Back in September of 1992, the Organic Trade Association started “Organic Harvest Month™” to promote the use of “organic food and agriculture through regional and local events,” laying down the path for what would eventually become the Farm-to-Fork movement. More recently the United States Department of Agriculture brought the Farm-to-Fork movement to the forefront by starting the “Know Your Farmer Know Your Food” program as a “commitment to strengthening local and regional food systems.”
The main interest for both of these programs lies in something that is quickly becoming one of the hottest trends in food, Farm-to-Fork (also sometimes referred to as Farm-to-Table). This trend is basically defined as food coming directly from a local source. A hundred years ago this local sourcing of food was commonplace. However, as more people moved away from farms and into cities, the ritual of obtaining food became something most often done within the walls of a grocery store where produce, meats and other products usually come from different states and even occasionally another country. But within the last few decades, many people have started going back to the Farm-to-Fork way of eating both to ensure fresher (often organic) foods and to help their local farmers.
As the summer comes to an end, many Farm-to-Fork events are popping up all over the country to help get the word out about the movement. We’ve found a few of the annual Farm-to-Fork festivals around the U.S. that may just inspire you to take the leap and join in on the trend.
Festival: Farm to Fork Events
When: Various dates from June to October
What: Every few weeks a dinner is hosted on a local Oregon farm. Each dinner features one local winery, a producer and/or chef to create the meal from the farm’s harvest and even live music from local bands. During the event guests are provided with a tour of the host-farm, a meal and information on the meal’s elements and any non-profit partners involved. This year there was also a 4-day Farm to Fork Rafting adventure down Oregon’s Rogue River.
Festival: Farm to Fork Food Invasion
When: Dates vary from year to year. In 2011, it will be held November 11th and 12th.
What: This two day event is put on by the Hampstead Institute, a non-profit dedicated to sustainable living and growing a healthier community. The first night consists of a 35-seat, Farm-to-Fork Dinner. The second day is a Farm-to-Fork festival with live music, food and drink tastings wrapping up with a pig roast.
And just in case you can’t make it to one of these festivals, we’ve also found five great restaurants across the U.S. that follow the movement and are open year-around.
1) The Inn at Red Hills in Dundee, Oregon
2) Husk in Charleston, South Carolina
3) Station 220 in Bloomington, Illinois
4) Woodberry Kitchen in Baltimore, Maryland
5) Route 7 Grill in Great Barrington, Massachusetts
For more information on the benefits of the Farm-to-Fork movement or the “Know Your Farmer Know Your Food” program be sure to visit Food Insight.