There were 28 people in attendance at the dinner. Folks started showing up around 5:30pm and were led out for a tour of the farm at 6:25pm. While they were out touring the farm with Andrew, the final touches were being put on the dinner. Andrew showed our dinner guests where things were growing while also explaining some of our techniques here on the farm. A lot of people were interested in learning about our no-till farming approach, and also how we are trying to keep our soil moisture high without watering too much (especially in a drought!). The tour concluded by our two cob structures that have been built in the last few years during the workshops that we have held. We decided to cancel a workshop this year because of the drought - a lot of water is needed in the mixing of the cob.
As Andrew brought the guests back up to the house, the table on the deck was set and ready for them. Folks grabbed a mason jar full of their beverage of choice and found a seat at the table. Sunflowers were set out along the table, along with plates that were passed down to me from my parents and grandparents. It was a real nice feeling for me to see a meal being presented to new and familiar faces on plates that I use to eat off of during family celebrations while growing up.
The first course was a house salad made of our farm's produce complemented by a rosemary-garlic focaccia bread, made with Owens Creek Olive Oil. The next course was a gazpacho soup, which was then followed by ratatouille served over eggplant. Both courses had produce either from our farm, or a farm just a little down the road (and lower in elevation) from us. The main course was chicken coq au vin served over potato mash. The chickens were raised by our friends at Blue Oaks Farm in Mariposa. For dessert we had a beer float peach ice cream made with Prospector's Beer and peaches from Shasky Farms. Below is a more detailed list of the menu which was left on the table for guests to read over while the meal was being served to them.