Chefs Tent at DinnerEvery summer my beloved state of Vermont gets an influx of tourists. I can’t blame them. Vermont in the summer is a beautiful place and while we may be known for our snow and skiing, Vermont summers are truly some of the most picturesque that I have ever witnessed.

Recently though, as Vermont has become more and more recognized for the widespread localvore movement and our farm systems many visiting are looking for a different type of experience- a more organic one. Ranked as the top state in localvore food, Vermont is a great destination to get back in touch with what’s on your plate.

MaraTalking2A truly family-friendly way to involve yourself in local food systems when you visit Vermont is to attend a Farmer’s Dinner. These events are frequently listed by the Vermont Fresh Network and many offer children’s pricing. I had the pleasure of attending a dinner last summer with my husband, mother and son at Burlington’s Half Pint Farm in the Intervale Center.

Dinner was cooked by Chef Steve Atkins from The Kitchen Table Bistro. I had had the pleasure of meeting him and his son during a demo at the Vermont Cheese Festival earlier in the summer and loved his views on taking kids to nice restaurants and exposing them to good food. 

Dinner was a set price per person with a children’s price for my son. 

Hoophouse2Cars parked along the grassy fields and a sign directed us to dinner…..and past the Chef’s rustic “kitchen tent”.      

Prior to the dinner, Farmer Mara gave a talk explaining her partnership with local chefs, including Steve, to provide the freshest produce for his restaurant. Part of the talk also centered on how involved the community was in the workings of the farm.

Vermont had some early summer flooding and stories were shared about how the community came together to save some of the produce. Sadly, just a few short weeks later Hurricane Irene hit and the community was tested again as farmers said goodbye to the growing season unseasonably early.

BYOPlateWe took a tour of some of the hoophouses.

Participants were asked to bring their own plates to encourage conversation. My son picked one that matched the “handsome” shirt that he wore.

Dessert proved to be a big hit with the 7 year old demographic. The trifle with local berries disappeared fast.

DessertGoneI would strongly encourage anyone heading up to Vermont this summer to try to fit a Farmer’s Dinner into their trip.  Some resources to help you plan are:

Cedar Circle Farm- Dinners in the Field

Applecheek Farm in Hyde Park is partners with JDC Catering and they always host a few events

Vermont Fresh Network 

For other information on visiting Vermont check out these TravelingMom posts:

Luxury Travel Mom, Kim-Marie Evans, writes about Luxury Summer Camp at Twin Farms.  

Traveling with Babies Mom, Nasreen Stump, writes about a visit to Sage Farm Dairy in Stowe.

Savor the Thyme blogger, Jennifer Leal, covers the romantic Norwich Inn.   
   
Nasreen Stump is a freelance writer who lives in Vermont with her husband, 8 year old, 20 month old, dog, house rabbit and a due any minute baby on a 10 acre homestead. Find food recipes and Vermont life at her website ramblingstump.blogspot.com. Check her out on Twitter @ramblingstump