Recap: Skylight Farm Dinner for Wholesome Wave GA
A few months ago, I was brainstorming ideas for celebrating Food Day, and a farm dinner came to mind. What better way to get people thinking about eating real food than to get them to a local, organic farm for a meal? Around the same time, my farmer friend Justin of Skylight Farm asked me about cohosting a farm dinner with him and his wife. Not to be cliché, but it seemed like a sign! We all agreed that we wanted it to be a benefit dinner, and Wholesome Wave of Georgia (WWG) seemed like the perfect fit. WWG, a non-profit that I personally support, doubles food stamp (SNAP) benefits at local farmers markets to help make fresh, local, healthy food accessible to all Georgians.
The event took place on Sunday, October 26th at Skylight Farm (located at Glover Family Farm) in Douglasville, Georgia. The theme of the evening was “A Celebration of Home Cooks,” and it included things that every Southern home cook should know how to make: biscuits, grits, roasted chicken, and pie. All of the vegetables were harvested on the farm the morning of the dinner and almost everything else was sourced from our other local farms, breweries, and purveyors (see below for more details). I planned the menu to highlight the farm’s beautiful produce, and my wonderful sous chef Aaron Szerlip (and several other volunteers) helped me bring it to life in the farmhouse kitchen.
The guests were greeted with cider and a cheese plate, which featured jams donated from our friends at Preserving Place. While I worked in the kitchen with my awesome team of volunteers, Farmer Justin Aiello and his wife Brittany led tours of the farm, highlighting the history of the land (which has been organically farmed since before the Civil War!) and their practice of sustainable land stewardship.
Dinner was served under twinkling lights in an open-air barn. Wendy Blount of Blount Design helped decorate and Meredith Mejerle Rush of Amy Osaba Events (and her helpful husband John) did the incredible foraged floral arrangements. After dinner, Sara Berney, Executive Director of WWG, shared about the organization and the ways it is working in Georgia. Dave McDaniel, the market manager of Mableton Farmers Market, shared the ways WWG has impacted their market and the people whom they serve. It was a powerful reminder of why we put so much work into this event and for how much we have to be grateful!
Many, many thanks to all of the people who so generously donated their time and talent to making the event happen. We couldn’t have done it without you!! And thank you to all of the guests who attended and helped support Wholesome Wave of Georgia. It was definitely a dream come true for me to be a part of such an amazing event/meal/cause!
Now I’ll let the gorgeous photos from Justen Clay of Justen Clay Photography do the rest of the talking:
Vegetables: Skylight Farm (Douglasville, GA)
Chicken: White Oak Pastures (Bluffton, GA)
Jams & Preserves: Preserving Place (Atlanta)
Pecans: Moore Farms & Friends (Woodland, AL)
Cider: Mercier Orchards (Blue Ridge, GA)