Eat local food where it grows

On July 14, Prairie Gardens will host a very special celebration of local food (as in grown right here local) prepared by local chef Blair Lebsack. He’ll use all the tasty herbs, fruit and veg growing on the farm to create a sophisticated five-course dinner. Forget the 100 mile diet – this local food goes from field to fork in about 25 footsteps.

Local food wine pairingThe farm shapes the menu

Having done a few now, Chef Blair has gained a devoted following of foodies for his series of farm dinners. And as always, he’ll work closely with Tam here at Prairie Gardens to explore all the fun things that she grows. Then, letting the farm shape the menu, he‘ll create a meal that could only happen here in this place and season.

After heading out to the farm next week to see what’s growing, Chef and his team will design a meal to compliment the herbs and produce that’ll be ready to pick mid-month. He’ll also bring in locally raised pork and beef (maybe some fresh, flaky pickerel that he has a lead on) and he’ll pair up some perfectly matched wines.

Local food Chef BlairPrairie Gardens’ specialties

You can probably expect to taste lots of fresh herbs since that’s one of the crops the farm grows best. And zucchini blossoms are another special Prairie Gardens treat (we each got some in our last CSA bounty, but more about that next week) – these beautiful bright yellow flowers are delicious, especially stuffed with a creamy cheese concoction.

And of course, strawberries are a signature crop – the farm even throws a strawberry party every August long weekend, they love them so much. The strawberry u-pick should be open by mid-July, with the first King berries ready to harvest, so you’ll almost definitely get a whole bunch of sweet, juicy berries in the mix.

New local food restaurant

Chef Blair’s new restaurant RGE RD – opening this month – has bought a share in Prairie Gardens Community Supported Agriculture program and is the site for the weekly city pick-up. He’ll follow the same philosophy here too, using his big weekly farm fresh basket to shape a menu that showcases seasonal, local food.