Happy Pigs, Artichokes in Cocktails

As you probably know by now, we are kind of pig-crazy here at Black Cat Farm. They take care of us in so many ways — and we take care of them, too. 

June, which begins today (yay!), always marks the beginning of a parade of months during which our Mulefoots spend their days swaddled in their own particular kind of luxury, one that involves fresh food everywhere they step, sleeping amongst the tall (and not-to-be-harvested) plants, which provide shade, and water for drinking and cooling-down.

We have been introducing them to fields we already have harvested, plots of land dense with bolted rapini and other greens. We encircle the plots with electric fencing (the jolts are mild — we feel them all of the time — but enough to stop the pigs from running all over the farm and beyond) and the pigs commence eating. They dine with immense gusto until they lie down amongst their food and sleep. Then they rise and eat some more.

When the heat gets to them, and shade doesn’t quite do the trick, they find mud and plop down. And sometimes, too, we cool them down with water from hoses.

Pigs at the farm-to-table operation Black Cat Farm enjoy the seasons with lots of food. Black Cat Farm, which is biodynamic and organic certified, is the only one of its kind in the nation. The Boulder, Colorado operation supplies most of the food for Black Cat Bistro and Bramble & Hare restaurant.
Young pigs frolicking in the grass. They are very happy.

The procession of pig glory continues through the summer and deep into fall — we still are harvesting up to Thanksgiving, and it’s late in the season when the pigs have a bounty of squash to devour. And then winter comes and like the rest of us, the pigs seek warmth and cozy — then tend to spend more times in the houses we built for them during the winter months.

Happy June, pigs! 

As the gradations of each season evolve, so do our menus, of course. But it’s not just the food on the plates that changes. What’s in your glass, too, often reflects what is happening in the fields.

Farm-to-glass is a way of life at Black Cat Bistro and Bramble & Hare restaurants, both of which are in Boulder, Colorado and are certified organic and biodynamic. Farm-to-table at its finest.
Many cocktails at Bramble & Hare restaurant and Black Cat Bistro are farm-to-glass.

At Bramble & Hare, for example, one of our signature cocktails — My Mom Listens to Slayer (our Bramble bartender Griffin is the cocktail-naming impresario) — always reflects the fields. While most of the ingredients remain the same throughout the year, the drink gets enlivened by gastriques — sort of like a sweet and sour sauce — crafted from seasonal ingredients. Just this week the gastrique switched to artichoke. Our ‘chokes, still babies, are now rising from their nests of thick, serrated leaves and in a few weeks you will find them on plates in the restaurants, at the Farmers’ Market, and right now in that My Mom Listens to Slayer cocktail. Our bespoke cocktails in both restaurants involve farm-to-glass creations. 

Pigs getting cooled-down by Sydney on Black Cat Farm, which supplies most of the food for Bramble & Hare and Black Cat Bistro restaurants in Boulder, Colorado. The farm-to-table operation is biodynamic and organic certified.
Sydney keeping our precious pigs cool in the hot weather.

The harvest this week is wonderful, full of greens, root vegetables and flowers. All of it will be on our Farmers’ Market stand on Saturday, and in Black Cat Bistro and Bramble & Hare dishes for the week. Swing by the stand and let’s talk vegetables, meat, farming and recipes. In addition, arrive at the Market hungry — at our new prepared food stand we will be serving salads, pork burgers, roast beef sandwiches and … drum roll … porchetta! Get it while it’s hot.

  • Arugula
  • Lettuces
  • Kale
  • Tat Soi
  • Purple Tat Soi
  • Osaka purple
  • Mizuna
  • Ruby Streak Mizuna
  • Parsley
  • Fava bean tops
  • Pea tendrils
  • Beets
  • Spring onions
  • Magenta turnips
  • Hakurei turnips
  • Edible flowers
  • Pork cuts

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