Since I was a little girl our family has hosted a Summer Solstice Picnic at the Farm. A celebratory picnic featuring friends, family, Niman Ranch farmers and field agents is a special way to honor our livelihood and rural community. Wishing all of you a wonderful summer!
Our picnic is a potluck where we grill our popular Niman Ranch sausages and Fearless Franks hot dogs and folks bring their favorite casseroles, salads and desserts.
I made my mom’s recipe for rhubarb pie this year and tried my hand at a gluten-free recipe. My father and I agreed it’s probably better to cheat on your gluten-free diet if you are making pie. The gluten-free crust I made just didn’t compare.
As is tradition we and our guests ventured out onto our 140 acres of native Iowa Prairie Wetlands. The pale purple coneflowers were just showing up. The spiderworts (not a beautiful name but such a beautiful flower) are flourishing. It’s fun to get together to share our food, stories and explore nature. We are blessed with a great community of folks caring about the future of our farmland and the generations to follow that will tend to it.
Frederick L. Kirschenmann (a longtime leader in sustainable agriculture a distinguished fellow for the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture and Board President of Stone Barns), Carol Shutte (a leader in the sustainable agriculture and food movement through much of her work and her role with Women Food and Agriculture), my father, and Niman Ranch farmers and friends always stop to take in the prairie.
I am looking forward to our next gathering during our 19th annual Niman Ranch hog farmer Appreciation dinner where our farmers are treated to a free meal highlighting their Raised With Care meats and prepared for them by highly acclaimed chefs and pitmasters from across the country. All Niman Ranch hog farmers are encouraged to attend this event in Des Moines, Iowa on Saturday, September 9th. Invitations are being mailed out next week and R.S.V.P.s are due at the end of July. See you soon!