Thursday, August 9, 2012

Eat, Share, Grow- at Gathering Together Farm

[Field at Gathering Together Farm, image by Camille Storch / Gathering Together Farms]

One of my first farm stops during my recent road trip in the Pacific Northwest was Gathering Together Farm,  located just outside Corvallis, OR. I was drawn by their unique model - a farm that serves its own food! The farm stand store sells seeds and produce, along with fresh farm-baked pastries and breads (the potato doughnut was delicious, I am happy to report!). They also serve full lunch and dinner menus on the charming patio restaurant attached to the farm store, with a menu based, of course, on the fruits of the farm's labors. Rounding out the integration of production and consumption is farm lunches - where three times a week the kitchen cooks up a meal for the whole crew and everyone comes in from the fields to eat together. Their blog features a beautiful story on the farm lunches if you want to read more - here. Finally Gathering Together Farm is a great example for urban agriculture in their physical structure. Located on multiple small plots (from 1 to 5 acres each) the farm successfully aggregates 50 acres total. Thinking in small multiples helps urban farmers expand and increase their business on the land available to them. Cooking and serving their produce helps a farm increase revenues (from locals and ag-tourists), but even more important, creates an integrated culture of food - a place to experience the food cycle in full. 

[Dining room at the farm stand]
[Wildflower bouquets in the dining room]

[Cutting garden next to the farm stand]

[Blueberries, potato doughnut and savory galette - yes they were all delicious!]