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Peterborough grown

The second farm dinner of the summer season took place at Rosaly’s Farmstand last Wednesday

  • The second Peterborough Grown Dinner of the summer took place at Rosaly's Farmstand  on Wednesday, July 30.
  • The second Peterborough Grown Dinner of the summer took place at Rosaly's Farmstand  on Wednesday, July 30.
  • The second Peterborough Grown Dinner of the summer took place at Rosaly's Farmstand  on Wednesday, July 30.
  • The second Peterborough Grown Dinner of the summer took place at Rosaly's Farmstand  on Wednesday, July 30.
  • The second Peterborough Grown Dinner of the summer took place at Rosaly's Farmstand  on Wednesday, July 30.
  • The second Peterborough Grown Dinner of the summer took place at Rosaly's Farmstand  on Wednesday, July 30.
  • The second Peterborough Grown Dinner of the summer took place at Rosaly's Farmstand  on Wednesday, July 30.
  • The second Peterborough Grown Dinner of the summer took place at Rosaly's Farmstand  on Wednesday, July 30.
  • The second Peterborough Grown Dinner of the summer took place at Rosaly's Farmstand  on Wednesday, July 30.
  • The second Peterborough Grown Dinner of the summer took place at Rosaly's Farmstand  on Wednesday, July 30.
  • The second Peterborough Grown Dinner of the summer took place at Rosaly's Farmstand  on Wednesday, July 30.
  • The second Peterborough Grown Dinner of the summer took place at Rosaly's Farmstand  on Wednesday, July 30.

Last week gave me my first opportunity to attend one of the Peterborough Grown farm dinners I’d been hearing so much about all summer. A fresh farm feast at the idyllic Rosaly’s Farmstand? That’s an assignment I will give myself happily!

Even with my title of editor giving me access to the Peterborough elite, I don’t quite roll with the straw boater and linen suit set; naturally, I gravitated to the flannel-clad fringes to sit with some of the farmers who’d provided the food. They provided some good conversation, too — where else could you hear a story that starts “I once took a cow named Amen to the Catholic cow chip bingo, but he wouldn’t poop!”? Cattle scatology aside, it was great to rub elbows with the folks who’d worked so hard to grow the food we were about to consume.

And oh, the food! We started out with plates of miso beef ramen, plated beautifully, with lotus root soba noodles, chard, a split soft-boiled egg and sprigs of chive across the top to garnish. Even though soups are the bane of the bearded community, I still made quick work of it, stopping just short of slurping down the broth, given the surroundings.

With those formalities out of the way, we proceeded to the main course — Bo Ssam, or Korean roast pork lettuce wraps, nestled beside a grilled squash and jasmine rice salad and a heap of fresh kimchi. The wraps were hearty and heavenly, though I dispensed with any attempt at a handheld delivery and went openfaced (again, the beard). I even managed to apply the sweet chile, hot garlic and lemongrass soy viniagrette sauces to the appropriate areas of the plate without much coaching.

No further food was required after that feast, but I managed to find some room for the flight of ices — cucumber lime, blueberry and elderflower — and finish off the evening with a sweet treat. After the event, chef Sam Rule told me what motivates her to make these dinners happen.

“I do it because this is a totally exciting way to practice my craft,” Rule said. “It’s kind of scrappy — a pop-up dinner in a field or a barn, someone’s grandmother’s old dishes, mismatched linens. It’s not that easy to create a sophisticated, aesthetically pleasing, delicious experience on the fly like we do. And we really do! Sometimes I look around when I’m prepping at, like, midnight the night before the dinner, and I think there is no way I’m pulling this off. But I do — we do, as a cohesive and dedicated group of local food enthusiasts. And it feels good and real and not contrived or pretentious. That’s why I do it.”

The food for Wednesday’s dinner came from Rosaly’s Farmstand and Sunnyfield Farm, both in Peterborough, as well as Harrisville’s Farwell Farm. The next farm dinner will be on Aug. 30 at a location to be announced.

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