“If pressed to select a single thing that could save our food supply from destruction, I would say it is our farmers markets.” That quote, by Lynn Rosetto Kasper of NPR’s ‘The Splendid Table’ graces the printed program of our very first Farmland Feast, which celebrates its tenth year on Monday, November 12. That first Feast was a rather small affair, one of the pioneer local food gatherings in the Washington area hosted by Slow Food DC and Ristorante Tosca. In the slow food tradition, it focused on Chef Cesare Lanfranconi’s Italian roots and his use of only the freshest ingredients possible. Our farmers shared their stories and our guests helped us toast their farms and the bounty of artisanal producers. In those early years of the Farmland Feast, the invitation to gather around a table and take part in a joyous celebration of local food was a rather unique event. It was and continues to be critical to the success of our organization, as well as to the farmers and producers whose livelihoods we support.
In the years between the first Feast and this 10th year, FRESHFARM Markets has grown in every aspect. We serve thousands of customers each week at our farmers markets, have expanded to offer 5 educational programs and have many more farmers and producers at our 11 farmers’ markets. We are thrilled to find that local and fresh foods, the farmers and producers who provide them and the many chefs who now create with them have become not just a trend, but a commitment and a way of life. We have 10 years of Farmland Feasts to look back on and have grown from a small gathering to a much larger gala at the beautiful Ritz Carlton, D.C.
On the 12th, we will proudly toast the achievement of our work, the farmer-chef connection, the small yet thriving farms of our Chesapeake Bay region and the burgeoning farm-to-table and vine–to-bottle movements. Our exceptional team of chefs and sommeliers, representing a Who’s Who of Feast alum headed by Cathal Armstrong, will craft a scrumptious six-course dinner paired with local wines. We continue to share the story of our farmers represented this year by Mike Koch, the award-winning cheese maker from FireFly Farms. Our event auctions will continue to surprise and excite by featuring chef and farmer-centric offerings as well as locavore experiences. Can you resist?
Tickets are on sale now and will sell out fast! Purchase yours here.
Watch highlights from last year’s Farmland Feast.
~ Amanda Phillips Manheim, Associate Director of Fundraising