Local Food Dinner: Think Globally, Eat Locally
By MaryAlice Bitts
Like the local crops that yielded its bounty, the annual Local Food Dinner continues to grow. Due to popular demand, organizers had increased the number of available tickets from 180 to 240 this year, but they still had to turn some people away at the door.
Held in the Holland Union Building, the seventh-annual dinner celebrated the region’s agricultural resources and raised awareness about the benefits of eating locally. “Ninety percent of the meal’s ingredients either came from the College Farm or area farmers,” noted Jennifer Halpin, director of the Dickinson’s 180-acre farm in Boiling Springs, Pa.
Tim Stark, an organic farmer and author of Heirloom: Notes from an Accidental Tomato Farmer, delivered the keynote address. Fourteen years ago, Stark traded in his life as a Brooklyn management consultant to grow organic heirloom tomatoes at his family’s Central Pennsylvania farm. Now a supplier for some of New York’s most demanding chefs, Stark shared stories of his life in organic farming and spoke eloquently about his decision to live more simply.
The event raised $2,400 to support the South-Central Pennsylvania Buy Fresh, Buy Local campaign’s community-outreach programs and to help cover costs for an area-farm guide. It was preceded by a free, on-campus farmers market. There, visitors could purchase local produce and foodstuff from 16 vendors to prepare their own local-food dinners at home.