A wedding is a celebration of the future, so why not bring that celebration into each and every detail of the reception, including the food? At Farmstead Catering near Lake Champlain, they strive to bring local, sustainable, delicious food to weddings in Upstate New York.
The new catering business is helping brides and grooms celebrate their future with forward-thinking food, drinks, and flowers at their reception.
Farmstead Catering is a small scale farm and caterer located on in Essex, NY
, that boasts direct, farm-to-table catering for the Adirondack North Country.
Wedding couples can sit down with Farmstead Catering to design seasonal menus
that feature sustainably grown and raised ingredients from farmers who start preparing for your wedding as early as you do
. They even grow the flowers for each table.
Dillon Klepetar, Farmstead's owner, launched the business in February Klepetar has been farming for 7 years in all different styles. He started with gardening and managing orchards, and then explored permaculture farming in Africa, and returned to the US for homestead operations in Montana and elsewhere.
"So many farms in area that have been an inspiration for us," says Klepetar. "This is the niche we want to fill in order to build on that community of farmers and producers that is already in our area."Imagine: wedding food and flowers from a single source---their farm. Even if you wouldn't describe yourself as a food-conscientious consumer, you can get excited about the idea of hosting a wedding reception that supports local producers and sustainable agriculture."
With more and more people becoming mindful of where their food is coming from, it's a great step forward for the area to extend that idea to wedding catering. Farm catering also offers the benefit of knowing exactly where a wedding reception menu is being grown and raised. Couples and their families can even visit their food as it is produced in Essex!
During the wedding, Farmstead Catering will also collect compostable materials on-site to prevent land fill waste. But they work most on eliminating pollution from distant food producers and the chemical pollution and resource consumption associated with conventional agriculture.
"The biggest reduction is in the transportation of the food which translates into less fossil fuel," explains Klepetar. "An average wedding's food items come from all over country, hundreds of industrial farms and even overseas (same with flowers) and that adds up to pollution from trucks and planes. What we do is not available in the current catering market. Our food originates from a single source. We are essentially 'insourcing' and cutting out the middle-man."
And when Farmstead can't provide from their farm (like coffee, for example), they will purchase the highest quality, most local organic ingredients as possible to supplement from other responsible and local farmers. Specifically, Farmstead provides fully customizable menus with enough lead time so that all the food is grown and raised to coincide with the wedding day. Klepetar also highlights wild crafted foods on Farmstead menus with items such as wild leeks, morel mushrooms, black walnuts, Jerusalem artichokes and wild raspberries.
Farmstead aims to offer most foods that can reasonably be grown and have even explored trying to grow some foods they have no business growing. Recently, they harvested a crop of culinary ginger commonly grown in Hawaii, which will be used in a carrot-ginger soup appetizer next fall.
The bride and groom can choose from a full-service sit-down meal or a buffet-style dinner. The buffet line is extra-special as the local farmers who grew the food also serve it, allowing guests to speak directly with the people who spent time growing the food.
This type of dedication, expertise and detail is something left out of average wedding menus that feature food items purchased at supermarkets or large distributers. It's romantic to think that the time and effort that has gone into the relationship you are celebrating is also mirrored and respected with the time and effort going into what your guests eat during the celebration.
Farmstead caters weddings within about a 150-mile radius from Essex at venues all across upstate New York. Given their approach to catering, they generally need about 6 months notice for a wedding in order to grow the items (unless you are willing to let them choose all the items based on availability at the time). And don't worry about cold months; Farmstead can cater any month of the year, however, winter menus feature more rustic items, including foods from the root cellar instead of items freshly harvested from the fields.
As planting season begins each item is sown in a timely manner so it's ripe and ready for the day of the wedding, meaning you'll be eating each ingredient at its peak. Klepetar also hopes to buy a farm in the next couple years (instead of leasing, as he is currently), but right now the business can handle about four weddings a year, so if you're interested in celebrating your future with forward thinking food, you should give them a call at (518) 265-8570.
Custom menus are designed after consultation with the bride and groom, and include specifics right down to the fresh flowers and ingredients based on the season.
An example of an August buffet menu is shown below:
Appetizer: Bruschetta made with farm grains and Goat Mozzarella drizzled with a sweet, toasted Rosemary Sauce
Main Course: Grass-fed lamb Lasagna with Spinach and house Ricotta sandwiched between layers of rich Heirloom Tomato Sauce and fresh basil
Main Course Vegetarian: Lasagna made with house Ricotta (vegetable-based Rennet) and our timeless Tomato Sauce
Sides: Mixed green salad with shredded beets and chevre
Dinner bun served with hand-churned butter
Dessert: Maple Ice Cream with fresh Wild Raspberries
Beverages: Ginger Soda; Hard Cider brewed with Wildflower Honey; Summer Pale Ale brewed with Cascade Hops ; choice of Elderberry or Wild Grape Wine; coffee
Flowers: Sweet William, Lavender, Fleabane, Baby's Breath, Purple Coneflower, Greater Lobelia and Clematis