D and D Farms, Palm City, Florida, embraces agrotourism.
It's the second Sunday in December. It is raining. A small crowd is gathered in a newly constructed pavilion at the back of D and D Farms. They are here to be entertained and educated by chef Greg Williamson, a farm-to-table convert, "I used to not care how long a distance it took to get an ingredient if it tasted good. Now, I want to keep it seasonal," says Williamson.
In 2010, Williamson became a regular D and D customer at the Palm Beach Gardens Green Market. He would often chat to other customers, and help them choose produce. "Pretty soon, every time I went to their stall their sales would go up," Williamson says, with a smile.
This relationship led to a four-hour cooking demo at the stall, followed by interactive cooking demos this year on the farm. After each demo, customers have the choice of purchasing produce from the onsite market or going into the fields to pick their own.
Today's menu includes a pickled beet salad, and a hot pasta dish with kale, walnuts, and blue cheese. Someone asks a question about the mold in blue cheese and chef answers, "It should be on the inside. If blue cheese has mold on the outside, then throw it out, unless you want to go to the hospital."
Chef Williamson loves to talk and educate people about food. He cautions the audience about the practice of overfilling blenders with hot ingredients, saying, "Only fill it half way because the steam will expand the contents and blow it out." A hot, blended, broccoli soup ends the cooking demo.
D and D Farms is a 57-acre farm in Martin County, Florida. Free cooking demonstrations are being held on the second Sunday of every month until April 2012. The menu changes monthly depending on what's in season.
To find out more, contact the farm at 772-240-8138 or email DandDfarms@ymail.com