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Been to visit Lately?

January 24, 2013
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We miss you at volantefarms.com!  You may have missed us as well. Part of the switch over from this blog to our fancy new website has meant that for our blog subscribers, which had access to the best way to know what’s happening behind the scenes and next up at the farm, have been missing their updates. So if this tidbit has shown up in your inbox, and you would like to continue to be informed when there are new words regarding Volante Farms available to you, please click on the photo below to be taken to the new blog and be so kind as to enter your email address in the box to the right and submit it.

The blog subscription is different than our email list, and we don’t collect or access these addresses for any purpose other than to send you the newest news automatically when it is available. This will be the last post to this older blog, though its archive will remain active for awhile as we transfer over older data, so please renew your subscription now while it is on your mind and so you won’t miss a beat of the excitement this year has to offer!

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Christmas Open House

November 24, 2012

We are holding our annual Christmas Open House this Sunday night from 5 – 7 pm in the large greenhouse. Enjoy samples of our Deli’s sandwich platters and cheese plates, and our Bakery’s Coffee and Apple Cider Donuts while you peruse the decorations available this year.

Santa will be visiting and we encourage children to come and chat and have their parents bring cameras to take a photo with him. Hopefully he will have a chance to read The Night Before Christmas like he did last year during his visit!

Additionally, several of the local artists we have been featuring in the stand over the last few months will be on hand to show their wares, many of which may be the perfect gift for your special someone. Didn’t know we have been hosting local artists? Check out some of their work in our online gallery here: Volante Open Gallery.

Amy Traverso, author of The Apple Lovers Cookbook, is planning on joining us again with more signed copies of her beautiful gift worthy book.

It should be a fun night and might help to push you into the Christmas Spirit if you need any help at all, so we hope to see you tomorrow night!

If you are reading this, you are on our old blog site, which will continue to exist for the time being but will no longer be updated. This post and all future posts will be found on our brand new website which is now viewable at www.volantefarms.com

Some browsers seem to be taking longer than others to complete the turnover to the new site, so you may hop between this one and that one for a time. If you get lost there is a link to the new site in the upper right corner of this screen. Also if you have problems accessing information on either site, please let me know by emailing ryan at volantefarms dot com. I will do my best to make the transition smooth. On the new site you will have direct access to information about the various departments at the Farm, their hours, as well as the ability to buy Volante Farms Gift Cards online for shipping to your loved ones this holiday season. Please take a moment to look around and familiarize yourself with our new online look.

And thank you for your continued reading here and hopefully there.

Change in the air

November 15, 2012
by

The next weeks at Volante’s will offer plenty to marvel at. We are ramping up to our first ever Thanksgiving week and the place is buzzing.

Chef Todd has some great dishes to fill out your holiday table available in our refrigerator case right now and through next week. He is taking orders for many of these dishes in advance if you want to be sure to have them on your table next Thursday.  Be in touch with him as soon as possible to claim your side dishes. For more info talk with him and get a preview here: Holiday Menu

We are still picking some tasty veggies for your holiday table as well. A recent crop of Homegrown Carrots has finally come on. We are going to have homegrown cauliflower, broccoli, collard greens, cabbage, lettuce, radishes, brussels sprouts, parsnips, beets, kale, swiss chard, parsley, and maybe a few other special items from our fields as well through the next week and beyond. Of course whatever we can’t come up with on our own we will bring in from our closest partnering farms and other distributors to make sure you can complete most of your holiday shopping here.

The Farm will be closed on Thanksgiving Day.

Christmas Trees will begin their arrival this weekend and you will get to witness the annual scurry to get them priced and stacked and ready for sale. The trim a tree shop is already running, Poinsettias are in, and greens are expected to arrive very soon as well. We will begin our extended Christmas Season hours on Friday Nov 23. The Farmstand will close at its normal 7 pm, 6 on weekends but tree, wreath, flower and trim a tree will be available until 9 pm on weekdays and 7 pm on weekends.

Another load of trees awaiting unloading.

Other Events to be aware of:

This Saturday afternoon, Nov 17,  Patti Small of On The Edge Knife Sharpening will be set up for a special pre-Holiday session in the parking lot around 3:30 until 5 or so. She has been available the second Monday of most months, but if you havent seen her yet this is a great opportunity to tune up your blades professionally just in time for the biggest food holidays of the year. Look for her white van full of dangerous looking tools parked near the deli and hand over your blades for her to hone. Check her website for details and pricing, but the average carving/ chefs knife will be $10.

We have also set our annual Christmas Open House for November 25 from 5-7 in the trim a tree shop. Stop by and visit with Santa and take some pictures with your own cameras, try some of the cheeses and deli patters we now offer for your holiday catering needs, meet some of the artists we have been exhibiting in the Farmstand this season as well and see what they might have to offer for your gifting needs.

Lastly, this is likely to be the final post on this blog. After a busy season we are nearly ready to launch the all new volantefarms.com !

The new site will give you direct access to the department you are looking for as well as online options for purchasing gift cards, an events calendar, easy access to hours, and a new home for our blog which will still have the most up to date information about the goings on here at Volante Farms. This site will stay active for some time while we transfer the archives over, but eventually all our information will be at our new home volantefarms.com, thanks for being loyal readers so far and we look forward to seeing you this season in our real and virtual realms.

Holiday Menus…

November 9, 2012
by

Thanksgiving is quickly approaching on our calendars, and this year we have some new and exciting offerings! Our kitchen and deli are ready to add to your special meal with a variety of different options. Want to greet your guests with a custom cheese platter? Sure!

Or maybe you handle the turkey, and we handle the sides? How does Wild Mushroom Stuffing sound? Or maybe some of Chef Todd’s world famous Turkey Gravy??

Click the link below for the menu, and some notes about ordering:

Surprise! We're Open!

November 1, 2012

Our last crop of Broccoli for the year is just starting to head up, which means Broccoli is on special this week! Shoots and Crowns on special til the surplus is done, or Chef Todd makes all the Cheddar and Broccoli soup, whichever comes first.

You didn’t think we would do it but here we are. November 1st and we are open for business. That day we’ve been telling you about for a year now has finally happened. Volante Farms did not close for the season. Who knows what we will do with all those “Closing Soon” posters. Even stranger, not having to find a place in the barn to store all those produce tables, I might have to come up with some crazy winter projects to fill the space.

Cauliflower in every color but white, (but also white) available on the stand in this late fall season.

So just for the sake of normalcy we did take the time today to scrub the heck out of the place. We even started to break down the greenhouse display to transform it into the winter wonderland that will be this year’s new, expanded trim-a-tree shop and winter decoration smorgasbord.

While we venture into uncharted territory this month there is a lot of excitement. We are going to focus on some new sides to the farm. The fields are still producing an amazing amount of broccoli and cauliflower, lettuce, and a variety of sweet root crops, but we know the growing season can’t last forever. In addition to the frost sweetened produce filtering in to the stand, we will continue to bring you the finest in local produce and a full array of seasonal vegetables to complete your meals: quick, easy, family, holiday or otherwise.

Boscoe might have headed back to Jamaica for the winter, but not before pulling this prize winning parsnip. We should have fresh dug parsnips through Thanksgiving and hopefully a few more to dig in the spring.

The Farm Kitchen is getting into the swing of fall with several new dishes. Chef Todd’s Pumpkin Hummus is a sure-fire fall win, as well as his Root Vegetable stew, with our HOMEGROWN veggies and Vegan too,  just hitting the shelf today for the first time. The new Mushroom Stuffing flew off the shelves too quick, I barely got a taste, so I’ll be waiting for more of that with you. With these savory and sweet tastes to take us right into thanksgiving, remember to keep us in mind for your Thanksgiving meal. Remember that for the first time you can dress your holiday table with locally grown produce, and in a pinch (or just cause you know its great) with some prepared foods from the Farm Kitchen as well.

Chef Todd’s Pumpkin Hummus, in our homegrown serving dish. Post-Halloween, maybe you have a similar one to put on the table?

Within the next few weeks we will also be launching two new programs. Firstly we are going to be able to offer Fruit Baskets as a new gift option this year. We will have a variety of sizes and price options and you will have the security of knowing that people who care as much about quality produce as we do will be building these gifts for your loved ones. More info coming soon.

We also are pleased to say that we can now offer Catering Platters from the Deli. We will offer deli platters, sandwich platters, and cheese plates with the finest Boars Head meats and Cheeses, favorite Volante Signature Sandwiches, and a variety of fine cheeses from local and not so local cheese-makers. Look for more information here soon or contact the deli at 781.444.2351 x 121.

While we prepare for a successful and joyous holiday season please keep Volante Farms in mind as your local farm that can fulfill nearly all your holiday needs from entertaining, table-filling meals to decorative wintry tableaux.

Surprise! We’re Open!

November 1, 2012

Our last crop of Broccoli for the year is just starting to head up, which means Broccoli is on special this week! Shoots and Crowns on special til the surplus is done, or Chef Todd makes all the Cheddar and Broccoli soup, whichever comes first.

You didn’t think we would do it but here we are. November 1st and we are open for business. That day we’ve been telling you about for a year now has finally happened. Volante Farms did not close for the season. Who knows what we will do with all those “Closing Soon” posters. Even stranger, not having to find a place in the barn to store all those produce tables, I might have to come up with some crazy winter projects to fill the space.

Cauliflower in every color but white, (but also white) available on the stand in this late fall season.

So just for the sake of normalcy we did take the time today to scrub the heck out of the place. We even started to break down the greenhouse display to transform it into the winter wonderland that will be this year’s new, expanded trim-a-tree shop and winter decoration smorgasbord.

While we venture into uncharted territory this month there is a lot of excitement. We are going to focus on some new sides to the farm. The fields are still producing an amazing amount of broccoli and cauliflower, lettuce, and a variety of sweet root crops, but we know the growing season can’t last forever. In addition to the frost sweetened produce filtering in to the stand, we will continue to bring you the finest in local produce and a full array of seasonal vegetables to complete your meals: quick, easy, family, holiday or otherwise.

Boscoe might have headed back to Jamaica for the winter, but not before pulling this prize winning parsnip. We should have fresh dug parsnips through Thanksgiving and hopefully a few more to dig in the spring.

The Farm Kitchen is getting into the swing of fall with several new dishes. Chef Todd’s Pumpkin Hummus is a sure-fire fall win, as well as his Root Vegetable stew, with our HOMEGROWN veggies and Vegan too,  just hitting the shelf today for the first time. The new Mushroom Stuffing flew off the shelves too quick, I barely got a taste, so I’ll be waiting for more of that with you. With these savory and sweet tastes to take us right into thanksgiving, remember to keep us in mind for your Thanksgiving meal. Remember that for the first time you can dress your holiday table with locally grown produce, and in a pinch (or just cause you know its great) with some prepared foods from the Farm Kitchen as well.

Chef Todd’s Pumpkin Hummus, in our homegrown serving dish. Post-Halloween, maybe you have a similar one to put on the table?

Within the next few weeks we will also be launching two new programs. Firstly we are going to be able to offer Fruit Baskets as a new gift option this year. We will have a variety of sizes and price options and you will have the security of knowing that people who care as much about quality produce as we do will be building these gifts for your loved ones. More info coming soon.

We also are pleased to say that we can now offer Catering Platters from the Deli. We will offer deli platters, sandwich platters, and cheese plates with the finest Boars Head meats and Cheeses, favorite Volante Signature Sandwiches, and a variety of fine cheeses from local and not so local cheese-makers. Look for more information here soon or contact the deli at 781.444.2351 x 121.

While we prepare for a successful and joyous holiday season please keep Volante Farms in mind as your local farm that can fulfill nearly all your holiday needs from entertaining, table-filling meals to decorative wintry tableaux.

Food Day with Andrew Zimmern, Babson Food Sol, and Friends

October 28, 2012
by

The view from above, Farmstand as Event Hall

Volante Farms was thrilled to host a special evening with our neighbors from Babson College last Tuesday evening. Babson’s Lewis Institute and its Food Sol Program arranged a special two-day event to coincide with Food Day 2012 including speeches, demonstrations, collaborations and a celebration of food and how we interact with it. Please read Food Sol’s Rachel Greenberger’s recap of the Babson events here at examiner.com.

Cheese Plates and Chef Todd’s Vegetable dishes lined the center banquet de apple bins.

Two generations of Volantes hail from Babson College and that loyalty and our proximity to the school make teaming up for food positive events a simple choice. This one couldn’t have been more exciting so we leaped at the chance to host a reception for Babson’s Entrepreneur in Residence, Bizarre Foods’ Andrew Zimmern and his friends. Andrew was involved in all of Babson’s Food Day events and the fireside chat he helmed on Tuesday evening was one great part. He was joined by friends Michel Nischan of Dressing Room and Wholesome Wave, Jamie Bissonette of Toro and Coppa in Boston, Skip Bennett from Island Creek Oyster Farm, Nancy and Tim Cushman from O Ya, and our very own Todd Heberlein.

Andrew Zimmern shows off his Goat Sausage, with peppers onions, grilled bread and savoy cabbage mustard slaw.

This impressive crew discussed food trends, sustainability, and the future of food for a few hours to a rapt audience. They then ‘retired’ to Volante Farms for an exciting and fun reception centered on each participants’ individual skills and passions. The attendees of the invite only reception included the chefs and their friends, Babson dignitaries, and several lucky thought leaders interested in food entrepreneurial action and networking with some of Greater Boston’s hottest food innovators.

Andrew tending to the grill, which our guy Doug kept going in the interim so Andrew could greet his fans.

Each chef was given a station and put their skills and those of their crews to work creating some signature and unique tastes for the crowd. Andrew and Jamie set up dueling sausage grills in the shadow of our Hay Man. Andrew’s personal recipe Goat Sausages were paired with roasted peppers and onions and a mustard dressed slaw made with our own homegrown Savoy Cabbage and served with grilled Clear Flour Ciabatta.

Jamie Bissonette grilled up sausage with chard and cauliflower kimchi, as well as grabbing oysters from the boat to see what he could do to them on over charcoal.

Jamie Bissonette is one of Boston’s small plate kings, so he really pulled out the stops for a Vietnamese Pork Sausage made from a very special pig from our friends at Brambly Farm. The sausage was wrapped in chard and served on a hot dog roll with a kick of cauliflower kim chi. Thank goodness for the warm and clear night, as the line for the grills was usually the longest, and with Andrew Zimmern gregariously tending the coals, it was an enjoyable spot to hang out.

Michel Nischan’s Missouri Style Ribs, hot out of the kitchen.

Inside, Michel Nischan, a sustainable food pioneer was recreating a dish that arrived with rave reviews for Missouri Style Dry Ribs, cooked in a sous vide and then finished off in the Volante’s Farm Kitchen. Michel is a huge fan of farm to table cooking and is always eager to talk about how to make food make more sense, so he was a perfect addition to the Food Day lineup and a welcome and cheerful presence in our kitchen.

Island Creek Oyster Farm & Bar’s team of shuckers.

Island Creek Oysters brought a literal boatload of their Duxbury farmed oysters which was a nearly overwhelming treat for everyone. A real success story in food entrepreneurship, Island Creek has become the branded oyster in the Boston area as well as being attached to one of the hottest restaurants in town Island Creek Oyster Bar in Kenmore Square. We were thrilled to discuss future opportunities to host them at the farm.

One of o ya’s signature dishes, it sparkled even on compostable paper plates.

James Beard Award Winners Tim and Nancy Cushman of O YA also joined us in our farmstand with platefuls of Hamachi Sashimi: viet mignonette, Thai basil, and shallot. The flavor sparkled with heat and spice and showed why the Cushmans have one of the premiere spots in Boston for sushi or any food. Nancy was as impressed by our space as we were by their offering, so hopefully we can work together in the future as well.

Volante Farms’ Chef Todd’s Four Star Farm’s Wheatberry Salad with Homegrown Beet Relish

To round out all these fabulous dishes, Chef Todd and our kitchen staff used the freshest and finest ingredients from our fields to create vegetable dishes to complement the proteins provided by the others. Many of his dishes are also going to be available in our prepared case this fall so if this post has had your mouth-watering, there is an easy way to access some of it.

Todd talks with the guests about their food.

He served his smoked vegetable stew with fresh shell beans that is available now. Todd also produced some savory mushroom stuffing that he plans on making available through the fall. His house cured bacon and pumpkin seed bark were a unique addition to the large cheese spread and complemented his signature pumpkin hummus, served in Cinderella pumpkin shells. Using our local partner’s grains he also created a Four Star Farms Wheatberry Salad with Homegrown Beet Relish. Look for these and take offs on these in our refrigerator case over the next few weeks.

Pumpkin Hummus, soon available from Todd’s Farm Kitchen, sans roasted bowl.

Beverages were handled by our friends at Urban Grape of Chestnut Hill and newly the South End. They provided wines to pair with the wide variety of dishes on the menu. For the lighter options Chef Todd prepared his famed cucumber herb water and Food Sol partner Mission Root donated several of their ginger laced juice drinks for sampling.

Dessert was handled by a tag team effort from our own chef Jen who prepared bite sized pumpkin cheesecake with gingersnap crust, pecan and apple tartlets and Babson Food Sol associates Unreal Candy and Kris Bronner who was making fresh kale and pumpkin seed ice cream in liquid nitrogen to amazed onlookers.

The whole evening was very exciting and fresh and we were very happy to share our farmstand with our Babson neighbors and their special guests. We appreciate our customers understanding when we had to close early to transform the stand from shop to event hall. We know it is an inconvenience and thank you for putting up with it. It was great to see the stand in a different light, so open for the first time since our grand opening this spring. The beauty of the structure really was on display and is a source of pride for us and hopefully for the whole community.

Andrew and Jamie enjoying the night air and some cabbage salad.

Volante Farms is proud to be a leading small business in Needham with a firm hold on tradition and a keen eye toward the future. Events such as this help us show the greater community how committed we are to furthering our footprint on Boston’s food culture and supporting the smallest and largest of the local providers of food in our area. Sustainability is more than a trend, it is something essential to a healthy local economy and our partnering with many local food entrepreneurs is sure to help Volante Farms and Needham succeed on this path.

Thanks to all from the Volantes, we look forward to seeing you soon!
L to R: Dave and Katie Volante, Ryan, Andrew Zimmern, Steve Volante, Teri Volante Boardman, Doug, Todd, Chuck, Brian

photos in this post only attributed to Kevin Liu, Babson

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