Tag Archives: farms

Bailey’s Backyard Gets Farm-to-table Remake and Gains Chef Forrest Pasternack – Ridgefield, CT

22 Mar
Tarragon growing at Bailey Backyard's Own Garden

Tarragon growing at Bailey Backyard’s Own Garden (photo courtesy of Forrest Pasternack)

•••

Update:  Bailey’s Backyard is now open…read our review.

Elevating local ingredients.  That was the recurring theme to a recent talk we had with Forrest Pasternack, Executive Chef at Bailey’s Backyard in Ridgefield.  We talked about Forrest’s amazing cooking a few months ago when he was Executive Chef at Morello Bistro in Greenwich, but he’s moved onto greener pastures…literally.  He’s been working with Sal Bagliavio, owner of Bailey’s Backyard to not only refocus the menu, but also to rework the philosophy, the heart, the body, and the soul of the restaurant as it undergoes some major changes.  While the restaurant is closed right now for renovations, you can expect an opening around the middle of April.  Let’s look a bit closer into how Forrest plans to inspire diners, fully embrace the philosophy of farm-to-table, get the community involved, and spread the love of all things local across Connecticut.

Planting the Seeds:  A Fresh Start, a Local Approach

Forrest knows Ridgefield. He grew up there and for a long time he’s been looking to get involved in the local food scene of a community and elevate the ingredients found nearby. With great excitement he shared, “I want to offer a showcase for local ingredients.” And, yes, he’ll be doing that…and not in your typical way, either. He’ll literally be planting seeds with his sous chef in the restaurant’s garden courtesy of Veronica’s Garden, will help nurture the seedlings, will reap the veggies, then will feature them in the dishes. For everything else, the staff will gather the freshest veggies, herbs, meats, and supplies every week from local farms. Some of the farms they plan to visit are Veronica’s Garden of Ridgefield, The Hickories of Ridgefield, and Maple Bank Farm of Roxbury. As for meat, he’s going local too such as Greyledge Farm in Roxbury. Even the wine menu at Bailey’s Backyard will be almost entirely local, with lots of Long Island and Connecticut vineyards showing up like Lieb Cellars (we love the wine and the vineyard itself) of Mattituck, NY; Millbrook Winery in Millbrook, NY; and DiGrazia of Brookfield, CT.

Farm pics

The Greenhouse at Maple Bank Farm in Roxbury, CT (photo courtesy of Forrest Pasternack)

Watering the Seedlings: Nurturing the Restaurant, Nurturing the Community

Forrest told us that he wants to be a real driving force in the community in regards to food.  By keeping the menu at Bailey’s Backyard local, he’ll be helping to reach that goal.  In addition, he was sad to see that the farmers’ market in Ridgefield went away so he’s going to do whatever he can to try to bring one back.  But, it’s not just Forrest who is nurturing Bailey’s Backyard.  Chef Pasternack shared, “Sal, the owner, really understands food and he knows farms.  He knows local wineries.  And, whether people know it or not, he’s been a proponent of farm-to-table philosophy for a long time.”

Continue reading

Pig Carving, Gardening, Foraging, Beekeeping, and Chicken Raising Workshops @ Millstone Farm in Wilton

28 Feb
Ready to fly the coop?  Photo provided by Millstone Farm.

Ready to fly the coop? Photo provided by Millstone Farm.

Slowly but surely, winter is fading away and spring is getting ready to, well, spring.  And, with spring time on its way (thanks Punxsutawney Phil) we can look forward to more farmers’ markets and events at farms.  Some events that you’ll definitely want to hit up in the coming weeks are happening at Millstone Farm in Wilton.  Oh, and these aren’t your typical kind of events…these are awesome workshops that are unique, fun, and will help transform you into a farming and culinary genius.  Here are the deets:

1) Pig Carving 101 with Tim LaBant of The Schoolhouse at Cannondale

Saturday, March 23:  12pm – 3pm

Cost: $50, RSVP to f2f@schoolhouseatcannondale.com

“Back by popular demand! Join us for a hearty lunch and an up close and personal workshop on how to carve a whole pig, lead by Chef Tim LaBant of The Schoolhouse at Cannondale. Tim will demonstrate his techniques while explaining each step and answering your questions along the way.  Please note, payment must be made to The Schoolhouse prior to the event and tickets are non-refundable.”

2) Raising Backyard Chickens

Saturday, April 6:  1pm – 4pm

$30 per person.  RSVP to katie@millstonefarm.org and send a check to them to reserve your spot. 

“Millstone’s Farmer, Annie Farrell, covers the steps and skills required to raise happy, healthy chickens in your own backyard. From incubating to egg collecting, you’ll be well prepared to care for your brood. The workshop includes a look at our state of the art mobile chicken coops and a tour of the farm.”

Continue reading

Celebrate Connecticut Farm-to-Chef Week at 65 Different Locations Throughout Our Fine State!

16 Sep

Eating local food shouldn’t have to be something that you seek out and search for.  You shouldn’t have to hunt down a farm to table restaurant or find out which places use local and sustainable food.  Imagine if we kept things local wherever we went to eat.  Imagine the jobs that would be opened up and how the Connecticut economy would thrive.  Well, Connecticut is trying to bring awareness to this and to the vast amount of farms throughout Connecticut by holding the third annual Connecticut Farm-to-Chef Week.  It runs from September 16 until September 22, 2012 at various locations throughout the state.  What’s very interesting about the list of restaurants that are participating is that, well, they aren’t all just restaurants.  You’ll see many schools on this list that want healthier, non-processed, and more local options for their menus.  You’ll even notice a couple of farmers’ markets on the list, too.  We got this info from CT Farm Fresh, if you’d like to check out more from and about them.

Continue reading

Can it! Learn how to preserve and can your food. Wakeman Town Farm – Westport, CT

30 Aug

We were at The Christmas Tree Shop (Dan’s nemesis, his holy water, his silver bullet) recently and saw giant cases of mason jars.  That got us to thinking how amazing it would be to can our own veggies or make our own jam and sauces.  Then we got to more thinking and were scared because we didn’t know how to do it properly.  Then we kind of gave up.

You could make something as awesome as this! From Wakeman Town Farms page.

But, we don’t have to give up anymore.  Wakeman Town Farm is actually holding a special workshop on September 8 from 9 am to 12 pm.  You’ll learn how to can, make jams, and even blend together a nice tomato sauce.  The class costs $35 when you register online or is $40 at the door.  There isn’t much space, so make sure that you get your spot online before anything begins.  Oh, you’ll also come home with some nice treats…a few jars of your own goodness that you can store away for fall or the cold days of winter. Continue reading

Cooking up Fun at Family Farm Fridays – Stamford Museum and Nature Center

13 Apr

Please mommy, can we see the otters and go to Family Farm Friday?

It’s pretty clear from our previous posts how much we love going to The Stamford Museum and Nature Center.  There are fun events like Maple Sugar Fest Weekend and the Model Ts to Mustangs car show, they have rotating exhibits on display, they have lots of animals to fawn over, and they have Family Farm Fridays.  Listen to this little bit of awesomeness:

Starting Friday, May 4 until June 15 (no class on 6/1, be careful)

4-5 PM

Aw, we have the same hair color!

You’ll be able to check out the garden (that’s right by the pigs) and explore the farm.  You’ll learn about the different crops and herbs being produced  locally and will be able to create fun food.  SM&NC recommends this event for children 6 and older, but they certainly welcome young children too.  Members pay just $5 per class, and non-members pay only $8 per class.  Be sure to make your reservations because class size is limited.

Classes and Descriptions (from their FB page)

May 4 – Eggs & Chickens – visit with chickens & help collect eggs
May 11 – Woolly Workshop – work with wool from start to finish, meet sheep
May 18 – Planting a Salad – plant veggie seeds for salad and help make salad to try
May 25 – Salsa & Pesto – visit our garden & make some fresh salsa & pesto to take home
June 8 – Pickles & Pumpkin Seeds – make pickles & plant pumpkin seeds for fall (to take home)
June 15 – Butter & Cheese Making – make your own butter & learn a quick cheesemaking recipe

If you’re a nature lover, hiker, animal lover, have a family, or enjoy museums then SM&NC is the perfect place to have a membership.  Join by clicking here.

Stamford Museum & Nature Center

39 Scofieldtown Road

Stamford, CT 06903

203.322.1646

%d bloggers like this: