Around this time last week (or rather, a week from when I started writing this post) I was aimlessly wandering around west Cambridge in search of a home hosting the most recent Boston Brunchers affair. It had been a while since I had a chance to eat with the brunchers, and I was particularly excited about this complimentary event as it was being hosted by the Farm School and some members of their community. As soon as I arrived at my destination I was greeted by many new faces and a few familiar ones, along with bellini’s made with fresh peach, homemade iced tea with hints of sap and a pile of Iggy’s delicious pastries. To say I was loving the farm school already would probably have been an understatement.
While waiting for everyone to arrive, we got to learn a little more about the concept at the Farm School (located on a stretch of 300+ acres in Athol, MA) and some of the programs they offer. In short – the school focuses on our connection with the land through three specific programs: They have a chicken coup school for young students, a CSA and also see over 2,000 students a year through visiting schools in the area who spend anywhere from 2-3 days working on the land, harvesting vegetables, milking cows and collecting eggs. The whole shabang.
Some of the students even made these adorable napkins for us.
As if the people and their stories weren’t already making my heart melt, they really sealed the deal with their excellent execution of one seriously good three-course breakfast. Starting off with “Belly two-ways.” Sweetened with maple and mead, it tasted like candy. The belly was soft and chewy while the bacon was crisp and brittle. The overpowering flavors of fresh maple were like a kick to the face, in a good way.
Next we had pork schnitzel topped with a soft boiled egg and dill hollindaise, served with adirondack red potatoes and early spinach. Everything was so fresh, it was probably one of the best tasting meals I’ve ever had. If you’ve ever eaten anything that’s really farm to table, the difference in flavors is beyond noticable. Without any added sugar, the spinach was naturally sweet; the potatoes were some of the best I’ve ever had, and I don’t think I’ve ever seen egg yoke look that yellow. And although I was pretty stuffed after round two, everyone knows I’m a sucker for bread pudding…
Maple bread pudding made with Iggy’s brioche. I ate the whole thing without hesitation. It’s like a cake made of french toast, how could I not?
The entire experience was a wonderful one and I’d like to thank everyone from the Farm School for their hospitality and for sharing a part of their world with us. If the Farm School was a cult and they were serving up fresh batches of hibiscus-infused Kool-aid I’d probably take down a few pitchers. It’s a great concept and if you’re looking to sign up for a new Spring or Summer CSA definitely check out their offerings. You’ll thank me later.
“The Farm School provides unique, curriculum-based, year-long opportunity for adults to learn to farm by farming. Working alongside expert mentor farmers and growers, students participate in every aspect of the farm operation from understanding budgets to growing and marketing our farm products directly to consumers. The CSA is a central part of the curriculum, and these student farmers growing for you have joined a growing movement in small-scale, organic farming and willbe the future farmers in our communities.”
The Farm School
488 Moore Hill Rd.