Black Cat Bistro and Bramble & Hare depend upon ambitious farm-to-table efforts for their provisions.

Farm-to-Table Happens in the Snow

Harvesting crops is never a breezy affair — even on a 72-degree June afternoon with the sky the color of an Adriatic lagoon it presents challenges. It is physically demanding, requiring that we bend over and pull or dig. We fill bins with arugula and Belgian endive, with tomatoes and cucumbers and onions, hoist the bins to our shoulders, and haul them up to the cleaning station.

Farm-to-table involves a lot of work in the fields — and when it's cold, with snow, it's challenging.
Cleaning carrots is not a problem on warm days, like this one a few weeks ago. But when it’s 23 degrees in the snow? Ouch.

And then we spend a lot of time getting wet — spraying dirt from beets and rubbing them clean, depositing bins of greens into our washers, tying wet turnips into bundles for sale at the market.

Harvesting is especially difficult when it is frigid outside — like this morning, with temperatures in the mid-20s. The ground is hard, which demands more toil. Cleaning is c-c-cold — water on hands + 23 degrees = immense discomfort.

Farm-to-table field prep is vital. Without snow, it is easier.
Field prep during a recent, and relatively balmy, late afternoon at Black Cat Farm. Soon after, snow arrived.

The good news — we don’t face many mornings like today. The bad news — when weather like this hits late in the year, that usually means the season of planting, nurturing and harvesting is about to draw to a close. We only have a few more markets left in 2017.

Let’s hit the market this weekend and load-up on turnips and onions, on beets and carrots and hardy greens and much more. OK? We hope to see you tomorrow morning at the market — bundled-up and with cooking on your mind.

The Haul:

  • Tat soi
  • Purple tat soi
  • Mizuna
  • Mibuna
  • Osaka purple
  • Arugula
  • Lettuces varieties
  • Collard greens
  • Kale
  • Beets
  • Carrots
  • Turnips: Hakurei, Hinona Kabu, Magenta
  • Radishes: Easter Egg, Daikon, Hailstone
  • Squash: Spaghetti, Butternut, Acorn, and Delicata
  • Cauliflower
  • Celery
  • Pork: Ground, Shoulder Roast, Ham Roast, Hocks