My sister, Riana, has been doing a fun thing all month on her flickr site. Every day in August, she has been preparing something for the Fall/Winter. We both have (and love) Nikki McClure calendars. If you haven’t seen them, they are really beautiful, paper-cut images along with one word that defines the month. The words are weird, almost prescient, because they always seem to sum up the core meaning of a month. Last month the theme was DELIGHT, and man, July was delightful. August’s word is PREPARE, and there is an illustration of some kids working on some projects.
Like my sis, I’m squirreling foodstuffs away like crazy. Confiting San Marzano tomatoes, freezing Early Girls, drying kale chips (BTW, the Gundruk made last post got really gnarly. I think I let it go in the jar for too long. Or maybe I got it right but it might be an acquired taste.). The latest is freezing grapes. A volunteer came from Queens, NY (Thanks Jac!), and we got to talking about grapes. Should I juice them? Make raisins? Jac said, busy cutting off mildewy pumpkin leaves: freeze them.
Frannie helped. It’s really messy.
Freezing them actually intensifies their flavor. I have two gallon freezer bags full of them. They taste just like summer. Back to squirreling….
I was laughing the other day when I had my farm stand and no one showed up. Laughing because I remember how the City of Oakland had been worried about traffic and parking. Yes, just swarms of people showing up to buy some kale. Ha ha.
Actually, two people showed up. Jillian, who took these cute photos! and Jared, my upstairs neighbor. Thanks guys.
I really don’t mind the low attendance. It’s good for me to clean up a bit, harvest what’s ready, and put up what always feels like a kid’s lemonade stand.
It being a literal ghosttown at my GT Farm stand this month did make me face facts: I have to get out there and sell my farm products.
So, I’m excited to announce that I’ve started selling produce to the following restaurants:
—Sweet Bar. Just around the corner from my house, this bakery and restaurant makes some really excellent food (cauliflower pizza; bacon scones, crispy flatbreads with hummus). The owner, Mani, is buying dry-farmed early girl tomatoes, Paul Robson tomatoes, Sun Gold cherry tomatoes, beets, and Pink Beauty radishes from me. They are having a story night August 22, and a Michael Jackson dinner August 29 (Mani used to cook for MJ, who apparently loved chilaquiles).
—Cafe Bartavelle. My friend Suzanne opened this coffee/wine bar in the old Cafe Fanny location. The coffee is epic. The little wooden plates of tasty tidbits are adorable. She’s buying honey for her honey ricotta french toast, and kale for their kale/arugula/ricotta sandwich. Simple elegance.
—Cosecha. Authentic Mexican in Housewives Market in Old Oakland. The posole, the wild shrimp tacos, the guacamole…it’s all delicious!! Chef Dominica is buying purslane and Pink Beauty radishes from me. She even uses the greens from the radishes to make mole and the green posole.
—Township (Not yet opened but doing private parties). I’m selling tomatoes and table grapes to Abeni’s new restaurant slash urban farm store.
The hustle is on.
But still, come by to the next farm stand, if you can. Next one is Saturday, September 28, 10am-1pm; then October 4, 4pm-7pm.