Who is your farmer?
Simple, Good, and Tasty, a Twin Cities site dedicated to local, sustainable, and organic foods and producers, posed this question as the theme of its most recent local food dinner, co-sponsored by Lucia Watson. The dinner, held last night at Lucia’s in Uptown, connected diners, farmers, and producers in a unique farm-to-table dining experience.
Throughout the three-course dinner, diners sat with the farmers and producers, getting to know them and asking questions about the foods featured in the evening’s dishes. Conversations ranged from farming techniques and crop yields to their family life and driving force behind what they do each day.
Perhaps the most compelling theme that emerged from conversations at this writer’s table was the sense of community that the farmers and producers feel with other producers of local food. Victor Mrotz of Hope Creamery and Sandy Dietz of Whitewater Gardens each spoke of teaming up with other local producers to distribute quality, organic products to the Twin Cities. One example: the bottled cream from Pride of Main Street Dairy in Sauk Centre, one of Mrotz’s cream sources for making his butter, which Mrotz helps to distribute to The Wedge. For her part, Dietz teams with a larger farm that can more easily handle the billing and logistics required to distribute her vegetables.
In his final words of the evening, Lee Zukor of Simple, Good, and Tasty spoke of this sense of community along with the other goals of the site — understanding the true costs of food, building the market for local, organic foods, and promoting cooking at home.
Poulet rouge chicken stuffed with chicken sausage and apples, cider creme fraiche sauce, spaghetti squash, and mixed vegetables
Callister Farm, Nesbitt’s Nursery and Orchard, Hope Creamery, Hidden Stream Farm, Featherstone Fruits and Vegetables, Whitewater Gardens
Alternative entree option: Prime rib of beef with roasted onion demi-glaze, mashed potatoes, yorkshire pudding, and mixed vegetables
Hidden Stream Farm, Whole Grain Milling
Raspberry and wild blueberry cobbler
Featherstone Fruits and Vegetables, Wild Potato First Nation
Lucia’s housemade chocolates