By CAROL GUNDERSEN
As regular patrons of their local farmers market, Elizabeth Wood and her family enjoy eating fresh food grown close to home. On a recent Saturday they went right to the source, munching vegetables and exploring the fields of a local farm as part of the Food Literacy Project’s Family Farm Day program.
Family Farm Day is a unique opportunity for Louisville-area residents to visit a working farm in Jefferson County. Our next family program, including a “Field-to-Fork” experience during which participants create a simple dish using just-harvested vegetables, will be held Sept. 29 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Find out how to register by visiting our Web site at foodliteracyproject.org.
The Food Literacy Project, founded as a nonprofit agency in 2006, provides farm-based experiential education programs to schools, community groups, families and teachers. In 2009, more than 1,800 young people got their hands dirty and tried something new at the farm. Over 80 percent of the youth served by the Food Literacy Project qualify for free or reduced-price lunch at their schools, and many face a greater risk for health problems related to poor diet.
Another opportunity to enjoy the Field-to-Fork experience is coming up Sept. 23 at Park Place on Main. Our Field-to-Fork Dinner will feature an elegant six-course meal prepared by Louisville’s top culinary talent paired with local farmers, using the best ingredients of the harvest season. Proceeds from the event will help to develop an outdoor kitchen on Oxmoor Farm, allowing local youth to connect their farm experience with their daily lives by harvesting, developing recipes and cooking with farm-fresh vegetables. Advance tickets are required for the event and are for sale until Sept. 19 at foodliteracyproject.ticketbud.com/field-to-fork-fundraiser.
Thanks to our host farmer, Ivor Chodkowski—who makes his living raising vegetables and sometimes livestock—Oxmoor Farm is a living classroom where young people can experience the rich rewards of forging a relationship with food, farming and the natural world. After participating, one student wrote, “I wasn’t really interested in vegetables before I came to the farm … you’ve got me interested now!”
Find out how you can join in the fun and support our efforts by visiting foodliteracyproject.org.
Carol Gundersen is executive director of the Food Literacy Project.