Sunday, June 17, 2018

Another Successful Twilight Tour & Tasting

The 4th Twilight Tour & Tasting was held Thursday, June 13, 4 to 8 p.m. at the Washington County Agricultural Education Center (in Boonsboro), with tours to the adjacent Western Maryland Research & Education Center (in Keedysville).

Image by Pam Thomas
Arik Mills, chef and co-owner of Rik's Cafe (in Hagerstown) was the featured chef. He prepared African Goat Meat over Jasmine rice, Roasted Lamb Rocket Salad, Lamb Sliders, Lamb Tacos, and Roasted Red Pepper (goat) Cheese Dip. All of the dishes were delicious. All of the meat and cheese that was used in the recipes was locally-sourced.

Exhibitors include Caprikon Farms, a goat dairy in Gapland, Maryland; Shepherds Manor Creamery, a sheep dairy in New Windsor, Maryland; Browsing Green Goats from Sunderland, Maryland, a farm that does goat yoga and leases goats for grazing; and Budding Creek Farm from Frederick, whose shepherdess teaches and hosts classes pertaining to fiber.

Joe Fiola, Viticulture Specialist from the University of Maryland was on hand to dispense wine samples and teach participants to match wine with food.  4-H educators, Ashley Travis and Chris Anderson introduced the new 4-H animal science research academy, whereby older 4-H youth will take an active role in university research, specifically this year's lamb project.

The tour part of the event included wagon tours of the Western Maryland Research & Education Center (WMREC), including a stop at the sheep research site, where our study is underway to compare ram, wether, and short-scrotum rams. The wagons were full and the lambs seemed to "enjoy" the limelight. The tours were led by Jeff Semler, Washington County Agricultural Extension Agent.

Loaded and ready for the tour (image by Pam Thomas)

The Twilight Tour & Tasting was funded in part by the American Lamb Board. It was the 4th year of the event. Plans are to repeat it next year. Attendance is always capped at 100. The event is attended by a unique mixture of sheep and goat producers, university employees, and the general public.

Editor's note:  Rik's Cafe frequently features lamb on its menu and sometimes goat. Goat cheese is also used in recipes. Follow Rik's Cafe on Facebook.

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