Jul 18 2015
2015-07-18 Hudson Valley News
IT'S A HOOT! Fifth annual FarmOn! Farm Fresh Benefit Tessa Edick, the force of nature who runs the FarmOn! Foundation, is throwing one heck of a party to beneﬁ t her organization on Saturday, July 18, at Empire Farm in Copake. The ﬁfth annual FarmOn! Hootenanny Farm Fresh Beneﬁ t Dinner will feature the creation of Executive Chef Jonathan Wright of the Manhattan's historic Rainbow Room, along with a spread of produce, meats and cheeses from Hudson Valley suppliers. Much of the work that FarmOn! does, in the service of preserving small family farms in out region, is focused on educating the next generation of eaters. "FarmOn! is the future of food," said Edick. "We are working to revitalize the economy. We are ﬁnding these cool programs for local kids to reconnect them to the farm as well as bringing our knowledge to urban centers. We are bringing kids to farms owned by older farmers and giving them the experience of learning how things grow, and what is on the farm." Edick also wants to make sure that our future farmers have the tools they need to succeed. "They need to learn how to read a business plan, how to write a business plan. We're creating the proper foundation for them to be successful business-people as well as growing marvelous, clean food."Saturday's Hootenanny will begin with cocktails, naturally incorporating many local spirits, such as ones from Hillrock Estate Distillery and Chatham Brewing. A Hudson Vally–sourced cheese course will accompany the ﬁne libations. Next up is a true farmers’ market, where guests can buy farm-fresh produce directly from the growers' stands. The family-style dinner by Jonathan Wright will then be served. Chef Wright will in-corporate ingredients grown right on the farm. A sampling of dishes include wood-oven roasted fennel served with straciatella, preserved lemon, crispy lamb bacon and arugula. There will also be a whole roasted Cool Whisper Farms pig that will serve as the center-piece of the dinner. FarmOn! is expecting more than 500 guests from New York City, Boston, Saratoga Springs, the Hudson Valley and surrounding communities, as well as about 100 local farmers, growers and purveyors. Empire Farm, the setting, is a 220-acre historic farm once owned by Henry Astor, which now serves as an agricultural academy, community center and working farm. Edick added, "This dinner is a great way to shake the hand that feeds you. We will be sourcing the food from 50-someting local farmers, many of who will also be in at-tendance as our guests. When you eat that food with the people who grow it which gives you another dimension than just buying organic."At the end of the FarmOn! Hootenanny there will be live music and dancing under the stars as well as a silent auctions for some truly unique prizes, like a cheese-making class at a local farm. Individual tickets cost $165; tables can be purchased for $2,500. Visit to farmonfoundation.org to purchase tickets.
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