Fall News from the VVS Farm

Mike Spielman ~ VVS Farm Manager

We planted garlic the other day. It went into one of the first beds we ever dug back in 2013, just to the south of the gate between a fading amaranth and the frozen stems of a Roma Olorode. I remember the three students who helped chop that dirt for the first time: one from California, another from South Korea, and the other from Saudi Arabia. We wondered if life was more like a circle or a spiral. We had no answers. Only wonder.   

December is my favorite time on the farm. Cabbages and greens are tucked beneath their winter sheets. The leaves of the fruit trees have blown into their wells. The Osgood Greenhouse is full of banana plants, mangoes and peppers. Seeds are drying. Squash are cured. The field is laid bare and we can begin to dream about next year’s design.

Walking around the new expansion I remember that this time last year it did not exist. There was no greenhouse either. The fencing for the southern expansion is now more than half done. Last month we ordered 57 fruit trees.  Fifty seven fruit trees!  Eleven pears. Seven peaches. Six plums.  Sixteen apples. Persimmons, nectarines, quince and sixty grape vines too. A lot of holes to dig between now and March!

We are back at the Sedona Farmer’s Market.  Please stop in and say hello if you are local. We are selling heirloom beans, winter squash, dried peppers, and Jerusalem artichokes.  Most of the greens right now are going to the Yavapai Food Council.  If you are a gardener and live far away, drop us a line. We’ll send some seeds.

A thousand thank you’s to all who have supported us this year!  We are honored and blessed and as always, excited to get back to work.

Cathedral Sunset Farm to Table News

Second Annual Farm To Table SOLD OUT

Verde Valley School presents the 2nd annual FARM TO TABLE DINNER

When:  Saturday, September 24, 2016 from 3:00 to 7:00 PM.   Cost:  $100 per person  SOLD OUT

Four extraordinary chefs, LISA DAHL, BRIAN WIDMER, SAM WILLIAMS, MICHAEL BRIGGS – Wine Purveyors DA RANCH, CHATEAU TUMBLEWEED, BUCKLIN RANCH, and Micro Brew OAK CREEK BREWERY all join together to create a culinary adventure in celebration of locally sourced foods and spirits at the second annual Verde Valley School Farm to Table Dinner! This much anticipated event literally brings to the table the people who grow, raise, prepare and joyously consume sustainable, ethical, local food.

Located on the breathtaking, red-rock landscape of the VVS campus, the dinner features courses lovingly prepared by local chefs Michael Briggs (Verde Valley School), Lisa Dahl (Cucina Rustica, Mariposa, Pisa Lisa, Dahl & Di Luca), Brian Widmer (Garland’s Lodge) and Sam Williams (Indian Gardens Cafe). Each course will be elegantly and delectably crafted with fresh, just-picked ingredients from the VVS gardens and local farms.

If you attended last year’s inaugural event you’ll know why tickets go like homemade (locally sourced!) hotcakes! Here’s a snippet from last  year’s event.

All proceeds go to the VVS Food Forest – a vision of permaculture that explores ways to build the stronger, more resilient food economy we envision. By choosing to grow our food at VVS we are making a powerful investment in the self-reliance and ecological growth of our community!

Please contact Kris Fritz (kfritz@vvsaz.org) with questions.

VVS Farm Sunset F2T News

Earth Day Events Planned

It’s only natural that a school with such a deep dedication to the environment would celebrate Earth Day the way we do at VVS.

After regular Friday classes, students and faculty will meet at the garden expansion to work on the new vegetable beds. Following dinner, author Bill Carter will talk to the school about the copper mining industry and his book “Boom Bust Boom,” which is also our summer reading. The evening concludes with our annual recycled fashion show, organized by students Grace Shoup and Lola Olorode.

Visit the VVS gallery at www.vvsaz.org/galleries for photos.

Farm to Table Dinner Highlights

After months of planning, the VVS farm’s harvest hit tables today during our inaugural Farm to Table Feast. The event was sold-out as diners from Sedona made their way to the VVS campus for a garden tour, appetizers and, the main event, Chef Brian Widmer’s three-course plated dinner.

The day kicked off with Farm Teacher Mike Spielman hosting tours of the farm. Student and faculty volunteers were also on hand to talk with diners about the farm as it is today, and about it’s beginnings two years ago. VVS Chef Mike Briggs provided a sampling menu in the garden, along with prickly pear punch made by Spielman and a group of students.

The group made its way to the Head of School’s house, and were greeted by Head of School Paul Amadio, his wife Donita, Board of Trustee members Jeremy Hayman, Randy Crewse and Frances Smith-Hawley as well as VVS teachers. Students served as the waitstaff and music was provided by VVS music teacher Cooper Evans. Wine tastings were provided by local vintners Chateau Tumbleweed and DA Ranch.

You can find photos of the dinner in the galleries section of the VVS website and the VVS Facebook page.
VVS would like to put forth a huge thank you to everyone – from diners to food purveyors – who made the day possible. As the tables were cleared, we started planning Farm to Table Feast 2016. Stay tuned.