All Photos Courtesy of Kelly Meyers Photography www.kellymeyersphoto.com
“Our Customers eat farm-to-table every day, but sometimes it is nice to have a fine dining experience that reflects the values you express when shopping at a local farmstand. We Love working with Two Chefs are Better than One because they understand we want the local, fresh vegetables to be the center of the meal.” ~Farmer Elizabeth Almeida of Fat Moon Farms
Two Chefs has joined forces with Fat Moon Farms to deliver delicious and locally grown food to the community. Two Chefs Mission: To Support local farms and farmers. Farm-to-table is a trend that is generating excitement. Two Chefs want to learn more about local farming and take part in a movement that supports local business and promotes healthy living. In an effort to learn more about the process and woman behind the garden, we had a conversation with Farmer and Business Owner Elizabeth Almeida.
Two Chefs: When did you begin farming?
Elizabeth: I grew up on a farm in Western Ohio, so you could say I’ve been farming my whole life. We launched Fat Moon in 2011 and since then have been learning about small-scale organic farming, which is very different than the large beef farm I knew as a child.
TC: What is your mission as a business owner and farmer?
Elizabeth: My mission as a business owner and farmer is to create a business that is good for the community in all ways. The product we are offering-healthy food and the opportunity to learn healthier lifestyles- benefits individuals in the community. We hope to be a good civic citizen by providing jobs, paying fair wages, participating in philanthropic endeavors, and doing our part to care for our piece of earth.
TC: What crops do you grow at Fat Moon?
Elizabeth: Our 2013 crop plan is 137 lines long. We have 17 varieties of potatoes, 5 varieties of onions, 10 varieties of lettuce, 6 varieties of carrots, tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, cucumbers, melons, broccoli, cauliflower, beans, sweet corn, herbs, cut flowers, and more.
TC: Is your business seasonal?
Elizabeth: Our goal is to provide year round vegetables to the community. We held our final farmstand of 2012 on December 20th. We were open once a month in January, February and March to sell greens from our high tunnel (unheated greenhouse). We resumed our weekly farmstand in April.
TC: What types of events have you been organizing?
Elizabeth: We host delicious farm-to-table dinners in collaboration with Two Chefs are Better Than One. We also host private farm-to-table events for families, yoga and meditation retreats, and we’re still growing.
TC: Describe your experience working with Two Chefs Catering.
Elizabeth: We were referred to Two Chefs by another caterer who didn’t have the capacity to work with us. We were told that Two Chefs was professional and served delicious food and we’ve found this recommendation to be true. The enthusiasm of the chefs and staff makes the meals fun to plan and host. There is a synergy between the farmer, chefs, and dinners that is reflected in the flavor and beauty of the meals served. Each month the chefs give us a list of vegetables needed for the menu and there are always a few surprises when they come to pick up our vegetables. The planning and preparing come full circle with customers who are enthusiastic and grateful for the experience.
TC: How important are local Farmers?
Elizabeth: I see local farmers as a vital part of a sustainable, local economy. Our current food system is immensely vulnerable to disruptions in the transportation system. While many people dismiss the local food movement by saying it isn’t practical to grown enough food locally, we will be healthier and use less fossil fuels to get that food to our tables. Besides, local food just tastes better. When you buy greens at the grocery store you might notice that they go bad in just a few days whereas greens from your local farm can last up to two weeks if stored properly in the fridge. This is evidence that when you eat local, you are getting the maximum freshness, flavor, and nutrition from your food. In addition, you know you are supporting and strengthening your local economy.
TC: Where did the name FAT MOON come from?
Elizabeth: We wanted to have ‘moon’ in our title of the business because it is so beautiful over the field at the farm and it is an iconic part of agriculture. Our son was two at the time and he would look at the full moon and call it the “Fat moon”. We like it because it makes people smile and let’s folks know that while local food is a serious business, we have a lot of fun doing it.
“The menus suggested by the team at Two Chefs have been delicious and well received by our customers. In addition to the food, our customers love the novelty of the venue. Meals are served either in our historic apple shed or outside with a view of the farm. Both are unique and memorable.” ~Elizabeth Almeida