Kim Carlson

Often accused of doing just about anything to preserve the planet long before going green hit the mainstream radar, Kim Carlson is an eco-chic lifestyle expert, eco-savvy entrepreneur, and green business author. Carlson practices what she preaches. (Except she doesn’t really preach, she enthuses.) As the “EarthSmart Consumer” on television, host of the national radio program, “Livin’ The Green Life” and the regular guest writer for many blogs and national magazines, Carlson educates the public on the pleasures of a planet-friendly lifestyle. Read more about Kim Carlson.

Green Dinner Down On the Farm

Posted by: Kim Carlson Updated: June 10, 2011 - 12:29 PM

 

Dinner On The Farm  at Garden Farme in Ramsey, MN

Dinner On The Farm at Garden Farme in Ramsey, MN

Food just plain tastes better when eaten at the source – a farm.  When I was a kid, my Swedish immigrant great grandparents had a dairy farm in the Milaca area of Minnesota.  Each summer my parents would head north to “the farm” for a day long picnic, packing up the kids, dog, melamine dinnerware and a cooler full of beer for dad. 

The day was always the same dreamy event for us city kids: barn exploring, games on the lawn followed by “dinner” at 12:00 on many tables set end to end covered in white tablecloths. Then we would play more games (like jarts - the product liability laws were a bit more lax in those days) or nap on blankets on the lawn before we would eat  “supper” at 5:00 featuring leftovers of what wasn’t gobbled down at the noon meal. Oh, those were the good old and forgotten days!

Until this past Sunday, when I went to a dinner hosted by Dinner On the Farm  at Garden Farme in Ramsey. It was only about a 45 minute drive from my house in downtown Minneapolis and featured The Curry Diva’s, Heather Jansz, fabulous culinary skills and spices.

Garden Farme was homesteaded in 1913 by the relatives of current owner and steward of the property, Bruce Bacon. As one of the first to be labeled "organic", they grow organic greens, fragrant herbs, fruits, vegetables and have bees that make honey. They sell to many local restaurants and food coops, not necessarly to the public.  It was a lovely backdrop for the meal whipped up by the Curry Diva. 

 

Curry Diva, Heather Janz and the author

Curry Diva, Heather Janz and the author

The late afternoon event started with a farm tour where we learned some of the secrets to Bruce’s organic growing technique. There was also an optional hour of group yoga instruction on the lawn by Patrick Nelson of Corepower Yoga and Betsy Weiner from Yoga Center Minneapolis.

When dinner was ready at 6:30, there were no long tables with white tablecloths, it was more of a casual picnic setup where everyone brought their own chairs or blankets for sitting and eating. For $50/person we supped a senses activating spread of Heather's finest cuisine:  roasted lamb, rhubarb chutney, veggie quinoa, kale and red chard salad served with Knot Stock Beer. For dessert a simply amazing ice cream that was perfectly rich and runny was served with ice chai tea.

 

Jack Klatt and the Cat Swingers

Jack Klatt and the Cat Swingers

Jack Klatt and the Cat Swingers   played a hipster combo of relaxing music for most of the evening.  The guests were a fun mix of the local restaurant industry crew, and some conscious foodies, some with their kids or grandkids in tow.

 I forgot bug spray so we left before the bonfire (and the mosquitoes) got cranked up. The entire evening was a trip down farm memory lane for me and a wonderful experience all around.  I highly recommend this true farm-to-table experience. Check out the Dinner On The Farm website for more farm dining possibilities this summer and fall.

Another group  offering farm dinners is Tour de Farm  featuring Chefzilla Stewart Woodman at Axdahl's Family Farm on June 27th and several other farm experiences through the summer and fall months. 
 

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