Off the beaten path, down a dirt road and out in the middle of nowhere, in Cat Springs, Texas, lies Animal Farm. I recently was invited out there for brunch by my longtime friend Gita Vanwoerden to scope out the location for an upcoming farm-to-table dinner called Under Autumn Skies.
You may know Gita and Cas from the farmers' markets in Houston. Also, if you have recently had any incredible vegetables or the best baby arugula you have ever tasted in your life at upscale Houston restaurants Haven, Grove or Benji's, then you know Animal Farm is worlds apart from what other farmers are doing right now.
I walked around 70 acres of greenhouses; fields of beans, squashes, melons, carrots, Jerusalem artichokes covered with flowers and sweet potatoes; rocky paths; pens with sheep and pigs; and even a miniature horse for Gita's grandson, Max, to ride on. Then I sat down inside the "tree house" that Gita's husband helped build to eat and talk. I enjoyed an all-organic vegetarian brunch of Eggs Benedict with a creamy mushroom ragout and some goat cheese, homemade crepes with bananas and a fresh berry compote. The meal was incredibly delicious and, best of all, took place in a peaceful, serene environment away from the hustle and bustle of our big city.
After brunch, I maneuvered my way over to the yoga retreat center. Talk about entering into another world. The Animal Farm Center has created a retreat with thatch mudbrick structures and Buddhist sculptures that left me in awe. It was so tranquil. Words fail to describe this environment.
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Under Autumn Skies, an Animal Farm dinner, is happening October 31. The dinner will include Animal Farm's wide variety of seasonal organic vegetables, local meats and cheeses and hopefully lots of local wine and beer.