Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Food Lust at Willie Greens Organic Farm

Sometimes an event sounds so inviting I dream up reasons for showing up. Food Lust at Willie Greens Organic Farm on June 5th, is one of those events.

By June 5th this is what the greens section at Willie Green's Organic Farm will look like. Farmers' lives can get crazy busy in June, so when my friend Devra suggested we visit a farm, Willie Greens was the farm I picked. I wanted to find out more about Food Lust and to see his farm.

I hadn't been to Jeff Miller's farm just outside of Monroe since I'd last updated his farm profile for my cookbook.

When I saw Jeff at the market recently, I asked how his farm was doing and he'd said, "It's unbelievable, Debra. The landscaping is amazing. You should come out and see it."

This is the fire pit that Jeff is building for farm weddings and receptions that can be held at his farm, starting this summer.

Jeff started Willie Green's Organic Farm about 14 years. He was once a professional chef working in 4 star restaurants in San Francisco. The story of how he became a Washington farmer fascinated me so I wrote about Willie Green's Organic Farm in my first book years ago. Then when I had updated his farm profile for the second edition and Jeff was so excited about his plans for a restaurant and bringing his farm-to-restaurant dream full-circle. I'd been wondering about the restaurant plan for some time.

Sadly his restaurant plans were out, due to unbelievably expensive building permits, raised foundation requirements because of flooding, which rarely happens in Monroe. There was also a requirement for 2 independent water sources. The rules and regulations concerning farmland are mind boggling and frustrating for farmers. But even in the mire of regulations farmers continually deal with, Jeff's optimism shines through the clouds.

"What can you do?" He shrugged.

Jeff bought a Raj tent and is now partnering with Herban Feast to host weddings and events at the farm. And Food Lust, is the first event on June 5. "Do you have your tickets yet?" he prodded.

I've never been to this event. For one thing the price tag for dinner $85.00, makes me pause because Tom has been unemployed since last fall and our budget has shrunk to the size of a small post-it note. Still, this annual auction event put on by Cascade Harvest Coalition supports a good cause. But as I consider the event, I imagine the flowers blooming, green fields and the scent of grilled vegetables with a hint of garlic wafts by as a breeze stirs. The sun is low in the sky and the fresh air feels delicious.

I'm thinking about taking part in Jeff's farm-to-fork dream come to life. I checked the menu and became intrigued by Crispy Quinoa Cakes, just another detail to add to my daydream. I didn't even get to the dessert option.

This event sounds truly delicious. I hope to see you there.

This pond was just a dry bed of rocks when I was here last. Jeff said it took three attempts to fill it with water. On warm summer days this must be paradise.


Kathy said...

This looks more like a park than a farm. Everything looks neat, clean and tidy. The plants seem happy and robust. Jeff Miller must be an amazing guy. If he cooks as well as he farms,I am going to have to join you for "Food Lust."

Great post!


Anonymous said...

Wow, this place is lovely! Truly looks looks like a lovely retreat! What I wouldn't give to attend that event! I hope his farm to fork dream comes to fruition! I believe in those programs so strongly! Have fun and please post pictures from the event after June 5th!

Anonymous said...

It is so beautiful and, Kathy it does look like an amazing park right on the farm. Jeff has put so much into it, I can't wait to go, enjoy the food take photos of the event to post.