IL Harvest Dinner

Sep 15, 2015

Oh how I loved this evening, and I knew I would. You see, it was modeled after North Dakota’s Banquet in a Field, a similar AGvocacy event I photographed in August. The concept is brilliantly simple – create a beautiful, agricultural space to encourage conversation between those who grow food and those who eat it. And while they’re there, feed them some of the most delicious food IL has to offer. AGvocacy at it’s finest. AGvocacy at it’s most effective.

I was thrilled to find these gorgeous flowers from Triple M Farm scattered throughout. While photographing this event, I heard, “we want to know who is growing and raising our food,” a countless number of times. If that’s you, you’ll want to check out Triple M Farm’s Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program. Their produce baskets are beautiful!

It's no secret that I love the classy-farm feel - it's in my home decor, my office, our wedding. So you can imagine how my eyes lit up when I saw what So Chic Events pulled together... It’s no secret that I love the classy-farm feel – it’s in my home decor, my office, our wedding. So you can imagine how my eyes lit up when I saw what So Chic Events pulled together… ...complete with farmhouse-style mismatched chairs.  …complete with farmhouse-style mismatched chairs. Surrounding the dining space were planters of IL crops, complete with fact sheets.  Surrounding the dining space were planters of IL crops, complete with fact sheets. This one is my all-time favorite. Such a powerful visual! The M&Ms compare the amount of estrogen in birth control pills, peas, potatoes and beef (in order from left to right).  This one is my all-time favorite. Such a powerful visual! The M&Ms compare the amount of estrogen in birth control pills, peas, potatoes and beef (in order from left to right). When Mary Faber, one of the organizers, mentioned that Cracked Pepper would be catering the event, I was so pumped to see their skills collide with the best IL agriculture has to offer.  When Mary Faber, one of the organizers, mentioned that Cracked Pepper would be catering the event, I was so pumped to see their skills collide with the best IL agriculture has to offer.

This whole event was set for success, beautiful weather, gorgeous decor, decadent food. But the winning element here, without a doubt, was the conversation taking place between the food growers and food eaters. This whole event was set for success, beautiful weather, gorgeous decor, decadent food. But the winning element here, without a doubt, was the conversation taking place between the food growers and food eaters. Everywhere I looked, there was an “Ask Me! I’m a Farmer” tagged person talking with 2-3 others. The consumers were asking questions...hard questions... The consumers were asking questions…hard questions… ...and getting answers... …and getting answers… ...answers accompanied with a smile, not a shout... …answers accompanied with a smile, not a shout… ...all while surrounded by beautifully displayed food... …all while surrounded by beautifully displayed food… ...and drinks. …and drinks. The dinner bell rang. Everyone reorganized according to their assigned seat... The dinner bell rang. Everyone reorganized according to their assigned seat… ...bringing a new round of introductions... …bringing a new round of introductions… ...and a new round of food topics!  …and a new round of food topics!

As the sun began to set... As the sun began to set… ...dinner was prepared... …dinner was prepared… ...and served... …and served… ...and was delicious!  …and was delicious! This, ladies and gentleman, is what AGvocacy looks like. AGvocacy done well. Very well.  This, ladies and gentleman, is what AGvocacy looks like. AGvocacy done well. Very well.

For more accounts of the evening:

Holly Spangler, Farm Progress, Out to Dinner with IL Harvest Dinner

Katie Pratt, Rural Route 2, If You Invite Someone to Dinner…

  1. Julie Peterson

    September 16th, 2015 at 6:08 pm

    Well-done, Illinois! We know that it takes a lot of planning to pull this off successfully. We also believe that events like this are excellent opportunities for food conversations. Way to go!

  2. Samantha

    September 16th, 2015 at 8:48 pm

    This is a phenomenal idea! We hope to host & accomplish this in Alabama!

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