This past weekend, the Beloved and I got to go to an event we’d been looking forward to keenly for a month or two. Namely, our CSA was hosting a dinner at the farm in Escondido (they have a couple of properties throughout San Diego county). The menu was designed by a local chef and her catering company specifically featuring fruits and vegetables just-harvested by the farm. The meal was served to us outside on long tables set amidst head-high rows of corn. Altogether, I think there were ~130 people attending.
Now, San Diego county had broken out of its month-long cold-and-dreary spell last week with a heat wave and we were a little nervous that the event would be too hot (it can get HOT in Escondido in the summer) to really enjoy. Fortunately, Saturday provided the first break in the heat, and while warm, the afternoon and evening were really gorgeous.
The afternoon started with a champagne reception with snackers as folks arrived. After it seemed that everyone had gotten there, there was an introduction by the manager of the farm and then a few words by the owner of the farm, whom I’ll refer to as Farmer Bill.
Bill then took us on a tour of the farm and showed us some equipment and fielded questions about the differences in organic versus conventional farming. Everyone was really interested and peppered Farmer Bill with questions about water management, pest and insect control (the Beloved seemed somewhat pleased that even an operation as well run as the farm had problems with bunnies), soil enrichment and crop rotation. He explained that strawberries and tomatoes were his main cash crops and that he enjoyed growing the other fruits and vegetables to support the CSA. Really fascinating stuff.
Following that we all adjourned to two long tables set along an open dirt road in the cornfield and were treated to a 5-course meal that was really exceptional. There were also organic wines that had been selected by a sommelier and friend of the farm to pair with the meal. Everything was incredibly good.
Also fun was the atmosphere that happened with everyone sort of sitting together on those long tables. We didn’t know anyone else at the dinner, but neither did the couples that sat near us (a mom & daughter and a nice couple out on their first evening out after having a baby 10 months ago). The late afternoon gloaming, with good food, good wine and a nice warm summer breeze had us chatting well after sunset.
We’d figured that this was the first time that they’d tried having an event like this, but everyone was getting excited talking about “next year’s” already!