As summer winds down, local gourmands are savoring a bounty of fresh “farm to table” feasts around the area, enjoying some final al fresco evenings dining under starlit skies.
The Delaware Nature Society’s annual event at Coverdale Farm Preserve is always a hit, and this year it featured Chef David Banks of Banks’ Seafood Kitchen and his take on an early fall dinner using ingredients pulled fresh from the farm’s largess.
The much-anticipated fundraiser was once again a sellout, with nearly 200 guests enjoying delicious food, wine and an unparalleled setting on September 15th. For the second year in a row, the event broke fundraising records.
Guests enjoy ambiance, locally grown food
Meredith Racape of Wilmington says the ambiance at the Farm makes the evening so special. She and her husband Fred have joined a group that has attended the last three events. “The location of the dinner changes every year, so you enjoy different, beautiful farm vistas. The naturally inspired tablescapes, lighting, locally sourced food and beer and lively company always make for a delightful night out.”
The evening kicked off with twilight cocktails – including a signature Sonic Archeologyrum cocktail, Dogfish Head craft beers (natch) and passed hors d’oeuvres from Banks’ Seafood Kitchen.
Guests were seated for a family-style seated dinner at a winding table-scape that overlooked the pastures at Coverdale Farm. The menu featured Moroccan chicken with dates and apricots; heirloom grains, root vegetables, preserves and relishes; a late summer vegetable harvest embellished with herbs; and freshly baked breads and infused olive oils, spiced nuts, olives, and pickled peppers. Dessert pastries and coffee were offered by PureBread Deli.
“It was a beautiful night to dine under the starts,” said Wilmington resident Sheela Shah. “With a gourmet dinner using fresh produce from the farm, we were reminded of how important it is to support sustainable farming efforts right in our backyard.”
Farm educates guests on benefits of sustainable farming
In fact, this year’s Farm to Fork event was centered around the newly implemented Regenerative Agriculture practices at Coverdale Farm Preserve. Delaware Nature Society asserts that how farming is done and what people eat has a profound impact on the environment.
The farming methods used at Coverdale aim to improve soil, water, and biodiversity while producing beautiful, healthy food. The farm to table event helps connect guests to how their food is grown and raises awareness about conservation management methods through regenerative agriculture.
Allison Iannone Photography