farm to table

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I don’t know about you, but my summer weekends are usually completely booked by early April, and then I start to panic that I won’t be able to fit in everything I want in the best season ever. My summer this year is far busier than those past. An overnight in Portland on Nova Star was followed by a  weekend at the Cape which was followed by a  trip to Sonoma County which was followed by a long weekend in NJ. Soon we’ll be off for some time in Ireland, followed by some other weekends away, another trip to Sonoma, and a trip to Chicago for the Chicago Marathon.  I am tired just thinking about it, and while I am super excited for all the travel, I am sad to miss events like A Midsummer Night’s Feast.

 

midsummer night's feast

 

This event looks like the most perfect way to spend a midsummer night to me, after a day at the beach, of course. Put on by Tigerlily’s Events, the description of the event is below. I’ll be keeping an eye on future events to share (and hopefully attend!); please feel free to let me know your favorite local food and wine events!

Does your idea of a great evening out include the following?

  • Haywagon ride to a secluded field
  • Dinner under an exquisite sailcloth tent
  • Locally crafted beer and cider tasting
  • A masterfully created tasting menu by an acclaimed chef
  • Eating the best locally grown produce, pork and chicken
  • A romantic candlelit table with local flowers
  • Watching the sunset over a lush hayfield
  • Supporting a local charity while having a one of a kind dining experience

If you answered yes to any of the above, then you should join us for a Midsummer Night’s Feast.
Friday, July 31,  from 7 to 9PM
or Saturday, August 1, from 7 to 9PM
Tickets are $65 per person, all inclusive. We do offer a special rate for a table of 10. Please call 781-492-5459 for more information.

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Tags: events, farm dinner, farm to table, Food, Massachusetts, midsummer, outdoors, summer

Blogging has given me the inside scoop on so many incredible events. If it wasn’t for this little food blog, there would be so many things I would have missed out on, and more importantly so many people. I would probably be about 20 pounds lighter too, without thinking about all of the delicious events I am going to attend and meals I am going to make, but hey, life is short and I would rather enjoy it to the fullest!

You may know that I am a country girl at heart. Despite living in the city for so many years, I am truly happiest in an open field, hands in the dirt, eating fresh local food, growing things, and seeing sky, plants, and animals. When I was invited to Dinner on the Farm at Verrill Farm, I was super excited to get out of the city for the day for some great beer and food and to relax on a gorgeous farm.

Brooklyn Brewery Beer

A little about Dinner on the Farm:

Dinner on the Farm creates unique local food experiences designed to celebrate farms, chefs, breweries, and food entrepreneurs dedicated to good, sustainable food. Through our roaming culinary events, we work to connect people back to the land and to the farmers and artisans who are making our communities a better place to live.

pumpkin patch

Our Dinner on the Farm happened to be at Verrill Farm in Concord during fall foliage and pumpkin season, which is pretty much the epitome of perfection. Beautiful leaves, pumpkins, and apples dotted our way to Concord, and Verrill Farm was full of fall flavor. It also happened to be a warm, sunny, perfectly blue sky day, ideal for eating outdoors.

Verrill Farm

This Dinner on the Farm Mash, as they’re called, was a Brooklyn Boston event, with Brooklyn Brewery as the featured brewer and a couple of local guests as well. Bantam Cider was on hand pouring their craft cider, and the chefs for the day were Carolyn Johnson from 80 Thoreau, a spot I am dying to visit and Andrew Gerson, Brooklyn Brewery’s very own.

 

Bantam Cider

The day included lots of fresh air and relaxing on the farm, in addition to some information and a tour from Verrill Farm’s owner, Stephen Verrill. I loved hearing the history of the farm and all about the crops they are growing. It was fun to see that their tomato crop is still thriving just like mine is and to hear their plans for the end of the season. While I am enjoying my tomato crop, I am also pretty excited about my compost heap and getting the beds ready for next season!

Verrill Farm

Dinner on the Farm included a farm tour with Mr. Verrill, who drove the hayride and also hopped off at several points to share information about the farm. You can see him in the green jacket and brown hat in the below photo. Verrill Farm

Verrill Farm

We loved seeing the diversity in the crops at Verrill Farm; they have a huge strawberry patch as well as a ton of leeks, kale, and collards, and of course, pumpkins.

Verrill Farm

 

Verrill Farm

When the tour was over, it was time for a relaxed farm dinner with lots of fresh Brooklyn Brewery beer and live music. The beer from Brooklyn Brewery was amazing, and they were quite generous in their pours! Of course, I loved the rare beers  the most, the Weizenhammer and Ridgy-Didge, but their pumpkin beer is also killer, not sweet or overly potpourri spiced as some pumpkin beers can be.

photo 5  I tweeted that I was a happy girl, out in the country with great beer and Grateful Dead covers. Our musicians for the afternoon, Steve Roy and David Surrette, really set the scene for a relaxed country hoedown. They played a few Grateful Dead covers, and I had a smile on my face all afternoon long.

And finally, last, but certainly not least, there was the food. Grilled chicken was accompanied by a ton of phenomenal vegetable sides, all full of flavor and freshness. Aall made me want to eat piles of local, in season vegetables for every meal.

dinner on the farm

I’ve never seen my husband love kale salad before, but he chowed down on a pile of this one. There were also squash, cabbage, potato, and leek dishes.

squash

Verrill Farm vegetables

 

dinner on the farm

The menu

Assorted potatoes, golden beets, roasted garlic emulsion & green sauce
Roasted winter squash, squash puree & smoked pepitas
Kale salad, white miso vinaigrette, shallots & raisins
Beer-braised cabbage, kohlrabi, onions & ginger
Braised leeks, hakurei turnips & mustard green emulsion
Grilled chicken

Eating farm-to-table cuisine feels SO good and tastes even better. The meal was one of the best I have had, and after having our fill of veggies and chicken (and homemade apple hand pies), we took a slow drive home, admiring the foliage and stopping a few times along the way for photos.

If you have an opportunity to attend a Dinner on the Farm event, I highly recommend it, especially if you love food and the outdoors as much as I do! I hope they come back to Massachusetts next season!

 

Dinner on the Farm generously hosted our dinner, however all opinions are my own.

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Tags: beer, Brooklyn Brewery, Concord, farm, farm dinner, farm to table, Food, Massachusetts

Seriously, where has the time gone? I feel like it was just the first week of our Red Fire Farm CSA and we were looking forward to 20 weeks of local produce from the CSA as well as from our garden. Our garden is still raring to go; I thought that it was dead and gone weeks ago, but a huge new tomato crop has just popped up, and I am savoring each one as it ripens on the vine.

I have to say, between our CSA share and our garden, we have gotten MUCH better at eating fruit and vegetables. I have looked forward to finding out what was in each share and trying to figure out what to do with it. We’ve decided not to do a winter share and to focus more on shopping locally at the Codman Square Winter Farmers Market which has so many great vendors, like Red’s Best for delicious Chatham cod.

Before our CSA is over, I thought I would give a quick update on what we have been getting and what I have been making. Our share from Red Fire Farm has been pretty big every week, and at the height of harvest, it was HUGE.

Even late in the summer, our share was teeming with tomatoes and basil, and we made good use of them with simple flatbreads, complete with store bought whole wheat crust. These were perfect for those endless summer evenings where cooking was not a priority.

pesto pizza

As time wore on, our CSA share became heartier, featuring lots of carrots and cabbage and onions. A quick and simple dinner of braised chicken thighs and cabbage with carrots, soy sauce, sesame oil, sriracha, and a bit of orange marmalade made for a nice early fall meal, maybe slightly helping me to look forward to snuggly nights in and comfort food.

 

vegetables and chicken

Our early fall shares looked a little like this. The grapes were a little different from the ones we sorted in California, but they were tart and delicious. Loads of kale turned into chips, and that amazing winter sunshine squash up front? It was part of smoothies and chili and eaten all by its sweet and delicious self.

 

Red Fire Farm CSA

Of course there have been apples, lots and lots of apples from Cold Spring Orchard in Belchertown. I only like apples in the fall, and I have been loving these on their own but also in homemade apple sauce and smoothies.

apples

An overwhelming amount of shallots was shared with friends, but we also used them in dressings and slow roasted in sauces and soups.

shallots

 

homemade sauerkraut

And in homemade sauerkraut. . . that I am afraid to eat. Have you ever made sauerkraut? Every week our CSA emails us recipes, and the one for sauerkraut seemed so easy. I decided to make ours with cabbage and apples but then started to fear that I would make it improperly and kill us. So it sits waiting to be eaten. . . if you don’t hear from me for a while, come looking.   all the vegetable soup

And finally, we have the most common uses for our CSA veggies, “all the vegetable” soups and salads. I have taken to eating mixing bowls full of salad again, and it makes my body feel really good. I swear, piles of raw veggies are like a dose of caffeine for me. I am starting to find energy again and hope to keep it up even when this CSA is over. While we loved our Red Fire Farm CSA, we’re thinking next year we might go a little more local and try The Food Project. Stay tuned; I am sure there are plenty of local vegetables in our future.

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Tags: CSA, farm to table, Food, fruit, local food, recipes, vegetables

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