been working his magic on the freshly harvested shoots. Sauteed in brown butter, garlic, and Meyer lemon zest, served with a perfectly poached egg atop. Heavenly is not an exageration.

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There is so much to love about winter vegetables.  If spring decides to sleep just a few weeks longer, I suppose I can live with it.

Happy growing, and eating!

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