Debbie's Blog

Van Till Family Farm & Winery


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Farm to Table or is it: Tower to Table!

The mild weather of the fall season  creates ideal conditions for the lettuce, arugula, mizuna and other

greens that are growing in the “Towers” in the greenhouse for the Garden Salad that we serve here at the winery.

Here are a few pictures to show you how this humble, but very necessary and nutritious part of our diet

has a very cool place here on the farm.

Pots ready to be filled with great compost made right on the farm.
See the mizuna growing on the edge of the grass. It is a volunteer,but we could pick it and eat it too!

Here , we start filling the pots that make up the grow towers, with potting mix that is decomposed strawberry roots, leaves and stems that were taken out of the towers in August.  Here, in the compost pile, the warm air, sunshine and the rains have created an idea condition for decomposition of this plant material, and now, in just a few short months,

it is ready to be recycled back into the pots to grow the greens.

After these pots are filled, we stack them in the greenhouse.

These lettuce plants are about 3 weeks old and are ready to be transplanted into the

tower.

Here is a tower, with just planted lettuce. In a few weeks these will be ready to start harvesting. They love this cool weather.

  Here the towers are filled with new seedlings that will be happy in the greenhouse, away from the

wind and enjoying the sun.

Lettuce, arugula, mizuna are ready to harvest for the farmstead salad served on The Patio Pavilion.

Here are the two towers with plants ready to harvest.  These greens are very young and just the outer leaves

are picked off, thus leaving the small leaves to get a little larger for the next pick.  In fact, these towers

were just picked 4 days ago and they have so much growth that they are ready to harvest again.

And here we are on a very comfortable  Patio Pavilion, in October, with our  farmstead salad, ready to eat, with

a glass of award winning Strawberry Festival Wine.

Farm to Table, or was that, Tower to Table!

Those chairs are empty, come join us!

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Never underestimate the power of green onions!

Last winter about this time, in preparation for Friday Night Pizza, I was gathering up the green vegetables in the Farm Kitchen  that Chef  Josh had discarded to go into  the compost   when I noticed on the top,  a bunch of green onions (scallions)  that we had purchased from the store.  He had used what he needed and cut off the root ends which were

still bound together with the rubber band.  I could see that they were still alive!  I took those out, set them aside and took the  onion peels, outer leaves of the lettuce, carrot ends and cilantro roots to the compost bin.  How could I discard something that was still alive!

Green Onions in February on the Patio

The next day, I found a 1 gallon nursery pot, filled it with potting soil mixed with compost, took off the rubber band and planted and watered  those

scalllions in the pot.  The next week  I could see they were growing, and soon we were harvesting the tops of  these green onions for our Southwestern Pizza.

It was pretty simple and didn’t take much effort.  In fact, they even survived with  very little water in the summer,  winter in an unheated greenhouse  and are now growing on the patio, ready to be harvested again this week.  And we thought the onion was only an ordinary  vegetable crop.

Oranges and Lemons on the Patio Pavilion in February

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Order the Southwestern Pizza and you will be enjoying local fresh grown greens, in winter, in Missouri!  And did you notice the bright orange and yellow in the picture?

Yes, those are oranges and lemons growing on trees in our Patio Pavilion!  Stop by and see them,  but please don’t pick the oranges!