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A Foraging Dinner
Sunday, May 17, 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. :: Ralph Lentz Farm :: 32797 738th Street, Lake City, MN


Saturday: the day before the event, foragers and chefs arrived to make preparations.

Ralph Lentz, during his Saturday afternoon visit to the cattle. He checks them twice a day. (Photo: Val Landwehr)

Later, in Ralph’s kitchen, Barb Horter displayed a Dryad’s Saddle mushroom she found in the woods. A perfect name: dryads are wood nymphs. (Photo: Val Landwehr)

Tours and talks: There were walking tours throughout the day. Ralph Lentz gave an introduction to the farm and also took guests to visit the cattle. Larry Gates and Richie Biske showed their groups wild edible plants and explained how mindful land management can improve the quality of streams. Val Landwehr gave his groups insect nets and talked about what people caught. He also discussed bird life on the farm. Barb Horter took a group up the cliff to forage, look at wildflowers and see the goat prairie.

Ralph gave an introduction to his farm and explained the environmental improvements he has been able to achieve. (Photo: Becca Dilley)

Visitors snacked on PastureLand cheddar and gouda cheese, served by Steve Young-Burns. (Photo: Becca Dilley)

PastureLand Gouda. (Photo: Becca Dilley)

Becca Dilley of the Heavy Table went on Ralph’s pasture tour and took this photo and the next four.



The cattle change pastures every three days. They are purebred Pinzgauers, a central European breed that is especially tolerant of cold weather.

Another tour (not photographed) scrambled up the cliff overlooking Lake Pepin. They got lost, but found many morels and arrived back in time for dinner.

Dinner: Almost everything was foraged.

A display of wild foods curated by Florence Minar (Photo: Becca Dilley)

(Photo: Becca Dilley)

Salad of foraged greens and violets. (Photo: Jane Rosemarin)

Roasted ramps and wild asparagus. (Photo: Jane Rosemarin)

Linda Harding (l.) and Marianne Jurayj, two of the chefs, serve dinner. (Photo: Val Landwehr)

More chef-servers: Tom Hunter, Linda Harding and Ron Huff. (Photo: Becca Dilley)

The main course: in addition to the salad, asparagus and ramps, there was braised elk, wild rice with nettles and black walnuts, bread from Todd Thomas of the St. Paul farmers market. (Photo: Jane Rosemarin)

Part of the dessert table. Someone accidentally put an egg, pepper and onion casserole from Ralph’s refrigerator on the dessert table. (Photo: Becca Dilley)

(Photo: Becca Dilley)

(Photo: Becca Dilley)

Sitting on a blanket in the grass . . . (Photo: Becca Dilley)

. . . or on chairs. (Photo: Becca Dilley)

Beer and sarsaparilla donated by Flat Earth Brewing Company. (Photo: Becca Dilley)

Brad Glynn, who donated Lift Bridge beer, brought his whole family. (Photo: Becca Dilley)

Some of the Crofut wines served. (Photo: Becca Dilley)

Thank you! (Photo: Becca Dilley)

(Photo: Becca Dilley)


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