Eric and I participated in a bike ride over the weekend that supported PASA (Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture). It was an exciting ride through several Chester County farms filled with beautiful scenery, fresh autumn air, good company, and at the end, great food and beer. The ride was called PASA’ s Bike Fresh Bike Local, which turned my thoughts towards a locally supported wedding. Eric and I have always tried to support our local surroundings, either through a local business, restaurant, or, in our most recent endeavor, a local farm.
Being a Jersey girl who grew up with a garden in my backyard, stopped at road side farm stands on the way to the beach every summer, and went apple and peach picking annually, I missed the delicious and fresh veggies I was unable to find through my local grocery store when we moved to the city. I had been advised by my sister, who participated in a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture), about the wonderful and fresh produce she would receive on a weekly basis. Conveniently, there was a new CSA located on Henry Avenue that I drove past on my daily commute to work, so I enlisted in the CSA immediately and have been a member for three years. Belonging to a farm has allowed me to understand the seasons of various vegetables, and, it allowed me to experiment with produce I have never heard of before and sometimes can barely pronounce.
While looking at wedding venues and caterers, I was searching for one that fulfilled my checklist, but secretly, also one that was respectable to seasonal dishes and was conscience of its environmental impacts as a facility. Thankfully, Conner Catering, who is the exclusive caterer of the Old Mill, incorporated this directly in their information packet. We anticipate incorporating seasonal ingredients into our wedding entrees, and luckily, June allows us some flexibility with multiple choices. This may mean, however, that our menu may be changing the week before due to the ripening of the vegetables. I obviously have some research to do, and will have to discuss these topics with our caterer when we begin making menu selections, but I am excited that they are mindful of their ability to consciously support local suppliers.
I’ve also seen multiple suggestions for everything from local wedding favors, vendors, gift bags filled with local snacks greeting guests at their hotel, local beer, and even whole receptions provided by local farms. I think it’s an amazing thing to incorporate and support and will do my best to do it wherever we can.
Were you able to create a seasonal menu for your reception? What local items did you provide for your guests at your reception?