It was a warm, pre-autumn evening. A gentle breeze whispered through the open white tent while lights hung from the perimeter. Auction items were staged accordingly with sign-up sheets, friends smiled and laughed while volunteers busily took care of last minute details. Dress was casual, beverages of choice were brought from home while the anticipation of the menu was pondered. As the food was being brought out, all eyes gazed upon the numerous steaming food servers.
Last week, my husband and I attended the Harvest Dinner and Silent Auction at Hilltop Farm in Suffield during their Farm Fest weekend. It’s an annual fundraising event hosted by The Friends of The Farm at Hilltop. Money raised goes toward the ongoing preservation of Hilltop Farm. If you’ve never experienced the tastefully sinful delicacy of eating locally grown produce and meat, the difference is savored on even the most sensitive of palates.
We lined up like cattle, patiently waiting while randomly poking our heads out of line, hoping to catch glimpses of the prized roast. We graciously listened to each other's mindless chit chat, trying to ignore the hunger pains. The smells were of sweet, local corn, pasta dishes with crisp vegetables, large tomatoes sliced like saucers with fresh cheese, basil and balsamic vinegar. There was a romaine salad with healthy chunks of bacon and at the end of the table was the illuminated roast, fragrant with spices, marinating in its own juices. Gifts from the earth were now mounds of edible delicacies teetering on a heavy duty paper plate. Heaven was alive and well on Hilltop Farm.
There is something to be said about the farm-to-table concept. It’s an ingenious way of supporting your community while enjoying deliciously, locally grown produce and meat. The food tastes fresher, brighter, more flavorful. It’s a more natural approach, giving one a truer appreciation to what goes into an everyday meal. It also educates as to what naturally fresh food should taste like.
After letting out a few belt loops and burps, many worked off their dinner calories by dancing and swinging to the band. Dance partners switched, brows were wiped of their glistening glow while breaks were taken to refill beverages. It was a night that combined friendships and community. It’s events such as this that bring people and towns closer together. It was an evening enjoyed by all.
So, I’d like to send a big thank you to the individuals from Suffield Academy who worked so hard putting together the delicious meal for everyone to enjoy. And to all the volunteers and board members of The Friends of The Farm at Hilltop who left no detail ignored. Another thank you to the individuals and businesses that donated items and services towards the silent auction. All the effort and hard work was certainly noticed and definitely appreciated. See you next year!