Week in Photos: 5 & 6

Microgreens

I once read microgreens being described as "vegetable confetti," and think that's a pretty fun and accurate way to describe them. Bright in color and flavor, they make a festive garnish, topping, and nutritional "pop" when sprinkled on any dish! 

Microgreens are the cornerstone of our farm's business, growing year-round in the tempered climate of our greenhouses, and are our most-widely distributed product. We recently expanded to include over 9000 square feet of greenhouse space and a repurposed soil shed system for our microgreens! In addition to micros, we grow nasturtiums and watercress in the greenhouse using an acquaponics system, which mimics a pond-and-stream system found in nature. To learn more about what a microgreens is and the different types of microgreens we grow, visit http://www.cityroots.org/microgreens/.

Our Greenhouse Manager, Beth, works tirelessly to ensure the microgreens production stays on-task and on-time! We're grateful for our entire Greenhouse team. 

 Greenhouse Manager, Beth, seeding microgreens trays: sango radish.

Greenhouse Manager, Beth, seeding microgreens trays: sango radish.

 The newest greenhouse in production, also housing some potted herbs.

The newest greenhouse in production, also housing some potted herbs.

 Amaranth microgreens in the first greenhouse, Greenhouse 1.

Amaranth microgreens in the first greenhouse, Greenhouse 1.

 Nasturtium and watercress growing in water through the farm's acquaponics system.

Nasturtium and watercress growing in water through the farm's acquaponics system.

 Matt and Steven repurpose the current frame of the greenhouse soil shed, sawing out cubes to wedge in new boards. The greenhouse team is adjusting the soil shed compost system to ensure regular turning of the soil to keep in fungus-free. 

Matt and Steven repurpose the current frame of the greenhouse soil shed, sawing out cubes to wedge in new boards. The greenhouse team is adjusting the soil shed compost system to ensure regular turning of the soil to keep in fungus-free. 

Week in Photos: 4

Every year, we look forward to the Annual Pig and Oyster Roast at the farm, and this year did not disappoint! We spent the week prepping for the party, while plugging along with farm work:  new tires for the John Deer tractor, prepping a former blackberry field for field crops, and planting the new high tunnel. 

Saturday arrived, with clear blue skies and sweater weather making a perfect day to pick and shuck all afternoon, cold beverage in hand. A team of chefs skillfully roasted our Wil-Moore farms pasture-raised pork and bushels of fresh, briny oysters straight from the SC Coast for a hungry crowd. Guests tapped their toes to live bluegrass music, warming up by the open fire pits, while kids hung on the perimeter, hands in the ground. What a way to end the month!

Week in Photos: 3

Change is constant on the farm: unfolding slowly and steadily through the lifecycle of crops and daily tasks, and sometimes abruptly with a burst of activity on the farm. This week seemed to buzz at City Roots. Construction began on the new "Farm Kitchen" building, sides went up on the new High Tunnel, and fields were prepped for the first of Spring planting. The current flurry of activity signals change ahead, while the steady hum of growing food grounds us.

 Before construction begins

Before construction begins

 Day 1

Day 1

 Day 1

Day 1

 End of Day 1

End of Day 1

 Day 2

Day 2

 Day 2

Day 2

 The High Tunnel allows us to over-winter and start summer crops, like tomatoes, earlier in the season.

The High Tunnel allows us to over-winter and start summer crops, like tomatoes, earlier in the season.

 Prepping Fields at Heathwood for Spring planting

Prepping Fields at Heathwood for Spring planting

 Matt with a hefty turmeric harvest

Matt with a hefty turmeric harvest

 Andrew and Rigsbee Processing to the Beet

Andrew and Rigsbee Processing to the Beet

 View from the Roof onThursday 1/12/17 at 5pm:  Farmers Market, Building Construction, High Tunnel

View from the Roof onThursday 1/12/17 at 5pm:  Farmers Market, Building Construction, High Tunnel

Week in Photos: 2

We experienced zany wintertime weather this week; freezing at the beginning (we saw a few flakes of snow on Saturday!) and a high of 75 by the end of the week. Construction on the high tunnel continued, and as we bid farewell to some of the winter crops, like carrots and turnips, we welcomed a newcomer on the farm in the form of an historic, native grape, the Herbemont. Keith Willoughby of Wil-Moore Farms flexes his culinary skills at the farmers market and we all relished the warmth of the sun after a bone-chilling few days. 

 City Roots Farmers Market getting started, with Peter making sure we're all set.

City Roots Farmers Market getting started, with Peter making sure we're all set.

 This is a City Roots Farmers Market meal, created off-the-cuff by farmer Keith Willoughby of Wil-Moore farms, using one pan, a hot plate, and ingredients from the market! You're looking at fresh butternut squash ravioli topped with garlic pork sausage (sautéed in a healthy pat of Happy Creamery butter), Trail Ridge marinated goat feta, and City Roots microgreens. Voila! 

This is a City Roots Farmers Market meal, created off-the-cuff by farmer Keith Willoughby of Wil-Moore farms, using one pan, a hot plate, and ingredients from the market! You're looking at fresh butternut squash ravioli topped with garlic pork sausage (sautéed in a healthy pat of Happy Creamery butter), Trail Ridge marinated goat feta, and City Roots microgreens. Voila! 

 Keith Mearns (left). Horticulturalist at Historic Columbia, first propagated the Herbemont at the Robert Mills house in Columbia last sprong. These cuttings are from those vines, and are the second planting of the grape since the 1820s. 

Keith Mearns (left). Horticulturalist at Historic Columbia, first propagated the Herbemont at the Robert Mills house in Columbia last sprong. These cuttings are from those vines, and are the second planting of the grape since the 1820s. 

 Eric McClam, Farm Manager, placing the cutting in the planter at the entrance of the Pavilion. 

Eric McClam, Farm Manager, placing the cutting in the planter at the entrance of the Pavilion. 

 The unassuming, dormant cuttings of the Herbemont grape went in the ground this week, as part of the efforts to revitalize the hybrid variety, first created by Nicolas Herbemont in the early 19th century. 

The unassuming, dormant cuttings of the Herbemont grape went in the ground this week, as part of the efforts to revitalize the hybrid variety, first created by Nicolas Herbemont in the early 19th century. 

Week in Photos: 1

Happy New Year! We're starting 2017 on the farm with resolutions, projects, and plans for a healthy, happy and productive new year. One of the projects is committing to a weekly photo stream to share with you the happenings, experiences, challenges and successes of farm life at City Roots. We hope you're inspired to set your own intentions for a happy and healthy year and join us for the journey!

 First harvest of Golden Beets

First harvest of Golden Beets

 Panoramic view of the low tunnel planted with lettuce

Panoramic view of the low tunnel planted with lettuce

 New high tunnel construction to help us grow over the winter

New high tunnel construction to help us grow over the winter

 Andrew, Rigsbee and Audrey

Andrew, Rigsbee and Audrey

 Big, beautiful heads of butterhead lettuce ready to harvest!

Big, beautiful heads of butterhead lettuce ready to harvest!

 Lettuce rosette

Lettuce rosette

 

 

Top-to-Tail Eating: Beet Greens, Carrot Tops and more!

The leaves of root vegetables often get overlooked, fated for the compost bin, a stock or (gasp!) the trash. Don't waste this nutritious and delicious part of the plant, for not only are they edible, but they can be featured as a main ingredient in your next winter dish! Wilt, braise, pulse and stir-fry your tops to a more sustainable way of cooking!

Beet green recipe ideas, adapted from Mother Nature Network, for any level home cook.

  1. Beet Greens and Feta Pasta – Wilted beet greens, sauteed onions and garlic, along with a little pasta water make a simple sauce for Penne pasta that’s topped with Feta.
  2. Grilled Goat Cheese Pizza with Figs, Beets, and Wilted Greens – Sweet figs and tangy goat cheese pair with beets and their greens on this pizza that’s perfect now that we’re all firing up our grills.
  3. Lemon and Butter Braised Beet Greens – Simple and quick, this side dish comes together in less than 10 minutes.
  4. Spicy Beet Green Crostini – Beet greens are sauteed with red chile pepper flakes and garlic, then placed on top of toasted baguette slices.
  5. Salad of Edible Radish, Beet & Carrot Top Green – This no-waste recipe uses the tops from three different root vegetables and tops them with a vermouth vinaigrette. Add any other salad topping you like.
  6. Tasty Greens Dip- This garden-greens purée makes a delicious dip, spread or side dish. You can use super-nutritious kale or any combination of collards, beet greens or turnip greens.

 Chef April Bloomfield practices a nose-to-tail philosophy in the kitchen, as well as what she calls, "top-to-tail" cooking with vegetables. Here is her recipe for using carrot tops from Saveur.

ROASTED CARROTS WITH CARROT-TOP PESTO AND BURRATA
Ingredients
1 cup plus 2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 1⁄2 lb. small carrots with green tops (2 carrots peeled, remaining carrots scrubbed and trimmed, leaving 1" green tops, leaves and tender stems reserved)
2 1⁄2 tsp. flake sea salt, such as Maldon
3 tbsp. unsalted butter
4 cloves garlic (3 unpeeled and lightly crushed, 1 peeled)
1⁄2 cup packed basil leaves
1⁄2 cup walnuts
1⁄4 cup grated parmesan, plus more for garnish
8 oz. burrata or fresh mozzarella, drained
2 1⁄2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice

Instructions
1) Heat oven to 500°. Heat 1⁄4 cup oil in a 12″ ovenproof skillet over medium-high. Add trimmed carrots and 1 tsp. salt; cook, turning carrots as needed, until browned, 6–8 minutes. Add butter and crushed garlic; roast until carrots are tender, 10–12 minutes.

2) Pulse three-quarters of carrot leaves and stems, 1 tsp. salt, the peeled garlic, 1⁄4 cup basil, the walnuts, and parmesan in a food processor until coarsely ground. Add 3⁄4 cup oil; purée into a smooth pesto.

3) Arrange roasted carrots on a serving platter with burrata. Using a vegetable peeler, peel remaining 2 carrots into thin ribbons and place in a bowl. Add remaining oil, carrot leaves and tender stems, salt, and basil, plus lemon juice; toss to combine. Sprinkle over carrots and burrata. Spoon about 1⁄3 cup pesto over carrots and sprinkle with more parmesan; serve remaining pesto on the side.

30 Days of City Roots: An Interview with a CSA Member

 30 Days of City Roots: An Interview with a CSA Member

The recipes that Stephanie offered to share with the City Roots blog were ridiculously simple, and while simple and easy recipes are inherently appealing, Stephanie's do offer us something more as well. For her recipes speak to what we typically forget when we eat in front of the TV or snack out of boredom: that we should appreciate food for what it really is--we should be able to actually taste the vegetables amidst all the fats and oils we typically drown them in. Simplifying our recipes allows us to taste what's good for us.

Roam the Fields with Us: A Digital Farm Tour

City Roots sprawls in a way that makes you wonder which building is the main one; the greenhouses look just as inviting as the store. But still, you know better. You walk up and into the biggest structure, and inside this place full of people, your body suddenly seems conspicuously still. Everyone looks up and smiles, but their hands stay busy, washing microgreens or carrying bags from one room to the next.