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York Farm, Hutchinson, MN
Sunday, May 19, 2013, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

• Tours and talks about foraging and what makes a healthy farm ecosystem
• Dinner created by Craig Sharp and Tracy LeTourneau of Terra Waconia Restaurant, Waconia, MN

After a cool, rainy week, and a forecast for the day that included storms, 110 guests came to York Farm in Hutchinson for a dinner focusing on foraged foods. This was the sixth edition of Where the Wild Things Are, and each year the growing season has progressed to a different point. This year, our event was a week too early for morels and asparagus, but ostrich fern fiddleheads, garlic mustard and ramps were at their peak. The rhubarb was just ready to pick.

Foraging for the dinner began on Thursday near Wabasha and continued in Hutchinson on Friday and Saturday. Greens were washed at Loon Organic’s state-of-the-art cleaning shed, and the work went remarkably fast, although separating tender leaves from their stalks — enough to feed 110 people — is never an easy job.

York Farm is an organic vegetable CSA guided by Andy Cotter and Irene Genelin. The young farmers and their extended families worked hard to get the farm ready for the event. The barn was perfect for the questionable weather that was predicted, although we had a dry, 70-degree day, with beautiful cloud formations as the only evidence of the rainy forecast (at least until after the event).

As usual, Wild Things began with tours and workshops. A new topic this year was beekeeping, presented by Irene Genelin and Laura Frerichs (Loon Organics), who are developing hives on their farms. The full list of tours is posted below.

During and between the tours, guests could enjoy cheese from Shepherd’s Way Farms, beer from Fulton and wine from Chankaska and Parley Lake. Dinner in the barn was prepared by Craig Sharp and Tracy LeTourneau of Terra Waconia (in Waconia, MN) and their assistants. The menu, posted below, included many salads, gnocchi in nettle sauce, a confit of pulled pork and a wonderful rhubarb cake.


Preparations

Ramps in the woods near Lake Pepin. (photo: Jane Rosemarin)

Don Popp, who has farmed organically for many decades. We foraged for nettles, fiddleheads and garlic mustard on his land. (photo: Jane Rosemarin)

The Depot Creek band plays folk and bluegrass inspired by the nature, history and farm lifestyle of southern Minnesota. (photo: Dina Berray)

Gina Schmidt in the improvised kitchen attached to the barn. (photo: Dina Berray)


The Farm

York Farm. (photo: Val Landwehr)

An Ibex from a stencil by Broken Crow, a collaboration between Mike Fitzsimmons and John Grider, two Minneapolis artists. (photo: Val Landwehr)

A rooster stencil from Broken Crow on the York Farm chicken coop. (photo: Val Landwehr)

A dragonfly sculpture purchased at a farmers market in Wisconsin. (photo: Val Landwehr)

Guests could toss beanbags on the lawn. (photo: Val Landwehr)

The farm tour led by Andy Cotter. (photo: Val Landwehr)

The York beehives protected from the wind by an old hopper. (photo: Val Landwehr)

The check-in table. (photo: Val Landwehr)

Raised beds with herbs. (photo: Val Landwehr)

Compost cooking at 140 degrees. (photo: Val Landwehr)

A hoop house extends the growing season. (photo: Val Landwehr)

Irene Genelin and Andy Cotter are both competitive unicyclists. This poster is one of many hanging in the barn. (photo: Andy Cotter)

Tours



Irene Genelin describes the basics of beekeeping. (photo: Val Landwehr)

Val Landwehr, and entomologist, talks about insect ecology and birds on the farm. (photo: Jane Rosemarin)

Laura Frerichs, of Loon Organics, talks about biodiversity. (photo: Jane Rosemarin)


Food

The Menu
Confit of Red Wattle Pulled Pork
(Elmbrink Farm, Young America)
Purple Potato Gnocchi with Nettle Cream Sauce
(Potatoes, Tangletown Gardens Farm, Plato. Nettles foraged in Hutchinson)
Deviled Eggs
(Tangletown Gardens Farm)
Seven Meat Terrine: house-ground pork, lamb, goat and beef with rabbit kidneys, rabbit liver paté, lamb liver, chicken livers and duck hearts, wrapped in house-smoked Red Wattle hog bacon
(Elmbrink pork (Young America), Ridgeroll beef (Buffalo), Marshalls Farm rabbit (Hastings), Classic Fields goat (Mayer), Elmbrink chicken, Sheepy Hollow Lamb (Minnetrista), LaBelle Duck
Dandelion Salad With Citrus, Green Almonds and Stickney Hill Chèvre in a Citrus Vinaigrette
(Dandelion Foraged at Loon Organics)
Mixed Greens with Bulgar Wheat, Marinated Shiitakes and Preserved Meyer Lemon in Semi-Sundried Tomato Vinaigrette
(Greens from Loon Organics. Shiitakes from Mystery Mark)
Rhubarb Cake With Rhubarb Syrup, Greek Yogurt Whip and Mint
(Rhubarb from Paul Schultz Farm, Willernie)

Matt Moon and Millie Harris from Fulton Beer. (photo: Dina Berray)

Wine from Chankaska was served by Drew Horton, the winemaker. (photo: Val Landwehr)

Molly Kellor prepares the cheese from Shepherd’s Way Farms: Shepherd’s Hope, Big Woods Blue, aged Friesago and Morcella. (photo: Dina Berray)

Bread from Rustica and dried cherries awaiting cheese. (photo: Dina Berray)

Genevra and Peter Cusic with cheese plates. (photo: Val Landwehr)

Bill Davnie serving the terrine and devilled eggs. (photo: Dina Berray)

Choosing salad. (photo: Dina Berray)

Happy diners, many of whom are from Loon Organics and York Farm. (photo: Dina Berray)

Purple potato gnocchi with nettle cream sauce (potatoes from Tangletown Gardens Farm in Plato and nettles foraged in Hutchinson). Braised beef (from True Cost Farm). (photo: Val Landwehr)

Confit of Red Wattle pulled pork (Elmbrink Farm) and rustic rolls from Rustica Bakery. (photo: Val Landwehr)

Seven Meat Terrine of house-ground pork, lamb, goat and beef with rabbit kidneys, rabbit liver paté, lamb liver, chicken livers and duck hearts, wrapped in house smoked Red Wattle bacon. (photo: Val Landwehr)

Spiced Pink Kerrs potatoes with ramps (potatoes from Tangletown Gardens Farm in Plato; ramps foraged in Wabasha). (photo: Val Landwehr)

Garlic mustard salad with fiddlehead ferns, radishes and a rhubarb vinaigrette (garlic mustard and fiddleheads foraged in Hutchinson, radishes from Loon Organics and rhubarb from Paul Schultz Farm in Willernie, MN). (photo: Val Landwehr)

Dandelion salad with citrus, green almonds and Stickney Hill chevre in a citrus vinaigrette (dandelion foraged at Loon Organics). (photo: Val Landwehr)



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