A pepper plant with a small blossom. We planted quite a diverse lineup of peppers this year, including some hot ones. Most of the plants are in full flower now, and soon will yield gorgeous peppers. Look for them at our outlets, and stay tuned for u-pick events in August and beyond that will offer peppers and more.

Asian Greens for Harvest Celebration Dirt Dinner! Plus, Farm Store, Farmers Markets and Bramble

Bon Appetit

Happy Friday, friends.

And happy Bastille Day, too! The culinary professional side of our lives owes quite a bit to French cooking techniques, preparations and innovations. Where would we be without soufflés, crêpes, baguettes, quiche, terrines, croissants, a diversity of sauces and a bazillion other treasures? The answer: We’d dwell in a less grand place, one with far fewer gustatory pleasures.

Merci, France. And as always, bon appetit.

The other professional side of our lives, farming, is informed by a broader coalition of innovators: North American indigenous people, the English, cultures across the Middle East and Asia, and Europeans who settled in the United States from the 17th century up until today (among others). Everything we do in the fields tracks practices, protocols and overall savvy hatched by the thousands of years of farmers who precede us.

Their wisdom leads to today’s Black Cat Organic Farm bounty: the greens and carrots, the fava beans and onions and much more that we’ll be selling all weekend at our Farm Stand and Boulder County Farmers Markets stalls, as well as crafting into dishes at Bramble & Hare.

A long legacy of agricultural acumen also serves as the foundation behind the vegetables we’ll be showcasing during two upcoming Harvest Celebration Dirt Dinners: Asian greens and fennel. Read on for much more about next week’s event—Asian greens.

Enjoy the weekend, and steel yourselves for next week’s thankfully brief flirtation (if not union) with triple digits. Cool thyselves!

A row of celery, growing up strong and aromatic.
A row of celery, growing up strong and aromatic.

July 17 Harvest Celebration Dirt Dinner: Asian Greens

Osaka Purple. Gorgeous.
Osaka Purple. Gorgeous.

We cannot wait to welcome you into Bramble & Hare on Monday and serve you four courses plus a welcome aperitif that revolve around Asian greens. 

The range of greens we identify as “Asian” in the United States is fairly broad, including greens like choy sum, gai choy and amaranth greens. But the ones most familiar to many in this country are Napa cabbage, bok choy, tat soi and mizuna. We grow a wide range of them, including gai lan (Chinese broccoli) and komatsuna (Japanese mustard spinach). 

Early on, we invited Asian greens into our farm, due to their agreeable flavors and textures (including in many cases a welcome crunch) and their ability to thrive in our Front Range soil. Most are members of the Brassica genus, which falls within the Brassicaceae family that incorporates everything from broccoli to collard greens to turnips, radishes and horseradish. In general, Asian greens offer at least whispers of peppery spice but also are mild, in the best sense of the word. They are extremely versatile in any kitchen, and easy to integrate into many preparations, from salads to stir fries to sandwiches.

For our Harvest Celebration event on Monday, July 17, we will focus on two varieties of mizuna, a green that is especially honored in Japan; tat soi, which the Chinese have been cultivating since the 6th century; komatsuna, which means “greens of Komatsu” in Japanese, a reference to the Japanese village in Tokyo where it has been aggressively grown since the 18th century; and Osaka Purple, a spicy Japanese green with a wasabi-like kick. Some wasabi preparations, in fact, include Osaka Purple along with wasabi root.

These are magnificent vegetables. Our culinary team has been iterating dishes all week, in preparation for Monday’s celebration.

Cleaning mizuna.
Cleaning mizuna.

Meanwhile, the hospitality team is eager to once again invite guests to order simply “white” or “red” wines, all of which have been curated by our outstanding sommelier Logan to complement our evening’s dinner, which arrive wrapped in burlap. Diners who participate in the engaging challenge then receive the sort of taste, aroma, color and texture scorecards that sommeliers use to understand wine, and to take part in blind tastings. From there, guests have fun exploring the wines and guessing at their varietals, countries of origin and more. 

At each of our dinners, the sommelier game has captured the imaginations of guests who signed up; we love watching them having fun tasting and talking about the wine, and then researching the wines once they learned their identity.

Not interested in using the sommelier’s grid during dinner? No problem. You can order the bottles of wine that Logan selected to pair with the meal, or you can work with a server to discover something you love on the wine list, or turn to cocktails and other beverages. Either way, we cannot wait to welcome you into our dining room in downtown Boulder and share four courses of culinary excellence with you.

The celebration, on Monday, July 17 in our convivial dining room, costs $87, plus tax, gratuity and adult beverages. When making a reservation, it is important to include dietary restrictions, so we can best accommodate; we rely mostly on the fruits of our fields for our dishes, and while accommodating dietary restrictions is something we do with pleasure, it is especially helpful in our case to have a little bit of advance notice.

Coming up for Monday, July 24: fennel.

Farmers Markets in Boulder and Longmont

Look for organic sunflower bouquets at the Market stands this weekend.
Look for organic sunflower bouquets at the Market stands this weekend.

The weekend weather should be excellent, and we trust the Boulder County Farmers Markets in Boulder and Longmont will attract many happy locals and visitors. We will be at the downtown Boulder market on Saturday, from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m., and the Longmont market at the Boulder County Fairgrounds from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m. on Saturday.

The farm team devoted itself to harvesting all day Friday in preparation for the busy weekend. We’ve got loads of organic vegetables to tempt you at both markets.

Just hangin' in the cool shade.
Just hangin’ in the cool shade.

At our booths this week, look for:

  • Sunflower bouquets (New!)
  • Fava beans
  • Tat soi
  • Snap peas
  • Carrots
  • Onions
  • Chocolate mint
  • Cardoons
  • Fava tops
  • Mizuna, green and purple 
  • Romaine lettuce
  • Arugula
  • Spring Onions
  • Salad mix
  • Kale
  • Sourdough bread
  • Roving wool from our sheep

Farm Store

Our culinary team crafts these gorgeous products, and much more!
Our culinary team crafts these gorgeous products, and much more!

It’s a good thing we have four outlets for our vegetables: two Boulder County Farmers Markets stands, Bramble & Hare and our Farm Store. With 425 acres of organic fields under cultivation or serving as pasture for sheep, we literally grow tons of food every year. 

The Farm Store, at 4975 Jay Road and open Wednesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., is always a busy hive of commercial activity. Here, we offer our full range of vegetables, legumes, grains and herbs, along with meats from livestock raised on organic pasture, take-home dishes and condiments like ketchup and harissa prepared by our culinary team, and culinary products crafted by local artisans, ranging from honey to tortillas to tempeh, gluten-free bread and pickles.

Please visit us at the Farm Store this week for:

  • Sunflower bouquets (New!)
  • Fava beans
  • Snap peas
  • Onions
  • Carrots
  • Mint
  • Kale
  • Tat soi
  • Lettuces
  • Green mustard
  • Cardoons
  • Fava tops
  • Scallions
  • Arugula
  • Salad mix
  • Mizuna
  • Mushrooms
  • Chicken eggs
  • Duck eggs
  • Guinea eggs

Black Cat Grains and flours and legumes

  • Sourdough bread
  • Popcorn
  • Flours from Black Cat Organic Farm grains
  • Dried beans
  • Ancient grains


  • Sausages
  • Grama Grass & Livestock Beef
  • Cuts of Black Cat heritage lamb
  • Cuts of Black Cat Organic Farm pork
  • Dog food

Black Cat Farm Provisions

  • Flourless chocolate cake with mousse
  • Carrot cake
  • Onion soup
  • Roasted tomato sauce with basil and garlic
  • Basque piperade
  • Yellow Tomato Sauce with French thyme
  • Tomato shallot fonduto
  • Salsa amarilla con rajas
  • Spicy harissa
  • Ketchup

Local Provisions

  • Big B’s Organic Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Bibamba chocolates
  • Taos Bakes Cosmo Nuts
  • Frog Hollow Farmstead Apple Butter 
  • Full Stop Bakery Sourdough Crackers
  • Humble Suds cleaning products
  • Growing Organic probiotic soaps
  • Annie Bee’s Hand-Poured Beeswax Candles 
  • Havenly Baked Gluten-Free Bread
  • Boulder Broth
  • Bjorn’s Colorado Honey and doggie treats
  • Boulder Valley Honey
  • Bolder Chip salsa, corn chips and tortillas, and uncooked flour tortillas
  • Pueblo Seed Grains Co. cookies, cereals, grits and more
  • Heartbeets Veggie Burgers and doggie treats
  • Spark + Honey Granola
  • Mountain Girl Pickles
  • Project Umami Tempeh
  • Silver Canyon Coffee
  • Gorgeous Italian balsamic vinegar
  • Ambrosial Italian apple cider vinegar
  • Vegan charcuterie from Greece 
  • Italian risotto rice
Mama watching over the scampering set.
Mama watching over the scampering set.

Bramble & Hare

A recent Bramble menu.
A recent Bramble menu.

This recent menu features a favorite vegetable, snap peas, which we are harvesting now. Combined with pistachio tarator and pickled onions, it’s the kind of dish somebody orders, everybody at the table tries, and soon diners request another round of these addictive treats. It also showcases carrot ginger soup, leveraging just-harvested carrots that we planted in spring. With crème fraiche and pepitas, it’s simple and outstanding. 

No matter what direction you take the meal at Bramble & Hare, you can trust that in most cases the majority of ingredients came from our farm. Desserts are generally not as farm-to-table oriented as the rest of the menu—we don’t raise sugarcane, we don’t grow nut trees, dairy is not a part of our operation, and most our fruit harvest for now remains awfully tidy (we planted many fruit trees, however, and one day they will yield lots of apples, pears, plums and more). But we do grow our own heritage wheat, and mill it into flour. And we always hunt for ways to up the local with desserts. Our carrot bread, for example, is largely comprised of Black Cat Organic Farm ingredients.

Please join us soon at Bramble & Hare! The fields now are yielding an immensity of organic vegetables, and the bounty will grow heavier and more diverse between now and the first hard frost.

A Black Catter sent us this photo of a pizza in his Ooni pizza oven that is laquered with tomato sauce he made last autumn with tomatoes from one of our u-pick events.
A Black Catter sent us this photo of a pizza in his Ooni pizza oven that is laquered with tomato sauce he made last autumn with tomatoes from one of our u-pick events.

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