Missive from J.K. Farm - Monday May 23rd, 2016
Around here the farmers say that after the last full moon in May, its safe to plant out your garden with no risk of frost. On Saturday May 21st we had the last full moon in May and 70 neighbours from here in Hillier were invited for dinner on my farm. What was their assignment? To put my kitchen and service team through their paces in a dress rehearsal for our upcoming summer dinner series on the farm.
Victoria greeted everyone as they walked or drove into the farm property. Anne Rumble and I were already up in the vineyard, firing up the mercy grill and deep fryer in anticipation of their arrival. Gabby and Adam stood poised ready to greet our guests with a glass of “County Road “ beer so generously donated by Vicki Samaras of Hinterland or perhaps a glass of rhubarb soda grown right on the farm. We could see our guests approaching from our vantage point overlooking the village of Hillier.
Everyone arrived and paused to take in the peaceful surroundings and to meet their neighbours. While all this was going on, Jane and Caryn were busy setting the table in the gallery, going over last minute details and lighting the candles. Don was outside in the al fresco kitchen gently searing the roasts over apple wood embers. Anne and I left our vineyard cocktail party and made our way back to the gallery to put the final mise en place together in preparation for dinner service.
Gradually the gallery filled with people. The Harry Ellis Trio struck up a tune and guests settled into a multi coursed dinner accompanied by wines so generously donated by Colin Stanners, winemaker at Stanners Winery right up Station Road here in Hillier. The conversation rose and I watched as the evening unfolded. Following the feast, Victoria lit a bonfire and many guests lingered to enjoy the warmth of the fire and gaze at the full moon.
All in all an auspicious beginning to what promises to be a wonderful summer dinner series at J.K. Farm.
All photos by Chris Smith of Wondermatter