Jul 16, 2014
by ROLAND WHITE CBN Feature Writer
Central Oregon Locavore (COL) unites food enthusiasts with the local farming community by creating unique eating experiences and serving local agricultural products prepared by the best chefs in the High Desert.
Central Oregon Locavore has continued a steady growth since Nicole Timm began the non-profit food awareness organization in 2011. From the very beginning Timm has taken her vision steadily forward expanding farming knowledge and sustainability into health based culinary experiences to the public whenever possible.
New and successful programs have been regularly added with the Farm to Table Dinners becoming a well attended unique food experience. The most recent delectable cuisine was wonderfully prepared by Head Chef Kevin Linde at Pronghorn’s Chanterelle Restaurant with the food and produce provided by Windflower Farms owned by Gigi Meyer.
This epicurean feast was titled, From the Head to the Tail featuring more ways to make pork a tasty morsel than is easily imagined. Chef Linde created one flavorful dish after another combining the healthfully grown produce and pork from Windflower Farms.
Without naming the entire four course feast I will reveal that the Pork Belly and Watermelon appetizer was unique. The fresh grilled Kale was tender and moist, the Pork Liver Pate smoothly delicious with the Pork Roast Tenderloin and Pork Shoulder Rilette made even more scrumptious with the addition of a mouth watering Cherry Chutney.
With this creatively calculated balanced dinner feast how does one finish the evening except with a uniquely prepared desert featuring Bacon Gelato, with a delicate ripe strawberry, a drizzle of saba and a citrus tuile.
Chef Linde says, “The farm to dinner program is a great opportunity to support a cultural movement that features local farmers and chefs coming together to support the local community. These kinds of events help our global community by decreasing our carbon footprint and utilizing nature in the way that it was intended. It is the tireless passion of people like Gigi (from Windflower Farms) and Nicolle (from Locavore) who make this possible. I consider them to be pioneers in this current movement.”
In keeping with the healthfully grown food products concept the dinner provided several sustainable wines that were selected for their unique certified designations.
Windflower Farms comprises 20 acres located in the ranch and farming community of Alfalfa,15 minutes east of Bend. Meyer says, “ We are not in a warmer microclimate so we have had to work hard to get the most of our growing season and crops to be successful. We have several large greenhouses and protect the crops with six feet high deer fences.
“Windflower Farm is dedicated to growing gourmet-quality vegetables, herbs, fruit and flowers as well as AWA (Animal Welfare Approved) livestock (laying hens, dairy goats and heritage pigs). We use only sustainable practices; no chemical herbicides, pesticides or fertilizers.”
Meyer was raised with an art background and became a painter in New York City. Later moving to Oregon her farm has become her regular dose of living the art she says, “ My farm has become my painting that changes from day to day.”
Timm, founder of COL, is a Bend native who experienced fresh produce and fruits from her mother’s garden along with local grass fed meats and dairy products from the High Desert agricultural community. She never forgot the value of sustainable farming practices and the benefits for the communities to eat locally farmed produce and meats.
Now that COL has a new location Timm reports, “The organization is growing rapidly and Patrick Brown has been doing a wonderful job as our new executive director. This is a very complicated organization with the marketplace and selling our products on consignment. We are definitely facing challenges regarding funding for our programs and increasing overhead. The location has been wonderful as it is in an up and coming area, now called the Makers District. This year we will be launching the Small Farmer Support Program.”
Central Oregon Locavore headquarters are now at 1216 NE First Street, Bend in a beautiful historic warehouse located in the industrial section of the Orchard District of Bend, just blocks from downtown near the intersection of Hwy 20 and Third Street.
Timm explains, “The development of the Farm to Table program was inspired by a desire to educate the Central Oregon community about the health and social benefits of fresh and nutritious food sustainability produced by local farmers and ranchers.
“My dream is to see the local food movement explode onto the scene and reconnect us with our food, with our neighbors and with the Earth.”
Windflower Farm LLC, 26285 Walker Rd, Bend, OR 97701, 541-318-1417
Central Oregon Locavore, www.centraloregonlocavore.org