It was Friday afternoon and I was driving. I drove and drove until I got to Peyton, for the second time in two days. I turned down the dirt road toward my destination and since no other car could be seen, I inched down the road looking at the house numbers.
I found it and was welcomed by children and chickens.
Ahavah Farm is home to Yosef and Hava Camire, along with their four children, some happy dogs, more chickens than I could count (since they were always moving), a flock of ducks and two odd birds whose breed I cannot remember.
I only remember that the male seemed to be from another planet, like a turkey.
Yosef and Hava had invited me for Shabbat dinner, which I could not resist for many reasons. Besides their warm friendliness, they are also part of a small group of Jewish farm enthusiasts like myself AND I have learned, as part of this enthusiasm for farms, that one should never decline an invitation for dinner at a farm because the food is better close to its source than anywhere else. Farmers also know what to do with odd vegetables, like kohlrabi and turnip greens. Hava’s cooking was no exception to this rule. I convinced her to give me the recipe for her coconut cream mousse, which I’ll include at the end of this article.
Contrary to what you might think, I did more than eat. I was also treated to a tour.
Yosef showed me around the farm while Hava finished the preparations for dinner and shooed persistent chickens off the deck. The family had lived in Denver, but didn’t like city life and bought this property a couple years ago and Yosef has been fixing it up ever since.
“We really did this for our kids,” he explained. Life in the country gives kids room to run around, gives rein to their imaginations and helps them learn about the natural world. It also teaches them about hard work and where food comes from.
And they certainly are learning where food comes from! The family sells their produce at the Colorado Farm and Art Market on Wednesdays at Ivywild School from 3PM – 7PM. One week the children stopped by to chat with us at the Info Booth and told us a story about their youngest sibling.
“She pulled a carrot right out of the ground and ate it!”
The children are involved in most aspects of the farm, but not all.
Have you heard me tell people it’s our civic duty to keep bees in the city? You may know that bees are having a hard time surviving and we can’t grow food without bees. Yosef showed me the top bar beehives that he had built. He sternly told the children to stay where they were and then we went out into the field where he opened up a hive.
“Want to get a picture of the inside?”, he asked.
I demurred. It seems rude for a stranger to intrude on bees that way, so Yosef took the camera and put it in the hive.
I’m both impressed by his bravery and amazed at how the bees make this beehive shape inside the hive.
After visiting with the bees, we rejoined the children and Hava for dinner. They are so kind and sociable that I couldn’t drag myself away to get home for Chicken Bedtime until the last possible moment.
Come by and visit this friendly family at the Colorado Farm and Art Market on Wednesdays and get some fresh, “beyond organic” produce. After a few minutes, you’ll be well nourished with vegetables and kindness.
Read on for Hava’s remarkable vegan dessert recipe …
Vegan Coconut Cream Mousse
1 can coconut milk
1/4 cup cocoa powder
maple syrup (or any sweetener) to taste
Let the can sit a while after you buy it so the cream separates. Open the can, skim off the cream and refrigerate it for an hour or two, until it’s firm. Add the cocoa powder and the sweetener. Beat with a hand mixer or with a whisk until everything is incorporated and the mousse is just a little bit fluffy. It won’t beat up like cream or egg whites, but you will see some air bubbles incorporated into it. Chill until firm and serve with fresh fruit. Warning: Do not leave the bowl out with a spoon handy. If you’re like me, you’ll eat the whole thing in one sitting.
©Hungry Chicken Homestead 2015
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