An urban farm became the back drop to an unforgettable evening in the heart of Birmingham, Alabama. Take a look, and plan your own summer gathering with the help of our curated playlist!
This post comes from our Regional Social Media Manager, Dawn!
In the heart of a city, there lies a beautiful farm…
I guess it’s what you would call an “urban farm,” an expanse of land where the chickens and bees have views of tall city buildings, passing trains, and interstates and highways. It’s fine… they don’t seem to mind, as they are also surrounded by vibrant and beautiful gardens, where 200+ varieties of fruits, vegetables and flowers grow. This city farm is the Jones Valley Teaching Farm located in downtown Birmingham, Alabama and they are dedicated to educating and enriching the lives of local public city school students by providing them with hands-on food and nutrition education. This gorgeous space encompasses one full city block and includes many garden areas, an open-air “classroom,” greenhouses, a unique water collecting system, bee hives and a produce stand.
Recently, we were fortunate enough to be able to host a community dinner here honoring ten of our top Free People customers. We partnered with several local Birmingham businesses including Wheelhouse Salon, Hepzibah Farms, Revelator Coffee, Cahaba Brewing and Jones Valley to fellowship and share an appetizing vegetarian dinner in the glow of a warm summer night. The dinner was planned to not only show our love and appreciation for our customers, but to build community among a diverse group of individuals who love our city of Birmingham and share a like-minded approach to the way we eat and live our lives.
The vegetarian dinner was prepared by a very unique chefs’ group called, The Knife Party. The dinner was six courses with several of the dishes also being vegan. The Knife Party used locally sourced fruits and vegetables from the Jones Valley and Hepzibah Farms, combining some unexpected ingredients in surprising ways. My favorite dish was the Walnut Tlayuda, made with braised walnuts in a salsa roja on a blue corn tortilla and topped with pepita crema and microgreens. YUM! And I don’t think anyone will forget the homemade Black Sesame and Pink Peppercorn Doughnuts for dessert. From the deliciously enticing dinner, to the fresh flower arrangements from Hepzibah Farms, to the small details of the hand painted name cards and sliced wood plates, no detail was left unattended.
Charcuterie featuring a french onion cashew dip, beet tartare and a charred padron pepper
Surf and Turf Salad made with wakame, dulse and hijiki seaweed
Fruit Salad featuring pickled chanterelle mushrooms
Black Sesame and Pink Peppercorn Doughnuts
It was a magical evening and one that I will never forget, filled with laughter, shared stories and connecting with friends, old and new. What a perfect summer gather to celebrate life, love, and our Free People customers!
A Summer Gather Playlist