There are often news stories in our local press about the business incubator at the Franklin County Community Development Corporation located in Greenfield. Last Friday I had my first opportunity to visit and see some of the work that goes on there.
John Waite, the Executive Director of the FCCDC, welcomed me and members of the Herb Society of America to the commercial kitchens of the CDC and introduced us to some of the people who use this important facility which has helped fledgling businesses reach a point where they can fly off to their own spaces. I can’t fit all that we saw in one posting, but I am going to take you on a weeklong tour of what what I saw and learned last Friday.
Terry Grinnan of Saw Mill Site Farm uses the commercial kitchen a few times a year to bottle his horseradish products. He buys most of hishigh quality horseradish roots from a Mennonite Farm in Illinois and processes and bottles them here. He gave us a demonstration of the whole process beginning with the fresh roots.
The roots are hand peeled and then washed to USDA specifications before putting into an amazing commercial kind of food processor.
It takes a sharp blade to cut up those roots. They get three minutes to do the job.
None of us were allowed to get too close when Terry Grinnan opened the machine to add some high grade vinegar for a little more processing. Even so, eyes and noses were watering.
After a couple more minutes of grinding, the horseradish was removed from the machine, all ready for adding final flavors like mustard or beets, and then bottling, and refrigeration. Terry says it takes about four hours to process 1000 jars of his horseradish.
Earlier this year I wrote about growing horseradish here, which is how I got to meet Terry and get invited to a wonderful day with Herb Society members.