Farm-to-Table has become a popular part of our normal vernacular. Restaurants, chefs, and special events have taken this concept and centered food preparation around meals which are prepared with only the best, freshest foods sourced by local farmers.  In the purest of forms, farm-to-table is defined as fruits, vegetables, and meats sourced from and prepared directly on the grounds of a local farm. This concept has deviated slightly but continually grows in popularity as restaurant-goers search for increased nutrition and seek ways to support  local businesses and farmers. In Jefferson County, Tennessee, we appreciate the hard work that our regional farmers do and wanted to highlight this in an annual Farm-to-Table event.

What is the Farm-to-Table Concept?

Farm-to-table is a concept that does not need much introduction, and it is certainly not a new thought. People used to walk to our gardens, or into our fields, select the food we wanted to eat, pick it and bring it into our home for preparation. As our lives became more and more modern, some of us have deviated from gardening practices, and instead, shop weekly, or even monthly for the food that we eat. Many times, we run out of time in our day and become one of the statistics, spending 4-5 of our meals eating out per week. The founders of this farm-to-table social movement, as well as those who wanted to eat healthier, have reported that buying locally sourced fruits, vegetables, grains, and meats lowers our carbon footprint while at the same time providing income to the farmers right near our homes. When restaurants, chefs, and foodies buy these foods, then everyone in the community benefits. These foods contain fewer preservatives than those found along the inner aisles of our grocery stores, while again, providing the most nutritious, and delicious foods meals to your table.

Where Did the Term Farm-to-Table Originate?

The farm-to-table concept is not new. Farming has been around for centuries, starting with the dawn of man as a way to provide sustenance to his family. The term “farm-to-table” was officially coined and emerged during the early 2000s, beginning with the most renown influencers of the Chez Panisse restaurant in Berkeley, California. From there, restaurants in Palo Alto, and Boulder, Colorado started to serve foods prepared primarily from locally sourced farms. Since then, the movement spread quickly to being represented in thirty states and then moving on to become one of the top four trends related to local foods. Restaurants have popped up all over that tout farm-to-table menu items, and there have been instances where the relationships have become quite dependent upon each other. At times, the farmer will even plant produce which has been specifically requested by a specific chef, or a restaurant will commit to buying a certain percentage of a crop or meat. For the consumer, the easiest places to find these locally sourced ingredients can be within community-supported agriculture (CSAs) and farmers markets, or of course, making reservations at a restaurant that sources local products.

Annual Farm-to-Table Event in Jefferson County, Tennessee

On July 28th, 2018, Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce held the first annual Farm-to-Table event at the historic Glenmore Mansion, with local sponsorship from Food City. The iconic Glenmore Mansion in Jefferson County was built between 1868-1869 and remains a popular tourist spot in Jefferson County The twenty-seven room, five-story Victorian home is considered by many to be one of Tennessee’s architectural examples of the Second Empire style. The mansion is an ideal site for weddings and events, such as the farm-to-table event in 2018.  This year, the event was held on July 27th at Honey Creek Farms, another gorgeous location for special events in the county. Honey Creek Farms is family owned and operated and offers a perfect site for weddings and events on twenty-five acres of rolling hills in Jefferson County. The family has been hosting events since 2014 at Honey Creek Farms and additionally is a fully operational farm producing hormone-free, chemical-free, and pesticide-free products[Unknown A1] . What a perfect location this was for the farm-to-table event!

This year, the event’s mission was to provide connectivity within the community through agriculture by bringing in the freshest, local ingredients to the table in a creative and unique way, all prepared by a local chef, and truly, at Honey Creek Farms, this was possible. The event was a success, and the Chamber of Commerce will continue to bring the event to a different, unique location annually to showcase the various communities in Jefferson County. The goal of the event will remain to bring awareness to the community of local farmers and the products they have to offer, which are truly right outside their doors. 

Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce Supports Local Businesses in Tennessee

Our Chamber is more than a membership. We strengthen our community by providing avenues for networking for business owners and community members alike. All the while, we are committed to making our county the best place to live in Tennessee. The Chamber has over 325 members focused on economic, educational, and regional development for its citizens. Through initiatives such as local events, strategic planning sessions, and a commitment to excellence, we are dedicated to enhancing the quality of life in Jefferson County. Our primary goals remain to focus on our members by bringing continued value and support to their businesses, collaborate, communicate, and cooperate to create a sense of partnership and community within Jefferson County and to create opportunities for member visibility and business connections through programs and services. Truly, Jefferson County is a vibrant place to be! To learn more or to join to the Chamber, reach out on our website, or give us a call at 865-397-9642. We look forward to partnering with you!

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