Granted it's only February, but it sure feels like spring in Virginia this week and that has me daydreaming of this "Farm to Table" dinner that I had the pleasure to photograph last May.
Hosted by Shannon and Sarah Showalter in the midst of the apple trees of their family-owned orchard in Timberville, Virginia, this "Farm to Table" multi-course meal showcased fresh and local produce and meats prepared by Taste, a local caterer from Harrisonburg, VA, and gave some of the local farmers who provided the produce a platform upon which to talk about their agricultural methods.
Let me help you out with that sweet little menu:
"May Good Things Grow"
Dinner In The Orchard 5.20.2016
morels and asparagus in cream with herbs and toasted scallion brioche
Wayside Produce, Staff of Life Bakery,
Mt. Crawford Creamery
served with Yesteryear
bucatini carbonara with turner ham and farm fresh eggs
Turner Ham, DL Shipp Farms
served with Heritage
mixed greens and apple salad with toasted mustard seeds and cider vinaigrette
Showalter's Orchard, Old Hill Cider, Mud E Acres
served with Betwixt
Maymont Farm beef tenderloin with black pepper-roasted strawberries, basil gremolata, potato puree and spinach
Maymont Farm, Showalter's Orchard, Wayside Produce
served with Cidermaker's Barrel 2014
housemade yogurt-ginger mousse with pistachio meringue and honey madeleines
DL Shipp Farm, Mud E Acres, Mt. Crawford Creamery
served with Season's Finish
Sounds amazing, right?
And let's not forget the absolutely phenomenal table that set the scene for all of that deliciousness! Eclectic floral dishes, vintage embroidered napkins, fresh cut flowers and hydroponic strawberries from the Showalter's own greenhouses, wildflower seed packet favors, and enough candles to turn the orchard into a romantic fairy land.
Every course was paired with Old Hill Cider's signature hard ciders which were hand-crafted by Shannon Showalter from the very same orchard.
It was a joy to hear Shannon speak about growing up on the orchard and learning how to make cider from his father. He talked about the process behind each of his ciders with each course.
I will take one of each. YUM! Also, a shoutout to the dedicated staff who worked so hard to carry all of the food and cider into the orchard! After all, orchards grow on hills. Quite the workout!
The atmosphere in the orchard was completely relaxed and jovial, with free-spirited laughter and quietly happy guitar music floating through the trees. Even Remi, the orchard's main canine star, enjoyed the evening.
As the sun set and dusk settled over the orchard, the candles glowed on a deeply content company of genuinely lovely folks. The Showalter's sure know how to throw a party! I look forward to their future Farm to Table events. Who wouldn't?