The Local Food Dinner is an event centered on celebrating food, farmers and community including a wonderful meal made from ingredients sourced close to home and an inspirational speaker.

Save the Date: 12th Annual Local Food Dinner on Saturday, March 28th

Come join the College Farm and Students Interested in Sustainable Agriculture (SISA) for one of Dickinson’s sustainability flagship events!   The dinner aspires to tickle the taste buds of those in attendance and celebrate the agricultural landscape of our region. Featured in this year’s menu are entrees like Apple Brimming with Pork Loin, Spinach and Goat Chevre Stuffed Mushrooms and Beetroot Bourguignon!

This year the dinner will host Forrest Pritchard, a Virginia-based farmer and author of Gaining Ground – A story of farmers’ markets, local food and saving the family farm.  Eighth generation farmer at Smith Meadows Farm, Pritchard runs a successful grass-fed meat operation and sells his products through producer-only farmers’ markets in the DC Metro area.

“Pritchard is a born storyteller with a shrewd ability to make lively everything from his father’s battle with a rogue pig to simple chores like selling firewood or bailing hay.” – Publishers Weekly

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Doors will open at 6pm and dinner will begin promptly at 6:30pm in the Dickinson College Holland Union Building Social Hall. Unlike year’s past, the 2015 Local Food Dinner will not be preceded by an indoor farmers’ market.  Tickets for non-Dickinson students will cost $30 per person.


Saturday, March 28th, 2015
Dinner will be served at 6:30pm, doors open at 6:00pm.
Where: Dickinson College Holland Union Building (HUB), 28 N. College Street, Carlisle, PA
Keynote Speaker: Forrest Pritchard, author of Gaining Ground

More information about how to buy tickets

Tickets to the dinner and keynote will go on sale on Monday, March 9th at 6:00am via

• Tickets are $30 each for community members ($32.04 with service fee). These tickets are available via the link above and can be purchased using any device with an internet connection, smart phones and tablets included.

• Dickinson students will have the opportunity to purchase discounted tickets again this year. Student tickets will be sold in the lower level of the HUB Monday, March 2 – Friday, March 6 from 11:00-1:00 and then again after spring break, Monday March 16 – Friday, March 20 from 11:00-1:00. The cost is $10 each.
2010 Local Food Dinner


Getting to the Local Food Dinner

Map of Dickinson Campus
– Holland Union Building is #16.

The Holland Union Building’s street address is 28 N. College Street, Carlisle, PA, 17013.

Directions to Dickinson

Parking is available on the street and in campus lots. Carpooling is encouraged!

About the Local Food Dinner

Attendees at the Local Food Dinner share in food and conversation at the all-local catered buffet.What better way to expose our students and local community to the vast array of resources that exist in the Cumberland Valley than to create a dinner made almost exclusively with local ingredients?

Since 2004, the farm has collaborated with student organization SISA to help organize our region’s local food celebration. By contacting local farmers and working with the College’s Dining Services to develop a seasonally appropriate menu, we have succeeded in drawing a crowd of 250 each year for a feast that is one of a kind.

Local Food Dinner MenuWe have been fortunate to have leaders like Ben Hewitt, author of “The Town that Food Saved” and “Making Supper Safe”; Anna Lappe, co-founder of Small Planet Institute and a widely respected author and educator, renowned for her work as a sustainable food advocate; Kim Tait, owner of Tait Farms food activist, and agricultural entrepreneur; Nina Planck, Farmers’ Market organizer, food activist, and author; Kim Seeley, PA Dairy Farmer, President of the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture (PASA); Anthony Flaccavento, founder and executive director of Appalachian Sustainable Development as keynote speakers.

Our Local Food Dinner is held on campus in the Holland Union Building (HUB) Social Hall every spring.

Past Speakers

kristin kimballMarch 22nd, 2014: Kristin Kimball
uthor of The Dirty Life and co-owner of Essex Farm

“I was born in 1971, and grew up in central New York. I graduated from Harvard in 1994, then moved to New York City, where I worked at a literary agency, taught creative writing, and freelanced for magazines and travel guides. In 2002, I interviewed a wingnut farmer named Mark, and took more than a professional interest in both him and his vocation. We founded Essex Farm together in 2004 – the world’s first full-diet CSA, as far as we know – and I’ve been professionally dirty ever since. Mark and I have two daughters, and I have three great jobs: mother, farmer, writer. I stink at returning email.

Since the publication of The Dirty Life, I’ve written for O Magazine about what it’s like to change your life completely; for Vogue on physical work, and for Gourmet Live on all sorts of farm and food related subjects (The Pigs Are AlrightA Corny StoryTales of TerroirThree Things Every Ethical Eater Needs To Know). Food & Wine featured us here, the Burlington Free Press here, and for the francophones out there, Alix Girod de l’Ain Laffontwrote about us here, in French Elle.

Janisse Ray photoMarch 23rd, 2013: Janisse Ray

Writer, naturalist and activist Janisse Ray is author of four books of literary nonfiction and a collection of nature poetry. She is on the faculty of Chatham University’s low-residency MFA program and is a Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellow.

She holds an MFA from the University of Montana, and in 2007 was awarded an honorary doctorate from Unity College in Maine.

Ray has won a Southern Booksellers Award for Poetry 2011, Southeastern Booksellers Award for Nonfiction 1999, an American Book Award 2000, the Southern Environmental Law Center 2000 Award for Outstanding Writing, and a Southern Book Critics Circle Award 2000.  Ecology of a Cracker Childhood was a New York Times Notable Book and was chosen as the Book All Georgians Should Read.

Ray attempts to live a simple, sustainable life on a farm in southern Georgia with her husband, Raven Waters. Ray is an organic gardener, seedsaver, tender of farm animals, and slow-food cook.

She lectures widely on nature, community, agriculture, wildness, sustainability and the politics of wholeness.

NPR Marketplace interview with Kai Ryssdal: “The science (and business) of sowing seeds”

Ben HewittMarch 24th, 2012: Ben Hewitt

Hewitt was born and raised in northern Vermont, where he currently runs a small-scale, diversified farm with his family. He lives with his wife and two sons in a self-built home that is powered by a windmill and solar photovoltaic panels. To help offset his renewable energy footprint, Ben drives a really big truck. His work has appeared in numerous national periodicals, including the New York Times Magazine, Wired, Gourmet, Discover, Skiing, Eating Well, Yankee Magazine, Powder, Men’s Journal, National Geographic Adventure, and Outside. His latest book is Making Supper Safe: One Man’s Quest to Learn the Truth about Food Safety.

Listen to an interview with Ben Hewitt on NPR’s Think Radio with Krys Boyd: “Is Our Food Really Safe?”

LA Times: “Frontlines of a Food Revolution”

Ben Hewitt’s Website


Anna LappeApril 9, 2011: Anna Lappe, daughter of Frances Moore Lappe and international advocate on issues relating to “sustainability, food politics, globalization, and social change”.Anna Lappe founded the Small Planet Institute.




March 27, 2010: Tim Stark, farmer and author of “Heirloom”, a memoir of over fifteen years of growing heirloom vegetables on Eckerton Hill Farm.
The Examiner: “Successful Tomato Farmer Tim Stark Details the Ironies of his Job”

Dickinson News and Events: 2010 Local Food Dinner



April 4, 2009: Lyle Estill, author of “Small is Possible: Life in a Local Economy”; “Biodiesel Power; the Passion, People, and Politics of the Next Renewable Fuel”; and “Industrial Evolution; Local Solutions for a Low Carbon Future”. “Local Food Dinner to Feature Heirloom Tomato Guru Tim Stark”