Sunday, July 12, 2009

A Slice of Heaven at Two Pony Farm

Anna's pasta with fresh Swiss Chard, garlic, onion (all from the garden) and bacon.

Lisa made fresh goat cheese that day. She was babysitting some goats.

Mango and avocado salsa for the rosemary toasts.

The working table when I arrived.

Gate to the flower garden at Two Pony Farms

After a week in the architectural desert known as Colorado (or at least North Boulder and most of Denver and its exurbs, and, no nasty notes unless you can prove me wrong, please) foraging for my own food from watering hole to watering hole (which I get really sick of) my longing was finally sated last Thursday night (for both food and architecture) when I was invited to my friend Anna's farm in Long Lake, MN. I had heard about "the farm" from a few people I admire. And, of course, Anna had told me about it - as a place she still loves, even though she now calls Manhattan home. Anna's mom, Lisa Ringer, owns and farms the land organically, raising vegetables and flowers, which she sells to local restaurants. She is known for her Heirloom tomatoes. It is a treasure and it is known as Two Pony Farm.

Anna was in town last week visiting family and she invited me to dinner. It is a 20 mile drive, the last few miles on a dirt road past the gardens and tucked away where no other homes can be seen. (Ahhhhh, sweet bliss.) I arrived to the smell of onions cooking on the stove, wafting out the screen door. Anna was there at the stove cooking when I arrived. I walked into the farmhouse and almost wept - it was so beautiful and authentic. Furniture was old and worn, some of it covered with throws and lots of down-filled cushions. The old farm dining table was set for five with a lovely small bouquet of flowers. The working kitchen table was piled with a basket of fresh-picked Swiss Chard and lettuces. Next to that was a jar with wildflowers. I set down my wine next to a wooden bowl with the makings for mango salsa.

Now, don't get me wrong. It is nice and fine and a privilege and all that to eat out, but I get really sick of it when I have to do it day after day. I get really pissy about the quality and quantities of food and I get really irritated that I have to spend a chunk of change for this food just to feed my body. I LOVE home made food. I love food that is made with love. I love food that is slow and picked fresh and not fancy, just real. It is how I grew up. On a small family farm. And I can't get enough of that kind of eating. Or that kind of place. A barn, a garden, a concrete floor for wintering over the plants, a good stack of cookbooks, a massive screened porch with swinging beds hung on chains, a stack of snowshoes and good, good company.

So here are some images from the dinner at Two Pony Farm. Just a slice of heaven. And thank you, Lisa, for building this beautiful place. More photos to the right.


  1. Oh, Sweet Alecia! What a lovely review of the the farm. You totally get it and that's why I love you. Dinner can be half executed, dirt still on the veggies when you walk in and two hours late getting on the table but you are happy as a clam. So different from our New York lives, but oh so wonderful. xoxo

  2. I just stumbled upon your blog. Oh my gosh, this farm looks great. I live in Golden Valley, MN and now I will hunt down this farm!

    Thanks so much, I'll be back!