This past Wednesday, the local foods of the Finger Lakes made their way to Saga for all to enjoy. Executive Chef Ben Gallinaro and Retail Marketing Director of Dining Services Duane Bortz worked together to purchase and feature products from local farms and markets for a “Home Grown Harvest” right in our own dining hall.
“Our goal is to facilitate connections between food service directors and local farms to encourage the purchasing of local fruits and vegetables,” said Deborah Muntner, of the non-profit organization Seeking Common Ground, in Canandaigua. The Colleges worked with them as part of their Farm to Cafeteria Program of Ontario County.
“The food is fresher and healthier, tastes delicious and our community farms and farmers are supported in the process. This, in turn, protects open land from development, strengthens our local economy, and greatly decreases the miles the food travels and the gasoline pollution to the environment,” Muntner said.
In addition to providing delicious food, the Home Grown Harvest was a day to highlight the culinary bounty of the region. Produce from six local farms was used in the dinner, including Pedersen Farms, Seneca Castle; Red Jacket Orchards, Geneva; Seneca Vegetables, Hall; Gale-Wyn Farms, Canandaigua; Tomions Farm Market, Penn Yan; and Happy Goat Farm, Naples.