We Went to the Nourish Community Meal – Here’s What Happened!
April 30, 2017
Before moving to this area, farm-fresh meals for my family used to mean either a weekend outing scouring the gardens of the suburbs or heading to the jam-packed farmers market in a frantic downtown setting. Most of the time, it just felt easier to head to the grocery store and snag the produce from a bin, fully believing that all organic food is grown equal.
When you think about the distance our food usually travels from farm to fork, how fresh really are those organic carrots cavorting in from the San Joaquin Valley? Or that broccoli bumbling its way in giant trucks from California?
Here, in the Tri-County Area, we have incredible, easy access to truly LOCAL and organic food, and what we like to call,
That means –- quite literally – food fresh off the farm.
Barns and pastures surround our highways. Orchards and farms are tucked into the countryside. Fields are quilted with crops, home to free-range chickens and cattle munching on grassy meadows. All of this gives our area an exceptional abundance of farm fresh eggs, produce, vegetables, pasteurized pork, grass-fed beef, maple syrup, honey and so much more.
Yet, while these incredible resources are available so close, the plethora of options may feel a bit daunting. How do I get these farm fresh products? What are the current seasonal produce? How do I prepare the food and produce in easy, yummy ways my kids will eat?
The best and easiest way to dive right into the area’s organic ocean? Head to a Nourish Community Meal held at Nourish’s headquarters, located near downtown Sheboygan.
Nourish is a local non-profit organization whose very mission it to provide “access to hands-on education and connections to local, sustainable food systems.”
Focusing on Sheboygan County, Nourish sources organic food from local farms, shares it with our communities in a variety of ways and offers delicious and educational experiences
for all ages!
One delicious way Nourish does just that is by providing a monthly community meal – open to everyone and all ages – created around the local harvest of the month. This meal was all about Breakfast for Dinner . . .who can resist that? Not us, especially with our hungry boys in tow!
We set off, eager to get a taste of the local delights, and just as curious about Nourish itself. Our arrival was marked with a greeting from two unexpected and very feathery hosts. Our boys were enamored from the start with Blackie and Marge, our new-found chicken friends who came to dine with everyone. Our boys quickly joined the other kids in feeding them sprouts and attempting to pet their feathers.
With the kids occupied by our poultry pals, we noshed on homemade multi-grain crackers and fresh cheese. SO good! And this was just the start of a culinary journey for the evening.
The meal was prepared by Nourish’s culinary coordinator, Chef Jeff, with sous-chefs made up of community volunteers. The harvest hero of the month was onions, which were incorporated into much of the meal.
And the meal was….absolutely delectable!
I felt like we had stepped into a fine-dining restaurant, but skipped the pretense, while still getting the gourmet food.
We all sat in long benches and ate family style, passing large bowls filled with fresh, leafy micro-greens, rich, purple onions and honey mustard vinaigrette. Golden egg soufflés made their way to our table – onion and cheese, or bacon and onion, perfectly prepared and absolutely delicious for not only my palate, but my slightly pickier counterparts – my kiddo’s.
Platters of thick potato pancakes were passed down, along with fresh applesauce and sour cream. And not to mention dessert! Baked Apricot Almond French Toast, adding a sweet ending to our amazing meal.
And nearly every bit of food was FRESH.
Carted in from California? Flung up here from Florida?
Nah. FROM RIGHT HERE!
Nourish sources from their partner farms in Sheboygan area such as Springdale Farm, Old Plank Farm, Perennial Farm, and their own Nourish Educational Urban Farm (located on the North side of Geele, between 14 and 15th Streets), and local farms such as Grassway Organics, Cowhig Farm, Little Sprouts, and more. Nourish procured the majority of the meal’s ingredients and products from Goodside Grocery, in addition to other items which could not be sourced hyper local.
Plus, the meal wasn’t the only part of the evening.
Each community meal is paired with a fun, informational
teaching moment or cooking demonstration.
So as the food wound down, we got the facts on raising city chickens – hello again, Marge and Blackie! (And Pssst….those in Sheboygan, did you know it’s really easy to have chickens in your backyard?! Me neither…but the folks at Nourish told us all about it!)
Thankfully, during the discussion and meal, my two little angels sat quietly and neatly, eating with impeccable manners and not once getting up from the table to make sure Marge wasn’t lonely.
Yeah. . . .my kids were the ones fixated on feeding the chickens, and trying to wow the crowd with their stage-stomping dance moves.
Thankfully, Nourish embraces children of all ages, and doesn’t expect kids to sit still in a stiff setting. Not only did the kids get to meet the chickens, there was plenty of fun to be had in the play area, stocked with a play kitchen and plenty of foodie toys that kept little hands busy.
Nourish encourages children of all ages to join in
at ANY of their events. As a family-friendly experience,
it makes it easy for parents to connect and learn,
and for kids to gobble up the goodness, too!
The informal and fun setting set the tone for a relaxed and scrumptious evening. The community seating was a great way to start conversations with others - either newcomers like us, or those who try to come to every meal. And the food was divine, pure perfection that has since inspired me to seek out more local farm products.
Ready to join in at the next Nourish Community Meal? As spring turns into summer, asparagus and rhubarb are the hero harvests to be featured at the May meal. The next meal will be the last one held at the Nourish headquarters for the near future, as in the summer they shift to the Educational Urban Farm – which is even MORE family friendly!
$20 for adults, $10 for children 12 years old and younger
Free for children 5 years old and younger
RSVP: firstname.lastname@example.org or 920-627-GROW(4769)
Want to find out even more about Nourish? There are a ton of ways to taste the fun and get involved:
They offer a variety of Saturday workshops for all ages, starting now and over the next few months, including Bee Keeping and Pollinator Workshops. More workshops to come this summer, They’ll be on our Events Calendar to make sure you don’t miss a thing!
Sign up for Farm to Table Tours: Tour and participate in activities at one of Nourish’s partner farms, Then, head over to the Salvation Army to prepare a meal led by a Nourish chef or home-cook, serves and enjoy the meal alongside shelter residents.
Dig into the Tri-County area's scrumptious and natural local food and products! Get our
FREE Farm-Fresh Food Guide – packed full with over 50 of our area’s farms and businesses that feature organic produce, pasteurized park, maple syrup, organic skin care products and so much more. We make it easy for you and your family to FIND the YUM!