Drive 9 miles east of Saratoga Springs and you end up where else but 9 Miles East Farm. On a hot day turned perfect summer night, 11 guests pulled up to co-owners Mary and Gordon Sacks’ property, where rows of crops grow right up to the family home, situated directly across from the barn.
If you’re new to the work of 9 Miles East Farm, let me fill you in. Mary and Gordon started their farm with busy people in mind. While CSAs and farmers market do great things for bringing slow food into homes, they may not be convenient for everyone. With that in mind, Mary and Gordon set out to create an opportunity for those wanting to eat and support local food, but without the energy or time to prepare it themselves. So, every week food is harvested from the 9 Miles East Farm and turned into hearty, full-flavored meals with the freshest ingredients available. For our dinner on the farm, we were about to see and experience the behind the scenes of one of those meals.
As guests arrived, we were invited into the barn, which had been transformed into a simply pastoral gathering space with haystacks for sitting and recycling bins turned upside down to hold plates of minted zucchini and vases of freshly picked flowers. As we sat and nibbled from the plates, Gordon Sacks talked about his decision to begin farming, his goal of delivering farm-fresh food to busy people, and why he loves what he does.
Gordon then lead us around on a tour of the farm, describing the incredibly expense and time consuming process involved in growing and harvesting the plants we were about to sit down and enjoy. We saw the form oats take in their purest form. We tasted what happens to peas when the weather goes from hot to cold quickly. We saw what garlic looks like when it’s almost ready to be harvested. We picked the lettuce for our dinner salad.
Then it was time to sit down and enjoy the bounty that comes from Mary and Gordon’s hard work.
As we sat ourselves down at a rustic wooden table the length of the open air barn room, we were greeted by fresh bread and a French inspired cheese puff pastry, filled with local Gruyere cheese.Our starters were followed by a first course of risotto filled with locally found Chanterelle mushrooms and seasoned with herbs from the farm.
Gordon himself brought out our main course of herb-crusted leg of Elihu Farm lamb, served alongside a turnip puree and sautéed zucchini picked that morning.
In European fashion, guests enjoyed a light and incredibly crisp salad following the main course.
Although everyone was already stuffed, no one could turn down a dessert of fresh rhubarb crisp served with local vanilla ice cream.
A meal this fresh, delicious, and enjoyable can only be possible with slow food, hard work, and good company.
Thank you, again, 9 Miles East Farm for a great evening on the farm.