Semplice, Autentico, Delizioso
This year, we invited chef, cookbook author, and owner of Manicaretti Italian Food Importers Rolando Beramendi to Empire Farm. The Italian master oversaw the preparation of a five-course feast in honor of our hard-working Hudson Valley farmers and purveyors. Chef Beramendi honored the all-local ingredients with humble, traditional cooking techniques — preparing a simply delicious menu including farm-fresh mixed greens, butterflied lamb al asador, and a stunning 300-pound whole hog spit-roasted over an open flame. Dessert was equally without pretense — a Frescobaldi Laudemio olive oil cake with poached sour cherries, accompanied by a selection of fresh fruit. “A big bowl of fruit is so much more loving to your guests than something overly sweet and filling,” chef Beramendi said. “My preferred way to end a meal is with fruit and a glass of wine.”
We whole-heartedly agree, especially when the fruit in question was grown and picked fresh from our friends down the road at Fix Farm.
Some of our more… experienced guests may have noticed a peculiar garnish adorning the fruit course. Yes, that was indeed a hemp leaf. This year, we were thrilled to announce the launch of our hemp pilot project — a joint venture with NYAcres. FarmOn! Believes that hemp will play a pivotal role as a cash crop in family agriculture in New York State and beyond. We want to be at the forefront of that revolution. Therefore, it is our goal to develop — and then export — a sustainable model for making hemp cultivation profitable in the Hudson Valley region.
When all was said and done, the FarmOn! Hootenanny 2018 was able to raise over $120,000 in cash and in-kind donations. We are, as ever, incredibly grateful to our guests for helping us to preserve the centuries-old tradition of ethical, sustainable agriculture here in the beautiful Hudson Valley.