The Culture of Food and Drink

Home / Agriculture  / Organic Feast: Celebrating Local Farmers And Cooks

Organic Feast: Celebrating Local Farmers And Cooks

Glynwood chicken, brined and peppered and simply delicious. Credit: Copyright 2015 Andrew Lipton

Glynwood chicken, brined and peppered and simply delicious. Credit: Copyright 2015 Andrew Lipton

New York’s Hudson Valley is fertile terrain for organic farmers. Organic is a gentler, more gracious way of farming, seemingly old-fashioned when compared to the prevailing industrial example, where chemicals, fertilizers and pesticides are used. When asked by those in corporate farming, “How are you going to feed the world?” Ken Kleinpeter of Glynwood Farm in Cold Spring, New York, speaks for many organic farmers when he answers: “I don’t have to feed the world, I have to feed my community, and someone could feed their community, and someone else could feed their community. That’s how we’re going to feed the world.”

And that’s what happened during Labor Day weekend in Philipstown, New York, when a 300-foot-long table was set to celebrate organic food and the community. The Made in Philipstown Banquet carried through the local theme, from the plates to the benches, flowers to the art, food to the music. Everything was locally made, home thrown, or homegrown and organic.

The free banquet for 400, held at the Garrison Landing on the Hudson River about 50 miles north of New York City, was the brainchild of Garrison locals Stacey Farley and Carinda Swann. “And it all started with the plates,” Farley says. “I looked around my kitchen and noted that none of my plates were made in the U.S.A. Seems like if we are going to all the trouble to grow organic fruits and vegetables and grass-fed meats locally for farm to table, why not serve this precious and delicious food on homemade ceramic plates!”

So local artist and potter Lisa Knaus set about over the summer teaching people in the community to make plates. The ensuing meal, served on the plates, included locally grown vegetables, homemade mozzarella, baguettes, chicken and fruit tarts. What ensued was a lovely, generous community meal, a summer’s last prayer before fall, and a gathering of people who will long remember its grace and beauty.

Main photo: Glynwood Farm provided the locally focused meal’s chicken, which was brined and peppered and simply delicious. Credit: Copyright 2015 Andrew Lipton

Zester Daily contributor Katherine Leiner has published many award-winning books for children and young adults and, more recently, her first novel for adults, "Digging Out" (Penguin). Her most recent book, "Growing Roots: The New Sustainable Generation of Farmers, Cooks and Food Activists," won half a dozen awards, including the National Indie Excellence Gold Medal Award. Leiner's next novel is due out this year.

  • Bette Glenn 9·16·15

    Once again Katherine Leiner’s detailed description makes us feel as though we pulled up a chair at the table. What an impressive gathering! Loved Ken Kleinpeter’s response, loved that the community spent the summer making the plates! I wanted an aerial view of the 300 foot table. Talk about creating good will and cohesiveness! Thanks for sharing this with us Katherine!

  • katherine leiner 9·16·15

    Thank you for responding Bette. It was a wonderful community event. Made me long to do this kind of thing in New York City. Can you imagine…

  • JB Organica 9·16·15

    Yay to lots of people celebrating lots of organic food!

  • katherine leiner 9·16·15

    Yay to you because you too, eat organic…I bet?

  • Marie Gewirtz 9·16·15

    It’s such a breath of fresh air to read your stories, Katherine. With your writing you continue to encourage community farming, and in so doing you support the farmers who are making such a difference. We miss you in Sonoma County and hope you’ll return for a visit very soon.

  • katherine leiner 9·16·15

    I hope you’re all watching your water closely, know you are. Before I close my eyes at night, I wish for rain for you. And truth be told, for us here on the east coast too.

  • Juliet Whitfield 9·16·15

    I could see the table and all yummy food and friends and Katherine’s bright shining smile. Wish I could have been there!