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MailTribune.com
  • Farm to Fork

    Farmers, customers come together to enhance the dining experience
  • With restaurants the stage and menus the script for "farm-to-table" cuisine, local diners often relate to farmers only as bit characters in the cast.
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    • If you go
      What: Farm to Fork, a dinner series featuring local foods on the farms and ranches that grew and produced them. A portion of proceeds benefit Rogue Valley Farm to School and Friends of Family Farme...
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      If you go
      What: Farm to Fork, a dinner series featuring local foods on the farms and ranches that grew and produced them. A portion of proceeds benefit Rogue Valley Farm to School and Friends of Family Farmers. Events are planned on Saturdays and begin at 4:30 p.m. Tickets are $60, but additional donations are encouraged.

      When and Where: June 26, Dunbar Farms, 612 Pierce Road, Medford; July 31, Restoration Farm, 1133 Old Siskiyou Highway, Ashland; Aug. 28, Happy Dirt Veggie Patch, 100 Eagle Mill Road, Ashland; Sept. 11, Blackberry Lane, 2926 Lower River Road, Grants Pass; Oct. 9, Rogue Valley Brambles, 6764 Tarry Lane, Talent; Nov. 6, Dunbar Farms.

      For more information and reservations: See the website www.farmtoforkevents.com or call 503-473-3952.
  • With restaurants the stage and menus the script for "farm-to-table" cuisine, local diners often relate to farmers only as bit characters in the cast.
    Starting next week, farmers and consumers will play roles in the same scene for a new dinner series that runs through November. Founders of "Farm to Fork" are bringing their tables to the farm, their kitchen to the food and farmers and customers together for a meal.
    "Meeting the farmer is kind of the first step, and then meeting the land ... is even more enriching," says Kristen Lyon, personal chef and Farm to Fork organizer.
    Lyon, 31, enriched clients' food experience last year with help from Lori Campbell, owner of Blackberry Lane farm in Grants Pass. The two hosted an August event for about 40 people, who received five courses comprising the herbs, berries, edible flowers and specialty vegetables Campbell sells to local restaurants. The response was so favorable that Lyon and Campbell planned a series of six such farm dinners this year.
    Unbeknownst to Lyon, personal chef Matthew Domingo and small-farms advocate Sascha Meier were planning a similar project in the Ashland-Talent area. When Lyon and Domingo crossed paths at Ashland Food Co-op cooking classes, their supper-club concepts quickly merged.
    "We wanted to create something everybody could be proud of — Southern-Oregon style," says Domingo.
    The Willamette Valley has hosted its version, dubbed "Plate & Pitchfork," for eight years. While employed at Portland's Park Kitchen, Domingo, 29, worked an event and decided the Rogue Valley should showcase its rival wines and specialty foods in the same manner.
    "Why does no one else in Oregon know about the crazy bounty down here?" asks Domingo, who moved to Ashland last year.
    "We're just trying to shine the light on other folks."
    Involving the statewide organization Friends of Family Farmers, partners in Farm to Fork hope to spread Southern Oregon's culinary reputation and boost support for local food sources. The Molalla-based farmers group will split about a quarter of Farm to Fork proceeds with Rogue Valley Farm to School.
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