Friday, March 5, 2010

In The Mache Pit...Anything Goes


While we were amending beds Sara received a call from the restaurant, a harvest was needed ASAP.  There was only one thing left to do...Bring in the best.  Since Captain Jack was out clearing the snow from every pathway and driveway on the farm and "the rest" were nowhere to be found either, Sara settled for us!

STAGE 1:  Mache, Microgreens and Radishes were on the menu

Mache is a great winter vegetable because it can withstand some pretty intense cold.  It also has a delicious, hearty, almost starchy taste to it too which is great when it's freezing outside.

The key to harvesting Mache is to cut right above the root, but not too high because you want to keep the little rosette whole.

Vicious Animal Alert:  So I don't know about you, but living in Manhattan I don't see too many rabbit/dog face offs everyday.  This was pretty incredible as the greenhouse rabbit, Turnip, and the Captain's dog, Lilly, grilled each other over some salty Ficoides plants.  

Man's best friend wins again.  No surprise to us.

Once the dangerous bunny tragedy of 2010 was averted, it was back to the harvest...time to move on to the microgreens.

It was no easy task harvesting these tiny lettuces.

Unlike the Mache, we wanted to cut a little bit above the root and stem in order to allow the microgreens to regrow after this harvest.  This allows them to reproduce for several weeks right from the same seed.
Reaching the back row was even tougher, but not to worry I had a plan.

Sometimes you have to get creative on the farm....

Yes...I was immediately rushed to the hospital after using this technique.

These radishes were from the same bed as two weeks ago and had finally come into their own...beautiful.

Some were huge

Some were seconds, the batch the restaurant will pass on...and the farmers end up eating.
Lucky farmers; these things look a little off, but taste just as good.

Once the mache, microgreens and radishes were harvested, we soaked and rinsed them for delivery.

Turns out I was supposed to use the men's gloves, who knew??  I'm not sure why there were no instructions with these things someone could seriously lose an arm.
We took the Mache and put it in a double sink filled with water on both sides.

You want to "swish" the mache in the cold water to get off all of the dirt, then move it into the second half of the sink with more, clean cold water and do it again.

Practicing major self-control, you avoid diving mouth-first into the sink and eating the entire harvest.  Instead, use a colander to transport the rinsed Mache into a dryer (also avoid diving in at this point as well).

Run the dryer for 4 minutes on the Spin cycle.  This provides just enough time for the mache to fluff up and look perfect for the restaurant.

Matt took care of the radishes.  I've said it once and I'll say it again, these colors are ridiculous.  Once you turn the hose on these radishes, the red just bursts out.  
Do not adjust your monitors, you did not get a secret fancy computer upgrade by coming to this website, these colors are real and they are as delicious as they look.

Somehow the restaurant doesn't like radishes that are too "big" HA...Radishes can never be too big everyone knows that.
Finally, it was time to pack up the Kubota and roll.  For those of you who are not familiar with the Kubota (or KubYoda) just think what it would be like if the Batmobile and Air force 1 had a baby tractor and then multiply that by 3.1415926...well you get the point,  it's awesome.

Matt used his VIF (Very Important Farmer) status to deliver the goods.

There's no better feeling than watching these plants grow from their earliest seedling states, harvesting them and bringing them to the restaurant to be served on a Saturday night.  Like a proud parent, we watch these delectable babies reach the pinnacle of their lives.

1 comment:

  1. I'm your biggest fan, hands down. Bring me home some freshness, please.