And North picnic season feature

 
 
 

We were included in the recent picnic feature by And North, a curated guide to upstate New York, alongside other Hudson Valley cooks at Edible Living and Brunette Wine Bar. The introduction to our part of the feature, written by Mimi, is below. You can read it in full at the And North website. Photo by Emma Tuccillo.

Rhubarb Cinnamon Polenta Bars from Mimi Beaven of Little Ghent Farm

Rhubarb season marks the beginning of summer for my husband Richard and I at Little Ghent Farm. It is the first fruit to appear after the dark days of winter, signaling the beginning of picnic season, and we are delighted to do as much as possible with it. This particular recipe is one of our favorites as it is so versatile and can be eaten any time of day. You can make it as bars, as we do here at our farm store Made in Ghent, or as a cake for a different presentation. We also switch up the fruit as rhubarb season passes and move on to using gooseberries, blueberries, peaches, and plums — they are all delicious. (We just change some of the spices or flavors to complement the different fruit.)

Our favorite place to picnic might be right here at Little Ghent Farm or at one of the wonderful Columbia Land Conservancy spaces in the surrounding area, such as Ooms Pond or the Greenport Conservation area. We buy our polenta (or grits) when we can from Starling Yards Farm in Red Hook as they have amazing heirloom corn that is delicious and the most beautiful colors. Our rhubarb we get from our neighbor George, but Blue Star Farm, our main produce supplier, also has rhubarb that we get when we need even more of it.

To accompany our picnic, we might make a soda using the syrup left over from cooking the rhubarb by adding it to seltzer or sparkling water. Alternatively, we would make an elderflower cordial and have that with it.

Mimi Beaven and her husband, Richard, are the owners of Made in Ghent, a working farm, farm store, bakery, and gathering place raising woodland pigs, pasture-raised laying hens, and meat chickens in Ghent, NY. Their farm store and commercial kitchen sell simple and delicious food made entirely with local produce. Visit their website to learn all about the farm’s beginnings, sign up for an informative workshop, or to book an escape at their newly designed open-plan Airbnb farm stay.

 

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