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Farmer Jon and Chef Andrew Collaborate to Grow Produce for GP's Kitchen

By Great Performances

Katchkie Farm has served as a source of inspiration and ingredients for our chefs for decades. Our chefs have visited the farm, getting the opportunity to get their hands in the dirt to connect with the land, taste the vegetables ripening on the stem and vine, and then receive truck loads of produce that they incorporated into their menus. Long time customers and clients are well familiar with our farm fare, which ran the gamut from beet chips and beet ketchup to tomato soup and tomato ketchup — and so much more!

This year, however, is an incredibly special year. Not only because we’ve expanded our CSA (if you haven’t signed up, this is your last chance, visit the link here: https://www.katchkiefarm.com/csa), but because Farmer Jon and Chef Andrew have sown the seeds for an even stronger connection between the farm and the kitchen. Pun intended.

Over the winter months, Chef Andrew and Farmer Jon poured over seed catalogs and discussed various vegetables and herbs and found the intersection between what would grow well on the farm, what we could use in our menus, and what are the items that are more unusual and difficult to find in stores.

What a boon to all of us! At the CSA we’ve been enjoying an even wider variety of produce. And once the crops really begin coming in, we’ll see a host of exciting new flavors and featured vegetables. Read on to learn more from Farmer Jon and Chef Andrew and get a sneak peek of the crops being raised.

From the Kitchen

Chef Andrew recently spoke to us about his passion for vegetables and all things we could grow on the farm. This year, he’s especially enthusiastic about collaborating with Farmer Jon to select some of the crops that will be grown that will directly support his creative direction for Great Performances! And example he shared was growing basil (we’re growing four varieties – Siracusa, Thai Lemon, Holy, and Sweet Thai) for use both fresh and dried. Chef Andrew is planning on drying and preserving some of the basil to use in one of his dishes for the fall, which will use Katchkie Farm winter squash along with the dried basil to create a delicious dish for our guests.

He’s also looking forward to getting some produce that’s harder to find through traditional channels and that will put a distinctive note to dishes on our menus.

From the Farm

From Farmer Jon:

The first time I met Chef Andrew was at the Farm Dinner last July. A conversation ensued on that hot summer day about all things related to food. Chef Andrew began describing the flavor attributes of the different mints, basils, and the beauty that can be brought to the plate with the plethora of heirloom vegetables. A love for growing these more eclectic crops was sown many years ago. Now there was an opportunity to further engage with all of the subtlety and variations expressed in the delicate flavors and rich hues of these plants.

Little by little we worked our way through to choose over 100 varieties to grow for GP this growing season. There are purple and white striped snap beans, flowering amaranth, golden beets, an orchestra of tomatoes and just about everything in between. Many of which will also be found in CSA bags this year!

As a grower, consistency is usually paramount, but this is rare opportunity in which flavor, color and beauty take precedent. This is truly a one-of-a-kind opportunity! I hope you all enjoy!

So far this summer, we’ve seen the outcome of this most directly in our CSA bags which have contained Purple Scallions, Bel Fiore Radicchio, and Purple Sprouting Broccoli among many other treats.

Check out our CSA – it’s not too late to join us! – by visiting our website here: www.katchkiefarm.com/csa