When most, if not the majority of us hear the words ‘Farm to Table’, it is fair to say initial thoughts turn immediately to fruits and vegetables. And rightly so, since many of us embrace and support our local farmer’s markets this only makes sense. In addition, there are many advocates in the restaurant industry that are strong proponents as to the importance of ‘Farm to Table’ concept. Chefs are working directly with farmers to supply restaurant staples and a fortunate few even go as far as having their own gardens to fulfill a direct ‘Farm to Table’ link.
This movement has captured our nation, it has made us stop and think about where our food comes from. It too raises important questions for us such as; is it organic, is there sustainability involved, how are we supporting the local community?
Over the past few months I have been fortunate to see and have a ‘hands-on’ participation with the ‘Farm to Table’ concept. Starting with the gardens at the ranch growing herbs, peppers, heirloom tomatoes, artichokes, eggplants, potatoes just to name a few of the items. We too have taken even one additional step by raising a few of our own chickens, hogs, goats and a steer.
There is a joy and sense of accomplishment that comes when cooking with food you’ve grown; it always seems to make family meal taste just better. I didn’t think a greater joy could be felt when cooking with your own food, until this past week. For the first time I was able to incorporate proteins from the ranch as well. From the farm fresh eggs and bacon for breakfast to the country spare ribs for dinner, we were directly responsible for ALL of our own food. It made for great conversation at the table and created a food experience and memory for the family that will last for many days to come.
While I know this is not possible for most simply because of logistics, if you can, take steps to develop your own level of the ‘Farm to Table’ experience. I promise it is worth the effort and it will bring a new appreciation for the quality of your food and the quality of your life.