When a local entrepreneur mentor of mine connected me with Melissa Baer, founder and owner of the Organic Farmer’s Daughter basically ‘down the road’ from me, I was reminded of the power of collaboration and networking in all forms including, “Hey Jane, do you know Melissa Baer, she is a dynamic entrepreneur in your neck of the woods and I think you two should connect!”
How fun would it be to have Dinner with The Farmer’s Daughter? The dinners are monthly summer events and part of Melissa’s business, Vibrant Farms located near Baden, Ontario. For my business, along with blogging for HuffPost, social media has advanced my company beyond my community and country. Now, how fun would it be to enjoy an event like this close by!
This past Saturday, Melissa invited me to join her and 8 other guests to her Dinner with The Farmer’s Daughter. Since my business has expanded, I seem to be leaving this community on a plane or battling the 401 to Toronto and not driving the beautiful rural countryside in my neck of the woods. So much so, that me, the other dynamic entrepreneur (with a pilot’s licence) felt no need for the GPS because this is my hood… got lost on the way to the farm! Arriving 15 minutes late I met the guests and Melissa at the chicken coop! It was a beautiful sunny warm evening and the event was off to a late, but good start.
We toured the farm as Melissa explained her philosophy, including her love for farmers, food and health. With the tagline organic, sustainable, and healthy being repurposed throughout the walk, I was excited to be on a farm again as it has been almost two years (although air travel does provide a beautiful aerial view of farms!). I’m known in the industry as the farm to your table Food Consultant and I’m celebrating 4 years this summer with my Grow with Nutrition blog. Plus, I’m watering the Seeds of my new book which will be launched in the fall. However, I have never milked a cow – so this was my highlight of the tour! We met some horses and toured a more of the farm before washing up for dinner.
There were five courses to the dinner. Two appetizers including raw asparagus cracker with black bean dip and egg drop soup with mushrooms. The next course was my favourite – sweet potato noodle salad with apples, cranberries, cheddar goat cheese, garnished with nasturtiums and dressed with apple cider lime vinaigrette with local sunflower seed oil. #Delish! The main was beef bourguignon from local grass fed organic beef and free range organic smoked turkey. At this point, I should have called it quits on the food as I rarely eat more than 3 courses, however the flourless chocolate cake with local organic strawberries and organic French vanilla ice cream was calling my name and did not disappoint – #Scrumptious! We ended the meal with fresh peppermint tea.
Melissa has amazing passion and it comes across in her food preparation and storytelling during the dinner. I was tweeting live during the event, but still was able to appreciate the home cooked, rustic atmosphere and the welcoming and unique feeling all at the same time! The dinner conversation went from farming to food, to health and repeat. However, when asked for the #recipes, Melissa said we had to wait for the launch of her cookbook in June (savvy entrepreneur!). I highly recommend a Dinner with The Farmer’s Daughter as a must do for anyone visiting (or wanting to get a taste of) the rural area of Waterloo region! Plus it would make a great add on after a matinee in Stratford. And yes, it was #FUN!