I’ve decided in my next life, (or possibly when I retire), I am going to pioneer an affordable Farm to Table dinner.
Just to prepare you, I am going to get on my soapbox for a minute, (or two).
You see, I’m a gardener. It’s in my blood. I’ve gardened since I was twelve. I’ve dug and hoed and seeded and coddled. I’ve weeded and staked and conquered. I’ve mourned disease and celebrated bounty.
A flower isn’t just a flower to me. It is saturated pigment, shapely petals and supporting stems .You see, I can’t really draw or paint. But I can masterfully use Earth’s palette to create beauty and joy. It is my means of artistic expression.
So when I hear about Farm to Table dinners….I get a little mushy inside. I imagine the expanse of tables covered in white linens….jam jars overflowing with zinnias and cosmos….yellowed fields bending their overgrown hay….blue skies giving way to laughter and good conversation.
And then I see the ticket price! Whoa baby! Way out of my budget. And definitely not affordable as a couple. Which brings me to the top of my soapbox.
Farm to Table dinners have become elitist, which bewilders me.
Why? Because the local farmers, floral growers and meat and dairy suppliers are sooo down to Earth; yet, this time and place meant to highlight their hard work has become unattainable for us common folk.
And before you say it….I know about cost, and not undercutting hard work, and not expecting farmers to donate. I get it.
But I also get that we can still have this experience without having the finest cheeses, meats, produce, flowers and wine all at once!
How about a tomato tasting party with a few nice wines? Or a springtime dinner with early pickings like garlic scapes made into pesto or early greens sautéed with local wines and mustards.
How about local steaks with local spuds…
Or cucumber sandwiches…
Or stuffed peppers…
Or a pumpkin pie bake off?
Bigger may seem better to some….but when bigger drives the price up, making something as simple as good local food and drink unattainable to all, something is terribly wrong….
…which has led me to think of alternatives, rather than just complaining.
For now, I will pick my own produce and flowers, shop local, and cook tasty farm dinners right in my own kitchen, right down to the
white tablecloth and flower filled jam jar.
I hope you will too.
Kudos to so many locals here on Massachusetts' Farmcoast and beyond, for working the land, for following your dreams, for working long hours to bring us healthy food for our families.