Ask Eartha: How can I get in touch with local farms?
How do I get in touch with all the local farms that donated food to HC3’s Harvest Dinner last week? The food was incredibly prepared by chef Vinny, and I want to know where it all came from!
We are so glad you enjoyed HC3’s Harvest Dinner at Vinny’s Euro American Bistro last Wednesday, Daniel! And we really appreciate your support of HC3. But we are even more pumped that you are interested in how the food was sourced, because local food is essential for the health of our environment and community. For this year’s four-course meal, all the food came from local farms within 160 miles of Summit County.
Sourcing food locally benefits our community in many ways:
• Supports the local economy
• Reduces greenhouse gas emissions by decreasing the distance traveled by food (The average commute of a veggie in the U.S. is 1,500 miles!)
• Local foods, when freshly harvested, are more nutritious due to higher phytonutrient values
• Many locavores, gardeners and chefs alike can attest to the fact that local food tastes better
• Local foods spur culinary creativity by forcing us to cook seasonally
Many thanks to our local partners for their contribution to the menu. Mixed greens for the salad came from the Summit Community Supported Agriculture farm and Trout Creek Farms. Forte Farms contributed apples which Chef Vinny mixed with caramelized onion and potato to stuff inside pierogies. With meat donated by the Thoma family — Summit County locals — Vinny whipped up meatballs served with tomato sauce. The Thomas also provided the pork used in the star entrée, a slow-roasted pork shoulder with an apple-brandy sauce. Peppers from Miller Farms made for a delicious vegetarian entrée stuffed with quinoa and almonds. The spinach from the chicken florentine was grown right here in Summit County at the Summit CSA greenhouses. Several diners raved about the freshness of the grilled salmon. The salmon was caught in Norway and sold by local farmers market vendor Eagle Smoked Salmon. Vail Meat Company is also a very generous partner of ours and donated beef for a pot roast that got rave reviews!
The local love does not stop at the entrée. Blue Moon Bakery donated the harvest spice cake, Clint’s Bakery baked snickerdoodle cookies, and Higgle’s Ice Cream whipped up a pumpkin cream cheese ice cream that was to die for.
This event could not be pulled off without chef Vinny, his culinary team and serving staff. The owners of Vinny’s, Vincent and Sarah Monarcha embrace the farm-to-table philosophy and strive to use only the freshest, organic produce available and locally sourced ingredients free of hormones and antibiotics. It should come as no surprise that Vinny’s is a member of HC3’s Resource Wise sustainable business program.
Thanks for asking about our local farm partners, Danny! Their commitment to sustainable food practices is inspiration for HC3 to carry out our mission to conserve the environment for our mountain community. We hope to see you again at the Harvest Dinner, and remember to RSVP early as we sell out every year. Be sure to connect with our local farm partners via our Facebook page to let them know how thankful you are for their donations. And if you’d like to enjoy local food all summer long, call HC3 at 970-668–5703 to learn more about the Summit CSA.
Ask Eartha Steward is written by the staff at the High Country Conservation Center, a nonprofit organization dedicated to waste reduction and resource conservation. Submit questions to Eartha at email@example.com.
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