I love bringing people together at the farm. I love gathering around food.
Burger nights already existed, but no one was doing fried chicken dinners!
So a few years ago, we started hosting Fried Chicken Dinners on the farm. This was a monthly event in the warmer months highlighting our delicious chicken (with salads and cornbread) and bringing people together. On average we hosted 120-140 people on a Friday eve. For the first few years, we planned these Fridays as gatherings including music, lawn games and sometimes a visiting brewery or dessert vendor. Folks brought blankets and chairs and relaxed on the farm- made some new friends and enjoyed a meal together!
This was our community!
Then Covid hit! Gatherings were not a thing anymore. Folks still yearned for a way to get out of their homes safely and still eat a nice meal out. Restaurants were getting on the take out train. Why not our farm too?
So we kept the Fried Chicken dinners going but in a drive thru take out dinner style. Our community was still supportive to come get a dinner even though it was not an evening affair.
Even though we were not sitting on our farm lawn listening to music, we still got to interact and see all the happy faces (behind masks we could tell they were smiling!) as our dinner guests drove thru the pickup line. For us that was the best and safest option!
To this day we still offer our dinners take out style (at the beginning of the 2022 season there was still a slight threat of another covid variant) and it seemed prudent to not host on farm yet again.
Its still very satisfying to offer a delicious meal to a family or group of friends that are going to take them home and enjoy their meal together on a porch or at the park. The idea of our gathering just splintered off into many gatherings around good local food.
What does it take to bring 150 dinners to the public in a 2 hour window of time?
- Awesome collaboration and coordination of our staff!
- Prebaking the chicken drumsticks and baking 6 big trays of cornbread at the local congregational church kitchen
- Ordering awesome organic side salads from our friends at Bear Roots Farm Kitchen (we used to make them all ourselves)
- Coordinating the fresh chicken from our farm where it gets cut and ready for buttermilk brine the night before
- Making the attendance list (thank you Abby) so we dont forget anyone that signed up
- Our awesome staff for setting up and serving and frying the good food
AND…. YOU of course for coming to enjoy our meals! Many of you are frequent flyers- thank you!
As the weather turns colder and the sundown comes sooner, we are winding down our dinner series in October (Friday the 7th). We look forward to serving you and seeing your smiling faces at the farm.
If you have other ways in which you would like to enjoy time at the farm, we welcome your ideas!
Eat well, Beth