(Chelsea Update would like to thank Shawn Personke for the information in this story as well as the photos.)
We’ve come full circle. The sixth annual 5 Healthy Towns Farm to Table Fabulous Feast will take place on Sunday, Aug. 29, 2021, at 4 p.m. at the Grass Lake Community Park & Pavilion.
For the past 5 years, the fundraising dinner traveled to each of the five healthy towns. In 2016, Chelsea presented the first dinner, followed by Grass Lake, Manchester, Dexter, and, in 2020, Stockbridge.
Now the circuit begins again.
This year’s chair, Sabrina Edgar, manager of the Grass Lake Farmers Market, is joined by community members from the other four towns.
“Hosting the Farm to Table dinner is a great way to showcase your town, celebrate the farmers, and local food,” she said.
“One of our goals when we first started organizing the dinner was to build bonds between the communities,” Edgar added. “Through the planning committees, I’ve met some cool people. And on the day of the event, it’s great to see all these people from the 5H towns, getting to know each other, visiting about mutual friends, sharing connections, and talking about local food and the importance of our farmers.”
With Grass Lake celebrating its 150th anniversary, it’s a double bit of fun.
“All of Grass Lake is bubbling about the sesquicentennial and we’re glad we could include the dinner as part of the celebration,” she said.
Edgar said she also wants people to know that the committee is planning for a Covid-safe event.
“We’re providing more tables in the fresh air under the pavilion and tent so that people can eat and socialize with some space,” she said.
Chelsea’s market manager, Emily Griswold, has been lining up the chefs to prepare the food donated and purchased from each of the five farmers markets. While the menu is still being fine-tuned, she is excited to welcome back chefs from Smokehouse 52, Roaming Goat, and Silver Maples, with Common Grill providing the rolls. Additions to this year’s chef team include Chef Savur, Chelsea Burger, Kitchen Little, Chelsea Alehouse, and Jolly Pumpkin. Lone Oak Vineyards is providing the wine, and Jolly Pumpkin, the beer.
“Lone Oak has a new dessert wine that we’re including as a tasting to accompany the dessert course,” said Griswold.
For the past three years, the event has also held an auction. This year’s online auction opens Aug. 8 and runs through 3 p.m. on Aug. 29. At that time, the most popular items head to a live auction format. Items are still being collected, but current highlights include a stay near the coast of Italy and a Dinner for 4 Prepared in Your Home by Chef Savur.
Stephen Petty, the new CEO of the 5 Healthy Towns Foundation, is excited to experience the Fabulous Feast and meet committee members who have been working on the event.
“One of the primary pillars of the 5 Healthy Towns Foundation,” said Petty, “is to encourage people to eat better, which in turn helps ensure better long-term health outcomes. Our farmers markets play an essential role in the five communities to support greater access to fresh, local foods at affordable prices.”
He added that the markets also provide a great opportunity for community residents to stay connected locally, offering music and other events that encourage people to come together.
“Our communities love their farmers markets and the Foundation is happy to support the annual Farm to Table event. Congratulations to the 2021 Fabulous Feast to benefit the Chelsea Farmers Market, Dexter Winter Marketplace, Grass Lake Farmers Market, Open Air Market of Stockbridge, and the Acorn/Manchester Farmers Market and Cafe.”
WHAT: 5 Healthy Towns Farm to Table Fabulous Feast, a multi-course dinner
WHEN: Sunday, Aug. 29, 2021, at 4 pm
WHERE: Grass Lake Community Park, 120 Brown St., Grass Lake, Michigan
HOW MUCH: Tickets are $75. Available online at Eventbrite (link below) or at the Farmers Markets in Chelsea, Stockbridge, Dexter, Grass Lake, and Manchester.
For more information about the 5 Healthy Towns Foundation or the five Farmers Markets, visit www.5healthytowns.org.