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Notes from a Farmer Chef

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Notes from a Farmer Chef
Photos by Colleen Yoder

Salsify, Part 2

Editors’ Note: Please follow along with us as Chef Yoder grows salsify in his Charlottesville, Virginia, restaurant garden, and then explores ways to use it.

Salsify is a root vegetable, and when we started this experiment, I was worried that the salsify wouldn’t develop roots. We have soil with a lot of clay throughout the Clifton Inn property. For instance, growing carrots is a disaster here, but I can grow them at home, just a few minutes away.

So last week when I had to thin out the salsify, I was relieved. It has roots! The tops are nice and green too. They look similar to leek tops, and we’ll wait until those tops start dying down in the fall, then we’ll harvest.

Although it’s been really dry here (which is a bummer since we’re having to do a lot of watering), we have a healthy bed of salsify growing, with about 20-25 plants. That’s good, since besides watering, we really don’t have much time to baby these plants. We’re harvesting a lot of other produce from the garden right now, and it’s busy season here at the inn, with lots of weddings.

I’m looking forward to experimenting with salsify once the weather cools, so stay tuned in a couple of months for another installment and a recipe for a salsify dish. Until then, enjoy the last days of summer, and we’ll see you in the mountains.

Photos by Colleen Yoder
Photos by Colleen Yoder