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Posts Tagged ‘Farm Day’

A farmer’s life is not always hard work. The farmers I know like to take time off to party, and they always have good food! This past Sunday was Farm Day, the annual open house at Bee Heaven Farm.  The weather was glorious, sunny but not too hot and not too humid. CSA members and friends of the farm were invited to hang out for the afternoon. Over 100 people showed up, mostly families with children, to eat good food, listen to live music, build scarecrows and go on hay rides, and socialize with fellow fans of the farm. For hard core locavores, this was a rare chance to visit the very place where their food comes from.

Lining up at Dim Ssam a GoGo.

New this year was Dim Ssam a GoGo, the food truck from Sakaya Kitchen. Chef Richard Hales and two assistants were on board filling orders as quick as they could. Chef Richard worked his pan-asian magic on various vegetables provided by Farmer Margie. I recognized eggplant, radishes, cucumber, bok choy and garlic chives from the heavy boxes delivered to his restaurant a couple days before. They reappeared grilled and roasted, and in the form of kimchee. The line at the truck was crazy! It went from here to way over there! Later, I saw various people going through the line a few more times. Maybe the truck had to be empty before it could leave?

Grant Livingston

People sat on bales of straw and ate at tables in the sun outside the barn. It was close to the food and the coolers full of homemade herbal teas — lemongrass, roselle, and allspice berry. From there you could watch kids building scarecrows and listen to live music. Grant Livingston was back to charm us with his songs and stories about life in Florida. He sings and plays guitar in a laid back folk style, and his catchy tunes have gentle humor and poetic turns of phrase.

It takes a village to build a scarecrow.

Scarecrow building was popular from previous years, and you never know what kind of straw people kids and parents will create. Lengths of pvc pipe and connectors, plus old clothes and lots of straw were set out. First you make the skeleton out of pipes, and then you build the body by stuffing clothes with straw. The challenge is to make a head somehow. Bags usually work. The best part was that you could take your scarecrow home with you to protect your garden.

Hayride around Bee Heaven Farm.

Farmer Margie gave hay rides with the green tractor and a trailer loaded with bales of straw. People sat on the bales and watched the farm go by at three miles per hour. Margie circled the property and pointed out different things growing here and there. The ride was extremely popular this year. As soon as it was over, more people climbed aboard the bales and staked out their spots. Yes, they sat there waiting for 20 minutes until the next ride! More, more!

Raw food chef Pam Molnar admires watermelon radishes.

Inside the barn, a small farmers market was set up. If you haven’t been out to Homestead, Overtown or Pinecrest Markets, it was a fair representation of what you’ve been missing. A long row of tables zig-zagged along one wall, loaded down with produce. Fruit was on one end — passion fruit, tart “tangy-rines”, starfruit, avocados, red grapefruit, black sapote, and papaya. Greens and herbs loaded down the other end — yukina savoy, mixed salad greens, lettuce, arugula, garlic chives, dill, sage — and interesting vegetables in the middle — eggplant with funny appendages, watermelon radishes that have white flesh with a red center, globe radishes, dragon tongue beans, and maybe the last of the green beans for a while because of the last freeze. A lot of this stuff you just won’t find in the stores.

Wings, grilled eggplant, kimchee, pulled pork sandwiches and crispy duck wraps.

Back to the food from Dim Ssam… It was amazing! I tasted a variety of things. Juicy chicken wings with a soy-honey-ginger-pepper sauce that was not too hot but definitely flavorful. Kinchee made with French breakfast radishes, cucumber, bok choy and cilantro provided by the farm, and chunks of garlic, pickled in a peppery sauce that had a slight fermented kick. Grilled eggplant with garlic chives and a soy-based sauce. Pulled pork sandwich with a pinkish, zippy “kimchee” sauce. Crispy duck wrap with crunchy veggies, amazing sauces, and wreathed in fresh cilantro. Everything was so delicious, I wanted one of each from the truck, but my belly ran out of room. So leftovers went to James, the farm’s Intern Composter, who was wandering around hungry for food scraps, and happy for a taste of Sakaya cooking, yum!

Happy winners of the coveted composter.

The afternoon wound to a close with the raffle. A Smith & Hawken Biostack Composter was up for grabs. There were a fair number of entries, and people were excited and hopeful to win it. (Apparently this particular composter does a good job, but is rare as hens teeth.) The Sebesta family won the composter, and Nancy B. won a box of produce. Winners, enjoy your prizes in good health!

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Farm Day at Bee Heaven Farm

Come to the country! Fun for the whole family!

Sunday, December 19th * 11:30am – 3:30pm

Activities:

*Make your own scarecrow (and take it home)
* Hay Rides
* Farm Market featuring locally-grown seasonal organic produce, dried fruit, raw farm honey, heirloom tomato plants, veggie & flower plants for sale
* Live Music with local singer/songwriter Grant Livingston

*Food Sakaya Kitchen‘s Dim Ssäm à Gogo Food Truck
Chef Richard Hales will be preparing dishes using local ingredients. Bring $$ for this amazing food!

Your $5 donation helps support our farm internship program, and includes a chance to win a Smith & Hawken BioStack Composter – a $129 value

Directions:

From southbound on US1, turn west (right) on Bauer Drive (SW 264th St), & go approx 5 miles. The farm is about 1/3mile past Redland Road (SW 187th Ave). Look for the farm sign & flags.

Bee Heaven Farm accepts credit/debit and EBT cards.

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Hanging out at Farm Day 2008. (Grant Livingston was the musician last year.)

Farm Day

Come to the country!
Fun for the whole family!

Sunday, December 20
11:30 am – 3:30 pm

* Food * Activities * Hay Rides *
* Farm Market *
Locally-grown seasonal organic produce, dried fruit, heirloom tomato plants for sale.
* Live Music *
With Jennings & Keller: Fusion Folk Americana

Your optional $10 donation helps support our internship and student artist programs
and includes a chance to win a Smith & Hawken BioStack Composter ($129 value).

Directions:
From southbound US1, turn right (west) onto Bauer Drive (SW 264 St.) and go approx. 5 miles. The farm is about 1/3 mile past Redland Road (SW 187 Ave.) Look for the farm sign and flags.

This is Bee Heaven Farm’s annual open house. Every year more and more people show up. Last year over 200 folks participated in the event. Here’s some tips so you can have more fun: Get there early! Bring your kids, but leave the dogs at home. Bring a covered dish to share in the potluck. Bring money to buy veggies, honey, fresh herbs and flowers, and other farm goodies. Bring old clothes to make scarecrows.

Most of the local farmers who have been growing food for the CSA will be at the party. Confirmed rsvp’s: Robert Barnum of Possum Trot Nursery who will cook local foods and roast corn. Hani Khouri of Redland Mediterranean Organics will have goat milk ice cream, goat cheese and authentic Lebanese dishes, and will bring his fryer to make falafel. Still waiting on rsvp’s: Cliff Middleton and the other Clifton of Three Sisters Farm (callaloo and yuca); Gabriele Marewski of Paradise Farms (oyster mushrooms), Dan Howard of Homestead Organics (green beans, yellow squash, zucchini) and Murray Bass of Wyndham Organics (avocados).

The donations collected will go toward two very worthy causes. Farm Day overlaps during Art Loves Farms, an art students residency at Bee Heaven. Eight students from DASH will be living on the farm for four days making art, which will be exhibited at a later date. The donations will be split between an honorarium for a guest artist who will give a workshop with the students, and farm internship expenses. Almost all the farm workers are interns or volunteers who have come from all over the United States, sharpening their farming skills learning how to grow new crops. Some of the volunteers/interns have gone on to run farms of their own. (Oh, and if you see a videographer roaming around, that would be me documenting both events.)

Here are some pictures from last year’s Farm Day.

Sylvia, CSA member and site host, shopping at the mini market.

Kids of all ages get up close with a real tractor.

All aboard for a hayride.

When was the last time you made a scarecrow?

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