Hankering for a fresh-from-the-market feast? The Downtown Westminster Farmers' Market will host its inaugural Farm to Table Brunch on Saturday, Sept.10. The brunch will be held 10 a.m. to noon on the grounds of the Farmers' Market at the Conaway Lot in Westminster. The event's proceeds will benefit Carroll County Food Sunday.
"This Farm to Table event takes our producer-only market a step further," City of Westminster Marketing Consultant Missie Wilcox said. "We're taking what is produced to the table and allowing attendees to eat the finished project."
Wilcox said the buffet brunch, which will meet capacity at 150 patrons, will feature dishes created by Blue Bistro Restaurant, crafted from ingredients grown or baked by more than 10 of the Farmers' Market producers. Menu items include Evermore Farm sausage and gravy over JeannieBird Baking Co. biscuits as well as French toast made from Old Valley Farm artisan bread and topped with fruit from Orchard Co. The coffee will be freshly brewed by Furnace Hills Coffee Co.
Even the centerpieces will be from local farm Tierra Blooms.
"We are excited to support Carroll County Food Sunday and its Veggie Voucher program, which facilitates the purchase of fresh produce to our community," Wilcox said in a prepared statement. "This farm to table event not only promotes Food Sunday's amazing work, but it also showcases our community's heritage of growing and eating local."
Chef Melissa Fordham, who is also Blue Bistro's executive chef, said she collaborated with the producers to create the menu.
"We looked at what was available at the market during this time and kind of based the menu around that," Fordham explained. "We wanted to do something more unique so we came up with exciting things like zucchini fritters and French toast fosters. We'll also showcase eggs in casseroles and quiches using different fresh vegetables."
While Fordham said it's not always practical and easy for chefs to use local ingredients, she said it's more fun and exciting to purchase locally.
"I think the Farm to table thing is always cool," Fordham said. "You can visit the places, and see what they're doing and making. And it's fun to get people involved that care. I want to put something great on the table, and they care because they grew it or harvested it."
McDaniel College assistant professor Mona Becker, who volunteers for Carroll Food Sunday, described the brunch as "a really great opportunity for Westminster to showcase its farmers."
"Everything will be sourced from a local producer. It will really showcase the produce that is available in late summer," Becker said. "When you can cut down on the amount of shipping, you cut down on the carbon footprint of the produce."
Furnace Hills Coffee Co. owner Dave Baldwin, who participates in the Downtown Westminster Farmers' Market, said the brunch is a "great opportunity for us to create something that goes on the table from the market."
"This really shows that you can shop at the market and make a great, healthy meal," Baldwin said.