Creative in the Kitchen, Creative Inspirations

Heirloom Harvest Barn Dinner

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It is said that “gratitude is knowing that we have enough”
…and for those of us that do, let us take on the role of care takers.

Heirloom plants are our cultural inheritance.
They have been handed down to us from a time before chemical agriculture.
…from a time with a much greater diversity of flavor, texture, color and nutrition.
From a time when all of our food was nurtured and grown with love.

If carefully tended, these seeds will be a part of our future.
A gift we safe-keep for generations to come.

A garden teaches us that with something as small as a seed, we can preserve a democracy, we can engage a child, we can nourish a family, we can protect our environment, challenge a flawed system, preserve our cultural inheritance…and savor the difference.

So let us raise our glasses in a toast,
to the farmer,
to the soil,
to the seasons
…and to the seed of change planted right here in good community!

John Forti; board chair Slow food Seacoast

Last week-end David and I were awed and blessed to attend the 5th annual Heirloom Harvest Barn Dinner in Stratham, New Hampshire.  Organized by the Slow Food Seacoast organization, it was a delicious tribute to eating local organic heirloom foods, to the farmers that help feed us and to the passion for living a life of intention.

We were surrounded by interesting people of like minds; the Ivy League educated home gardener, the bent over old-ways farmer, the gleaming parents of a young chef, the thoughtful artist….held in the barn of Meadow Mirth Farm, it was a totally magical evening.  The chefs hailed from all the most trendy restaurants and were challenged to create a dish using signature ingredients; this year beets were reigning.  This year was also vegetarian and no one seemed to miss the meat.

Here are some Iphone photos of the evening and please read the beautiful tribute at the end given by the equally beautiful 13-year-old daughter Eleanor of chef/owners Evan and Denise Mallett from Black Trumpet restaurant in Portsmouth.  Bon appetit!

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My name is Eleanor Mallett and I am in love with food. My brother Cormac and I were born and raised to respect what we eat.

I love the barn dinner because it brings together the farmers, chefs, and eaters-of-the-food  around the same table, to celebrate our food and all that went into it. It is a spectacular thing to be able to know the people who grow the food that is on my plate at dinner time. After all… it takes a village to raise a Jimmy Nardello Pepper, if you know what I mean.

This is an incredible evening. But, look around the room. How many kids do you see here? Thats right, not many. Almost 74 million Americans are under 18 years old.

I am here to tell you all, that if my generation does not know about food biodiversity or the importance of understanding where our food comes from, then all of your work is lost.

Tell your friends, tell your family, tell your children and your grandchildren. Spread the knowledge that you have learned –> to us kids.

We want to make an impact on the future.

The children of today are the producers of tomorrow. We need farmers, we need buyers, we need seed savers, we need home cooks, educators, leaders, chefs, and consumers. It takes all of our voices — and choices! — to make a difference. Thank you.

Eleanor Mallett

4 thoughts on “Heirloom Harvest Barn Dinner”

  1. Wow, this looks like an incredible evening, Jane! Is this open to the public, or is it by invite only? Ellen and I would love to attend next year! I love the like-minded fellow eaters part. Sounds like a lovely time.

    1. David YES…it is open but sells out quickly. How about next year we 4 go together? Nice to know that you are both like-minded! I feel a get-together in the works. 🙂

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