by Marie Doyon
With the endless fluorescent-lit aisles of supermarket giants like Trader Joe's and Walmart and the advent of online delivery services like Amazon Pantry and FreshDirect, modern America has strayed far from the farm down the road. Most people don’t know where their food comes from, let alone who grows it.
Since its inception seven years ago, FarmOn! Foundation has worked tirelessly to reverse this trend of anonymous food, striving to put a face to farming, while rebuilding the Hudson Valley’s rural economy and cultivating the next generation of food and farm entrepreneurs.
On Saturday, July 29, amidst 220 acres of lush agricultural fields and youth education gardens, the nonprofit will host its annual gala Hootenanny! fundraiser at the historic Empire Farm in Copake, New York. Each year, the HOOT! invites 100 local farmers to dine as guests alongside 400 of the region’s residents for a gourmet plein air meal, prepared by a renowned chef. This year Chef Terrance Brennan of the Roundhouse in Beacon, will prepare a family-style dinner over an open fire pit, made entirely with ingredients sourced from a five mile-radius. With farmers at each table, the HOOT! is the perfect opportunity to shake the hands that feed you, acknowledging the skill and dedication of these growers and the importance of their work inspiring the next generation to feed us with funds raised at the event for youth education programming.