Photo by The Sampson House
I LOVE food. Especially summer food! Fresh food, farmer’s markets, growing your own garden, summer is a really special time for food. Something about picking that rosemary and kale right from my back yard is so exciting! I was invited to a Farm-to-Fork dinner last Thursday and it was so spectacular! The evening was absolutely gorgeous, the food was incredible (and fresh!), and the company made the night flow like the pinot I was sippin’ on. So anxious to share this event with you!
Hungry for Truth South Dakota, is new initiative started by South Dakota Soybean designed to open discussions about food between South Dakotans and the farmers who grow it. They invite people to talk with the farmers directly about any questions you have about food and/or farming. They also allow for the farmers to share their stories about their farm and the care, hard work, and pride they put into growing their food to make it healthy for your family.
And that’s where this event comes in! The farmers and locals got to enjoy a marvelous evening together while we heard their stories and I drilled them with questions! Ha! Getting to sit next to these farmers that produce our food is pretty spectacular. Listening to them tell me what they’re doing to ensure our food is healthy, free of harmful chemicals, additives or antibiotics, while gathering more knowledge about food and farming and knowing that the food I eat is really coming from a South Dakota farmer is pretty awesome! I just think that is so neat! I love supporting our farmers and this Farm-to-Fork dinner was so inspiring!
Sarah Jo, who helps coordinate the Hungry for Truth initiative, is a friend and fellow blogger (see her DakotaChic blog here!!), and she is currently on the cover of the Sioux Falls Woman magazine! She had the vision behind this event and it turned out SO amazing! It was on the Thompson’s farm near Colton, SD and the home and farm and land were sooo beautiful! Something about being out in the country on an old dirt road. The decor spread out across their front lawn and it was like out of a movie! The tables were so gorgeous! I was obsessed with all the eucalyptus leaves, which is my current favorite for home decor! It was so lovely and so tastefully done.
Now on to the food! What I love about these events, is that I am getting to eat food that came STRAIGHT from a farmer who I am sitting at a table with! Getting to discuss with them about their food, what they do, and how the whole farming process works is so intriguing. I sat next to a farmer from Mitchell, Peggy Greenway, and she has 5000 pigs! She considered herself a small to medium farmer, and I couldn’t believe that! 5000 pigs! She has one full-time employee who helps with the daily tasks, but otherwise, it is completely family run! She provided the bacon for the dinner that was on the wedge salad and caramelized bacon for the ice cream sundaes, SO FREAKING GOOD. I loved hearing her talk about how pigs can get sick just like humans and how sometimes they need antibiotics or extra TLC. She went on to explain that her pigs are COMPLETELY antibiotic free though by the time they are sent to be slaughtered. Peggy values health and no additives in her pigs, so she is passionate about ensuring her pigs are healthy and free of anything but juicy delicious meat at the end! The way those pigs are treated at her farm, it’s like a spa day every day for them! Peggy has such pride in her food and pigs, I love that. She sells to a company that sells to Costco, so it’s pretty awesome that next time I buy a pork product there, it might be from one of her pigs!
Here was the menu! I made sure to try everything and wowza, these farmers are the real deal! My favorites were the beef bulgogi, the grilled chimichurri pork tenderloin, and OF course the caramelized bacon on the ice cream! Chef Jeni was the chef for the meal and really did an incredible job. Everything was so delicious and each food item came straight from a local farmer! SO COOL!
Overall, this event was perfect. So enjoyable to be able to discuss anything and learn from local farmers. Which is exactly what Hungry for Truth SD is trying to push! I loved this quote from farmer Jerry, he said “Always leave the land better than you found it. We have a whole world to feed.” That really hit home! These farmers have SO much pride and hard work put into their farms, all to FEED US! Makes me extra thankful for them (gotta feed our families!!) and inspires me to be more knowledgeable about foods and where they come from. I love to wonder about where those veggies or meat products came from and all of the work that was put into it when I pull them off the shelf. Thinking of the whole process to get that into my hands is pretty miraculous.
Thank you farmers for all of your dedication and hard work to feed us! You are so appreciated! And thank you to Hungry for Truth SD and SD Soybean. I am so thankful to be a part of this!
And obvs I had to get a picture with the tractor :)
Event details – The Event Company SD
Media and photos – The Sampson House
Chef – Chef Jeni
My dress – Coquette Couture