Two days ago we said good bye to our employees on the most lovely late fall day. The breeze was gentle (but brisk), the sun was shining, and the team hadn’t been together in full for over three weeks (and hadn’t worked together without worker shares since the spring). It was the perfect way to close the season because it felt so much like the start.
We did a variety of tasks. That’s what fall on the farm looks like. The day began looking towards 2018. Kyle prepped two beds of beautiful, cool soil with the moaning BCS and we followed behind sticking both garlic cloves (for regular garlic) and full bulbs (for green garlic) into the earth. My Carrot and I bickered about the most efficient way to get the garlic in the ground, as we always do. And our team stood by with patience and kindness, as they always have.
Then we moved to the tomato field: to the clean up and closure of 2017. We raced down the rows removing staples from landscape fabric as fast as we could (I obviously won) and then as a team dragged 100-foot pieces of fabric into the drive rows of our field to dump off the debris and roll the fabric up for efficient storage. After twelves rolls of fabric were neatly stacked we moved onto the trellis. Cutting each line of tomato twine piece by piece and dropping the pieces into buckets.
As we worked alongside each other, we chatted about next steps in life. One of our employees is moving to Viroqua where she’ll continue her training as a doula and her boyfriend will start a farming enterprise of his own. The other is exploring what his career path will look like with his now two-month old baby. We talked business growth and development, B corporations, conscious capitalism and the Whole Foods merger I hadn’t had time to wrap my head around during the busy farming season.
Then off to finish the leek harvest before the weather gets any colder. We laughed and contemplated what vegetable identities our employees and loved ones possessed. We easily spent the day falling in and out of conversation. I woke up the next morning with a wind-burned face and chapped lips but a happy, light heart filled with enormous gratitude.
In the heat of the season, it’s too easy to take people for granted. To feel stressed, overwhelmed and overworked and not appreciate what’s in front of you. I wish that wasn’t my reality but as of right now, it is. My moods swing with the seasons and I’m not always my best self July through September. It was a real blessing to get one last day together for the year when I could say goodbye with love, respect and appreciation in my heart.
Then we returned home and did what we do best: turned the oven up to 400 degrees, roasted up three heads of broccoli, whisked together a sauce, tossed in some sliced scallions and called it dinner. The meals prepared quickly with a glass of wine after a long day of hard work and great conversation turn out to be some of my favorites. I get home and start chopping before having any idea what’s on the menu. Things fall onto pans and come together in bowls. It’s not rushed, fussy or overthought, just whipped out together easily like an extension of our day in the fields. That’s this salad. And I hope you love it as much as I do.
ROASTED BROCCOLI WITH TAHINI MAPLE MUSTARD SAUCE
Feel to make a double or triple batch of this sauce and just store it in your fridge for pretty much any fall meal: roasted veggies, salads, or grain bowls in your future.
Serves 2-6 (depending on whether you are making it a meal or a side dish)
Takes 1 hour (mostly inactive while you wait for the broccoli to roast)
2-3 heads broccoli, cut into bite-size florets
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 bunch scallions, sliced
Tahini Maple Mustard Sauce (see below)
1 cup toasted, shelled pistachios
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Combine broccoli, olive oil, salt and pepper on two large baking sheets. Roast for 40-50 minutes, rotating once for even cooking. You are looking to go way behind steamed broccoli here. You will know it’s done when at least two of the edges get brown and crispy.
- Divide broccoli into bowls, top with scallions and drizzle with a generous amount of sauce. Top with toasted pistachios.
Tahini Maple Mustard Sauce
1/4 cup tahini sauce
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons champagne vinegar
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 tablespoon Dijon (or stone-ground) mustard
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Meanwhile, whisk together tahini, water, olive oil, champagne vinegar, maple syrup, mustard, garlic, salt and pepper in a small bowl until smooth.
- Pour any extra into a mason jar so that you can easily mix leftovers by shaking.