Down on the Farm Series: Where the Kale Grows

It’s a balmy afternoon in September and we’re up to our knees in tall grass at Oxbow Farm. The surrounding 25 acres pulse vibrant green under a clear blue sky. We file behind Adam McCurdy, Oxbow’s farm production manager, as he leads us serpentine through the verdant fields, occasionally pausing to explain what defines a Certified Organic farm (here are the USDA requirements, if you’re curious) or how Carnation’s soil provides the perfect bed for Oxbow’s produce (being in a deep valley atop an aquifer and hugged by the Snoqualmie River doesn’t hurt).

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Adam came to the farm in 2007 to help founders Sarah Cassidy and Luke Woodward develop their seven acres. Since then, the farm has not only tripled in size, it is now home to a native plant nursery in partnership with the University of Idaho’s Center for Forest Nursery and Seedling Research. It also supplies a thriving CSA and harvests produce for many of Seattle’s hot restaurants, including The Walrus and the Carpenter, Sitka & Spruce and Portage Bay Café. And, it’s not unusual to find kids hopping from crop to crop as they learn about sustainable farming and environmental conservation.

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We follow Adam through a greenhouse dripping with tomato vines, stopping to smell the tomatoes. The other end of the building opens up to the reason why we are here: perfect rows of luscious lacinato kale.

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We’re always on the hunt for great local purveyors to team up with for our pizzas. As we developed a recipe and plan for our latest seasonal pizza, the Tuscan Kale, Oxbow Farm just seemed like the perfect partner. The farm team embraces qualities near and dear to us, like connecting community through good food, and they happen to grow some incredible produce.

Through November 25, enjoy Oxbow’s organic lacinato kale on our Tuscan Kale pizza. We highlight the hearty green’s flavor with preserved lemon ricotta and mozzarella over olive oil and finish it all off with a sprinkle of coarse sea salt. While this pie is part of our seasonal lineup, you can try a slice every Thursday at all of our pizza by the slice locations.