At the Swift House Inn we love buying good tasting and healthy foods from our local community. This week’s local purveyor’s blog post is about a farm just outside of Vermont, Two Friends Farm. It is located in an old mill four and a half hours away in Attleboro, MA. Two Friends was founded by Ashley Driscoll and John Irving. Ashley was searching for healthier foods to feed her family and a way to farm them without any previous farming experience and no farmland. Her research eventually led her to microgreens. Microgreens are tiny, young plants packed with vitamins and minerals. Microgreens have more nutritional value than their adult forms, and have the highest nutrition density of all foods. For example, micro-red cabbage has six times as much vitamin C, and a whopping 69 times more vitamin K, than regular red cabbage.
Microgreens are not only very healthy, but are colorful and stylish. Many chefs, including our very own Chef Rob, use them in dishes as garnishes or to add a colorful pop to mixed dishes, such as soups or salads.
Around the same time, a friendship between Ashley and John blossomed over their shared desire for a healthier, happier life. With John’s business knowledge and technical skills, they were able to fulfil their dream and planted the first seeds at Two Friends Farm in January 2012.
Inside the mill, rows of wheatgrass, the young grass of the wheat plant, and microgreens are grown in trays under LED grow-lights. All of their greens are hand harvested within 10 to 21 days after surfacing and are carefully monitored to avoid overfeeding to achieve optimal tenderness and taste. All of their greens are certified organic and grown inside the mill in rich fertile soil year round.
When wheatgrass is grown in rich fertile soil it absorbs approximately 92 of the known 115 minerals from the soil. The human body requires these vitamins, minerals, and living enzymes to perform functions like proper hormone production, healing, preventing and fighting diseases. Wheatgrass is also well known for its health benefits when juiced.
Two Friends Farm offers a line of salad and smoothie mixes that provide nutritious combinations of varied microgreens. The made to order salad mixes include a range of microgreens, including arugula, sunflower greens, baby kale, broccoli, and many others. These greens are rich in vitamins A, B, C, E and K, as well as iron, potassium, proteins, and antioxidants. Two Friends Farm greens can be found in fine grocery stores, juice bars, and restaurants around the Northeast. They also offer farm pick-up and home delivery to select towns.
The following greens are available to restaurants: arugula, baby kale, basil, beets, broccoli, buckwheat greens, cabbage, chard, cilantro, green radish, Italian herb blend, mizuna, mustards, parsley, pea shoots, radish mix, red Russian mix, purple radish, and red amaranth, and sunflower greens. Right now at our on-site restaurant, Jessica’s, we are featuring a spring citrus salad that includes pea tendrils (shoots) from Two Friends Farm.
Citrus Salad: baby arugula, strawberries, orange segments, pea tendrils, handmade feta, and marcona almonds, with citrus vinaigrette