These photos take me back to a Midsummer Celebration that was a special collaboration between a rising chef and heartfelt farmers.
A Midsummer Celebration & A Reminder
I often go back and forth on this corner of the internet I have created. Is it worth the costs of upkeep? Does anyone care about what I post? Is this time well spent? Is there a place for a woman who takes her time (sometimes a really long time), and genuinely wants to connect? Blogging, it turns out, conjures the same sorts of deep questions and imposter feelings that most creative endeavors conjure.
Then I think of this word: Revel
These photos are from a year ago. Not timely and yet, timely enough. A reminder, really. These photos take me back to a special dinner, a collaboration between a rising chef and heartfelt farmers. They take me back to the first summer in our dream house. I was covered in sawdust, deep in projects, and missing the summer bucket list activities we usually prioritized.
This midsummer celebration was a way to press pause and feel present in the season. Each summer, each season, brings its own sense of rush, of “not enough time,” not enough “fill in the blank.” These photos remind me to take a moment to revel, to find an activity that fosters anticipation and a sense of restoration.
I take photos and write posts because they extend the reveling. Can that be enough?
Each season requires its own form of patience, and I am not a very patient person. Maybe, just maybe, sitting on photos, sitting on memories is a subconscious exercise in reminding myself that patience has its perks. Patience reveals exactly what needs to be revealed when it needs to be revealed.
This year June passed without a Midsummer Celebration, and I thought the Nordic people are smart to set the time aside. The early month of summer is a whirlwind, a full-on, head-first dive into long, warm days. The solstice lands just in time to be a gentle reminder. Pause and enjoy whatever surrounds you this season. You’re living in a moment that was once just a dream. You’re grappling with feelings that may be the seedlings of a big growth spurt. You can’t do it all.
One year later, this Midsummer Celebration post reminds me to strive for an abundant mindset and to appreciate the moment. If you’re here, and this resonates, I’m grateful, but in the least, this corner is my reminder. And it’s a reminder I will probably need at the same time again next year, so I might as well continue to pay the upkeep costs. 🙂
About the Midsummer Celebration: Fet-Fisk x Fallen Aspen Farm
What first drew me to Fallen Aspen Farm was the character of their farmer’s market stand. There were always handcrafted wooden elements and careful details. The quality of their presentation mirrored the quality of their product, so it was a treat to see the farmers in their element for this Midsummer Celebration. After snacks, farmers Jake and Des led us on a tour to meet the pigs, chickens, and sheep. (Side note – Jake built the incredible tables used for the dinner.)
About Fallen Aspen Farm:
(from the farm’s website)
In 2012 Jake and Des founded Fallen Aspen Farm as a small-scale vegetable, fruit, egg, and poultry operation with sales throughout the Greater Pittsburgh area. Shortly thereafter, the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy (WPC) awarded Fallen Aspen with a long-term agricultural lease within the 394-acre Plain Grove Fens Natural Area.
Once they settled in Plain Grove township, Jake and Des expanded their operation tenfold. They set up a high tunnel, planted hundreds of fruit and nut trees, and installed livestock fencing. They added goats, poultry, and pigs. Within the year, they made direct sales to local individuals as well as a number of notable restaurants in Harmony, Zelienople, and Pittsburgh.
Fallen Aspen Farm is now in another phase of operational and market growth in which the farmers continue to refine their highly ethical livestock practices. Jake and Des have thoroughly developed their livestock operations to include pastured pork, pastured poultry, and grass-fed lamb.
About Nik Forsberg, Chef & Founder of Fet-Fisk
Fet-Fisk, meaning “greasy fish” in Swedish, is a multi-faceted food project based in Pittsburgh, PA. Drawing from Chef Nik Forsberg’s Nordic heritage, his own farming endeavors, and the history of our Appalachian region, the project began as a series of pop-up dinners and is now on track to becoming a restaurant. I wrote more about the restaurant’s endeavors here, and you can check out the crowdfunding page to join the support efforts.
Nik’s menus have been the most exciting food experiences in the city. While his meat and seafood dishes are always noteworthy, he really shines with vegetables. He lets crisp, fresh sweet peas take center stage in savory dishes or as a semifreddo. He paints with colorful brassicas, and he somehow manages to pack crispness into every pickled endeavor. His cooking is always a treat!