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Recovering from Chef Fest & Preparing for Tomato Planting

Village Farm Team,

In case you missed it on Sunday, Chef Fest was a delicious success! Our twelve chefs showed up in a major way providing all of the attendees with delectable dishes inspired by local spring produce. A dish of note was the “beets and rye” created by Chef Robert Lyford from Patina Green Home & Market in McKinney, Texas. The dish was layered with pickled beets, sprouted rye berries, a smoked beet puree, and a smoked beet crumble made from the skins of the beets. It was both a delightful tribute to the humble beet and a nod to the “root to stem” mentality of using as much of a vegetable as possible without anything going to waste.

Though the food at Chef Fest was pretty stellar, our farm animals played an important role in the overall event experience. Attendees were able to visit with both our chickens and goats and give them cauliflower snacks. We had so many people interested in feeding them throughout the event that for the first time ever, our goats turned down cauliflower leaves (their favorite!) in favor of a quick nap in the sun.

Our main priority after cleaning up and organizing materials from Chef Fest will be to get our tomato starts in the ground. We’ll be planting them in the vacant spaces on the North Farm as well as in a few of the Farm Club beds. Once planted, we’ll apply fertilizer in the form of Micro Life to encourage healthy growth and tomato production. Micro Life is an organic biological fertilizer that provides more than 100 nutrients, minerals, vitamins, and beneficial microbes to the soil. In addition to amending our soil on the farm, we also use it in our seed starting mix to ensure healthy germination.

Our root veggies on the South Farm are coming along nicely! Though the beets and carrots still have a ways to go until they are ready, we’ve been able to start harvesting our purple top turnips and watermelon radishes. Thanks to the multiple freezes, our root veggies will be particularly sweet this year. The natural response to freezing temperatures is for plants like brassicas and beets to convert their stores of starches into sugar. This works to keep the plant from freezing and in turn increases the amount of natural sugars present. Make sure you stop by the veggie wagon on Saturday to pick up some purple tops turnips and the rest of our lovely veggies.

Happy Harvesting,

The Agmenity Farm Team

Words & Photos by Courtney West

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