Eden’s first Grown and Gathered event, held last August, was so well received that the Eden Strategic Planning Commission requested two this year.
Eden Tourism Development will hold its first Spring Grown and Gathered dinner at 7 p.m. May 23 at Spray Mercantile along the canal. Tickets, which include dinner, drinks and a commemorative glass, are $50 per person or $90 per couple. Seating is limited to 100. The Morehead High School Jazz Ensemble will provide entertainment.
Designed to bring a greater awareness of farms, produce, honey and meats, Grown and Gathered showcases local food growers and producers.
“We try to buy as many ingredients from local farmers as possible,” said Cindy Adams, coordinator of tourism and special events/projects for Eden. “It also highlights a beautiful and historic part of the city.”
Prepared by chefs Ross and Amy Hammond, the evening’s menu will include Chicken Francaise in a light lemon sauce, roasted asparagus, green peas with shiitake mushrooms, boiled red potatoes with butter and parsley, and salad bar, as well as a biscuit bar with three types of biscuits — honey ham, pork tenderloin and honey, jams and mustards. In addition, there will be strawberry and chocolate desserts, and tea, water, beer and wine.
“We feature growers and producers from all over Rockingham County, and any county that touches ours is considered local,” Adams said.
Food served for Grown and Gathered, dubbed a farm-to-fork event, comes directly from a farm, without going through a store, market or distributor, Adams said.
“People need to be more aware of where their food comes from,” Adams said. “Local and fresh is better, and you’re helping your neighboring farmers; plus those relationships built between grower and customer are priceless.”
Adams hopes Grown and Gathered will help bring more attention to the many beautiful and productive farms in the area.
“We care about our farmers and producers, and we appreciate all the hard work it takes in order for that farm to be successful,” Adams said. “There are some outstanding products being produced right here at our back door.”
Adams expects to break even for the event, with any money left over used to purchase supplies for the next big event, the August Grown and Gathered dinner Aug. 15 at the newly constructed barn at the Wright Memorial Center. Proceeds from that event, like last year, will benefit the Fine Arts Festival of Rockingham County.
“We want Grown and Gathered to become one of Eden and Rockingham County’s signature events,” Adams said. “Good food and beverages bring people together and create some great relationships, and that is exactly what this event does.”