Locally grown food will be on the menu and the program at the fifth annual State of the Plate local foods dinner Sunday, October 8 in the restored, historic barn at Pretty Prairie Farm, 4440 Prairie Road, Urbana.
The buffet-style meal will begin at 1 p.m., preceded by a farmers’ market at 12:15 p.m., featuring local food producers who will sell and provide samples and information about their products. The dinner, planned by the Champaign County Local Food Council, will conclude with three brief updates on local foods beginning at 2 p.m.
Reservations can be made and paid for online at champaignohio.com/stateoftheplate or by calling or visiting the Champaign County Chamber of Commerce, 937-653-5764, 107 N. Main St., Urbana. Cost is $20 per person, which includes the buffet-style meal of locally sourced food. Payment by credit card, check or cash is required in advance.
CRSI (Champaign Residential Services, Inc.), Bundy Baking Solutions and Tri-County Insurance Services are event sponsors. And businesses or individuals that purchase a table for eight, for $175, will be listed in the event program as a supporter of the local foods movement.
The dinner, catered by Pam Bowshier and Mark Runyan, of Hippie and the Farmer, and Amy Forrest, of In Good Taste Catering, will feature locally sourced meats, produce and bread. Beverages will include coffee roasted by Hemisphere Coffee Roasters of Mechanicsburg.
“At the State of the Plate, we are celebrating our local growers and the food they produce,” Bowshier said. “It’s never been easier to eat healthy, local, affordable, delicious food. Our local farmers’ markets make it easy for people in every area of the county.”
Presentations following dinner, beginning at 2 p.m., include:
-Paul Waldsmith, a member of the Local Food Council and CEO of the Champaign Family YMCA, will talk about Champaign County’s health status, the importance of healthy eating and how local producers make healthy living easier. Also, he will address the role of nutrition in Champaign County’s Community Health Improvement Plan.
-Don Burley, a member of the Local Food Council and Graham Local Schools director of operations, will update guests on local farmers’ markets, including the Champaign County Farmers’ Market in Urbana, the Mechanicsburg Farmers’ and Artisans’ Market, the St. Paris Farmer’s Market and the Champaign Locally Grown online farmers’ market, available year-round at champaignoh.locallygrown.net. Burley worked with the Local Food Council while in the Chamber of Commerce’s Leadership Champaign County program and has stayed on to help the group with strategic planning for a commercial kitchen.
-Chris and Joyce Nelson will talk about Dugan Road Creamery, which they launched in spring 2017. Their business, at 1752 S. Dugan Rd., Urbana, produces creamline milk, which is pasteurized but not homogenized, as well as yogurt, kefir and specialty cheeses. They’ll share tips for success for other aspiring local food producers.
State of the Plate host, Pretty Prairie Farm, is owned by Todd and Jill Michael. The Pretty Prairie barn, built in 1850, is on the National Register of Historic Places and has become a popular wedding venue.
The Champaign County Local Food Council is a joint project of the Champaign County Chamber of Commerce and Champaign Economic Partnership and is dedicated to promoting and enhancing marketing opportunities for local producers of specialty crops and value-added food products.
Information submitted by Gary Schenkel on behalf of the Champaign County Chamber of Commerce and Local Food Council.