Home Grown Cuisine
Home Grown Cuisine
MIRIAM NASUTI, FOUNDER OF FARM TO FORK FREDERICK, A CELEBRATION OF FRESH, LOCALLY SOURCED FOODS, IS EXCITED WHEN SHE TALKS ABOUT THE INITIATIVE THAT BRINGS TOGETHER LOCAL FARMS, VINEYARDS AND RESTAURANTS FOR 11 DAYS OF SPECIAL MEALS. But you should also hear her rhapsodize about just-picked peaches from a local orchard. “It just tastes so dang good!” Nasuti exclaims. “And you know it’s good for your body, for your health.”
Farm to Fork Frederick starts Aug. 22 and runs through Labor Day, Sept. 1, featuring 10 farms or food producers, three wineries and nearly a dozen restaurants and other culinary spots around the county. Nasuti is especially pleased that the program’s second year includes more eateries outside of Downtown. “I certainly honor the Downtown restaurants … but my heart is in this whole county.”
In addition to restaurants, Better Choice Bakery at 27 W. Potomac St. in Brunswick has joined the lineup along with The Kitchen Studio cooking school at 5301 Buckeystown Pike. “Any classes during those 11 days will focus on local products,” Nasuti says.
She sees multiple benefits to Farm to Fork, starting with the support of local farms. “These are farms that are just a few miles away, with people whose kids go to your kids’ schools, they go to your church, they shop where you shop. … It’s a feel-good initiative.” Then there’s the food itself. “Think of it coming from several miles away instead of several thousand miles.” Also mentioned is the way some of the farms are totally organic with others using less sprays than the large corporate operations. Livestock is pastured and humanely raised, and chickens actually get to leave the coop to forage for grass and bugs.
She says feedback from restaurant chefs working with local products has been overwhelming. “They say it’s so easy to prepare,” and they don’t have to dress it up with sauces because it tastes so fresh and flavorful.
Although Farm to Fork spans a week and a half, the founder sees the benefits lasting much longer. “There are relationships that develop,” she says. “The owner of The Wine Kitchen, for instance, now has a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) share with Thanksgiving Farms. This has ignited long-term relationships and it makes me happy to hear that.”
Other Farm to Fork participants, featuring special menus of dishes prepared with at least 70 percent local ingredients, include: Barley and Hops, 5473 Urbana Pike; Beans in the Belfry Meeting Place & Café, 122 W. Potomac St., Brunswick; Firestone’s Culinary Tavern, 105 N. Market St.; Fitzgerald’s Shamrock, 7701 Fitzgerald Road, Thurmont; JoJo’s Restaurant & Tap House, 16 E. Patrick St.; La Paz, 51 S. Market St.; Mistero Bar & Italian Grille, 18 Market Space; Sumittra, 12 E. Patrick St.; and The Lodge, 5100 Buckeystown Pike.
Participating wineries include: Distillery Lane Ciderworks, 5533 Gapland Road, Jefferson; Orchid Cellar Meadery & Winery, 8546 Pete Wiles Road, Middletown; and Elk Run Vineyards, 15113 Liberty Road, Mount Airy.
Participating farms include: Catoctin Mountain Orchard, Thurmont; Caprikorn Farms, Gapland; Groff ’s Content Farm, Rocky Ridge; Country Pleasures Farm, Middletown; Pineline Poultry and Meats, Boonsboro; Scenic View Orchards, Sabillasville; South Mountain Creamery, Middletown; Summer Creek Farm, Thurmont; Thanksgiving Farms, Adamstown; and The Sweet Farm, Woodsboro.