2017 - Volume #41, Issue #5, Page #06[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
In March of 2017 we hosted our first farm-to-table event. Each event features a 5-course meal that highlights ingredients grown or raised on our farm. We raise pork, rabbit, quail, lamb, chickens, and layer hens, and grow a large garden. The menu always changes, featuring whatever is in season at the time. Additional ingredients, such as goat cheese or fruit, are sourced locally from other farms in the Ozarks region.
Caleb creates, cooks and plates each menu item himself from the kitchen inside our nearly one-hundred-year-old farm house. He studied culinary science at Ozarks Technical Community College. Understanding the chef’s perspective has helped him not just in his own kitchen, but also when marketing our farm products to local restaurants. His clients appreciate his attention to detail and his understanding of how to purchase, store and prepare the meat and vegetables he provides them with.
I greet our guests, keep the drinks flowing, and provide a farm tour for dinner goers to allow them to see where and how the food they are eating was grown and raised. I used to manage a large farmers market in Springfield and have a background in events, marketing and social media, which has helped us reach out and connect with people.
Dinners are hosted in our garage, which we have renovated to give it a rustic feel. The most eye-catching feature is our reclaimed pallet wall, which Caleb built out of pallets we saved from the feed store. Burlap, mason jars and fresh flowers add to the theme. The space can hold up to 16 people – just enough for enjoyable conversation, but small enough to create an intimate dining experience. Each seat costs $35 and we market the tickets through our website, social media pages, and word of mouth. Several people have become repeat guests at the twice-monthly events.
What began as a way to help us reach our goal of both working full time on the farm has become not just a large source of our income, but a way to meet new people and educate the community about the importance of local food. We plan to host the events as late into the year as the weather allows.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Caleb and Klaire Howerton, 1008 E. Farm Rd. 54, Springfield, Mo. 65803 (firstname.lastname@example.org; www.greenthicketfarm.bigcartel.com).
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