WESTFIELD – A national movement – Farm to Table – has arrived on the sprawling 19 acres of the Genesis Spiritual Life & Conference Center.
This spring, Suzanne M. Boniface, Genesis’ marketing director, collaborated with Liz Walz, Genesis’ executive director, to bring three Farm to the Table dinners to the city.
“The Farm to Table movement has been sweeping across and up and down our country over the past few years,” Boniface said.
Boniface noted that the desire to create this fresh air dining concept was due to two factors.
“First, Western Massachusetts is a perfect setting for these dinners with all of our local farms and the initiatives to be locally sustainable,” Boniface said. “Second, Genesis has the perfect outdoor setting for these events, our 19 acres, our own garden and our community gardens.”
Walz echoed those sentiments.
“For decades Genesis has had community gardens and these dinners will now be an extension to continue to enjoy the harvest of our members with others,” said Walz.
Boniface and Walz are partnering with Yellow Stonehouse Farm in Westfield and Blossoming Acres in Southwick to provide fresh produce for each event.
“The meal will be uniquely designed and will feature local garden-fresh harvest of the moment,” said Walz.
The first culinary dinner, July 26, is already sold out, however, tickets remain for the Aug. 16 meal from 5 to 8 p.m. and on Oct. 4 from 4 to 7 p.m. Dinners include several appetizers, main course choices, an assortment of breads, desserts, and beverages. A wine and beer cash bar will also be available.
Persons attending the July 26 dinner were treated to a host of appetizers including roasted red and golden beet, arugula and goat cheese crostini, herbed cucumber flower rounds, caramelized French onion tarts, and cherry salsa with corn chips, followed by several dinner choices ranging from Greek green bean salad with Dijon champagne vinaigrette, roasted rainbow carrot melody with fresh thyme, zucchini and corn fritters, to sautéed Swiss chard and garbanzo beans with tomatoes, pasta tossed with roasted garden vegetables and herbs, white fish steamed with chili soy sauce, and chicken with summer squash and corn quinoa. Desserts included a mint fruited parfait with Genesis granola and a berry chocolate bar.
Genesis head cook Jen Moynihan and her assistant, Caroline Call, are preparing all of the meals.
Additionally, at each dinner, a local musician will be performing easy listening tunes. On July 26, Jon Berman performed a blending of rock, folk, country and jazz. On Aug. 16, the music of Lara Tupper will be enjoyed, and on Oct. 4, The Beeline Ramblers will perform folk and traditional songs.
Tickets are $35 for adults and $15 for ages six to 12; children under five are free. Seating at each dinner is limited so early reservations are advised.
In the event of inclement weather, the dinner will be moved to the Carriage House.
For more information on the dinners and to purchase tickets, visit www.GenesisSpiritualCenter.org or call 562-3627.
Sponsors of the event include the Westfield News Group, Mercy Medical Center, Northern Tree Service and Kevin and Judy Mealey.