What’s in a dream? Well, for most people, not much. They fluff the pillow and turn over and start snoring again.
But for Lori Pillsbury and Tim Elliott of Mended Fence Farms in Carlton, it’s time for action. Having acquired a vacant space on Carlton’s West Main Street, the Farmers’ Plate and Pantry is taking shape.
The storefront will have three wonderful distinct and inter-related components: First will be the cafe (the Plate part) where Tim will put his CIA training to superb use to tempt us with good homestyle dishes made from local food. Dishes will include some comfort food basics like pizza, soups and sandwiches, a wide selection of appetizers, and a daily “blue plate special” offering meat and veggies for the down home crowd. Food for the restaurant will be brought in fresh from their own Mended Fence farm as well as from other nearby farms.
The second aspect of business will be the Pantry, an area of shelves, coolers and freezers where people can come in to pick up frozen or chilled homestyle prepared meals and dishes as well as local condiments and value added products. This will fill a niche where affordable take-out foods can be purchased for heating and serving at home, all prepared with local foods. There will also be fresh veggies available to purchase in season.
Finally, the third aspect is community education. A section of the floor space will be reserved for informal and inexpensive seminars to help teach people various subjects. Tim can show how to prepare all those summer squashes that seem to keep on coming, for example. There will be taste testing of various heirloom tomatoes to compare to those supermarket beautiful globes of subdued taste. Lori would also like to offer some seminars about how to conserve water and enhance the water quality available to you. Since she is a water quality expert at the Department of Environmental Quality she has a thing or two to share that will be practical and possible for homeowners and farmers.
The Farmers’ Plate and Pantry is a large project and Tim and Lori have initiated a Kickstarter crowd funding project to ask assistance from the community who will most benefit here in the Yamhill Valley as well as others who appreciate the effort to improve affordable access to healthy local food. Please check out their Kickstarter page at http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/2094768736/farmers-plate-and-pantry Currently they have collected a bit over $1,000 in pledges on their way to their $10,000 goal. The campaign has 24 more days to run. If they do not collect at least $10,000 they will not collect any of the pledges, so this is an important consideration for you.
Lori Pillsbury and Tim Elliott Farmers’ Plate and Pantry 119 West Main Street, Carlton, OR https://www.facebook.com/MendedFenceFarms Mended Fence Farms, 7080 NE Abbey Road, Carton, OR https://www.facebook.com/farmersplatepantry