Farm to Table Style
Our 3rd annual Madison County Farm to Table Dinner was recently held at the farm and it was a tremendous success! For those of your who don’t know about this event, each year, we invite an intimate gathering of people to take a seat at our harvest table to experience an amazing night of gorgeous local flowers and feasting on delicious locally grown food.
We spent the evening enjoying amazing cuisine prepared by the lovely and incredibly talented duo, Brandy Lueders and John Cornish (and team), of The Grateful Chef
Brandy and John have been featured on The Iowa Ingredient, The Des Moines Register, Cityview, and dsm Magazine for their vibrant and healthy meal options. The more colorful, the better!
We often snag their ‘grab and go’ meals from the cooler or freezer at the store location in Des Moines on SE 6th. Not gonna lie, this is usually how our kids are fed throughout our busy flower growing time during the summer. It’s our go-to for guilt free, healthy ‘fast food’. Our kids lovingly refer to it as “Brandy Food”. Ha!
We started the evening with a quick social hour, which gave people time to get to know one another, take a look at the farm, the gorgeous scenery, and of course, the amazing flowers. It was surprising to us that several people already knew a little bit about the farm. We weren’t expecting that! There were a handful of people that were already familiar with our new lavender field. It made us feel so good that people care and are excited about what we’re up to. Thank you!
A 20’ branch from our nearby timberland was suspended and covered in gorgeous florals. Other florals were included around the space, bringing natural details from the outside, in, creating the illusion of being in a secret garden. The table was set with a program by K. Henri Design, which detailed out each of the courses. The table also adorned all of our best vintage china, and silverware, collected over time from family, friends and the not-so-occasional visits to local thrift stores. Flowers, candles, and small fall details flowed down the center of the table, giving the room a warm, inviting vibe, while Frank Sinatra crooned and romanced us the entire evening through our Spotify playlist. Magic. That’s the only way to describe the scene.
The Grateful Chef served up five amazing dishes, all curated with local produce from local farms. Many of the dishes were inspired by the fall harvest: full of zesty, flavorful, and warming dishes that created a homey, but stunning culinary experience.
Our favorite was the sage, gouda, apple pie, with a dollop of hand whipped cream on top! You could really pick up the gouda’s tangy flavor in the crust, but the sugary, cinnamon flavor of the filling balanced the flavor perfectly for a mouth watering experience. Yum, yum!
Shown right is the pie being plated. Each piece was plated on a bed of caramel drizzle and topped with hand whipped cream and a sprig of sage.
Understanding where our food comes from and how it’s grown is incredibly important. Not only is it important that we’re able to connect with our food source on this level, it’s also crucial to know and understand the people who all make it happen. At our farm to table dinner, we celebrate the local, hard working farmers who toil day in and day out to bring us the greatest gift: nourishment for our bodies. At this year’s dinner, we had three local farms take a seat at the table to talk with attendees about their farm, their families, and the product that they produce.
We want to recognize Decker 7- Jake and Ginnie Decker, Bridgewater Farm-Dale and Marcy, Rich and Scott from Buffalo Prairie and Hannah Davis and Austin Hill, our employees who attended and represented PepperHarrow. Having these hardworking folks sit and converse with attendees at the farm to table dinner added an authentic richness to the dinner that is almost impossible to put into words.
They are the heart of the farm to table and it was amazing to celebrate and recognize them for the amazing produce they provide each and every day!
Thank you to everyone who came to the farm to table dinner and experienced this magical evening with us. It’s all about the amazing food, fellowship, and festive atmosphere. If you’re looking to attend next year, be on the lookout! We hold this dinner the first Saturday of October each year and will post tickets online early Summer 2020!
-Jenn and Adam