2nd Annual Farm to Table Dinner & Fundraiser
September 9, 2016
I’m happy to report we had a fabulous turn out for both of our dinners this year. The 2 nights couldn’t have been more different, however. Friday was hot and humid, with the threat of rain at any moment, but the people were still happy to be here and share in the amazing meal prepared by Braise of Milwaukee. Saturday was probably 20 degrees cooler and a bit windy. The chef from Rushing Waters was boisterous and full of stories which drew us in to his world of culinary arts.
With such great food, wine and a beautiful setting, it’s easy to forget all the hard work and dedication that goes into preparing and performing all the steps it takes to put on events such as these. I, for one, couldn’t do it without all the amazing students, volunteers and support staff I have. A special thanks to Molly, my partner in crime. She does all the coordinating, planning and organizing. Shannah, our office manager, makes sure checks are ready and fees/licenses are up-to-date. My students not only help to grow the food, but spent long hours weeding, mowing and setting up for the dinner and the night of, made sure guests were seated, food was served and dishes were cleaned.
I also have to give a big thank you to my volunteers. For 2 years in a row Bob and Tonia have directed traffic and I’m happy to say no accidents! Patty was back with her “hostess with the most-est” attitude. This year she brought along her husband, Bobby, who was stuck in the kitchen washing plates and silverware so we didn’t have to. Audrey and Santa were there to serve wine, and keep the students in line, or that’s what they said anyway. They must have done a pretty good job because we had several comments about the wonderful ladies pouring the wine.
This year we were lucky enough to have 2 of our alum come down from Green Bay to help as well. Julie Battaille and Tyler Delsart (now Mr. & Mrs.) were on hand for both evenings to help serve, answer questions and even give a few tours. Their return was so natural it felt like they had been here all summer.
The best part of this story was we were able to raise quite a bit of money for the Student Program. This program accepts students from around the world each year and teaches them the basics of organic farming, how to sustainably run their farms both ecologically and financially, and how to believe in themselves and their abilities. Our students have gone on to run successful farms and CSA’s, sit on boards and non-profit committees and even run UW student gardens. We work hard each and every day to bring high quality food to the markets, but market sales don’t cover all the costs for our program. It’s events like this, Reading in the Gardens and grants that give us the opportunity to share our knowledge for another year. Thank you to all who purchased tickets and shared the evenings with us. We truly couldn’t do it without you.
No Farm to Table Dinners are scheduled in 2017.