Announcing Big Man and Johnson's First Ever Annual Hippy Dippy Zero Mile Dinner. That's a working title, I have a few more.
How about the...
fence it in,
have an animal make it for you party!!
Or the juxtaposition party, featuring long term and short term events, friends from both near and afar, food that is both gathered and farmed, lifelong loved ones and perfect strangers?
I digress, so let me explain in more concrete terms:
What: Together we will make a meal from scratch, and I mean scratch. We will plant the barley for the beer, we will raise the poult for the turkey, we will curdle the cream for the cheese and we will slaughter the hog for the ham.
Where: Our house, TBA Farms, 913 Caldwell Hill Rd, Lisle NY.
When: The culminating meal will be on Saturday, October 30th.
How: Every weekend from now until then we will host an event that will contribute to the meal. You are invited to come to all or none, at your leisure. The weekends are structured to be 3 day affairs with visitors arriving sometime on Friday and leaving mid day on Sunday. The event that pertains directly to the party will be small, a 4 hour affair on average. The rest of the time we get to work you to the bone on more mundane tasks, although you will surely relish in the hard work, sunshine and sense of accomplishment that will accompany it.
Why: This one is unnecessary.
This being our first year we will not be able to make absolutely everything from scratch, but we will do our best while we set up the infrastructure to make that goal possible in years to come.
At this point the menu looks something like this:
Smoked turkey with sausage and dried fruit stuffing
Wild mushroom and rice risotto
Homebaked bread and home churned butter
Green beans and onions
Sweet potatoes with homemade marshmallows
Garden salad of whatever fancy ass greens Johnson has growing at the time
ice cream and wild berry jam walnut tart
Pies (type to be determined)
Beer (type to be determined)
Wine (type to be determined)
Wild sumac tea
Of course this menu is open to change, and we'd love to hear your ideas for additions. There is a possibility we will try to make the breakfast on that day as well, we shall see.
So, the question on the tip of your tongue I'm sure, is when do we do what? Well, some events are very fixed in the time table while some are fluid. Some events are ongoing, like garden maintenance or foraging and some are short and quick like hog slaughtering. If something strikes your fancy let us know when you'd be available and you can reserve it. People are welcome to come out by themselves, with people we've never met, or whatever works.
Plow and till garden
Amend soil with compost
Build paddock for animals
Build sacrificial pasture for animals
Set up water for animals and garden
1st: Piglets on the ground
8th: Last frost, lots of planting
Build poultry brooder
Build poultry coop
Plant early crops
5th: Poultry on the ground (chickens for eggs and turkeys for meat, also perhaps ducks)
3rd: Last weekend to make wine (Can happen anytime before this date)
30th: Last weekend for brewing beer (Can happen anytime before this date, may want to make multiple batches)
Prime time for foraging (Mushrooms, rice, berries, other fruit, many interesting greens)
Lots of garden harvesting, canning, drying, etc.
16th: Hog slaughter, bacon and ham started in cure. Sausage made
29th: Tons of prep work, baking, etc.
30th: The big day!
This list does not include the following, which all must happen before 10/30 but have no specific date:
Dairy product making (cheese, yogurt, butter)
Fruit tree planting (we won't get any fruit from them this year, but we will in years to come)
Compost bin fabrication
Banquet table building
Grain sowing (Not sure if we'll be able to do this this year)
All the activities that will be necessary for the recipes you suggest
Whew, that was a lot!! This is very much a work in progress and it will change as time passes. All I ask at this point is an RSVP, either via e-mail or in the comments so we can get a rough head count. As you can see there is more to do now than in the middle of the summer, so while we'd love to see you in July you'd be most helpful if you came next weekend (I know, short notice right?)