First Farm to Table dinner a hit

Published 10:35 am Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Event featured locally-grown food

After about a year of planning and countless trial runs, Ironton aLive’s first Farm to Table dinner this past Saturday was a success.

About 100 people from throughout Lawrence County enjoyed the three course dinner and the fellowship the event brought at the Oak Ridge House in Ironton.

“I think overall, everything went well. There were many things that tried to detour us, but as someone said Saturday night, you wouldn’t have known,” Sarah Smith, of Ironton aLive and chair of the Farm to Table dinner, said. “To those who were there, everything seemed to run pretty smooth for a first year event, which is exciting to hear.”

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Guests enjoyed vegetable corn chowder and chicken zoodle soup to start off their meals, a main course of honey apple pork loins, broiled green beans, steamed carrots and potato stacks before finishing with a slice of apple pie for dessert. The staff of Transit Café cooked the food, and all of the food served was locally grown or produced.

“Sarah (Smith) did a fantastic job,” Ironton aLive chair Ginger Gillenwater said. “She planned everything, chose the menu and came up with the recipes.”

Smith said before the dinner on Saturday, months and months of discussions and planning were had.

“My husband and I made the meal several times to test it out, and with several different people,” Smith said. “I had watched other communities have nice Farm to Table events and thought, ‘Why couldn’t it be done here?’”

Before the meal was served, Ironton Mayor Katrina Keith gave a welcome and led a prayer in order to bless the food. The St. Joseph High School juniors and seniors helped with serving food at the dinner, and Merry Family Winery and Craft Brewery in Bidwell provided wine and beer.

“We’re really pleased with how everything turned out,” Sam Heighton, acting executive director of Ironton aLive, said. “It took a lot of effort and a lot of people getting involved and donating things, but Sarah really liked the idea and took off with it.”

Diners left the dinner with souvenir Lawrence County bicentennial plates. A complete set of the plates and two tickets to the upcoming Ironton aLive Ohio River Wine Festival at the Holiday Inn Express and a one-night stay at the hotel were auctioned off as well.

Smith said the Farm to Table dinner will be an annual event which she hopes can continue to grow, and discussions on next year’s event have already begun.