by Marie Solis
As buying local foods and supporting local farms increases in popularity, the question of where our food comes from becomes a little less mysterious. Even so, it's rare that we might think about the farmers behind our fresh fruits and vegetables—the ones who makes it all happen. On July 19, the 3rd annual Hudson Valley Food Lovers' Festival will not only give you the chance to meet them, but also dine with them at a lakeside dinner party hosted by the Copake Country Club.
Zakary Pelaccio, owner of the recently opened restaurant Fish & Game, is the host chef and will carve a lamb-spit roast. Featured in our June issue, the Hudson eatery is known for creating their upscale cuisine using ingredients almost exclusively within a 40-mile radius of their establishment. Friday evening will be no exception, though for this occasion Pelaccio will be narrowing his food focus to farms within 10 minutes of the country club, grown by some of the farmers attending the event. There will be local farmers at each table, so in between bites of Pelaccio's gourmet fare, make sure you pay your compliments to them as well as the chef. After dinner, digest your food as you see a drive-in movie like never before: from a golf cart on the green. Watch John Varvatos's film Nelson & Sons and Whole Foods's film, Vanishing of the Bees.
The following day marks another event in its third year—the Friends of the Farmers Festival. For kids there will be a Little Farmers Tent hosting scheduled activities all afternoon like face painting, pony rides, seed packet art, and sack races. Adults can enjoy a Meet Your Farmer Local Libation Mixer with drinks from local breweries and wineries as well as a farmers market, silent auction, and more. Later, headliners Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real will take the stage and close out the evening with some classic rock.
Proceeds from the weekend will go to the FarmOn! Foundation, an initiative which provides Hudson Valley students with the opportunity to visit local farms and learn how they can become successful businesses. FarmOn! ultimately aims to inspire youth to pursue local farming so we never see an end in the agricultural bounty our region has to offer. Click here for more information.