Farm Stand Recap
Hi Everybody!! Are you guys as flabbergasted as I am that the grand opening of the farm stand is next week? After dedicating the last eight months of my life to nothing but this building I can definitely say that those eight months just flew by. I also couldn't be prouder of the final product and how we worked together as a crew to get it done. From the day we broke ground (when I didn't even know that I'd be doing this all summer), to last week when we put the last piece of metal siding up, It's been a crazy learning journey for me and I plan to continue learning as I start to put my new skills to use more and more around the farm. Well, before I start rambling, as I promised here is a hodgepodge of photos from the beginning of the project to the end. I did my best to narrow it down so you wouldn't be stuck here scrolling through 100 photos, but I think I found a decent representative sample. And, you can always look back at old posts if you're really jonesin' for some farm stand eye candy.
A bag full of treats
I can't believe it is already the last week of October! With fall in full swing I am very excited to introduce the chicory family. Chicories are related to lettuces, but have sturdier leaves and a more assertive flavor famous for their bitter edge. In your bag you will either have Pan di Zucchero or Catalogna. Both are delicious and everyone will get a chance to try each one.
Pan di Zucchero - This Italian variety (name translates to Sugar Loaf) has beautiful green, football shaped heads with white-veined leaves rolled tightly around them. It has a mild taste and can be cooked up a slew of different ways. You can eat the center, blanched leaves raw as they are considerably less bitter or braise/sauté the entire thing. Josh says cut it in half, drizzle with olive oil and pop it in the oven. Yum.
Catalogna - Also know as Puntarelle or Italian Dandelion, this Italian heirloom chicory variety has vivid green leaves and white stems. The flavor is bitter when fresh but softens up when cooked. You can use it raw in salads or gently braise or sauté with olive oil. The stems can be prepared like asparagus.
Opening the On-farm Grocery
The day I read the posting for Our Table's Retail Manager position was the day I knew my life would be changing for the better. With the three page job description ranging from design background to restaurant industry knowledge, I was convinced this job was written solely for me. It is with great pleasure that I am now a part of the Our Table family.
I wanted to take on this responsibility not only to fulfill the co-op's vision of an on-farm grocery, but to also honor the farmers who work here. Witnessing the dedication of each individual who works at our co-op has reaffirmed my belief that there are indeed dedicated and faithful stewards of our land who will devote their lives to nourish ours. That we are Certified Organic as well as biodynamic in practice proves their devotion even more.
It is with these same high standards that we search out products to sell in our store. It has always been the vision of the co-op to source as much product from Certified Local producers as possible.
Mallory, our Aggregation & Distribution Manager, and I have developed a wonderful product list showcasing Oregon's bounty. You will find our red label throughout the store representing our new partnership with multiple farms that have joined Our Table as Regional Producer Members. Our Certified Local members range from cheese producers, meat producers, fishermen, hazelnut growers, and coffee roasters. Look for the state of Oregon outline on all of our labels that represent product we source locally. You will be amazed at how much product is produced right here in beautiful Oregon!
Our Table's on-farm grocery is just that--a full service grocery store ON our farm! How exciting it will be to shop in a store that you know its produce was picked just that morning. The eggs you purchase will have been gathered that day and the chicken you enjoy over that evening's glass of Pinot Noir was raised just yards away. The soup that you pick up was created and made with the freshest ingredients and the bread you bought was delivered before you woke. I'm excited just writing about this!
For the Thanksgiving holiday, we will be carrying Deck Family Farm's organic heritage turkeys. Now is a great time to reserve your bird and to remember that the store will also have cranberry sauce and turkey gravy that Our Table's Prepared Foods Manager, Brenna, will be creating. Look for these items in the Our Table section of the reach in cooler.
The beauty and the thoughtfulness of the building's design is something to be celebrated. One family's vision turned into a community gathering place for all of us to meet and have the chance to get to know our neighbor. I really look forward to meeting you at our Grand Opening on November 8th as well as getting to know each of you in the coming months.
Join us as we come together each day, bringing you the best Oregon has to offer at Our Table.
The Rain Begins
Hello all! Jen here filling in for Josh while he is off galavanting around Italy and attending Terra Madre. Jaune du Doubs yellow carrots are new this week. A French heirloom variety dating back to the 19th century, flavor comes out better when cooked than raw. Peppers continue to hang on through the fall but enjoy your tomatoes--this is the last of them!
The Final Countdown
Hey folks, I know you've been chomping at the bit for a farmstand update, but don't think for a second that my lack of posting reflects a lack of stuff getting done on the farm, quite the opposite is true in fact. The site has felt like a beehive these past couple weeks (a simile i believe I have used in the past, but is too fitting not to be put to use again), with many aspects of the farmstand being worked on simultaneously by several groups of skilled craftsmen doing what they do best. Matt the concrete guy, Matt the HVAC guy, Matt the plumber guy (no joke), Randy the electrician, Pedro the painter...etc. all stepping over each other to get this place humming as soon as possible. Meanwhile, our crew has been busy with getting the metal siding up. The metal in the front is totally finished, and there are just a few patches in the back that will require a little finesse, but that will be finished after just a couple hours work early next week. Then it will be onto pretty much our last task: covering up the seams between the barn wood siding with the battens we've been ripping from other barn wood. After that we'll probably get pulled into tying up loose ends and doing little stuff here and there to help finish the interior, but then the rest of the work is up to you guys to come out and test our work. It wouldn't be a farm store without you!
Here is some of Randy's handy work, the last of the lighting to go into the atrium. I can't get over the shadows and the reflection in the window, it makes the space really come to life. When we get to the site before 7am and it's still dark out, and we turn all the lights on in the atrium...the atmosphere it creates is quite incredible and should be experienced by all of you at some point (not necessarily before 7am, but some time when it's dark outside). I sometimes wish I could forget the last 6 months just so I could walk in and see the atrium like it was my first time, it's such an amazing space.
And, just like i promised, here is the part of the building that we've probably had the least amount to do with: the kitchen. We've had the courtesy of helping move a lot of these giant appliances into the room, but our new kitchen manager, Brenna, has been the one hard at work getting this mess organized, assembled, hooked up, and operating correctly. I can tell she's anxious to start cooking, which is fine with me because I'm anxious to start eating! She's been making promises about blueberry pancakes and I'm confident she'll follow through :)
Well, I hope you guys are as excited as we are! As the next couple weeks count down and we get closer and closer to the big opening I'll be doing some retrospective posts to reflect on everything we've accomplished this past year as a new farm, so keep your eyes peeled. I hope you have a great weekend!
Til' next time,
Beautiful Fall Weather
This weather is keeping the peppers producing and even the tomatoes are hanging in there. Beets make an appearance this week. The greens are just like chard so cook 'em up. Fennel bulbs and greens are also both tasty and they can be used in salads raw, or cooked for a completely different flavor.
Summer Still Hanging On
Celery is new this week. Redventure is the variety, a red tinged celery. This first round of celery stalks have lots of flavor but not lots of water so they are best for cooking, not as good for ants on a log. With airflow luck we'll have another harvest or two before the frosts set in.
Tomatoes still hang on and we have a decent bunch if what very well maybe the last basil of the year. Make a final round of pistou or pesto and consider freezing it for a treat later this winter.
Hey Hey everybody, I hope you all had a great first week of October! All I have to say about our week out at the farm is wow. It went by so fast and we got so much done, it really feels like we're into the home stretch here.
Fist of all we finished all the wood flooring and it looks awesome. We had one big final push to wrap it up Thursday afternoon so it could be sealed and sanded on Friday, which it was. And, the next step is to oil and buff it until we have a shiny new wood floor for our store to go on top of!
The atrium also looks amazing. The floorboards that run through the bases of the timber posts were cut to mold around them perfectly so it looks like the posts just grow right out of the floor. And It's crazy how much the wood makes a difference in brightening up the place. After seeing it with a concrete floor for so long it's a welcome change. Oh, and speaking of brightening up the place check out the new lighting!
I've been meaning to get some pictures of the kitchen too but I keep forgetting, not as photogenic but just as important, if not more so! Because, you should know that I want to eat the stuff that's going to come out of there as much as you do. Every time I look in there it seems like a new sink is being hooked up or a new appliance is being brought in. It's starting to look like the real deal in there. I had the courtesy of moving a couple of big ovens off a trailer and onto the loading dock with the tractor on Friday. No pressure right, just don't drop them, and I didn't!
Well, I hope at least a few of you got to witness some of this progress at the pumpkin patch this weekend. The farm is looking really beautiful this time of year, and the pumpkins were looking especially good. Come check it out any weekend in October, Sat-Sun 10am-4pm! There's lots of fun and goodies to be had! Have a wonderful weekend!
Til' next time,
A REGIONAL COOPERATIVE CREATING HANDCRAFTED, THOUGHTFUL AND DELICIOUS FOOD
© Our Table Cooperative, 2016