By Nancy Smorch
It’s that time of year - time to enjoy the harvests of many of your local farms!
Going a step further, many local farmers are starting to team up with local chefs to hold Farm-to-Fork or Farm-to-Table dinners. I love, love, love the idea, and the people who have the passion and take the risk to put them together.
So, a big thanks to our local Eighth Day Farms for hosting a Farm-to-Fork dinner Tuesday July 22, and also to New Holland Brewery for sponsoring it. Check out this link for more information on Eighth Day's Farm-to-Fork.
What’s really cool about this one is that our local brewery, New Holland Brewery, will be serving up their new brew, “Uncle Bert’s Farm Market Red," a new ale made of 100% hops, which was inspired by the work that Eighth Day Farm is doing.
Also, Chef Lucas of Public in Zeeland, Tracy Barnett of Ultimate Catering, and Curtis Mulder of Creative Dining, will be using the produce from Eighth Day farm to create a variety of small plates for guests to enjoy.
There will also be dessert from Just Eat a Cookie, coffee from Lemonjellos, and music by Nate Roberts.
What is so fun about events like these is it gives you a chance to connect with, not only the farmers and the chefs, but the community as well. It’s fun to get together with a group of people who also enjoy and appreciate fresh, great-quality food (Eighth Day farm grows their food without synthetic fertilizers or chemicals), prepared in passionate, creative ways. It’s events like these that can not only spark new friendships but also new ideas that can change the community and the world for the better.
My hope is that more Farm-to-Fork or Harvest Dinners will start popping up. They are a great way to showcase the many talents in a community and also illustrate all of the people and steps that are involved in supplying us with our food.
Let’s face it, without the farmers, we have no food - unless all of us want to grow everything we need on our own, and I don’t see that happening anytime soon. Usually the hosting farm will give some sort of a tour and will educate the guests on how they grow their food and why they insist on maintaining certain standards. This is one of my favorite parts. I love the stories of how and why the farmers got started and I love learning little tidbits about their particular growing philosophy and things they have learned along the way.
So, if you are from West Michigan, reserve your tickets for the dinner on July 22. And if you are not from West Michigan, seek out and support one in your area.
... And if there aren’t any in your area, take a leap of faith and organize one yourself - your community will thank you!