photo of welcome sign at farm to table dinner

A Visit with Our Farmer

This past Sunday we had the very good fortune to be invited to a Farm to Table Dinner at the farm where we purchased our CSA share.

Community

In late autumn of last year Bird’s Haven Farms launched a campaign on the crowdfunding site Indiegogo.com to raise money for a much-needed deer fence.¬† The campaign was successful, and the fence was fully funded with the help of¬†the community.¬†¬† As a gesture of thanks the Bird family extended an invitation to supporters to visit the farm and dine on delicious local fare.¬†¬† The Birds and their farm team were the most gracious of hosts. ¬†We enjoyed a wonderful meal and got a tour of where our summer vegetables are growing.

photo of a welcome sign at a farm to table dinner
welcome to the farm
The Meal

We feasted on appetizers, salad, entrée and deserts prepared with ingredients from several local farmers and bakers, and of course, Bird’s Haven Farms.   I cannot possibly do justice to how tasty and beautiful it all was.  Everything, down to the littlest detail, was thoughtfully prepared and presented.   Our cutlery was individually bundled in its napkin with some tiny wildflowers.  At the end of the evening we were all sent home with a potted starter plant.  We even got to meet Chester, the farm dog.  I was charmed.

photo of a chalkboard menu at a farm to table dinner
the menu

 

photo of desserts on display at a farm to table dinner
the dessert table

 

photo of flower arrangement in a mason jar
the centerpieces

 

photo of small bundle of wildflowers
tiny wildflowers at our table

 

photo of Chester, the farm hound
Chester
The Farm

My husband and I live just a short distance from the farm, and from our own gardening experiences, we know the challenges of growing things in our area.   Really, the challenge is not growing so much as controlling what grows, because nearly everything thrives here in summer when summer finally arrives.  That includes the desirable (veggies, berries, fruits) and the not so desirable (weeds, insects, fungi.)  Fauna also abounds, and we all contend with marauding deer, raccoons, and birds.    At the Bird family farm, they combat these pressures on crops, as well as the frequently fickle weather by growing in high tunnels.

photo of cucumber trellises in a high tunnel
cucumbers trellised in the high tunnel

The high tunnels offer a more controlled environment for vegetable crops and extend the growing season by months. Plants are protected from deer on the roam and diseases and insects borne by the air.  Optimal temperatures can be maintained, and irrigation with drip tape provides consistent moisture.   Because of all this, far fewer chemicals and insecticides are necessary for growing the vegetables.  Our area is also subject to occasional extreme weather such as thunderstorms with high winds and hail and the tunnels give a modicum of protection from these as well. The Bird’s perfect, uniformly green tomato plants with their stout stems bear witness to the sound logic behind growing in these structures.

photo of blossoming tomato plants trellised in a high tunnel
perfect tomato plants

Bird‚Äôs Haven also has a brand-new-to-them huge greenhouse.¬† It was purchased¬†second hand, dismantled, hauled to its present site and reassembled by Lee Bird‚ÄĒcertainly a Herculean task.¬† It will serve as a baby plant nursery so crops can be seeded and propagated earlier and then moved to the field or high tunnel when it is the right time.¬†¬† On the evening of the dinner, one bay of the greenhouse was filled with young¬†plants as far as the eye could see.

photo of young pepper plants in a greenhouse
veggies as far as the eye can see
Gratitude

Tonight I will be picking up my very first CSA box for the season, and I have a greater appreciation than ever before of what goes into it, both literally and figuratively.  My husband and I are grateful to have the opportunity to learn more about what we will be putting on our table this summer and to meet some very nice people.

basil plant gifted to us
our thank you gift–a basil plant
Advertisements

2 thoughts on “A Visit with Our Farmer”

  1. Kale, strawberry, avocado salad? That sounds delicious!
    We have CSAs here also. I think this is a great idea, though I usually head over to our local farmer’s market. I’m so fortunate that it’s just a few blocks away. In fact I’ll be going over this afternoon to pick up some kale for dinner.

    PS – love Chester the farm dog. ūüôā

    1. Thank you! You are correct. The salad was indeed delicious. I’ll bet your farmer’s market is epic! Hope you found some excellent kale. Chester promises to be a dog of great character. Right now he’s a goofy-pants puppy with giant feet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s