By now, we've all had a taste of farm to table, but how about orchard to table?
The Philadelphia Orchard Project
(POP) -- with help from hosting Bartram’s Garden
(near our summer On the Ground
home in Kingsessing) -- is launching its first annual Orchard to Table Dinner
for 50 lucky guests.
"This is the first year we’ve planned something like this and we’re really excited," says POP second-year intern Alyssa Schimmel, who specializes in promoting POP fundraising collaborations with businesses and other organizations.
The dinner will take place at Bartram's Garden in Southwest Philadelphia, 5 - 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, September 13; the cost is $60 per person
. The evening will kick off with a tour of the orchard at Bartram’s led by POP Executive Director Phil Forsyth, followed by a happy hour featuring beverage Yards Brewing Co.
, Crime & Punishment Brewing Co
., and Kuran Cider.
Main courses will be provided by local farm-to-table caterer Seedling and Sage
, with dishes including pecan chicken with wilted arugula salad, or a vegetable creation made with produce from Philly Foodworks
. Mycopolitan Mushrooms
will serve up specially foraged hen-of-the-woods mushrooms, Brine Street Pickelry
is bringing the pickles, Metropolitan Bakery
has the bread covered, and the coffee is courtesy of ReAnimator Coffee
. The meal will be served family-style from platters at joint tables. Artisans, local food and horticulture vendors, and live music will also be on hand throughout the night.
"We’re really focusing on our native fruiting trees," explains Shimmel. "What plants do we use in orchard spaces? And how can we familiarize them to a larger audience?"
That means local apples, pears and figs.
It’s all about "bringing people together for food that’s grown in local farms, and using that to highlight the power food has in our community," she adds.
Proceeds from the dinner will support more community orchards. Each year, POP works on five to 10 newly planted groves across the city with help from volunteers. Dollars from the new fundraiser will help pay for the plants and planting, enable education with the help of on-site POP liaisons, and go towards upkeep.
POP currently manages 54 community orchards comprised of 1028 fruit trees and those numbers are growing every year. After the September 13 dinner, supporters can check out the group’s sixth annual Philadelphia Orchard Week (October 8-16) featuring harvest festivals and other events across the city. Volunteers are also needed for fall planting season, running late September through mid-November.
"This dinner is going to be a great showcase of a lot of wonderful work being done in the community, both by the Orchard Project and all of our partners," says Schimmel. "We feel very fortunate to be in partnership with all those who are working on making local food more accessible."
Writer: Alaina Mabaso
Source: Alyssa Schimmel, the Philadelphia Orchard Project
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