Just 45 minutes from downtown Dc exists 93,000 acres of protected land known as the Montgomery county agriculture reserve. The Ag reserve is heralded as one of the best examples of land conservation policies in our country. This meal sought to bring together the thriving creative community that exists on the reserve and uncover the unique heritage of this Agricultural gem.
The tablescape for this meal was designed by Anna and Caitlin of Sungold Flower Co. highlighting the season and landscape with completely foraged elements including a hanging installation of Magnolia leaves. We used the gorgeous Dupont white washed farm tables from Something Vintage Rentals with their Lincoln copper chairs which helped add warmth to the Wintery colors and incorporated Banner Bees clean burning and dripless hand dipped beeswax taper candles made with beeswax from bees in the Ag Reserve. Linens were handmade using organic fiber and natural dye by Lady Farmer. Menu and Partner Card were designed by Ash Casper of Ash Co. Design Studio.
Upon arrival guests were greeted with a pre-meal demonstration of textile arts and other artists in hand spinning, candle making, felting, and more, and learned how these crafts connect to the land and nature of the reserve. Guests were then invited to grab a pre-meal cocktail featuring local whiskey from Twin Valley Distillers and honey simple syrup by Banner Bees before a discussion with Bread & Beauty Cookbook authors Ellen LeTourneau and Claudia Kousoulas.
Food was prepared by Ben Ritter of Watershed Cafe, highlighting several of the fall recipes from the cookbook and sourcing all local produce from nearby Plow and Stars Farm. Further engaging the conversation around “eating local”, lamb for the meal was sourced from our venue and hostess, Lee Langstaff of Shepherd’s Hey Farm. The meal was complimented with local wine produced on the reserve by Rocklands Farm and dessert included a gluten and dairy-free vanilla almond cake layered with dried cherries soaked in Twin Valley Distillers whiskey by Aphra Adkins of GF Cake Club.
As guests began to leave the table they were invited to settle in around a bonfire overlooking the farmland that helped bring their meal to the table while listing to Lydia Sylvia Martin on the banjo sharing her own stories and tunes about life growing up on the Ag Reserve.
*All photos © Holson House
Thanks to Our Partners for this meal!
Additional Thanks To:
Plow and Stars Farm
Rockland’s Farm Winery
Twin Valley Distillers
Banner Bee Company
Soleado Lavender Farm
GF Cake Club
Lydia Sylvia Martin