Between then and now, Mother Nature has blessed us with a wonderful spectrum of seasonal delicacies ─ field-planted lettuce, spring asparagus and Mr. Frye’s rhubarb. We welcomed English peas and Carmellini beans and summer squash, followed by the kings of summer, tomatoes! (We were especially pleased to be the exclusive grower of heirloom tomatoes for our friends at Cooper’s Hawk Winery.) New potatoes emerged, and then sweet potatoes and root crops. And, as winter settles in, we’re celebrating the arrival of much anticipated cold weather treats including ice spinach, Jerusalem artichokes, Crosnes and Oca.
Bumper Crop of Welcomed Guests
We were honored this year to welcome several of our partner chefs to tour the farm and experience firsthand where and how we grow their veggies, and to personally meet the members of our incredible team who make it all happen. Opening the Culinary Vegetable Institute kitchen to them for exploration and experimentation is always fascinating, and we never tire of witnessing the art our chefs create using the vegetables, herbs, edible flowers, leaves and microgreen we grow as their palette.
A Roots Culinary Conference to Remember
In September we celebrated another successful Roots culinary conference and brought together nearly 300 chefs and other food industry professionals for two packed days of education, networking, problem-solving, camaraderie, incredible food and enormous amounts of fun. Keynote speaker Andrew Zimmern encouraged and inspired us all about the vital role everyone one of us plays in the future of food. As always, The Chef’s Garden team took attentive care of the chefs and others who attended, deftly handling the details and logistics for what many said was “the best Roots ever.”
Determination, Commitment and Looking Forward
Of course, no year is without difficulty. Here on the farm we endured the coldest spring in a hundred years, as well as an uncharacteristically cold November. But that’s part of what “growing vegetables slowly and gently in full accord with nature” entails. Despite difficulties, our diligent and dedicated teams all continued to rise every morning to tend the land and take care of our chefs. Whether they were plowing rows, harvesting vegetables, washing lettuce, taking orders, researching new seeds or packing vegetables into boxes, their excellence arrived at every one of our chefs’ kitchens in every single box that left the farm.
The further along we go, the more we realize that the richest part of what we do is build relationships with our chefs. As 2018 winds down, we want to thank every one of them and wish them and their families blessings for the New Year. May your 2019 be happy and healthy from root to tip!