3 New Yorkers, 2 sleeping bags, 1 tent and a Jaguar: weekend camping at the farm

Once a year, our CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) farm, Windflower Farms, hosts a weekend getaway for its NYC members. This past weekend, Michael and I, along with our dear friend Hannah Elliott, headed upstate to camp, eat, and tour the farm with about 70 other nature-lovin’ city folk. Hannah is the Auto Editor at Forbes, so naturally we took the 2010 Jaguar XK convertible for a weekend test drive to see if it could withstand country roads, scorching suns, wet bathing suits on the leather upholstery and buckets of tomatoes bouncing around in the back seat.

me, Hannah, the farm, the Jag.

Farmer Ted on a row-planter of his own invention.

Farmer Ted, his wife Jan, and their sons graciously welcomed us with a tour of Windflower’s operations: onion houses, arugula beds, lettuces, cabbage, bok choy (and every other green in existence), squash and cucumber, gorgeously fat tomatoes, rows and rows of corn, a raspberry patch, and an innovative experiment with a small chicken coup. During the afternoon, we took the Jag for a joyride to Battenkill River, where Michael braved the icy waters and the rope swing. Back at Windflower, our evening began with a potluck supper that surpassed every potluck supper I’ve ever experienced in my life. CSA members are not only innovative in cooking delicious dishes, but also generous in their offerings. Fresh green salads, rice with roasted veggies, bruschette, whole wheat pasta with pesto, hummus, enchiladas, artisan cheeses and jams, biscuits, couscous, quinoa. Not to mention dessert of every kind: peach pies, cherry and apple tarts, cakes, brownies, and giant cookies. Fabulous.

the communal table.

The potluck supper epitomizes everything good about being in a CSA. There’s something deeply gratifying about sharing food with people who care deeply about food. All aspects of food are considered here, from tastiness to environmental impact, from nutritional value to food-as-medicine, to the ever important sharing a meal as an act of community. To say that the potluck meal was a success would be an understatement. That night I curled up in the sleeping bag Michael and I shared, in our borrowed tent (thanks, Kevin!) with not just a full belly, but with a full sense of contentedness with our little community of believers.

Hannah and Michael on tent assembly. Start to finish took 7 min. 18 sec.

Sunday morning, Ted and Jan treated us all to a breakfast spread that included breads and jams, eggs, fruit, and homemade donuts that were cooked on a barbecue. (!) Before heading back to NYC we made two quick stops to see some chickens and goats at a neighboring farm, and then an attempt to see the German Shepherds of the New Skete monastery, which resulted in cheesecake instead (that’s another story).

picking raspberries.

see? raspberries.

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