Just over an hour outside of D.C. is Patowmack Farms in Lovettsville, VA, which recently hosted its first “Mat-to-Table Experience”, taking participants through a strengthening vinyasa yoga class in a beautiful pastoral setting, followed by a guided tour of the working organic farm and a family-style organic brunch. Traveling through the thick green forests of Virginia on that Sunday morning gave my companions and me plenty of time to wake up and get ready for our adventure; we enjoyed having a day to get out of the city and breathe some fresh air.
We began our experience with a delicious watermelon smoothie, then spent a tranquil hour-and-a-half with the vinyasa yoga instructor Laura Lightbody, surrounded by a rural symphony of buzzing cicadas, chirping crickets, and crowing roosters in the morning sunshine. Following our yoga class, we toured the farm with owner Beverly, who showed us the source of all the beautiful flowers that were later on our tables and much of the food that ended up in our bellies. Beverly answered all our questions about maintenance of the farm, their organic practices, and her farm learning experience along the way. After seeing all the fresh veggies, we were ready to feast.
And a feast it was! The family-style menu brought a never-ending flow of delicacies. Some of the highlights included a warm burrata cheese filled with eggplant foam, served with creamy eggplant crostini topped with just the right ping of salt from capers and drizzled with olive oil, sitting alongside a light Israeli couscous salad with red-veined sorrel and shiso leaves, garnished with lovely onion flowers - the perfect combination of creamy, bright lemony notes.
The charcuterie featured smoky Surryano ham (from a rare heritage breed of hogs raised in Virginia); a simultaneously tender and crispy grilled beef tongue; crunchy green bean pickles; and home-made whole grain mustard. The main course included tamari caramel mid-Atlantic swordfish and hot aged cheddar whipped grits, which was particularly appreciated by myself and my friends since porridge is deeply ingrained in our eastern European roots.
As if the savory dishes weren’t enough, dessert was another meal in itself, including bacon caramel shortbread bites; watermelon cubes dipped in lime labne and topped with fresh hyssop and pistachios; and, last and certainly not least, the beautifully presented cinnamon concha (toasts) with Concord grape jelly and miso cream, all topped with a crumble. Did I mention we had coffee with sweet fresh farm cream during dessert?
Ohm. Yoga should always taste this good.