by Jules White I’ve spent the past five autumns in New England, but the reds…
On Sunday, June 4th, 51 people came out to Crimson & Clover for a farm-to-table dinner catered by Wheelhouse. They were greeted with a refreshing rhubarb ginger shrub to drink. As people trickled in, they explored the herb garden in front of the red CSA barn and peeked in Wheelhouse’s truck window to watch the chefs preparing their meal.
The forecast called for heavy rain, but we got lucky and only had some light sprinkling as the attendees toured the fields with Farmer Nate and our Executive Director Clem Clay. Nate talked about the challenges and rewards of growing food on a small farm using sustainable, organic methods and selling food through a CSA model. Clem chimed in with details about how Grow Food Northampton came to own the land that Crimson & Clover rents from us and what the partnership means to our organization.
After the tour, everyone filed into the red barn, which had been transformed into a gorgeous and cozy dining room for the evening. Everyone sat at tables of eight, creating a social dining experience. While the guests had been out touring the farm, Wheelhouse staff set out an appetizer buffet of labneh bites marinated in herbs and olive oil, spiced pickled beets, fresh radishes, and za-atar crackers. Wheelhouse focuses on preparing food from locally-sourced, farm fresh ingredients, and this dinner was no exception, with ingredients from a number of local farms, including vegetables and herbs from Crimson & Clover, grains from Four Star Farms, and lamb from Leyden Glen Farm.
Between courses, Wheelhouse chef Will came out from the kitchen and spoke to the diners about the food they were eating, where the ingredients came from, and the inspiration behind the dishes. Clem and MassLIFT-AmeriCorps/TerraCorps member Katie Carr spoke to the attendees about the different aspects of Grow Food Northampton’s work, including our Food Access, Tuesday Market, Community Garden, and Youth Education programs.
We were so glad to host this event with our wonderful partners Wheelhouse and Crimson & Clover. The food was exceptional, the company was excellent, the rain held off until we were all safely in the barn for dinner, and a wonderful time was had by all! We plan to host another Wheelhouse-catered dinner in the Community Garden on September 10th, so be sure to save the date and stay tuned to our website and Facebook page for details!