The last week of April is a special time for the culinary department at VITALIA Active Adult Community® – Solon Solon, OH. In honor of Earth Month, we will be celebrating and embracing the Farm to Table concept. While the terminology is often overused, the idea is a basic one that stems from the days when the food you ate came from the farm you lived on or nearby. Practices may have changed but utilizing the produce and livestock from local farms and growers has many benefits. For example, did you know most produce loses nutrients within 24 hours of harvesting? Have you ever noticed how fresh meat is moister and more flavorful?
Farm to Table also helps strengthen the local economy by providing jobs and keeping money in the hands of businesses run by our neighbors and friends. It helps to build relationships between the farmer or rancher and the customer. Both sides benefit greatly from sourcing local items. If an item becomes scarce, or pricing becomes high, this valued relationship can be instrumental in helping us to continue to provide the exceptional food our residents have come to expect from us with minimal interruption.
The dish I’m making is Ohio Proud Filet Deburgo. I will be sourcing five items locally for the dish, beef, potato, butter, and cream. These will be purchased from Ohio Proud Beef, White’s Haven Potato Farm https://www.facebook.com/pages/category/Agriculture/Whites-Haven-Farms-105094271071714/, and Villa Mir Farm http://villamirfarm.com/. I chose this dish and decided upon these ingredients because it is a staple in fine dining where I grew up in Des Moines, Iowa and highest rated local products are available.
My favorite memories of eating local ingredients from my childhood are school tours of our local dairy, Anderson Erickson dairy. Sustainable farming does not just benefit my area, but the world at large benefits. It preserves and protects critical habitats, helps protect watersheds and improves soil health and water quality.
For us, buy local isn’t just a bumper sticker. It should be embraced and promoted as much as possible. Even if you couldn’t be here to enjoy it with us, I hope you can enjoy the content included here and feel inspired to visit some of these local vendors!