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Event aims to help promote a concept of sustainability

By JANE PRIMERANO
AFP Correspondent

MORRIS TOWNSHIP — A slow food organization, three New Jersey chefs and a historic farmstead joined forces to serve dinner to 60 patrons as a fundraiser on Aug. 26.
Fosterfields Living History Farm is part of the Morris County Park System and presents many public events to show how farmers and their customers had lived in the early 20th Century.
Farm director Mark Texall explained this “sustainable supper” fits in with the mission of Fosterfields.
The supper was arranged by Margaret Noon of Slow Foods New Jersey. She said her organization connects people to farms and to restaurants that serve local and sustainably grown foods.
The group also offers grants to schools that start vegetable gardens for their school cafeterias. The Sustainability Supper was a fund raiser for the school gardens.
Noon operates School Lunch Farm, a CSA, and provided squash and potatoes for the dinner as well as a lemon basil garnish for the gelato served with peach pie for dessert, according to celeste Governanti of Made with Love Artisan Café and Bakery in Jersey City who made the pie.
Herbs for the golden tile fish came from the 14-acre farm at Natirar, the former Kate Macy Ladd nursing home in Peapack, David Felton, the chef at 90-acres at Natirar, the restaurant and catering facility at the farm said.
The other chef for the dinner was Dan Richer of Arturo’s in Maplewood.
The courses were: Amuse, crostini with farmer’s cheese and bean salad; first course, tomato salad; second course, polenta with egg and squash; third course, tile fish, squash and tomatoes, fourth course, pig with porchetta, potato salad and beet and cabbage slaw. Each course was accompanied by a biodynamic wine from one of a number of wineries.
Servers were volunteers including Lisa Schustak, an art teacher at Red Wood School in West Orange, one of the grant recipients. She said the garden is a new experience for the students in that urban area, even for some of the teachers.
Gardening is incorporated into the curriculum in many ways.
Another volunteer was Betty Mills of Morristown, the assistant miller at Cooper Mill in Chester, another Morris County Park System site. Cooper Mill ground corn for the polenta served at the dinner.
Julie Baron, a Morris County Park commissioner, said the supper is “a nice activity for a historic farm.”
She noted the events, which have been run for three years bring people to the farm who might not otherwise come.
Sponsors of the event were Edible Jersey, Natural Awakenings, Whole foods Market and Tommy Two Scoop. Other food was provided by Best’s Fruit Farm.