Sunday, October 10, 2010

Autumn Inspirations

The beautiful weather and unusual warm days have been calling me outside to wander the farm. I've walked around the 20 acre perimeter several times checking out the land, fence, trees, paths, and so on. As any farmer will tell you, the work is never done. But I'm also encouraged to see how much we have accomplished in just two growing seasons.

When Bob is back to normal hours after the harvest craze, I've got lots of questions for him. Lots of possible pictures to paint for him to weigh in on. Should we plow up the few acres up north that run full-width east/west to level out the land and reseed grass/legumes? Why or Why not? Are there other smaller areas we should consider fencing in for more paddocks to use with intensive grazing? Any areas to burn? Do we clean up any of the fallen trees in the 'forest' or just let them all decay away?

I'm like a toddler asking my basic questions to the oh-so-wise parent. I'm sure Bob will patiently answer and guide me in my grass farming adventure. In the meantime, I'll continue to walk and dream as long as the mild weather hangs around. Its good to dream.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Sample the Farm tour

We had a wonderful group of friends and neighbors at GrassStain Farm yesterday to "Sample the Farm" which included a tour followed by scrumptious appetizers made by our skilled chef, Jason Thompson.

The ingredients for most of the menu came from our farm: ground lamb and ground pork in the meatballs, pork spareribs, leg of lamb with a delicious squash whip, ham/pickle skewers, eggs, milk, cream, butter, apples, and garden produce all mixed in somewhere. Other ingredients were gathered from nearby producers such as the NY Strip Steak and blue corn from Lynn Brakke Organic Farm, pickles and butternut squash from Darin. Desserts of pumpkin cheesecake and fudge were made by Amy K. (chocolate was not locally-grown!)

The Buffet Table was quite a feast to behold but quickly emptied as guests went back for seconds and thirds. I forgot to get a picture of it full; we had very few leftovers.

For most of our guests, it was the first time tasting lamb. We heard many good comments and have new customers to buy lamb meat.

I was most impressed with the creativity of our chef Jason as he took the local food I gave him and turned it into fun new dishes to eat. He inspired me to try new recipes in our home with the seasonal produce that's so abundantly available right now. (I also have plenty to preserve for the winter apples.)

I had thought my apple variety is so small its a nuisance. Jason used the apples to make bite-size baked apples topped with streusal. It frankly was a favorite of some; guests would walk by the table and pop one in their mouth.

Blue corn polenta topped with a veggie roux.
I'm afraid I didn't write down all that Jason did so I'm recording this by memory. I hope its fairly accurate. It was very freeing to turn the cooking for the day over to the capable hands of a local chef so I could focus on the farm tour and guests.
I highly recommend Jason!