A Magical Night at Raleigh City Farm’s Second Annual Harvest Dinner
The evening was brisk on October 5, but guests to the Raleigh City Farm’s 2nd Annual Harvest Dinner didn’t seem bothered by the chill. Under strands of glittering lights, 125 diners took their seats at long white tables planted firmly in the soil, and waited for the first course to arrive. Chef Scott Crawford stood at the helm of a newly built outdoor kitchen, stirring a steaming pot of potato and peanut chowder.If the scenery was magical, the meal was too—and rightly so, since one gave rise to the other. After all, what's a Harvest Dinner without hot and sour eggplant eaten next to rows of eggplant bushes? Without roasted beets consumed adjacent to leafy beet greens sprouting up nearby? Here was a feast featuring real local color in the truest sense.This is something most urbanites don’t experience every day.Earlier that evening, guests and farmers had mingled, sipping wine and beer as the sun dipped below the green treeline. Sean Wilson of Fullsteam Brewery was there. Craig Heffley of Wine Authorities was there. And with those two pouring the drinks, who would be anywhere else?What was amazing about this night was more than the spectacular food (yes, even with that pawpaw pudding with salted butter cookies, coconut cream, and hazelnuts), the free-flowing libations (summer basil farmhouse ale, Crémant wines), more than the phenomenal silent and live auction prizes. The Farm, pruned, coiffed, and well-lit, was looking its best, but it was more than that, too.As the day unfolded, we at Raleigh City Farm were amazed to see how many people came together to play a role in this event. From a college men's soccer team that helped with everything from moving tables to polishing delicate vases, to a group of waitstaff who had never before met but who seamlessly worked as one to put 125 six-course meals on the table, to the cooks, the purveyors, the in-kind donors, the farmers, the volunteers, and, last but not least, the guests (without whom none of it would have mattered), we were heartened to see that this was a cause for which the community energetically rallied, one you all wanted to be a part of.It was a proud night for the Raleigh City Farm.With Special Thanks to Easter Maynard and John Parker, Chef Scott Crawford and Standard Foods, Craig Heffley and the folks at Wine Authorities, Sean Wilson and the folks at Fullsteam Brewery, Kailyard Farm, Endless Sun Produce, Yellow Dog Bread, Logan’s Trading Company, the Healys, the Hofstra University Men’s Soccer Team, Sweeps, and a powerhouse team of volunteers and wait staff.