A professionally catered dinner of locally grown and produced food served in a restored barn on the National Registry of Historic Places will provide an opportunity to talk with the people who grew the meal’s ingredients.
That’s the unique experience in store for guests at the 1 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 4, State of the Plate local food dinner. Registration and social time with food sampling and items for sale will begin at 12:15 p.m. Opening remarks will be at 1 p.m., followed by the local foods buffet.
During the dinner local farmers and entrepreneurs will talk about the beginnings, growth and success of their food production businesses. The speakers will include Lee and Jennifer Ruff of End of the Road Farm, Charlene Stapleton of Swisher Hill Herbs, Pam Bowshier of the Virtual Market and Cosmic Charlie’s Breads & Threads and Sam Powell of The Bad Seed Mustard Company. The event will end at 3 p.m.
Reservations are being taken for the limited-seating event, which will be held at the Pretty Prairie Farm of Todd and Jill Michael, 4440 Prairie Road, Urbana.
To make reservations, call the Champaign County Extension Office at 937-484-1526 by Sept. 25. Reservations may also be made during the Champaign Locally Grown online farmers’ market order pickup, 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 24, at the Champaign Family YMCA, 191 Community Drive.
Cost of the dinner, catered by Amy Forrest of In Good Taste Catering, is $20. The event is being planned by the Champaign County Local Food Council, a cooperative effort of the Champaign Economic Partnership and the Champaign County Chamber to help expand market opportunities for local food producers.
About the Pretty Prairie Barn
The rectangular Pennsylvania Dutch section of the barn was built in 1840, and in 1896, a 12-sided, 42-foot diameter barn was added. The dodecagonal addition remains the largest of its kind on the National Register of Historic Places. The barn was used for steam threshers, storing hay and housing work horses. A third addition, built in the 1950s, housed beef cattle.
Todd and Jill Michael bought the farm in 1996, restoring the barn and house, which also was built in 1896. They now rent it for weddings and special events.