Lots new this week folks, Harvest Time is really here and all the veggies you think and dream about all year are here. Is it the waiting that makes them taste so good, or are they really just that sumptuous?
Anyway the full scope of varieties aren’t all available yet, but eggplant, pepper and tomatoes all made an appearance on the stand this week. Eggplant seems to be fairly available, both in classic and some of the more interesting worldly varieties.
Peppers are going to be green for a little while, but since green really refers to a prematurely ripe pepper that means we will see some white, purple and black ones soon as well.
We started the afternoon yesterday on the hunt for a few ripe cherry tomatoes and were surprised to find a few bushels of Heirlooms and Early girls as well. Not often we see heirlooms in July, but most of these early ones seem to be German varieties so they are used to maturing a bit quicker than the Italian ones.
We have been picking Okra off some pretty measly plants, but you will get the best of what we can find. A few new green beans, Lewis, Caprice, and Boone are back on the stand, so if you have a favorite green bean from last year you have been waiting for, keep an eye out. New Zealand Spinach has returned to the stand this week. It is a good substitute for spinach in the hot weather, but certainly a different animal, but worth a try. Brussels Sprouts also made a Homegrown return this week. With our elongated picking season we put in two different varieties to spread the flavor out over a longer time frame. So we should have those through the fall and into the winter, and they should only taste better every day.
Another new crop hit the stand this week as well. Collard Greens, by popular demand, have finally made it to the Farmstand. Now lets see them compete against our many other greens, Komatsuna, Kale, Swiss Chard, Bok Choi and more to see if you were as hungry for them as you said. They are certainly beautiful enough to be worth a shot, especially if that shot includes a little bacon and vinegar.
We are getting peaches, plums and nectarines regularly from Bill Broderick’s Sunnycrest Orchards in Sterling Mass in yellow and white. There should be bushels worth available right through the harvest season now.
The next Dinner in the Field sold out again , in a ridiculous amount of time. I wish we could figure out a way to treat even more of you to the magnificent meal Todd is going to prepare. It is wonderful that so many of you want to take part in these events with us, it will make easier to plan more going forward.
Please join both our email list to get updates on future events first, and consider joining the waiting list for this event. Plans do change and many spots opened up at the last minute for the previous dinner, it could happen again.
We are getting into cooking demo season and the next several Saturdays will have plenty to offer. Stop by and see what fresh ideas you can bring to your table. Additionally, the brass ensembles that have been treating our Ice Cream Stand customers to evening performances have been getting great reviews. Check our events listing on Facebook for upcoming free concerts.
Here’s a look at the menu from our first Dinner in the Field. It was an outstanding success. We were thrilled to be there and have 85 wonderful guests in attendance. The weather was perfect and the meal was sublime. Photos to follow, but for now a look at last night’s menu and an idea of what the future might hold:
And a list on the back of the Homegrown Bounty that made the dishes sing:
If this is enticing, stay tuned; news to follow very soon on our next event!
This is the week we say goodbye to summertime figures.
We’ve had a gorge fest of sweet and savory sampling at last weekend’s Local Food Festival and Customer Appreciation Day. This huge success brought you in touch with many of our local partners and kept you well sated as you shopped. For our first big event of its kind in the new farmstand, it was great to see the old tent up and full of people again.
Tonight a select few will attend our Sold-Out, First-Ever, Dinner in the Field. Expect more on this after it unfolds and Chef Todd’s Menu is finally revealed at the dinner bell. Also expect the menu to wow and make your mouth drool. Four courses and wine to match served amid our now sufficiently irrigated vegetables in the field. I will only say I have seen the menu, and Todd has hinted at local pork, local fish, and handmade pasta from local grains. You can transfer your envy at missing it to concentrating on our social media this week so you don’t miss the call for reservations for the next one.
The heat has certainly put out the call to “Come One Come All” for Ice Cream. Unfortunately customers have been battling employees for space in line this week as temps continued to beat us to a pulp. In fact at any given time there are probably two Volante workers in the ice cream line for every outside customer. The good news is those scoopers are busy.
And just in case there was any room left in those summer Speedo waistbands, the annual Corn Festival is coming this Saturday. With homegrown corn hitting an early peak, we are pleased to bring you free samples from 10 to 4 on Saturday. Stop in take a taste and get your first corn of the season or twentieth. If you are new to Volantes you may not know that for decades that this is what all the fuss is about. Don’t miss your chance to find out why, and take our tips on the perfect ear of corn. HINT: less is more, we are of the 3 minutes to perfection opinion.
If you are feeling a little bloated after all this mid-summer feasting, remember to take advantage of our partnership with Cape Ann Fresh Catch, the Community Supported Fishery delivers to the farm every Monday Afternoon and they are still accepting members for the summer session through July 27. Fresh fish is a super way to eat tasty and healthy this summer.
Plus vegetable and Homegrown Produce lovers, we have added a few more items to the roster this week. Just beginning to trickle in, we picked our first eggplant of the season today, along with a handful of cherry tomatoes and white and purple peppers. While it is very early for all these, we have to start somewhere, so keep an eye peeled for more of them while quantities are limited early on. And be the first to know what’s fresh by checking our Now Picking Page regularly.
In the same vein, Okra is beginning to produce, surprisingly so as the plants were inexplicably stunted this year. So just a dozen or so at time while the plants still need to establish a good foothold on the season, but for that lucky customer it’s gonna be a slimy but good meal!
We even picked another new crop today. In addition to our homegrown herbs like parsley, dill, and basil customers have long requested that we grown our own cilantro. The general consensus has always been that it stinks too much when it is washed. Well while that is still true, we planted some anyway this year. A very different fern leafed variety, Del Fino, it looks as much like Dill as cilantro but the flavor is all there. Look for it in limited quantities over the next few weeks, and let us know if we should keep it up.
We are going to pick homegrown corn at 7 am this morning. In just hours sweet Temptation butter and sugar corn will be available on our stand from our fields on Standish Road. This is the moment many of you wait for, and for all the changes Volante’s has experienced this year one of things we knew not to tamper with was our Corn. So come on down soon and enjoy fresh picked corn, picked every morning.
we have added a few other new Homegrown items this week:
and Green Oakleaf lettuce.
And don’t forget our Customer Appreciation Day and Local Food Fest this Saturday! July 14, from 10 am to 4 pm over 20 of our local food artisans will share samples and their stories.
Sales and Specials: All Pottery and Garden Decoration is currently 20% off for a limited time, so if you have been holding out on a new look for your garden now might be the time to investigate our options, now down in the large greenhouse as we are making room in the stand for new Homegrown produce.
After the Fourth of July, we are used to picking up the pace, but rarely do we hit the ground at such a run. It certainly helped that we had a wonderful writeup in the Boston Globe on Thursday, detailing how our recent expansion is the path to success for family farms. Click through to read that great article here.
It also helped that some of our favorite produce is really coming into its own. Bill Broderick delivered his first baskets of Sterling MA grown peaches this week, and you would swear they were just bubbles of juice encapsulated by fuzz. Truly a great treat.
We also just began picking our own broccoli, zucchini, summer squash, and pickle cukes in earnest this week as well. Just today we pulled the first onions of the year, and if you remember my post from a few months back we recognized their popularity last year and have more than doubled the crop for this season. Not that you shouldn’t rush down and get some anyway, because fresh onions just have so much going on the standard storing ones we are used to. We have large white Superstar and yellow Walla Walla right now and the red onions might be ready in a week or two.
If that weren’t exciting enough, we got a notice from Umass extension that garlic is ripening at a fairly quickened pace this year and that we should stay on our toes. So we did, and ran out to the field to take a look. Below is a video of what we found, and we should have some hot green garlic available on the stand this weekend. We will see how it sells fresh, and be sure to let us know what you think of it, and will take the remainder and cure it to sell dry over the coming weeks.
Then let’s see what else? Oh right, Corn should be in any day now. We are thinking maybe by Tuesday, so plan your meals accordingly. The heat over the weekend is pumping it up for sure so we should be able to get you some sweet cobs of Temptation Corn by midweek no problem. We just have to find a place to put it in this new stand?
That would normally be enough info for one week but its time to give you a heads up that next Saturday, the 14th is our Annual Customer Appreciation Day, now also to be known as a Local Food Fest. Since more and more of our local vendors were getting involved every year and helping you get to know their products better, we felt it was time to give them their due.
We now carry products from more than a hundred different local suppliers in our Farmstand every day, and because you shop with this family run business you are helping that many more families with theirs as well. Stop in Saturday to meet with and sample products from over 25 of these companies, back out under the familiar green and white tent in the front of the Farmstand from 10 am to 4 pm. For more information on who will be there, visit the dedicated page here.
If you missed the chance at our upcoming Dinner in the Field, the next one will go on sale shortly, but another great farm-to-table option has presented itself. Masona Grill of West Roxbury is hosting a 5 course Beer Dinner with Volante Farms Produce and Blue Hill Brewery beers on July 24th at their restaurant. For more information visit their website: http://masonagrill.com/.
Summer is here, and so is a slideshow of the wonderful homegrown- here in Needham- tastes of the week. Have a wonderful Fourth of July Holiday. We will be closed the 4th & 5th, except for the Ice Cream Stand. If you want any of these fresh tastes for your holiday parties, be sure to stop in early! For a full list of what is Homegrown this week, visit our Now Picking Page.
Need a kick-start to the July 3rd fireworks in Needham? Swing by and pick up sandwiches and picnic fare before you head up to Memorial Field to stake out your spot. The Deli and Farmstand will be open til 7 and the Ice Cream Stand open til 9, so also consider stopping in for some cool dessert before heading up to the show.[slideshow]