Rose Farm in Norwalk has plenty of fresh food options at its events, like this cactus salad with roasted cherry tomatoes and fresh mint (left) or bistro-style warm lentil salad with bacon (top right). Bottom right is esquites (sauteed corn with fresh herbs and cotija cheese).
Writer: Karla Walsh
As the sun was slowly setting behind the pumpkin- and wreath-adorned chic farm shed, amidst the sound of jazz music and glasses clinking, the entree was served at one of the most unforgettable dinners I’ve experienced This year. The hosts: Karri Rose, chef James Oseland and the Rose Farm team.
Even though this was more than a week ago, I can’t stop thinking about the long, communal table of friends—old and new that night—alongside the gorgeous scenery, elegantly executed yet casual cuisine and, of course, several vibrant floral bouquets straight from the farm just steps away.
Rose Farm began in 2018 and is situated on a 25-acre plot in Norwalk. In addition to being the land that grows thousands of cutting flowers for bouquets, it also now includes the Shoppe (opened in 2020), a curated boutique of farmhouse-style goods. (Ahem, early-bird holiday gift shoppers: Candles and kitchen tools and decor abound.) The property has grown to host a variety of public dinners, including the one I attended that raised funds to support Wildwood Hills Ranch’s work to help combat food insecurity among at-risk youths in Central Iowa. And there’s a full slate of classes each season that focus on florals, art and cooking, many of which elevate local entrepreneurs and small businesses.
As much as I adore a grapevine wreath and watercolor session, my ears perked up when I heard about the wide variety of food-focused fun ahead:
- Nov. 11: Strawberry Rhubarb Hand Pies.
- Nov. 14: Winter Brunch.
- Dec. 4: Family-Friendly Gingerbread House.
- Dec. 9: Cinnamon Rolls.
- Dec. 12: Family-Friendly Gingerbread House.
- Dec.16: Adult Gingerbread House.
- Dec. 18: Christmas Cookies.