Redmond, WA — Over the last few centuries, farming has transformed into a business greater than we could have imagined, with industrial agriculture leading the US food production system. Large-scale monocultures, chemical fertilizers, and pesticides have become the norm, but Ecolibrium Farms is taking agriculture back to its roots. Their mission is to change the way people think about food. By farming sustainably with future generations in mind, they’re able to produce a large quantity of quality produce while maintaining the health of their farm.
They do this by using permanent beds with reusable plastic covers to protect their products from weeds and pests, and by following low disturbance soil practices to increase biodiversity. In return, they’re granted with fresh, delicious certified organic foods to enjoy with their community.
One of the ways in which they open their doors to the community is with their “Under the Walnuts” dinner series. Deep in the back corner of Ecolibrium Farms, the sun sets behind a patch of walnut trees, giving just enough shade to cool off from the Seattle summer heat. Under the cover of the trees, guests are treated with a five-course dinner made sustainably using the whole plant and/or animal and by using natural, traditional cooking techniques with fresh ingredients from the farm.
Sunday night began with an Italian white wine paired with an amuse-bouche mint leaf topped with strawberries, soft cheese, and thyme syrup. We sipped our wine and chatted as we explored the farm and learned about the contents of our dinner.
Once we arrived under the walnuts, we were served a prosecco with our first course: beef tartar topped with pickled beets and toasted rye and beet chips with soft cheese and herbs. I was nervous since I’ve never tried beef tartar but this turned out to be my favorite course of the night!
After a bit more mingling, we all sat around one big, beautiful table decorated with fresh flowers and foliage from the forest. Hanna, one of the staff members, poured our final white wine for the evening as Chef Kyle brought out a fava bean crab salad with seared brioche on the side.
Shortly after, we were brought these beautiful little coils of chicken sausage and two large bowls of green salad full of fresh vegetables from the farm which we shared amongst ourselves around the table. I loved how the communal sharing of the food gave the evening a very inviting, home-like vibe that overall brought together a lot of people that otherwise might have never crossed paths.
For the main course we were served a natural red wine along with carne asada, beef heart, and braised lamb paired with the most delicious homemade tortillas, as well as cilantro, pickled radishes, chimichurri, morel mushrooms, and limes—the only produce served that evening that wasn’t grown on the farm. And if all that wasn’t enough to satisfy you, Chef Bopes finished the evening off by serving fresh strawberries topped with a light sour cream, crushed walnuts, and brown sugar.
I think it’s safe to say we all left Sunday night with a smile on our face and our belts a couple notches looser!
I was lucky enough to attend Ecolibrium Farms opening dinner with their on-site chef Kyle Bopes, but over the course of the summer they’ll have guest chefs coming in to spice things up, so check out their calendar and buy tickets soon if you want to take part in this exclusive experience.
Dinners typically seat 10-20 people and will continue twice a month until early October.