Farm Tour, Lunch, and Cider Tasting at Linda’s Mercantile (Winchester VA)

Join Greenease and From the Farmer for a tour of David and Linda’s Lay’s Farm – Linda’s Mercantile!

Linda’s Mercantile, now in its 6th year, grows fresh produce and fruits. They are also home to five greenhouses they use to get a jump start on tomatoes and growing greens. Onsite is also an apple cider distillery, and their onsite market gives consumers access to home made pasta sauces and apples sauces using the farm’s own produce!

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At it’s simplest, From the Farmer is a service that brings the farmers market to consumers’ front door. We source fruits and veggies from local, family farms and deliver them directly to our customers in insulated baskets. Delivery occurs overnight, so that when you wake up your produce is waiting for you (we like to think of ourselves as the veggie milkman). Unlike a traditional CSA, we operate all year long; there’s no cost to join, no obligation to receive a delivery, and orders are customizable, too. It’s an awesome way to eat seasonal, super fresh, local produce, without giving up total control of your refrigerator! We also offer fresh local bread, and coming soon– local eggs!

Join us on Saturday, June 14 for a farm tour & lunch. The farm is approximately 1 1/2 hours from DC. We will be leaving DC (Dupont Circle) at 9am, and returning that evening by 5:00/5:30pm. The tour includes:

  • Roundtrip Transportation (Pick Up in Washington, DC – Dupont Circle)
  • Tour of Linda’s Mercantile farm and greenhouses
  • Tour of Winchester Ciderworks Distillary & Cider Tasting*
  • Lunch and beverages
  • A thank you gift from Greenease, From the Farmer and Linda’s Mercantile

*You must be 21 to attend the cider tasting component of the program.

 Purchase tickets here.

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 About the Chef:

Chef Amy Hakola is originally from Alabama and the mother of 2 very active boys. Amy attended the Opryland Hotel Culinary Institute in Nashville, TN working in all aspects of foodservice at the hotel. After her apprenticeship, Amy became a private chef which then led to a catering career. Along with her catering partner, Amy created a Savory Cheesecake line offered in various stores across the country including Neiman Marcus, Whole Foods and Zabars. After moving to Winchester Amy started Wild Flour Kitchens offering in-home cooking classes. Most recently Amy has teamed up with Linda’s Mercantile to offer take and bake entrees utilizing all that the farm has to offer.

Sponsored by Greenease & From the Farmer

With Special Thanks to Farmer David Lay from Linda’s Mercantile & Chef Amy!

 

 

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Taking in the Sights and Smells of Union Kitchen

Last Sunday, March 30, Slow Food DC joined former Board Chair Kathryn Warnes of Taste of Place for a tour and demo of the behind-the-scenes activity at Union Kitchen food incubator.  Located in a 7,300 square foot warehouse in NE DC, Union Kitchen offers a space for over 50 small local food businesses to grow and thrive while limiting startup costs by providing shared space, equipment, amenities, and administrative services.  General Manager Mike Darman welcomed our group in to the building on a cold, rainy day, inviting us to enjoy the warmth and good smells of active cooks in the kitchen!  In the communal meeting area, Mike gave us a thorough introduction to the incubator, answering all of our questions about the application and vetting process and telling us all about the many supportive programs that they offer to their members – benefits of being part of a sharing community of food entrepreneurs.  He then led us on a tour of the warehouse where we could smell kombucha fermenting, watch chickpeas being roasted in garlic and rosemary, listen to the whir of mixers whipping up cupcake batter, see juice pulp being squeeze, and bask in the damp mustiness of a hand-made sausage curing closet.

From there were met up with Chris Johnson and James Brosch, owners of Cured DC, and their assistant Nick for an in depth one-on-one demonstration of how they make their Toscana sausage.  They walked us through the whole process from selecting the best cut of meat, then cutting, prepping, and grinding it to adding the right amount of fat, spices, and wine, encasing the mixture and preparing it to be cured slowly for many months before being ready to slice, eat and simply enjoy.  Which is what we did to round out our afternoon – slicing thin samples of spicy boar sausage and herbaceous pork Toscana.

We left eager to come back soon – perhaps a taste of Union Kitchen later this year with a sampling from each of our favorite Made in DC foods!

Post contributed by SFDC board co-chair, Sarah McKinley

 

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April 27: SFDC spices up Wangari Gardens

Join Slow Food DC and local community members at Wangari Gardens on Sunday, April 27 to expand the communal herb garden at one of our favorite local community gardens. Planting and garden work will go from 12-2pm, followed by a potluck. We’ll supply the plants, tools, water, and plates/utensils!

We’ll be planting a variety of herbs, along with some Ark of Taste hot peppers, including Fish Chili Peppers — an African American heirloom variety brought to this country from either the Caribbean or Africa by enslaved peoples to the many plantations that surrounded the early Chesapeake Bay settlements. The name Fish Pepper refers to its common use with seafood through the Chesapeake region. The plant has beautiful variegated leaves and seemingly no two fish chiles have the same coloration or variegation in their stripes. (Pretty cool, no? Learn more about these unique, heirloom peppers and the Ark of Taste project from master gardeners and SFDC board members, Mark Haskell and Ibti Vincent.)

WHEN: Sunday, April 27 from 12-3pm.

WHERE: Wangari Gardens (Kenyon Street, Irving Street, and Park Place NW) — just north of Washington Hospital and the McMillan Reservoir.

WHAT TO BRING: Yourself, a water bottle, and a potluck item to share (salad, appetizer, baked good, etc).

 

 

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March 26: tasting the season at Bruce-Monroe Elementary

IMG956496Earlier this week, my friend and fellow SFDC board member, Amanda Terillo, and I joined 5th graders at Bruce-Monroe Elementary School for a talk about local, seasonal food. And because it was a Slow Food talk, of course there was some hands-on cooking and tasting at the end. I have never seen so many kiddos devour raw beet salad as I did that afternoon….

Our meeting started in the school cafeteria with a brainstorm: why might somebody choose to eat food that is from somewhere nearby? It tastes better! someone suggested. It doesn’t have to travel all the way from Florida…or India! (I later learned that students were in the midst of a history/geography unit on India. I am certainly not against Indian food, mind you.) You can meet the farmer who grew it!

These kids were awesome.

Next, we looked at our month-by-month seasonal food charts — courtesy of FreshFarm Markets — to determine the plethora of produce items in season in our area RIGHT NOW in the spring (or, more accurately, late winter) in the DC area. Students made mini posters with a few of their favorite fruits and veggies for each season.

Finally, Amanda and I worked with student volunteers (with recently scrubbed hands) to prepare two seasonal salads: a massaged kale salad (always a favorite) and a sweet-tart apple beet salad (which, incidentally, inspired Amanda’s husband to stop hating beets when I’d brought some to a dinner party a few weeks ago).

IMG956488On their way out, after a collective Thank you!!!  a few students paused to tell me that they were looking forward to making these seasonal salads at home. For SFDC’s part, we’re looking forward to more work with schools in coming months.

Interested in working with local schools and community gardens to promote Slow Food DC’s message of good, clean, and fair food? Sign up for our monthly newsletter to learn of opportunities, or send your ideas to info@slowfooddc.org.

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Behind the Kitchen Door: Tour & Demo at Union Kitchen

Sunday, March 30th

2:00-4:30pm

Be the first to get a behind the scenes tour of Union Kitchen, DC’s first kitchen incubator where dozens of food entrepreneurs launch their businesses! We will get a chance to see many of them in action including the delightful Chris Johnson of Cured DC. Chris will lead a private demo of his marvelous charcuterie products. In addition to tasting what we make you will get a chance to purchase goodies to take home with you.

This price is a special offer for our partners of Slow Food DC. We are honored to support this organization and hope you will too. We will meet at the NoMa metro station to walk over together with the possibility of further exploring the neighborhood following the tour.

Have questions about Behind the Kitchen Door: Tour & Demo at Union Kitchen?

Contact Taste of Place

Click here to purchase tickets today!

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RECIPE: Pickled Lemon Rosemary Green Beans

With the help of a conference assistant, my fearless fellow food lover/SFDC board member/ace photographer, Shelu, and 30 avid novice pickle enthusiasts, this Saturday we made 60 jars of pickled cucumbers, beets, turnips, grapes, and green beans. Small batch, of course — this wasSlow Food workshop, after all.

rdc pickling workshop - march 2014

I guess with the recent rise of artisanal pickles in popular foodie culture I should not have been surprised that the hands-on pickling class sold out within hours of being posted on the Rooting DC website. But still. In case you missed the  session, the recipe for surprisingly tasty pickled grapes can be found here. And because I like you, Slow Food community, the irresistible pickled lemon rosemary green bean recipe is below.

Incidentally, this recipe makes one 8oz jar. (See? Small batch, but it scales up easily.) Adapted from a recipe in the Washington Post Food section, Sept 2010.

Combine in an 8oz jar:

  • ¼ cup + 2 TBSP water
  • ¼ cup white wine vinegar
  • 2 TBSP white vinegar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp sugar

Once everything is dissolved, add in:

  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled — ours was from nearby Claggett Farm
  • 1 thick strip lemon zest (I use a veggie peeler to make these)
  • clean green beans, ends snipped – as many as will fit

Add additional white vinegar as needed to be sure beans are submerged. Seal, shake a few times, and refrigerate for 1 week before devouring. A great way to use the bumper crop of beans I always seem to get in the garden. Great in a bloody mary or as an alternative nibble to olives.

What’s your favorite pickle recipe?

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Know your tamales

Here’s a little something from SFDC board member, Mark Haskell, who led a tamale making class near Eastern Market this past Saturday:

“Aside from Mexico, many other countries in the western hemisphere have a tradition of preparing and cooking tamales during the winter holiday season. At our cooking class at the Hill Center on Capitol Hill this past Saturday, we prepared and ate a few of these types of tamales and accompanying sauces. New Mexico chicken tamales with red chile sauce, Mississippi Delta barbecued pork tamales, and Caribbean tamales, or pasteles which are made with a dough of pureed yucca, calabaza squash and plantains steamed in banana leaves. Tamales, and pasteles are a wonderful “community food”, that are economical, best prepared and cooked by a group, and when eaten like opening a present whether wrapped in corn husk, banana leaf or parchment paper.”

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Those who braved the winter weather were rewarded with a plethora of tasty tamales and went home with full bellies (and the recipes). For more information on tamales and other foods of the Mississippi Delta region, check out the Southern Foodways Alliance website and interactive map.

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Slow Food DC Fundraiser at Open Kitchen

Say Happy Birthday to Open Kitchen, and help raise funds for Slow Food DC! Open Kitchen is a 2012 and 2013 Snail of Approval Winner, and is known for its contemporary American cuisine and passion for making, eating, and sharing good food with the community. Open Kitchen celebrates their four-year anniversary by giving back to its community that has made it so popular
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Don’t forget to celebrate!

What better way to wrap up an early autumn weekend than with a pig roast and handmade ice cream sandwiches? Add the company of good folks and you’ve got yourself the third annual SFDC Snail of Approval awards party.

Sometimes in the midst of planning and advocating and organizing, some of us forget to take a breath and remember what Slow Food is all about, so Sunday was a nice opportunity to kick back for a change and just enjoy exceptional food and people.

This weekend’s Snail awards party was once again a stellar affair. The beautiful weather and courtyard set the perfect scene for a delightful and laid back afternoon. Sure, there were the official words of appreciation and handing out of awards and group photo taking, but the bulk of our time was spent milling about, chatting with new and returning Snail awardees while sipping on specialty cocktails and Brooklyn brews, and nibbling on a delectable assortment of seasonal treats prepared by the culinary geniuses at Jackson 20. I myself had a lovely time hanging out with area foodies and the folks who run some of my favorite eateries, farms, and farmers’ markets around town. It was awesome.

Even so, I thought to myself as I went back for a second helping of lamb and winter squash tacos, there have been a few places I have discovered since Snail nominations closed this year — folks who have been bringing good, clean, and fair food (and drink) to the DC area that have only recently appeared on my radar. I hope to see some of their faces here *next* year for the annual gala. I do love to celebrate…. When do the 2014 nominations start??

 

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Slow Supper with Brooklyn Brewery

What’s better than really good food? Really good food and beer prepared by two ingenious chefs, shared over the course of four hours, in a beautiful space with good people, and benefiting our local Slow Food chapter. Yep, it’s hard to get better than the latest Slow Supper….

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