The Kentucky Horticulture Council (KHC), Knox County Promise Neighborhood, and The Wrigley Taproom & Eatery teamed up to host a Farm-to-Table Luncheon on Wednesday, May 11.
The event was hosted in appreciation of Tri-County schools serving healthy, nutritious meals to students in Knox, Laurel, and Whitley counties as provided by farmers in the local community.
“We wanted to bring you all here today for a couple reasons,” said McKenzie Fox with the Kentucky Horticulture Council. “One: we wanted to express our gratitude for your hard work over the past few years during the COVID-19 pandemic. We know it’s not been easy. It’s just amazing what you all have accomplished in the last two years. Secondly, we wanted to take this opportunity for you to meet farmers in your local community.”
Farmers, food service directors, school administrative staff, and students gathered ‘round the table at the Wrigley to enjoy lunch together, but also learn more about farm-to-school options in the community.
“We have over 1,000 farms in just these three counties alone,” said Cindy Finneseth, KHC’s Executive Director. “We work state-wide with growers from a production standpoint: helping growers be better growers and from a marketing standpoint: helping growers understand what different market channels are and how to work in those market channels. So, looking at farm-to-schools, that was one market channel we knew could be an option in rural areas. We were able to apply for a USDA grant that supported the work we’ve been doing for the last few years in the Tri-County area.”
Farm-to-school ensures students gain access to healthy, local foods as well as gain education in agriculture through connections with local farmers, access to school gardens, cooking lessons, and farm field trips.
The Kentucky Horticulture Council expressed their gratitude to Barbourville Independent, Corbin Independent, Williamsburg Independent, Knox County Public Schools, Laurel County Public Schools as well as to Farmers Dennis Eversole with Eversole Family Farm Produce, Andrew Modica with the University of Kentucky Whitley County Cooperative Extension Office, Robert and Melissa Wyatt with Wyatt's Chapel (Farm), and The Cornetts with Cornett Farm Fresh of London, Ky who were in attendance at the luncheon.
Lunch was provided by local celebrity Executive Chef, Kristin Smith, and Chef Matthew Holsten. Smith noted the vegetables and fruits used within the dish was contributed by local farmers.
If you have any questions about farm-to-schools, contact McKenzie Fox with the Kentucky Horticulture Council at email@example.com OR if you would like to get connected with local farmers in your area, call Cornett Farm Fresh in London at 606-657-5918, Wyatt’s Chapel Farm in London at 606-231-9596, or Dennis Eversole with Eversole Family Farm Produce in Corbin at 606-765-0248.
Samantha Walden, Staff Writer at the Kentucky Daily