November 25, 2014
During my recent trip to Atlanta, I stopped by the wonderful gourmet market and store owned by my friend Anne Quatrano. Located in the city's Westside Provision District, Star Provisions is stocked with beautiful gifts and cookware, and the cafe offers baked goods, cheeses, seafood meats, and prepared foods. In addition to the market, Quatrano and her husband Clifford Harrison own four restaurants in Atlanta, including the nearby Bacchanalia. Every year, Quatrano and Harrison host a fabulous Thanksgiving meal at their farm outside Atlanta, called Summerland. Their unique and bountiful approach to Thanksgiving was featured in the November issue of Martha Stewart Living.
1 Star Provisions is located in a former slaughterhouse and meal packing facility. Today it houses a store with delightful gifts items and a cafe with fresh and delicious food to go. This tree is adorned with Maileg Pretzel Soft Ornaments, made in Sweden.
2 On the day I visited, this enormous "Wooly Tree" was among the most eye catching displays. The bendable trunk and branches are covered in white wool yarn. Hanging from the branches are charming German sheep ornaments of all sizes.
3 I also love this tree, decorated with ribbons, large orbs covered in white wool yarn, and other festive ornaments.
4 These beautiful linen holiday stockings were made by Brooklyn-based Coral & Tusk. The images are created with pencil on paper, then embroidered using special computer software, and finished by hand in the company's loft workspace.
5 Coral & Tusk also makes embroidered pillows, dolls, lampshades, table runners, and these pretty matching placemats and napkins.
6 These elegant plates are hand-decorated Yorkshire Hedgerow High Fired Porcelain China. They are made in Ohio.
7 Here's a better view of the interior of the shop and market. Photo: John Kernick
8 Quatrano, a James Beard Award winner, opened her first restaurant in Atlanta 22 years ago. Here's a shot of her in Star Provisions, flipping through her 2013 cookbook: Summerland: Recipes for Celebrating with Southern Hospitality (Rizzoli): http://amzn.to/1xun8UN. Photo John Kernick
9 The book took its name from Quatrano and Harrison's 60-acre farm outside Atlanta. Photo: John Kernick
10 Summerland has been in Quatrano's family for five generations. There are four acres in cultivation, yielding 16,000 pounds of produce - including fresh herbs from these raised beds. Photo: John Kernick
11 The farm is also home to 11 dogs, 24 horses, 10 pet turkeys, a pet pig, and lots of chickens. With plenty of laying hens, there's no shortage of fresh eggs. Photo: John Kernick
12 Here's a shot of the capacious and welcoming porch at Summerland. Two feedbags stuffed with hay announce a special holiday message. Photo: John Kernick
13 This is Harrison with one of the seven breeds of chickens raised on the farm. Photo: John Kernick
14 I love this beautiful turkey with its bold, showy plumage. Quatrano and Harrison keep turkeys as pets and have given them all the same name - Lucky! Photo: John Kernick
15 Summerland is home to 24 horses - four of them were born on the farm. Photo: John Kernick.
16 Quatrano's Airstream trailer is sometimes used as a guesthouse. Photo: John Kernick
17 The kitchen table in the farmhouse accommodates more than a dozen guests. I love the brown-and-white Johnson Brothers transferware, paired with brown ceramic chargers - the perfect setting for a memorable Thanksgiving meal. Photo: John Kernick
18 Quatrano's Thanksgiving feast includes two heritage turkeys, brined and roasted, with gravy, Mrs. Carver's buttered rutabagas, and Nanny's cranberry mold. Photo: John Kernick
November 24, 2014
The other day we transplanted many of the agaves in the greenhouse. Agaves are succulent plants with thick fleshy leaves. Since they are native to the southern and western United States and tropical America, they are sensitive to the cold and cannot survive outdoors during the harsh Northeastern winters. The process of moving them indoors and repotting them takes place each autumn, usually starting in late October. We move the agaves from their outdoor locations on the various properties into the warm environment of the greenhouse, and we transplant the ones that have outgrown their pots and become root bound. Transplanting agaves is a relatively simple process, but since we have so many at my farm it can take a while to complete the job.
1 Here is a variety of agave called 'Sharkskin' - a cutting of of one of my larger plants that was rooted two years ago.
2 You can see how large the root mass has grown - definitely time to transplant it.
3 After pulling the root mass out of the container . . .
4 . . . you gently separate the roots . . .
5 . . . fill a new pot with a mount of soil . . .
6 Gently spread the roots over the soil . . .
7 Make sure the plant is centered in the pot, level, and most importantly, not too deep.
8 You add more soil to fill the pot to about half an inch from the top.
9 Here is one of my gardeners, Wilmer, as he takes the final steps. I love the bold and dramatic shape of agaves, whether they're in pots or in the landscape. This one is a beautiful specimen.