Broom and Brine – Introduction
Broom and Brine Farm is an excellent purveyor of delicious, fresh, organic vegetables of the highest quality. Many of the vegetables they specialise in are not the common types but rather rare examples of considerable interest.
For example, recently on the fortnightly deliveries we receive, there has been a celtuce plant that provides us with a range of options throughout the fortnight. This is an opportunity for us to reinforce one of the reasons why we like to buy good organic produce such as this.
When vegetables are grown by organic producers then the full range of processes for building “goodness” into the plants is available. When we receive a delivery from Broom and Brine, the vegetables are strong and packed with flavours that you just don’t find in similar vegetables that you buy in the supermarket.
The reason? Well most vegetables sold in supermakets have been sprayed with weed killers, pesticides and other systemic sprays. These, in turn, kill off the good bacteria and other creatures in the soil which assist the nutritional elements to enter the vegetables thus helping to build the lignins and other molecules required for building the plant and the flavours that are derived from them.
We find that the Broom and Brine produce lasts and lasts and the flavour does not diminish over time.
Broom and Brine
In the large boxes that the vegetables are in, you might find vegetables as varied as:
- Step Mustard
- Brussel Sprouts
- Romano Bean
- Tropea Onions
- Erbette Chard
- Collard Greens
- Sugarloaf Cabbage
And many others.
These are delivered in large special bins.
We like the statement on their Web site that summarises their approach:
Broom and Brine is operated by Grace Gamage and Dylan Lehmann. We centre the well-being of each other, the soil, pollinators, and others within our wider communities, and humbly accept that this doesn’t always go to plan.
The Broom and Brine garden is just .25 acres that is tended using a no till approach (for the last three years) that is becoming more common now that people uderstand the need to protect and promote the soil and not compact it with tractors or other equipment. They practice organic agriculture without being certified which is the case of many small operations.
Right up there with the world’s other great luxury foods – this is the last of a box of washed, ready-to-go mixed varieties raddichio leaves from a recent Broom and Brine CSA box (still perfect four days later and they would have lasted longer had they not now been eaten). The ultimate fast food and much cheaper than the first things you might think of as being luxurious.
The darker the leaves the more bitter they are and the flavour is stronger, which means in a salad they can handle a dressing with equally strong-flavours.
This red Banyuls vinegar from La Guinelle (we import their vinegars to Australia) that we used to make a dressing is quite perfect and another true luxury.
We also have recently been enjoying the agretti we have received from Broom and Brine. These needle-like, green leaves are somewhat bitter and somewhat salty but very, very flavoursome. They team well with thin pasta dishes and a a perfect match for stong seafood items such as anchovies or mackerel. See photo below.
You can read more about our views on organic produce here.
We have been enjoying developing recipes for some of the more obscure vegetables such as the agretti photographed immediately above.
We have found that the intense flavour of this herb is a perfect fit with strong seafood so we tried a pasta dish with agretti and tinned anchovies and it worked very well. We will now try to get our hands on some fresh anchovies or else use some of the fresh mackerel which is often available at the wharf area in Hobart.