It’s called Stringfest, but for those of us who founded it, it’s just the Gathering – An offshoot of an instrument making website owned by a few friends and I, The Luthier Community. This is the tenth anniversary of this event, a weekend that binds hand made instruments, musicians, artists, and friends, with great food as the glue.
The Gathering happens at our dear friends Grant and Christy’s place in rural northern Minnesota. As the years have passed, the compound has changed to accommodate the annual visitors. There is now a pretty swanky bunkhouse that sleeps a bunch, plus the main house, a main stage, as well as indoor and outdoor kitchens.
From humble beginnings, the event now draws quite a few folks, so the big meals during the weekend have become events in and of themselves, feeding 50 or more some years. As fate would have it, I’ve become the event Chef, which means I get to coordinate all the meals and do a bunch of cooking as well. And that has perks, I might add – Monica and I get a private suite right next to the big house – A rare treat at an event like this.
There certainly are meat eaters at this thing, and there’s plenty of proteins to appease them – most of which are hand made within a few miles of here. That said, there are a lot of vegetarian and veggie-leaning folks as well, so we do a lot for them. Frankly, that’s pretty easy when you’ve got the fixing just a short walk down to the tunnels. One of the first things we do is go tour the gardens, to see what’s looking good and ready to go – Here’s a little sample of what we found this year. I’ll share some recipes and pictures over the next few days, without a doubt, so stay tuned.
Now, when you get a bunch of artists together. There is definitely some drinking going on with all that food and music. Grant makes all the beer for the event from scratch, with hops grown right here as well. It is amazing beer, everything from a light summer ale, to a gorgeous IPA, and a stunning chocolate stout. There’s even a sparkling apple cider – I don’t know what the alcohol content of that stuff is, but I can testify that it sneaks up on ya if you’re not careful! He leaves some of each uncarbonated, making it perfect for cooking, and I take full advantage in darn near every meal.
And then there’s the gardens…
More soon come…