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Completing the cycle: reflections on our Farm to Table events

Farm to Table through the seasons: a look back

Thank you to guest blogger, Brendan Tracy.  

Hors d’oeuvres at the June brunch included bread, scones, cheeses and homemade jam.

Hors d’oeuvres at the June brunch included
bread, scones, cheeses and homemade jam.

Just about one year ago, we challenged ourselves to create a new fundraiser, deeply relevant to our mission as an agricultural community, and true to the founding words: to do together what we otherwise couldn’t do alone. It was a bit overwhelming to have a short timeframe in which to craft a menu of locally sourced ingredients,
attract and generate enough attention and interest, and build an atmosphere that would honor the amazing people and products that are produced, but the outpouring of support over the ensuing year has been nothing short of remarkable.

Rudolf Steiner once wrote of the seasons:

“Everything that takes its course outside, in wind and weather during the year, all that lives in the sprouting of the seed forces, the fruiting of the earth forces, the brilliance of the sun forces – all this is no less significant and decisive for the whole life of a human being, even though he is not conscious of it, than the breathing and blood circulation which goes on inside his skin” (GA 229).

And so we endeavored to close the gap between farmer and consumer, to involve our guests in the full cycle of the farm-to the producer-to the table-and back to the farm.

Sue Miller of Birchrun Hills Farm speaks to our guests about cheesemaking.

Sue Miller of Birchrun Hills Farm speaks to our guests about cheesemaking.

Since last fall guests have been educated on topics like lacto-fermentation and its restorative healing properties, as shared by Annmarie Cantrell of Cucina Verde. A mysterious wonder was shared by Sweet Water Bakery’s Saul and Natalie Schwartz, who described how their bread just started tasting better when they moved into the community bakery and began to employ the help of Kimberton Hills residents. Our long-time friend Sue Miller of Birchrun Hills Farm, and our new friend Stacey Gentile from The Farm at Doe Run, each educated us on the delicate process of cheese making, and Ed Humpal of Hobo Ed’s Coffee Roastery spoke about ethically sourced beans and the responsibility of becoming an informed consumer.

Chef Seth Williams and CSA Manager Mary Wildfeuer discuss the pumpkins available for last fall's event.

Chef Seth Williams and CSA Manager Mary Wildfeuer discuss the pumpkins available for last fall’s event.

So we have arrived at the end of a cycle, and turning to reflect upon this year, I can see it has been a real transformative process for us as a community, and truly a success! I feel the bonds that hold us together are strengthened, and the agricultural endeavors of the miraculous people in Kimberton Hills have been showcased and appreciated alongside our treasured neighbors and friends. With any luck we have even aided in the movement of human beings one step closer to rediscovering the richness of our earth, and the importance of maintaining it and supporting those who strive to hold it in balance.

And so it remains an open question around the village, “What’s for Dinner?” Who can we reach out to for support, and how can we best highlight our CSA garden? Having experienced each season and its unique gesture, it’s challenges and gifts a-plenty, we have settled on the fall, Sept. 19, 2015, and the winter (TBA) as those seasons to best represent the life of the land. We have gathered together a wealth of supporters, including my oldest and dearest friend, Chef Seth Williams of the Landis Store Hotel, to create something truly magical here and deeply relevant to Kimberton Hills. As we strive to uphold it, we would welcome your support, whether as a dinner guest or a financial or in-kind supporter. This is a real community event, so I offer this opportunity for you, friend, to support the work of Kimberton Hills and our friends and neighbors. You just don’t know what you’re missing!

For more information on our next farm to table dinner event, visit: http://www.camphillkimberton.org/whatsfordinner

 

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