Farm to Table charity event is Aug. 10

The second annual “Come to the Table” farm-to-table dinner and auction, featuring a multi-course meal prepared by some of northern Indiana’s most noted chefs in partnership with area farms, is scheduled for Aug. 10 as a benefit for the Family Christian Development Center.
The event, whose lead sponsor is Kountry Wood Products, will be held at the Coppes Commons in Nappanee, where places will once again be set for 300 people, using every available table space in the newly refurbished Upper Room. The dinner last year sold out.
Attendees will be treated to a meal that features the expertise of a team of chefs and specialties from Old Train Depot, Crazy Day Gourmet, Culinary Mill Market & Deli, Curbside, Dickie’s @ Swan Lake Resort, Heritage House, Loren Shaum (cookbook author and chef), Main Street Coffee and Roasters, Mattern’s Butcher Shop & Corner Deli, Nappanee Bakery & Treat Shoppe, Noa Noa Wood Grill & Sushi Bar, Olive Branch & Spice Merchants, Rachel’s Bread, Rocket Science Ice Cream, The Teapot & More, Veni’s Sweet Shop, Viand Chef Services and Wakarusa Dime Store.
The chefs will prepare dishes using fresh, local ingredients donated by Andrews University Student Garden, BackYard Produce, Bertrand Farm, Countryside Produce, Culver Duck, Fourrail Farm, Goldwood Gardens, Grass is Greener Meats and Produce, John’s Butcher Shop, Martin’s Custom Butchering, Rentown Amish Country Store, Rise Up Farms and more.
“This event is a vehicle for raising important funds for our organization, but it also reflects our desire to promote good health, quality food, and mutually beneficial relationships - in our community and beyond,” said Karen Stoltzfus, executive director of FCDC. “The fact that so many hard working area chefs, farmers, and other businesses owners are ready to contribute in ways large and small is both humbling and exciting. I truly believe it shows how much people care about helping their neighbors, and if you can enjoy good food and fellowship while doing so, so much the better!”
Grass is Greener Meats and Produce in Bremen last year contributed the pork that Andrew Jones of Viand Chef Services in Warsaw used to prepare roast pork belly with blueberry basil jam and a grilled peach coulis and spring onions. Jones is a returning chef.
Toni Rowe, who with her husband, John, owns Grass is Greener, said they will contribute again, likely pork. The Rowes attend Nappanee Missionary Church, where FCDC has been a Sunday school class project.
“When we learned of the farm-to-table dinner, we didn’t need convincing,” she said. “We wanted to be part of it. We had a great time at the event last year. There are so many ways to give of your time and your talent. We felt that that our product was a nice local match.”
Brad Royer, who is the barbecue chef and an owner at the Culinary Mill Market and Deli at Coppes Commons, said he prepared a smoked brisket last year donated by John’s Butcher Shop. The menu for this year is still pending.
“I really like what FCDC is doing and what they stand for,” Royer said. “If we can help to promote the organization, then we want to do what we can.”
Goldwood Gardens in Columbia City, Ind., will be contributing micro greens again this year. Canda and Ron Goldwood have been growing fruits and vegetables for more than 20 years without the use of chemicals or pesticides.
“We like supporting local farm-to-table events,” said Canda Goldwood. “We believe in organic methods. We want to get the word out about what good food is. Fresh from the farm is what we like.”
Students who maintain an expansive garden at Andrews University in Berrien Springs, Mich., are participating for the first time this year. In August, they may be able to provide peaches, blackberries, red raspberries or Gala apples for chefs to use. On the vegetable side, the garden will be producing tomatoes, cucumbers, kale, summer squash, sweet and hot peppers, and maybe sweet corn.
Garth Woodruff, the student garden manager and a horticulture and landscape designer with the university’s agriculture department, said Andrews became connected with FCDC after advertising with edible Michiana.
“We like to support the local area as much as we can, “Woodruff said. “As participants in a garden at a faith-based university, we welcomed the opportunity to mingle with other like-minded people in the area.”
The Andrews University Student Garden operates a Community Supported Agriculture program and sells produce at a fruit stand and through other outlets. The revenue goes to help cover students’ tuition costs.
Chefs and food suppliers continue to be added to the list of partners as the menu evolves. According to Barb A’Hearn, who is helping to coordinate the event for a second year, “Participants will be sampling the best of the best in the Michiana area.”
Proceeds from the dinner and auction will benefit the mission of FCDC, which served more than 5,500 families in 2012 through its food pantry and clothing closet and programs that provide medication and crisis assistance, well-baby care, holiday help, education and advocacy.
In addition to Kountry Wood Products, current sponsors include: Anglemeyer Osteopathic Family Medicine, Digger Specialties, Newmar, ATC, Fairmont Homes, Interra Credit Union, Lake City Bank, Martin’s Super Markets, Nappanee Family Eyecare, Northwood Family Dentistry, Royal Adhesives and Sealants, Sullivan Group, Thompson-Lengacher & Yoder Funeral Home, Indiana Transport, Inc., and Utilimaster. Sponsorships opportunities are still available and all contributions are welcome and appreciated.
Tickets for the fund-raising event are $65 per person. To purchase tickets or for more information, call FCDC at (574) 773-2149, go online to, or contact Karen Stoltzfus at Alternatively, contact Barb A’Hearn by phone (260) 705-5235 or email ( to suggest chefs or partner farms.
Kountry Wood Products
Anglemeyer Osteopathic Family Medicine
Digger Specialties
Fairmont Homes
Interra Credit Union
Lake City Bank
Martin’s Super Markets
Nappanee Family Eyecare
Northwood Family Dentistry
Royal Adhesives and Sealants
Sullivan Group
Thompson-Lengacher & Yoder Funeral Home
Indiana Transport, Inc.