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Shoppers pick up their fresh vegetables at Crimson and Clover Farm, Shoppers pick up their fresh vegetables at the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) pick-up at the Crimson and Clover Farm in Northampton, MA. Northampton Community Farm, Bean-Allard, Bean and Allard Farms., 2011, MA, Northampton Community Farm, Working Lands | Land and Water, Hampshire, Northampton, Crimson and Clover Farm, Children | Historic Building | Recreation | Rural/Agriculture, Jerry Monkman
©Jerry and Marcy Monkman/EcoPhotography

From their farm to your table: Root vegetable gratin recipe

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When The Trust For Public Land helped a group of locals protect 121 acres in western Massachusetts for farming in 2010, we knew the land was fertile. Years later, we’re still marveling at all that has grown there.

A diverse mix of green thumbs now call Grow Food Northampton Community Farm home, including Crimson & Clover, a 40-acre food farm that sustains a popular Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program; Sawmill Herb Farm, which grows medicinal and culinary herbs; and an organic community garden where neighbors nurture everything from pumpkins to sunflowers.

But the land’s most valuable commodity is the spirit of community it fosters. “It’s such a glowing example of successful citizen activism. Folks had a vision, they worked hard, and they realized it,” said Lilly Lombard, the farm’s founding director, three years after the land was protected. “People still almost can’t believe that we did it—we got our farm.”

You can get a taste of that community spirit by way of this warming dish from Crimson & Clover. Served with a salad or sauteéd greens, this root vegetable gratin makes for a simple yet beautiful fall dinner.

(This story and recipe were originally published in the Fall/Winter 2013 issue of Land&People magazine. Looking for more great stories about our work? Read the most recent issue of Land&People magazine.)

a bowl of sliced colorful root vegetablesAutumn's bounty finds its way into a root vegetable gratin.Photo credit: The Trust for Public Land staff

Root vegetable gratin

INGREDIENTS

• 4 pounds of mixed root vegetables (potatoes, sweet potatoes, rutabaga, turnips, etc.)

• ½ cup chicken broth

• 1 ¼ cup cream

• 1 ¼ teaspoon thyme

• 6 ounces Gruyere cheese

• Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Thinly slice root vegetables with veggie slicer or mandoline. Toss with thyme and season generously with salt and pepper.

Layer sliced vegetables in a 13"x9" glass or ceramic baking dish. Pour cream and chicken broth over vegetables. Bake for 45 minutes.

Remove dish from oven. Press vegetables down into liquid with the back of a spoon, and cover with shredded Gruyere.

Bake another 45 minutes or until roots are cooked through (test with fork) and top is browned.

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