Latest News from the Farm
A few years ago “farm to table” was a new concept. It fell under the same category as whiskey bars and latte foam art. And as much as we love a well-curated whiskey haunt, so too have we come to love “farm to table”. The latter has become a way of life, drawing attention to the importance of organic growing, the ecological havoc wreaked by not eating local, and the true treasures in our own backyards. As a farm, we want “farm to table” to keep its momentum. So the question becomes, how? And with so many small farms popping up, how is our approach unique.
For us the answer lies in Farm Dinners. (Though the concept is the same, we’ve dropped “to table” – the term has lost the shiny new appeal it had in its rollout.) Every farm has its own version, but no two farms are exactly alike. At Cherry Grove Farm, we have a beautiful, peaceful property, just far enough off the beaten path to be “out-of-the-way”, but so close to everything that we could throw a stone to hit it. These dinners provide new eyes through which to see not just our farm, but small farming in general. And since everyone who works here is passionate about what we do (and does cool, related stuff on the side), there’s always a conversation.
Now everyone has an opinion about the type of cuisine for these things, and suggestions run from straight-up local to the Middle East, and with so many talented culinarians in the area, the challenge becomes, not choosing the food, but finding someone who can bring local “farm to table” to exotic cuisine, and transport us, if only for an evening, to another place. Shelley Wiseman is that someone: her locality at Tullamore Farms puts her right in our circle, and she doesn’t just dabble in exotics: she was immersed in Mexican culture, living in Mexico for five years running her own French cooking school. It makes perfect sense for her to kick off our Farm Dinner season with “Fiesta Cinco de Mayo”.
Dinner is on Friday May 6, a day late for the holiday, but never mind. And this early in the season it might still be a bit nippy; we’re not worried ‘bout that, either. I am just so looking forward to her pork pozole, a warm stew for a spring night – and to kicking back in front of a roaring fire after dinner. Can you think of a better way to spend an evening with friends? Neither can I.
Join us here.
In these frosty-for-April temps we had a photographer friend, Albert Yee, out to take some cheese glamour shots. He’s done some incredible work with other farmer friends over the years, and I hadn’t seen him in some time, so it was nice to catch up while I played photo assistant with stacks of wheels and wedges.
If you have never been, you have been missing out! The Fest brings together the Delaware Valley’s best food artisans, from cheesemakers to bread bakers to coffee roasters, and the gamut in between.
This year, The Fest’s fifth, is the biggest, and, we think, best it has ever been. Some of the exciting exhibits and programs running on Sunday are (link to details):
The Curd Competion is a cheese festival within a food festival, complete with a cheese bar! Our own Paul Lawler will be cheese-tending.
We love fest for two reasons. First, who would not like a food festival that brings together the best and brightest in the region? Second, every year we see this community and the people who love it get bigger and bigger. Which makes what we do both meaningful and fulfilling.
Farming is not an easy job. Making quality, handcrafted food is not a simple process. Developing a thriving small business is grueling. Knowing that what you do is appreciated makes the trials worthwhile, and makes the successes that much sweeter.
Come be a part of your local food movement!
Sunday, April 10th from 11am until 4pm. VIP Industry preview from 10am until 11am.
We had a wonderful time at the annual Brewer’s Plate last Sunday. Put on to benefit Fair Food, one of Philly’s premier farm to marketplace nonprofits, it is THE food and drink event of the year in Philly. It was great getting to meet all of our fellow artisan food partners and get to try some really tasty foods and drinks. (We even found some chili with our Herdsman on it from a fellow vendor.)
Our table sampled out our Raw Rodeo Brie, a raw milk Brie with an center of ash, smoked salt, and smoked paprika – pairing it with local Asian pear products from Subarashi Kudamono of the Lehigh Valley.