Worth His Salt: Greenfield Farmer Combines Harvest with Sodium Chloride
The Recorder, March 17th, 2016, by Domenic Poli
Rainbow Harvest Farm literally makes salt of the earth.
Owner David Paysnick started infusing sea salt with dried chili peppers several years ago for personal use and gifts. He eventually expanded to using other herbs and spices, and in November, began selling jars of his infused sea salts at the Greenfield Winter Farmers’ Market. The sales supplement his business selling produce, eggs, mushrooms and nursery plants.
“It’s been really fantastic. I didn’t grow specifically with the intent of making these salts this past year — I took any excess and decided to experiment,” he said.
Paysnick said he now makes 10 infused salts — chipotle, garlic, ginger, rosemary, chile and garlic, habanero, habanero smoked, jalapeño, jalapeño smoked, and Thai (ginger, lemongrass and chili peppers). All are made with clean Mediterranean sea salts, though the smoked blends also contain Pacific sea salts. Paysnick said all the ingredients are grown on his 9-acre farm, though he gets the salt from a distributor.
He said he plans to sell his salts at the Greenfield Farmers’ Market in the spring and they are available on Etsy.com. He makes the products at a commercial kitchen in Springfield whenever he needs to.
“What I think is so nice about (the salts) is, it’s very convenient to add flavor when you’re generally salting your food anyway. I mean, I just had eggs and instead of putting salt on them, I put chipotle salt on them,” Paysnick said. “I say they’re for the experienced chef to the lazy chef, because it doesn’t take any more thought than salting your food.”
He said using infused salt makes it easier to control the heat and flavor of the food you are cooking. He said his favorite is the chipotle, though his 10-year-old daughter, Aliza, is partial to the garlic.
Paysnick, who was born in Wellesey and spent most of his childhood in Longmeadow, said his new products have gotten positive reviews, and a lot of people said they received great feedback after buying them as gifts for friends and family members. He said Mediterranean sea salt maintains a good consistency without “yucky additives” and they naturally don’t clump.
Paysnick attended college in Colorado and apprenticed on a farm in California after graduation. He moved back to western Massachusetts after his daughter was born and ran what he called a mini-farm before opening Rainbow Harvest Farm in 2009. Paysnick conducts field production on an Adams Road property he acquired from the Franklin Land Trust, with a restriction that half the land must remain predominantly in its natural state.
His greenhouses, which host nursery plants, tomatoes and ginger, are at 178 Conway St. According to Paysnick, he specializes in pesticide- and chemical-free produce.