Outstanding in the Field with Vibrant Valley Farm
On a warm Summer evening we set out for Vibrant Valley Farm on Sauvie Island. We had never been to Sauvie Island before and were excited to attend the Outstanding in the Field dinner at their farm. Once on the farm we were taken back by the sweeping views and could hardly believe we had never been here before and that we were just miles away from downtown Portland. Vibrant Valley Farm was created by two women; Kara Marie Gilbert and Elaine Elizabeth Walker who are "committed to exploring innovative solutions to enliven the current food system, both locally and globally " Vibrant Valley Farm runs a successful CSA and is the source of food for many of Portland's most beloved restaurants.
Before our meal we had the opportunity to meet Kara and learn more about Vibrant Valley Farm. We were quickly drawn in by her enthusiasm and adventurous spirit for farming. She gave us a brief tour around the farm and once again made me consider my own future as a city farmer.
Kara amongst her field of indigo. She is in the process of traveling the globe to learn different shibori processes which then she will be able to bring back and teach in the form of classes.
For any flower loving girl like myself, her flower garden is really a sight to be seen.
Dinner started out with Seastar Bakery bread, whipped brown butter & miso along with a crudite of July vegetables, strained yogurt and nightshade hummus.
The hardworking folks from Outstanding in the Field criss cross the globe for six months to put on amazing dinners like this throughout the United States and abroad. It is fun to see glimpses of friendships formed and the support they offer one another throughout these rigorous months of work. These ladies are truly the best!
Guests hand picking their seats amongst the rows of flowers and vegetables. There truly was not a bad seat in the house!
Summer squash, sunflowers and blossoms, charred Baird Family Orchards apricots and burrata. I had no idea sunflowers were edible, but it was a first for me and they were delicious.
I could not get over these beautiful letterpress wine labels from Big Table Farm. Even if you do not drink, these hand applied labels are thick, luxurious and really are a thing of beauty!
Smoked quinault sturgeon, Vibrant Valley Farm new potatoes, cabbage, chicories, preserved Meyer lemon and dill.
Ember roasted Lan-Roc Farms pork collar, hakuri turnips, caramelized real hazel cherries and new garlic.
As the sun hung low in the sky and illuminated the fields I was reminded how epic our Summers in the Pacific Northwest are. Sure, other people have nicer weather throughout the year, but one thing us Pacific Northwesters know how to do is enjoy every ray of sunshine and hour of light with the hope it will sustain for the months of grey and rain ahead.
The most colorful and eye catching dessert I have ever laid eyes on. Wild chamomile cornbread, creme fraiche, flowers, berries, honey crack and bee pollen. This is one dish I hope to replicate in my own backyard soon.
The man behind the meal, Timothy Wastell and his hardworking crew.
This post was sponsored by Outstanding in the Field.
All opinions stated here are my own and I was under no obligation to write anything other than my personal experience. I will never write about anything I did not enjoy or find to be a valuable experience.