Gentle showers, sweet chirpings of the robin, soft breezes, the smell of sunshine in the air, oh-so-welcome longer days, and brightly colored flowers opening their petals to celebrate the season . . . all of these are signs that spring has arrived. And, at The Chef’s Garden, another sure sign of spring = our fresh peas.
The Chef’s Garden grows a multitude of fresh lettuce varieties, and nature has uniquely engineered each one to be a little bit different from all of its cousins. Some are long and narrow with fewer leaves, while others are short, full tufts. Then there are rosettes, shaped like flat and broad flowers.
It’s a question I get asked pretty darned often. Sure, some people might simply see it as a costume, a funny get-up or gimmick. And I know I’m kind of the farm mascot. And I’m okay with that. But there’s a lot more to it.
First, the good news. According to the 2015 Nielsen Global Corporate Sustainability Report, 66% of global consumers are willing to pay more for sustainable brands. These results were gleaned from a reasonably large study—30,000 people from 60 countries around the globe—and it’s an increase of 11% in just one year, and 16% over a two-year period.
Chef Blake Luecke has traded his chef’s coat for a green bucket slung around his hips with a length of orange rope. Instead of cooking with snow peas, the accomplished Austin sushi chef is harvesting them. On the other side of a wall of tangled vines is a farmer, Chef’s Garden grower Tom Skrovan, who is filling his own pail of peas. Barely audible above the din of rain pummeling the plastic tunnel sheltering the crop, the two men speak casually across the divide.
Our spring weather this year is so beautiful that it’s got us all in a really good mood. So, to start off this post, let’s play a game about the arugula plant.