After our city tour of downtown Freiburg, we had a 2pm date with a local, small, family owned white asparagus farm and winery, Vorgrimmler: http://www.vorgrimmler.de/.
Tyler’s and my playground! Whoopie! We’re huge foodies, health nuts (except for the occasional cupcake) love wine, and enjoy learning about the history of our food and where it comes from. White asparagus is an early spring crop in Germany and easily found ANYWHERE this time of year.
Both green and white asparagus are the same species, however the growth characteristics are rather different. Growing white asparagus is quite an intensive process that usually takes 3 years until the first harvest. Apparently farmers need to wait until the plants flower twice then hope for a warm spring in the 3rd year.
As most of you know, WE LOVE ASPARAGUS at this house, so I was a good little student taking mental notes… plus the land was so gorgeous, how could you not pay attention?
Once Marion introduced us to the family that lived on the winery and the few employees that worked the land, it was tasting time!
Be sure to check out Lea’s face. Classic.
(Below) The owners (the couple to the right) and Marion’s friend (the woman on the left) spoke for several minutes about their backgrounds and farm practices.
The owner, Klaus Vorgrimmler (found here in this older YouTube video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gWpoXEgaNb0) is a huge advocate for sustainable agriculture.
He only takes from the land what he gives. They don’t use chemicals, process almost everything by hand, are careful to till or irrigate without adequate drainage, and replenish the soil, so that it will be fertile for generations to come.
By doing this, they are able feed local restaurants and families, enhance environmental quality, efficiently use non-renewable resources, and sustain the quality of life for farmers… and most importantly, society.
This way of farming is a dying methodology… expensive, costly, and results in more labor and time, however extremely important if our great-grandchildren plan to have farmlands and eat healthy.
Not only did Klaus talk about asparagus and their farming methods, but he also spoke about his passion for wine. They produce several different types of varietals; burgundy, pinot noir, chardonnay, cabernet blanc, pinot blanc de noir (saignee method), and bubbles!
Klaus showed us his red wine cellar, which he seemed most proud of… creepy little basement with spiders, but at the same time… the most beautiful wine barrels with yummy juice waiting for us to try.
Klaus and his wife make their own honey!
And, allow their friends to use their community garden!
Perfectly complete with little wild strawberries that taste like little candies.
And, of course a J. Crew photoshoot with Hayden and Nancy!
Klaus and his wife took us for a short tour on their land to also see their apple orchard and vineyards.
After a good hour or so of granola heaven, this gorgeous table full of food awaited us in the tasting room.
White and green asparagus wrapped in prosciutto and ham, polenta cakes, radishes, cheeses with an asparagus jam, water with mint… and most importantly, wine!
The asparagus jam was my favorite! Almost like a Pepper Jam… a little sweet/spice combination.
And, of course… we can’t forget dessert! An assortment of German chocolate.
Yes yes yes!
After letting our food and wine settle, everyone walked around the farm and relaxed before our bus ride home.
Dani and Davis laid out of the driveway, Nancy and Hayden reassured an employee of Klaus that we didn’t need glasses of wine for the bus, but we would cork an open bottle for consumption later, and Nicole, Lea, and Vinay were making friends with the Vorgrimmler 15 year old farm kitty, while everyone else prepared for their trip back to our humble abodes.
Ok, ok… I lied. Nicole made friends with the farm kitty. She made friends with EVERY cat that we saw in Europe.
Someone needs a pet!
In closing, Tyler and I had a very special time at this farm. The owners reaffirmed why we spend more money on healthy food than the average American… why Tyler works at Earth Fare… that we make sure to buy all-natural and organic when at all possible… and otherwise, take care of the land… recycle, reuse, replenish.
When leaving the farm, I could have sworn we were in North Carolina. :)
Eat local. Buy local. Be sure to support NC farms!
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