Farm to Table
The second annual Farm to Table dinner was held at the Manor at Mount Carmel in their gorgeous new barn venue on September 20th. Farm to Table is a dinner where members of the community can gather together and dine on locally produced and prepared food. This community dinner brought people from all walks of life together. Put on by the Covington-Tipton County Chamber of Commerce, Farm to Table showcased produce grown by the vendors at the Court Square Farmer's Market in Covington. Food was prepared by partner restaurants, Little Jimmy’s Lunchbox, Billings Bald Butcher, Court Square Café, Wyatt Earp’s Steakhouse, and Mid-South BBQ, with special thanks to vendors Rolling Along Farms, S&G Produce, and Ms. Gerry’s Sweets and Treats. The food was extremely good--we even heard that one restaurant used a recipe from Cypress! The reception, prior to the dinner, was sponsored by Covington Realty and Auction and was beautifully presented and prepared by Old Town Hall Café. Entertainment during and after the meal was provided by No Time Flat.
The dinner was an extension of the lead-up to the Annual Heritage Festival that celebrates the history of Covington as well as the agriculture industry in the area. Lauren Fletcher manages the Courts Square Farmer’s Market as part of her job at the Covington-Tipton County Chamber of Commerce. She organized everything from the dinner to the volunteers. She said that “I had first mentioned the idea for Tipton County in the fall of 2016, right before I started working for the Chamber of Commerce. I’d helped host a couple with my previous employer and really wanted to bring that type of event here because of the positive impact those type of events typically have on a community.”
While focused on Tipton County the dinner is really a way to “celebrate our rich heritage,” according to Fletcher. She continued on to say, “We are such a strong farming community and many of us enjoy celebrating that. If you aren’t married to a farmer or were not raised by one, then I am certain that you at least have a farmer somewhere in your family. They deserve our appreciation and recognition as everybody depends on farmers daily. It’s a very challenging way of life to rely on the elements of nature to make a living where most outcomes are not guaranteed.”
When asked what Farm to Table meant to her, Fletcher replied that “For me, the term Farm to Table means recognizing the value of using food to build community. It requires a lot of time and honest hard work to operate a successful business of growing and selling local food or preparing value-added food products. At the end of the day, food brings people together from all different walks of life and unites us in a way that few other activities do. There’s something special about witnessing a diverse crowd of guests sharing a meal together and interacting over a common goal.”
This year’s sponsors were: Bayou Belle’s Boutique, Covington Funeral Home, Hometown Flowers and Gifts, Patriot Bank, Upscale Antiques & More, Court Square Antiques and Décor, Graphic Systems, Justin Hanson, Cypress Magazine, Witherington Services, Jamieson & Fisher Insurance, Janice Pilkington, JH’s Entertainment, Mr. and Mrs. Kevin Gay, The Closeout Market, and Tipton County Printing Services.