November 4, 2011 by Ashlee Clark Thompson
I’ve had parties, karaoke jams and dinner dates to celebrate my birthday.
The hubs surprised me with this day trip on my birthday this past Sunday. I may or may not have squealed with glee at the news of his plans.
The Huber Farm and Winery (two separate businesses, BTW) are a great example of local agritourism, the act of visiting a farm to learn about its operations, see how things work, and just have a good time.
Lots of Louisville residents have made the hour-drive to Starlight, Ind., to visit Huber’s at least once, usually on an elementary school field trip. My parents took me to the farm years ago, but I remember enjoying the experience of getting out of the ‘burbs and exploring a farm.
I had just as great of a time this week as I did as a kid. There is enough to do at the farm and the winery that can entertain an entire family. And of course, lots and lots of food. Here are some highlights of my day:
- Rob and I started our trip with a hearty lunch at Joe Huber’s Restaurant. We were seated in less than five minutes and began to receive our food in less than 10. We dove into the country platter dinner, a meal that was served family-style (think of traditional Sunday dinners). Our meal included Waldorf salad, coleslaw, chicken and dumplings, green beans, mashed potatoes with white gravy, honey ham, fried chicken and fried biscuits with apple butter. It was FANTASTIC. This dinner is a bit steep for my usual budget ($17.99 per person), but the food was some of the best country cooking I’ve had outside of my mother’s kitchen, and we had enough leftovers to fill two to-go boxes. Still need convincing? Observe:
- We walked off some of our lunch/dinner (linner? dunch?) by browsing the farmers market and gift shop. There was a huge selection of produce straight from the farm, shelves of homemade preserves, and lots of sweet treats, like these caramel apples:
- With a gallon of apple cider and a tub of beer cheese from the market, Rob and I hopped in the car and headed down the road to the winery. We caught a ride out to the orchard to pick some apples. It was hard to find tons of good apples this late in the season. Many of the trees meant for visitors to pick were mostly bare and surrounded by decaying apples that had fallen to the ground. But after some intense pickin’, I walked away with about 10 yellow delicious apples.
- We ended out day with some adult beverages back at the winery, which is where all the grown ups hang out after spending a day picking pumpkins with the kids. When you buy a bottle (or three), you can ask the cashier to open the vino and he or she will give you a couple of cups to enjoy your purchase. We enjoyed half a bottle of the seasonal apple wine and a cheese platter from the snack bar. It was a great way to relax after a full day.