One of the oldest human traditions, the harvest feast signals the end of the summer growing season and the coming of winter. It is a tradition represented in nearly every world religion and many secular ones, including our own American Thanksgiving. At their core, these traditions share two common themes: balance and the harmony of the seasons and our planet’s solar and lunar cycles, and agriculture. Harvest feasts around the world celebrate the bounty of the soil, the harvesting of the crops, and their storing and preserving in anticipation of winter. It was historically, and remains, a time for celebration and a giving of thanks for the abundance of nature and for the talents and labors of those who work with nature to farm and grow the food we need to survive.
The FRESHFARM Feast, taking place on Tuesday, October 18, is Washington’s original farm-to-table gala. This year’s Feast marks the fifteenth harvest season since supporters first came together around tables in the autumn of 2002 at Chef Cesare Lanfranconi’s Restaurant Tosca. Since then, FRESHFARM’s Feast has annually celebrated our region’s agricultural bounty while raising a substantial portion of the funding needed to realize our mission.
This year’s Feast is a special one. It will certainly be an unforgettable meal prepared by amazingly talented chefs; but more importantly, it puts the farmer and food producer in the spotlight. Our farmers and food producers are the headliners on each sumptuous course, paired with their chef allies--chefs with whom they have forged sourcing relationships that every day fight to keep the farmer at the center of our plates and our tables. And while not purely vegetarian, meat has been moved from the center of the plate. We celebrate the incredible vegetable bounty of the Mid-Atlantic foodshed and remind each of us of the importance of making mindful protein choices.
FRESHFARM’s work seeks to assist farmers and food producers succeed and grow. It seeks to educate this generation and the next about the importance of farming and making mindful, seasonal food choices. It seeks to break down the barriers that our neighbors face in accessing locally grown, healthy foods for their families. It seeks to nourish our food future.
Come Feast with us!