We have so much to share with you! After far too long and snowy a winter, spring has sprung on the farm. It is a season full of hard work and determination, and which lays the foundation for the summer bounty to come.
Spring is Such a Tease
The air is warm, the first days when you can walk around in a t-shirt beacon you to the fields. The bees are buzzing and the robins are searching for worms in the freshly-tilled soil. In the evening, the frogs are absolutely cacophonous. But when it comes to actual food to be harvested—something we can actually put on someones plate to serve—there is vanishingly little available yet.
Want fresh, local asparagus? Please wait. Peas and baby carrots? Try back in May. And so we find creative ways to add farm fresh produce to our customers plates. The row of turnips, left in the field seemingly neglected, overgrown and not at all delectable just a few weeks ago. But now it’s producing tiny flowering heads of raab that, along with hedgehog mushrooms, makes a delicious flat bread. Thinnings of baby onions from the greenhouse, smaller and spicier than chives, adorn Halibut fresh from the Salish Sea.
The lack of abundance forces creativity, forces us to look at old ingredients in new ways.
But that is why we created Orchard Kitchen: to challenge ourselves. We can almost see the new neural pathways being created as the peas push up though the warm Spring soil.
Oh! And we hired a new farmer.
We are so excited to welcome Savannah Reid to our farm. She's a native Washingtonian and graduate from the Organic Farm School here in the Maxwelton Valley. In her first few months on our property her energy and attention to detail have been amazing, inspiring and contagious. Her precision tractor work is a thing to behold. As we approach completion of our new high tunnel, her propagation greenhouse is absolutely bursting with healthy, green starts. Bravo Savannah! Welcome to Bayview. READ MORE
What is a High Tunnel, anyway?
High tunnels, or hoophouses, are unheated greenhouses that can help commercial farmers extend their growing season so that they can improve the profitability and productivity of their farms.High tunnels are also an integral part of local food production systems in many parts of the United States. They aid fruit and vegetable crop production by extending the cropping season, providing protection from the elements (wind, storms, heat, etc.), and resulting in a more-stable production system that poses less risk of crop failure.
Never Say Never
Twenty years ago, on a bet, I tried to learn how to make naturally-leavened artisan bread. It was hard. After much reading, many experiments, pounds of flour and hours of time spent, the bread that resulted was fairly mediocre bread. What I took away from that experience was that a $5 loaf of artisan bread was a bargain. I concluded that even though I had a great appreciation for well made bread, I was never personally destined to make great bread.
Fast forward to 2019, I’m living on an island of Puget Sound without daily access to fresh artisan bread. It was becoming an issue. With the encouragement from Ellen King of Hewn Bakery, I decided to try baking bread again. Over that last month and a half I have baked a lot of bread. After many experiments, and with the aid of great flours from Blue Bird Farms in Winthrop and Cairnspring Mills in Skagit, I am finally producing better bread than I ever thought I would. In fact, I'm becoming kind of obsessed with making bread. I’m excited to be making the kind bread with crunchy, bittersweet crust and open, sticky-moist crumb and a delicious sour flavor. It’s the kind of bread I’ve always dreamed of baking. Never say never.