Tuesday, March 13

Secret cafe and a hootenanny!

Things are a brewing here in Omaha! And, Big Muddy Urban Farm endeavors comprise a majority of my daily activities these days. Lately, these endeavors have been filled with fun.
A couple weeks ago, we hosted a "secret cafe" as a fundraiser for buying raised beds at one of our growing sites. There were around 50 people who came to enjoy our four-course, sit-down, home-cooked meal! We spent the morning and afternoon cooking for the masses and at 6 pm, when people started arriving, the excitement began to build. Our menu included fresh greens, two soups, homemade pizza and tasty sweet treats. I prepared the a beer, bacon and bean soup which I have been quite fond of lately. Check out the recipe for that below! Our humble basement, that was temporarily turned into a restaurant for the night, was quickly filled:
 Before the guests arrived
After! With much food and laughter
Those who waited for seating enjoyed tunes by my dear friend and fellow Big Muddy farmer Matt in the living room. We were able to raise quite a lot of funds for our raised beds and will be building soon!

Beans, beans the magical fruit!
Beer, bean and bacon soup*
5 cups of mixed beans, uncooked
1 pound of bacon, chopped
1 onion, chopped
2 beers of your choice (I used a dark porter)
1/2 cup of molasses
1/4 cup of maple sugar
1/4 cup of brown sugar
chili powder

1. Soak the beans overnight, then drain, rinse and cook them. Then, rinse them and set them aside in a bowl.

2. In the same pot, cook the bacon and onions until the bacon is browned and slightly crispy. Then, add remaining ingredients (including the beans that you set aside earlier!) and enough stock to cover the beans by about an inch. Allow to stew for an hour or so, adding stock or water as necessary.

Bon appetite! Enjoy with some hearty bread!
*this recipe was modified slightly from the Earth to Table cookbook

Southpaw Bluegrass Band, and a glimpse of the tiny dancers! 
Then, this past Sunday, our friend and supporter Lori planned a Hootenanny (which for those of you who don't know what that is, let me just tell you there are lots of great folk and bluegrass musicians that spend the night on and off the stage sharing their tunes! Lots of fun) to benefit Big Muddy Urban Farm and our urban farming neighbor at our site on 33rd and California, Chris, with his permaculture farm; Sweet Thyme Farm.

Both events were loads of fun, and it feels so special to have such positive community support. Thanks for your continued support and stay tuned for more updates soon.

I'm not sure how the weather is where you are, but it is in the 70s and shining today here in Omaha. So to that, I say:
"Happy spring!"

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