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Locally grown foods the centerpiece at York Farm to City Dinner


All the serving plates were placed neatly in rows with stickers outlining what food went where.

The cauldrons had a green bean. Additional plates and bowls were labeled with locally made coleslaw, potatoes and quinoa.

Just outside Central Market on Beaver Street, a table with more than 200 place settings took over the roadway.

People enjoyed music, wine and fresh flowers.

Nearly all the goods were locally sourced or from York-area vendors.

Downtown Inc Director of Marketing Meagan Feeser was worried that the outdoor dinner wouldn't be outdoor at all.

A threat of rain from Hurricane Joaquin had her checking the weather report all weekend.

"But we were hopeful, we knew it be fine," she said. "Our fingers were crossed."

For the third year in a row, York City residents came together to celebrate the Farm to City Dinner, a fundraising event that specializes in teaching residents the importance of buying fresh and buying local.

Volunteers: A hodgepodge of city businesses came together to help volunteer their services.

Sean Arnold, a chef with the Healthy World Cafe and Underground West, a catering business that treats guests to sustainably sourced gourmet food at secret dinners, was up at 4 a.m. doing prep work for the event.

The cafe also lent the event much of its plates and silverware.

Toni Calderone, owner of Tutoni's, an Italian restaurant on George Street, had her kitchen crew assist with food prep as well as serving food.

Educating consumers: The idea behind the food at Tutoni's, which has been open in York City for 16 months, is to create Italian dishes with a "locally sourced mentality."

"It's a great way to teach others about this concept," she said. "But the hardest part is teaching people that not all foods are in season year round — one example is tomatoes."

"Ditto," said Dru Peters, chairwoman of the York County chapter of Buy Fresh Buy Local, an organization whose mission, according to its website, is to connect people with locally produced food and farm products.

Peters said this year the group opened registration up to eight tickets per person.

"We thought businesses would buy them up," she said. "But what we found was groups of friends bought them instead."

Lucy and Rob Wood of Glen Rock have been coming to outdoor event since it started three years ago.

"We have always been advocates of locally sourced food, " Rob Wood said.

Wood and his family operate Spoutwood Farm in Glen Rock, which also has a successful community-supported agriculture program for residents interested in purchasing local goods.

"With events like this, it's important to show our support and to grow the idea," he said.

Money raised from the dinner goes back to the Buy Fresh Buy Local organization to continue its work educating residents on the importance of buying local.

— Contact Sara Blumberg at sblumberg@yorkdispatch.com