This past Sunday, September 15th, we helped to wind up this summer’s growing season with a farm-to-table dinner. Affectionately named ‘Feast on the Farm’, I think many of
Waiting for guests to arrive
our guests still got more food than they had bargained for! This was our first farm dinner event, so our crew here at the farm had no idea what to expect. We planned as best we could, but the day of the dinner proved to be a challenge as we awoke to rain in the morning. We were hopeful that the weather would improve, but Matt, Anjin and Angela still spent a majority of the day moving one of our greenhouse structures to the dining site just in case.
Chopping fresh herbs
As Deidre and Angela worked fervently preparing each of the evening’s courses the guests arrived in the afternoon sunshine. Our wash station had been transformed into a makeshift kitchen just hours earlier with the addition of a stainless steel island and propane stove. The kitchen was rustic to say the least, but it was enough to get the job done.
Matt shares his wisdom about melons, tractors and soil
Matt took a little bit of time to walk around some of the farm with our dinner guests. He was able to share much of what we have been working on during the past season(s) and years. It is always a special treat for a farmer to be able to share something he is so passionate about. It is an even greater feeling to have people who share the same passion and excitement about healthy, fresh, local, delicious food!
After the short tour of the farm the guests made their way back to the dining area and were seated. Willard Werth, one of the founding members of the Black Hills Health and Education Center (BHHEC) shared a little bit about the history of the institution here and what our ultimate mission is. If you are not familiar with our parent institution, BHHEC, you can find out more at their website here. The one disappointment of the evening was that the musicians were unable to play their violins since the moisture was too high and the temperatures too cold. The cool temperatures keep the violins from staying in tune and are not good on the instruments. Fred and Cheryl provided us with some lovely dining music. Although not live, it was just perfect for the occasion.
Winter food = table decor
The evening got very cool as the sun set. It has been our coldest evening yet this summer. Matt had taken the time earlier in the week to construct a fire pit. The fire added just the right amount of warmth for those who wanted to stay and visit for a while after dinner. Overall, we are so pleased with how the evening turned out and the wonderful company we were able to keep during the meal. We learned a lot in the process and look forward to the next farm-to-table event we have the pleasure of hosting.
Many of the guests asked if Deidre would be willing to share the recipes that she prepared for the dinner. If you are interested, please see the menu below and click on the menu item for the corresponding recipe. The only recipes that are not listed are the bread recipes. Hopefully we can add these in time.
In other news on the farm, our summer CSA program is winding down with only two weeks remaining. It seems like the season has flown by. We are excited that our melons are finally ripening adding a sweet treat to the last couple of boxes. This week was especially nice since we were able to include some fancy table grapes as well. We didn’t have an abundant grape harvest, but it is the first year they have produced fruit and we had all but given up on having fresh grapes. We allowed them to remain on the vine until they were at their peak of sweet ripeness. We found that this was a challenge since the bees like them just as much as we do. We probably lost about half of our small crop to these buzzy little guys.
Angela spent about 6 months here at Battle Creek Gardens
Angela, one of our summer interns left on Monday. It was a sad parting since she has been with us for many, many months. She is so full of life and energy and we will miss her enthusiasm for all things healthy, foody and full of love! We wish her the best as she heads for Texas and then a trip up the West Coast. Hopefully she can make her way back out to the farm in November for a visit. THANK YOU Angela for your hard work and dedication!
Sign-up for Your Fall Winter CSA Share
Last but not least, we want you all to know that we are offering a fall/winter CSA share again this year. It will begin on October 7th, just as our summer CSA is ending. This program will run for an 8 week period and will cost $200. If you are a current Market-style member and you have a balance remaining, you will be able to continue spending that balance throughout the fall/winter CSA and at the Rapid City farmer’s market on Tuesdays. Please let us know if you are interested in signing up for a fall/winter CSA share!
Feast on the Farm Menu
basil pesto and heirloom tomato on fresh pumpernickel
mixed salad greens with shaved fennel, roasted golden beets and toasted walnut garlic dressing
cipollini onion soup with whole grain baguette and sunflower sour cream
lemony angel hair pasta with arugula
herbed polenta smothered in eggplant ratatouille
roasted delicata squash with apples and sage
strawberry grape cobbler with vanilla bean coconut whipped cream