Farm-to-Table, Year to Year

If I can claim any capacity for gardening—and I’m not sure that I truthfully can—know that my thumb is such the lightest tinge of green that it’s practically yellow. But I test it every spring with the hope of an abundant harvest. Or a meager harvest. Or just a little sumthin-sumthin to eat.

On the south side of our house there is a sunny patch against the wall that is warm and dry and perfect for planting. By summer, this small swath of dirt will be home to a few tomato plants, some zucchini, maybe an eggplant, cukes, herbs, prolific raspberries—just whatever tiny shoots seem to end up in my cart at the garden center. I simply plant—I don’t tend; I’m not nit-picky; I don’t weed. Picking comes only when kids wander from the trampoline to eat cherry tomatoes off the vine and in the evenings, when I want to cook.

This cookable harvest won’t be for months, but now is when I start dreaming about it, and our lazy mid-summer dinners on the deck. There is something about these dinners, or something about the sunshine and food picked minutes before it’s served that elevates the whole meal, making it more “experience” than just food… and where we talk and linger and laugh and are together—friend and family.

This is farm to table in its most simplistic terms, with the most basic elements, crafted by an unsteady, yellow-thumbed hand. So just imagine what would happen with some pros at the helm of it. In the coming months, Urban Farm & Feed will open up shop in Draper, and offer—among other things—genuine farm to table dining experiences. I love the “community” of our community and the notion of these dinners strike me as a quintessential community thing: outside in Draper, at a communal table with residents of Draper, eating things grown in Draper.

Seriously. Awesome. Where do I sign up?

A couple of months ago we featured the Rasmussen family in these pages, and I can’t help but think of the full circle aspect of this coincidence in our town rich with farming history. Seasons play a role in farming, and the true seasons of life are evident in this new generation of farmers. And in this way, local cultures persist.

City Council member, Michele Weeks, hosts a luncheon every year for our teachers, honoring them for helping to raise all our Draper kids; crossing guards literally usher these children safely to school every day; older students help younger students make their way through the ever-confusing teenage years; and because it’s Autism Awareness month, we feature a mom who chronicles her journey with her son’s autism.

Indeed, the older generation will always foster the younger generation. It’s just as the Rasmussens said to me months ago: you reap what you sow. And in that case, I’m confident Draper will be good for years to come.

Happy April, friends!

Brooke Benton, Editor