I was honored to attend a fundraising event called Heritage Farm Fare. You can read more about the mission and the farm that this event was geared to support here. It was set up to be a fabulous night filled with amazing food, drinks and activities all provided by those willing to donate their time and local food in an effort to continue on with this beautiful farm’s mission.
Ever since my feet stepped off of the grounds of the Belmont Mansion last night, my mind has been spinning. With an entirely too full stomach (if there is ever such a thing), I left Heritage Farm Fare with so many thoughts. The night began just before dusk sipping some drinks with my husband as we stood at a cocktail table over looking the city. It was a view I had never seen and as the night progressed and the Harvest Moon showed itself more and more, it only turned more spectacular.
Heritage Farm Fare was the perfect explosion of fresh, local tastes you never knew existed, a view that took your breath away, and the feel of happiness that came with meeting new people that day after day advance a mission of hope for children. It was a party and certainly one of the best that I have ever been to.
As we walked up to home of The Underground Railroad Museum, The Belmont Mansion, we were greeted by gorgeous signs and planters, clearly a decor where every detail mattered. It set the tone for a gorgeous night where life on the farm meets classy Philly food.
Donated by Greensgrow Farms (one rockin’ urban farm in Philadelphia, PA) a gorgeous array of flowers from their nursery placed strategically in a variety of farm themed containers nailed the look, especially next to the graphics created by Canal Street Studios! After being checked in by lovely ladies from The Methodist Home for Children and meeting the CEO of this organization, Anne Rice Burgess, we headed to the “Libations Station”:) One glass of white wine for me and a glass of Snapped Apple Cider combining tastes from Art in the Age and Weaver’s Orchard for Ben. The night had officially begun:)
The aroma from the tent was overwhelming and immediately Ben was hungry:) That’s how it goes around here. Just like another child, I tried hard to distract him until the “official start” by looking at the awesome decorations. Honestly, #HeritageFarmFare was one big “pinnable image”.
Six o’clock arrived and under the tent we went stopping first at Di Bruno Brothers for a sampling of cheese, meats, and breads/crackers. I passed High Point Cafe at first figuring I would come back to satisfy my sweet tooth with their Lemon Kiwi Berry Cookie a little later on. In retrospect, I should have just started AND ended with dessert!
The restaurant line-up was nothing short of impressive. I knew that going in but after tasting the dishes that each created with produce from Heritage Farm, meat supplied by either their own local farm (Wyebrook) or Philly Cow Share, and other local goods, I realize now that there was just no way to anticipate quite how ridiculously good this could actually be. Imagine visiting a fine dining establishment that creates meals with seasonal flavors that are each hand picked, locally grown, and hand made, every.single.night for two weeks. Now put these dishes into the same night. You have a night that you wish would last for 24 hours instead of just 2 and a half so that you could savor every last piece of food that goes into your mouth and learn about each ingredient. Yep. That was Heritage Farm Fare.
Okay, now that you are drooling, let’s break it down.
Wyebrook…Ben’s favorite of the night (if he could pick a favorite). It wasn’t said out loud but I could tell because I am pretty sure he found an excuse to head back to Wyebook’s table at least 5 times. “Oh, you need a fork, I know just where to find them.” Sure Ben! Both made from their own grassfed meat, the New York Strip over a bed of mixed greens and my favorite of the two, the Braised Beef Shank Dumpling with Kimchee and Spicy Soy Sauce were perfection.
We all know I am completely obsessed with lavender so when I came across a spread of goat cheeses from Yellow Springs Farm and one of them was titled Purple Passion because it was aged with the divine plant, I was in heaven. It tasted just as good as it sounds. So did the mozzarella and just about everything else on the table…
Next up was a chat with the guys from Farm and Fisherman. Let’s be real, they won my heart with a display of mini heirloom tomatoes that was on their table. Or could it have been the Beef Tartare dish they featured? Hmmm… I have yet to visit this restaurant but it is on my must taste list for a date night.
By this point, Ben and I couldn’t hold any more and we headed over to a table to sit and eat before we started Round 2. As we sat, we did something very important. We brainstormed. There was a photographer, Beth Malonoski from BCM art and Photography, taking pics, photo booth style with a tractor and other farm implements as props. We planned out our strategy, the pics we would take. We decided on Ben tipping his hat to me, my favorite…Ben fixing my tractor while I looked exasperated, and other fun poses.
Back to the food now:)
Russet absolutely charmed me with their Apple Spice mini cupcakes with a deceivingly light Caramel Buttercream frosting. And Nectar was right next door with their Skuna Bay Salmon Roll. Pretty sure Ben skipped this one, not because of its looks (it was beautifully plated) but rather it was fish which I love and him not so much. He could be seen at that moment running back to Wyebrook for more of that steak:)
Ummm…now we need to stop for a second, gain some momentum and talk about Bar Ferdinand’s housemade ricotta…TO DIE FOR! Sitting right beside it was Derek’s dish, a.k.a Old Mother Hubbard (a quinoa salad) meets Pickled Pepper (just what it says) and Three Little Pigs (smoked shredded pork with an apple cider BBQ sauce). My confession? I definitely went back to Derek’s twice :0 AND they were giving out some gift certificates for dining at their restaurant in Manayunk . They were kind enough to let me know that there is a version of this dish on their menu. YUM!
Lastly, Fork. Marrow + Squash = Delicious. Add braised shredded beef with some pickled apples and pears and it = Mouthwatering. Oh Fork how I can’t wait to dine with you again.
So about that High Point Cafe dessert table. Like I said, I should have grabbed it on the way in. I wasn’t able to snag any goods by the time I got there but I must say, thankfully they had a large carafe of coffee left and some raw sugar. Perfect for an end of night caffeine fix:)
As we headed out the door and grabbed our basket of apples fresh picked from Weaver’s Orchard, I renewed my love for local food and I broadened it by so thoroughly enjoying the idea of local food and good causes. Heritage Farm Fare was the perfect combination of just that acting as a fundraiser for Heritage Farm, a 3 acre farm providing educational opportunities and so much more to The Methodist Home for Children in the form of a connection to the natural world, healthy eating, physical activity, and community engagement. I can only hope that we reached the goal of supporting this mission. Oh and I can hope that they have this event next year:)
**I was provided with two tickets to this event in return for writing posts among other fun things that I was able to do with this organization. All thoughts and opinions of this event are not swayed at all. It really was THAT awesome!