Winter is usually the time of year we prune the apple trees on the farm, but with all the snow, we’ve put that on hold and our plans have turned to farming.
Our favorite winter activity is pulling out the seed catalogs and dreaming of what to plant in the spring. While we farm about 10 acres of fruit trees – apple, peach, apricot, plum, pear, cherry, pluot, and aprium – we also have a large garden and many raised beds where we grow our own vegetables.
We originally only sold the extra fruit and produce at our Quinstock Farms fruit stand, but with the addition of both Twin Oast Brewing and Gideon Owen Wine Company, we’re trying to supplement the produce and fruit that’s purchased.
As we’ve gotten older, Quin and I have decided not to put all our energy into the odd but fun veggies like turnips, kohlrabi, four types of eggplant, patty pan squash, or pickling cucumbers. But instead, we’re focusing on the fresh ingredients we incorporate into the meals at both restaurants, including lettuce, spinach, romaine, Shishito peppers, zucchini, yellow squash, sweet and hot peppers, just two kinds of eggplant, butternut squash, and of course, several varieties of heirloom and cherry tomatoes.
We always ask our chef to dream big about what he wants to work with in his kitchen, and he always provides a thoughtful “wish list” for us to plant. He loves to use the fruit to make his specialty seasonal desserts, maybe you’ve tried one.
The chef also takes our fruit “seconds” to make our jams and fruit fluff. It’s gratifying to bring the fruits and vegetables to him in the middle of summer because he never turns anything away.
Continue to check back for more updates and photos as we bring the fresh produce to the kitchens. And remember, you’re always invited to enjoy the freshness of our Catawba grown food at Twin Oast Brewing, Gideon Owen Wine Company, and the Quinstock Farm fruit stand.
What are you dreaming about planting in your garden this spring?