Fresh feast on the farm gears up for new run

CHARLES TOWN – Now in its fifth run, Jane Tabb’s Fresh Feast on the Farm is gearing up for another local event at the end of the month.

[cleeng_content id="209332478" description="Read it now!" price="0.49" t="article"]“I always use local food. I try to have one or two big events each year that are actually out on a farm,” Tabb said. “We do a little tour of the farm where we are so you get to see the operations and what is special about the location.”

This month’s event, which will be held at Southwood Farm, is set for June 29.

The menu for this year’s Fresh Feast on the Farm will feature locally produced food.

The menu for this year’s Fresh Feast on the Farm will feature locally produced food.

“It’s just a lovely location,” said Tabb, adding that the farm’s large spring fed ponds, which form the headwaters of Rocky Marsh, will be a major attraction this year.

The event will accept up to 60 reservations.

“That is the end of my capacity as a one man show,” laughed Tabb, who does all the cooking for the events.

Tabb said the event began in 2008 when a large group of state delegates met in Shepherdstown, and needed to plan a large group meal. She said she and then-JCDA Agricultural Director Kelly Boles thought of a way to give the meal a special twist.

“The delegates were all in for a special meeting at the Clarion and wanted to come out to [Delegate Bob Tabb’s] farm for a picnic. We thought, ‘Wouldn’t it be neat if we could do it all with local food?’ And she and I basically did it.”

After that, Tabb began holding the events regularly, recruiting host farms and nonprofits to provide facilities and waitstaff in exchange for a percentage of the proceeds.

The event has helped her to live out a lifelong desire.

“I’m pretty passionate about local agriculture, and it is just something I always wanted to do to connect people to their food and to the land,” she said, adding that she hopes the meal embodies “getting back to the basics, what our food is really all about.”

And her commitment to that goal has paid off, she says. “We’ve had people from Baltimore and Pennsylvania. The whole local food movement is gaining momentum.”

“This time around the main dish is going to be beef burgundy, and I use our own beef,” Tabb said.

She says that the growth of small, local farms has greatly expanded the variety of available locally grown crops.

“I think everybody is finding their niche, as far as the small farms that grow a lot of the fruit and garden vegetables,” Tabb said. “It is diversifying the whole local agricultural scene.”

“It’s not just the big crop farms anymore.”

Tickets for the event, which includes wine tasting and a multi-course meal, are currently on sale. Individual reservations are $80, couples $150 and groups of eight for $560. For more information, visit feastonthefarm.com.[/cleeng_content]

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