outstanding in the field, and the question of the egg

Have you ever wondered whether organic eggs taste better than conventional eggs from the supermarket? I have. I’ve read varying accounts over the past couple of years, and after reading different opinions, I’m still not sure if the taste truly differs. But one thing is certain. I feel better eating an egg from a chicken that was raised humanely and with as little human-mucking-around as possible.

I’m pretty sure that a happy chicken will lay a happy, good-tasting egg. But what I’m certain of is that I’ll feel better about eating that particular egg from that particular chicken.

Which brings us to Sunday night.

the table

Some months ago, I read about a unique event that has taken place at farms across the country, and I was intrigued. The concept is a farm dinner, and the mission of Outstanding in the Field is to bring people closer to the source of their food. Most of the events were initially in California, where the chef-owner lives, but over the last several years, OITF has brought their dinner events to farms all across the country – and even to Europe.

A dinner was held this past Sunday night at Lake Meadow Naturals farm in Orlando. Lake Meadows Naturals is a farm that produces cage-free poultry, with grassy pastures filled with chickens of different breeds, geese, ducks, guinea fowl, and turkeys. And, although they aren’t renowned for their non-poultry animals, there were even a couple of cows, a handful of goats, and several bunnies on hand, destined for someone’s dinner table in the months to come.

the laying hens

We had the pleasure of attending this dinner. Under the winter central Florida sky, my husband and I dined on local proteins and vegetables, while Lake Meadow Naturals’ chickens clucked in the background, and the native wood ducks swooped in at sunset to steal their feed.

It was glorious.

And while I’ll never answer the organic versus conventional chicken egg question, I can tell you this…eating dinner on the farm where the proteins were raised?

Nothing quite compares to that.

*   *   *   *   *   *   *

[The photos below are linked to my Flickr account. Click through them for more information about each photo. ]

drinks are served.

before dinner

a predinner glass of vino

mingling

before dinner

the local distillery has a presence

sampling a cocktail

rose

turkeys

leah and jim

the dinner plates

how now brown cow

farmer dale

grits cake

a procession of ducks

the table

with jim

more teeny tiny oranges

farm dinner scene

hens and their rooster

farm tour with farmer dale

farm kitty

hens

the kitchen crew

menu

farm dinner-35

rosé

chef tony adams

appetizer

farm dinner-39

at sunset

farm dinner

sunset, moonrise

*   *   *   *   *

Outstanding in the Field was founded by California chef and artist, Jim Denevan. If you ever have the opportunity to attend an OTIF event, I highly recommend it.

Lake Meadow Naturals is in Ocoee, Florida – right outside of Orlando proper. If it were not 2 hours away, I’d drive there weekly for fresh eggs and the occasional roasting chicken. In fact, when they open their u-pick egg coops, I plan on bringing the kids down to pick their own farm-fresh eggs.

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11 Responses to “our yellowstone summer vacation”

  1. Mary Anne — July 2, 2014 @ 11:30 pm

    Would love to see and hear about itinerary.,Scott and I are planning a trip in the next year or so and would love to get your destinations.

  2. Kathryn — July 3, 2014 @ 5:51 am

    That last picture – I could stare it at for hours and hours. Such a sense of peace. I’m so glad you had a wonderful trip xo

  3. Mallory — July 3, 2014 @ 8:11 am

    I keep staring at the last picture. Those clouds and the blueness of the sky and the reflections in the water and the land, rolling on for what seems like forever…it is crazy to think that the picture doesn’t do the landscape justice. Glad you had a wonderful trip!

  4. Di — July 3, 2014 @ 9:21 am

    Sounds perfectly wonderful. Would love to hear about your itenerary and see your pictures. I don’t know quite why this post brought tears to my eyes but it did. I believe your sentiments just rolled off the screen and into my heart, because they were heartfelt.

  5. Natasha — July 3, 2014 @ 10:57 am

    It looks beautiful and so very calming. I’d love to read of your itinerary – I have many dream trips, and Yellowstone is most definitely one of them.

  6. Colleen — July 3, 2014 @ 1:30 pm

    That sky! WOW!

  7. cherie — July 3, 2014 @ 3:20 pm

    seems like a good trip for the soul 🙂 I’d love your itinerary as well – it’s on my list to take the kids though mine are older

  8. Paula — July 3, 2014 @ 5:07 pm

    I’m so happy to read that this vacation was such a wonderfully perfect success for you and your family. Your photos are beautiful and the accompanying words are poetic. I hope you do post your itinerary. It worked out great for your family and I’m sure other families would benefit from it as well.
    What a magical way to have started off your summer!

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