A Visit to Moonstone Farm

21 Jun
by Deanne

A few years before we owned a restaurant, I facilitated a business meeting at a coffee shop called Java River in Montevideo, MN. After the meeting, the client encouraged me to come downstairs and enjoy lunch. I learned that the coffee shop served locally raised grass fed beef from a farm called Moonstone.

I’m not sure why that random fact stuck in my mind, but perhaps it’s because Steve‘s always been interested in feeding cattle on grass because during his previous career as a cattle buyer he’d grown a little uncomfortable with the way the cattle business has boomed and grown.

Recently I remembered Moonstone and when I looked up the farm I discovered that they have a “farm stay” element to their business, which is modeled after the owners’ experience with agritourism in Europe.

The time seemed right for us to go and learn more about their operation. We learned that they have interns, something we’d like to consider incorporating into our growing and evolving restaurant operation.

A photo of our breakfastOur accommodation was a very sweet one room cottage that has been re-purposed from its former life as a brooder house. Our breakfast was a great display of their farm’s abundance. We had elderberries on our melons, farm fresh eggs, and pear juice from last year’s harvest.

After breakfast we took a walk through the woods with one of the owners, Audrey, who is a student and teacher of holistic management and permaculture design.  She showed us the progress they are making in transforming a patch of forest on their land to an edible and sustainable forest.

Before we left we stopped in their farm store and picked up some items that will soon be showing up in our FarmerChef recipes.

Have you ever stayed at a farm for a short get away or vacation?

4 Responses to “A Visit to Moonstone Farm”

  1. Rachel@hammeringourwayhome June 21, 2012 at 11:09 am #

    “as a cattle buyer he’d grown a little uncomfortable with the way the cattle business has boomed and grown.” — would LOVE to hear more about this. Buying produce/veggies, it’s easier to understand the use of organic/local, but I don’t really know anything about meat. I try to buy hormone-free, and organic if I can swing it, but due to price, it’s sometimes hard. But I think an inside view might really help clarify what should be important factors when purchasing meat. I almost laugh to think of myself eating an organic salad next to a steak full of who knows what =/

    • realocalcooking June 28, 2012 at 12:54 pm #

      Wow, this comment really got us thinking. We are wondering: How do we share our inside knowledge in a way that is most helpful without demonizing the people who put a large amount of care and effort into raising their cattle? All this thinking will surely lead to a future post. Thanks so much for helping us to think deeper about a complex issue.

  2. Corrine June 21, 2012 at 8:07 pm #

    Moonstone sounds fascinating. I have enjoyed exploring their web site. Fun to hear about their marketing strategy too. Found an agritourism listing close, in Plymouth, but it wasn’t an o’niter.

    • realocalcooking June 28, 2012 at 12:57 pm #

      What kind of place was it in Plymouth? It would be fun to check out.

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