Old Friends Farm in Amherst grows organic turmeric and ginger, plants you don’t expect to encounter in the Northeast. “We decided to grow crops that were unrepresented as local products,” says co-owner Casey Steinberg. That was in 2003. Since then, they pioneered a trend. “We started a ginger and turmeric revolution. Others discovered it can be grown,” he says. Steinberg, with partner Missy Bahret, cultivates the crops in unheated hoop houses. Dried and then pulverized, they turn them into highly fragrant spice powders ($10 for 1.3 ounces). Their yields also go into a line of honey and syrups the company crafts in small batches. The ginger syrup, with a tinge of lemon, is delicious to drizzle over pancakes or a dessert ($14 for 11 ounces). Two years ago, the product won a Good Food Award. A splash or two in soda water creates a tasty ginger ale, or will ramp up a cocktail. The turmeric honey combines apple cider vinegar and black pepper; its viscosity more like maple syrup, adds an interesting nuance to a salad dressing. Use it for a hot toddy, or to spice up a cup of tea ($19 for 17 ounces). Old Friends Farm products are available at Siena Farms South End, 106 Waltham St., Boston, 617-422-0030; Pemberton Farms Marketplace, 2225 Mass. Ave., Cambridge, 617- 491-2244; Debra’s Natural Gourmet, 98 Comm. Ave., West Concord, 978-371-7573, or go to www.oldfriendsfarm.com.
ANN TRIEGER KURLAND
Ann Trieger Kurland can be reached at email@example.com.