29Jul2007

RAFT picnic a success!

Well, we finally had our RAFT picnic at Half Pint Farm, and are pleased to report that it was a success, the food was fantastic, the farm was pleasure to show off, and the weather couldn’t have been better! The menu was:

Chile Relleno on a local corn cake. The mild chiles used in this dish are endangered peppers called Beaver Dam.
Heirloom Tomato and Cipollini Onion Tarts. All of the veggies used in this creation are heirloom varieties.
Mixed Roasted Heirloom Veggies. Every vegetable used in this dish is heirloom and roasted so that flavor stands out.
Romanesco Squash Roulade. The squash used in this egg dish is the ancestor of all modern zucchini squash.
Mixed Grilled Potato Skewers with Bacon. All of the potatoes used in this dish are heirloom.
Huckleberry, Sunberry & Husk Cherry Blintzes. These fruits are annual endangered heirlooms.

The recipes were created in collaboration with the folks at Let’s Pretend catering company, who we have partnered with for 4 years, and were stupendous. The huckleberry and sunberry compote created to go with the blintzes was quite the favorite of the day – the color of the sauce was the most sublime purple! Everything else was exceptional – especially the corncakes with the peppers, but so was the romanesc roulade…. OK, everything was spectacular! It was really fun to be able to show folks the actual crops in the field that they had just eaten, and everyone seemed to really enjoy the farm tour. This event gave us confidence that we could certainly hold other events at the farm with ease; so keep an eye out – there were murmurings about a fall harvest event…right around the corner!
So, here’s some pictures of the event as well as some of the farm. To look at the previous entries to the blog, you’d think we were just renovating our house! However, farming has indeed been happening as you’ll see below.

Let’s Pretend staff setting up…

The layout – we had nice clean strawbales to sit on, and strawbale “tables” where the food was.

We set out all of our heirloom seed catalogs and the info we collected from the Terra Madre confrence last October to share.

The parking we provided worked out perfectly, and allowed everyone to see the farm before the tour.

We had an opportunity to share the story about our farm, and talk about the RAFT project, then we went on a tour and shared a lot about our growing practices. All in all, a huge success, and a great incentive to have more!

Now for some farming pictures!

The perennial favorite – colorful heirloom carrots!

Our farmstand at our Thursday farmer’s market at Ethan Allen Park!

Potatoes were a smashing success this year – nice colorful varieties!

Beets. They always surprise us how well they sell – then we finally made a great salad and now we can’t get enough – beet carapaccio salad with arugula and goat cheese – YUM!

One of our favorites to sell – squash blossoms.

Liz and Mara preparing garlic for drying. This year we had around 1400 bulbs of the best-tasting garlic ever!

Finally got the bean trellis up – we have a row of pole beans and a row of bush beans. The revelation last year was an experimental bed of pole beans: we can harvest beans standing up!? So, now we have a whole 200′ row of pole beans that are growing and will be ready to harvest in two weeks or so. Haricot vert bush beans this week, though!

Hoophouse tomatoes – growing like crazy! Finally made our first harvest this week – almost a whole month later than last year! It’s so interesting how every year is different.

And, here they are – neat varieties this year. Our recent favorite are the speckled romans – the yellow striped plums in the middle.

A nice morning dew picture of micro kohlrabi microgreens in the greenhouse, awaiting harvest.

More pictures of the season as it wears on!

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