A few weekends ago my husband, daughter and I visited Gardens of Eagan, a long-time farm in well, Farmington, MN. This is the place of the much-fussed about book Turn Here Sweet Corn by progressive farmers Atina Diffley and her husband, Martin. I wanted to go because I’d been buying their produce for my family and the families I cook for for over 10 years. When you do the math, I’ve probably consumed at least a few proper vegetable rows of their food since I moved to MN 12 years ago. It was about time I set foot on their soil, so to speak.
Like many farms that sell to the public they opened the farm up for their annual field day. Vegetable art for the kids, vegetable theater, hay rides (which didn’t pan out because the trailor we were all sitting on collapsed in the first minutes, a few senior citizens toppling over dramatically), and the best part, a free-for-all harvest. We didn’t find any tomatoes in the hoop house, but picked an arm load of crisp peppers. Then we headed to the corn field (more of a patch than a field) and had one of those moments in life that will stick. Picking corn for the first time with my 4-year-old daughter, pulling off the husk and hair, and eating ears raw in the field in the sun–for me, heaven.
There are so many farms to visit this autumn. Look to the Land Stewardship Project page online to find events or get on some newsletters such as the kid-friendly Gale Woods Farm in Chaska where they have ongoing events for families. I’m a get-out-of-town advocate and what better place to take a day trip than to a local farm where you can take a walk, have a picnic, smell the earth a bit, and relax.