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A Peek into the Broadfork Kitchen…plus market 3.2.19

We farm for a living for lots of reasons, the most selfish of which is the result in our kitchen. Here’s a little virtual peek into what we like to do there, and what we most love to use to make our veggies irresistible. This peek is by no means comprehensive, but we thought it would be fun.

In general: We may have a reputation for this already, but we will point out anyway that we aim for very little processed food in our diets. We buy protein from our friends (eggs & chicken, meat, tofu, milk), and staples at grocery stores & specialty stores (nuts, oils, cheese, beans, whole grains, vinegars, dried herbs, herbal teas, etc.)  and we make what we eat. We consume lots of veggies that we grow (including preserving as many as we can), we get sweet potatoes from our friends at Crumptown Farm, we enjoy the bread from our bakery as the most processed thing we usually eat, and we don’t buy dressings, crackers, cookies, breads, or processed cereals. We do buy organic fruit at the store, and we loathe the decision making process about local versus organic fruit. (There is extremely little fruit grown in Virginia using organic practices.) We will not discuss fruit in this newsletter today! Pasta is summed up as “Not Food But Fun!” and we purchase and make it in moderation. (The Fun in pasta is sometimes irresistible!) To be very clear: when pasta is made in our kitchen it is made by the children. The to-do list for the adults does not currently allow time for pasta making.

Our pantry holds most of the indispensable tools that allow our kitchen to churn out 18 meals plus up to 12 snacks per day, everyday. (Our family of six very rarely ever eats out, and when we do it is usually when we are on an out-of-town trip…which hardly ever happens.) This may turn into the Broadfork Kitchen Confessions, because the first thing that comes to mind is the fact that we always keep in stock five types of salt: flaky, pink coarse for grinding, pink fine, pickling, and standard sea salt. This is likely irrational. Please don’t judge. But we have found each has its niche, and we really enjoy them.

We also stock lots of herbs and spices – fresh when we can harvest them, dried always on hand. We think combining loads of herbs and spices with the vegetables we grow is one of the best ways to get a larger diversity of plant medicine (flavors!) into our systems. Culinary herbalism like this builds health in impressive ways. This winter we have been really digging the book by Rosalee de la Floret called Alchemy of Herbs . We are also excited for Kami McBride’s The Herbal Kitchen – now available for pre-order through Indie Bound. (You can order it for pick up in April just around the corner from the St. Stephen’s market!) We think diversifying the phytocompounds getting into your body is really important! Spice it up and enjoy!
{We have now revealed to the world that we have no less than 4 types of Curry blends in our spice drawers, including one labeled “Not my fave.” Thank you again for withholding judgement. And now you know to inquire about which Curry we used in a dish. PS. These are only 2 of our 3 total spice drawers. Our medicinal herb shelf is separate.}

We also blur the lines between food and medicine by making our own infused vinegars and oxymels. (An oxymel is a combination of an infused vinegar and honey, which certainly helps get it down the hatch.) The books above provide various vinegar and oxymel recipes, and our kids are starting to initiate their own favorite blends. You can purchase oxymels off the shelf, and a local option is fantastic, but the price tag can be tough for an oxymel-loving family. Some oxymels are used specifically for an ailment, like a sore throat, others are known as wonderful daily tonics and they can masquerade as salad dressing. We try to each eat two salads per day, and so Salad Dressing Creativity is practically a required course in our home.

Asking our oldest child about her favorite things to use in our kitchen, her responses were as follows:
– Bay leaves (we currently keep dried, but we have a goal to grow our own bay plant!)
– Cast iron pans
– High quality olive oil
– Good ways to blend stuff (stick blender and food processor)
– Bulk jars of dry goods

The parents’ list of favorite things:
Knife magnets (and good knives to go on them – keep them sharpened with Sharp Again at the St. Stephens’ market)
Electric water kettle (large capacity! so much tea for so many people!)
– Good salt and pepper grinders
– A quality, functioning exhaust fan (we lived for 5 years in a kitchen with a broken exhaust fan!)
– Excellent music (preferably live from our kids and friends!)
– Clean and clear windows through which we can see our fields that make this goodness possible

This newsletter topic could go on and on…our kitchen is the center of our home and gets a ton of use and love! Perhaps one day we’ll hold an in person, interactive Broadfork Kitchen Tour. There’s often dirt in the sink, seasonal produce lounging around, and sometimes turmeric stains on the counter. We love it and certainly hope it’s a place that our children return to for many, many years.

Thanks for reading. We’ll end with a shameless plug for our 2019 Farm Share:
Farm Shares are available for our main season which runs May through November. Read details here and please sign up via that link to join our farm! We are offering a new  *customizable* Farm Share through the new software called Harvie. Choose what you prefer from our harvest for weekly or bi-weekly shares!

Our harvest this week includes: 
Carrots, Dill, Microgreens, Parsley, Salad, Scallions (just a few), Spinach, Sugar Snap Pea Shoots…and our Organic Hearth Baked Bread (Baguettes, Herb, Whole Rye, Raisin, & Seed loaves for this weekend).
(Our oldest child’s Cuts & Bruises Salve will be back at market tomorrow! And — she has made a new variety that she’s calling Cedar and Pine Rub for Skin. Pick your favorite or choose both!)

{Our farmstand is open with most of the above items…see here for updated inventory}

Everything remaining after our farm stand is shopped (plus the bread we bake Saturday morning)… we’ll bring on Saturday to the Farmer’s Market @ St. Stephen’s. Also keep an eye on what we have available via Richmond’s only online farmers’ market: FallLineFarms.com.

Enjoy ~

Janet, Dan, & the whole Broadfork crew
Want to follow along during the week, including Farm Stand updates? Visit us on Facebook or Instagram

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