On Saturday, Sport Hill Farm welcomed Sherri Brooks Vinton for a hands-on and informative class on canning and preserving the season's harvest. Vinton, a big fan of the local, sustainable farm movement, shared her enthusiasm for canning as a fun and easy way to both eat local and extend life of this New England farm's bounty through the off-season.
It was a beautiful, sunny day as Vinton shared her expertise with a dozen curious canners who had traveled from as far north as Newtown, and as far south as Greenwich. Under the big white tent Vinton's pupils arranged glass jars with fresh local vegetables and took turns filling them with brine, poking out the bubbles and sealing inside metal lids.
The jars were submerged in the canner while participants enjoyed a delicious seasonal lunch catered by Cecily Gans of "The Main Course Catering LLC."
Gans, who who lives in Fairfield and doubles as culinary arts teacher at Westport's Staples High School, prepared a lunch comprised entirely of ingredients from local farms, including ours. The meal was served communal style on the patio under a row of jumbo market tents.
Below, Gans shares her local sources for the luncheon menu:
Yellow zucchini, cherry tomato and feta frittata:
Yellow zucchini from Sport Hill Farm
Feta from Beltane Farm
Eggs from Ox Hollow Meats
Herbs from Rose's Berry Farm
Cherry Tomatoes from Riverbank Farm
Salad Greens from Sport Hill Farm
Cherry Tomatoes & yellow cucumbers from Sport Hill Farm
Croutons made from Wave Hill Bread (Norwalk) 3-grain baguette
Goat cheese from Beltane Farm
Herbs from Rose's Berry Farm & my garden
Honey from Andrew's Honey
Berry & Fruit Compote over Arethusa Whole Milk Yogurt
Blueberries, plums, apricots and lavender from SHF, made and purchased on premise
Andrew's Honey (Buckwheat variety) and Dave's Honey
Arethusa whole milk yogurt
After the luncheon, guests returned to the canning demonstration area to collect their class projects: jars of preserved zucchini and onions. No doubt, when they're eaten over the winter we'll all be dreaming about warm summer afternoons at the farm.