The eclectic farms of Baltimore farm-to-table [Pictures]
A look at five types of area farmers helping to propel the foodie movement. -- Richard Gorelick
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Farm-fed Baltimore( Karl Merton Ferron / Baltimore Sun / July 4, 2014 )
There is no precise definition for farm-to-table dining.
The original farm-to-table restaurants were ones that grew or harvested all or most of the food they served to diners. But the term quickly came to include restaurants that developed and maintained close relationships with farmers and other food producers.
Now the term applies generally to almost any restaurant that says it serves food in season and includes a list of local farms on its menu. That happens.
The term "farm-to-table dining" has been around for about 10 years, give or take, long enough for the very people who were pioneers in the movement to stop using the term and for it to be the subject of wicked parodies, like the infamous "Portlandia" sketch in which a waitress reassures her curious customers about a chicken's credentials: "His name was Colin," she says. "Here are his papers."
The good news is that farm-to-table dining really has changed the way that restaurants do business, and not only restaurants where gingham-clad waiters serve Mason jar salads to diners at reclaimed farm tables.
Farm-to-table dining is now just "dining," and area farmers have more and more restaurants interested in buying their produce, products and livestock.
We visited five of these Baltimore-area farms to hear about the rewards and challenges of dealing directly with restaurants. By Richard Gorelick, The Baltimore Sun
Pictured: Doron Kutnick and Elisa Lane pose at Two Boots Farm in Hampstead.