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Week 47: Steve Gallmeyer

Dear Batter Up friends, meet Steve Gallmeyer—the brains and brawn behind Gallmeyer Farms!

First off, let me apologize for taking so long to get this post up. Life has been busy and, once again, I have gotten too far behind on my blog posts. Sorry Steve and Gallmeyer Farm (GF) folks!

Now about Steve and his team. Wow! What a cool place. Tammy Bracket, one of the GF team members, originally emailed me in January about doing a cake for Steve. After an initial email exchange I asked Tammy to tell me a little bit about what the farm was doing for the Richmond community, this is what she wrote:

“Gallmeyer Farms hosts THREE FREE FESTIVALS for the community each year. We don’t charge admission or parking. Our hayrides and play areas are always free—even when there isn’t a festival going on. We encourage families to partake of our beautiful grounds, free picnic area and play equipment. We don’t charge for extras like hayrides. During fall pumpkin season we have a free hay bale maze, free hay romping pile…I think you get the idea. FREE! Cause we think having the farm is a true blessing and it is something we want to share with families.”

Yes please! You had me at the words FREE FESTIVALS. What a cool place. I immediately told Tammy I was on board and we decided to wait until their strawberry season came in—which pretty much kicks off the farm’s warm weather extravaganza of ah-mazing-ness. While the farm has been in operation for over 100 years and passed down through the generations, this year was the 10th annual Strawberry Fields Festival. It’s always located at their berry patch and brings roughly 2500 people to the farm. As it got closer to strawberry season, Tammy and I settled on Friday evening, May 23—the night before the festival—for the delivery. There would be lots of people around getting ready for the big day who would want to be there for the surprise. When I arrived I found Tammy and she led me over to a large group of people where we found Steve. She gave a little speech, I told them about the cake, we took a few pictures, and Steve was off. (I have a feeling he doesn’t let a lot of grass grow under his feet.) I headed home and posted the recipient announcement to social media, as I usually do, and several people ended up going to the festival because they heard about it from Batter Up. I love it when stuff like this happens! The reports I got were that good times were had by all.

Berry picking season is wrapping up now and GF has opened up their Veggie Stand for the summer. If you’re looking for it, it’s located at 4506 Millers Lane, 23231. They’ll spend the rest of the summer selling corn (for which I hear they’re famous), tomatoes, beans, and other fresh veggies straight from the farm. In addition they distribute specialty items from other various farms such as apple cider, local honey, specialty veggies that they don’t grow themselves, and some other surprises here and there.

And while you’re reading this, go ahead and mark your calendars for July 19 for the 2nd annual Sweet Corn Festival. It promises to have all of the fun found in the Strawberry Fields Festival, but with the added addition of a hay bale swimming pool for everyone to jump in and cool off. (I saw a picture on Facebook of the preliminary design. It looks pretty awesome.) Keep an eye on their website for the date of the Fall Festival. This is located in their pumpkin patch and, along with all of the fun found in the other two, has the added Halloween theme with spooky house tours and a hay bale maze. And yes, it’s all free.

What a cool place and a cool guy Steve is for opening up his family farm in this way. Thanks Steve!

And now for this week’s cake! I broke one of my rules this week. I used a cake mix. BUT it was for a good reason. This week’s recipe was so unique and so good that I didn’t want to mess with it—if it ain’t broke why fix it, right? Tammy had told me that Steve loved chocolate and cheesecake. In the spirit of the delivery, I wanted to make sure I included strawberries too. Then I found this little gem. (recipe here) It’s a Strawberry Chocolate Truffle cake from the Betty Crocker website. It’s not a cheesecake, but the consistency isn’t a traditional cake either. It’s more like a soft fudgey cloud pillow of heaven. Here’s a quick synopsis—you make a sheet cake, after it’s cooled, you crumble it up in a food processor, then you mix it with a couple of cups of chocolate ganache and cut strawberries. After freezing it for an hour to let it set up, you top it with more chocolate ganache, strawberries, and white chocolate.

That ain’t no stinking box cake.