Tuesday, March 30, 2010


Spring is upon us. Cooks, diners, and planters are getting itchy.

So thought I'd offer up a few photos of some lovely lettuces and microgreens from one of my favorite local farms, Walnut Ridge Acres.

I met the folks who run WRA, Becky and Bob Portmann, at one of Nectar's Dinner Clubs, where they were the purveyors of chef Julie Francis's featured ingredient (beets that night, IIRC).The Portmanns supply produce to Honey and Nectar, something like 11 local restaurants all told, and also sell to the public at the Hyde Park and Wyoming Farmers Markets. Or you can visit their farm near Wilmington, which I've done several times (it's best to call or email ahead to make arrangements). Fine people. Unbelievable produce. They also raise chemical- and antibiotic-free chickens.

With three hoop houses, WRA grows year-round. These are actually photos I took back in Feb. when we stopped by after my birthday. In mid-winter, there is nothing better than being able to get produce this crisply fresh and full of flavor.
The sunflower shoots are my fave so far, but Becky Portmann tells me people go crazy over her popcorn shoots. Can't wait to try those too!

So, whether you're a home cook or a chef (ahem), a gardener or a farmer's market afficianado, enjoy the season!


Dani said...

Sunflower and Popcorn shoots?! I've never thought of using those before.

Sharon Rudd said...

The sunflower shoots are one of my favorites - delightfully nutty. Must try the popcorn shoots when I get my hands on them. Last time I was there, the Portmanns said a lot of local restaurants had never heard of them either, but went gaga over them.

Sharon Rudd said...

Oops, guess I already said about the same thing in my post. But being the gardener you are, Dani, does this give you ideas? Hope so :)

chickory said...

beautiful greens. i love the plate with the three mounds of little bitty greens. i have the very tiny beginnings of the valentine mesculin mix coming up from botanical interest seed company. they are green and red. i have butter crunch. romaine, red sail and spinach al ready up. sunflower shoots? no way. i like sunflowers!

Sharon Rudd said...

Chickory, you should just plant a few extra so you can sample the shoots :) Thanks for stopping by!