by Sanne Kure-Jensen
Pasture To Plate offers on-farm dinners and food-related workshops at farms in southeastern Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Using a food truck’s certified kitchen, farmers can host events featuring just-picked produce, at the site where they were grown! This venture is directed by Margiana Petersen-Rockney.
Pasture To Plate educates and connects consumers to local, ecologically sustainable farms in southern New England. It provides small farmers a mobile certified kitchen for preparing value-added products from their raw produce. The mobile kitchen/food truck offers farmers a valuable tool for on-farm dinners, boosting profits and growing a stronger community.
Workshops & Dinners
Pasture To Plate’s certified mobile kitchen space is versatile and travels to host farms across southern New England. Host farms can highlight their unique setting delicious products, farming practices and land stewardship. Pasture To Plate event attendees learn about host farms and get to enjoy a fantastic multi-course meal in the fields and pastures where it was grown.
Pasture To Plate events are typically offered in three stages:
1. Farm tour and workshop. Focus will be on food preparation, cooking and/or butchering.
2. Farm dinner in the fields.
3. Products from the host farm are available for purchase.
Pasture To Plate events could be Lamb Day at a pastured sheep farm with a butchery and preparation workshop. Attendees would learn how to raise sheep sustainably as well as how to butcher and cook different cuts of meat. The farm meal could be set overlooking fields of pastured sheep and include tastings of various lamb cuts and preparations with seasonal produce. Guests could purchase the host’s meat and produce to take home.
Another option might be a French-inspired dinner at a dairy goat farm. Guests could learn to make fresh chevre goat cheese, mozzarella and yogurt. They could visit baby goats and milking mamas. Dinner could include soft-rinded cheese on sourdough bread, salads of site-grown greens, tomatoes, basil and goat mozzarella. Main meals might be quiche made with the farms eggs, site-grown caramelized onions and chevre. Guests might purchase goat milk to make their own cheese at home.
The mobile certified kitchen is also available to farmers interested in creating value-added products like tomato sauce, pestos or jams.
During the winter, volunteers are needed to work on advertising, media development and web presence. Summer events operate with volunteer labor as well. Volunteers commit to spending the day on farms learning about that farm, helping prepare the meal and serving guests. In return, the volunteers enjoy a wonderful day of learning and a delicious meal.
Pasture To Plate’s first fundraising effort was a calendar with photographs by Colin Peacock. Each month featured a tastefully elegant photograph of seasonal farm produce from Rosasharn Farm, in Rehoboth, MA. That produce is highlighted by the women who operate this farm. Each month’s photo is accompanied by an original seasonal recipe.
Leadership and Staff
Margiana Petersen-Rockney grew up on Rosasharn Farm milking goats, gardening and playing in the woods. She studied geology, biology and nutrient cycling at Brown University. Margiana ran a 50-family CSA on her own 5-acre farm. She grew vegetables and pastured heritage hogs and meat chickens. Margiana utilizes skills learned from her internship at Chez Panisse, Alice Water’s famous farm-to-table restaurant in Berkley, CA, to run successful farm dinners.
Margiana organized Young Farmer Nights (YFN), building a strong community of young and beginning farmers. Many YFN participants will be host farms during the 2013 season. She has led farm tours and workdays. Her competitive internship program taught students about diverse, sustainable, small-scale, integrated plant and animal agriculture, as well as farm business management.
The 2013 summer schedule of Pasture To Plate workshop dinners is being finalized. Interested farmers should email Margiana at email@example.com or call 401-330-7153.
Learn more about Pasture to Plate at www.pasturetoplatekitchen.com, email Margiana Petersen-Rockney at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 401-330-7153.
Pasture To Plate: Certified mobile kitchen
by Sanne Kure-Jensen