I started this blog a year ago. Every minute of writing, photographing (and eating) has been enjoyable. I think I am even a more passionate gardener today than I was a year ago. For me, growing your own food is one of the most fulfilling things you can do, and I wish more people with a backyard would do it. That’s why I am so enthusiastic about “Field to Fork”, the event that the Master Gardeners in Schuylkill County, of which I am a member, will hold on August 20th. It’s a show-and-tell-and- taste, where containers with a variety of homegrown fruits and vegetables will be on display, and samples of different dishes for the public to taste.
The whole thing began last summer after I bought of a copy of Jim Denevan’s cookbook Outstanding in the Field. Denevan is a chef and artist from California who tours the United States every year, holds dinners at places where organic food is grown: farms, vineyards, wineries, ranches etc.
I went online and saw that a dinner in our area was scheduled for September. Too bad it’s sold out, I told my husband, and started doing other things in the kitchen. He grabbed the laptop and asked, “Do you have any idea how much it costs?” I didn’t. 200 dollars per person plus tax plus service fee. Even if I could, I would never spend that amount of money for a meal. As beautiful as it is, the long tables in a rural setting – and from the recipes in the book I know the food must be delicious – the socialist in me revolted. Events like this cater to a food elite that is already conscious of healthy eating.
Then I started thinking. We need something very low key, very affordable, very grass-root for this area. Although this is farm country, only a fraction of people, many of them with large properties, have their own food gardens. In the cities, on the other hand, the waiting lists for a plot in a community garden are long, and often even closed for new applicants. Is there a better way to inspire someone to grow fruits and veggies than to show them the plants you grow, put some tasty homemade food in their mouth, and say “You can do this, too!”.
Before I joined the Master Gardeners, this absence of making use of the land on which we sit plainly angered and frustrated me. Now, by joining forces with other like-minded gardeners, I feel we can do something about it. If only a handful of people are inspired to grow their own food, “Field to Fork” will have fulfilled its purpose.
“Field to Fork” will be held at Frisbee Farm in Orwigsburg, PA, on August 20. For more information click here.