It’s Spring and It’s Purple It’s Orchard Farms

turnips and cauliflower from Orchard Farm

Stuck in a vegetable rut?  This is the place to shop.  Other vendors currie favor by presenting the same old fruits and vegetables, but Orchard Farms  challenges the cook to love all produce – the ugly ducklings as well as the beautiful.    There are baskets of crisp, juicy lettuces and piles of beautiful braising greens, alongside purple kohlrabi looking like something from outer space. Have you ever heard of salsify?  It’s hard to imagine this dark root is sought after by many restaurant chefs, but one taste of puree will make you a believer.

Tired of potatoes?  Try parsnips. Want to add color?  It’s a piece of cake with a bunch of rainbow chard, but there is also purple sprouting broccoli, bright green Romanesco and scarlet cauliflower.    Many of these items have short seasons and farmer Ken Orchard is quick to tell customers to take advantage of the best while it’s available.  Purple broccoli is only available about six weeks a year but has the most intense broccoli flavor and virtually no waste.

And if you’re looking for a real vegetable challenge, subscribe to Orchard Farms’ CSA box and cook whatever comes to your door.   Your vegetable saavy will soar!

Orchard Farms is at The Santa Rosa Original Certified Farmers Market 8:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.  Saturday year round.