Posts Tagged ‘Full Circle’
Disclosure: I attended this event as a guest of Full Circle. This is not a sponsored post.
Sydney is a urban sprawl. Streets are at odd angles and arterial roads twist through suburbs. North, south, east and west, to drive from the geographical centre of the city to its boundaries would take at least an hour.
Seattle is more compact. Neighbourhoods cluster around the Puget Sound and Lake Washington, it is a short distance from houses and malls to fields and forests. The abrupt transition is bewildering and we ponder the scenery as we navigated to Carnation for Feast on the Farm.
Full Circle delivers ‘farm-fresh, locally-sourced organic and sustainably-grown’ produce to consumers. The mission of Stewardship Partners is to ‘restore and preserve the natural landscapes of Washington State’. Salmon-Safe certification ‘requires management practices that protect water quality and restore habitat’.
Groups sheltered under the umbrella and marquee for reprieve from the blazing sun. Hats, sunglasses and sturdy shoes were requisite attire.
We stepped and stumbled on a milk crate to board the tractor tour. We perched on hay bales covered by a blanket as we gently looped the acres.
Andrew Stout, founder of Full Circle, was our guide. The engine chugged along the dusty path as Andrew spoke about the growth of Full Circle and how the land is being rehabilitated.
Lettuce and kale were neatly planted in rows.
A serene vista.
The many hues of clouds, mountains, trees and farm buildings.
Symmetrically ploughed fields.
We snacked on smoky discs of Via Tribunali wood fire pizzas.
On the left is David Burger, executive director of Stewardship Partners, and Andrew Stout is on the left. My favourite quote of the event was ‘we’re in the business of killing plants’. The crowd chortled and snorted.
A still reflection on the creek.
Sal, the leggy mascot of Salmon-Safe, greeted us.
A country kitchen.
Currant bushes marked the field where perpendicular tables were set.
Our view of the second table.
Mason jars decorated the length of the table, posies interspersed with leafy produce.
From one end to the other.
Effervescent and mild, Dry Soda quenched my thirst.
First was Salumi charcuterie. We nibbled politely on thin slices of cured meats and Castelvetrano olives as introductions were made. I had sprayed my limbs with insect repellent and apologised to our dining companions for reeking of citronella. We were seated with an interesting group of people, there was much laughter and engaging conversations on culture, food and literature.
A mound of shredded Tuscan kale was garnished with grated Parmigiano Reggiano and drizzled with anchovy dressing. This was one of three healthful salads served.
Chunks of roasted beets were topped with a dollop of house made ricotta. Pistachio kernels dotted the tender beets, it was an earthy combination of flavours.
Plump grains of farro were tossed with carrot and English peas. I had several spoonfuls of this toothsome salad.
Mediterranean mussels were roasted with guanciale, lemon and olive oil. The bivalves were aromatic and succulent.
In sunglasses, an apron and boat shoes, Chef Ethan Stowell generously donated two private dinners in Staple & Fancy‘s cellar room for auction to benefit Stewardship Partners.
Fennel and carrots were grilled, the former seasoned with bottarga and the latter with mint and orange.
Dessert was a creamy panna cotta with mixed berries, slivered almonds and aged balsamic vinegar.
There was spirited bidding on auction items, and Mike McCready (guitar), Kim Virant (vocal) and Gary Westlake (bass) entertained us.
Each attendee was gifted a box of Full Circle produce which we happily carried home.
Carefully packed, the top layer was fennel, kale and lettuce.
On the bottom were apricots, cabbage, carrots, cherries, cucumber, onions and rockmelon.
Sincere thanks to Shirley and Full Circle for the opportunity to experience Feast on the Farm!
I was lucky to attend the Seattle CityClub 2011 Gala Luncheon held last Friday at The Westin Seattle Grand Ballroom. The theme for this year was ‘Nourishing Community: The Business and Pleasure of Food in Washington‘.
The grand ballroom is enormous – rectangular tables are angled towards the stage, a motorised platform was used to change a light bulb in a chandelier and there were at least a dozen staff setting the table. I joined a group of volunteers to layout the table arrangements and place programmes on the chairs.
Sponsors had displays in the lobby area. The Neighbourhood Farmers Market Alliance had a shelf of flowering pot plants and sample produce.
Trays of fragrant strawberries lined the Hayton Farms table, enticing guests to admire the blushing beauties.
Full Circle is an organic produce delivery service. The baskets of radishes, parsnips and leafy green vegetables were seasonal and fresh.
I was seated late and one of the last to be served lunch so it was unfortunately cold. Despite the temperature, the herb-roasted free range chicken was moist and tender. I prefer the thigh part of chicken but the breast meat was not dry or chalky.
Accompanying the protein was a salad with Snohomish corn and cucumber, and an oil-cured panzanella with Kalamata olives, heirloom tomatoes and Pinot noir vinaigrette. The highlight was the heirloom tomatoes – delightfully sweet and fleshy. In contrast, the panzanella was soggy and bland.
There were many knowing glances and appreciative nods when dessert was announced. Tom Douglas remained on stage and told the story of the triple coconut cream pie from the lectern. The dessert was created for his first restaurant, Dahlia Lounge, to ‘convey a homespun-ness’ and ‘doesn’t taste like suntan lotion’.
The platters of Tom Douglas coconut pie bites were delivered with a flourish. We all looked left, then right, too polite to be the first to take one! I’ve already waxed lyrical about the signature triple coconut cream pie and I was lucky to take a couple of the leftovers home for Mr S.
While cutlery clinked on crockery and the bread and butter were passed around, the panel assembled on stage for the conversation part of the programme.
Moderated by Megan Karch, CEO of FareStart, it was an engaging discussion with:
* Chris Curtis, founder of Seattle’s first neighbourhood farmers market and the Neighbourhood Farmers Market Alliance;
* Tom Douglas, restaurateur, caterer and author;
* Michael Hebb, founder of One Pot; and
* Robin Pollard, executive director of Washington State Wine Commission.
Below are some comments that resonated with me.
Chris Curtis – director of Neighbourhood Farmers Market Alliance
* Farmers markets need space locally
* Passionate about how to activate and make the community thrive, and to recognise seasonality of food
Tom Douglas – restaurateur, caterer and author
* Pike Place Market is the heart and soul of the city
* The economics of the restaurant business is tough
Michael Hebb – founder of One Pot
* Challenged the audience to host a locally source dinner party, ‘fire, pot and table’
* Emphasised the importance of the dining table and what it symbolises
Megan Karch - CEO of FareStart
* Focus on educating youth so they can be informed consumers
* Encourage youth to pursue careers in the industry
Robin Pollard – executive director of Washington State Wine Commission
* Only 35% of Washingtonians drink local wines
* Need to invest in infrastructure in the region to make it world class
In her closing remarks, the president of the CityClub board of governors Olivia Lippens described CityClub as a bipartisan collective that nurture the community spirit and a convener of ideas that encourage diverse voices. And that encapsulated what ‘Nourishing Community: The Business and Pleasure of Food in Washington’ was all about!