I apologize about my tardiness in posting. After the 14 hr work day combined with the intense heat and humidity my brain wasn’t quite up to the challenge of being witty last night when I got home.
Classes started yesterday for the U of I and food service is in full swing. Also, summer has finally decided to join the party just as the ac broke in my kitchen :). That being the only thing that went wrong yesterday was a pretty big victory compared to last year.
I arranged to have use of a walk-in cooler that is not shared with Hendrick House, which meant I was completely out of the way of the hustle and bustle of first day service. I also received access to a farm vehicle which allowed me to haul the hundreds of pounds of produce from the farm, to cold storage and then to their respective homes. I am communicating with about 10 chefs who are interested in the farm project and it is working out beautifully so far. They are excited and are now placing sizable orders each week. Every vegetable that Kevin and I harvested Sunday morning had a home by Sunday afternoon. We were able to wash, fill orders and have them packaged, sitting in the walk-in and ready to go out early Monday morning before I had to be in the fraternity. It was beautiful and everything went very smoothly.
I love being able to see the life cycle of the vegetables first hand. I love harvesting, then talking with the chefs to see what they are most excited about. My absolute favorite part though is introducing 18-21 year old fraternity boys to new types of fresh vegetables, completely going against the stigma of a young fraternity boy’s pallet. I put lunchbox peppers on the salad bar yesterday along with some heirloom tomatoes and I had to fill the containers again before dinner. “If you build it they will come.” “If you feed them they will eat it.”
This is a critical time for the farm since everything is now ready. I am trying to harvest every day/ every other day to meet the orders that are flying in and also to keep up with the ripening fruit. This is such a great problem to have :). We are still working on cloning technology so that I am able to farm, cook, train and cater the special events that are quickly approaching. Hopefully by the end of the week everyone will be trained at AKL and I will be able to step back a little bit and be out in the dirt full time again.