Berthoud Local’s farm to ‘Picnic’ table dinner

By May Soricelli
The Surveyor

The Berthoud Local grassroots group has received nonprofit status and is now picking up steam in the community. Due to the success of last year’s formal Farm-to-Table event hosted at the Berthoud Inn, Berthoud Local has now established two Farm-to-Table meals this year. The first event will be a Farm to “Picnic” Table Dinner held at Fickel Park on July 25.

“We’re taking advantage of our beautiful Colorado summers with a picnic theme for our first Farm to Table event,” the group stated in a press release. The picnic will be held from 3 to 6 p.m.

This year’s meal will continue in the tradition of highlighting Berthoud’s rich agriculture by bringing in only locally grown food. There will be room for as many as 125 guests to join the festivities. Berthoud Local’s goal is to have a family affair in the heart of downtown Berthoud where more awareness for the Berthoud Local cause can be generated in the town. Berthoud Local has had the opportunity to more widely market and advertise the event this year and because of the positive feedback they have received they anticipate a successful event.

Jason Reiff, local business owner and Berthoud Local board member, is returning as chef to create dynamic dishes for the community to enjoy. Instead of formal dining with servers, the meal will be more of a buffet style.

“A self-service, picnic-style dinner service as opposed to served plates.” said Reiff,  “Guests are more than welcome to bring blankets and sit on the grass as well.”

According to Reiff, the menu thus far consists of a roasted whole pig, mixed greens, a vegetable medley, and a few other items to be determined based on available harvest at the time.

Due to the storms and extra moisture this year, harvest time has been pushed back for many farmers making it difficult to track down available produce. However, Berthoud Local has embraced the challenge, gathering what quality produce is available and creatively planning to showcase it in their dinner event.

Reiff expressed how excited he is to have much more community member involvement in coordinating this year’s event. Especially in areas such as music, vendor logistics, and event volunteer work. More coordination will be necessary to have the event in the park.

“It’s always more challenging going off site where there are no facilities. The time, cost, and overall complexity increases,” said Reiff.

Berthoud Local is hoping to provide guests with a casual laid-back dinner that allows people to socialize, enjoy a meal and a drink on the park lawn, and listen to some live music. Live music will be performed by The Firing Line String Band.

A ticket purchase will include two drinks from either Berthoud’s local breweries, distilleries, or wineries. Beer will be provided by City Star and wine from Loveland winery Sweet Heart City Wines. There will also be a cash bar for more drink purchases.

A large tent will be set up to provide ample shade and seating for a little more than 100 people to join in on the event.

The Farm-to-Table Dinners are Berthoud Local’s main fundraising event and the money from ticket sales goes toward the basic cost of the event and what remains will be used for the group’s many community offered functions. Some of these include the community garden in Mary’s Farm, the many classes on gardening they provide, and the Farmer’s Market held at the Adam’s Bank parking lot every Saturday. In October, Berthoud Local will once again host its formal Farm-to-Table dinner at the Berthoud Inn.

Berthoud Local also encourages residents to support local farmers and vendors at the Farmers Market.

The Farmers market is really gaining momentum and has gone from about 10 tables last year to nearly 35 in recent weeks and has developed a following, according to information provided by the group.

The picnic dinner offers open seating under the shade of a large tent, where people can kick back, relax, and enjoy the glow of good company, good food, good music, and the good feeling of supporting sustainable food in their community.

Tickets can be purchased online at the Berthoud Local website, berthoudlocal.org, and are $39 for Berthoud Local members and $45 for non-members.