Spring Radishes

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Give this post a quick once over and you’ll probably notice that despite its title, it’s not really about radishes. Instead, at least on the surface, (and to the deep consternation of the Google search algorithm I’m sure) it’s about broccoli rabe and a cool pasta recipe. But, it’s not really about broccoli rabe either. It’s really about surrender.

For a while now, radishes and I have been fighting. Last week we harvested the first of our season and they were fantastic; the best I’d ever had. They were easily good enough to cloud my reason. Maybe once or twice a year I eat something really memorable, something that changes how I think about food. These radishes fit that bill. They were fresh and yummy and satisfying, like none I’d ever had before. They were so good, I fell instantly and deeply in love with home-grown radishes. But as is often the case with impetuous love, it’s brought nothing but trouble.

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It began in a particularly damp and gungy corner of my sub-conscious where I decided I’d rather possess (eat) the radishes than sell them.  As a result, I sent them to market with an absurdly high price. Of course, just as my grungy sub-conscious had intended, we brought most of them home. They filled my fridge for a week and on some level I’m sure I was thrilled. Then the real trouble began. Over the next week, I nibbled radishes. I pickled them. I ate them on salad. And I tried and tried to post about them. But it just wasn’t happening. Nothing I tried was working. The pictures were bad. The text was worse. Radishes just wouldn’t give me a break. I fought it for more than a week before giving in and changing course. And it was there, awash in the calming waves of surrender, that I found broccoli rabe.

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Scones

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Last week, Adam attended a fundraising dinner held to benefit The Boulder Valley School Food Project. They’re an organization working to improve the quality and nature of food served in local public schools. It’s good and necessary work. If people knew what their kids were served at school there might be an uprising. I imagine Victor Hugo-like barricades in the streets, molotov cocktails and gangs of people marching with torches. (Of course that’s ridiculous. Most folks have way too much going on to worry about school food.) The sugar, fat and salt found in most school food is horrifying. So it’s good to see organizations like the School Food Project working to create change.

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First Farmer's Market and a New Plan

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Last weekend we attended our very first farmer’s market and I’ve got to say it started off scary. Our first four perspective customers all asked for eggs and left disappointed (and empty handed) when we told them we didn’t have any. Fortunately, the next several dozen people didn’t give a toss about eggs and bought up almost everything we had. We’d come with spinach, kale, soil blocked starts and plants in compostable pots. We left with a few soil blocks and a couple tomato plants. It was a great day and a fantastic introduction to the farmer’s market. Best of all, it left us with a clearer vision of our business and new ideas for our future.

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A Simple Lunch with Spinach, Vinaigrette and the Boy

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Yesterday the boy and I took lunch in the garden. (We have a son. His name is Milo. He’s two, though if asked he’ll tell you he’s sixteen). We sat in straight-backed chairs beside the nursery hoop, overlooking the chickens. We ate a spinach salad with balsamic and rosemary vinaigrette straight from a huge, stainless mixing bowl. We shared a sparkling water, from a single tall glass with lemon and ice. It was a simple meal, no more than ten minutes from field to plate. And it was perfect. Lately, between soil prep, spring planting, grow room work, raising the boy and working my regular 50+ hrs/wk at the store I’d been running it a little thin. I was needing something simple and lunch in the garden with my son did the trick. It was one of the best meals I can remember.

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