Autumn is the time to gather together and celebrate the harvest.
And for one local farm, it’s the time to celebrate food and where it comes from.
Fourth Line Cattle Co. west of Guelph, along with neighboring farms, held a Farm to Fork dinner on Friday that featured quality, all-local food served right on the farm.
“I love it. People are wanting to eat and at the same time, they want to check out the cattle on the field,” says Tamaran Mousseau from Fourth Line Cattle Co.
Mousseau, along with husband Matt, raise Texas Longhorns and Hereford Cattle. The couple are passionate about their product, farming and educating consumers at their on-farm store and at three local farmer markets.
But Mousseau wanted to do something more.
“There seems to be a real hunger for authentic food experiences,” she says.
The couple decided to hold their first farm dinner in June and welcomed guests as well as local food enthusiasts for the unique dining experience.
The event sold out.
For Mousseau, it’s about inviting everyone to the farm, so guests have an opportunity to meet with those who raise their beef beef and vegetables.
“We are thrilled to be creating this event with a great group of local farmers and food entrepreneurs who are equally passionate about their products,” Mousseau said.
The meal featured Calehill Farm chicken, vegetables from Vandenbroek Family Farm, local craft beer from Wellington Brewery, locally prepared cider from Heartwood Farm and Cidery and of course, local beef from 4th Line Cattle Co.
The farm is family owned and operated and it continues to provide quality grass fed and pasture raised beef.
4th Line Cattle Co. shares in a vision of a sustainable future by providing local food that comes directly from farm to fork.
The land is managed naturally, with movement of the cattle from one pasture of lush green grass to the next, allowing the land a chance to restore, rejuvenate and reproduce.
The second Farm to Fork dinner event also sold out bringing out 147 guests.
If they weren’t warming up and enjoying conversation around the fire pit, guests were seated within the attractively decorated fall themed tent, set amidst a farm field full of grazing cattle.
“We are lucky to have Marvelle Events decorate. We had to get a bigger tent this time and we also added the fire pit,” Mousseau said.
Guests were eager to taste all that local chef Ivan Karlovcec from Feast Your Eyes Catering had to offer.
“I want to support my neighbours. It’s not everyday you get a chef right from your neighbourhood. And for us, it’s a legacy thing, for our kids and for our future,” Karlovcec said.
“This is our response. Many of us were raised in the time of massive food manufacturing but there’s one ingredient missing with all of that, and that’s love. And for us, we do it for the love of food and keeping food real.”
The full buffet dinner included butternut squash soup sips, roasted tomato and candied onion soup shooters, salad, chef carved hip of beef au jus, horseradish cream sauce, chicken scallopine with white wine mushroom sauce, roasted garlic mashed potatoes, oven roasted root vegetables and fresh sliced bread with whipped butter.
Guests warmed up with old fashioned apple crisp for dessert.
“We respect the vegetables. We do not do anything to overpower them. They are just rich on their own,” Karlovcec said.
“This is a painter’s pallet of raw ingredients and here, we have only provided the brush.”
Musician, Jay Kipps from Mono, On. performed at the event.
“I love performing at farmers markets and events like this. These are my favorite places They are close to my heart,” Kipps said.
“I think the politics of food is so messed up today. When you industrialize food, you take the love out of it. You have to support local.”
Representatives from Taste Real Guelph Wellington were also on hand to help with the event.
The organization supports local small businesses and farms to help build stronger rural communities while also supporting local food economies and food tourism destinations in Ontario, “from the ground up”.
“We support these local food events. This is such a good example of bringing the local food aspect back It’s so important to support our local farmers and young local entrepreneurs,” said Rachel Wilson from Taste Real.
Guests could not wait to get up for a second helping.
“This means so much to our farmers and it shows you care,” Mousseau said.
“Welcome to the second chapter of this evolution and thank you for being willing to participants in this experiment. I’m so happy to be living in this environment.”
Plans are already in the works for a spring event.
It is clear that the celebration does not miss that simple key ingredient, love.
And the love of food.
“I do this because buying local does matter,” Mousseau said.
“This means so much to our farmers market family."