...it seems simple, we want to be local, farm to table, artisanal, and sustainable.
These words describe the "hottest new food trend" across the country, and seem to be thrown at us with increasing fervor by the media and every restaurant and grocer we come across. But they are still powerful. They tell us of fresh foods untainted by chemical preservatives and industrial processing, foods from small-scale farmers who care for the land and animals they work with, foods beautiful and full of honest flavor. They mean hands-on and hand-made.
"Farm to table" has a special meaning for me. My father came from a family of farmers in rural Ohio. Their farms were small, the crops were organic, and the dairy cows and chickens were free-range. It wasn’t a choice, just the way it was. My grandma had a work kitchen at the back of her small home where she made fresh breads and pastas, and preserved everything she had left over at the end of each growing season. I loved her pantry cupboards, they were beautiful, colorful works of art with row after row of glass jars filled with tomatoes, beans, corn, pickles, fruits, juices, jellies, and jams.
And when our family moved to my mother's hometown of Moravian Falls here in North Carolina, my maternal great-grandma introduced me to the beauty of a southern table. She was the quintessential southern cook and her table was set with buttermilk biscuits and red eye gravy, fried chicken, every kind of greens you could imagine, dried apple hand-pies, and all manner of beans, peas, squash, tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers. Her foods came from our garden, and her friends’ gardens, farms, and orchards.
These days it is often more difficult for us than it was for our grandparents to know where our foods really come from, how they have been raised, produced, and preserved. But here in Wilkes there is an ever-growing wealth of local resources, from a myriad of small roadside produce stands to the regular Farmer's Markets in Wilkesboro and North Wilkesboro, Community Supported Agriculture through farms like Tumbling Shoals, and even local produce and goods appearing in our large grocery chains.
This brings me back to our adventure here at Elsewhere on 10th. We will do our best to be as local, farm-to-table, artisanal, and sustainable as possible. We will strive to give you honest gifts from our kitchens, to be good stewards of our community, and to relax and enjoy our lives here with you in the beautiful foothills.
My best to you all and we look forward to meeting everyone!
More reading on the farm to table trend:
Elsewhere on 10th and