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Farm to table, also known as farm to fork, can be defined as a social movement where restaurants source their ingredients from local farms. Farm-to-table is a phrase that can mean different things to different people. At its heart, farm-to-table means that the food on the table came directly from our farm, without going through a store, market, or distributor along the way, the food is picked at peak freshness and is bursting with flavors and vitamins. Because the produce is usually very flavorful, we don’t dress our food up with complex sauces and overpowering flavors, instead we prefer to let the freshness and flavor of the food speak for itself.

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Dining Where the Food Is Produced

In its purest, most honest form, farm-to-table means the table is actually at the farm and cooks or chefs prepare and serve the food at the farm (even in the field), as in Outstanding In the Field events. These are often special meals or fundraisers planned as one-off events. Often a tour of the farm is offered, with the farmer showing and describing the methods used to raise the meat, poultry, fruits, and vegetables. As such, these are educational meals as well as featuring foods that are as local and seasonal as you can find.

Table with vegetables
Flowers and greens
Carrots Recollecting vegetables
Pros of farm to table:

The farm to table movement has had a huge impact on the foodservice industry and how restaurants source and prepare their food. Here are some of the main benefits of farm to fork:

  • Farm to fork helps to boost the local economy and support local farmers. Because farm to table restaurants deal directly with the farmer, you can be sure that the money spent is going directly to helping farmers grow their businesses and fuel the local economy.
  • Both the restaurant and farmer benefit from farm to table. The restaurant gets delicious and fresh produce, and the farmer gets recognition for their hard work as well as guaranteed business. Additionally, farm to fork restaurants that have a close relationship with one particular farm can usually request that they plant certain foods.
  • Serving farm to table food at your restaurant is an excellent way to make local and organic food more available to your community.
  • Farm to fork is an extremely popular trend, and associating your restaurant with the trend can help bring in customers and create excitement about your menu.
  • It can help the environment. The produce doesn’t have to be shipped long distances, meaning less time on a truck and fewer greenhouse gases going into the atmosphere.