Inaugural Farm to Table Dinner a Success

Dinning in one of DFI's vacant greenhouses.

Despite rainy weather, over 60 people attended the Desert Farming Initiative’s (DFI) Farm to Table Dinner in the hoop houses at the Valley Road Agricultural Experiment Station. The dinner was held to raise money for internships that provide students with hands-on education in agriculture, while highlighting foods produced in the local community.

“Students are a very important part of the program. They participate in every aspect of the farm – from crop planning, planting, harvesting and delivery,” says Jennifer Ott, program manager for the Desert Farming Initiative.

The dinner was made possible by a sponsorship from the Western Nevada College Specialty Crop Institute and featured products from many local farmers as part of the menu. Chef Mark Estee, a local food champion and owner of Liberty Wine and Food, created the meal and highlighted local ingredients.

“The Specialty Crop Institute and DFI have partnered on many occasions to educate farmers and support local food. This event was a perfect way to educate the community on what is growing in our region,” said Ann Louhela, director for the WNC Specialty Crop Institute.

The dinner featured vegetables grown at DFI along with mushrooms from Mountain Mushrooms, milk from Sand Hill Dairy and potatoes from Glorious Garlic. Rob and Loni Holley, owners of Holley Family Farms and University of Nevada, Reno alumni, donated a pig to the event. The wine and beer served all had local ties including a donation from Don & Rhonda Carano, owners of the Ferrari-Carano Vineyards and Winery.

Another Farm to Table event is planned for next fall. “We want to continue to highlight how the University is working with students and local farms to build a stronger agriculture economy,” Ott added.