Drought Drought Torrential. Welcome to the new Climate.
Carteret County had no rain for in June and July, then maybe 5 inches fell on Friday before the Farm Dinner on Sunday, 18 August at Ocean Natural Farm in Newport, and more downpours on Saturday and intermittent drizzles Sunday midday. So Catherine warned all diners and volunteers to expect mud and to wear rubber boots and said we could shelter under the barn’s overhang roof. But by 4 o’clock, the sun was shining, the grass lawn was dry, and the wind blowing off Bogue Sound was cool and strong enough to blow away any bothersome insects. I saw one dragonfly big as a hummingbird: There are no pesticides on Ocean Natural Farm. Volunteers Caroline, Stacy, Fran and JayaJean and others set up the tables and chairs, half under the sky and half under the barn roof. Yes, it was hot, and we were grateful for any shade and all the breeze.
Michael Murdoch and Deede Miller, Ocean Natural farmers and leaders of the local Sierra Club chapter, told diners about using solar power to run irrigation, but I could not listen while chopping salad lettuce and cucumbers from The Farm at Bogue. Volunteers Martha, Bob and Barbara assembled appetizers of bread from Wildflour Bakery/ goat cheese from the Goat Lady/ tomatoes and basil from Willis Farm.
Guest Chef Kenny Collins of TLC Catering roasted chicken quarters from Shenk Family Farm, squash from Willis Farm, and corn (that Catherine announced was from Canada because there is no local corn in August). Happy diners wanted extra spoonfuls of Kenny’s salsa made of basil, ginger, star anise infused with peaches and nectarines.
For dessert Michael sliced Ocean Natural Farm watermelons. Kenny served cobbler from Garners Farms peaches, topped with vanilla ice cream made by his aunt and uncle, Carrie and Quinton Collins.