As a farmer, January 1st represents not just the start of a new year on the calendar, but also the start of a new season on the farm. I find the winter to be a much-needed lull in what is otherwise a very busy year keeping the farm growing productively. It also allows time to reflect on the past season and decide on updates and changes for the coming year.
One of my favorite parts of the early winter is deciding what new crops to add into the mix for next year. As you may know, I am a big fan of escarole and next year I’ve decided to add one of it’s relatives into the crop plan. Pan di Zucchero, like escarole, cultivated dandelion greens, and endive, is a leafy-green plant and part of the chicory family, but it lacks the trace of bitterness that most people associate with these other crops. The name Pan di Zucchero literally translates as “sugar loaf.” In appearance, it has been described as a cross between romaine lettuce and napa cabbage. I’m excited to get to learn about this crop next year both on the farm and in the kitchen and to share it with everyone at the market!