Monday, September 20, 2010

2nd Dinner on the Farm for 2010

Simple hand written welcome to our attendees
These dinners have been as fun for us as I think ( and hope) for our guests.  This was the 2nd and last one for the year and I already have 2 people waiting for next year's dinner.    From the feedback that we get, the guests love this event.  As in last year, we let the guests shape the evening.  Our formula for the event is simple -  we have as much equipment on hand as possible to show them, explain what each piece does and why it is needed, but mostly answer their questions.  This is a relaxed affair designed to gently educate and provide a view into our farming lives.  We feel this approach is working and the guests are free to ask whatever they want and keep it from being a "classroom" situation where we lecture and you listen  kind of function.  So each dinner is like an adventure - you do not know where it will take you, but you know it will be a memorable time.

Our guest list again was amazing, we had Glen, a software engineer and his wife Susan who works as a scheduler for a doctor,  also in attendance was Britt, a teacher who is staying home right now with the little ones, and her husband Eric, an assistant principal for a local high school.  We invited Dr. Dan Schmidt,  Idaho State Senate candidate and his wife, Martha.  Our other farm host couple was "Potlatch" Joe Anderson and his wife, Pam. (No relation to us).   I must say, all the guests from the dinners have been fun and engaging not only with us, but each other. =)

Farm Hosts (left to right) Pam Anderson, Potlatch Joe Anderson
Britt and Eric enjoying a drink before we head out to the field

Potlatch Joe, Pam and Dr. Dan Schmidt
getting acquainted

The group gathering as we head out to the field
Left to right, Joe, Glen, Susan, Dan, Me, Britt,
Eric, Potlatch Joe, Pam and Martha

The menu for this year's event -
Entrees/ Meat Lasagna, Spinach/Artichoke Lasagna  Almond Crusted Chicken and Lentil Chili
Salad/ Garbanzo/zucchini
Bread/ Artisan bread from Panhandle Bakery
Desserts/ Lemon Tart, Walnut Tart, Zucchini Chocolate Cake, Rustic Chocolate Pie, Blackberry Shortbread Squares and Lentil Brownies  ( I couldn't help myself when thumbing through the recipe books for things to make.  I couldn't decide so I made many of my favorite ones)  The recipes for these are on the recipe page of this blog (or will be added shortly!)

Martha, Britt, Eric visiting outside before dinner

Out in our garb field in front of the combine

Me, Martha, Dan, Potlatch Joe and Pam by
the tractor. The guests loved the big equipment

A few of the guys took a peek into the cab of
the combine

Susan and Glen amazed at
the size of some of the equipment

The guests were hungry and we were all
heading into the house for dinner

Our oldest daughter, Jen was again on hand to take pictures of the event and later commented to me that the dinner conversation was quite spirited, of which it was.  Perhaps because of the composition of the guests, we focused on the importance of higher education and it's connection to Ag in our State.  Agriculture needs our universities, both University of Idaho and Washington State University for their wheat breading research & programs, plus farmers use them as a resource to get answers to their questions.  Susan wanted to know if other farms did this kind of event or was it only us?  I replied that as far as I know it, we are the only ones who do this at no charge and as an educational service to the public.  I do know that other places in the southern end of our state and do a dinner, but there is a charge  and I am unsure of what their program is like.  Anyway, Joe and I love doing this and are committed to continuing this event on a yearly basis.  Perhaps more farm couples will hold their own version of the Dinner on the Farm as it is certainly an important and worthwhile effort.

Joe and I realize there is a hunger and thirst from people in the non Ag sector who truly want a connection, however they can find it,  to where their food is produced. 

With that my friends is the conclusion of our 2010 dinner event.  Stay tuned for more on the Urban Ag field in Washington, DC., our fall planting of the wheat and more updates about the farm life. As always, I love comments and questions, so feel free to leave a comment or email me at

1 comment :

  1. I must note Gayle that you folk are doing a super job educating the public about farming operations. Way to go!
    You can tell Joe that he is wearing my shoes !! those hush puppy slip-ons. I also have a pair exactly the same. Very comfy.