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Farm to Plate: Why Alana’s sources from Wayward Seed Farm

By Jill Moorhead
From the Fall 2013 edition

The Chef: Alana Shock, Alana’s

The Relationship: Shock initially started using Wayward produce when they first began selling at farmers markets, and now the farm is one of her leading suppliers for local produce.

The Process: Shock calls Wayward Seed her “steady Eddies.” She purchases their produce through text message, the Mobile Market and, occasionally, from their farmers market stand.

“I try not to go directly to the market and take everything away from the people who are shopping there,” she says. “But if I want it, I will.”

Shock admits to playing with people at the market. “I’ll tell them, ‘If you want that fennel, then you have to make a reservation for dinner,’ ” she jokes. But more times than not, these interactions turn into conversations with market customers about cooking techniques.

The cleanliness of the vegetables is another selling point for Shock. Wayward does a lot of field washing and pre-cleaning, she explains. It’s a small thing that carries a big impact in a commercial kitchen. “If they haven’t washed them, then I’ll have eight buckets of muck going into my plumbing,” she says.

Shock has a few favorites from their oeuvre: spinach and kale in the spring, plus fennel and kohlrabi. “They really embrace a nice mix of the seasonal growing,” she says.