When I first moved to Oregon, my priority was putting down roots where organic food was the norm not the exception. I had been inspired by a bumper sticker that said, “Organic Food… What our grandparents used to call FOOD!”
Vital food, vital wine, being part of a community where people get to know each other, and seeing life as discovery were the directions I desired to move most toward.
One great way to experience organic food, locally grown, go on a farm tour, meet your farmers, and build community, happens all at once thanks to Farm to Fork Events. Matthew Domingo started this Ashland, Oregon based biz along with partner, Erin Daugherty, in the spring of 2010.
Their mission statement is, “To reconnect people to the true source of their food, to increase community awareness about the importance of supporting local and sustainable producers, to provide diners with an exceptional culinary experience, and to create new and sustainable income streams for local farmers and wineries.”
As Matthew likes to say, “Farmers and winemakers are our heroes!”
On June 25, 2011, I attended a Farm to Fork Event at Cowhorn Vineyards in the Applegate Valley, Oregon. The evening began with a delicious glass of the collaborative effort between Terry Sullivan & Cowhorn Vineyards, the Sullivan/Steele Sauvignon Blanc. It was accompanied by Full Circle Ranch’s heritage porkbacon platter (even better than it sounds), Cowhorn’s baby artichokes, and SunStone Bakery baguettes.
Next was the farm tour. Cowhorn Vineyard owners Bill & Barbara Steele led two groups on an adventure through the vineyard. Tables were ready for diners in a beautiful habitat break that resides in the middle of their farm. This is one of those moments where I’m compelled to say, “You just had to be there.”
The Chef for the evening was Mike Hite of C Street Bistro in Jacksonville, OR. This blog post was actually written while having lunch at C Street, and getting a chance to tell Chef Mike Hite in person how much his food rocks!
Local farms provided all the food for the evening.
What came from where?
Blue Fox Farm (Chris & Melanie Jagger)
Mixed lettuces, onions, cucumbers, carrots, garlic and all the fresh herbs
Full Circle Bison Ranch (Tobias & Abigail Hatfield)
Bison tenderloin and shoulder
Cowhorn Vineyards (Bill & Barbara Steele)
Asparagus, baby artichokes, komatsuna, mizuna, arugula (the 3 lettuces specifically grown for this event), and of course the wine!
What was served?
1st Course served with 2010 Cowhorn Vineyards Spiral 36
Full Circle Ranch bison tenderloin tartare
First-of-the season Blue Fox Farm cucumbers
Cowhorn mizuna and komatsuna
2nd Course served with 2011 Cowhorn Vineyards Spiral 36
Salad of grilled Cowhorn Biodynamic® asparagus
Cowhorn arugula and Blue Fox Farm mixed lettuces
A sherry-lemon vinaigrette
Farm egg mimosa
3rd Course served with 2008 Cowhorn Syrah 74
Smoked Full Circle Ranch shoulder of bison
Roasted potato salad with horseradish aioli
Farm to Fork Events kicked it up to a whole “nother” level by donating the gratuity from the event to an awesome educational non-profit called Rogue Valley Farm to School. Board member Deborah Gordon educated those gathered on the Farm to School program. As a result of the evening, a $550 donation was made to the program.
Matthew Domingo, the creator of Farm to Fork Events, also appears as a regular guest blogger on ConsciousWine.