Ralph de Vries moved his family from the Netherlands in the 1950's, when his son Ray was a toddler. After Ralph retired from the dairy business in the late 80's, Ray took over managing the farm. Ray De Vries and Tim Terpstra (Ray's lead hand) start their leeks in greenhouses, but if you look in Ray's plastic frames in the summer and fall, you will find tomatillos, cilantro and other Mexican greens, as 30 employees raise fresh vegetables for their traditional lunches. Ray's leeks are stunning, with long thick stalks of white "meat" - the stuff that good winter soup is made of. Growing over 45 acres makes him the leek king, supplying customers all over North America through the winter, when all but a few southern States and virtually all of Canada are locked in winter's grip. Leeks keep Ray's permanent work force occupied year-round. Carrots are another natural crop that grows superbly in the local soil. Ray and Tim Terpstra try new ideas every year to take advantage of their moderate climate and expand their long-season selection of vegetables for their regional customers.
This is one beautiful bulb of fennel. The root or bulb is great raw, roasted, or glazed. </br> </br> If you are lucky to get a bulb with the fronds make a wonderful tea. Be sure to use the whole plant! </br> </br> Like many of its fellow spices, fennel contains its own unique combination of phytonutrients including the flavonoids rutin, quercitin, and various kaempferol glycosides that give it strong antioxidant activity. In addition to its unusual phytonutrients, fennel bulb is an excellent source of vitamin C. Vitamin C is the body's primary water-soluble antioxidant, able to neutralize free radicals in all aqueous environments of the body.