WEEKEND — Sequim Harvest Dinner to feature homegrown food

SEQUIM — The 12th annual 100-Mile Harvest Celebration Dinner will be held Sunday.

The dinner — made up almost entirely of ingredients grown or made within 100 miles of Sequim — will honor Bob Caldwell, a founder of Friends of the Fields, as the special guest.

The dinner will be at the SunLand Country Club, 109 Hilltop Road in Sequim.

Social hour will begin at 5:30 p.m.

Dinner will be at 6:30 p.m.

Tickets are $115, with $85 of the purchase price tax-deductible.

Tickets must be ordered prior to the event at FriendsofTheFields.org or by phoning 360-681-8636.

The North Olympic Land Trust and its farmland division, Friends of the Fields, are the sponsors of this fundraiser.

Proceeds will go to farmland preservation.

Sequim-based Friends of the Fields, a nonprofit devoted to preserving farmland, merged with the North Olympic Land Trust in 2010.

Formed as all-volunteer nonprofit in the late 1990s, Friends of the Fields in 2010 merged with North Olympic Land Trust and became its farmland conservation division.

“The idea of the Harvest Dinner is to promote farmland conservation by showcasing the incredible quality of the meat and produce that comes from our local area,” said Matthew Randazzo, the land trust’s development director.

“This dinner is an all-volunteer effort, and we receive incredible support from across the community, which shows just how passionate our area is about preserving fresh local food and the jobs that rely upon local agriculture.”

Dinner volunteers

Gabriel Schuenemann of Alder Wood Bistro is volunteering his services as head chef of the multicourse dinner.

Other parties donating ingredients, products or expertise to the dinner include the Jamestown S’Klallam tribe, Nash’s Organic Produce, Pane d’Amore, Michael McQuay of Kokopelli Bar & Grill, Mount Townsend Creamery, Sunrise Meats, Fresh Breeze Organic Dairy, Johnson Farms, Olympic Cellars Winery, Harbinger Winery, Camaraderie Cellars and Graysmarsh Farm.

The dinner will conclude with a dessert auction featuring showcase confections with names such as “Goddess of the Farm Cake” and “Viennese Sachertorte.”

Chefs and restaurants donating desserts include Raindrop Desserts, The Oak Table Cafe, Chestnut Cottage Restaurant, Olympic Lodge, Good to Go Grocery, Magdalena Bassett, Della LaCour, Julie Jacobsen, Betsy Wharton, Nancy Watson, Yvonne Yokota of Yvonne’s Chocolates and Teresa Rampp.

“One highlight of every year’s Harvest Dinner is the incredible table displays and decorations produced by ‘couture garden florist’ Kindryn Domning and Tom and Catherine Mix of the Cutting Garden [in Sequim],” Randazzo said.

“Each year, Tom and Catherine donate hundreds of dollars’ worth of fresh flowers and design studio time, and Kindryn donates three days of intense labor to transform the materials contributed by the Cutting Garden and other local businesses into decorations that transform our charity dinner into a sparkling harvest hall.”

When the Mixes moved to Sequim in 1998 to farm, “we heard that a group was forming to preserve farmland, and Tom was pleased to help organize Friends of the Fields” [in association with Caldwell], said Catherine Mix.

The Cutting Garden intends to donate 25 bunches of fresh flowers to this year’s decorations, which will also include contributions from Vision Landscape Nursery, Nash’s Organic Produce, Sunny Farms and others.

Guest of honor

A tribute to Caldwell will be delivered at the dinner by award-winning Sequim organic farmer Nash Huber.

“Friends of the Fields would never have come into existence without Bob Caldwell,” said Huber.

“He was the one who stepped up all those years ago after a lot of discussion and made the decision that we were actually going to do this.”

After 29 years with USDA Soil Conservation Service, Caldwell retired to Sequim in 1994 and became a founding director of Friends of the Fields in 1999.

He served on the committee that worked out details before the merger and served as a land trust board member. He recently retired from the land trust board of directors.

The dinner also will feature a speech about the importance of farmland conservation from Steve Tharinger, Clallam County commissioner and state representative for the 24th District

Russ Mellon will present aerial photographs of the conservation properties.

Tickets must be ordered prior to the event at www.friendsofthefields.org or at 360-681-8636.

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