Farm to Fork aims to feed philanthropists, hungry residents

On Aug. 24, the farmers market will host a Farm to Fork fundraiser for the Fulton Soup Kitchen.

On Aug. 24, the farmers market will host a Farm to Fork fundraiser for the Fulton Soup Kitchen. Photo by Megan Favignano.

“Everyone deserves to eat good food.”

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Jessica Wright gets change for a customer at the Fulton Farmer's Market on Wednesday afternoon. She works with Bluebird Composting. They collect food scraps from local restaurants, horse bedding from Williams Woods College and other materials from local businesses for their compost.

That is the idea behind Farm to Fork, Food as Art, a fundraiser hosted by the Fulton Farmers Market to benefit the Fulton Soup Kitchen.

Area residents are invited to eat a locally-produced meal — made from fresh, seasonal produce donated by farmers market participants — starting at 5 p.m. on Aug. 24 at the Art House in downtown Fulton.

Tickets are $12.50 in advance and are available from the Fulton Farmer Market or the Art House, or are $15 at the door. There will also be partial menu sampling by donation fro walk-in guests from 7-8 p.m.

Jessica Wright with Bluebird Composting said the idea for the community dinner came after coworker Chelsea Bunetic performed at a similar farm-to-table event in Columbia.

Wright said she and Bunetic decided to adapt the idea as a way to promote fresh, locally-produced food in Callaway County.

“We made it affordable because everybody deserves to eat good food,” Wright said. “We want to see more people come out to support the farmers market.”

The pair have developed a rough idea for the dinner menu, although Wright — noting “farming is only predictable to a certain extent” — said it could change depending on how farmers’ crops turn out. For now, the plan includes a tomato/watermelon gazpacho, zucchini/potato fritters — described by Wright as “kind of a mock crab cake” — and a beet souffle.

“We want to do something different with produce, cook it in a way people haven’t had it so people are more encouraged to eat fresh food,” she said.

Joan Schwede, president of the Fulton Farmer Market, said that is one of the things she is most looking forward to about the event.

“We’re really excited about it,” Schwede said. “It’s about getting the product out there so people know how to cook it and what it tastes like. I think it’s going to be a real fun time.”

Schwede said the market members decided to turn the event into a fundraiser for the food pantry because “we wanted to do something for the local community.”

Wright added that it also gives the Farmer market another way to make sure everyone gets to eat fresh food.

“It’s another way to channel money into more people eating better food,” she said.

As for the location, Wright said she felt Art House was the perfect place to host Farm to Fork because to her “what farmers do is art.”

“I think food is really beautiful, and also cooking and culinary skills are art too,” she said.

Wright said she is hoping for a good turnout for the dinner.

“The farmers market and the soup kitchen are important to our landscape here,” she said. “I want to see more people coming out to support the Farmer market, I want to see diverse members of the community coming out and sharing a meal.”

Katherine Cummins can be reached at (573) 826-2418 or katherine@fultonsun.com.

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